Wild Horses of Sea and Sand

Wild Horses of Sea and Sand

November 2016

In October, Ann Evans and I visited the northernmost point of the Outer Banks Islands off the coast of North Carolina. I have wanted to see the wild horses there for a long time.

The island might seem inhospitable for wild horses but, for nearly 500 years, it has been home to a wild herd. Named for the Island on which they live, the Corolla Wild Horses are survivors of shipwrecks on a turbulent coastline called the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  Now, however, the horses are severely endangered. Recent, rampant development of their tiny island threatens to destroy the herd. Fewer than 100 animals remain.

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Photo Above-Ann Evans

DNA work on the herd by Dr. E. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University confirms their unique Spanish heritage and also their vulnerability to inbreeding. The herd has only one matrilineal line remaining. Plans for captive breeding are underway but uncontrolled development could leave the herd with no room to roam.

If you want to help these tough, little survivors we urge you to contact the Corolla Wild Horse Fund-www.corollawildhorsefund.org. Ask the Fund what you can do to help.

Our thanks go out to Karen McCalpin, Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and Meg Puckett, Herd Manager, for guiding and educating us. It was an unforgettable trip as you can see from this video!

Happy Trails,
Ginger

Click here to donate and support wild horses and burros: Donate!

 

Herd Deemed Too Big To Support… Needing Your Help to Secure Their Future

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http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/hundreds-of-sd-sanctuary-horses-impounded-future-uncertain/article_d39c6fc0-d2bb-5fea-bb9b-384ad470cdc3.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

Please follow the link to read more about how you can help support these horses and their needs this winter.

 

Victory for Wild Horses in Wyoming!

Dear Friends;

On the heels of winning a victory for Oregon wild horse mares, threatened by dangerous sterilization surgery, comes yet another win for the wild ones. The U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands across the state including mustangs from the Stewart Creek Herd.  

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Ironically, Quinn and I were visiting the Stewart Creek mustangs with Lynn Hanson, my friend and fellow wild horse advocate, when our attorneys learned of this second victory. Being out here with these beautiful, family and freedom loving icons of the West reminds me of why we fight. Their home is over 230,000 acres of sagebrush valleys and windswept rims along the Continental Divide. (below-Lynn shoots GK filming)

The first time I saw the colorful Stewart Creek wild horses, it was the dead of winter. Ann Evans and I were driving from Riverton to Rawlins, and we were thrilled to see a family band just a short distance from highway 287/789, about 20 miles north of town. 

Winters are bitter and long in Stewart Creek. The foals above didn’t seem to mind. We saw this lone mustang in his huge home during our winter drive-by. He, too, was not far from the main highway. I imagine his friends were just out of sight below him.

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When I left Stewart Creek a few days ago, there was a colorful group of five bachelor stallions only 100 yards or so off the highway. It was grand to see them in nearly the same place as the winter ones.  We encourage you to try your hand at finding them. If you have a high clearance vehicle, you can enter the range on a number of sandy roads.

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Take your binoculars to verify that these often distant dots are real wild mustangs!

Happy Trails!

Ginger Kathrens
For more on Cloud and the world of the Mustangs across the U.S. follow the link:

The Cloud Foundation

 

 

Mijita’s Story…

Hi, my name is Mijita! I was recently taken off the range land in Warm Springs, Oregon, where I roamed freely with my family group. I am the color of honey, which is actually what my name means, as well as “my little daughter.”  I excel with a gentle approach and  like to know that I am being understood. I am smart and learn pretty quickly, as I showed during the foal gentling clinic.  I excelled at adapting to different approaches, touch, grooming, haltering, and the first steps for leading.   I am currently looking for my forever home and I can’t wait to see what my future holds. 

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For more information on where I can be found please visit Anna’s Website at:

Reach Out to Horses.  You can also call ROTH at 303-642-7341, and speak to the bipeds who are in charge of helping find me a home.  Thanks for considering making me a part of your homes, herds, and hearts!  I have been started so well that I am ready to go forward from here with my new forever family.  My gratitude to you for your consideration!

Sincerely,

Mijita

 

Kathrens to Present Humane and Economically Sustainable Solutions to BLM’s Beleaguered Wild Horse and Burro Program

 

 WASHINGTON, DC (Tues, June 22, 2016) – Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation has documented and advocated for wild horse herds for over 22 years.  Known as the Jane Goodall of wild horses, Kathrens’ documentation of Cloud the Wild Stallion represents the only continuing chronicle of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere.   At the invitation of Representative Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ) she will testify before the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands oversight hearing entitled, “Challenges and Potential Solutions for BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program,” Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm (Eastern Time) in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.

On May  11, 2016 the BLM issued a Press Release titled  “WildHorses and Burros on Public Rangelands Now 2.5 greater than when the 1971 law was passed,”  bemoaning problems which they themselves have created.  Instead of embracing realistic management strategies, the BLM and some western politicians have attempted to derail the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Wild Horse Act) aimed at protecting wild horses on public lands.

For over 20 years the BLM has had reasonable, cost effective and humane ways to maintain healthy populations of wild horses and burros on their legally designated homes on the range in the form of the fertility vaccine PZP.   Dr. John Turner wrote: “. . . the consequent cost of one un-prevented foal is many times greater than a PZP-22 dose in terms of capture, processing and adoption (estimates > $ 2K) or lifelong warehousing (estimates up to $ 10K). A forty-thousand-dollar cost savings to the taxpayer on each treat/retreat mare is significant.”

Instead, BLM has chosen to ignore solid recommendations by Equine Professionals, The National Academies of Science and thousands if not millions of comments by the public recommending rational strategies and economically sustainable solutions to manage wild horse and burro populations “on the range” rather than continue inhumane and costly helicopter roundups and holding.

Prior to the hearing, Tom McClintock, Committee Chairman, released a memo describing the BLM’s program policy.  Kathrens commented, “BLM alternatives are not humane and do not consider the welfare of a species protected by a unanimously passed act of Congress.”

BLM’s proposed solutions, deadly sterilization experiments on wild mares (some as young as 8 months of age), have met with public outcry not only against the BLM but also Oregon State University for expenditures of taxpayer dollars to finance surgical experiments, which have little practical application unless the death of mares is acceptable.

Kathrens, Humane Advocate on BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, will offer well-thought out solutions and outline problems with the BLM’s current strategies.  “Overpopulation of wild horses and burros on public lands has been alleged by the BLM and passed on without question by media for years,” Kathrens states. “However the BLM manages the population of most herd management areas at levels far below the population required for genetic viability (150-200 animals). In her testimony Kathrens states, “BLM has so marginalized wild horses that the majority of herds are too small to meet even minimal standards to ensure their genetic viability…  It is obvious that one solution to warehousing wild horses and burros in costly short-term holding is a reexamination of appropriate management levels (AMLs) and a fairer allocation of available forage between wild horses and livestock.”

By establishing appropriate management levels at ridiculously low numbers, the BLM declares a huge overpopulation of wild horses and burros.  However, when you look at BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro statistics closely it is easy to see that the problem lies in the herd size BLM wants to manage.  Several examples are shocking.  The Montezuma Peaks herd in Nevada on nearly 78,000 acres is managed at a population of 2-4 horses, therefore the current population of 64 horses is represented as 1600% over AML.  BLM’s manipulation of numbers has been so successful over the years as to dupe the American Public and the media into believing that western public lands are overrun with wild horses and burros.  And their “estimated” population numbers based on 20% annual reproduction has perpetuated a “sky is falling” mentality and rhetoric aimed at destroying thousands of wild horses across the west.

Rangeland Degradation by wild horses has been grossly overstated by the BLM to cover up years of livestock overgrazing. In 1990 the GAO reported: “BLM’S decisions on how many wild horses to remove from federal rangelands have not been based on direct evidence that existing wild populations exceed what the range can support. While wild horses are routinely removed. Livestock grazing frequently remains unchanged or increased after the removal of wild horses, increasing the degradation of public lands.”

A Peer review of BLM Rangeland Health Assessments states, “As of 2012, based on the records PEER received from the BLM… the agency claims that 10,480 allotments have not met standards (55% of total allotment area), and that 16% of allotments (29% of total allotment area) have failed standards due to livestock grazing.

“We have at our disposal humane and economically sustainable ways to manage wild horses on the range,” states Kathrens, “if only the BLM will agree to pursue a different path.”  The Cloud Foundation and many other organizations have offered volunteer assistance to the BLM to make management of wild horses and burros on the range a reality. “It is high time the BLM perform their legal mandate to protect wild horses on public lands.”

The Preamble of the unanimously passed Wild Horse Act concludes, the wild free-roaming horse and burro “are to be considered … as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.”

The opportunity for the head of a wild horse advocate organization to testify before a congressional oversight hearing is historic.  “Constituents concerned for the welfare of publicly owned wild horses and burros are tired of being ignored by the BLM and their congressional representatives,” Kathrens concludes. She continues, “Wishes of the American people are not being taken into consideration.  There are far more cost effective and humane measures for managing wild horses on public lands than those under consideration by the BLM.”

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LINKS:

Written Testimony, Ginger Kathrens

Wild Horses and Burros on Public Rangelnds Now 2.5 timesGreater than When the 1971 Law Was Passed.

Tom McClintock Hearing Memo

Live Streaming of Oversight Hearing

Mare Sterilization Research EA

1990 GAO Report “Improvements neededin Federal Wild Horse Program” (see Appendix 1)

Peer Report, “The BLM Grazing Data,” 

The Cloud Foundation

BLM Wild Horse and Burro PopulationStatistics 

1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses andBurros Act 

“Using Science to Improve the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” NAS Report 

Media Contact:

 

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

 

The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.

Paula Todd King

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

Communications Director

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

Help to Preserve a Legacy!

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Have you ever had a dream where you were standing before a wild, untouched, untamed horse; a majestic, powerful, intelligent being.  You have no ropes, no chutes, no intention to force him into submission.  Instead, you have communication, mutual respect, and trust;  a trust that you have spent time building… together.  
Finally, feeling the time is right, you reach out… waiting… and this wild heart in front of you says, “Yes”, comes forward, and allows you, a human, to touch him for the first time.  You feel the connection between the two of you and know that, through your efforts and your willingness to see him as he truly is and to be seen, you have created a genuine bond of trust and partnership.
Now know that this dream is not just fantasy but a reality that happens every year during our Reach Out to the Untouched Horse event.  Over the course of 7 life-changing days you will experience what real connection, communication and horsemanship is all about.  You will begin to see the world through the eyes of a wild horse.  As you learn their silent language, you’ll connect and experience what feels mystical and magical but is truly a learned skill that you will find useful for the rest of your life with all your horses, whether they be wild or domestic. 
You will discover how the natural horse communicates, herd dynamics, develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship.  You will uncover their motivation and learning styles, begin the training process, and socialize a group of untouched horses.  
 
You will also have the opportunity to visit the Nokota in their natural environment and witness firsthand the world of the wild horse. 
 
This experience is perfect for those who have recently fostered or adopted untouched horses. Don’t miss this rare chance to meet, work and learn from a truly beautiful representative of the wild, untamed world of Equus.
ABOUT THE HORSES YOU’LL BE WORKING WITH…
The Nokota horses descend from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. 
 
For at least a century, the horses inhabited the rugged Little Missouri badlands, located in the southwestern corner of the North Dakota and now you have the opportunity to experience these majestic beings up close.
When Theodore Roosevelt National Park was created in the 1950s, some of the wild bands were fenced in, an accident that proved to have far-reaching consequences. While the raising of federal fences provided the horses with a measure of protection, the National Park Service (NPS) does not allow wild or feral equines, and is exempt from related protective legislation. Consequently, the park spent decades attempting to remove all of the horses. 
During the 1980s, Frank and Leo Kuntz began purchasing horses after N.P.S. round-ups, named them “Nokotas,” and started to create a breed registry. Nokota horses are descended from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. 
Anna will guide you through the world of these unique and untouched horses as you learn the language of Equus, enter the magical domain of the wild horse and begin to understand their communication in the natural world.  
This is a unique opportunity to observe wild horses in their natural habitat. You will begin to understand real communication with the natural world, be introduced to herd dynamics and develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship. The young horses being socialized in this clinic have shown a natural desire to relate to humans. While striving to make their futures less traumatic for veterinary care, foster homes etc., these young horses will be your teachers.
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