Horse News

Federal Judge Gives Wild Horses a Christmas Present

Press Release from the Cloud Foundation

Judge Rules to Keep Expanded Wild Horse Suit in Court

Washington, D.C. (December 22, 2010)—The Cloud Foundation is pleased to announce that on December 15, Federal Judge James S. Gwin declined the government’s motions to dismiss or to transfer to a Montana court the expanded lawsuit brought to preserve the world’s most famous wild horse herd. The suit, filed by the Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and photographer/author Carol Walker, contends that the USFS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are engaging in illegal treatment of these federally-protected mustangs.

“We’re pleased that our suit will continue in the present court and we hope that both the BLM and USFS are made to answer for the 40+ years of mismanagement of this precious and celebrated wild horse herd,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation.

The expanded suit, filed by Attorneys Valerie J. Stanley and Bruce A. Wagman (Schiff-Hardin), seeks removal of the two-mile long fence recently built by the United States Forest Service (USFS). The fence effectively cuts off the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd from crucial summer and fall grazing lands they’ve used for centuries.

The government sought to have the case dismissed based on statute of limitations grounds. However, Judge Gwin denied the motion, stating that the plaintiffs  “properly and timely stated this claim.” Judge Gwin additionally denied the government’s motion to transfer the case to Montana district court, finding this motion fully unwarranted.

This small Pryor wild horse herd is the world’s most famous and the last remaining in Montana. Sometimes called “Cloud’s herd” for the now-15-year old band stallion who TCF Director and plaintiff Ginger Kathrens has documented for the popular PBS Nature series. Horses, almost genetically identical to the wild horses in the West today, evolved and developed to completion in North America, disappearing from the continent only 7,500 years ago. The Spanish Conquistadors reintroduced horses to their homeland in the early 1500’s during the Conquest. The Pryor herd is one of the most Spanish herds, tracing back to the Caribbean breeding farms of the Conquistadors and more recently the Lewis and Clark expedition horses and Crow Indian War ponies.

“It is time that the boundaries of the Pryor Range are redrawn so that this herd can live into the future at sustainable levels,” explains Front Range Equine Rescue President, Hilary Wood. “The state of Montana had seven wild horse herds designated in 1971. Now we’re down to one.”

Links of interest:

Judge Gwin’s December 2010 Decision http://bit.ly/eRpe0J
Judge Gwin’s August 2010 ruling http://bit.ly/f8WNuA
Nonproft Can Sue to Stop Fencing Out Wild Horses- Court News http://bit.ly/eo1i4D
Explanatory video about Pryors Fence http://bit.ly/dILnUt
The Fencing Off of Cloud’s Herd http://bit.ly/NoFence

Cloud: PBS Natures series http://to.pbs.org/fHhpDx
New Evidence Rewrites Timeline of Horse Extinction http://bit.ly/horseNA
Front Range Equine Rescue http://frontrangeequinerescue.org/
Carol Walker- Wild Hoofbeats Blog http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/
Shortlink to this press release http://bit.ly/WHcase
Past Cloud Foundation releases: http://bit.ly/9XD0TE

14 replies »

  1. It amazes me that humanity in it’s ongoing and seemingly unlimited arrogance thinks throwing a crumb to these magnificant animals is excercising some sort of benevolence. Boggles the mind.
    Get over it I say and get on with the business of being good neighbors to the other gad zillions of species on the planet.

    Like

  2. I celebrate each bit of good news we get. The fact that a federal judge is looking at advocates’ valid complaints and taking them seriously is great!

    Like

  3. BTW, does anyone know the outcome of the case a few weeks ago where someone (Laura?) was being denied access to round-ups? There was a hearing about it in TX, which was delayed for two weeks to give BLM time to get their legal ducks in a row. What was the outcome of that?

    Like

    • I would think anybody with good sense would not be affiliated at all with that group of slaughter promoters! People need to stop breeding to kill, stop creating the problem and we would have the solution! So simple.

      Like

      • Can anyone corroborate the news that Temple Grandin is removing herself from the Summit? This would be incredibly good news. Summit organizers have gained much credibility with Grandin’s involvement and her departure would leave a gaping hole. (Bob Abbey, are you next? Or do you care nothing for your reputation?)

        Like

  4. THANK GOD THERE IS ONE HONEST FEDERAL JUDGE WHO IS WILLING TO LISTEN TO THE PLIGHT OF OUR HORSES. THE CRUELTY THAT IS BEING EXPRESSED IN AMERICA THESE DAYS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS BREEDING OF ANIMALS JUST TO PUT THEM OUT FOR HUNTERS TO SHOOT IN SPECIAL AREAS IS NOT THE ACTION OF STABLE INDIVIDUALS. I WONDER IF THE BLM HIGH UPS WOULD SET DOWN TO A DINNER OF HORSE MEAT.

    Like

  5. Its about time the horses get a break. I was enlightened to read the reference to the Paso Fino breed. This is exactly why advocates must persue the rights of the Wild Horses and Burros to flourish. Science and biology are behind the facts. However, some people are not educated enough to understand this. There was at one time a huge genetic pool of diversity among the Wild Horse herds. Today due to mans interference that is declining. I would love to see Wild horses running free in my back yard. And watch the mares and babies in the Spring. And watch the elders teaching the youngsters. But money hungry people ruin it for the rest of us. And I would add species will thrive and evolve on their own if Man would just leave them alone! Rounds ups continue with no accountability. Where are they all? It would be interesting if one could find out. Despite the politics and some of the ignorant people, we still have been given the charge as Stewards to watch over them. And we must keep the fight on to save them any way we can.

    Like

Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.