Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Say 'No!' to BLM's magic bullet

After last week?s shocking announcement that it was considering putting to death thousands of wild horses to address its budgetary shortfalls, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) went into damage-control mode, laying the groundwork for ugly compromises. Meanwhile, AWHPC Coalition members met with key congressional staffers today to assess the situation and formulate a plan of action. In addressing this crisis, our allies in Congress are counting on the American public?s vocal support.

Below is a list of action items for you to help in this fight:

Alert Oprah Winfrey to this tragedy. She needs to hear from thousands of us urging her to feature our wild horses, American icons, on her show.

CNN?s Anderson Cooper should be urged to investigate the matter.

Please also contact your US Representative, two US Senators, and Rep. Nick Rahall, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and long-time friend of the horses, using the following talking points:

- BLM is warning that the 29 thousand horses left on the range could cause an 'ecological disaster.' Three decades ago, when federal protection was enacted for the horses because they were 'fast disappearing from the range,' population levels were much higher. The horses were not posing a threat then, so how could they be now? How about the fact that 12.5 million acres allocated to wild horses under federal law have been taken away from them? How about the 6 million head of private livestock grazing the same public lands?

- The additional funding BLM is seeking, with our horses as bargaining chips, should only be granted subject to strict independent oversight and the following conditions: 1. A moratorium on round-ups until actual numbers of wild horses and burros on public lands have been independently assessed; 2. The review of scientific findings that contradict claims of wild horse overpopulation and negative impact on the range; and 3. Implementation of in-the-wild management, including non-invasive fertility control methods, which would save millions of our tax-dollars.

- Unrestricted sales and instant titling of adopted horses are not acceptable alternatives: slaughter is a worse fate than a bullet to the head.

- Members of the public have expressed an interest in contributing to the support of America?s wild horses. Please implement tax incentives for that purpose, ensuring monies are strictly allocated to in-the-wild management and to care for horses already in holding pens.

To locate your US Representative and two US Senators, visit www.congress.org and enter your zip code.

BLM has set up a web-page for the public to comment. While we are under no illusion that they have any interest in the American public?s wishes, you may give them a piece of your mind by calling 202-208-7351 or by following this link.

Remind them that we, the American people, entrusted them with our wild horses, living symbols of our freedom and spirit. After decades of lies and backroom deals, millions of acres lost to private livestock, and millions of our tax-dollars wasted on rounding up horses by the thousands, our precious herds are decimated and 30 thousand horses languish in government corrals. Now a bullet or slaughter are the only alternatives they can offer us for our wild horses?

BLM cannot say we did not warn them or plead with them; they cannot say we did not offer solutions. They have failed us and we will be asking our congressional representatives to hold them accountable for their wild horse management duties, duties so egregiously subordinated to special interests. Enough is enough.

It is time America stand up for its wild horses, a national treasure. Ask your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to speak out at this critical time. We are the horses? only voice.

For more suggestions on how to help, please click here. On behalf of the horses, thank you for your support,

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
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