Mustangs on the Hill and Press Conference

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

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49 Responses to “Mustangs on the Hill and Press Conference”

  1. Gayle Says:

    Thank you all so much for all you have done in the past four days for our wild horses. Like so many others I wished I could be there, but I did fax my letter of support.

  2. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    That we got so far and we have no reason to stop is substantial progress in a movement that needed to get bigger and smarter. Thanks. Stick together so the lions don’t get us. Mar

  3. Diana Says:

    What an impressive and inspiring effort in advocating on behalf of the wild horses. In so many ways they are like an extension of ourselves, representative of the qualities that we value.

    Thank you to the amazing effort put forth on both individual and collective levels. May the horses always be with us!

  4. Susan NY Says:

    Bravo! Good job. Heartfelt thanks. We’re ready to keep the momentum.

  5. Linda CO Says:

    Even though many of us couldn’t be there–we were certainly there in spirit. And I truly believe that this is the beginning of a new day as Rep. Grijalva stated. I have only the deepest appreciation for all you have accomplished these past weeks, months, –this is now a topic that is out in front of not only the Congress but America. What a ride!

  6. Morgan Williams Says:

    I have SO much I would like to share with all you gals, as soon as my heart catches up to my head. It was a very fruitful and successful day for the American Mustangs, burros, our public lands and national parks. So many unforgettable moment, making new equine friends, meeting people at the Press conference (like Ginger and Elder Boggees) that I have admired, my Senator Feingold making time for me out of already booked day to sit and talk, Erin Meade in his office meeting for 45 minutes with me & others who came along & talking to complete strangers on the way to Washington and the way back about the American Mustangs, burros and public lands. My non stop line was “My name is Morgan and I here to talk about the American Mustangs. Can I tell you about them? I have never seen the sites of DC before so I tried to sight see as much as I could while walking, walking, walking to get everywhere. I must have put 10 miles on my shoes.

    Right now, all I know is that the trip was worth every single penny and ounce of energy. I would have spent the money a thousands times over.

    I tried to take pictures during the press conference but my camera suffered a problem after going through the scanner at the Capital’s entrance. I am glad there will be a video feed we all can watch later so no one misses one moment of it all!

    My Senator brought in a photographer to take my picture with him in his Capital office. There will be no words to describe how much respect I have for him and his entire staff. They were sincerely interested and very well versed on the issues including the mining industries underhanded, dirty secrets. Erin made the made the comment that Senator Conrad Burns has been NO ONES friend in US political circles. Burns has made more enemies and done more damage to many agencies than he had done good.

    I tried to keep reading all the blog updates from my cell phone. It was so encouraging to read the comments made by all the faithful bloggers I have come to know over the last few weeks.

    We must keep up the heat on this good fight. A moretorium on roundups is needed ASAP if we are to save what is left of our free roaming mustangs and burros. Did you know that there are less than 5,000 free desert burros left in the USA? Passing the ROAM Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Equines is going to take a little more time. The planned roundups yet this year in Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming and North Dakota must be cancelled!

    Lastly, my Mum would have been so proud. She was a tough gal who did not show emotion easily. Being a part of ‘Mustangs On The Hill’ would have made her cry. Now the one year mark of her sudden death is no longer painful to me. I feel her drive and motivation within me to help make a difference in a cause worth fighting for.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Oops. Sorry for the mini novel. After posting, I now see how long my comment is.

    • Karen L. Says:

      Wonderful commentary, Morgan! Your energy can be felt through the computer screen! Thanks for “reporting” on your experiences!

    • thecloudfoundation Says:

      Thank you for being on the hill with us, Morgan, you were great and keep it up from WI! Many many thanks, Makendra

      • Morgan Williams Says:

        Makendra:

        I was thrilled to meet you in person. You are every bit of what Ginger says you are! Wish I could have visited you a little more but the day was too hectic.

        I talked to Christine in the office. I am sending back the 2 tee shirts I took for Senator Feingold and Erin Meade. They could not accept them from me. I also paid Christine for the DVD.

        What was the name of the woman who came along with James to my meeting with Senator Feingold? What is James’ last name? They were both perfect people to have along. It was kinda funny that the three of us bumped into each other at the West front lawn. We talked & got to know each other during the walk back for the press conference. They certainly are experienced and compassionate people.

        Morgan

  7. Morgan Williams Says:

    Oh, shoot. I wanted to give a word of praise to Ben & Christine for holding down the fort so well at the TCF office in Colorado. They both do amazingly well with all the calls, emails, faxes, tweets and work they must juggle daily.

    I hope Lindsay is recovering and feeling better each day. I really missed not being able to see her in DC yesterday.

    I also was sorry for the animal emergency that kept Valerie & Brandon at home. Looking forward to good news on Friday with the next vet testing.

  8. Karen L. Says:

    Thank you for updating us on your day “on the hill”! What was the tone of your meeting with the members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee? Could you gauge their interest? Could you tell how quickly they might act to get S. 1579 out of committee and to the floor for a vote? Their actions are so crucial! Thanks.

  9. Morgan Williams Says:

    Karen,

    You will have to wait for Ginger, Makendra, James, Gayle (? sp), Valerie, Carol, Julianne or other TCF board members on that professional level to update us all on meetings with the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. Both Bills S.1579 and S. 727 are in that committee’s hands. I was not involved in personal meetings with any of the 24 senators on that committe like Senator Landrieu or Senator McCain. I almost stumbled into a meeting with Senator Landrieu’s aide but quickly told the woman I was not Ginger. I was just waiting in the Senator’s office for Ginger and Julianne.

    Morgan

  10. kas0859ohio Says:

    I’ve been following this blog for awhile but just got signed up with wordpress so I can communicate. I just want to say:
    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
    I’ve been writing emails and letters to my local reps as well as state and federal.

    Morgan will you answer our questions from those who couldn’t go?

    When Congressman Raul Grijalva said “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.” Abeyance means suspend so did that mean they stopped the scheduled roundups? Or are we still hoping they will stop the future roundups?

    What was the reaction of the people watching the roundup wreck? I have not watched the video myself, only a couple of frames. I just can’t.

    Thanks to all of our representatives in DC & VA who took the time to listen to what the people are saying. God Bless.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      kas0859ohio:

      The roundups by the BLM and Forestry Services have continued. The roundups are almost daily in different areas of the West. Congressman Grijalva tried to present a moratorium but he was not listened to. Senator Landrieu is doing all she can, as well, with her being a Senator on the Committee for Energy and Natural Resources. Ken Salazar, Bob Abbey, Governor Schweitzer, Sue Wallis, Harry Reid are pulling tricks out their hats at every turn to propagate the lies which justify roundups. The latest and greatest scam is building horse park or sanctuaries in midwest or eastern states for the Mustang and Burros in BLM long term holding pens. The number of head which is growing each day and will be more than the Mustangs and Burros in the wild. However, a true head count is not being released IN or OUT of BLM holding pens. Lies, lies and more lies. Public foolery. Bloody lies and mismanagement.

      The reaction to ‘The Roundup Wreck’ was very diverse. Some tears, some shock, some horror, some anger, some built up to fight harder.

      Remember, we are fighting for:

      S1579 – The R.O.A.M. Act
      S727 – Prevention of Cruelty to Equines

      Here is a new posting I saw today on how to take action:

      Louie Cocroft

      Comment:

      IN ORDER FOR THE ROAM ACT TO GET OUT OF THE COMMITTEE OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, A SENATOR HAS TO ASK FOR A HEARING AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE HAS TO OK IT. THE CHAIRMAN IS SEN JEFF BINGAMAN. THIS IS WHAT THE STAFF WORKER TOLD ME–I’VE BEEN CALLING EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST FEW WEEKS. SENATOR LANDRIEU CAN ASK FOR A HEARING. IT COULD BE THAT SHE IS TRYING TO GATHER ALL OF THE DATA THAT SHE CAN IN ORDER TO MAKE A GOOD CASE. KEEP SENDING HER MATERIAL. KEEP CONTACTING YOUR SENATORS.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      kas0859ohio:

      Please write to my email address of:
      morganbreed@hotmail.com

      I saved the BLM 2010 roundup schedule on a PDF document that will help you keep abreast of current events.

      I have also saved all the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
      Senator’s names, addresses and phone numbers in a Word document that you could use for your communications. Please continue to go after your own state senators, but get after the Committee if you can!!!!

  11. Roxy Says:

    ANYONE signed on to comment in the Washngton Gannet Bureau on the article mentioned at top of this post, needs to go there and correct all the commenters – they are ALL, but one, ANTI wild horse and need some education!

    Article today also (sorry I don’t know how to provide direct ink) in the Arizona Republic (on-line = azcentral) titled “Senate urged to guard mustanags”. I will be watching the comments – all AZ keep those commenters in line!

    Morgan, thanks so much.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Thank you for your continued information on this & articles, etc.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Roxy, I just got back from the Erin Kelly article where I commented upon many comments. Many were the typical BS and prejudiced old myths. Those are what we are fighting against. If the horses’ populations have been slashed, it is amazing that anyone could go on believing that the range has been degraded by horses. Or that they were starving at anytime other than during extreme drought. There just has been so little honesty from BLM because they have personal agendas attached to the work they do. They are deal makers and they dealt the wild horse right off its range. Grijalva has asked again that the roundups stop. President Obama needs to know there is dirty business at BLM. Mar

      • Roxy Says:

        Mar, Yes, I saw your valiant effort, and for sure you made sense. The one commenter – what do you say to someone who won’t do their own research? Actually,it didn’t sound like he/she even read the article they were commenting on – I see that on the YouTubes and other news articles a lot .

        Howver, what is amazing about this – 99% of the time the comments are anti government – regardless of the subject, even if they are giving out baby seats or smoke detectors, “they” just hate government. This commenter, as well as all other pro BLM, is a phenomenon to take the governments side don’t you think?

        You did good!

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Thanks, I just wanted another opinion at each bad one. Make sense over the lazy opinionated jerk. Mar

  12. Robin Says:

    Thank you SO much for the update! Keep spreading the word and writing letters! Together we can do it!!

  13. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Morgan, who was outside? Did the public show an interest? I am so glad you got to do all this. You spent time with Feingold and others, that’s fabulous. Mar

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Sunday night, plans changed due to the press conference. There was no ‘rally’ on the west front lawn. Sadly, many in attendance had brought signs and banners. These materials were taken by security when entering the Capital. Those materials were not returned and some hearts were broken. One woman brought pictures from her classroom kids. One woman spent $20 on a professional banner. However, everyone stayed focused and carried on with the day. Many wonderful materials were brought by TCF, The Animal Welfare Institute, James (?) & Carol Walker for everyone to use as they talked with people throughout the day.

      For sure, I know one older woman named Dixie from Virginia and a married couple went to stand on the west front lawn after the press conference since they had no specific plans for the day. They wanted to be out there to talk with the public if they could.

      Carol Walker and Elyse Gardner brought blown up pictures as posters to the press conference. A boy from Michigan came with his Mom. The pictures were given to Brandon to carry around all day long. Brandon had worked so hard in his school to get signatures on his own petition and made flyers to pass out. He was going home to give a report and show Carol and Elyse’s photos of the Sand Wash round up and the Pryor Mt range round up.

      People definetly took notice when they saw those giant photos when Brandon & his Mom were walking around outside and inside the Capital. Brandon let me borrow one photo for my meeting.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Thanks for this. I had wondered. It was just that I imagined the rally and then there was a room. But it is so important what you did there. Thanks to all who lost banners and signs. It was not in vain. Mar

      • Judy Cassario Says:

        Morgan, It was great tomeet you and thanks so much for the batteries! Sorry your camera was having trouble. So great you could meet with your senator. Imade quite a few contacts, all with staffers and left written comments aswell. We can now pray that our combined efforts bear much fruit for the horses’ sake. What a privilege to meet Ginger, Makendra, Carol Walkeer and the others on the front lines. We are so grateful for their efforts. Judy

      • Morgan Williams Says:

        Hey Judy!!!!!!!

        I am so glad your post showed up on this blog. I have been wondering about you. Yes, too bad about my camera but at least yours started working!

        Please email me at: morganbreed@hotmail.com

        Thanks!

        Morgan

  14. Morgan Williams Says:

    I received a bonus blessing when boarding the flight home. It is not Mustang or burro related. I had the priviledge of welcoming a young solider back home after his safe return from combat. He was on his journey home. We were boarding and he sat down in his seat. I dropped my bag and stopped to shake his hand in gratitude. What an honor to meet someone fighting on the front lines for all our freedoms in America.

  15. Karen Says:

    I am very glad to hear about the positive and productive meeting. I have been sending letters-actual hand written letters, and hope they make a difference.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Karen,

      Of course letters are making a difference. It was a hand written letter writing campaign (mostly by school children) that brought about the 1971 Wild Roaming Horse and Burro Act, that passed with 100% aye votes in Senate to be passed into law.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Over the years the influence of hand written letters have been felt. During the early backlash against wild life and environmental groups, when Reagan was president, I chose not to be a member of any groups that had become a thorn in the side of BLM etc. I wrote as an individual. I still believe this is effective. The vast majority of Americans will never write or call their elected officials. Bush told Republicans and officials to ignore the public. He directed those in Interior to ‘lie’ to the public and mislead them. The memos that said this were uncovered. It didn’t stop the lies and misleading information. This is still the outlook at Interior. BLM has been the worst offender. Mar

  16. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    We are having the most beautiful fall, here at the edge of the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Christos. The cottonwoods are deep yellow, the aspens gold and still a little green, the scrub oak is red, all are mingled with the deep green of pines. The San Juan River valley is shining below the Rocky Mountains. Horses are recovering in the Pryors, from the roundup and from the sudden loss of family. Wild horses are still free and facing roundups and winter.
    We have to save those left in the wild and the ones that need to returned. We need information to add to our fight. We need Eyes on Roundups; corral location and directions. RJ Daum has given a map that is very good and one can type in a location and find it. We need just a little more. mar

  17. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Are you planning a move here? Pagosa is awesome. We are trying still to rent a 12 acre horse property. Dolores, Mancos, Durango and even Cortez are good places to be. Paonia, Home of ‘High Country News, the paper for people who care about the West,’ Montrose, Gunnison, are, too. Most people gravitate to the Front Range, Boulder and about Denver and down to Colorado Springs. They are still very good places. We are just a bit wilder. It will take us a time to get established again, but there is great beauty here and it is healing. The horses are healing, too. This is a project that has great healing in it. This is a way to approach it, I believe. That we can promote an outcome with the horses that has harmony. When someone says that horses cause damage and unbalance in nature, we have to have a true response that gives the merits of horses in the wild. mar

  18. Morgan Williams Says:

    I am glad for the press observation for Mustangs On The Hill by a Washington report. But.. holy canolli Batman. That was a lousy job of fact finding.

    Looking forward to Ginger’s interview tonight on BlogRadio.

  19. Courtney S. Says:

    I so wish I could have been there…my thoughts and prayers certainly were! Thank you to all who brought a united presence to the Hill in honor of our wild horses. Thank you to all in government who are working hard to ensure a better future for our mustangs. And thank you to ALL who care and support wildlife everywhere!

  20. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Neat photo!

  21. Roxy Says:

    I’m obsessing about the June advisory board, haven’t even seen this new one yet.

    Why can’t our issues be “on the agenda”. Again, I am so confused from the meeting. Usually commenters subjects, in my experience, become the next meetings agenda items – but did we ask to be an agenda item? I think the animallawcoaltion needs to get a hold of this boards doctrine (I keep using this word, not sure its accurate – hope you all know what I mean). Maybe this is correct for this board to have a comment section with no replies from them, but then why even have a comment section? Does this make sense to everyone else and its just me?

    I’d like to hear back from TCF and/or coalition please. The advisory boards rules should be on the internet even – I’m tight on time the next few days – will spend the time contacting McCain, Obama et al, but I can not get this out of my mind. Thanks.

  22. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    If they can break their own rules and laws and state and federal laws and have always done what they want, making them procede correctly in a meeting is as impossible as ending roundups now, because we will get the laws passed. I cannot believe they have not stopped the roundups. mar

  23. The NaturalHorseVet/JJ Says:

    What comes around goes around..

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