We have a wild horse champion headed to the Interior
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
News & Alerts
Here is your latest news on all things wild horses and burros!
Wild Horse Champion Haaland Heads to Interior Department
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a confirmation hearing to consider the nomination of New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland for secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Secretary-designate Haaland would be the first Native American to head this department that oversees more than 450 million acres of public land in the nation.
AWHC has had the pleasure of working with Secretary-designate Haaland in Congress. As chair of the Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, she has worked to reform the inhumane and expensive federal wild horse roundup program by supporting humane solutions, such as PZP fertility control, and has opposed the brutal surgical sterilization procedures the BLM continues to pursue.
Because Secretary-designate Haaland is a champion of protecting our public lands and the wild animals that inhabit them, her nomination faces stiff opposition from the oil/gas, mining, and livestock industries. So, today, we’re asking everyone who cares about wild horses and burros and our public lands to take just a moment to call your Senators in support of her confirmation.
Please call Senator Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852 and Senator John Hickenlooper at (202) 224-5941
You can say, “Hello, I am a constituent of Senator [Name] and I am calling to ask that they please support the confirmation of Deb Haaland* for Interior Secretary. Her leadership is necessary to protect our nation’s public lands and natural resources, including our federally-protected wild horses and burros. Thank you.” *pronounced like the country, Holland.
Then, follow up your call with a message! >> Take Action <<
New BLM Wild Horse and Burros Advisory Board Member Called Wild Horses a ‘Protein Source’
Speaking of a new Interior Department, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his illegally serving Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director William Perry Pendley will go down in history as the worst stewards of our nation’s public lands. The past four years have seen an unrelenting assault on the environment, wildlife, and America’s wild horses and burros.
Before they left town, Bernhardt and Pendley appointed Beaver County, Utah Commissioner Tammy Pearson to represent the “public interest” on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Pearson is a flagrantly corrupt choice for this position. A 40-year public lands rancher whose allotments are in wild horse Herd Management Areas in Utah, Pearson has lobbied and testified for wild horse roundups and in favor of horse slaughter.
She discounts the strong opinion of the American public against the slaughter of wild and domestic horses as “romanticizing” an animal that the “whole rest of the world” considers a “protein source.” In her 2017 testimony before the Utah legislature, she blamed horses for all the damage in the areas where her cattle graze and claimed that wild horses there were suffering from overpopulation and starvation. You can listen to her testimony below.
AWHC opposes this unscrupulous appointment and believes it violates a conflict of interest provision under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, so we’re taking action. We’ll keep you posted and in the meantime, be sure to check out our Op-ed about her appointment, published yesterday in the Grand Junction Sentinel. >> Read More <<
We’re Fighting for Humane Management With Science
Instead of the unscientific approach of mass helicopter roundups, humanely managing wild horses requires a more sophisticated method that relies on fieldwork and on-the-ground knowledge of the horse or burro populations a particular BLM district is managing.
AWHC aims to harness science and technology to advance the goal of humane management of these iconic animals. AWHC already runs the largest humane wild horse fertility control program in the world. Now we’re excited to be partnering with WildMe, a non-profit that builds open software and artificial intelligence for the conservation community with the goal of protecting at-risk species.
Our goal is to develop an algorithm that will identify individual horses from photographs, something that will greatly enhance the efficiency of our fertility control efforts while providing a mechanism for accurate censusing and tracking of wild herds, using citizen science for the collection of data.
Currently, our Virginia Range fertility control program volunteers identify horses manually by photograph, based on our extensive database of more than 3,000 horses cataloged by color, markings, social affiliation, location and any other identifying features. It’s a method that works, as evidenced by our record of delivering over 3,000 fertility control treatments in less than two years. However, it is time-consuming. Having an algorithm that allows a volunteer to take a photo, run it through the software and come up with the data file on that specific horse will make the process of identifying mares in need of PZP treatment much faster – something our volunteers — who are often in the field under punishing weather conditions – will greatly appreciate!
The research should be complete by June and we should know at that time whether the algorithm (PIE) being tested will work for horses. We’ll keep you posted. >> Learn More <<