Horse News

Reinventing Failed Wild Horse Advocacy To Save Wild Horses

By: William E. Simpson II

After more than 30-years of advocacy-activist work and more than $100-million spent in donation dollars by the gold-plated donation-funded non-profit wild horse activist organizations, native species American wild horses and burros are worse off than ever before.  Wild horses are now circling the genetic drain.

A powerful free-roaming wild stallion named ‘Majestic’ in the rugged mountains. Photo: William E. Simpson II

After more than 30-years of advocacy-activist work and more than $100-million spent in donation dollars by the gold-plated donation-funded non-profit wild horse activist organizations, native species American wild horses and burros are worse off than ever before.  Wild horses are now circling the genetic drain.

Sadly, that is the simple unvarnished truth, and it’s the most important and undeniable metric that everyone needs to understand if they truly want to save wild horses.

Failure can only turn into success if the core problem is determined unemotionally, aired and resolved, and only then, by applying a new solution to the unresolved problem.

And yes, this involves a paradigm-shift, which makes many people uncomfortable.

However, imagine how uncomfortable it is for the wild horses being rounded-up, split apart from their families and, it gets worse from there…

The Key Issues:

Growing American consumerism is funding the overarching power and influence of the juggernaut multinational corporate conglomerates who wield the political power stemming from their $10-Trillion in annual U.S. revenue, which is double that of the entire U.S. government annual budget of $4.9-Trillion (FY 2020).

Without doubt, it is the insatiable demand by American consumers for more products and services that is driving the increasing demands being placed upon public lands for the raw materials and resources to supply the industries providing many goods and services to American consumers.

Consumerism is the enemy; not ranchers, not farmers, consumers.

More at this article: ‘Economics vs. Wild Horses: A Management Conundrum with A Silver Lining’. https://rtfitchauthor.com/2021/12/10/economics-vs-wild-horses-a-management-conundrum-with-a-silver-lining/

The present situation in regard to the current management of wild horses by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) is that their management paradigm has been premised upon flawed and misrepresented facts and faked science. And that is arguably a function of the potent lobbying pressures placed upon politicians and these agencies (BLM/USFS) and their scientists by the lobbyists of the behemoth corporate conglomerates.

Here are just two of the Pinocchio-sized whoppers that are being promoted by both the BLM and the USFS in order to justify their current so-called management of wild horses:

  1. “Wild horses have no natural predators …” This is a false statement promoted by the BLM and USFS.

That false statement appears on page one (1) paragraph five (5) of the ‘Executive Summary’ of a so-called management plan that was presented to the Congress of The United States in writing titled;Report To Congress – Management Options For A Sustainable Wild Horse And Burro Program’

Only a corrupted or ignorant agency would propose to manage any resource starting with a lie like that.

Both empirical and scientific evidence prove that all of the apex predators in North America are the co-evolved natural predators of wild horses, and is beyond reproach [1]

  1. Wild horses are not a native species in North America.’ This incorrect statement has been debunked, yet it is currently being promoted by the Department of Interior (DOI), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the BLM and the USFS.

These agencies and others who repeat this science-fiction, are either intentionally misrepresenting the facts in order to justify their current course of management actions on wild horses, or it is the result of willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty.

The truth is that wild horses are in-fact native species wildlife in North America [2].

There is no doubt that through the convoluted twists and turns of wild horse management on public lands by the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service, combined with the lack of any genuine solution acceptable to all stakeholders being offered by any of the gold-plated tin-cup-rattling donation-funded wild horse activist organizations (not sanctuaries), wild horses are now being rounded-up in record numbers.

And making matters even worse is the misguided proffering and use of ‘selective breeding’ though the support and use of chemical contraception, using chemicals such as PZP and GonaCon on wild horses by many of the gold-plated donation-funded non-profit activists. And this form of selective breeding is accelerating the genetic erosion of native species American wild horses, along with the castration of wild stallions.

More about ‘selective breeding’ at this article: Wild Horses: Selective Breeding Using Porcine Zona Pellucida ‘PZP’.  https://rtfitchauthor.com/2021/12/13/wild-horses-selective-breeding-using-porcine-zona-pellucida-pzp/

Avoiding this hard, but true reality is a huge mistake that only harms the potential future and genetic survival of native species American wild horses.

As difficult as it is to address and admit such a massive failure, it must be done in order to rethink the past 30-years of mistakes. And to prevent the continuation of these deadly blunders.

Let’s not forget that in the early 1900’s there were two-million free roaming wild horses on American public lands. However, since then there have been epic upward shifts for consumer-driven products, many of which are derived from the natural resources that are found on public lands, included among them are livestock products.

Fact is, the relatively few wild horses remaining in Herd Management Areas (‘HMAs’) are made-up of small herd populations that are fast-becoming genetically non-viable. Many of these herd populations contain mares shot-full of chemicals that render them sterile, combined with geldings (stallions that have been castrated).

In other words; the general results are small, genetically non-viable herds of non-breeding adult wild horses that have few or no foals before they die… they are essentially the ‘walking dead’. This is highly unnatural!

Anyone who buys into the fraud that ‘PZP/GonaCon is a necessary measure’ is also buying into these two falsehoods:

  1. Wild horses have no natural predators, so they over populate.
  2. The infertility caused by PZP and GonaCon is reversible.

As cited and supported by leading published science, wild horses do in fact have co-evolved predators (bears, mountain lions, wolves and coyotes).

And as to the lie that PZP or GonaCon is reversible; selective breeding causes genetic erosion that is not reversible. Additionally, the use of these chemicals also comes with serious adverse side effects.

More: Wild Horses & Wild Horse Management: Non-profit Organizations Wrong – Chemical Use On Wildlife Populations Flawed

One of many important considerations, is for the safety, health and welfare of humans, livestock and native species ungulates (Cervidae). That consideration is that horses are resistant to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is 100% fatal in all cases.

American wild horses arguably hold the most complete genetic reservoir of horse genetics, since they haven’t been subjected to as much in-breeding for desired traits as the domestic breeds.

This excerpt from National Institute of Health explains a bit more:

Prion diseases, a protein misfolded disorder (PMD) caused by misfolded prion protein (PrPSc), present in a wide variety of hosts, ranging from ungulates to humans. To date, prion infections have not been reported in horses, which are well-known as prion disease-resistant animals. Several studies have attempted to identify distinctive features in the prion protein of horses compared to prion disease-susceptible animals, without the study on polymorphisms of the horse prion protein gene (PRNP)

As it turns-out, scientists don’t even fully understand why horses are resistant to CWD, and the answer to that question is of paramount importance, given both economic and health implications for humans and animals.

Yet, perhaps the best source of research data is the older genetic record that is stored in the genes of our living native species American wild horses, which are now being subjected to genetic erosion that is resulting from the use of non-reversible selective breeding via the use of chemical contraception on mares and the castration of stallions.

Identifying problems with the current wild horse advocacy paradigm

When you’re remodeling a home that has a termite infestation, the first step is to exterminate the termites. In the case at hand, that means calling-out what’s wrong.

The house of wild horse advocates is infested with a kind of termite… parasitic people who are addicted to the free-money from donations, and who debatably put the priority of wild horses in second place, below their own egos and greed for a steady stream of cash handouts…

Considering that such a paradigm has evolved to some extent or another, results in the intentionally perpetuation of the plight of wild horses via genetically dangerous compromises and accompanying mismanagement of wild horses. This in-turn, continues the need for a stream of donations to the gold-plated non-profit activist orgs. (not sanctuaries).

Some of these people are, by their own accounting (IRS Form 990) making a handsome living off the plight of American wild horses and the Range War, and they don’t want that gravy train to end…

And so, any genuine solution for wild horses, such as ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’ that would end the misery and plight of native species American wild horses and burros is avoided, ignored and/or discredited.

Instead of embracing a genuine solution and helping to promote it, even after their own obvious failure resulting in the largest roundups ever, they keep the controversy of wild horse management going by promoting highly-flawed band-aids that keeps their egos and purses well-fed.

Wild horses and burros desperately require a reincarnation of the wild horse advocacy; advocates need to clean-house and launch a fresh, new advocacy paradigm.

American wild horses require supporters who are armed-with an intelligent strategy and workable plan for addressing the current situation with wild horses, which is acceptable to ALL stakeholders, including the stakeholders who are wielding the $10-Trillion/year influence.

Wild horses and burros need advocates who are able to discern the difference between hard inescapable facts and what’s truly in the very highest best interests of long-term wild horse conservation, thereby keeping them wild and free and beyond meddling profiteers. This is the core intention of the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Burro and Horse Protection Act.

Idealism will not save American wild horses!

A plan that works for a majority of stakeholders, keeps wild horses wild and free without compromising them genetically and also benefits forests, wildlife, watersheds and fisheries is the kind of practical plan that can work.

We needn’t spend another $100-million in donations as we watch wild horses circle-the-genetic drain; Wild Horse Fire Brigade is cost-effective and is both ecologically and economically appropriate. And there is both existing law, and potential future law that allows the implementation of Wild Horse Fire Brigade almost immediately.

Wild horse advocates who want to see wild horses running-free and safe from roundups and chemicals, should think critically, and abandon paradigms that have failed for the past 30-years!

There is plan… and it’s not all that complicated. It’s called Wild Horse Fire Brigade. It’s a plan that comes to us from Mother Nature and the wild horses themselves. [3]

References:

  1. On Natural Selection of Wild Equids via Natural Predators:

Knopff KH, Knopff AA, Kortello A, Boyce MS. (2010). Cougar Kill Rate and Prey Composition in a Multiprey System. Journal of Wildlife Management 74(7):000–000; 2010; DOI: 10.2193/2009-314. Downloaded at:  http://sci-northern.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/CougarKillRateandPreyComposition.pdf

French, Brett. (2010, December 9). Ferocious appetites: Study finds mountain lions may be eating more than previously believed. Billings Gazette. Retrieved from:
http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/article_d9cf046b-2c47-539f-a267-972e72e570b6.html

Turner JW Jr and Morrison ML. (2001). Influence of Predation by Mountain Lions on Numbers and Survivorship of a Feral Horse Population. The Southwestern Naturalist. Vol. 46, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 183-190. Available at:
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3672527?uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101018535373

Greger, Paul D. and Romney, Evan M. (1999). High foal mortality limits growth of a desert feral horse population in Nevada. Great Basin Naturalist: Vol. 59: No. 4, Article 10. Available at:  https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/gbn/vol59/iss4/10

French, Brett. (2004, August 12). Lions blamed for deaths of Pryor foals. Billings Gazette. Retrieved from:
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/lions-blamed-for-deaths-of-pryor-foals/article_ab0b2389-31a1-5110-8fb5-a21e9f753de7.htm

2. Macmaster University: Ancient DNA Discovery Reveals Woolly Mammoths, Wild Horses Survived Thousands of Years Longer Than Believed https://scitechdaily.com/ancient-dna-discovery-reveals-woolly-mammoths-wild-horses-survived-thousands-of-years-longer-than-believed/

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California 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.” In Defense of Animals, et al. v. U.S. Dept. Interior, et al., No. 12-17804, *6 (9th Cir. May 12, 2014).

Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife: https://awionline.org/content/wild-horses-native-north-american-wildlife

MANAGED TO EXTINCTION? A 40th Anniversary Legal Forum assessing the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act; TRANSCRIPT: ROSS MACPHEE, Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-zNiS1uqCWZ9PimwJpaVdY7NC57hxdGKDCLXbCEYb8c/edit

  1. Existing Law, and Potential Amendment Available To Allow Rewilding as well as Relocating Wild Horses:

(1). Amending Section 1339 of the ‘1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act’ (Public Law 92-195) to allow the BLM and USFS to relocate and rewild wild horses into designated wilderness areas that are both economically and ecologically appropriate.

Here is the current language that must be addressed:

  • 1339. Limitation of Authority:
    “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to relocate wild free-roaming horses or burros to areas of the public lands where they do not presently exist.”

Proposed amended language (by William E. Simpson II), for § 1339. Limitation of Authority:

“Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to relocate wild free-roaming horses or burros to areas of the public lands where they do not presently exist, with the exception that; in Wilderness Areas managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and/or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) containing forests and/or other natural resources at risk of catastrophic wildfire; the BLM and the USFS shall under this Act have authority to re-wild American wild horses and burros from off-range holding facilities and/or relocate wild horses and burros from existing Herd Management Areas into such Wilderness Areas where it is ecologically and economically appropriate.”

(2). Using existing law:

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (HUMANE TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS SEC. 116) provides for the transfer of excess wild horses and burros currently in holding to other federal, state, and local government agencies for use as work animals. They retain what are arguably better protections than under the current management of the BLM.

Process:

Under the foregoing existing law: Once a town, county or state agency has secured a commitment to obtain their horses under this existing law, then through a negotiated agreement with a state, federal or private wilderness land manager(s), aka executing a Memorandum of Agreement (‘MOU’) that details a wildfire grazing plan specific to the area of deployment, the horses can be deployed into the wilderness where they will immediately and cost-effectively resume their evolutionary roles as keystone herbivores, reducing grass and brush fuels that power catastrophic wildfire.

  1. R. 133—Page 358-359
    HUMANE TRANSFER AND TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
    SEC. 419.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, or the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to land administered by the Forest Service (referred to in this section as the “Secretary concerned”), may transfer excess wild horses and burros that have been removed from land administered by the Secretary concerned to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals.

(b) The Secretary concerned may make a transfer under sub-section (a) immediately on the request of a Federal, State, or local government agency.

(c) An excess wild horse or burro transferred under subsection (a) shall lose status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro (as defined in section 2 of Public Law 92–195 (commonly known as the ‘Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act’) (16 U.S.C. 1332)).

(d) A Federal, State, or local government agency receiving an excess wild horse or burro pursuant to subsection (a) shall not (1) destroy the horse or burro in a manner that results in the destruction of the horse or burro into a commercial product; (2) sell or otherwise transfer the horse or burro in a manner that results in the destruction of the horse or burro for processing into a commercial product; or (3) euthanize the horse or burro, except on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian in a case of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.

(e) Amounts appropriated by this Act shall not be available for (1) the destruction of any healthy, unadopted, and wild horse or burro under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned (including a contractor); or (2) the sale of a wild horse or burro that results in the destruction of the wild horse or burro for processing into a commercial product.

You can find more information and a draft-outline for a legislative bill at: https://www.WildHorseFireBrigade.com

5 replies »

  1. I believe Mr Simpson has done incredible work on the horses. I also believe that nothing will happen until there is a public outcry on behalf of the horses. I just don’t see anyone making that happen. That’s why the current situation stays in place.

    The powerful people behind getting rid of the horses will stop at nothing until they’re forced to. The only way you get the kind of support for the horses is a series of deliberate and very public actions that force the public to take note. Then you can put out your plan. I just don’t see any horse advocates willing to take on such actions. At least Robert Redford and Bruce Springsteen have put a film about the horses. I don’t see any horse advocates even mentioning it.

    Like

  2. We’re getting ready to launch a national social media campaign for Wild Horse Fire Brigade. Editing the footage now, more to come…

    Like

  3. Where I live, we don’t even have to entertain these things. We have people here that just go out and shoot our wild horses, when ever they like. They have been doing that for years now. According to what I am told, the powers that be have no leads on who keeps doing this. People start up donations to help put a bounty on those that do the shooting. Years pass, nothing happens and where does that money go? That question currently has no straight answer that I am aware of. Someone should be accountable but that’s just part of the corruption. On my Facebook account, I saw that recently more horses were shot and now there is 10k bounty being offered. In my “Memories” that comes up every day, was almost the exact same slaughtering of horses last year. Nothing was done then either. I have been told that these investigations have no leads. If these were humans, they would have long ago hired detectives who would have tracked these people down and brought them to justice. But nothing happens, because they are horses. When is the buck going to stop?

    Liked by 1 person

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