Action Alert: Mustangs On The Hill.
September 28, 2009

Wild Mustangs

 

First, below is a history of the mustangs provided by (and all photos courtesy of):  National Wild Horse Adoption Day

America’s mustangs are the descendants of wild horses brought to the New World by Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 16th century. Others come from stock that were released or escaped from miners, ranchers, homesteaders and others who settled the West. Although horses evolved in North America there are many different opinions as to why no horses or burros existed on this continent at the time of European exploration. Spanish explorers reintroduced horses to North America beginning in the late fifteenth century and Native Americans helped spread horses throughout the Great Plains and the West. Until as recently as the mid-twentieth century, horses continued to be released onto public lands by the U.S. cavalry, farmers, ranchers, and miners.

The “Pencil War”

By the mid-20th century, domestic markets for pet and chicken feed and European markets for horse meat emerged, further reducing the number of wild horses and burros remaining in the West. Public concern escalated in response to the brutal methods used by mustangers to capture and transport wild horses for sale to rendering plants. Horrified by the gruesome practices, Velma Johnston spearheaded a “Pencil War”, a letter writing campaign that generated more letters to Congress than any single issue besides the Vietnam War! Thousands of letters were written by school children concerned for the horses’ welfare.

Congress passes “the Act”

As populations on western rangelands declined to fewer than 20,000 animals, the Congress of the United States deliberated over the animals’ future and passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act in 1971 (Act). The Act placed America’s mustangs and burros under federal jurisdiction, and charged the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS) with preserving and protecting wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.”

Poetry in Motion ...

 

Once again, here’s your chance to change the world and make it a more humane place for America’s wild mustangs and burros. Public outcry saved them in 1971 through The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act; I know, by joining together, we can do it again.

It’s a sad thought to imagine losing the wild mustangs and burros to extinction, let alone other outcomes such as slaughter, abuse and neglect, injury, and the terror inflicted during and after BLM round-ups. Just as sad is the thought of the world’s children and future children never having the chance to witness the grace and beauty of these animals — running free as they’re meant to be, on the land America promised them, across this great country born from their backs.

On so many levels, America wouldn’t be America without the horses and burros. The least we can do is protect instead of inflict, respect instead of betray, stand up for instead of turning away, and offer our outrage instead of our apathy. Their lives and well-being depend upon it.

Their continuing presence on this earth depends upon it. 

Peace Love and Understanding.

 

Below is an Action Alert from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. Please do your part, and thank you for helping save the horses.

Mustangs on the Hill

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29, is ‘Mustangs on the Hill’ Day: Wild horse advocates will be lobbying their Senators for the passage of S.1579, the Restore Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act.

This critical bill, which passed before the House of Representatives last July, amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act by adding important new protections and provisions, such as the banning of helicopter roundups and the reclaiming of land lost by America’s wild horses over the past 30 years.

A press conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 1334 of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, DC. If you are unable to attend the day’s events, please call your two U.S. Senators, urging them to support the ROAM Act (S.1579). More generally, please urge your Senators to address the mismanagement of our wild horse herds on public lands:

1) Denounce the aggressive wild horse removal campaign currently under way at the behest of special interest groups and at the cost of millions of our tax-dollars.

2) Tell them that our tax-dollars would be better spent on an in-the-wild management program not based on removals.

3) Call for a moratorium on roundups until actual numbers of wild horses on public lands have been independently assessed.

To locate your Senators, please visit www.senate.gov. Please also call the Senate Committee on Natural Resources at 202.224.4971 to express your support for wild horses and the ROAM Act.

Last of the Mojave Burros

The last remaining wild burro heritage herds in California’s Mojave Desert are threatened with removal this week. Please take advantage of this lobbying day to also call Senator Feinstein’s office at 202.224.3841 and ask her to intercede with BLM officials and put a stop to these roundups.

On behalf of America’s wild horses and burros, thank you for your support!

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
www.wildhorsepreservation.org

Life to the Fullest.

All photos courtesy of:  National Wild Horse Adoption Day

Protest Wild Mustang Helicopter Round-Ups.
May 19, 2009

Penned sick after capture.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Suffering horse after capture.

It’s a guarantee there will be times in life that circumstances out of our control leave us feeling helpless and impotent. There will be situations screaming for change that contain no easy answers. There will be the normal feeling of wanting to turn away, to close our hearts and shut our eyes because bearing witness feels too painful.  Such is the stuff life is made of, oftentimes messy and unfair, brutal, harsh, unforgiving and cold more often than it is comforting, inviting, simple or beautiful.

That’s why it’s important to do what you can, when you can, for those who are truly helpless, voiceless, and discounted — for those whose very lives balance upon the compassion and mercy of very flawed human beings.

One such example is our country’s horses — America’s wild mustangs need you desperately. Their well-being depends upon your willingness to speak out and say enough is enough. Some people don’t know it, but these horses belong to the public — they’re OUR horses. Our voices raised together can decide their fate, and they need us now more than ever.  

 Thank God it’s never too late to change the world.  

I’m sure you can understand how, just like human beings, horses crave open spaces, freedom, life’s small comforts, and the safety of their family and children. Just like we’ve built our own towns and cities, horses live in herds, well-functioning little communities, which have their own politics and systems, being intelligent, social animals, no different than human beings.   

Like us, horses avoid fearful situations, harm coming to their families, stressful living. However, unlike our own otherworldly Gods, WE are the Gods, to horses. We, as Gods, have the power to approve or deny all that is right, necessary and sacred to a wild horse’s existence and survival.

Below is an important alert from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, concerning round-ups of wild mustangs on the range:

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles or aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.

Please contact BLM to protest the harsh practice of chasing wild horses and burros with helicopters, often over exceedingly long distances. Please also ask that what appear to be no-bid contracts to BLM’s primary round-up contractor, Catoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., totaling about 18 million dollars (our tax dollars!) since 1996, be subject to review.

BLM’s primary concern in round-up operations continues to be efficiency, to the detriment of the horses’ welfare. Instead of helicopters, urge officials to use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. BLM has refused to use bait trapping in such instances as the 2007 Jackson Mountain round-up, when 185 horses ended up dying at the holding facility due to stressed immune systems. Demand that limits on distances over which horses may be chased be enforced, and that accountability and penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Great Basin A and B conference rooms at the BLM Nevada State Office located at 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev. To make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact JoLynn Worley at (775) 861-6515.

Written comments can be emailed to: nv_gathers@blm.gov or mailed to: BLM Nevada State Office, Attention: Helicopter Hearing, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520 and must be received by Tuesday, May 19 to be considered at the hearing.

For eye-witness accounts of helicopter round-ups, please click here.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
www.wildhorsepreservation.org
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Having been down with the flu, I just received this alert, but it’s not too late. Read this, and then send off your emails. Just one line asking the BLM to cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress, cruelty, injuries and fatalities they pose for wild mustangs would make a difference. Or, feel free to use my email letter below:

Dear BLM,

I’m writing to insist that you cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress and cruelty they pose for wild mustangs. Please use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. Please enforce limits on distances over which horses may be chased.

Lastly, I insist upon accountability and that penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here

You can also sign the petition:

Click here: NO WILD HORSE ROUND-UPS PLEASE! – The Petition Site

What did you do to change the world, today?

Once again, here’s your chance.

Dead foal.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Trampled foal after capture.

A Wild Mustang And Burro Redemption!
December 4, 2008

nevada-mustangs

Nevada wild mustangs

(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Jo Mount – The Washington Post)

You are invited to attend a cyber-party honoring America’s wild mustangs and burros!

Please bring your joy, your big heart and plenty of tissues! Party is taking place right now in this post. Tell your friends!

(What do you bring to a wild mustang party, you ask? Plenty of carrots and apples? Well, wild mustangs won’t know what those food items are, but I’m sure they’d appreciate the thought!)

You know those 30,000 wild mustangs and burros in BLM captivity facing euthanasia and slaughter that I’ve been blogging about relentlessly? The ones we’ve been fighting to save, signing petitions for and contacting our legislators about?

They’re SAFE!

I read the article linked below, and cried with joy.   

Click here: A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West – washingtonpost.com

“Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros kept in federal holding pens. Lifelong animal lovers, the Pickenses just a few years ago led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States.

Madeleine Pickens is looking for land in the West that would be an appropriate home for the horses.

She is working with the BLM staff to adopt the horses, said Henri Bisson, the bureau’s deputy director, while the agency persuades Congress to shift $20 million in funding to feed and protect the horses now in captivity for another year. As backup to Pickens’s offer, he said, two other groups, both animal rescue organizations, have expressed similar interest in adoption. “We are very hopeful that euthanasia won’t be necessary this year,” he said.”

Things like this restore my faith in humanity and in the horse-sized hearts of animal lovers everywhere.

Some of the best miracles in life remain those man-made, when people pool their resources and good intentions in the name of our precious animals that have no voice of their own.

T. Boone Pickens and Madeleine Pickens, my hat is off to you! Thank you for saving the day and the lives of America’s mustangs and burros!

Best of all, these animals will remain FREE — running free across the West as they’ve done for centuries.

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” Bells are ringing all around the world!

Now, off I go to find more tissues.

Author’s Note: Now that an hour has passed and my boots are back on the ground again, as I would swear I was walking on air, this is great news, but it’s only great news for the 2008 mustangs and burros. There remains a serious, fatal issue for these equines that MUST be solved. Without public outcry and changing legislature, the horses aren’t safe for good. Nothing less is acceptable.

Did you know that the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act used to offer hard-fought-for, full protection to the wild mustangs and burros, and resulted from an unprecedented public outcry much like ours, today?

Then, in 2004 Senator Conrad Burns slipped in a secret amendment that stripped away these protections without public knowledge or debate. One tragic consequence of this unethical action was the legal round-up and slaughter of America’s wild mustangs and burros. 

Click here: The Conrad Burns Wild Horse Slaughter Amendment

I guess the question is, is that okay with you? This is YOUR country, YOUR wildlife, YOUR tax dollars. These are YOUR horses and burros. 

It might not be you, it may be your children or grandchildren who fall in love with horses both domestic and wild, however, the horses and burros are counting on us to do what’s right NOW — for our future generations, and for theirs.

So please, take a moment to sign the petition to save the mustangs. The petition can be accessed through the wild horse badges on my home page. We still need support through your ongoing signatures so we can save ALL the horses! 

Have you already signed the petition, but haven’t gotten your fill of changing the world? The petition below

 calls for a Congressional inquiry into the government’s wild horse management practices.

Heart-felt thanks go out to all those who’ve signed the petitions or called their legislators on behalf of America’s horses.

(And p.s. — thank you Jupiter and Venus!)

All The Pretty Rescue Horses.
September 24, 2008

Hush a bye, don’t you cry

Go to sleep my little baby,

In your dreams, you will ride

All the pretty rescue horses,

Dapples and grays, sorrels and bays

All the pretty rescue horses. 

Faithful and brave, free as rain,

All the pretty rescue horses.

These horses were saved from slaughter.

(photos by Emily Murdoch)

As some of you know, I’m an advocate for slaughter horses. I use my writing to bring attention to the inhumane practice of horse slaughter, with the goal of ending the transport of America’s horses to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. 

The fact is, Americans don’t eat their pets. Pets are family, not food. Horses are pets, companion animals, and deserve a dignified ending no different than our dogs and cats. If Americans don’t eat their horses, foreigners shouldn’t be eating America’s horses, either. 

I hope if you or your family are considering buying a horse, you might consider adopting a horse, instead. In doing so, you not only give a deserving equine a home, but avoid adding to the problem of equine overbreeding. You can help to change the world for horses by offering a space in your barn and your heart for one or several horses in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Speaking of horses, have you read my Blog entry, Your Voice For The Wild Mustangs.? Presently, the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), a government agency, has mismanaged its budget and wants to kill off some or all of the 30,000 wild horses in BLM captivity.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the massacre of thousands of wild horses in order to balance the BLM budget is both ludicrous and out of the question.  

The post link above provides more information and will take you to a petition you can sign to help save the horses. You can make the world a better place, today, without even getting out of your chair.

Please sign it today, and pass it on to three friends through the “pass it on” function. The original goal was 30,000 signatures, a mark which has since been reached. New goal: 50,000 signatures.

There would be no America without the horse. We care about the horses!   

To read an update on this petition, along with an update on the fate of the BLM horses, please go to:  Saving The World, One Horse At A Time. and scroll to the bottom of the page. (The Care2 update won’t fit into my wordpress theme’s column width.)

Whether they’re domestic horses on feedlots or wild horses rounded up and sent to slaughter, we need to do better by America’s horses. They’ve done better by us than we could ever repay. 

This country was born on the back of a horse. It’s time to show our gratitude.

Your Voice For The Wild Mustangs.
August 12, 2008

 

 Photo courtesy of Marilyn Newton of the New York Times.

The above photo depicts a round-up of wild mustangs by BLM officials. Sometimes horses or foals are trampled by the herd as they flee in fear from the helicopters. Some, falling, break legs. Others have been driven over cliffs in their attempts to elude capture.  

We all know, especially those of us who honor the human voice as our profession, how important and life-changing our voices can be. It’s why it’s so sad to hear of voices silenced in our society. It’s why books and poems are cherished and valued by the people — the voice is the mainline to the heart and soul, and to everything meaningful and beautiful in our lives.

Also, our voices can be powerful weapons for change in this wonderful, yet imperfect world.

This is one of those times.

The mustangs need your voice NOW. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is asking for YOUR opinion on the proposed Fall euthanasia of some or all of the 30,000 wild mustangs presently in BLM holding facilities. With a once-estimated 200,000,000 or more wild horses running free, and an estimated 25,000 left on the land (at numbers not genetically viable), our wild horses are facing future extinction.  

The concern over the plight of America’s wild horses isn’t limited to just Americans, either; people from all over the world are speaking out to help save the mustangs. 

There HAS to be another way, and another answer to the mustang issue, than to massacre wild horses in BLM captivity. It’s time to initiate change in the BLM program (paid for with YOUR tax dollars) and come up with an alternate, life-saving solution.

The best solution would be to set the wild horses free — let wild horses be wild horses, preserved and protected on the land already set aside for them. 

There is no doubt that we as a society care about the horses. Polls and petitions have proven this to be true over and over again.

Here is where your individual voice is worth its weight in wild mustangs. Here’s your chance to tell the BLM that you seriously object to the euthanasia and/or slaughter of the wild mustangs in BLM captivity.

Ask them to utilize birth control procedures (a vaccine called PZP) as a way to thin the herds and keep numbers manageable. Tell them killing wild mustangs is out of the question, and ask them to brainstorm until another solution is found that doesn’t involve the death of these magnificent, sentient beings.

You don’t need to be an expert on the subject — you just need to let the BLM know that you value these horses’ lives. 

What did you do to change the world, today? Here is your chance. You don’t even need to leave the house.

Please do let your most powerful, compassionate voice be heard. If a wild mustang could argue for its life, its voice would sound just like yours.

Click on the picture below to sign a petition (30,000 votes are needed!) and to send a letter to the BLM. Pass it on — tell your family and friends.

Author’s Note: Congratulate yourselves, fellow horse lovers, because the goal of 30,000 signatures has been REACHED, and is climbing!

New Goal: 50,000 signatures. Please click the badge above and join in the effort to build a kinder world for horses! Let’s save our wild horses!