Unified Letter to President Obama and Secretary Salazar Requesting Immediate Moratorium on Roundups

Download the Moratorium letter here and click here for the list of over 120 organizations, celebrities, scientists and authors in support. Organizations are still encouraged and welcome to sign, just e-mail us to be added. We’d like even more celebrity and scientific support too. Some organizations must meet with their boards before signing on so we expect this list to grow. A press release from the Cloud Foundation announcing this unified letter is available here: Unified Call for Moratorium Press Release. Please share the press release with your favorite media sources and ask that this story be covered and what is happening to our wild horses and burros investigated. A media list is available here: National Media Contacts. Share the letter and your polite request for more pressure from Congress with your Representatives (click here to contact).

This was a collective effort among many and we thank everyone for their support. This is not a Cloud Foundation letter but a unified call from many for our wild horses and burros.

A Unified Call for an Immediate Moratorium on Wild Horse & Burro Roundups

And a humane, fiscally responsible plan for preserving and protecting the iconic,

free-roaming wild horses and burros of the American West

President Obama, Members of Congress and the Department of the Interior:

We, the undersigned, request major changes to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program. This must begin with an immediate moratorium on all roundups. While we agree that the program is in dire need of reform, and we applaud your Administration’s commitment to avoid BLM’s suggested mass-killing of horses, the plan outlined in October by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar raises numerous concerns. These include:

  • Perpetuating the flawed assumption that wild horses and burros are overpopulating their Western ranges. In reality, the BLM has no accurate current inventory of the 37,000 wild horses and burros it claims remain on public lands. Independent analysis of BLM’s own numbers reveal there may be only 15,000 wild horses remaining on public lands.
  • Continuing the mass removal of wild horses and burros from their rightful Western ranges: The BLM intends to spend over $30 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to capture more than 12,000 wild horses and burros. This stockpiling of horses continues even as an astounding 32,000 are already being held in government holding facilities at enormous taxpayer expense.
  • Scapegoating wild horses and burros for range deterioration even though they comprise only a tiny fraction of animals and wildlife grazing our public lands. Far greater damage is caused by privately-owned livestock, which outnumber the horses more than 100 to 1.
  • Moving wild horses and burros east off their Western homelands to “sanctuaries” in the east and Midwest at an initial cost of $96 million creates significant health concerns if animals adapted to western landscapes are managed on wet ground and rich grasses.

Removing tens of thousands of horses and burros from their legally-designated Western ranges and moving them into government-run facilities subverts the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act, which mandated that horses be preserved “where presently found.” A 2009 DC district court case held that “Congress did not authorize BLM to “manage” the wild horses and burros by corralling them for private maintenance or long-term care as non-wild free-roaming animals off the public lands.”

We appreciate your Administration’s recognition of the horses’ value as an ecotourism resource. However, the display of captive, non-reproducing herds in eastern pastures renders them little more than zoo exhibits, further discounting the contribution to our history and the future of the American West.

We believe that workable solutions to create a healthy “multiple use” of public rangelands, protect the ecological balance of all wildlife, and preserve America’s wild horses and burros in their rightful, legally protected home can be achieved. We are calling on the Obama Administration to reform the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Management Program.

We ask that you reverse the current course and immediately take the following actions:

1)    Place a moratorium on all roundups until accurate and independent assessments of population numbers and range conditions are made available and a final, long-term solution is formalized.

2)    Restore protections included in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Update existing laws that protect wild horses by reopening certain public lands to the mustangs and burros, thus decreasing the number in captivity. Return healthy wild horses and burros in holding to all available acres of public land designated primarily for their use in 1971. If these lands are not available, equivalent and appropriate western public lands should be added in their place.

3)    Support federal grazing permit buybacks. Reduce livestock grazing and reanalyze appropriate management levels for herd management areas to allow for self-sustaining, genetically-viable herds to exist in the west.

4)    Conduct Congressional hearings regarding the mismanagement of our wild herds and further investigate the inability of BLM to correct the shortcomings of the program as audited by the Government Accountability Office’s 1990, 1991 and 2008 reports.

Supported by the undersigned on November 18, 2009


6 Responses to “Unified Letter to President Obama and Secretary Salazar Requesting Immediate Moratorium on Roundups”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Ginger, Makendra and Christine, Thanks for your work and for this letter. There are some of us from the blog, FOLM; FURIOUS OLD LADIES for MUSTANGS, and we want to be on the extended list… mar

  2. Karen L. Says:

    Wonderful to see the list of supporting groups! Alex Brown Racing and Old Friends from the thoroughbred community is sweet!

  3. kas0859ohio Says:

    TFC- THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I am honored to be a part of this fight. I feel a lot of relief to see all of the facts, concerns and emotions contained in one letter and so brilliantly written! I’m sending the letter to my state rep (Steve Austria) here in Ohio and our local media. I pray this is it, this is the one last and final letter that will make the madness stop. Lots of Love-Kathleen

  4. T-Shirt Christine ;) Says:

    I just looked at the Undersigned list and saw Wendie Malick’s name. This is like the third time in the last two weeks she’s randomly come to my attention. I’m glad that its as part of this letter!

    I sent it to my local NPR station, which covers northern Idaho and the western edge of Montana, and I’m about to send it to all the Coast to Coast hosts again. I’m considering how I want to get it to my Representative and Senators, as they’re not listening to emails.

  5. Priscilla Lane Says:

    We just had a radio talk show go on, with a horse rescue owner and a commissioner. The show went very well. The response was very good.So many people are against this round up going on over the country. But, I read that if we have federal stop, we should go straight to DC. I am asking our kids to write the Pres. to ask him to stop the round ups. I have lived in Nv. from 1960, I am now 63. When I watch and of our wonderful gov’t and what they are doing, it makes me sick to my stomach. I t seems that when ever the gov’t wants something, they just kill it off, destroy it, move it or so what ever it they want to get what they want. I wish there is an answer, BLM, has gotten so out of control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Glassoniongirl Says:

    I hate how the mustangs are being treated as inanimate objects and are being pushed aside. Their`s very little news coverage in my area, and most areas from what I understand. Sad what the BLM is doing, down right pathetic and dirty. Behind peoples` backs too.

    I love it that Edgar Prado signed the list, he`s one of my favorite jockeys and a great guy. He rode my favorite racehorse, Barbaro, to win the Kentucky Derby in 2006 and continued to visit Barbaro while he was in the hospital with a broken leg.

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