Take Action to Preserve Wyoming’s Wild Horses!
BLM is planning another destructive roundup of Wyoming’s wild horses. This time the agency has set its sights on the Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds in the southwestern section of the state—some of the largest remaining in the West.
In addition, BLM plans to sell oil and gas development leases within the herd areas without any analysis as to how it will impact the wild horses.
For the second time in three years these two herds would be forced to endure a helicopter stampede. The reason? Livestock. The Rock Springs Grazing Association (RGSA) leases the private and public portions of the checkerboard lands (1 square mile public, 1 square mile private) along the I-80 corridor. RSGA filed a lawsuit last year demanding removal of all the wild horses in the checkerboard lands. This would result in wiping out the vast majority of Wyoming’s wild horses, including many Adobe Town horses and nearly all of the Salt Wells bands read more…
Dear Friends of Cloud, his family, and the Pryor herd;
Every trip to the spectacular Pryor Mountains is full of wonder, but no season holds the promise of discovery more than spring. A handful of new foals have been born and our friend and Pryor wild horse adopter (Cloud’s granddaughter Summer), Patty Hooker, sent us a picture of the latest foal to be born on the mountain, and it is an exciting one to be sure. Feldspar, who Cloud stole from Flint in December of 2010, gave birth to a colt this week, just in time for Mother’s Day! When we last saw Cloud’s family in April, Feldspar looked very pregnant.
This is just the fourth colt Cloud has sired. Of those, only Bolder survives, but he was raised by Shaman. I hope Cloud will be able to raise this little one, and that he will live his life in precious freedom. I can’t wait to see if he roans out. My bet is that he will. What do you think?
This weekend, we honor not only the Pryor mustang mothers, but moms everywhere–four-leggeds as well as two!
Below are a few Pryor photos to get you in the Mother’s Day spirit.
Major Removal Threatens Cloud’s Pryor Herd
BLM expands removal plan for young Pryor Mustangs
BILLINGS, Mont. (April 5, 2012)—Yesterday, BLM issued their Decision Record to permanently remove up to 40 young Pryor mustangs from their home in the mountains of southern Montana. The bait-trapping operation would begin no earlier than June 4th and could continue until September 30th.
“Surprisingly, the removal decision exceeds the level they outlined in their preliminary Environmental Assessment,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “Regardless of the nearly 10,000 comments sent to BLM requesting they proceed with caution, BLM has significantly increased the number of young horses to be removed. So much for listening to the wishes of the American Public.” read more...
The following is an email I received from the cloud foundation.
Dear Cloud and Pryor Wild Horse Defenders;[sic]
The BLM is proposing another significant removal of wild horses on the Pryor Mountains. I know. Just when you thought it was safe… they’re back!
BLM’s recently released Environmental Assessment (EA) seeks to remove via bait trapping and potentially water trapping, 30 young Pryor mustangs, ages 1-3 years. Bait and/or water trapping could begin as early as mid-January. Comments are due by January 6, 2012. We urge you to comment and to support the NO Action Alternative, the only alternative that keeps a viable population of horses on the mountain.
Here are the points we feel you may want to mention in your remarks. Make sure to use your own words.
1) Making decisions on a 30 horse removal now could put the Pryor Wild Horse Herd in jeopary of a die-off. Natural mortality in the winter of 2011-2012 is an unknown. The number of foals to be born and survive in 2012 is also unknown.
2) The population of the Pryor Wild Horse Herd is currently stable with only 150 animals one year of age or older. According to Gus Cothran, PhD, the foremost equine geneticist in the U.S., “A census population size of 150-200 is required to achieve the minimum effective population size (usually 1/4 to 1/3 of the of the total population).” Currently, the Pryor population is at this bare minimum level.
3) In 2011 there was no population growth. Births equaled deaths—18 births versus 18 deaths.
4) Removing 30 young horses in one year alone is risky, unnecessary and threatens the genetic viability of the herd, diminishing their ability to survive into the future.
5) We urge BLM to wait and see what winter brings as far as mortality, and what the foal crop looks like in August of 2012. Late summer would be the time to assess herd growth and health as well as range health and decide on whether removals are really necessary.
6) No details have been provided in this EA regarding the disposition of young horses once they are caught, other than their transport to the Britton Springs corrals at the base of the mountain. What then? Where and when would the young horses be available for adoption? These details need to be revealed to the public.
7) There are no criteria cited which ensure that young horses with narrow genetic representation in the herd, unique or underrepresented colors and markings, and rigorous physical characteristics (i.e. size, health) would be retained on the range. Consideration must be given to these removal criteria to ensure that the “best” are left on the range in order for the herd to perpetuate itself into the future.
8) Urge BLM to adopt the No Action Alternative.
We are encouraging you to speak up on behalf of this small, isolated, genetically unique, world-famous herd. BLM will not accept emailed comments but feel free to send your comments via email to email@example.com and please put in the subject line, “Pryor EA comments.” We will print out your emails and mail them with our Foundation comments. Or you can send your letters directly to:
BLM Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
Thanks for speaking out to ensure that the Pryor herd and Cloud’s family line will continue into the future! Stay tuned for an update on our latest visit.
The following is a copy of an email I received from The Cloud foundation.
Dear Wild Horse & Burro Supporters;
Nevada wild horse herds are on the chopping block in FY 2012 with roundups scheduled to begin in the dead-of-winter… again!
The Pancake Complex which includes the Sand Springs Herd Management Area HMA), Pancake HMA, Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA), and the Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory is an enormous 1.2 million acres in northeastern Nevada south of Ely. Helicopters are scheduled to swoop in, driving terrified wild horses for 10 miles or more in January—the coldest month of the year.
We’re asking that you submit comments in response to a truly shocking Environmental Assess (EA) that calls for the elimination of all wild horses in the Jakes Wash HA. In the remaining HMAs, 70% of the horses would be removed, PZP-22 would be given to any mares released back onto the range, and 200 stallions would be released back into the HMAs only after they have been gelded, operated on in either make-shift temporary corrals or in short-term holding facilities. Only 361 truly wild horses would be allowed to occupy 1.1 million acres (acreage without Jakes Wash) in addition to 200 neutered males who no longer qualify as wild horses as they no longer have any role to play in the once rich and complex society from which they came.
Comments must be submitted by Friday, October 28th, no later than the close of business at 4:30 PM Pacific Time. If you feel like a little light bedtime reading, you can read the EA here.
Comments can be submitted via mail at:
Pancake Complex EA Comments
BLM Ely District office
HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, NV 89301
Or via email at: PancakeComplex@blm.gov — with “Pancake Complex EA Comments” in the subject line.
REMEMBER: Please be sure to use your own words when writing your comments.
I do not support the removal of wild horses from the Pancake Complex. Allowing only 361 (and 200 geldings) to live on their legal wild horse areas, even though they roam over 1.2 million acres of public lands, is unfair to the mustangs still living free, and to those of us who enjoy seeing them in their natural environment in Nevada.
Gelding stallions and releasing them back into the HMAs violates your legal responsibility of managing for sustainable herds. No research exists on how this radical policy. Regardless, you threaten the social dynamics of wild horse society and ensure chaos and the eventual extinction of the herd.
Removing all the horses from Jakes Wash is illegal. They were legally designated by the Wild Horse and Burro Act to live in this area. How can you justify allowing privately owned cattle and sheep in this area, while calling for the elimination of every single wild horse?
Running wild horses with helicopters in the dead of winter is inhumane and dangerous. Over 140 horses died at this same time of year in the Calico round up of 2009-2010.
I ask that you issue an Environmental Impact Statement before taking the drastic actions outlined in this EA. And, in the meantime, I encourage you to select the No Action Alternative.
When you write your own letter, be sure to include some of the following points:
Increase the appropriate management levels (AMLs) and allocate a fair share of forage to wild horses over livestock.
Do not remove all wild horses from the Jakes Wash HA, it is a legally designated range as established in the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
– Strongly urge BLM not to put back out geldings onto the range. The effects on herd dynamics has not been researched.
– Push for an accurate census using the most up to date technology, not the outdated aerial headcount used now[.]
– Do not conduct a helicopter removal during the winter. If removals are justified, opt for bait and water trapping.
– Consider predator management as a viable population growth. Work with the local fish & wildlife divisions to urge the reduction of hunting tags permitted for mountain lions.
– Point out that taxpayers could save over $535,000 in contractor fees as well as millions more from holding costs by not conducting this roundup!
– Allow for a truly genetically viable herd in each HMA, HA, and Wild Horse Territory with a 50/50 sex ratio.
– Reconsider the use of PZP-22, as it is an unvetted drug. Opt for the one-year drug.
– Protest the cruelty of removing older horses! Older horses are targeted for removal second only to animals under 4 years of age.
“With roundup season starting up again, it is imperative, now more than ever, that we all raise our voices in support of our wild horses and burros. BLM is still soliciting comments for their planned roundup in Divide Basin, a larger herd in southern Wyoming near Rock Springs. We ask that you submit your own comments regarding the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA). There are gross inadequacies and faulty data utilized in the scope of this EA which will come as no surprise. What is a bit more surprising is the rush to create a non-reproducing herd as an alternative, which is what they want to do to in White Mountain and Little Colorado! If a roundup is conducted this summer, the herd will be reduced to only 415 horses on over 700,000 acres with many of these horses being non-reproducers! The Cloud Foundation’s comments for this EA are available online here. Read on for a sample format!”
Comments need to be submitted by Monday, June 20th, no later than the close of business at 4:30 PM Mountain Time. Comments can be submitted via mail at:
Divide Basin EA Comments
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, WY 82901
or via email at: DivideBasin_HMA_WY@blm.gov – With “Divide Basin EA Comments” in the subject line.
REMEMBER: Please be sure to use your own words when writing your comments!
Subject: White Mountain/Little Colorado Environmental Assessment Comments
I do not support the removal of horses from the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas and encourage you to select the No Action Alternative. Concluding that only 415 horses can live on this legal Wild Horse Herd Management Area, even though they roam on over 778,000 acres of public lands is truly unacceptable and unfair to the mustangs still living free, and to those of us who would one day like to see them in their natural environment in Wyoming. The idea of including an Alternative that allows for this herd to become a non-reproducing population is also unacceptable as well as dangerous for the horses and costly for those of us who pay your salaries.
I ask that you issue a new EA containing up-to-date, factual, realistic statistics with no discrepancies in acreage, census data, and reproduction rates before making a decision.
When you write your own letter, be sure to include some of the following points:
Increase the appropriate management levels (AMLs) and allocate a fair share of forage to wild horses over livestock.
BLM needs to address the clearly erroneous data they present for population stats
BLM statistics for FY2009 report there were 498 horses in the HMA, and the EA maintains that after a survey in April 2010 that the population was 1,004. This would mean that every horse, including stallions, gave birth and no deaths occurred
Using their 20% reproduction rate, a more accurate number of horses in 2011 would be 862 animals, not their estimated 1,640
Strongly urge the BLM to eliminate ‘Alternative D,’which would allow every horse to be rounded up and those slated for release would be spayed or gelded, resulting in a dead-end herd that would die out over time – very costly and dangerous for the mares and stallions.
Consider predator management as a viable population growth
Point out that taxpayers could save almost $500,000 in contractor fees as well as millions more from holding costs by not conducting this roundup!
Allow for a truly genetically viable herd with a 50/50 sex ratio
Protest the cruelty of removing old horses!
America’s Magnificent Mustangs
& the Fight to Preserve Them
A special Enrichment program class on wild horses with Emmy-award filmmaker and Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens.
Join Ginger Kathrens at the University of Denver to learn more about the work to save America’s fast-disappearing wild horses, including Cloud, the palomino mustang and his Pryor Mountain herd made famous through Ginger’s multiple award-winning documentaries and books. Film clips and firsthand stories reveal a wild horse society full of drama, tenderness and complexity. Ginger will reveal the latest in horse evolution on our continent and the need to protect these returned-natives to the American West. Open to the public- $30 admission fee
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 from 6:30-8:30 pm
Please pre-register by mid-day Friday or come a little early to register at the door.
Friday, Nov. 19th, 6:30pm – $30 class fee
The following information is from The Cloud Foundation Website and an email I received from The Cloud Foundation
“Read the new People Magazine Article & then call for immediate Congressional hearings on BLM”
“Dear Supporters, the excellent People Magazine article by Helin Jung starts out: Willie Nelson wants to know: “Why are there more horses asses than there are horses?” The country legend’s gripe comes from his concern for the American West’s wild horses and burros, which are being rounded up by the thousands and placed into holding corrals by the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management. The capture of 2,500 horses started in the Calico Mountains of Nevada last month, but the agency expects to round up a total of 12,000 of the estimated 37,000 horses on BLM land by the end of this year…”
“Read the whole article here on the People Magazine website, and then take action!
Protests continue: join the New York City protest on Sunday, the Reno protest on Monday and/or the Sacramento protest on Thursday the 21st! Click here for details.”
“Ruby Pipeline: The Real Reason Behind BLM’s Push to Remove Wild Horses? ”
by Makendra Silverman
“The Real Reason Behind BLM’s Push to Remove Wild Horses: Is Ruby Pipeline the Smoking Gun?
“Wild horse advocates rally in Denver to stop roundups, ask Senator Udall for help in BLM investigation”
“Denver, CO (January 7, 2010)—The Cloud Foundation asks the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reveal the truth behind removing healthy wild horses from the Calico Complex of northwestern Nevada. It does not appear to be coincidental that the multi-billion dollar corporate project, the Ruby Pipeline, would run through the Calico Complex—site of the controversial roundup of more than 2,500 mustangs and the Buckhorn Wild Horse Herd Management Area. BLM removed over 200 wild horses at Buckhorn in December 2009 without public notice” read more
“Call for Hearings on the BLM & For An Immediate Moratorium on Roundups”
“Take a moment for Wild Ones! We are making a difference”
“Write your Senators and Congress people, ask that they call for hearings on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program, immediately.”
Eagle Roundup of 550 Nevada Mustangs
“The BLM plans to leave only 100 wild horses on 670,000 acres of public land in Nevada that Congress set-aside principally for their use. They are now proposing to roundup and remove 550 “excess” wild horses in yet another inhumane winter roundup planned to begin February 7th.”
Sacramento Protest: A protest is scheduled for the California State Capitol following large protests in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This is another locally organized rally supported by The Cloud Foundation, In Defense of Animals, Return to Freedom all the other American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign member organizations.
When: Thursday January 21st
Where: Capitol Mall, at 10th and L Streets (map)
Tucson Protest: Tucson is joining the national movement of Wild Horse enthusiasts along with the Cloud Foundation and local horse rescue Equine Voices.
When: Friday January 22, 2010
Where: Senator John McCain’s Downtown Tucson Office 407 West Congress Street Suite 103, Tucson Arizona 85701
Time: 10am – 12PM
Phoenix Protest: If you are interested in helping further plan this protest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Saturday, January 30th
Where: BLM Phoenix Office, One N. Central Avenue Suite 800
Sheryl Crow Asks President Obama & Secretary Salazar to Stop the Assault on America’s Wild Horses and Burros
Actors Ed Harris, Wendie Malick, and Over 100 Organizations Demand Roundup Moratorium, Protesting Nevada’s Calico Complex Roundup to begin December 1
COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (November 20, 2009)—Sheryl Crow speaks out for the wild horses and burros on America’s public lands in the west. The multi-GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriter and mustang owner joins The Cloud Foundation, over 130 organizations, scientists, authors and celebrity supporters calling on President Obama, Members of Congress and the Department of Interior to place an immediate moratorium on all wild horse and burro roundups until a long-term and humane policy to manage the animals is developed.
“With one voice we are insisting that our government stop managing these beautiful and important animals to extinction” —Sheryl Crow
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) removal plan for Nevada’s Calico Complex wild mustangs is fueling outrage across the country and internationally. In a unified sign-on letter (full text below), wild horse supporters outline their opposition to the Obama Administration’s October 7, 2009 announcement [read news release here ] regarding the management of wild horses and burros. Groups oppose moving 26,000 wild horses to purchased lands in the east and the current government practice of removing entire wild horse and burros herds from public lands specifically designated for the animals by Congress in 1971.
“We ask that President Obama or Secretary Salazar cease all BLM roundups as of this date to prevent further suffering. We request that the government and BLM begin to work in good faith with wild horse advocates for a sustainable solution. The Calico Roundup, scheduled to begin in December and continue through the dead of winter, is inhumane and must be stopped!” —Sheryl Crow read more from The Cloud Foundation website, sign the petition, access photos and more…
March 6, 2009 – 11:53 PM
“Dear Wild Horse friends;”
“I apologize for not being in touch with you sooner, but we wanted to have a clearer idea of what is really happening with the new Administration, BLM, and the wild horse program before reporting to you.”
“A Bill to Amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971:
Perhaps the single most important development so far this year is the recent introduction of HR 1018 by Congressmen Rahall (D-WV) and Grijalva (D-AZ). This legislation would amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act in numerous ways. You can read the bill by clicking here. The intent of the Bill is to strengthen protections for both wild horses on the range and in captivity. You can read my comments to the Congressmen here.”
“HR 1018 would allow for the expansion of wild horse habitat. We hope that this would support our arguments regarding the legal expansion of Cloud’s herd on the Pryor Mountains. Range expansion would eliminate BLM’s stated reason (lack of forage in the designated range) for reducing the herd to genetically non-viable levels, thereby destroying this genetically unique herd of Spanish mustangs.”
“I would encourage you to get involved by thanking the Congressmen for their efforts with HR 1018 and encouraging them to specifically support the Pryor Wild Horses by preventing the planned destruction of the herd in August. Click here to contact them.”
“Range Expansion: Please communicate directly with the new Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack [AgSec@usda.gov] and the new Supervisor of the Gallatin and Custer National Forests, Mary Erickson requesting that that the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range be expanded to reflect the historic and current use areas of the rare Pryor wild horses.”
“BLM Advisory Board Meeting: We CANNOT allow the herd to be destroyed and we CANNOT allow Cloud and his family and the other wonderful families of wild horses on this spectacular mountain to be ripped apart. I delivered this message to the BLM Advisory Board at their meeting this Monday in Reno. Thanks to Sally Summers and Horse Power in Reno, you can view that meeting by clicking here . The bias of this Advisory Board boggles the imagination. It is stacked with vested special interest members, but there is hope. Three new positions will be opening up. I was nominated but have less than no chance of being appointed as I am too outspoken on behalf of the horses. But, we hope at least one new member speak on behalf of the public and our wishes to always have wild horses on our wide western landscapes. You can read my comment letter to the Board here.”
“Planned Trip: On a lighter note, we plan on visiting the Pryors in two weeks to see how everyone is doing. We know that Cloud is doing well but will report back to you, hopefully with photos if we can reach the bands. Winter is always a difficult time but we will do our best to access them. I will send them your regards. On some level, I know they feel your love for them.”
“Thanks so much for your continued support. You are so great. If you can donate for the cause, please do so by going online at www.thecloudfoundation.org or sending us something via mail. Please help if you can.”
“P.S. Both the air date (now November 2009) and name (now Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions ) of the new Cloud program have changed. My new book, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions, will be out in June and we’ll let you know when it is available. If you do not have the first two Cloud programs and books, you can order them on our website and be up to speed when the new story is published and aired. There is more story in the books than the DVDs, of course, and lots of photographs. I can autograph them however you like.”