The countdown to 2015 officially begins today. There are only 4 more weekends left of 2014, The Year of the Horse. Every weekend until 2015 we will add to this page some of the events Wild Horse Education was involved in over the course of the last year.
This past year we experienced the third year of drought on our western ranges. The prediction is that 2015 will present a fourth year of drought. With changes coming in land use planning, and the recent changes in Congress, 2015 promises to see an increase in tensions and a need to increase our efforts to “get ahead” of the issues and be “armed” for the confrontations to come.
We wish you a peaceful New Year… and know that we are doing everything we can to be your “boots in the trenches” to gain protection from abuse, slaughter and extinction for our wild horses and burros.
The countdown to the New Year with a focus on issues likely to have “fall out” in 2015. Much of our time is spent running the road to range, meetings and court when required.
Second Half of 2014 (First half below)
Mid year we were continuing to gather info on various escalating issues on the range at Carter, Sheldon and many areas in Nevada. We were continuing to participate in legal matters on humane case, access, unjustified removals and against the growing number of counties and interest joining the “NACO” case against our wild horses.
In July we stayed the course. Our 4.5 year battle in the courts for access created an agreement with the State of NV Director of BLM on observations of captures and handling. The National office of BLM agreed to reopen the “closed door” facility in Fallon, Broken Arrow, to public tours. The conversations have extended into other areas of management. WHE continued to work toward some kind of accountability at Sheldon NWF. Our work was honored in a Children’s book “Corazon, of the outer banks.” We sponsored an art workshop for at risk youth.
In August we were very busy. We filed more documents against the NACO action. We continued to document the final removal of Sheldon Mustangs including the roundup itself and wild horses and burros at the holding facility on the one and only day observation was permitted before shipping into the unknown (as tracking mechanisms would not be conformed by Sheldon officials). We continued range documentation in NV and tried to keep you informed on the intensity brewing in the “Deranged” war for public land. We began conversations with BLM Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) on discussing support for fertility control instead of removal of NV’s wild horses. And of course we continued to push for BLM to create an enforceable humane handling policy for wild horses and burros.
WHE often takes film crews or news media to the range. Sometimes however we get to take advocates out that want to learn about what we do and how we do it. In September Cathy Ceci was our “co-pilot” for our crazy back and forth on the road.
A number of other things happened in September. We visited the Carter herd and continued year long documentation of livestock impacts to the area managed by California’s Surprise field office. We filed legal documents in the Owyhee Complex case. We continued to track range and holding and created a few pieces for the public centered around “sale authority” horses and the escalating issues as the livestock industry continued to fight back against any grazing restrictions. At then end of the month BLM announced the tour of Broken Arrow.
October had a few high points and low ones. We published our first eMag and got to see the wild horses that have been kept behind the iron gate of Broken Arrow. Litigation on Owyhee moved forward and the politics around sage grouse swirled. In October we witnessed the very last of the Sheldon mustangs removed forever and saw them in holding before the final shipments left.
November saw some of the wild horses adopted from Broken Arrow and a trilogy of roundups in Nevada. Reveille, Silver King and Triple B all saw removals. Teveille had a release of wild horses back to the range and an adoption event all done with transparency. Yet at Silver King access was once again an issue, although short lived. The intensity brewing in 2014 will set the stage for attempts to protect wild horses next year as interests continue to entrench.
As December is underway we are documenting areas that will likely be on the next roundup schedule and engaging as we can. We are active in attempts to create some sanity in management options. Both a Humane Handling policy and NAs recommendation will be part of the “on the ground” workload as we strive to create accountable actions as we “help wild horses with their people problems. ” http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/12/06/wild-horse-problem/
Issues with trespass domestic cattle are heading for decisions http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/12/16/livestock-trespass-in-wild-horse-area/ as we continue with our range work.
And as always we continue to care for the rescued wild ones that had no other option but us.
We are preparing for the challenges ahead and have faith that we will create the changes needed to protect our wild horses and burros for generations to come.
Happy Holiday and a blessed New Year.
Here are a few stories from the first half of 2014:
2014 started on a sad note. On January 4th the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NV DoA), without any notification to the residents in a primarily equestrian community, took a local band of wild horses in the Steamboat Valley area. We were recognized immediately but were located on private property and could not be ejected from the area. All of the horses were rescued. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/01/04/nv-doa-removes-steamboat-horses/
On January 27th, less than 30 days after the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) filed an outrageous court action against our wild horses, demanding BLM remove and even destroy them, we were on file to speak for the horses. We saw this suit coming and had been actively engaged in 2013 on the range gaining information to present to court. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/01/27/wild-horse-education-files-to-stop-suit-to-destroy-nv-wild-horses/
In January we also continued documentation and assessments. We began to address sage grouse planning and more.
In February we continued work on multiple legal fronts http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/02/08/litigation-update/ and we continued to engage the propaganda storm being perpetuated by the livestock industry as competition for resources would be severe in the upcoming third year of drought. One piece that is worth reading and very pertinent can be found here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/02/14/rangeland-under-fire-under-fire-editorial/
In March our attention turned to continuing the fight foe a humane handling policy. Building on momentum gained through our litigation, that gained the first orders in history against conduct, we began a heavy campaign through public participation. Very soon we should see the results of all of that hard work in the announcement of the first humane care policy for wild horses and burros. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/02/pledge-to-protect-wild-horses-and-burros-from-abuse/ We created multiple documents and as a public support campaign began the “Challenge” to multiple aspects of the program http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/18/whe-challenges-blm/
One of our favorite activities is helping promote and assist with adoptions. In March we were full steam. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/09/internet-adoption/ We also sent recommendations and analyzed the adoption program http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/27/analyze-this-blm-adoption-program/
In April our status to speak for the horses against NACO was granted http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/04/02/intervention-granted-we-will-stand-for-nevadas-mustangs/
The “Deranged War” on public land hit a low point with the Cliven Bundy standoff and the “jumping on the bandwagon” from the state of Utah. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/04/08/range-wars-heat-up/
We continued with our range data monitoring, engaged the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, had multiple meeting in districts and had a public education push on horse slaughter as Appropriations from Congress became an important avenue to address http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/04/21/horse-slaughter-has-no-business-in-america/
May saw the intensity against our wild horses increase as the “Grass March” was born on the heels of Bundy in a push back to any restrictions to livestock grazing http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/05/15/deranged-war-or-the-god-complex-of-public-land-ranchers/
Our fight to gain access to wild horses was ordered into mediation late in 2013 and as talks were ongoing we had a surprise during a visit to Palomino Valley Center (PVC) and were able to see the Silver King horses that we had not been able to see since capture, 4 years earlier http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/05/13/a-visit-to-pvc-and-a-surprise/ Mediation eventually led to an agreement.
Our court fight and range documentation for the last of the Sheldon Mustangs continued. In our rescue we have two horses from Sheldon. We work with the ones in our rescue that have no protection under law from slaughter. A true healing place in our work. A tribute http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/05/24/in-loving-memory/
In June our founder became very ill and was hospitalized. However she recovered and is back with a vengeance.
Our field work continued and we even had a few visitors join us like film maker Michele Blackwell of Strong Women, Wild Horses http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/06/14/sale-horses-at-pvc-and-on-the-road/ and Cathy Ceci who travelled a non stop marathon with us and was great company http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/09/11/guest-commentary-realities-of-the-range/
A notorious contractor was removed from the list of those taking Sheldon Mustangs http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/06/25/sheldon-mustangs-protected-from-slaughter-past/ but litigation ended prematurely and the fight continued. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/07/01/breaking-news-sheldon-litigation-ended-but-fight-to-protect-wild-horses-not-over/
“Roundup season” began on BLM land with the Humbolt wild horses that lived in an area that was “checkerboard” with public and private property. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/06/27/humbolt-ha-bait-trap-holding-slideshow/
That takes us midway through 2014. All year we had been out gathering comparative information on the ground in multiple Herd Management Areas (HMA) that played an increasingly important role in the second half of the year. Our fights for humane care and access also bore fruit as the year progressed.
We will publish additions to this page to see you through in the countdown to the battle ahead in 2015 next weekend!
In January of 2014 we published the Year in review Video
Help keep us in the fight