Wild Horse Education

Advocacy Intervention, A First Step


“We stand at a terrifying crossroads in public land management. Wild horse ‘issues’ are not just advocacy for a living being, but a living being trapped by the bureaucracy of a land use permitting agency. Wild horses and burros are the only species with a heartbeat managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Wild horses and burros are not use management, but resource management. That distinction, and understanding of that distinction, has never been addressed fully in any meaningful fashion and has led to a tragic situation. Wild horses have become a card in a political poker game. At the poker table sits advocacy organizations, livestock interests, mining interest and often federal employees that have a severe lack of understanding of their jobs. At this juncture we are sitting in something I call salvage mode. The train left the station over 40 years ago and advocacy failed to board it. It was led off the tracks and has crashed. What can be salvaged from the wreckage?” ~ Laura Leigh, founder of WHE. (Before you say livestock has a heartbeat and is managed by the BLM you better think again. It is a use for profit permitted by the agency, not managed).

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. We have used this analogy in multiple articles in the past, like this one on the BLM adoption program written in 2014.

We see frustration and repeatedly hear “I am tired of signing letters and petitions, nothing ever changes!” Thats because signing letters and petitions is NOT effective advocacy in the process of public land management. Plain and simple, as hard as that may be to accept, advocacy is not accomplished from a cell phone, noise is. Noise can be appropriate to demonstrate how many people want change, but it does not create it. Not in the process that governs public land. (We have an article coming later this week that details the experience of someone that became a WHE volunteer and had a startling experience as she began to work in process).

In order to fully understand the articles coming to you this week we want to step back in time so you understand this disease (this series of actives is for those of you looking to us as your frustration mounts. WHE is not an org of social media, give to you in a soundbite , org. We want you to understand because an educated advocacy is the only real hope we have left).

Please click and read these two articles to get a sense of the foundation of advocacy and our issues. The only thing we can truly control are our actions. It is the beginning of change.

The first article is about the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. “The WFRH&B Act created the sensation that wild horses were now protected on public land, but did not create actual defined parameters. Much of this law was an intention statement, rather than clear direction. Like most laws the practical application of the intention is left to imposition by competing law, lack of clear enforcement and interpretation by the US judicial system.” (CLICK TO READ ARTICLE, it will open in a new window)

This article is about advocacy. Our work and how it fits into the broader scheme, that has not changed much in 40 years. “The words “Wild Horse Annie” became synonymous with the “clique factor” in advocacy to me. A woman wearing what I can only refer to as a “tu tu” and fashionable, not functional, “cowboy” boots spoke about making an “Annie movie” at a rally and I watched advocates swoon. People would throw the name around saying this or that organization carried on her work. I was told I needed to read about her.” (CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE, it will open in a new window)

To get ready for tomorrows discussion you MUST read this article. The main discussion points in advocacy today center around 4 issues; slaughter, roundups, fertility control and the reality of the range. This article was written in September of last year. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/09/20/whe-cut-to-the-chase-major-discussion-points-in-advocacy-today/

“The greatest gift you can give something you care about is time. Take the time to understand. An educated advocacy is more important than ever.”

Tomorrow we will begin steps to create a stronger voice for our wild ones, one step at a time. Just a thought, how many comment letters have you signed? When and where they are appropriate and when and where they are not. 

First article in series, What is an advocate? (click text)

A video from a yesterday. Is it Bad Enough for YOU? has received nearly 4 million views since it was published. The reality this video was produced under does NOT exist today. There are people addicted to the cycles of the past and if they are NOT broken they will repeat. We will cover that in an article later this week.


Categories: Wild Horse Education