Horse News

NY Times Wild Horse Flap Gallops On

Rebuttal by Lisa LeBlanc ~ Member WHFF Advisory Board

Article not News, BLM Propaganda Instead

photo by Laura Leigh

Dear Editor:

As an advocate for wild equines, I take issue with the tone and perceptions presented in the article written by Phil Taylor, published 9/20/11.

There is an assumption that those who advocate for wild horses and burros are simple reactionaries, that opinions are based strictly on heart-felt sympathies for an unwanted species of wild creatures, that knowledge is lacking in equines, wildlife, range ecology or economics. And that assumption would be wrong.

The majority of advocates base their conclusions on data presented in various published accounts authored by the Bureau of Land Management. Environmental Assessments – documents outlining ‘purpose and need’ criteria for removals of wild equines – are pored over ceaselessly by advocates, the information segmented, examined and held against comparisons of either historical data from the same field offices or other information published by the Bureau as it regards the Wild Horse and Burro Program. For example, nearly every word credited to agents of or documents by the BLM ascribes to a 20% per annum foaling rate, or population increase, for wild horses and burros. But that rate is rarely utilized. More recent documents have shown population estimates published by the Bureau routinely exceed 40% to 50% yearly for some areas, a biological improbability, given that gestation for horses and burros requires a physical commitment of 11 – 12 months, and several months after to successfully rear an infant. These estimates are based on the overall population within Herd Management Areas, disregarding the simple fact that only mares and jennies – the females of the species – give birth.

As with every living species, not every mare or jenny participates in breeding every year. Not every pregnancy comes to term. And not every infant born lives. There are no published suppositions or statistics from the BLM for on-the-range mortality, for either infants or adults. BLM published statistics regarding wild equines illustrate no acknowledgment or quantification of even the possibility of annual mortality on the range, nor for mortality in various short and long-term holding facilities around the country – simply long, unbroken lines of continuity and accumulation.

The 40,000 plus currently estimated in holding facilities are the culmination, since FY 2000, of what’s been removed and not adopted. While equines, under ideal circumstances, can be a long-lived species, they are not immortal. Those considered largely unadoptable and sent to long-term pastures in the Midwest are in their mid-to-late teens and older. While the comparative luxury of a grassland pasture can significantly add to the lifespan of an animal, it cannot convey perpetuity. Yet the numbers in short-term facilities and long-term pastures continue to climb, uninterrupted, year after year.

In August, 2010, BLM Director Robert Abbey wrote an op-ed for ‘Roll Call’, stating 38,365 wild horses and burros roamed the West. Various statistics from the Bureau have shown between 10,255 and 10,636 wild equines were removed from the range in FY 2010. Yet for 2011, the BLM has stipulated to an estimated 38,497 animals now roaming the West – more than 2010, despite the massive numbers removed. Estimates for the past two years show these populations at their highest since FY 2001; regardless of acceleration of removals and experimentation with contraceptives over the last decade and based solely on the data provided by the BLM, the ‘population estimates’ never seem to change for the better, only to the detriment of wild equines and the ranges they occupy.

Much of the outcry from the livestock industry is based on grazing allotments and water sources available on Public lands. And all but a very few designated Herd Management Areas – which wild equines are allowed to occupy ‘historically’ as a stipulation of the Wild Horse and Burro Act – include grazing allotments. Some grazing allotments cover as much as 86% of a Herd Management Area (HMA). Others, as in the case of two small Nevada HMAs, Granite Peak and Dogskin Mountains, are entirely encompassed by grazing allotments. Granite Peak currently hosts an estimated 38 wild horses; Dogskin Mountains, 22. Both areas are considered above allowable populations for wild equines – set at 18 and 15 animals, respectively and what land use plans stipulate the HMA can support. As a consequence, both HMAs are slated for wild equine removals in February of 2012. Yet Granite Peak’s livestock allowance for 7 months – April to October – is 967 cattle. While wild horses occupy HMAs year-round, livestock graze during the peak of forage growth and watershed. In essence, wild equines must share with livestock, then continue to survive on what’s left after cattle are removed. And, as a matter of course, wild equines will be vilified as the perpetrators of range degradation.

While wild equines are restricted to the areas they occupy, livestock are not. There is far more public land available to livestock than simply what’s contained within HMAs, but in the arena of wild equines versus livestock, tradition, rhetoric and perceptions are the coin of the realm. In the matter of Granite Peak’s current population, the ratio of livestock to wild equines is approximately 25 to 1 for seven out of 12 months. And this is not a singularity; it is a somewhat small scale version of what has always been an accepted standard – disproportionate allocation of resources.

Ms. Guilfoyle demonstrated an earnest desire by participating in observation of an actual removal, but the circumstances are somewhat questionable. As in past removals observed by agency leads and hand-picked investigative bodies, were the agents, wranglers and contractors alerted to her presence? Was it announced, the procedure sanitized and staged so as not to trouble the new chief? Many wild equine proponents have viewed and visually documented removals and the injuries caused, even from their furthest allowable vantage points. Still others have chronicled the physical decline and deaths in holding facilities that, while not caused directly by removal, are a consequence of it. There is spoken recognition of these animals as wild but their handling and their expected responses are similar to that afforded livestock; they are treated as if they are simply untrained stock, and the injuries escalate. Those that die after removal are still dead as a result of removal.

And why are removals conducted under public observation riddled with secrecy, rigidity and intrigue? The Bureau has no issues with authorizing wild equine removals. Environmental Assessments are created with implacable adherence to policy and procedure, effectively curtailing any relevant, though contrary, analysis by even the most learned members of the public. Yes, among wild equine supporters participating in public commentary in answer to Environmental Assessments, there are ‘urbans’, but being so should not rank their beliefs of no consequence. But there are also contingents of scientists, specializing in wildlife and associated biologies, ecology and equine reproductive immunology. There are professional horsemen and women. Some have made the study and documentation of particular herds their life’s work, earning expertise through generations of familiarity. Still others have acquired wild equine acumen through years of providing them sanctuary after removal. A majority of them live, work and ply their trades in the West. And none have been able to alter the course of a removal through the public process. When an Environmental Assessment is released for public commentary, the decision to remove wild equines has effectively already been made. Public observation of removals is essential to ensure that humane standards and protocols for these animals are adhered to and to report that observation. It isn’t capricious or whimsical. History has shown that without a public eye on removals, there are sure to be lapses into the kind of rough, thoughtless treatment that leaves foals orphaned or abandoned and adults fatally broken.

The only alternative recourse is through the courts. And legal recourse is wild equine advocacy tilting at windmills. For every minor victory, there are many more refusals by the courts to find in favor of advocates for lack of precedence or standing, for mootness on the merits of a case as the removals have already been concluded. Legal redress costs not only in terms of taxpayer money, but out of the pockets of those few who dare to stand up in a court of law for wild equines. Some are fortunate; there are lawyers for advocates who display a conscientious largesse in taking on the Federal government, a passionate devotion to the law as it regards parity for wild equines and those who represent them. But it is slow, arduous work and equine advocacy is, overall, not a wealthy one.

In the economic crater this country finds itself in, it’s indefensible that more money is appropriated for a program that seems unwilling to admit failure or foster any relationship outside the Bureau of Land Management or the Interior Department that is sympathetic to wild equines as anything other than adversarial. For every new and improved initiative over the years promising to bring the Wild Horse and Burro Program ‘under control’, there is also a consistent history of assurances and goals unmet, and of dark and underhanded practices in direct contravention of the Wild Horse and Burro Act. This latest attempt at control will also make history – as it strives to render surviving wild equines sterile or genetically unviable, it may well be sunset on the West’s wild horses and burros. Those whose opinions evidently matter, primarily stockmen, can look forward at last to having unfettered access to all they survey. But before sunset occurs, those who support wild equines recognize there must be high value placed on accountability in the proof and actuality of data submitted, in consistency, agency-wide, of that data, integrity in both science and ethics, in independent investigations with no ties that bind to the Interior Department – all of which are currently and conspicuously absent from the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Being a Wild Horse and Burro Specialist within the BLM is not necessarily a notation of experience or proficiency; being a Wild Horse and Burro Specialist is a job title. Conversely, denigrating those who support wild equines or assaying blame will not alter a broken program.  But affording supporters a little credence might. Even a modicum of weight should be granted to the  reliability of an abundance of unacknowledged reports by independent observers, researchers and subject-matter experts on foaling rates, mortality, humane treatment, range quality, cost effectiveness, environmental interaction between wild equines and other wildlife – testaments to expertise by those not affiliated with any government agency but constructed in an effort to balance out a game already fixed against wild equines.  

One horse for one year; 25 cattle for seven months. Even the urbanized public must be able to make a reasonable determination when presented with figures like this.

Lisa LeBlanc

Advisory Board,

Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A list of documentation, resources and citations is available upon request        

53 replies »

  1. Wonderful piece. Keep going. The folk’s at the NY Times should do their home work more thoroughly. Not rely on disinformation from an agency with a repeat history of corruption and bad public relation material spewed to the public who in the agency’s view is deemed ignorant and naive will gladly fork over millions into torture of wild equine just so the agency’s republican cattle friend can be happy. If I worked at the Times as an employee I would be very very embarrassed about what that reporter published and the Editor should also be ashamed. Bad journalism.

    Like

    • One would think the NYT learned their lesson of yellow journalism when Judith Miller’s reporting helped to heighten the call for war in Iraq with erroneous reporting on the presence of WMD, based on dubious and unreliable sources with agendas. I hold very little stock in just about any article that is published by a newspapers .COM department, with the exception of the Atlantic stories by Andrew Cohen, a true reporter who actually sifted through the spin to uncover facts and the real truth.

      Like

    • I’m embarrassed by most of the reporting that I see. I was told that reporting should include who, what, where, when and why. I see very few reporters that can maintain even those minimal standards. I have seen writers of fiction do more research into the novels they are writing than the average reporter for print or online or television journalism seems to do.

      Like

      • When My late father was alive he worked for the Hearst Corporation/Albany Times Union for the last 38 years that he worked for this corp, He notices that Reporters are slowly relinquishing actual work in reporting news and relying more on A. P releases that run all over the country. The New york Times is not any different. They too are getting lazy in reporting facts and relying more on here say. That is very bad journalism. If I had to do a report I have to sight my sources just like anybody else. The Major news services across the country are falling victim to lazyness. It is making journalism in general look really really bad and untrustworthy in reporting facts.

        Like

      • that’s sad Elizabeth. But certainly says alot as to why reporting is so piss poor anymore. That same tactic would get you kicked out of college for cheating.

        Like

      • When My late father was alive he worked for the Hearst corporation/Albany Times Union for 38 years. While working for this news paper, he noticed over time that reporter’s were relinquishing actual work in reporting a real news story for A.P news services read out’s. To me that sounds like lazyness to me. and The N.Y.Times is no different, they do are falling victim to lazyness and relying more on here say instead of getting actual facts on relevant stories. If I had to do a report I have to sight my sources. Just like doing a scientific paper. Sources are needed to verify facts.

        Like

      • Elizabeth, I don’t know if it is laziness that has caused the reporting to get worse. I think it has more to do with newspapers and tv slashing budgets for thorough investigating reporting. There just isn’t the money anymore for a reporter to actually be allowed to spend time researching a story.

        Like

  2. Absolutely awesome rebuttal. I am starting to think that it is wild horse advocates who should be writing and researching for our major news organizations.

    Right here in R.T.’s column, day after day, facts are presented. Links to original documents and multiple sources are given. Anyone who mistakenly characterizes wild horse advocates in the manner that the NY Times has could easily find out that he or she is mistaken just by following the articles, links, and commentary on R. T.’s blog. In fact, anyone who makes the mistake of underestimating our commitment, professionalism, and ability to dig until we get to the dank, toxic sludge at the bottom of this mess, does so at his peril. Meanwhile, we’ll have on our gas masks, goggles, and EPA approved suits as we work together to get justice for our wild horses and burros and the American people.

    Let them think we are simple minded reactionary’s with the maturity of 12 year olds.

    Like

  3. “THOSE THAT DIE AFTER REMOVAL ARE STILL DEAD AS A RESULT OF REMOVAL”
    Just a few things that came to mind …
    – Euthanized due to injuries during capture
    – Gelding of old stallions
    – Diseases at holding facilities
    – Shipping “accidents” of old or young animals
    – Abortion due to capture procedures
    – Sold to animal abusers
    All would still be alive if they were not mis-managed by BLM … not to mention the many, many, many who “disappear”.

    Like

    • Good list, but don’t forget human induced metabolic disorder due to not providing a transitional diet from nutrient poor forage to nutrient dense forage as well as dehydration and too-rapid re-hydration—conditions that anyone with any horse, particularly horse rescue and rehabilition experience knows.

      How much are they paying these Wild Horse and Burro specialists? Saw one who was making over $100,000 per year.

      Correction: How much are we paying these Wild Horse and Burro so called Specialists? And how much are we paying for the services of our illustrious unlicensed veterinarians?

      Like

  4. Does the New York Times do ANY research? And they wonder why sales for newspapers are declining. It’s because they print press releases and any drivel that is given to them like fact. They don’t even bother to do the slightest bit of research into an issue. Thanks, for the rebuttal, Lisa, and thanks to Grandma Gregg for the list above. Also, it seems that after 4 years of PZP, it could become PERMANENT – which means non-reproducing herds.

    Like

  5. Have any of you had this failure trying to send notes to Guilfoyle? I have sent her a post 4 times in the last 2 days and here is what comes back—
    Error transferring to 10.120.33.21; Maximum hop count exceeded. Message probably in a routing loop. Maximum hop count exceeded. Message probably in a routing loop.

    Has she erected some kind of wall, or am I just a computer neophyte?

    Like

    • Susan,

      I tend to write long (too long probably) messages, and I have had to shorten them. I haven’t tried emailing Joan, yet. Maybe if you divide your message into two parts and send each one successively, your comments will reach her. I have no idea if this will work, but I am curious to know, if you choose to try it, if it does.

      Like

  6. This short, terse piece could be the “Bible” for responding to every agency, employee or humane group that tries to parse the facts of the behavior of BLM into “kinder packaging” A fabulous write-up

    Like

  7. If the Mr. Taylor had done half the research as advocates like you, he would have had a much different article. Thanks for enlightening him and many others, Lisa!

    Like

  8. Excellent rebuttal! However, take in to consideration who may be reading the New York Times. We all have capacity to read the newspaper, but some of us have the capacity to find the truth. This is just poor reporting. This guy doesn’t even have to attend a roundup to visiually read the facts. This is why many people don’t bother to take out subscribtions. Some people don’t have the ability to sort out the truth from the rhetoric. All of our media with the exception of a few local news channels very seldom report the truth. Why doesn’t anyone of the news channels pick up the fact that these are tax dollars that they are using? They all can talk about the cuts in some of the essential programs, but don’t report on the need to deny the funds to the Bureau of Land Management for the purpose of roundingup the various herds. If they took the time to read all the posts and see the documentation, the truth would
    be apparent. Their attitude is just another way to pretend that all is well at the
    BLM. This is why we have millions of Americans uninformed about serious issues that effect our lives. Sad, very poor reporting, just an easy way to
    get out of doing your job.. What ever happened to investigative reporting?
    I think this is going the way that the horses are if things don’t change.

    Like

  9. What is this GreenWire that Taylor writes for? Is it an independent Energy publication or is it a tool for the Oil and Gas industry?

    Like

  10. BTW, WWP just got another win….BIG WIN against DOI. Read here:

    http://www.westernwatersheds.org/news-media/online-messenger/victory-wwp-challenge-16-blm-rmps-6-western-states-covering-over-3000000

    Problem is, I don’t know how the wild equines play into this (the acreage involved is MASSIVE). I would just love it if we could follow similar legal strategies, but maybe the equines don’t fit that way. I don’t know, but they are (and have been) kicking alot of cattle and sheep off public lands using NEPA, RMPs etc.

    Like

      • The complexity, language of the suit to include standing, etc is just AWESOME. There has got to be something about wild equines (1971 Act and all) that just never gives them the legitimacy that the WESTERN SAGE GROUSE gets….and I am not anti-grouse.

        People, please take the time to read the decision…it is amazing! (pdf)

        Like

    • Yikes…there is that dirty word “discretionary” again.

      How come Greater Sage Grouse don’t have “discretionary” caveats?

      In the meantime….read the judge’s decision, Laura. It might help?…maybe?

      Like

  11. I’m so impressed by Lisa LeBlanc’s grasp of the facts and gracious way of telling the truth. Her rebuttal puts most so-called journalists to shame.

    I always enjoy reading the comments on this blog and every other “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” blog. I learn as much from the commenters as I do from the bloggers. Thank you one and all.

    Though this is a serious subject — a matter of life and death — I can’t help but laugh at every humorous jibe. It never feels like anyone posting here is being malicious. You’re just adding a little levity to an otherwise depressing conversation.

    Through its lies and its ludicrousness, EVIL (represented by the BLM’s mismanagement of our free-roaming friends) is doing a great job of destroying itself, which is the only thing it’s capable of doing.

    Through its truth-telling and its sanity, GOOD (represented by those who are pointing out that mismanagement and trying to correct it) is doing a great job of proving itself to be the only legitimate, permanent power.

    “The right way wins the right of way, even the way of Truth and Love…” wrote an American woman named Mary Baker Eddy, who endured the onslaught of lies and persecution throughout her life.

    Lisa LeBlanc’s rebuttal is an example of that right way. It will help us enable the West’s wild horses and burros to win the right of way back to their homeland, their herds, their freedom, their families. Their God-given right to live in peace.

    Like

  12. Excellent fact-filled rebuttal Lisa. I hope that Mr. Taylor is blushing with embarrassment at his half-a**ed attempt to play reporter.

    Like

  13. It isn’t just the oil-and-gas, mining, timber, ranching and hunting-and-fishing lobbies that control the Department of the Interior and thus legally destroy the environment and non-money-making animals like wild horses, burros, and bison.

    As we see here http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/110920.html, even the supposed “saviors” — alternative energy industries like wind power — are in cahoots with the DOI. As a result, it appears our country’s other symbol of freedom, the American Bald Eagle, is getting the shaft, too.

    Hearteningly, it looks like lots of other people like us are fed up by our corporate-controlled government and are beginning to fight back in earnest, not only in NYC (http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet), but also, starting on Oct. 6th, in Washington, D.C. (www.october2011.org).

    Like

  14. Did this rebuttal actually make it to the pages of the NYTimes, or just to the editor’s screen? I’m not seeing a link to it. Hope is did- or does- make it to the public.

    Like

  15. When contractors for building roads and other structures are given a contract there are clauses as to getting the job in on time and within budget, if they don’t meet these targets they have to pay penalty’s or get monies deducted from the final bill.
    If similar clauses were put into the contracts of the BLM’s roundup contractors,such that they only get paid a headage fee for live and un-injured horses and are also given a minimum time to make the round up in.
    Under these conditions the contractor would have a vested interest in making sure the horses were in a fit and un-injured condition when they delivered them to the BLM, at the moment it would appear that time is of the essence in the contracts and that nothing matters other than removal from the range of the designated numbers, dead or alive. And moving on to the next job.
    It would be a lot easier to get politicians to make sure the BLM got value for money from the contractors as a maximum number of live and un-injured horses than get them to stop the round ups, the contractors would most likely do the stopping themselves when they found the going tough due to onerous clauses in contracts as to keeping the horses alive and healthy.
    At the present it is obviously clear that the contractors don’t give a dam for the animals welfare, it is just a case of get the numbers and move on as rapidly as possible to the next job and get the bill in.

    Like

  16. NYT should be mailed this !!! Its the code of ethics ………

    SPJ Code of Ethics
    Download a printable copy [PDF]

    Preamble
    Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.
    The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable.

    For an expanded explanation, please follow this link.

    Seek Truth and
    Report It
    Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

    Journalists should:

    — Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
    — Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
    — Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
    — Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
    — Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
    — Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
    — Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
    — Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
    — Never plagiarize.
    — Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
    — Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
    — Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
    — Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
    — Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
    — Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
    — Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
    — Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

    Minimize Harm
    Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.

    Journalists should:

    — Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
    — Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
    — Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
    — Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
    — Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
    — Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
    — Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
    — Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.

    Act Independently
    Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.

    Journalists should:

    —Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
    — Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
    — Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
    — Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
    — Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
    — Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
    — Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

    Be Accountable
    Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

    Journalists should:

    — Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
    — Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
    — Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
    — Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
    — Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

    The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society’s members.

    Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926. In 1973, Sigma Delta Chi wrote its own code, which was revised in 1984, 1987 and 1996.

    Like

    • Maybe I should have read the code, also, at some point, but in my defense, I’m not a journalist.
      But I could NOT let that tacky little piece of fluff go unanswered. I’ve grown weary to death of these so called ‘legitimate’ or ‘mainstream’ publications pullin’ posies outta their (you know!) and passin’ them off as the undisputed gospel.
      There are people out there literally putting themselves in Harm’s way to bring us the truth, both the beautiful and the ugly.

      Ginger’s regular visits to report on our man Cloud and his family; this is no walk on the beach, but high and wild back country.

      Laura Leigh is as close to a war correspondent as we’re likely to find on domestic soil. When she is on the road, she is on the job, dusty & hot or freezing her backside off, up at dawn and off again, driving the endless miles to watch politely & helplessly as whole families of wild equines are fed into oblivion; she spent last Christmas on the road with Elvis, her canine co-writer, but did her job and sent us the reports.

      Where do you suppose Phil Thomas spent Christmas?
      These are two of only hundreds of examples of people who support wild and domestic equines with actual work and toil. And I could not let Phil Thomas make light of these people I’ve come to admire and depend upon, who do what others aren’t willing to do for reasons they hold dear.
      From his continuing reports, the only thing Phil Thomas holds dear is his damn paycheck. And you can quote me on that.

      Like

      • Dear Lisa, I meant this directed to the NYT , and for all Journalists, that only tell half of the story of the Unnecessary Horrors that Our Mustangs face everyday unnecessary….. your rebuttal was amazing !!!!!

        Like

      • Lisa, you didn’t need to READ the code. You LIVE it. Your rebuttal was filled with more on-the-ground facts, more intelligent questions, and more objectivity (despite your being an advocate for a cause) than anything the NYT “journalist” wrote.

        And you are certainly heeding THIS part of the code: “Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.” I think “unethical practices” include non-existent research and sloppy, lazy, one-sided, stupid, backwards, incorrect writing.

        One could easily substitute the words “professional journalist” in this sentence of yours: “Being a Wild Horse and Burro Specialist within the BLM is not necessarily a notation of experience or proficiency; being a Wild Horse and Burro Specialist is a job title.”

        Like

      • 1) Arlene, I know; my heart to yours, always.
        2) BlessUs… I am awestruck and hope to live up to those words.
        3) Credit where credit’s due: Phil TAYLOR wrote the NYT trilogy that’s apparently becoming a novel. Phil THOMAS? No clue. I was beat when I wrote that. But sure as winter, it’ll come back to haunt me, so consider the error acknowledged.

        Like

  17. BlessUsAll,

    The Center does have some comments regarding the BLM’s grazing policies on its web site. My brain has had to make room for so much more information in the past week, I am not sure exactly what site has what.

    A species that has its own federal law to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations should not have to be on an endangered species list, but…

    Like

  18. jUST A LITTLE INSPIRATION FOR TODAY !!!

    A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

    – Mohandas Gandhi

    Like

  19. Lisa, thank you for your excellent rebuttal. Your piece is flawless. As hard as it is to read, understand, and process the outrageous actions our see no evil, hear no evil, government is perpetrating on our wild horses and burros as well as our domestic horses, it is comforting to know that you are part of an army of honorable, determined people who are fighting to do what is right for our wild horses and burros.

    If more citizens of this country knew what we have learned over the course of this battle, term limits would become law and the unionization of federal workers would be toast.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Morgan Griffith Cancel reply

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.