Archive for September, 2009

Ginger on Howling Ridge Radio

September 30, 2009

Join Ginger Kathrens, along with advocate Laura Leigh, wildlife ecologist Craig Downer along with John Holland, Vicki Tobin and Ellen Cathryn-Nash on a special Howling Ridge Radio tonight dedicated to recent events: the auctioning off of 57 of the Horses in Cloud’s herd, the BLM Advisory Board Meeting in Washington DC and Mustangs on the Hill, and the worst of the worst: The Sheldon wild horse roundups — as well as updates on what the next months hold for our wild horse herds…

Listen here now (it will be online later too): http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Howling_Ridge_Radio

On-Air Calls: 718.664.6596 this is 9/30/09 at 9:30pm Eastern

Mustangs on the Hill and Press Conference

September 30, 2009

Mustangs on the Hill was a success I do believe! Thank you to everyone!– **read an ARTICLE by Erin Kelly, Washington Gannett Bureau here**

The day began with a press conference and to start, Carol Walker showed her slideshow of the tragic Sand Wash roundup and Ginger described Cloud’s release and his defiant stand against the helicopter that drove him and his family down from their mountaintop. Hope Ryden, our honorary board member, author and one of the writers of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, spoke and met with Senators all day.

We were honored by a visit with Congressman Raul Grijalva and he addressed the full room of 60 wild horse supporters- he is a true champion for our wild horses and burros. Congressman Grijalva stressed that the ROAM act is bipartisan and will save all of us taxpayers money now currently used for mismanagement by BLM

Congressman Raul Grijalva at Press Conference

Congressman Raul Grijalva at Press Conference

 

“This is not only a humane issue, this is an issue about preserving a legacy that we have in the west, that we have lost. A legacy that I think speaks to the spirit of the west, to its independence, to its adaptability and above all to its evolution. And its not the old west anymore, it’s a new west. And a new west with a different ethic. A new west where we preserve  the resources that are important to us. And with that I join with Chairman Rahall in this legislation and we’re very proud of it. It could have been stronger, there is some perfection that I would have wanted, but this is the process that we have and this is the product that we have. And as we move forward I would hope that as we wait for the senate we’re going to continue to urge  BLM, that we hold in abeyance any more gathering until the full impact of the legislation is felt.” [excerpt]

Thank you t0 Congressman Grijalva for his support of wild horses and burros. And for Congressman Rahall and Senator Byrd and Senator Landrieu as well—all four are our wild horse champions! The press conference will be streamed online early next month I hope and we’ll let you know when it is available to watch. Congressman Grijalva was also kind enough to take questions for quite a while. 

Our friend and supporter, Crow Elder and Historian Howard Boggess, spoke next– he grew up in the Pryors and was there well before the BLM. (Meet Howard in the Pryors on this youtube for a frank discussion). Chris Heyde of the Animal Welfare Institute, was integral to this event and spoke on meeting etiquette and distributed packets of information to give to Senators (see contents here: ROAM Act S. 1579 facts, Wild Horse and Burro Facts and Myths,  Words to Keep Them Wild and Free, Managing for Extinction booklet, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions show announcement— people are going to be watching our wild horses nationwide on October 25th and they will know about this recent roundup). 

Then we fanned out in true advocate style and met with over 45 Senate offices (Senators and aides). We met with all the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources members and everyone met with their Senators. 

We had some amazing supporters who made this press conference and this hill day happen: Valerie, PJ and Lindsay: thank you! And a big thank you to everyone who came– age 8 to 80! And thanks to everyone for calling your senators. More recommendations and follow-up strategy to come. We are all a bit exhausted and I still have to let you know all about rescuing the older horses! We thank the Senators and their staff for their time and their interest in the wild horses and burros. I think that we have made a positive impact and have spoken for those who cannot.

Howard Boggess, MT Senator Jon Tester and Makendra

Howard Boggess, MT Senator Jon Tester and Makendra

They Keep Coming… new youtube

September 30, 2009

From RT and Terry Fitch

Mustangs on the Hill- Press Conference

September 28, 2009

Please meet at 9:30am in the Longworth Senate Office Building, Room 1334 for a Mustangs on the Hill Press Conference- Congressman Grijalva will be speaking, Senator Byrd cannot be present but wrote a special statement for us, a letter from Willie Nelson will be read. Hope Ryden and Howard Boggess will speak, as will Ginger Kathrens. We will have someone on the west front lawn of the Capitol building to meet people but please spread word to meet in Room 1334.   Click here for Mustangs on the Hill Press Conference Final Agenda

Please distribute this press release ! PRESS RELEASE-Mustangs on the Hill 9.27.2009   Thank you

BLM Advisory Board Meeting- Will be posted online soon

September 28, 2009

-The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting will again be streamed live  thanks to Horse Power! Please tune in from 8:00am to at least 5:00pm EST here. There are an amazing number of advocates coming to this meeting– watch at 3:00pm for the public comment period. Wild horse supporters came from all over the country- Hope Ryden and Ginger Kathrens will be speaking along with so many others!  And you can always send your comments to the Board via Ramona_delorme@blm.gov and reference “BLM Advisory Board Comments.  You can watch past meetings here. Click here for more meeting details.  

Families Back Together- Thank you all!

September 28, 2009

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

Billings Residents pulled through for these older horses, who should never have left the range, but are now back in their family bands. Conquistador is back with his black mare, Cavelitta; Shane with Moshi and Mystery; Bo with Sierra, Grumpy, Sand (BJ Star), Chalupa and their filly-foal; Trigger with Mae West and Evita…. and we also got Floyd who was so harassed the day he was captured. All 15 horses are now on a 3000 acre ranch at the base of their mountains. We had six trailers pulled by wonderful supporters, new and old friends alike, transport the horses to this beautiful ranch. The horses are in large pens and paddocks in their family groups for now and will be turned out  soon. 

Rain found a wonderful home in Virginia, Arrow has a great adopter and is in Colorado for training, Image and Ember will stay together and live on a beautiful farm in Ohio with someone who has known them their whole lives, Sax is in Colorado too with an amazing home, Sage came to Colorado too and is in a great place, Fettucine and Summer went to good homes I am hoping. Many other horses have wonderful people watching over them.

It is devestating not to have these horses in the wild with their families– nothing we can provide them is quite the same. Still, this is what we can do to repair some of the damage. Thank you to all– I wish you could see Conquistador with his mare, the light is returning to his golden eyes. It was dark when we arrived so no photos of that night, just a half moon in the sky and some very happy and very tired wild horses displaced from their home but back together. 

Now we are in Washington DC to bring our cause to the Capitol! Call your senators!

More soon–

Press Release

September 27, 2009

Famous Cloud the Stallion Wild Herd still Suffering Damage from BLM Capture

While Americans on holiday, Labor Day weekend round up decimates herd as winter arrives

LOVELL, WY –September 26, 2009 – On Saturday at noon, 57 wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Herd, made famous in part by the PBSNature documentaries, will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. A large crowd is expected due, in part, to the publicity surrounding the controversial roundup earlier this month.

While the missing members of their herd wait, tagged and branded in BLM holding pens, the damages of this poorly planned roundup are highly visible on the range.  Beyond leaving this unique wild horse herd seriously below genetic viability, the horses on the range are clearly damaged.

“We were up on the mountaintop yesterday and the cruelty of this massive roundup has not faded away,” explains Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “Cloud is lame on his right front and his filly-daughter is still extremely sore.  It was painful just watching them walk to water.”

One of Cloud’s mares, also injured, appears to have a possible stifle injury.  His four-year-old daughter, Firestorm, has significant difficulty walking at all.  “I think they will recover but it is hard to know and winter is just around the corner,” Kathrens continues.  In the past 15 years all roundups in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range have occurred later in the year when the horses were lower down on the range.  This roundup took place in early September when nearly all the mountain horses were the furthest away possible from the trap site.  Foals less than one month old were forced to run over 12 miles along with their families to the BLM corrals at the base of the mountain.

This roundup was scheduled early due to contractor availability, BLM desire to remove all horses from Commissary Ridge outside the designated range (a plan not revealed to the public until day one of the roundup) and National Adoption Day. The BLM is holding adoption events across the country and hopes to adopt out 1000 horses. “This is a significant event and will raise awareness for mustangs, but why they had to pillage this little herd for 57 more horses to adopt out when there are 31,750 wild horses in holding already is beyond me,” says Kathrens.

While at the turn of the century, there were approximately 2 million wild horses in America, there are only 33,100 mustangs left on the western ranges according to BLM.  “I think the BLM knows that these horses will draw a considerable crowd and they put all the horses in danger with this early roundup.  In what was planned to be a “model” roundup, even the most famous wild horse in the world was injured,” says Kathrens.

Citing “a disturbing round up a few weeks ago,” Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was instrumental in legislation that passed the Senate on Sept. 24, 2009.  The legislation directs the BLM “to develop a new comprehensive long-term plan for wild horse populations by September 30, 2010” according to a press release from the legislation’s sponsor, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

“The public outcry for preservation of our wild horses and burros is being heard” says Kathrens.

“People are not willing to sit by and watch an unchecked government destroy a Western American treasure: the wild Mustang.”

Update on the Adoption/Sale

September 27, 2009

All 57 either adopted to sold to good homes.

4 bands of Forest Service horses, 15 total including Floyd and Conquistador and his mare will be kept together at ranch.

Ember and Image get to stay together, have a great home, also adopted into great homes were Arrow, Rain, Helena Montana, Stiles, Cassidy, the lame foal with his mom, who is looking better, and Ginger got Sax.

Conquistador had the record bid – $2500

Huge thanks to all the Freedom Fund donars and all the supporters who made this possible – this is a big win.

Senate Directs BLM to Get New Game Plan for Wild Horses in One Year

September 26, 2009

Thank you Senator Mary Landrieu!  

By Steven Long, Horseback Magazine

The United States Senate has passed a tough new bill that orders the Bureau of Land Management to institute a new plan for its management of wild horses. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), La.

“Sen. Landrieu continued her efforts to protect wild horses by championing bill language to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of healthy, un-adopted horses and burros…” read the rest of the article here.

* this is different than the ROAM act– keep working to pass S.1579 through the Senate!*

The Next Generation for Wild Horses…

September 26, 2009

A 6th grade class in Colorado Springs just sent a whole folder of letters to us to take to Washington next week. These letters are inspiring and remind us again that not saving these horses is not an option. We hope to have these up on our website soon, but here is just one for tonight:

Dear Mr. Ken Salizar,

I hope you will understand my request to pass the R.O.A.M. bill. Montana’s wild horses deserve the right to be free. They have lived in this area for generations, and it is the only home they have ever known. Please do not let what happened to the buffalo many years ago, happen to these beautiful animals. It is our duty as human beings to protect and preserve this habitat for them.

These horses need space to run, fresh green grass to feed on, but most of all to continue to be free. Please stop capturing them and putting them in cages. This is extremely cruel, and they don’t understand what is happening to them. Please listen to all the horse lovers of this country, and do the right thing.       -Katerina, 6th grader

Grullo bachelors by pond MS 6-09