Horse News

Wild Horses & Burros Maintain Protections Says the US Senate

by R.T. Fitch, president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Finally, a bit of good news for our wild horses and burros; yesterday, November 20th 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft version of their Interior Appropriations Bill with wording that maintains the current protection of our wild horses and burros, the same wording that the House stripped from their bill several months ago.

A big shout out of thanks to Senators Murkowski, Udall and the entire committee for their commitment to uphold the wishes and desires of the American people.

Likewise, many thanks to all of you who are the voices of the voiceless who have worked tirelessly to reach out to your elected officials to ensure that their voting represented what YOU, the tax paying American citizens, wanted versus a lobbying private interest group.

But the fight is not over, now the House and Senate will meet to hash out their differences and produce a final Bill so our attention will turn to the principles on the House’s committee. The information on the committee’s make up should be forth coming within days and when it is available, we will be back up on our soapbox asking for your help.

Stay tuned and thank you for your support of the wild ones and for allowing us to continue the fight for both the equines and for you. Your kind donations are always greatly appreciated and used wisely for the benefit of the horses and burros.

Keep the Faith.

18 replies »

  1. Could anyone who has it post the actual Senate language that was passed yesterday? Did it include or exclude the Stewart Amendment?

    Also please post the next committee’s members so we can contact the right people at the right time about our concerns!


  2. Thank you RT Fitch and “IcySpots” we the public would like to see the “actual Senate language” and also the names of those who are voting pro slaughter so that we all may remember to vote them out out when they come up for re-election<<<<<<

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a relief!!!
    But we are far from over with this fight and we MUST get the information out to the public and the lawmakers that BLM’s population is fraudulent and therefore they cannot capture them legally because they are NOT “excess” and also that by law they must be allowed to live on their original herd area lands. Soooooooooooooooo still much work to be done!


    • (excerpt)
      “Appropriations herein made shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products…”


      • BEST WORDS EVER: “or for the sale of…” which is what I feared was missing. Probably should also include language about giving them away, too. Whew.


  4. The Senate action shows our targeted calls, faxes and combined efforts
    worked. Now comes the hard part: not letting slack in the campaign, & focusing on the House Interior Approp. Subcommittee. Senator Tom Udall deserves our thanks & an offer of help in carrying this through..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From the Wild Equid League of Colorado, looks like four key people may make the next decisions:

    “Good news from the Hill: Yesterday, the two leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Lisa Murkowski and Tom Udall, reported out that chamber’s draft version of the 2018 Interior Department budget maintaining existing protections for wild equines. Unlike the House-passed version, which authorizes “euthanizing” or selling to slaughter captive mustangs and burros and destroying those on the range that the BLM deems to be “excess,” the Senate language rejects the murderous plan proposed by the White House and Interior.

    Wild Equid Leaguers & the many organizations with which we coalesce targeted the Senate Appropriations Comm. with faxes and serial phone calls. A loud “neigh” & bray for all of you who spoke out urging solutions, not mass murder. Be assured, the “phone rumble” campaign worked! Thanks also to our legislative advisors Elise Lowe-Vaughn and Marc Katz, who met with key appropriations staffers on the Hill and promoted a unified strategy among key advocates. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) played the crucial role in the Senate action. Please call his office at 202 224-6621 and say thanks for retaining protections for America’s wild equines, and let him know we’re counting on him to see this through until the final budget is passed
    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and deserves a call of appreciation as well: 202 224-6665.

    We’re not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. The Senate and House must reconcile differences on this issue by early December. If the budget battle doesn’t end in a continuing resolution, there’s a good chance that four members of Congress will decide the issue: Murkowski & Udall as chair & ranking member of Senate Appropriations, and Reps. Chris Stewart (R-UT) & Betty McCollum (D-Minn) as chair and vice-chair of the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee. Chris Stewart is the chief Congressional proponent of equine slaughter and getting rid of wild horses. During the House markup, McCollum, though a member of the House Animal Welfare Caucus, was not a strong voice for wild equines. If you live in her Minnesota district, or know anyone from Minnesota, please advise. Her telephone is 202 225-6631. (She represents St. Paul, Ramsey county and most of Washington County.)

    The Cloud Foundation benefit “Mustang Training in Action” clinic that WELCO co-sponsored last Saturday was a great success. We had a full house, the round pen & arena rocked with trainer Teaghan Weir (who hatched the idea), mustangs Piccolo, Carmelita and Swasey, Teaghan’s champion paint Traveler, and TCF Director Ginger Kathrens filled everyone in on the perils facing wild equines and why we fight for their place on the range. Thanks for all who made this happen and to the Sun Pony Ranch which hosted the event in Berthoud.

    To all, a safe and joyful time of giving thanks, and of continuing the fight for those we love!”


  6. For starters…..
    STOP the Roundups and Removals
    RETURN the 22 Plus Million Acres (a conservative estimate) that have “disappeared” from Legal Herd Areas
    RELEASE the captives back to the range where they belong and implement an “On the Range” management program as should have been done from the beginning

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I found a copy of the 2011 Report to Congress that was authored by two wild horse advocates Carla Waters and Cynthia McDonald. There is a screen shot of the USGS blurb that states that 88,000 acres were allotted for the wild horse and burro program. They point out that that the BLM changed the number several times around 2005, which makes sense in the context of other public lands issues coming to light. After 2005, the number went to 51MIL and then back to 55million Sept. 2009 newsletter. So if we go with the 88, the horses are missing roughly 50 mil acres Congress originally provided.

    There is no doubt at all that there is a plan for the eradication of America’s wild horses and burros. There is also no doubt that several people got together sometime in 1975 or 1976 to change, bury, ignore the natural history of the United States to deny that the horse evolved here for 55 million yrs. to the horse did not appear until after the Spanish brought it to the Americas. This time period is fairly accurate b/c Dr. Julian Huxley, UNESCO’s first DG, founder of the British Nature Conservancy, and the IUCN, passed away in 1975. Therefore, it is unlikely that members of the IUCN would have broadcast their intent to change the thoroughly evidentiary based conclusion that Dr. Huxley’s grandfather arrived at in 1876, and that is that the story of horse evolution will be told in N. America, not in Europe. The second reason for this approximate dating is that the younger Mr. Gore from TN had been elected to the House in 1976, so that EO 11987, The Exotic Organism’s Act, issues by President Carter in May 1977 would be used to try to remove livestock from coastal areas as well as in the West. Wayne Hage is the name that comes to mind for this period as far as ranchers go, while the coastal barrier island horses are first discusses in 1980 using the language of EO 11987. This EO was used in 1986 to remove feral livestock from Cape Lookout National Seashore, and again in 1996 to dramatically reduce the number of wild horses at Shackleford Banks. After a detailed letter from Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, the idea that the NPS could reduce the size of the Shackleford Banks horses to a “representative” herd size of 30 or 60 rather than a genetically viable herd number carefully managed at between 120 to 130, due to the idea that they were non-native was well debunked. The Shackleford horses were the first herd of horses to return to the shores of their homeland when the Spanish returned them.

    There is little to like about the DOI. If Secretary Zinke wants to accomplish something worthwhile, he needs to understand that we understand that we have been deceived repeatedly by the USFWS, USNPS, USFS, USBLM. USDOD. Our national scientific organizations such as the National Academies of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences have repeatedly tried to rewrite the first 150 to 200 yrs. of scientific study on the evolution of horse in N. America.

    We’ve been fairly faithful to the narrative of wild horses versus cows, but it doesn’t look like that is the most likely the case. When our elected officials can earn almost $200 million dollars for selling some of our strategic resources to a foreign country, our horses have bigger problems than cows. But the truth is that our horses were here throughout time going through the same climate and ecological changes that formed the valuable natural resource wealth of the West as well as those resources in the East and offshore—since our shorelines are much higher now than during glacial periods. We need to get through this budget year, and then work on seeing if someone get input into the reorganization of the federal land management organization. They have gotten away with nothing but deceit for 50 yrs. That is way too long.


    • HH, did you mean 80 MILLION acres (not 80 thousand) in the first instance here?

      FWIW, this model closely parallels that used on our indigenous peoples.

      ISOLATE (fragment, constantly reducing allowed space)

      RELOCATE (ignore treaties, laws, precedents, ethics, if there are mineral or land profit opportunities others can exploit)

      EDUCATE (attempt to convert to something other than who they are by forced removals of youngsters, and educating them to suit some percieved better “fit” with society, while destroying their natural familial cultures)

      EXTERMINATE (those who don’t fit the fabricated “norms” — old, weak, handicapped in some way, or simply smart or spirited — are quietly killed off with the tacit approval of our goverment)

      Are we doomed to repeat past mistakes forever? Can we as a people learn and change, and in time? Surely we are a better society than this.


      • Our wild horses “story” sure does sound a lot like the American Indian’s story! Almost word for word…
        How sad that there is so much fear of any species that is wild and free – wonder why that is. Why is there such a need to manage and control every living creature? Especially since humans do such crappy job of it!

        Liked by 1 person

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