Wild horses, the BLM, and good ol’ Ken Salazar | AspenTimes.com

Wild horses, the BLM, and good ol’ Ken Salazar

Dear Editor:

I usually don’t reply to letters, but there has been a few letters to the local papers about the so-called hero Ken Salazar and his cronies at the BLM.

To Karin Teague and the other two guys who hail the efforts of Salazar and the BLM, you sound like the rest of the Wilderness Workshop freaks. You talk about how the BLM is protecting our lands from them evil hunters on ATVs, the motorcycle riders, and snowmobilers from tearing up the landscape, disturbing the wildlife and habitat. How ’bout dem damn oil companies that Ken and the BLM are protecting the lands for you against? Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As far as your wildlife concerns go, Salazar and the BLM have been killing and maiming countless wild horses on our public, federally protected lands for years. The torture, inhumane, senseless slaughter of wild horses in their so-called humane roundups is the most disgusting animal cruelty I have witnessed. They chase them down with helicopters and corral them up for removal to make room for Ken’s cattle ranching friends and sheepherders. They say they are protecting the herds and protecting the lands from them.

One of the last greatest American Western heritage symbols is currently being systematically and strategically wiped off the face of our great American Western U.S. – in complete violation of the 1971 law passed by Congress, making it illegal to remove wild horses and burros from federal lands. Why don’t you Google the wild horse roundups and watch some videos on the BLM claims for treating the horses humanely during these roundups. Guess who was contracted by the BLM to remove our horses? Ken’s buddies, the private ranchers. Excellent spending of our tax dollars, huh?

As far as Ken and the BLM protecting against the big oil companies, maybe you should do a little research before you bow down to the BLM and your hero Salazar. British Petroleum will make millions plus, thanks to a contract awarded by the BLM and your buddy Salazar. You should Google the Ruby Pipeline Project. A 648-mile long pipeline going through five western states from Wyoming to Oregon. The connection between the BLM and BP is current department of interior (DOI) deputy assistant secretary Sylvia Baca, who was hired away from a high level position of BP, by who else? Secretary of DOI, Ken Salazar. Baca was formerly employed by the BLM in 1995 to 2001 when BP hired her from the BLM. Her duties included development of national policy and management direction of BLM, Mineral Management service and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Baca also served as the Acting Director of the BLM in the late 1990s when allegations were raised that BLM employees had sold wild horses to slaughter and were involved in wild horses from holding facilities going to slaughter.

Baca left BLM in 2001 to take a senior management position with BP where her duties included emergency response. During her tenure with BP numerous permits were issued which granted environment waivers – including a waiver for offshore drilling given to the Deepwater Horizon that later exploded, killing 11 workers and continuing to spew ceaseless amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

To date more than 100 wild horses have died as a result of the famous Calico roundup and processing, and more than 40 mares aborted their late-term foals. Calico has been called the “bloodiest roundup in modern history” by George Knapp, Emmy Award-winning journalist with KLAS TV in Las Vegas. “The public that the Department of Interior and the BLM serve is not the John and Mary U.S. Citizen public, it’s the big corporate agriculture and big oil public that gets all the benefits of exploiting our public lands,” he said in the ATS report.

Countless wild-horse ranges are in the way of this Ruby pipeline project. Besides, Ken’s other buddies need the space for their cattle and sheep. You should look at the videos I posted on the links section of the Nevada BLM official Facebook pages showing the tragedies of these roundups. All the recreations who use our landscapes could never do the damage that just this one project will do to our public lands, thanks to your hero Ken Salazar and the BLM. Check out the video of the once wild stallion who killed himself as he slammed his head into the metal pipes of the makeshift corrals and he broke his neck trying to protect his mare and colt from your buddy Ken’s privately hired ranchers with our tax dollars

Are Ken and the BLM still your heroes protecting our public lands from the bad guys? Who really are the bad guys?

Dave Hammond

Glenwood Springs

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