Dear Friends of Cloud and the wild horses,
Makendra and I just returned from a great five days in the Pryors with the wild horses. We sighted band after band in the broad, flower-covered meadows near Tony Island and the Dryhead Overlook in the Custer National Forest. As is their pattern, the wild horses had migrated to this higher elevation area where show still dotted the slopes above a snow crater surrounded by boulders. The meadows have exploded with purple lupine in football sized flower beds. Due to cool temperatures and moisture the flowers were delayed and the height of the bloom coincided with our visit.
One of the first bands we saw was led by the grullo stallion, Lakota and, to our surprise, we discovered, he was a new father. The little dun colt, still unsteady on his legs, had clearly been born that morning to Mariah, Cloud’s palomino sister. Last month, I thought Mariah was just fat. Even after the birth she still looks alike a beach ball.
The Department of Interior (DOI) continues its business-as-usual mismanagement of wild horses and burros, catering to ranchers and other commercial interests. This week the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is carrying out a dangerous summer roundup in northeastern Nevada. IDA filed an administrative appeal on this Tuscarora Complex roundup – we’ll keep you informed of the results of that action. For an update click here.
Please act today on a new BLM proposal to manage wild horses in Idaho by using contraceptives. While this proposal is a step in the right direction, we have grave concerns regarding the artificially and dangerously low number of horses allowed in these Herd Management Areas and the use of helicopters to round up the horses. Please click here to tell the BLM that this proposal is a good first step, but changes are needed to ensure the safety and well being of the horses.
In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Unfortunately, the BLM summer roundups have resumed and the current death count of the horses at Tuscarora is now nearly two dozen. However, on the upside, it has been a really busy week in the media for our horses getting the attention they deserve. Saving America’s Mustangs’ spokesperson Jerry Reynoldson and I spoke on the Thom Hartmann Radio Show about the BLM roundups yesterday. The link to the video of the interview is below. Also, George Knapp did a fantastic investigative report into the Tuscarora Roundup. Please take some time to view both and please keep generating awareness to each and every person that you can. Already this month we have had 10,466 letters sent out to President Obama and our government officials imploring them to suspend the roundups. Thank you all so much for joining us in this special cause! Let’s set a goal of 12,500 letters sent by the end of July. Please keep forwarding the Take Action links on www.savingamericasmustangs.org to your friends and contacts. The American horses need us to prevail… and we will do just that!
July 15, 2010 – TUCSON, Ariz. – Conservation groups sent a letter to the Obama administration today detailing how the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service can meet the president’s June 8 directive to cut 5 percent from agency budgets: reform or eliminate the money-losing, habitat-destroying public lands livestock grazing program.
“Instead of trimming the budget, the agencies should start by cutting their losses,” said Greta Anderson, Arizona director of Western Watersheds Project. “The fee has failed to keep pace with inflation, failed to cover even the administrative costs of operating the grazing program, and incentivizes destructive grazing practices on public land. In a time of budget crisis, it makes good economic sense to address these issues.”
The two agencies charge a paltry $1.35 monthly fee for each cow and calf that the livestock industry grazes on public land in the West. That’s far below private market rates and far short of providing enough revenue to correct the ecological damage caused by grazing.
Dear Animal Advocates,
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior that administers America’s public lands, including the animals who call these lands home. As part of its wild horse management program, the BLM periodically rounds up large numbers of wild horses and moves them into long-term holding facilities.
Over the weekend, the BLM began its latest roundup of more than 1,200 federally protected wild horses on public lands in Nevada. The use of helicopters to run the terrified horses over miles of scorching desert resulted in serious injuries and several horse deaths, which led to temporary suspension of the roundup.
This occurred in spite of the fact that the BLM, under intense public criticism, established an open comment period on its plans for wild horses that is not over until August. Instead of waiting to hear what the American public has to say, BLM officials decided to go forward with these cruel and brutal roundups in the blistering heat of summer (several more are scheduled for the coming weeks). This, of course, is funded by your tax dollars.
What You Can Do
Call the White House Comment Line today at (202) 456-1111. The Obama Administration needs to be told — politely! — that the BLM’s actions are underhanded and inappropriate, and that the current roundup and others scheduled this summer must be cancelled immediately.
Please visit the ASPCA Online Advocacy Center at www.aspca.org/BLM to learn more about this issue and to see some tips on what to say when you call.
First major wild horse roundup of summer proves deadly; critics claim Department of Interior’s public access restrictions censor truth about government wild horse program
(July 13, 2010) – Philanthropist and businesswoman Madeleine Pickens was joined today by the million-member ASPCA, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, and many other organizations expressing their outrage over the deaths of at least seven mustangs in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup conducted Saturday in the Owyhee Complex in northeastern Nevada. The wild horses died of dehydration-related causes — including brain swelling, colic and acute water intoxication – as a result of being stampeded by helicopters for up to eight miles in 90+ degree desert heat.
In a sign on letter addressed to President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Mrs. Pickens and the groups also harshly criticized the agency for cracking down on public access to observe and videotape roundup operations. The advocates released footage of a BLM representative stating publicly that public video of a prior roundup caused the agency to have “a really hard time trying to explain what’s happening.”
Dear Friends of America’s Wild Horses,
These are remarkably trying times, considering the recent deaths of our wild horses in the West. Despite a public outcry against the massive and dangerous roundups of these treasured animals, the Bureau of Land Management is pressing forward, leaving the broken bodies of our mustangs in their wake. When we have unpreventable disaster like earthquakes and hurricanes, it is indeed frustrating to watch a man-made disaster unfolding on our public lands in the West against innocent wild animals who only want to live in peace with their families.
Despite our anger at being ignored by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management, we must not let our emotions get the best of us. Any thoughts of violent actions or illegal behavior of any kind need to be put out of our heads. Instead, we must focus on legal methods to make a difference. Here is what you can do right now, today, and for the weeks and months that follow.
July 7, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – On June 23, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District office buried on its website a notice that approximately 175 “abandoned, domestic, estray” horses located within Pilot Valley, NV, were scheduled for impoundment beginning June 25. The round up was expected to take 3 – 4 days with corrals set up on nearby private land owned by Simplot Land and Livestock until the horses could be transported and placed under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada.
According to Nevada laws, an estray is a horse that is found running loose on public lands but shows signs of domestication and the owner is unknown. A horse is considered “feral” under Nevada law if the animal was domesticated or is the offspring of domesticated horses and has become wild with no physical signs of domestication. The state of Nevada owns estray and feral horses. Wild horses and free-roaming Mustangs are protected by the BLM under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Nevada authorities plan to sell the horses rounded up by the BLM at auction on July 10. The horses will be available to all buyers and are therefore at risk of ending up at slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada.
Lexington, KY – One of the Horse Radio Network’s newest shows, The Western Radio Show, takes a look at the controversial mustang situation in a way that anyone can understand. With the help of Dr. Don Hoglund, author of Nobody’s Horses, The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sand, hosts Alan Moorhead and Jymmy Kay Cox guide you through the history, the controversy and the possible solutions to this topic.
There are over 34,000 formally free roaming mustangs currently in holding pens across America. The disposition of these horses has been the subject of heated debate and emotions recently. This two part series on the Western Radio Show at www.westernradioshow.com offers a better understanding of the mustangs’ displacement and disposition alongside the options currently available.
We just returned from a wonderful week with the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains.
Abundant rain has turned the range emerald green. All the horses are fat, and most are sleek, except for a few yearlings who still have remnants of their scraggly winter coats. There were twenty-some babies atop the mountain, including a charming trio of foals sired by Cloud’s son, Bolder. I can’t help but remember another trio of foals 15 years ago, sired by the magnificent black stallion, Raven. His son, Cloud, was a leggy white foal who loved to pester his two sisters, Smokey and Mahogany, and make wild runs around the clusters of fir trees after sunset.