Tag Archives: Bureau of Land Management

We’re In; Are You?

It was difficult to keep my mouth shut as a first-time attendee at last week’s BLM Advisory Board meeting in Washington, D.C. Thankfully, Ginger was there to hold me in my seat during the usual ‘party line’ rhetoric.

We heard that our “wild horses are overpopulated and starving,” that “PZP doesn’t work,” and perhaps the crowning jewel of ignorance and anti-democratic sentiment came from Acting BLM Director Pendley, as he referred to the required NEPA process as a “terrible burden” (a process which allows the public to have a voice in governmental actions, and requires that environmental impacts be assessed). Sadly, I believe he was sincere when he made that statement.

With this comment, Pendley displayed his gross disregard for the democratic process and the preservation of America’s cultural and natural resources. After observing the new Advisory Board in D.C., it was painfully obvious they’re toeing the party line.

It is clear the Department of the Interior is stacking the deck, and in such an overt way that it could come back to bite them in the long run.

They sent a clear message with their highly unusual move not to reappoint Ginger Kathrens, a board member more than willing to serve a second term. Their message was: we do not entertain opposition, and the “humane advocate” role is only a nominal title.

We have only to look at Ginger’s replacement on the Advisory Board to see the truth of this. She has some domestic equestrian experience, but has no evident experience with wild horses and burros at all, according to her own BLM bio. Compared with Ginger’s more than 25 years of observing and documenting these animals in their natural environment, we can draw no other conclusion than that they don’t want real advocates with real experience voicing real facts about what’s happening on the range.

As you know, The Cloud Foundation has always prided itself as being a voice of reason, not reaction. And yet, we must concede the writing is on the wall this time.

Our wild herds face an unprecedented attack and a smear campaign that was highly organized by people spouting livestock lobby rhetoric – from the old “non-native” nonsense to the claim that wild horses are overrunning our western rangelands (laughable when they only exist on 12% of BLM lands to begin with).

Make no mistake, this is a marketing campaign with one objective: to sell Congress and the persuadable public a story, one that vilifies our horses and romanticizes the tiny percentage of mom-and-pop livestock permittees, while deliberately obscuring the damage to public lands from livestock grazing and energy development.

Sadly, two of the nation’s largest domestic animal welfare groups – ASPCA and HSUS – along with a once-respected wild horse sanctuary – Return to Freedom – have fallen prey to this anti-wild horse PR campaign. They have joined with a coalition of private livestock interests to launch a “plan” whereby 130,000 wild horses and burros could be removed from our public lands in the next 10 years and warehoused at taxpayer expense – a cost of “5 billion dollars over 15 years,” according to Acting BLM Director Pendley.

Is there a more sinister objective lurking behind the scenes? Our wild horses and burros are the only wildlife species that is defined by the land on which they live. The 1971 Act protected them “where presently found” – remove them from the land, and the land could be vulnerable. In a political climate where the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management doesn’t even believe federal public lands should exist – well, the danger is clear, and it is present.

Now is the time to act. Now is the time to speak up.

While in D.C., Ginger and I, along with other advocates, spent days meeting with Congressional and Senatorial staff members – the real people on the ground who wanted to know what the real issues are.

What we heard time and again was encouraging:

1) Your letters, your emails, and most of all, your calls DO matter! So many times, we heard that “whenever wild horse issues come up our phones are ringing off the hook” – they said THIS more than anything made them sit up and pay attention. So NEVER feel that your efforts are in vain. Your voices are heard. You ARE making a difference.

2) “They don’t have a plan.” The staffers we spoke with are understanding the message – they’ve been given bogus information. They no longer trust BLM or the lobbyists from ASPCA and HSUS pushing the misguided idea for massive removals. They are seeing through the fake news that wild horses are overpopulated. One conservative congressman’s aid threw up his hands and exclaimed, “They’re asking for millions of dollars and they don’t even have a plan!”

Things often look darkest before the dawn, so this is not the time to give up. This is the time to raise our flags, mount our metaphorical steeds, and charge.

The Cloud Foundation will be hard at work with other advocates and organizations in the days ahead. We’re educating the people who matter and we’re offering alternative solutions.

We need your help! No matter who you are or where you live, your voice can make a difference. Call the offices of your legislators today. Find their phone numbers here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

  • Let them know you want America’s – YOUR – wild horses protected from mass roundups and surgical sterilization.
  • Tell them it’s unacceptable to commit billions of YOUR tax dollars to a failed system that does not work.

We always urge you to call, as this action makes the biggest impact.

But here’s another option, an amazing organization that gets your voice heard: they’re called the Herd on the Hill (we have to smile at the ‘herd’ pun!). They will hand-deliver your letters or other materials to your representatives, help you schedule calls with relevant staff, or even set up in-person meetings if you’re in the D.C. area.

Whatever you choose to do, we urge you NOT to remain silent. We need every voice in this fight to combat the misinformation out there. We need to let government know we care. We need to take back the power of our representative republic. This government of the people, by the people, for the people needs to serve the people once again.

And the people – 80% of them – want America’s wild horses protected, living wild and free as symbols of the spirit of this nation.

Find your senators here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

Find your member of congress here: https://www.house.gov/representatives.

Dana Zarrello, Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Stop BLM Plan for Ovariectomy

Photo credit: Ginger Kathrens, Sandwash Basin.

Despite three successful lawsuits stopping this procedure, two universities pulling out, and enormous public outcry, BLM still plans on moving forward with its plans to rip the ovaries out of mares.

Please stand with us to tell BLM “NO!” Send the linked sign-on letter to your veterinarian. Most have an email address listed on their website. The more signatures we have, the more influence.

No caring person wants to see these mares go through this torturous procedure with little in the way of aftercare. Together, we can tell BLM that scores of licensed veterinarians do NOT endorse this cruel procedure.

CLICK HERE, copy the link into an email, and send to your veterinarian. We’ve provided sample text for your email below to make it as easy as possible for you.

We have 47 signatures already; our goal is to have 100 by Oct. 25th. We will then present it to the BLM Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. On October 30th.

Thank you for your efforts to save our wild horses and burros from human cruelty.

You can read more about “The Case against Ovariectomy” here.

For details of the latest on-going legal action, click here.

Sample Text:

Dear Dr. XX,

I’m a client of your practice; you might remember my pets (insert names here). I’m also an advocate for America’s wild horses and burros.

You might not be aware, but the Bureau of Land Management is preparing to perform a sterilization procedure on wild mares, with the intent of eventually taking it into the field. Many reputable equine veterinarians advise strongly against this procedure due to the non-sterile environment, risk of infection, colic, and even evisceration.

I’m asking you to please take a moment to read the letter linked HERE and add your name to the long list of veterinarians who opposed this procedure.  

Thank you for your time,
(Your Name)

Dana Zarrello, Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Cloud Foundation Calls for Hearings on Dangerous New BLM Management Plan

(June 11, 2019) Last week, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization, sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee (Click here for letter), voicing opposition to a dangerous and ill-conceived management plan that could result in the roundup of over 50,000 horses. The letter calls on the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Raul Grijalva, to hold hearings regarding the failure of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to effectively manage the Wild Horse and Burro program. The Colorado nonprofit also urges the committee to provide oversight and benchmark requirements for a BLM pilot program, embedded in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill.

The legislation, as passed by the House Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2019 and headed to the House floor this week, “lacks safeguards, assurances, and oversight,” said Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation. (Click here for legislative text and report language.)

“We believe the appropriations language gives the agency far too much latitude on issues where there is disagreement between BLM and the wild horse and burro community. The Cloud Foundation recommends that this pilot program be developed with the oversight and guidance of the House Natural Resources Committee and that the committee initiate a series of hearings to oversee the development of a sound and balanced management plan that holds BLM accountable for implementing humane, reversible fertility control programs.”

The management plan, submitted to Congress earlier this year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) et al. would double the number of horses in off-range holding at enormous cost to the American tax-payer. “While perhaps seen as a compromise, these groups are bargaining with the lives and potential deaths of 50,000 horses,” says TCF Director of Communications, Lisa Friday. “Unless funds are allocated to support those horses in holding for the rest of their natural lives, it is not hard to imagine that slaughter will be their eventual fate.”

TCF has advocated for wild horses and burros since its inception in 2005, and Kathrens has documented these animals in the wild for over 25 years.

“BLM never wanted the job of managing a wildlife species, particularly one that competes with one of their major clients, the livestock industry,” Kathrens states. “We cannot trust that BLM will implement reversible fertility control if we simply ask nicely, as called for in this plan. BLM must spend the money where it is allocated – and we must allocate the majority of funds to humane, reversible on-range management. We believe one way to hold BLM to account is to build oversight into any pilot program.”

Click HERE for TCF’s full response to new “multi-stakeholder” management plan.

Click HERE for the Unified Statement, a plan for humane management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros signed by over 100 wild horse and animal advocacy groups.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Comments Needed on BLM Experiment to Spay Wild Mares

The Cloud Foundation and other wild horse advocate groups are once again fighting to protect the Warm Springs mares. Despite having been stopped time and time again by our legal actions, the Bureau of Land Management has again revived its abhorrent plan to carry out cruel experimentation on the mares rounded up from the Warm Springs HMA.

Your comments are needed, and the deadline to submit is June 12th. BLM had originally scheduled the deadline for Memorial Day. This was an underhanded tactic that allowed for only 9 business days to comment. Thankfully our legal team filed a motion and we were able to get that unreasonable time frame extended.

The link to TCF’s comments is here. We know passions run high on this issue, ours included, but as always, we ask you to remain professional and courteous in your comments.

A step-by-step guide for submitting your comments:

1) Enter a title for your comments.
2) Ignore “Chapter Reference” & “Section Reference”
3) You can enter your comments in the space provided and/or as an attached document.
4) Click “Next” and enter the required personal information on the following page.
5) Click “Next”, agree to the disclaimers on the final page, and click “Submit”.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Read the details of the BLM ovariectomy plan here.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Mustangs’ Insides Viciously Ripped Out: Stop the BLM!

The Bureau of Land Management is once again callously planning to permanently sterilize wild horse mares using a gruesome procedure so deadly and inhumane that many veterinarians refuse to perform it. Don’t let the BLM rip out the ovaries of wild mares!

The proposed surgery, called ovariectomy via colpotomy, is controversial even for domestic mares who are used to human handling and given normal surgical protections such as sterile conditions, anesthesia, and complete long-term aftercare. The situation at the Burns Corral in Oregon, where the deadly experiments are slated to take place, is not conducive to any of those conditions which makes the already risky procedure all the more dangerous and life-threatening.

This is the third time that the Bureau has tried to perform this barbaric experiment on defenseless wild horse mares, under the guise of a “study.” After two major universities dropped out, lawsuits were filed, and massive public outcry occurred, the first two attempts were abandoned by the Bureau. Many thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters wrote to both of the universities initially involved, and also to the BLM in protest of this vile procedure from its past attempts.

Take action on this issue.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

Defend the Onaqui Wild Horse Herd from Devastation

The world-renowned Onaqui wild horse herd just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah is in grave danger. The Bureau of Land Management has plans to forcibly remove over 300 of the beloved wild horses and possibly risk their lives with eventual sale for slaughter. A successful rally by advocates has opened negotiations with the Bureau, but we urgently need you NOW to keep the pressure on to prevent the devastation of this beautiful herd.

The Onaqui mustangs are among the most famous and most photographed wild horses in the world, visited by tourists far and wide. The Bureau of Land Management’s cruel plans would sever family bonds en masse, ripping 80% of this herd from their lands and their companions.

Animal activists from across the country gathered in Utah to speak up for the horses on Friday, April 5.

Advocates met with Utah Bureau of Land Management officials after the rally and made some progress in protecting these wild horses. Although more meetings between the advocates and the BLM are scheduled in the next few weeks, the mustangs’ safety is far from secure. Without your urgent help, their future is bleak. It is crucial that we keep up the pressure to let the Bureau know we will not let up in our efforts to protect this herd.

  1. Call the Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office Wild Horse & Burro department (801) 539-4001 ext. 4050.

You may wish to say:

I am calling to urge you to cancel all plans for a BLM roundup of the Onaqui wild horse herd and work with wild horse advocacy groups to expand the existing PZP fertility control program instead. This will save taxpayers millions of dollars and allow these beloved horses to stay free with their families and be photographed and enjoyed by eco-tourists from around the country and the world.

  1. Send our email (with your personal touch) to the BLM’s Utah Office.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

Our Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice

BLM is seeking to fill three open spots on the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. For the past three years, Ginger Kathrens, TCF Founder and Director, has served in the critical role of humane advisor to this board and is reapplying for a second term of service.

We don’t have to tell you the importance of having a voice for our wild ones within this body of advisors! With private interests being over represented, these magnificent animals need someone to speak for them.

Please take action NOW and support Ginger’s reinstatement as Humane Advisor.

How can you help?

Easy! Follow the simple instructions below:

1) Write a short letter of support for Ginger Kathrens’ renomination. (This is not a formal nomination but a letter of support in your own words).

Some points you can make:

  • 25 years spent documenting wild horses
  • Her award-winning series of Cloud films reintroduced America to their wild horses
  • Tireless advocate for the preservation of wild horses and our public lands
  • Thought leader in the wild horse advocacy community, her voice and opinion are widely respected
  • Committed to working with the BLM to find sustainable humane management solutions

2) Mail your letter to the address below before April 1, 2019

Division of Wild Horses and Burros, US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Room 2134 LM
Attn: Dorothea Boothe, WO-260
Washington, DC 20240

Connect with your representatives

Do you frequently call or write your senator and US representative?  This is the time to ask them specifically to support Ginger with the letter. Or, even better, provide a letter using the points above which they can easily sign and send. Don’t forget the deadline of April 1, 2019!

ABOUT THE FORMAL NOMINATION PROCESS

The Cloud Foundation would not be here without your generous support. Our mission and to preserve and protect all of America’s wild horses and burros, and the land which was dedicated to them, would not be possible without your contributions.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Cloud Foundation Director Ginger Kathrens to Apply as Humane Advisor to BLM

For the past three years, TCF Founder and Executive Director, Ginger Kathrens, has served a critical role as humane advisor to the agency tasked with managing our wild horses and burros on our public lands. As her first term comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce that she will reapply for a second term of service.

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is stocked with people from all sides of the “issue”, many who are not friendly to these magnificent animals. It’s crucial to the humane management of our wild herds to have an advocate with Ginger’s breadth of knowledge and compassion in the body of advisors.

We know that you care as much about the freedom and well-being of our wild horses as we do, and so we ask you to take action now and support Ginger’s reinstatement as Humane Advisor.

Read the full nomination details.

How can you help?

It doesn’t take much time at all. Here are the simple details:

1) Write a short letter in support of Ginger Kathrens’s renomination to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Some points to make:

  • 25 years spent documenting wild horses
  • Her award-winning series of Cloud films reintroduced America to their wild horses
  • Tireless advocate for the preservation of wild horses and our public lands
  • Thought leader in the horse advocacy community, her voice and opinion are widely respected
  • Committed to working with the BLM to find humane management solutions

2) Mail your letter to the address below before April 1, 2019.

Division of Wild Horses and Burros, US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Room 2134 LM
Attn: Dorothea Boothe, WO-260
Washington, DC 20240

The Cloud Foundation would not be here without your generous support. Our mission and to preserve and protect all of America’s wild horses and burros, and the land which was dedicated to them, would not be possible without your contributions.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

TCF & AWHC Threatening Legal Action over Upcoming BLM Meeting

An attorney representing The Cloud Foundation and the American Wild Horse Campaign sent a formal letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Deputy Director Brian Steed, and Fred Woehl, Chair of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, threatening legal action over an illegally scheduled National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting.

The March 27-28 meeting clearly violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requiring 30 days of public notice prior to public meetings.

Read the Press Release & Letter

We are hopeful you will share this information with your networks. As always, we will inform you of any updates regarding this situation. If the meeting does proceed in spite of this obvious violation of FACA, we hope that you will consider attending or tuning in to the livestream. You can learn more about the meeting schedule and attending here.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Utah Wild Horses Need Your Help

As you may have heard, the BLM is proposing a roundup of over 325 horses from the Onaqui HMA in Utah. This potentially devastating proposal would deplete the 450-member herd to low AML, a 72% decrease in herd size. It will wreak havoc on the herd, which will no longer be genetically viable, and it would be a tragic loss for the public who carefully follows this popular herd.

This is where you come in. The public comment period is open until next Tuesday! We need you to submit your comments on this roundup by 10/31/2017. Some of our coalition partners have talked with BLM employees in Utah who say the plans are not yet set in stone, and they’re looking for public input. This is a huge advantage in our favor – we need to speak up for the Onaqui mustangs!

Here are some suggested topics you can use, and instructions for submitting your comments:

  • Do not permanently remove 325 horses (72%) as they might be killed in holding, per the most recent recommendation of the BLM National Advisory Board.
  • Removing these horses will render the herd genetically non-viable per equine geneticist, Dr. Gus Cothran. He advises at least 150-200 horses must remain in the herd to ensure genetic viability.
  • The BLM cites the preservation of sage grouse territory as a reason for removing these horses. Yet, there are only a few places where wild horses and sage grouse live together in the HMA. In those places fencing can mitigate the potential harm to sage grouse in lieu of permanent removal.
  • The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service released a study in 2012 that did not cite wild horses as one of the top five threats to sage grouse. Instead, it cites energy development, transmission right of ways, fire, invasive species, and commercial development as the top threats.
  • BLM must focus on fertility control. Their plan to treat 60 mares in FY2018 is not adequate to slow reproduction. Volunteers with the Wild Horses of America Foundation are ready and able to implement a larger population control program.
  • To send your comments:

o Put this in the subject line: “Population Control, Gather, and Research for the Onaqui Mountain Wild Horse Herd Management Area Project”

o Email: blm_ut_cedarmt_onaqui@blm.gov

o Mail: Bureau of Land Management

Salt Lake Field Office
2370 South Decker Lake Boulevard
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

As always, be respectful in your comments. This helps us maintain credibility as supporters of these beautiful animals, but be honest and speak your mind. You can read more about the proposal here:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-frontoffice/projects/nepa/90785/121933/148789/Public_Notice_Scoping_10-2-17.pdf

Please reach out to us if you have any questions. Thank you for your support of our wild horses and burros!

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director, The Cloud Foundation
719-633-3842
www.thecloudfoundation.org