Message from Equine Advocates
Take Action: Our Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Help
The Bureau of Land Management is still working to get Congressional approval for its “Path Forward” plan. We at Equine Advocates (and Wild Horse Freedom Federation) strongly oppose this plan, as it is more of a path “backward” for our nation’s Wild Horses and Burros. The plan calls for cruel roundups and dangerous sterilization techniques, all in an effort to diminish the viability of the remaining Wild Horse population – which, according to experts, will ultimately result in their extinction. Read our full statement on The Path Forward.
You can customize this letter template in your own words to send to your elected officials to let them know how you feel about The Path Forward and the freedom of America’s Wild Horses and Burros:
Dear **Elected Official**
I am one of your constituents. I am asking that you not approve, and that you, in fact, oppose, “The Path Forward,” a disastrous plan from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which will hurt and not help America’s remaining Wild Horse and Burro herds. It calls for the continuation of brutal and unnecessary round-ups of wild horses and burros on our Public Lands, as well as the ghoulish and cruel sterilization of wild mares – something that should never be done. These devastating plans, if approved by Congress, would completely destroy the viability of the herds and these animals would merely become shells of the wild equines they were meant to be, living in freedom on the rangelands where they belong. I am imploring you as a Member of Congress to act now to protect and preserve these majestic creatures and their ability to live wild and free as nature intended. They were not meant to be captured and domesticated.
If this plan goes forward and a reported 220,000 animals are rounded up over time, the end result will be the ultimate destruction of our Wild Horse and Burro herds. They will start to die off and disappear from the American landscape forever. We simply cannot allow that to happen.
I am asking you to please do the following:
- Make sure within that Appropriations language that the BLM is required to protect their natural and wild behaviors.
- Also, make sure that humane management and fertility control does not include barbaric sterilization operations of the mares or the gelding of stallions which would destroy the wildness and natural instincts of these animals and destroy the viability of our wild herds.
This expensive and wasteful plan at $1 billion to the American taxpayer does nothing except to ensure the destruction of our Wild Horses and Burros. It must be rejected. We need a more progressive and humane management plan where the BLM is finally forced to take responsibility and do its job, rather than just rounding these animals up and milking the American taxpayer, especially since most Americans support the protection and preservation of our wild herds as signed into law in 1971. We do not want what is called for in this cruel and immoral “plan.” These animals do not and should never be captured where countless die during the process or end up dying in slaughterhouses or from abuse and neglect in “homes” where the people have no skill or idea as to how to care for them properly. These animals do not belong in captivity. Period!
“The Path Forward” from the BLM calls for $1 billion to round-up, capture and imprison 220,000 horses in government-holding facilities…and the language in the report says that these costs may increase. This is one of the worst, most reckless and completely thoughtless agendas of theirs and it must be soundly and unequivocally rejected.
“The Path Backward,” as we call it, is based on false and unscientific information that completely goes against the historic Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and the sentiment of the American people. Please take action now. We are at a crossroads as to whether our Wild Horses and Burros will be able to survive, living in freedom and with dignity or whether the BLM and special interests that want these animals removed from the range get what they want which will definitely lead to their destruction and extinction. This is what I and millions of others believe will happen if this disastrous plan is allowed to go forward.
Categories: Horse News, Horse Slaughter, The Force of the Horse, Wild Burros, Wild Horses/Mustangs
The following letter remains unanswered:
US House Interior Chairman Raul Grijalva
1511 longworth HOB, Washington DC, 2015
Fac 202 225 1541
Re : Wild horse rewilding and budget reduction options
Honorable Chairman Raul Grijalva,
Thank you for being among the bipartisan group of lawmakers sounding alarms that would accelerate the capture of 130,000 wild horses across the West over the next 10 years. Please accept my research results providing for Better Management Practices (BMPs)and opportunities for funding the rewilding, preservation and conservation of our Nation’s National Treasure of American native Wild Horses and Burros.
Under operation of existing laws it feasible to reduce the massive spending bill being prepared for final congressional action AND redistribute the Nevada concentrated herd numbers by maximizing basic wildlife laws and Pittman-Robertson Act funding.
1. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Acting Director Casey Hammond told the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in Boise ID on July 11, 2019, that lethal methods to control wild horse herds options are off the table.
However, on Sept. 26, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $35 million for a massive reduction of America’s relatively minor wild horse/burro herds scattered throughout the West through an arrogant misinformation blitz, including the film “Horse Rich…https://www.recordcourier.com/opinion/wild-horse-and-burro-plan-not-a-way-forward/
2. Current capture policies facilitate the prohibited CONVERSION of government property; specifically detailed in the 1980 case. United States v. Hughes (see Animal Legal & Historical Center https://www.animallaw.info › case › united-states-v-hughes. The capture, sale, and warehousing conversion of Wild horses and burros has created an entire cottage industry at a cost the tax payer has rallied against.
3. Options for rewilding are also provided, even mandated, under existing wildlife laws and regulations.
Even if there was any iota of accuracy to the alleged claim of 90,000 excess wild horses in 10 Western states, that number would represent the least amount of grazers on the public domain. For instance, there are 80,000 elk in the state of Utah alone and one million elk nationwide in addition to deer, antelope and the multitude of livestock grazers.
4. There is a plethora of quantifiable public landscapes available for relocation/rewilding Wild horse herds whose distinct population segments are protected by ESA special status species law.
One out of every 10 acres of wildlife habitat in the United States is managed by the BLM National System of Public lands – approximately 245 million acres (380,000 square miles) in 23 states in addition to county and state multiple-use habitat designations and wildlife preserves
5.https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/signed_so_3356.pdf The order specifies that DOI bureaus prioritize “active habitat-management projects and funding that contribute to achieving wildlife population objectives” and to “review and use the best available science or other relevant projects to avoid or minimize potential negative impacts on wildlife.”
6. Federal Aid for Wildlife Restoration via the Pittman-Robertson Act was passed in 1937. Revenues generated from these excise taxes are apportioned to state wildlife agencies for their conservation efforts, https://www.animallaw.info/statute/us-funding-state-pittman-roberson-act-chapter-5b-wildlife-restoration#669a (8) the term “wildlife-restoration project” includes the wildlife conservation and restoration program and means the selection, restoration, rehabilitation, and improvement of areas of land or water adaptable as feeding, resting, or breeding places for wildlife, including acquisition of such areas or estates or interests therein as are suitable or capable of being made suitable therefor, and the construction thereon or therein of such works as may be necessary to make them available for such purposes and also including such research into problems of wildlife management as may be necessary to efficient administration affecting wildlife resources, and such preliminary or incidental costs and expenses as may be incurred in and about such projects.
7. In May 2003 Proposed Nevada Test and Training Range RMP and Final EIS Comment 87, BLM Responded,
“As to their special status, BLM states “The issue of a wild horse as an invasive species is moot since the 1971 WHBA gave wild free-roaming horses “special” status based on their heritage of assisting man settle the “west.”
Subsequently, In Defense of Animals, v. U.S. Dept. Interior, #12-17804, May 12, 2014) the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also recognized wild horses as native species, explaining that BLM “establishes Appropriate Management Levels(AMLs)for populations of native species – including wild horses, burros, and other wildlife – and introduced animals, such as livestock.”
8. The court in Mt. States v Hodel found that “In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife.”
Therefore, Amendments to Resource management plans (RMPs) are necessary and imperative to correct habitat deficiencies, maintain and rewild herds. This is a basic process of redistribution and rewilding of warehoused wildlife.
9. Most succinctly on the issue of management in her MEMORANDUM OPINION ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, District Judge stated:
“BLM’s authority to “manage” wild free-roaming horses and burros is expressly made subject to “the provisions of this chapter[,]” 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a), including the provision that “[i]t is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture….” Id.§ 1331. It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild free-roaming horses and burros to “manage” them, Congress intended to permit the animals’ custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by capturing and removing from the wild the very animals that Congress sought to protect from being captured and removed from the wild. It is difficult to think of a “management activity” that is farther from a “minimal feasible level” than removal.
10. The 1976 Supreme Court (Kleppe v New Mexico) wildlife decision confirmed the wildlife horse/burro status. The Court orderd the RETURN of wild burros to the range. Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall stated the importance of the government’s interest in preserving herds IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT, yet BLM did not and still will refuses to add the known inventory all ranges, or the basic migratory nature of FREE ROAMING WILD HORSE AND BURRO HERDS. Yet forty five years following the Kleppe wildlife decision, the Secretary of DOI continually neglects to implement Congressional mandates to amend Resource Management Plans to increase and sustain/maintain grazing ranges or restore and re-wild heritage herd INVENTORIES. This cumulative affect is fatally flawed.
11. Omitted from Resource Management plans is compliance with BLM and ESA special status species regulations, As a protected native special status species Wild horses and burros should have the same ESA available habitats for relocation, and, designated HMAs as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), managed by the Bureau of Land Management under FLPMA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_of_Critical_Environmental_Concern,
On Sep 28, 2011 (See Craters AR at 16698. Memorandum Decision & Order) The court addresses “sensitive” species pursuant to BLM’s 2001 Special Status Species Policy. This Policy requires that “sensitive” species be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as candidate species for listing under the ESA. It called on BLM managers to “obtain and use the best available information deemed necessary to evaluate the status of special status species in areas affected by land use.
CRS Report: 95-778 – Habitat Modification and the Endangered Species Act: Land also may be acquired under section 5 of the ESA to prevent “modification of land that is not yet but may in the future become habitat for an endangered or threatened species.” (case law: Sweet Home Chapter)
12.In achieving Standards for Rangeland Health, BLM must consider the numbers of all forage dependent wildlife as a priority substantiated by the Endangered Species Act. Refer to BLM manual Section which provides policy and procedural guidance on the identification, evaluation, and designation of areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC ‘s)in the development, revision, and amendment of resource management plans (RMP’s)and amendments of management framework plans not yet replaced by RMP’s. The materials are formerly found at .8 in Manual Section 1617. Annual Status Reports are required. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK232366/
13. Herd areas were reservations/withdrawals of public land defined by FLPMA that provide critical habitat for special status species. Similar purposes are provided by ACECs. https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/lup/35315/47944/52063/ACEC_Guidance_BLM.pdf
Distinct population segments and/or evolutionarily significant units (ESU) What are CUs and why are they important? . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185076/
“Broadly speaking, CUs are population units identified within species that are used to help guide management and conservation efforts. Identifying CUs is an essential first step in conservation so that managers and policymakers know the boundaries of the population units that they are trying to conserve.
The two most commonly discussed conservation units are evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) and management units (MUs). Moreover, major intraspecific units, such as ESUs, are granted legal protection in many countries, including the USA (under the Endangered Species Act), Canada (Species at Risk Act), and Australia (Endangered Species Protection Act).”
Robin S. Waples codified the ESU in the administrative context in 1991, defining it as a population unit that, first, “[i]s substantially reproductively isolated from other conspecific population units,” and, second, “[r]epresents an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.”” Though the biological literature has elaborated the ESU into several related concepts, Waples’s 1991 definition has remained in force at NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service.
Genetically unique and isolated populations represent independent evolutionary units that contribute important diversity to the species as a whole, and thus merit individual protection. Genetic data plainly underlie the ESU; such information can simultaneously estimate the degree of reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness. Genetic data are not, however, a prerequisite for ESU identification. If direct observation or geographic separation indicates reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness, for example, the agency can designate an ESU with no genetic data at all.
15. In Mar of 2016 Karen.Miner@wildlife.ca.gov stated “ When and if available scientific information convinces the experts that determine the checklist of native species to North America that Equus caballus should be considered as an indigenous species, they will make the change in the next revision to the list.” YET to date, all responsible agencies have blatantly ignored the widely published mitochondrial DNA evidence of origin and geographic distinctions i.e. https://awionline.org/content/wild-horses-native-north-american-wildlife
16. Consultation is the primary purpose of NEPA, a process that is systematically circumvented in major capture actions. Consultation and application of Programmatic Agreements are necessary and imperative to prevent the costly fatally flawed Resource Management plans. https://www.achp.gov/BLM/State%20Protocols. The following information from the BLM Federal Preservation Officer Ranel Stephenson Capron, Washington DC Office:
“ Ms. Hayden, You may find the document on our webpage here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/cultural-heritage-and-paleontology/archaeology/archaeology-in-blm/preservation-board under the National Programmatic Agreement link. https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/National%20Programmatic%20Agreement.pdf. The 2012 document was signed by Robert Abbey, the BLM Director at the time.”
Compare the cumulative cost of extraction, and warehousing of captured wild horses & burros vs re-wilding/relocation to MAINTAIN existing INVENTORIES as required by law.
Thank you again Congressman Grijalva for your kind concern
Yours very truly,
Kathleen Hayden (email@example.com)
Co-founder, Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza, non profit
PO Box 64, Baker Nv 89311
Cambridge Press, PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD: Wild Horses Are Cultural Resources – Volume 18 Issue 3 – Kathleen Hayden
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How can you look at these beautiful animals and want to kill them?
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This is an extremely perverse and in-your-face dismantling and mockery of the WFHBA and counts along with the betrayal of the Native Americans, slaughter of the Buffalo, Wolves, Grizzlies, Passenger Pigeons, as an outrage to all decency. So hypocritical and smug. We must stop this outrage!
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