Speak Up for Wild Horses — Before It’s Too Late!

Source: Return to Freedom and endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“At Wild Horse Freedom Federation we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Return to Freedom and their call for immediate action to save our dwindling wild horse and burro herds.  You can make a difference and the time to make that difference is “right now’.

Please take the actions, listed below, and be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.” ~ R.T. Fitch, co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


Word from Washington, D.C., is that it has been too quiet from wild horse & burro supporters. We must turn that around – *NOW* — before thousands of wild horses and burros are lost to foreign slaughterhouses or felled by bullets paid for by our own tax dollars.

Here’s how you can help America’s wild horses & burros:

1) Call your representative and senators (you can find their phone numbers here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ ).

2) Politely identify yourself and your city.

3) Tell staff you are calling to urge your representative or senator to:

* oppose 2018 budget provisions that would allow BLM to euthanize (shoot) healthy horses and that would remove sale restrictions on captive wild horses and burros;

* support the Roybal-Allard/Dent Amendment in the 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill to continue the ban on horse slaughter;

* and support the bipartisan SAFE Act (HR 113), which would permanently ban horse slaughter in the United States and the transport of horses to slaughter.

4) Tell the staff member why these issues are important to you. For example, “I’m calling because I do not want my tax dollars used to kill wild horses or allow the return of slaughter to the United States.”

5) If you are unable to get through to your representatives’ D.C. number, call a district office. Phone numbers can be found on your representatives’ websites.

Other things you can do to help

  • Send a letter to your representatives through our website: https://returntofreedom.salsalabs.org/opposebudg…/index.html Please be sure to personalize the letter to increase the odds that it will be read.
  • Send a personal letter. Addresses can be found on your representatives’ websites.
  • Check your representatives’ website for upcoming town hall meetings or schedule a meeting with district staff to share your concerns.
  • Sign RTF’s anti-slaughter petition: https://returntofreedom.salsalabs.org/safeactpet…/index.html
  • Spread the word! Share this post and encourage your friends and family members to pick up the phone and play a part in protecting America’s wild horses and burros (Hit the SHARE Buttons Below)

Wild Horse Sanctuary Threatened by Wild Fires

Source: KOTATV.com

“Our good friends at Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary are again attacked by the natural nemesis of fire.  First it was a destructive fire that destroyed their barn and out buildings and now a natural occurring wild fire on their property, proper.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” ~ R.T.


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) – Great Plains Fire Information is reporting a five-acre fire – named the Cedar Fire – is burning at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in Fall River County.

At the time of this post, the lightning-caused fire is 40 percent contained.

Resources include a helicopter, state and federal crews, and local engines.

This is just one of six fires crews are working on Thursday; although it is the largest. Click on this link to the Great Plains Fire Information for more details.

Update:

The Cedar Fire that was burning on the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is controlled but crews are now working on another blaze.

Utah U.S. Attorney asks Judge to Toss County Wild Horse & Burro Suit

Source: Multiple

“…the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.”

BLM’s war on America’s wild horses and burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The U.S. Attorney for Utah Wednesday asked a federal judge to toss Utah’s Beaver County’s case alleging that federal managers have not done enough to address the assumed growing populations of native, wild horses.

The county alleges in a lawsuit filed last February that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management broke the law by failing to prevent, in their opinion, “explosive” population growth of wild horses. It also claims that birth control vaccines given to some herds didn’t do enough to address their problem, and that the horses threaten welfare grazing and its alleged positive impact on it’s tax base.

On Wednesday, John Huber’s office filed the motion to dismiss the suit in U.S. District Court in Utah, saying federal managers were not obligated to corral all federally protected wild horses and that the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.

The filing is the latest effort by Utah officials’ long running push to speed up wild horse roundups and to appease their federally subsidized grazing constituency. The state does not have the authority to act on its own to euthanize, deliver birth control or to put the horses in holding pens.

Counterpoint: Wild Horse and Burro advocates have claimed that native, wild horses are best managed on public lands with low cost birth control and appropriate documentation.  They further allege that the BLM has used just enough indiscriminate birth control to prove, by their reckoning, that it does not work.

The U.S. Department of the Interior previously argued the county had waived any such objections under a roundup agreement with the BLM.

Western Governors’ Association Endorses Gutting Endangered Species Act

PR from the Center for Biological Diversity

“…“can’t be a zoo for endangered species.”

WHITEFISH, Mont.— The Western Governors’ Association endorsed a policy resolution today that, if adopted into law, would substantially weaken the core of the Endangered Species Act.

Policy resolution 2017-11 recommends delaying lifesaving protections for at-risk wildlife and curtailing the ability of ordinary citizens to challenge agency decisions in court. The resolution would weaken critical habitat protections in areas needed for species recovery and tamper with the Act’s “best available science” mandate.

“All you varmints gonna DIE!”

This policy resolution was primarily driven by Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, who has spearheaded his “Species Conservation and Endangered Species Initiative” over the past two years to develop recommendations for changes to the Endangered Species Act. Last week Mead stated that the Act is “not good industry, it’s not good for business and, quite frankly, it’s not good for the species,” and that Wyoming “can’t be a zoo for endangered species.”

“The Western Governors’ Association resolution is another cynical attack on the Endangered Species Act that will be used by congressional Republicans to justify gutting this landmark conservation law,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Politicizing science, disrupting the citizen petition process and gutting critical habitat won’t help a single endangered species move an inch closer to recovery. These governors should be ashamed of themselves.”

In February more than 280 environmental, animal-protection, faith-based, outdoor-recreational and social-justice groups sent a letter to the National Governors Association urging the organization to oppose any upcoming legislative changes to the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the letter asks the national association not to support an ongoing effort led by the Western Governors’ Association to weaken the bedrock wildlife law.

On Tuesday California Gov. Jerry Brown sent a letter to the Western Governors’ Association opposing the resolution on the Endangered Species Act.

“Gov. Brown is absolutely correct that this resolution won’t help the recovery of endangered species at all,” said Hartl. “Republicans in Congress like Rob Bishop and John Barrasso aren’t interested in improving the Act — they want to see it disappear forever.”

In December Rep. Bishop (R-Utah) said “I would be happy to invalidate the Endangered Species Act” and wanted to pursue a repeal-and-replace strategy for legislation for the Act. Meanwhile Sen. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has sponsored or cosponsored eight bills attacking the Endangered Species Act since 2015 and voted against the Act nearly a dozen times since 2011.

“The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most successful conservation law and has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the plants and animals under its protection,” said Hartl. “This resolution is completely out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans that want to strengthen the Act and recognize that it has saved bald eagles, gray whales, American alligators and other iconic wildlife from the brink of extinction.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/endangered-species-act-06-28-2017.php

ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE VS. U.S. FOREST SERVICE SIDELINED

Source:  PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest

Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.

More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.

But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.  In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were moved out of the forest’s corral to a place aptly called Rattlesnake Pasture, which had not been occupied by horses for at least a decade because it had no reliable water source.

The animals were left unattended for four weeks without water during the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the area ranging from 105 to 112°F. In late June, someone finally checked and found all three animals dead from dehydration.

An internal Forest Service investigation produced a final “report” that was only one page long yet was a model of obfuscation. It concluded that:

“Contributing to this unfortunate outcome was a compilation of past practices, unknown policies, poor communication, failure of leadership, local fire conditions and accretion of duties to an inexperienced employee.”

In short, the Forest Service held no one to account. Greenlee County took a different view and in April 2017 filed nine misdemeanor animal cruelty counts stemming from the animals’ deaths against two Forest Service employees, including the district ranger (who has since retired) responsible for livestock care.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Neda DeMayo (Pres. & Founder) and Cory Golden (Advocacy Coordinator) of Return to Freedom, to tell you about the action needed to save tens of thousands of wild horses & burros from slaughter, Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/28/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 28, 2017

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show 

(HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

In honor of Mystic, one of the first stallions to arrive at Return to Freedom in 1999. He was captured during the total removal of 279 horses from Hart Mountain-Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Est. DOB 1984 – Captured 1998- died October 31 2014

Our guests today are Neda DeMayo, Founder and President, and Cory Golden, Advocacy & Communications Director, of Return to Freedom, dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America’s wild horses through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation.

Tonight our guests will talk about the need for ALL of us to urge Congress to stand against a presidential budget proposal that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of horses.

The president’s budget would slash the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program budget by 12%, about $9.7 million. The majority of the program’s budget goes to warehouse some 47,000 captured wild horses and burros living in short and long term government holding facilities.

The budget would cut those costs by allowing the BLM “to conduct sales without limitation,” eliminating the current policy of captured wild horses and burros being offered for sale without limitation when they reach 10 years of age or fail to be adopted three times. Many sold would likely fall into the hands of kill buyers.

Neda DeMayo, Founder and President of Return to Freedom

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/06/29/neda-demayo-founder-amp-pres-cory-golden-advocacy-of-return-to-freedom

1/8/17 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on BLM’s dangerous Radio Collar Study on the Adobe Town wild horses in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

2/15/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and donkey advocate David Duncan (Donkey Rescue World), talk about the killing of the world’s donkeys for ejiao. Listen HERE.

3/8/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, on the ejiao issue in Australia. Listen HERE.

4/12/17 – Dawn Vincent, Head of Communications for The Donkey Sanctuary UK, and Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. In January 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) issued a report titled “Under the Skin,” about the global demand for donkey skins used to produce a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao. Listen HERE.

5/24/17 – ELAINE NASH, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, and Palomino Armstrong, founder of CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, on the logistics of the rescue of the ISPMB horses and about the many wild horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/14/27 – Nancy Turner, Pres. of This Old Horse, a Minnesota nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses, and Elaine Nash, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization offering crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, talk about the ISPMB horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/21/17 – Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, on contamination of U.S. waters in perpetuity, caused by mining. Bonnie is co-author of the report Polluting the Future: How mining companies are polluting our nation’s waters in perpetuity. Listen HERE.

Hope Ryden, Wildlife Protector and Photographer, Dies at 87

SOURCE:  New York Times

Hope Ryden developed a passion for photography during breaks abroad as a Pan Am flight attendant in the 1950s.                      Credit Barbara Hill

by Sam Roberts

Hope Ryden, whose lifelike photographs of North American beavers, coyotes, mustangs and other wildlife helped elevate them into poster animals for conservation campaigns, died on June 18 in Hyannis, Mass. She was 87.

The cause was complications of hip surgery, her brother, Ernest E. Ryden, said.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

From Animal Welfare Institute: USDA Still Stonewalling on Access to Enforcement Records

” When BuzzFeed, which consulted with AWI for an April 28 story on the issue, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records pertaining to the site scrub, the USDA provided 1,771 pages of records with every single page completely blacked out—all information redacted.” – Animal Welfare Institute

SOURCE:  Animal Welfare Institute at awionline.org

After the public outcry regarding the US Department of Agriculture’s scrubbing of inspection records and other important enforcement documents from its website, the department began to restore selected records online. These included annual reports for research facilities and inspection reports for some registrants and licensees.

The bulk of the data remains missing, however. The USDA has not posted a single enforcement record (e.g., warning letter, stipulated penalty, or complaint) since August 2016. Also remaining offline are about two-thirds of the inspection reports that the USDA says “may contain personal information implicating the privacy interests of individuals and closely-held businesses.” These pertain to thousands of regulated entities (breeders, dealers, exhibitors, and others licensed or registered under the Animal Welfare Act).

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Feel Good Sunday: Step Aside Spielberg! Horses Film New Hit Ads!

Source: WarHorses (Women of Age Riding Horses)

We’re not horsin’ around, the horses actually filmed several new commercials promoting Lexington as “the Horse Capital of the World.” And why shouldn’t they, who would know better than the horses, right?

That’s exactly what Lexington marketing firm, Cornett decided while developing a new campaign for VisitLEX, Lexington’s public service organization which promotes tourism and growing the economy for the Bluegrass Region.

“One of the things we’ve been trying to do is share the different stories of Lexington … and with horse farms allowing fans on the grounds more, trying to show people what it actually looks like. They want to see what horses actually do. And we wanted to do it from a fun perspective,” said Gathan Borden, vice president of marketing for VisitLEX.

Pasture residents of Mill Ridge Farm were assigned the task of film maker. Vegas, Trip, Barbie, Jacaranda and Kittens Peak were fitted with a dog harness and GoPro then turned loose in their pasture to film. They couldn’t wait to show why the bluegrass region is such a great place to visit – straight from the horse’s mouth, or from their forehead.

Their work may not win them an Oscar but they’ve got a pretty good shot at an Addie award!


Photography Courtesy #sharethelex.com

http://womenofageridinghorses.com/2017/06/step-aside-spielberg-horses-film-new-hit-ads/

Journalists are in love with cowboys, and so wild horses will die.

Source:  Vickeryeckhoff.com

Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

by Vickery Eckhoff

I’ve made a subspecialty out of writing to journalists about wild horses and, more importantly, cattle.

Below is a letter I wrote to Matthew Shaer of Smithsonian, whose May 2017 article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,”  is typical of how journalists cover wild horses. It is also typical of what senators can expect to hear today, June 21, when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the Trump budget plan, which will lift Congress’ ban on removing protections for wild horses and burros and selling them for slaughter.

This is not journalism that speaks truth to power. My solution is to speak truth to journalism. Here’s my letter, dated May 5, 2017:

Dear Mr. Shaer,

I read your Smithsonian article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,” with interest. I have been writing about wild horse politics and roundups, as well as the livestock and slaughter industry and the related topic of subsidized public lands ranching since 2011 (for Forbes, AlterNet, Salon, Newsweek, HuffPo and my own web site, The Daily Pitchfork).

And I have to disagree completely with your article’s (and your sources’) claim of too many wild horses “eating ranchers out of house and home” and causing long-term damage to rangeland…

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.