Wild Horse Education

Your Voice, do you understand?

Wild Horse Education will be running the webinar “Your voice; do you understand how to use it?” again on Monday, June 26. We are including a tribute to Velma Johnston, “Wild Horse Annie.” June 27 is the anniversary of her death and many of the protections she fought for e are on the verge of losing. Info at the bottom of the page.

In the current chapter of politics, that create the reality we all live in, we now face massive challenges. Health care, education and environmental assaults are all subjects that deserve your attention. Our wild horses stand at ground zero of a massive move to place public resource into the hands of profit driven interests in slight of hand, “rabbit out of a hat,” maneuvers that have already succeeded in laying the stones of the path.

One of those paving stones is the exclusion of any voice of opposition. Many people are so focused on the emotional aspect at the center of a controversy that they are unaware that their voices in processes have been eliminated at the most critical moment of debate. Many people are even unaware of all the avenues that public process consists of, let alone that they are already excluded. The most dangerous thing you can do right now is say “I will give my voice to someone else.”

The big picture is often lost. This is a really good piece to read: http://e360.yale.edu/features/with-trump-a-full-scale-assault-on-protections-for-u-s-public-lands

Social media is a great tool to get information to the public. However one of the side effects is that people have begun to believe that engaging social media is keeping their voice in “process.” This phenomenon has led to a rise in people simply looking for online petitions or click and send letters. Those things can demonstrate significant public interest to an issue, but it does nothing to protect your voice. It also leads to people feeling “I’ve taken action” without looking at the issue in depth.

In those moments you may actually be giving your voice to someone that does not represent your point of view.

“I’ve sat at a meeting and watching two organizations bring in two petitions to ‘save wild horses.’ However the petitions were for two opposing platforms on fertility control. Many of the signatures were the same on each petition. Instead of validating either position it was demonstrated that people are ill informed. It was really sad.”

Exclusionary exchange of manipulated material with no opposition is not appropriate or lawful. Profit driven interests have literally created a “trust me” environment that has never demonstrated it is worthy of your trust.

Public debate has been shut down. Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) and Advisory boards have been suspended. Supposedly “under review” the boards are expected to resume functioning in the fall.

The biggest problem here? Is that all of the “dirty work” will have been completed without public debate. The only processes that have been left open to you are highly controlled where even the presentation of opposing information has been shut out.

Was it shut down because of the potential volatility of that debate? Perhaps. However that should be an indication of the validity of creating a controlled environment to create public access and exchange of information. It should also be an indicator of the extent “messaging” to the public is not transparent. There is no reason boards could not be operated while under review unless the volatility of the conversation was expected to be explosive.

How many of you have tried to access a document on any federal land management process? “Page not found” should become a Department of interior (DOI) T shirt.

Long entrenched mythos surrounds management of wild horses that has been repeated so often it has become an accepted tagline for a media that has failed to search deeper. Long entrenched prejudice of the wild horse has been wrapped up like a symbol of all the resentment over any federal control of any resource. The hatred was tapped hard in the last few years and used. Some are simply following, blindly, those that tapped the hatred. Many of them have very little understanding of the truth of any process and how agendas are going to hurt everything.

“I had a conversation with a friend that was going to an event run by an organization (not wild horses). I asked if they understood what the organizations platform was. I sent them info that actually showed them that organization was supporting information that had recently been used to land that particular individual death threats. A lot of this lies under a very fragile surface crust. We all need our shovels out, all the time.”

In this climate do you feel comfortable letting someone else speak for you?

Do you know how to speak for yourself?

Do you know enough about process to even know who is telling you a truth and who is lying to forward an agenda? (health care, education, environment)

The President’s proposed budget has tens of thousands of wild horses in the cross hairs of going to slaughter. Long standing issues of a failure to create any equity and sanity in management, the use of long standing prejudice, has led to “one more” outrage.

We have asked that people pick up the phone and practice exercising your political legs, you are going to need them. The budget bill is only one of the bills on the list that endanger our wild ones, our environment and your voice in process. 

This Thursday is a hearing of the Committee of Appropriations. Tomorrow we will begin a video series where we walk people, that have never made a call or written a letter to Congress, on how to do it.

For those of you that want a breakdown of process on how bills become law, including budgets, and on how, in a normal year, you express your voice in public land process we will be running a webinar.

The webinar will be this Monday June 26 at 5 pm Pacific time. Attendance is limited to 50 participants. We will send you a participation code as a thank you for contributions to the work of WHE. WHE have begun to litigate as well as continue our range work. We need your help to continue our work. Click the link below and contribute $25. or more and we will add you to the list. You will receive an email to guide you through the sign in. A follow up, after the webinar, will provide you with reading material and worksheets.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education