Horse News

Interior Secretary Blitzed by Americans Protesting Pro-Slaughter Appointee

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board appointment draws a storm of protest

Salazar's Office March 1, 2012

WASHINGTON (March 1, 2012) – The Department of the Interior has received thousands of calls today in protest to the appointment of Callie Hendrickson, an openly anti-wild horse, pro horse slaughter woman from Colorado to the National Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Hendrickson was appointed to serve on the Board, representing the General Public.  Callers contend that Hendrickson does not represent the vast majority of citizens who oppose the slaughter of horses and support the presence of wild horses on rangeland in the West.

“We’re proud that so many Americans are riding to the rescue of our wild horses,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and producer of the popular Cloud programs on PBS. “The appointment of Ms. Hendrickson is the latest in an alarming trend, considering that this Board recommends wild horse and burro management strategies to the BLM.”

“It appears that Sec. Salazar and his cattle baron friends are trying to stack the deck and turn back the clock to 2008 when they planned to slaughter the wild horses in holding”, said R.T. Fitch, volunteer President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, “But the public is not going to sit back and allow that to happen, this is a new world with an engaged American society and we are simply not going to stand for such bullying.”

Last June, Secretary Salazar appointed James Stephenson of Washington state to the Board. Stephenson spoke about the need for slaughter as a management option at the last National Advisory Board meeting in Washington D.C.

  • Currently, over 45,000 once-wild horses live in government holding facilities, double the number that wild horse advocates estimate are still living free on their designated ranges in the West.
  • 339 wild herds were identified for protection by the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. Today 179 herds remain.
  • Wild horses and burros exist on roughly 31.6 million acres (11% of our public lands)—down from 53 million acres originally designated for their use.
  • 2-3 million head of privately owned livestock are permitted on 157 million acres of BLM lands.
  • Wild horses and burros compete for forage with livestock on 86% of their designated ranges where private livestock are allocated 83% of the forage.
  • Only 3 to 4% of all beef consumed in the United States comes from public lands grazing.
  • Public land grazing revenues total $23 million. Administration costs total $144 million, resulting in a yearly shortfall of $121 million.

Links of Interest:

Unified Equine Welfare Group’s Protest Press Release:

ASPCA Poll from Lake Research Partners shows 80% of Americans do not believe in horse slaughter:

R.T. Fitch OpEd on Hendrickson’s appointment:

10 Steps to Restore America’s Wild Horses & Burros:

32 replies »

  1. Made my calls, faxes and emails and got others to do the same. Starting to feel like the Norma Rae of the wh&b world here at the office.


      • Very nice going. As I said before Morgan, I can’t get anyone in my office to get off their apathetic butts to do anything! I just hope he will actually act on the “will of the people” being a public servant, paid by our tax dollars. All I can say, is the woman who took my comment sounded tired and weary. If he doesn’t pay attention; we’ll just keep having a call in day until he does!


  2. Let’s do this again for other noteworthy “errors” that BLM does … and those are easy enough to find any old time!


  3. Well..I would say that Americans have spoken and if they would have given us the chance before would have been different!She does not belong in that position or speak for me..and Grandma Gregg..power in numbers and lets get it done and let them here from us real soon…Ken Salazaar should not be Secretary of the Interior either..and they did not give us a choice then either!Tired of being ignored as a tax buck up Washington,We The People have spoken!


  4. First we have to find out if it will make a dam to the Secretary . I wonder just what he will say to defend little Ms. Callie ‘Horse Killer’ Hendrickson after all the calls. He will probably say that it was only one person who kept calling saying they were someone else. Or some other lame excuse to keep all the horse killers on the board.It’s going to be interesting to see what the Secretary does.


    • According to a letter I got the day Callie was the best suited candidate for the seat. The board is suppose to be rounded–blah blah blah.

      It was a gag me letter. Cause a huge coughing fit with more blech than I’ve been coughing up all week!


      • I got the same letter. They want her on the board in order to push the removal/slaughter agenda.


  5. Thanks for the article, RT and the bullet points outlined with facts and figures on the statistics that few people realize. It appears to me their lack of management is self evident, along with very poor judgement. We can only hope that common sense will prevail, after all is said and done.


  6. The following is the letter I received upon my request that Callie step down because she does NOT represent me.

    Thank you for your email regarding the 2012 appointments to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board (Board).  I appreciate you taking the time to express your concerns.

    Like all committees that formally advise the Federal Government, the Board is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).  FACA requires Board members to be equally balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory committee.

    The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Act) directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretaries) to appoint a joint advisory board of not more than nine members to advise them on any matter relating to wild free-roaming horses and burros and their management and protection.  Board members, who may not be employees of the Federal or state governments, are appointed by the Secretaries as advisers whom they deem to have special knowledge about protection of horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resources management.

    All of the individuals who were nominated for positions to the Board were considered.  The Secretaries reviewed the 2012 nominations and those who best met the requirements of the positions were appointed.  The BLM feels that the 2012 appointees will add their expertise to an already objectively balanced Board that captures Congress’ intent of balance in the Act.

    The BLM appreciates your interest in America’s wild horses and burros and the Board. 


  7. Just as an FYI I have posted this article several times on Ken Salazar’s Facebook page, you can’t actually POST but you can COMMENT. Even if the topic is not related it can be seen…recommend that we make a stand, there, too…as I will be blocked very soon I imagine.


    • Ya you can post it R.T., I just did. Probably be joining you in the “banned” room. That’s OK we’ll provide drinks and entertainment.


      • ooo record time they took it down already, but I put it in comments and then went to the BLM page.


  8. First of all I want to acknowledge and applaud this coming together of the advocacy community as one force. This is so critical to the horses and burros. If we can’t pull our collective heads out of our….. and organize as one voice, the horses will lose.
    Now, everyone that called got a secretary who said she would not write anything down, she said she already knew what we wanted and that she would take our phone numbers and have “someone” call us back..
    Did we get blown off? How do we as a group follow through on this? Let all of us know the outcome of these “call backs”?
    Thanks RT for heading this up!!


  9. Why don’t we just do it every day? Not that hard. Kind of like “Occupy BLM Phone Lines.” While we figure out what to Occupy next, unless We the People are heard and respected.


  10. RT is there any way that we can request that they reveal who the other candidates/applicants were for this position? They say she was the best qualified, but who was she competing against? Are they legally obligated to reveal this info to us if requested?


  11. to Margaret–the letter you received is so full of information–“balance of points of view–management and protection– etc.” No where does this carefully crafted response tell what those special qualifications must be. They appointed exactly the right person for their needs. Thank you for sharing it here–we have the answer. My phone line is going into meltdown. Rob is correct.


  12. I have posted this article as a comment on not only Salazar’s Facebook page but also the BLM’s and President Obama’s…I am SERIOUS, enough is REALLY enough. As Rob has said, this is going to be a daily activity until SOMEONE pays attention.


  13. Here is another avenue to consider. Another advocate was given the number of Debbie Collins, BLM. She had a rather direct conversation with Debbie concerning the value of Callie Hendrickson’s position on the board. After I had made the suggested telephone calls and emails, I called this number. Requested that they send me an adoption packet and that Debbie call me back. I missed her call this morning, but she left two numbers. 866-468-7826 and 405-790-1056. If everyone asks for the adoption packet and a call back from her, it would put many of us on their wave length. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not… let’s get feed back from the “wild horse legends” then we will know what to do. I really agree with Rob. Let’s call the main BLM office everyday until we decide if we should Occupy Debbie Collins Office Door Step. Or perhaps Callie’s Door Step.


    • Debbie Collins has no power to change anything, and is most likely a waste of time and breath to contact her.


      • plus Ms. Debbie is a snarky little twit (and I’m being nice) who will just make you want to stick your hand through the phone and attack.


  14. Where do I sign up, how can I get invovled? Once the horses go , the cowboys and cowgirls go next. We are intertwinded. The wild horses and burros are what captivated our hearts and enhanced our soul to be free and live free. Without the wild horses, the spirit of freedom dieds in the hearts of those that seek to live a life closest to nature and provides a fact of GODS existence in this concrete jungle. The horse is where we seek our nobility and where we see our strength. I will fight with you urbancowgirls and urbancowboys we are what is left, after the lands have been ravages by the greedy……………………


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