Today is World Press Freedom Day, a day on the calendar where the world remembers the importance of a free press.
This week also marks the birth of Wild Horse Education.
During our “birth year” we began to take on the lack of access to roundups, holding facilities and information. Our 6 year court battle opened roundups to daily observation, opened closed facilities to tours and set a landmark ruling for the press that has been used in civil rights cases nationwide. This court victory has become a legal standard for those defending the press and for federal judges ruling on cases. The case helped stop spay experiments in Oregon and helped defend the media covering protests last year.
During our birth year we began a relentless legal assault against abuse. We won case after case until a humane handling policy was inserted into contracts. The policy is not perfect and the fight continues. But we were told simply obtaining a policy would be impossible. Today, we are still the only organization to litigate against abusive roundups.
Today we continue to push for protections for our wild horses and burros. We currently carry two legal actions against livestock schemes that threaten the range and two actions against a mishmash of extreme and experimental fertility control of wild horses.
Management is not removal and fertility control plans. Management planning must include how to preserve the land the wild needs to survive, stopping devastating encroachment by industry, preserving the genetics of every herd in the unique space of the “living symbol of the pioneer spirit” each represents. The tools proposed to achieve those goals should include range improvements, limits on industry in HMAs and, perhaps, specific types of fertility control that have been evaluated carefully for each herd and need.
We celebrate the birth of our organization and World Press Freedom Day. The struggle to document, research and speak the truth, is at the heart of WHE.
Happy Birthday WHE!
You can help us in the big fight.
Help us stop “The Path Forward” and gain a hearing into the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2021/02/03/the-report-2022-funding-debate-and-a-request-for-hearing/
Learn more about why Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) are required under law, skipped by federal land managers and are key to stopping the destruction of the wild. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/06/10/what-can-i-say-volunteer-feedback-on-the-blm-plan/
Help keep us in the fight.
A few notes from Leigh about the 6 year First Amendment fight.
This video was sent to me before a court hearing… after I had been chased around the dessert and threatened with arrest trying to see captured wild horses, with a court order in my hand. The laughter helped quell the nervousness. (adult language alert)
Further reading on the website:
Fifteen news organizations join wild horse journalist: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/04/06/handouts-and-pamphlet-wild-horses/
Feb. 14, 2012 “Ninth Circuit win”; Memorial to the law: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/04/27/a-conversation-of-law-and-a-memorial/
Back to the Ninth: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2013/09/06/on-file-back-to-the-ninth-circuit/
This video is part of the first case. This is after the court ruled BLM could not close public land and had to make every effort to accommodate observation (video above was sent to the next hearing on that case). I have a concussion, drove all night with the court order in hand… and met with this. The second case, the five year case, saw nearly 500,000 miles travelled, mostly alone. The second case First Amendment case lasted 5 years. (This second video was added by reader request)
Categories: Wild Horse Education