Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hero Of The Herds!

Veteran Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp and the I-Team (KLAS 8) in Las Vegas, Nevada have just released a series of news stories on the BLM’s Nevada budget for wild horse and burro management or perhaps the more correct term is “mismanagement”.

The whole affair began last February when Mr. Knapp and the I-Team requested information asking BLM what they spend on removing Nevada wild horses and burros compared to the money doled out for adoption events.

Forced to file a Freedom of Information Act request in order to obtain answers to this question, a seven-month wait finally revealed the BLM shelled out almost $10 million dollars between 2003 and 2007 for the removal of Nevadas wild horses and burros alone.

For the same time period, the money spent on adoption events in Nevada totaled a little over $1 million, according to an interview conducted by the Knappster with Nevada Wild Horse and Burro Lead, Susie Stokke.

However, there’s a reason George Knapp is the I-Teams Chief Investigative Reporter.

In the I-Team Wild Horse BLM Budget Preview, George states, “We asked some tough questions and the answers we got turned out to be a lot less than truthful

First, he finds that Stokke inflated the 2007 adoption money by “padding the numbers” with imaginary funds set to be released at “some future date” - a deceptive tactic at the very least. Without “cooking the books”, the actual amount spent on Nevada adoptions between 2003 and 2007 totaled merely $6.3k, almost 50% less than what Ms. Stokke was claiming.

Then, while Susie tries to do the usual song and dance, George corners her when she reports the wrong figures during the interview, figures she insists are more accurate than the information the I-Team obtained from the National Program Office, even while Mr. Knapp is holding the evidence right in front of her eyes!!!!

The Knappster states, “This is one of the most contentious interviews I have ever been involved with” and that says a lot for someone who’s been interviewing people for decades.

The full news story, I-Team; No Straight Answers on Wild Horse Budget is peppered with facts, statistics and the reality of dealing with the Nevada BLM.

While the stories linked here cover the issues of adoptions versus removals and the fortune it’s costing taxpayers to capture and hold our wild horses and burros, a second story by the Knappster and I-Team has been promised that will examine the “science” of how BLM determines they must be removed and if it was even necessary to remove them in the first place.

With deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks to George Knapp and the I-Team for their dedication and perseverance in working to get the real stories out about the “managed extinction” of our American Herds!!!

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