LA Times Article

Please comment online, this report does not include the 3-4 million cattle grazing on public lands, the exponential increase in grazing permits in Calico and does not highlight the fact that an agency that has messed up a program so badly but has not made any internal changes can be trusted to fix any of the problems they created. Calico is not being overrun by horses. Senator Reid’s trust in BLM is misplaced.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-wild-horses-obama,0,5429559.story

Sheryl Crow, other wild-horse advocates ask Obama, Reid to stop mustang roundup in Nevada

MARTIN GRIFFITH Associated Press Writer

December 24, 2009 | 6:07 p.m.

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Sheryl Crow and other wild-horse advocates on Thursday called on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to block a major roundup of mustangs set to begin Monday in Nevada.

The request came a day after a federal judge denied a request to block the government gather in the Calico Mountains Complex, saying opponents failed to demonstrate that removal of the horses would violate federal law.

In urging Obama and Reid to intervene, Crow and other horse defenders said U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman did side with them in one aspect of his ruling.

The judge said federal officials likely were violating federal law by stockpiling tens of thousands of horses in long-term holding facilities in the Midwest. Friedman invited both sides to offer more legal arguments on the issue but said Congress ultimately may have to get involved.

“I’m asking President Obama and Senator Reid to stop the Calico roundup of the American wild mustangs in Nevada now until Congress decides how to manage our living legends of the West,” Crow said in a statement released by the Colorado-based horse advocacy group Cloud Foundation. The Grammy-winning singer has campaigned for both Obama and Reid.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said the Nevada senator believes it’s the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s responsibility to ensure the viability of wild horse herds and to protect rangelands and wildlife.

“Sen. Reid has long been critical of the BLM’s wild horse and burro program, as they regularly fall short on their obligations,” Summers said. “In this situation, the BLM has failed to properly manage these herds for many years, requiring the large (Calico) gather.”

Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, said the roundup will ensure high quality habitat for the wild horses and burros while protecting public rangeland from overuse.

“Secretary Salazar believes that this is once again another clarion call to develop and implement a long-term solution to the challenges we face concerning wild horses and burros on our public lands,” Barkoff said.

BLM officials have said they are moving forward with the plan to round up about 2,500 wild horses in northern Nevada, and place them for adoption or send them to long-term holding facilities in the Midwest.

They said the population in the five Calico herd management areas is three times what the range can handle.

The state’s wildlife agency sides with the BLM, saying the mustangs have “severely degraded” the range and adversely affected native wildlife.

Elliot Katz, president of California-based In Defense of Animals, said Obama should grant the Nevada horses a holiday reprieve until the legality of long-term holding facilities is determined.

“While the president is enjoying the holidays … (we) ask him to think of the horse families who are about to be torn apart forever in the BLM roundup,” Katz said. “With the stroke of a pen, he can stop the terror that is about to befall the majestic wild horses of the Calico Mountains in Nevada.”

Katz’s group had sued to block the roundup, saying the use of helicopters to drive horses to corrals is inhumane and exposes them to the risk of injury and death. Opponents also contend winter roundups expose horses to the risk of respiratory illness.

The mustang roundup in Nevada is part of federal land managers’ overall strategy to remove as many as 25,000 mustangs from public lands across the West and ship them to greener pastures in the Midwest and East.

The BLM estimates about half of the nearly 37,000 wild horses live in Nevada, with others concentrated across the West. Another 34,000 horses and burros are cared for in government-funded corrals and pastures in Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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29 Responses to “LA Times Article”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    My comment was not accepted;
    You need to get all the facts when you tell this story. It has been BLM’s practice to place thousands of head of cattle upon the designated wild horse range with no compensation to the wild horse program but the removal of horses in preference to cattle. This is illegal. It has been taking place in the Calico MTN. Complex where these horses are still threatened with the loss of freedom, families destroyed and their way of life altered by anti fertility drugs and gelding. Roundups take lives and are more cruel than you seem to have knowledge of. These are not ‘excess horses’ and this is not an emergency. The range is degraded only by cattle and sheep not by these horses. They have been so poorly managed by BLM in preference to all else on their own lands that their numbers are now fewer than our endangered polar bears. Nevada has long accepted wild horses as a returned native species. Our wild herds are our heritage and need our protection and positive management. BLM is about to steal the last remaining wild horses and burros in 2010 and will continue with the largest land grab in modern Western history unless we can save the wild ones and their lawful range before they are forced to extinction. There is so much more to this story and the history of lies and myths that have covered the tracks of BLM’s true intentions to destroy our wild herds. Mar

  2. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Glad to see you are back in normal shape. Mar

  3. true15 Says:

    Please e-mail the LA Times as well in regards to the placement of the space reserved for comments. There is a big empty space and many ads before the area alloted for comments, which would be misguiding the reader into believing that there are no comments. just posted a comment as well. It might take a little while to appear.

  4. true15 Says:

    Sadly enough, the article posted online on Xmas day, when online activity is probably at its minimum.

  5. Suzanne Moore Says:

    Ok, they said my comment was accepted and will appear “shortly.”

  6. Sandra Miller Says:

    Can someone please get Craig Downer to write a rebuttal to the following quote from the above article?
    “The state’s wildlife agency sides with the BLM, saying the mustangs have “severely degraded” the range and adversely affected native wildlife.” This is a serious charge, and this is not the first time I have read it from the state’s wildlife agency. Craig Downer was taking pictures in the Calico Complex in October. He made no mention of anything like the charge made by the state wildlife agency. If they are lying or ignorantly misinformed, it is the ideal time to take them to task for it. The general public will never question the validity of the claim and thus will believe it’s OK to move the horses out for such “good reason”. We need to aggressively follow up and nail down every lie and every liar. We need testimony from those who have been on the ground in the Calico Complex. I challenge those who have noted this “severely degraded” range which has adversely affected native wild life to give specific examples in specific places so that others can go out, look over the situation, and report on their findings in a scientific and credible way.

  7. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    COMPUTER HAS BEEN DOWN–JUST GOT BACK ON LINE. TRYING TO POST COMMENT TO L.A. TIMES, BUT CAN’T SEEM TO GET PAST ENTRY POINT. DO WE HAVE TO GIVE OUR PASSWORD? IS THERE SOME WAY TO MAKE A COMMENT WITHOUT GIVING SO MUCH INFORMATION? DID ANYONE GET THROUGH TO ANDERSON COOPER? EVEN WITHOUT A COMPUTER MUCH CAN BE DONE WITH A TYPEWRITER AND TELEPHONE–BEEN DOING THAT. WATCHED THE BOARD MEETING. WILD HORSE ANNIE WOULD BE SO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU. IF SHE HAD HAD YOU WITH HER, IT WOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN 10 YEARS.

    • jo bunny Says:

      LOUIE, YOU’RE BACK! SORRY THAT YOUR COMPUTER WAS DOWN BUT AM GLAD TO KNOW THAT YOUR ABSENCE FROM TCF BLOG WAS NOT ANYTHING MORE SERIOUS. WELCOME BACK!

    • Karen L. Says:

      Louie, I tried several times to contact AC and never received any response. However, Mar mentioned another person at CNN that I am not familiar with—I think he may be a meteorologist and may already have an interest in the horses.

      Mar, Did you mention someone else at CNN for us to try??

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Reynolds Wolf is a photographer and reporter for CNN and he is a horse person. He was waiting for a budget approval at CNN to do the filming of the Calico Roundup with Carol Walker, I believe, as she had expressed interest and Monika wanted him to have someone with him who knew what was going on.

        I do not know where this stands right now. i have been looking for his email. I hope I have it, Maybe Monika does, surely Carol does. Ask her at livingimages and see. Get it up here, you will be faster than me… mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        I’m trying through both CNN and the Walker site.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Reynolds says they are still trying but because of his assignment at CNN as the weather guy, he may get pulled at any time if there is a storm.. But We have George K. and he will not stop reporting on this. We may have both, that would be great. So we don’t have to write to Carol. She was trying to get wolf, too. Everyone is scrambling to do all they can right now as it has become crucial. Mar

  8. Suzanne Moore Says:

    My comment is there now, and so is yours, Jo Bunny.

  9. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    This is from equus5 at RTs site and I feel there is something perfectly symbolic to this and maybe we can do this with ease and it will get attention.
    The quarters could go to a media source rather than someone who would not let on… Or be sure the media gets a press release and follows up…
    Let’s do this!

    How about a campaign to mail back all of our Nevada state quarters — the ones with the beautiful wild horses running free in the sunshine. This used to be my favorite state quarter, but now the sight of it makes me sick. It is odd that Nevada would choose this particular image to represent their state knowing that in the not too distant future this image could be just a memory. I have been thinking of sending my quarters to either the governor or tourism board, maybe even the local BLM. Perhaps bags and bags full of these coins could arrive on somebody’s doorstep, kind of like the March of Dimes. They could be carried by kids on horseback dressed like cowboys or “Wild Horse Annies”. A sight like that might be sensational enough to get the media’s attention. I do think the tourism people would be nervous if there were talk of a boycott of Nevada. A Christmas pardon would be nice, although they are usually reserved for criminals and our wild horses and burros are completely innocent of any crime. It is still worth a try, even though the new president seems either ignorant or apathetic to the plight of our wild equines. I asked him how he would explain to his daughters why he let our wild horses and burros go extinct on his watch. Hopefully it will make him think about how he wants history to remember him.

    • jo bunny Says:

      hmmmm. although i’d bet that the blm would GLADLY accept bags of quarters, i’m not so sure i wanna mail my hard earned cash to the blm. those greedy, moneyhungry muthas have been bilking millions of dollars from each one of us for years now! i’d hope that we could find someone other than the blm to return our nevada quarters to!

      & have you seen the latest pryor mtn. center’s newsletter???

      http://pryormustangs.org/uploads/newsletters/2009Winter.pdf

      not one word of mention of all the work that TCF did to rescue & find a home for the 19 older horses….also of note is that they wrote their own letter (in conjunction with FOAL) calling for a moratorium on roundups, yet also supporting the salazoo plan. says they:
      “The two organizations have also spent time researching and developing suggestions for two major proposals, the Senate version of the Restore Our American Mustangs Act (S.1579) and Secretary Salazar’s recent proposals for wild horse and burro
      management.”
      i find this to be rather interesting…..perhaps even insulting(?) to all the others (TCF, EWA, & all the rest) who have worked together to restore ROAM, to call for a moratorium, & to stop the salazoo plans from going forward. i was shocked, to say the least……

  10. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    http://www.calicomtns.net sorry,

    Vicki just sent out a message that part of the Calico mtns are on private land and cannot be monitored.

    If the quarter campaign happened the money could go to someone who would keep track, report on it and bank it in the name of the horses. mar

  11. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I DID CONTACT THE TOURISM PEOPLE–SENT LOTS OF INFORMATION.

  12. Sandra Miller Says:

    Ladies, you could try contacting Jane Velez-Mitchell, “Issues with Jane Valez-Mitchell”,HLN (Headline News, on cable). She had a segment, with video clips, about the wild horses and burros being rounded up some time ago. It was a few weeks before the “Mustangs on the Hill” event and around the time Care2 came out with the first petition to sign in support of the wild horses and burros. That is how I found out about the issue, being lost here in the corn in Indiana! Jane is a rabid animal supporter. She is passionate about these causes. I do not follow her program with any regularity at all, but I watched her express her outrage about the plight of our wild horses and burros and also, more recently, the campaign against the wolves since the federal government removed them from the endangered species list. She has the heart to help. Try her!

  13. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Q&A on Wild Horses — a source of facts.

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

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