In 5 weeks, (or 34 days, or 828 hours, or 49799 minutes); no matter how you say it, the new year is just over the horizon.
Our end-of-year traditions always begin with the “top ten” published pieces, as chosen by the public (the number of times you “hit” the piece in the internet), this weekend every year.
In 2022, our website featured 153 articles, 169 videos, 9 investigative reports and countless images in 2022. Our work spans 365 days a year. This list represents much of what is important to you, our readers, that we reflect on as the year draws to an end. These moments touched us all, deeply, and provided valuable information to fuel an active and effective advocacy.
Coming in at a tie for number 10:
We revisit the 2013 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program. The basic flaws in the program have never been addressed. As Congress continues to pour taxpayer money into accelerating removals under the “2020 Plan” (Path Forward), there should be a new review before taxpayers are asked to foot another bill.
Healing Wild Hearts: WHE partnered with CANA and 3 medicine hats we knew on the range at Pancake found a safe forever home where, after acclimation to their surroundings and the herd, will run free once more.
We do an in-depth look at BLM’s statistics report that was presented to Congress to push for continuation of an increase in funding to keep removals of wild horses and burros at historically high levels. The report is dated 2022, but most of the stats noted in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) report are not 2022 stats. It is a misconception to believe those numbers represent an accurate portrayal of “now.”
Another tie at number 8.
Testimony of Velma Johnston: History can teach us so much and we love to spend time in the archives and sharing the info with you. The piece features her testimony, circumstances, press coverage, surrounding the days of debate over the Wild Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
Wild Horse Orgs Double Down In the Fight Against BLM: The court fight to protect the wild horses and burros at Blue Wing expands. The battle ranges from failures to update management planning to include the worldwide threats to wild burro populations and against the extreme lengths BLM has gone to in order to hide capture, handling, holding and shipments of the threatened burros at Blue Wing.
For the first time in 50 years grazing expansion in the Alvord. The Interior Board of Land Appeals sent the Alvord Allotment Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) back to the drawing board. WHE and our partner WildLandsDefense were notified in the morning. Later that day, Western Watersheds Project was notified that their appeal was also successful. With every victory to protect public lands you must always remain vigilant as private profiteers push for more.
The longest roundup of the summer roundup season captured 1,897 wild horses from the Triple B roundup; 23 wild horses died during the operation. Our team remained onsite from the first day until the last, often the only ones making the trek to trap. You can click the highlighted text above to see some of the daily reports. Our full WHE CAWP team assessment of Triple B, 2022 (you can compare ours to the one provided by BLM BLM Triple B CAWP Assessment)
Humane management and handling is a basic tenet of the law and the fight to simply gain a policy and enforcement has a long history. WHE had led the charge against abuse and remain the only org to ever walk BLM into a courtroom. The battle continues. In October WHE released one of our Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) investigations that underscored that BLM is not addressing abuses and even failing to keep records.
Responding to constant claims that wild horses are not native to the North American Continent, Dr. Ross MacPhee penned a rebuttal. “What is true of the bison is equally true of horses. Both are ice age survivors, both are native, and both deserve our respect and protection.”
videos below: warning, graphic
After viewing our video above from the Pancake roundup, Dina Titus (D-NV) proposed a bill to ban helicopter capture of wild horses and burros, only remove using bait trapping during emergencies or use dartable fertility control, and investigate the program to find alternative management strategies.
2. What happened to this colt at Pancake roused advocacy. In addition to the bill proposed to halt helicopter capture mentioned at number 3, advocate orgs joined us in our ongoing legal battle and amped it up. The case is ongoing.
Coming in at number 1: Colt slammed to the ground at the first BLM roundup operation of summer 22 at Buffalo Hills. These summer roundups renewed the cry that BLM actually define site-specific foaling season and STOP simply asserting mythological dates for all herds west wide. Foaling season is just one of the data sets BLM is supposed to include in Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) that they have failed to provide for the vast majority of our herds as the run roundups and increase population suppression tools to appease their corporate partners and strive to slam wild populations down to unsustainable numbers. (This lack of basic management planning is at the heart of 11 legal actions WHE has active in 2022.)
It has been a very eventful year with friends lost and found. Some wild ones known well by the public (like Norman of Onaqui pictured above) lost their lives.
But it is clear, battle lines are drawn and the public demands that BLM manage wild horses and burros, protect and preserve our herds and the land they call home… removal is not management.
WHE thanks you for your care and support as we make a stand for our precious wild ones.
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.