Tag Archives: Ginger Kathrens

Becoming Biloxi: The Journey of a Pryor Mountain Colt

While we wish that all our wild horses remained wild and free, that simply isn’t reality right now. In this new video presented by TCF Founder and Director Ginger Kathrens, we’re taken into the world of Biloxi, a Pryor Mountain colt who was removed from his home and his family as a youngster. Watch his heartwarming story unfold from his birth in the wild to his recent happy ending!

Happy Trails…

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Pryor Wild Horse Herd in Jeopardy

As many of you know, I’ve been documenting the lives of the Pryor Mustangs for a very long time. In 1994 I had a chance encounter with the stunning black stallion, Raven. A year later Raven and his family brought their newborn colt out of the forest right in front of my camera. The pale colt tottered behind his stunning palomino mother, Phoenix. I named the fragile foal Cloud.

Cloud grew into a powerful fighting stallion. Until the very end he battled to keep his family together. He never gave up. And neither can we.

Please click to watch the video, and take a few minutes to comment on this very dangerous plan for the Pryor herd.

Click Here to Take Action

Happy Trails,
Ginger Kathrens

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Ginger Kathrens Discusses Zeroing Out 6 HMAs in Nevada

It’s official. Our legal team has filed the appeal. The Cloud Foundation and our partners are fighting the BLM to stop the eradication of all the wild horses in the Caliente Complex of eastern Nevada. Last month, a federal judge sanctioned the wipe-out of 1700+ wild horses living in Caliente, sentencing them to roundup and life imprisonment. But we’re not taking this bad ruling lying down. See what Ginger has to say about the lawsuit and why we need to fight!

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

What Makes a Wild Horse Wild?

By Ginger Kathrens

In 1994 I saw my first wild horses in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. A black stallion was eating snow at the base of a red butte. When he noticed my sister who had on a bright white golf jacket, he pranced toward her and snorted. His mares, yearling, and newborn foal responded to his warning, dashing from the shadows of the butte to the safety of nearby hills.

Captivated by the striking stallion named Raven and the spectacular wild horse range they call home; I began documenting their lives in the wild. On May 29, 1995 they brought their newborn colt out of the forest right in front of my camera. I named him Cloud and his life is the subject of three PBS Nature series documentaries.

The assertion that same sex herds of horses in captivity are the equivalent of wild horse families in the wild is ludicrous. A single-sex group of geldings or mares in a pasture bears no resemblance to the intricate and dynamic society of a wild horse herd.

In the wild, the horses make all the decisions, decisions that often make the difference between life and death. Where to go when a storm comes, where to find water in a drought, when to run and when to stand their ground — these are decisions shared by the band stallion and often a strong lead mare. Cloud was lucky to have Sitka for a time, a strong female who could even tell the powerful and impetuous Cloud where to go and when.

I documented Cloud from the day he was born to the time, 20 years later, when he disappeared. His body was never found, but that is not unusual. Many wild horses decide to isolate themselves at the end of their lives. And this is an important word to remember: decide.

Mustangs in captivity do not have the ability to decide much of anything. They are fed, they are restrained in pastures or dirt paddocks, and they are in a same-sex herd of all geldings (castrated males) or all mares.

The horses on my small Colorado ranch have more of a society than any same-sex herd in a BLM corral or sanctuary.  Flint is the leader of my little band which includes Cloud’s birth sisters Mahogany (Flint’s lead mare) and Smokey. The other four geldings, Sky, Sax (Cloud’s youngest brother), BJ, and Swasey, take their lead from Flint and, to a lesser extent, Mahogany. But I would never pretend that they have the social intricacies or intense behaviors of a real wild horse family.

Wild horse social structure is complex and fascinating. It is essential to their survival in the wild. In many ways wild horses are like wolves. There is a dominant male, often a powerful female, and there are subordinate members of the family, including other females. Young males are asked to leave the family by their fathers, and young females get a wandering eye around two years of age. Only bachelor stallions that are skilled fighters and have a strong desire to procreate can win and keep mares.

It is disingenuous of BLM – and others seeking to rid the range of these magnificent animals – to tell the public they can see “wild horses” in “public off-range pastures.” None of the captivating natural behaviors just described are seen among geldings or mares in a man-made, fenced environment.

What the public is seeing are human-influenced, same-sex pastured horses, who bear little resemblance to their friends and families still lucky enough to be running wild and free on our open ranges.

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

Ride Along with Ginger and Flint as They Take a Look Back at 2019 and What’s to Come in 2020

Much has transpired for our wild horses and burros in 2019. They faced new and varied attacks, some coming from organizations we thought were friends of these magnificent animals. Through it all, you’ve stuck with us and supported our work to keep our wild mustangs and burros in the wild where they belong. No matter how many times we say it, it bears repeating: we couldn’t do that essential work without you.

But there were many bright spots in 2019 too!

We invite you to ride along with Ginger and Flint as she discusses all of it.

As ever, we thank you for all that you do to keep our wild ones wild and free.

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

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

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

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council to Meet Oct. 9-11 in Salt Lake City

Photo: Ginger Kathrens – Humane Advocate on National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Come Out and Show Your Support for Our Wild Horses and Burros

BLM has announced that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be meeting October 9-11 at the Courtyard Marriott in Salt Lake City Downtown. As a member of the board, TCF’s Executive Director Ginger Kathrens will be in attendance. Please consider attending this meeting if you can to show your support for our wild horses and burros as well as for Ginger as she does her best to stand up for them in her capacity as the Humane Advocate on the board.

Even if you can’t attend, BLM will be accepting written public comment until October 2nd. Written comments and statements must be mailed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Attention: Dorothea Boothe WO-260, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003, or emailed to: whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov by October 2, 2018, in order for the Board to consider them at the October meeting. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

A public comment period will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MDT). There will also be a field tour from 7am to noon on Tuesday, October 9th of the Onaqui Horse Herd Management Area. (The field tour is open to limited public attendance with advanced sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees must provide for their own transportation (high-clearance vehicle recommended) and personal needs. Field tour attendees will depart from the Courtyard Marriott at 7:00 a.m. To sign up, contact Dorothea Boothe by email at dboothe@blm.gov by September 28, 2018.)

For more details on the meeting, please refer to the full BLM notice linked here.

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

Cloud Foundation Wins Reprieve for Pryor Wild Horse Herd

Photo: Galaxy’s band and Knight’s band atop the Pryor Mountains, summer 2018.

Temporary Restraining Order Prevents September 2 Trapping and Removal

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Susan P. Watters, United States District Judge, has ruled in favor of Ginger Kathrens and the Cloud Foundation in their efforts to protect the small Pryor Mountain mustang herd from capture and removal, stating, “Plaintiffs’ application for TRO is GRANTED. Defendants are hereby ENJOINED from conducting the wild horse gather set for September 2, 2018, pending a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction.”

“We won,” stated a jubilant Ginger Kathrens, who brought the herd to international prominence with her documentaries about Cloud, a charismatic palomino stallion she documented from the day he was born. “I hope that the TRO and what we believe will be a permanent decision later next month will ensure a lasting future for this unique Spanish herd.”

In her ruling, Judge Waters acknowledged that BLM fell short in managing for both rare genetics and the unusual colors.

The Pryor Mustangs are descended of Crow Indian horses (the range borders reservation lands) and before that, the horses of the Conquistadors. Genetic and color experts have concluded that this is a rare Spanish Colonial herd. Their range is located on the Montana/Wyoming border east of Yellowstone National Park. Kathrens, who began her journey with wild horses in 1994, was ridiculed in the Government’s brief for her repeated efforts to protect the Pryor Herd. “I hope this is a turning point for America’s beleaguered wild horse herds that have been so cruelly treated and that the BLM will finally adopt humane methods of management that take into account the essential need for family structures and the basic right to live in freedom as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” Kathrens said.

In her decision to grant the TRO, Judge Watters states: “BLM argues that one removal action will not result in the permanent loss of genetic diversity of the Pryor Herd.… This conclusion is contrary to the evidence before the court. Extinction of a bloodline or phenotype is, by its nature, loss of genetic diversity. And extinction, meaning forever, is certainly a long duration. This court finds that Plaintiffs have established a likelihood of irreparable harm absent a TRO.”

“We could not have brought this suit without a high level of confidence in our donors.” Kathrens continued. “Cloud fans are loyal to wild horses and understand that maintaining the family structure and genetic strength are the essentials to living wild.”

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, the first nationally designated area established to provide a home for free-roaming horses. “What a grand way to celebrate!” Ginger Kathrens concludes.

The hearing in Billings, MT is set for September 28 at 9:30 am.

The Cloud Foundation is being represented in the lawsuit by Katherine A. Meyer and Elizabeth Lewis of the Washington DC public interest firm Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Eubanks.

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