Above: All footage and images were taken in summer 2023 as our team runs the road to assess ranges, herds and roundups.
Today is Public Lands Day.
Wild horses and burros are part of the system of public lands in in United States. Congress found them fast-disappearing and declared them integral to that system in 1971.
Today, our public domain is rapidly disappearing. The number one issue faced by wild horses (and all beings that call the wild place home) is habitat loss and fragmentation.
Wild horses housed in facilities are NOT a tax-payer burden. The subsidies to livestock and mining that drive roundups year after years makes the cost of holding not much more than pocket change in comparison.
Accelerated removals, mashups of multiple forms of fertility control without any analysis of what that mix will actually do (various vaccines, sex-skewing, I.U.D, gelding, burning oviducts closed, etc.), overstocking holding, record numbers slipping to slaughter… none of that solves anything and only magnifies every single break in the system and where big corporate money had led. Change is desperately needed.
Christopher Ketcham leads each chapter in This Land with a quotation. The lead to the third chapter in the first section of the book is from Aldo Leopold, who wrote, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist . . . must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
As our teams are out at the roundups, on range, slamming out comments and legal appeals and protest today, we are reminded of the original Woody Guthrie song “This Land.”
The song debut was back in 1944 and Guthrie had revised the title to “This Land is Your Land.” He reworked the last line of each verse to a friendlier, “This land was made for you and me.” He also nixed the two most controversial verses, verses that accused the American system of business of greed and disregard for the needy.
As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me. As I go walking my freedom highway. Nobody living can make me turn back. This land was made for you and me
Today, the need to be politically correct, taking actions that those in power will find acceptable, has to end. We need to take action… but be careful what well-crafted public relations messaging you follow. With wild horses you are seeing what a lack of specific language gets you, you might get what you asked for. Today we have “expanding fertility control” that first drives our herds to fragments and then mashes up all kinds of methods and substances that are destroying herd behavior and their future viability.
We need to remember to speak… and not edit out the deeper truths.
Public Lands Day can be about celebrating the beauty of the American experiment, public lands.
But let us never forget the danger our public lands, and all that call it home, face every single day.
Our wild horses are again fast disappearing…. as our public lands rapidly industrialize to line private pockets with personal profits.
Sing along with the original?
Our teams are at the Surprise roundup, Devil’s Garden and a team member is heading for the Desatoya roundup. The assault on our wild ones is in full swing.
Our team is really busy in the field and will have updates soon.
For Public Lands Day, all contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar to keep our vital work running.
Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse. WHE carries ongoing litigation to force BLM into open public process to create an enforceable welfare standard for our treasured wild ones.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
Categories: Wild Horse Education