Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mustangs on the Hill and Press Conference

From Cloud Foundation Blog
By thecloudfoundation

Mustangs on the Hill was a success I do believe! Thank you to everyone!–
**read an ARTICLE by Erin Kelly, Washington Gannett Bureau here**

The day began with a press conference and to start, Carol Walker showed her slideshow of the tragic Sand Wash roundup and Ginger described Cloud’s release and his defiant stand against the helicopter that drove him and his family down from their mountaintop. Hope Ryden, our honorary board member, author and one of the writers of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, spoke and met with Senators all day.

We were honored by a visit with Congressman Raul Grijalva and he addressed the full room of 60 wild horse supporters- he is a true champion for our wild horses and burros. Congressman Grijalva stressed that the ROAM act is bipartisan and will save all of us taxpayers money now currently used for mismanagement by BLM.

“This is not only a humane issue, this is an issue about preserving a legacy that we have in the west, that we have lost. A legacy that I think speaks to the spirit of the west, to its independence, to its adaptability and above all to its evolution. And its not the old west anymore, it’s a new west. And a new west with a different ethic. A new west where we preserve the resources that are important to us. And with that I join with Chairman Rahall in this legislation and we’re very proud of it. It could have been stronger, there is some perfection that I would have wanted, but this is the process that we have and this is the product that we have. And as we move forward I would hope that as we wait for the senate we’re going to continue to urge BLM, that we hold in abeyance any more gathering until the full impact of the legislation is felt.” [excerpt]

Thank you t0 Congressman Grijalva for his support of wild horses and burros. And for Congressman Rahall and Senator Byrd and Senator Landrieu as well—all four are our wild horse champions! The press conference will be streamed online early next month I hope and we’ll let you know when it is available to watch. Congressman Grijalva was also kind enough to take questions for quite a while.

Our friend and supporter, Crow Elder and Historian Howard Boggess, spoke next– he grew up in the Pryors and was there well before the BLM. (Meet Howard in the Pryors on this youtube for a frank discussion). Chris Heyde of the Animal Welfare Institute, was integral to this event and spoke on meeting etiquette and distributed packets of information to give to Senators (see contents here: ROAM Act S. 1579 facts, Wild Horse and Burro Facts and Myths, Words to Keep Them Wild and Free, Managing for Extinction booklet, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions show announcement– people are going to be watching our wild horses nationwide on October 25th and they will know about this recent roundup).

Then we fanned out in true advocate style and met with over 45 Senate offices (Senators and aides). We met with all the Committee on Energy and Natural members and everyone met with their Senators.

We had some amazing supporters who made this press conference and this hill day happen: Valerie, PJ and Lindsay: thank you! And a big thank you to everyone who came– age 8 to 80! And thanks to everyone for calling your senators. More recommendations and follow-up strategy to come. We are all a bit exhausted and I still have to let you know all about rescuing the older horses! We thank the Senators and their staff for their time and their interest in the wild horses and burros. I think that we have made a positive impact and have spoken for those who cannot.

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