Friday, September 18, 2009

Wild Horse Advocates

For those folks looking for a way to help out with the wild horse issue there is a way. Right now the Save Our Wild Horse coalition is accepting applications for volunteers and is hosting a survey on how better to serve advocates. Submit your survey at

They are looking for volunteers in the following areas. Monitoring specific herds, calender manager, research and others. So please take a minute to stop by and offer your suggestions as well as volunteer.

Save Our Wild Horses is also looking for wild horse groups and advocates to join the coalition. So, please consider joining them! Together we CAN make a difference and speak as one voice for our wild horses! Save Our Wild Horses has also launched a blog at

A number of groups are also planning on hosting demonstrations, including one in DC on Sept 29th. The demonstration will be held from 8am to 4pm on the West Front Lawn of Capitol Hill. The purpose is to inform the public about the plight of the wild horses. Everyone is welcome to attend and to bring information and handouts to give to the public as well as signs and photos.

Groups are also working to get advocates to DC from Sept 29th until the end of October to lobby for the ROAM Act (S1579/HR1018) as well as the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (HR503/S727). We are asking that advocates spend a day or two, specifically the weeks of Oct. 4th, 11th and 25th, to lobby for these efforts. AHDF will be there the week of Oct. 18th. Advocates planning on attending during this time are asked to email me at as this is a coordinated effort.

On a personal note I have made my first attempt at making a You Tube video. Please keep in mind that it is my first and the sound isn't perfect, but it is available for viewing at Hopefully now that I have it down a little better we can add more videos to the site to inform the public. That is if I can find the time. AHDF is on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, the web as well as this blog. So, folks can follow us anywhere!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Let's MAKE Our Voices Heard

In light of everything that has happened over the last few weeks I think it is even more important to make sure that Congress, and especially the Senate, knows what is going on. We need to have our voices heard and be visible in DC if we are ever to be an effective voice for the horses. We need to have groups and individuals there for an entire month to achieve this. Congress MUST know that we do care and that we aren't going away. They MUST know all of the sneaky little tricks and deceptions that the BLM is playing on the horses and the taxpayers.

Obviously I am NOT suggesting that any one group or person be in DC for a whole month. But if we can break it up into little pieces of 2-3 days and each one of us take one we could cover the entire month of October. I am going with a few people the week of Oct. 18th. I am asking for groups to take the lead on other weeks. We need to be as visible as possible considering that the groups that are opposed to what we are asking have lobbyists there every day. Congress is more impressed with actual visits as they show that it means enough for you to actually go to DC.

If a group is going to go please let me know so we can make sure that every day is covered and that someone with experience is there to take the lead. If anyone needs material or handouts let me know and I will get them to you or visit the website Save Our Wild Horses for materials. If this would be your first trip to DC to lobby please read the AHDF's Guide to Lobbying for helpful information.

I am also trying to fund raise to cover costs and to hopefully have funds to help folks get there. If there are no donations we can't do that, so if you can't go consider helping those that can by making a donation so your voice can be heard and we can make a difference for the horses.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How the Hell Can We Save Them?

This is not going to be my normal blog post. It isn't going to be all nicey-nicey. I am feeling like I have NEVER felt before, helpless and hopeless. I don't like that feeling at all. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I have always been the one who looked for the silver lining, the one who urged others on, the one who always felt that in the end things would come out right.

The one thing I have felt since hearing about the Pryor Mountain horses is that in the end the horses would be fine. It is one small herd and they aren't taking as many as other herds and while the numbers are set a little below genetic viability, it isn't as bad as other herds are facing. So many are just being removed or their AML is so far below genetic viability that they will not survive at all. However, the Pryor horses are one of the most famous herds and the ones that were the most protected. They received protections long before the other herds got it. They also had the distinction of being so closely related to the Spanish herds.

This then brings the question that makes me feel the way I do. If we can't protect these wonderful horses, how the hell can we protect and save the others?

The loss of a single one of these famous horses is being felt by the world. They care because they have gotten to know and love them through Ginger Kathrens wonderful documentaries on the Cloud series. We know Image, Cloud's daughter who is set to be removed. We know Electra, Cloud's sister, who Prince fought to keep and is his only mare and is now set to be removed. We know Arrow, Rain and Cloud Dancer all set to lose their freedom. Not only are we losing these special animals, but the herds' AML is being set and kept below genetic viability and those that are being returned to the range are being treated with PZP to prevent herd growth.

So, I say again if we can't save them how the hell can we save the others?

How can we stop the removal of 1000 horses from the Red Desert Complex? How can we stop the Ely District removal of EVERY SINGLE horse? How can we prevent the Sheldon horses from going to slaughter?

I know we all called President Obama and asked for his help. Today one person asked if he was getting our messages and was told that they were gathering them and would give them to him later on today. Obviously that isn't much help. Our government isn't getting the word and meanwhile these horses are in the middle of of this horrible removal and they can't take the time to pass along the people's concerns! Of course the roundup continues, he doesn't even know about it and the staff hasn't seen fit to let him know. Since they take it so lightly it is doubtful that he would stop it anyway. Apparently we need to be more insistent with our calls and we need more people to call the White House to let him know that it IS an important issue.

It isn't the time to feel helpless, it isn't the time to feel hopeless. It is the time to stand up and fight! Fight for the horses and the law of the land that protects them. It is time to yell louder to say this is NOT RIGHT. Those horses shouldn't lose their freedom for nothing and none should possibly pay with their lives without it meaning something.

Remember my post about speaking with One Voice? It is now time to speak with that voice and let it finally be heard. We will not accept the continued removal of our wild horses. We will not let them zero out herd areas for more grazing. We will not let them take our freedoms as they have taken the horses'. We will not let them subvert the law ever again and our wild horses WILL be protected as the law intended. Not ever again! We will fight through the courts, we will battle in the Congress and we will see the few remaining herds never face what Cloud's herd is facing now. Speak up for Cloud, speak up for Electra, speak up for Image, speak up for the unnamed herds. We need to raise our voices NOW before they are all gone and all we have left is a memory and a few documentaries to show what we have really lost.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


In our sadness all advocates and wild horse lovers need to refrain from passing blame. Our court systems work, but not often on the schedule that we would like. It is nearly impossible to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a government agency. Our laws are set up to give the government a sort of benefit of the doubt and to prevent individuals from disrupting government actions. The TRO was NOT the last legal stand. There is still the option of the courts returning the animals after the removals. Of course nobody wanted the herds disrupted by the roundups and the associated risks that they bring. However, the judge acted as he saw the law.

Yes, we are sad and yes we do feel as though we are in mourning. However, please do not disparage those who have worked so hard. This is not the time for blame. It is time for us to really WORK. Work hard that the herds remain viable, work hard to see the laws changed to protect the horses, work to see that other herds aren't decimated, work to see the BLM held accountable for their actions.

Cry if you must for what is going on and then dry your eyes. Our tears don't accomplish anything, but our efforts can and do. The BLM is issuing EAs (Environmental Assessments which are needed before ANY roundup can happen) for public comments even as we speak. We must each comment on them and let them know that we don't accept the decimation of our herds. We must contact the Senators and let them know that we support the ROAM Act to keep our horses free in the wild. There are groups, such as the AHDF, the Cloud Foundation, Front Range and EWA, and individuals filing more appeals to stop these roundups and they NEED support.

If all you are offering is criticisms of what efforts have been made or tears you have not done all you can. Take action today. Volunteer to help with the organizations fighting, call and write letters to your Senators, visit your Senators while they are at home or go to DC, donate to the groups, file public comments to the BLM's EAs. TAKE ACTION!

Herd Removals

Today is a somber day. One can feel it in the air, it is as if the world is sensing the tremendous loss of wild horses and the loss of freedom.

The Pryor horses, otherwise known as Cloud's herd, are being rounded up today. The herds have been made famous the world over mostly because of the WONDERFUL documentaries filmed by Ginger Kathrens, an AHDF board member and founder of the The Cloud Foundation. She has documented the herds for many years and the world has followed the lives of the herds and Cloud and fallen in love with them.

The removals have begun and a small group of 30 people are there to protest but they cannot see anything as guards prevent them from entering the park. I know many are in mourning over the fact that 70 horses will be removed and will never again know freedom or see their home again. Those that do remain will be treated with a fertility drug, PZP, that will prevent the herds from reproducing. There still remains questions about the safety of the drug. Not to mention that humans, not nature, make the call on which horses can reproduce and add to the gene pool.

Please pray or send positive energy to the Pryor horses that no animals will be injured. The herds have many VERY young foals, under a month old, and these young animals don't usually do well during these roundups. Often they become separated from the herds because they cannot keep up and they die on the range. If they do keep up they are still orphaned by the activities. This is not a good outcome in anyone's mind.

Over 300 horses lost their freedom in the Nevada Ely district in the past week. None of these horses will be returned to the wild. Not one will ever again know freedom. They are being removed because their herd areas have been "zeroed out". The reason given is that the area can no longer support a single horse. However, at the same time they are expanding grazing permits for more cattle. At the end of the month (September) more horses will be removed to once again never return to their homes and the life they have known for hundreds of years.

These horses aren't as well known as Cloud's herd and there were no protesters to stand vigil for them. Just a core of advocates working to stop their removals. We will never again be able to get them back and America lost a national treasure, one we continue to lose every day that the BLM remains in charge of our wild horses and burros.

Yesterday Glen Beck came out with a theory that the ROAM Act is an attempt by environmentalists to prevent drilling by putting horses in the areas where oil abounds. This "theory" is incorrect as he pointed out traditional areas where the horses ALREADY exist, not where advocates want to put them. It is a coincidence that the horses have been relegated to these areas. Not to mention that if the BLM didn't put such restrictions on the oil companies and insist on removing the horses for drilling, we wouldn't care if they drilled or not. The horses would just leave the area and not interfere with the drilling and the drilling wouldn't harm the horses. However, because cows would interfere the BLM insists that the horses, because they consider them livestock and the same as cattle, are removed. THIS is what we disapprove of, the removal of the horses never to return, not the drilling. At the rate of removals the BLM is doing now the issue won't matter any more as there won't be a herd left.

The suffering of these majestic animals and the loss of their freedom is being felt the world over. The sense of mourning from the welfare community is obvious. But we CAN make a difference. The public needs to let the BLM, the politicians and the world know that we do not want our wild horses and burros to face the extinction that is now becoming more and more evident.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cloud's Herd Lost but the fight isn't over

It is with a heavy heart that I have to pass along the info that the Temporary Restraining Order to protect Cloud's herd and the Pryor Mountain horses was denied today. We don't have the decision yet, so it is impossible to say why the judge denied the rock solid claim. More than likely it was due to the issue of taxpayer funds being paid to keep the crews on hold while the case was being decided. However, it isn't time to give up, we do have other options.

Please make calls to the President and ask that he demand that the BLM not contiue with the removal which is slated to begin first thing in the morning. You can reach the switchboard at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000 . Calls need to be made RIGHT NOW.

Also, it is possible that even if they do begin the roundups that through the courts they could be forced to return the animals to the range. This would be a disruption to the herds' social status and wouldn't help any animals injured or destroyed during the removals, but it is a far better fate than being held in captivity for the rest of their lives or being euthanized later when BLM can't pay for their care as they stated last year.

So, again please call the President 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000 and ask that he halt the removal of the Pryor Horses slated to begin in the morning and that he call a moratorium on all removals until the BLM addresses the questions and issues raised by Congress and the American public. Too much is at stake for us to sit idly by while these animals are forever removed or destroyed so they can never again run free and we lose such a big part of our heritage and our soul as a country.