California’s Wild Horses & Burros Need Your Help

Photos by Craig Downer

BLM conducting a bloody 2000+ mustang and burro roundup

California doesn’t have many wild horses and very few wild burros left but that, along with a public outcry, has not stopped the Bureau of Land Management from rounding up thousands more of California’s wild equids. The BLM, responsible for managing most of the remaining wild horses and burros in ten Western States, are now running horses ten miles or more over rough volcanic terrain with helicopters. Horses bleeding from their noses in the thick dust, very young foals separated from their mothers, a mare with a broken leg and a colicking mare have been observed by a dedicated team of advocates observing the Twin Peaks roundup.

California has lost 16 of the original 38 wild horse herds designated for protection in 1971 and over 2/3 of the public land tagged for wild horses and burros has been taken away from these celebrated icons of the West. Now BLM is working fast to remove 1855 mustangs and 210 wild burros from the Twin Peaks area, just north of Susanville, California. The roundup is scheduled to last 45-60 days and BLM aims to leave only 450 mustangs and 72 burros on this 1250-square mile range, larger than the state of Rhode Island.  Almost all the mares returned would be given infertility drugs and a mere 72 burros is not a genetically viable population in this beautiful area designated principally for their use.  Over 32,000 privately-owned cattle and sheep are permitted to graze annually on the Twin Peaks area. Revenues generated yearly from livestock grazing fees are estimated at $120,000 while the cost of rounding up/processing of 1,980 wild horses and burros would be 35 times the annual grazing revenues – over $4 million. Over 38,000 wild horses are in government holding while less than half that remain on the range and BLM plans to complete the removal of 12,000 wild horses and burros this fiscal year alone.

California’s Wild Herds Need You – What You Can Do

  1. Call and email and meet with staff of U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (ph. 916.448.2787) and Dianne Feinstein (ph. 415.393.0707), Governor Schwarzenegger (ph. 916-445-2841), and your Congressperson & state legislators too! Message: High cost to the taxpayers; loss of our last big California wild horse herd; loss of potential for eco-tourism in area; loss of freedom and family for the wild horses; likely death toll at least 99 animals (.05% average deaths according to BLM)

  2. Write letters to the editor of your local paper.
  3. Tell your friends about Twin Peaks & roundups planned across the West; visit your CA herds in the wild and work to protect them for future generations to come. Observation of the Twin Peaks roundup is being allowed 7 days per week – please come and bring a reporter with you.

Learn more at www.thecloudfoundation.org.

The Cloud Foundation

107 South 7th St

Colorado Springs, CO 80905

719-633-3842

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