Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking Budget News, Horrible Conditions @ BLM Holding Facility & More

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Hello Supporter,                April 13, 2011

View this email online here.

New Report Exposes Deplorable Conditions at BLM Holding Facility
Captured Mustangs in Utah Forced to Live Knee-Deep in Mud, Feces, and Urine

AWHPC coalition partner The Cloud Foundation has released a shocking report and video exposing horrendous conditions at the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Butterfield Short Term Wild Horse and Burro Holding Facility outside Salt Lake City, Utah.
The report was written by wild horse adopter and long-time horsewoman Lisa Friday, after she toured the holding pens last month. Friday observed mustangs standing knee deep in mud, feces and urine, barely able to move. She saw about 30 horses lying in the mud and muck for the entire three hours that she was present and noted a suspicious absence of foals despite the fact that this is foaling season.
Click here for video and to take easy action to urge Congress to hold BLM accountable for this recent and well-documented case of mismanagement and mistreatment of wild horses

BLM Releases Mustangs at Twin Peaks
Four stallions, four mares, 11 mules and one burro sent back to the range after months in captivity

Eight months after being captured in the largest wild horse roundup in California history, 11 mules, one burro and ten wild horses -- including the two pregnant mares above -- were released by the BLM on April 6, 2011 back to the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA), northeast of Susanville.

AWHPC was on site to document this release, which raises many questions about BLM's intentions. Among them: why is the agency releasing mustangs, including pregnant mares and mares with young foals, into an HMA that the agency claims is already over "Appropriate" Management Level?  Also questionable are the ethics of releasing heavily pregnant mares and mares with very young foals to the range where they must  fend for themselves without the safety of their family bands, which were destroyed in the roundup.
Also of Note...

Breaking (Bad) News on the Federal Budget: 2011 Spending Bill Will Allow BLM to Resume Roundups

2012 Appropriations Underway

Last week, an eleventh-hour agreement between Congress and the Administration averted a government shutdown. A six-month Continuing Resolution (CR) authorizing spending for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 is expected to be approved and signed into law this week. The bill includes $1.1 billion for the BLM, a 1.5 % decrease from FY 2010. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee specifically highlighted in its press release on the CR that, "the amount of funding provided will allow the Bureau to fully meet its funding needs for the Wild Horse and Burro program."  As result, we are bracing for the roundups to resume in July. Additional details to follow soon.

While this is extremely disheartening news, we have another chance to impact BLM wild horse and burro management policy during the  FY 2012 budget appropriations process, which is currently underway.  Tomorrow, April 14, 2011, at 9:30 A.M., philanthropist and wild horse advocate Madeleine Pickens and U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) will testify on behalf of wild horses and burros before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. The hearing will not be webcast, but check Saving America's Mustangs for updates.

Six Wild Horses Shot to Death in Oregon

The Crooks County, Oregon Sheriff's Department is investigating the shooting deaths of six mustangs living in the Ochoco National Forest. The first three bodies were discovered in March by a deputy sheriff on routine patrol. The victims included two stallions and the pregnant mare pictured above being nuzzled by her orphaned yearling, who survived the shooting. Last week, the Sheriff's Department announced that it had discovered three more bodies. The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition and the Humane Society of the United States are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the killers. Shooting a wild horse is a federal offense. 

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