It’s been a crazy week for wild horses. Many people don’t have much time to spend going from article to article, website to website. So we are going to give you a fast rundown on stories and links to “learn more.”
Legal Action Aimed at Destruction of Nevada’s Wild Horses Gains Intervention
This week a federal Judge granted Intervention status in the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) action against BLM.
The Elko Daily writes: “In January, Laura Leigh, president and founder of Wild Horse Education, said in a motion her interests were not represented in the lawsuit by plaintiffs, who she said “seek to eradicate wild horses from the range to maximize their members’ subsidized interests on public lands.” Leigh’s motion described the BLM as an “overworked, understaffed and budget-challenged agency that relies on flawed data, analyses, conclusions and methods to remove wild horses” from public land, and therefore also couldn’t represent her.
Leigh, who is a photojournalists and educator on wild horses, argued if the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs it would diminish her right to enjoy the animals.
In addition, Leigh is involved in a separate lawsuit challenging the boundaries of the Owyhee Complex and the BLM’s claim that it suffers from an overabundance of wild horses, which her motion argues could have implications in NACO’s lawsuit. Leigh said she has been to more wild horse roundups than anyone else, including federal employees, NACO members and the public.
About a month after Leigh asked the court to intervene, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Terri Farley and Mark Terrell filed a joint motion to intervene as well.”
You can read the rest of the article here: http://elkodaily.com/news/advocates-join-wild-horse-lawsuit/article_92f34c48-bb9e-11e3-9fb6-0019bb2963f4.html
Trespass Rancher Bundy Fights a “Deranged War”
Cliven Bundy is a trespass rancher in Nevada’s Clarke County that has been running livestock on federal land for two decades without paying fees. In 1998 issues with the desert tortoise being listed under the endangered species act cause restrictions to Bundy’s cattle permit. Bundy refused the restrictions and continued to run cattle that have now even exceeded the previous boundaries. Bundy lost two federal court actions in a bid to keep his cattle on the range.
Now the BLM has said that if Bundy does not remove his cows they will. So what takes the brunt of Bundy’s wrath? wild horses.
The Iron County Commission threatened to do “whatever it takes,” in support of Cliven Bundy, against what it calls the overpopulation of wild horses. Iron county is 85 miles north of Bundy in Utah.
It appears that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is now working with Iron county to find a “solution.”
Is this a dangerous precedent? A county threatens illegal action against federal wild horses in support of a trespass rancher that wont abide by restrictions based on the desert tortoise and BLM works immediately to find a solution.
Wild horse advocates have been working inside the law begging BLM to fix massive flaws in the wild horse and burro program for decades. Wild horse advocates have even offered to pay for the cost, provide material and labor for shelters in holding facilities and have been turned down flat. Let alone begin to deal with severely flawed issues of what BLM calls “Appropriate Management Levels” of wild horses on the range, inappropriate forage allocations and mitigation for water.
The Bundy situation appears an absurdity to any logical mind yet is an example of the twisted ways of our American “wild west.”
You can read more HERE: Today Bundy Threatens Physical Action as BLM Begins Cattle removal http://www.mynews3.com/mostpopular/story/Rancher-Efforts-to-stop-cattle-removal-will-be/JdKWXDM4e0aNbsP_Z0nJfQ.cspx
Wyoming Wild Horses sent to slaughter
On March 24, The Cloud Foundation received an anonymous tip that BLM had rounded up and removed 41 free-roaming horses from public lands in northern Wyoming. Further investigation revealed that BLM conducted a helicopter roundup of the horses and turned them over to the Wyoming Livestock Board who sold the horses directly to the Canadian Bouvry Slaughterouse. The taxpayer-funded roundup was conducted with no notice of sale after the horses were impounded, giving no one the opportunity to step in and negotiate a deal to purchase any of the horses. Even Bighorn County Sheriff, Kenneth Blackburn, was surprised that he received no notification of the roundup, which was conducted in his jurisdiction. The horses were driven to Shelby, Montana, to the Bouvry-owned feedlot, the jumping off point to their Canadian slaughterhouse, the largest slaughterhouse in Canada.
You can keep up to date on the rescue of 4 babies from this fiasco on the Cloud Foundation facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheCloudFoundation
Round TWO in BLM Internet Adoptions
Round two of BLMs Spring Internet Adoptions have begun.
You can read about the results of BLMs first Internet adoption of the season HERE: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/27/analyze-this-blm-adoption-program/
Many of the horses featured in round TWO were passed over in round one. That will give these horses “two strikes” in a “three strike” system as the go “unadoptable” if passed over three times.
Read about the horses here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/03/09/internet-adoption/
It is a busy time for wild horses and burro issues. This summer promises that issues will escalate at an alarming rate.
Please help us be ready to act.
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And visit our website to see all of our work. Your support is needed as we fight from range through holding and into the courts.