The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is revamping its land use planning process, specifically the way it develops Resource Management Plans (RMPs), and is seeking public comments. RMPs are foundational to the way the BLM manages our public lands, establishing its land use policies for periods of 10-20 years, sometimes longer. It is through the RMP process that critical decisions regarding wild horses and burros -- including the number that will be allowed to live on the land -- are made. Over the past four decades, the BLM has used this process against mustangs, taking away nearly 20 million acres of designated habitat and establishing artificially low allowable population levels, despite public comments and scientific recommendations that strongly oppose these actions.
Now is the time to weigh in strongly to tell the BLM that it must meaningfully consider public input, and improve the transparency and scientific basis of all land use decisions, including those affecting wild horses and burros - especially since once an RMP is established, its policies can remain in force for decades.
AWHPC Asks Court to Toss Out Nevada Rancher Lawsuit against BLM
This morning in federal court in Reno, Nevada, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), Nevada author Terri Farley and Nevada wild horse photographer Mark Terrell filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties (NAC) and the Nevada Farm Bureau against the BLM. The lawsuit seeks to the removal of over 6,000 wild horses from public lands in Nevada as well as the sale for slaughter of the 50,000 wild horses and burros stockpiled in BLM holding facilities. Last month, the court granted AWHPC, Ms. Farley and Mr. Terrell the right to intervene in the case. The lawsuit is the latest assault on wild horses and burros by ranchers, who view these national icons as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized grazing on our public lands. For more information about AWHPC's actions to defend wild horses against this lawsuit and to read the motion to dismiss, please click here.
Burro Awareness: New Project to Help Burros Launched!
A book by Spanish Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez about a man and his faithful burro friend, Platero, inspired a lifelong love of animals, especially of burros, in an anonymous donor who recently funded a new project at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to help these animals. Hoping to gain support, attention and protection for burros, who often receive less attention than their mustang cousins, the donor created the Platero Project, launched last year. The project aims to help burros managed by the BLM both on the range and in government holding facilities, where over 1,000 are presently stockpiled.
In honor of Burro Awareness Month (May), please read more about the Platero Project, which so far has placed 400 of these wonderful animals in adoptive homes or sanctuaries. The HSUS project is also pursuing the use of birth control on burros as an alternative to the cruel roundup and removal of these animals from their homes on the range in the West.
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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. The Campaign is endorsed by a national coalition of more than 60 organizations. AWHPC's founding organization Return to Freedom (RTF), is a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation. RTF's American Wild Horse Sanctuary is based in Lompoc, CA.
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