In 1970 there were over 1,000,000 wild horses.There are now approximately only 25,000 left in the wild in America. Currently 37,000 are in holding pens, awaiting a grime fate. This year alone, 12,000 more will be rounded up. Just this year, $67 million of our hard earned tax dollars was spent on the senseless round ups, $ 40 million on the round ups, holding and feeding alone..( which breaks down to $3.50 per day in short term holding and 1.30 per day per horse in long term holding).
“Considering that they are costing no one a dime while they are taking care of themselves peacefully on public lands where they have a right to be since 1971”, states Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation.
Because of the" Burns" rider adopted into the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act, the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, can now sell wild horses for 10 dollars a piece to anyone, without restrictions, provided the horse has been advertised for adoption three times, or they are over the age of 10. They are advertised by an open adoption ad, a flyer in a feed store, or a PSA. Many horses go unseen and no single horse gets their own spot light for adoption. Unfortunately, the BLM has no one watching over them, except for ARU and many other brave rescues and advocates. They can 'say' they have offered a horse for adoption 3 times but then he goes to any who wants him for $10.This is exactly the type of horse a kill buyer wants, and gets. Most kill buyers are looking for large amounts of untrained, unwanted wild horses for 10 dollars each. These horses are sold to the first person with the money in their hands.. “The BLM has full sale authority and no obligation to check out the buyers”, states Nick Allias, former contractor for the BLM. So answer this, why does the BLM have full sale authority of a horse that is publicly owned and paid for?
"These wild horses have families, with generations and generations of members. They have enjoyed freedom on OUR public land for hundreds of years. They are savagely rounded up by helicopters ripped apart and held holding pens. For the many thousands who don't find a home, they end up slaughter plants."
The reasons the BLM gives for the mass roundups, even when they are already holding 37,000 horses, is that the wild horses are starving and causing deterioration to the land. So, their saying they want to spend $ 60 million of the tax payers money because they care for these horses? In 2006 the BLM proposed to kill all 33,000 horses they had in holding at that time, " To cut back on the amount of tax payers money being spent" - David Robertson, BLM volunteer.
In reality, 9 million PRIVATE cattle permits were obtained this year alone. These private ranchers were granted a permit to graze their cows on public property, the same property that houses 25,000 wild horses. The BLM has claimed that wild horses are starving and dehydrated on these lands, thus the need for a round up. After the round up, the horses are replaced by cattle. So, if the horses are starving on this land, why wouldn't the cattle? The BLM hasn't provided one shred of proof or photo of one WILD horse that is starving or ! All the photos we've seen are of starving and dead horses in HOLDING pens!
These horses are rounded up right in the middle of foaling season, which is against the BLM's own rules. Pregnant mares, new born foals, and stallions are made to run for 10's of miles in 100 degree heat without rest. Many foals have been documented to have run their hooves right off. The latest documentation shows horses being driven over cliffs to their deaths. The helicopter company that has been contracted by the BLM to round up the horses, has animal cruelty convictions against them for selling wild horses direct to slaughter, and we pay them MILLIONS to run our horses over cliffs and torture them? The BLM once tied up a colt that got left behind, meaning to go back to get him once the round up was over. They forgot about him, and left him to die, tied up in the desert. Once the horses reach the holding pen, they are not given a moments rest before the families are ripped apart and loaded into trailers, and shipped to holding pens on private property. Why is this? So the public can NOT view the conditions in which these animals are being kept or how they are treated. If the horses lives in the wild were as bad as the BLM would like for you to think, wouldn't the “radical animal activists” as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar calls them, be the first ones to be upset about this?
The U. S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) and Right-of-Way Grant (ROW) for the Ruby Pipeline Project, a proposed 678 mile interstate natural gas pipeline that crosses 368 miles of Federal land beginning near Opal, Wyoming, through northern Utah and northern Nevada, and terminating near Malin, Oregon. The BLM Nevada State Director, as the designated Federal official, signed the ROD and authorized the ROW for the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of the pipeline and associated facilities across lands under jurisdiction of the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the four states.
The ROD is for the selected alternative for the Ruby Pipeline Project, and the ROW is for the route certificated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), with the inclusion of the Newmont and Southern Langell Valley reroutes.
The wild horses in the direct line of the Ruby pipeline are being systematically removed. A proposal lingered on the El Paso Corporation planning board table about whether to go around the wild horse herd's migration patterns,at an extra $80 million cost, or to go directly through the patterns. Soon a statement from the BLM was issued that the horses in these areas were starving and dying, creating a need for round ups. Does anyone else see a pattern? Did I mention that British Petroleum ( BP ) is a 84% stock holder in El Paso Corporation developing the pipeline?
What needs to happen next....
A letter was generated by Congressman Grijalva asking for a halt on the round ups. 54 lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, signed the letter sent to Secretary Salazars office. What we need is a moratorium on the round up, and a proper census conducted. The University of Colorado has offered to conduct a ( FREE) study on the wild horses, the land erosion , amount of grazing available , the REAL number of herds roaming free, and whether or not the round ups are EVEN needed.
Senator Mary Landrieu once again came through for the horses by making an official statement about the BLM atrocities. She in fact openly stated that the Obama administration should be ashamed of themselves for letting this continue on their watch.
What can YOU do?
TONS! First off, call each one of your states representatives and tell them you want to see an end to the wild horse round ups, or for the welfare of the wild horses to be in different hands then the Bureau of Land Management. Let them know if they don't work toward that goal, you will be voting for someone else next election. Even if a representative doesn't care about the issue, they do care about their vote.
You can also call Secretary Salazar's office, since he is the ''brains'' behind the round ups and tell him exactly how you feel about these round ups- Remember, the people taking your calls are volunteers so be polite to them. Call and call again. The more people that call, the more it shows that the American people CARE where their tax money is going and what is happening to the wild horses....OUR wild horses.... If these round ups were happening to cats or dogs, there would be a national out cry, why not for our horses? His office can be reached at 702-388-5020
1) Please Contact The Senators on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee and ask that they support a moratorium on all gathers and removals.
*Ask them to investigate and hold a hearing to reconsider the R.O.A.M. Act (S. 1579)
Members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:
Chairman Jeff Bingaman (NM) Byron L. Dorgan (ND) Ron Wyden (OR) Tim Johnson (SD) Mary L. Landrieu (LA) Maria Cantwell (WA) Robert Menendez (NJ) Blanche Lincoln (AR) Bernard Sanders (I) (VT) Evan Bayh (IN) Debbie Stabenow (MI) Mark Udall (CO) Jeanne Shaheen (NH) Lisa Murkowski (AK) Richard Burr (NC) John Barrasso (WY) Sam Brownback (KS) James E. Risch (ID) John McCain (AZ) Robert Bennett (UT) Jim Bunning (KY) Jeff Sessions (AL) Bob Corker (TN).
2) Please call President Obama – 202 456 1111
(Don't feel nervous or overwhelmed. Just give it a shot!)
Ask for an executive order for a moratorium on all BLM round ups.
3) Please contact your Congressmen and ask for a Congressional investigation into the Bureau of Land Management.
4) Please call: The Director of the Bureau of Land Management Bob Abbey (202-208-3801)
Below is a VERY well written letter by a wonderful horse advocate that you should use to send to all of your representatives! Thank you to Leslie Peeples!
I would like to make you aware of another scandalous problem in America with the same players as the gulf oil disaster, Ken Salazar, The Department of the Interior, and British Petroleum and that is the aggressive eradication of America's federally protected wild horses.
To see how sneaky and underhanded the BLM is behaving, read the article “They execute wild horses, don’t they?” by George Knapp, KLAS-TV, Nevada. Federally protected wild horses are being inhumanely driven off their lands in alarming numbers by the very agency that is legally mandated to protect them. (1971 Free Roaming wild Horse and Burro Act). Here is a brief history and update.
Today the BLM has 36,000 horses imprisoned in holding pens at the taxpayer's cost of $100,000 a day. They are currently conducting the most aggressive roundup and removal campaign with 12,000 additional slated for roundup within the next few months. There will be less than 20 thousand horses in the wild, (no accurate census). The cost this year to the taxpayers is $67 million dollars with $40 million earmarked solely for roundups and holding costs, yet, on the range management costs us zero. BLM uses the flimsy excuse that the horses are starving, or have no water, or are the culprit for range degradation yet they have issued 9 million grazing permits at $1.35 per cow/calf pair/per month, for subsidized Corporate Welfare Ranching (65% to large corporations), an annual loss to the taxpayers of $132 million. Only 3% of this beef stays in America to feed Americans and the rest is shipped to foreign markets. Our photographic evidence of thousands of healthy horses, before and after the roundups, clearly proves that the horses are not starving. Advocates are working around the clock to document the truth and generate media awareness and fair legislation.
We pay for the privately owned cattle to graze on public lands only to have the BLM scapegoat the wild horses, parroting “over population” and “range degradation” then inhumanely rounding up our federally protected horses from our public lands, killing 5% in the process. With 9 million cattle and 20,000 horses it is easy to see that horses are only using a fraction of available resources. These herd areas are, by law, to be managed at the minimally feasible level and principally for horses, yet they have to share it with privately owned cattle. The wild horse range has been reduced by half to only 26 million acres while cattle are allowed to graze on 160 million acres. Do the math, we only have 20,000 horses left and at the reduced 26 million acres that is over 1,000 acres per horse. We do not have an over population of horses but an over population of privately owned cattle with their owners getting fat on our dime.
The BLM literally creates disasters, such as fencing off water sources until the horses are dying so they can say they have to conduct “emergency” roundups to save the horses lives. This happened in Phase One of the Tuscarora roundup a few weeks ago where 21 horses have died so far. This is a nonsensical argument by the BLM as it would be far less expensive to make sure that there is water available to the horses than to round them up, driving them with tiny baby’s and heavily pregnant mares 8 to 18 miles in front of a helicopter in 100-degree heat! Interestingly, no cattle or other wild life were suffering from water depravation. A BLM veterinarian stated that the deaths occurred because the horses were first deprived of water and then given too much, too soon, causing water intoxication and brain swelling. It's a massacre.
In the calico roundup, January 2010, the BLM directly caused the death of 153 horses and cause over 40 late term abortions. Foals damaged their feet so badly, from the harrowing run in front of the helicopter that their hooves actually separated and sloughed off. Horses broke their legs, necks and backs, baby’s were separated from mares and did not have a way to get nourishment and the BLM continued. Many horses died from sloppy gelding procedures, respiratory sickness in the pens and from feed changes caused by an abrupt change to rich hay and by consuming moldy hay. The BLM intended to roundup 2500 horses but halted the gather because they could only find 1900. This discrepancy in numbers clearly demonstrates that they do not have an accurate count of how many horses are left in the wild. In an independent fly over by wildlife biologist Craig Downer (ex-BLM employee who left in disgust) only 41 horses were counted on a half million-acre range. Link included.
I am also providing a link for an article 7/18/2010, on the status of the next planned round up of some 2,500 horses at Twin Peaks, California. Pay close attention to the amount of land that by law the horses are protected on and now have lost and the numbers of cattle.
The BLM has become a lawless rouge agency; they have armed guards at the roundups stopping all observation. During the Calico gather, they put the gather site on private property allowing public visitation on certain days and certain hours. THESE HORSES ARE PUBLIC PROPERTY. Humane observers documented the carnage after this roundup, so, in the latest roundup at Tuscarora the BLM had a complete and total Press and Observer black out. Breaking their own rules for gathers, the BLM conducted the roundup before the end of foaling season due to contractor convenience. Horse advocate Laura Leigh filed an injunction for a restraining order so the BLM hurriedly started the roundup before the hearing. Upon hearing of this, the judge ordered them to cease activity until the hearing. After the judge declared that it was against first amendment rights to block the public, the BLM moved the gather site to private property. Laura Leigh is currently being harassed and threatened with arrest. I have included a declaration to the court by Laura Leigh, on what she saw and experienced and the BLM’s reply letter.
Our wild horses are protected by law and the BLM is charged with their protection not their decimation. The contractor used for the roundups, Dave Cattoor, was indicted on charges of selling federally protected wild horses to slaughter and pled to a lesser charge of harassment with a helicopter. Dave Cattoor has so little regard for wild horses that he sold them to slaughter, so it’s no surprise that horses are injured and die in roundups. To date, Dave Cattoor has made over $20 million taxpayer dollars, $700,000 in the Calico roundup alone. This is sick and wrong and may, in fact, be illegal by federal contracting law.
This is just the beginning of the lies and spin by the BLM and the DOI. Why does the BLM want to remove these horses from the range? Here is just some of the BLM’s hidden agenda. The Ruby Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline that crosses 5 states starting in Wyoming and ending in Oregon, on contract by the BLM with El Paso Corporation and BP as the largest stakeholder. Our wild horses are being systematically removed from the areas where the pipeline goes through (denied by the BLM). The BLM considered whether to go around pristine areas and horse herds but decided it was more cost effective for El Paso Corporation to go right through the middle of these areas. There are many other instances of the BLM giving precedence to big business, oil, gas, mining and cattle, over our wild horses.
Thom Hartman did an interview with Madeline Pickens, wife of T. Boone Pickens and Founder of Madeleine Pickens Wild Horse Sanctuary, on the roundups this last week. When asked about BP and the Ruby Pipeline she stated that she really did not know anything about that. Not surprising considering her husband’s gas and oil connections and as it is rumored that T. Boone may have some involvement in the project. Well we do know about the Ruby Pipeline. George Knapp from KLAS –TV, Las Vegas, Nevada has all the information and documentation. He knows the story and the details inside and out on the Ruby Pipeline.
The Ruby Pipeline, as well as other BLM corruption, is also exposed in a new, unreleased documentary by James Kleinert, “Disappointment Valley”. Attached is the link to the trailer.
We just returned from a volunteer lobby trip to DC. Eighteen impassioned, socially conscious citizens, from all over the country, converged on DC representing Respect4horses to enlist support for S.727, The Equine Prevention of Cruelty Act, and S.1579, The Restore Our American Mustangs Act. It is an outrage that we have to go to Washington DC to ask our government to treat wild horses humanely when the law is already on the books.
I would like you to be aware of a letter by Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva that is being circulated in congress for signatures to call a halt to the roundups and call for an investigation into the BLM’s horse and Burro program. Although I have this letter, I think that respectfully it should be asked for from the congressman himself.
In the DOI and the BLM’s rush to exterminate all our wild horse herds to line the pockets of big business, they have neglected to notice something huge. These horses are a national treasure, a literal gold mine in ecotourism dollars. The American Wild West fascinates people from all over the world and these horses are a living part of our history. Tourists would come from around the nation and all over the world, if they only knew that we had wild horses. With them, they would bring much needed money and jobs to economically depressed rural areas where the horses are found. Once again it seems as though the government does not care as much about the “little people” as it does special interest groups that can fill the political fund raising coffers. If the land, that the horses are supposed to have, about 45 million acres, was managed principally for horses and tourism, the ecosystems would be restored (by removing the cattle) and the land, the horses and the people near the horse herds would benefit greatly.
This is a crucial and urgent situation as our wild horses are literally being rounded up for extinction, and the BLM, the DOI, and our government is using lies, deception and criminal activities to do it. Due to stealth rider by Senator Conrad Burns that was slipped into the appropriations bill in the middle of the night on the last night of the 2004 session the wild horses lost their federal protection. Senator Harry Reid requested this action that allowed the government the ability to sell these horses, without limitations, including wholesale to slaughter. This shockingly is happening today. Conrad Burns is now a lobbyist with only one customer, the American Quarter horse Association. The AQHA is very vocally pro-slaughter because they need the slaughter option outlet to dispose of the thousands of horses that their rampant, out of control breeding practices create. The slaughter industry thrives on the "throw away" horses of the AQHA and the Thoroughbred Racing Horse Association. There is an alarming number of "missing horses" that the BLM cannot account for. My fellow advocates have recently rescued at least 30 federally protected wild horses with government freeze brands from various kill buyer yards around the country. It is unbelievable and unacceptable that any of America’s wild horses have to suffer a brutal death in a foreign slaughter plant. Honestly astounding! Watch one slaughter exposé and you will never forget the images of the truth.
Please help bring awareness to the rampant lawlessness and corruption of the BLM and the DOI by interviewing some of the people from the following links.
There are solutions, there is still hope. Do the right thing.
Thank you for your time and consideration and for continually exposing the truth.
George Knapp article “They Execute Horses, Don’t They”
Contact information - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact information - email@example.com
Opposition Grows For CaliforniaRound Up Of 2,500 Horses http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/opposition-grows-for-california-roundup-of-2500-wild-mustangs-and-burros/
Federal Judge Halts Roundup
Laura Leigh Motion for Contempt Relief
Declaration for Motion
George Knapp article “BP Connected to Wild Horse Roundups?”
Disappointment Valley Trailer
Associate Producer, Elizabeth Slagsvol Contact Information - 505-603-8074 or firstname.lastname@example.org