By Debbie Coffey as published on the PPJ Gazette
The Mustang “Tombstone” Gets a New Name
When you read Madeleine Pickens letter to friends and supporters yesterday (9/11/2012), did any of you catch the fact that she called her planned Mustang Monument a “Wild Horse Eco-resort?” So when did this plan go from being a wild horse eco-sanctuary to an eco-resort?
(Not to even mention that the word “monument” can mean something erected as a memorial or as a marker at a grave or tombstone.)
Mrs. Pickens’ explains that her eco-resort plan will supposedly reduce the numbers of wild horses held in short term holding pens. Let’s do the math. If you take 900 horses out of short term holding to put in this eco-resort, but then you round up all of the horses off of the 3 HMAs, and they are then sent to short term holding, then haven’t you just added about the same amount of horses TO short term holding as you took out? Maybe you’ve even added more.
Mrs. Pickens wants us to believe this eco-resort “serves the greater good for our wild horses.” Let’s see, they’ve all had their “nuts” chopped off and will live with the same sex for the rest of their lives, without any children around them. Is this good? It’s certainly not natural.
In this letter Mrs. Pickens states “Already there are many people on both sides of this issue making assumptions and concluding the worst possible scenarios based on ‘proposed’ alternatives in the scoping documents.” (Doesn’t this sound dismissive of REAL concerns?) Well, yes, to some of us, removing horses from 3 Herd Management Areas and knowing that these 3 Herd Management Areas will then most likely be zeroed out and NOT Herd Management Areas anymore, and replaced with an eco-RESORT, is an assumption. But we see a pattern to what the BLM is doing. We can foresee that the BLM is removing ALL of the wild horses and slowly replacing them with non-reproducing herds.
Maybe the BLM and Mrs. Pickens would assume we wouldn’t think ahead and assume anything about Mrs. Pickens eco-resort plan and BLM’s other eco-sanctuary plans. Maybe they, and the BLM, didn’t assume anyone would care enough to spend many hours poring over Dr. Gus Cothran’s genetic analysis reports (thank you Bonnie Kohleriter, who is almost blind by now because she prepared spreadsheets that will soon be available to the public) and realize that the herds that are left are either not viable or at risk of losing viability. But we do. We see what the BLM is doing. When we look at the facts, we see that the worst case scenario IS happening.
Mrs. Pickens also claims “I will never accept any proposed plan that threatens the life of a wild horse. We will do everything we can to hold all the existing horses harmless” But, the BLM’s eco-sanctuary plans DO threaten the lives of wild horses when they plan to remove more horses off of their federally protected HMAs. When the BLM removes horses from the HMAs, it DOES threaten the lives of horses during roundups and in holding facilities. We see this in person with our own eyes at roundups and when we look at the BLM’s own facility reports. Most importantly, the eco-sanctuaries could be on public lands that are NOT HMAs. And they should be, so that other wild horses won’t have to be removed from HMAs.
Mrs. Pickens’ letter states: “If any horses are required to moved, they will have a permanent home at Mustang Monument.” Really? Even those wild horses that will be removed from the 3 HMAs after your eco-resort is up and running? Will they also be left in their family bands?
Mrs. Pickens states “I hope you will continue to put your trust and faith in me and Saving Americas Mustangs to find the best way to do this… I pledge to do this in the most benign way possible, always bearing in mind that the ultimate goal is free-roaming wild horses but so many that will never have that experience again without the creation of Mustang Monument.”
This isn’t about putting trust and faith in you, it’s about holding the BLM accountable for the details and asking for their transparency.
It is NOT benign is that the public is not yet aware of all the details, which by BLM’s own admission are not even formulated yet. This is like buying a car without taking a test drive.
Is Mrs. Pickens going to make the trust, which will detail what will happen to the eco-resort in the future, available to the public, so that we can read it? Otherwise, this is asking you to go along with and support something you know little about. Would you sign any legal document without reading it?
Mrs. Pickens says that the “Mustang Monument is going to seem like a “dream come true” to the wild horses who go there. Will it be a dream come true when the remaining wild horses on these 3 HMAs are rounded up? Or will it be the usual nightmare that roundups are, and be a part of a BLM plan to whitewash the fact that it’s removing all of the wild horses off of their HMAs.
Mrs. Pickens states “we must work with the BLM to reach a conclusion that involves compromise.” Why do we have to compromise? This is all paid for with tax dollars (including BLM’s salaries, lest they forget), and we’ve already had to compromise way too much.
Madeleine Pickens states that “the ultimate goal is free-roaming wild horses” but the millions of dollars spent for this eco-resort would have gone a long way in legally stopping the BLM from removing the wild horses off of their HMAs. Otherwise, this is just a shell game.
Read the Pickens letter, Below
Dear Friends & Supporters,
In keeping with my commitment to keep you informed about the progress and events related to our plans for the Mustang Monument: Wild Horse Eco-resort, I feel it is important to provide this update.
We let you know a few weeks ago about the BLM’s announcement that they were proceeding with the project and now they have just completed three scoping meetings in northern Nevada. These meetings provided an opportunity for the public to come in and meet with representatives from the BLM and provide their input on the scoping document that was released by the BLM.
In a project of this capacity and magnitude, there are many elements and a number of alternatives that have been set forth by the BLM to accomplish the final result: the creation of the eco-resort for wild horses. Already there are many people on both sides of this issue making assumptions and concluding the worst possible scenarios based on “proposed” alternatives in the scoping documents.
I want you to understand that since I launched this project nearly five years ago, it has always been my intent to do something good for the wild horses, more specifically, those that are standing in cattle pens and other cramped facilities across this country, some for two to three years. In order to accomplish this, we must work with the BLM to reach a conclusion that involves compromise, like any major undertaking does. But I will never accept any proposed plan that threatens the life of a wild horse. We will do everything we can to hold all the existing horses harmless and if any horses are required to moved, they will have a permanent home at Mustang Monument.
To my knowledge, no other individual or group has ever launched a plan to reduce the numbers of wild horses held in short term holding pens, other than periodic adoptions that are falling significantly short of their goals, thus allowing the numbers of horses in these facilities to grow to over 12,000. For the hundreds of horses that will be allowed to leave these facilities and return to their natural habitat in the eco-resort in the short term, and the thousands that may have that opportunity in the longer run, Mustang Monument is going to seem like a dream come true. It serves the greater good for our wild horses in a way few other plans or proposed projects ever have or ever could.
I hope you will continue to put your trust and faith in me and Saving Americas Mustangs to find the best way to do this and restore some dignity and semblance of their real life to thousands of wild horses currently in places where all hope must seem to be lost. I pledge to do this in the most benign way possible, always bearing in mind that the ultimate goal is free-roaming wild horses but so many that will never have that experience again without the creation of Mustang Monument.
Madeleine Pickens & all the wild mustangs
- Pickens Wild Horse Plan: Betrayed? (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Update: WHFF Founders Carry “Stop the Wild Horse & Burro Stampedes” Message to DC (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Wild Horse and Burro Bait-Trapping: Going … Going … Gone (rtfitchauthor.com)
- BLM Succeeds in Decimating Cloud the Wild Stallion’s Herd, AGAIN! (rtfitchauthor.com)