Horse News

How Did We Ever Get Here?

Guest Op-Ed by Vicki Tobin ~ Vice President of The Equine Welfare Alliance

The famous words of Mahatma Gandhi ring truer today than ever before. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Where it all began, pre-BLMThroughout US history we have progressed and prospered as a nation. Until now. We seem to have forgotten our roots and are moving backwards. We have forgotten the basics of life and how we became a leading nation. One of the most visible declines in our country is our treatment of animals, in particular, our equines.

We have organizations that claim to be for horse welfare and then take their tax deductible donations to lobby (excuse me, their websites claim that they educate legislators) for the demise of horses. It wasn’t enough with the domestic horses but now they want to slaughter the wild horses. They want to slaughter our American heritage.

Mr. Salazar and Mr. Abbey, we are paying your salary. Without our tax dollars, you wouldn’t be employed. That makes you employees of the taxpayers. Since when do employees not have to answer to their employers? Our tax dollars fund the wild horse and burro program. The wild horses are owned by the American people. We pay for them and we deserve to be heard and listened to.

Why are all the round-ups now being conducted on private land? We are paying for the round-ups and should be able to observe our tax dollars at work. We already foot the bill for over two hundred millions of acres of public land so why are you wasting more of our money by using private land? What don’t you want us to see?

The tax paying American citizens passed a law in 1971 that states you are to manage the wild horses and burros, not exterminate them. We do not want our tax dollars going to a PR firm that is trying to make you look warm and fuzzy while you are removing horses by the thousands. We are not paying your salaries so you can give us bogus numbers that change every time you speak. We want accurate reports. We want numbers that can be validated.  If you can’t do that, don’t you think it’s time to put on the brakes until you can?

We pay hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize livestock grazing on public lands. And yet, when we ask for the number of livestock vs. horses in the herd areas, we are given dozens of websites to click through, told to call individual local offices and can never find the information. Why isn’t there a map that depicts every herd area, the number of the wildlife and the number of livestock? If you don’t have that at your fingertips, how are you managing the ranges?

Even if we accept your numbers that keep changing of anywhere between 32,000 – 38,000 horses still on the range, help us understand how that is over populated compared to millions of livestock? If the ranges can’t sustain the horses, how can it sustain millions of livestock?

Sorro, only days old and neglected by BLM after Calico death roundup - Sorro destroyed by BLM ~ Photo by Laura Leigh

How did you arrive at 2 deaths at Calico? You reported 7 deaths at the trap site, 39 aborted foals, 111 at the facility and 3 foals (that we know of) that were lost when the mares had to be euthanized giving birth. On my calculator that totals to 160.

The BLM claimed at the last meeting that the livestock fees don’t cover the cost of EISs and blamed Congress for setting the fees. Are you trying to tell us that Congress just pulls a number out of the air without input from the DOI and BLM?

Why is it that you begged Congress for more money for horses in holding pens and then used it to remove more horses but you can’t ask for an increase in fees so you can assess the ranges before renewing or issuing new livestock leases?

We are asked for input and then ignored. Thousands and thousands of comments and always the same answer; no impact. Equine advocates have been screaming for years to appoint someone to the board that is not biased and knowledgeable on wild horses. And what do you do, appoint more cattle ranchers. We get the message. We understand a middle finger salute when we see one.

The final straw was inviting a state representative to the December meeting that is an embarrassment to this country. We are fighting for the survival of America’s wild horses and burros and you invite someone that wants to slaughter anything with four legs that moves. Even the moderator couldn’t stop her rambling at the last meeting. We are not going to allow our heritage to be destroyed and eaten.

How did we get here and what has happened to our country?

What an embarrassment that Canada had to introduce legislation to ban horse slaughter for human consumption because our government continues to let horses flow over the borders that are not safe for human consumption. Why is our government allowing foreign industries to slaughter our non-food animals?

Change? Change? We don't need no stinkin change!

Our horses are not raised as food animals. We have no tracking system and no way to remove horses that have received prohibited substances. What a message we are sending to the rest of the world on consumer food safety because of the few that refuse to take responsibility for their equines and a government that won’t take action.

I would like to thank you and the state representative for one thing, you have united equine advocates as we have never been before. We are going to continue our fight to end horse slaughter and to reinstate protections for our wild horses and burros.

Animal advocates from across the country rallied behind Obama and a new government. Change. Oh, we got change alright but not what we expected…

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43 replies »

  1. We got “here” by NOT PAYING ATTENTION!!! Assuming our elected officials were acting in our Best Interest for the past 50 years…we got “here” by believing the propaganda from the “Talking Heads” on Fox and CNN without investigating what they were telling us to make sure the information was true…we got “here” by adopting the “follow the leader” mentality instead of taking independent action….we got “here” by continuing to Pay Our Taxes and then complaining about how the Govt was spending our money. I do not like what the Govt is doing to the American Mustangs…or anything else for that matter….but let us be honest, we have to assume the responsibility by being “Complacent” for all these years.

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    • Medussa (Medusa?):

      I agree that WE let it get this way. But I also believe that it is very hard to keep track and informed with all the crookedness and special interest that goes on in all three branches of our government for the majority of Americans (most of whom don’t vote btw).

      Good job Vicki.

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    • Medussa, exactly! I was slapped with that reality just in the last few months – the shock of Bush years finally wore off and I saw the abuse so clearly – how fear had been used to artificially grip us – producing Homeland Security and Patriot Act – now those we should be afraid of!

      Being from the 60s coming of age, I have been asking myself “What have we been doing? Have we all been asleep for these 40 to 50 years?” Then the oil spill and the expose’ of MMS and corruption at DOI and I feel overwhelmed yet at the same time ever hopeful that we and our government will pull out of this. We must never be this complacent again. It’s not just FOR the People it is also OF the People and BY the People and that means WORK. And not just showing up to vote, that is like going to church only on Christmas, which is better that nothing, but not much better.

      I turned off al the talking heads for a month – then listened back- recommend to all – what an awakeneing! Now I only watch the Sunday AM “panels” for various opinions. I do participate in HP, but there are even talking head wanna bes there too.

      But back to wild horses –

      In the microcosm of BLM management of wild horses and DOI overall, I’m not so sure and not so sure how to wage the war. They have been battled already by advocates by law suit after law suit since 1974. Not sure how all the revisions the 1971 Act came about unnoticed by advocates – perhaps there were fights along the way? Perhaps someone will share that history here.

      These people in BLM and the ranchers have for over a 100 years formed what I will call political incest crossing revolving doors to Congress, in DOI and BLM, in law enforcement, and back to ranching, over and over – just like a crime family and no way to get out. It is evidenced by the checkerboard properties that they made themselves a sort of fortress, took to the mattress so to speak from the very get go to current gang tactics. It is not just part of their subculture; it IS their subculture, which I am not sure they will ever be able to pull out of. I think it just needs to be dismantled and the people spread apart – and maybe this would be the best thing for them – maybe they will learn to think and act for themselves, create a “moral” view of the world, follow a new compass, and join the larger culture.

      Too strong?

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      • Roxy, I don’t think the American public has been totally asleep. More like drugged by the lies and manipulation that have permiated our political and corporate culture pretty much since the Revolution. The Internet has provided an opportunity to research how we arrived at our current sad state of affairs, but how many people actually plumb its depths? One only has to watch Leno’s “Jaywalking” to realize how uneducated the majority of our people are about an amazing range of subjects, notibly history – both our own and the world’s.

        As for suspected corruption and all around shadiness, nobody does it like the Bush family. They’re by no means alone in their activities, but, as the current “most powerful political family in America”, they top my list of bad actors. Sorry if I offend anyone by posting this, but the majority of the info is on the public record.

        http://www.hereinreality.com/familyvalues.html

        I try to research candidates for public office before I vote. Most have so many skeletons they don’t have enough closets too hold them!

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      • I spent alot of time researching the millenium fight to wrest the lands away from the cattle grazing…but look what WWP has done-they have fistfuls of lawsuits they have won, they are taking back the grazing lands 1 allotment at a time..a swath of them soon…You can make a difference-It is never hopeless..and too many americans say and believe they cannot make a difference.

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  2. I agree with you, in part, Medussa. I think we, the people, do have a responsibility to demand accountability in government. We always have. At the same time, wild herd advocates’ demands have consistantly been ignored. Not just in the past few years. For decades. Why? My thought is that the herds are “out of sight/ out of mind” for most Americans; whereas poverty, joblessness, war, and Wall Street are in our faces. Those “big” issues are front page news, with many land and wildlife issues taking a back seat, if recognized at all. So, I’m not entirely sure it’s been nationwide complacency about our wild herds so much as wide-spread ignorance or simple lack of information about the issues themselves. As some one once said, “Ignorance is curable.” I think blogs like this contribute to the educational process. I’m grateful that we’re all here, sharing and teaching each other — no matter how often we’re accused of being “activist.” 🙂
    Thanks to the internet, awareness is growing by leaps and bounds.
    I think it’s important to look back to see the path that’s been travelled. There are lessons there that we can learn from.
    I can’t go backward to correct what was done years ago. I can only work toward change in the present. I move forward, and in moving forward add my voice to the rising swell of voices demanding change.
    Our present demand for accountability and change is having a strong impact on the BLM. Just look at how they’re scrambling around, becoming stealthier with round ups, and trying so hard not to be seen. But the spotlight is on. Let is shine!
    .

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    • Yes…I agree in part of what you say…and keep up the good fight. But you just made my point….the news media have not been giving the Mustang issue press…follow the money, who owns the Press…Big Business.
      And I think you took my comment too personally…I know people have been advocating for the Mustangs and I am one of you…but the complacency of the majority of the people have let this Govt get so far out of control…we are losing our rights by leaps and bounds. And speaking of the Internet, which I use daily….our Pres who campaigned for change, wants to silence the Internet…it is already being censored as we speak.
      So, I did not mean that all people have not been fighting for the Mustangs…but the majority of the people in this country have been too complacent thinking the Govt will take care of us….and guess what?….THEY ARE!!!!….to THEIR Benefit.

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      • No worries. I didn’t take your comments too personally. We all see the same things a little differently. Diversity of opinion makes the world go ’round. 🙂

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      • I agree, perhap’s we should devote more time to shakeing up the media as well as our other work. I do something everyday for the horses, be it a letter, phone call or e-mail, if I miss a day I work harder the next. I belive now I will add the press as a target. Sending the major players and others copies of stories from other media, our forums and my own daily contacts. Everyday. I don’t mean to sound like I am bragging because I know we all work hard for the horses, but maybe we should slip in another target as well. Till they are sick to death of us!
        One last thing, we must keep educating people every chance we get! I am amazed at the people that are not aware of what is happening. A couple of nights ago I was introduced to a very nice man here in our rural area ( fairly new here) who’s Kentucky Derby Parties are becomeing the talk of the “in crowd” so to speak. Anyway, this man knew nothing of the roundup’s or slaughter for human consumption. I asked him where he thought all of those race horses went when they were through. He was appalled! SO, we really need to keep telling everyone we can about the disgusting inhumane things happening to our horses.
        I am makeing business cards with Equine Advocate as my business and listing on the back the phone numbers of our states rep’s as well as the White House number. Makes it easy for a newby to call. Even if they don’t know all about it, they can say they don’t like it. Just another way to spread the word.
        Sorry, didn’t mean to go on so long.

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    • Nora, I very much agree. Like others here, I started out on the slaughter issue long before we had the luxury of having our voices heard through instant comments and blogs. Our only option to comment was through letters to the editor, which first had to meet the approval of the publication, and we had to wait weeks before an article would appear on horse slaughter giving us the opportunity to reply in a letter to the editor. It was the same for the wild horse issues as well.
      That was almost a decade ago, and we had no control over the press. “Where we are” is actually a long way from where we were, and I appreciate every effort of advocates that were there long before me.
      We’re much more united now, the “press” is losing out to the internet, and we are able to speak out much more vocally than we used to.
      We have a long way to go, but we shouldn’t place blame on anyone for not having already arrived at where we’d like to be.

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  3. I think there are two things that contribute to complacency–good times and bad times. Good times you are too busy enjoying the fruits of the economy to look at what might stink in Washington and bad times when you are scrambling to just make ends meet and that’s all you have the energy to deal with. I could go on about my feelings about our government but no one wants to be that pessimistic this early in the morning. Our native mustangs got caught in the middle of good times apathy and bad times economic survival. Seems a lot of people can’t wrap their minds around something that is just “there”. Can’t hunt them, can’t eat them, can’t tie them to a plow; their only job is to remain wild and free. To remind us what that is for surely we are not. Sure the horses actually do contribute to range health and fire protection. They contribute to a meditative peace of soul whether seen in their natural environment or for far too many of us in photographs. I feel better every day knowing those that are wild and free are out there and I imagine them running in the wind in my mind’s eye. It is killing me that the picture in my mind is being replaced by the picture of desolate souls waiting to die in holding pens and the running in the wind is the wind caused by the blades of a helicopter. While I’m not exactly certain of how we got here and how to get out of this I do know that every day I will work for the horses until someday we are listened to and the reality of the horse’s life matches the good pictures in my mind’s eye.

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    • Well said Morgan. Like you and others I will also keep working on the horror of roundups and slaughter until the day it becomes history. And even then we have to watch those bastards that will try and revive it until the day we die. They have changed the law before and will try to again when it is outlawed. So when that time comes we can say to Medussa that we were here and we were not complacent and by God we were ready for them! I only pray that our watch dog days come quickly.

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  4. This round ups are just the tip of the iceberg, everything is about the OIL,GAS and the OIL Companies, The WILD HORSE BELONG TO THE WILD, MUSTANGS are the only wild horse left on the face of the earth and the Interior Minister SALAZAR is working for the OIL Companies like BP , killing the wild horse for OIL.

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  5. Thank YOU Vicki!

    Yes, “We the People,” the taxpaying citizens of the United States, pay the salaries, pay to subsidize welfare ranching on OUR public lands where OUR wild horses and burros are to be free on their land, by LAW.

    In a democracy, there is accountability and access to information, and not a zig-zag, merry-go-round trying to track it down! Please, is the CIA, FBI, Dept. of Defense, etc… involved here with bona fide national security?!

    We are allowed by law to observe. BUT it is *against the law to use intimidation by gun carrying, threatening, BLM employees for no valid reason. All those at wild horse rallies have been peaceful. Same with those who go to the range to observe and/or just to be there with the wild horses. Just more examples of what the BLM needs to hide, does not want seen and *recorded. As it is, what we have seen is unimaginable, beyond horror.
    I would say anything is possible going on behind the “closed doors” of the BLM.

    I have frequently thought the DOI/BLM/Salazar/Abbey… think that by putting the advocates in a convoluted maze of a “wild goose chase,” we will become so confused, frustrated, fearful. That we will tire of the whole thing, retreat. And this also goes for legislators introducing anti-horse slaughter bills, others adding amendment after amendment, passing to committees, blocking… At times we do fall back discouraged, natural and normal. But then we always come back with increased strength and renewed purpose.
    This is our POWER, and the other side knows it.

    So one paragraph you wrote struck home with a wham. Very important Vicki, and so true. You wrote:

    I would like to thank you and the state representative [Wallis]
    for one thing, you have united equine advocates as we have
    never been before. We are going to continue our fight to end
    horse slaughter and to reinstate protections for our wild horses
    and burros.

    I know when I began advocacy for horses, it began with anti-slaughter. That was shocking enough. I had no idea the devastating plight of wild horses and burros! The corruption behind those mandated by law to protect. Now it is all one fight. And I do not use the word “fight” loosely. It is. A battle for the horses who need us to give a voice and action. They can only speak with their cries, now screams…& their eyes: pain, fear, confusion, depression, loss…

    And we can see how all those who were fighting separately, anti-slaughter, wild horses, are now ONE, although dealing with multiple issues. This is amazing. True Grassroots. In addition, those advocating for other animals and environmental issues, are also joining! Unprecedented!

    Thank you again for your rallying letter and boost. No, we will NEVER stop.
    We voted for change. And Obama did emphasize positive change for our animals, endangered or not. Same with the “new sheriff in town,” pal Salazar. I am well past the shock and betrayal. Now we are moving forward like never before. Not easy, but *TRUE change never is.

    “They” call us radicals, eco-terrorists, tree-huggers, emotional…runs the gamut.

    Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it;
    but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a
    whore of my soul… -Thomas Paine

    We begin the wild horse rally again. And an appropriate place to begin: Boston~~ (And a man on a HORSE ran the freedom cry.)

    R.I.P. Sorro. Only days old and “neglected,” dehydrated, starved by the
    BLM. Abandoned. Ignored.

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    • R.I.P. Sorro. Only days old and “neglected,” dehydrated, starved by the
      BLM. Abandoned. Ignored.

      That was one of the saddest sights. That little foal up against the fence, asking for help from ANYONE and no one answered.
      We HAVE to keep fighting.

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  6. Once again, I refer people to Hitler’s “Big Lie”. The lie (generated by the government, corporations, whomever) has to be SO BIG and repeated CONSTANTLY, without variation, that the public is conditioned to accept it as truth.

    “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else” Benjamin Franklin

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  7. Vicki, THANK YOU. Excellent, as always. It is becoming so very apparent to a majority of people that our country is off track. I think I am safe in saying that much of the problem is because of media control. History has shown again and again, that control of information is crucial to control of the population. As that famous quote states, evil can only triumph if good men do nothing. We have all found in these past few months that there is SOMETHING that each of us can do.

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    • I agree with everything you say…what can we do…because I know a lot of people that still have their heads in the sand and their Butts in th air. I try to get threw to them and all I get is a blank stare.

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  8. Vicki,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful, outstanding article! You have managed to cover so many issues here…our responsibility as Americans to protect these animals as national icons and why we must fight for the justice they deserve, as well as, you have captured our anger and frustration at a government who is out of control and continues to ignore us on these issues. No one could have summed it up any better than your statement about us receiving a middle finger salute, and I especially want to thank you for sending it right back to them with this article.
    Thank you!

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  9. Vicki, great informative article – thank you.

    Congress sets the grazing fees? Ok then, Congress can raise them, or better yet, delect grazing on public lands all to gether.

    Please tell Congress you are not in favor of continueing this failed socialist program of welfare ranching on our public lands that pushes off more and more horses every year at a taxpayer cost of between $1/2 billion and up to a whole billion every year, that you want the 1971 Act restored and the land taken since 1971 returned to the wild horses – that last one alone would save $30 million a year..

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  10. Vicki, as always, you are an eloquent spokesperson for the horses. I am furious!

    As so many of us who are posting messages of outrage and writing letters demanding that the BLM stop sacrificing our wild equines at the bloody altar of the Almighty Dollar, I’d hope to inspire you to even more action with the following:

    “Animal advocates are not defeated. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop agitating, they had better think again. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop litigating, they had better close the courts. If anyone thinks that we are not going to demonstrate and protest, they had better roll up the sidewalks.”
    ~ Columbus Top Dogs paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    AND

    Well-behaved women rarely make history.

    Let’s get out there an “act badly” on behalf of our wild equines and other animals.

    Faith

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  11. R. T. When you attack The President and now point his finger at me.. Perhaps you have presented the clearest point of all. It is me and it is everyone of us. It not the government, not the Corporations. It is all of us. We are RESPONSIBLE. These are our horses. And it is way too much finger pointing., I understand the frustration and the ineffectiveness of the the efforts and tireless hours spent fighting this fight, There is NOTHING you or I can do? You can complain, go to Washington, write coutless letters, phone calls, vent on Face Book, or just stand by and rubberneck this murdering over and over again.

    It’s a Catch-22. They need and want and get, and when the world goes mad or is in trouble, somehow, they kill horses don’t they? It will make ZERO difference who is in office. The end result will be the same. The horses will be removed. You can’t stop this. Big Oil/Gas offers what, “America Needs”… Revenue. It is a huge part of our economy, and it is a huge part of the national recovery plan. You simply can not leave this part out of the equation, when advocating for horses and approaching government. It is the very reason why we are “not even at the table”. No one has offered any middle ground. Can’t offer revenue? I bet we can. You can offer to take Wild Horses off their books.. and Find the Revenue to do so. And it has to be done privately, with no BLM or government contribution.

    We have turned this upside down a backwards. Said it a thousand different ways. And the sooner everyone realizes that this is a rescue mission that is needed the better. We need solutions to save these horses now and find them safe haven. By continuing the fight and holding on to the dream of We don’t need Change, they are fine where they are.. You are being a party to the killing. It’s enough already. Get these horses to safe protected ground. This is a rescue mission. I am am sick and tired of seeing these horses die because we won’t change. Find the Revenue, Safe Haven, A solid Business Plan, and go to the table and talk a language that they will understand. Love to all, Contessa

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    • 2 things I would love to see. A grassroots efford to buy (and pay yearly taxes on) every large chunk (640 acres or more) of cheap land in areas that have had wild horses at one time or another. There is a lot of those checkerboard land for less than 10k ouy there. I think a good group could amass thousands of acres in a short amount of time.

      The second I would like to see is the use of DARTING mares with birth control on the range!

      If the BLM can shoot animals from helicoptors and fly 20 feet from the running horses heads! they can dart them!! There are darts with dye marker and a record photo can be kept aswell.

      Then they can bait trap (manned with cameras and auto-close gates!) the curious adoptable wild horses from the EDGES of hma and that will stop the massive ruining of all wildlife and lands with their current activities!

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      • answer myself- I want the legal fight to WIN and GROW and the shouting to get louder!

        I want the helicoptors grounded with all my heart!!

        we can do this ALL at the same time 🙂

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      • and I answer myself again. 2 areas of the country that seem to have lower cost thousands of acres are. One the checkerboarded lands that is interspaced with BLM land/private land. That private land is sold by the Gov. Can we the public buy direct from the gov? someone is, why can’t it be a non-profit buying direct?

        another area with thousands of acres are the places where oil companies have used up or even ruined the land due to massive oil spills. I believe the oil companies still own those lands? Kern county in Ca. comes to mind. 100 years ago there were massive oil blow-outs in Kern county that ruined thousands of acres of land. Today the land by eye still has things like chunks of dried out tar laying around and may still be owned by oil companies. Useless lands to the oil company. Thousands of acres to turn into wild horse country?

        just wondering how we can aquire 100s of square miles and start ‘wild horse land’ forever!

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    • Congrats, if you read BLMs secret document “alternate management options” you will see that your plan was ther stated plan..You are suggesting just what they figured would happen. So maybe they aren’t as dumb as i thought they were.

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    • Contessa, you have posted several “ideals” that I agree with whole heartedly, have posted much of the same myself.

      Just briefly, for me anyway, and I intend to come back, I must disagree on a couple.

      1) It has always been the few, the rag tag groups, that have made change. You get to vote don’t you? Not that long ago women not only did not vote, for the most part they did not own property, and in many areas of our country they and thier children were considered the “property” of their husbands – I’m talking white.

      2) How can advoactes possibly buy 60 million acres of pristine western wilderness?

      More later, and I look forward to encouraging discussion on ways we can succeed and save our wild horses – I don’t think all the possibilities have even been thought of yet and there are many good ideas on the table already that could work as is, and many that could work possibly beyond our imaginations.

      You are correct, we are not a working army yet, but we are getting there – much work to be done – many ideas and strategies yet to be discovered.

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  12. I would love to see a plan where we would hold and administer the ranging of the horses. Don’t believe that it would work for many reasons. With advocates scattered with what is an exceptable outcome for the horses whose going to pony up and buy this land? We can’t even support small rescues, many of which have folded and yet we are going to support hundreds of public horses? Indefinitely? Once taken on this is your responsibility and your childrens responsibility. How many people are going to go live on these preserves to oversee conditions of these horses? Then there is fencing to keep them from wandering off their preserves and dealing with that and the surrounding neighbors and the liability should this happen. Will my taxes still go to the agency that should be doing this while my after tax dollars still goes to support the horses or the land? So while this is an idea that would seem to be the end of the harassment of our horses I just don’t see the reality of it.

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    • Now we are talking Solutions. What if I told you the money is and could be available, privately.. no cost to tax payers or the government.. In effect the government would possible see revenue. So take that out of the equation. Come from there..

      Tell me what you see now.

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      • Contessa, I see allot of good ideas in your comments. What I don’t see is the Law.

        The BLM should never have been tasked with managing the wild ones, but they have been and, unless the 1971 Act is repealed by Congress or replaced (hopefully with R.O.A.M., amended to guarantee true protections) the current law is operational.

        I believe putting what is the legal responsibility of the BLM totally on the backs of private citizens is. ultimately, what the agency wants. Just make it go away. It may do best by the wild ones, especially those in long-term holding. I have no arguement with that and I think we should pursue it as part of an over-all management strategy. But the BLM should be step up to it’s responsibility for a coherent management strategy and transparent accountability under the law.

        We are supposedly a “nation of laws”, and I find the perversion of the 1971 Act, especially to the current degree, totally unacceptable. “Multiple use” is not a justification, but an excuse for “carte blanche” special-interest exploitation of our public lands, waterways, and oceans. The BLM has taken “multiple use” on the wild ones’ lands, set aside UNDER THE LAW, and run with it as if THEY were the ones being chased by helicopters!

        Yes, there are unprecedented pressures to RETURN to an America that paid it’s own way and was beholding to very few. That’s the America I grew up in. But, unfortunately, the government has hitched ITS CITIZENS’ wagon to the “global economy” and evidently intends to remain there long after the wheels have come off and the team has bolted.

        You speak of what “America Needs”. Is that truly a “need” or a spoiled “want” so we can continue our profligate lifesyle? At what cost? Destroy our country save our country? I’m not willing to allow that to be done without a fight. Not on my watch!

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      • Contessa, I meant to reply to your previous comment, but my reply ended up in the wrong place. Sorry about that. But if you have some “secret source” for private funding PLEASE don’t keep us in suspense any longer. There are innocent lives at stake every hour of every day. If you feel your proposal should be communicated privately, there are plenty of avenues for that. JUST DO IT!

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      • If it is from John McCain “I know where Bin Ladin is and if President I will get him” I won’t hold my breath.

        So why ONLY if he is elected president – thats pretty selfish and childlike considering all the sons and daughters that have and are dieing to catch him!

        He is pulling that same BS again to get re nominated – “If I am elected…” DUDE, you are already elected and have been in office for years and years, how I don’t know, and have produced NOTHING but hot air!

        Now, don’t go electing Haywood – he used to come in our city offices all the time pitching one scheme or another – huckster for sure.

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      • Linda and Contessa,

        “an America that paid it’s own way” – lets start with cattle and sheep ranching – that would free up $123 million dollars a year immedialty. What could wild horse advocates do with $123 million dollars a year? How many tourism jobs could be created? How many eco tourists could we get from around the world?

        Heck, that would free up almost billion dollars a year when you add indirect costs to a system that employs few, exports the product – so does not even create further local jobs, but makes much profit off the backs of us taxpayers while drivng out our wild life from our public lands.

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  13. Contessa, I would need to know specifics but lets just go from that assumption–finances in operation in perpetuity so that the horses never revert back to the situation they are currently in. I would also need to know what exactly is the herd management policy ie complete hands off, any gathers at all? any birth control, sterilization? Is this the Madeleine Pickens proposal? Are the horses already there or are they being brought in with fully intact family units? Will there be range improvements such as forage and water, if so who pays and is funding guaranteed on that? If I sound as if I trust no one it is because I don’t. Without seeing a full proposal there are just too many variables that I might not be in favor of so I cannot give a blanket thumbs up. What of the horses that do not live in these protected areas? That smacks of the blm treasured herds distinction. And to be honest it really sticks in my craw that we as appriecators of the worth and beauty of the mustang should have to do the governments job in their preservation. I believe this sets up a dangerous precedent wherein the government can then say you want wilderness-purchase it, a mountain-buy it, you want survival of a species-purchase land and take care of it. I know of no other instance where this applies.

    All in all I would have to see particulars before I could even imagine saying yes or no. It would be priceless to see horses saved from helicopter horse raids and a life standing around waiting to die, but I’m greedy, I want them all saved and I want the ones in LTH back to the range.

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    • Morgan, I actually was told, “If you want it, then buy it” by a landowner at a city council meeting about preserving several unique rock formations and scenic views from commercial development. Things got really testy, and the city finally traded for other land, so things ultimately worked to the good. It was the attitude of the landowner that really bothered me. He’s made MILLIONS in this city, and still wants more … More … MORE!!!

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      • Funny thing … the city traded land they’d originally traded with the BLM to get them out of the city limits. Kind of ironic.

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      • R.T., my “Funny thing” reply originally ended up in a wierd place – with the writers, I think. Maybe you could remove it so I don’t end up on WordPress limbo?

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    • What do you think the horses want? They just want to be left the F### alone, Do the horses want to be resucued? NO, they just want their land back so they can live out their lives without human interference..Karen Sussmans program is so valuable..its only 3 herds and she cannot raise the money to feed them..I am not willing to take that chance with 30,000 wild horses..good intentions meet changing forces..we fight for the right for them to remain free on the land given to them..no damn reservations..what wou;ld be the difference between the Salazoos and what contessa has said so far? If it cost karen 100,000 to feed her horses-thru the winter months can you imagine the staggering costs..I can’t feed 1 horse for 500 a year or 475 that the BLM is paying and that makes me nervous for the welfare of the horses..They are fat and healthy in the wild..that I know..the best thing we can do is go out there and roll all the barbed wire fencing up-open up the water holes and let them be-not micro manage them..With what WWP is doing with the lawsuit against the 28 RMPs we could see lands devoid of cattle and plenty for the horses to roam forever..We have been allowing our own freedoms and democracy to be chipped away at by all political parties who are beholden to large corporations..the best way to get government back to the people..no corporate campaign donations.

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  14. Thank you for your replies.. I did learn quite a bit from each one of you.
    You will be delighted when we launch. It involves New Media. I am here on FB, to be of help to the horses.. Domestic and Free Roaming The Dolphin,The Whales, The Dogs, etc. The Planet, Advocasy.. Please excuse my broad intro.. it is all I can say, or will say at this time due to confidentially.
    My Background: Some of you may know, We are a World Health Organization with many cures HIV/AIDS Diabetes Cancers. Advanced Chinese Medicine. 20 years in the making. 100,000+ patients later and We have Lost no one. Our medication has Zero Side Effects. My partners are both American MD and Chinese Hebalist/Inventor. We are not yet released in the USA.. but we have been through 10 years of clinical trials.
    Personally, I want nothing more then for the Horses to remain exactly where they are, Untouched and Unaltered, and the balance of nature returned. I want nothing more then for this Country to treat every animal with the humanity that God intended. I want nothing more then for our government to be a voice of the people.
    I also do support the efforts of those who dare to offer an alternative.. a Plan B.. I think it fair to say.. we must consider and plan.. although we do not have to act upon.
    If there are herds that are in need of sponsorship, as mentioned above.. please keep me informed.. I will see if I can be of some assistence.

    Love to all,
    Contessa

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  15. Contessa,
    Please excuse the skepticism but when you start mentioning your company it comes off more like an advertisement for some new medicine. I am not seeing how this association would help our wild horses, all of whom are in imminent danger, not just one or two herds,. ALL of our horses and burros are spectacularly magnificent. There is no one horse over another. There are 30,000+ in holding pens suffering greatly, there are more running from helicopters as we speak. I do not see how your proposal is going to help ALL of the horses. The answer is to stop the helicopter roundups and to get a true accounting of the actual numbers of WH&B out on the range. If you can hire someone who the BLM will acknowledge to go counting this would be the greatest need. Actual scientific accounting of how many equids a range can support. Our horse herds have been or are going to be taken down to below sustainable levels, there is no need for new drugs to sterilize horses esp if it involves rounding them up to do so. As far as keeping you informed there is nothing like reading RT’s blog and to check the excellent list of resources that RT refers to on the side. Please give us some idea of what you are referring to because quite frankly I have little patience for these vague references of help. There is a great need in many directions, if there is money jump in and do something.

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