One Little Foal Step at a Time

(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Fight to Save our Wild Horses Progresses

It’s been a tough month for Wild Horse Advocates, even tougher for the horses.  Months of legal planning had been mapped out by the HfH Advisory Council in an effort to stop four, specifically targeted BLM roundups from occurring.  Two of those were postponed by a year, one directly due to our efforts. But the other two went forward, one struggle even made it to court.  Did we make any progress?  Were the horses helped in anyway?  To put it mildly; “You bet ya!”

The year delay of the West Douglas stampede happened with very little fanfare and in what appeared to be a blink of an eye, mostly due to the fact that we held off on public notification until the TRO was filed.  The intent was to give you the full story and the culmination of our efforts but by the time we issued our press release it was only hours later that the BLM backed away and said that they would reconsider the attack on the horses the following year.  We filed our contempt of court paperwork one day, our preliminary injunction order the next day following up with the TRO the next and within hours the BLM stepped back.  Was that a win?  Once again, “You bet ya!”  Even though not ordered by the court the horses of West Douglas certainly gave it a big “hooves up” as they get to live like God intended them to live for at least another year and we have additional time granted to us to better prepare to defend them.

This past Thursday a New York Judge failed to find in our favor for our effort to stop the North Piceance roundup in Colorado.  With all of the time, money, blood, sweat and tears spent was it a success for the horses?  Once again a resounding; “You bet ya!”

I’ll put it into the whispered terms of a loving women who I held, crying, in my arms upon hearing the news of the court’s denial.

“The horses of North Piceance made a sacrifice that other herds well benefit from,” whispered my wife Terry as we both struggled with tears upon hearing the news, “it’s like a new born foal taking its first steps, one at a time.  We took several little legal foal steps that the BLM will never be able to erase.”

And she is right.

Although the horses of the North Piceance herd will now slip away into the BLM’s cloud of mysterious equine disappearances and obscurity their ultimate sacrifice allowed us to win several combative, legal skirmishes against the BLM.

Although it might seem like a very small victory it will prove to be huge in the future and that little foal step was the issue of “venue” or where the suit was filed.  We landed this case far from the ranges of the west and right in the middle of Central Park in New York City.  Why?  We did so in hopes of finding a judge that was fresh, new and untainted by the influence of Ken Salazar’s special interest driven BLM.  The BLM wanted out of NYC, badly.  They wanted to be either back out west or in a D.C. court where their cronies had more influence but due to the New York based ASPCA being one of our volunteer plaintiffs, the judge let us stay thus setting a precedence for seeking out favorable venues for additional cases in the future.  Thank you ASPCA for the win and do you think we will use this in the future, “You bet ya!”

The major win of the case comes from the quiet and sincere Colorado Veterinarian Dr. Don Moore.  Dr. Moore was first taken to the North Piceance area to view the horses by his father over forty years ago.  Dr. Moore has grown up with those horses and the court agreed that Dr. Moore has suffered irreparable harm by this herd being destroyed.  The BLM’s argument was that Dr. Moore could just go somewhere else to see wild horses, what’s the difference?  The difference is gigantic and the BLM’s indifference in court outlines their failed understanding of their primary job to protect these horses instead of destroying them.  To tell Dr. Moore to go somewhere else to see other wild horses is like telling Ginger Kathrens that she does not need to see Cloud, the wild stallion of the Pryor Mountain herd that she has been following for over a decade and a half.  The BLM can simply stampede Cloud and his family into the mystery concentration camps and Ginger can just go somewhere else to see a wild horse.  How asinine is that for a defense in federal court?  It’s your tax dollars hard at work trying to defend a failed and perverted policy of systematically exterminating all of the publicly owned wild horses on publicly owned land.  The court agreed so that from this day forward, it is on the record that for future cases  Americans are irreparably damaged and injured by the BLM’s insidious action of cruelly and inhumanely stripping our federally protected wild horses from public lands.  Will we use that angle in future cases when attempting to save our wild horses from extinction?  “You bet ya!”

Over the last several weeks we have accomplished what our good friend and fellow wild horse crusader Laura Leigh from Grass Roots Horse has said,

“We laid another brick, just one more legal brick in the foundation of the major case to forever stop the BLM from violating local, state and federal laws.”

One brick at a time, one little foal step at a time we move forward and forward we did move.

I am a man driven by a wet tear on the side of my face, a woman softly sobbing in my arms and the soft yet stinging words,

“We didn’t stop the killing of the horses, R.T.  The mares, that little foal, we did not save them.”

And for that I bleed, and because of that we stand strong.

For all those who have perished; we will press on to stop the massacre of the mustangs, even if it is only one little foal step at a time.

68 comments on “One Little Foal Step at a Time

  1. Moved me to tears yet again. Some day Terry & R.T., we will be able to stop this & there will be no more killing of mares, foals or any other wild horse by these unfeeling government ropers. We will not stop, we are getting stronger & we have each other’s strengths to pull from. Thank you to all who are working to save the wild horses in whatever capacity

    • Altho I live in the Middle East now (I am originally from India), I feel so, so strongly for those poor horses and am with you all in spirit and in prayer. I hope you do manage to stop this inhuman behavior. I will continue to pray, my heart aches when I put myself in their hooves… I cry to God to please let it end for them……. I wonder what makes it so necessary for them to do these round-ups… why not just leave the poor creature alone?

  2. I have always wondered why Lady Justice wears a blindfold.

    Now I know why, because she cannot bear to see the justice that wasn’t served in this case.

    Marge

  3. That’s right, RT! The fat lady hasn’t even gotten out of the shower yet……

    One thing I will be doing on my Mag is focusing on what to say in comments on the EAs and EISs during the comment period. Judge Pauley made it pretty clear that it is critical to take all the steps within the Federal Government’s framework as far as the public giving input into BLM plans during the comment period. He also made it clear that in the comments, the best thing to do it attack the SCIENCE (or lack thereof). I am dusting off my old Wildlife Biology degree, and from time to time I will give my take on the EAs and EISs and their weak points – and get this info out during the comment period.

    Also – if the HfH Advisory Council wants to have an Ebay silent auction fundraiser, I have several items that I will be willing to put in the auction.

    • Nell and Others,
      The Winnemucca RMP comments are due tomorrow and although the ASPCA has put together a great form letter, I have been trying to read and understand the BLM proposal options. From what I understand, this may be the most important letter “we” write all year because of it’s long standing implications. Do you have any ideas put together “attacking the science or lack of it” as you say? If so, could you please post them here ASAP. From what I understand, this RMP will affect a very large portion of northern Nevada (see BLM map) for many many years and will include the future plans for our wild ones as well as the land use by the energy giants. I studied the BLM proposals last night until my head was spinning and could certainly use your help to write an opposition letter that has some “teeth” in it regarding errors in their scientific theories/plans … or whatever. Here is one example of their proposal “D” (which is preferred by BLM staff and likely will be implemented): “If monitoring data indicate that impacts on resources are occurring as a result of livestock or wild horse or burro use, then appropriate adjustments would be made to the specific class of use. In absence of monitoring data, adjustments in available forage would be proportional to applicable livestock active AUMs and wild horse and burro AMLs.” My comment: Doesn’t this sound like they are leaving the future decisions totally open to do whatever they want with our wild ones … with or without any data to justify it? This is just ONE example of the double talk I have read in the RMP. Need help to write a specific and valid objection – please and thank you.
      PS does anyone know if it is OK to send more than one letter?

      • Grandma Gregg

        I read the RMP and found the part that I believe is most dangerous to our wild horses. It reads:

        Set AML’s at a level that will allow forage plants to complete their life cycle and maintain healthy habitat. Utilization of forage species, which are primarily grasses, should be maintained at a level that will allow these plants to produce seed and new plants to reach maturity. Monitoring should be conducted to determine the amount of utilization and associated resource impacts attributable to each forage user. Adjustments in management of the causal species should be made in proportion to their impacts.

        Horses and cattle will both graze on young tender growing grasses and keep them from reaching maturity rather than eating the more mature grasses. Horses are capable of biting the grass much closer than cattle, so the horses will be considered the “causal species” for this problem.

        The thing is, this isn’t even a true problem. Both species will eat more mature grasses when the young tender grasses quit growing. Both species will spread seed from the mature plants through their manure. It is a false premise to believe that every area has to produce seed in order to grow grass the next season.

        HMA’s are to be managed primarily for the horses and burros so these animals should not be penalized for preventing direct reseeding of some areas. This is the way horses have always grazed. There is nothing wrong with indirect reseeding through the manure. The guideline above should be taken out of this RMP and all others as it is designed to remove horses and is contrary to the WFRHBA.

      • I don’t know whether sending replication letters does any good, but I know that sending multiple letters if fine if each letter contains different points.

        Also, I know that in sending letters to any official or agency, mailed letters are given more credibility then emailed letters or petitions.

        If every person who signs a petition would ALSO write a letter and send it directly to the office intended, it would do several times as much good as the petition alone.

        Good luck!

      • Thank you Elaine.
        I sent a form letter and also an edited version with my own additions and Cc’d a lot of other BLM persons. Please feel free to use and edit it and send it if you wish. (the Cc’d persons’ email addresses are all online at BLM – some Nevada, some National):
        October 24, 2010

        Department of Interior
        Bureau of Land Management
        Winnemucca District Office
        5100 East Winnemucca Blvd.
        Winnemucca, Nevada 89445-2921
        Attn: Mr. Robert Edwards
        Robert_Edwards@blm.gov
        wfoweb@blm.gov

        Dear Mr. Roberts:

        I encourage Winnemucca District of the Bureau of Land Management to adopt a responsible Range Management Plan for northwestern Nevada. This can certainly be accomplished but after reading the proposed RMP, it is more than obvious that none of the alternatives are acceptable. The BLM’s stated mission is to “Sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. None of the proposed options that have been outlined follow this “mission” of the BLM.

        I urge the Winnemucca District Office to revise the proposed alternatives outlined in the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and all other land-use documents tiered to it to #1 ensure that wild horse and burro appropriate management levels (AML) are increased through equitable distribution of resources and that #2 all sales of any of these public lands are immediately stopped until it can be proven that the sales are for the benefit of future generations.

        Re: #1 The Standards and Guidelines must ensure that wild horses can thrive on the range and be treated in a humane and minimally intrusive manner that preserves their wild and free-roaming behavior. No proposed alternatives provide sufficient protection for wild horses and burros to be managed on the range. The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act mandates that wild horses and burros be considered “an integral part of the natural system.” This proposed RMP fails to uphold that mandate.

        I urge that the following tenets be incorporated into Alternative C2 in the RMP:

        - Designate all Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to be managed principally for wild horse or burro herds as allowed under 43 C.F.R. 4710.3-2. Decrease or eliminate livestock grazing in HMAs pursuant to 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a).

        - Base AMLs on scientific and rational principles that provide adequate herd size for genetic viability.

        - Allocate resources equitably. Ranching and other commercial usages should not be allocated more resources or given preference over wild horses and burros.

        - No “zero-ing out” of wild horse or burro herds. Range rotation, re-seeding, and temporary fencing should be among the tools used to protect and restore any areas that do not meet habitat or rangeland standards.

        - Re-evaluate “zero-ed out” herd areas for horse/burro reintroduction.

        - Utilize range management to address wild horses and burros that wander across the borders of Herd Management Areas (HMAs), instead of permanently removing them.

        - Removals of any kind should be rare and minimal. Other methods of management must be employed first and given a fair opportunity to succeed. If a limited removal is necessary, it must be done in a humane manner that respects horse social structure and keeps families intact.

        - Range management on the range should be the cornerstone of management of wild horses and burros. As such, the development of water resources, such as a system of guzzlers, should be a prominent feature of the RMP. I support the removal of fencing impediments and the enhancement of water resources.

        - Support public-private partnership for on-the-range management of wild horses and burros and the creation of wild horse preserves (i.e. Soldier Meadows proposal).

        - Incorporate protection for predators in and around herd management areas as a part of managing wild horses and burros.

        - Ban vehicular intrusions for the purposes of racing.

        Re: #2 The sale of any of these public lands will be a significant loss to an area of outstanding desert landscape that is currently available to the public for their pure enjoyment of the land. I personally think that the northern Nevada desert is quite extraordinary and I have visited it throughout my life with much satisfaction – including the Winnemucca area. The sale of any of this land would prevent others and myself from ever enjoying this public land again. The sale or disposal of this land would cause the following detrimental effects.

        - Future historical and biological studies on this land will forever be off-limits to the scientific community.

        - Significant negative impact on local and migratory wildlife including deer, pheasant, quail, cougar, rabbit, dove and tortoise as well as wild horses and burros.

        - Recent BLM sales are documented and verified that public lands are being sold to large energy corporations for the purpose of mining, natural gas and oil exploration. These corporations are known not only to temporarily scar the land in their pursuits but it is widely believed by the scientific community that their actions cause long term and permanent detrimental effects on the land that cannot be reversed. Your proposed sales of public land does not guarantee how this land would be used and obviously could be sold or resold to energy corporations.

        - Recent sales of our public land are sold at prices that are drastically under evaluated. I refer in particular to the BLM sale of September 10, 2010 when the public land sold for prices ranging from $2 to $18.50 per acre. At that time, comparable unimproved property in the area was currently being offered at approximately $500 per acre. [See example: Frontier Properties USA, 80 acre parcel, lots 4&5, section 17, township 29N, R 36E]

        - There would be no benefit to the citizens of the United States whose taxes pay for the maintenance of this land. There is no justification for the selling or disposal of public land to be in the public’s best interest.

        BLM is selling off public treasured land that is of great historical and natural significance. I am completely opposed to any future sales or disposal of BLM land.

        Please sustain, vacate or modify this RMP action immediately. Your receipt of this written notice of objection is requested in addition to your written response. Thank you for allowing me to respond to this RMP proposal and please allow me to supply you with more information on these subjects at your request. I am confident you will consider my correspondence in the manner it is sent – very seriously

        Sincerely,

        Cc: Bob Abbey, Director BLM
        Dean Bolstead, National Wild Horse Mgmt. Specialist Debbie Collins, National WH&B Marketing Specialist Don Glenn, Division Chief WH&B Team BLM
        Janet Neal, National WH&B Team BLM
        Ruf Ross, National WH&B Specialist BLM
        Sally Spencer, Supervisory WH&B Marketing
        Lili Thomas, WH&B Team BLM
        Bea Wade, WH&B Specialist BLM
        Jenna Whitlock, Management Analyst WH&B Team
        Ron Wenker, Nevada Director BLM
        Mike Holbert, Nevada Deputy State Director BLM
        Gene Seidlitz, Winnemucca District Manager BLM
        Ashley Whitman, Nevada WH&B Specialist BLM

      • I always mention the Inspector General’s report that came out earlier this year stating that the BLM’s science programs were so poor as to be non-existent. I don’t see how it could be stated any more forcefully. BLM “science” doesn’t even exist.

  4. Proactive and positive, even as we weep.
    Words cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude to you and all wild horse and burro guardians working to enact one of the greatest rescues ever; and in so doing, you are saving us all. Thank you ! !

  5. We shall be strong and persistent in our goals to save our precious horses. BLM cannot have a last stand. We shall overcome and bring in an Army like no other. We will be united and stand strong as our Stallions last fight and breath. Oh dear Lord help us in this most important struggle to free our horses. With the gifts you bestow in our tender hearts give us a ultimate strength to fight this evil that has come like a tigers demise.
    RT, we will continue to fight the fight in courts, on land, change hearts of stone into loving gifts of gold so we must continue to take a baby foal steps at hand and lay one brick, stone at a time. Then grow a huge field of flowers to let our horses run free. You will see in their eyes until there last breath. WE ARE NOT WEAK, WE ARE STRONG AND PULLING OUR RESOURCES TOGETHER FOR THIS BATTLE.
    KEEP ON DEAR SOLDIERS IN THE DAY AND STAND VIGIL IN THE NIGHT, HEAR THEIR HEARTS BEATING AND THEIR SOFT BREATHS OF FREEDOM. LET US UNITE WITH OUR SOULS INTACT AND TOGETHER WE SHALL OVERCOME THIS MONSTER. WE CAN DO THIS FOR OUR HORSES. I URGE YOU TO KEEP SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS WITH EVERYONE AND LET THEM KNOW YOUR PASSION ABOUT SAVING EVERYONE OF OUR HORSES. WE ARE THE WARRIORS THAT WILL STAND IN THE FIELD AND SHOUT YES WE MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEM AND FOR US. WE ARE THEIR VOICE. WE WILL NOT LET THIS BEAST REST. FOR THE LOVE OF OUR HORSES. Judith Hamilton-Schultze STAND STRONG AND UNITED IN THIS CAUSE.

  6. Don,t know the whole thing on Science, but, researchers, for the enviorment, out-there, say what, to all this horrible mess, BLM is causing? Do they know, that cattle will be put there, instead? Comes out to the same thing, no! I don,t get it! If God, gave us earth to walk on, instead of drowing in deep water-sides, where is the problem? All animals have the right to be there, as much as humains! Horses have been around before the years of christ, way before humains, and BLM…So, who are the scientists, defending? the Horses, ect or BLM? Kinda wierd, eh.. Theres Enough Land out there, why need more!? Greed and jealous acts, I guess.. What a shame. tks

  7. Some tears over the past week – and then determination. Thanks, R.T. and Terry, and thanks to everyone involved. IMO, BLM lawyer’s reply to Dr. Moore’s longstanding attachment to these horses was both callous and uncalled for. My heart goes out to him on the loss of his friends.

  8. RT, in my view, there is only one way to stop the problems in the lower management areas: there needs to be new ranges destignated. Not one discrepancy this year for activists has surfaced in relation to the two designated range areas. (I may be mistaken on this, yet certainly more harmony exists between the rangers, the BLM, and the public.) It’s the question marks of the lower management areas that lead to so much animosity , confusion, and suffering between all concerned.

  9. I am deeply touched by your efforts and my heart aches with you RT. The indifferent attitude of BLM towards these herds to dismiss them as insignificant beings just demonstrates their mindset for the future – no values or respect to any specific herd or wild horse. That must be our motivating factor to keep fighting them and their evil doings. I do hope you will get more financial help, the continued assistance of Bruce Wagman and others to lay more foal steps to build a castle that will make a stand against BLM. I pray and hope the horses will find a win in the end, thru all this heartbreak and loss. It just can’t be that evil wins forever. May the BLM and it’s croonies get their karma they so vehemently demonstrate to deserve.
    Thank you for all you do RT and all.

  10. I just came across this quote from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I respect all that you, and the other advocates are doing.

  11. I was so privilege to meet Laura yesterday at our rally in Sacramento. What a nice sincere person she is. I hope more of you either have a chance at a rally to meet her or go to one of the many observations.

    She is as nice as she seems on her blog.

  12. I sat crying when I heard the result of the case in New York. I felt for the foal and its mother that we couldn’t come out of this with a new horizon for all the horses to run to. It appears we have an agency that is running amock and it needs to be stopped. We need to organize with all of the best minds to get a case started that the BLM can not work around through their inconsistencies. I firmly believe that these people in our justice system is just a gullable to monies under the table as all the others. How could any judge rule like he did. It just doen’t make sense to me. As far as I can see, these people just twist words around to confuse and the courts are letting them do it, because they are on the take. This is disgusting. We must save all these horses in the holding pens to be able to run free and enjoy their families again.

    • I’m not so sure it’s a case of being on the take as opposed to just being uninformed and, well, dumb. I can’t even decide which would be worse. Either way, we have a Judiciary that is not worth of respect. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was certainly better than this.

      Bravo, R.T. and Terry! You fought the good fight, and we are still here and fighting with you. It would help though to have some of these well heeled folk who talk the talk start walking the walk with a donation commensurate with their publicity.

  13. Well?? we are relating to a childs game from 50 years ago that I still remember well; Mother May I ?? So this is it EH? ONE foal step for the mustangs and their freedom ONE giant step for the BLM .. ONE you must death run from your freedom, Mustangs.. All in all, this is not a childs game, it is the final death steps of all Americas mustangs..A sad time for mustangs that will be recorded in the history books; as the years that; Extiction; was avoidable and but unstoppable..I can only assume that the death runs will be fast and furious rite thru the winter…Before a lawyer can put a stopper in the truck sized loop holes… Sad indeed

    • We all feel hurt, anger, sadness, and at least some degree of defeat from recent events. However, to let that stop us is unthinkable. People familiar with working with courts and bureaucratic government agencies have developed thick hides, and know that the only way to bring about long term, lasting results is with a good ‘whittlin’ knife and not a machete. What’s so sad in this case is the number of absolutely innocent casualties that are falling along the way.

      Being strong, positive, forward thinking, and PROactive is more likely to help affect positive changes than singing a death song every time BLM kicks us in the shin.

  14. Thank you R.T., Terry, Laura and the whole group all tath you do – may there be just a few more bricks, maybe just one more for you to labor to lay for our wild horses.

  15. We are playing fair and by the rules of Mother May I? (thanks for that analogy, Jim) but the BLM keeps cheating. Will they be caught and expelled before they kill all our beloved horses. I know baby foal steps are better than no steps but we need to be able to take a few GIANT steps to win. If anyone can do it, it’s you RT, Terry and Laura et al. Thank you for being our voice. We are behind you all the way.

    • Thank you, Louie.
      Are you the person that said that they believed it was OK to send more than one letter of objection to BLM re: their actions?

    • Louie and All,
      One small step for the wild ones.
      Did you (or anyone) write an objection letter to the BLM about the upcoming sale of our public land in New Mexico and if so did you get a call from them today? I did not, but my daughter (who also wrote an objection) got a call and the BLM official asked her some questions and then proceeded to try to “educate her” that they aren’t set up to #1 accept email (OMG!) [this letter had to be sent by US snail mail - which we did] #2 didn’t have the EA or the land appraisal [400 pages!?] posted unless you wanted to drive down there and get it [OMG!] and #3 that “this is the way we have done it for [my] 30 years”………………… [OMG!]
      I “feel sorry” [LOL] for the guy because my daughter, who he called, is an environmental scientist and VERY aware of the requirements [availability and transparency of documentation etc] required and he got an educated “ear full” from her … apparently nobody has ever objected to their land sales before!!! I am sure he regretted his call because he really opened up a bees nest when he called HER … she knows “her stuff” and knew all the questions to ask him and all the right issues to confront him with and apparently he didn’t know what to do with us, who had objected to the sale.
      My point (besides bragging about my daughter) is that we MUST continue our education of “them”. Perhaps RT will allow Louie (or someone) to keep us all posted on any upcoming public land sales that we can research and object to? I don’t have the figures … but do know that we have lost many many acres of our land by the mismanagement and sale of our land by BLM over the years … and it continues. I personally wouldn’t care so much about the land if it didn’t belong to our wild ones and wildlife in general and to you and me. Without their land – the wild ones have nowhere to go but to the long-term “holding pens” … and we know they do not belong there. I don’t want my grandkids to have to drive to Nebraska to see THEIR wild ones in holding pens! Thank you to everyone who does not give up.
      GG

      • I am sure you realize many public land sales are contested across the West and have been for decades. I know this from experience. It must be the district office involved only… mar

      • Mar or anyone, how would Grandma Greg and/or her daughter find out more about land sales, how to find the postings and how to follow up on them?

        Is this something that could be done through Herd Watch perhaps?

  16. Oh how I can relate to the feelings in this article, thank you both for the courageous fight and the small wins. We will not give in and the horses will one day be protected as mandated by law!

  17. Several of us were in attendance at the E. Douglas Piceance Roundup on Thursday, when they cancelled on account of no horses. (They planned to round up 140 horses–could only find 76, 3 of which were killed. Your story touched deep parts of my soul. As I sat there at the holding pens, I saw another little foal badly limping who could barely get around. We were told he had a pre-existing condition. The primary “condition” I saw was that he was run too hard. I saw the foals at Pryor in the pens who were lame and couldn’t walk, and I also saw the released foals on Pryor Mtn. and how difficult it was for them to walk 2 week after the roundup. My concern was and is that little foal won’t even get on the truck headed to Canon City, and he will end up in that big grave that they dug as another “non gather-related death. I’m angry, frustrated, and sickened, but we must all work together with positive energy–not with threats, not with insults, not with name-calling–but with truths and solutions. We must take the high road and persevere..

    • We need to intercede and take them all from BLM. Setting up a way and places to take the wild ones being removed is Possible. This is the heartbreak we will get over and over until we have done something concrete in the path of this destruction, violence and killing.

      It would seem this was the year of the last foals and the death of too many! mar

  18. Diana B,
    Thank you for pointing out that specific “problem”. In addition to what you just said, per “Wild Horses: Living Symbols of Freedom” by Craig C. Downer: “…most seeds pass through the horse’s digestive tract undisturbed and are seeded in the manure when it falls to the soil, the manure providing the seed a choice, nutritive, humus rich area for germination. In this way the horse’s digestive system helps both build up the soil and sow the seeds…” also “… Another trait of the horse is his upper incisors, which allow a nipping off of plants above the ground. By contrast, sheep and cattle lack upper incisors and, so, will tend to rip plants up by the roots, thus, entirely killing them…” Like you said, this isn’t even a true problem but certainly the WH&Bs will get the blame.
    My comment: I keep learning!
    Also, take a look at chapter 4 [alternative "D"] of the RMP, which states:
    “… 1.8 calls for reevaluating AML to ensure they are consistent with the thriving natural ecological balance (TNEB) of the specific habitat and with other multiple uses [i.e. cattle, sheep, hunting and energy?] … calls for setting AML to ZERO and removing animals from areas that do not provide adequate suitable habitat to support healthy self-sustaining populations of WHB … and the ability to set AMLs to ZERO IF APPROPRIATE…”
    Am I reading this right? Although the WH&B have been surviving well in these habitats for many years, is this RMP stating outright to us that they will set the AML to ZERO if they feel like it! OMG… this BLM mess gets more shameful by the minute.

  19. Grandma Gregg, I really don’t know how many letters you can send, but I have never seen where there is a limit. Someone else here might know. I WOULD THINK that when you sign a petition that it would be good to also send an individual letter.

  20. I know we suffer pain becaused we are empathic. We have got to keep going as painful as it may get. We see that spirit in the horses and burros struggling to go on, get up, reunite, be free – despite injuries, dejection or death of their own. Our hopes were high, but it was not meant to be. And I wanted to second the thoughts of Margaret on meeting Laura Leigh. She is a remarkable woman, sincere, humble and hard working.

    So – no, we are not going away. more determined than ever to get those horses away from BLM forever.

  21. I have been sitting here typing one thought then deleting it and retyping another. No matter what words I write, super positive powerful words of wisdom or the lowest negative words of hatred against the all powerful BLM or against the caring people who; I’m sure that 90% of them are hoping for some kind of earth changing miracle. I don’t know who to direct my frustration against ;when it comes down to it.. The BLM will only stop if the President of the USA says so…The miracle will only be when God sends another son to to get it totally rite this next time, purged of man and restart it all… So after all this, I have no hope in my heart.. But that’s me, MR. Pessimist, I still have one thing left to ask and I don’t care if nobody sends me the answer but it has to be answered by all to all. What can be done for these 40-50000 wild animals that are caged today and the last 20000 that will be captured and left in pens within the next year?? The Goverment of the USA will not feed them for ever… A few mustang rescue ranches can take on a few thousand; if the goverment will allow them to..It makes my stomach heave cause I know the answer is not God creating a horse EDEN here on earth; they had this, well as close as you could get in this lost world of modern man…And now man is taking that land for his greed and need of the grass for a chosen few…Has anyone else got to this point in their thoughts?? I know I have and my answer isn’t pretty…..

    • I wish we could find a way to get the BLM to make their adoption rules more flexible and make more use of trainers to gentle and even train to saddle many of the horses that are stuck in long term holding. It would be cheaper than feeding them forever, more humane and would have a more positive impact on the public. There is some of that going on with the TIP program but on only a very minor scale.

      Ideally, all those horses should one day be returned to their homes but since we know that isn’t going to happen to most (if not all) that are already in captivity, BLM could do a lot more than they already do to find homes for them. A horse that’s been stuck in pens for a year or more and dependent on peopel for feed and water doesn’t need to have a 6 foot high heavy duty corral like those just off the range. There are programs where 4Hers and prisoners are working with horses and those could be made more numerous. I think there is too much of BLM just taking a do-nothing attitude toward these horses in long term holding and they need to be making a more aggressive attempt to find them homes since they are the ones who removed them from the homes they had. I just don’t know how to go about making that happen.

      Maybe if we could get some PR on the horrible conditions in some of the holding facilities, it would help.

      • It would probably take a court order to get into some of the facilities to document the condition of the horses. The BLM does not want us to see what is happening.

  22. Can someone knowledgable about the law in such matters please explain why each individual who participates in these round ups is not being charged with multiple counts of animal abuse?

    • government employees are protected by federal immunity umbrella, in actuality you sue the federal dept…DOI/BLM and name the head of that agency-they themselves suffer no legal consequences, the government of the US pays any damages awarded..ie…the taxpayer..winning a lawsuit puts pressure on congress and the president to get off the fence and do something..and it all depends on what kind of ‘relief” you ask for in the suit..In this case it was to return those horses stolen off of their HMA..and yes we didn’t get immediate relief from the TRO, and RT didn’t mention if they dropped the full lawsuit which addressed several issues..and will that procede????? I want to reiterate..it is very difficult to get a TRO-the judge has to be able to say…without seeing any evidence, I believe you will win this case..TRO’s in domestic violence cases are very easy..there is a police report or hospital report to verify.”.immediate danger”

      • Good points, Sandra. This last Fed Court case wasn’t about abuse, though, right? It was about compliance with statutes regarding herd numbers, ecological issues, and harm to people if they’re removed, wasn’t it? It just seems inconceivable that someone can be so brutal and deadly, and be fully protected because they work for the government. Surely a Dept of Wildlife employee (for example) couldn’t beat an injured deer to death, or hit it with a helicopter, or cause it to break its’ neck in terror- all on video, and not have any consequences, could it? If so, there’s a biiiiiig problem with that.

    • Elaine, that’s a good question and going into winter, I’ve been thinking about it. I kow in Oregon, animals ahve to be provided with adequate shelter (it’s minimal but has to be more than they are getting at some of the holding sites. Also, each state has laws defining neglect and abuse–some pretty tough and some very lax. I wonder if these laws could be used?

  23. Everyone ..get your chin up…we have no time to waste…the posse is on our tails and much is going on we need to address..we are warriors and as a great group of americans said..”LETS ROLL”

  24. Thank you so much R.T., Terry, Laura and all who are working so hard for the horses. Thanks for your good work and for keeping us constantly updated so we can get the word out.

  25. RT, THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM YOUR POST…….Dr. Moore has grown up with those horses and the court agreed that Dr. Moore has suffered irreparable harm by this herd being destroyed. The BLM’s argument was that Dr. Moore could just go somewhere else to see wild horses, what’s the difference? The difference is gigantic and the BLM’s indifference in court outlines their failed understanding of their primary job to protect these horses instead of destroying them. To tell Dr. Moore to go somewhere else to see other wild horses is like telling Ginger Kathrens that she does not need to see Cloud, the wild stallion of the Pryor Mountain herd that she has been following for over a decade and a half. The BLM can simply stampede Cloud and his family into the mystery concentration camps and Ginger can just go somewhere else to see a wild horse. How asinine is that for a defense in federal court?

    THIS IS A DIMINUTIVE, & ASININE AS YOU SAY, STRATEGY, USED BY BLM IN OTHER AREAS!

    For instance….. Terri Farley and I had recently appealed to Dean Bolstad, the Deputy Division Chief, in regards to re-opening Broken Arrow, where all the Calico horses were imprisoned, and now others are being held from latter roundups.

    He thinks we should just be happy to see any mustangs elsewhere, and pointed out that there are many of them at Palomino Valley and Litchfield, and that those facilities are open to the public. We should be satisfied with this. In the past, during the tours at Broken Arrow, he stated that most people JUST want to see horses, and are not particularly concerned about the Calico horses, like we advocates were that were following them, and going on consecutive tours at Broken Arrow. we are still concerned about the Calico horses, and all the horses that are incarcerated there now from recent roundups! What kind of mentality is that! Is it part of the psychological training they get to feed the public? We want public access to visit and observe, every single horse taken from their wild existence on our public lands! Each and every individual horse has value & merit, deserving of our eyes on them and our love as well. Its not like they are just cupcakes at Safeway, that can be had at another store! Perfect analogy, Cloud and Ginger!

    • There may be other reasons that they don’t want us at Broken Arrow. I believe I read in a recent blog that that property or the property owner has rights to a gold mine. That mine might be on that property. Anyway the property owner owns a gold mine on public lands. There is so much going on out there that they do not want people to see. They deny us the right to see the wild horses because that would mean we might see something else. Just what is going on out there.

    • Thanks, Cat and Terri for going back and asking for access at Broken Arrow. I have been urging people in Nevada to do this. I think you need to keep prodding. People want to know what becomes of individuals, as well as the horses from particular places. It is all very important and personal and historic. This ‘can’t see and can’t document’ is so out of line that the whole program needs to be shutdown and Yanked from BLM and begun independently. The National Park Service would be fine but you better start inquiries now. In the mean time we need to save lives and we need to see ALL of our wild ones in captivity. Who the hell do these ass****s think they are fooling???

      We know about so many illegal activities and need to shove them down the collective BLM throat. Who needs BLM? Cattoors, not wild horses or burros. mar

  26. In the event that the Deputy Division Chief or any other “Chief” ends up in some institutionalized facility, hospital, convalescent home, etc., he will soon find out how few visitors come to see him.

  27. We could ask that the National Park Service be made independent of the Department of the Interior, and that the Naional Park Service be made the protectors or wild horses and burros. Take all the funding from Interior (BLM and FWS) and give it the Naional Park Service. The mission of NPS is to protect our national treasures. Our wild horses and burros are living national treasure. All the herd management areas set asside for in the 1971 WFRHB or the equivalent amount of acreage should be given to the park service to manage our wild horses and burros. No one trusts Interior. We believe that there are too many inherent and cultural conflicts of interest within the BLM, so why not move in a different direction and get our horses away from the horse haters. Advocates could work with members of the National Park Foundation to raise money for improvements in the Natonal Park System. The Park System needs some help and we need help for our horses.

  28. R.T. you are so right… it’s the little foal steps we take that will ultimately lead us to victory. The progress we have made may not be where we want it to be but think back to where we were at this time last year. I say huge strides have been made! We’ll trip and we’ll stumble along the way but the important thing is we will get up and continue to take these steps and soon our foal steps will get stronger and stronger and we will be galloping.
    As Laura Leigh puts it–” we are building the freedom road one brick at a time.”
    So dear advocates let’s make sure we build a solid foundation so no one can knock it down!

    Someone suggested that this song is really appropriate for the horses and the advocates–the only thing I will change is that we the advocates have a voice and we have a choice to change what is wrong and right it!

    Bless the beasts and the children
    For in this world they have no voice
    They have no choice

    Bless the beasts and the children
    For the world can never be
    The world they see

    Light their way
    When the darkness surrounds them
    Give them light
    Let it shine all around them

    Bless the beasts and the children
    Give them shelter from the storm
    Keep them safe
    Keep them warm
    Keep them safe

    • Winnie, That poem was beautiful!! And, so sadly true. An animal, whether tame or wild, is no different than a child, against the evil of mankind.They really have no voice, no choice, they really can’t “fight back”. They can kick & bite, & try to run, but, in the end, they are helpless, they are powerless. We pray for them every single day.

  29. I think the BLM should be made to go back to the old days way of rounding up the wild Mustangs and burros.They should be made to do it on horseback,not with helicopters and offroad vehicles.This would slow things down and also make it safer for the Mustangs and their foals.Less broken legs and less deaths caused by helicopters running them into the ground.

    • John, What I have heard is that horseback roundups are just as bad. I’m still trying to figure out the best methods, and listening to most of Ginger Kathrens, and others, radio shows (Howling Ridge Radio) and other reports it seems to me that IF the horses need to be gathered that bait trapping is the only way – but then someone needs to be paying attention, because one time a trap was forgotten and the horses died.

      First and formost there is no science at all for these roundups. Its all just about business and keeping people employed doing the roundups (BLM and Cattoor and Cook) for the benefit of a failed socialist welfare ranching program that does not benefit the taxpayer but is placed on the backs of the taxpayer to fund up to 1 billion dollars a year. Then there is energy, mining, oil, all that too.

      PZP birth control, removing older horses, and messing with mother natures plan of sex ratios has turned out to be a total disaster – as glaringly evidenced in just a few years the drastic disfuntion of the horse’s social structures as reported by Ginger Kathrens.

  30. My whole self has been consumed with this information, even tho I am a year late… and so many animals have been terrorized, injured, dead…… poor, poor creatures, I wonder how God can bear to see the way we treat his beautiful creatures. why can’t we just leave them alone…? my heart aches, I hope someone will tell me that its all over now, and they are left free, to live their lives in peace… please someone, tell me this is so

  31. Whether you do it the old-fashioned way, with cowboys on horseback, or, the evil modern way, with helicopters, it’s NOT necessary!! They DON’T “need” to round up, or, keep rounding up, wild horses & burros!! The BLM is nothing more than evil control freaks!! Wild horses are NOT over-populating, or over-grazing!! Cattle & humans ARE the “invasive species”!! America’s wild horses, OUR national treasures & heritage, need to be left ALONE!! Or, better yet, maybe our “dear” government should give the horses back to the native peoples they STOLE them from in the first place, & the land, & leave the horses INTACT!!

  32. The next thing you know, they will be calling the bald eagle the ‘new chicken” the american flag, a dish towel, the fourth of july a disposable holiday, the national anthem-unnecessary and meaningless..Symbols of freedom are important reflections of where we have been, reminders that freedom has to be fought for- the first thing is to strip our symbols away..the wild horses are a visable tangible symbol of freedom..freedom is being housed in prisons across the west, kept out of sight until it dies off..they tell lies to justify removing freedom..they convince us it is for their own good..In such hard times we especially need these reminders, that altho broke busted and disgusted..there is hope..as long as our symbols of freedom are free..we have hope to struggle back up

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