What's New: Virginia Range

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Virginia Range’

Happy Father’s Day!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

When you think of wild stallions, you might imagine power, ferocity and strength… risking all to protect their families. What you might not know is that stallions are also great dads. When it comes to foals, stallions are patient and nurturing, as they keep their young foals safe, teach them about the bonds of family, and show them how to survive in the wild.

It’s not easy being a wild stallion, and one stallion on the Virginia Range in Nevada has his work cut out for him keeping his three new foals safe and making sure they don’t wander off.

Dante is a member of the wild horse herd that is part of our groundbreaking fertility control program. These photos of Dante and his foals Alex, Davin and Elle were taken yesterday by AWHC team member Steve Paige, a photographer and fertility control darter on the Virginia Range.

We love seeing wild horses being wild and free, and we thank all of our supporters every day for making it possible to do the work necessary to keep them that way.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there — thank you for working to make the world a better place for all!

—The AWHC Team

P.S. Learn more about our Virginia Range fertility control program here.

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We want to respect your time and personal bandwidth before covering recent developments

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We want to be very cognizant of the reality facing our country. For many, this is an incredibly stressful time, financially and emotionally, as well as very painful, difficult, and upsetting.

We also know that many of you are using your platforms, resources, and time to address injustices and support your communities in a time of need.

All of us at AWHC continue to be inspired and amazed that, despite these hardships, so many of you continue to stay involved, stay engaged, and support not only us but America’s wild horses and burros. This is so important because the Bureau of Land Management continues its assault on these iconic animals and is even stepping it up during this crisis, when the public’s attention is directed elsewhere.

That’s evident in the BLM’s newly unveiled roundup schedule for the Summer/Fall, which we discuss below. But for this newsletter, we don’t want to share only the bad news. There’s some uplifting news as well, and we’ve included a few photos and videos that might brighten your day.


BREAKING: Bureau of Land Management Outlines Largest Removal Of Wild Horses In a Decade


Last month, the Bureau of Land Management submitted a report to Congress that outlines a plan to conduct mass roundups over the next 18-20 years and slash wild horse and burro populations on public lands by 70%.

The agency is planning to launch Phase 1 of its assault next month, with the roundup and removal of 5,000 federally-protected wild horses and burros from BLM lands between July 1 and September 30.

This means that, for Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020), over 12,000 innocent wild horses and burros will lose their freedom. To put this in perspective, that’s the largest number in the last decade.

If the BLM has its way, that is only the beginning. In its new report, the BLM is proposing to use helicopters to capture and remove 18,000-20,000 wild horses and burros from public lands EACH YEAR for the foreseeable future.

The roundups that will begin next month will have an added component of brutality. Using helicopters to drive wild horses and burros for miles in punishing summer temperatures often results in fatalities. Summer roundups are particularly tough on the tiny foals that are on the range this time of year.

These vulnerable babies have been literally run to death in past roundups, collapsing and dying as their mothers look on helplessly. The BLM lists the cause of death as “capture myopathy,” defined as “muscle damage that results from extreme exertion, struggle or stress.”

According to the BLM’s new roundup schedule, Nevada and Utah will be the epicenter of the summer roundups, the largest of which include:

  • Shawave Mountains Herd Management Area, Nevada: 1,600 wild horses and 200 wild burros targeted for removal.
  • Diamond Complex, Nevada: 1,200 wild horses to be removed.
  • Sulphur Herd Management Area, Utah: 600 wild horses to be rounded up

AWHC will be onsite to document these roundups and we’re prepared to fight back if the BLM attempts to use the coronavirus pandemic to restrict public access. (Social distancing is not a problem out on the range.)


UPDATE: Wild Horse Champions in Congress Stand Up To The U.S. Forest Service 


During April and May, AWHC and our partners at the Animal Welfare Institute sounded the alarm about the lack of critical safeguards and transparency associated with the U.S. Forest Service’s selling of wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California. (The horses were captured last fall in a helicopter roundup.)

The Forest Service has been selling these federally-protected wild horses for as little as $1 a piece, without meaningful limits on the number of horses a buyer can purchase at one time, and no adequate vetting procedures to ensure that buyers have the resources and facilities necessary to safely care for horses.

This lack of safeguards places the horses at higher risk of abuse or slaughter.

We brought our concerns to Congress and we’re pleased to announce that a bipartisan group of wild horse champions has taken action for the Devil’s Garden horses.

Representatives Ted Lieu, Brian Fitzpatrick, Steve Cohen, Joe Neguse, Jan Schakowsky, and Dina Titus sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, requesting that it adopt policies for its sales and adoption program to ensure oversight, transparency and protection, including measures to prevent federally-protected wild horses from ending up in the hands of kill buyers or others who might abuse and neglect them.

Additionally, these Congressmembers have called on the Forest Service to cease sales until these reforms are in place and pandemic restrictions are fully lifted.

We will continue to build on this important action to hold the Forest Service accountable for the welfare of the wild horses it is mandated under federal law to protect.


A Great Way To Stay Up To Date With Our Team In Nevada On The Virginia Range


AWHC is incredibly proud of the dedication and hard work of our staff and volunteers on the Virginia Range in Nevada.

We also know that many of you have reached out, asking if there is a better way to stay up to date with our team there: And there is!

Our team operates the Facebook group “Stay Wild! AWHC Nevada” where we post and share photos, videos, and updates on a near-daily basis to provide supporters with the opportunity to see and hear what they see in the field each and every day.

Check them out and join the group today!

A perfect example? One of our volunteers, from a safe distance, captured an incredible moment on video: The first steps of a wild foal with her mother.

Especially in these uncertain and difficult times, little videos like these can help lift our spirits and improve our mood. And they serve as a powerful reminder about why we do the work that we do.

If you would like to learn more about our program on the Virginia Range (the largest in the world!) you can read more here.

We are all in this together — thank you for being part of our herd!

American Wild Horse Campaign

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An incredible response

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

My name is Deb Walker and I’m AWHC’s Field Representative here in Nevada. I coordinate our amazing team of volunteers on the Virginia Range implementing the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses.

AWHC reached out on Monday asking for donations of $30 to cover the costs of the cornerstone of this program — the $30 fertility control vaccine known as PZP. We’ve had an incredible response and outpouring of support since then.

As a result, we can cover the costs of 321 (!) annual vaccines for wild mares. Our team of volunteers is working hard and I want to let them know we have the supplies we need to not only maintain this program but to expand it!

The one year anniversary of this program is next week. I understand if you are unable to, but if you can, I’d greatly appreciate if you could be one of the 179 generous supporters we need to chip in $30 to reach our 500 PZP vaccine goal before the end of the week.

Thank you so much,

Deb Walker


Nevada Field Representative
American Wild Horse Campaign

 

Read Our Previous Message Below: 

We know that this is a difficult time for the country and for many of you. If you are not in a position to financially support our work, we completely understand. But for those of you who can, give us a moment to explain why we’re asking for $30.

In Nevada’s Virginia Range, AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses. Next week marks the one year anniversary of the establishment of this historic initiative to prove to the world that there is a humane way to manage wild horse populations that doesn’t require mass roundups, crowded holding corrals, dangerous sterilization surgeries or slaughter.

The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’. Our work on the Virginia Range continues uninterrupted despite the COVID-19 pandemic and our volunteers are working hard, day-in and day-out, to vaccinate these mares.

The price of a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine is just $30.

Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup and long-term holding involved in the removal of a single horse.

Let alone the $5 BILLION figure the Acting Director of the BLM is citing as the cost of a plan to round up over 100,000 horses from public lands over the next decade, with the goal of rounding up as many as 20,000 in 2020 alone.

For those of you who are able, we’re asking if you will spare $30 on the 30th to give our darters in Nevada the resources they need to prevent horses from being removed by using this safe and proven vaccine.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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Can we count on you to give $30 on the 30th to cover the cost of a mare’s vaccination?

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We know that this is a difficult time for the country and for many of you. If you are not in a position to financially support our work, we completely understand. But for those of you who can, give us a moment to explain why we’re asking for $30.

In Nevada’s Virginia Range, AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses. Next week marks the one year anniversary of the establishment of this historic initiative to prove to the world that there is a humane way to manage wild horse populations that doesn’t require mass roundups, crowded holding corrals, dangerous sterilization surgeries or slaughter.

The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’. Our work on the Virginia Range continues uninterrupted despite the COVID-19 pandemic and our volunteers are working hard, day-in and day-out, to vaccinate these mares.

The price of a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine is just $30.

Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup and long-term holding involved in the removal of a single horse.

Let alone the $5 BILLION figure the Acting Director of the BLM is citing as the cost of a plan to round up over 100,000 horses from public lands over the next decade, with the goal of rounding up as many as 20,000 in 2020 alone.

For those of you who are able, we’re asking if you will spare $30 on the 30th to give our darters in Nevada the resources they need to prevent horses from being removed by using this safe and proven vaccine.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

Donate

What your 2020 AWHC Membership accomplishes →

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Yesterday was World Wildlife Day, a day for celebrating the diverse and incredible animals that inhabit our planet.

But unfortunately, World Wildlife Day also serves as a solemn reminder of the growing threats facing America’s wildlife: particularly our beloved wild horse and burro population.

In fact, they’re up against the greatest threat in generations as Congress considers funding the President’s budget that could result in the removal of as many as 20,000 wild horses and burros from public lands each year. Many of them will spend a lifetime of captivity in crowded holding corrals or sex-segregated pastures, while others could enter the sold-for-slaughter pipeline as bad faith buyers purchase these animals from the BLM and flip them for sale to kill buyers.

Generous supporters like you are the reason we can advocate on their behalf in the Courts (our legal team has a 90% record of success!), document roundups across the West, organize rescues for captured horses, implement the world’s largest humane fertility control management program for wild horses in the Virginia Range in Nevada, and SO much more!

Please,  make a donation in honor of World Wildlife Day to activate your official 2020 AWHC Membership so we can have the resources we need to protect and advocate on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros. Because here at AWHC, every single day is World Wildlife Day!

↓ Activate your membership by donating today! ↓

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

A better way

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

This past December, Congress authorized a 25% budgetary increase for the Bureau of Land Management’s badly broken Wild Horse and Burro program. Now the Administration is asking Congress to approve an additional 15% budget increase for the program two months later, as the BLM prepares to massively accelerate the roundup and removal of tens of thousands of wild horses.

What’s At Stake

As many of you know, the Acting Director of the BLM referred to wild horses and burros as an “existential threat” to public lands and is planning to use the Bureau’s funds to round up wild horses and burros in unprecedented numbers, with as many as 20,000 at risk of being removed this year alone.

We cannot stress this enough: We are talking about the greatest threat to wild horses in decades.

It is critical to remember that the BLM is not considering reducing the number of privately owned livestock in these areas. This despite the fact that these animals vastly outnumber horses and burros on public land and cost taxpayers as much as $500 million in subsidies for the below market grazing fees that public lands ranchers pay.

For reference, there are anywhere from 700,000 to 1,000,000 cow/calf pairs on public lands compared to the 88,000 federally-protected wild horses and burros (who share this land with the livestock).

Make no mistake about it, this isn’t a coincidence either — It’s the result of intense lobbying on behalf of the livestock industry.

Bad Policy And A Broken Program

The BLM continues to impose extreme limits on wild horse population numbers on public lands throughout the West that have no basis in science and their method of calculating these limits is not transparent to the public nor wildlife researchers and experts.

Additionally, the BLM is also championing the use of inhumane and ineffective population growth suppression methods that focus on the castration of wild stallions and the risky, cruel, and invasive surgical practice known as ovariectomy, whereby a mare’s ovaries are manually severed and removed in an invasive and outdated surgical procedure.

The National Academy of Sciences warned against BLM’s use of ovariectomies on wild mares due to risk of hemorrhage and infection. Castrating stallions would cause loss of testosterone which drives the natural behaviors necessary to maintain social organization and survive in the wild.

BLM is not only charging ahead with surgical sterilization, but the budget indicates that the agency intends to use the appropriations process to amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act to explicitly authorize these surgeries.

It’s also critically important to remember that the vast majority of Americans, of all political backgrounds, are opposed to mass roundups and these surgical procedures.

Another Way to Dump Horses?

While the President’s budget does recognize that the slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros is unacceptable to Congress and the public, we have grave concerns about the request for legislative language to expand the transfer authority of wild horses and burros to tribal entities.

AWHC sees this as another way for the agency to take steps to reduce numbers of wild horses through policies that make it easier to move horses out of holding, strip them of their federal-protection and send them to destinations where their welfare will be impossible to ensure.

A Better Way

Here at AWHC, we’re proving that there is a humane and cost-effective way to keep wild horses and burros on public lands and end the roundup and warehousing of these wild animals in holding pens.

On the Virginia Range in Nevada, our team is operating the world’s largest humane management program of wild horses and burros.

By utilizing a very affordable vaccine, known as PZP, our team has treated more mares in 10 months than the BLM did last year. And each vaccine costs as little as $30 per year.

The President’s budget request is just that: a request. This means we have the chance to work with leaders in Congress to oversee the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, demand the BLM abandon the practices that are not supported by science or the American public, as well as promote effective and safe alternatives that our team has demonstrated work.

Over the last three years, working together, we’ve beat back multiple attempts to legalize the slaughter of wild horses and burros by convincing Congress that the American people will not stand for this lethal and brutally inhumane option. Together, we can meet this newest and most serious threat to the future of America’s wild herds.

Wild horses and burros don’t have a voice. When you donate to AWHC, you give these precious animals more than a voice — You give them a fighting chance. That’s why I’m asking if you will make your first donation of 2020.

Thank you,
Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

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Our photos of the month [check them out!]

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Our team put together some of the most striking photos from this past month – ones that made us smile, and others that remind us why we work so hard to protect these icons every day.

Mustangs in their winter coats on the Virginia Range in Nevada, where our fertility control program is in its tenth month with over 830 wild mares inoculated with the PZP vaccine. Learn more about our program here.

AWHC joined with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group this month to advocate for construction of a wildlife overpass for the famed Salt River wild horses in AZ. Learn more here.

Friend of AWHC and photographer, Mary Hone captured a series of photos of a wild burro youngster living her best life out on our public lands in California. Check out the series here. (Credit: Mary Hone Fine Art).

Just captured wild horses from the Eagle Herd Management Area in Nevada arrive at BLM holding pens in good body condition, despite winter conditions and BLM claims of overpopulation and starvation. Read more here.

 

Wild horses have long been misrepresented as a non-native invasive species, but respected scientists are working to change that narrative. Learn more about wild horses as a native species here.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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Meet Flurry, one of the newest additions to the Virginia Range family

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

This holiday season, we hope you’re not too saddled with work or stressful travel plans and are enjoying some quality time with friends, family and loved ones.

On the topic of family, we wanted to introduce you to one of the newest additions to the Virginia Range in Nevada: Flurry.

Flurry really loves his mom, Empress  — You can find them together exploring the wide expanses of the Virginia Range side-by-side.

Flurry was born recently during one of the first snow storms of the season, and he, his mom and the rest of his herd are doing well. We’ll be keeping a close eye on them, since Flurry, Empress, and their herd are wild horses currently documented in our precedent-setting humane management program.

It’s photos and moments like these that remind us why we’re in this fight together. Empress, Flurry, and all of America’s wild horses and burros deserve to be wild and free with their families.

As we gather with our families this holiday, we want to express our heartfelt thanks to you, our loyal supporters, for all you do to make freedom a reality for wild mustangs like Flurry. Each and every day, with your support, we work to make sure that Flurry and other wild horses have a future in which they can not only survive, but also thrive.

On behalf of everyone at AWHC, we are grateful to you for being part of the AWHC family. Our very best wishes to you and your loved ones, the happiest of holidays and a healthy and joyous New Year.

With Gratitude,

Suzanne, the Board and Staff of AWHC

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