Wild Horse Education

The Threats Have New Meaning

Threats against the environment and our wild horses are nothing new, but the current political climate raises those threats to a whole new level. Information at the bottom of the page on our next webinar to help you understand the current threats.


One of the McDermitt Reservation horses at the slaughter auction. This is what management by states and tribes looks like.

It seems every year that multiple western state’s file one piece of local legislation or another (or file litigation) to take over our wild horse program or sell our wild ones to slaughter.

These entities also attack advocacy for filing counter litigation against their actions claiming it is an “abuse” of the system, but their litigation is simply reasonable engagement.The accusations by those that resent federal control of any public resource  are filled with contradiction and misinformation.

Please become familiar with the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act gave the federal government jurisdiction to stop mustanging and it has been resented by profit driven interests since it was passed. They will even go so far as to say how “great” that worked for the land and horses, yet Congress found what was happening to be so abhorrent the Act passed unanimously https://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/12/14/wfrhb-act/. We hope you understand just how important it is to the survival of wild horses and even your ability to have a voice in process, rely on  maintaining federal jurisdiction. (If you need to “understand it” this way, if we lose federal jurisdiction we lose the greatest accomplishment of “Wild Horse Annie,” Velma Johnston.

As an example of attempts to take over the resource (wild horses are a resource, not a use); a bill introduced in 2015 in Utah to have the state takeover the federal wild horse and burro program: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35387/proposed-bill-would-give-wild-horse-management-to-states

A repeat in 2017: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/02/22/factweek-utah-utah-utah/

In past years these threats were indicators of underlying political processes that were being built to take over all public resources. Today they have the very real potential for actualization.

In the past federal jurisdiction protected our wild horses from this threat even if BLM couldn’t get the funding, support, education at the field level to address equitable “on the range management.” Political pandering, intimidation and an historic “blame the horse” attitude continued to ignore addressing core issues. We would witness a shuffling of funding to prioritize removals of wild horses to placate the biggest “temper tantrum” or biggest political ally.

The landslide of legislation and directives coming from the new administration jeopardize everything that lives and breathes not only in our western landscape, but across the entire nation.

“We are not walking down a shallow slope of slow destruction, we are standing at the edge of a cliff.”

Right now every hard won regulation, protocol and policy that protects our wild places and wild things is under relentless assault. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA),  and even your voice in process is under threat.

In the midst of direct action to begin to dismantle protections such as the threat to planning 2.0 that (in truth) minimizes restrictions to industry as much as possible to avoid a listing of the Greater Sage Grouse under the ESA an Executive Order was signed Friday to begin the process of removing regulations one by one. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to place “regulatory reform” task forces and officers within federal agencies in what may be the most far reaching effort to pare back U.S. red tape in recent decades.  Remember the vow to cut broad U.S. regulations that interfere with industry and the previous order to agencies “repeal two rules for every new one adopted.”

“I was sitting with someone that works closely with the FAA at that moment. His response was ‘so which two do you want me to cut?’ and my hyper focus on the implications to public lands took a much broader view and I shuddered.”

If you look at the cabinet choices and other legislative moves, the picture is not very good for our public land and our wild horses.

Please see: ZINKE to head Interior https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/03/01/zinke-to-head-interior-heres-your-sign/

Please be aware that bills have been introduced to take over millions of acres of public land in multiple western states, terminate the EPA, wild horse management take overs and pending litigation to support many of these legislative prongs.


“An educated advocacy is more important than ever.”

If you have not made the call on our first action item, please take the time. 2.0 is filled with regulations to industry and in all truth those regulations are minimal. Read more here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/02/19/actionderangedwar-tools-strategies-and-tactics-factweek-part-one/

WHE will be hosting a webinar to expand this discussion with those of you that are interested. It will be held on Sunday March 5, 4 pm pacific and 7 pm eastern. A donation of $30 or more, at the button linked below, will add you to the participant list and you will receive additional information on how to sign in later this week. Your contribution covers the cost of the webinar, material production and an updateable action list.


Categories: Wild Horse Education