“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Friday, November 20, 2009

Equine Version of Cap and Trade

Equine Version of Cap and Trade to Buy Thoroughbred Racing Industry Points with PETA………..Or What in Heaven’s Name Do 33,000 BLM Mustangs Have to Do with Racing?

We can take action, one horse person at a time, and change not only the world's perception of ourselves—we can actually do something of huge merit. We can save the lives of horses.We have before us two opportunities to save horses' lives AND, a nice side benefit—prove to ourselves and the outside world that we're not the demon-possessed trolls we've been painted to be. Sweet: being rewarded for Doing the Right Thing.Opportunity #1: The 33,000Last week, (this was originally printed right before the Kentucky Derby 2009) Madeleine Pickens trekked to Washington, D.C. to speak on behalf of The 33,000 (as I'm calling them)—the beautiful Wild Horses who should be allowed to live out their lives on the 1,000,000-acre Sanctuary that Mrs. Pickens wants to create for them. A gift to the horses; the people of the United States and to the government—this proposed Sanctuary is running into opposition. In fact, as I began to write this, I received an email from James Magill of the BLM. He thanked me for emailing the BLM about the Sanctuary, and he provided a link to the BLM's official stand on the issue. I read this statement as being a government-sanctioned tap dance, all smoke and mirrors. Reading between the proverbial lines isn't so hard—the BLM is reporting their take on Mrs. Pickens' proposal. They're seeing the thing from only one perspective: that of the Ag lobbyists. You know the Ag lobbyists, those fun-loving, high-living drones whose pockets are lined in the blood of dead horses. They represent ranchers who've been sold the bill of goods that, if the Wild Horses are allowed to live their lives peacefully on the Sanctuary, or if horse slaughter becomes fully illegal—somehow this is going to take down the entire meat industry. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Nevada can think that the horses are a threat—to the cattle industry, or to anyone else. Maybe because they eat grass? Take up space? Breathe air that steers need? Whatever the imagined threat, it's all propaganda for the sake of greed. The hot pursuit of Filthy Mammon once again dictates that innocent horses must die. Just in case their existence is a threat to wealthy ranchers.

Statements made in the Alpha Mare blog belittling ranching to justify???? What does any of this have to do with the thoroughbred industry practices being called into question by PETA, the HSUS, and horsemen not aligned with either?
Before I start sniping and venting, I would like to mention an organization called Guardians of the Range. Their website http://guardiansoftherange.org/ elaborates on their mission, issues, accomplishments, and the life style they are trying to protect. They are just one hard working group of people Ag lobbyists are listening to. There are two sides to the issue.
One would think the BLM would be ecstatic over the prospect of being free of these 33,000 unwanted horses. It should be a light at the end of the tunnel for them. They should jump at it right? Even though Madeleine (or T. Boone) will supposedly foot the bill for the Ecotourism land of milk and honey for these horses it still has a cost.
The research I have done suggests “last chance sanctuary homes” for mustangs have a way of going south as far back as 1988. Remember they paid Dayton Hyde to yard those 500 or so horses for three years so they could live out their lives “free”. He took the money, when the three years were up in 1991, got his first mustang studs, started raising, and selling baby mustangs produced from the same horses he had been paid to care for because they “had nowhere else to go”. I wonder how many of the “33,000” may have been adopted had even one “last chance sanctuary” not been breeding for the same “market”. Of course, there is the Karen Sussman thing and the now infamous Three Strikes. I don’t think any of this has entered into the BLM’s “big picture” but I’m developing my own conspiracy theory so hold on.
The Anti-slaughter Mantra Handbook chant #1, “over breeding is the main cause of unwanted horses, slaughter, abuse, and all other evils heaped upon horses since the beginning of time”. Does this apply to the AQHA, APHA, ApHC, all slaughter supporting associations, and NOT the BLM, any other mustang producers, or the Jockey Club?
The Madeleine mustang plan will change nothing in the Thoroughbred racing. Pensioning 33,000 mustangs is not going to make any thoroughbred last longer or run faster. The “saved” are mustangs not Thoroughbreds.
Does the Alpha Mare have any idea how much land a million acres is? Does she care? It’s not in her back yard. It will have no affect on her livelihood, the related jobs created both directly and indirectly, and in turn the tax revenue paying for the public services in her state.
A million acres is roughly 1,560 sections. A section is 640 acres. Each side of a square section is one mile. This means Madeleine’s privately owned sanctuary will cover 1,560 square miles. Compared in size to some western national parks ……..Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, covers 70,448 acres, Zion National Park in Utah 289,633 acres, Yellowstone National Park 2,219,789 acres or 3,468 square miles in Wyoming and Montana, and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona 1,217,403 acres gives some scope of the size of the proposed project. Keep in mind, though a controversial issue, there are grazing permits issued for many national park ranges. The ROAM Act and other legislation may have something to say about this in the future but as of now much of this land is productively grazed.
Just what are those greedy ag lobbyists and ranchers whining about? Assuming the proposed million acres is currently used as grazing land to run 33,000 head of cattle much the same as Madeleine will run her 33,000 saved mustangs after she makes her purchase. The Alpha Mare refers to them as steers.. However, steers and their heifer sisters must be born to producing female bovine commonly referred to as cows. The mother cow, balance sheet asset, source of every Big Mac or T-bone, and well spring of abundant cash for those greedy, wealthy ranchers/farmers supporting those fun loving, high living drones.
If the land is running 33,000 mother cows divided by a 350 cow herd size per ranch operation means these million acres are at work making a living for 94 families. Those same 33,000 cows will produce 29,700 calves based on 90% live calf crop figure. Using the October 10 markets from the High Plains Journal, steer calves weaning at 500 to 550 lbs., 100.00 to 107.50, an average of 1.03 or $ 540.75 per head assumedly half of the marketable calves will be the above referred “steers”. The cash sale value of those 14,850 steer calves, $8,030,137.50. Their heifer sisters weaning at the same weight 500 to 550 lbs., 91.00 to 96.25, an average of 93.87 or $ 492.81per head with a total market value of $7,318,228.85, producing $15,348,366.35.
The lion’s share of this money will be spent in the local ranching communities where these calves were raised and sold. Feed stores, breeding stock producers, insurance brokers, real estate agencies, local banks, schools, livestock auctions, truck dealers, implement dealers, vets, and so on. All will take a piece of the ranch’s calf crop income to circulate through the state’s economy. At every turn in their lives these calves will be providing labor and revenue somehow. The end result is around 18,000,000 pounds of beef at the grocery store. I read the average American eats 69 pounds of beef annually. You do the math. I did in “How Can This Make Sense” last summer, thought it might apply here too.
The shift from productive livestock to non productive livestock will not be without cost. The ones feeling warm and fuzzy about it will not be bearing the brunt of the cost. ……Mr. Pickens is a major promoter of wind energy. A mustang sanctuary “somewhere in the west” might be an excellent way to package a large wind farm. It could offer tax leverage, ecotourism, green energy, horse rescue, and saving the heritage of the west all in one package.
http://www.communityservices.nd.gov/uploads/resources/625/wind-turbine-lease-considerations-for-landowners.pdf has information about landowner compensation and much more. Compensation can be quite lucrative for a landowner. All concerned wish to make wind energy projects attractive to all concerned.
Anecdotal reports indicate most companies are paying $4,000 to $6,000 annually per megawatt of tower capacity for fi xed-compensation packages. For royalty compensate on packages, 3 percent to 5 percent of gross revenue from electricity sales is common, including renewable certificates. Landowners should negotiate for inclusion of renewable, pollution and environmental credits in addition to the sale of electricity.
However, if you are a rancher hoping this income will offset the cost of buying land, don’t get your hopes up. Especially if you have financed your purchase with a USDA FSA mortgage ……. Any land with a FSA mortgage needs an extensive approval process. The approval process is extensive enough that the wind developer may not want to deal with it.
I ended the “How Can This Make Sense” blog by stating Madeleine should get to making fence for her “paddocks”…..well it seems she might have help with that……according to the website…….
Fences, gates and cattle guards become an issue when a wind tower is on grazing land. The contract should specify who is responsible for construction and maintenance of any necessary fencing, gates and cattle guards. These costs should be the responsibility of the wind energy developer.
There are listed hazards but I’m sure mustangs could graze under the towers. The cows do around here. I don’t want to give the impression I am against alternative “clean” energy sources. I am definitely not. I do want to suggest, maybe; just maybe, this won’t be the huge benevolent sacrificial donation it is promoted to be.
And I still haven’t figured out what any of it has to with the destruction of Thoroughbreds by the racing industry…… ……..
By RH1

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