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December 11, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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December 11, 2014
 

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6 I The Lovell Chronicle I December 11,2014 BY PATrl CARPENTER Wild horse advocates across the country are not pleased with Gov. Matt Mead this week after his announcement that the State of Wyoming has filed a lawsuit against the U.S Bureau of Land Manage- ment (BLM) over wild hors- es in the state. In a joint press release peppered with heated re- sponses issued just days af- ter Gov. Mead's announce- ment, numerous wild horse advocacy groups and oth- er interested parties criti- cized the move as "lacking merit and a waste of state resources." In a press release is- sued earlier in the week, Mead expressed his con- cern that "Excess wild hors- es in Wyoming can harm the habitats used by other wildlife species, including sage-grouse, antelope, deer and elk" and that "Over- grazing caused by overpop- ulation threatens all ani- mals including horses." "Gov. Mead's legal ma- neuver is a blatant attempt to scapegoat the small num- ber of wild horses that re- main in Wyoming for envi- ronmental damage caused by massive livestock graz- ing and commercial devel- opment of the public range- lands," said Suzanne Roy, Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, based in North Carolina. "It's an attempt to secure more government subsidies for commercial interests that dominate the public lands at the ex- pense of wildlife, including America's iconic and feder- ally-protected wild horses." Mead justified the law- suit by noting that "The Wild Free-Roaming Horses e The Lovell Area Cham- ber of Commerce general membership meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 15, at noon at the Brandin' Iron restaurant. The luncheon will fea- ture Steve Keil, president and Burros Act requires the BLM to manage wild horses below previously set appro- priate levels and to remove excess horses when popu- lations exceed those levels. Herds will continue to ex- ponentially grow beyond what the BLM determined is ecologically appropriate for each herd management area (HMA). These herds have population growth rates that range from as low as 25 percent to as high as 58 percent each year. Horses often stray from HMAs onto state and pri- vate land." Ginger Kathrens, Exc- utive Director of the Cloud Foundation, based in Colo- rado, and a longtime advo- cate for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses, countered the statistics issued by Mead's office with her own. "Statewide, wild horse numbers are far below the high appropriate manage- ment Level of 3,722, so I am left scratching my head on why Gov. Mead chose to sue the BLM," said Kath- rens. "Our question to Gov. Mead is, how many head of livestock graze with- in the 3.6 million acres in wild horse herd manage- ment areas and what is the cost to the American tax- payer of subsidizing feder- al livestock grazing on all public lands in the state of Wyoming? Blaming around 2,500 wild horses for range damage in light of mas- sive energy development and grazing by hundreds of thousands of private- ly-owned cattle and sheep simply makes no sense." "The lawsuit asks the court to force the BLM to manage wild horses in Wy- oming as required by the Wild Free-Ro lming Horses of Friends of Bighorn Lake. He will be talking about the 2015 management of Big- horn Canyon National Rec- reation Area and encourag- ing local residents to speak up and comment on the Bu- reau of Reclamation oper- and Burros Act," Gov. Mead said in a statement issued to the press. "It is my be- lief, and the belief of oth- er western governors, that the BLM does not have the resources to manage wild horses effectively. By fil- ing suit it sends a message that wild horse manage- ment is a priority and the BLM must be provided the funding necessary to man- age them." "This lawsuit reveals a deep-seated hostility to- ward wild horses -- which are protected by federal law and cherished by the Amer- ican public - and a desire to eradicate them from the Wyoming landscape," said Neda DeMayo, founder and CEO of Return to Free- dom, a California-based or- ganization. "It's devoid of merit and wasteful of pub- lic resources. We are com- mitted to continuing to de- fend Wyoming's wild horses in federal court from these assaults by ranchers and their political allies who want to wipe out wild hors- es from the Western range." "Governor Mead's plan for Wyoming will leave a special interest waste- land devoid of wild horses, with drilling pad after drill- ing pad and public lands grazed down to the dirt by livestock," said Carol Walk- er of Living Images Pho- tography, who has exten- sively documented the lives of wild horses in Wyoming. "What the Governor fails to understand is that these are not Wyoming's wild horses nor do these public lands be- long to Wyoming - the wild horses and the public land belong to all of us, the tax- paying citizens of the Unit- ed States of America." "What is happening in ation plans for lake levels and management. Christy Fleming with the National Park Service will be discussing the 2016 NPS Centennial events. She will also conduct an in- formal discussion on camp- Wyoming is criminal. It vi- olates federal laws that pro- tect our dwindling remain- ing wild horses and goes against what many Amer- icans have spoken for and supported," said Kimerlee Curyl, a wild horse photog- rapher who has also spent time in Wyoming. "Advo- cates and scientists alike have provided cost effective ideas to help manage the herds numbers, the range health and the genetic via- bility of these animals, yet no one even tries to imple- ment anything new." According to a state- ment issued in the joint re- lease by the advocates this week the advocates stated, "The governoFs decision to expend public resources on a lawsuit against the BLM is inexplicable in light of the facts." Advocates claim that fewer than 2,500 wild hors- es remain in the entire state of Wyoming and grazing on just 2 percent of the land grazed by livestock. They also state in their release that the wild horses are re- stricted to 3.2 million acres of public rangelands in Wy- oming, while livestock graze on as many as 18 million acres and counter the claim that the wild horse popula- tion in Wyoming is above the "appropriate manage- ment levels" set by the BLM, claiming the population is actually below the designat- ed levels set by the BLM According to the gover- nor's office, the lawsuit has been filed. It is unclear how the lawsuit could potential- ly affect the Pryor Moun- tain Wild Horses, since their range is located mostly in Montana with a small part in Wyoming, just outside of Lovell. ground fees in the Bighorn Canyon. As a reminder, the pub- lic is always invited to at- tend the luncheons. Call the Chamber Office at 548-7552 or email lovell@tctwest.net for more information. Jerry Bellmyer Bellmyer joins RMHS staff BY PATti CARPENTER Jerry Bellmyer joined the staff of Rocky Mountain High School this fall as a special education resource teacher and case manager for 13 students. He said his role is to offer support to both students and teachers for IP (individual plan) students. Bellmy- er has extensive experience in this role, having worked for many years in special education, most recently in Illinois. He earned his undergraduate degree from Oklaho- ma Christian College and his master's degree in spe- cial education from Illinois State College. In addition to earning his credentials in the special education field, Bellmyer also majored in adaptive physical education for handicapped students. So far, he said he loves the small community of Cow- ley, especially the small class sizes compared to his ex- perience working in a bigger city. "The small class size really allows teachers to tune in to .the individual needs of students," he said. "I feel very fortunate to be here in a school where everyone is on the same page in terms of procedures in the class- room and everyone is helpful and extremely friendly." Bellmyer said he hopes he can help his students be successful in school and to be prepared for the real world. He emphasized that the "real world" to him in- cludes college and meaningful work. An avid outdoorsman, Bellmyer said moving to Wy- oming has been like a dream come true with its am- ple opportunity for hunting, fishing and ATV and horse- back riding. He said once he gets settled in, he hopes to enjoy more of those activities in his spare time. Opening Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 MY PRIVATE GALLERY Landscapes from the American West Open Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1-5 pm 295 Carmon Ave., Lovell Or by private appointment. Call 406-855-0234 Richard Morrison [I]ITll]UTg OF TRUSTEE Meeting of the Board for December 16, 2014 has location of this meeting. held at the Brandin' Iron Wyoming at 6:30 [ Silver Bits 8 Spurs! Jeweled Hat Trim Band Winter Build Sale BUILDING CORP. Building relationships in communities throughout the U.S. for more than 36 Yearsl :.: BUILDING SPECIALS! 30'x40'x13' $15,489 42'x72'x15' $27,669 60'x96'x17' $52,328 CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATIONI Cody, WY (307)587-5493 FEATURING: ~ FA.B~A.L Building pictured is not priced in ad. Crew travel required over 50 miles. Local building code modifications extra. Price subject to change without notice. ClearyBuilding.com 800-373-5550 ' '.'C. ' " ' " "-.: ~" 2/'~ Up, ,OU~ 6ome a,,a