Social Media and “news”

Social Media (Facebook, twitter, etc.) has become a wonderful tool to stay in touch with family and friends. It has become a wonderful tool to get information to large groups of people fast. It has become a method of sharing stories that main stream media ignores. But it has also become a tool where inaccuracies, misunderstandings and outright lies get a wide platform.

This post is written to address several things flying around social media as “news.”

Wild horses are not all under BLM jurisdiction. Smaller numbers of horses and burros are under state, tribal and various jurisdictions.

Wild horses are not all under BLM jurisdiction. Smaller numbers of horses and burros are under state, tribal and various jurisdictions.

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The House of Representatives passed a Bill to change the law for Mustangs

First there is an old news story being spread as if it just occurred. “The House passes Bill to save Mustangs!” filled our facebook and inbox with people very excited to see changes in DC thinking.

Plain and simple the story is old.

In 2009 a Bill called “Restore Our American Mustangs,” or ROAM, did pass the House. It made it’s way into the “black hole” of the Agriculture Committee and was never heard from again. It went for no vote in the Senate.

ROAM basically converted some “authorized” activities and methods into “required” activities and methods with respect to taking inventory, making determinations and application of peer reviewed scientific methods as the basis for developing management strategies, and it would have required consistent evaluation and management practices across all public lands.

But there were a few issues with ROAM. On one side panic that wild horses would “flood the streets” in Western states. On the other side advocates wanted a few loopholes closed primarily “Transportation” for purposes of converting protected horses and burros into commercial products needed to be added to the list of prohibitions in order to protect wild horses from slaughter.

It would be wonderful to see a revised form of ROAM re-introduced and several people (including those of us at WHE) are working toward that objective (no interest in Congress at the moment)… but ROAM, it it’s current form, died in the Agriculture Committee.

Extensive discussion of ROAM in an early article by Leigh. READ MORE HERE>>>

Wild horses

Wild horses

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Nevada Passes Law to Protect Wild Horses

This one is a recent story. However there are some incorrect assumptions.

The “Bill” passed by the Nevada Senate is NOT a bill. It is something called a “Resolution.” A Resolution DOES NOT create enforceable laws. A resolution creates a platform to introduce conversations (subsequent bills that could create law) and gives state support to projects (in this instance the creation of TOURISM).

The other misconception is that this has “ability” to protect wild horses on BLM land. As we sat and listened to testimony from the public, and read comments and letters, it appears that the public is making a “plea” to the state to protect wild horses and reform BLM.

The state has no authority, nor do we EVER want the state to have authority, over BLM land. Just last session the state introduced legislation (did not pass) to deny wild horses water in the state of Nevada. Just last summer the states Department of Agriculture tried to push the federal government to remove horses (without having any specific data to support the request) due to drought. The state of Nevada (and most western states) were part of the need for 1971 legislation to have the federal government take jurisdiction of wild horses and burros OUT of the hand of states and private parties. This resolution will not stop those efforts by the state and if the language is not carefully crafted, could actually give the state additional resolve to push horse numbers lower.

We certainly hope that the state keeps in mind it’s own Constitution in the language of this resolution and recognizes the boundaries of it’s authority in federal matters.

WHE has not viewed the final text of the resolution that passed the State Senate. The original text has serious issues that might have opened some doors for the state to use it as a tool to urge the federal government (now backed by resolution) to further the agenda of removing horses for special interests. PLEASE remember the state has a “mining first” mindset and a huge “good ol’ boy network” of ranchers sitting in the Senate itself.

Wild Horse Education (WHE) did get involved (testimony and text work group) and have been reassured that the resolution in it’s current form has no language other than that supporting the state taking an active hand in creating partnerships to engage aspects of the states Virginia Range horse program and to promote wild horses (and all western heritage) through tourism cooperatives.

We will keep you posted as this heads for a vote in the full Assembly this week.

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Horse-tripping Outlawed in Nevada

This is another instance where social media took an extra “step.”

A bill has passed the Nevada Committee and is heading to the assembly to make intentional tripping of a horse against the law. However it has not gone to the Assembly for a vote.

The bill did pass the committee it died in last session when the Senate was lied to by those against the bill and asserted that the events did not occur in Nevada and legislation was not required. We (through Leigh’s documentation) proved it a lie and the bill itself was resurrected this session.

Horse Tripping happens in Nevada!

Horse Tripping happens in Nevada!

HOWEVER the Senate re-wrote the text of the bill. We have NOT seen the full bill in it’s current form. There is a very real possibility that what will come for a vote in the Senate will be meaningless… after all this is Nevada. But there is reason to have hope that the Assembly will amend the bill and pass an effective piece of legislation.

We will continue to keep you updated on the state bills.

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Looking ahead:

Triple B

Triple B

Wild horse litigation moves forward in all three active cases carried by Wild Horse Education including the Triple B/Jackson Mountain case (primarily a case on inhumane treatment), the Silver King case (now known as the Access or Press Freedoms case) and the Owyhee Complex case heading for hearing next month (inhumane treatment and lack of authority to remove).

Land use plans are being formed in several BLM districts. Land use plans (RMP) usually stand for 15-20 years and set the framework of assessments done to remove wild horses and burros. We are engaging those processes where possible.

Assessments and information is being gained to address the expected cries of “drought” coming from many districts to remove horses this summer. Alternative strategies need to be created and other actions prepared if required.

Poster for film "Wild Horses"

Poster for film “Wild Horses”

Several media pieces are coming soon. The NBC piece should air early next week. A wonderful short film “Wild Horses,” will premiere in June that has the ability to go “main stream” and lead to a full-length feature. The mass of independent film makers that show up in the West every spring is back full force…. Maybe America will wake up? Maybe our numbers will double or triple and the voices standing for our wild ones will become impossible to ignore.

There is much hope.

 

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Help keep us in the field and in the courtroom!

Help keep us in the field and in the courtroom!

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4 thoughts on “Social Media and “news”

  1. All the media and social networking attention in the world isn’t going to help horses on the ground until and unless those who have the integrity act on that integrity – organize, committ, pool funds to purchase horses out of the BLM holding facilities at every opportunity, get them to private parties, legitimate and humane rescues and sanctuaries, and keep commitments to those sanctuaried horses. There is no other way. There is no free lunch for these horses anymore and they are in more danger ON public lands which should have been obvious years ago, and only grows more dangerous for them with each passing year. The reality is oil drilling, mining, cattlemen on welfare, corporate/government corruption and apathy, and sadistic cruel roundups. Unless people organize, focus and commit to get horses into private hands, and as many as humanly possible OFF public lands, and continue those efforts into the future, the horses will continue to be sold for pennies to horse trippers, disappear into meat trucks, die in holding facilities, and wind up near extinct.

  2. You need to get together a small group of horsemen to form a committee to contact all the equine colleges in the US. Ask each to take 3 wild horses per year. These institutions have the resources for many horses, so a few more isn’t a big deal. They have expert equine staff that can gentle & train the horses humanely, as that’s what they teach. And they have the students to help with the day to day care…..all while having a learning and pleasant experience. Some of these horses could end up in the college’s riding programs. The colleges can train them and find good homes or sell them with out much problem. Filled with horse lovers, these schools could easily sell the trained animals to students to take home. Students who attended the colleges and then graduated , would take with them the knowledge that these animals are available for sale at their alma mater and other institutions . Thus meaning that they would pass that knowledge onto other horse people. “Check your local horse college. They may have trained mustangs for sale”. Soon it would become common knowledge that most equine institutes were rescuing wild horses, training them & offering them for sale to responsible private horse people. As our government already gives tax breaks & funding to many of these institutions, perhaps a small federal write off or funding or some perk could be given to the institutions that participated in this “Educational Wild Horse” program. If the program placed 3000 wild horses in colleges every year it would make a difference. I think the horses would have to be delivered at the expense of someone other than the colleges. It would have to be easy ..no fuss no muss for the colleges in the beginning. No money spent and 3 horses arrive next Friday, kind of thing. I think the colleges might be acceptible to different age groups. The students would love handling the foals, although the horses of riding age (3 & older) would be most likely to be trained & placed more quickly. However, some people might like to buy the younger ones to get proper training started earlier. I truely think this program would be receptive by the horse institutions. The horse programs are run by horse lovers. They would be helping a good cause. The students would learn about wild horses first hand. The wild horses would be delivered to professional kind hands. It’s a win win plan for all. I went to one of the horse colleges. I’ve been in the horse business all my life. I find it hard to believe that these schools would not be accepting of this program. Many of the schools have inter collegiate horse shows. They could have special trained wild horse classes with the students riding which would promote these horses even further. It’s a heart warming thought & doable ….. getting these neglected horses in such a positive situation that seemingly has no end. Maxine Snow, Waldoboro, Maine. Graduate of Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri.

  3. I think it’s a very worthwhile idea, Maxine. My own experience with universities which have riding programs, however, is that they only take on a small number of horses that are donated and already trained for their students to use, and there is little or no interest in training – it’s more like a private riding stable for students funded with taxpayer money. Most students who participate in these equine programs live out of the area or are only part-time residents and can’t assume the financial and full-time responsibility for a horse, nor wish to.

    Again, it’s government, and you don’t want horses to belong to the government, including a university, or anyone who contracts with them. It’s passing on the responsibility, that has not worked, and it will not work in the future. I would be more concerned that the vet colleges especially would just use the horses for research and then send them to slaughter, the Univ. of Idaho was buying meat horses from a horse trader/meat buyer, using them for research, and those horses that survived were then “sold” back to the meat buyer, who of course shipped them. They could still be doing that, for all I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if WSU does the same thing. And of course get federal and corporate grants to do it!

    U of I as well as WSU both have pre-vet programs and regularly send students to a “nonprofit” Arab breeding facility which claims to rescue and rehab horses, and those kids are blind, deaf and dumb to what really goes on – the facility is called “Orphan Acres.” Well over a million dollars transited through that “nonprofit” since 2010, but horses at the facility don’t even get an $8 salt block. Two pre-vet schools located within a stone’s throw from this hellhole with unlimited resources and knowledge, and the owner’s been starving and shooting horses for years while the universities and community turn a blind eye. Follow the money.

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