What's New: BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program’

🚨 BREAKING 🚨 : Biden just released the proposed budget for the Interior Dept.

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The Biden Administration just released its proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior. It contains an astounding increase of $36.8 million for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, and continues the Trump Administration’s accelerated, mass roundup plan and scapegoating of wild equids.

Remember what that plan includes: the removal of nearly 90,000 wild horses and burros from their homes on our public lands, the tripling of the number of wild horses and burros in holding facilities, and a cost to taxpayers of nearly $1 billion in the first five years! And, as the New York Times recently reported, this is already leading to the slaughter of these protected national icons.

It’s shocking that Interior Secretary Haaland has put her seal of approval on this plan. As a member of Congress, she opposed additional funding for wild horse and burro roundups, advocating instead for humane birth control. Clearly, at the helm of the Interior Department, she’s now prioritizing livestock industry interests over the protection of wild horses and burros.

But remember, this is only a budget request. It does not mean that Congress will fund it. 

So, it’s time to fight back … And it’s already happening!

  • Increasing numbers of environmental organizations are speaking up against the scapegoating of wild horses for damage caused by massive livestock grazing. In fact, the Sierra Club recently adopted a policy calling for the elimination of livestock grazing in wild horse and burro habitats!
  • Support for humane, in-the-wild horse and burro management is growing on Capitol Hill. Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) were recently joined by over 40 of their House colleagues in requesting Congress to fund humane fertility control and other on-range methods as a priority over removing wild horses and burros from their homes.
  • AWHC is working with key members of Congress to support a humane, environmentally-focused and scientific approach to wild horse management that would drastically reduce the removal of wild horses and burros from their habitats.
  • We really need you to take action too. Here’s what you can do:
    1. Protest this budget request on the Interior Department’s Facebook page by downloading the below graphic and uploading it to this post.

    2. Tweet at President Biden and Secretary Haaland using this automated Tweet.
    3. Email Secretary Haaland at exsec@ios.doi.gov. Suggested message:
      “I strongly oppose your cruel plan to remove tens of thousands of wild horses and burros from our public lands. I’m especially disappointed that you blame wild horses and burros for environmental damage and climate change while you continue to ignore livestock grazing, which is the real contributor to these issues. Humane on-range management alternatives — including birth control and removing livestock — are available, scientifically-recommended, and cost-effective. I’m very disappointed that you are prioritizing livestock interests over the interests of the 80 percent of Americans who want wild horses and burros protected, not rounded up, penned, and slaughtered.” 
    4. Ask Congress to fund humane wild horse management.

    Thank you,

    Suzanne Roy
    Executive Director
    American Wild Horse Campaign

Two significant positive developments we wanted to share

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

As the dust settles on the Fiscal Year 2020 spending agreement reached by Congress this week, we wanted you to know that the fight is far from over and that there will be ample opportunities for us to defend wild horses and burros in the New Year.

We also want to highlight two significant positives that were included in the spending bill that are a direct result of your advocacy and leadership from key officials in Congress.

Congress attached strings to the $21 million budget increase for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program

The spending bill states that the additional funding will not be made available until 60 days after BLM submits a report to Congress detailing its plan for future wild horse management. This is a direct result of alarm bells raised by House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Chair Deb Haaland and ten of their colleagues about increasing the agency’s budget by nearly 30% without following proper oversight channels.

While we remain disappointed that Congress awarded the BLM millions more tax dollars without strict requirements to prevent BLM from using all the funds to round up and sterilize wild horses, this new provision is a significant improvement over previous versions of the spending bill. It gives the House committee with oversight over the BLM — the Natural Resources Committee — a chance to scrutinize the plan and, potentially, take steps to rein in the BLM, before funding is authorized.

Huge thanks for this major development goes to Grijalva, Haaland, Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, and their colleagues who formed this bipartisan effort to protect our wild horses and burros by signing a letter to request proper oversight.


Forest Service Wild Horse and Burro Slaughter Ban

Another positive development in the FY 2020 spending bill is language that prohibits the U.S. Forest Service from destroying healthy wild horses and burros and selling them for slaughter. Previously, Congress prohibited the BLM from lethal management of wild horses and burros, but the ban did not extend to the Forest Service, which manages a much smaller but still significant number of federally-protected wild horses and burros in the West.

The expanded prohibition is a direct response to the Forest Service’s threat to sell California wild horses for slaughter and a result of the leadership of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein — a long time champion of horse welfare — and U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu, Dina Titus, Grijalva, and California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria who worked with AWHC to pass legislation to improve protections for California’s horses from slaughter.

Everyone who contacted their elected officials over this past year to seek protections for our cherished wild horses and burros should take a moment to appreciate the fact that our grassroots advocacy is working. Although this work is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are disappointments along the way, we are making progress on the road to saving America’s iconic wild herds.

So, as we fire up our legislative and legal teams for the challenges ahead, we want to thank you for staying strong and committed. You are the key ingredient to our successful advocacy for our wild horses and burros, and together, we remain the last line of defense between these beloved animals and their destruction.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

The AWHC team

More Information

On BLM Funding Increase:

On Forest Service selling wild horses for slaughter:

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