Wild Horses Heading For Extinction: The Bureau Of Land Management And The Facts

as published Western Journalism

“Any person or any agency who says that wild horses are not native to North America is just uneducated…”

First of all, let’s set the record straight:

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild horses are an American native species, according to Ross MacPhee, Ph.D., Curator of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Given this man’s impeccable credentials and experience, his findings are beyond reproach or debate.

Here is an article by Dr. MacPhee that is crystal-clear: Wild horses are native to America.

This finding is also shared by many other highly credible scientists, including Dr. Jay F. Kirkpatrick.

Any person or any agency who says that wild horses are not native to North America is just uneducated, misinformed or intentionally lying for some reason, usually motivated by greed, mindlessly repeating hearsay or following rank-and-file orders, as is the case with some people at the Bureau of Land Management.

The BLM is at great risk of seriously and irreversibly damaging its reputation across the board, rightly and permanently earning the overall mistrust of Americans by sticking with the lie that wild horses are not native to America. It is just a flat-out lie.

Americans are sick and tired of government agencies lying to them, and that in part was what propelled Donald J. Trump to the presidency. It’s sad that some good people who work at the BLM are tainted by association and because in some cases they are not resisting what they know is wrong, because of job security and retribution issues at the BLM.

But the real question on a personal level is what is more important: honor and integrity, or money? Money comes and goes, while honor and integrity are not fungible assets.

Is there malfeasance at the BLM? Here is just a small sampling of easily-discovered examples online:

Malfeasance, malfeasance, malfeasance, malfeasance and more malfeasance.

Making matters worse is that some managers of national monument lands, some of which land is the ancient native habitat for some small herds of symbiotic wild horses, have adopted the policy of excluding wild horses from monument lands, using the defective reasoning and excuse that wild horses are not a native species (the lie).

Given all that is at stake, including the health of the ecosystems, I believe this is a most unwise policy. And when you lose the trust of the American people, it’s just a matter of time before that house of cards falls in on itself.

Because wild horses co-evolved in North America over the millennia, many complex symbiotic mutualisms evolved between horses and many species of plants and animals on the plains and in our forests as a result of the horse’s presence in those ecosystems in North America and elsewhere.

And make no mistake, even though some people get carried away with environmental obsessions, I don’t believe that I can legitimately be accused of such, given my published stance on intelligent (as opposed to emotional) public-land management and use, including the harvesting of game animals, predator control, and proper management of wild horses through range design and fair-handed land allocations, sticking to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

It’s shocking that our Congress set aside over 50 million acres on the basis of scientific recommendations, cogent animal management experience and, most importantly, the will of the American people, only later to have an overlord at the BLM unilaterally roll back the land allocation under the Act to just over 30 million acres, taking roughly 20 million for their own purposes. Theft? Malfeasance?

Congress enacted the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971, an Act of Congress expressing the will of the majority of the American people that these animals be preserved. But we seem to have a serious problem related to some power-hungry overlords running this agency fiefdom known as the BLM.

So when Obama expanded the monuments in America, I stood against that expansion (in many places) because in addition to the abuse of the Antiquities Act, it also expanded unreasonable exclusion areas for our American wild horses because of the false claim by the BLM that the wild horse is not native. Now, in addition to the horses being squeezed out of their federally-designated lands by the BLM, the monument lands are also off-limits.

So now, thanks to Obama, the exclusion areas for native wild horses include many niche habitats where the animals are critically important to the health of the forests and watersheds. I have expounded further on that in an article you can read here.

Due to excessive fuel loading of ungrazed wild grasses and shrubs — things horses eat — the removal of wild horses, the loss of deer populations through predator mismanagement, and reckless forest management practices, over a million acres of our forests in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere have been burning to the dirt on nearly an annual basis. Much of the wildfire danger stems from abundant dry grasses and could be abated simply by allowing the wild horses back where they belong. It is logical and most reasonable that a portion of grasses be grazed by native mammals, including wild horses.

In other words, the BLM is driving our American native wild horses and burros into extinction by eliminating access to all of their traditional American habitats that extend back through the millennia.

More clues as to the lies of the BLM:

There are horse fossils from past millennia right here in America, in Oregon and other states. There are horse fossils on the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. And even an amateur geologist knows that it takes thousands of years for fossils to form. This means that the horse fossils found in the American landscape are from the horses that evolved right here in America centuries before the Vikings and Spanish explorers arrived on the shores of the North American continent. So the entire fairy tale being promoted by the BLM, U.S. Forestry Service and others about horses being “introduced” onto the North American continent is just a load of cow dung that’s stinking up what should be a more honest debate about government malfeasance and mismanagement of public lands and animals.

If the BLM continues in its malfeasance and in its programs of misinformation aimed at the American people, the people will have to take the BLM to task in courts around the country and in the court of public opinion via mass media.

And furthermore, people should start evaluating litigation against administrators personally when they lose their immunity as a result of any breach of their fiduciary duty to the public trust.

And when the BLM wants anything from the American people in the future, whatever it is, maybe the answer to them must be a “no,” at least or until the BLM changes its ways and drops the criminal levels of malfeasance. If some of the administrators of the BLM and Forestry Service were subject to the laws imposed upon administrators in the private sector of business, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, many more of them would be in jail for malfeasance.

The BLM has already done enough damage to the public lands and to the animals with whose management it is entrusted. It’s time for the citizens of America to step in and get this fixed. We need to be more than a squeaky wheel; we need to be heard all the way to President Trump’s office!

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 protected the wild horses and burros so Americans (that’s us and apparently not them) would have the opportunity to enjoy them, so a critical part of our American heritage and living history was safe and protected and could be also enjoyed by our future generations. Now we are the aggrieved party in that this promised benefit to Americans by the government is not being honored. There are legal claims that can be made as a class, and also other civil and criminal actions that can be pursued via our courts. We also need to press our legislators for more penalties to deal with agencies and administrators who violate the public trust with acts of dishonesty and malfeasance.

It’s a darn shame when Americans have no choice except to sue their own government in order to get it to do what it already knows it should be doing.

Truly sad!

If John Wayne were alive today, he’d have a bone to pick with the BLM …

http://www.westernjournalism.com/wild-horses-heading-for-extinction-the-bureau-of-land-management-and-the-facts/

http://www.westernjournalism.com/wild-horses-heading-for-extinction-the-bureau-of-land-management-and-the-facts/

Silence on Trump-Zinke Budget Plan Could Doom Wild Horses & Burros

Message from Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation

“Supporters of wild horses ought to contact their representatives right now…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation on Wednesday urged supporters of America’s iconic wild horses and burros to speak out on their behalf, and for Congress to stand against a presidential budget proposal that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of horses.

“Now is the time for our representatives to ask tough questions and demand a humane, sustainable on-the-range management plan for wild horses — rather than be left to explain their votes later, after healthy horses are shipped to slaughter or shot at taxpayer expense,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom.

“Likewise, supporters of wild horses ought to contact their representatives right now – not after such deadly provisions become law. Pick up a pen or the phone and make sure that Washington hears you, loud and clear, over the whispers of industry lobbyists.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took questions from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior on Wednesday. In nearly five hours of testimony, wild horse management received only fleeting mentions and Zinke’s prepared statement shed no new light on the administration’s plans.

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.

The budget would also remove “language restricting BLM’s ability to use all of the management tools authorized in the 1971 [Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros] Act,” scrapping Congress’s prohibitions in previous appropriations bills that barred BLM from shooting healthy animals.

As part of the president’s focus on “all-of-the-above” energy production, Zinke repeatedly returned to the subject of a $15.5 billion drop in his department’s revenues and said that some of the $1.6 billion in proposed cuts could be lessened if revenues increase.

Zinke took a variety of questions about specific areas of concerns in the senators’ states, an ongoing review of national monuments, a large-scale reassignment of department employees, tribal issues and climate change. He defended an 84 percent cut of Interior’s Land and Water Conservation program by saying the country ought not buy more land but instead take better care of what it had.

So far, Zinke has shown little interest in humane management alternatives for wild horses.

Testifying about the budget before the Speaking House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior earlier this month, Zinke said that “the birth control part of the (Wild Horse) Program has been, by and large, a failure” – this despite BLM spending just $340,000 on fertility control in 2016 compared to $52.49 million on capturing and warehousing horses off the range, for example.

A 2013 National Academy of Sciences report identified fertility control as an effective tool for managing the wild horse population while blaming BLM’s system of capture and removal for promoting population growth. An economic model published that same year in the peer-reviewed Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine found that the BLM could attain its management goals within 12 years by using fertility control.

In 2008, BLM was very close to achieving their desired population target and still they did not implement an effective fertility control program that has proven 91-98% successful in various programs.

Return to Freedom and other advocates have long called for redirecting money spent on capturing and holding wild horses toward available solutions that do not include the needless slaughter of healthy equines promised our protection.

These include not only using safe, proven fertility control but revisiting population targets, based on a fair interpretation of multiple-use land management; providing incentives for ranchers who reduce livestock grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas; increasing range stewardship, including much-needed water source restoration; and relocating horses, but only if truly necessary.

Shooting healthy wild horses at taxpayer expense or selling them out the back door, where they wind up slaughtered in Canada or Mexico, would contradict the will of Congress and the American people.

The recently passed bipartisan omnibus bill defunded horse slaughter plant inspections and explicitly prohibits BLM from euthanizing healthy wild horses or selling horses in a way that results in their destruction. Since January 139 House members have also signed on as co-sponsors of the bipartisan HR 113 (Buchanan), dubbed the SAFE Act, which would permanently ban commercial horse slaughter or the transport of horses to slaughter.

The American people have repeatedly supported protections for wild horses and burros, dating to the public outcry that led the unanimous passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act in 1971. Since then, taxpayers have invested tens of millions of dollars in the protection of wild horses on the range and after capture. A 2012 ASPCA poll found 80% of Americans opposed horse slaughter.

Take action: Send a letter to Congress!

Tracking Canada’s Horse Slaughtering Trade from Alberta to Japan

by Anna Brooks as published on VICE

The practice is legal in Canada, unlike the United States

Walking through the Calgary International Airport, you’ll pass a bronze statue of wild horses running.

Entitled “Breakaway,” the immortalized horses were intended to be a metaphor for Calgary’s spirit and strength.

But there’s another story of horses at the Calgary airport, a story some veterinarians are calling a “huge animal welfare issue.”

For years, animal advocacy groups like the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) have opposed the transport of live draft horses to Japan for slaughter. In Canada, alongside Mexico and parts of Europe, this practice is legal, unlike countries like the US where horse slaughterhouses are banned.

Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan, and places like Kumamoto specialize in fresh dishes like basashi—horse sashimi. Horse oil is also a sought after beauty product in Hokkaido, where it’s used to treat wrinkles, acne, and sunburns.

Slaughtering and selling horse meat has been outlawed in the US, whereas in Canada, there are four active federal slaughterhouses producing horse meat for human consumption—two of which are in Alberta.

While most of Canada’s horse meat is exported to countries around the world, horse meat is still locally available, especially in Quebec.

Canada is one of the only countries in the world still shipping live horses for slaughter, most are destined to be butchered in Japan, which is now Canada’s number one importer of live horses.

While groups like the CHDC had hoped to see horse exports decline over the years, recent data from Statistics Canada show 1,350 live horses exported as a commodity to Japan between January and March 2017, a batch valued at more than $2.6 million.

Local horse producers, including mass operations like Bouvry Exports in Calgary, ship thousands of horses each year by plane, a business that pulls in millions for Canadian exporters.

According to data from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the 6,976 live horses shipped to Japan for slaughter in 2014 generated more than $13 million. Between 2012 and 2014, upwards of $30 million in Canadian dollars were seen from the export of more than 14,000 horses.

The number of live horses shipped from Canada to Japan has dropped since January, but prices per horse have increased; according to Statistics Canada, the average price per horse in February 2017 was $1,451, compared to March’s average of $4,136…(CONTINUED)

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/tracking-canadas-horse-slaughtering-trade-from-alberta-to-japan

Call to Action: Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice NOW

Open letter by Grandma Gregg

There is no time to waste! Please feel free to use the sample letter below and using the form (link below) send your own message to the US House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations.” ~ Grandma Gregg

https://appropriations.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Do not allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Forest Service (USFS), Farm Bureau and the extraction and mining giants and the domestic livestock grazing associations to pull the wool over your eyes. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. Per the unanimously passed United States 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act, the land is to be devoted principally although not exclusively to the wild horses and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands.

The recent National Academy of Sciences study found NO evidence of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. Obviously, the government’s actions toward the wild horses and burros needs to be closely and independently investigated and the animals left on their legally designated land and those already captured must be returned to their legal lands. The American people and members of Congress are being lied to by our government agencies that are mandated by Congressional Law to protect these animals. Our government agencies (BLM and USFS) are truly managing our wild horses and wild burros toward extinction.

There is no reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures because there is no “over-population” of wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros but even after 22,200,000 acres were robbed from the American people and the wild horses and burros by government agencies the remaining 31,600,000 acres could easily support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today. It is currently independently estimated that only about 20,000 – 30,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.

There is a legal term for how the BLM operates. It is “Regulatory Capture”. Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest instead advances the special interest groups’ desires that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure and it creates an opening for behavior in ways injurious to the public and in this case injurious to the wild horses and burros that belong to American citizens.

In addition, the BLM is in clear violation of Title 18; falsifying legal documents. A few of many examples include, but are certainly not limited to, but prove this violation by the BLM’s statements of annual population increases such as the Buckhorn herd area 237% (71 total horses giving birth to 168 foals) in one year and the Black Rock herd area 418% (88 horses giving birth to 368 foals) in one year. Wild horses and burros have an eleven-month gestation period and give birth to only one foal. The above BLM annual population increase statements are biologically and mathematically impossible but this is the type of non-credible data being stated by the BLM and provided to you. Another example of BLM’s mathematics is their statement that the Black Mt. herd area wild burro population before capture/removal was 175 animals and after they captured and removed 80 animals, the remaining population was 635! Since when does 175, minus 80, equal 635? There are many, many other examples of the false and highly deceitful data that BLM provides to the public and to Congress.

https://www.blm.gov/

Since Congress is concerned with the cost of long-term holding of wild horses and burros, and our public lands, please allow me to remind you that these wild horses and burros already have legal lands in the wild for them to live on which cost the tax-payer nothing. In contrast, private/corporate livestock grazing on public lands has cost the taxpayers $1 Billion over past decade. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net LOSS of at least $123 million per year.

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/grazing-01-28-2015.html

http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads/file/factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs(3).pdf

 As an environmental researcher, United States citizen and taxpayer concerned with the fate of the North-American wild horses and wild burros, I urge you to not be taken in by the biased testimony you recently heard from anti-wild horse/burro Utah Representative Chris Stewart.

The testimony of Secretary of Interior Zinke was clearly a deliberate attempt to con and to deceive in order to further the extremely unfair and dishonest victimization of our nations overly reduced, overly restricted, American wild horses and burros. The testimony was not at all scientifically supportable and therefore not at all credible and must be stricken from public record and true, scientifically supportable testimony must be given to Congress.

These wild animals are being illegally deprived of their legal habitats and resources within their lawfully declared areas on the public lands; both BLM and US Forest Service. This is being done to gratify and indulge the contemptible and domineering demands of many public lands ranchers, including both cattle and sheep, as well as to other wild-horse/burro-enemies, such as certain big game hunters, land developers, giant mining and energy extraction corporations, and others who have been taken in by all the disinformation provided to them by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.

What we have now is a very illegal and corrupt wild horse and wild burro program managed by the BLM and USFS that dishonors the wild horse and wild burro heritage and natural place in America. This is contemptuous of the true and core intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and of Congress itself, which unanimously passed this law of the United States. For decades, wild horses and burros have been protected by a ban on the slaughter of healthy animals or any sale that “results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”  The current 2018 budget proposal would allow “euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.” If this does pass, it will cause thousands of innocent wild horses and burros that belong on their Congressionally designated lands to be slaughtered. These wild horses and wild burros belong to me and to all American citizens and by Congressional law MUST be protected.”

BLM Plotting War on America’s Wild Horses and Burros

By Wayne Pacelle as posted on Humane Nation

“Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Department of the Interior, under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke, has signaled its intention to strip decades-old federal protections for wild horses and burros and to allow them to be shipped to slaughter by the tens of thousands. Public comments and Congressional testimony from Zinke and other high-ranking government officials represents the most severe threat to wild horses since the ghastly and cruel killing practices of the 1960s prompted Congress to adopt the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs. It was only in April that Congress passed a spending bill with sensible wild horse provisions for the remainder of 2017. That bill included language preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter for human consumption. It further directed the BLM to create a plan to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

Now, just two months after President Trump signed the 2017 Omnibus spending bill into law, the Department of the Interior is saying it is going to default to slaughter because it’s possessed with no other options. In the president’s budget request for 2018, the department has asked for the ability to maintain wild horse and burro populations at dramatically reduced levels and to get there by slaughtering the animals.

While there are always going to be major challenges in managing wild horses and burros on our western public lands and in satisfying the diverse stakeholders in the debate, there are certain options that should never even be considered because they are simply outside the bounds of how animals should be treated. Mass slaughter is one of those dreadful ideas, an action that flies in the face of the now longstanding prohibition on slaughter and of the instincts of millions of Americans to protect these magnificent symbols of the American West.

The BLM has never been exemplary at managing horses. Far from it. For 20 years, the agency’s primary strategy for wild horse and burro populations has largely consisted of rounding up and removing the animals from our public lands – an effort that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild horses and burros being kept in holding facilities at a cost now approaching $50 million a year — more than half of the BLM’s annual budget for the entire wild horse and burro program. Partly because the costs of caring for so many captive horses are undermining the larger program, the agency has failed to commit any additional money to implement sufficient fertility control programs, which have been long recommended by The HSUS and the National Academies of Sciences.

The aggressive and widespread use of fertility control is the only way to confront this crisis in the long term. The horses need to be managed, but in a humane manner. Fertility control works, but only if there’s a serious investment in the enterprise on the ground. By preventing the birth of foals, the agency will find itself under less pressure to round up so many horses. Fewer round-ups mean substantial cost savings, since not as many animals need to be pastured and fed in short-term and long-term holding facilities. A capture-and-kill strategy, on the other hand, will only make matters worse, because it will cause the horses to compensate by reproducing at a higher rate on the range.

We cannot readily resolve the politics of managing the captive and free-roaming wild horse populations without a struggle. It won’t be easy to get a handle on this. But one thing is for sure: sanctioning the slaughter of tens of thousands of horses is a disgraceful, shameful idea. It is an unacceptable idea that will produce protests in the streets, from Reno to Washington, D.C. Mass slaughter will happen only over the cries, protests, and interventions of the American people.

Tell Secretary Zinke that you do not support the slaughter of America’s wild horses, by calling 202-208-7351.

Update on Wild Horses and Burros in Jeopardy

An open letter by Ginger Kathrens

“Interior Sec. and Utah Congressman present fictional account of wild horses..”

Dear Friends;

I just got back from a trip to the Pryors and to the Red Desert Complex of south central Wyoming. The horses all look so fabulous and the Red Desert is horse heaven with abundant forage and so much room to roam. Maybe that is why the Congressional Public Resource Sub-Committee hearing today threw me for a loop! Here is that section of the hearing with Chris Stewart of Utah questioning and commenting to Secretary Zinke.

Secretary of the Interior testifies before Congressional Sub-Committee June 8, 2017. The Secretary is being questioned by Congressman Stewart of Utah. 5 minute clip.

This Congressional conversation bears no resemblance to what I am seeing first hand on our ranges. After I left the Pryors, I visited four Herd Management areas in Wyoming called the Red Desert Complex, areas scheduled for devastating roundups this fall. BLM proposes to remove over 2,000 wild horses.

They would leave less than1 horse per 1,000 acres in the 750,000 acre Red Desert Complex! Congressman Stewart contends that wild horses are devastating western rangelands and starving to death. Here’s what is devastating rangelands. I happened on this site while looking for wild horses in the Stewart Creek HMA. When I turned off the dirt road onto a two track the acrid smell of cow manure hit me like a slap in the face. Then I saw the cattle and the land around the pond. The area was devastated, not by horses, but cattle

The Secretary spoke of birth control methods that do not work. This too is completely inaccurate. PZP works in all the herds that use it but I can count those herds on the fingers of both hands. And Congressman Stewart chimed in that the cost was thousands of dollars (for a dose). The Secretary agreed.

I feel like I am living in an alternative reality. PZP is $27 a dose and PZP-22 is a couple hundred dollars a dose—but thousands?! Where do these gentlemen get their information?

It is critically important that you make your voices heard. The American public is the only thing standing between the death and destruction of our herds on the range and in holding. Please keep calling the White House and your Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators and telling them that you want your wild horses to live in freedom on the range. (Right; wild horse family-Green Mtn. HMA)

WHITE HOUSE: Call the President– 202-456-1111. (not weekends)

SENATE: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

HOUSE: http://m.house.gov/representatives/

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Leave your name (spell it), and the town where you live.

2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.<

3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.

4. You will probably get a Voicemail—but that’s ok. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses  and burros.

Ginger

http://mailchi.mp/thecloudfoundation/update-wildhorses-and-burros-in-jeopardy?e=8924bb09ed

Proposed Federal Budget Could Spell Annihilation for America’s Wild Horses and Burros

“The potential for our worse possible nightmare to become a reality is knocking on our barn door, as I type, and we need to stop it and stop it NOW!

Below is a video plea from our good friend, Ginger Kathrens and both myself and Wild Horse Freedom Federation stand shoulder to shoulder with Ginger and The Cloud Foundation in urging you to take action in an effort to block the possibility of our wild equines being slaughtered.

When I snapped this photo on my iPhone I had the shutter sound activated and I was promptly reminded by Ginger to deactivate it as you can see it stimulated Ohanzee’s curiosity, big time.  Thanks for the insight, Ginger.

Ginger’s video is especially poignant for me as her equine guest is Ohanzee, the son of Cloud. I was fortunate enough to be with Ginger when we first came upon Cloud and his newborn son on a beautiful May day in 2014. We spent several days watching, videoing and photographing the youngster while in the evenings we struggled to come up with a name for him.

After much research and a few sips of adult beverages we arrived at the perfect selection which was Ohanzee, a Sioux name meaning ‘Shadow’ which was just what he looked like.

Ohanzee become my totem and further sealed my conviction to fight for those who cannot speak for themselves so for him to be featured with Ginger further lights my fire to do what is right, just and whatever is necessary to ensure the future safety, health and well-being of our federally protected wild horses and burros.

Please call the White House and voice your concerns, although I do not believe this to be a premeditated assault on our wild equines it can and will turn into a death sentence for the horses and burros if we don’t stop the bean counters from pulling the trigger…Now!

Please act, this is your opportunity to make a difference.  Thank you, my Friends.” ~ R.T.


“The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program. The long-term goal is to realign program costs and animal populations to more manageable levels, enabling BLM to reorient the WHB program back to these traditional management strategies.”

The BLM contends that the horses on the range exceed the ridiculously low national AML of 26,700 by over 40,000 animals. There are over 40,000 animals in long and short term holding. 80,000 could be killed if we, the American people do not speak up!

There has never been such a grave a threat to the existence of our wild horses as right now!

Use the links provided in the video to call the WHITE HOUSE, your U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, and your 2 SENATORS. We must flood and overload the phone lines with calls. This will take only 4 phone calls—probably 1 minute each.

Never has it been more important for you to speak up on behalf of the future of our wild horses and burros!

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS

1. Leave your name (spell it), and the town where you live

2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.

3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.

4. You will probably get a Voicemail—but that’s ok. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Links to Documents:

BLM’s Requested Budget Cuts of $10 Million From Wild Horse & Burro Program Could Spell ‘Slaughter’ For Our Wild Equines

Story by as published on Horse Nation

Language in the Bureau of Land Management fiscal year 2018 budget justification, released Tuesday, specifically requests “the ability to conduct sales without limitations.”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The new 2018 budget proposal calls for a 9.2% reduction in spending for the Department of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management or BLM — this is the federal agency charged with overseeing and protecting the nation’s wild horse and burro population.

Traditionally, the BLM has managed the nation’s wild horse and burro population by setting management levels for herd management areas, and then conducting roundups to remove what it deems to be excess wild horses from areas when necessary. Gathered horses are available to the public for adoption, with unadopted animals living in long-term holding. Tens of thousands of horses have accumulated in long-term holding at the expense of the taxpayer.

The Bureau of Land Management has come under criticism for this method of so-called population control, with advocacy groups suggesting everything from birth control vaccination administered by dart (the PZP vaccine) to allowing nature to take its course and stopping gathers and any population control altogether. While advocates may not agree about the best course of action to take to manage wild horse numbers — or if management is even necessary — most agree that the BLM has not done the wild horse any favors with its current plan.

The BLM’s 2018 budget justification, which can be viewed by clicking here, calls for a $10 million reduction in spending in the Wild Horse and Burro (WHB) Program, describing the current situation as follows:

The consistent growth in annual costs for the program is unsustainable and constrains the Bureau’s ability to effectively address competing uses of public lands, as the number of animals on the range and BLM holding facilities grows.

The majority of the WHB Program’s budget has gone towards maintaining the tens of thousands of horses in holding facilities while numbers of horses on the range still continues to rise according to estimates, demonstrating clearly that the model of gathering horses and removing them from the range is not a sustainable long-term solution. To reduce this spending, the BLM suggests the following:

As such, the budget proposes to give BLM the tools it needs to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability to conduct sales without limitations.

A BLM press release went even further, stating explicitly that this budget would allow for the humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of “excess animals.”

The budget justification addresses advocate-supported methods of population control such as the PZP vaccine as well:

The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program.

One can only imagine how the BLM seeks to both reduce the need for gathers and reduce the number of wild horses on the range.

How can you affect change?

If you are opposed to this budget plan for fiscal year 2018 for its dramatic proposed changes to the Wild Horse and Burro Program, we urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and explain to them why. There are numerous online petitions in circulation, but the most effective and meaningful way to affect real change is to speak with your lawmakers and make your opinion known. If you need assistance finding your representation in Congress, you can find your representatives here and your senators here.

http://www.horsenation.com/2017/05/24/blms-requested-budget-cuts-10-million-from-wild-horse-burro-program/

BLM Transfer Provision in Omnibus Outrages Advocates

by Scott Streater, as published on E&E News

“The provision in the latest omnibus bill was requested last year as part of President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal (Greenwire, Feb. 10, 2016).”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The omnibus spending package the Senate approved today contains a provision that would make it easier for the Bureau of Land Management to adopt out or transfer wild horses and burros, reducing the growing number of animals under the agency’s care.

But the provision has angered animal rights advocates, who say it contains too many loopholes to protect thousands of wild horses and burros from being slaughtered.

At issue is a section in the omnibus package to fund the federal government through September — originally requested by the Obama administration last year — that would allow the Interior secretary to “transfer excess wild horses or burros” BLM has removed from federal rangelands “to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals.”

The provision would authorize the secretary to “make any such transfer immediately upon request” of a government agency, such as the U.S. Border Patrol. The provision includes language stating that the animals cannot be killed or sold or transferred to any entity that would slaughter them “for processing into commercial products.”

But it allows transferred horses and burros to be euthanized “upon the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.”

It’s that language that has wild horse advocates outraged.

Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Colorado-based Cloud Foundation, said BLM “has a history of misinforming the public” about issues related to wild horses.

“Couple this with the vague ‘illness’ and ‘advanced age’ language” in the omnibus provision, “and the potential exists for the killing of thousands of horses,” said Kathrens, a member of the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board…(CONTINUED)

https://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/2017/05/04/stories/1060054082

HOURS LEFT TO STOP CONGRESS FROM AUTHORIZING BACKDOOR KILLING OF WILD HORSES & BURROS

Source: American Wild Horse Campaign

Stallion of Antelope Valley HMA ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Over the weekend, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees restored language to the 2017 Omnibus spending bill that opens the back door to killing potentially thousands of wild horses and burros. The language amends the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act by stripping them of their federal protections and transferring them to state and local governments ostensibly for use as “work animals.”

With no limit to the numbers transferred and no definition of “work animal,” the language provides a vehicle for delivering thousands, and potentially tens of thousands of wild horses and burros, into the hands of government agencies that actively push for mass roundups and slaughter of these national icons. The Section 116 language can be found on page 804 of this link.

Congress did include prohibitions on commercial slaughter and some restrictions on “euthanasia,” signalling their intent to prevent the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros. However, the restrictions are not enforceable, there is no penalty for violating them, and the many ambiguities and loopholes leave the language open to abuse.  Especially troubling is a provision to allow the killing of “advanced age” animals, a term that is undefined and could result in the destruction of thousands of healthy middle- to older-aged horses and burros.

While defeating this language at this late stage is going to be difficult, the spending bill only funds the government for the next five months. So taking a strong stand now will set the stage for fixing this problem when Section 116 expires on September 30, 2017. 

What You Must Do NOW!

1. Please immediately call these numbers and voice your objections to the committees that approved this devastating last-minute addition to the spending bill. If you don’t reach them this afternoon, please try again in the morning!

** Please remember: the best way to help the horses is to be polite! **

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chair, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 224-6665
AK office: (907) 271-3735

Sen. Tom Udall, Ranking Member, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office:(202) 224-6621
NM office:(505) 346-6791

Rep. Ken Calvert, Chair, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 225-1986
CA office: (951) 277-0042

Rep. Betty McCollum, Ranking Member, House Interior Appropriations Committee
DC office: (202) 225-6631
MN office: (651) 224-9191

Here’s what you need to say: I am very upset that Congress has included language in Section 116 of the Omnibus spending bill that will strip up to 50,000 wild horses and burros of federal protections that were passed unanimously by Congress and have been in place for nearly 50 years. Unfortunately, restrictions put in place to prevent the killing of healthy horses and burros are not sufficient to protect these animals, and thousands that currently enjoy federal protection could be killed, or worse, enter the slaughter pipeline.  I urge your office to remove this destructive language from the Omnibus, and if unable, then it must be removed when this spending bill expires later this year.”

Click (HERE) to help further by sending an email

https://act.americanwildhorsecampaign.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=24755