What's New: wild horses

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘wild horses’

Action required: Wild horses on brink of destruction

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Right now, the Senate is considering partial funding for a plan that, if approved, could mean the beginning of the end for free-roaming horses and burros. The plan, ill-conceived and full of dangerously vague language, is hidden within the Interior budget bill and it’s on track to be negotiated in September.

Take action now: Sign our petition to protect America’s wild horses and burros.

What is this plan? It’s a ten year attack on wild horse populations, and nothing short of a surrender of the decades-long fight for fair treatment, humane management, and preservation of our nation’s wild horse and burro herds.

The plan is billed as a compromise between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, other livestock lobbying groups, and the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), the ASPCA and Return to Freedom, but there’s nothing in it for wild horses.

In fact, it calls for the roundup of 130,000 wild horses and burros over the next decade – more than exist today on the range. This will triple the number of wild horses and burros incarcerated at taxpayer expense, at a cost of close to $1 billion over the next decade, without any guarantee of long-term funding to ensure safety from slaughter for these cherished animals.

And there’s more. Herd numbers will diminish beyond minimum viable populations, gruesome sterilization experiments for wild mares will remain on the table, and herds left on public lands will be manipulated with unnatural sex ratios that will wreak havoc on social organization and dynamics.

We’ve seen the power Americans have to affect change at a national level. We must band together to demand an absolute NO to this disastrous plan.

Take action now, and sign our petition to make sure your Senators vote against this dangerous proposal.

Thank you,

– AWHC Team

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Ranchers call for a roundup of wild horses on our public lands. Don’t let the cattle industry win

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Earlier this week, a federal court judge in California issued an order granting us the right to intervene in a lawsuit, filed by public lands ranchers, seeking the immediate round up and removal of 2,000 wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest.

At the same time, our attorney is in San Francisco today, participating in court-ordered negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service on a separate lawsuit, filed by AWHC and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, to stop the agency from selling Devil’s Garden horses for slaughter.

Please, support our ongoing legal efforts to protect the Devil’s Garden wild horses in California from special interests that seek their mass removal and slaughter.

The Devil’s Garden Territory is home to one of California’s largest remaining wild horse populations. Yet under pressure from local ranching interests, the Forest Service seeks to reduce the wild horse population to 200 – 402 horses, while allowing over 3,700 cows and 2,900 sheep to graze the public lands there.

The situation that has been unfolding in Devil’s Garden — from the roundups to the proposal to sell the mustangs without limitation on slaughter — represents one of the more serious attacks on wild horses by the public lands ranching industry.

Enough is enough. We’re waging two separate legal battles to defend Devil’s Garden mustangs from this existential threat.

Please help us fund this crucial fight today. Your donation will be earmarked for the legal efforts to protect the right of the Devil’s Garden wild horses to live wild and free on our public lands.

As always, we are the last line of defense for America’s wild horses and we must keep fighting until their safety is assured.

—AWHC Team

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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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Thank you

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Today marks the end of our Summer Roundup Campaign. Thanks to your support, we were able to exceed our fundraising goal – we’ll have what it takes to document fall and winter roundups and keep fighting to protect wild horses across the West.

Over the last few days, our field representative at the Pine Nut roundup has witnessed helicopters stampeding small numbers of horses for hours at a time to no avail. By the end of the roundup, which concluded yesterday, only 36 horses were captured in total. One beautiful black mare broke her leg and was killed as a result.

The few remaining Pine Nut wild horse families have evaded the trap, despite 90+ degree temperatures and days of relentless chasing. We’re sickened at this cruelty. We’re angry that these actions are taken at taxpayers’ expense.

Because of your generosity during this campaign, we have the funding to continue the fight. And, in the spirit of the Pine Nut mustangs still living free, that’s just what we’ll do.

We started this fundraising campaign to fuel our government relations team in educating Congress about the BLM’s inhumane practices, to support our litigation fund for roundup-related lawsuits, and to broaden our education and advocacy programs documenting how taxpayer dollars are being used and wasted.

As summer roundups continue into fall and winter, we’ll be there to hold the BLM accountable and raise our voices to keep wild horses and burros protected from undue harm and danger.

It’s not too late to chip in and help us protect the wild horses that we hold dear.

Thank you for being part of our herd as we continue to make sure wild horses stay wild.

—AWHC Team

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Speak up for Utah’s wild horses and more news

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

 

Take Action for Utah’s Wild Horses in the Range Creek HMA

The BLM is seeking public comments on a roundup and removal plan for the wild horses that live in the Range Creek HMA in Utah. The HMA includes 55,000 acres of public and private lands, on which the BLM has set a wild horse population limit (AML) of just 75-125 wild horses. The agency seeks to remove over 200 horses and reduce the population to the low AML of 75, a density of one horse per 733 acres! The BLM’s plan also includes the implementation of fertility control, including the use of unproven IUD’s, and the skewing of wild horse sex ratios to favor of males. Please weigh in today against yet another roundup and urge the BLM instead to implement proven humane and sustainable wild horse management tools.

 

BLM Reorganization Will Have Major Impact on Public Lands and Wild Horses 

A massive reorganization of the BLM that involves moving its headquarters to Grand Junction, CO and transferring most of its Washington, D.C. staff out west — combined with the Administration’s installment of a lawyer who advocates for the sell-off of federal lands in the top agency post — is raising concerns about the future of our public lands and the agency tasked with managing and conserving them. The developments forbode further dysfunction within the BLM, increased control by local and corporate interests over federal public lands policy, and a growing threat to the environment and wild horses and burros. Read more below.

 

New Census Shows Devil’s Garden Mustang Population Half the Size Claimed by Ranchers

On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service announced its plan to conduct another roundup of California wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest. At the same time, the agency released new census numbers showing far fewer mustangs actually live in the Forest than previously claimed by the ranching interests that have waged a propaganda campaign against the horses. The ultimate goal is the removal of most of these cherished California mustangs from the public lands that comprise the Modoc Forest. Read more below. 

 

Video Highlight of the Week: The Rescue of the ‘Oklahoma 6’

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Head West for your next summer read

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We know how much our western-roaming mustangs mean to you and we thank you for your unwavering support in our mission to preserve wild horses on public lands.

That’s why we’re excited to share with you our news about the ebook, Tales From Big Country.

35% of proceeds directly fund AWHC for our work to preserve America’s wild horses.

Tales From Big Country features a 13-story collection by international bestselling and award-winning authors whose works have been published in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. From the big skies of Montana to perilous rides with the Texas Rangers, you’ll read tales of civilization in the lawless frontier, stories of Native Americans, fables of romance, horror, and everything under the sun.

Pre-order your ebook* today for just .99 cents and on August 14th it will be delivered to your iPad of Kindle!

Thanks for your support!

The AWHC Team

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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

In photos: Why we fight for 🐴🐴🐴

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

It’s hard to fathom the shocking reality of roundups unless you’ve witnessed one. Helicopters stampeding terrified herds across public lands in the brutal summer heat. Foals separated from their mothers, often dropping to the ground due to exhaustion. Crowded pens pulsing with masses of wild horses, trapped within.

When the Triple B wild horse roundup concluded last week, 802 horses were captured. Fourteen wild horses died.

That’s why we work hard to keep representatives in the field — present for every roundup — so we can document the stampede and keep you informed, as gut-wrenching as it truly is.

Below are images and videos we captured of the recent Triple B roundup.

We are in court, in Congress, and on the range fighting to keep wild horses in the wild. Will you make a contribution to AWHC right now so we have the resources to keep up the fight?

This documentation demonstrates greed and cruelty, a reality in which private ranchers and commercial interests dictate what happens to your wild horses roaming your public land.

Donate today to fund our field representation so we can keep you informed and strengthen our case against the Bureau of Land Management.

Until roundups cease, these wild horses and thousands more across the West await an uncertain fate. Until then, our work continues.

– The AWHC Team

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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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Feel Good Friday (to start your weekend right!)

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Six horses were in a kill pen in Oklahoma, one day away from shipping to slaughter, when AWHC supporters stepped in to save them. Yesterday, these lucky horses arrived in California, where they will spend the rest of their lives in a safe place.

The “Oklahoma Six” are four BLM mustangs and a quarter horse mare and foal – just three weeks old! Earlier this week, you helped us raise enough money to bail them out from the kill pen and transport them from Oklahoma to two of our great sanctuary partners in California.

Three of the mustangs are young and unhandled. One is a 2-year old filly who was in the BLM’s holding facility in Pauls Valley, OK less than three months ago. Their quick turnaround from wild and free on the range, to BLM holding pens, to the slaughter pipeline tells a cautionary tale about the ultimate fate of the thousands of federally protected mustangs that are rounded up and removed from our public lands each year.

Thank you to everyone who stepped up to save these horses and to Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang for transporting them safely from Oklahoma to California. Special big thanks as well to our board members Alicia Goetz and Ellie Price and their sanctuaries – Freedom Reigns and Montgomery Creek Ranch – for giving these six lucky horses a safe place to live out the rest of their lives.

We’ll be telling the stories of these horses in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, head over to our Facebook page for more info, photos and to share this Feel Good Friday story with your friends and family.

Thanks!

– AWHC Team

PS – Help us help more horses like the Oklahoma 6 by contributing to our rescue fund today

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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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[WATCH] Roundups underway

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

As I write this, our field representative is out on Nevada public lands documenting the roundup of the wild horses living in the Triple B Complex. Roundup documentation is crucial work to hold the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) accountable for the devastating impacts of its inhumane management program to wild horses on our public lands.

Watch and share our video from day 1 of the operation below:

These wild herds are at risk of being destroyed forever. The BLM’s 10-year plan for the Triple B and Antelope Complexes includes removing thousands of wild horses from public lands and castrating 50 percent of the stallions who remain in the wild, destroying their natural behaviors – the very essence of their wildness.

Here’s how we’re working to stop this cruelty: Last year we filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Nevada challenging the plan. Our case is currently with the Nevada Court of Appeals.

We’re also in the field to photograph, report, and monitor the situation on the ground. Our photos, videos, and reports hold the BLM accountable by informing the public and our elected leaders about the cruelty that is happening to America’s treasured horses on our public lands.

Watch and share our latest video today:

If we don’t keep watch, who will? Thank you for supporting our teams on the range, in the courts and in the halls of Congress.

Thank you,

Suzanne

 

Vanished

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Hundreds of Nevada wild horses are living their last moments of peace and freedom this weekend. Early next week, the roundups begin.

Please, make a donation now to help AWHC fight back on behalf of these innocent mustangs. Your support will help us document these cruel operations, challenge federal wild horse policies in Congress and the courts, and demonstrate through our field programs that there is a better way to manage wild horses and burros.

In just days, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will send helicopters into the Triple B Complex in eastern Nevada to capture and remove 800 wild horses from the public lands they call home. Over the next 10 years, the BLM plans to reduce the wild horses in this area to one mustang per every 4,800 acres while allowing intensive commercial livestock grazing to continue on the public lands designated as wild horse habitat.

Please help keep us in the field at the roundups to hold BLM accountable for the ongoing cruelty that is paid for by our tax dollars. 

Thank you,

– AWHC Team

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Celebrating freedom

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Since our earliest days of exploration, immigration, and refuge, the American Wild Horse has embodied the values of our nation.

Freedom. Independence. Honor. 

These values are worth fighting for.

Thank you for supporting the fight for their future. You’re a crucial team member in our work to ensure the mustangs we all love and cherish stay wild and free.

From all of us at the  American Wild Horse Campaign have a safe and happy Independence Day!

– The AWHC Team

 

Introducing our 2019 Roundup Campaign

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

July is the hardest month for wild horses in the American West. That’s when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) begins its summer roundup season. It’s also the time of year when most bands have young foals and temperatures kick into the triple digits.

For hundreds of wild horses, July means the end of freedom. Families will be torn apart and chased for miles to the brink of exhaustion, then thrust into crowded pens where they’ll await a future in which the odds are stacked against them. And, this is just the beginning. Across the West, the roundups will continue through March.

Your continued support and attention over the next few weeks will be crucial. As part of our July Roundup Campaign, we have set a goal of raising $50,000 by July 26.

Your support will help us hold the BLM accountable – and raise public awareness about what is happening to the wild horses and burros so many Americans cherish.

  • Our field observers are the eyes and ears for the public at roundups. We need resources to keep observers on the ground to document the cruelty that occurs at during these remote operations.
  • Our advocacy and policy programs address the underlying causes that perpetuate this inhumane and costly management practice.
  • Our fertility control programs provide a model for humane management that focuses on preventing large scale roundups in the future.
  • Our lawsuits challenge the BLM’s flagrant disregard of federal law protecting wild horses and the environment.

Help us fund these crucial steps to hold BLM accountable, advocate for humane management policy, and preserve these national symbols of freedom.

Thank you for being on our team as we strive to keep wild horses safe and wild.

– AWHC Team

PS: A fan of social media? Help us spread awareness of the BLM’s summer roundups on Facebook and Twitter!

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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
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