Noted Humanitarian Honored by Equine Advocates

Victoria McCullough presented with 2014 Safe Home Equine Protection Award

Left to Right, equine journalist Vickery Eckhoff, Wild Horse Freedom Federation's Terry Fitch, Honoree Victoria McCullough, Equine Advocate's founder and president Susan Wagner at 13th Annual Awards Dinner Charity Auction ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Left to Right, equine journalist Vickery Eckhoff, Honoree Victoria McCullough, Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s Terry Fitch and Equine Advocate’s founder and president Susan Wagner at 13th Annual Awards Dinner Charity Auction ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

It is “Feel Good Sunday” and we thought that we would share with our readers a personal experience that certainly made us “feel good” and we, likewise, hope that it will have the same effect upon yourselves.

This past Friday, July 25th, Terry and I were both delighted and honored to have attended the Equine Advocate’s 13th Annual Awards Dinner Charity Auction in Saratoga Springs, New York. It is always a day for celebration when we are able to meet with and share time with Susan and Karen Wagner and their outstanding Board of Directors/ Members but we were doubly excited to participate in the honoring of outstanding advocates, Andrea Eastman, Barry Irwin and our good friend Victoria McCullough.

Victoria has made great inroads in continuing the cessation of horse slaughter in the United States and many of us are confident that this year she will, with the help of her many contacts and friends, tie up the predatory business with a bow and ensure that it will never happen in the U.S. again.

We support all who voluntarily strive for the improved welfare and well being of all animals and particularly equines and Victoria embodies all that we wish to be and is a shining example of someone who truly “puts their money where their mouth is.”

During her acceptance speech, Victoria stated:

“There is no better feeling than walking into your barn and knowing that the souls which reside there are only alive because of the efforts of dedicated friends, associates and yourself. That is something worth waking up to.”

And I wholeheartedly agree…I feel that way everyday when I look into our pastures and observe the majestic souls which reside there, BUT Victoria has turned up the volume in as much as it is not only the rescue of hundreds of horses over the years, but instead, the potential rescue of hundreds of thousands of horses from slaughter over future years and decades.

Victoria, our hat is off to you for your efforts and we sincerely thank Equine Advocates for taking the time and having the foresight to graciously honor you for all of your volunteer efforts.

You make us all feel good this Sunday.

BLM Bends to Welfare Cattle Activists by Removing Federally Protected Wild Horses on Monday

Unedited Story, less headlines and bylines, by Tracie Sullivan as published on The Spectrum

Feds Support Private, Subsidized Cattle Interests by Dancing with Federal Law

BLM crawls into bed with Ranchers by removing wild horses to allow subsidized ranchers more profit

BLM crawls into bed with Ranchers by removing wild horses to allow subsidized cow herders more profit

After months of being under pressure from local ranchers and the Iron County Commissioners to bring the number of wild horses on public lands down to the appropriate management levels, the Bureau of Land Management is slated to begin a wild horse gather on Monday.

The gather, which is happening within the Bible Spring Complex between July 28 and Aug. 5, is open to the public to allow them to view the daily operations so long as the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.

The BLM said it plans to gather and remove some 140 horses from the Blawn Wash Herd Management Area — one of four HMAs making up the Bible Spring Complex. Gather operations also will extend to the adjacent Highway 21, where BLM officials say 10-30 wild horses pose traffic safety hazards.

Those interested in watching the gathers can meet at 5 a.m. at the KB Express Convenience Store, 238 S. Main St., Milford.

From there, BLM officials will escort the parties out to the range that BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid said will take about an hour and a half to get to.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and lunches. Reid recommends the public dress for harsh, summer field conditions. Four-wheel drives or vehicles with higher clearance are also recommended.

While Reid said she is going to try and allow viewers to be able to see as much as possible, she suggests bringing binoculars.

“It’s going to be hard because this range isn’t conducive to viewing and especially with 50 people out there,” she said. “I’m going to do everything I can though so that people get an opportunity to see as much as possible. I just can’t guarantee anything.”

Following the gather, the horses will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Animals not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) for more information and to comment

BLM Poised to Eradicate Last Large Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

US Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), supports listing of wild horses as endangered species

Mares rounded up in Salt Wells Creek in December 2013 – photo by Carol Walker

ROCK SPRINGS, WY (July 23, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation (TCF) with 280,000 followers, as well as numerous wild horse and animal advocacy groups, condemns the Bureau of Land Management’s scheduled roundup which will eliminate all wild horses on 1.2 million acre checkerboard land (alternating one mile square sections of private and public land for 20 miles on either side of Interstate 80) within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMA).  The roundup of 946 wild horses is the first step in the planned total elimination of all wild horses in Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek. 

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, renowned equine photographer and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) Board member (Listen to Carol Walker TONIGHT on Wild Horse and Burro Radio, see below). Walker has photographed the unique southwestern Wyoming herds for 10 years. “Genetic tests link the Adobe Town herd to horses re-introduced to the America’s by the Spanish in the 1500s. Great Divide Basin wild horses are descended from Calvary remounts,” she continues.  “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage, and the untamed spirit of the West.”

The roundups, aimed at appeasing the powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), are in compliance with a Consent Decree between the BLM and RSGA, a back door deal allegedly encouraged by then-Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. According to the Consent Decree the BLM agrees to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, arguing that these unfenced wild lands allow mustangs to freely roam into private land in the checkerboard areas. Yet even in the Adobe Town HMA, which contains only a small portion of land within the checkerboard, the BLM intends to slash the herd by 100% leaving only 500 horses on over 400,000 acres of federal lands.

While BLM and RSGA contend that 1,912 wild horses overpopulate the 2.4 million acres within the HMA’s, TCF and WHFF research reveals that 356,222 cattle and 45,206 sheep graze the same lands under federally subsidized grazing leases. While cattle and sheep are not on the range year round like wild horses, the monthly average of 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep is staggering compared to fewer than 2,000 wild horses.  Livestock, not wild horses overpopulate and degrade the rangelands

TCF and other advocate groups question the legality of BLM’s Decision to reduce herd levels far below Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) set in their own Resource Management Plans, and without an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Wild horse and burro herds and the federal lands on which they roam are under fire from those seeking to control land currently owned by the American public,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF.  Since 1971 wild horses and burros have lost over 20 million acres of habitat. 339 wild horse herds were designated for protection on western ranges when the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed. Today only 179 herds remain. 70% of the remaining herds are no longer genetically viable due to their small herd sizes. The intent of the forward thinking, environmentally sound and unanimously passed 1971 Act has been totally ignored by the agency charged with protecting wild horses and burros. 

As recently as July 10, Utah Representative Chris Stewart introduced HR 5058, The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014 which, according to a Salt Lake Tribune article,could allow states to sell wild horses to slaughter.”  

“Apparently, Congressman Stewart is not satisfied with the sweetheart deal welfare ranchers have had for decades, in which they pay virtually nothing to run their cattle and sheep on land owned by the American public,”  Kathrens says. She also attributes the dire situation to BLM’s bungling of the Wild Horse and Burro Program. “BLM has turned their back on management practices that would allow for the animals to live out their lives in freedom, rather than languishing in costly holding pens and pastures.”

“Wild horses are between a rock and a hard place.  The BLM wants to eliminate them in Wyoming, and Utah Congressman Stewart wants states to have the authority to eliminate them on federal rangeland,” states Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “This is why The Cloud Foundation joined Friends of Animals in filing a Petition to List North American Wild Horses under the Endangered Species Act.”

“With the myriad of threats posed to the remaining wild horse herds in America, it is past time that we look to science to guide their management on our public lands,” states US Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ).  “I support The Cloud Foundation’s call for wild horses to be federally protected under the ESA.”

The ESA petition’s introduction states:

The primary threats to wild horses on federal public land are habitat loss, inadequate regulation, and excessive round-ups and removals. Overall, wild horses on federal public lands face the threat of extinction due to at least four factors identified in the ESA. First, habitat loss, particularly from cattle grazing, mining, energy exploration, and urban expansion, endangers the distinct population segment (“DPS”). Second, human utilization threatens the species, specifically removal and sterilization to reduce the population and allow commercial grazing. Third, existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to manage the threats that face wild horses and may, in fact, constitute an independent threat to their survival. Finally, other natural and manmade factors also threaten the continued existence of wild horses in the United States, including their artificially fragmented range and small population size. Thus, it is vital to the survival of this population segment of wild horses that it becomes federally protected under the ESA

Livestock vs WH

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show, and you can call in with questions during 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.

Our guest is CAROL WALKER, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, talking about the DIRE SITUATION for Wyoming wild horses: the decimation and ZEROING OUT of Herd Management Areas next month in Wyoming.

Welfare Ranchers Escalate War on Wild Horses

by Tracie Sullivan, less headline and byline, as published in The Spectrum

Federally Subsidized Cattlemen Want Exclusive Use of Public Land for Personal Profit

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat  ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In an effort to gather support for recent legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT Iron County), Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller pushed a resolution through last week at the National Association of Counties that sends a resounding message back to Congress — let the states manage their own wild horses.

The resolution, which was also carried by County Commissioner Mark Whitney, Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock and Piute County Commissioner Darin Bushman, was unanimously passed by all 3,069 county members of NACo.

“It went through with very little to no debate,” Bushman said. “It was amazing.”

Stewart recently introduced the Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058, that if passed would take jurisdiction from the Bureau of Land Management and give it to the states and Indian Tribes to implement their own management plans for the wild horses and burros according to their specific needs.

In an interview with The Spectrum and Daily News Monday, Stewart said NACo’s resolution will go far to help him in getting H.R. 5058 through Congress.

“It clearly helps us. This resolution was passed unanimously,” Stewart said. “We’re not talking about all conservative Republican counties here that passed it either but many political philosophies, and they all agreed that the states have the right to manage their own wild horses. Some of these counties are controlled by independents and Democrats, so this will help us to build a broad coalition of supporters. I’m very grateful for that.”

The resolution lends support for Stewart’s legislation, calling for the federal government to “give individual states exclusive authority to appropriate herd management levels and dispose of animals that exceed AMLs at state’s discretion, just like States do now for other wildlife species.”

Stewart said while it’s still early in the process, he hasn’t run into any issues with the Congressional delegation. He feels he may even have the support of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, long a Democratic stalwart.

“I can’t speak for Sen. Harry Reid but the reality is his state has a much bigger problem with the wild horses and even he has expressed frustration with the BLM’s management of the wild horses,” Stewart said.

While at the NACo conference in New Orleans, Miller said he spent time with a few congressional leaders including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu — who he believes will support efforts to turn the management of the wild horses over to the states.

Still, wild horse advocates argue the bill was introduced on behalf of “extremists” and believe they have the numbers to stop the legislation…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety

4th Annual International Equine Conference

International Equine Conference - Click to Visit

Wellington, Florida

September 19, 20 & 21, 2014

We hope you can join us in Wellington, Florida for our 4th Annual Conference. 

We’ll have a preliminary list of presenters in the next few days and several announcements over the next few weeks as plans are finalized.

register now

Psychotherapist Borrows Horse Sense for Book on Human Behavior

as published in the LATimes

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mongalarga Marchador from Brazil.

Hanging with the Guys ~ Terry and best friend, Apache the Mangalarga Marchador from Brazil.

It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and to be honest, my wife Terry and I took a little time off, yesterday, to just hang out with the horses.  No ground work, no trail riding, we just let the horses do their most favorite thing to do in the world, eat.  And to make it more special, we let them out of the pastures and allowed them to hang with us in the yard so that they could go over and poke at the dually, drink out of the Koi pond and turn over Terry’s potted plants.  But perhaps most importantly to note, with a very large area of fresh, green grass to chow down on, they were never more than 60′ away from us…they still wanted to be near us.  And with that in mind, we share this particular article with you today, it points to how much we as humans can learn about interaction through the behavior of horses.  Great food for thought and fodder for the soul.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T


Psychotherapists have plumbed all sorts of relationships in their quest to understand and improve human communication, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before they studied horse sense. Herd behavior, changing habits, building trust — it seems that people have a lot to learn from Equus ferus caballus.

Psychotherapist Tara Bennett-Goleman long ago joined the ranks of those who appreciate the equine perspective. She makes a strong case for what horses can inspire us to do, as opposed to what we can train them to do, in her latest book, “Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom From Self-Defeating Emotional Habits,” which just came out in paperback.

After the publication of her first book, “Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart,” Bennett-Goleman and her horse, a 12-year-old mare, began studying with renowned “horse whisperer” R.J. Sadowski, who trains horses with what he calls “horsemindship.” As she learned how to connect with horses, Bennett-Goleman came to see so many metaphors for human communication that she eventually attained a sort of equine equivalent to a Zen aha moment: “The way we humans act and think of ourselves as separate and in control of things must appear strange to a horse, even predator-like,” she writes. “But horses seem to accommodate our foolish ways, accept us anyway, and even find creative ways to remind us that we’re really part of the herd.”

In “Mind Whispering,” Bennett-Goleman synthesizes mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, a touch of neuroscience and Indian classical dance — and her long-standing love of horses. “Failing a common verbal language, you speak to a horse with body language, and we in turn begin to understand them through their movements.” There are, she believes, crucial take-aways for Homo sapiens sapiens: (CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read more at the LA Times

Feds Circumnavigate Protocol to Destroy Wild Horse Herds

Unedited, less headline and byline, BLM Press Release

No Resource Management Plan or Environmental Assessment, just Total Removal and Destruction

BLM Header

BLM Schedules Wild Horse Removal on Checkerboard Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will remove all wild horses from checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) beginning approximately Aug. 20.

This removal comes at the request of private land owners and to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree for Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) vs. Salazar, No. 11-CV00263-NDF, and Section 4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The three HMAs total approximately 2,427,220 acres, with 1,242,176 acres falling within the checkerboard. The majority of private land in the HMAs is in the checkerboard of alternating sections of public and private land and owned or controlled by the RSGA. Wild horses will remain in the non-checkerboard sections of the HMAs.

All removed wild horses will be examined by a veterinarian, dewormed, Coggins-tested and given booster shots.

“Animals removed from the checkerboard will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” said Rock Springs Field Office Manager Kimberlee Foster. “Those not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their ‘wild’ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

There will be opportunities to observe the removal. To be notified of these opportunities, please contact Shelley Gregory at 307-315-0612 or ssgregory@blm.gov to have your name added to the observation log.

For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Checkerboard.html, www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal.html or contact Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0331.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

–BLM–Rock Springs Field Office   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs WY 82901