This is always a very busy time of year in the world of wild horses and burros.
There are many layers in advocacy to help protect our wild ones. Range work to build a base to advocate for the wild, roundups to raise awareness and improve policy, adoptions to land some of them in loving and safe homes, engaging legislators to stop dangerous agendas and create factual dialogue, and more, are each distinct processes yet part of advocacy as a whole.
The last quarter of every year is an intense “season of advocacy” with every arm of engagement in overdrive.
After a Roundup
After a removal operation we do our best to track wild horses into holding facilities to assist adopters. Our work also focuses on keeping facilities accessible to public viewing to observe conditions and facilitate interest in adoptions.
After the Triple B roundup wild horses were taken to Palomino Valley Center (PVC). Many of them have already shipped out. Younger geldings went to the Carson Correctional Center for the internet adoption and as a staging area to ship to other events. Mares have shipped to Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes) and other facilities. Some mares and weanlings are still at PVC if you are looking to adopt a Triple B. (more about Triple B HERE)
Fish Creek wild horses were transported to PVC after capture. They have been branded and tagged. The curly horses are all being sent to the Carson Correctional Facility for the internet adoption. PVC will also place a handful (non-curly) on the internet adoption. The studs will be broken into groups soon and shipped out, along with mares, to make room for more coming in from winter roundups.
Fish Creek was a herd with an extraordinary genetic soup full of amazing alleles that create one of the most unique curly genes, as well as an incredibly diverse herd, that was like a “field of wild flowers” that had bands of many colors, patterns and recessive genes that popped up each spring in babies. When you have a large diversity of genetics it does not mean that removing large numbers is appropriate, as is often stated, it means extra care must be taken when/if you remove. Chat with genetic scientists, we have. When you have diversity you have more alleles to lose. You have to be really careful if the intention is preservation and protection that you do not destroy the web that produces certain genes. This may be the last time you can adopt a Fish Creek horse that carries that “Holy Grail” in it’s DNA story. The herd has been left in remnants and no cautionary measures were in place to preserve the structure. Metrics had been created, just not utilized. A protocol was to begin in 2016 that would have addressed management and made this large, expensive, removal unnecessary. (Just like many tools at the fingertips of managers, they go unrecognized.)
But our teams are working hard to build, yet again.
Back to the table
Our teams have gone back to the table to design new protocols (another round), and salvage others, to create actual fair management. We must have protocols that work to identify true preservation of our last truly wild, larger herds, and their habitat. These protocols must contain real metrics to determine any assertion of protection, preservation and actual management.
Time is running out. Many of these are are facing massive losses of habitat through the impacts by private profit driven uses. All of this is running full steam as efforts to preserve out herds are repeatedly met with deeply entrenched “bully systems.”
Our wild horses and burros are still treated as if they are part of an old black and white western movie, not part of the system of public lands and “management” tools are archaic and manipulated to suit industry.
Our truly wild horses are in serious danger. Time is not on their side.
Our teams are moving rapidly to create site specific planning documents, opening doors, presenting them to both management personnel and legislators. After Fish Creek? The only way to protect projects like that one from being dismantled by “bullies” is through legislation. We are working on building tools and protections for the tools that can protect our wild horses.
Appropriations and Legislation
This year we have moved heavily into engagement at the Congressional level. Our work is primarily focused on ground engagement (range documentation, field level management planning, roundups and access and handling policy). Yet the disastrous consequence of corporate lobby efforts, that claim to represent advocacy as they are woefully deficient in knowledge of the world of wild horses, is reeking havoc.
We are working toward not only derailing this agenda, but creating additional legislation that can protect our wild horses and burros from this type of power grab again. This work is labor intensive, seated in the world of rapidly changing politics, and filled with decades of misinformation that has been repeated so often it is taken as fact.
You can help. Please take the time to read and prepare to work to inform (and debate) the Congressional aides that work for your representatives. Pick up a phone and call.
The BLM will hold a meeting of their advisory board on the 29-31. We are running a webinar to assist people that want to engage, but do not know how. The exercise during the webinar will be to write a letter to the board. We will show you how to use the same letter, with a few changes, to engage your legislators after defining your position on the issue. We have a few slots left for the webinar next Tuesday. (more info HERE)
Roundup in Granite and Buffalo Hills is expected to end today or tomorrow. BLM has targeted 100 wild horses and 175 burro for removal.
As of the end of the day on Thursday BLM had removed 92 wild horses and 112 burros. 4 wild horses have died, one from a broken neck.
The Fifteen Mile Roundup in Wyoming is scheduled to begin next week. BLM has targeted 600 wild horses for removal.
The Challis roundup in Idaho and the Seaman (Herd Area) operation in Nevada both will begin in about 2 weeks.
The roundup schedule will be budget dependent. The fiscal year 2020 has begun. No new budgetary increases have been approved in the Appropriations debate, happening now.
The winter schedule will change as funding is approved. Our teams are continuing to address enforcement and strengthening the handling policy (CAWP).
Our teams are hard at work educating media, legislators and managers. We will have more updates soon from our field, legal and outreach teams.
Without your support none of our work is possible. Thank you.
We have had multiple media outlets in the field. We will update you as the programs and articles are published.
This is what the American West looks like to the rest of the world. A crew from Denmark joined us at the Fish Creek roundup. (read the article here).
Categories: Wild Horse Education