Tuesday, March 03, 2009

BLM says Pickens deal for wild horses flawed

An offer from the wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens to establish a sanctuary for 30,000 wild horses is "problematic" and not viable as proposed, a federal land management official said Monday. Nonetheless, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is willing to continue talks with Madeleine Pickens, said Ron Wenker, the agency's state director for Nevada. Wenker, who recently served two months as acting national BLM director, said there are two problems with Pickens' offer. One is the $500 per head, per year — or $15 million annually for 30,000 horses — she was asking to take the animals now in long-term holding facilities off the government's hands. Pickens last week told The Associated Press the stipend would used to finance a nonprofit foundation that would care for the animals. "You've got to get some kind of break from the government," she said. "We need help from them." The other problem with Pickens' proposal, Wenker said, involves use of public lands. He said government land Pickens has considered for the sanctuary is ineligible because federal law restricts horses to areas where they existed when the Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted nearly four decades ago. "Because the BLM grazing allotments under consideration by your foundation did not have wild horse herds in 1971, wild horses cannot now be placed there," Wenker wrote to Pickens in a Feb. 20 letter obtained by the AP. "At this point, two options seem most plausible," Wenker wrote. "The BLM could contract with your foundation to care for wild horses strictly on private land. Alternatively, your foundation could own and care for the horses without compensation from the BLM, as you first proposed."...AP

1 comment:

dr john said...

Madeline has put out more gas on the horses than T.Boners gas wells in the last decade