We know BLM captures and imprisons wild horses and burros. But the taxpayer-subsidized agency doesn't want you to know. BLM must let the public bear witness. Demand that this Dept. Of Interior agency be as transparent as the Minerals Management Service, in light of the Deepwater oilrig tragedy.
Secretary Salazar himself concedes that this BLM program is economically untenable. I advocate a moratorium on all wild horse and burro captures until BLM's program undergoes restructuring.
BLM is taxpayer-subsidized. Please direct this agency to let the public witness and record horse capture, transfer and confinement. Currently BLM only gives access to select persons and groups, arguing that roundups occur on "private property." This claim is ungrounded. BLM is obligated to assure transparency and provide public access to taxpayer-funded ventures. The agency shouldn't enlist private entities that block public observation.
People are still shocked by BLM's ruthless capture of several thousand wild horses in Nevada's Calico Mountains Complex. BLM rushed horses in subzero temperatures. The traumatized animals fled until soaked in sweat. Moisture can freeze on their hide and lead to respiratory illness.
Despite public outrage, the agency intends to remove thousands more wild horses and burros from Western rangelands this summer and fall. BLM also proposes to rigidly curtail public viewing of helicopter herding procedures. The agency wants to impose these same controls at holding compounds that stockpile some 35,000 wild equines on the taxpayer's dime.
How much longer will BLM shirk transparency and lawful public access? As this administration focuses on the Minerals Management Service (MMS) regarding the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, it ought to scrutinize BLM as well -- for misusing public resources at the behest of special interests.