Demonstration/Protest in Boulder, CO, for WH&B – mark your calendars, Sat. 10/16

Call for Moratorium on All Roundups & a Vote on HR503/S727

Boulder, CO
Saturday, October 16
11 am to 1 pm
Southwest corner of Canyon & Broadway

Contacts:  Linda Hanick at vlhanick@gmail.com or Cathy Bryarly at robcathyderek@peoplepc.com, cell 303-746-4729
Bring signs, your kids & friends

Please forward to your other contacts, post on Facebook, etc.

Many thanks.

For the wild ones, Carla B ;–}

Herd Watch Discovers Covert Roundup in Nevada

Wild horses subjected to experimental sterilization procedures in wildlife refuge.

Reno, NV (September 26, 2010)—Laura Leigh, Director of Herd Watch, a Cloud Foundation program, has been monitoring a hidden roundup occurring this week at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge—notorious for hiding their activities from the public. Historically horses from Sheldon, in northwestern Nevada, have been extremely vulnerable to the slaughter pipeline and have been unaccounted for on many occasions. Herd Watch has learned that Sheldon horses have been subjected to experimental procedures such as vasectomies and hysterectomies done in the field so they still look like normal horses only they have been sterilized. Advocates are outraged. The roundup run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States FIsh and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Cattoor Livestock, is happening without any public notification or provisions for observation.

“I walked over a ridge and began to see horse bones,” explains Leslie Peeples, operating in Sheldon on a tip from Leigh, “The bone trail became more abundant and led me to a large pit that had been recently covered up near another one freshly dug up. I photographed what I observed there.”

Peeples continued onward to view more than 250 wild horses alive in a temporary holding facility out of the 400 intend to secretly gather.

“When I got back into my car I was chased from the area by the roundup contractor’s helicopter that came within 20-30 feet of my car,” Peeples states. “I was afraid for my life.”

On Friday, Sept 24th Leigh filed for injunctive relief in connection with her lawsuit, supported by Grass Roots Horse, in Reno federal district court. She asks for the cessation of all activities associated with the clandestine protocols surrounding wild horse roundups and asks for documentation to be made public about all facets of wild horse and burro management under the Department of Interior. Leigh also asks that all private facilities be open to the public, including long-term warehousing where public horses are currently stockpiled and off-limits to public view with their ultimate bulk sale receipts to alleged kill-buyers kept hidden.

As a result of the 2004 Burns Ammendment, BLM now has the legal right to partake in unlimited sales of wild horses to alleged kill-buyers as well as mass euthanasia.

The Sheldon incident and all of it’s details including photographs, experimental vasectomy and hysterectomy accounts, and statements have been added to Leigh’s motion in order to illustrate the extraordinary efforts made to hide roundup activities by privately contracted individuals paid for by tax dollars.

“This iron curtain of secrecy must end now,” states Leigh. “Without transparency, democracy fails.”

# # #

Leigh vs Salazar http://www.grassrootshorse.com/ Click on Legal Actions Page & view Leslie Peeples

Wild Horse Experimental Hysterectomies & Vasectomies in the Field http://bit.ly/cU8GKg

Congress Sends Letter for Wild Herds to Secretary Salazar http://bit.ly/54sign

Roundup Schedule- http://bit.ly/roundupsched

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’ http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act http://bit.ly/a7hOeS

American Herds – “What’s Left?”  http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2009/12/whats-left.html

Unified Moratorium on Roundups Letter http://bit.ly/MoratoriumLtr

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit.  America’s Disappearing Wild Horses – A History http://bit.ly/8ZCk8e

Frequently Asked Questions on Wild Horses

(http://www.wildmustangcoalition.org/id44.html)

Stampede to Oblivion: An Investigate Report from Las Vegas Now  http://bit.ly/Stampede2Oblivion

Photos, video and interviews are available

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905

www.thecloudfoundation.org

BLM CENSORING PUBLIC ROUNDUPS

BLM USING CIA TACTICS

Click on like below for the full article and video that appears in the upper right hand corner.

http://www.8newsnow.com/story/13194329/street-talk-commentary-the-blm-censoring-wild-horse-roundups

LAS VEGAS — The Bureau of Land Management has suffered two defeats in federal court in recent weeks. One judge ordered BLM to make public the names of ranchers who lease public land for grazing, something BLM didn’t want to do. A second judge struck down a BLM plan to severely limit public input into how public lands are managed.

BLM management has come under severe criticism from wild horse advocates who allege the agency seems to be morphing a public program into a private, off-limits undertaking.

The BLM is in the middle of the most ambitious schedule of wild horse roundups in modern history, with some 10,000 mustangs from Nevada and other states in its crosshairs — meaning they will be captured and then shipped off to holding pens or long term warehousing at a cost of tens of millions of public dollars.

BLM says it values transparency, but has gone to great lengths to hide what it’s doing from the very taxpayers who foot the bill. It’s as if BLM is taking a lesson from other three-letter agencies, like CIA.

The 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed with overwhelming support from the public for the preservation of wild herds on public ranges, but BLM has chafed under this edict ever since, despite P.R. statements to the contrary.

More than 20 million acres that were set aside for the herds have been zeroed out — wiped free of horses even though privately owned cattle still graze on the same acres.

BLM has apparently grown tired of being pummeled for the roundups, but when you chase wild animals with helicopters across miles of tough terrain, there will always be consequences and BLM no longer wants you to see them.

All of its most recent roundups have been headquartered on islands of private land located within the public acres. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but by putting their operations on private property, BLM managers get total control over who gets to see what they do.

At last winter’s Calico Roundup in Nevada, the bloodiest roundup in memory, observers from the public and media were invited to watch for only designated times and from a considerable distance.

Horse advocates didn’t see animals injured or killed, yet we know it happened, a lot, since more than 100 mustangs died either at the site or in holding pens later. It likewise didn’t want to see images on the evening news of the horses that keeled over dead during the Owyhee Roundup after being run for miles during the hottest month of the year.

BLM not only put roundup operations on private land, its holding pens are now private too. Horse advocates were previously able to visit the Fallon corrals to photograph the carnage, such as the colts whose hooves were literally ground off by the forced run over miles of sharp rock.

A few months ago, BLM decided it had had enough of those images, so it severely limited public access to holding facilities. It has even declared the air space off limits, a power it doesn’t have.

Horse advocates who tried to get in to see one recent roundup were threatened with arrest, even after a federal judge ordered BLM to allow them in.

What next, will they start stashing wild horses down in the bowels of Area 51, right there with the corpses of extraterrestrials? Will mustangs become the black budget equivalent of stealth drones and death rays?

The BLM doesn’t want the public to see the money shot — that is, a dead or dying horse or a cowboy kicking a colt in the head, so access is tightly controlled, you know, for our own protection.

The wild horse program isn’t part of the Pentagon’s black budget. National security is not at stake out on the range. Those are public dollars being spent on public lands by public employees. There is no room in those wide open spaces for secrecy and subterfuge.

Another roundup is set to begin this week in Nevada. BLM says it will arrange for at least one day for the public to observe the operation.

CLOUD’s HERD ADDED TO SUIT

For Immediate Release:

The Cloud Foundation Expands Lawsuit to Protect “Cloud’s” Wild Horse Herd

Foundation includes Forest Service in lawsuit

Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2010)—On July 21 the Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and author/advocate Carol Walker filed an amended complaint <http://bit.ly/PryorsExpComplaint>  in Federal District Court to add the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to their current suit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The suit challenges both agencies’ rejection of a Natural Management Approach for the herd and the planned construction of a two-mile long fence which would cut off the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd from crucial summer and fall grazing lands they’ve used for centuries. This small herd is the world’s most famous and the last remaining in Montana, sometimes called “Cloud’s herd” for the now-15-year old band stallion who TCF Director and plaintiff Ginger Kathrens has documented for the popular PBS Nature series. The herd traces its history back to the horses of the Spanish Conquistadors, the Lewis and Clark expedition horses, and Crow Indian War ponies. Plaintiffs contend that the USFS and BLM are engaging in illegal treatment of these federally-protected mustangs and that the Pryor Wild Horses are entitled to use lands in the Custer National Forest, currently not included in the designated range.

Plaintiffs in the litigation include Front Range Equine Rescue based in Larkspur, CO; Carol Walker, equine photographer and author of “Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses”; and Ginger Kathrens, Director of the Cloud Foundation and Emmy-Award winning producer with 16 years experience documenting and observing the Pryor Mountain herd.

“People value the whole spectacular Pryor ecosystem including this unique Spanish wild horse herd. Seeing the area fragmented by new fencing across pristine, wide-open meadows degrades the experience of visiting this area with true wilderness values,” states Kathrens. “Beyond the visual and environmental damage, it will compromise the future of Cloud’s globally-beloved herd. Forest Service should be working to set this area aside as a designated wilderness rather than working on how to build a bigger, stronger barrier to keep the Pryor horses from their rightful and essential high mountain meadows.”

Building the fence, cattle guard and gates would illegally confine horses to jurisdictional boundaries, restricting their natural and long-held seasonal pattern of use on East Pryor Mountain. Centuries old horse trails go straight through the line now flagged for construction of the fence, estimated to cost taxpayers between $25,000 and $100,000, not including USFS planning costs which, according to USFS, greatly exceed the cost of building the fence.

“The Forest Service has fought efforts to expand the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range to allow the herd to engage in their historical and seasonal migrations. Confining wild horse herds to smaller and smaller areas of the public lands lays the groundwork for more intrusive management and manipulation as the Forest Service and BLM contend that these animals will need to be removed from the wild for their own good,” states lead attorney, Valerie Stanley.

For a four-year period in the early 2000s the Pryor Herd was at zero population growth due to mountain lion predation on the foals, as well as the ever-present harsh winter weather and deadly lightning storms. The population of the herd increased only after BLM encouraged the killing of mountain lions. “The public has overwhelmingly supported allowing the herd the opportunity to manage itself.  Apparently, BLM and the Forest Service think Mother Nature can’t get along without them,” Stanley concludes.

Over 100 wild horses have been using the Custer National Forest this month, which constitutes the majority of the Pryor Mountain wild horses, of which less than 150 adults remain in the wild following a massive roundup in September 2009. The Custer National Forest has not explained how the wild horses would be driven them back into the designated horse range. At least two new foals were born last week on the mountaintop and more births are anticipated. Running these young mustangs is dangerous and inhumane and can be fatal as has been proven during recent BLM roundups in Nevada and Oregon.

The area immediately adjacent to the designated range is not currently allocated for livestock grazing, but the Cloud Foundation questions USFS motives in blocking horses from this public land. Actions by the USFS are based, not on damage by the horses to the ecosystem, but seemingly on complaints from livestock permittees. Plaintiffs wonder if USFS is arranging for the building of this fence to facilitate cattle grazing on what would be a new livestock allotment on scenic subalpine meadows used annually by wild horses, mule deer, black bears and an array of small animals in the summer and fall.

“Wild horses have used these Forest Service lands for centuries. BLM and Forest Service have so far failed to work together to expand the range, using natural boundaries which encompass the mustangs’ use area, for the good of the herd and the public that loves them,” explains Front Range Equine Rescue President/Founder, Hilary Wood.

Historically, BLM directed livestock permittees on public grazing land to round up wild horses by aircraft. Once captured, the wild horses were either killed and butchered on the range or were shipped live to meat packing plants. In 1968, a public outcry was launched, spurred by local residents and ABC reporter, author and TCF Honorary Board Member, Hope Ryden. Ryden’s discovery of plans to trap and remove the Pryor Horses despite BLM assertions to the contrary caused a national outcry. In response, then Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall issued an Executive Order creating the first public range ever dedicated in the United States for the protection of wild horses. The 39,000-acre range was intended to protect the horses, other wildlife, and the natural state of the area. At the time, none of the Custer National Forest Service lands were included, as that was outside of Interior Secretary Udall’s jurisdiction.

“Treating the wild horses as if they are livestock by fencing them into one small section of their traditional use area will not just harm the mustangs, but also the public who can more easily access the Forest Service lands to experience a wildlife display unlike any in North America,” states plaintiff Carol Walker. “I don’t understand why the Forest Service would want to deprive the public from experiencing this kind of natural wild horse wilderness.”

“Wild horses need to be treated like wild horses—not livestock. Right now the public can easily access the Forest Service lands and experience a wildlife display unlike any other,” states plaintiff Carol Walker. “We want the Forest Service to immediately abandon plans to build the fence.”

###

Links of interest:

Expanded Complaint http://bit.ly/PryorsExpComplaint

Front Range Equine Rescue: http://www.frontrangeequinerescue.org <http://www.frontrangeequinerescue.org/>

Carol Walker: http://www.wildhoofbeats.com <http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/>

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’ http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Wild Horse and Burro Act http://bit.ly/a7hOeS <x-msg://90/%22>

Past Cloud Foundation press releases http://bit.ly/TCFpress

Link to this press release online http://bit.ly/pryorscomplaint <http://bit.ly/pryorscomplaint>

Video, High-resolution photos, and interviews available from:

The Cloud Foundation
news@thecloudfoundation.org

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905 –
719-633-3842
http://www.thecloudfoundation.org <http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/>

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak

Anne@TheCloudFoundation.org

Tel: 415-531-8454

Makendra Silverman

Makendra@TheCloudFoundation.org

Tel: 719-351-8187

YOU LIE!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT HORSEBACK MAGAZINE

August 3, 2010

NEWS ALERT

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – A BLM helicopter contractor has confirmed that there was abundant water in a freely flowing river after agency lawyers told a federal judge wild Nevada horses faced dying of thirst if they weren’t captured. At least 54 members of Congress have demanded BLM stop the deadly roundups. For details go to www.horsebackmagazine.com <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=17697087&msgid=260139&act=9GKL&c=561286&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.horsebackmagazine.com> .

Contact: news@horsebackmagazine.com

BLM Violates Federal Judge’s Ruling

July 17, 2010

The federal Bureau of Land Management has denied access to a Nevada wild horse roundup to the plaintiff in a lawsuit in which Judge Larry Hicks declared it unconstitutional to bar press and public from observing its “gathers.” In the suit the government denied the availibility of water to the judge, yet Leigh reported late Saturday of sighting and photographing fenced water holes. For details, go to www.horsebackmagazine.com.

Now’s Your Chance: BLM Director Seeks Help

–>

Release Date: 06/03/10
Contacts: Tom Gorey , 202-912-7420

BLM Director Seeks Input for New Direction in National Wild Horse and Burro Program

Link to Strategy Development Document
Link to Institute Report
Link to Executive Summary

Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey today announced that the agency is taking the Federal Wild Horse and Burro Program in an unprecedented new direction, and is seeking in-depth public comment on a Strategy Development Document implementing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Wild Horse and Burro Initiative.

“It’s a new day, and we need a fresh look at the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” Abbey said. “As part of this effort, we want all those with an interest in wild horses and burros and their public lands to consider our initial ideas and offer their own.”

The BLM will consider the public’s input as it prepares a long-term strategy for the management of America’s wild horses and burros. The BLM’s strategy will be presented in a detailed report to Congress later this year.

“When Secretary Salazar announced his Wild Horse and Burro Initiative last October, we contacted the independent and impartial U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. We asked them to take a detailed look at how the BLM could best engage the public in creating a new strategic plan for the program,” Abbey said. “We requested the Institute’s assistance with this effort for two reasons: to let people know that we are committed to working with all stakeholders in a transparent manner, and to encourage an open, positive dialogue with the public.”

The Institute partnered with the BLM in preparing a detailed assessment and plan for public outreach and engagement around a new strategy for the program. The BLM used the Institute’s report to develop its Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document. Both documents are available on the BLM’s Website at www.blm.gov.

Abbey said that as the new strategy is developed, certain topics and options will be off the table, including the euthanasia of healthy excess animals or their sale without limitation to protect the animals from slaughter. He said other difficult topics and even some controversial options will be up for discussion. Among them: implementation of a comprehensive animal welfare program; the potential reintroduction of wild horses or burros into herd areas where they currently don’t exist; increased use of fertility control or other methods to slow population growth; opportunities to make more forage available for wild horse and burro use; the establishment of preserves to care for unadopted wild horses; the designation of selected wild horses and burros as treasured herds; opportunities to place more excess animals into private care; and continued emphasis on science and research to ensure the BLM is using the best available science to manage our wild horse and burro herds now and in the future.

Abbey clarified that the BLM will move forward with scheduled gathers in the near term. “These gather operations are being carefully analyzed, engaging the public in the planning process.” Abbey added, “Based on the best information the BLM currently has, without these gathers the land will suffer, wildlife will suffer, and ultimately, the horses will suffer. While these gathers are necessary in 2010, the BLM will simultaneously be listening to and working with those offering other constructive options to fulfilling our mandates.”

To gather feedback, the Strategy Development Document outlines specific areas where the BLM is seeking public input over a 60-day comment period. To ensure input from the broadest number of stakeholders, the BLM is using ePlanning. To access the document and provide the BLM with feedback, select this link. A PDF version of the document is also available by clicking on this link.

The BLM estimates that more than 38,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states. Another 35,000 wild horses and burros are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures. Costs for the program, particularly those for animals in holding facilities, have risen dramatically in the last several years. In Fiscal Year 2009, for example, approximately $29 million, or about 70 percent of the total wild horse and burro program budget of $40.6 million, was spent on animals held in corrals and pastures.

The BLM manages more land – 253 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Link to Strategy Development Document
Link to Institute Report
Link to Executive Summary

Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey today announced that the agency is taking the Federal Wild Horse and Burro Program in an unprecedented new direction, and is seeking in-depth public comment on a Strategy Development Document implementing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Wild Horse and Burro Initiative.

“It’s a new day, and we need a fresh look at the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” Abbey said. “As part of this effort, we want all those with an interest in wild horses and burros and their public lands to consider our initial ideas and offer their own.”

The BLM will consider the public’s input as it prepares a long-term strategy for the management of America’s wild horses and burros. The BLM’s strategy will be presented in a detailed report to Congress later this year.

“When Secretary Salazar announced his Wild Horse and Burro Initiative last October, we contacted the independent and impartial U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. We asked them to take a detailed look at how the BLM could best engage the public in creating a new strategic plan for the program,” Abbey said. “We requested the Institute’s assistance with this effort for two reasons: to let people know that we are committed to working with all stakeholders in a transparent manner, and to encourage an open, positive dialogue with the public.”

The Institute partnered with the BLM in preparing a detailed assessment and plan for public outreach and engagement around a new strategy for the program. The BLM used the Institute’s report to develop its Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document. Both documents are available on the BLM’s Website at www.blm.gov.

Abbey said that as the new strategy is developed, certain topics and options will be off the table, including the euthanasia of healthy excess animals or their sale without limitation to protect the animals from slaughter. He said other difficult topics and even some controversial options will be up for discussion. Among them: implementation of a comprehensive animal welfare program; the potential reintroduction of wild horses or burros into herd areas where they currently don’t exist; increased use of fertility control or other methods to slow population growth; opportunities to make more forage available for wild horse and burro use; the establishment of preserves to care for unadopted wild horses; the designation of selected wild horses and burros as treasured herds; opportunities to place more excess animals into private care; and continued emphasis on science and research to ensure the BLM is using the best available science to manage our wild horse and burro herds now and in the future.

Abbey clarified that the BLM will move forward with scheduled gathers in the near term. “These gather operations are being carefully analyzed, engaging the public in the planning process.” Abbey added, “Based on the best information the BLM currently has, without these gathers the land will suffer, wildlife will suffer, and ultimately, the horses will suffer. While these gathers are necessary in 2010, the BLM will simultaneously be listening to and working with those offering other constructive options to fulfilling our mandates.”

To gather feedback, the Strategy Development Document outlines specific areas where the BLM is seeking public input over a 60-day comment period. To ensure input from the broadest number of stakeholders, the BLM is using ePlanning. To access the document and provide the BLM with feedback, select this link. A PDF version of the document is also available by clicking on this link.

The BLM estimates that more than 38,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states. Another 35,000 wild horses and burros are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures. Costs for the program, particularly those for animals in holding facilities, have risen dramatically in the last several years. In Fiscal Year 2009, for example, approximately $29 million, or about 70 percent of the total wild horse and burro program budget of $40.6 million, was spent on animals held in corrals and pastures.
The BLM manages more land – 253 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
–BLM–