Tag Archives: Equine Protection

BLM Proposes Massive Burro Roundup + New Cattle Grazing

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a MASSIVE roundup of burros in Arizona’s Three River Complex, which includes the Alamo, Big Sandy, and Havasu Herd Management Areas (HMAs). BLM plans to round up 1,794 of the estimated 2,259 burros living in the area, leaving behind just 465 burros. Livestock grazing in the Big Sandy HMA is equivalent to 1,000 year-round cows; BLM only allows 139 burros to live in that same area.

America’s wild burros face a genetic crisis due to BLM’s mismanagement of these hardy little animals. The agency keeps most burro populations so small that inbreeding is inevitable.

BLM plans this massive burro roundup while at the same time the agency proposes ADDING COWS to graze in the same area! After nearly 30 years of no livestock grazing in the Alamo HMA, BLM wants to add cows despite claiming the HMA is over-grazed. This is CRAZY.

BLM’s unscientific “Appropriate” Management Level (AML) is a rigged system where any animal over BLM’s arbitrary quota is considered “overpopulation.” The only way to address this is to reduce livestock grazing and increase the number of burros allowed on the range.

Please take action NOW by signing our two petitions here and here, which call on BLM to ditch the massive roundup and reject the proposal to add new livestock grazing in the Alamo HMA.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Wild Horse Fire Brigade Updates

Photo: Michelle Gough

Maybe you can imagine the frustration of having a vaccine that is proven to cure cancer, but not having the money to produce and distribute the cure.  Even as people are dying.

That is the kind of frustration that we are dealing with in regard to saving wild horses!  We have the cure for the wild horse management debacle. Now we just need the money to get the cure effected.

Unfortunately, an industry-wide slowdown in funding, partially caused by more nonprofits than ever entering into the wild horse nonprofit marketplace, is diluting donations and slowing progress on our projects critical to implementing a permanent, humane, and natural solution to keep American wild horses wild and free.

People are being fooled into funding the widespread sterilization (a.k.a.: Fertility Control) of wild horses to augment the genetic damage being inflicted by reducing populations via BLM roundups. This slowdown in funding is coming at a time when some people are asking and pleading with us, “Is there any way we can get the Wild Horse Fire Brigade plan accomplished faster?”  Of course there is, but it takes proper funding… we can only go as fast as our budget allows us.

Stanford produced a white paper that addresses the serious issues that arise from under funding a worthy nonprofit:

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

“Funders must take the lead in breaking a vicious cycle that is leaving nonprofits so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations — let alone serve their beneficiaries.”

(Note: In the case of Wild Horse Fire Brigade, the ‘beneficiaries’ are the wild horses being abused, tortured, and on the brink of extinction.)

“Our research reveals that a vicious cycle fuels the persistent underfunding of overhead. The first step in the cycle is funders’ unrealistic expectations about how much it costs to run a nonprofit. At the second step, nonprofits feel pressure to conform to funders’ unrealistic expectations. At the third step, nonprofits respond to this pressure in two ways: they spend too little on overhead, and they underreport their expenditures on tax forms and in fundraising materials. This underspending and underreporting in turn perpetuate funders’ unrealistic expectations. Over time, funders expect grantees to do more and more with less and less — a cycle that slowly starves nonprofits.”

Sure, we’ve gotten some great national media exposure, and we’re very grateful for it. But people incorrectly assume that will be the ticket and we should now have financial wings when it’s not the case.  Honestly, national media articles help build brand recognition, reputation, and equity, but are less effective at bringing in donations these days than in prior years.

Until we can secure a major grant or large-scale donor, or a solid following of monthly donors, which as a newer nonprofit, we don’t have yet, our progress is restricted by budget.

We are far from having the kind of financial support we need to fully and speedily execute our novel, multifaceted approach to change the ongoing disastrous wild horse management and 30 years of failed advocacy.

Doing more of the same isn’t going to save wild horses in a manner that provides sustainable, humane, natural conservation that keeps them ‘wild & free’.

Too many people keep ignoring the evident facts that wild horse roundups have been greatly accelerated in coordination with horrific sterilization programs, both of which are carefully and scientifically designed to decimate wild horse populations.

This is the Bureau of Land Management’s end game.  And the biggest nonprofits are cashing in on the BLM’s plan, to the great detriment of wild horses.

Our end game is to use the combined experience of our team, along with the unparalleled extensive knowledge and experience, gained by managing our herd of 150 free roaming wild horses in a wilderness for the past 9 years, including during a catastrophic wildfire, to re-wild and relocate tens of thousands of wild horses into appropriate remote wilderness areas on parts of both public and privately owned remote wilderness.

There is approximately 353 million acres of privately owned for forests in America. About 50 million acres of that is very remote and unsuited for livestock, but ideal habitat for wild horses, that can make these areas more wildfire resilient.

Of the 115 million acres of publicly owned ‘designated wilderness’ (unsuited for livestock), all of which is at grave risk of incineration by wildfire, at least 30 million acres of that is very remote ideal habitat for wild horses. We only need to utilize a total of 20 million acres in order to re-wild/relocate 100,000 horses at the rate of 1 horse per 200 acres.

Here’s what we have in progress that can change everything for American wild horses:

(1) Our pilot herd of wild horses helped CALFIRE to stop a deadly 38,000 acre, wind driven catastrophic wildfire from incinerating the national treasure called the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. THIS IS A CASE STUDY. And we need to continue our ongoing research with this case study herd. We are needing to acquire some electronics for an advanced tracking system for our lead mares. This will open the door to much more important scientific information. The telemetry package (electronics, etc.) we need costs $20k. We currently don’t have that in our budget.

By way of the wildfire fuels management year after year, when the fire struck in 2018, the fuels had been managed by the wild horses and were minimal, and that made CALFIRE’s wildfire suppression efforts more effective.

Our herd of wild horses had created and maintained a fire resilient landscape year-round, and they can do the same job elsewhere.

Saving what we can right now – working with our extended family of volunteer advocates, we have rescued 60 mustangs that would have ended up in a Mexican slaughter plant.  Here is a video showing one of the groups that has their freedom restored: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntqV QeeVMs.

We must continue to offer the lesson from our wild horse management experience to legislators, forest managers, firefighters, ecologists, and wild horse advocates. Our empirical experience transcends textbooks, academic hypotheses, and certainly BLM mythology.

We can teach and inform others.  Education is one of our key strategies, and will help our future re-wilding partners to understand how and why our plan works, and how to successfully scale our plan onto very large landscapes of 100,000 acres and larger.

(2) Articles & publications:

Anyone who has been college educated can recall the huge time requirement and effort to write a term paper, right?

Now imagine having to crank out a term paper every week, for years in a row! That’s what we’ve been doing, and we have NO STAFF.  Of course, that’s on top of dealing with hundreds of emails per week, phone calls, etc.

In addition to doing daily field work in the wilderness with wild horses and all the chores it takes to live off grid in the wilderness, Wild Horse Fire Brigade’s founder William Simpson and co-researcher Michelle Gough have been producing articles and papers weekly that average 2,500 words each (in Simpson’s case, for the past 9 years).

We must continue authoring and publishing articles and white papers that inform decision makers and educators about the genuine value of maintaining natural herds of wild horses on the appropriate landscapes. This is a very time-consuming endeavor (writing researched articles and getting them published).

Wild Horse Fire Brigade’s founder, William E. Simpson, is a professional writer and published author (Ulysses Press), and recognized by Simon and Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/William E Simpson/169118167.

A few of our published articles and informational stories are platformed on our website (www.WHFB.us), providing the public with quick single point access to important, accurate information about wild horses.

Many other articles are published elsewhere, such as these example outlets:

*Pagosa Daily Post (Colorado): https://pagosadailypost.com/author/william simpson/

*HorseTalk (New Zealand):  https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/author/billsimpson/

* Sierra Nevada Ally: https://sierranevadaally.org/author/william e simpson ii/

(3) Utilizing our wilderness research station/ranch:

Our free roaming wild herd in the wilderness coupled with our onsite research station can serve as a center for the college field studies of wild horse ecology and ethology. This could turn out a new army of resource managers into the real world who know the truth of wild horses.

Our research station/ranch is set in the wilderness among a herd of free roaming wild horses. This provides our team with the opportunity to have visiting university students and scientists to learn about wild horses using what we call the ‘Goodall Method’.  Through an alliance with an accredited University, we hope to soon be offering a certificate or fellowship program in Wild Horse Ecology Ethology.

(4) Video and photographic education:

Producing documentaries and edutainment videos that can help inform the public at large. We have already produced over 230 such videos. Some of these videos have thousands of views, and provide a library of video information to the public.  We need to get the word out about this body of work.

(5) TV, radio, and internet interviews:

Bringing out the truth about wild horses and their importance on the American landscape is vital to our mission, and yet another important way to inform the general public. Wild Horse Fire Brigade’s founder spends dozens of hours every month preparing for and giving interviews, on site at the ranch, on the radio, on TV, and via the internet and webinars.

Recently, Wild Horse Fire Brigade’s Vice President, Kelsey Stangebye, authored an outstanding paper that was published at Midwest Reining Horse Association’s magazine, and can be read here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mZWo2FJd1D1RtK2AWCq8yQK2sYBVcauM/view?usp=sharing

Thank you for reading this, and please do share it.

Please donate here.

Visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Enough Is Enough

How do you spell cruelty? At the Cloud Foundation, we spell it:  R-O-U-N-D-U-P.  Specifically, helicopter roundup.

The BLM’s Antelope Valley Complex roundup commenced on July 9th and is unfortunately making our point for us. In 16 days, 19 horses have been killed. At least 7 tiny foals have died from the stress of the BLM miles-long run in hot and extreme temperatures. It’s unknown how many may have collapsed out on the range during the helicopter stampedes. Mares have been driven so hard that they’ve broken their necks – likely crashing gates.  Stallions have lost their lives, as well – one dying in the loading process (broken neck), and another that admirers named Mr. Sunshine for his palomino color breaking his leg jumping the 6′ high trap in a valiant attempt at freedom, which ended in a three-legged, 35-minute chase from both helicopter and horseman before his suffering was finally ended. Meanwhile, the cruelty continues.

BLM reports 19 deaths so far.  With the roundup still in progress, final reports are yet to come. An accurate count may never be known.

“The undercounting of deaths is, unfortunately, all too common,” says TCF Founder, Ginger Kathrens. “It is BLM practice to eliminate foals from the death count, as if they were never born and cared for by their mothers and the rest of their family. BLM literally gets away with murder.”

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! This kind of horrific cruelty needs to stop. There’s no accountability.

If you agree, please take action!

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Idaho’s Few Remaining Wild Horses Are under Attack

A curious Sands Basin HMA stallion watches our friends from Save Our Wild Horses.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho (Owyhee Field Office) plans to reduce wild horse numbers in the Black Mountain, Hardtrigger, and Sands Basin Herd Management Areas to low numbers of just 30 horses in the Black Mountain HMA, 33 horses in the Sands Basin HMA, and 66 horses in the Hardtrigger HMA.

This disastrous plan creates a scenario in which inbreeding among the wild horses is inevitable — daughters with fathers, brothers with sisters, and mothers with sons. This effectively destroys their ability to survive. Inbreeding results in an increase of the offspring being affected by recessive traits such as blindness, deafness, a breakdown of natural immunities, and physical deformities.

BLM’s response is to bring in a few horses from other HMAs to address genetic problems. The practice of introducing new horses diminishes the unique qualities present in these herds — for better or for worse — and speaks to BLM creating a problem (lack of genetic viability) that they will have to continuously – and retroactively – fix.

BLM also plans to use Gonacon as fertility control on mares returned to the range. Studies show that Gonacon is likely permanent after just two applications. It effectively destroys the ovaries and therefore natural hormone production that drives natural, wild behaviors.

WE CANNOT GIVE UP ON THESE HORSES.  Fighting for needed change is the least we can do for these precious animals. Will you please join us?

Please take a stand today — it takes less than a minute to submit your comments to BLM to state your opposition to this ill-conceived proposal.

TIPS on How to Comment: We have provided talking points for you to use. You can leave them as written if you like. However, we encourage you to edit the suggested comments to reflect your unique thoughts and perspectives.

If you would like to research this Environmental Assessment a bit further, you may find it (and supporting documents) here: EplanningUi (blm.gov).

For a LIVE tutorial — Join our friends with Save Our Wild Horses on Thursday, June 8th, at 7 pm EST.

They will have a 1-hour, 2-part Zoom:

Part 1 – Journalist Vickery Eckhoff presents: Speaking Truth to Power: The Media, BLM, & You

Part 2 addresses how to submit Public Comments on the Owyhee Field Office Herd Management’s proposed plan for the Idaho wild horse herds.

To register for this Zoom meeting, please email Heather Hellyer (Save Our Wild Horses) at kaya97524@yahoo.com.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Help Preserve the Pryor Wild Horses

Red Wolf and his mother, Feldspar, graze near the top of the PMWHR.

Comments are due on the Pryor Wild Horse Environmental Assessment (EA) on April 28th. If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to protect the Pryor Mustangs. Feel free to invite friends to do the same.

To comment, just click here. It will take you to the comments page where you may customize any of the suggested comments before submitting.

Speak up now to preserve the well-balanced Pryor range management that has existed for decades. In this EA, BLM wants to take a cookie-cutter approach that would disregard the unique qualities of this special herd. Also, among the proposed alternative plans:

  • genetics may no longer be a criterion for management actions
  • the already low AML may be further reduced
  • alternate fertility controls never before used in the Pryors — that destroy the natural wild behaviors — may be used on our beloved herd

You may reference the EA documents here: EplanningUi (blm.gov).

Please let the Bureau of Land Management know how much this herd means to all of us. Submit your comments on the proposed management plan that will govern the future of these horses for years to come.

We thank you for caring about these magnificent animals and for your support in keeping them WILD and FREE — you are sincerely appreciated.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

McLain Ward Receives EQUUS Foundation Spirit Award

Jenny Belknap Kees, McLain Ward, and Lynn Coakley @Phelps Media Group

Monday, March 27th, was a picture-perfect Florida evening, poolside at the Stallion Restaurant in Wellington, Florida, and was the scene for the EQUUS Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, attended by over a hundred horse lovers and equestrians.  The evening, hosted by renowned equestrians Frank Madden and Jimmy Torano, began after dinner with cocktails, delicious appetizers, bites, deserts, and lively DJ music.

First off was the fierce and hilarious Bouncy Horse Competition. Two volunteers, Luke Jensen and Meghan Davis, faced off, racing one length alongside the pool, retrieving a plastic carrot, and racing back again to the finish line. Both competitors had trouble staying mounted and even wobbled and fell off, but bravely remounted in time for 15-year-old Meghan Davis to take the win by a nose over Luke Jensen.

Madden and Torano then introduced EQUUS Foundation VP, Valerie Angeli, who acknowledged and thanked guests and said, “The time is now to take responsibility for the horses that we ask to trust us. The practice of abandoning horses or subjecting them to neglect, abuse, or being sent to the slaughter pipeline because they couldn’t run fast enough, jump high enough, or were the wrong color or size is never okay.”

Angeli announced the launch of the EQUUS Foundation #HorseProtector Pledge campaign, reading the new pledge and asking guests to sign on. Angeli said, “Horses need all of us to protect them and we need to keep spreading the word and inspiring the equine community to care more about the welfare of horses than what horses can do for us. Horses are living, breathing, feeling partners — not commodities.”

“We hope all horse lovers will sign the pledge at equusfoundation.org/pledge to show solidarity in support of horse welfare. You even get your own fundraising page that you can send to friends and family to help us raise funds – if you would like to take that step. Everyone that raises $1000 or more in this effort will not only help save the lives of America’s horses, but also be eligible for a drawing to win a stunning, special luxury edition CWD Saddle in commemoration of CWD’s 100,000th saddle,” said Angeli.

Bertrand Pelletier, the head of LIM Group North America, spoke briefly about the saddle donation. “’You ride – we care’ is our motto,” said Pelletier, “and we are thrilled to donate this special saddle to a great cause — the welfare of horses through the EQUUS Foundation, in honor of its 20 years of horse protection.”

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Spirit Award to McLain Ward, presented by Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Foundation Chair, and Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

“Twenty years ago, when Jenny reached out to McLain to explain what we were trying to accomplish in establishing the EQUUS Foundation and asked him if he would participate in an event that came to be known as the Fete Cheval, he said ‘Yes’ without hesitation,” said Coakley. “When we reached out to other top equestrians and said McLain is participating, they all followed suit. Little did McLain and the others know what we were going to ask of them!

“Now twenty years later, we are here to present the Spirit Award to honor an equestrian who has significantly elevated the image and desirability of horses. There was no question in either of our minds who would be the first recipient.”

Belknap said, “There’s not a lot that can be said about McLain that hasn’t been said before – except to say that McLain embodies everything that the Spirit Award stands for. He continues to be a force in propelling the equestrian sport forward – always the sportsman and the gentleman – and always a friend and advocate since our founding 20 years ago.”

In accepting the award, Ward said, “It is so important to have an organization like the EQUUS Foundation that not only steps up to protect horses, particularly in the most vulnerable time in their lives, but also keeps us aware of what’s really happening.

“When Lynn and Jenny first approached me about the Spirit Award, my first response was that there must be others who have done much greater work on behalf of all the horses that need our help than myself, and there are, but I accepted because I believe it is critical that horse sports be humane and ethical and responsible and that we take care of our partners throughout their lives, whether they were champions or not.

“The responsibility to lead the way falls on all of us,” says Ward. “We don’t realize where many horses — including show horses and racehorses — end up, and the terrible fate they may face. We just assume that they are taken care of, but that’s not the reality. I am honored to accept this award and to lend my name to the EQUUS Foundation.”

Belknap announced that the EQUUS Foundation is establishing the McLain Ward Horse Whisperer Award and will be awarding a grant in his name IN PERPETUITY to a deserving equine charity that is dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the horse-human bond.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Urge BLM to Preserve ALL Wild Horses in Clan Alpine HMA

The Bureau of Land Management rounded up a record number of wild horses and burros in 2022 — more than 20,000 precious animals. This is happening thanks to Congress giving record-breaking increased funding for roundups and fertility control methods that destroy who these horses really are and their natural behaviors. Sadly, the agency is hellbent on removing another 20,000 this year too.

We KNOW how frustrating and heartbreaking this is. It’s infuriating our government caters to a small special interest group – public land ranchers – for the management of OUR public lands. It’s shameful that our government refuses to use science to manage our country’s resources and instead continues the good ol’ boy status quo.

But giving up is not an option. We CAN change things — but only if we persist in our efforts. Most social change comes far too slowly; those brave souls who continue the fight and refuse to accept defeat are the ones who prevail in the end.

Your voice makes a difference.  Please submit your comments directly to the BLM.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Wild Horse Fire Brigade Video Collection on YouTube Now

Wild Horse Fire Brigade, an all-volunteer 501-c-3 nonprofit organization, is pleased to present our growing collection of unique videos about free-roaming American wild horses living in the wilderness at Wild Horse Ranch, the remote mountain research station for our Org.

Living in a remote off-grid mountain wilderness is not easy by means. There are many serious risks and hardships endured by living so far out in the wild.

But the knowledge that is gained by living among the wild ones, as William and Michelle do, is priceless and worth the risks and hardships.

We hope you’ll enjoy these videos, many of which are filmed at Wild Horse Ranch with genuine free-roaming wild horses in the wilderness. Watching these videos is like taking a mini-course in wild horse ethology!

https://www.youtube.com/@wildhorsefirebrigade2191/videos

Feel free to share them with your friends and on social media.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Veterans for Mustangs Act Proposes to Make Wild Horses into Carnival Shooting Gallery

American Wild Horse Campaign volunteer stalking and shooting wild horses with high powered gas operated rifle. Photo courtesy of American Wild Horse Campaign.

YREKA, CA, US, February 3, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — A recently introduced bill titled the ‘Veterans for Mustangs Act’ allegedly seeks to employ Veterans suffering from PTSD to shoot wild horses using high powered gas operated rifles firing a heavy projectile carrying a chemical sterilization agent commonly known as ‘PZP’.

An examination of the unvarnished data about what is being cavalierly proposed in this new bill shows many compelling serious contraindications for supporting this bill.

First off, there are no published psychological studies that prove any potential mental health benefits for combat veterans suffering from PTSD by chasing wild horses around the landscape and shooting them with these powerful rifles. And in many cases where combat veterans are suffering from PTSD, ownership or use of any firearms may be contraindicated, according to information from a National Academy of Science’s report: https://cdn.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/071712bb1.pdf.

Moreover, according to a published National Institute of Health Study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308415/):

“Military veterans and individuals with Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for aggressive behavior and suicide, compared to civilians and those without PTSD. Further, compared to other psychiatric populations, veterans with PTSD have been found to possess more firearms and to more frequently engage in potentially dangerous firearm related behaviors. This is concerning as, compared to civilians, veterans are more likely to complete suicide with a firearm and access to firearms is associated with higher risk of suicide above and beyond the effect of psychiatric illness. Veterans with PTSD also demonstrate higher levels of anger, hostility, and aggression than those without PTSD, which may render firearm possession particularly problematic among this population.”

The key lobbyist behind this bill, Mr. Marty Irby, has a background that should be carefully considered in regard to his motivation in lobbying a bill that raises many questions and serious concerns, as can be read in this published article:

https://twhfacts.com/2019/08/03/the facts about marty irby executive director animal wellness action/

In fact, the experts who pioneered and helped develop and study using gas powered rifles to shoot large animals, including wild horses, with heavy chemical filled syringes, have themselves raised some of the serious concerns and published them:

“Even on a large animal struck correctly, the dart (contraceptive PZP darts) can cause hemorrhage and hematoma. Misplaced shots can break bones or even kill the animal.” (Thomas and Marburger 1964)

“Muzzle report [when a gun goes ‘bang’] can cause problems in darting either captive or free ranging animals. In captive situations, the noise can be more disturbing to animals than getting struck with a dart.”

“Disturbed animals are then more difficult to approach, or the entire group of animals may run away.” (Page 32, “Overview of Delivery Systems for the Administration of Contraceptive to Wildlife” by Terry J. Kreeger)

In fact, there is mounting scientific evidence that using PZP, also known as a ‘Genetic Poison’ by many wild horse experts and advocates, has many unintended consequences that are never mentioned by the promoters of PZP.

A leading researcher in the field of fertility control using PZP, Dr. Cassandra M. V. Nuñez, has written extensively about the ‘unintended consequences’ of using PZP, even when administered in a less draconian manner than using combat soldiers to shoot wild horses with rifles.

More about Nuñez’s research here: https://cmvnunez.weebly.com/.

Interestingly, the Bureau of Land Management, which has suffered from ongoing and widespread condemnation of their management of American wild horses, is offering millions in tax dollars as funding incentives (grants) to people and NGOs to employ the use of shooting wild horses with PZP to allegedly control populations of wild horses where they are deemed in conflict with humans and commercial enterprises.

More here: https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/607372689/costly wild horse management exposing the crutches of a failed paradigm killing american wild horses.

According to an article by Michael Ray Harris, a law professor and litigator at Vermont Law University and the Legal Advisor to the California based non-profit all-volunteer organization Wild Horse Fire Brigade:

“What is ignored by the pro-PZP community is that wild horses darted with PZP to inhibit their ability to naturally reproduce aren’t really, well, ‘wild’ anymore. Wild means ‘living in a state of nature’ as opposed to being ‘tamed or domesticated’ to be more useful to humans. Accordingly, opposition to PZP is based on an ethical belief that wild animals should be free of human manipulation.”

This press release can be viewed in full online at: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/614834024/.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Urge BLM to Preserve ALL Wild Horses in McCullough Peaks HMA

“Wild Pinto Family at the Waterhole” by Carol Walker, Living Images Photography.

The McCullough Peaks wild horses are a beloved herd. Given the herd’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park, they amaze and charm both locals and visitors from around the world.

Local volunteers have worked tirelessly for more than 12 years to implement a successful PZP program to manage the population growth of the herd. The program has been a complete success with just 2% population growth each year. Sadly, the BLM now wants to remove the majority of horses from the current population of just 179 horses to the Arbitrary Management Level (AML) of just 70-140 horses.

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to remove over 100 horses and begin use of controversial fertility control such as GonaCon. BLM, of course, ignores the livestock grazing in the wild horse habitat and refuses to consider repatriating wild horses to the zeroed-out portion of the Herd Area.

Please take a minute to speak up for these magnificent horses.  Tell the BLM the following (in your own words):

  • I support the PZP program that has successfully managed the herd for the last 12 years.
  • I strongly oppose the removal of any wild horses now living in the HMA; these horses deserve to live and die wild and are valued by locals and tourists alike.
  • The successful partnership between volunteers and BLM to manage the McCullough Peaks Herd through darting has been a model for other HMAs.
  • BLM must amend planning documents to increase the Arbitrary Management Level to be in line with science. Nationally respected equine geneticist Dr. E. Gus Cothran has long stated that a breeding herd of 150-200 horses is the minimum herd size necessary to prevent inbreeding. Removing horses will jeopardize the long-term genetic health of the herd and will force related horses to inbreed.
  • Utilize BLM authority (43 C.F.R. 4710) to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing in order to accommodate the wild horses.
  • These horses must be managed to preserve natural behaviors using only safe and proven fertility control such as PZP. I oppose the BLM’s proposal to use other fertility controls such as GonaCon, IUDs, surgical sterilization, and other fertility control methods which are documented to destroy ovaries (or testes) and natural hormone production which is necessary for natural “wild” behaviors.
  • These horses are a great tourism draw. The public enjoys observing their natural wild behaviors, including seeing stallions protect their families, watching lead mares direct herd dynamics, and experiencing the entire repertoire of natural “wild” horse behaviors.

Your voice makes a difference.  Please submit your comments directly to the BLM by clicking here (and selecting the Participate Now option).

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org