I’m writing in response to a supposed “Letter to the Editor” that was written by Mr. Butch Meriwether and published on Wednesday January 24, 2024 in your paper.
First of all, in the 40-plus years that I’ve been a professional outdoors communicator, I’ve never seen a THREE-PART Letter to the Editor. While this was a supposedly an article about “BLM utilizes inhumane methods to capture burros/horses” it clearly wasn’t that at all.
In fact, this thinly disguised “Hit Piece” was designed to be some kind of a personal attack on me for seeking the District 4 Supervisors seat while supporting the capture of excess burros in the Black Mountains. Mr. Meriwether ‘s article also attempts to demean me for being part of the multi-disciplinary Black Mountain Ecosystem Management Team; a group I served as an unpaid participant of for three years. (1993-1996). About the only thing Mr. Meriwether got right about my service on the team was I was a representative for the Mohave Sportsman Club.
This is the statement that Meriwether wrote that I take particular umbrance to. “The main reason why Martin wants to limit the numbers of burros in the Black Mountains is because he feels they take away from the natural vegetation and fauna available to the Big Horn Sheep (SIC) and deer. He also makes a living by guiding those who want to trophy hunt.”
Let me just state that in several previous articles on the burro captures in the Black Mountains that I have written and have been published in the Kingman Miner (the latest January 12, 2024) my position has NEVER been what Mr. Meriwether claims! My concern as a conservationist is that the overpopulation of ANY ungulate (burros-cattle-bighorn sheep-deer) in the fragile, arid desert of the Black Mountains poses a serious danger to the entire ecosystem! And whether he admits it or not, burro/vehicle accidents do occur when burros wander out onto the roads both on the west and east side of the Blacks.
Any journalist would have done the proper research before attributing statements like that about a person that you refer to in a story. Your statements about my reasons for the burros are being gathered and my financial situation are just flat out lies!
As to the negative comment that Ms. Mogensen is quoted on, I wonder if she is aware that due the collaborative agreement between several federal agencies, wild horse and burro advocates, and different groups of public lands users, including the Mohave Sportsman Club that set the authorized management level (AML) of 478 animals assures that there will be burros in the Black Mountains in perpetuity?
Lastly, in the entire version of this three-part story that was ran online, it appears that Mr. Meriwether is the defacto campaign manager for Jennifer Esposito. From her statements, it appears that she doesn’t care about the health of the land as she doesn’t support the sound scientific decision on the numbers of burros the land can support without doing severe damage to the entire ecosystem.