Wild Horse Education (WHE) is on the road and working on multiple projects. In addition to addressing multiple Environmental Assessments (EA’s) and providing feedback, addressing issues in Congress (that include Appropriations) we have visited ten of the Herd Management Areas (HMAs) we monitor. Some of the areas required that we inform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of some minor issues that could intensify if drought issues escalate later this summer. A few of the areas we are monitoring because we expect them to be targeted in the upcoming roundup schedule that will begin in October; we want to be prepared to address any and all flaws present.
Last week BLM Oregon proposed an experiment on spaying wild horses in field. WHE prepared and filed comments during the scoping period for this action. This was not a comment on an Environmental Assessment, this is the period referenced as “scoping.” A scoping letter provides no analysis of action to address but a baseline prior to preparation of documents under the “NEPA” process legally required under law. (You can read WHE’s response here rs_ws_spaycomments_whe_060418
If you have been following the debates on Appropriations (federal spending) you are aware that last year our wild ones literally dodged a bullet that would have killed tens of thousands and/or reopened sales to slaughter. This year the underlying agenda (spaying) is making it’s way to the surface. The House approved language that would allow the BLM to “manage” (we use that word very lightly) wild horses by sterilizing them through surgical means (spaying, castration). The Senate will be expected to vote on this issues this week. Please read this article to fully understand how the bills that approve federal funding move through Congress: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/05/15/thumbnail-2018-part-one-appropriations/
Spaying is not a new agenda and has surfaced every year since 2009. Former Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board co-chair Boyd Spratling repeatedly recommended surgical field spaying and castration. Last year NV Congressman Mark Amodei stated that killing wild horses was not the agenda, permanent fertility control (spaying) was the agenda. More here in an article from last year: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/11/30/wild-horse-ground-zero-killing-slicing-and-taking-control/
At this time “managing” a wild horse herd as a non-reproductive entity would be illegal under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. In order to accomplish this agenda the Act would require an amendment (the legal definition of “wild” includes language that states “the ability to reproduce itself”). Instead of creating a free standing amendment to the law, the aim is to change the law through the debate currently happening in Congress.
You can take the exact actions that you took during last years debate.
Go to Govtrack.us There will be a box that says “find your Senators.” Send a Fax, email or pick up the phone. Simply say: “I am your constituent (meaning you will vote in November in their district) I am calling about an issue important to me. Please do not approve funding to kill, sell to slaughter or sterilize wild horses. Wild horses are supposed to be managed as wild on our public land. BLM is looking for a fast fix because they have failed to address legal means and are looking at spaying as a fast solution to satisfy Congress that has been misinformed. Do not let them ignore current law. Please do not approve funding to spay or castrate wild horses.”
If you feel confident enough you can continue; “The report the BLM gave to Congress is not a report on wild horses on public land and provides no data, it simply outlines simplistic measures to sweep decades of mismanagement out of view. BLM believes Congress does not understand what is happening in the West and is hoping Congress will not take the time to hold them accountable. Tell BLM the report is not acceptable and must be rewritten before any funding that would change existing laws be discussed.”
To see our response to the BLM report go here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/04/27/blm-report-to-congress/
We are logging our range reports for the last two weeks including water inventory on ten HMAs. This is a huge task and we have a lot more ground to cover in a year that promises to target multiple herds; not just in Congress but field office by field office.
If you would like to help us continue to monitor, litigate where we can, address issues in Congress and field offices we need funding. All contributions to WHE will receive a 36 page digital magazine that contains photographs and notations from the road for the “journey of 2018;” a photo log of 5 months of this year. Just click the image below to contribute. Thank you!