Friday, April 2, 2021

Proposed Roundups Target 3,500 Wild Horses in Wyoming - Full Article

The U.S. Bureau of Management is accepting public comments through the end of April on plans to remove some 3,500 wild horses from public land in southwestern Wyoming.

By Associated Press, Wire Service Content April 1, 2021, at 2:43 p.m.

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Management is accepting public comments through the end of April on plans to remove some 3,500 wild horses from public land in southwestern Wyoming.

The federal agency seeks to allow between 1,500 and 2,165 wild horses on five herd management areas in the Red Desert outside Rock Springs.

An estimated 5,105 wild horses currently live in those areas, according to the BLM...

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Friday, January 29, 2021

A few pretty horses: BLM, critics butt heads over Idaho mustang management - Full Article

By Colin Tiernan (Twin Falls) Times-News
January 27, 2021 06:00 AM

This is some of the most desolate country in America.

It’s a land of brown-yellow grass, buttes and little else. This is a place where the few roads are gravel at best and often rugged two-tracks. There aren’t even any significant natural water sources out here.

But this unforgiving Idaho desert is home to one of the state’s six wild horse herds.

Last summer, the Bureau of Land Management gathered up most of the small Saylor Creek herd, and removed the horses from the range to trim down the population. On a cold, gray day in November, the BLM took 11 of the Saylor Creek mustangs out of Boise corrals and drove them back home.

The animals stood quiet and calm in their trailers right before their release onto the range. When the gates opened, they leaped out and huddled up. Then, almost in unison, they started running. They cut across the rolling desert in a short line of browns, grays and tans, shrinking into the distance.

Mustangs might inspire more passion and controversy than any other American animal. Many rural westerners, especially those connected to the livestock industry, want to see their numbers dramatically reduced and say they’re causing both ecological and economic harm. Wild horse advocates criticize the BLM’s management policies and argue any negative impacts caused by mustangs pale in comparison to those caused by cattle.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wild Horses, Part of Romantic West, Are Causing Havoc in Northeast California - Full Article

by KQED Science
Jan 19 2021

In the northeast corner of California, feral horses roam in an area of the Modoc National Forest known as Devil's Garden. The high desert plateau in the northeastern corner of the state is filled with juniper trees, sage brush, and not quite enough grass for all the grazing animals that live there. A fight over how to manage the horses shifted recently when Congress funded a plan to reduce herds on federal lands. KQED's Brian Watt recently spoke with Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Sabalow, who covered the Devil's Garden horses in his series, "Nothing Wild."

The following has been edited for length and clarity.

How did these horses come to be living in the wild?

Ryan Sabalow: Some of these horses in the West can trace their ancestry back to the Spanish settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries. The difference with the Devil's Garden herd is these horses are much more newcomers. They've been around since about the Modoc War, which was in the 1800s.

The Devil's Garden herd is unique in that it's managed by the U.S. Forest Service instead of the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM manages about 100,000 wild horses on millions of acres.

The issue is that wild horses are not a native species. The federal government is trying to figure out a way to reduce their numbers to try to benefit all these other animals that are out there, while still allowing cattle ranchers to make a living...

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Plan Causes Backlash - full article

The latest move to control US wild horse populations involves rounding up and spaying mares before returning them to the wild.

By: Kim Izzo | December 16, 2020

The latest attempt to control wild horse populations in the United States has come under fire from wild horse advocates and members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. The current scandal revolves around the plan by the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to round up horses from western Utah and surgically sterilize the mares before returning them to the wild.

According to news reports the procedure has not been “performed before on wild horses under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management, was done on mares occupying a national wildlife refuge in Nevada with success, federal officials say.”

This move has been condemned by advocates as “unwarranted and cruel”, including by the American Wild Horse Campaign, whose communications director, Grace Kuhn, said in a statement last week. “It is not a population management tool. It is pretty barbaric.”

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Horse Protection Groups Back Bipartisan Congressional Letter Supporting Humane Treatment of Wild Horses

November 27, 2020

House leadership encouraged to preserve bipartisan amendment in final FY21 spending deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., joined by 22 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter dated November 25, 2020 to House Leadership requesting it retain his Interior and Environment appropriations amendment requiring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to utilize $11 million in funding for humane, reversible fertility control for tens of thousands of wild horses and burros under the BLM’s protection. The measure, conceived by Cohen and Animal Wellness Action, passed the U.S. House in July by a voice vote, but was not included in the Senate’s version of the bill. Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, Horses for Life Foundation, Center for a Humane Economy, and other equine protection groups worked with Cohen in securing signors of the letter to House leaders and appropriators.

“We applaud Rep. Steve Cohen and the House Members who’ve joined our effort to implement the use of PZP birth control in wild horse and burro populations on public lands,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a lifelong horseman who was recently honored by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, II for his work to protect horses. “Rounding up and incarcerating our iconic American wild horses and burros isn’t the answer. PZP provides a low-cost, long-term sustainable solution to protecting the horses whose very backs this country was built upon, and we call on appropriators to include this measure in the year-end spending deal.”

“We write to urge your continued support for the humane and sustainable management of wild horses and burros on our public lands,” wrote the 22 Members of the House in the letter sent today. “To that end, we request dedicated funding in any final spending package for the implementation of humane, proven and reversible fertility control, namely the porcine zona pellucida (PZP) immunocontraceptive vaccine by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We are pleased this amendment to support this effort was adopted by voice vote in the House of Representatives as part of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.”

Read the entire letter here.

In addition to Rep. Cohen, the 21 Members that co-signed today’s letter include Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., John Katko, R-N.Y., Ro Khanna, D-Calif. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., Barbara Lee, D-Calif.,Ted W. Lieu, D-Calif., Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., David Schweikert, R-Ariz., Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Dina Titus, D-Nev.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies, and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Animal Wellness Foundation is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wildish Podcast: When a horse goes ‘home’

Wildish Podcast on - Listen

Episode Six: In Montana, two ranchers adopted ‘Delilah.’ They’re among the growing number of people actually getting paid to adopt wild horses and burros.

Anna Coburn Audio - Sept. 24, 2020

In this final episode of the Wildish mini-series, host Anna Coburn speaks to two Montana ranchers who adopted a wild horse named Delilah from the Bureau of Land Management adoption incentive program. Ashlin O’Connell and Barbara Armstrong were paid $1,000 to adopt Delilah. Their participation — and the participation of others like them — has become key to keeping horses and burros out of long-term holding facilities. Anna also speaks with Dianne Nelson, the co-founder of California’s first wild horse and burro sanctuary, where horses and burros can live with very little interaction with humans...

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wildish Podcast: The unsexy burro - Listen to the podcast

Episode Five: In Arizona, two incarcerated men rehabilitate wild donkeys for adoption.

Anna Coburn AUDIO
Sept. 17, 2020

From High Country News in collaboration with Alan Wartes Media, Wildish is a six-part podcast series that chronicles the complicated world of wild horse management in the Western United States. Wildish is meant to confound you. It does not offer a simple solution to one of the region’s most intractable natural resource conundrums. It is a serial on humans. You’ll hear from the activists who ache for freedom — for the wild horse to be wild — and from those who flinch at the mythology attached to the species. You’ll also get to know some of the well-meaning people inside the Bureau of Land Management, the agency stuck in the middle, faced with balancing the horse as a relic of the Wild West with its undeniable impacts on the modern Western landscape.

Wild horses get most of the attention, but donkeys have problems, too. A special kind of mutual rehabilitation is unfolding behind the scenes in the much less sexy world of wild burros. With few resources and very little funding, the Bureau of Land Management has turned to prisons to train wild horses and donkeys for adoption. Wildish host Anna Coburn visits an adoption program inside an Arizona prison, where two incarcerated men train burros with carts and saddles, preparing the animals for adoption. It is hard and dangerous work, with a lot of kicks and bites and even broken legs involved, but the men who do it have come to love the “Donk Life.” They currently work five days a week with the animals. “You don’t even feel like you’re in prison when you come out here,” said Daykota Varner, who is serving his sentence at the Arizona State Prison. “It almost feels like you’re free.”

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Proposed Roundups Target 3,500 Wild Horses in Wyoming - Full Article The U.S. Bureau of Management is accepting public comments through the end of April on plans to remove some 3,50...