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There’s no recess for wild horses… and more news

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

No Recess for Wild Horses – Take Action!

Where does your member of Congress stand on protecting wild horses? If you don’t know, now’s the time to find out. And if they’re supporting mass roundups and sterilization, it’s the time to change their minds. Your Representative and Senators are back home for the August recess and will be holding town halls and taking meetings – so now’s your chance to speak up for our wild horses and burros! Learn how at the link below. 

 

Response to Alta Magazine’s, “Feral Horses, Fierce Controversy”

Our wild horses and burros are often the subjects of inaccurate, misleading, agenda-driven reporting. A recent example is Jason G. Goldman’s “Feral Horse, Fierce Controversy” that was published in the July issue of Alta, a magazine that promises “a celebration and examination of all things about California.”  If you shopped at Whole Foods in California this summer, you will have likely seen this cover story on the magazine prominently displayed in the check-out lines.  It’s a biased, sensationalized piece far below the journalistic standards that Alta says it aspires to. Read our response below.

 

U.S. Forest Service Seeks to Weaken Environmental Review Regs. and Limit Public Comment

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing rules that will significantly weaken its regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of proposed actions prior to making decisions. The Forest Service proposed rules would limit the opportunity for public input and make it easier for the agency to make decisions on proposed actions, like wild horse roundups, without analyzing the environmental impacts. Please read more and weigh in against the proposed rule change by clicking below.

 

Video Highlight of the Week: Issue Overview

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Our next deadline

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Here’s your latest wild horse status report.

With the dust barely settled after the Triple B roundup last week, we’re headed to the Pine Nut wild horse roundup in Nevada on Monday.

As I write this, tens of thousands of wild horses stand in government holding facilities, and we wait with bated breath for the BLM’s decision on whether or not it will proceed with gruesome sterilization experiments on wild mares.

With tactical lawsuits, advocacy on the Hill, implementation of humane fertility control, and documentation in the wild, we continue with crucial actions to make roundups a thing of the past. That’s why, last week, we extended our fundraising goal to $100,000 to fight these cruel stampedes.

Your donation today will help us gear up for the next fights to protect wild horses on Monday – and save more of these beautiful creatures from suffering the same cruel fate we’re witnessing now.

Here are some of the actions we take to end roundups:

  • With field representation and filmmakers on the ground at each roundup, we’re gathering footage for educational videos to share with the public and lawmakers.
  • On Capitol Hill, our legal team is educating key members of Congress to combat a dangerous plan to round up and remove up to 130,000 wild horses over the next 10 years. (That’s more than exist on the range today.)
  • With litigation funding, we’re building specific cases for roundup-related lawsuits — like our case to save wild horses near Caliente, Nevada where BLM is planning to remove 100% of the herds.

Donate today to take action with us. Your support is key as we continue asserting to stand as the last line of defense between our wild horses and burros and the corporate livestock industry that seeks their destruction.

Thank you for standing with us,

Suzanne

We are the last line of defense for America’s wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Earlier this month, we set an ambitious fundraising goal of $50,000 to document the BLM’s roundup season, which began in Nevada’s Triple B Complex. That was before this week’s Senate hearing on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program – a one-sided affair for cattle industry lobbyists, and not a single advocate for preserving America’s wild horses in the wild.

Thanks to you, we hit our $50,000 goal this week. The response from supporters like you has been an incredible boost during the hardest time of the year for wild horses. But to fight back against the stacked proceedings in the Senate – at the same time as the BLM’s terrifying and cruel roundups continue in the West – we’re now raising our goal to make sure everyone, from the American people to their elected leaders on Capitol Hill, sees how inhumane and unnecessary the BLM roundups really are.

We’re doubling down to fight the threats to wild horses and burros. Will you make a donation to help reach our new $100,000 fundraising goal, so we can continue fighting for wild horses in Washington, DC and on our Western public lands?

Thanks to your support, we’ve been out at the Triple B roundup in Nevada these past few weeks — with heartbreaking photo and video evidence that will long outlast this roundup. Just over 800 horses lost their freedom at Triple B this month; 16 of them lost their lives. These include five tiny foals, one of whom was too weak to stand after withstanding a miles-long helicopter stampede and another who died of water toxicity, likely a result of the BLM’s failure to give the vulnerable baby electrolytes after an arduous run in summer heat left him stressed and dehydrated.

We’ll use this evidence for the battles ahead. This week’s Senate hearing wasn’t just about laying the groundwork for more roundups. The cattle industry lobbyists and BLM want money to surgically sterilize wild horses who remain in the wild, by castrating stallions and ripping out the ovaries of wild mares in dangerous and painful surgeries.

The cattle industry’s path forward leads to one place — mass destruction… of wild, free-roaming horses in the wild, and of those in captivity whose days will be numbered when the government funding to care for them runs out.

We’ve increased our fundraising goal because this week’s Senate hearing proved, once again, that we are the last line of defense for keeping wild horses wild on the public lands where they belong. Please make a donation to support our work today.

Thank you for everything you’re doing during this critical time for wild horses and burros. We could not do this work without you.

Thank you,

Suzanne

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URGENT: Dangerous hearing on wild horses tomorrow

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

If you are receiving this email, you are uniquely positioned to push back against a dangerous plan on Capitol Hill that threatens the future of wild horses.

Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee will hold an “oversight” hearing on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. Unfortunately, this hearing is completely stacked against wild horses and in favor of a plan that includes unprecedented mass roundups, surgical sterilization and stockpiling of mustangs in holding facilities.

Your Senator is on this Subcommittee. We need you to call today to ask him/her to communicate opposition to the destructive plan for America’s wild horses and burros.

It’s critically important that your Senator hears from you today!

Thank you,

Brieanah Schwartz, AWHC Government Relations

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Feds make major announcement

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

When we fight back to protect wild horses, it makes a real difference. In a huge win for our grassroots movement, the Trump Administration just announced that it will not pursue lethal measures – such as euthanasia or selling wild horses for slaughter – to manage America’s wild horse populations.

We’ve battled for three years to stop Congress from authorizing the mass killing of wild horses and burros. As always, we are the last line of defense for these national icons. The Administration’s policy shift shows that when we stand firm, we win!

It’s time to savor this news, but we cannot rest, because the Administration continues to pursue inhumane sterilization methods – such as surgically removing the ovaries of mares – that not only place the health and safety of wild horses and burros at risk, but also will take the wild out of these wild animals by destroying their natural behaviors.

We still have much work to do before America’s wild horses are truly protected. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to AWHC right now, so that we can continue to fight for humane and sustainable federal wild horse and burro management policies.

This victory gives us hope for the battles ahead – it proves that actions we take to stand up for wild horses and burros make a real difference in the lives of these cherished animals.

Can you make a donation right now so that we are prepared to continue defending wild horses in the months to come?

Thank you for being part of our herd…. Onward!

– Suzanne

PS – Read more about the BLM’s decision not to pursue lethal measures for wild horses here.

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Re: These are the last weeks of freedom for hundreds of wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The helicopters will fly in just over a week. Please help us prepare to be onsite to document and hold BLM accountable as it rounds up hundreds of federally-protected wild horses from our public lands.

– The AWHC Team

These are the last weeks of freedom for hundreds of wild horses in the West.

Just days after July 4, when America celebrates freedom, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will use helicopters in terrifying and often fatal roundups to rob hundreds of wild horses of their freedom.

Once captured, these iconic symbols of American freedom will be held in captivity for the rest of their lives. Of those who survive the roundup, many will then die in holding facilities in the weeks and months to follow. In holding facilities, the threat of slaughter looms large over their heads as the BLM captures more and more wild horses and burros from the wild and warehouses them at taxpayer expense.

Please make a donation to the American Wild Horse Campaign right now so we can be prepared for the BLM’s summer wild horse and burro siege.

In last summer’s roundups, foals were separated from their mothers and literally run to death. Helicopters ran horses into barbed wire and chased them for miles until they collapsed. We were there to make sure every abuse was documented.

Frequently, we’re the only public eyes and ears at these roundups. Documenting this cruelty and holding the BLM accountable is a fundamental step to creating change. Now we must build the resources necessary to be out on the range again, so we can document the roundups and the cruelty that will undoubtedly occur over the next few weeks.

As July 4th approaches, please remember the majestic wild horses who are living their last weeks of freedom, unaware of what’s to come.

Please take the first step to putting an end to this cruelty and make a donation today.

Thank you,

AWHC Team

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These are the last weeks of freedom for hundreds of wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

These are the last weeks of freedom for hundreds of wild horses in the West.

Just days after July 4, when America celebrates freedom, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will use helicopters in terrifying and often fatal roundups to rob hundreds of wild horses of their freedom.

Once captured, these iconic symbols of American freedom will be held in captivity for the rest of their lives. Of those who survive the roundup, many will then die in holding facilities in the weeks and months to follow. In holding facilities, the threat of slaughter looms large over their heads as the BLM captures more and more wild horses and burros from the wild and warehouses them at taxpayer expense.

Please make a donation to the American Wild Horse Campaign right now so we can be prepared for the BLM’s summer wild horse and burro siege.

In last summer’s roundups, foals were separated from their mothers and literally run to death. Helicopters ran horses into barbed wire and chased them for miles until they collapsed. We were there to make sure every abuse was documented.

Frequently, we’re the only public eyes and ears at these roundups. Documenting this cruelty and holding the BLM accountable is a fundamental step to creating change. Now we must build the resources necessary to be out on the range again, so we can document the roundups and the cruelty that will undoubtedly occur over the next few weeks.

As July 4th approaches, please remember the majestic wild horses who are living their last weeks of freedom, unaware of what’s to come.

Please take the first step to putting an end to this cruelty and make a donation today.

Thank you,

AWHC Team

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California’s wild horses need your voice

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Help California’s Twin Peaks Herd – Take Action Today

The BLM is continuing its “business as usual” agenda with the announcement of a roundup and removal plan for California’s Twin Peaks wild horse and burro herd. The agency is planning to roundup and remove horses and burros to “achieve and maintain low AML” over the next ten years, implement fertility control on all mares and jennies, manage a non-reproducing population of geldings, and skew the wild horse sex ratio in favor of males. The BLM needs to hear from you. Please take one moment to take action below.

 

 

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting: Submit Your Comments

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is meeting on July 9 -11 in Boise, Idaho. In recent years, the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program has gone from bad to worse, and the special interest agenda of achieving virtual extinction of wild free-roaming horses and burros for the benefit of subsidized livestock grazing has steadily gained ground. This citizen-based board is supposed to represent all stakeholders, among the largest, the American public. Please take one moment to submit your comments today. 

 

House Passes Appropriations Bill with Good and Bad News for Wild Horses

Yesterday, June 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Fiscal Year 2020 spending legislation that contains good and bad news for wild horses. On the plus side, the bill prohibits the U.S. Forest Service from selling wild horses and burros from slaughter. If passed by the full Congress, it would put the brakes on the Forest Service’s plan to sell wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California for slaughter. On the negative side, the bill includes $6 million extra for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and his allies state will be used to round up and surgically sterilize wild horses. Read on to learn what’s next. 

 

Tales From Big Country: Supporting Wild Horses

If you like westerns, historical fiction, and action-packed adventures, look no further! This thirteen-story collection, featuring work by national and international bestselling and award-winning authors, offers the best in western fiction. Take a journey into the Old West, from its civilized order to lawless frontier. You won’t want to put this collection down. Thirty-five percent of the proceeds go towards our work to Keep Wild Horses Wild! Pre-order today and it will get delivered to your iPad or Kindle on July 15. At only 99 cents what are you waiting for?

 

Video Highlight of the Week: Are Horses Native?

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American Herds Special Features: O WILLIS ~ GEORGE ANSWERS!

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The following is from the American Herds:

O WILLIS ~ GEORGE ANSWERS!

George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter for the I-Team – KLAS-8 TV in Las Vegas, NV recently aired a hard hitting two part expose highlighting some of the serious issues facing the Bureau of Land Management’s mismanagement of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.
Despite being THE Chief Investigative Reporter for the Las Vegas I-Team with a solid reputation earned over decades of in depth coverage and breaking news, apparently George is no match for the one, the only, the incredible, the invincible, the all knowing and all seeing Willis Lamm.
It appears Willis graciously took a few moments out to drop George a line and tell him where he went wrong, which from the sounds of it, was everywhere – at least in the World According To Willis!
The Knappster has answered back……

Dear Mr. Lamm,

First of all, please accept my apology for taking so long to respond to your lengthy and highly detailed email of Nov. 22. I hesitate to call it an email since it is more akin to a book or term paper on wild horse management. In light of the many issues you raised, I knew I would need to carve out some time to craft an appropriate response. That said, I won’t address every single point you made because I’d probably need to take a week of vacation time to get to all of it. I’ll try to respond to the most salient points you made, along with a few glaring omissions.

After my stories aired here in LV and arrangements were made to broadcast them in Reno as well, I was warned by several wild horse enthusiasts that I would be hearing from you. They basically told me about the role you’ve assumed in the wild horse debate up north and described the type of response I would likely receive. The predictions were amazingly accurate.

To begin, let me assure you that I welcome input from all sides, especially with a story as complicated and emotional as this one. I found your letter to be both cordial and condescending, informative in many places and overtly misleading in others. I’ve been a professional journalist in Nevada for more than a quarter century, and while I appreciate your admonitions and advice, I don’t really need to be lectured about the importance of accuracy in news reporting. This is a lesson that is basically encoded in my DNA. This isn’t a hobby for me. When someone accuses me of being inaccurate or unfair or misleading, I take it very seriously. I’m sure you feel the same way.

That’s why I was so surprised by some of the things you wrote. If your mission is to set the record straight, one would think you would be more careful about some of the assertions you made. Here’s an example. Toward the end of your letter, you informed me that BLM had recently staged an adoption event ‘near Las Vegas’ in which 100 horses were placed. Really? I’ve been reporting on wild horse issues for close to 20 years. To my knowledge, there has never been an adoption event in Las Vegas that placed 100 horses. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there has been no such event in recent memory. Your statement is absolutely false.

However, I agree with your subsequent conclusion that there is a viable market in Nevada for horse adoptions. The problem is, BLM has been unwilling or unable to tap into that market, a policy decision that has prompted many to question the competency and the agendas of those who have so profoundly mismanaged this program. My personal suspicion is that the animosity which has developed between certain BLM managers and the community of wild horse advocates has degenerated to the point that it affects policy decisions within the bureau. I suspect…but cannot prove…that a few BLM managers have become so hostile toward wild horse groups and individual advocates that they actively and purposefully work to thwart successful adoption efforts in the state that is home to half of the horses still in the wild.

This brings me to another issue that is central to our exchange. Your letter focused on issues of range science, a subject that was addressed in part two of my two-part report. Did you miss part one? There is nothing whatsoever in your letter about the most important questions I raised in this series. The impetus for the two reports was the adoption program, or, more accurately, the lack thereof. I wanted to know whether BLM Nevada is managing the program as prescribed by federal law. Based on what I found, the answer is no.

It took me 7 months to obtain basic budget information. The numbers don’t lie, but I can’t say the same for BLM managers. As you know, the law which created the wild horse program provides for a management strategy which includes adoption efforts. The budget figures show that BLM Nevada commits vast resources to roundups, and considerable funds to the warehousing of horses, but very little for adoption efforts. It’s pathetic. The result is that tens of thousands of wild horses are stuck in government pens. It costs millions of dollars each year just to feed them, a bad deal for horses and a bad deal for taxpayers. When I interviewed Susie Stokke about the disparity, she was less than forthcoming, to put it mildly. She made a bad situation worse by flat-out lying to me about adoption efforts and then engaged in blatant—and transparent—attempts to manipulate the budget numbers. This isn’t a he-said-she said situation or a gray area subject to interpretation. Not even close.

I’m told that you know Ms. Stokke pretty well. There are those who think you are an agent for her, perhaps because you hope to secure a contract when certain programs are green lighted. Based on my own experiences over the years, I’d say that BLM is generous with wild horse groups that toe the line, and openly hostile with those who dare to criticize the program. I don’t know enough about you to offer a guess, but there is no question that you are widely perceived as an apologist for BLM, the person who always makes himself available to the media when the wild horse program receives criticism. You certainly wasted no time in contacting me after my stories aired, but—as mentioned above—you completely ignored the central focus of my reports, namely, the pathetic, seemingly intentional failure of BLM adoption efforts in Nevada. You don’t seem to be shy about expressing your opinions, so please feel free to give me your appraisal of the current management regarding adoptions and the blatant budget disparities. Susie thinks the program is just peachy. Do you agree? In your letter, you objected to my characterization of Nevada’s ridiculously low adoption rate. Okay, let’s hear how you would characterize it? Is it a success? You criticized my statement about the ‘rate of adoption’ by asserting that Nevada ranks 14th in total numbers of adoptions. Comparing rates versus total numbers? Come on. Are you serious?

Several times in your letter, you disparage those wild horse advocates who disagree with you while bragging about your own lofty status as a wild horse authority. Can you please elaborate. Did you work for the program prior to moving here? Do you have a degree in animal husbandry or range science? What is your level of expertise? One reason for the questions is your claimed status as the voice of reason in the wild horse debate. You say ‘most of the mainstream media’ have low regard for ‘the lunatic fringe’, meaning, horse advocates who don’t agree with your view. You seem to be saying that you are credible and everyone else isn’t. If this is how the news people in Reno see things, shame on them. No one has a monopoly on the truth, and no one is the ultimate authority on these issues. There are many viewpoints which deserve to be heard. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are lunatics and it seems incredibly egotistical for anyone to assume the position as the supreme arbiter of all questions about wild horses. This is the U.S.A., after all. It’s our duty as citizens to get involved and to speak up. No offense meant, but you didn’t invent wild horses. You aren’t the arbiter of truth. You’re one guy, not THE guy. There are many honest and compassionate people who’ve been working with wild horses far longer than you, and they happen to see things differently. When you refer to them as lunatics or “The Hysteria Corps”, it says a lot more about you than it does about them.

I see from your letter that you filed the paperwork to create a non-profit group and then you helped to form another umbrella organization. That’s admirable, but the formation of a 501c3 doesn’t make you an expert. The IRS doesn’t require a competency exam when it approves non-profits. You say your volunteers are out in the field every day, studying the range conditions, gathering info. That’s awesome, but what happens to the data? Do you give it to the BLM? Honestly, in all the years of reading BLM documents and public filings, I’ve never seen any reference to you or your group. You mentioned that your daughter is a DVM, that she reviews your observations and concurs with your conclusions. No offense to your family, but there isn’t a scientific organization in the world that would ask a daughter to do a peer review of her dad’s research. What’s she going to say? Hey Pop, you’re a nitwit? More pointedly, what does she review? What happens to this information? Where does it go? If the primary purpose of this research effort is to buttress your position as the ultimate authority on all wild horse issues, then I have many other questions about your goals, plans, and motives. The inference might seem unfair, but if you look at this from my vantage point, I hope you can see why I would ask.

A couple of other items deserve a response. You objected to the title of one of my stories because it mentioned “the science behind BLM roundups.” You say the story itself isn’t based on science. Can I get an amen? This is what we in the journalism biz refer to as irony. The entire point of the report was that there is very little science involved in BLM decisions to gather horses. I interviewed Craig Downer, who not only grew up with wild horses in his backyard, but earned advanced degrees and was employed as a range scientist by BLM. He quit in disgust because he knows the decisions to round up the horses very often have nothing to do with science and little to do with the health of the range. If you have expert testimony from someone who is MORE qualified than Craig Downer, I’d like to see it. BLM is rounding up horses for reasons that have little, if anything, to do with science.

You stated that my information about the Jackson Mountains roundup is ‘misleading’. As noted, the exact line was that the roundup was authorized ‘supposedly because there wasn’t enough forage to support them.” You say the problem was lack of water, not forage and that your team saw ‘thousands of acres of grass’ in the area. That is very interesting information. I hope you will pass it along to your colleague Ms. Stokke because the information she has directly contradicts yours. In our on camera interview, Ms. Stokke told us the horses were starving, that they barely survived by ‘eating brush’, and that this is the reason BLM rounded them up. (A side issue–If the problem was lack of water, I’m curious to know what role BLM played in cutting the horses off from their water sources.) I also hope the two of you can resolve your differences over whether the horses were starving or dying of thirst…or maybe it was both. If you think my information was misleading, you might want to go to the source and tell her that she’s full of baloney. Let me know how that goes.

There’s another reason why the forage-or-water issue is relevant. I questioned Ms. Stokke about why all of the horses dropped dead at Palomino Valley. She told me—again, on camera—that the horses had been surviving by eating brush and that when they were fed rich hay at PV, it caused an inflammation of the salmonella already in their systems and they died. I reported it exactly as it was told to me by BLM, that the animals already had salmonella in their systems and they started dying because of the feed they received. In your letter, you said this was FALSE, in capital letters, ‘so patently false that it boggles the minds of those who understand these issues.’ By that, I guess you mean that Susie Stokke doesn’t understand these issues. I’m glad we agree on something.

You also expressed the opinion that the horses ‘were properly handled’ at PV, that they were fed grass hay because that’s what ‘any experienced veterinarian’ would recommend, and that the stories about horses dying because of their feed were ‘rumors.’ Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe everything was done by the book and, as Susie said, the horses got the best care possible. Then again, they’re dead. They keeled over dead, dozens at a time, but I’m sure they were grateful for the great care they received. Are you telling me there was no alternative to this, no other approach that could have been taken, no way to ease them into a different diet? Really? If, as you suggest, they were dying already, then why go to the trouble of rounding them up and bringing them in? On the open range, they were alive. In the corral, they were dead. I guess it’s just one of those things.

One final bone of contention. You went into considerable detail about the impact of cattle and sheep on the range versus the impact of horses. I’m not even going to try to hassle about all of the specifics except for this central point. If you are suggesting that the plight of wild horses is not directly related to the competition for resources posed by cows and sheep…and housing developers…and oil companies….and mining conglomerates, then I don’t see any reason to continue the dialogue. There’s always a reason to remove horses (and the ‘best’ reason is that it’s for their own good), but when it comes to competing uses for public lands, the horses always seem to rank at the bottom of the list. Always. Anyone who thinks the ambitious, revved up removal program is unrelated to the influence of cattle interests with the current administration is not being honest.

The program is a mess, an embarrassment. The people who are calling the shots in Nevada should be ashamed. Putting resources into adoption efforts makes even more sense now that the roundups are so relentless, but it isn’t happening for reasons that have little to do with logic or good public policy.

I don’t know you, but I know OF you. I don’t like some of the things you say, not because I disagree with your conclusions but because, by personal decree, you assume the mantle of authority on all things related to wild horses. You informed me that mainstream media in your neck of the woods consider you to be the go-to guy for wild horse questions. Well, I’m not them. If you want a dialogue, that’s fine with me. But I’m not someone who is particularly impressed by posturing or intimidation tactics. As for the invitation to join your team sometime out on the range, if you’re still willing, I might take you up on that.

George Knapp
KLAS TV

Here are the links to the Knappsters recent wild horse broadcasts…..

You can email George at gknapp@klastv.com
or check out what George is reporting on NOW at

Three actions you can take this week to help wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Act Now: Stop the Wild Horse Sellout Plan

On May 22, 2019, the House Appropriations Committee approved the 2020 Interior-Environment appropriations legislation, including language requested by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Humane Society of the United States., the ASPCA, and Return to Freedom establishing a $6 million “pilot” program for wild horse management. The funds will be used to round up and remove large numbers of wild horses from their habitats, and, according to Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), to sterilize these free-roaming animals. The “pilot” is Phase 1 of a devastating, ten-year plan to round up and remove an astounding 130,000 wild horses and burros — more than even exist today — from their habitats.  Please join AWHC in opposing the plan and asking the Senate to reject it.

 

Use Your Voice to Stop Dangerous Sterilization Surgeries on Mares

The BLM is at it again. For the third time in as many years, the agency is planning dangerous and painful surgical sterilization experiments on wild mares in Oregon. The BLM abandoned previous attempts to conduct the controversial procedures (ovariectomy via colpotomy) in the face of multiple lawsuits, a federal injunction and widespread public outrage. The BLM is currently accepting public comments on its third attempt to implement the procedures. With your help, we stopped these cruel experiments twice before and we’ll do it again to protect innocent wild mares in Oregon from being brutalized. The deadline for public comments is June 12, so please act today! 

 

Sign the Petition to #FreeTheTwins

Something miraculous happened a few weeks ago at the BLM Hines Corrals in Oregon. A mare who was rounded up from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in October 2018 recently gave birth… to twins! BLM employees asked Skydog Sanctuary if it would adopt the miracle mare and her twins but later blocked the adoption because the mare is slated to be used in the barbaric sterilization study mentioned above. This unique and innocent family deserves to go to Skydog Sanctuary. Please take one moment to sign the petition below! 

 

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Don’t let this miracle turn to tragedy

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Something miraculous happened last week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Hines Corrals in Oregon. A mare who was rounded up from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA) in October, recently gave birth… to twins!

Twin births are extremely rare in the equine world, and of those that are born, 80% do not survive. And when they do, most often the foals are malnourished and need special help to survive.

That’s why, when BLM employees asked Skydog Sanctuary — a highly regarded nonprofit that operates wild horse and burro refuges in both California and Oregon — if they would adopt the miracle mare and her twins, the answer was a resounding yes.

A beautiful story, right? A win for the unique family, for Skydog, and for the BLM.

But the miracle quickly turned to tragedy when the BLM Burns District’s Wild Horse and Burro Specialist blocked the adoption because he had other plans for the mare… She is slated to be used in BLM’s barbaric sterilization experiments!

Instead of receiving loving care at Skydog’s beautiful Oregon sanctuary, this innocent mare will have her twin foals ripped from her side before being subject to invasive surgeries to remove her ovaries in an archaic procedure that veterinarians have called barbaric and risky!

This is unconscionable, but it’s part of a pattern at BLM Oregon, which recently told Skydog that it will “euthanize” (shoot) special needs horses rather than adopt them to the sanctuary. The twisted reasoning: When Skydog tells the story of these special need horses, it gives the BLM bad publicity!

We cannot let this happen. Please take the following steps today!

1. Flood the BLM Oregon with calls. Just say:

“I am calling to urge you to allow Skydog Sanctuary to adopt the mare and twin foals currently being held at the Burns corrals in Oregon. It’s unconscionable for BLM to deny these miracle horses a loving home and the special care they need. Thank you.”

  • State Office: Main: 503-808-6001 and Theresa Haynes, OR State Director: 503-808-6026
  • Burns Office: 541-573-4400

2. Sign and share the Skydog Petition – let’s get to 20,000 signatures and beyond!

3. Download the graphic below and post it on BLM Oregon’s Facebook page.

4. Send them a tweet.

This family deserves to go to Skydog’s sanctuary. Let’s work together to make it happen.

– The AWHC Team

wild horses were just sold out

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I wanted to send a quick update – the House Appropriations Committee just took the first step toward implementation of the dangerous mass wild horse roundup and sterilization plan promoted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other livestock lobbying interests with support from the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), ASPCA, and Return to Freedom (RTF).

The plan could spell the end of wild free-roaming horses and burros in the West through the unprecedented roundup of 130,000 of these animals over the next ten years — that’s 45,000 more than even exist in the wild today! Horses and burros that remain on the range could be permanently sterilized, as Representative Chris Stewart just admitted moments ago on the House floor.

We can’t let this happen. Please support our work today.

Rep. Stewart claims that the plan will “not harm any horses,” even though tens of thousands will be subjected to cruel helicopter roundups that traumatize, injure and kill, and rob these animals of their families and their freedom. Babies will literally be run to death, heavily pregnant mares will be stampeded, and stallions will break their necks desperately trying to defend their families.

The animal groups supporting the cattlemen’s plan have allowed Rep. Stewart and his allies to get away with false claims about tens of thousands of starving horses and allegations that they are destroying the West.

AWHC is ready to fight back. 

Congress must ensure that additional funds appropriated to the BLM for wild horse management are spent on humane and scientific fertility control, not mass roundups. As FY 2020 spending legislation moves to the floor of the House and through the Senate, we’ll be working with our lobbying team in partnership with like-minded organizations dedicated to preserving the West’s wild free-roaming horses and burros.

Please stand with us by supporting our work today. We pledge to continue to fight without wavering for you and our magnificent mustangs and burros.

– Suzanne

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A cattlemen’s dream – and a wild horse nightmare

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

We have an update on the plan that’s threatening wild horses: Billed as a compromise, the plan is nothing short of a surrender on the wild horse issue to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and livestock industry lobbying groups.

The plan calls for the removal of 130,000 wild horses and burros from their homes on our public lands over the next ten years. That’s more wild horses and burros than exist today!

Contact your Senators and Representative and demand that they oppose language in FY 2020 Interior Appropriations legislation to implement the “Path Forward for Management of BLM’s Wild Horses and Burros” plan promoted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), ASPCA and Return to Freedom.

The plan would almost triple the number of wild horses and burros held in captivity at taxpayer expense, at a cost of close to $1 billion over the next decade, without any guarantee for their long-term safety. It reduces wild horse and burro populations to the BLM’s extinction-level “appropriate” management level.

90% of the wild horses and burros left on the range would be subject to “fertility control,” which, given the extreme population reductions envisioned, could spell the end of many herds. The ASPCA (a co-signer to the plan) even acknowledges the plan could allow for surgical removal of the ovaries of wild mares – something the National Academy of Sciences warned was “inadvisable for field application” due to risk of bleeding and infection.

Causing further danger to the herds left on the range is the proposed sex ratio skewing of 70% stallions to 30% mares – an unheard of manipulation of a wildlife species that, by the BLM’s own admission, causes increased aggression between a large number of stallions fighting for a small number of mares.

So what doesn’t the plan include?

Any reference to livestock, and the massively larger impact that cows have on grazing land in the west. It also fails to mention the massive cost to taxpayers for the subsidized public lands livestock grazing program.

Please contact your member of Congress today, and let them know of the dangers to wild horses hidden in this plan. The markup hearing for the House Interior Appropriations Committee is Wednesday, so please don’t delay!

If this plan gets implemented, it could mean the beginning of the end of wild horses in America. We have to act NOW.

Thank you for standing with us in this crucial fight.

– The AWHC Team

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A difficult email

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

This is a difficult email to write, but our commitment to protecting America’s wild horses and burros requires us to share this update. AWHC has always placed a high priority on working collaboratively with other wildlife and animal protection organizations.

It is with great sadness but certain conviction that we must now strongly oppose a policy being promoted by several of these groups and we urge you to oppose it as well

On Monday, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the ASPCA and Return to Freedom announced a deal with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, rancher lobbyists, and Rep. Chris Stewart, the leading advocate in Congress for the mass destruction of wild horses. It’s a bad deal and disregards the Statement of Principles and Recommendations signed by more than 100 horse organizations:

  • It would require the removal of an unprecedented 15,000-20,000 wild horses from public lands in Fiscal Year 2020 alone. Large-scale removals, involving cruel and inhumane helicopter roundups, are envisioned for several additional years to get within 20 percent of the BLM’s extinction-level population limit of 27,000 horses on 27 million acres of BLM land.
  • It will continue a policy of cruel roundups and confinement. The BLM will have control over these horses, and any improved holding facilities, like “enclosed pastures” will be managed by the BLM and at the mercy of annual appropriations.
  • The only scientifically proven method of humane population management, PZP fertility control, is notmandated. The BLM has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to use PZP, as it currently spends 0% of its budget on it. Instead, the agency has demonstrated its preference for more draconian measures, including surgical sterilization and managing wild horses in non-reproducing and single-sex herds.
  • It’s unscientific and prioritizes cattle over wildlife. The plan accepts the BLM’s unscientific population limits for wild horses and burros, for which the National Academy of Sciences found no scientific support, and which are based on restricting these animals to just 12 percent of BLM lands and then allocating 80 percent of the forage in the remaining habitat to privately-owned livestock.
  • It’s unsustainable and expensive. Removing 15,000-20,000 horses from the range will cost at least $15-20 million, and storing them in holding for just one year could add $30 million annually to the BLM’s $80 million a year budget.

There’s a better way. Together we successfully beat back attempts by the BLM and livestock lobbying groups to legalize wild horse and burro slaughter. Together we’ll pursue creative solutions for wild horse management that give wild horses a fair share of resources on the small amount of public lands designated as their habitat. Together we’ll fight the mass removals that the National Academy of Sciences warned against as we advocate for humane management in the wild using fertility control.

We don’t need to cave to cattle industry interests for nothing but vague promises. We have the power of the people on our side. We can and we will do better. Please join us and contact Congress now.

Wild horses and burros are counting on us.

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

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HUGE victory for our movement — here’s what it means:

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Thanks to your support, the horses on the Virginia Range in Nevada will continue to live safe, happy lives, free to roam on the land they call home.

In 2017, the Nevada Department of Agriculture abruptly terminated our partnership to safely and effectively manage the Virginia Range wild horses using fertility control. The program was necessary to humanely reduce population growth rates in this historic mustang population whose habitat is increasingly impacted by development.

In response, we and our local coalition partners have been working hard to restart the program. We mobilized thousands of calls and emails. Local groups held 63 vigils outside the State Capitol in Carson City.

We are proud to tell you that the grassroots pressure worked…with a big assist from the business community, especially tech company Blockchains LLC, and Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Jim Wheeler! Last Tuesday we signed a Cooperative Agreement with the state to immediately resume this critical program that will humanely manage these majestic horses using safe and proven fertility control.

This news isn’t just about one state or one range. It’s about the future of this entire movement and the freedom of wild horses everywhere.

In Nevada, we can create a model to demonstrate that there is another way to manage wild horses that doesn’t involve costly and cruel roundups.

Now, we need your help. Our volunteers and staff are in the field as I write this, implementing this lifesaving program to keep wild horses wild by providing a humane alternative to removing wild horses from their homes on the range. And we’re sustaining other programs across the country to protect wild horses. Will you donate right now to support us?

The alternative to success is too awful to imagine: more round-ups; horses confined in tiny pens for the rest of their lives, or worse, sent to slaughter; breaking apart the families that residents have come to know and love for generations.

We can show that there is a better way to steward our iconic wild horse and burro populations. Please help us to make it happen by donating now.

Thank you,

Suzanne Roy

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Update: Petition to Save Onaqui

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The BLM is full steam ahead with plans to round up and capture 80% of the famous Onaqui herd in Utah. But we can’t let up.

We still need 5,318 more signatures to reach our goal before April 5, when we are delivering our petition and holding a rally outside of the BLM’s Salt Lake City office. We need your help.

Add your name now, and take a stand to protect the Onaqui wild herd.

There are only 486 wild horses in the Onaqui herd. If the BLM gets their way, only 120 horses will remain on over 240,000 acres. 

There are humane ways to manage wild horse populations that the BLM is just not using. Instead, the agency wants to move forward with an inhumane roundup, using helicopters to chase the horses for miles. Once captured, the horses will be forced to spend the rest of their lives in holding pens and pastures, adding to the millions of dollars taxpayers are forced to spend on this ineffective and mismanaged federal program.

The Onaqui horses are irreplaceable – not just to America as a symbol of our freedom and our heritage, but to the local communities who benefit from the tourism dollars brought by wild horse admirers and photographers.

Please help us keep the Onaqui wild horses wild. Sign our petition to save this iconic herd from devastation.

Thank you,

Suzanne

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Only 120 horses will remain

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The BLM is full steam ahead with plans to round up and capture 80% of the famous Onaqui herd in Utah. But we can’t let up.

We still need 5,318 more signatures to reach our goal before April 5, when we are delivering our petition and holding a rally outside of the BLM’s Salt Lake City office. We need your help.

Chip in now, and take a stand to protect the Onaqui wild herd.

There are only 486 wild horses in the Onaqui herd. If the BLM gets their way, only 120 horses will remain on over 240,000 acres.

There are humane ways to manage wild horse populations that the BLM is just not using. Instead, the agency wants to move forward with an inhumane roundup, using helicopters to chase the horses for miles. Once captured, the horses will be forced to spend the rest of their lives in holding pens and pastures, adding to the millions of dollars taxpayers are forced to spend on this ineffective and mismanaged federal program.

The Onaqui horses are irreplaceable – not just to America as a symbol of our freedom and our heritage, but to the local communities who benefit from the tourism dollars brought by wild horse admirers and photographers.

Please help us keep the Onaqui wild horses wild. Donate now to support our efforts to save the herd.

Thank you,

Suzanne

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WATCH: Beyond the ski hills and festivals

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

This week, we launched a campaign to save the Onaqui wild horses in Utah. To truly understand how special these horses are, you have to see them for yourself.

Watch this video about the Onaqui wild horse herd, and share it with your friends to raise awareness of their perilous situation.

 

The BLM plans to round up 80% of the herd and put them in holding pens for life – because they say the horses are overpopulating the area. But it’s not true and it doesn’t have to be like this. Cattle and sheep grazing consumes the majority of the resources on these public lands, and we have safe and humane solutions to control wild horse populations that the BLM has failed to implement adequately. Instead, millions of dollars in taxpayer money will go toward cruel roundups and confinement.

These horses deserve to be with their families and to roam free in the wild where they belong. This is an incredibly unique, tightly-knit society of horses. We can’t let the government destroy their herd.

These iconic wild horses need all of the teammates and fans they can get right now. Watch and share our video, and help us spread the word to save the Onaqui mustangs.

Thank you for helping save these national treasures. Let’s #SaveOnaqui.

Grace Kuhn, Communications Director

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Speak up for the Warm Springs wild horses and more news!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Speak up for Oregon’s Warm Springs Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on a plan for the Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA) in Oregon. This HMA was recently the site of a large roundup that removed 100 percent of the wild horses living there, including 100 mares who were slated to be used in an experimental surgical sterilization study. That plan was dropped after a federal judge issued a Preliminary Injunction in response to litigation by filed AWHC, The Cloud Foundation, and the Animal Welfare Institute. The BLM’s new plan is to return just 66 of the 846 horses removed from the HMA and treat all released mares with PZP fertility control. Bottom line: The BLM is releasing too few horses to maintain a healthy, genetically viable population in the Warm Springs HMA. Please take action with us below!

 

Forest Service Hands Reins of Wild Horse Management in CA to Cattle Interests

For the last several months, our team has been investigating how livestock interests in northern California’s Modoc National Forest took control of U.S. Forest Service policy regarding the management of federally-protected wild horses. Our reporting shows a trail of money, extremist politics and junk science leading to the current situation in which the Forest Service intends to sell federally-protected wild horses without limitation on slaughter for the first time in history. Read more about the situation and the disturbing precedent it sets for special interest takeover of public lands policy by clicking below.

 

Rescue Video: The ‘Alabama 5’

When we learned in April 2018 that five Virginia Range mustangs who had been adopted to a small sanctuary in Alabama were sold to a notorious kill buyer, we sprang into action. Just days before they shipped for slaughter, we rescued them. Thanks to supporters like you — and to Chilly Pepper Mustang Rescue and Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary — this small family is safe. Just four years ago, these mustangs were roaming free in Nevada. When we reached them in Alabama, they were in rough shape — neglected, traumatized and very thin. Today, they’re back home in the West looking happy and healthy. Watch their story in our latest video, and then share with your friends and family!

 

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Wyoming’s wild horses need your help … and more news!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Take Action for Wyoming’s Wild Horses

The BLM is accepting public comments on a Herd Management Area (HMA) and roundup plan for the Fifteen Mile HMA in Wyoming. The plan calls for removing over 300 horses to reduce the population to the low “Appropriate” Management Level (AML) of 70 horses, skewing the sex ratios in favor of males, and maintaining the population number in the future with more roundups and removals. 

The BLM plans to significantly reduce the existing horse population even though the agency acknowledges that the horses are healthy at their current population level of 404. Additionally, little active livestock grazing is occurring in this HMA so conflicts with ranchers are minimal. Instead of continuing the same failed approach to wild horse management, the BLM should maintain the Fifteen Mile wild horse population at a healthy number by implementing a robust fertility control program to humanely manage the population of wild horses in the wild. Tell the BLM to implement a humane and sustainable plan for the Fifteenmile horses – Take Action today!

 

Devil’s Garden Mustangs are Looking for Homes

Wild horses captured from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas, California last fall are still in need of homes. These are the horses that the U.S. Forest Service wants to sell without limitation on slaughter, but our lawsuit has so far blocked this action. Currently 43 horses age 10 and over are for sale with limitation on slaughter, and 20 horses age 9 and under are available for adoption for $125. Meanwhile, our partner sanctuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR), has six halter trained two-yea- olds also from Devil’s Garden available for adoption. If these beautiful youngsters get adopted, MCR will be able to take in additional Devil’s Garden horses in need of homes. Learn more below.

 

New AWHC Urges ‘No Vote’ on NM Legislation

AWHC is fighting for New Mexico’s wild horses by opposing state legislation that would put the fate of non-federally protected wild horses in the hands of the New Mexico Livestock Board, which has a documented history of anti-wild horse actions and support for horse slaughter. Although the bill has been amended to prevent the Livestock Board from killing wild horses removed from the range, it allows the board to make decisions about removal of wild horses from public and private land, a situation that would spell the end for free-roaming wild horses in New Mexico. Read more below, and if you are from New Mexico, be sure to oppose the legislation here. 

 

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