Statement from WHE to address the “rumor mill.”
Laura Leigh is acting as a volunteer. She is not receiving a paycheck, a bonus or contract payments. She is not “selling her photos to BLM.” Leigh is working very hard at multiple cites as a volunteer. When Leigh does field work, as a volunteer, she takes photos like she always does. She gives them to BLM because she took them while in the field doing work as a volunteer, and keeps copies for her own database.
It is not a surprise that multiple people, pushing other organizations, are trying to make it look like WHE is being “paid off.” WHE worked hard to get to a place where we could address issues without going to court, but are under no “contract” that forbids us from addressing issues as a private entity. We are volunteering on a project by project basis. We continue to advocate for wild horses outside and inside the system.
Now can we all get back to advocating the best we can?
Joint Statement, NSO/WHE
Nevada BLM and Wild Horse Advocacy Organization Take a Step, Together
(Reno, NV) Last week the Nevada State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Wild Horse Education (WHE) founder, Laura Leigh, came to an agreement on cooperative efforts to address multiple facets of the state’s wild horse and burro range management program. This agreement is the result of more than two years of talks between the agency and Leigh on creating volunteerism and partnerships within the program.
Public land management issues are complex. Budget constraints, and the recent years of drought, have compounded escalating issues. In 2013 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) outlined multiple deficits in the program, recommending collaborative partnerships as an available tool. The NAS recommendations include collecting more rigorous foundational data and fertility control. Currently the agency has more than 46,800 wild horses in holding.
“Creating a solid foundation for both program decisions and a working relationship, are paramount to progress,” said Leigh. “My work has always been about tool building. I have a history of needing to build those tools from an adversarial position. Issues are pressing and I am confident that working together we may be able to build tools faster. One of the tools sorely needed is an environment conducive to progress. That is first on the list. I look forward to seeing just how far we can take this.”
“The Nevada BLM takes our responsibility seriously to provide for public involvement and to have consistent dialogue with all our partners and stakeholders,” said Nevada State Director John Ruhs. “Building partnerships is needed for the wild horse and burro program to succeed in the future, especially in assisting with resource monitoring and potentially increasing the use of fertility control. We are also looking for partners to help us increase the number of adoptions, since the lifetime cost of care for every unadopted horse living in a corral is $48,000.”
Nevada manages more wild horses than all other states combined with over seventy of its herd management areas over its established appropriate management level (AML).
Main Website for WildHorseEducation.org
For WHE supporters.
The release went to the press this afternoon. If it appears in additional media it will be tomorrow, April 1. It is not a joke, so we published on our site today. We have been working very hard to create a mechanism to work for the horses, in process, so issues can be addressed in as timely a fashion as possible. The mechanism is now real. WHE remains an independent entity that will operate on specific projects directly with BLM.
You have all heard us say this before… “If you had a sick child would you scream at the doctor that the disease did not exist? If you had a sick child would you allow a doctor to tell you the child was not sick? No, you would learn everything you could about the disease and potential treatment. Then you would do your very best to address the appropriate course. Wild horses and burros? The issues exist and must be addressed before things are so off course that any semblance of appropriate treatment options vanish and the ‘patient’ turns incurable. That is advocacy. The disease is very real, we are not in denial.” ~Leigh
Question and Answer videos from WHE, click here
Wild Horse Education is an advocacy organization that works in a “ground up” philosophy. Our body of work is extensive and includes the largest photographic and video documentation library in the world of wild horse removals in the American West over the last 6 years. The documentation was used in media broadcasts worldwide including: NBC, CBS, CNN and ITV. The documentation was used to win the first, and only, legal actions against conduct issues. A humane handling policy is now included in all removal contracts.
We look forward to continuing to build tools that can gain fair and equitable management practices on the range, assist with adoptions and to help create a future that contains healthy wild horses and burros running free on our American landscape.
Categories: Wild Horse Education