Monday, October 26, 2009

Wild Horses and Washington

For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC)Save Our Wild Horses Coalition members Ms. Shelley Sawhook, president of the American Horse Defense Fund, and Ms. Cindy MacDonald, author of American Herds Blog, attended a week of meetings with various representatives, senators and their aides last week in Washington, DC. Their main goal was to present a Resolution calling for a moratorium on wild horse and burro gathers (i.e., wholesale removal from their federal lands); ask for an independent census of the horses and burros, both in the wild and within holding facilities, and; call for an investigation into the highly questionable policies, processes and practices of the Bureau of Land Management’s administration of the wild horse and burro program.  In addition, they presented materials and information in support of the Resolution.

All materials presented by Sawhook and MacDonald will be made available on the Save Our Wild Horses (SOWH) website as well as their own various sites and blogs.

While in Washington, Sawhook and MacDonald met with senatorial aides to the various Energy and Natural Resources Committee and related sub-committee members. MacDonald also had the opportunity to meet with her own Senators, Reid and Ensign. Many issues relating to the issue of wild horses and burros were discussed and the SOWH Resolution was presented and discussed. During the meetings, Senate questions were addressed and a policy point paper and a paper detailing the pros and cons of the Salazar Plan (i.e., Secy. Of the Interior’s plan to remove wild horses from their traditional range and place them in non-breeding sanctuaries in the East) were provided as additional resource information to support the resolution and SOWH’s positions and to answer other questions.

In several meetings, SOWH representatives were told that the Obama Administration has asked for the implementation of the “Salazar Plan” to see if it might solve the wild horse and burro issues and give the new Secretary an opportunity to administer the program without intervention so early on in his administration. This presents a problem as SOWH is opposed to the implementation of the Salazar Plan as it is not in the best interest of wild horses and burros and would pervert the existing Act protecting the nation’s wild horses and burros, specifically, the plan remove horses from their recognized herd areas.

Notable among most aides were that they were unfamiliar with wild equine issues. Once informed, they sought the input of SOWH and of those who are most familiar with wild horses and burros on what is best for them. SOWH asks that everyone with such expertise contact the committee members and their staff (links and resources are on to provide much needed insight and guidance to assist the senators with bolstering the protections. An example of a common perception among many talked to on the Hill and among Americans was exemplified in a meeting with Senator Blanche Lincoln (D, AR). It was apparent that her office had not heard much from their constituents on the issue, stating she would likely defer to those from the western states where the mustangs and burros reside. That position fails to acknowledge that these symbols of America and our history and values belong to the American public, not just western states. SOWH calls for all Arkansans to contact Senator Lincoln’s office to voice their position on the wild horse and burro issue so that she can hear loud and clear that protection of these majestic animals are an important issue to them.  Other offices that could benefit from hearing from their constituents are Senator Bob Corker (R, TN), Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ), Senator Diane Feinstein (D, CA), Senator John Ensign (R, NV), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D, NM) and Senator Michael Bennett (D, CO).

For more information contact Shelley Sawhook email, phone 866-956-2433 address 1718 M St NW Unit 191 Washington, DC 20036.

1 comment:

T.A. Paxton said...

Translation. Obama administration thinks it has more important things to worry about than wild horses and doesn't want to be bothered.
This is a band aid. If applied the patient will bleed to death before they acknowledge the need to act!

We must bother Obama administration. We may be gnats taking on giants but gnats can drive one crazy en-masse!