What's New: wild horses

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘wild horses’

This is a long read but it’s about the alarming budget the President just released

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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surgical practice known as ovariectomy, whereby a mare’s ovaries are manually severed and removed in an invasive and outdated surgical procedure.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.

Photo by Nancy Florence.

Thank you,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

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Take just one minute to help us stop the BLM from sterilizing Utah’s wild horses (urgent)

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing to move forward with a ten-year plan to reduce the wild horse population in the Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah to just 60 horses.

In order to achieve this, the BLM would authorize mass roundups in the area and greenlight dangerous chemical and surgical sterilization procedures on mares who call these public lands home. One of these methods has been deemed to be dangerous and “inadvisable” for use in wild horses by the National Academy of Sciences, and other methods haven’t even been developed yet…. let alone safety-tested.

The BLM wants to reduce the Swasey mustang population to 60 horses on this 190-square-mile HMA to make room for the more than 7,000 privately-owned, taxpayer-subsidized sheep that annually graze the public lands there.

The truth is: there is more than enough room for wild horses on public lands. But those facts don’t fit the narrative being promoted by the BLM and the livestock industry.

Please take one minute to take action against this dangerous plan. Stand with Utah’s wild horses today!

Thank you for getting involved,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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A roundup in Nevada, a horse hero in California, and an update on our national effort to save Wyoming’s wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks here at AWHC. We’ve had some heartwarming developments and some developments that broke our hearts — Like the ongoing roundup occurring in Nevada’s Eagle Complex.

As we write this, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting a huge roundup of wild horses in and around the Eagle Complex in Nevada.

This Complex, which spans the Nevada-Utah border, includes the Chokecherry, Eagle, and Mt. Elinor Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Just over 2,000 wild horses call this 750,000 acre — or 1200-square-mile public lands area — home, but the BLM wants to reduce their populations by 80%. When the helicopters leave, just over 400 horses, or one horse per 1,900 acres, will be left!

AWHC’s observer is in the field documenting the roundup in which 1,156 wild horses have so far lost their freedom, with 13 confirmed fatalities.

Last month, AWHC sent a legal letter to the BLM asking for them to postpone this roundup, citing a violation of the public’s First Amendment rights. The BLM failed to list this operation on their public schedule and only provided three days’ notice of its start date — A major shift in the agency’s own practices and one that makes it even more difficult to get observers onsite to document these capture operations. The BLM did not reply to our letter, but they did delay the start of the roundup by 3 days.

You can read our daily reports from the roundup here.

Earlier this week, AWHC began a petition drive to this Administration and the Department of the Interior to call on them to reverse the disastrous decision to round up over one-third of the wild horses in Wyoming.

To put things into perspective, the Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout would eliminate federally protected wild horses from an expanse of land roughly the size of the State of Connecticut (the area in question is 2,000,000 acres!).

Nearly 4,000 wild horses could be round up, including the wild horses who live along the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Viewing Loop, a significant tourist attraction (and more importantly, historic home for these iconic horses).

Since launching our petition, more than 20,000 of you have signed on to our national call to action to reverse the Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout. Help us get to 25,000 signatures before the weekend is over by signing here.

And if you would like to learn more about this plan, the private interests promoting it, and what’s at stake — You can read more here.

Something that’s important to keep in mind, however, is that there is hope — And there are generous people all throughout the country who are doing everything they can to save America’s beautiful wild horses and burros.

One of those individuals is Alicia Goetz, the founder of Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary and someone we are beyond proud to have as a member of AWHC’s Board of Directors.

Alicia currently runs and founded one of the largest horse sanctuaries in the entire United States. Over the past six years, Alicia has taken in unwanted horses and given them a home on a 4,000 acre property in San Benito County, California.

It wasn’t something she originally set out to do. Alicia got the idea after her daughter began horse riding and she learned about the unfortunate fate that befalls thousands of unwanted horses. So she decided to get involved and make a difference — And she has!

We wanted to thank Alicia for crossing a major milestone: She’s about to accept her 500th horse into Freedom Reigns!

Even better news: The horses coming to Alicia’s are Rocky and Rusty’s bands from the famed Fish Springs HMA in Nevada. Alicia is giving these horses a rare opportunity to stay together with their families and roam free on her beautiful 4,000-acre ranch.

Read more about Alicia and Freedom Reigns here.

Before you go, we also wanted to remind you that it’s not too late to snag one of our 2020 AWHC calendars! There are still eleven months in the year and these calendars make a great gift for the horse lover in your life.

And the best part? A portion of the proceeds go directly to supporting our work to keep America’s wild horses and burros wild as well as to power our efforts to rescue those who have lost their freedom.

Thank you,

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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A Bright Future for the Fish Springs Wild Horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

American Wild Horse Campaign shared an update on Bring Samson, a Wild Stallion, Home

PETITION UPDATE

A Bright Future for the Fish Springs Wild Horses

Dear Friends,

Thanks to great teamwork, the future for the four Fish Springs wild horse families who were removed from their homes on the range by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) late last year is looking bright!

It took a village — and a coordinated bidding strategy in the BLM's online auction, which ended yesterday — to secure these cherished horses. The American Wild Horse Campaign was…

Read full update

 

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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We need your help to save the famed Salt River wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

If you thought the famed Salt River wild horses were protected, think again. In 2017, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that protects the Salt River wild horses in their historic habitat in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix.

But now this cherished herd is threatened by new plans that could result in severe habitat loss and removals of these horses from their home along the lower Salt River.

The Issue: The U.S. Forest Service is beginning construction of a metal fence along the last four miles of the Lower Salt River, including across the river itself. The fence would trap horses on either side, blocking access to the river – a critical source of hydration — and to grazing grounds on both sides of the river.

At the same time, the Arizona Department of Agriculture is considering several proposed long-term management plans for the horses. Depending on which plan is chosen, the horses could face large-scale removals and a severe reduction in their habitat.

The Stakes: Working together with our coalition partner the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, we saved the Salt River wild horses from a mass roundup/eradication plan almost 5 years ago. Now the future of this iconic herd is again in jeopardy and their future is far from assured!

Five Things You Can Do Today:

The Salt River wild horses need your voice now! Click on the image for each step and you will be directed to a page that will guide you on how to help.

Thank 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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We need to pick up the pace

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Earlier this month, the Congress gave the green light to accelerate roundups in the West, which could result in as many as 20,000 wild horses being removed from public lands in 2020.

This comes at a time when the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management is describing mustangs and burros as an ‘existential threat’ to the survival of public lands…. Even though wild horses aren’t even on 88% of those lands! We know what this scapegoating of wild horses will mean if we don’t stop it.

Many of you have reached out and asked why don’t we sue to stop this? Well, the answer is we are!

90% of the suits our legal team files we win — and our ongoing litigation is one of the most important ways we’re fighting back and setting legal precedents to defend America’s wild horses and burros.

California: AWHC successfully prevented the U.S. Forest Service from significantly reducing the size of the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California — One of the largest in the state.

Nevada: AWHC filed suit to challenge the BLM’s decision to permanently remove all wild horses from the Caliente Herd Area in Nevada without considering any reductions to domestic livestock in the area.

Oregon: AWHC sued the BLM in order to stop proposed cruel sterilization surgeries on wild mares. The court granted our request for an injunction, causing the BLM to cancel the experiments.

Utah: AWHC successfully defended wild horses in Utah from a rancher lawsuit that sought the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands.

Wyoming: AWHC successfully intervened and successfully petitioned the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming on behalf of in-state ranchers seeking the forcible removal of thousands of wild horses.

And these are just a handful of examples.

Make sure our legal team has the resources it needs to score more victories for wild horses and burros in 2020 by donating toward our crucial $100,000 End of Year goal (with the deadline to unlock the match approaching at midnight!).

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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Double down on keeping wild horses and burros free

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

 

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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How $30 can make all the difference in the life of a wild horse

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Great news! — We’re nearly 1/3rd of the way to our $100,000 End of Year goal (which we have to hit in order for all donations to be matched).

But before we ask you to make a donation ahead of our deadline tomorrow night, we wanted to give you a glimpse of where this donation will be going.

In Nevada’s Virginia Range, AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses and burros. The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’.

No need for roundups, expensive and crowded holding corrals, or risky sterilization surgeries. And do you want to know how much it costs for a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine?

$30.

Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup, long-term holding, and contractor fees 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.

If every single one of you gave $30, we would unlock our $100,000 match, hit our End of Year goal, and 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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This is our chance to be on the right side of history

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

At the beginning of the 1970s, our country came together to prevent the extinction of America’s mustangs.

Congress recognized that wild horses were “fast disappearing” and at one point, the wild horse population in Nevada fell below 4,000 (for reference: Nevada is home to the majority of wild horses today).

Thanks to years of activism and public pressure, Congress unanimously (!) passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to save these American icons.

But right now, in 2019, the future of America’s wild horses and burros is once again in jeopardy.

The Bureau of Land Management could remove as many as 20,000 wild horses from public lands next year. At the same time, the livestock industry and two large animal welfare groups that sold out the interests of wild horses are lobbying in favor of a plan that would bring mustang populations to near-extinction levels over the next decade.

Our passionate volunteers, skilled attorneys and lobbyists, and incredible staff are taking a monumental stand in 2020 to defend the future of wild horses and burros against this threat.

Let’s be on the right side of history and give wild horses and burros a fighting chance: Donate toward our $100,000 End of Year goal so all donations can be matched and let’s win this fight.

Because of you, we’re giving a fighting voice for wild horses and burros in Congress, the Courts, and states across the West.

American Wild Horse Campaign

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Incredible opportunity! — All donations could be matched through the end of the year

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We have an incredible opportunity, but it’s very time-sensitive and will require all of us working together and pitching in.

The Opportunity: A generous donor has committed to match every single donation up to $100,000 through the end of the year, but only if we meet one condition.

The Condition: We have to raise $100,000 in grassroots donations to unlock the full matching gift.

That gives us just three days to raise the funds to secure this major gift.

Can we count on you to make a donation toward our End Of Year fundraising drive so we can hit this goal, unlock the match, and hit the ground running in 2020?

This year, we’ve made a lot of progress. The U.S. Forest Service is now prohibited from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter, California has enacted new horse protections, and AWHC now runs the world’s largest humane management program for mustangs — proving that there is a safe, cost-effective alternative to cruel roundups.

We also face significant challenges in 2020. Congress’ decision to fund accelerated roundups in 2020 could result in as many as 20,000 wild horses and burros being removed from public lands next year alone.

That’s why we HAVE to end the year strong and begin 2020 with the resources to fight back. Donate today toward our $100,000 End of Year goal, have your donation matched, and help us unlock the full gift.

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

I’m not losing hope

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

If you’re like me, the news that Congress is going to give the Bureau of Land Management $21,000,000 to round up as many as 20,000 wild horses next year broke my heart.

My name is Deb Walker and I’m the Nevada Field Representative for AWHC. In these moments of heartbreak and hardship, it’s important we remember why we’re in this fight and why we should continue to have hope.

For me, this is personal

When I was younger, I experienced my first glimpse of wild horses in Owyhee above Elko, Nevada. My dad and I were absolutely in awe watching the horses.

When I grew older, my husband and I made a habit of visiting northern Nevada to see wild horses (from a respectable distance). Every Thanksgiving, I would gather my camera, grab a coffee, and head out to go see them.

Fast forward to when I approached retirement from the Air Force. My husband asked me where I would like to go and retire. For me, that decision was easy: I wanted to retire in northern Nevada where I could live as close to wild horses as possible.

And it’s what ultimately motivated me to work with AWHC as its Nevada Field Representative.

What I do

I think my dad, who recently passed, would certainly approve of my work. I want my two daughters and my three grandchildren to have these experiences and make the same memories with the horses like I did.

That’s why the news about Congress giving the green light to accelerate roundups next year just motivates me to work harder. As the Nevada Field Representative, I get to work with a team of incredible volunteers in the largest humane management program for wild horses in the entire world.

Since April, our team administered more than 1,200 PZP fertility treatments to wild horses — that’s almost double the number the BLM, with its $80-million-a-year program budget, did in an entire year!

Together, we’re proving that there is a more humane and cost-effective way to manage wild horse populations that does NOT require roundups or risky sterilization surgeries.

That’s why, despite this week’s disappointing news, I am hopeful about what we can accomplish together for our wild horses and burros in the New Year.

Thank you for being a part of our AWHC family,

Deb Walker
Nevada Field Representative
American Wild Horse Campaign

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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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On anniversary of Wild Horse Act, Congress REJECTS bipartisan protections

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Yesterday, the House and Senate unveiled an agreement on the fiscal year 2020 spending legislation. The final bill rejects the efforts of bipartisan lawmakers to prevent federal funds from being allocated toward cruel sterilization surgeries and accelerated roundups.

The vast majority of Americans, from both parties, oppose these surgeries and roundups.

But, this bipartisan effort to protect wild horses and burros was rejected in favor of a backroom deal cut by Washington D.C. lobbyists for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Humane Society of the U.S., the ASPCA, and Return to Freedom that seeks federal funding for the roundup of as many as 20,000 wild horses and burros from our public lands next year.

This week marks the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and the spending bill unveiled yesterday marks a sweeping and unparalleled betrayal of these beloved and iconic animals by groups that say they want to protect them.

But we’re not giving up! The words of then-President Nixon in his signing statement for the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act stand as true today as they did in 1971.

“Wild horses and burros merit man’s protection historically … as a matter of ecological right–as anyone knows who has ever stood awed at the indomitable spirit and sheer energy of a mustang running free.”

Then, as today, the American people stand firmly on the side of protecting America’s majestic public horses and the public lands they live on.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY:

  1. Arm yourself with the facts. The groups that are behind this devastating funding bill are using deceptive language to justify their actions. Learn the truth by clicking here.
  2. Support AWHC. We have numerous promising avenues to fight back in 2020, which we will pursue vigorously and with your support. Now more than ever, your support is making a difference.

Meanwhile, rest up, stay ready, stay committed and stay strong! Our wild horses and burros need you today more than ever!

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

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Developing story: Congress is under renewed national pressure to protect wild horses

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We reached out to you about a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in Congress who are taking a stand to champion language during budgetary negotiations that would help protect wild horses and burros next year.

Led by the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva, these lawmakers are working to prevent federal funds from going toward inhumane sterilization surgeries and accelerated mass roundups (which is being supported in a plan called the ‘Path Forward’).

Thousands of you reached out to your members of Congress (thank you!) and news of this bipartisan mustang protection effort has been carried across the nation, including in The New York Times.

Take a moment to read the article in The New York Times and see how we’re giving our mustangs and burros a fighting chance in the halls of Congress against this dangerous plan →

Thank you for helping to shine a light on this important fight by letting your representatives know what is at stake for our wild horses and burros.

American Wild Horse Campaign

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BLM Captures 15 More Beloved Mustangs

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

American Wild Horse Campaign shared an update on Bring Samson, a Wild Stallion, Home for the Holidays Check it out and leave a comment:

PETITION UPDATE

BLM Captures 15 More Beloved Mustangs

Dear Friend,

We have terrible news. 15 more wild horses from Fish Springs have lost their freedom, and the community is heartbroken. Beloved and well-known stallions, Rocky, Shadow and Rusty, and their families are no longer free and are incarcerated in BLM holding pens near Reno joining Samson and his family.

Worse, the BLM refuses to hear the will of the people and is intending to leave the…

Read full update

 

 

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