It’s here. The Appropriations debate is on in full. We need to you call your reps and tell them to reject the proposed budget provision to sell or kill wild horses.
Find your Reps here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members
We will update soon. Edit: part 2, a bit more info before you make our call and suggestions: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/05/24/presidents-proposed-budget-part-2/
Edit 8:58 PM Mismessaging DANGER alert! Many people are getting this mixed up with the language to transfer BLM horses to Forest Service and police forces for work. THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING! This is the sale to slaughter and killing of horses in holding. See note at the bottom of this page. A large organization has put out a mailer that puts this and Forest Service in it. The Forest Service thing is NOT a danger and we have been saying that since last year. Do NOT get mixed up!
We knew this was coming. Over the weekend Leigh penned an editorial for CounterPunch, flexing the writing muscles to get ready. You can check it out to get a few facts before you call: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/23/this-land-is-your-land-except-if-youre-a-wild-horse-advocate/
Over the last few weeks we have been getting information to Congress.
You must tell your reps that the Wild Horse program is not suffering because of wild horses. It is a symptom of the fact that the federal grazing program is not based on science. The government must get the federal grazing program under control and then, and only then, can wild horses be integrated. Some info here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/04/06/handouts-and-pamphlet-wild-horses/
Please begin to understand “where, who and how” this agenda has moved forward.
This is a culmination of multiple factors perpetuated in the “state’s rights” agenda since day one. Long standing resentment of federal authority over public resource created a very organized movement that pushed full steam beginning in 2014.
President’s Budget Calls For Killing Wild Horses
(Washington, DC) Wild Horse Education (WHE) calls upon the American public to call their legislators in Congress and state adamantly that they will not tolerate the killing or sale to slaughter of America’s wild horses. The current proposal states the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can use all methods to balance their budget including killing horses in holding or sending them to slaughter buyers.
“This budget proposal is an example of lazy government,” said Laura Leigh, founder of WHE, “This is simply one more gift to the livestock industry. Instead of the budget allocating funding for personnel to get the federal grazing program under control to protect the land we keep putting that burden on the back of the horse. The livestock industry has resented federal control of any public resource for decades. This is simply a way to placate a very well funded and vocal livestock lobby.”
“This is not something the American public will take lightly.” stated Leigh “However perhaps it had to reach this point before people pay attention to the structure of federal management? Federal management of public land is not over restrictive to industry, it caters to industry. In the very few cases where the BLM has tried to do the right thing for the resource the push back both internally and externally is overwhelming.”
In 2015 Eureka county and livestock permittees filed litigation and created intimidation events to shut down the largest fertility control and data collection program in the nation at the Fish Creek HMA in NV.
“It appears that State Director John Ruhs, who is now acting BLM Deputy Director, took it upon himself to make backdoor deals with livestock interests. They wont even release the information under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.” said Leigh.
WHE has vowed to address this travesty at the Congressional level. WHE fought and won against inhumane treatment at roundups, gained access to roundups in a first amendment battle that lasted the better part of a decade and stopped multiple roundups that were unjustified based on the data the organization gathers in the field.
“Until we address the federal grazing program responsibly and then integrate wild horses as a protected resource into that equation we are simply going to repeat the mistakes of the past over and over. We could wave a magic wand and remove all the wild horses and our rangeland would still be in a downward spiral. Killing wild horses because our federal government doesn’t have the spine to do the real task is simply not acceptable.” Leigh said, “If your legislators wont listen get active in the midterm election and take away their chairs.”
Main website: http://WildHorseEducation.org
Please help us fight. We filed some preliminary litigation earlier this month and are prepared to move forward with more. We simply lack funding.
“The budget request proposes $70.7 million for the Wild Horse and Burro program and eliminates appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management tools provided for in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM manages wild horse and burro herds on 26.9 million acres of public lands. Low public demand to adopt or purchase excess animals, a lack of effective reproduction-control tools, and high costs to care for unadopted or unsold animals have restricted the BLM’s ability to manage herd growth. As a result, the BLM estimates that nearly 73,000 wild horses and burros roam public lands as of March 2017, almost three times the number that is sustainable and healthy for the land and the animals. The President’s budget would help reverse the declining health of wild horse and burro herds and the public rangelands on which they—and many other species—depend, by allowing the BLM to use the full range of tools identified in the 1971 Act, including humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.”
The above is BLM’s synopsis of the budget. We will do an extended piece on this soon. What you need to note is the last line. This IS NOT the alert you have been seeing from other orgs since last year about Forest Service. This is EXACTLY what the NACO suit, the Utah suit all of the counties and states have been pushing for. We told you the NACO win was NOT a victory as two years ago they changed tactics. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/04/03/naco-defeat-is-not-a-win-in-the-war/
We will have another piece for you tomorrow on the twists and turns that led here and where this is headed.