Story by Steven Long ~ Editor/Publisher of Horseback Magazine
Another Season of Injury, Death and Imprisonment to Commence in JulyHOUSTON, (Horseback) – After spending most of the last two years under attack for its wild horse “gathers” in the west, the federal Bureau of Land Management will soon resume the capture and possible extinction of the North American Mustang. The confirmation came early Monday from BLM Chief Washington Spokesman Tom Gorey.
The agency had canceled all of its roundups for the remainder of the year citing a lack of funds to continue. Since Labor Day weekend 2009 when the BLM launched an accelerated schedule of capture on Montana’s Pryor Mountain, hundreds of wild horses have died during and in the aftermath of helicopter driven stampedes.
Gorey says the capture of horses will now resume for the remainder of the year.
“The Federal government had been operating under several stopgap spending measures (so-called Continuing Resolutions) earlier this year until this month, when Congress passed a longer-term Continuing Resolution that will take us through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011, which ends Sept. 30,” Gorey said.
“The current Continuing Resolution provides a $12 million increase to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program (putting the FY 2011 WH&B budget at $75.8 million), thus making it possible for the agency to conduct gathers this summer, starting in July. With the funding issue now resolved, the BLM will be able to carry out this facet of its management responsibilities. The tentative schedule for this summer’s gathers will be issued soon,” he said.
The Pryor Mountain capture of an iconic Palomino named Cloud who had been the subject of three PBS “Nature” documentaries sparked outrage nationwide and even abroad.
Conservative wild horse advocate and author R.T. Fitch blasted the Congress for wasteful spending by funding the capture of wild horses.
“The U.S. Congress broke it’s promise to reduce unnecessary spending when they not only fully funded the BLM’s 2011 budget but granted them an additional $12 million so that they can now harass, maim, injure, capture and warehouse our last remaining wild horses,” he said.
Earlier BLM Director Bob Abbey said the agency was going in a new direction after appointment of a new interim director of the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Fitch says the director has gone back on his word.
“Bob Abbey, who has admitted that the system does not work, appears to consider a ‘new direction’ to be simply more of the same cruelty and waste. Taxpaying Americans have lost control of their government,” the author said.
Chicago based Equine Welfare Alliance President John Holland echoed Fitch.
“The BLM faces an inevitable budget crisis over the cost of keeping the horses in long term holding, and yet they never miss an opportunity to make the situation worse,” he said. “Clearly, we are watching the engineering of a disaster. Within a year they will be wringing their hands about what they can possible do with all the horses.”
- Obama’s BLM Flips Off Wild Horse Advocates with New Board Appointees (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Wild Horse & Burro Advocates Win One in Nevada (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- BLM Briefly Opening Doors to Barricaded Wild Horse and Burro Concentration Camp (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Call to Action: Let’s Go Viral for the Wild Horses and Burros (rtfitch.wordpress.com)