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Determination of Effect and Recommendations- Undertaking Part A The majority of the known areas where congregations of horses occur have been surveyed for cultural resources, and the data indicates that feral horses concentrating at water sources are inflicting damage to known prehistoric archaeological sites, representing an adverse effect on resources eligible to be historic properties. Maps illustrating where horse trampled areas coincide with cultural resources are included in Appendix A. Due to the protected status of archaeological site location information, these maps are not to be publically distributed. Three areas -- Big Spring Creek, Catnip Creek, and Hobble Spring -- have not been systematically surveyed by archaeologists, although there is one petroglyph site recorded near Hobble Spring. Given their proximity to permanent water, these places have a high potential for the presence of prehistoric archaeological sites. It is recommended that systematic survey in these locations be conducted (Figure 11 and Appendix B). Future management planning would benefit from additional research into the presence of cultural resources at all horse concentration points. The most effective mitigation measure for the adverse effect of horse trampling on archaeological sites on the refuge would be their complete removal from the vicinity of sites. This measure is partially fulfilled by the activities associated with Undertaking Parts B and C, described following. Figure
The presence of feral horses was serendipitous and provided another way to eke out a living in the harsh desert. Though not the raison d’etre of their operations, some ranchers took advantage of the opportunity to round up the horses and sell them. In 1891, Eugene Gooch established a livestock operation which was strategically located to gather, trap, and ship feral horses. “Gooch Camp” is located in a narrow canyon between Gooch Table and Catnip Mountain historically known to harbor herds of feral horses (Figure 6). Marge Stephen, a member of the Dufurrena family that once owned Gooch Camp and other ranches on Sheldon NWR, described the horse operation at Gooch Camp in the early 20th century. She said the buckaroos drove the feral horses off the mountains into the canyon, the walls of which served to concentrate the herd. Barbed wire drift fences or “wings” ran down the canyon walls and led the horses toward Gooch Camp. The buckaroos banged tin cans which dangled from the fence to scare the horses onward. The wing fences funneled the horses into a round corral built with milled lumber, juniper posts, and sticks. The circular corral had no corners on which the frightened horses could have injured themselves (Pinger 1985:34). Figure
however, the fact that these horses are the offspring of domesticated horses introduced to the area in the 1800s which subsequently escaped human control classifies them as feral animals. The horses and burros on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge are managed under two sets of authorities. The Wild Free-roaming Horse and burro Act of 1971 defines “wild free-roaming horses and burros” as “all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States.” The act goes on to define “public lands” as “any lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management or by the Secretary of Agriculture through the Forest Service.” It is important to note that the Act specifically and purposefully excludes lands of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Horses and burros that stray onto the refuge from neighboring BLM lands remain “wild” and subject to management under the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971. These animals are managed cooperatively with BLM. The vast majority of horses and burros on Sheldon Refuge are considered to be residents. In other words, the refuge is large and the home range of the herd is contained within the refuge boundaries. These resident horses and burros are legally defined as feral, and managed following the regulations and policies of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (50 CFR 30.11-12, 7 RM 6, 601 FW 3). For the past 30 years the management of feral horses at Sheldon has been governed by the 1977 Sheldon Horse Management Plan EIA (FWS 1977), the 1980 Sheldon NWR Renewable Natural Resources Management Plan Final EIS (FWS 1980), and a 2000 Environmental Action Memorandum updating previous documents (FWS 2000). Feral horse management is also a topic of the Sheldon NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan which was initiated in 2006 and which is expected to be completed in 2009. Sheldon NWR
Originally posted by Demetre
When I was younger my family would travel from MD to CO every summer to take me back to my mothers. I remember being in an almost deserted town in the midwest. When we got out of the RV a stampede of wild horses passed us within yards. So close we got mouthfuls of dirt. One of the scariest and amazing things I've ever seen. The sound of hooves , the snorts and screams, just incredible. Sigh....
I take exception to Tina Nappe’s recent editorial (4/28/2010) concerning wild horses and their place in the Great Basin and elsewhere in the West. She indicates that the Great Basin desert life community has evolved independently of large-hooved grazers since ca. 10,000 years ago, yet there is evidence of horses here much more recently. Also, in evolutionary terms, 10,000 years is a very short time period, and to discount the preceding millions of years of co-evolution of the horse family with the rest of the North American life community seems deliberately blind. A greater contextual perspective on this subject indicates that, in fact, North America, including the Great Basin, is species poor, particularly when it comes to large mammals. This is due to a great die-off that began just short of 13,000 years ago and continued for a few thousand years. This has been variously attributed to overkill by Amerindians, abrupt climatic fluctuations, and diseases. More recent evidence indicates that a devastating meteorite struck the ice fields of NE North America, causing a massive die-off. As with similar complex events, a combination of all of these plus unknown factors hits closer to the truth. Given this scenario, it becomes clear that North America has many vacant niches. Of these, none is more justified than that filled by members of the horse family, Equidae, including the modern horse, Equus caballus. This is a species whose origin, ca. two million years ago, was in North America and whose ancient ascent traces back to the dawn of the Cenozoic Era almost sixty million years ago. North America is the cradle of evolution for all three branches of the horse family: zebra, asses, and caballine horses. During all this vast period of time, a co-evolution has occurred between members of the horse family and the many symbiotic plants and animals with which horses and their kin have made the great journey of life. It has become abundantly clear to me that today’s wild horses and burros are major missing pieces in the ecological jigsaw puzzle. These are post-gastric digesters which make them natural gardeners whose droppings fertilize the soil wherever they roam and at the same time disperse the viable seeds of many native plants. The other large herbivores in North America are ruminant digesters who more thoroughly decompose the vegetation they ingest leaving little for soil micro-organisms and fungi to feed on and destroying most seeds ingested. For these and related reasons and coupled with their wider-ranging habits, horses and burros are restorers and enhancers of the North American ecosystem, even helping ruminants, as has been shown in many objective studies. They return the missing “equid element” amid the great panoply of species and give a tremendous boost to the variety of organisms that are able to survive. Think about all the tiny insects that can and do feed on the less digested equid droppings and that, in turn, are fed on by a great variety of rodents, lizards and birds. This does not happen to near the degree with ruminant digesters, especially the overly promoted cattle, sheep, and big game animals that the establishment today promotes.
Originally posted by ..5..
Let it go. You have been milking this for a month. Mostly by bashing my breed ergo my horses. I have a responsible view with regard to horse husbandry but you must realize that they are 'my' animals not yours. [edit on 10-8-2010 by ..5..]
Originally posted by ..5..
Fine you love mustangs then adopt one, adopt a whole herd for all I care.
Stop attempting to bully me into abandoning my horses that I have had for 18 years because you found a scandal.
You seem to have a lot of free time. Why don't you get off this forum and become the next Wild Horse Annie.
Originally posted by MrsBlonde
reply to post by SheeplFlavoredAgain
SheeplFlavoredAgain I thank you and Zhora so much for reading this
I always wonder when I post if I'm being clear and making my information understood
I have a long history with horses and in the past have rescued a few
I know on so many levels what they suffer and I am outraged.
I never stop on the issue of horse welfare ,I can't,I don't know how
but I do know that horses at the nexus of everything we need to fix as country and a people . Our morals ,our values, our history,who we need to become and we have to do it today
It's really time to stop letting these monsters define us ,we need to define ourselves .I know many people will stand with me and start that definition by never betraying innocence and beauty and goodness . That could be a start
I think many people are like you and see the romantic images and think everything is okay and why wouldn't you ? How would you know?
but now that you do please follow the links that many people have posted in these threads and please email your legislators and tell them what you just told me . It will help the horses it will