Thanks to all who have submitted comments on Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Nevada, Idaho and Utah sage grouse plans -- we've generated almost 20,000 comments so far! Now it's time to submit our comments on the BLM Oregon's sage grouse plan. The plan will impact 17 wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs), including the famed Sulphur Springs HMA, home to mustangs, such as the two pictured at left, with direct Spanish heritage,
As expected, the BLM Oregon's plan reduces livestock grazing by just one percent, even though livestock grazing impacts 95% of sage grouse habitat in the state. By contrast, wild horses inhabit less than one-quarter of sage grouse habitat in Oregon where they are outnumbered by livestock 30-1. Yet the proposed plan could set the stage for reducing wild horse populations and/or habitat. So please take a minute to tell BLM Oregon not to use sage grouse protection as an excuse to reduce wild horse populations in the state.
BLM Nevada Resource Advisory Committees Endorse Sale of Wild Horses for Slaughter
On Thursday, February 6, the BLM Nevada Tri-Resource Advisory Committees (RAC) passed a resolution calling on the BLM to sell "without limitation" the 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in holding facilities. Only three of the approximately 30 members in attendance voted against the resolution, which, if adopted by the BLM, will open the holding facilities to kill buyers, who could purchase federally-protected wild horses for as little as $10 each. Presently Congress prohibits this practice, but clearly, the BLM is betting that by creating on-the-range and off-the-range crises, it will secure a change in this policy. Read AWHPC's reaction to this development here, and stay tuned for an announcement this week of a new initiative to focus constituent pressure on Congress to rein in the BLM.
"Why I Write About Wild Horses" by Andrew Cohen
No journalist has covered the wild horse issue with more depth or insight than CBS Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen. His essays in The Atlantic and Esquire have shone a light on the corruption and web of special interests that lie behind the government's wild horse roundups. Now Cohen has written a beautiful piece on why he writes about wild horses. In it, he poignantly reminds us of why we must persevere: "They [wild horses] are persecuted. They have rights but no remedies. And their fate isn’t going to get better unless more people come to understand the injustice of what’s happening to them -- and how far the gulf is between the noble image we have given them in our national psyche and the reality of their perilous existence." Please read his wonderful essay here.