Horse News

Call to Action: The Implied Threat of the BLM

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“We Want Your Personal Info So We Can Abuse You”

BLM: “How dare YOU question US!!!”

In this day and age there is plenty that is going on to keep one from sleeping well and gaining a good night of much needed rest.  Usually, I am pretty good at holding such monsters at bay and obtaining the required sleep to function properly for yet another day.  But last night was a different story, several words of text and droning voices kept nagging at me through the mist of the night and I could not shake the feeling of dread and the threat of an evil presence as I floated through the fog with my head looking squarely back behind at where I had just been.

The letters of the elusive words rushed by so quickly I could not read them and the raspy voice droning away was unintelligible until this morning when I entered my office and read the words as clear and crisp on my own computer screen from a blurb that I had written, yesterday.

It was a shocking revelation and one that should set off alarms to all free spirits that live in this once great land of ours…the words were uttered by our very own Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and they are a clear and present threat aimed at each and every tax payer in the United States as it came through loud and clear in a recent press release issued by the Nevada bureau in regards to their lack of transparency in planning for a hearing on the use of Helicopters in wild horse and burro stampedes.  They tried to slip the notice in under the radar over the past holiday weekend and planned the meeting on Tuesday the 29th of May immediately following the holiday.  Advocates’ caught it and spent their holiday attempting to right the wrong.

The BLM’s response, and they still held the meeting with few attending, is unedited below:

“Carson City, Nev.–The Bureau of Land Management Nevada invites the public to submit comments as part of its annual statewide hearing on the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in wild horse management operations.

The hearing was held May 29, 2012 in Carson City, Nev. If you were unable to attend, or would like to submit an additional comment regarding motorized vehicles in the management of wild horses throughout Nevada from June 2012, to May 2013, we invite you to do so. Comments must be received no later than June 12, 2012. Only comments sent to the address, email or fax number identified below will be accepted and considered.

Comments may be sent by mail or fax:

Carson City District Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
Attn: WHB Motorized Hearing
FAX: 775-885-6147

Comments may also be sent by email: ccfoweb@blm.gov,  Attn: WHB Motorized Hearing

Planned management actions include wild horse removals, aerial population inventory and distribution flights of herd management areas. Motorized vehicles, such as semi-trucks and trailers, and pickup trucks, will also be used to transport wild horses. BLM plans to use helicopters to help gather wild, free-roaming horses and burros from public lands in 2012 and 2013.

Comments submitted to BLM must include your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information in your comment. Please be aware your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request we withhold your personal information from public view, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.”

Of course, and as usual, the document is riddled with BLM posturing and self-justification but did you catch the last paragraph, do you smell the threat and feel the implied violence?  It is not only flagrant in it’s intent but obnoxious in it’s presentation.

In a nutshell it says:

Go ahead, you sniveling vermin, feel free to comment on our actions and plans but as you well know, by now, we are going to do what the hell we want to do ANYWAY because we CAN.  And just to add a little adventure into the mix, if you are stupid enough to question us, or even give a rat’s ass, then we are going to label and document your personal information while throwing it out into the mainstream for all to see while we just sit back and play dumb, like we had no control over any of it, stuff just happens…we love you, America.

I know there is a little literary license used, there, but you get my drift.  Not too often do I play the conspiracy theory card but in this case it is fairly well documented to say the least.

If you comment they will not only have your personal information but the Feds may elect to publicly trash you if the mood so moves them.

Is that what government has come to in the United States, a place where a federal agency can publicly threaten to disperse proprietary personal information so as to pervert and limit response to a controversial and unfavorable operation?

I would call it bold, brash and extremely dangerous.

We are all too aware that the BLM acts outside of the law with it’s obvious destruction and decimation of our native wild horses and burros on their rightful public lands but to document their distaste for those who give a voice to the voiceless is carrying things one step too far.

In the old days I would say we should write our Congressmen, our Senators and to call our local representatives but today things need to go to the next level with physical and direct action taking place as inaction and postulating is tending to get old, rapidly.

First, we as a group should clog that fax with as many comments as possible.  We need to burn up dozens of printer cartridges and shut the units down so that their normal business cannot progress.

Secondly, we must stuff their snail mail and email inbox’s and let this office know that we are NOT going to stand for this sort of insolence and YES, we do think that using helicopters and motorized vehicles is dangerous.

And thirdly, we sincerely need to get our act together and begin to function as one cohesive and well-organized body.  We, as equine advocates, must check egos at the door and learn to play nice as the only reason we have not gotten accomplished what needs to be addressed is because we go a hundred different directions at once while gossiping about what the other ones are doing; this has to stop and stop now.  There is a plan in the works to get this accomplished but imagine what power we could flex if we were not just the 80% in a survey but instead, millions in an organized membership/association.  Now THAT has clout.

The nightmare is real, the threat is apparent and the gauntlet has been thrown down.  Do we stand and fight or do we tuck our tail between our legs and run…?

I, for one, am going to fight and I intend to spread my personal information all over those comments, nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of as truth and honesty are the best, and only, swords to wield.

Any takers?

Let’s take out a few fax machines first and then clog a few inbox’s.

These overfed government workers have no idea of the power within the sleeping beast that they have awakened.

This is America and in this country, we don’t take kindly to being threatened.

“Turn up the Volume” 

“Clog the Fax”

106 replies »

  1. I am not afraid to express my opinion on the complete atrocities that the BLM continues to get away with, i have to think they have bought off everyone in their path !!!of destruction of America , the Mustangs are a living Spirit of truth, American Pride , American Spirit they have stood PROUD ALWAYS right in the Faces of the the BLM, and plan to do the same , i am a Free American and believe that Our American Mustangs Belong to us All , and no corrupt Agency that deals in Lies deception,is going to disseminate them for greed The BLM is suppose to Protect and Preserve the Mustangs , they have not done their Job ……………….. Therefore we Pay them we should be able to Fire the whole Scheming greedy ,cruel bunch of them……………………….

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    • What do you expect from a government agency. Although this is not a trip the DMV, it is very intimidating going to these public comment meetings. I’ve been to two now, and the people giving comments are always outnumbered at least two to one by BLM staff. It’s really a dog and pony show, and they really don’t care what you have to say. They mandated by law to hold the meeting, and that’s about it!

      I found it very interesting that my yahoo email account was hacked into and all my address stolen literally right before my eyes the day after I attended a roundup! Now that was intimidating!

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      • Noted. 😉 Email accounts are free. They want our email addresses? No problem. We can just set up a free email account somewhere JUST to bombard them from. It will be quite telling if that particular one gets hacked!

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    • Here’s the other thing, it’s not just the blm, other gov agencies like the dept. of wildlife, fish and game, dept of agriculture. These gov agencies cater to hunting industry, the safari club, mining industry and oil and gas. The blm is just the hand maiden, the one who does the dirty work for the other gov agencies. Another albatross in Nevada, senator Mark Amodei wants to get rid of federal public land and sell it to mining and energy industries. If the land is no longer federal public land and becomes private land, horses go straight to slaughter. The horses need all the help the can get!

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  2. Way to go! Sent mine yesterday but I will fax it *several times* to get my point across.
    I started to get steamed as I was writing it – I’m not ashamed of my stand on slaughter and the persection of horses.
    These people work for us – let’s not let them forget it!

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  3. These have been my sentiments for a very long time…to long and yes we all need to come together as one unit.

    With that said I will fire up my fax and then go to email…

    Lets get them Horse Soldiers!!

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  4. NEXT!!!!!!!
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Dear Sirs:

    I am writing you to express my outrage at your attempts to roundup and stampede federally protected horses and burros for the ultimate purpose of slaughter.

    Federal regulations had stipulated that these public lands were federally protected for the use of these animals.
    “Public” by my definition means taxpayer funded, of which I am one and I adamantly oppose the use of my taxes for this purpose.
    You seem to have forgotten exactly what your role is in regards to the public land and protection of these beautiful animals.
    To terrorize them by using helicopters and trucks and then haul them off to be slaughtered is against everything the government SHOULD stand for.
    I am tired of autocrats making decisions that are not in the best interests of Americans and American Icons like the wild horse and burros.
    Do NOT remove these animals or harass them in any way.

    Lisabeth Bender
    85 Brush Hill Rd
    Sherborn, MA 01770
    508.653.7557

    LisabethBender10@Gmail.com

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  5. Just want to say that RT is right. We have a lot of people fighting the BLM and horse slaughter, only we’re all going in different directions. We DO need to all come together in one large group, whether it’s RT that heads it or someone else. Lots of people are hopping mad over all this and there are a lot of people who were on the sidelines that have been awakened. We need to be as one even if that means an uprising which is the least the BLM deserves. They’re the ones that need to be in jail.

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  6. They’ve thumbed their noses at us all along. We give them our personal info so they can declare us terrorists. We’ve done the polls thing and it has proven useless because like the Chris Rock movie Head of State they are the government and they can get away with doing as they damned well please. I’m all for fighting because this is one example of our civil rights being violated.. the cumulative end of our freedom. This is what America has become.

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  7. “Comments submitted to BLM must include your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information in your comment. Please be aware your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request we withhold your personal information from public view, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.”

    They can’t do this. Is Salazar aware of this? Are our Senators aware of this? Can you imagine if you called you Senator or representatives offices to voice your concern on an issue and they told you this? That you can leave a message for your representative, but be aware that they have the right to make your comments public and share your personal information??? I don’t think so!! Once again, they are making up their own rules–and breaking the law. It’s trying to intimidate the public to not participate in their democracy. So whoever wrote that little paragraph–get their information-their name, address, title, phone number, supervisor etc. Let’s make that public. Anyone know who wrote this release?

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  8. Amen RT! Have been screaming for years that WE ALL (all orgs/members, rescues, and advocates) need to be on one list. What’s the big deal? Why is this not done already? There is strength in numbers and political clout. United we stand, divided they disappear. Extinction is forever. I don’t get this ego crap. It’s about saving the horses/burros. Period. I also believe, as ONE voice that numbers in the millions(?), we must pressure the DOJ to enforce laws. Persecute & Prosecute. There must be justice for every horse/burro that has been STOLEN from their legal domain/killed/and incarcirated.

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  9. ALL GOOD. YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL FOLKS.

    I STILL THINK WE OUGHT TO LET OUR LEGISLATORS KNOW THOUGH. MAYBE EVEN CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE ORGANIZATIONS AS WELL. AND MAINSTREAM PRESS.

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  10. R.T.-
    You are so very correct and I do not like to be threatened or blackmailed and I don’t scare easily because it is not ME that is the wrong-doer. It is “THEM”.

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  11. I sent my email off with my info as well as a caution that I will contact the ACLU if any harassment occurs as a result of the email.

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  12. R. T.,
    You are absolutely right. I learned during a scandal while we lived in Georgia that any information that you put on your computer is recoverable. You may destroy your file, but there will be a back up on a hard drive.

    I do not write anything or post any pictures on the Internet that I would be too ashamed to see on the front pages of the newspaper. That is sort of my rule of thumb. I have been around (not involved) to see some investigations, and the first thing that disappears your computer and storage material. I am always mindful about anything I write or create on the computer as we all should be.

    I may fall short at times, but I try to do no harm. I have had to break this goal because we have discovered individuals who are trying to do harm to our horses and burros, harm to our other advocates, pervert our laws, circumvent government processes, and undermine the moral, ethical, and cultural values our nation has shared.

    I try to think of the noble, generous spirits on whose behalf we fight, and remember that it is all about the horses.

    R. T., I agree with you also that petty, interpersonal differences must be put aside. I don’t come across a lot of gossip or back biting, but when I do, I confront it and call it what it is. This has only happened a couple of times, but one advocate has something critical to say about another one of us, they need to zip it up or get out of the way. All of our energy needs to be positively directed forward for our horses.

    Thanks so much for your leadership and for giving us a place to receive and share information.

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  13. R.T. you have NO IDEA how pleased that you have point blank said ALL advocates need to check our egos at the door and work TOGETHER. I am fed up, sick and tired and down right angry at the fact that we seem to be unable to do so. It should be blatantly obvious that we are indeed going off in 100 different directions, which only plays into the BLM and other governmental agencies (yes, that would be you Mr. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar). They are totally united in their goal to remove every last wild horse and burro from their rightful home on public grazing land AND their intention to ship each and every poor soul in long term holding to their brutal, inhumane death, all paid for by us. John and Jane Q Public, American taxpayers!

    In addition to clogging the fax machines and burning up the phone lines at the BLM, As allthewildhorses said, I intend to let Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein and Darrell Issa (my Senators and House Rep) know that I do not like and will not tolerate being threatened by having my personal information released by a government agency. I agree also that the DOJ needs to be made aware of this.

    So anyone reading this from the BLM or SOI, hope you get the message loud and clear: We are not intimidated and we damn sure will not shut up!

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    • You go girl.. Not really worried about the personal info thing.. It is on every “Cause” that I sign. But heartened by the fact that we need to focus on our object, and forget silly disagreements, and take actions that matter.

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  14. let’s assembly riders at the roundups to peacefully protest with camera crews . theses emails and petitions don’t seem to help much. let’s put the spotlight on them so the world can see. me and my buckskin are ready to go. i think a protest sign will fit perfectly on a flag carrier on our saddles.

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    • I’ve been to a couple of roundups, and I can tell you they keep a very close eye on you. They put you in an area to ‘observe’ which is a good distance to the roundup operations. Visitors or observers are usually outnumber 3/1 (three blm staff to one observer).

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      • me too………………………….. also have nikon D80 ready to go……………………. Where are you located

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  15. Every time we send comments on EA’s the BLM gets our name and address so I’m not worried. They have listed ranchers, organizations and individuals on the final decisions. They’ve had my info for years. Their veiled threats don’t scare me at all.
    Yes, it’s way past time we all joined together. Thank you, R.T.

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  16. What I wrote yesterday: advocates need to put aside the things like complaining about the horses who are captive and now always will be captive, being so “sad and miserable in captivity” when that is not true (for the most part); horses live in-the-moment, they have new herd groups, they don’t have to look for food and they also don’t have to walk miles and miles to get to a water source (in fact, when my 12 horse “girl gang” of Mustang mares got loose one time (after very carefully detaching pipe sections and no-climb horse fencing–they are very sneaky girls), they went off into the sagebrush after dark, and since I wasn’t going to pursue them and blunder around, they came back in an hour when they were ready to be fed and wanted a drink of water. Very docily walked back through the gate I left open for them and started whinnying for me to come out and feed them!). And if the horses in captivity end up standing in some mud from time to time, thats just the way it is for many domestics too in a wet winter.
    The government WILL use advocates words against them AND the captive wild horses and burros to convince the uninformed public that “look, even the advocates think the horses in long term holding are miserable, so they should be humanely euthanized (read: shot/slaughtered) because they don’t want to live in captivity” and armed with the personal information they are demanding, they will publish whomever as someone who said that and then they can perhaps “divide and conquer” us by trying to turn advocates against one another. I don’t think releasing our personal information is just a threat that could come from people who oppose us and would perhaps attack us physically (and I’m not worried about that because I have security cameras, dogs, guns, and etc, so if anyone comes around my place, I will not go down without a fight!), I think that info is also designed to make us look like nutballs, militant, etc to the uninformed public as well. We have to decide IMO what is critical and important in this fight (like stopping helicoptor captures, managing the horses in the wild, eliminating corporate welfare ranching interests and their drag on the publics wallet, putting other “user-loser” factions on notice that we will NOT allow them to take over OUR public range for their own uses, whether business and/or pleasure and have the tax payers pay for it all, etc, and what things “in a perfect world” we would change if we could (shelters for all of the captive horses, green pastures instead of dry lots, never have to stand in mud, etc)
    I agree with R.T.; we need to be “on the same page” and not sweat the small stuff such as horses living in the elements when they are captive. I would love to adopt 4 more Mustangs, however, because of the 4 I already have here that are untitled, I only have enough shelters for them, which they won’t even go under BTW. Those 4 Mustangs at Palomino Valley adoption center that I would like to adopt, train and place in good homes (eventually) will most likely go into long term holding now because I can’t adopt them because I don’t have enough shelters (3-sided shelters as a matter of fact, and not even just a roof over their heads to keep the sun off them). Its VERY expensive to buy or build a shelter where we live because we regularly get 50-80 mph winds and can’t take the chance that a flimsy shelter would blow down on a horse, so I can’t adopt more horses and give them a chance of having their own human family.
    Its things like this that hurt our cause and hurt the Mustangs and distract from the serious issue of STOPPING helicoptor round-ups, not allowing trap site adoptions (and I have 3 weanlings from a trap site adoption and out of hundreds of ungentled Mustangs that I have adopted and/or have helped students and other people adopt, I can honestly say these weanlings have NOT adjusted as well to being domestic as the Mustangs I have adopted from adoption facilities—I don’t think trap site adoptions are a good idea at all), allowing water sources to be fenced off, allowing there to be 100 cattle on our public range to every 1 wild horse, etc.
    If we all band together, then having our “personal info” out there won’t matter even one, little bit , and it will be a laughable threat by the BLM because we will present such a multi-million person united front that we will be taken seriously by everyone and not be considered a disorganized mob of crazy wild horse and burro advocates.
    Lets do it folks; like R.T. said, jam their machines and computers/websites/email programs and then they will know that the lives of wild horses and burros are so precious to us that our “personal info” is a mote point because we’ll tell everyone exactly who we are and what we are going to do to save and protect OUR horses and burros from capture AND slaughter at the hands of “the greedy ones” who do not value ANY life except their own miserable selves.

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    • In my opinion it would help unite and get people working on relevant and needed projects if RT would ‘throw the doors open’ so to speak, at this blog, and allow us to organize and create the new .org here by the advocates for the advocates, united in goals to stop roundups and save all our wild ones whether captive or free. We need new blood and we need people who can apply to work in the organization who will actually do real work. With a membership drive we can then apply for needed, and so far elusive, grants. Those with lawsuits to support should only do that and not be the central players in a new national group. There are so many who have learned much and been out there making inroads into new territory where the public has barely been involved in the past!

      I do not agree that the existing groups and few leaders we have are more worthy than the advocates themselves to create this group and make it work. It is time to ask all and to find more individuals capable as any to help do this work. With this group should be a Coalition that can have members working in the new group. But do not keep out the average advocate. We need to vote and decide and know what we are doing and have complete transparency. Secrets have never helped the horses. Exclusivity is not what we need. We need Diversity!! The more the better. We have not ‘gone off’ in directions unworthy of us…. we have done what we were able through a period when the campaign stalled out. I applaud the success of lawsuits that will lead to real change yet we have barely scratched the surface of the effective things we can do to help our wild ones. I also applaud those who have been working to save wild horses after their removal and even after their adoptions have gone bad and they have gone to auction. All these good works need more help and funding.

      Commitments need to be made anew and on a deeper and stronger level so we can truly act and succeed. Too many have been waiting for others to show the way and some of those we have followed have taken too much from the promise that diversity can bring!

      Yes, we need a National Umbrella Group that is highly organized, legitimate and determined to succeed. This has been suggested here over the past year. Time to DO IT! A proper grant will help us support the efforts advocates have been working on their own these past couple years.

      RT, can you see what I am aiming at? We need each other, all of us, to be involved with full respect and equality in a democratic group that will vote its own board and president each year or so. A group that will seek out the projects that will aid us becoming a larger and more effective force for the wild ones safety. You can help this happen and it can breathe new determination and direction into each and every one of us. Will you help us do this among ourselves and not let this become another exclusive group that we have no say in?! Allow a Democratic group to form right here. Let us find our own leaders and projects. Believe me, the advocacy has the ability to do this. They deserve to have their own group! Please encourage this to happen here!
      It may be a great gift to the future if you have the courage to let us speak for ourselves.

      To the advocates I say; How can you lose? Participate, bring your skills and experience forward! Let us have a democratic Group and cover the campaign thoroughly. You can do this!! mar

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      • Great comment andf I agree with most of what you wrote. I don’t know if I wrote the quote you used in your comment under “Laura Bell” or “The Starlight Sanctuary” but either way, it is what I wrote. I do often see advocates who do focus on what to me as a professional horse trainer/instructor for nearly 40 years and also as a college instructor in Equine Management, are not the important life or death things. Things like “that hydraulic chute makes so much noise it will scare the horses” speaking about a $15,000 high tech chute that would make life so much easier around here when we rescue ungentled horses who have “genie slipper” hooves because the adoptor never had their feet trimmed and we have to put them in a squeeze chute (2 pipe panels) in order to get them tranquilized to the ground so our farrier can trim their feet and our vet can float their teeth while they are asleep. Anyone that has formerly wild horses knows that we can’t predict what will happen when they are tranquilized to the ground; some don’t stay asleep long and jump up and stagger about into fences, troughs, etc because they are still heavily sedated but their flight instinct is very intact, some get shocky, some stay heavily asleep, etc. So worrying about a hydraulic chute making some noise and perhaps scaring a horse is ridiculous IMO. The rule that is in force now of adoptors being required to have a shelter before they can adopt is another ridiculous requirement; first, most newly captured Mustangs won’t go under a shelter, and second, none of the adoption facilities have them, so it seems like more of a deterent than anything else to getting horses adopted. These are just a few of the silly things that I can think of that some advocates that are not all that “hands-on” experienced come up with that actually I believe could harm the horses and burros already in captivity.
        As I had said in my comment; in a perfect world, all horses have beautiful barns to live in when the weather is not nice, and/or they have pristine pastures of lush green grass (with no mud for Gods Sake!), and none of the horses ever founders from eating as much grass as they want. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, so what we do need is what you are speaking of and which I believe we also need on the public Open Range and that would be “balance”. Balance in an organization (my perception) would be new blood, but also the experienced “hands-on” horse advocates teaching the not-so-experienced about what is serious in terms of management of horses, and what is not. Then we would also have the advocates who love horses, but maybe don’t know so much about their management but do however know a lot about important things such as lobbying, how the political arena works, organizing large groups of people, PR and marketing our opinions and positions on key issues, being assertive but not aggressive, etc. I think we all have something to bring to the table and would have balance because we could all teach one another about the important things in all aspects of the issues. I also agree that often we have the same people representing us (and don’t get me wrong; you all are AWESOME and work tirelessly for our horses, both wild and domestic–we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude) and sometimes THAT is used against us by our opposition because they have gone nose-to-nose so many times with our opposition, and vice-versa, that nothing new is being said, or maybe it is but everyone who has been at this on both sides for awhile tune one another out. New people would “shake it up”, they would be “unknowns”, so our opposition wouldn’t know what to expect (like my husband telling me I’m a world class arguer/debator and that I also “don’t argue in a fair way”–I never yell or raise my voice and I never have and never will get physical with anyone, but I am a great multi-tasker and my brain is always going — even when I’m asleep! lol–so I’m always thinking ahead of the arguement/debate), and we would get some new perspective.
        I’ve been asked several times by some of the more “prominent” (for lack of a better word) people to go to meetings and make comments, but since our rescue/sanctuary is not a non-profit yet (we filed 9 months ago and are still waiting to hear back), my husband and I work 7 days a week in our business in order to support the 90 animals at our sanctuary (47 are horses, 3 are burros, we now have a mule too, and then of course there is our 1700#, 17 year old pet steer named “Karma”). We don’t feel right asking for donations when we aren’t a bonafide non-profit yet, so taking time off for meetings to “hopefully” be able to make a comment is too much of a crap shoot for me to take off work for. If on the other hand it was an organized meeting of some kind, I think more people could work around that to attend if they were actually participating.
        Anyway, good comments and I think new blood/people involved in the cause where we could all help one another gain experience on important issues we may not be strong in would be great.

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      • Yes, Mar, and there needs to be much more emphasis on preserving and what’s more restoring wild horses and burros in the wild. This is where the heart of the WFHBA is and this is where the government officials should be, instead of conniving to displace them by just about any known means from there legal herd areas (USDI-BLM) and territories (USDA-USFS). Again, Reserve Design is the sane and caring way to restore the wild equids to their rightful place and taking advantage of all the points of law that can and must be used for the wild equids and that are listed as part of the introduction of my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy.

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      • “there needs to be much more emphasis on preserving and what’s more restoring wild horses and burros in the wild. This is where the heart of the WFHBA is and this is where the government officials should be, instead of conniving to displace them by just about any known means from there legal herd areas (USDI-BLM) and territories (USDA-USFS)”

        Absolutely! Wild equines are supposed to be protected by law. Strengthening the law is necessary. Privatizing wild equines means they will no longer belong to the citizens but to “Wild Horse, INC.”

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  17. I sent my comments immediately yesterday and I have no fear of adding my name,address and phone number to them, which I did. I don’t give a f*&^ about their attempts at intimidation, I will be heard!

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    • I will stand with everyone here and I also have been on other sites, have sent my letters, faxs, e-mails and have gotten mad at my governments don’t give a rats a$$ attitude. I talk to everyone I can no matter where I go. Have grocery bags and magnetic signs on my auto all screaming ~ stop the roundups and stop horse slaughter ~ and like many here I have always given all my information when I send my complaints, this is my country and I will never be ashamed to fight for what is right and won’t be threatened when I do. I to agree we are headed for socialism if more of us do not stand together and fight for the freedoms that many have died to give us ~both human and animal ~ Yes united we will stand.

      There are a couple of things to remember__ Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but It’ll always get you the right ones.
      And be who you are and say what you feel, those who matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

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  18. The roundups need to be stopped…PERIOD.

    TWIN PEAKS ROUNDUP

    This was taken at the Litchfield BLM corral during the capture at Twin Peaks – this was the third day of the capture and these were obviously babies a couple of months old – calling for their mothers – and some were injured – and all were suffering – horrible things during the roundup that she saw with How could anyone NOT be dedicated after seeing this?

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      • OMG ! Only a sadistic person could do this to a young foal, wanting its mother!!!!!!!! I have to call this a demented evil thing to do !!!! Totally uncivilized !!!

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      • Agreed. Not only this but also the very many horrible things BLM did such spaying mares in the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge (a very inept name) that caused the deaths of at least 30 mares. Only sadists would do this.

        I am also proud to be a Horse Advocate – not that many people see the need it seems. Many more are caught up in caring about little puppies. It’s not that they don’t need any help, but there are many more numbers on their side.

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  19. I’ve seen the horses in the videos fight and die at the corral panels–fighting for their freedom in the only way they know. Fine, BLM–bring it.

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  20. We all need to keep our eye on the BIG goal and not get sidetracked over a variety of issues. As RT has pointed out, it’s time to come together under one leader, one goal, one focus. In Wicca it’s called a “cone of power” – hundreds (if not thousands) of people with one thought, one mind, one focus of energy that is raised and directed by one or a few. I personally found the veiled threat to my privacy/personal information laughable because I support other organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife. I just signed/sent comments concerning polar bear habitats thru their website and my name, address, and phone number was filled in automatically (cause I do this a lot! LOL)! And the memo/petition/opinion was being sent to the BLM!!!! So what the hell do I care if they are threatening to misuse my personal info…if not because of the wild horses, they can always nail me for supporting polar bears! My point is to stop being outraged about the “threat” they put out and realize how frigging panicked they really are about all this that they would use such a pathetic “club” to discourage the citizens of this country who have made it perfectly clear that we are ALL MAD and NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! What a great reminder it is that we really are making a hole in their BS that you could drive a Mack Truck through – and NOW they want to respond with veiled threats. Honey, the time for that is long past – we are united, we are determined, we are marching, faxing, phoning, posting, coming to get you! And you really do need to be afraid…BE VERY AFRAID!

    However, that’s just my opinion……LOL It’s always an honor to be part of this amazing group of people. Thanks! Blessed Be!

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    • Margo is right… This excellent result is because of the tremendous media attention that was paid to a lot of people who raised a stink….A stink that went right through the Jockey Club, put a women in jail (I hope), and made it less profitable to slaughter an entire breed of American Horse.
      Thanks to our leaders and heroes. A real victory.

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  21. This is one of those instances where people are already angry, coming out swinging, and BLM is assumed to be wrong all the time. And since BLM is in fact royally wreaking havoc upon the majority of HMAs — with their abysmal, irresponsible mismanagement of the wild horses and burros with artificially low Appropriate Management Levels, and calling wild horses “excess” when it is the cows and the other multiple users who are out of proportion, and the unrestrained abusive use of helicopters, and making continual decisions destructive to the wild horse and burro populations — we must and should be vocal about those things. But when they simply exercise the political process and we read them the riot act over that, we are the ones off base. Our contact information is a legitimate question when we are responding to a public document which is asking for feedback. Let’s please not make BLM wrong when for once they actually aren’t.

    I have a legal background which has taught me that there are protocols for specific processes, there is a formula that needs following. And the fact is not only is BLM well within their rights to ask commenters for identifying information; BLM would be remiss if they didn’t. I know this isn’t exactly an election, but think of it: They do have a right to know if the same person has sent in 20 letters, or if the people commenting even live in this country and are citizens.

    I sure don’t like to sound as though I am simply defending BLM; that is not my point. What I am defending is the clean political process, where we as citizens absolutely have a voice, but our representatives have a right to know who in their constituency is criticizing them. We may feel intimidated, but that statement is boilerplate, and they are rightly informing the public that the commenting process is a transparent one, and all the information in the comments can be and may well be made public. This is as it should be. It is not a big deal.

    This, “They can do nothing right” attitude works both ways. Do you know that some people in the BLM are afraid of advocates; they are afraid of being literally attacked? In fact, a couple of years ago the BLM holding facility in Litchfield, CA, had a bomb threat. Litchfield at that time had a little burro mascot who was friendly and well loved. One night someone broke into the facility and cut off this little boy’s head and left it there. Can you imagine the horror of that? The staff was very attached to that little burro. They were devastated. Now, you and I wouldn’t do anything like that, but in BLM’s mind, that was you and me. And we feed into their fear of advocates with this kind of hysteria over BLM simply asking for our contact information and stating it may be made public.

    Accusing BLM of exercising “intimidation tactics” by appropriately warning that all information may be made public is misrepresenting the situation. What I usually do is give my city and state and say, “Street address available upon request.”

    Christine, interfering at a roundup would be the worst possible thing to do. The wild horses are the ones who would pay. Roundups are tough enough on them without creating chaos at that very sensitive time. Then the advocates and horses would pay still more because BLM would then bar public observers entirely.

    I urge all of my committed fellows who are commenting here to please constructively channel those comments to insist that if roundups are going to occur, not one more should be permitted to take place without a HUMANE CARE STANDARD in place for the helicopter and roundup crew. We are just weeks away from summer roundups, friends.

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    • I understand what you are saying.. but it just is not working, at least not working quickly enough to keep wild horses and burros at a level of population that supports their continued existence. What do you suggest is constructive action that is different from what I have been doing for the past 2 years? They ignore us, unless they have to answer a court summons, and seem to be able to delay any action that would construe a HUMANE CARE STANDARD for years. I sent my fax and email before the last deadline. It was ignored…obviously.

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    • Just out of curiosity, were the criminals who took the life of the little burro ever identified? They should be with the full extent of the law coming down on them no matter who they are.

      I agree that advocates should band together and stay within perimeters allowed so as not hurt the effort. I’ve also read your blog that you so well write. Whereas, I cannot say I enjoyed it, you did convey a deep sense of remorse for these lives but commitment to their better future.

      Wild equines should be named our “National Mammals” and not the bison for reasons we all know including that the horse arose and evolved on the land mass we know as North America. I’ve written to my representatives and the NY Times regarding this. More people should write.

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    • Why bother changing policy in a broken program, deliberately hamstrung by the Burn’s Amendment, when the entire program needs to be changed from one of removals to one of pro-wild horse, creative management with a future?

      How stupid do you think we all are? A band aid on a gushing artery is what you propose.

      I propose we get a new doctor, operate and save the patient! We need to do so much more and this is an advocate driven project you speak of that has stalled out many folks who want to be working for total change and had no where else to turn but to the tunnel vision of policy change!!!!. It is not enough. That should be evident by now to all who have been in this for any length of time.

      A little change is not enough, Elyse. We need complete change. The tiny victories are not stopping the roundups. We need a complete victory!

      I repeat; the program needs to be changed from one of removals to one of pro-wild horse, creative management with a future! We are dragging our feet. We know what roundups are all about and what they do to our precious wild ones.

      I think all this talk of compromise is a waste of what little time we have left to make real and complete change that will save our wild ones.

      As each year passes and we have fewer horses in the wild it is obvious we are losing them and we must do more than just change policy to help BLM remove more of them! Or have better access to roundups that we do not want to be occurring at all!!!! mar

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  22. I have found any time I comment to a government agency I get this same statement on the issue of my personal information. It is not restricted to the BLM. When I express my opinion I will proudly take credit for it. So print away, big deal. If someone wants to stalk me they had better come prepared for hours upon endless hours of speeches on the abuse of the wild horses and those who have been caught in the slaughter pipeline. They would most likely either turn into a fellow advocate, run screaming from my house or fall into a deep coma.

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  23. I think the original objection was the fact that the notice was not issued in the proper time frame, which would be 30 days, is that correct?

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  24. We are just days away from a roundup of Wild Burros…June 4, 2012:

    “BLM to begin gather of wild burros from Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area in Arizona” (BLM Arizona, 5/14/12)

    The BLM’s Yuma Field Office plans to begin gathering 350 burros from the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area north of Yuma, Arizona, on Monday, June 4, 2012. BLM expects the gather to last approximately two weeks. The gather is part of ongoing management to maintain a healthy population of wild burros and horses on public lands in balance with their environment.
    http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/may/CF-gather-june.html
    Colorado River District
    Roxie Trost, District Manager
    Yuma Field Office
    John MacDonald, Field Manager
    2555 East Gila Ridge Road
    Yuma, AZ 85365
    Phone: 928-317-3200
    Fax 928-317-3250

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  25. Yes, R.T. the only way we can fight on an equal playing field is to have a national org where we all join as members with a small fee, depending on the level of membership, you know, monthly or yearly, and for those genuinely poor people it could be $5 a month or a yearly membership might get you a calendar and T-shirt. Regardless, unless we do this, we will have got no further in ten years. We are all spending hundreds, some thousands of dollars a year from the BLM roundups and racehorse industry fallout. I personally am sponsoring a BLM rescue from slaughter and now its foal, $250 a month, plus my other donations. A small amount each month or year could save us all a lot of fallout money. As a personal example last year a gov agency in Florida without our (court reporters) knowledge went to the legislature and cut our page rates. We were not prepared, had no representation, and suffered the consequences. The Florida court reporter’s assoc hired a lobbyist and they lobbied for us and in July we get our old page rates back. This is what we need, the best lobbyists and lawyers. I don’t know which attorneys the Western Watershed Project are using but they are winning all of their environmental lawsuits, some which have benefitted the wild horses. You already have a legal fund in place, R.T., and you and Laura are having some small successes in the courts. We have already organized to a degree with Simone’s efforts on FB, so we are getting there, and it is music to my ears to read you have something in the works. Perhaps you could team up with the Western Watershed Project, or at least use their attorneys once we can get this org off the ground. Having a big ego is okay and you probably need one to fight the gov and take on the battle. People can still have their own thing going. I am a member of the FL court reporters assoc and the national. You need both. We can have both and it has to start now. If you do this, R.T., I will be the first one to pay my membership. We could even have a rep from each state on the board, but this is what gets me motivated and excited because I know we can actually get somewhere and save the last remaining wild horses. Time is seriously running out. We need the best lobbyists and environmental lawyers, just like the Western Watershed Project.

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    • We also need a bridge from the BLM era to a new era with new legislation and funding from a government budget and from compensation due the wild horses from profit making corporations sitting on their lands.

      No one qualifies for the grants we can get because the groups in existence now are too small and specialized. Enlarging our base and creating a member driven and supported .org with goals that reach into the communities near existing HMAs would change all that and give us the ability to contract lawyers and train our own lobbyist because we do need new legislation.

      If possible we should attempt to bring down the Burn’s Amendment or at least point more attention at it again. After the election we do have a worry for all captive horses as BLM may attempt to sell them all as sale authority.

      I cannot stress more that we are not well organized and yet we need to be to progress this year ASAP. mar

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      • Absolutely agree! I’m up for another challenge, and I know a lot of other people are too……how and when can we get started on organizing, meeting somewhere, etc? There IS power in numbers and like-minded people working together toward common goals…..for instance, does anyone else notice that although the ranchers that have to lease private land to graze their cattle on at $14+ AUM may be disgruntled about the corporate welfare ranchers out here in the western states who only pay $1.35 AUM, they NEVER attack one another….no matter what, they ALWAYS stick together…..no “dividing and conquering” going on here…..right or wrong, they always stick together. That’s the kind of organization we need IMO; where although we won’t always agree completely on how horses should be managed in captivity and on the Open Range, we will work it out internally and not be divided in public, EVER.

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      • In order to have a large public group we need transparency. Of course the work people do can be semi on the quiet… but we need to be open.

        We need a meeting to just talk about attempting this. RT has done some work and we have to see what he has to say about it… and I am affiliated with a new group I see has these goals in mind. Plus, I am re-affiliated with a group that wants to get back to work, too. And I am all for having science win this war!

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  26. R. T., Your Force of the Horse Army is alive & well, & we all are ready for battle! We may be in many different areas of this country, but we don’t need to be going in different directions! If we continue nothing good will get done. Maybe we can use that fact of all of us being spread out all over, to attack them from all over, every which way, from the north, south, east, west, & the midwest! Just let us know what to do, & give us the word, & we’ll all pitch in to do our very best to help. I agree that even though America does have a lot more “freedoms” than some other countries, we are by far, not a completely free country, I think our government is trying to control more & more, & maybe it is heading towards socialism, who knows? But, we don’t have to take it, if you don’t like what you see, change it. Together, we can rise up & over-take them, & the BLM. Together, we can send a very powerful message, that we’re NOT going to take it anymore. If they destroy our wild horses & burros, they will also destroy us, our wild spirits, what made America in the first place. We are NOT afraid of THEM!! We’re ready!

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  27. I will fax and e-mail, but I also think calling our local or state reps re the privacy and question why a gov agency is acting in a rogue fashion. I am not afraid to post my info, bring it on, but their behaviour is quite sinister and alarming to say the least. But, please, I want to put my money in a national org and make it count and actually do something.
    Let’s bring it on!!!

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  28. Oh, yes, the first so many people to sign up for nat membership get a treat or something cool. And can we have one of those yearly meetings in a cool location every year and have a jolly good old time and write it off on taxes??!!!

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  29. I’M TOTALLY IN FAVOR OF UNITING. After all, that is what made this country great. I actually sent an email and fax before the May 29th cutoff, with name, address, driver’s license number, and voter ID number, just to make certain that they had everything they needed. And because my Senators and Congressman are ALWAYS against anything that I support, I copied the email and faxes to them. Tried to call but never can even leave a message. And received their standard BS email back. I marched, sat in, wore strange clothes, and wore my hair in a very unflattering style in the 60’s. I’m ready to express my displeasure again in the same civil disobedient ways. I don’t believe that they will run over us, or shoot us from the helicopters, but we could get arrested. That will certainly upset my lawyer son.
    If anyone here needs the info that they have, here it is;
    Paula Denmon
    972-849-4724
    501 N. Houston St
    201E
    Waxahachie, Tx 75165
    paulahdenmon@yahoo.com

    Thanks for the heads up, RT.

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  30. I also saw this as intimidation.
    My internet provider allows me to set up and support multiple email addresses.
    I’m going to set one up strictly for BLM correspondence.
    That way if the email address gets out, I’ll know that it was the BLM that released it.

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  31. I’ve contacted the ACLU in my state as well as Reno, NV regarding the privacy problem of personal information possibly being made public by the BLM, Carson City, NV. Hope either ACLU will respond.

    In the meantime good thoughts go to our little burros and our horses for the very difficult time and fright they will experience at the hands of the BLM.

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  32. No-Fear-Here. I am a wild horse advocate. There are *active advocates for all animals, either focused on one or two…and/or animals as a group. Is the government going to threaten all? I join you as a focused group. Grassroots. The effort starts small and builds in response t to the “protagonist.” Grassroot movements up the ante to match.

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  33. If you need some additional info for a comment, you might want to point out info from the Mustang Freedom Foundation. Carol Poole is working miracles and I’m not posting this to fundraise, but LOOK AT THE MUSTANGS PULLED FROM DAMN KILLPENS! Rosie and Sparky were pulled a week ago. It makes my blood boil that these magnificent horses are pulled from freedom and then have to face an effen slaughter truck. THIS HAS TO STOP. THIS HAS TO STOP NOW.
    “With the help of many donors on FB we have pulled 14 mustangs from the kill pens in OH and PA . 11 of them between September 2011 and January 2012. We have also helped facilitate the relocation of 10 others to safe havens or sanctuaries since January 2012. Today, we have 11 mustangs still waiting for their turn to go to sanctuary. (6 have a sanctuary to go to once we raise the funds to get them there….that is another fundraiser) Some live in foster care in NY, MD and VA and others are in boarding in VA and PA and of course I am not counting the 2 we have here in MA. The 6 we pulled in January and the 1 in February all need their teeth floated and their feet done, not to mention shots etc etc.” http://www.themustangfreedomfoundation.com/

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  34. Hi,

    I have never ever read that paragraph as more than,

    “If you CHOOSE to include your personal information in your email, understand that whatever you CHOOSE to include MAY become public.”

    I have never felt BLM is threatening anything. If anything they are alerting the commentors of the potential that their email MAY become public knowedge if it is included with the comment.

    This has never seemed any kind of threat to me. Many times I do not include any more than my name or perhaps State if I am feeling I do not want my email or address “out there.”

    This is one time, R.T. I feel I do not agree with your assessment of this simple disclaimer.

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  35. Yes, RT, I have perceived this implied threat for a long time. The wild horse and burro enemies are good at making such threats. I have often heard them directed at the public officials charged with upholding the WFHBA but now it is these officials who are threatening the General Public. This is subversion of government integrity at its worst. I will definitely be writing in to BLM on these outrageous helicopter roundups using my full identification and am proud to still know the difference between right and wrong and to have the courage to stand up when I see a gross wrong being perpetrated, such as is the case by the power mad establishment today in relation to the returned native horses and burros seeking to live as God intends them to live — freely and naturally where they fulfill their very benign and life-supportive role!

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    • I believe that the more of us that do stand up and provide our so-called “personal information” (which by the way really isn’t personal if we are on the Internet, buy products from online stores, participate on yahoo, google, aol, or whatever message boards, etc–our info became not “private” a long time ago pretty much), the more our opposition in whatever issue/s will know we are serious, we aren’t afraid of repercussions, and also that our elected officials who are supposed to represent ALL of us and not just the people who participate in the “one hand washes the other” policy of governing. They will also realize that they best get on board with the “99%” because our cages have been rattled and we aren’t going to sit idly by and have our wild horses and burros abused and murdered.
      This issue is going more and more mainstream I’ve noticed and I believe its in large part due to everyone that really cares holding reporters and journalists “feet to the fire” when they do crummy reporting that favors the minority on many of our horse issues, whether domestic horses or wild horses and burros. Its exciting to see this happening, so people being more bold is obviously frightening those who have been flying under the radar and/or trying to intimidate us while they ramp up their dirty work before we make them STOP–this is what happened in the late-’60’s right up until the 1971 protection act was passed when those that would remove and kill all the wild horses and burros saw the writing on the wall and knew that a protection act was inevitable because the public was being woken up by people like Wild Horse Annie, school children who hadn’t had a chance to be corrupted yet, and other wild horse and burro advocates.
      The same thing is happening now with public awareness regarding the against-the-law behavior of the BLM, the private business interest factions who are ripping off the tax payers and having us pay for them to run their businesses (and it irks me to no end when I see the ranchers driving their new model $70,000 trucks with their $75,000+ living quarter horse trailers with slideouts tooling down the highway going to a team roping/rodeo and all I can afford to drive are older model patched together trucks with an older bumper pull horse trailer—maybe if they said “thank you” every so often I might be pacified, but probably not!), the abuses by the contractors who do the helicopter roundups, the ranchers who get paid to “warehouse” wild horses and burros on their acreage and who knows how many horses go missing and are slaughtered, etc.
      Keep up the pressure everyone, because the what I usually call “uninformed, naive public” is becoming more educated everyday (because of all of us educating them while in line at the market, the bank, at little league games and everywhere we go) and they too are getting ready to break out of the cages they have quietly been kept in and will join with us on stopping those who want us sedate and passive, and are really afraid now that they know we are committed to stopping them from their unethical, immoral, and greedy plans.

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  36. Before the internet, back in the 70s when we made comments on Environmental assesments to BLM we gave them all our information. Then all the comments were put into a book form and the decision was made from there with complete transparency.

    Why can’t we form a group through democratic means? Vote for a board and projects and a ‘leader’? In my opinion to bring people together you need equality and the promise of mutual participation. We lack that at present. We have many talented people. Let them come forward and let us vote!

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  37. I recommend finding a good “Go To Meeting” that can be held on the web. It is a great way to view and comment as “one”. I Googled “Free Web Meetings” and found several. There is also a Free Trial of “Go to Meeting”……. Ultimately, if an organized meeting is scheduled to discuss issues, one could be permanent. This is a link to the free trial page if anyone would like to review http://www.gotomeeting.com/fec/?gclid=CIvR9I_Rt7ACFQc4nAodHzV97A

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    • Thanks for this suggestion, Christy Lee! As always none of this can happen with out the advocates wanting it. We will see what develops and I sure hope something does and that it will be all inclusive of the advocates and allow us a voice in our own campaign.

      Stopping the roundups is a priority. Even tho’ I also believe BLM will not stop the roundups unless we make them. Fighting for humane treatment is a little late. Those who are only pursuing improvements in the present program are, in my opinion, not onboard to get the wild ones free of BLM tyranny. This is where there is a split in the thinking of the advocacy. I do not believe we can save the wild ones and still have them under the ‘care’ of BLM.

      “Who needs BLM?” Remember I have been asking this for nearly three years. Many have tried to work with the agency and we keep coming up with nada. Lawsuits address little that affect the wild ones’ disenfranchisement and the Big Picture. Putting all our eggs in one basket stalled us out all last year and this time we lost was needed to diversify and organize. My pleas to do this fell on deaf ears here and with those I once worked with. We need new directions as well as the law suits and observations.

      Why is it the Humane Observer does not want to commit to stopping roundups but will tell us to continue to pursue working with BLM for changes? Why! We need to move beyond this repetition of no diversity and the support of one person in the field. Rather, we need to be enlarging our base and our activities and projects to support Ending Roundups Forever. This confuses people no end and I am one to say we need them to understand; YES, BLM will never stop unless we stop them. And one person is not the answer and never was. I am sorry anyone thought one person could be the answer. Laura Leigh is not able to do enough and other voices and eyes are needed in the field who have a better ability to use the knowledge and info gained there for stronger measures that will bring change. Change can come. Just not in such a narrow context.

      Please consider the diversity of needs the wild ones have and understand these needs must be met by us when we have won change. Please push ahead and address the diversity we need to accomplish the long term goal of ending roundups and changing management of the wild horses entirely. No offense meant; We need a dressage horse not a one trick pony! We need suppleness and impulsion. We want all of you to be part of the answer because your help is needed beyond these activities to merely change policy in the field or have access. By stopping the roundups no one has to fight for access. If we change management we do not have to fight policy!

      Many of us know that privatizing may be needed. Those who support changes to the present policies are not reaching far enough to save the wild ones on their lands or to protect them in LTH and to reverse the damage done. Private sanctuaries may soon be needed. An entire assessment of OUR Ability to create a new program is needed.

      Having a large and strong enough body of volunteers and supporters has been needed for years. We must become a really big .org in order to get big grants. We do not qualify for them yet, people!!!! I cannot stress this enough! Last year I began in the late winter working towards that goal. Those I worked with were not interested in this as they were comfortable doing what they did and did not even recognize the need to do MORE and BE MORE!

      Please consider who you are supporting and allow that we have to do more and cover more aspects of this campaign than ever in order to get from here to a new era of freedom and protection for the wild herds. With out CLOUT we are little and unorganized. Let’s change this! mar

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      • I also having been saying this for years, Nothing has changed for the Wild Mustangs in 14 years , that i know about , and all this petitioning, court case, faxing , calling the Pres , have not accomplish anything for the Mustang, we want him free , we must Unite fully and make it happen !!!!!! I have been ready for years and years…………..

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  38. Mar, you are so right. The roundups MUST be stopped. We definitely need a different form management. It ISN’T the Wild Horses and Burros that need to be managed.

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  39. We need to STOP THE ROUNDUPS. The BLM has not, and cannot, prove an EXCESS of wild horses, so they cannot legally remove the wild horses. They are now coming up with “Drought Mangement Plans” that don’t include any reduction of use of water by extractive industries, ONLY removing the wild horses. The roundups need to be stopped.

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  40. Some advocacy groups who are doing great things are nevertheless TOO BIG. They have everything but the kitchen sink: true animal activists, the actual wild horse and burro advocates; the rescues, the political activists — you name it. In some cases that can be a strength. But no matter how good they look to other advocates, they will have a PR problem getting a message across to the entrenched power structure.

    Such a diversity is only as strong as its “weakest link.”

    So if one member of such a conglomerate group is hated and vilified by any industry or government organizations, the good work and potential of the entire organization could be overlooked and disregarded. Ex: There has been a very negative response to HSUS among many people, including “Big Ag.” Many advocates feel HSUS don’t do enough for real animals. Others feel they are corrupt. You alienate a lot of diverse groups if you are aligned in any way with HSUS. Result: they turn a deaf ear. Likewise if you are an “animal activist.” Deaf ears are again turned.

    Wild horse and burro ambassadors may be required to bring group-identified priorities for desired change to our elected officials. Ambassadors have the ability to deliver a message.

    A Moratorium on Roundups could be first priority — but these contracts are 5 year contracts. Each year BLM gives the contractors the dates they need them to work, within the five-year contracts. To stop that runaway train would be amazing; but what can you put in front of a runaway train to make it stop? There has to be a good reason to stop. Then those capable of stopping the roundups have to be sold on the value of those reasons — scientific research, the development of eco-sanctuaries and the development of range design concepts.

    All the money they have is going to storage of the horses and helicopter roundups. This is an obvious failing at the very top of our government. There are Western governors and Senators and other power groups fueling this runaway train as they have been for decades. An entrenched power structure — big corporations with the majority of grazing rights on our public lands — the realities are daunting.

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    • Organizing with other groups and people who are not even wild horse and burro lovers/advocates I feel is a good idea—-you know, the other people who like to utilize and recreate on our public land like motorcycle riders, ATV riders, hikers, mountain bike (bicycle) riders, people who like to camp, rock hounds, etc. There are alot of people out there that may or may not care whether the wild horses and burros are on the Open Range or not, however, if they knew that except for the fact that the BLM wild horses and burros legally having to be allowed to ROAM and that is the primary reason that fences haven’t been put up everywhere, effectively fencing the public out (but also the reason for the eradication of the horses and burros by the powerful factions who WANT to put up fences to claim the range while still forcing we taxpayers to pay, and pay, and pay some more!), we would have lost OUR rights to the Open Range a long time ago. There were some meetings a few years back where some of the factions, mostly the cattle ranchers, were pushing for a “Wildland Designation” for the Open Range and I believe also Forest Service land. If that went/goes through, all of the wild horses and burros will be removed, the fences will go up everywhere, and the public will be cited for tresspassing for going on OUR public land OR we will be charged fees to use the land, but once again, we will still be forced to pay for private business interests to run their businesses.
      If we could band together with other groups and also individuals who aren’t necessarily horse and burro lovers per se, but do like to recreate on the public land, and strike a balance and agreement with them whereby we all don’t lose our rights to the publics land and an important factor in NOT losing our rights to the Open Range and other land is for the Wild Horses and Burros to be managed by an agency that is NOT the BLM and instead has the horses and burros best interests in the forefront as per the LAW, then we would have A LOT more people in the way of numbers on our side; the key factor here in keeping our public lands public are the wild horses and burros and the fact that they have to be allowed to ROAM. It used to be the same for the cattle, however, with more and more solar wells going in all over the range, the cattle ranchers want to fence off the publics land so they can rotate pastures. A lot of this issue is all about FENCES and control of the publics range land and also Forest Service land.
      The other large group of people we could get on board with us would be the motorists who drive on the highways in the Western States. I drive the highways nearly every night out in the rural areas of Northern Nevada, and while I normally like to drive the 65-75mph speed limit, there is no way I’m taking a chance on having a collision with a small calf, let alone an 1800# cow, whom are very dense and solid. Its like Mr. Toads Wild Ride out here after dark because what with cars coming toward us with just their regular headlights on, it still blinds you to an extent and the next thing you know a cow is in your headlights, stops and looks at you as you bear down on them. If you swerve, you take a chance with a head-on with another car (or semi truck), and if you swerve the other way, you fly off the road way into who knows what. Even just going 45 mph one night between Fallon and Silver Springs, I came around a bend and there were 4 head of cattle meandering across the highway. I clipped the hind leg of a yearling, drove up a ways and turned around to see if he/she was O.K. Luckily, I saw the cow walking down the enbankment with no limp or anything, but if I had been going 65, I probably would have collided with at least two cows. The cattle also often lie down on the asphalt in the winter to catch some warmth from the highway. I have NEVER seen a wild horse do that, ever. And there are also ways to make the wild horses stay away from areas of the highway they’ve been known to cross a lot; my husband and I have used some techniques and the horses stopped crossing in those spots and didn’t resume crossing again. My point here however is that Open Range cattle ranching is an archaic, antiquated practice that may have been fine before the 65 mph+ super highways were constructed, but nowadays, motorists are not only held hostage by the open range cattle ranching industry, our lives are also in jeopardy and there is NO liability for the rancher whatsoever because we are Open Range states and have no rights in that regard (and I’ve even heard of some motorists having to pay the rancher for the cow after it was killed in the collision!).
      Perhaps between the wild horse and burro lovers/advocates, the groups and people who like to recreate on the Open Range and Forest Service land, and all of us motorists in the Open Range states who are in jeopardy of injury and/or death if we collide with a cow or steer, that would be the numbers we need if WE ALL could get along and go forward for the common good….worth a try anyway because more of the public needs to get involved and be heard on this issue for us to over-rule the factions who have a chokehold on the Nation it would seem.

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      • “there are also ways to make the wild horses stay away from areas of the highway they’ve been known to cross a lot; my husband and I have used some techniques and the horses stopped crossing in those spots and didn’t resume crossing again.”

        Horses are smart. What are the techniques to stop them from crossing? Would they work for deer?

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      • We have a friend who has a Siberian Tiger sanctuary and we get the tiger poop, thin it out and spray it where we don’t want the horses to go–like their favorite highway spots where they like to cross (and also where some bad people try to lure them into corrals), and where horses have been hit and killed, around where we live. That tiger poop is rank, and the horses smell the predator in it too and will not go near anywhere we have put it. There are companies where there are heavy deer populations that spray as well.

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      • Laura Bell:

        Dwight Eisenhower (WWII general) said something like you have to cast a “wider net” — “make a problem bigger” in order to see solutions — use more synergies; open up the universe you have been working in. I absolutely agree with your feelings about a greater general “fan base” for the wild horses and burros. Our videographers and filmmakers, artists, writers, and bloggers bring the world of the free-roaming horses and burros to the public far better than the Bureau of Land Management ever has, in my opinion. And the public is everyone — including those in NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, etc.

        Our education about public lands doesn’t exist in our public schools. If some of us baby boomers would think about it, unless you grew up face to face with the American West, were you ever made aware of our wild horses and burros?

        The realities of BLM/FS management of all of our public lands loom over everything, and they have a vice grip on what happens, until the public tells them otherwise through legislation or other acceptable means of change.

        Unfortunately BLM’s response to “accommodating” off-roaders is to carve even more roads into the land. Maybe they serve as fire breaks, I don’t know. But free-roaming horses and burros will eat the scrub that cattle won’t and the result is less potential fire fuel out west. That is a plus for everyone.

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      • “But free-roaming horses and burros will eat the scrub that cattle won’t and the result is less potential fire fuel out west.”

        Very true — in fact grass is too rich for equines. I’ve read in one of RT’s posts of a study done that burros won’t even go there cattle and sheep graze. So there is no conflict, no competition for food either. This whole roundup thing is based on wrongful thinking and hate.

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  41. I had a Mr. Toad’s wild ride right here on our busy streets in Metro St. Louis yesterday: a four-year old had turned into traffic on a dune buggy and was driving wrong-way down a 5 lane thoroughfare; he then turned into another street — wrong lane of oncoming traffic (me and several others, including a cop car in full pursuit). He miraculously steered around the cars while also reaching up toward a cop (who was driving alongside) and crying. The story had a happy ending. Praise the Lord.

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  42. For those interested……………..There will be no Triple Crown attempt Saturday after I’ll Have Another was scratched Friday morning from the Belmont Stakes. he has a swollen left front leg, ………

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    • I’m hearing its tendonitis and that they are retiring him………..wondering if the outrage at the trainer still having horses racing even though he has so many investigations, suspensions, etc on-going is the real reason……..and/or I suspect we will find out because of the scrutiny surrounding the trainer, he couldn’t get away with fully drugging this horse and now the horse is coming off the meds (I mean, why retire him otherwise?) and is not able to race without falling apart/breaking down, and also couldn’t pass the drug testing for illegal meds and/or meds over certain legal limits. If the trainer has been guilty of so many other infractions, everyone better believe that he’s been drugging the hell out of this horse too and maybe, just maybe, advocates focusing the spotlight on this guy could perhaps be saving this horses life as Barbaro’s couldn’t be saved.

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  43. As much as I despise the horse racing industry because of what they do to thoroughbreds, I always end up watching the reruns of big races if nothing goes wrong during the race. No doubt, it is exciting. But the horses run their hearts out for people who care nothing about them. I’m not at all upset “I’ll have another” won’t be running. Hope he has a better life after this and nothing bad comes to him.

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    • I understand completely what you said, I have been a Horse racing fan since I was 5 yrs old, long before I knew about the bad things, but with saying that I believe all the wrong things can and will be corrected……….. I never can forget that the Huge issue to the good is thousands of Horses , are housed and fed and loved and taken good care of !!!Where would they all go??????? if not for Racing??????? This is a HUGE consideration for me, I love all Horses and want nothing bad that can be prevented ever to happen to any of them………………..

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      • They would breed LESS horses, so the horses wouldn’t need to go anywhere because they wouldn’t be born.
        And most of the racehorses do not have a great life; they are in their stalls approx. 23 hours a day, feed high energy grain, are fit as can be, in many cases they are in pain physically and also mentally and thats why they “weave”, “wind suck”, “stall walk”, kick walls repetitively, are often aggressive because they are so fit but have no where to expend their energy except for when they’re galloped, they are often drugged to the gills, and when they can’t run anymore, they are thrown out like garbage with most of them and end up being slaughtered…..and the list goes on and on.
        Except for the “Shining Stars”, the life of the average racehorse is not all that great and when I’ve gotten horses off the track and “let them down” from being “fit” and they are allowed to be turned out, roll in the dirt, run around barefoot, have horses in with them or right next to them for the social/herd aspects of being a horse, and a bunch of other things, THAT IS when they are happy, not while they’re racing.

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  44. I can only speak for Thistledown, there is a huge swimming pool there that the horses enjoy swimming in, at least 50 horses a day swim in the pool. It is great exercise for them and does help promote good muscles , and also soothes sore muscles, each horse is washed and dried….. so they do more then just stand in a stall, they also are worked out every morning on the track…………7am until 1030 am…………….I attend every time I can…………….

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    • Well, I can tell you there are NO pools at the jerk-water tracks…..I also base my opinion on having rehabbed thousands of off the track TB’s and QH’s, many whom had some very serious mental and emotional issues, stable vices that may or may not go away entirely, and also on-going physical issues too. Many that I’ve re-schooled have gone on to successful careers in hunters, dressage, 3-day eventing, etc, but some were not safe to handle by all but the most experienced handlers/riders and/or were not sound enough except for perhaps light riding.
      Yes, some racetracks are like luxery spas, however, that is not the norm for most of the horses that race, and Heaven forbid when they end up racing in Mexico where the rules are few and far between and the conditions are atrocious. Thoroughbred horse racing needs A LOT of reform and revamping before it can truly be called “The Sport of Kings” again…….they can start with the influx of some compassion, that would be an excellent beginning.

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      • Agree Laura, I only know what goes on here, and of course there are shady people also around here, but I must say I and many others watch Thistledown like Hawks……. But I wanted to let everyone know that they do more then just stand around in a barn all day………………. Most love and cherish the horses that they have……………….. Also they pay to swim there horses here…………………

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  45. Laura, I too have seen former TB racehorses “rescued” to a retirement home. This one was in New Hampshire. Beautiful. Huge barn, towering maple trees, owner dedicated. The horses run back and forth in the huge field, I could feel the JOY! They band together, and if one leaves and is returning, all horses gallop to the gate to greet with nickers & neighs. Oh my <3! The coats of the horses are *gleaming. Looks like velvet. And robust. Truly, seeing these horses was one of the momentous times of my life. And having my photo taken with the most beautiful filly. A true diva Sigh ~ ~

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  46. Apologies for posting off topic or interrupting conversation. I’m coming into this discussion a little late. I feel like the new kid in town here. I’ve not posted much so please bear with me. I’m new to the community but I am not new to the plight of the horses. My heart breaks for them.

    I have always thought I lacked substance worth sharing. I’m a nobody – just a quiet-spoken advocate for the horses I love so much. I’ve donated for the cause as I could, when I could through the years. I’ve called, faxed and sent letters. That is until life knocked me off my feet. I used hard times as an excuse to “give up.” The evil government entity refused to listen to the “big people” so why bother? I’m a nobody. I slid into my downward spiral of pain and despair; apathy. Then, I read a book. The moment I finished reading page 71 of Straight From The Horse’s Heart, I was in a different world. Time stood still. The different world I found myself in was back in my body, where I actually belong. That sounds weird, I know. Perhaps a better way to put it would be, “I was outa here” when the pain became too much to cohabitate with. That said, it’s wonderful to be home again. Feels like I should celebrate two birthdays. (Thanks for listening, R.T.) (Thanks, Terry, for the quiet, sustaining love of a wife.) You guys are awesome.

    R.T.’s book arrived on my birthday. (How appropriate is that!) The day after my birthday was, for the very first time, spent in the company of wild horses. I met Sax and Mica. I touched them, they moved me to tears. I fell in love. Their people are pretty cool, too. I met several of my heroes that day. Made a fool of myself because I am raw emotion and had forgotten how to be around people. Forgiven. Accepted. Maybe even loved. Amazing. I also met some of my native El Rito district wild ones. They are beautiful, and I have work to do. I exist for a reason! (I was there, too.)

    In response to Call to Action – flooding the BLM collectively, as one heart. All I can say is let it rain! I’m praying for a torrential downpour. And they can freeze brand me with my social security number for all I care.
    Deb

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    • You live not too far from me. I am near Pagosa Springs. Glad you went to Santa Fe. You are a wild horse warrior now, Deb. Welcome to the campaign. You are needed. mar

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  47. Errata: (Is that what it’s called?)
    I SEE ANOTHER ST. LOUIS wild horse warrior has commented above: you know who you are! lol

    We corresponded last year and I have been trying to contact you (via the Vigil website) and emails since then. Have you gotten my emails? I know you have a busy family life.

    If you want to work together as a local group, please write me back. I have located another warrior here locally. We would have a group of 3. If you are interested, please contact me and we can start an interest group that can make the issue better known here, raise money for authors to visit, and the like.

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