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Tell Feds to Protect Nevada Mustangs in Times of Drought
The Elko District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a plan to manage wild horses and livestock in drought conditions. The Elko District manages 7.1 million acres of public land in northeastern Nevada on which the BLM authorizes 43 times more forage to privately-owned livestock than to federally protected wild horses.
Please take action below to tell the BLM that it must, by law, prioritize protection of wild horses over livestock grazing, and that no removals of wild horses should take place until livestock grazing is closed for a minimum of two years in designated wild horse habitat areas. Please submit your comments today!
Sally Jewell Cautiously Navigates Confirmation Hearing
Sally Jewell, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, cautiously navigated her way through her confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Jewell promised to balance protection of the environment with energy development and other industries that rely on our public lands and help drive the economy.
Although no Senators questioned Jewell during the hearing about her stand on the federal wild horse and burro program, Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the committee, submitted the following question in writing: "The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program has doubled, from roughly $40 million in FY2009 to nearly $78 million in the President’s FY2013 budget request. Additionally in FY2012, nearly 69 percent of the program budget was allocated for removal, long- and short-term holding, while only 4 percent was allocated for contraceptive measures. Given this, what are you plans for reining in the runaway costs?" AWHPC thanks Senator Wyden for drawing Ms. Jewell's attention to this issue, and we look forward to her response. You can read Jewell's opening statement and watch the archived webcast of the confirmation hearing here. For insightful analysis of the hearing and its implications, please read award-winning journalist Andrew Cohen's excellent coverage here and here.
BLM Advisory Board Meets March 4-5 in Oklahoma City
The first meeting of the year for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was held in Oklahoma City last week. Wild horse advocates were present in force at this meeting to defend wild horses from the threat of slaughter in a state where nearly 22,000 captured wild horses are held, and where the state legislature has passed bills to legalize horse slaughter. "Highlights" of the meeting include BLM's consideration of surgical sterilization of mares on the range and the formation of a "resource" committee by the pro-livestock members of the Board to examine the effects of wild horses on the range. The cattlemen who make up a majority of the advisory board continue to scapegoat wild horses for range damage, even though mustangs make up a tiny fraction of grazing animals on our public lands, where they are outnumbered by privately-owned livestock by at least 50-1. Read more about the meeting in AWHPC's eyewitness report and this article published by the Associated Press.
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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.