Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letter from Senator Barbara Box RE: Wild Horses

Dear Ms. Lawrence:
Thank you for writing to me regarding the management of the wild horse population on our public lands. I appreciate hearing from you and share your concerns.
As a long-time supporter of wildlife conservation, I am strongly opposed to any proposals that would destroy or harm our wild horses and burros.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has considered various controversial options in its effort to control the increasing numbers of wild horses and burros. Among these options are the use of euthanasia on healthy animals and the unconditional sale of older horses that have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption. Destroying these magnificent animals is never a viable management option, and the sale of horses without limitations could lead to horse slaughter, which is also unacceptable.
The BLM should more seriously consider more humane solutions such as improving the adoption program, exploring the use of contraceptives or sterilization to reduce herd sizes, or securing additional funds for an appropriate management program that would ensure proper care for these animals.
I also support legislation to expand the range where wild horses could roam freely, enhance the adoption program, encourage the use of non-lethal methods to reduce herd size, reduce the time a horse spends in a holding pen, and prohibit the euthanization or sale for slaughter of wild horses. On July 17, 2009, the House passed the Restore Our Wild Mustangs (ROAM) Act (H.R.1018), which seeks to accomplish all of these objectives. This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

In addition, I believe strongly in a permanent ban on horse slaughter. That is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (S.727) to prohibit the transport, export, or sale of any horse to be slaughtered for human consumption. I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.
Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue. Rest assured that I will continue to support efforts to maintain the integrity of wild horse and burro populations on our public lands.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this message. If you would like to comment on legislation, please visit my website and use the correspondence form

Thursday, January 14, 2010

262 Million Acres and Salazar (BLM) Can't Find A Place for Wild Horses?!?!?

262 Million Acres and Salazar Can’t find a Place for Wild Horses?
CHICAGO, (EWA) – The Los Angeles Times printed a guest column today by Department of Interior (DOI) chief and former rancher, Ken Salazar, aimed at rationalizing the unnecessary removal of America’s wild mustangs and burros from their vast ranges.

Equine Welfare Alliance’s (EWA) John Holland commented, “The opinion piece is an attempt to spin the growing outrage and coast to coast demonstrations which have taken place over the past few weeks.”

An EWA announced protest will take place on January 17 in New York City from 1pm-3pm at Columbus Circle (59th St at Central Park S-corrected address). Two other protests are planned for January 18 in Reno from noon-3pm at South Virginia Street and South McCarran Boulevard and January 21 from 11am-1pm at the California State Capitol building.

Salazar falsely states that in the 1960s, the wild herds of the American west were on the verge of extinction, prompting Congress to pass the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. In fact, much like today, legislators in Washington tardily passed the law after the heroic work of a Nevada woman named Velma Johnson and hundreds of thousands of protesters applied enough pressure to get the Congress’ attention.

Today, it is the DOI on Salazar’s watch that is entrusted to protect the wild herds but instead, is now the driving force managing the wild herds to the verge of extinction. Why? Because Salazar’s rancher friends need more land to graze their 7.5 million cattle which now have to compete with only 30,000 wild horses.

Many herds have been zeroed out, rounded up and are now held captive in pens on private land that the American public, who pays for their upkeep, are not allowed to view.

The small numbers of horses that have been returned to their lands after round-ups have received birth control and with such small numbers are destined for extinction. There are currently more wild horses being held captive than remain free-roaming with those remaining in the wild rapidly becoming genetically bankrupt and unable to create future generations.

Salazar states, “Without natural predators, wild horse populations have grown beyond the carrying capacity of the sensitive and sparse lands on which they live, causing damage to ecosystems and putting them at risk of starvation.” Pictures and video footage from the gathers tell a different story. Unfortunately, the primary predator is Ken Salazar and his pals at the cattlemen’s associations, meat producers, and the America Farm Bureau. Also not mentioned, is how those sensitive and sparse lands can sustain millions of privately owned livestock? Wild horse advocates have likened America’s public lands to that of a giant private feedlot for ranchers.

Salazar’s plan to move wild non-reproducing herds to seven new preserves in the East and Midwest will ensure their extinction. Even he is at least honest enough to call them tourist attractions. Climate, habitat and range changes coupled with birth control and separating sexes is the beginning of the end as they disappear in zoo like settings. The estimated initial cost for these preserves is $96 million which doesn't include the cost of gathering or transporting the horses. The cost for the gather underway at the Calico complex in Nevada alone will run taxpayers over $1.9M.

Glaringly missing from Salazar’s editorial is the Ruby Pipeline and the California Heliostat project that will rip through the wild horse ranges.

Mr. Salazar has asked for ideas from the public. EWA will be issuing a position paper on wild horse and burro management within the next few days and full proposal within the next few weeks.

Salazar’s invitation for public comment rings hollow when every time the public attempts to speak to the BLM wild horse board they are cut off and not heard. Moreover, the agency’s director, Bob Abbey, has repeatedly dodged interviews with respected journalists about the wild horse issue.

“The future of our wild herds is dependent on working together,” commented EWA’s Vicki Tobin. “Future generations should be able to enjoy wild herds in their natural habitat, not read about them in history books.”

The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 90 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.

Sacramento Peaceful Protest on Behalf of Our Wild Horses & Burros 1/21/10

, Wild Horse & Burro Advocates -

Please put Thurs, 1/21, on your calendars per the attached notice & bring
your friends, family & whoever you can get ahold of if you can make it out.

Also, please forward this notice to everyone you know in the Sacramento
area, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Roseville, Elk Grove,
Placerville, Auburn, etc. If you have a website to post this notice, that
would be great. We want to have an incredible turnout. We expect good press
coverage & want them to know there's plenty of us standing up for America's
wild horses and burros.

There have been & continue to be protests across the country & even
internationally. We must get the American public educated that our wild
horses & burros are being managed to extinction by the BLM & to take action.
If we don't do this now, it will be too late.

Many thanks for your support of our wild herds.

For the wild ones, Carla B ;--}

Sacramento Protest Against Wild Horse & Burro Roundups
Join us to stand up for America’s disappearing wild herds

Date: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 Rain or Shine
Time: 11 AM – 1 PM, Press Conference at Noon
Place: State Capitol, 10th Street between L and N

This peaceful protest on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros is part of a grassroots nationwide campaign that includes The Cloud Foundation and In Defense Of Animals who are sponsoring this event. It is one of several protests that are taking place across the country and internationally to protest the U.S. government’s destructive wild horse and burro policy.

This is an urgent call to President Obama, Dept. of Int. (DOI) Sec. Salazar & Congress to order the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to stop the inhumane & treacherous winter roundup of over 2,500 wild horses in the Calico Mtn. Complex in NW Nevada. Also, this is a call to stop all additional roundups planned by the BLM in FY2010 until a sustainable in-the-wild & fiscally responsible management plan is put in place to re-protect our magnificent wild herds on their native Western public lands. We want accountability and transparency from our government and the BLM, the agency that is supposed to be protecting our legendary herds, but instead is using millions of taxpayer dollars in their ongoing mismanagement and elimination of our herds.

The Mission of this protest and beyond is:

• To educate the press & the American public that our wild herds are being managed to
extinction by the DOI/BLM, mainly because of fast-tracked, carte blanche energy
development on our public lands and the cattle and big game industries.
• To call for an immediate moratorium on all roundups.
• To call for a Congressional investigation into the Wild Horse & Burro Program under the
direction of the BLM.
• To call for an independent census of the numbers & health of all herds still wild in the West &
in all short & long-term holding facilities.
• To call on the Congress to reject the Salazar Plan to relocate the majority of our wild herds to
zoo-like preserves in the Midwest and East, non-wild, non-free, and non-reproducing at
millions of dollars of taxpayer expense.
• To call on the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources to bring the ROAM (Restore
Our American Mustangs) Act to the table, to work with the American public on improvements
and pass The Act as soon as possible to re-protect our wild horses & burros on their legal
Western lands.
• To call on Senator Boxer for her support on the above issues.

Despite repeated outcries from humanitarian groups, wild horse advocate organizations,
celebrities such as Sheryl Crow, Viggo Mortensen, and Michael Blake, and experts on wildlife and range management, the BLM has pressed forward with its brutal and inhumane round up of one of the last large mustang herds on the Nevada range. BLM started the Calico Roundup on 12/28/09 even though U.S. District Court Judge Friedman recommended they hold off pending further findings & decisions in the Calico Lawsuit regarding the legality of housing our herds in short and long-term facilities off of their legal Western public lands.

The roundups inhumanely stampede the frightened wild horses by low-flying helicopters across rocky and steep terrain for several miles to a temporary trap site, including pregnant mares and foals that struggle to keep up & sometimes die en route or are brutally trampled in the temporary corrals by the other terrorized horses. Often, roundups are done in severe cold (as is presently the case with the Calico roundup) or hot conditions (as in the Pryor’s roundup) adding undue stress to the animals where needless injuries occur. The worst injury of all is that our wild herds are no longer wild and free roaming on their legal Western lands. Eventually, a lucky few will be adopted out, most will go to long-term holding at huge taxpayer expense and some will go to auction and could end up with the worst fate of all, cruel and inhumane slaughter in Mexico or Canada for human consumption abroad. Is this what the American people want for our living legends of the American West?

Under orders from the DOI, the BLM plans to gather another 12K wild horses and burros in FY2010 to add to the already 33K in short and long-term holding facilities for over $50M/year of taxpayer expense. BLM states 30-36K remain in the wild currently. Independent sources say only 15-18K remain. BLM has already zeroed out over 100 herds and the vast majority of the remaining herds are left with genetically nonviable numbers that threaten their long-term survival.

When will the BLM stop? What is fueling this relentless effort to remove 80-90% of the Calico Complex herd? Is it the proposed, fast-tracked Ruby Pipeline Project? Are all the wild herds going to be zeroed out with BLM’s false excuses that the herds are overpopulated, or destroying our rangelands or are starving to death just to fast track massive energy development on our public lands with taxpayer-funded stimulus monies? Even though we need energy independence & job creation, is everything of value going to be destroyed to achieve those ends?

We, the American people, cannot let this happen. We must stand up and fight for what we know is right and save our wild horses and burros before it’s too late. They are the living legends of the West--symbols of freedom, family, independence, strength, spirit and our Western heritage. If we lose them, we lose part of ourselves.

Get educated. Get active. Save our iconic wild horses and burros.

Call Pres. Obama to issue a moratorium on all roundups at 202-456-1111, Fax 202-456-2461
Call/fax your Senators to improve and pass the ROAM Act now

For further information and for sign ideas/slogans, please see:,,

Local Contacts:
Carla Bowers, Wild Horse Advocate and The Cloud Foundation volunteer,
Cathy Adams, Wild Horse Advocate,

Media Contacts:
The Cloud Foundation: Makendra Silverman, 719-351-8187,

In Defense of Animals: Elliot M. Katz, DVM, 415-448-0048 x225,
Hope Bohanec, 707-540-1760,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cattle Graze While Wild Horses Are Rounded-Up

Cattle are grazing under oil derricks, carribou around the Alaskan pipeline, freeways built across the Western Unitized States. Why should wild horses be displaced for this pipeline???

Activists Ask Senator Udall to Investigate BLM’s Removal of Wild Horses in Ruby Pipeline Zone
Denver protesters request an immediate moratorium on roundups
Denver, CO (January 7, 2010) —Chants of “Wild ‘N Free—Let ‘Em Be” echoed through Downtown Denver today as close to 50 members of the wild horse loving public protested outside Senator Mark Udall’s Office to stop the roundups. Despite single-digit temperatures, protesters came from as far as three hours away. Mustang advocates met with the Senator’s staff following the protest to discuss the wild horse crisis as well as what may be the smoking gun behind these roundups—a massive natural gas pipeline from Wyoming, through Nevada to southern Oregon.

“We are asking Senator Udall and his colleagues to investigate the BLM’s dealings with the Ruby pipeline with an eye on the wild horse crisis,” said Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director, The Cloud Foundation and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker.

Protests also took place today in Albany. NY and Las Vegas. An all-day Boston protest at the Massachusetts Sate House is scheduled for January 8 and another Las Vegas protest on Sunday. A large protest is planned for New York City on January 17th.

“Protesters are calling for a moratorium on all roundups until a truly sustainable plan is in place—one that protects our legendary wild herds in the West,” explained Makendra Silverman, Associate Director, The Cloud Foundation,


Links of interest:
Ruby Pipeline Information

News Reports

News Reports

Pipeline Map:

Western Watersheds Project

American Herds

Freedom’s Escape & Roundup Report

Video Overview of Calico horses and current roundup
More YouTube

12.28.09 USA Today: “Activists Decry Wild-Horse Roundups

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit.
America’s Disappearing Wild Horses

Frequently Asked Questions on Wild Horses

Stampede to Oblivion: An Investigate Report from Las Vegas Now
Updated 2009-2010 Roundup Schedule

Unified Moratorium letter and signatories

Photos, video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation