Over the years of our advocacy to gain protections for our wild ones from abuse, slaughter and the fight to gain equity on the range we have gathered a massive amount of documentation. Our archives include the largest bank of documented history of wild horse removals in the world over the last 6 years. Each individual experience filled with enough memories to write a book on each experience.
We are receiving numerous messages asking which memories stand out in our mind. We began thinking this was a weekend to remember those that lost lives in battle and that there might be a better time to address these memories than this weekend. However the news is filled with the predictable and rather twisted headlines in the #DeRangedWar that often is wagged on wild horses.
One example of the twisted battlefield is the barrage of letters and pleas from political figures urging wild horses (that they claim are decimating the range) be removed and at the same time demanding that any restrictions to livestock producers be lifted as forage is plentiful now that the drought has lifted (when in truth we really do not know that yet and there has been no “recovery” only one wet spring). These are the same politicians that denied the drought ever existed and fought against livestock restrictions the last 4 years that has actually caused severe damage to our rangelands, effecting everything that lives on the range and the safety of anyone intent on protecting our environment.
The political attack is real, predictable and part of a real range war. We will write about the state of the battlefield another day, yet feel it appropriate to remember those we have lost, and those in jeopardy of being lost. We answer the question: What memories stand out?
In order to address issues we often must go quickly from one task to the next without much time for reflection. We have literally witnessed tens of thousands of wild horses removed from the range, each face a haunting memory. We stay as much in “today” as we can in order to not get “lost in the ghosts.”
Nothing encompasses the sensation of both past and present like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Broken Arrow facility in Fallon, Nevada. The fight for humane care, the fight to gain on range management, those lost to kill buyers like Tom Davis, the political twists and turns that hold our wild ones captive and under threat and the often “off limits” attempts to sweep under the rug anything offensive that led to our four year fight on First Amendment issues are honored and remembered. (slideshow of the recent visit to Broken Arrow, link to past articles https://wildhorseeducation.org/?s=broken++
The Sheldon Mustangs are no more. Managed by United States Fish and Wildlife they were eradicated with literally no protections from abuse and slaughter. Sheldon is an example of just how “low” those intent on removing wild horses will go and how the lack of unity in advocacy leads to tragic results. It will never be forgotten. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/10/19/good-bye-old-man/
We have all lost a huge friend and ally. Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick devoted his life to humane management of wildlife species worldwide. Just one example of his work can be seen at Assateague Island where horses have been humanely managed since 1988. People tend to forget that his work spanned multiple species worldwide including elephants, water buffalo and even kangaroos. We honor Jay. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/09/05/the-science-and-conservation-center/
Many memories are bittersweet.
Fish Creek is the largest fertility control program in the nation. It is on hold because of the same livestock interests claiming BLM is not managing wild horses as they push for removals and push politicians to write letters. We are still involved in legal action and waiting… for the contradictory actions to end. It literally has “insanity” written all over it. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/04/14/thank-you-gallop-to-freedom/
We won multiple victories against inhumane treatment. But each victory is built on the memory of tragic circumstance. We honor each memory. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/05/06/whe-works-humane-care/
If we had to point to one wild horse that was instrumental in creating the work of WHE it is an eight month old colt. The colt named Hope, literally run until his feet began to fall off. He died amidst a slew of lies and propaganda in Broken Arrow. https://wildhorseeducation.org/essential-reading/calico-foal-hope/
The beating heart of the wild horse is at the soul of our work. We remember all of them, a hundred thousand memories.
Have a memorable Memorial Day.
Categories: Wild Horse Education