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This week’s eNews: New report contradicts BLM’s justification for accelerated roundups

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There’s been a lot going on with our precious wild horses and burros, so we wanted to share some updates with you, including our new report on the BLM’s Axtell Holding Facility in Utah, and a way for you to contact your legislators and ask them to protect wild horses and burros. Read on to learn more!

ACT NOW: Urge your U.S. Representative to cosponsor the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act (H.R. 6635)

In early 2022, a foal died after suffering a broken leg while being chased by a helicopter. Video footage shows the helicopter continuing to chase the foal even after his leg was visibly broken. He suffered for 30 minutes before the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) euthanized him to end his misery. Hundreds of horses and burros tragically die unnecessarily each year as a result of helicopter roundups.

That’s why AWHC has been working to put a stop to this cruel practice once and for all, and Congress is taking action too! Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus has introduced a bill seeking to ban the use of helicopters during roundups — the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act (H.R. 6635). Can you take a moment to urge your representative in Congress to cosponsor this bill?

TAKE ACTION

AWHC Responds to New Ecological Report On the Piceance-East Douglas HMA

Photo by © WilsonAxpe Photography

A new report released last week by Delia Malone, an expert land ecologist with the Sierra Club, directly challenges the BLM’s assertions regarding why it accelerated the roundup of the horses on the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area.

According to Malone, the “BLM’s justification for an accelerated roundup is not supported by evidence.” Click here to read her report!

READ THE REPORT

AWHC Report: July Tour Of The Axtell Holding Facility In Utah

On July 1, 2022 from 9 AM to 12 PM the BLM hosted a tour for the public to view its private holding facility in Axtell, Utah that’s currently home to 1,030 horses and 218 burros. AWHC made sure to have an observer present to document any neglect or mistreatment. Click here to read the findings. >>

READ THE REPORT

Thanks for your support.

— AWHC Team

This week’s eNews: Thousands of wild horses at risk of disease in BLM WY facility

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to share some recent updates around roundups and holding, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 proposed budget for managing wild horses and burros, and a distinguished award won by a member of the AWHC herd! Read on to learn more and help us to protect these cherished animals. >>

Tell Congress Protect Wild Horses and Burros in the FY23 Spending Bill

The Biden Administration recently released its proposed FY2023 budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior and called for $153.1 million to fund the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. While this is still a $16 million increase from the FY22 spending bill passed last month, the increase in spending is noticeably smaller than in previous years. Now it’s up to Congress to determine how much money will be appropriated to this mismanaged federal program. 

Last month, Congress took a historic step toward reforming the Wild Horse and Burro Program when it passed its Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus spending bill that required the BLM to spend up to $11 million to implement a robust fertility control vaccine program as a step away from cruel roundups. Now Congress is working on FY23 appropriations and we need your help to protect wild horses and burros! Take action now by asking your elected officials to include similar measures to protect wild horses and burros in the FY23 spending bill.

TAKE ACTION

Take Action for North Dakota’s Wild Horses

The wild horses that call the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota home have roamed the badlands for centuries, and many believe they are descendants of Sitting Bull’s horses and related to the rare Nokota breed. Although the wild horses are not protected under the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act, they are a significant part of the historical and natural heritage of the park and the state. Equally important, they’re a huge tourism draw for North Dakota.

Right now, the National Park Service is considering many management options for this herd, including slashing their populations or eliminating them entirely. Please take action TODAY!

TAKE ACTION

“Strangles” Outbreak in Crowded BLM Wyoming Holding Corral

The BLM recently canceled an adoption event scheduled for April 1 at its Wheatland Off-Range Corral holding facility due to a “strangles” outbreak — a highly contagious upper respiratory disease with an up to 40% mortality rate. AWHC is calling for an immediate moratorium on all Wyoming roundups pending inquiry into the disease outbreak, as well as dozens of deaths of horses from other causes in the state’s holding facilities. 

The Wheatland facility is one of the BLM’s newest and largest holding facilities, with a holding capacity of 3,500 wild horses. Learn more about our call for an investigation into the outbreak and a halt on all roundups in the meantime here:

LEARN MORE

AWHC Board Member Wins Top Nature Prize

Photo by Scott Wilson

AWHC Board Member and wildlife photographer, Scott Wilson won the coveted Natural World and Wildlife Award in the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards for his photo of a Colorado mustang, titled, “Anger Management” (above). Scott’s photo was chosen for the top prize out of 170,000 entries!

The photo was taken just months before the devastating roundup of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado, where 684 wild horses were captured. Scott’s photo is bringing international attention to the plight of America’s wild mustangs. Scott is a strong advocate for the preservation of wild horses, and we are proud to have him as a member of the AWHC herd!

READ MORE

Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros!

— AWHC Team

Archer’s April Foals Day story:

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Happy April Foals Day!

Foals have some of the most inspiring and heartwarming stories from the range. Archer is no different.

Archer’s story starts when he became an orphan after his mother was hit and died on a Nevada highway. AWHC volunteers watched as the family mourned the loss of one of their own, paying close attention to little Archer, who was now all alone.

But he wouldn’t remain so for long — another mare named Legacy quickly brought Archer into the foal-d! Just days after the accident, we were amazed to see Archer nursing alongside Legacy’s own colt, Tatonka, as though he’d been there from the very beginning.

SUPPORT FOALS LIKE ARCHER

Overnight, the three became a loving family, and we saw Archer’s story come foal circle. They are still together today!

Though we were pleased to see Archer so well-taken care of, not every foal is lucky enough to meet a mare like Legacy. As babies, foals are uniquely vulnerable, and can require rescue. Here at AWHC, we partner with local rescue organizations in Nevada to fuel their work as they care for orphaned or abandoned foals.

Your support enables us to help these organizations fund the veterinary care and shelter they need to make sure no foal is left behind.

Will you give any amount today to our Foal Rescue Fund so we can keep up our partnerships and ensure that all foals are able to find a happy and healthy home?

Fillies and colts are some of the sweetest horses you’ll ever meet, but because of circumstances out of their control, their lives can sometimes be filled with loss. We don’t think any foal deserves to be hungry and alone, and are foal-ly dedicated to protecting them, in the wild and in rescue. Can you help fuel this important work on April Foals Day with a donation to our Foal Rescue Fund today?

FUEL OUR RESCUE FUND

Thanks for your support! We appreciate it an aw-foal lot!

— AWHC Team

Celebrating Women’s History Month by remembering Wild Horse Annie

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

March is Women’s History Month, a time of year when we pay homage to all the incredible accomplishments and contributions women have made to our nation’s rich history. In that spirit, we would like to take this opportunity to honor Velma B. Johnston, better known as “Wild Horse Annie.”

Velma Johnston was born in Reno, Nevada in 1912. She grew up around horses from an early age since her father used them for his freighting service. When she was 11 years old, she tragically caught polio — the experience left a huge impact on her and made her very empathetic to the suffering of animals. After she recovered, she devoted her time to caring for the animals on her father’s ranch. 

One morning while on her way to work, Velma witnessed an appalling scene — a trailer filled with bloodied, injured wild horses recently captured from Nevada’s Virginia Range. Bravely, Velma followed the truck to its final destination, a slaughterhouse. After this experience, she learned that  “mustangers” — usually ranchers and hunters — were capturing wild horses for commercial slaughter using airplanes and trucks, often with no regard for the injuries they caused. Velma was horrified. 

Once she saw the brutality, she could not ignore it. From that day forward, she dedicated her life to stopping the inhumane treatment, abuse, and slaughter of wild horses. 

Velma organized a huge grassroots campaign to put an end to these devastating practices, driving national attention to this issue. Her efforts were successful and resulted in the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act of 1959. This Act prohibited the use of motorized vehicles to hunt wild horses and burros on all public lands, but it did not include her recommendations for federal protection and management of the wild horse population. So, Velma kept fighting in Washington. 

She inspired thousands of school children to write letters to their elected officials and even testified before Congress herself! After another decade of advocacy, Congress finally passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the significant and influential piece of legislation that is credited with saving the West’s iconic wild horses and burros from total eradication. 

Wild Horse Annie’s story is a testament to the strength and resilience of women everywhere. She fought fiercely for a cause that she deeply believed in and left behind a legacy of compassion for the majestic animals we continue our fight to protect.

So this Women’s History Month, we wanted to recognize Velma Johnston and share with you the hard-working and dedicated women of AWHC who are honored to carry on her legacy to preserve the freedom of our cherished wild herds.

Through each and every one of us, the work of Wild Horse Annie lives on.

– American Wild Horse Campaign

Stargazer’s story

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

My name is Melissa and I just joined AWHC as their new Deputy Director. I’m reaching out today to share my story about why I’m all in on the fight to protect America’s wild horses and burros.

I’ve always been a photographer at heart. As a passionate advocate for animal protection, I’ve been behind the lens — as the owner of RJStein Photography — to bring awareness to the plight of wild mustangs.

My journey began in 2018, when I attended a photography workshop in Utah with the beloved Onaqui wild horses. I’ll never forget the moment — first I saw the dust clouds on the horizon, then I heard their hooves from afar. All of a sudden dozens of the most magnificent wild horses crested the hill and I was able to capture every stunning moment through the lens of my camera. It was truly life changing.

When I looked at my photos, I was awestruck by a beautiful dun pinto stallion who was known as Stargazer. He was living as a bachelor back then, and hadn’t yet started his family. I was in love. I continued to go to Onaqui over the next several years to visit with Stargazer and was delighted when he finally found his first and only mare — a beautiful grey mustang named Northstar, or Nora for short.

In 2021, the BLM’s helicopters descended on the Onaqui wild horses, and Stargazer was captured. This once brave stallion looked so lost and confused. Not only that, but he was without Nora.

At that moment — looking at the photos of him being rounded up still makes me cry — I was determined to reunite him with Nora so their story could continue on. I refused to allow their bond to be destroyed by the BLM. My husband and I adopted the pair so that they could live happily together on our farm — the next best thing to being wild and free. It is so special to know that they can never be torn apart again.


Photo credit: Darlene Smith Photography

I wanted to share this story because it’s a critical part of why I joined AWHC — it is the largest grassroots organization in the U.S. doing real, meaningful work to protect our cherished wild horses and burros.

So if you can, please consider making a donation today to support AWHC’s efforts in the field, on the Hill, and in the courts to protect more wild horses and burros like Stargazer and Nora!

We couldn’t do this without you,

Melissa Tritinger
Deputy Director
American Wild Horse Campaign


Melissa with Stargazer on her farm.

Some feel good news for you

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Today we wanted to bring you some good news: Four youngsters from the famed Onaqui herd are now out of mud-ridden government holding pens and are starting their new lives! 

These horses were rounded up late last summer during the devastating roundup across the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) and have lived in a cramped government facility ever since, where they haven’t been able to run or play like young wild horses do. 

But thanks to their adopter and AWHC Board President, Ellie Price, they’ll now get a second chance at a good life at her wild horse sanctuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch, as they learn to trust people and become someone’s companion in a forever home!

You can learn more about this heartwarming rescue here:

We love happy endings like that of these young mustangs, and we’re working hard to bring even more happy endings to thousands of other wild horses and burros. Are you with us? 

Thanks, 

— AWHC Team

This week’s eNews: Take action to protect the North Lander Complex wild mustangs!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to share some recent updates about roundups, a happy ending for a few rescued burros, and actions you can take to help protect Wyoming’s wild horses from further danger. Read on and see how you can help to protect these cherished animals. >>


Speak Up For the North Lander Complex Wild Horses


Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released an Environmental Assessment on a management plan for the North Lander Complex in Wyoming. The proposed action would reduce the wild horse population from 2,000 to 320, skew the sex ratio to 60/40 in favor of stallions, castrate 95% of the captured males, insert unproven IUDs into a portion of the mares captured and administer an experimental fertility control vaccine GonaCon to all mares slated to be released.

The plan threatens the long-term sustainability of this iconic Wyoming wild mustang herd. Please take action to protect the wild herds of the North Lander Complex. >>

TAKE ACTION

 

Death Toll Surges in Aftermath of Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup

Nearly 50 federally-protected wild mustangs died in the aftermath of the government’s recent roundup of the Great Divide Basin wild horses of Wyoming. The BLM officially reported the deaths of six mustangs following the roundup, which took place from October 5, 2021 to November 7, 2021, but didn’t release any information regarding the deaths of animals once they were removed from the range.

Under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, AWHC was able to obtain records that an additional 43 wild horses from the Great Divide Basin died or were euthanized while in holding just 90 days after the roundup. The Wyoming Checkerboard roundup was the largest on record by the BLM, with more than 3,500 animals permanently removed from the range.

Four other wild horse herds were removed during the operation, and we expect to see significantly higher death rates as those records come in. The BLM has announced more of such operations across the West for 2022, with plans to remove an unprecedented number of horses. Learn more here. >>

LEARN MORE

 

AWHC & AWI Partner in Homes for Horses Coalition Initiative


Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

In an effort to permanently put an end to horse slaughter, AWHC has partnered with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) as a sponsoring organization of the Homes for Horses Coalition. The Homes for Horses Coalition (HHC) is a national initiative made up of more than 520 member organizations with the ultimate goal of ending horse slaughter and all other forms of equine abuse for good.

Through this initiative, AWHC joins AWI in supporting the boots-on-the-ground rescues by providing advocacy leadership to address the root causes of the problem while providing resources to strengthen the nonprofits doing heroic jobs to help horses in need.

Right now, AWHC continues to push for the passage of the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act in Congress, which would permanently prevent horse slaughter plants from opening in the U.S. and stop the export of horses, burros, and donkeys for slaughter. Learn more here. >>

LEARN MORE

 

Four Rescued Burros Find Their Forever Home at Montgomery Creek Ranch

AWHC’s Rescue Fund helps us to fuel rescue missions across the country. From orphaned or injured foals on Nevada’s Virginia Range to mustangs and burros in kill pens — your support helps us save the lives of these treasured animals when they desperately need our help. Recently, we coordinated the rescue of 4 BLM-branded burros from a kill pen in the Midwest. AWHC Board President and owner of Montgomery Creek Ranch Wild Horse Sanctuary, Ellie Phipps Price agreed to take them in.

When rescued, the burros were in very rough shape — three of these innocent animals had open wounds all over their bodies from a hot brand. The older white burro has a fallen crest, meaning his neck muscle hangs over to the side. They spent a few weeks at a quarantine shelter to treat their wounds and get them healthy enough for transport. Finally, they were healthy enough to go to Montgomery Creek Ranch where they will continue to heal and be prepped for adoption.

READ MORE

Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros, Erica!

— AWHC Team

Time is running out! Cast your vote for our 2022 Member Card now >>

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There are only a few short days left to cast your vote for our 2022 AWHC Member Card! Will you let us know which option is your favorite?

VOTE FOR DESIGN #1

VOTE FOR DESIGN #2

VOTE FOR DESIGN #3

So, will you let us know which option is your favorite for our Official 2022 AWHC Member Card? Cast your vote now, before time runs out. We’ll be announcing the winner this Friday!

Thanks for your input! 
— AWHC Team

[INPUT REQUESTED]: Help us pick our 2022 AWHC Member Card!!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Can you help us pick our 2022 AWHC Member Card?

We’re asking dedicated American Wild Horse Campaign supporters like you to cast your vote and help us select our Official 2022 AWHC Member Card design!

A 2022 AWHC Member Card is a great way to show off your dedication to protecting America’s wild herds. Will you cast your vote and let us know which design is your favorite?

VOTE

We’ll be announcing the winner next Friday!

— American Wild Horse Campaign

Wow!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we are SO excited to share that we reached our $125,000 Year-End fundraising goal and UNLOCKED the $100,000 gift from our matching donor!!

From each and every one of us at the American Wild Horse Campaign — thank you so much for your part in helping us reach this goal! Please know that your support will make such an enormous difference for America’s wild horses and burros in 2022 as we continue our fight to keep these cherished animals wild. 

While we begin to tackle our 2022 agenda, we wanted to share with you the victories that AWHC supporters helped us to accomplish over the past year. Please read on for a recap of our 2021 accomplishments and a preview of what’s to come this year!

Exposed the Adoption Incentive Program 

After a months-long investigation, our team uncovered a slaughter pipeline that had been created by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP). In partnership with The New York Times, we exposed the disastrous program in a front-page report.

Uncovering this pipeline was only the first of several milestones in this fight. Shortly after the New York Times exposé, we garnered an overwhelming amount of support from the public, and dozens of members of Congress took action on Capitol Hill to reform the failed program. At the same time, AWHC filed suit against the BLM to challenge the AIP. Recently, government attorneys informed us that the BLM will be revealing a “new” Adoption Incentive Program in early 2022. We will be watching closely to ensure that the program is meaningfully reformed by ending the cash incentives that are fueling fraud and abuse. 

Made Strides on Capitol Hill

Our government relations team worked tirelessly with members of the House and Senate to pass historic legislation during the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations process allocating $11 million in funding toward humane wild horse and burro management.

This $11 million was reallocated away from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundup funds toward implementing “a robust and humane fertility control strategy of reversible immunocontraceptive vaccines” for America’s wild horses. This breakthrough language marks the first time that Congress is requiring the BLM to implement alternatives to the cruel roundup and removal of wild horses and burros from their homes on our public lands. It’s a huge step toward responsible wild horse and burro management that will help keep these iconic animals in the wild, where they belong! 

Helped Rescue Over 100 Wild Horses & Burros from Slaughter

Thanks to the help of generous supporters like you, we were able to help fund the rescues of over 100 slaughter-bound wild horses and burros this year. In collaboration with our rescue partners, we were able to identify and rescue wild horses and burros from kill pens across the country — in imminent danger of being shipped to Mexico or Canada for brutal slaughter. The vast majority of these horses and burros were sent into the slaughter pipeline through the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program by adopters who pocketed the cash incentives then dumped “their” animals at kill pens. 

Proved Humane Management Works 

AWHC operates the world’s largest humane fertility control program for wild horses on Nevada’s Virginia Range — and this Spring we will celebrate the three-year anniversary of this groundbreaking program!

On the range, we use Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception — a scientifically-proven fertility control vaccine given to female horses through an injection via remote darting with an air rifle. The vaccine creates an immune response that prevents fertilization without impacting the horses’ hormonal systems, thus preserving their natural behaviors.

This year our program reduced the foaling rate on the Virginia Range by 44%! This achievement has been critical in demonstrating to lawmakers and the BLM that fertility control is an effective tool for reducing population growth and a viable alternative to costly and cruel helicopter roundups for the management of America’s wild herds.  

Protected Nevada’s Wild Horses

Earlier this year, a resolution was introduced in the Nevada State Senate that called on Congress to fund brutal helicopter roundups of at least 40,000 of Nevada’s wild horses and burros — that’s nearly every wild horse and burro living in Nevada today! 

We quickly mobilized political and environmental opposition to the resolution, SJR 3, and were successful in killing it in the Natural Resources Committee. The outcome was an important show of support by this key legislative committee for humane wild horse management and a significant defeat for the coalition of livestock operators, hunters, and commercial wildlife trappers behind the mass roundup resolution. 

Amplified Our Voice

Our movement to save America’s wild horses and burros grew by leaps and bounds this year. Public outrage over the plight of these iconic animals grew, and so did the number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill demanding reform. So many of you joined the fight to preserve the freedom of our wild horses and burros on the public lands they call home, and for that, we are so grateful. 

We have much progress to make in 2022, but we know we can always count on supporters like you to lobby your elected officials, support our critical legal work, and raise awareness across the country about the threats America’s wild horses and burros continue to face.

This fight is a marathon, not a sprint, and we know that we can count on you to stand with us all along the way. Together, we will make real progress for our cherished wild horses and burros in 2022. 

So stay ready and stay tuned! We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year!

With Gratitude,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

Other ways to leave an impact this holiday season

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The winter holidays are such a wonderful time of the year. As we spend our time with loved ones and friends, gift-giving and celebrating what’s to come, we wanted to share with you some of the lesser-known, but most powerful gifts you could give to our cherished wild horses and burros this holiday season.

Legacy gifts, stock and bond donations, and Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) are some especially helpful ways to fuel our work to keep wild horses and burros wild.

Planned gifts like wills and trusts are some of the best ways to help the charities you care about long after your lifetime.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LEGACY GIFTS

Donating long-term appreciated securities like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds is a great way to support our work to keep these majestic animals wild — and compared to cash, you may be able to automatically increase your gift and your tax donation.

LEARN MORE ABOUT STOCKS & BONDS

And Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) provide an immediate tax benefit to you and allow you to grant funds to the charities of your choosing, like AWHC!

LEARN MORE ABOUT DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS

Special gifts like these help our amazing team implement the best possible programs to protect wild horses and burros. So, as you are planning what gifts you will give this holiday season, consider making one to keep our cherished wild horses and burros in the wild where they belong.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holidays,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

P.S. Thanks to a special tax provision in the CARES Act, most Americans – regardless of if you itemize your tax deductions – will be able to deduct up to $600 in donations to charities like AWHC on their 2021 federal income tax return. But, this provision expires at the end of the calendar year, so make a donation before December 31 to take advantage of this special tax deduction!

RSVP NOW >> Keep WY Wyld Virtual Rally

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Please join us on Thursday, December 2 at 3PM EST/12PM PST for a Virtual Rally to #KeepWYWyld and to protect the wild horses of the Wyoming Checkerboard! Click here for more information and to RSVP for the rally.

RSVP NOW >>

During this event, we’ll be taking a look at livestock grazing in the Wyoming Checkerboard and the resulting removal of the wild horses living in the area. AWHC Communications Director, Grace Kuhn will be emceeing the event as we provide an update on our efforts in Wyoming and how we could use your help! 

The event will also feature wild horse photographer Carol Walker, who has been on the ground as an observer of the roundup for AWHC and has spent significant time with these cherished herds! You’ll have a chance to hear the inside scoop on how the day-to-day roundup operations have been executed and as well as a few stories from the range!

We will also be premiering a mini-documentary about the issues surrounding livestock grazing — the competition with our federally-protected mustangs — with a special focus on this area in Wyoming! Erik Molvar, the Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Project is featured in the film and will speak with attendees about the situation in Wyoming as well as answer any questions during our Q&A about what’s happening on the ground. 

Last but certainly not least, be prepared for some calls to action now that you are up to speed on this devastating roundup about how you can fight to preserve the freedom of Wyoming’s wild horses! 

So please RSVP now to join members of the AWHC team, advocates and photographers on December 2 for a Virtual Rally in our collective efforts to #KeepWYWyld!

RSVP NOW >>

Thank you,

AWHC Team

Tell the BLM’s new Director to prioritize wild horse protections

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently confirmed its newest Director, Tracy Stone-Manning. We welcome Director Stone-Manning, as she comes in at a pivotal moment for the BLM.

With the New York Times report earlier this year, fueled by research conducted by AWHC, we revealed the wild horse-to-slaughter pipeline that has come to exist as a result of the BLM’s failed Adoption Incentive Program (AIP). Since the report, members of the public and Congress have called for reforms and an end to the program.

Today, we’re taking things a step further. With new leadership, the BLM has the opportunity to reform the programs that have failed America’s wild horses and burros for the last fifty years.

We welcome Director Stone-Manning, but we also call for necessary reforms to the BLM’s mismanaged Wild Horse & Burro Program. Join us in calling for these important reforms to protect wild horses and burros. >>

TAKE ACTION

Right now, thousands of wild horses are being rounded up across 3.4 million acres of land in Wyoming. And for Fiscal Year 2022, the House and Senate appropriations committees gave the BLM a budget increase towards their helicopter roundup programs. Change for America’s wild horses and burros is dire and needed now.

We’re calling on Director Stone-Manning to:

  • Put an end to the cash-incentive Adoption Incentive Program that’s sending truckloads of wild horses and burros into the slaughter pipeline.
  • Redirect resources away from inhumane and costly roundups toward scientific, on-range management with fertility control vaccines that allow horses to stay in the wild where they belong.
  • Address the bias in resource allocation for commercial livestock grazing within wild horse and burro habitats.
  • Bring accountability and compliance to roundups by requiring cameras on helicopters, traps, and holding pens during roundups.
  • Provide meaningful public observation of roundup operations.
  • Strengthen the agency’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program guidelines and make them enforceable.

Will you join us in calling on Director Stone-Manning to enact these necessary reforms for America’s wild horses and burros today?

TAKE ACTION

Thank you for your continued support of wild horses and burros.

American Wild Horse Campaign

My time on Nevada’s Virginia Range

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I’m Tracy — a Project Coordinator and Virginia Range volunteer for the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC).

I joined AWHC to help manage fertility control data and other projects on the Virginia Range. This range might sound familiar … that’s because it’s where AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses!

AWHC’s PZP fertility control program has proven that there is a humane way to manage wild horse populations that doesn’t require mass roundups, crowded holding corrals, dangerous sterilization, or slaughter. And being able to contribute to this historic initiative … well that has been the experience of a lifetime!

I’ve truly cherished my time working on the range — so much so that my volunteer responsibilities continue to evolve and expand! Not only do I manage the PZP database, I am on the range working as a spotter and documenter alongside PZP darters too! I also serve as a member of the Technical Large Animal Rescue team, so I’m always on call to help the Virginia Range wild horses!

I’ve grown to love each of these beautiful animals. So much so, that I’ve dedicated my time to helping nurse rescued, orphaned foals back to health so that they can be adopted out to loving families. My husband and I even adopted two mustangs from the Virginia Range! 

The work AWHC is doing to protect the lives of America’s wild horses and burros is oh so important. These majestic animals are under almost-constant attacks and so it is up to us to stand up for the rights of wild horses and burros.

I have the opportunity to see firsthand how AWHC is protecting the rights and lives of America’s wild horses and burros. So, I wanted to ask — will you make a donation of whatever you can afford today to help fuel the important work AWHC is doing?

DONATE TODAY

Thanks for your support,

Tracy Wilson
AWHC Virginia Range Project Coordinator

BREAKING: BLM announces changes to the failed Adoption Incentive Program

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We have some important news we want to share with you…

On the very same day that we confirmed 10 more Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-branded burros were adopted through the Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) then dumped at an Oklahoma kill pen, the BLM released a list of so-called “reforms” to the AIP.

Although we are pleased that the BLM is finally paying attention to this disastrous program, the announced changes will not stop the flow of wild horses and burros through the AIP into the slaughter pipeline. 

BLM-branded wild burros AWHC recently helped to rescue from an Oklahoma kill pen.
BLM-branded burros AWHC recently helped to rescue from an Oklahoma kill pen.

And while dozens of mustangs and burros continue to be funneled into kill pens across the country, the BLM continues to minimize the extent of the problem — despite the incriminating evidence found in the report AWHC presented to the agency.

So, while the BLM’s announced changes are a start, they are certainly not enough. These reforms will not be sufficient or effective in keeping wild horses and burros out of the slaughter pipeline. That’s why our lawsuit against the BLM to end this cash incentive adoption program is so important. We won’t stop until the program is terminated. Can you chip in to our Legal Fund now to help us have the resources to put an end to this failed program?

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The BLM’s announced changes continue to focus on only protecting wild horses and burros before title passes — which means once under new ownership, wild horses and burros can be sold to kill pens if their owner chooses to do so.

This is not the only critical flaw in the BLM’s proposed changes. The announced reforms do nothing to address the problem inherent in the cash incentive component of the program, nor do they provide adequate safeguards against widespread abuse within the AIP.

Unless the BLM stops paying people to adopt wild, untamed horses and burros, the flow of these innocent animals to slaughter auctions will not stop. We’re fighting hard to terminate the AIP and ensure that no more wild horses or burros are placed in jeopardy of slaughter as a result of this operation. Please consider making a donation right now to our Legal Fund to help us take on the BLM and put an end to the Adoption Incentive Program.

DONATE TO OUR LEGAL FUND

Thank you for your support,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

We have a wild horse champion headed to the Interior

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Here is your latest news on all things wild horses and burros!

Wild Horse Champion Haaland Heads to Interior Department

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a confirmation hearing to consider the nomination of New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland for secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Secretary-designate Haaland would be the first Native American to head this department that oversees more than 450 million acres of public land in the nation.

AWHC has had the pleasure of working with Secretary-designate Haaland in Congress. As chair of the Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, she has worked to reform the inhumane and expensive federal wild horse roundup program by supporting humane solutions, such as PZP fertility control, and has opposed the brutal surgical sterilization procedures the BLM continues to pursue.

Because Secretary-designate Haaland is a champion of protecting our public lands and the wild animals that inhabit them, her nomination faces stiff opposition from the oil/gas, mining, and livestock industries. So, today, we’re asking everyone who cares about wild horses and burros and our public lands to take just a moment to call your Senators in support of her confirmation.

Please call Senator Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852 and Senator John Hickenlooper at (202) 224-5941

You can say,  “Hello, I am a constituent of Senator [Name] and I am calling to ask that they please support the confirmation of Deb Haaland* for Interior Secretary. Her leadership is necessary to protect our nation’s public lands and natural resources, including our federally-protected wild horses and burros. Thank you.” *pronounced like the country, Holland.

Then, follow up your call with a message! >> Take Action <<

New BLM Wild Horse and Burros Advisory Board Member Called Wild Horses a ‘Protein Source’

Speaking of a new Interior Department, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his illegally serving Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director William Perry Pendley will go down in history as the worst stewards of our nation’s public lands. The past four years have seen an unrelenting assault on the environment, wildlife, and America’s wild horses and burros.

Before they left town, Bernhardt and Pendley appointed Beaver County, Utah Commissioner Tammy Pearson to represent the “public interest” on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Pearson is a flagrantly corrupt choice for this position. A 40-year public lands rancher whose allotments are in wild horse Herd Management Areas in Utah, Pearson has lobbied and testified for wild horse roundups and in favor of horse slaughter.

She discounts the strong opinion of the American public against the slaughter of wild and domestic horses as “romanticizing” an animal that the “whole rest of the world” considers a “protein source.” In her 2017 testimony before the Utah legislature, she blamed horses for all the damage in the areas where her cattle graze and claimed that wild horses there were suffering from overpopulation and starvation. You can listen to her testimony below.

AWHC opposes this unscrupulous appointment and believes it violates a conflict of interest provision under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, so we’re taking action. We’ll keep you posted and in the meantime, be sure to check out our Op-ed about her appointment, published yesterday in the Grand Junction Sentinel. >> Read More <<

We’re Fighting for Humane Management With Science

Instead of the unscientific approach of mass helicopter roundups, humanely managing wild horses requires a more sophisticated method that relies on fieldwork and on-the-ground knowledge of the horse or burro populations a particular BLM district is managing.

AWHC aims to harness science and technology to advance the goal of humane management of these iconic animals. AWHC already runs the largest humane wild horse fertility control program in the world. Now we’re excited to be partnering with WildMe, a non-profit that builds open software and artificial intelligence for the conservation community with the goal of protecting at-risk species.

Our goal is to develop an algorithm that will identify individual horses from photographs, something that will greatly enhance the efficiency of our fertility control efforts while providing a mechanism for accurate censusing and tracking of wild herds, using citizen science for the collection of data.

Currently, our Virginia Range fertility control program volunteers identify horses manually by photograph, based on our extensive database of more than 3,000 horses cataloged by color, markings, social affiliation, location and any other identifying features. It’s a method that works, as evidenced by our record of delivering over 3,000 fertility control treatments in less than two years. However, it is time-consuming. Having an algorithm that allows a volunteer to take a photo, run it through the software and come up with the data file on that specific horse will make the process of identifying mares in need of PZP treatment much faster – something our volunteers — who are often in the field under punishing weather conditions – will greatly appreciate!

The research should be complete by June and we should know at that time whether the algorithm (PIE) being tested will work for horses. We’ll keep you posted. >> Learn More <<

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UPDATE: Double your impact this weekend and help us save 3,000 wild horses (!)

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

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BREAKING: BLM moves to round up as many as 4,000 wild horses in Wyoming

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

The Bureau of Land Management just unveiled a plan that would decimate Wyoming’s wild horse population, reducing the population there by more than one-third.

The Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout would ERADICATE wild horses from the Salt Wells, Great Divide and White Mountain Herd Management Areas (HMAs) along the famed Wild Horse Scenic Loop. Additionally, the population in the remaining Adobe Town HMA would be slashed significantly.

It’s hard to overstate the irreversible damage this plan will inflict. By the numbers:

3,000+ — The number of wild horses the BLM will permanently remove from the state,

38% — The percentage of the state’s entire wild horse and burro population that would be removed under this plan,

2,500,000 — The number of acres that will be eliminated as wild horse habitat, meaning wild horses will be eradicated from this wide expanse of public land,

0 — The number of wild horses that will remain in the Great Divide Basin, White Mountain and Salt Wells Creek HMAs.

The Checkerboard wild horse population has long been a target of the powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association, whose members profit from steep taxpayer subsidies to support their privately owned cattle and sheep herds on public lands, including in these HMAs.

We cannot allow the BLM to sell out the interests of the American people and our country’s federally protected wild horses and burros to elevate the private profits of the livestock industry.

We set a goal of reaching 10,000 signatures before the end of the day: Join AWHC in calling on the BLM and this Administration to reverse this plan that could result in the removal of more than one-third of Wyoming’s wild horses.

AWHC has been involved in litigation to defend Wyoming’s wild horses since 2011. We’ve achieved a number of victories in the courts, including at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

You can learn more about the Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout and the areas affected here.

We will continue to do all we can to protect Wyoming’s cherished icons.

Thank you for getting involved,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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A major victory for the captive Fish Springs horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Over the holidays, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removed four families of wild horses from Fish Springs in Nevada’s Carson Valley, including the famed stallion Samson.

Hundreds of thousands of you reached out and got involved in the fight to keep Samson and the captured Fish Springs horses together with the hope of returning them to the wild.

While the BLM did not agree to return them to the wild, we are pleased to report that, after a coordinated and dedicated effort between a half dozen organizations working together, we were successful in keeping these cherished wild horse families intact.

During the online BLM auction for the captive Fish Springs horses, AWHC coordinated with Montgomery Creek Ranch and Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary to secure ten wild horses from two bands led by the stallions Rocky and Rusty.

Happily, these two families — which include three generations in Rocky’s band: 19-year-old Copper, Copper’s daughter Luna and Luna’s baby Jimmy — will now run together at Freedom Reigns’ beautiful, 3,800-acre sanctuary in California.

At the same time, Skydog Sanctuary successfully bid on Samson’s band — which includes four generations of horses: Old Momma, a 26-year old veteran mare, her daughter Apple, Apple’s daughter Dumplin’ and her colt Sam — and will provide them lifetime refuge at its beautiful 8,000-acre sanctuary in Oregon. A local family stepped up to accept the remaining horses.

The Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates are pitching in to fund the transport of the horses to the sanctuaries as well as the gentling of the horses headed for the private ranch.

Meanwhile, the work continues to keep the remaining Fish Springs horses — and all of America’s wild horses throughout the West — wild in their habitat on our public lands.

We couldn’t have done this without you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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LAST CHANCE: To double your impact and help save America’s wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

We’re 85% of the way to our $100,000 End of Year fundraising goal. If we raise $15,291 before midnight, ALL donations up to $100,000 will be matched!

This past year, we’ve mobilized in a way like never before on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros.

This year alone, we’ve:

  • Delivered 662,000 petition signatures in support of wild horses
  • Submitted 115,000 public comments on government decisions
  • Filed 28 Freedom of Information Act requests
  • Darted over 1,200 mares with the PZP fertility vaccine

And that’s only the beginning. AWHC has major plans for 2020 but our ability to get involved and expand our programs depends on hitting our End of Year fundraising goal.

All we need to do is raise $15,291 online in the next 6 hours and we’ll unlock $100,000 in matched donations. Can we count on you to donate before midnight?

Thank you and Happy New Year’s Eve!

American Wild Horse Campaign

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