BLM has always said that they want to find that one thing people agree on and “go from there.”
However, BLM has always wanted to control even what that subject might be and who can actually be the “people that agree” and the ones that can talk about it. BLM was heavily involved in the agreement they wanted, Ten Years to AML (later titled Path Forward), and drafting that agreement was directly engaged in by agency personnel. Those personnel then walked up the internal food chain and special interests handed it to Congress.
The lobbyist document (2016-2018) has never been scrutinized for impropriety, it was simply adopted by the agency in 2018 and affirmed by the new administration. Tracy-Stone Manning (BLM Director) simply remained “committed to that agenda.”
If you did not agree with the premises of that plan, the way you were treated involved not simply being omitted, things got downright scary. Members of WHE have not been invited to a single stakeholder meeting since BLM created their “partner list.”
The largest roundups in history, overwhelmed holding facilities and not one step toward creating actual management planning have resulted from that preferred partner list. The most expensive plan adopted by the program in history has resulted in zero reform and needs to be tossed aside.
Yesterday another horse died… a 9-year old bay was killed because he was blind in one eye. Was he blind because of the dust and heat? Was he injured in the chute (we have seen a repeat injury occur because of handling practices that could be avoided)? No one will ever know because BLM does not fully document deaths the way policy already outlines.
The public never agreed to the methods or actions proposed in the lobby document (incorporated into the BLM report to Congress), lobbyists did.
Can we now get to something the public actually agrees on? STOP ABUSE.
13 wild horses have now died at the Antelope Complex operation.
Above, a few clips from the active roundup (we give an onscreen warning before sections that contain graphic images)
It took years of fighting in the courts to get BLM to adopt a policy (2015). It took 6 more years for BLM to even hire someone to run the welfare program. The years from 2015-21 BLM kept saying they were doing “annual reviews” and not a single one was done. Since 2021, the assessments and reports have been more than inadequate and have resulted in absolutely no revision or public process.
The annual Motorized Vehicle Hearing has not resulted in a single report or review. This hearing was made mandatory in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to address these exact concerns the public had back in 1976. Not one report, revision, deliberative document, has ever been supplied to the public.
Below: Video from 2012. Many of the images are from the Antelope Complex. The style of video editing today sure has changed with technology. Has the BLM changed much? Is it bad enough for you… yet?
Do we have to go back in time and repeat all the things we did back then to get the policy?
We are seeing an uproar in the public and media coverage that we have not seen on this issue in a decade.
We have finally broken through the politics of Path Forward. The actual fight against abuse is now in the center. Can we keep it that way long enough to get change?
Change is possible. The only way it is impossible to create change is if we give up. Don’t get so frustrated that you give up. Walk away from social media and the fervor stirrers. Get information, take action, take a break.
8 News Now asked the Secretary of the Interior for comment and the agency declined. You can see their ongoing coverage on their website. (HERE)
The AP did a story that has spurred nationwide coverage. (HERE).
More national news stories are on their way.
Chatter even in supermarkets in the West, where wild horses are not even particularly welcome on the range, includes what BLM did to the palomino stallion Sunshine. (HERE).
Our lawyers sent a letter before the heatwave asking BLM to pause. The pause was not only because of how the heat index would create a higher chance of injury, illness and death in wild horses… it was because the judgment of humans would be skewed and result in mistakes that cause injury to wild horses. During the heat index rise there were 10 deaths in 7 days.
We have sent a letter to BLM asking, again, for a sit-down to address desperately needed revisions to the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) with no reply. (Is BLM going to turn this issue into another preferred partner list? WHE has the most experienced team in the field today. WHE Is the only independent CAWP review team in the field. But BLM has not answered a simple request for a meeting to revise CAWP.)
We are working with our attorneys on the next step. It is insanity that it ever had to get here.
Our team is under intensive pressure out here. Often, we stand alone at trap as the only ones there specifically to address CAWP and not just to make friends, look for an agreement or catch a horrific incident… we want BLM to take preventative measures so these incidents that create horrific images do not happen.
As this heats up to a boil our small team may not be able to be on social media, answer instant messages or emails. Please be patient as we work hard to address this issue. This fact has always made it hard to stop those never actually on the ground from co-opting what we have documented for other agendas. It also makes it hard to get support. We already have attorney fees out here.
We are grateful for the public interest. We are honored by the news media (where most are trying to keep this issue focused on the issue at hand… abuse). We are eternally grateful for our dedicated team that braves the weather and the drama, each and every day.
To the public:
Thank you so much for all you are doing to get media and Congress to focus (again) on abuse. We are all links in a chain and the noise you are making is creating pressure on BLM. Don’t get frustrated. Things are moving in a direction we have not seen in a very long time… the direction that began to make progress before big corporate sold it out. Don’t give up. Together, we can get this train on track.
Please remember to thank the media for covering this important issue.
When you share on social media, share context. Share the posts and articles and do not simply take a photo and write your own text… add the link to where you got the photo so people can learn more.
To all of you that do not agree with us on all things.. but have been vocal that you agree with us here and now… we thank you for your bravery in speaking out across lines that often disagree.
STOPPING abuse is the one thing we should all agree on and where BLM should start creating REAL reform.
We are formatting update pages for continued coverage. You can see coverage from the first days at Antelope at the links below.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
Categories: Wild Horse Education