Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pro Slaughter Politico Blames Horse Lovers for Calico Deaths - Urges Letter Campaign

Horseback Magazine

August 22, 2010
Self-proclaimed wild horse “advocates” are fully to blame for the unnecessary and preventable deaths of horses during the Tuscarora wild horse gather.
By Sue Wallis, United Orginazations of the Horse  
Wild horse litigation mills that continually bring obstructive and spurious court action to block the legally required management efforts of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to control the over-population of free roaming horses on public lands caused the death and unnecessary suffering of the very horses they are purporting to protect.

First, court action delayed the planned start of the Tuscarora gather to the heat of the summer when water was already scarce on the range where there were more than 1,200 more horses in the Horse Management Areas (HMA) than the available forage and water could support.  The horses were already suffering and severely stressed from the lack of water. Then the advocate groups filed yet another temporary injunction, after the gather was already in progress. At that point, horses were dying on the range from lack of water, and so weakened they could not survive the transfer to feed and water.
Even though these excess horses had been severely impacting adjourning ranch lands, compassionate ranchers worked with the BLM and voluntarily opened their fences to allow the horses to come to what water was still available. But the ranchers and the BLM were legally prevented from moving the horses because of the injunction, so they could not get them from where they were dying, to where they could drink. When finally the judge ruled on the side of common sense and compassion, sadly for far too many of the horses, it was already too late.
It is time to stop the unmitigated damage caused by groups who make their living off of litigation. It is time for those who truly care about the well-being and sustainability of free-roaming horses, and every other living creature that depends on our public lands, to work together with the BLM to manage all animals and the land responsibly. We cannot allow well funded radical animal rights and environmental fringe groups to cause a multi-generational ecological disaster that will take hundreds of years and billions of dollars to repair, not to mention destroying the communities and the social fabric of the people who live and depend on the health of the land.
It is time to stop the abuse being inflicted on the land, the animals, and the people through the courts. We have learned that many environmental groups are being fully funded by Equal Access to Justice Act Funds (EAJA) that use our tax dollars to litigate over everything, creating  horrific financial and emotional costs on private individuals and communities who are defenseless. One has to wonder if this same travesty is not being used as by so-called horse advocates and animal rights organizations. With no accountability of EAJA funds there is no way to tell.
The United Organizations of the Horse and our tens of thousands of like-minded supporters across the West and the Nation join with a plethora of conservation organizations, wildlife organizations, true animal welfare (as opposed to animal rights) groups, groups advocating for the responsible management of public lands, local and state governments, tribes, communities and federal agencies charged with management of lands,  concerned citizens and horse lovers to stand with and assist the BLM in their charge to provide for a thriving ecological balance on Western public lands.
Below is a sample letter to editors which we modified for Wyoming from a template prepared by the Colorado Conservation District Association. Concerned citizens are strongly encouraged to write letters to your local papers. Use this as a template if you like, or better yet, put the problems you see in your own words. If your Congressional delegation is not already on board, make sure you call on them to do the right thing. Look for opportunities to educate them and the public based on sound science and fact.

Dear Editor:
As a rancher, Wyoming state legislator, and a leader of a nationwide organization dedicated to the well-being of all horses and the equine industry, I would like to call attention to a serious natural resource problem in Wyoming and the West.  In many areas the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not in compliance with their own management plan for wild horses.  As a result, wildlife habitat, rangeland conditions, and the overall health of the horses are being jeopardized.
Communities including agriculture, conservation, sportsmen, environmentalists, wildlife enthusiasts, and others are working together to educate people on the disastrous effects of not managing wild horse herds properly. Bad management based on politics instead of sound science results in devastating consequences to our western economies when it comes to endangered species and the multiple uses our public lands were intended for. Wild horses play an important role in our heritage and we want to insure they are properly cared for and managed, but the current situation and the overabundance of horses will only lead to severe natural resource depletion and ultimately, unhealthy and unsustainable wild horse herds, which is a lose- lose situation.
We appreciate our Wyoming congressional delegation and Rep. Lummis’, Sen. Barrasso’s, and Sen. Enzi’s support on this issue. We hope that they are able to convince their colleagues in Congress to allow the BLM to gather the herds, to adequately count the horses, to deal with the excess in a way that does not exacerbate the problems in our domestic horse industry, or pile on unsustainable taxpayer burdens for the support of excess horses-in short, to develop a plan that makes sense.
The conservation of our natural resources is crucial to our way of life in the West and we look forward to working with BLM and other stakeholders to find a solution that works for everyone.
Sue Wallis, Executive Director
United Organizations of the Horse
PO Box 71
Recluse, WY 82725
307 685 8248 ranch
307 680 8515 cell

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