Action Alert: Call your U.S. Senators to save wild horses & burros!

Horses from the upcoming Checkerboard roundup could be killed.  (photo: Carol Walker)

The wild horses & burros need YOUR voice.  Now.

Language in the 2018 Budget would allow 46,000 wild horses in BLM holding facilities and tens of thousands more on public lands to be killed.  Your phone calls are the only chance the wild horses & burros have to stop this from happening.

Please fax (your letter will get to them quickly) even a simple handwritten note and/or make phone calls to your U.S. Senators, and tell them you are a constituent and:

1) You do NOT want our wild horses and burros to be killed, “euthanized” or sterilized.

2) Do NOT remove the sales restrictions that protect our wild horses and burros from being sold into the slaughter pipeline.

3) You oppose horse slaughter in the U.S.

Call or fax a note to YOUR U.S. Senators, and then also call of fax a note to:

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

PHONE & FAX NUMBERS

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054   202-224-9450
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744   202-224-3416
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665   202-224-5301
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843   202-228-1371
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841   202-228-3954
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) 202-224-4041   202-224-9750
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) 202-224-5042   202-228-3075
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041   202-228-0285
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW) 202-224-3934   202-228-1153
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152   202-228-0400
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) 202-224-6521   202-228-6966
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KS) 202-224-2541   202-224-2499
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) 202-224-4623   202-228-0447
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523   202-224-2693
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 202-224-4654   202-228-0629
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 202-224-5721   202-224-8149
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644   202-224-8594
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) 202-224-2651   202-228-1236
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 202-224-2841   202-228-3194
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) 202-224-2551   202-224-7999
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) 202-224-5754   202-228-1015
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753   202-228-3997
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642   202-224-4680
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944   202-228-3398 (Big Pro-Horse Slaughter Supporter)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-0238   202-224-3479
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621   202-224-0238
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653   202-224-9787
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) 202-224-6472   202-224-7665
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) 202-224-3954  202-228-0002

Please only call Senators Udall and Graham to thank them for the Udall-Graham Amendment:

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621   202-228-3261                                                                                                                                           Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972   202-224-3808

 

On the Eve of the Checkerboard Roundup, An Old Adobe Town Friend is Found

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats.com

Mica’s Dad, still wild and free

On the eve of the 2017 Checkerboard Roundup, an old Adobe Town Friend is Found

by Carol J. Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In 2010 I was staying in Rawlins, Wyoming to observe the Adobe Town Roundup. The day before the roundup started, I had an encounter with a family of wild horses who would change my life forever.

A wild family through the sagebrush

“Sunrise Stallion”

Just before dawn, I saw a small family peeking out at me through the sagebrush – a grey mare, a pale palomino colt and two other youngsters. I turned and saw a sight that took my breath away – a majestic sorrel stallion with the early light falling on his reddish coat. He looked at me for a few seconds, then he and his family disappeared into the sagebrush.

Mica follows his father

Mica and his mother

Mica’s parents

The next day, after a long disheartening day of watching wild horses being herded into traps by a helicopter, then separated from their family and trucked off to a short term holding facility, I caught sight of the family I had seen the day before. This time, they appeared curious and circled me. The pale palomino colt followed his father, then moved over to his mother for security. The family was directly in the path of where the roundup was taking place, and I thought that it was such a sad shame that they would most likely be rounded up and separated forever.

They were rounded up along with over 2000 other wild horses in Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek. I heard that a stunning sorrel stallion had been released and was hopeful that it was him. The pale palomino colt was shipped to Canon City. I never found out what happened to the rest of the family.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

Wild horses vs cattle: Who will win the waterhole?

Source:  Heber Wild Horses

Public lands ranchers, in their effort to convince Forest Service and others that the wild horses need to be removed from the Sitgreaves National Forest, often fall back on their old propaganda spiel that the horses guard the waterholes and won’t let the cattle drink.  So we uploaded this little video showing what really takes place at a waterhole on a regular basis when cattle and wild horses wind up at the same waterhole at the same time.  Observe the drama unfold as you watch this action packed video of wild horses picking on poor little cows…see the terrified looks on the faces of the cattle as the horses plot against them!  LOL

Zinke’s Secret Burdens Report No Doubt Focused on Oil & Gas Giveaways

by as published on Western Values Project

Another report created behind closed doors for special interests not available to the public

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s report to the White House that focused on supposed burdens to public lands energy development was due September 24th. Now, with both the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the White House silent, the public cannot confirm whether the report was submitted at all.

The report, required by President Trump’s “American Energy Independence” executive order from March, was due to the White House on Sunday and has not been made public by the DOI or the White House. It is widely expected that this report will eliminate key protections for western public lands and waters, sweeten an already great deal for industry at the expense of American taxpayers, and prevent the public from having a say in where and how development takes place.

Chris Saeger, Director of the Western Values Project, issued the following statement: 

Since being appointed to manage the nation’s public lands, Secretary Zinke has been giving back to special interests in the oil and gas industry at the expense of all other public lands users, like hunters and anglers. After recommending the largest reduction of protected wildlife habitat in U.S. history, which could benefit a few oil, gas and mining corporations, and pushing irresponsible development in sagebrush country, we have no doubt that this report is another giveaway to the industry that backed Zinke’s political ascension. In an administration that favors special interests over public lands users, it’s no surprise that the American public has been kept out of the conversation.”

Analysis by the Western Values Project in the Rigged series found that industry is already given preferential treatment to develop public lands. Even the oil and gas industry is concerned by the unchecked regulatory rollback, asking the administration to ‘pump the brakes,’ fearing one BP type catastrophe could be disastrous.

Background:

The outdoor recreation industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country, generating $887 billion in consumer spending each year and support 7.6 million jobs. Thus far, not one representative from the outdoor recreation industry has been appointed to a position at Interior.

Oil and gas development is already the dominant use of America’s public lands, with leasing already allowed on 90 percent of public lands in the west. Over the past few months, Secretary Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management announced a series of oil and gas leases bordering or close to some national parks and national monuments.

In scrapping the collaborative sage-grouse plans adopted in 2015 with bi-partisan support, Secretary Zinke took nearly every recommendation requested by the oil and gas industry and ignored input from Western Governors. Sagebrush country supports over one billion dollars in recreation-related economic activity.

Taxpayers are subsidizing the development of oil and gas on public lands as industry exploits loopholes for extravagant corporate profits and CEO pay while Western state budgets languish.

The biggest burden oil and gas development faces on public lands are market prices, not common-sense regulations that protect hunting, fishing, habitat, wildlife, water, other users and taxpayers.

http://westernvaluesproject.org/zinkes-secret-burdens-report-no-doubt-focused-on-oil-gas-giveaways/

Outing Enemies of Horses & Burros

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

CAES has never been interested in making sure we play political popularity games. We don’t need new friends, or photo opportunities to get support. We have science, sound fiscal, humane solutions. We just are not lining pockets to get it done. If you are politician willing to fight for the horses and need your pocket lined to do so let us know! (joking of course, but sadly it is the situation and wild horses & burros are the poor relatives of livestock on the range.)

We attended the secret slaughter summit (National Wild Horse & Burro Summit) in Utah last month. The meeting was closed to the public, member attended via invitation only and had to pay a fee for the 3 day event.

We sent ActivateNow, and independent news media group, out to investigate. They were touted as the 2 Women in a Car (the reason for that is…

View original post 1,281 more words

Feel Good Sunday: Photobombed by Horses

by R.T. Fitch

“Last week a reader dressed me down, just a bit, for deviating off the course of equine advocacy with our traditional “Feel Good Sundays” and a part of me is in full agreement, BUT we will continue to attempt to bring a smile to your lips and an uplift to your heart on this day of rest.  Granted, we may slam an article of concern down on the table later in the day but at least we can start the day with a little bit of equine sunshine.  Have faith and please be safe, my friends.” ~ R.T.


If you are fortunate enough to live with horses and donkeys, or at least visit them often, you are well aware of the multiple and different personalities that each of them poses.  Every one of them is as unique as a snowflake and twice as special and with that singularity often runs a strain of comedy, every pasture has a class comedian or village idiot; that’s what makes life so very special.

Just a few quick glimpses to share with you, today, to reinforce the opinion that when it comes to horses a comedy show is not far behind.

“CHEESE”

 

First up is a young woman who thought she was taking a happy picture standing in front of her horse when just as the shutter clicked, or iPhone, the horse broke out into his own happy smile that, if you look closely, appears to match that of his human buddy.  Remarkable.

 

“SMILE”

 

 

 

Another one of my personal favorites is a big ole Drafty who decides to add a little extra to a family photo taken of a little girl who is standing in front of him.  As a guardian of a big ole Belgian/TB cross I can tell you that there is a funny, and gentle, gene that resides in their great big, giant hearts.  One of the most remarkable things I have observed about horses is how they react and become so very gentle around human children.  It is stunning.

 

 

A camera is a sure fire way to ensure that the “Hey, look at ME!” syndrome is quickly awakened in any equine as comically demonstrated in the video below.

And in conclusion, I offer firm evidence that I know of what I speak as Terry and I were continually interrupted by one of our equine children as we attempted to tape an outreach segment, at our home, for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  I share this video with a heavy heart as the antagonist is our Harley, a former racing TB who suffered a slab fracture to his left front knee and was on his way to the Kaufman, TX slaughterhouse until his owner intervened and entrusted us to give him a new life.  We did just that for almost 20 years until his bad TB feet could no longer bear him.  Drugs, abuse and greed surround horse racing but I digress.  He gave us years of wonderful companionship and comic relief because he always was the big “Sh*tstirrer” in the pasture.  We all miss him greatly.

This video is long but Harley owns the beginning and he most certainly is in charge of the finish.  Thank you Harley.

Hundreds of Caribbean Horses in Peril after Multiple Hurricanes

Source: Thoroughbred Daily News

“Regardless of our views on horse racing we cannot turn a blind eye on these equines at risk, it is our calling!” ~ R.T.


In Saturday’s TDN we reported on the situation at Camarero Racetrack due to Hurricane Maria (click here to view the story). Shelley Blodgett, founder of the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc., wrote the following response to the TDN to further explain the severity of the situation and ask for help from the industry. Blodgett also sent all of the photos and graphics included.

I am Shelley Blodgett, co-founder of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc, a non-profit (501c3) that helps Thoroughbreds racing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I think there is a story that needs to get out.

There are 864 U.S. Thoroughbreds (all Jockey Club registered) stabled at Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico. The racetrack, including the barns, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Maria. Further, the horses cannot leave their stalls due to debris, downed fencing and flooding. They are standing in water, and there is NO clean water or hay. I was told that they are giving them some grain (presumably without water). No horses died during the storm, but some needed stitches and such.

I learned this from a brief phone call from CTA co-founder, Kelley Stobie (the call was disconnected). She is at the track seven days a week, working as an equine therapist. She toured the track and spoke with the backstretch supervisor, some owners, trainer and vets. She told me the situation is dire and there is no way to get needed water, hay and medical supplies right now.

There is more to the story, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve attached some photos I managed to get from the La Escuelita Hípica (the Jockey School at the track); they help with the track horses and posted this and have commented on the situation. Kelley also has photos, but cannot get them to me.

More than half of the Thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico were bred in the States. I have a line graph of numbers for both Puerto Rican-bred and U.S.-bred. There are some good horses there, including 2012 GI Belmont S. runner and 2013 Maxxam Gold Cup winner Unstoppable U, as well as Arch Traveler (who was also on the Triple Crown trail early in his career) and Becky’s Kitten. We gathered data and determined that 1,500 people have a stake in the racing industry in Puerto Rico (see pie chart). Thus, these horses are essential to the well being of many people in Puerto Rico.

I do not believe that there has been any formal request by the Puerto Rican government to help the horses at that time, but I have been working to rattle the bushes and get things moving. I have spoken with a veterinarian, who is an equine disaster response specialist and on the National Veterinary Response Team, but they cannot help until there is an official request to FEMA from the Puerto Rican government official. Also, I’ve spoken with the Secretary of Agriculture for U.S.V.I., Carlos Robles, but he has not been able to make contact with his counterpart in Puerto Rico, though I know he has sent him an email.

There are about 200 Thoroughbreds in St. Croix, including race horses and breeding farms, and there are 40 Thoroughbreds racing in St. Thomas and many OTTBs in rescue/aftercare as well. Mr. Robles is assessing the situation in U.S.V.I. and trying to initiate needed federal help down there. I have tried calling all of the CTA board members, which include a prominent breeder, an equine veterinarian and an attorney, but all cell service is out. Further, I’ve called the Racetrack Administrator, Jose Maymo, but his cell phone isn’t in service.

We really need the racing industry and other equine organizations in the States to help urgently as there is little time to waste. These horses survived the storm, but are facing dehydration, starvation and risk of secondary health issues (e.g., colic, infection) due to the environmental hazards and lack of basic needs. These are U.S. horses. They do their jobs faithfully as racehorses and deserve better. They support the livelihood of many in the islands. Thank You.

https://www.facebook.com/horserescue/

Scoping notice for capture and removal of wild horses on Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

Source:  The Mustang Center

Attention: Scoping Notice for Capture and Removal

The Mustang Center would like to bring your attention to a BLM Scoping Notice that was issued on September 14, 2017.  It is for the “Capture and Removal of Excess Wild Horses and Continued Fertility Control in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range”.  We encourage you to carefully read the information and follow the procedures if you choose to provide a comment.  We do know the BLM responds best to comments that are respectful and objective.  Comments are due on October 6, 2017.

Scoping Notice p. 1Scoping Notice p. 2Scoping Notice p. 3

Zinke’s Plan to Slaughter Wild Horses and Burros Now Expanded to Sage Grouse and Beyond

Unedited Story from Western Values Project

Secretary Zinke’s proposed changes would be devastating, it would harm the $1 billion outdoor recreation economy on sage-grouse habitat and endanger not just the sage-grouse, but the other iconic species like mule deer, elk, and pronghorn that depend on a health sagebrush ecosystem.

Two years ago today, history was made when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the greater sage-grouse did not warrant a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the finalization of strong, science-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land management plans.

Those plans were the product of collaboration amongst stakeholders including ranchers, governors, conservationists, sportsmen and sportswomen, local elected officials, and industry officials. They were a promise to work together in keeping with the tradition of working the land, by maintaining responsible and sustainable methods to keep the sage-grouse from needing a listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Two years later, the future of the plans is now unknown. In an attempt to dismantle the plans, Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Department of the Interior (DOI) have decided that the West does not know what’s best and therefore have intervened to inject their own agenda is these already established plans. Their agenda pushes the interests of the oil and gas industry, and a few select members of Congress who are determined to have energy development dominate our public lands.

Secretary Zinke’s proposed changes would be devastating, it would harm the $1 billion outdoor recreation economy on sage-grouse habitat and endanger not just the sage-grouse, but the other iconic species like mule deer, elk, and pronghorn that depend on a health sagebrush ecosystem.

Instead of ignoring years of hard work and collaboration, Secretary Zinke should recognize the stakeholders who worked for years on these plans, not ignore them in favor of oil and gas lobbyists. Rehashing existing plans and starting from zero is another half ditch attempt by Washington to overstep its bounds. Secretary Zinke and DOI are even ignoring the advice of western wildlife managers and scientist, who have made clear that the plans do not need major changes.

But Secretary Zinke is only focused on serving himself and corporate special interests.

As Westerners celebrate this two-year anniversary, their message to Secretary Zinke is loud and clear: stop attempting to destroy years of hard work, instead support the plans.

http://westernvaluesproject.org/two-years-in-zinke-scraps-sage-grouse-plans-for-special-interests/