2022 has been intense. Our field team hit the fiscal year roundup schedule hard (and was often the only public at trap). The information was used by our roundup (Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program, CAWP) team and they released a 3 part review of handling by BLM that focuses on the need for immediate reform.. Our investigative team continues their work and has released a scathing report on BLM record keeping (or lack of). And so much more…
In 2022, WHE expanded our legal front. WHE now carries 10 active cases in the land use appeals court and 2 federal court actions.
There are only so many hours in a day. Researching, commenting, reviewing and writing Protests and Appeals, takes a lot of time and effort. Our current team had their plates full and it was hard to take on more; even updating the litigation page to add new filings falls off the plate!
Expansion on the legal front was due to the addition of a new volunteer and your support. After a webinar where our founder, Laura Leigh, spoke about the land use planning process and why it was a necessity that advocates engage it and stop dismissing it, a new volunteer signed up and jumped into training.
Meet Tammi Adams (and learn a bit about her year with WHE)
Born in Northern Michigan, I have lived in Colorado and Montana, and currently call Minnesota home. I have been a horse and animal lover, as well as an environmental advocate, for as long as I can remember. I have been riding horses since I was 9 years old and have owned horses since I was 12. Yet, I was never more amazed by horses until I saw WILD horses for the first time.
My credentialed careers include Certified Surgical Technologist, Environmental Engineer, and Special Education teacher.
For about a year, I researched wild horse and burro advocacy groups. Then I found a group whose ideals aligned with mine, Wild Horse Education. I became a member. After more research, I knew I needed to do more. Then after an especially meaningful webinar by Laura Leigh, I knew I found my tribe, and I asked to become a volunteer for WHE. After all the paperwork, interviews, they said yes! I began my trial period and am now official “WHE,” (pronounced “we,” I like that).
With WHE expertise, my professional experience, and my innate passion for wild horses and burros and the environment, I bring my knowledge and passion together to fight for our wild ones and against the abuse of our public lands by our government. I feel that I have found a place where I can learn, grow and be of service to our wild ones.
My experience as an environmental engineer working with Federal, State, and local governments and concerned citizens, gives me a unique perspective when responding to agency environmental assessments. Additionally, I am now assisting WHE with legal protests and appeals undertaking the rigorous, and often times ridiculous, legal protocols and laws that our government asks citizens to heed to, yet fail to follow themselves.
I try to live by the mantra “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi) and with WHE, I hope to be exactly that.
Tammi’s WHE 2022
My first year as a wild horse and burro advocate and member of WHE has been busy, overflowing with personal growth, and full of lessons-learned. It is an honor to work alongside Laura and the other WHE volunteers and members. Their honest concern for wild horses and burros is heartwarming and validating. It is clear for me to see that WHE does not have some hidden agenda. WHE has no backroom deals for PGS darting programs, no secret deals to get preferential treatment at trap sights. WHE is honest and forthright in their desire and actions to support and protect the wild horses and burros of this country on the public lands where they should be living. During the first year, as they evaluated me, I evaluated WHE, and I can honestly say I am very proud to be a part of this organization.
Over this calendar year, I have written comments on over 22 BLM EAs (for wild horse and burro AND public land use issues, like gold mines, fencing projects, power lines, and oil/gas leasing). “To protect wild horses and burros the fight begins by protecting the wild,” is something I have heard WHE say and it is such a simple fact that seems to get lost too often.
I am currently writing my fourth appeal for the year representing WHE (talk about a learning curve). It is a daunting task, and I am learning so much!
One thing is certain, the fight for the management of our wild horses and burros is directly tied to the fight for the management of our public lands. Livestock and extraction industries own and delegate our government’s actions. Without the direct support of Laura Leigh and the other volunteers at WHE, the journey would have been impossible. The wealth of information provided by WHE has made my task meaningful, provided by zoom meetings, webinars, and literature review.
I am never without something new to learn and never without another fight against public land mismanagement costing our wild horses and burros their freedom, and often their lives.
The first step in learning how to fight to gain change in BLM planning that guts habitat or removes wild horses/burros is to learn how to craft comments. Then you learn how to Protest/Appeal to begin learning how to write legal briefs. It is not an easy task with so many layers of administrative procedure before you can even get to the substance of your argument. Tammi has run lead (with team support) on the Protest in Wyoming, the Bordo Atravesado HMA in NM, Cedar Mountain Appeal in Utah and Bible Springs.
WHE is happy to introduce one of the new WHE team members to you and have been honored to share in her journey as an advocate.
All contributions to the work of WHE will be matched this “Giving Tuesday” weekend through November 30th. Dollar-for-dollar your contribution can add double the fuel to the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education