The Last Of “The Sheldons”

IMGA0725PERSONAL NOTE FROM LAURA LEIGH:

Do you all understand this? This is it… the end. In two years time there will be no Sheldon horses left on the range.

Even though the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) says that Sheldon has 5 years to remove horses, Sheldon plans to do it in two years. The claim is that through “appropriations” internally in Fish and Wildlife they have received a grant to complete removals in two years. In two years there will be no more “Sheldon horses,” ever.

You can google Sheldon and horses … Sheldon and “massacre”…. Sheldon and “secret removals”… Sheldon and “bone pit”… and find all of the articles written about Sheldon in the last decade. I have authored many, many articles.

Sheldon constantly makes claims to protect horses from inhumane treatment and slaughter, but the stories keep surfacing again and again. Today is no different.

Sheldon has looked the other way, not followed up, “pretended,” whatever you choose to call it for the last three years as their “carefully chosen” contractor has failed to offer even an adoption application and phone call to a reference to those that have pulled up and taken horses “for free.” Those horses were shipped to J&S Associates (shipping paid by USFWS) along with payment of a $1000. a horse of tax payer funds.

Sheldon was alerted last fall that there were issues with the contractor. No adoption applications, reference checks, just bring a trailer and pick up horses.

John Kasbohm and Brian Day of Sheldon did a “review” of contractors before renewing contracts. With this same contractor they found poor record keeping, no adoption applications, no reviews of adopters, some horses admittedly taken to sale by those that picked them up. We are not just talking about horses delivered in 2012… but 2010, 2011 and 2012.

They claim to have cast a net “far and wide” to find options. We have yet to hear from anyone that has received any solicitation from Sheldon in the rescue community. As far as we can tell Sheldon reached out to three sources only in the advocate community. Sheldon only began looking for alternatives during the month of May 2013 and closed options end of August.

In 30 days Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge plans to ship horses (no charge for shipping) and pay $252,000 dollars to the same contractor that failed to afford any pretense of protection from slaughter as they deliver 252 horses.

Options have been presented that have been rejected for alternatives. Only one slim option remains… for the last of the Sheldons.

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Needless to say this is an intense time as we review the limited options available.  One slim option is left….

Tonight I keep wondering where all of the people are that have made claims to be standing for Sheldon this last decade? All of those that bash the efforts of others? My guess is that they are simply waiting to bash those that try…

My treatments have limited my time in the field to the intense issues that have arisen in the BLM summer schedule… Silver King was cancelled, Delamar was cancelled, Snowstorm was cancelled, Triple B gave observation, Kamma had removals (covered by Travel Channel)… and we can’t forget all of the legal documents filed this summer (at least 12 motions and briefs). And we can’t forget the McDermitt/Fallon auction insanity that has continued with issues…

Every year Sheldon seems to skirt accountability.

But this is the end… this is it. Why is it so hard to create an opportunity for Sheldon to wipe away the some of the tragedy of the past and do what it can for the very last of the Sheldon horses? Why does it have to be a fight? Why are they so obstinate about slowing things down and removing the last of our War Horses with dignity? WHY?

Slideshow below from a WHE volunteer. As I have not been able to go out we have had others go into the field. AGAIN the Sheldons appear in good health (just like the last three years in a row) on the range… and this year? No foals have been seen… remember most of the horses in the Sheldon have been rendered infertile…. this is where we have seen vasectomies (so they look like stallions and hysterectomies…. even hysterectomies through the rectum)

Are we ready to say “good bye” to the Sheldons? Are we ready to again allow them to be betrayed by not taking the best care of them we can…? No… we are not.

Please help us make a stand. We are trying two options and will explain which one is the direction we choose early next week. We have 30 days to stop the horses from, at best, a questionable fate. We need your support.  Wild Horse Education http://wildhorseeducation.org

The last of the Sheldons.

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16 thoughts on “The Last Of “The Sheldons”

  1. I think that Big Agriculture is in a hurry to clear the land of all wildlife so they can start with oil and gas endeavors. There is no real other reason for them to be in such a big hurry…What I don’t understand is why is no one else asking, why all of a sudden the horses are such a problem? Why are they not willing to do birth dontrol methods that are humane..why is there such a time stamp on removal? I think we aren’t getting out there that this is bigger then the wildlife issue, this is our land, which they are trying to drill and frack and ruin….Have you seen the video from Abovetopsecret on Utube? If not, please go watch it. it is entitled Mustang Conspiracy Sex,Drugs, Corruption and videotapes..pretty sure that is it. I look forward to helping in any way I can to save the Wild Horses and Burros, Thank you guys for all you have done and continue to do..

  2. From: Kathleen Hayden
    To: Brian_Day@fws.gov
    Sent: Friday, September 06, 2013 6:17 PM
    Subject: Removal of Sheldon wild horse heritage herd
    Dear Brian,

    The Sheldon Range in essence is an area of critical habitat for its heritage wild horse herd.

    The removal and trafficking of the Sheldon wild horse heritage herd will result in the same trauma as other wild animals suffer when captured and transported and placed in close proximity to humans.

    By operation of Law the USFWS is required to either manage or file an ESA petition to maintain this herd inventory as a distinct population segments of a Candidate special status species that cannot be extinguished. It must be maintained on its native migratory habitat in sustainable genetic populations

    The Free Roaming wild horse and burro act is the only Congressional Act passed to protect a disappearing threatened special status species of Wildlife, BUT is MANAGED to limit herd’s migratory ranges. The migratory ranges are necessary and imperative habitat to the survival of distinct population segments that have been segregated between geographic regions for hundreds of years.

    BLM and USFWS neglects to amend their RMPs to ensure sufficient habitat ( ACECs) to conserve and maintain healthy distinct population segments. Both agencies are liable to manage Wild horse and Burro herd as a special status species candidate for ESA listing.

    The result has been waste and fraud of a public resource and National treasure. i.e Excerpt “ We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (the Services), announce a final policy for the evaluation of conservation efforts when making listing decisions (PECE) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). While the Act requires us to take into account all conservation efforts being made to protect a species, the policy identifies criteria we will use in determining whether formalized conservation efforts that have yet to be implemented or to show effectiveness contribute to making listing a species as threatened or endangered unnecessary. The policy applies to conservation efforts identified in conservation agreements, conservation plans, management plans, or similar documents developed by Federal agencies, State and local governments, Tribal governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals. DATES : This policy is effective April 28, 2003”.

    exceprts from Case 1984 Mt Legal v DOI 10th Circuit

    740 F.2d 792

    21 ERC 1759, 14 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,687

    MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION,
    In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is essentially identical to the Protection of Bald and Golden Eagles Act. 16 U.S.C. Secs. 668-668(d) (1982). The Bald and Golden Eagles Act prohibits possession, commerce, killing or other activities with reference to the bald and golden eagle, whether dead or alive, their eggs and nests, with both criminal and civil penalties for violation. The Act is absolute in its terms except that there is a provision for obtaining a permit from the Secretary of Interior to destroy or remove eagles that are destroying lifestock or agricultural crops. Id. Sec. 668(a). This ameliorative provision is essentially identical to the ameliorative provision of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1334 (1982). Under some circumstances, even the Secretary may not issue a permit for the taking of eagles even if they do damage to animals and crops. See 50 C.F.R. Sec. 22.23(c) (1983).

    29

    There are numerous other similar statutes and regulations particularly relating to endangered species, 16 U.S.C. Secs. 1531-1543 (1982), some of which notoriously do damage to domesticated livestock and agricultural crops. The list of endangered species includes the Grizzly Bear, San Joaquin Fox, Jaguarundi, Ocelot, Florida Panther, Utah Prairie Dog, Red Wolf, and Grey Wolf. 50 C.F.R. Sec. 17.11 (1983). In these endangered species statutes, there is no provision, with the exception of the Grizzly Bear, to remove or destroy the endangered animals if they do damage to livestock. See 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1539 (1982); 50 C.F.R. Secs. 17.1 to 17.40.

    30

    It is important to set forth the detailed parallels in other government statutes and regulations in order to understand what is at stake in this case. Notwithstanding the court’s implied suggestion to the contrary, the horses and burros regulated under this Act are legally wild in the same sense that any other “wild” animal is wild. The Act declares them to be so. 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(b); see also 1971 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News at 2149, 2153.

    31

    It is conceded that the basic stock of wild horses and burros were on the checkerboard lands before the ranchers in this action obtained these lands. The fact that they were once domesticated and that the herds have been supplemented by other animals which were once domesticated is totally irrelevant. There is no authority whatever for suggesting that Congress cannot declare free roaming, unclaimed animals to be “wild.” The beginning point for an analysis of the issues in this case is the fact that the Act is a scheme designed to regulate wild animals just as all the other acts regulate animals, birds, and insects not owned by someone. Thus, to sustain this attack on the Wild Horses and Burros Act (at least so far as it is based on the notion of fifth amendment taking) is to fundamentally undermine all of the environmental protection schemes which Congress and state legislatures in their wisdom may undertake to enact.

    32

    Notwithstanding the court’s contrary assertion, there is to my mind nothing legally unique about this Act. What the court has said about the federal government’s relationship to the wild horses and burros may be equally said about the wild animals regulated by the acts set forth above.

    Sincerely yours,

    Kathleen Hayden

    POB 236, Santa Ysabel, Ca. 92070

    • Thank you for writing that ..I hope all of the efforts don’t fall on deaf ears..your letter is so full of facts and rational truths, ..I wrote and my letter was so emotional, and I felt that I couldn’t get past my feelings to be a little more logical, and I was pretty frustrated..Thank you for writing the perfect letter…The Horses and Burros are lucky to have you on their side.

  3. USE THE MEDIA! Not just that of Nevada. For whatever reason, the media is not jumping on this. This is all over facebook but the problems still remain. Perhaps the lawsuits are not addressing the core issues. If what we are doing is not working, try something else. CLEARLY Federal laws are being broken. CLEARLY other animal activists are successful in working for the best interests of the animals. Example: SEA SHEPARD! Look at what they have done. Use it as a model. Ms. Leigh and her attorney are doing what they can, but they cannot do it alone. Come on! Get some celebrities involved…there should be plenty in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles area…

  4. Tears are falling all over! Regarding the BLM and the Dept of Interior- they are an American source of disgrace. ANGRY ABOUT THE BLM AND OUR DYING MUSTANGS.. The BLMs inhumane and brutal ACTS that I MY SELF SEEN, rounding them up, and hog tying the babies and leaving them to die.. That’s animal abuse and cruelty can’t believe that our Gov. knows and not addressing this to the BLMs inhumane and brutal acts and slaughtering The mustangs & burros in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and The Minerals Management Services (MMS,) “Big Agriculture on wild horse and burro removals is just for THE big men pay-out for the cow beef lands. public lands being managed for private profit while taxpayers lands and wildlife pay the ultimate price.

  5. All the calls last week , just lies in return ?They said FWL had to relocate them & nobody near there minded it at all !!! Let it be known this Country is allowing monumental mistakes that may make us not be a country !!!!So devastated !Suppose not much help but do have a hundred acres that could be used , but no funds .It is in Central Maine & would need fencing .

  6. Okay. So I have done donation number one and I have looked at the healthiest horses I have ever seen in the wild if you call fat healthy. How can they remove horses from a wild life refuge? I do not understand how they are getting away with all of these removals. Yes, I know we do not have much case law to rely on, but they appear to break the law every time they do a single act. By the pound and at these removal prices, this kill buyer will be able to retire. I want my taxpayer money back. Not one dime of my taxes is going to be spent removing one more horse if I can help it.

  7. In regard to the Sheldon round up happening now: It is obscene that these last remnants of our war horses (horses that once were cared for and lived on ranches and had a life and family there but were split up and sold off for war duty) then managed to survive as discards and carved out a different life ‘protected’ at Sheldon and against all odds survived in the wild only now to be ripped apart again. families broken apart and displaced a second time for a life of captivity or worse to slaughter, after serving America so nobly – and for what ?? the ruby pipeline??? I am distraught and physically sick for so little regard for their loyalty, integrity and last but not least standing laws that should honor them. Do we need civil disobedience, physical barricades to make this point? I’m in!

  8. I am so impressed with all of your hard work. The level of in your face corruption by our gov is unreal. I want to get involved to help. It seems that Steven Spielberg could use his clout to expose this. Just one person of his stature could be the game changer.

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