(Reno, NV) On June 11, 2013 the wild horse and burro advocacy group, Wild Horse Education (WHE) filed in Reno federal court to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from hiding their actions from the public during a removal operation in Western Nevada that could begin any day. Wild Horse Education founder and President Laura Leigh has an ongoing case in federal court against inhumane conduct at the very area the BLM now intends to remove animals from in a total blackout to press and public observation.
An existing Complaint to inhumane conduct that occurred at the last removal of wild horses in the Triple B (Three HMA) Complex was amended to include First Amendment issues. The Judge in the case ruled that the Complaint to inhumane conduct was too far along in the process and asked that Plaintiff, Laura Leigh President of Wild Horse Education, submit a new Complaint. Plaintiff announced publicly that they would file the new document in court and began to work with attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno on that filing.
Conversations continued as Leigh went to the district to view the trap location and discuss operations with BLM.
Today BLM announced that observation of the trapping operation will be provided. “Public observation will be allowed every day of the gather at a site located approximately one mile from the gather area. Maps are available at the BLM’s Elko District Office. Visitors are requested to sign up prior to arriving by calling the Gather Information Hotline (775) 861-6700 and leaving a message or calling Lesli Ellis, Elko District Public Affairs Specialist, at (775) 753-0386 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)”
“It has always been an absurdity that observation of wild horses, that has been allowed freely in the past, has become such an issue” stated Leigh “This is not jeopardizing national security or a war zone. If BLM operates appropriately then why would they want to hide anything?”
Wild Horse Education currently carries another First Amendment case into the Ninth Circuit Court that deals with much broader aspects of issues of transparency, including holding facilities.
WildHorseEducation.org is a Nevada non-profit carrying three active federal cases against the BLM.
Links of interest:
Wild Horse Education Website: http://wildhorseeducation.org