Horse News

Roundups, the Plan to Extinction, and Calling the Senate

Open Letter from Charlotte Roe

Friends, Fans and Partners of the Wild Equids,

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Roundups

An ever-aggressive roundup season is underway.  On September 11, the BLM began capturing wild horses of the beloved Onaqui herd in Utah’s Skull Valley and Western Desert.  Earlier this month, the Forest Service continued its heartless plan to decimate the Devil’s Garden herd in California: 932 were removed last Fall, and the USFS is on its way to round up 500 more.  Last week in Nevada, the BLM began uprooting hundreds of wild burros in the Bullfrog Herd Management Area.  This Fall, it aims to remove 600 of an estimated 828 — nearly 3/4 of the herd.
1.  The Salt Lake Tribune published my opinion article on the Onaqui roundup and how it fits in with the BLM’s proposed “path to extinction” plan for America’s wild equids.  Please share and feel free to respond to the Tribune directly.
The BLM plans initially to “gather” 200 Onaqui horses; its long-term goal is to take up to 450, 3/4 of the estimated herd.  Wild Love Sanctuary in Utah suggests calling Lisa Reid, the designated BLM WHB Specialist, to express concern and find out what will happen to those captured.  Her telephone: 435/743-3128. Among many questions worth raising: How can the government justify limiting the AML to one that does not permit genetic sustainability, or to 1 horse per 1000 acres?  Why not expand the HMA boundaries?  Why is the BLM investing zero percent of its budget in safe, reversible forms of birth control, especially when other wild horse advocacy groups have offered to assist in expanding the current darting program?  (Note: Calling won’t change the roundup plans, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the heat on and demonstrate more eyes are watching.)
2.  An analysis by Bonnie Kohlrider ties the government’s design for the Devil’s Garden herd with the larger issue of its inhumane approaches to wild equid “population suppression” across the West.
3.  Although the roundup of wild burros near Beatty, Nevada has gone under the radar, it is one of the most devastating.  The Bullfrog HMA has 157,180 acres, yet the burros are deemed worthy of an AML of only 58-91, a level far below the number necessary for genetic viability. 
This target would leave an average of one burro per 2100 acres!  The BLM press release describes the roundup plans and includes a link to the Decision Record (DR):
The roundup is based on a 7 year old environmental assessment.  The EA’s claim that burros are harming wildlife and vegetation is based on thin air.  
Contacting Congress
Congress is now back “at work” after its 3-week recess.  Shortly the Senate will take up Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations.  This includes the BLM’s proposed management plan, which would authorize unprecedented roundups, a near-tripling of incarcerated wild horses and burros, and an open door for cruel, life-threatening sterilization surgeries. The National Cattlemen’s Association, industry lobbyists, HSUS and ASPCA have dubbed this “the Path Forward.”  We know it to be a Path to Extinction.  AWHC, The Cloud Foundation and partners are asking supporters to call their Senators this week and lt them know that this dangerous plan must be stopped.
Here’s a sample script from TCF:

It’s time for all of us to take action. Congress has just returned from a 5 week recess and the disastrous “management” plan that calls for the removal of over 100,000 wild horses and burros from the range over the next decade will soon be up for senate approval in the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior spending bill. They need your voice NOW.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plan, TCF responded in depth to the proposing organizations, you can read the detailed assessment on our website. (CLICK HERE).

We cannot wait or rely on anyone else to safeguard our wild herds. They desperately need a champion in the Senate, and our voices are the only way to make that happen. It’s time to put your passion into action and CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY.

Steps to take:


1. Hello, my name is ____________ and I live in _______________. My phone # is ______________. (Give all that info upfront for simplicity)

2. I am asking Senator _____________ to vote AGAINST funding the Dept. of Interior Appropriations Bill, Fiscal Year 2020, which includes the Livestock Lobby/ASPCA/HSUS plan to remove over 100,000 wild horses and burros from public lands in the next 10 yrs. Our wild herds are protected by federal law and should be managed ON THE RANGE, not warehoused at tax-payer expense. 

3. Again my name is ______________________, from ____(town)______. Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in.

As always, we ask you to be polite and courteous. We know this is an emotional issue and that your passion for our wild horses and burros runs as high as ours does.

Please, CALL your senators today!

4 replies »

  1. Some of these phone numbers are local office locations. If you can’t get through to one try another office location. They are all very busy right now

    Senator Udall (575) 234-0366
    Senator Merkley (503) 326-3386
    Senator Gardner Phone: (970) 352-5546 Phone:(719) 632-6706
    Senator Cortez Masto P: (702) 388-5020 P: (775) 686-5750
    Senator Rosen Phone 775-337-0110
    Senator Feinstein Phone: (415) 393-0707 : (619) 231-9712
    Senator Harris (619) 239 – 3884
    Senator Collins Main: (207) 780-3575 (207) 493-7873
    Senator Murkowski Phone: (907) 271-3735


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