April 2011 Highlights



First Amendment suit heads for the Ninth Circuit

Wild Horse Education is continuing the legal battle for transparency against the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Plaintiff Laura Leigh has filed her notice of Appeal April 28, 2011 for the lawsuit that battles for transparency of the “hands-on” care of wild horses and burros.

“The current suit is NOT about observing a single roundup,” Leigh stated “The emergency relief requested extends to the repetitive battle for observation. We have a right to know how our money is spent in the hands-on management of our horses throughout the process. From roundup through holding and their ultimate disposition, wherever that may be, it is our right to know.”

On February 14, 2011 Plaintiff Laura Leigh filed for permission to appeal her First Amendment Rights case against the BLM to the Ninth Circuit Court. Her plea was based on the fact that there had been no ruling by the Federal Court in Reno to her request for Emergency Injunctive Relief in a case she had filed five months previous. Her request cited that “no action” in a case requiring emergency relief was an essential denial of her motion.

Judge Larry Hicks of the Federal District Court in Reno has now denied Leigh’s motion as “moot.” However in his ruling he does allow written testimony to stand in the record that had been objected to by the BLM.

“Basically this is good news,” said Leigh “What the Judge has now given me is an opportunity to present this case without first going through the process of gaining the Court’s permission. He has also ruled that the entire record of the case remains intact and that is vital to demonstrate the repetitive behavior that has precedent in higher Courts as not moot.”

The Appeal process has now began and the full brief will be filed shortly.

Leigh has spent the last year observing more roundups than any government personnel and bringing the public daily reports. The suit she brought earlier in the year, to the same Court over closure of public land and a roundup during the heat of summer for the Owyhee Herd Management Area, bore fruit for public observers. That suit found that closure of public land was a prior restraint to First Amendment Rights, creating the beginning of a daily observation platform for the public.

The doors to the Indian Lakes (Broken Arrow) facility were closed due to public outrage over images they saw.

“If the public is outraged by conduct,” Leigh said “it is an opportunity to clean up your act, not close the doors. That’s like a child that refuses to clean their room and instead locks their door.”

The full Brief is expected to be filed by Leigh and her attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno soon.

The legal efforts are supported solely by Wild Horse Education, a registered non-profit in the state of Nevada.

Website: http://WildHorseEducation.org

Free Book: http://wildhorseeducation101.wordpress.com/

Video of Eagle Roundup and denial of access to Indian Lakes (Broken Arrow):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw8iX7LO8g0

Article published by Deb Coffey on the Indian Lakes facility contract in PPJ gazette:http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/blm%E2%80%99s-sweet-deal-paid-for-with-your-tax-dollars-of-course/#more-16184


Wild Horse Education is beginning to publish Videos in a series titled “Roundup Reality.”

The videos will show footage taken at roundups and explain the size of the HMA and how many horses are to be “gathered.” They will show how the roundup was executed and demonstrate  if public access was allowed. Each video will be descriptive of each specific event.

Written explanation, with additional information, will be available in archived form on the Wild Horse Education Room 101 site.

copyright Laura Leigh
Little black colt, Eagle Roundup (Laura Leigh)

The first in this series is the Eagle Roundup of 2011. This video has been chosen because the horses from this roundup went to the Broken Arrow facility (aka Indian Lakes).

Horses in that facility have been off limits to public viewing since the BLM shut the doors last spring due to public response from weekly images taken by observers that visited the facility. New information has been brought to light through the FOIA requested of journalist Deb Coffey. Her research has uncovered a copy of the contract held by Troy Adams for that facility. The contract states clearly that public visitation is part of the scope of the agreement through the year 2015.

The lawsuit brought by journalist Laura Leigh that is currently awaiting the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addresses these issues directly. The public has a right to know how their American herds are treated by their government and contractors, throughout the entire process. This suit and other actions are supported directly through Wild Horse Education.

Facility Reports can be viewed: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/wh_b/Indian_Lakes_Facility.html


Wild Horse Education is proud to launch it’s sister site “Wild Horse Education, room 101.”

This site is intended to serve as an introduction to terms, process, jurisdiction issues, etc.

The book is free, but it is in draft form.

Feedback appreciated.

Please support this work if you can. Field research is needed for the areas on the roundup schedule for fall. The lawsuit is awaiting the ninth but more paperwork is being completed in preperation to file, we need filing fees.

Thank you.