Wild Horses in Winds of Change…
Wild Horses on public lands are primarily managed by the Bureau of Land Management under the jurisdiction of The Department of Interior, which is currently under the leadership of the Secretary of State, Ken Salazar. This bureaucracy, has a bias, for cattle grazing, mining, hunting and just about anything it can sell from the land. The wild horse and burro program costs upwards of $26. million a year, because helicopter round ups and long term holding of nearly 40,000 horses is expensive. Adoptions are down to an all time low, while these horses languish for years in crowded, disease rampant corrals. The wild horses have not only been ripped from freedom they were born into but also torn from everything they love most, their freindship and family bonds. To see them running in vast numbers on the open range is a thrill beyond compare. “Wild Horses enjoying freedom.
To see them, terribly marginalized, if not, injured, lame or near dead, after round ups, is heart breaking — yet another of human kind’s great injustices to creatures deemed of lesser importance.
Poor management has put the cart before the horse and caused this crises and yet another tragic scar to the higher ideals of the American’s consciousness.
Why are these massive, brutal round ups happening now – after Nixon signed the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act in 1971 ?
Horse slaughter proponents, we refer to as , ” horse eater”s believe there’s money to be made by feeding mustang meat to inmates and school children. At the very least they want to make money shipping horse meat to Europe, while creating a thriving bi-product business here. But, even more important to this group of slaughter proponents is to have more cheap public land to roam their livestock on. The horse industry in the past made money selling horses who were old, injured or just not the horse they wanted to slaughter. Since we no longer have horse slaughter plants in this country, they have to take them to an auction at a feed lot, where it is highly likely they will be purchased by a “kill- buyer” who will transport them to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered. Currently laws are in place that protect BLM mustangs from being sold to slaughter. Beware, laws are moving targets, so research well before you sign up in support of any of them. With nearly 40,000 wild horses warehoused, the pressure is on for the S word. Slaughter.
The BLM is under pressure from their stake holders, including the cattleman’s association who insist they round up the wild horses. A wild animal – that is not hunted or doesn’t have preditors will multiply beyond the habitat’s ability to support it. Preditors are gone, because of pressure from livestock growers and 12.5 acres and counting legally mandated, wild horse roaming areas have been taken away.
On nearly all of the existing 34 million acres, the horses have to share their land and diminishing water resources with privately owned cattle. Does this make sense to you as a tax payer? Our tax dollars pay for public land and individuals gain wealth from it. Cattle and sheep deserve life out of feed lots, but it should be on private land. If the rancher doesn’t have enough land he should have less livestock. There are lots of grass fed beef growers who sell safe beef who have a good life until the moment they have a peaceful death. Know your grower, so you’ll make every bite you take, vote with your fork.
Wild horse ecologists and numerous other experts in the field of wild equid behavior have offered their services to the BLM to study the herds as well as their “real” not derived impact on their habitat. The BLM has turned away offers of private sector help to create eco-tourism, scientific studies and private sector offers to help find sustainable solutions. To date they have designated three treasured herds, where private groups collaborate with local BLM management. We need all herds to be treasured herds. You don’t have to be near a wild herd to help out. Contact us for directions on how to help the various herds, rescues and sanctuaries.
It’s important to stress that employees of the BLM are not the decision makers. Most have no say in policies or procedures for anything, including the removal of wild horses and burros from their lawfully given ranges. Many BLM and NFS employees come from a ranching back ground, so they likely have been brain washed to have a biased view point – the first being that cattle are more important than horses and burros on the range and the second is that horses are livestock gone wild, consequently they don’t belong on the range. Unfortunately many environmentalists believe the same thing. I find it particularly disturbing that environmentalists supposedly based in scientific knowledge don’t keep up with recent research due to advances in molecular biology. The same horse who likely fled the ice age over the northern land bridge, is genetically the same as what is referred to as the modern horse, the Equus Cabillus. The horses are more indigenous to this land than most of the authors of these biased articles. If you see one of these articles, write to the editor and complain.
America’s wild horses face extinction to their thriving way of life if policies for management aren’t drastically overhauled soon. Wild horses are a culture who has found ways to survive by adapting to changing situations over eons. Now at the hands of man, we’re destroying their culture and their nearly mythical presence on our land.
Throughout our videos and posts you’ll find ways you can help while you learn more about the situation. Write your congressman to let them know you care and want a change in management strategies. Tell them you want a moratorium on roundups and a change of guards for how wild horses and burros on public land is managed.
I invite your comments, stories, photos and ideas for a large scale sustainable future for America’s wild horses. Please do not send hateful or curse words in your comments. We won’t post them because anger has led us to where we are – now commonality and a culture of kindness for all beings is what is needed to form communities to help one of our greatest treasures, iconic symbols of our freedom, America’s Wild Horses.