Saturday, November 21, 2015

Despite Slaughter of Wild Horses, No Prosecution of BLM or Rancher Involved

Straight from the Horse's Heart

“…he became the largest buyer of wild horses in the United States…”

BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Just two weeks after Ken Salazar was selected byPresident Barack Obama to become the 50th Secretary of the Interior in 2009, the Bureau of Land Managment (BLM), an agency within the Department of Interior (DOI) sold and began shipping horses to rancher, and reported Salazar associate, Tom Davis, who in turn, in violation of the law resold them to slaughter houses in Mexico for horse meat.
A report released by the DOI’s Office of the Inspector General in late October, concluded the BLM did not follow the law in selling 1,794 horses to rancher Tom Davis. The sales were conducted through the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program – the program established to protect, manage and control the wild horse population.
The BLM sold horses to Davis between 2008 and 2012 for roughly $10 a horse. The agency lost money on the transactions since they spent tens of thousands of dollars on transport. By contrast, according to Davis he resold “loads” of 35 horses for as much as $4,000, making $2,500-$3,000 profit on each sale, despite signing a contract with the BLM agreeing not to send the horses to slaughter. With the volume of horses Davis purchases he became the largest buyer of wild horses in the United States.
The Inspector General’s report states, “During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses that he purchased through WH&B ultimately went to slaughter. We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. According to the report, the BLM did not follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring horses sold were not slaughtered.
The slaughter of horses for meat violated a congressional ban on the practice as well as BLM policy.
Despite the Davis’s reported ties to Secretary Salazar, the IG’s office “determined that this matter did not warrant further investigation.” The IG did refer Davis’ conduct to both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office. Neither office chose to bring either civil or criminal charges.
According to the report, WH&B marketing specialist who approved the sales to Davis received “exceptional or superior” reviews, complete with bonuses between 2008 and 2012…(continued)

Prologue by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
“Sorry, not to sound jaded, but the above information is nothing new and we volunteers at Wild Horse Freedom Federation are making a sincere effort in not slipping into “We Told You So” mode.
Back in 2013 our own Vice President and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Debbie Coffey, uncovered rock solid evidence, in the way of paperwork, receipts, etc.. of the BLM selling wild horses to known kill buyers (Click HERE to read report) and the entire story was just swept under the carpet by the Feds.
Terry and I, along with many other equine advocates, made a point to be present at the very next BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting to speak on and to present said evidence to the board and the BLM, see video below, and again…nada.
What does it take to get the members of Congress to wake up and smell the BLM’s BS, collusion and criminal activity?  The time for a Congressional Investigation is long past due.
If you are not emailing and writing your Congressional representative on this topic, please begin to do so.
If you are writing and politely prodding, continue with your efforts.
We are not just cheerleaders, here at SFTHH or at WHFF, but instead we are the gatherers of information and the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves.
If ever there was a time to ‘KEEP THE FAITH” and continue to plow forward, this is it…don’t give up; you are not alone and every little effort matters .
Feel free to utilize the reports and documentation supplied on this site, we are a storehouse of information on this topic.
Keep after it, my friends, we need to make this happen.” ~ R.T.

For More Stories and Information on the BLM selling wild horses and burros to slaughter click (HERE)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Livestock Data Fills Gap in Ongoing Wild Horse Debate

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Photography: Bryce Gray
BLM and USFS-reported grazing stats reveal the extent of private livestock production on millions of acres of overgrazed western public range and forest land, challenging rancher claims that wild horses and burros are to blame.
by Vickery Eckhoff
A side-by-side analysis of 2014 grazing data shows wild horses greatly outnumbered by millions of privately owned livestock across 251 million acres of western public grass and forest land.
The data includes 2014 year-end grazing receipts of $17.1 million published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), a figure that equates to a livestock total of 2.1 million cattle. This is 37 times greater than the 56,656 free-roaming wild horses and burros estimated by both agencies in 2014.
Other BLM and USFS reported data show private livestock allocated 97 percent of the forage across all 251 million acres of BLM and USFS-managed lands. Wild horse and burros inhabit 12 percent of that land and are allocated 3 percent of forage overall.
Read the rest of the article, and find the link to read the fully footnoted analysis by the Daily Pitchfork HERE.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Wild Horse Advocates Appeal to Halt BLM from moving West Douglas Herd

Straight from the Horse's Heart

“…you can’t manage them (wild horses) if they are not there on the land…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A group advocating for wild horse populations has filed an appeal to prevent the federal government from removing mustangs from the West Douglas herd area in northwest Colorado.
The Bureau of Land Management plans to move the herd, which numbers about 200 horses, to the Piceance-East Douglas herd management area, separated from West Douglas by state Highway 64 and fencing.
The BLM has no desire to eradicate horses from the West Douglas area in Rio Blanco County, said agency spokesman Steven Hall. “We want them near good forage, good water, and where we can manage them in balance with the other natural resources in the area,” he said.
The Piceance-East Douglas area has more abundant water on the federally protected land than is available in the West Douglas area, he said.
The appeal, announced Thursday by the nonprofit Front Range Equine Rescue, says the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 protects the horses from unwarranted elimination from the rangeland on which they live.
“The Act requires the preservation and management and protection, and you can’t manage them if they are not there on the land, some number of them at least,” said Bruce Wagman, a lawyer handling the appeal.
The appeal is the latest volley in an ongoing battle between the agency and advocates for the animals, who dispute the BLM’s assertions of overpopulation.
In its appeal, the equine rescue group requests that the Interior Board of Land Appeals “prohibit BLM from continuing its unlawful practice of eliminating all wild horses in the West Douglas Herd Area from protected public lands.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Say GOODBYE to our Saylor Creek Wild Horses in Idaho

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Grandma Gregg
9/15/15: The BLM Published a Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan for Jarbidge Field Office, which includes managing the Saylor Creek Wild Horses as a NON-REPRODUCING Herd … FOREVER
Excerpts from their decision:
“Manage a non-reproducing herd with an appropriate management level range of 50 to 200 wild horses in the Saylor Creek Wild Horse Management Area.”
“In the Wild Horses section, two management actions … were not carried forward into the Approved RMP because they pertained to restrictions during foaling. Since the wild horse herd in the Approved RMP will be non-reproducing, there will be no foaling period.”
“In the Livestock Grazing section, allocation LG-A-1 was modified to say “The majority of the planning area will be available for livestock grazing (1,411,000 acres).”
Location: The Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 15 miles south of Glenns Ferry, ID in Owyhee County, ID and Elmore County, ID within the Jarbidge Field Office. The Saylor Creek HMA encompasses 94,992 acres of public land in the Jarbidge Field Office.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Joint Press Release from The Cloud Foundation and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore
West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore
Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).
The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “
“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case.  “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”
“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain.  It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”
“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”
“The BLM does not consider mortality rates in its population estimates,” Flores continues. “While we all expect the death of old, sick and injured wild horses, research shows that foal mortality is often 50%, and in many herd areas it is even higher. This means that less than half the foals make it to their first birthday. Shockingly, BLM’s 20% population growth rate assumes all foals live and no wild horses, of any age, die.”
“To add insult to injury, the helicopter contractor chosen to round up the West Douglas herd, is noted for their cruelty,” adds Hanick who personally witnessed a roundup in 2010 conducted by Sun J Livestock in which 12% of the horses were killed.  “We will hope for the best and attempt to record what happens this time around if granted adequate access.”
“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”
R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”
“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming.  They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”
Media Contacts:
Paula Todd King
Carol Walker
Director of Field Documentation
 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.
 Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a Texas based registered 501(c)(3) non profit which puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction.
 The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (“CWHBC”) is a non-profit Colorado corporation, organized to educate the public and wild horse and burro adopters about wild horse issues and to protect wild horses and burros
 Ms. Toni Moore is a resident of the state of Colorado and is the Secretary/Treasurer of CWHBC and the Special Projects Coordinator of The Cloud Foundation, Inc. (“TCF”).
 Dr. Don Moore is an equine and small-animal veterinarian and has live in or near the WDHA and PEDHMA most of his life.
 Barb Flores, a resident of Greeley, Colorado is chair of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition and has photographed and documented Colorado’s wild horse herds for over 20 years.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Town Hall Meeting Addresses Plight of Salt River Wild Horses

KPHO Phoenix, AZ

By Erika Flores of

“many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses…”

Click Image to View News Video
Click Image to View News Video
MESA, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to round up and remove the wild horses roaming in the Tonto National Forest. But that plan has been put on hold for now.
However, the horses’ fate is still very much up in the air.
More than 100 people gathered for a town hall meeting in Mesa Sunday to voice their concerns and offer solutions.
Residents said the horses are crucial to this state because they are part of Arizona’s identity.
The goal was to discuss what’s next, after controversial plans to round up the wild horses were put on pause.
The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to remove the horses from national forest land due to safety concerns.
Lawmakers got involved, a lawsuit was filed, and then the Forest Service backed down.
But many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses.
“I don’t want the next generation to wake up one morning, and say, ‘Oh my gosh. They’re removing our horses in six days.’ We have to protect them now. Declare them wild and create a sanctuary for them,” said Laurie Walker, who was at the meeting.
“People aren’t trained to interact with wildlife. We need to train people,” said Sheryl Styles, who wants a permanent solution for the horses. “It’s learning and teaching people how to interact with wildlife not removing our wildlife from our beautiful areas.”
The lawsuit is moving forward and the group behind it hopes it will help prevent the feds from ever removing the horses.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Salt River Horse Roundup to take place in Tonto National Forest

Fox 10 Phoenix 

Posted: Aug 03, 2015 9:08 PMUpdated: Aug 03, 2015 10:10 PM
By Kristy Siefkin, FOX 10 News

Saturday, August 1, 2015

21 Alleged Stray Horses Killed in Wyoming

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Unedited article from The Casper Star-Tribune
“Have Wyoming’s Welfare Ranchers Raised the Bar on their Wild Horse War?”
Dead HorseTHERMOPOLIS — TheU.S. Bureau of Land Management says it’s investigating the killing of 21 stray horses on federal and state land northwest of Thermopolis.
A BLM spokesperson said the horses were found Wednesday. Investigators believe they were killed sometime in the last two weeks.
Wild horses also roam parts of northern Wyoming but BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said Friday these horses were stray domestic horses.
The horses were abandoned on public land and have been seen running loose for the past few years, Beckwith said.
Beckwith declined to provide additional information including whether the horses may have been shot or poisoned. She said the BLM doesn’t want to compromise the investigation by federal, state and local officials by disclosing too much information.
The BLM is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Department, state officials and a local brand inspector are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.
In 2010, the Hot Springs County undersheriff shot and killed a horse 100 feet from its owner’s home because he assumed it had been neglected and decided to put it out of its misery.
Chris and Larry Bentley later settled a lawsuit with former undersheriff David Larson, who agreed to pay the cost of the horse along with legal fees.
In a separate suit, a jury awarded the couple $25,000, saying a Sheriff’s Department policy that allowed deputies to kill sickly or dangerous animals was too broad and infringed on the Bentleys’ constitutional rights.
Under Wyoming law, abandoned horses that come under the care of the state can be sold to cover the cost of their care, or euthanized by a veterinarian.
People who abandon horses can be required to pay costs required for the state to round up and care for the animals, and may face fines or jail time.