Wild Horse Management Plan Would ‘Guarantee Extinction,’ Mustang Advocates Say

By as published on Newsweek

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently proposed a series of options that would drastically reduce the number of mustangs on public lands. Some horse lovers think the plan would be too effective and wipe out the animals completely.

The options include offering people $1,000 each to adopt a horse, reducing restrictions on adoptions—including allowing people to buy them for horsemeat—sterilizing them and killing them. The BLM said a combination of those options should reduce the American mustang population by 69 percent over six to 12 years.

Wild horses have been a matter of intense public debate for decades. Cattle ranchers believe that the horses are an invasive species, which damage the landscape. The ranchers benefit from having the horses removed so they can put cattle, which are invasive, on the land.

“According to the law, the cattle are permitted,” Bob Skinner, former president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and current vice president of the Public Land’s Council, told Newsweek. “It was to be used for grazing to supply the country with meat and income. The horses just kind of snuck into the picture.” Skinner also argued that horses are more destructive to the landscape than cattle.

But horse advocates say the horses have just as much of a right to be there, and renting the land at subsidized rates to what they call “welfare ranchers” primarily benefits the billionaires in the 0.01 percent. Still, as the BLM estimates that care and control for the horses costs taxpayers $50 million a year, horses find themselves rounded up, adopted out and sterilized.

In a press statement submitted to Newsweek, the BLM said: “As Congress notes, failure to address the rising costs of the programs and the toll large herds of horses and burros in the west ‘will result in irreparable damage to the landscape and the welfare of the animals protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.’ The BLM agrees.”

 

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Debbie Coffey from the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, who has filed 130 Freedom of Information Act requests with the BLM, said the bureau estimated that some herds had increased 750-1,250 percent—numbers that she found misleading. “That’s biologically impossible, that’s absurd,” Coffey told Newsweek. “Stallions aren’t having babies!” Only breeding-age female horses can have roughly one foal per year.

But the population, unchecked by the native predators that people have eradicated, has increased as their range has shrunk. The BLM estimated that there were 72,674 wild horses and burros on public land; Coffey contested that number. The BLM hopes that some combination of its plans to lift restrictions on adoption and/or sterilizing and/or killing animals could reduce their number to “appropriate management levels” of 26,715.

A number of wild horse advocacy groups believe those approaches are misguided and have signed a document describing what they believe are better solutions. The Wild Horse Freedom Federation said a better plan would be to reduce the amount of rangeland given to ranchers so that horses can reclaim the range that they had in 1971: 53.8 million acres, as opposed to today’s 26.9 million. The federation suggested that the BLM use offers from the public to help promote horse adoptions, and also reintroduce native predators.

Those groups claim that such a drastic reduction in horse populations wouldn’t leave enough genetic diversity and viable, reproducing adults to continue having mustangs running free for future generations to enjoy. With such a reduction, they argue, mustang herds will become too small, forcing them to inbreed and become weaker—and die off.

Skinner disagreed, saying that if a method reduces horse populations too quickly, they can always discontinue and allow the horses to repopulate.

“All you have to do is just stop,” he said. “You don’t have to keep killing horses.”

http://www.newsweek.com/wild-horse-management-plan-would-guarantee-extinction-mustang-advocates-say-936611

Wild Horses Found Shot in South-Central Wyoming

as published in the Casper Star Tribune

BLM Investigating

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Living Images

The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the shooting of five wild horses in south-central Wyoming’s Red Desert, the agency said in a statement last week.

Three horses were found shot in early November and two more in mid-January in a similar location.

“Preliminary findings suggest all five horses were shot,” the statement said.

The horse were found both on Green Mountain and near the Three Forks/Atlantic City Road in the Pickett Lake area. The BLM is working with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to investigate the incident.

The livestock industry and the state government have argued that allowing the horses unfettered access to public lands where sheep graze is unreasonable while wild horse advocates have claimed that federal law mandates such access. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found last year that the BLM was illegally managing wild horses along the Interstate 80 corridor in southern Wyoming by treating public land as if it were private.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact BLM officer Thomas Howell at 307-332-8469.

Wild Horse & Burro Updated 12 Days of Christmas

Reprint from 2009 by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/president Wild Horse Freedom Federation

(Characters have changed, content/intent same this year as yesteryear)

Through the Eyes of the Wild Ones

(to be sung to the tune of “The 12 days of Christmas”)

On the first day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
One rogue Federal agency.

On the second day of Christmas,
  Ryan Zinke gave to me
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the third day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight cover round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Eleven States now ruined,
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Twelve million heartbreaks,
Eleven States now ruined,
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

Let’s Pray for a NEW version, Next Year!!!

Stop the Execution Order for Wild Horses and Burros

In Defense of Animals has produced a one click means of contacting your U.S. Senators

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild horses and burros are facing the greatest peril since the mid twentieth century, when hundreds of thousands were run down or shot from helicopters and made into pet food. The government is now making moves to gut legal protections intended to stop mass wild horse killings so they can kill wild equines and push them to the brink of extinction. We can’t let this happen!

The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act gives wild horses and burros the right to live freely on public lands, but they now occupy only a small fraction, while cows and sheep are grazed by ranchers on the vast majority. The Bureau of Land Management has removed wild equines from 22 million acres historically designated for their use and continues the relentless roundups that are dangerous for horses and expensive for taxpayers. This failed policy causes population spikes and leads to more suffering.

The majority of Americans oppose equine slaughter and want wild horses and burros to be protected, not eradicated.

In July, the House Appropriations Committee flaunted the will of the people under the guise of cost-saving and “population control.” It approved an amendment by Representative Chris Stewart of Utah that authorizes “euthanizing” healthy wild horses and burros, unlimited selling of those held captive including sending them to slaughterhouses, and lethally removing “excess” wild horses on the range.

In essence, the House version of the 2018 budget bill for the Department of Interior calls for government-sponsored extinction of wild horses and burros.

Lawmakers who approved the mass horse execution are doing the bidding of the ranchers, extractive industry executives, and trophy hunters who want to use more and more of our public lands for their private gain. This rich, greedy lobby put its muscle and money into persuading House members to choose eradication and slaughter.

Supporters of In Defense of Animals and allied advocate organizations have spoken up, but we are in an uphill fight. In a few days, the Senate Appropriations Committee will decide whether or not America’s wild horses and burros will fall victims to this despicable plan. We can make a difference with bold, timely action!

What you can do:

 

 

1) If your senator is on the Appropriations Committee, please call his/her office. If your state is not represented on the committee, call one of more of the key senators starred. State your name, telephone number and organization you’re affiliated with, if any. Be courteous and respectful.

You may wish to say:

Wild horses and burros are living memorials to our history and love of freedom. They do not deserve to pay with their lives for government mismanagement. Americans do not want to go back to the days of mass extermination.

Please reject the House-passed Stewart amendment language. I ask you to maintain the Congressional ban on killing or euthanizing healthy wild horses and burros and on unlimited sales of captive animals. We want solutions, not slaughter!

Senator

Phone

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)  202-224-5054
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)  202-224-5744
* Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)  202-224-6665
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)  202-224-3841
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)  202-224-4041
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)  202-224-5042
* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW)  202-224-3934
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)  202-224-2152
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)  202-224-6521
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  202-224-2541
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)  202-224-4623
* Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)  202-224-2523
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)  202-224-4654
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)  202-224-5721
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)  202-224-2644
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)  202-224-2651
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)  202-224-2841
* (RANKING) Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)  202-224-2551
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)  202-224-5754
* Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)  202-224-3753
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)  202-224-4642
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  202-224-5972
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)  202-224-4944
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-0238
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)  202-224-2621
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)  202-224-6472
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)  202-224-3954

Click (HERE) to go to Letter

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3124