Last week we began this series so that our readers understand the actions we are taking today. We have been busy getting information to members of Congress, media and continuing our documentation to support our current actions (that include litigation). If you can support our work with a financial contribution we would be grateful. We wish we could simply do what we do, but every action takes resources and actions become limited based on resource. https://wildhorseeducation.org/donate/
These articles need to be read in sequence to gain a real understanding of what we are really up against. You can not understand wild horse management and the challenges by reading a social media crisis meme. The reality created by public relations firms etc has created an entirely new set of obstacles that endanger wild horses.
First article here. This is a foundation piece and really needs to be read prior to understanding just how precarious things have become in the last three years. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/05/17/posttruth-a-few-wild-facts-you-should-know-in-these-dangerous-times-part-one/
After reading the first article you will have a better understanding of some of the challenges we face. When we try to address issues of wild horses (particularly the last 4 years in with the current make-up of Congress) we run into massive obstructive partisanship that has their own agenda. This agenda limits the information of official record. Just like in a court of law, official record is what creates debate and decisions. The official record is manipulated and flawed.
There are a few people that have this absurd belief that because of the extremism that skews a record one way it requires extremism on the opposite side to pull the debate to the center. In actuality all that does is create one more level of absurd fiction. Absurd fiction is the greatest obstacle to creating a better reality for our wild places, wild things and wild horses. In many instances it becomes the smokescreen used to hide the truth. The truths are bad enough and need no embellishment.
Before we begin to discuss some of the litigation we have filed, the litigation waiting in the wings and some of the conversations we are having to create more productive channels for action, we need to take you back in time.
WHE is the only organization to address issues of inhumane handling through legal channels. That required relentless documentation and engagement. We won. In 2015 a welfare policy (still in beta test) was put in place as a result. That result was good for the horses but bad for WHE. The wins created contention and and even threats.
WHE won on First Amendment issues. We created a precedent in law that has been used in civil rights and wild horse litigation nationwide. It did two things; it created a platform for access and a “right to know,” and it defeated the “mootness doctrine” used by Department of Justice (DoJ) attorneys that defended the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) actions. No longer was the end of a roundup the end of the legal conversation. One more that was good for the horses, not so good for us on the contention front.
WHE also does extensive range monitoring. This documentation has been used to shut down inappropriate actions without the need to litigate as well as supported us in court. Again good for the horses, not so good on the contention front.
We document everything on the range including wildlife, habitat and water, not just horses. Wild horses are not in a distinct “wild horse” universe, they exist as part of a whole. Sometimes that whole includes trespass livestock, or running domestic cows or sheep on the range outside a legal permitted use.
That documentation has been used to support and inform other organization, politicians, media members and the federal government. One example is the Government Accounting Office (GAO) contacting us to participate as they prepared a report on trespass livestock published in 2016. They wanted to discuss BLM’s internal methodology with us. The report is an interesting read and the recommendation, to change the structure to accommodate the reality, not change the reality, is in the report. to view that report you can go here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/RCED-91-17
Most often we are contacted by media doing stories that are not wild horse related, but public land centric. Many serious journalists see wild horses as a “fluff” piece or simply one that will not draw the audience they seek: serious interest in public land. This situation has been created predominately by media themselves as they literally created wild horses stories for clicks, not factual content. In 2016 this danger was so oppressive to gaining appropriate action we tried to inform you here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2016/03/14/todays-media-and-wild-horses-entertainment-or-information/
The only way YOU are going to understand is to read. We know that takes time and energy. We know most of you have very little time, particularly with challenges we face with health care, education and simply getting a meal on the table each day.
At WHE we need to keep one foot in that same world. We need to keep one foot in the politics of advocacy, the politics of government, the politics of social media, the politics of media. WHE also needs to keep one foot on the range, that is the only foot that will never budge. However that leaves our other foot moving in a bizarre dance as most humans only have two feet.
We need the public to really engage the issues of public land effectively this year. Policy and protocols are being debated that will change public land management and are likely to impact wild horses in ways we have not experienced in our generation, we see “mustanging” hit the table as “reasonable management” in a conversation based on the reality created by every unreasonable faction.
Before tomorrows article you are required to read this. This is a background piece on the Fish Creek HMA in Nevada. In order to understand what we write the rest of the week, you need to understand this “drama storm” before all of our wild horses suffer the consequence. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2016/02/22/obstacles-to-progress-smoke-and-mirrors-fish-creek-anniversary-2/
Tomorrow we will tell you how each faction, all sides, have contributed to what we face today… And we will begin to tell you what we have done and begin describe what we are preparing to do.
If you love something the greatest gift you can give is your time. An educated advocacy is needed more than ever.