“A call for help for the wild horses of Utah”
Down and dirty; our Wild Horse Freedom Federation office line received a phone call yesterday that went something like this, “Howdy, my name is ‘John D. Taxpayer’ and I live in Utah where the dang cattlemen and crooked politicians are doing everything in their power to sweep the last of our state’s wild horses right off from the map and no one is listening to me. They need to stop and listen to the rest of us taxpayers who grew up with the horses and love the beauty they bring to our wild lands. Will you call me back, please? Will you listen to me? Can you help me so that I can help the horses? Please!”
The voice was one of an older gentleman, stressed with both frustration and age. The tone and words spoke directly to my heart so I called and I listened.
I felt as if I was listening to a more mature version of myself except this concerned citizen did not depend upon the internet or technology to come to any conclusions on the demise of our national icons; instead he simply depended upon his own eyes for documenting the tragedy that has been playing out before him over the course of his life.
There was a mixture of pain and anguish in his words as he explained how cattle interests controlled county governments, Iron county for example, and how the lure for beef money had made its way all the way up to the capitol where the governor is now pushing to take control of the federal public lands so that he and his cow petting buddies can ensure that any and all forage goes to the bovines and bovines alone.
He vented and I listened, I made no attempt to interrupt, it brought tears to my eyes because this is EXACTLY why we do what we do what we do. The pain must stop, the carnage must cease and these treasures of the range need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy and to appreciate.
When he had finished, I reinforced the fact that we shared his concerns and that we were working as best that we can with the limited resources available to us while being fully aware that the horses and burros are living on borrowed time. I stated that the numbers used by the cattlemen and politicians were flawed and only used to incite fear and concern in the general public. We discussed the fact that the cattle and sheep, which degrade the range horribly, out number the horses over 400 to 1. We compared notes and if we were face to face, we probably would have hugged each other for strength.
He then asked what he could do and I recommended that he share his observations with family, friends, the local press and anyone that would listen to him, even if they thought he was crazy…the word needs to get out.
Then I asked if I could call upon him, from time to time, to check up on both he and the horses and to use him as a “boots on the ground” observer and I heard his voice lift when he said I could.
I hung up with the hair on my arms standing up and a cool sensation blowing across the back of my neck with a bizarre inner feeling that I had just seen a ghost, or rather heard a ghost.
As I sat at my desk and pondered his words it came to me that I was listening to myself perhaps some 10 to 20 years later and I shivered.
I don’t want to be in that much pain at that time in my life; I want to take a rest, reflect and enjoy my equine family. I don’t want to feel like no one is listening to me and that no one cares. I do not want to be in that boat at that time…no way. And the only way to prevent that from happening is to fix the problem now, to turn up the volume and use the energy of other motivated and energized advocates to see this through; we need to stop it.
Let’s make it so.
Below are several stories on the topic that drove this gentleman to call us, we will provide the links so that you can view and read at your own pace. But time is running out for the horses in Utah and we need to move and we need to move fast.
That caller needs to know that he does not stand alone, nor do you.
Keep the faith, my friends!