From the Cloud Foundation:
New BLM Director Called Upon to Uphold Federal Law to Protect Wild Horses as Ranchers Threaten Illegal Roundups
Washington, DC (April 8, 2014) … Today, as the U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Kornze as the director of the Interior Department Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, its parent organization Return to Freedom and coalition partner The Cloud Foundation called upon the new BLM director to vigorously uphold federal law in the face of threats by ranchers in Utah and Nevada to illegally capture and remove federally-protected wild horses from public lands.
Across the West, ranchers are taking aim at wild horses because they view them as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. However, the number of wild horses on BLM land – fewer than 35,000 on nearly 27 million acres– pales in comparison to the millions of livestock that graze on 155 million acres of BLM land in the West.
“We expect Director Kornze to impose a zero tolerance policy toward threats of illegal action by ranchers who are given the privilege of grazing their privately-owned livestock on our public lands,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC director. “The BLM is mandated to protect wild horses, while livestock grazing is authorized entirely at the discretion of the Interior Department.”
“These are America’s horses, and the public strongly supports their protection on our public lands,” said Neda DeMayo, President of Return to Freedom and Founder of the AWHPC coalition. “The BLM must stop catering to special interests and start managing our public lands for the interests of the American taxpayers, wildlife and the environment.”
“American taxpayers already bear the heavy burden of the federal livestock program,” said Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “The BLM kowtowing to ultimatums from welfare ranchers’ sets a dangerous precedent that could impact not only wild horses but all the uses of public lands. It’s time for Director Kornze to reverse course. The BLM needs do decide who they manage the public lands for – welfare ranchers or the public at large.”
Late yesterday, attorneys for the groups sent a strongly-worded letter to the Iron County, Utah Board of Commissioners and the Utah BLM in response to a threat by local officials to round up wild horses on BLM lands in southwestern Utah. The letter warns that any attempt by local officials to round up wild horses would be a federal crime, and that the BLM itself cannot round up horses without proper analysis and disclosure under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act as well as the National Environmental Policy Act.
“…The statutes at issue here provide a clear preference for protecting wild horses and burros over private livestock when these animals come into conflict on public lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates. “BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands. These horses belong to everyone ….. Accordingly, they must be protected to the greatest extent of the law.”
National polls demonstrate that the vast majority of Americans support protecting wild horses on public lands, while just 29 percent of the public wants to ensure that public lands are available for livestock grazing.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC)is a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.
Return to Freedom (RTF), is the founding and parent organization for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. RTF is a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation, and also operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA.
The Cloud Foundation is a Colorado-based 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild and burros on our western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
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Paula Todd King
Please refer to information in this TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change and this website: http://www.SavoryInstitute.com regarding the potential for the BLM to use Mustangs as grazing animals to improve the Grasslands and deserts of the U.S., to store carbon in ever improving soils and plants, to store water in the improved soils, reverse desertification. Kathy Walter
What is going on in Nevada.
It seems like we have resources to have horses on the land in Nevada, and the horses do have laws in their favor. The Director should stop the illegal gathers. The Director I hope supports the horses their is enough land for horses. Horses have stakeholders in the USA and our horses advocates respect they desire per laws and protection these symbols of freedom need to uphold a national treasure.
Makes the boil out of my ears! This cruel and illegal activity must be stopped!Thanks, Carol, for helping educate people about this.
I surely pray that the New BLM Director will please stopped this horrible and cruel helicopter roundups and all illegal roundups which are so uncalled for!
The Wild Horses deserve to be where they are….in the wild. They don’t do the damage that cattle and sheep do! Horses were here before humans in these wild mountains and plains….it’s their home. Not any horses should be removed from their homes and the land they have always known as theirs to roam and live free and wild. Horses are the most beautiful animals on earth, especially to me. I have loved horses as soon as I first seen one as a baby. They had me hooked. Their beauty makes everything more beautiful. I love horses with all my heart and soul. Horses, whether wild and free or horses for riding, are always gonna be part of my world and they need to be here for our next generation to see and to love as part of their world too! I have watched the way the wild horses and any horse are treated. These majestic animals don’t deserved to be hauled off for slaughter. They are treated terrible and starved and thirsty. Beat and battered in the holding pens and on the long rides in big wheels to the slaughter houses and then their worst nightmare comes to them. I wonder how anyone could possibly be so cruel and heartless. I see these so called cowboys doing such an indecent act of cruelty to these amazing horses. True cowboys could never do such an act on defenseless animals, especially on horses. The so called cowboys who destroy horse herds…families that have been together always, don’t deserve to be called a cowboy in my book. The BLM has destroyed enough of our (the people of the US) wild horses. The ranchers with their cattle and sheep need to buy their own land to craze their livestock on…..NOT the public land that our wild horses roam free on in the past and now and should forever. I, for one of many more, see the wild horses rights being misused and someone needs to STOP THIS HORRIBLE, CRUEL ROUNDUPS! THEY SHOULD NEVER BE CHASED BY DAMN HELICOPTERS! HORSES HAVE FEELINGS TOO….MORE THAN MOST HUMAN BEINGS! I SEE THE FEAR IN THEIR EYES AND THEIR HEARTS AND FEEL THEIR PAIN IN MY HEART. I HAVE SIT UP AT NIGHT CRYING FOR THESE BEAUTIFUL WILD HORSES AND THEIR PAIN BECAUSE OF RULES AND REGULATIONS. THESE NEED TO BE CHANGED AND STOP THE CRUELTY. I LOVE ALL HORSES, BUT THE WILD HORSES DO HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART AND I WANT TO GO AND SEE THEM IN THEIR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND I WOULD LOVE FOR THEM TO BE PROTECTED AND THERE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN AND SO ON…TO SEE SOMEDAY IN THE FUTURE.
PLEASE MAKE THE ROUNDUPS ILLEGAL AND SAVE THE HORSES. THE KILL BUYERS SHOULD NOT BE PAID A CENT TO BRING THESE HORSES TO SLAUGHTER AND THAT WOULD SAVE A LOT OF HORSES LIVES. EVEN PEOPLE WHERE I LIVE STEAL HORSES TO TAKE TO SLAUGHTER FOR MONEY THAT THEY SHOULD NOT GET TO MAKE THESE HORSES SUFFER IN SUCH A CRUEL WAY. SOMEONE TRIED TO STEAL MY HORSE AND HAD HIM LOADED ON A TRAILER WHEN MY HUSBAND CAUGHT HIM. I SHUTTER AT THE THOUGHT THAT OUR BEAUTIFUL AND VERY LOVED HORSE COULD HAVE ENDED UP AT A SLAUGHTER HOUSE! PLEASE MR. DIRECTOR, SAVE THESE HORSES AND ALL HORSES FROM GRUESOME DEATHS!
there was a petition to stop the destruction which I signed. A draft was sent to my email address to forward, I’ve lost that draft, could it be resent to me?
Please stop these roundups. I don’t understand why these are even a choice! STOP! PLEASE!