Tag Archives: wild horses

BLM Plotting War on America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs…”

The Department of the Interior, under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke, has signaled its intention to strip decades-old federal protections for wild horses and burros and to allow them to be shipped to slaughter by the tens of thousands. Public comments and Congressional testimony from Zinke and other high-ranking government officials represents the most severe threat to wild horses since the ghastly and cruel killing practices of the 1960s prompted Congress to adopt the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs. It was only in April that Congress passed a spending bill with sensible wild horse provisions for the remainder of 2017. That bill included language preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter for human consumption. It further directed the BLM to create a plan to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

Now, just two months after President Trump signed the 2017 Omnibus spending bill into law, the Department of the Interior is saying it is going to default to slaughter because it’s possessed with no other options. In the president’s budget request for 2018, the department has asked for the ability to maintain wild horse and burro populations at dramatically reduced levels and to get there by slaughtering the animals.

While there are always going to be major challenges in managing wild horses and burros on our western public lands and in satisfying the diverse stakeholders in the debate, there are certain options that should never even be considered because they are simply outside the bounds of how animals should be treated. Mass slaughter is one of those dreadful ideas, an action that flies in the face of the now longstanding prohibition on slaughter and of the instincts of millions of Americans to protect these magnificent symbols of the American West.

The BLM has never been exemplary at managing horses. Far from it. For 20 years, the agency’s primary strategy for wild horse and burro populations has largely consisted of rounding up and removing the animals from our public lands – an effort that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild horses and burros being kept in holding facilities at a cost now approaching $50 million a year — more than half of the BLM’s annual budget for the entire wild horse and burro program. Partly because the costs of caring for so many captive horses are undermining the larger program, the agency has failed to commit any additional money to implement sufficient fertility control programs, which have been long recommended by The HSUS and the National Academies of Sciences.

The aggressive and widespread use of fertility control is the only way to confront this crisis in the long term. The horses need to be managed, but in a humane manner. Fertility control works, but only if there’s a serious investment in the enterprise on the ground. By preventing the birth of foals, the agency will find itself under less pressure to round up so many horses. Fewer round-ups mean substantial cost savings, since not as many animals need to be pastured and fed in short-term and long-term holding facilities. A capture-and-kill strategy, on the other hand, will only make matters worse, because it will cause the horses to compensate by reproducing at a higher rate on the range.

We cannot readily resolve the politics of managing the captive and free-roaming wild horse populations without a struggle. It won’t be easy to get a handle on this. But one thing is for sure: sanctioning the slaughter of tens of thousands of horses is a disgraceful, shameful idea. It is an unacceptable idea that will produce protests in the streets, from Reno to Washington, D.C. Mass slaughter will happen only over the cries, protests, and interventions of the American people.

Tell Secretary Zinke that you do not support the slaughter of America’s wild horses by calling 202-208-7351.

By Wayne Pacelle as posted on Humane Nation

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/06/16/blm-plotting-war-on-americas-wild-horses-and-burros/

Tryon Resort to Feature Mustang Leadership Partners Demonstration and Freestyle Dressage

Mill Spring, NC – June 15, 2017 – Before this week’s “Saturday Night Lights” free family entertainment and Freestyle Dressage competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), be sure to catch the wild mustang demonstration presented by the Mustang Leadership Partners at 6:00 p.m. in the George H. Morris Arena. For added value, watch the show from the comfort of the Legends Club patio overlooking the George Morris Arena as you dine on a gourmet buffet or visit one of Tryon Resort’s many other dining options.

The mustang, long an American icon, faces a serious overpopulation problem. As of 2015, more than 47,000 wild horses and burros were living in off-range corrals due to a population that was more than twice what Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Herd Management Areas could sustain. The BLM can no longer afford to gather as many wild horses and burros from public lands, since there are still so many waiting to be adopted in off-range facilities.

Currently, only the amount of horses that will be adopted are removed each year and kept in captivity, but research and implementation of birth control methods and herd management systems are still in progress, and there are still many wild horses and burros that need homes so that wild populations can remain healthy at the landscape’s carrying capacity.

Mustang Leadership Partners (MLP), founded 2010 in Chattanooga, TN, is an after-school program for students at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy. It is a mentorship, leadership and STEM program created to bring hands-on experiences that lead to life-long lessons inspired by the wild American mustang. The mission of MLP is to sustain, preserve, and protect the wild American mustang. Students and mustangs will perform in the George H. Morris Arena.

Through the MLP program, students have the opportunity to develop, practice, and improve relationship skills, responsibility, social accountability, self-awareness and self-confidence-all of which are mirrored in the mustang’s behavior. Students of Mustang Leadership build lasting bonds with a mustang; the mustang becomes their mentor and their teacher. As a result, students are more confident because they have met and conquered something new and seemingly insurmountable. Don’t miss this chance to witness the magic of connection with an American mustang.

For more information about Mustang Leadership Partners, visit their website at www.mustangleadershippartners.com.

Dinner and Dressage at Legends Club

Watch the Mustang Leadership Partners demonstration and Dressage Freestyle ringside at Legends Club. Tickets are $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. Dinner and Dressage is open to the public, but reservations are recommended. For reservations, please contact Legends Club at legendsclub@tryon.com or by calling (828) 863-1130.

Parking and general admission is free and open to the public. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort, visit www.tryon.com.

Interior Secretary and Utah Congressman Present Fictional Account of Wild Horses

Three grulla horses Crooks Mountain HMA.

I just got back from a trip to the Pryors and to the Red Desert Complex of south central Wyoming. The horses all look so fabulous and the Red Desert is horse heaven with abundant forage and so much room to roam. Maybe that is why the Congressional Public Resource Sub-Committee hearing threw me for a loop! Here is that section of the hearing with Chris Stewart of Utah questioning and commenting to Secretary Zinke.

Secretary of the Interior testifies before Congressional Sub-Committee June 8, 2017. The Secretary is being questioned by Congressman Stewart of Utah.

This Congressional conversation bears no resemblance to what I am seeing first hand on our ranges. After I left the Pryors, I visited four Herd Management areas in Wyoming called the Red Desert Complex, areas scheduled for devastating roundups this fall. BLM proposes to remove over 2,000 wild horses.

They would leave less than1 horse per 1,000 acres in the 750,000 acre Red Desert Complex! Congressman Stewart contends that wild horses are devastating western rangelands and starving to death. Here’s what is devastating rangelands. I happened on this site while looking for wild horses in the Stewart Creek HMA. When I turned off the dirt road onto a two track the acrid smell of cow manure hit me like a slap in the face. Then I saw the cattle and the land around the pond. The area was devastated, not by horses, but by cattle.

The Secretary spoke of birth control methods that do not work. This too is completely inaccurate. PZP works in all the herds that use it but I can count those herds on the fingers of both hands. And Congressman Stewart chimed in that the cost was thousands of dollars (for a dose). The Secretary agreed.

I feel like I am living in an alternative reality. PZP is $27 a dose and PZP-22 is a couple hundred dollars a dose — but thousands? Where do these gentlemen get their information?

It is critically important that you make your voices heard. The American public is the only thing standing between the death and destruction of our herds on the range and in holding. Please keep calling the White House and your Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators and telling them that you want your wild horses to live in freedom on the range.

WHITE HOUSE: Call the President — 202-456-1111 (not weekends)

SENATE: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

HOUSE: http://m.house.gov/representatives/

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Leave your name (spell it) and the town where you live.
  2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.
  3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.
  4. You will probably get a Voicemail — but that’s okay. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director

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

Presidential Budget Dooms Wild Horses

This is a frightening time for our wild horses and burros, not only for those in holding, but also those roaming free.

Please watch this brief video which we shot on May 24 with Cloud’s beautiful son Ohanzee east of Colorado Springs at Jaime Wade’s ranch.

This is the Cloud Foundation interpretation of the President’s proposed $10 million cut to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Budget which includes chilling language:

“The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program. The long-term goal is to realign program costs and animal populations to more manageable levels, enabling BLM to reorient the WHB program back to these traditional management strategies.”

The BLM contends that the horses on the range exceed the ridiculously low national AML of 26,700 by over 40,000 animals. There are over 40,000 animals in long and short term holding. 80,000 could be killed if we, the American people, do not speak up!

There has never been such a grave a threat to the existence of our wild horses as right now!

Use the links provided in the video to call the WHITE HOUSE, your U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, and your 2 SENATORS. We must flood and overload the phone lines with calls. This will take only 4 phone calls — probably 1 minute each.

Never has it been more important for you to speak up on behalf of the future of our wild horses and burros!

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Leave your name (spell it) and the town where you live.
  2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.
  3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.
  4. You will probably get a Voicemail — but that’s okay. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director

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

Rob Lowe Joins Our Board and the Sneaky Wording in the Appropriations Bill

Actor Rob Lowe has joined the Advisory Board for Saving America’s Mustangs and Mustang Monument. Rob is an acclaimed actor in movies such as The Outsiders and St. Elmo’s Fire but then moved to award winning television shows such as The West Wing, Parks and Recreation and The Grinder.

Recent Changes to the Appropriations Bill Is a Worry for Wild Mustangs & Burros

A recent change to the 2017 Appropriations Bill has put our beloved Wild Horses and Burros in more danger. The bill revision included an addition which robs wild horses and burros in holding facilities of their protected status under the Wild Horse and Burro Act. Further, these animals could be transferred to Federal, State, or local agencies which would then only require “the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age” to dispose of the animal.

This cloak-and-dagger tactic of sneaking this verbiage into the Appropriations Bill is creating a loophole in legislation to which several hundred if not thousands of mustangs will fall prey.  It is certainly putting slaughter back on the table as the option for these animals, and that just will not do.

Further, the notion of transferring these animals from the Bureau of Land Management over to Federal, State or local government agencies is also taking steps backward. Once we start removing protections for these animals, it will be harder to regain ground for not only conservation, but also to stop the round ups and incarceration of these innocent creatures.

Now is the time for government to see the value in using private business as a solution to this ongoing issue. Private Businesses like Mustang Monument would not only provide a solution, but transparency and monetary savings as well. Further private businesses have the motivation to get things done rather than to getting stuck in the same ol’ mud hole. Let’s fix this problem. It is not that hard; it just takes communication.

Please contact the following people to voice your concerns for these majestic animals:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chair, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 224-6665
AK office: (907) 271-3735

Sen. Tom Udall, Ranking Member, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 224-6621
NM office: (505) 346-6791

Rep. Ken Calvert
DC office: (202) 225-1986
CA office: (951) 277-0042

Rep. Betty McCollum
DC office: (202) 225-6631
MN office: (651) 224-9191

Saving America’s Mustangs

The High Price of Protecting Our Wild Horse Herds

Photo: Divide Basin band.

Dear Friends:

Not everything we do here at the Cloud Foundation is in the limelight, but it is crucial in our fight to keep our wild horse families living in precious freedom on their home ranges.  Our legal efforts to do this are costly. Some go on for years, like our commitment to preventing the cruel sterilization of the entire Saylor Creek Herd in Idaho.

Our fight to prevent the removal of all the wild horses in Utah’s Beaver County continues as does our work to keep wild horses living wild and free on the vast checkerboard lands of southern Wyoming.

Preventing wild horse families from losing their freedom on lands in the checkerboard along the I-80 corridor is a real challenge. The powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association covets all these lands for their cattle and sheep. They want the wild horses gone, removed, and locked up!

Bottom line, we have to keep as many horses out of holding as we possibly can! This is a critical time and legal action is one of the only ways to keep them safe on their homes on the range.

As most of you know, my colleagues on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board voted to destroy the wild horses in holding. I was the only dissenting voice. The door the Advisory Board cracked open last fall could swing wide if the Secretary of the Interior supports the “humane euthanasia” of thousands of healthy wild horses in holding. This is a very real possibility.

Please consider a special donation to support our legal efforts. We had two precedent-setting wins in Federal District Court last year which will help protect wild horses in the future. To continue our legal battles, your generous support is essential!

Click here to donate to the TCF Mustang Legal Fund.

Thanks,
Ginger Kathrens

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

Mining Threatens Three Wild Horse Herds

Please Comment by April 17 on the Planning Expansion of the Gold Bar Mine. Nevada wild horse herds threatened!

Dear Friends of our Wild Horses:

Comments for an Environmental Impact Statement are due April 17th, 2017 regarding the massive expansion of the Gold Bar Mine north of Eureka, Nevada.

If this expansion moves forward it will threaten three wild horse herds areas: Roberts Mountain, Fish Creek, and Whistler Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

Please take a few minutes and comment on this destructive mining project using your own words.

Here are a few key points we suggest you make to the Bureau of Land Management:

  1. Open pit gold mining is the most destructive use of the land with little ability to mitigate the damage.
  2. The project would expand to 44,000 acres or 62.5 square miles.
  3. The project would consume approximately 2 billion gallons of water over a ten-year period, depleting both surface and ground water.
  4. Nevada is the driest state in the Union.
  5. Lack of water is regularly the reason BLM/Nevada gives for conducting emergency removals of wild horses from the range. 14 herds were zeroed out in 2009 based on the prediction of little available water!
  6. Wild horses and other wildlife will suffer from the environmental destruction and lack of water. Sage Grouse occupy the area and are a species of critical environment concern.
  7. The mining expansion is based on out-of-date mining plans from 1992.
  8. Gold mining is highly speculative. The previous mine owners, Atlas Corporation, filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.

Read TCF full comments here:  EISCommentsGoldBarMineNV. Tell BLM to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.

Send your comments to Christine Gabriel, Project Manager, Subject: DEIS MMI Gold Bar Mine Project, Email: blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@blm.gov.

Thanks very much for helping our Nevada wild herds!

Happy Trails!
Ginger Kathrens

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

Wild Horse Overpopulation Is Fake News

Americans are outraged and want a real head count

San Francisco, CA. (February 19, 2017) — According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), there is no evidence of wild horse overpopulation on public land. Deadly roundups continue based on sloppy Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates and fake news. A petition to investigate the wild horse & burro count in captivity and in freedom calls for immediate head counts. (https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom) BLM avoids head counts because it would expose the truth.

“Why spend millions to billions on roundups, population control and hoarding wild horses in government pens when a real head count of wild horses is needed first?” explains Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The public and our elected officials deserve to know how many wild horses are left in America today. Wild horse and burro overpopulation is fake news used to fear monger Congress into giving a rotten federal agency more money to spend.”

Read more here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=10149.

Protect Mustangs
www.ProtectMustangs.org

Chevy Chase Adds His Name to Petition Urging Obama to End Horse Slaughter

Dec 14, 2016 — One of America’s most beloved comedians and actors, Chevy Chase, has signed this petition urging President Obama and Vice President Biden to end the slaughter of America’s wild and domestic equines as part of their legacy. We all love Chevy’s performances on television and in film, and his hilarious appearances as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live which debuted in 1975. Chevy, his wife Jayni, and their children are all avid horse lovers. We thank them for their support of this petition and ask you to sign and share it as well.

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-obama-biden-end-the-slaughter-of-america-s-horses

Wild Horses of Sea and Sand

Photo – Ann Evans.

In October, Ann Evans and I visited the northernmost point of the Outer Banks Islands off the coast of North Carolina. I have wanted to see the wild horses there for a long time.

The island might seem inhospitable for wild horses but, for nearly 500 years, it has been home to a wild herd. Named for the Island on which they live, the Corolla Wild Horses are survivors of shipwrecks on a turbulent coastline called the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  Now, however, the horses are severely endangered. Recent, rampant development of their tiny island threatens to destroy the herd. Fewer than 100 animals remain.

DNA work on the herd by Dr. E. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University confirms their unique Spanish heritage and also their vulnerability to inbreeding. The herd has only one matrilineal line remaining. Plans for captive breeding are underway but uncontrolled development could leave the herd with no room to roam.

If you want to help these tough, little survivors, we urge you to contact the Corolla Wild Horse Fund – www.corollawildhorsefund.org. Ask the Fund what you can do to help.

Our thanks go out to Karen McCalpin, Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and Meg Puckett, Herd Manager, for guiding and educating us. It was an unforgettable trip as you can see from this video!

Happy Trails,
Ginger

The Cloud Foundation
info@thecloudfoundation.org