Audubon Magazine Article on Wild Horses

Please post your comments after reading this article by Audubon Magazine

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65 Responses to “Audubon Magazine Article on Wild Horses”

  1. Janet Ferguson Says:

    The article doesn’t seem biased to me. . . I do not understand why the advocates are raking them over the coals. . .

    What am I missing?

  2. Joette Snyder Says:

    The Audubon is more interested in the Grouse than the horses. Besides sheep and cattle will destroy the land faster than any horses. They need to get facts correct and not side with the BLM if animal right is the concern.

  3. Sandra Miller Says:

    I knew there was a reason years ago for never getting around to reading the Audubon magazines someone had sent to me. I would just hate to think I had wasted my time reading anything about nature from a science fiction magazine. Now, if I can just find them stashed in the attic somewhere, I will put them where they can REALLY do some good for the
    natural world, in my recycling bin.

  4. jan eaker Says:

    I knew there was a reason I always throw out the pleas they send me to donate!

  5. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    When I was a girl we had an a local Audubon Chapter. I learned to handle small birds and put bands on their legs for scientific surveys. It was wonderful to do. i learned how to help injured birds, also. Their magazine is beautiful and full of world class photography. They have great tips for lessening pollution and what Not to use on your yard so your birds can forage and the ground stays healthy.

    That they have not given this much thought is obvious. Ted Williams is not my favorite outdoor writer, i really despise him, and his biases are notorious and narrow minded.

    It is sad to boycott this magazine and the group that taught me so much at a very early age about wildlife and conservation which I have been able to use with wild horses. For now that is where I stand. Maybe I will take time for them and see if they can learn something from me. mar

  6. Nini Says:

    BLM ‘Managing Wild Horses To Extinction’

    While BLM officials, lawmakers and the White House dodge this controversy — America’s wild horses (and burros) are being sacrificed at an alarming rate — their gene pools decimated and extinguished — not just due to aggressive, brutal roundups, but endocrine disruption by PZP contraceptives as well. Not to mention the practice of sending thousands of “3 Strikes” mustangs to the Sales Authority, destined for slaughter, no doubt. Perhaps it’s a myth that the horses are being stockpiled — it’s more like they’ve already been shipped over the border to overseas markets. These are intelligent equines — yet they are regarded as “livestock.” We are not only in danger of losing the mustang as a living, viable American icon — we’re losing our moral compass as a nation if we let this brutal carnage continue.

  7. Sandra Miller Says:

    I have “captured” Ted Wiilliams’ “Horse Sense” into my draft folder by good old copy and paste for further study. I wish we could find a researcher who would fact check everyone of his statements – not necessarily to prove him wrong, but because I would like to know how two groups of people could look at the same scene and come to such different conclusions! I am developing a theory, though!

    I was shocked when the Nevada wildlife department and the Nevada chapter of the Sierra Club joined the ranchers and came out against the wild horses and burros. The extent of the Audubon Society’s willingness to rail against the wild horses and burros is also shocking to me. I’m beginning to think that these organization are real wimps. They know there is a real problem out there on the Public Lands, but they overlook the true culprit, the cattle and sheep grazing, because they fear the power of agricultural interests and believe opposing them is hopeless. In other words, they have not followed the facts to the culprits, as I am sure we have, but in desperation to claim SOME additional territory for wildlife, are trying to get rid of the wild horses and burros instead.

    It is interesting that Ted Williams refers to the supporters of the wild horses and burros as the “horse mafia”, just when I was beginning to hear the BLM referred to as the “Western Mafia”. I suggest we think of ourselves as the “horse posse” instead, intent on enforcing the law – you know, the ones wearing the white hats in the proud tradition of the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne. I am looking at my upper arm and seeing more muscle there than I ever thought I had. Who knew, until I read this article, how much power the defenders of the wild horses and burros are really thought to have!

    Here is another “bullet point” to consider. When Ginger Kathrens was interviewed on NHN radio a few weeks ago (the feed was posted on the blog), she mentioned that she started photographing the wild horses because Marty Stouffer, of “Wild America” told her he had always wanted to do a segment on the wild horses (obviously, there was no doubt in Marty’s mind that the horses were wild). He sent her out to do that, and so her 15 year experience began. A few days ago I happened to run across an old segment by Marty about the bighorn sheep and their precarious status. I suppose it was 15 or 20 years old. He said very plainly that the bighorns’ problems were directly caused by cattle and sheep grazing, which brought diseases to them and ruined their range. He said until we remove the cattle and sheep, the bighorns, whose range used to stretch from Canada to northern Mexico, will continue to decline. How come the Audubon Society has such a hard time seeing that!? I guess they’re waiting for the horse posse to do their work for them!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Yes, Sandra, this is very true. There is huge disconnect where there could be bridges. Not that Ted will ever be reached, but the various .orgs that we have been involved with in the past are looking more narrow now than I would ever have thought.

      I am puzzled by this continued hatred and blame put on the equids. It is unwarranted. This campaign is almost squeaky clean and the advocates a cross section of some of the best folks in this nation, and WE are the ‘horse mafia?’ That is laughable. Look at us. Overwhelmingly female but with some good men beside us, and WE are that fearful?? Well, fine and good, we are to be reckoned with. But Ted is apparently unaware of who we are. I won’t tell him. We are often portrayed as having money, also, which is far from true.
      We can keep educating and telling it like it is… foster an alliance with Western
      Watersheds and others of grass roots who are not afraid of wild horses. Over time we can continue to challenge these .orgs for their ignorance, as they should be.. and maybe their members and those like me who have jumped ship, can get them to look at the science and relent. That will be a good day. mar

  8. Audrey C Says:

    I was impressed by the comments on the Audabon’s wesbsite….all refuted this article. It shows the multitude of Americans that have educated themselves on the wild horse & burro issue, and it really depicts the love we have for our living symbol of freedom. (Let’s NOT forget the humble burros – who have suffered even more)
    I am just hoping and praying that there are enough, in numbers, to turn this around before it is too late. I did call every senator & congress person on the appropriations subcomitte yesterday, in addition to signing the IDA petition. They have been phenomenal! I wish a few other large animal welfare groups would be as unrelenting and vigorous as the IDA. NUMBERS are what is needed.
    Also, I would like to add that all animals, however humans decide to “label” them, are intelligent and sentient. I have great empathy for the cattle and sheep who are taking over, destroying, and desertifying our public lands. It is not their fault, for they did not place themselves on our public lands, and their intent is harmless. It is the ranchers, the lobbyists, and the Bureau of “”livestock” management. These innocent animals will too, experience terror being rounded up, suffer during transport, and then go through the brutality of slaughter. They have no more consideration other than being “meat on the hoof”. Our public lands, our wild horses & burros, are all being sacrificed, at our expense, by corporate greed and profit, sanctioned by our own government. Yes, the west is being won again – unless, we, the American people, can gain enough in strength and numbers, to re-establish, that which is rightfully ours.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Plus, I am just beginning to learn about the terrible conditions the workers in the slaughter and meatprocessing plants suffer on the job.
      One article I read mentioned plants being reduced to 50 degrees; which pushes the older folks out (arthritis); repetitive motion; handling frozen chickens with bare hands and having to process them; companys failing to give the workers the names of the company’s staff doctors; state legislatures making it harder by legislation for the workers in these plants to claim workers compensation injuries, and the list goes on and on. We are concerned about the animals, but there is a true human tragedy here as well.

  9. sandra longley Says:

    Maybe it is time to take these groups on in an information blitz, and say and show where both our interests intersect, and where our goals actually compliment and furture there goals as well..Sending them the article on Jon Marvel “true grit” would be a good place to start..They along with others have bought into the “fable” of the feral invasive horse, this propaganda was and is very effective for those welfare rancers, and the BLM

  10. Nora Morbeck Says:

    It’s a shame that some wildlife groups have taken this stance, especially since they try to use science to explain why horses and burros are so destructive to the environment.
    I wish someone would explain scientifically how horses, outnumbered by cattle on public lands by at LEAST 200 – 1, can be more destructive to the environment than cattle. Not having an accurate, scientific hard count on how many equids are actually out there, the numbers of cattle to horses/burros could be much larger in favor of cattle.
    I wish some scientist somewhere would explain in factual terms how it is that horses foul water on public lands when many of these water sources aren’t even accessible to horses because the BLM has fenced them off for livestock use.
    There’s no logic in their arguments at all.
    These groups are nothing but BLM puppets if they chose to hide behind the skirts of sketchy science and illogical claims.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Nora, Another irony is that these groups have battled the DOI Agencies on behalf of wild life for decades and have supported preservation and protection of the lands and species at all costs. In the 80s there was a strong movement to change the grazing law and let the land heal and stop leasing to the worst offenders who had ravaged range with cattle and sheep during drought years. Because that decade saw more rain come the argument fell apart. But the range has nor recovered and the manner of allowing leases on damaged land and not retiring leases on damaged lands has just continued to compound the issue. Now we get some good rain years and the scapegoat becomes the wild horse. And the ranges are doing better where they can, but not all over. mar

  11. Karen L. Says:

    More and more I am coming to believe that the hatred and blame put on the equines, and lack of logic, as Nora notes, can be explained in the definition of the word “prejudice”. Prejudice—a judgement or opinion, favorable or unfavorable, formed beforehand or without due examination; a mental decision based on other grounds than reason or justice; especially, a premature or adversely biased opinion. Detriment arising from a hasty and unfair judgement; injury; harm.

    Mental decisions based on grounds other than reason or justice or science are the only possible explanations for the condemnation of the horses and burros. Those types of mindsets are difficult to reach or change.

  12. Sandra Miller Says:

    Yes, Sandra L., I agree. It is insane that we are not working together on this. Marilyn, take my theory seriously. I think this is happening because the wildlife groups are desperate to have more room for wildlife but see the agricultural interests as invincible and impossible to do anything about, so they have concluded it would be popular and useful to campaign against the wild horses and burros and gain some territory that way. The horses and burros are such a piddling little group compared to the cattle and sheep that it makes no sense otherwise that the wildlife people would begin to campaign against them.

    Also, you know we all need our mental computers updated frequently. Things change, but we don’t realize it. I don’t think a lot of people in the US realize that Corporate America and special interests have overrun our Public Lands with cattle just because it costs 1/10 of the cost to graze them there compared to grazing on private land – or that the meat of about 97% of the cattle raised on the Public Lands is exported, not enjoyed by the American people. This is a double whammy loss to the American people.

    At this point we may decide we have two goals – returning the wild horses and burros to the Public Lands by enforcing the law – and getting rid of livestock grazing on that Public Land, seeing that it is doing little for this country or the American people. We do need an information blitz of some kind to convince the wildlife groups that we all need to work together. I promise you one thing – no matter how things go, I will not ever turn against or desert the wildlife of our country, which is more loyalty than the wildlife groups may deserve, but not more than the wildlife itself deserves!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Sandra M. I did agree with you… and Karen, yes, the perceptions seem to be ‘prejudice’ and that is what I have seen for years out here in the West, a great deal of prejudice. The public can be reached and swayed by good sound arguments. The .orgs should be also because they are the public and they want science to prevail. There is poor leadership involved when fact and science based
      information is passed over. But our public lands and wildlife have taken a beating from the 8 years of Bush now extending into the Obama years unnecessarily. This has made weaker minds prevail. I am very disappointed i the .org wildlife community. I am not alone.

      and Sandra, my humble opinion is based on my experience here. Please consider it, also. I am only adding to what you have said. And getting cattle off the horse lands would be a start… I think attacking the horses is a smoke screen to continue the status quo and everyone out here who has a stake and no interest in the horses seems guilty of this at one time or another. mar

  13. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MY TWO CENTS WORTH–PREDATORS PREY ON THE EASIEST VICTIMS. THE WILD HORSES AND BURROS HAVE NOT HAD MUCH DEFENSE BEFORE NOW.

  14. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MAR, THIS ORGANIZATION IS PROBABLY FILLED WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE THEN IT WAS WHEN YOU REMEMBER IT AS A CHILD. THAT IS ALL IT TAKES–KEEP THE SAME NAME AND CHANGE THE PEOPLE–BINGO–PEOPLE FOLLOW BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Well, Louie, i imagine after 50 years they have changed. They do stand for much the same things but I feel the leadership of any of these .org groups I know well have not got the same type of leadership they may have once. Years ago I wrote about David Brower who had made the Sierra Club a Household name in the 50’s. He got canned because he made a mistake about Glen Canyon Dam and he was too progressive to offset this mistake. Paul Watson got canned from GreenPeace, which he founded because he was too progressive and he is the only one out there now, with Sea Shepherd Society, directly saving the lives of whales.

      I know that the accountants took over the .orgs some decades back. This has led to complacency because of a lack of leadership. When the money means more than the animals it is time to stop and examine what is happening. As in the case of HSUS. I think we may have allies out there we just have to work on. Mostly from the membership in. After all, we have been the membership.

      And ‘when I was child’ I did not know who ran any of it. Is there a point to that?? mar

  15. Sandra Miller Says:

    Marilyn, your opinion is not humble – it is far more important than mine, because I do not have your important years of experience in the West. What I meant was, I really am serious about this idea, because I don’t know how else to explain what is going on here. Now, you have added some historical perspective from the ’80’s as to land conditions and the response of those who live in the West – and we all know, if we are serious about the preserving the natural environment and the wildlife, what happened during the Bush years (but, remember, how many victories were won during that period by dragging people to court and litigating this matter or that one!). When you state, “And getting cattle off the horse lands would be a start”, it is a reminder that the wild horse and burro issue can actually be a way to help the land and the wildlife on it! In other words, it is not just a selfish demand based on “we want the horses and burros back on the land because we want it, period, take it or leave it,” but really one that contains helpfulness in solving many problems at the same time. We are the horse posse! We are all about doing good – don’t chide me – it’s true!

  16. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MAR, WHAT ABOUT THE GELDINGS THAT YOU WERE POSTING–THE TRANSFER–I TRIED TO REACH YOU ON THE OTHER POST. MORE INFO. CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR SOURCE?

  17. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MAR, WHAT I MEANT WAS, SOMETIMES THESE ORGANIZATIONS CHANGE, AND THEY AREN’T THE SAME AS WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN. TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE TAKE OVER. NEITHER OF THE TWO MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES ARE EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT THEY WERE IN THE BEGINNING–THAT IS WHAT I MEANT. WHEN THE OLD MEMBERS ARE GONE AND NEW COME IN, SOMETIMES THE DIRECTION CHANGES COURSE.

  18. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Sorry you think I was chiding you. I do not see where I did that when I agreed with you twice. I think it is the other way around… It is good to get an idea in your head and run with it but it needs to have an open end, too, to make it better… I have no idea where you are coming from. Who ever you think I am you are mistaken. Please, I have had enough now. I have not picked you apart, why are you doing it to me??

    I have felt the ‘prejudice’ from people here who somehow think I am in their way. That is sad… I am not old fashioned or stuck in the past. Far from it. I am working on real projects with real wild horses, not speculating.

    I still work on other issues out here, for real. Wolves, water, mining and bison for decades. I do see from a different perspective and I am not an idealist so much as I once was. Get over yourself. I will not come here if you cannot work with me. I can work with you. I can also admit when I am wrong… Back up. mar

  19. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MAR, SOMETIMES THINGS JUST DON’T COME THROUGH IN PRINT AS YOU MEANT FOR THEM. I DIDN’T THINK YOU WERE CHIDING ME. I THOUGHT THAT I DIDN’T COME ACROSS AS I MEANT.

  20. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    COULD BE THAT I AM WAY OLDER THAN YOU–YOU HAVE A VAST AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE AN WE ALL DRAW FROM THAT.

  21. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    PLEASE, DON’T BE ANGRY. I THINK YOU ARE VERY VALUABLE. JUST TELL US WANT YOU THINK WE SHOULD BE DOING AND WE WILL TRY TO FOLLOW THROUGH.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_88ea0fbc-118d-11df-beeb-001cc4c002e0.html

      The source is also here at the blog as two of these articles were posted. Go to the article and click on to Spanish Q and you will get all the other previous articles. The gelding transfer is on hold for supposed problems between the owners of the ranch.

      Louie, I am not angry i think someone else is. I am hurt. I come here and give my two cents and want people to see more than one perspective. There always is more than one…

      But, I am not a leader or trying to be one. I would not want to tell people what to do. Maybe what not to do… like this. Maybe you are not understanding me as my background began in wildlife management, Biology, Equine Science and journalism among much other related experience. My age is relative and not important.

      I may have been giving you a poke, Louie, but nothing more. You can’t speak for Sandra M, either. You never said what she did.. but thanks for trying to make peace because that is the right thing to do. This is why I said egos and self doubts need not be brought here (somewhere on the blog). That is maybe the extent of blog etiquette that I know. mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        Mar, Thanks for the link. I did not know the series of events involving the Spanish Q Ranch when you said you wanted to contact Tom Gorey the other day. And, Mar, I think you are perceived as a leader on this blog, regardless. You constantly demonstrate a great depth and breadth of knowledge on the equine issues—my guess is that it comes from a lifetime of caring—something that cannot be denied or hidden—it shines forth for us.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        I am in denial, then… a leader wants to be out front and that is not this lady.. thanks, Karen… I am far from perfect and just want to help.. I make mistakes all the time (ask RT) and like obscurity with respect..

        I just want Sandra M. to know that I was very much respecting her opinion…mar

  22. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    THESE ARE ALL THAT I CAN FIND:

    Plan to move wild horses in Madison County stalls
    DILLON – The Bureau of Land Management says a plan to move805 wild horses to a private ranch in owners of the 16,367-acreSpanish Q Ranch near Ennis can be resolved.
    http://www.billingsgazette.com/ news/ state-and-regional/ montana/ article_88ea0fbc-118d-11df-beeb-001cc4c002e0.html – Proxy – Highlight – 2 more top results from this site

    Wild Horse Long-Term Holding Pasture Put On Hold
    Plans for a long-term holding pasture for excess wild horses nearEnnis have been put on temporary hold. a dispute between the ownersof the Spanish

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      That was the latest, near the article, lower right, archives, related stuff, hit Spanish Q, in red ink? and the other articles come up. But what came of my inquiry was that this is the status of this of this contracted holding place. he horses to go there were supposed to be NV horses but Calico horses are not to go to LT holding, Eagle was called off and that leaves Palomino Valley. The status will need to be checked. This was not added to the Feb facility list, maybe because of the lawsuit fallout. I am glad that Linda found the links to the articles. I remember this well as I lived in the Madison Valley near Ennis in 97 when I worked in West Stone and followed the buffalo. mar

  23. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    FOUND THIS:
    .::The Montana Standard::.
    The matter is between the Spanish Q Ranch and the leasers. … Tony Schoonen, Skyline director, said the Spanish Q includes in-holdings of BLM and state …
    http://www.mtstandard

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Louie, Thanks for a new article.. I am having signal problems… may be solved soon… by this weekend or early next week… but I will read it when able…

      Why should you be quiet? You ask good questions and carry us along…

      We all need to remember, we feel bad and are angry and we get upset and all sorts of things come out of it because we are under stress. I really hate what this is doing to many of us. That is another reason I am disappointed in My Former Senator Obama… who used to care about so many particulars. He has been swallowed in DC. The wild life things are very scary right now. Did any of you know that Japan has asked US to help them get whaling rights back??? For us to influence the International whaling Commission?? Whale populations are between recovery and very endangered yet they want us to help them. This is like saying Obama is so weak on wildlife and the oceans that they can come out and ask this. Very scary cause i don’t know what he will say. How can he answer them when he won’t answer us?? Why is this all an uphill fight?
      Look at what we have taken on… Sandra M just forget anything happened as we are all entitled. This has been a nightmare. I am not angry at all. Just shocked and I am over it. We all belong here. We are all struggling… peace, mar

  24. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MAR, I SECOND WHAT KAREN SAID. SHE SAID IT BETTER THAN I DID. I THINK YOU ARE SO VERY VALUABLE. PERHAPS IT IS A GOOD DAY FOR ME TO JUST BE QUIET.

  25. Janet Ferguson Says:

    PETA just got 2.5 million dollars from Bob Barker to open an office in LA.

    news flash

    • Suzanne Moore Says:

      I wouldn’t count on any help from PETA, and I wouldn’t want to be associated with them anyway. I think PETA and the other “animal rights” radicals have done just about as much damage to animal welfare as the BLM or Cattlemen’s Assoc. or anyone else. This is a stated goal of theirs, and they are doing it well.

      Just think of all the comments we get about being know-nothing radicals who are not well informed about the situation. Our goals are very different from theirs, but people don’t realize that. Thanks, PETA. They have hurt our credibility badly.

      http://goldendays-suzanne.blogspot.com/p/animal-welfare-vs-animal-rights-whats.html
      “Animal rights advocates reject all animal use, no matter how humane. Some have even suggested that animal welfare reforms impede progress toward animal rights because they improve the conditions under which “animal exploitation” occurs, making it more difficult to stimulate public opposition to animal use.”

      Quote from PETA leaders: “The theory of animal rights simply is not consistent with the theory of animal welfare… Animal rights means dramatic social changes for humans and non-humans alike; if our bourgeois values prevent us from accepting those changes, then we have no right to call ourselves advocates of animal rights.” –Gary Francione, The Animals’ Voice, Vol. 4, No. 2 (undated), pp. 54-55.

      “Not only are the philosophies of animal rights and animal welfare separated by irreconcilable differences… the enactment of animal welfare measures actually impedes the achievement of animal rights… Welfare reforms, by their very nature, can only serve to retard the pace at which animal rights goals are achieved.” –Gary Francione and Tom Regan, “A Movement’s Means Create Its Ends,” The Animals’ Agenda, January/February 1992, pp. 40-42.

      They’re not quite as open about their real agenda these days, but, believe me, it hasn’t changed. I have put more on my blog, because I am tired of having to type it over and over defending our position in comments and letters. Now I can just copy and paste or post my link.

      IMHO, we should try to keep our name separate from theirs.

  26. Sandra Miller Says:

    Oh, my. I just returned after being in the country all afternoon. As Louie said, sometimes things just don’t come through in print as we intend. We are all just agreeing with each other, I am sure. Do you know, there is a gentleman I have never met on my “Friends and Relatives” list, referred by a relative, though, a retired college professor, who wrote recently, “I hope you don’t think I have been too harsh with you.” I was so surprised – I never thought he had been harsh with me about anything! We have just been exchanging ideas and we all have different styles of writing. Sometimes things are written in jest but we can’t see a person’s face so we don’t realize that. When I said, “We are the horse posse. We are all about doing good – don’t chide me – it’s true!” , I was speaking to the world in general. I should have put that last sentence in its own separate paragraph. You know how people sometimes scold those tree hugging do gooders (a group which I have never really minded being part of). That’s what I was referring to, Marilyn. We really are all about doing good, with great seriousness and earnestness of purpose, and there is not a thing in the world wrong with that! So, I said to the world, I refuse to be chided about it – and I hope each and every person here feels the same!

  27. Sandra Miller Says:

    This information is for Louie and any other person who is interested in the welfare of the small family farmer and rancher. The Center for Rural Affairs was started in 1973 in Nebraska to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches and rural communities. This is one of the organizations I worked with on the last Farm Bill, doing exactly what we are doing now on this blog for the wild horses and burros. There is a large loophole in federal farm payment limitations which Obama promised to close during his campaign, but in January the administration released regulations that continue the gaping loophole. The way things stand now, you can practically make a couple conference calls a year and declare yourself a farmer, thus qualifying for federal payments. The Center for Rural Affairs is asking the administration to limit payments to active farmers who work the land and their landlords. If you are not familiar with this organization, this will give you an opportunity to look over its web site. I highly recommend this organization. If you would like to add your voice to this campaign, go to http://www.cfra.org/10/payment-limits

  28. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, THANK YOU. SORRY I TOOK SO LONG TO RESPOND–PROJECTS. I WILL PASS THIS TO PEOPLE THAT I KNOW. HOW ABOUT PUTTING IT ON WILLIE NELSON’S PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE WEBSITE. HE IS ALL ABOUT THE SMALL FARMER. IN FACT, SOMETHING IS POSTED RIGHT NOW.

  29. Sandra Miller Says:

    That’s a great idea, Louie. Notice, this organization is for the small rancher as well as the small farmer. Even though this action alert pertains to farmers, I am sure that the same kind of problem would be addressed in the same way for ranchers, too. The whole idea is to limit federal subsidies to ACTIVE farmers and their landlords. Don’t you think one way to begin dealing with the subsidized grazing program would be to keep cost to the ACTIVE rancher and their landlords low, while passing the full cost of the grazing program on to the corporate absentee owners? These are just ideas to think about. Also, they have been pushing hard to help rural people with health care, subsistence farming (I think that’s the correct term), and rural development, all issues of interest to ranchers, too, I’m sure.

    I thought the information that flowed into the Blog about the WWP was very interesting. We have another ally! I have sent my sister in Tucson relevant information from the Blog to see if she can relate it to anything she has read in the local paper. I talk to her every Saturday for a couple hours (!) and will post anything she might come up with under the proper article, not here. I don’t mean to always be leaving in the middle of things, but I have owned a small house (used to be a one room school)in the country, 8 1/2 miles away, over the state line into
    Michigan, where I go every afternoon to feed the animals. I take care of a colony of barn cats on my 92 year old neighbor’s property. You have to get out on the farm, you know, into the corn and soybean fields! – even suburban life is too restrictive as a full time thing!

  30. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, CATS–ANOTHER ANIMAL TO FIGHT FOR. I LOVE THEM, TOO. I KNOW OF TWO PEOPLE THAT RESCUE CATS AND FARM ANIMALS. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THOSE PEOPLE. THEY SPEND THEIR OWN MONEY TO DO THIS. I TRY TO HELP THEM IN ANY WAY THAT I CAN. THEY ARE MADE OF SOMETHING EXTRA GOOD. THE ONE THAT RESCUES CATS IS ALWAYS OUT AT NIGHT TRAPPING OR FEEDING. SHE MAKES CERTAIN THAT THEY ARE SPAYED, NEUTERED, AND GIVEN NECESSARY INNOCULATIONS. HER HOME IS A SANCTUARY FOR CATS. ANIMALS UNDER HER CARE THRIVE. THE SAME WITH THE ONE THAT TAKES IN FARM ANIMAL–SHE ALSO TAKES IN DOGS, CATS–YOU NAME IT. THEY BOTH LIVE AWAY IN THE COUNTRY, SO IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO DO THIS. THE ONE THAT RESCUES FARM ANIMALS TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS GOING TO LOCAL AUCTIONS FOR A TIME AND BIDDING ON THE ANIMALS THAT WERE SICK OR JUST NOT REALLY SOUND, SO THAT SHE COULD GIVE THEM A HOME. FINALLY, ONE DAY, A LOCAL RANCHER WHO HAD ALWAYS NOTICED THIS, OFFERED TO HELP HER, BECAUSE IT LOOKED AS THOUGH SHE JUST DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER. THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN SAFETY OR COMFORT. THEY ARE THE SAME AS THESE THAT FIGHTING SO HARD FOR OUR WILD HORSES AND BURROS.

  31. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I LIVE AROUND A LOT OF RANCHERS AND FARMERS. I THINK I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF HOW THEY FEEL. I KNOW THAT THEY DON’T TRUST ANYTHING THAT SMACKS OF “LIBERAL”, “ENVIRONMENTAL”, OR “GREEN”. ALL BAD WORDS. THEY HAVE BEEN HURT BY SOME OF THESE MOVEMENTS. DO YOU EVER READ “RANGE” MAGAZINE? A FRIEND GOT ME A SUBSCRIPTION TO IT. YOU REALLY GET AN UNDERSTANDING THERE OF HOW MUCH THEY ARE BEING PUSHED, BY THE SAME FORCES THAT WE ARE PUSHING AGAINST. I THINK WE HAVE EVERY REASON TO STAND TOGETHER.

    • Suzanne Moore Says:

      There are some crazies in that magazine too, Louie. Remember, Mar?

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Louie, At RT’s I wrote about Range under the post about Princess Sue. There are 3 comments about Range and the May issue which says awful things about Madeleine, advocates and ROAM that are the biggest lies ever. That issue has mustangs on the cover and it says; “Mustangs, Yay or Neigh?” and it is 100% neigh inside. Including the editorial. mar

  32. Sandra Miller Says:

    Now, those are really “sainted” people, Louie! I just take care of my neighbor’s barn cat colony. They are all related – it is not a group of strays. I make sure they have a warm place to stay and are fed daily. At my country house I have three indoor cats and one who left the neighbor to adopt me, so stays in the garage or inside, his choice. The house is kept at 45 degrees in the winter, which is much simpler than winterizing it as you would a cabin or lake cottage. They are all spayed and neutered at my house (I also have three indoor cats in South Bend). However, my neighbor’s cats are not spayed and neutered, but, like the wild horses and burros, they are exposed to the forces of nature, seeing that they often have their kittens in the woods, and few kittens survive. A few days ago I was “cleaning the barn” – I discovered that one of the very warm places I have for them, a super-sized dog igloo filled with straw, they had turned into a porto-potty over the winter! This was probably because our winter, although not unusually cold, was unusually snowy in a persistent, day after day way. I think they just got tired of facing the snow storms and decided to use the igloo instead!. It has fresh straw now and they are sleeping in it again, as I expect them to do! I started this at my house in the country about 20 years ago because I realized that the farmers around me, who really liked the cats, did not understand that they no longer had warm dairy barns to stay in (everything is in row crops now) and they really needed more protection in the winter. I’m all for independent living, but I also think it is a good idea to keep an eye on them daily and figure out how you can help them without ending their independence – again, like the wild horses.

    I have never read “Range” magazine, but I will Google it. Now, here is one for you. Do you subscribe to the free conservation bulletin, “y2y”? It is just a weekly collection of articles from all over about conservation. You can subscribe to it at http://www.y2y.net/. Look what I found in today’s issue – a little gem, just for our wild horse and burro campaign, copied and pasted:

    Helena Independent Record – The U.S. Forest Service must re-examine how livestock grazing affects sage grouse habitat in southwestern Montana after a federal appeals court ruled the agency’s original assessment was not reliable.

    • Suzanne Moore Says:

      I may have to subscribe to that too! Not reliable? Surely not!

      Anyway, your cat stories reminded me of our barn cat situation, although we only have about 30 now. Not all of mine are related. We’re in the country and people drop off cats, and even little kittens, quite often. They just move in with us. LOL!

  33. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, HAVE YOU HEARD CRAIG DOWNER TALK ABOUT RESERVE DESIGN? THAT IS WHAT HE WANTS TO IMPLEMENT FOR OUR WILD HORSES. HE TALKS ABOUT IT ON ONE OF THE RECENT RADIO SHOWS THAT YOU CAN LISTEN TO ON THIS BLOG. I THINK IT IS SORT OF LIKE THE Y2Y THAT YOU ARE SHOWING ME. WE NEED FOR HIM TO TALK A BIT MORE ABOUT IT HERE. THAT WOULD THEN INCLUDE THE “IN THE WILD MANAGEMENT” PROGRAM, I THINK. I NEED TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT SO THAT I UNDERSTAND ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN TO OTHERS.

  34. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I FEEL AS YOU DO ABOUT THE CATS. THEIR LIVES ARE HARD ENOUGH, AS IT IS. ANYTHING THAT GIVES THEM SOME COMFORT AND MAKES IT BETTER FOR THEM–I’M ALL FOR.

  35. Sandra Miller Says:

    I have not heard Craig Downer talk about Reserve Design but I will look for that radio show. I think Craig is one of the most, if not the most, important person to listen to. The y2y conservation bulletin comes to you online – and it is free – all you have to do is sign up for it. y2y stands for Yellowstone to the Yukon, as I remember. I gave you the little paragraph that explains the article in the “Helena Independent Record”, but then you click on that and can read the whole article. I didn’t want to copy and paste it – I already have done altogether too much of that (but always for a good cause, I tell myself) as I try to get information out to people who will read something if I put it right under their eyes, but not search it out for themselves. y2y has had many articles recently about the wolf reintroduction program, but nothing yet about the wild horses and burros. Sandra L. had a good suggestion above about taking on the wildlife groups in an information blitz to show them how their interests and ours intersect. I think the wildlife groups used to see things that way – now I think they are just so desperate for habitat for wildlife, with the Public Lands being overrun with welfare cattle and welfare sheep and nobody able to do anything about it, that they have bought into the welfare ranchers’ refrain that those “feral” wild horses and burros have to go. The best thing I read in the WWP correspondence from Jon (can’t think of his last name) was when he said that he supports the wild horses being on the Public Land and that there will be plenty of room for them once the cattle and sheep are removed!

  36. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, THIS IS THE RADIO SHOW:
    Howling Ridge Radio- Wednesday
    February 9, 2010 by thecloudfoundation
    Craig Downer, ecologist and observer at the Calico Roundup will be on Howling Ridge tomorrow.

  37. Sandra Miller Says:

    Suzanne, do subscribe to Y2Y. As I told Louie, I think the name means “Yellowstone to the Yukon” It is just an online newsletter than compiles articles about conservation. I even read the latest “National Geographic” article, “Wolf Wars”, there before I received my March magazine! There are two articles about the sage grouse, both with little interesting tidbits of information. I mentioned the first one, March 12. The second, March 15, just came today. I can’t figure out how to post the links to the complete newspaper articles, or I would. The first article (about the court case) says the Forest Service had destroyed certain acreage by using herbicides and burning, in order to produce grass for cattle grazing! Ah HA! The second says this:

    Government pledges money for sage grouse
    Helena Independent Record – The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to allocate up to $16 million to encourage farmers and ranchers in 11 Western states to protect sage grouse and the chicken-size bird’s habitat.

    Now, do you think the U.S. Department of Agriculture is rushing in to do something for the grouse so the cattlemen won’t look bad? Y2Y is free. You need to read the full articles in the “Helena Independent Record”.

  38. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SUZANNE, YOU MEAN IN RANGE MAGAZINE? I ONLY HAD A FEW COPIES, AS THE SUBSCRIPTION WAS A GIFT. MAYBE I JUST HAVE “SELECTIVE READING”. THE ARTICLES THAT I READ TOLD OF RANCHERS THAT WERE BEING PUSHED OFF OF THEIR LAND BY LAND DEVELOPERS AND SOMETIMES BY GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. IT SEEMED THAT THEY WERE FIGHTING THE SAME BATTLE.

  39. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I HATE TO SEE THE RANCHERS AND THE CONSERVATIONISTS PITTED AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. SEEMS WE WOULD ALL HAVE MORE TO GAIN BY STICKING TOGETHER.

  40. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I SEEM TO HAVE A CROSS SECTION OF PEOPLE IN ALL CAMPS, AND NONE OF THEM HAVE ANY USE FOR THE BLM, FOREST SERVICE OR THE FISH AND GAME.

  41. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT HORSE SLAUGHTER IS HUMANE NEED TO REALLY KNOW HOW IT IS DONE. DON’T SPARE THE DETAILS.

  42. Sandra Miller Says:

    No, Suzanne, but I just read it! I have so much respect for American Herds, a group I had never even heard of before I became interested in the issue of the wild horses and burros of the West. That is an absolutely grand article! How can we get Katie to disseminate it widely? It should go to the President, our known supporters in Congress, like Nick Rahall, Raul Grijalva, Diane Feinstein, Mary Landrieu, etc. Maybe people going to Washington, D.C. could leave a copy behind in the offices of Congressmen they visit. It should also go to Sec. Salazar, Bob Abbey, National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club and other like wildlife groups, the head of the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture, etc. Is there a newspaper(s) with a Sunday supplement or something that would feature it? We have such great energy, dedication and momentum behind our efforts for the horses. I personally feel like we should be like a giant wave that picks up the wildlife, too, as we go in to sweep out the livestock and sweep in the wildlife/horses & burros! Also, as that article makes very clear, we are taking on a formidable foe. If we knew how entrenched these illegal practices and the people who support them really are, evaluating things realistically, we might conclude this is an impossible dream, BUT there is no way to evaluate the emotional strength behind any effort. We are all committed, because we have all studied the facts. Every other reasonable person would join us, if every other reasonable person had studied the same information we have! We have to get the information out to everyone!

    Also, it is very, very important that we repeatedly present the facts about what entity, that is, Corporate America, grazes the largest number of cattle on our Public Lands. The American people are committed to Capitalism and the idea of being able to make money. Their first thought might be, Well, the horses have no economic value, but cattle and sheep raising is a business which benefits our country economically and provide meat for Americans. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, but that is exactly what the uniformed American will think. We have to repeatedly point out that the whole grazing program on Public Lands is primarily a rip-off for the American taxpayer and give the statistics which back that up – over and over again. Having been so often the “UNinformed American citizen”, full of my own notions about what was going on in my country about a specific issue, I know how important education is! I swear, things are never the way you think they are – investigate everything!!

    • Suzanne Moore Says:

      I’d never heard of American Herds until lately either, but I never miss a post there now. Be sure to check out their special reports – quite an eyeful!

      When I find something like this article, I try to share it in as many places as I can – I re-blog, share on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, just anywhere. I shared and article about Welfare Ranching on Sutmbleupon, and that thing has over 6,000 hits! Somebody’s reading it.

      Yes, I think we need to keep repeating that tax payers are subsidizing Ted Turner while he makes a fortune slaughtering Buffalo and selling the meat. UGH!

  43. Sandra Miller Says:

    Louie, about horse slaughter (what an ugly business THAT is!), there is nothing humane about it (please don’t show me any pictures – I can’t STAND it!). I have two bumper stickers on my little, old (but well maintained) ’89 Beretta – “No Farms – No Food” and “STOP Horse Slaughter” There are “intelligent”, professional people, like one of our local veterinarians, who support it, much to my surprise and dismay. This lady, a retired vet who volunteers full time at our county Humane Society and who LED that organization to become a no kill adoption center just a few years ago, is really not well informed. She believes such a thing is necessary to keep people from dumping their horses to avoid the expense of euthanizing them. I want to pass this information on. Recently, a friend of my sister in Tucson lost their elderly, 35 year old horse. They were devastated – he was a member of the family. My sister asked her what they did with the body. She said a company, I think you would call it a rendering plant (we used to call this the “glue factory”), picked him up while they were not there (their friends told them not to watch) and took him away – for $140.00. Now, horses are expensive to keep – if you can afford that expense, I doubt that you would faint over a bill for $140.00! As for euthanizing old and ill horses, how could that be called too expensive when domestic horses, again, must have a lot of vet care, which is very expensive? It is just one more bill, in a long series of bills! But there are all these horse groups, including vet groups, which support horse slaughter. In addition to the horrors this heaps on the heads of our devoted servants and companions, horse slaughter houses ENCOURAGE stealing and selling horses for financial gain. I know without a shadow of a doubt that MORE HORSES WILL DIE if slaughter houses are available. After all, what kind of base, disgusting person would be involved in such a thing in the first place – we should expect slaughter houses to create all kinds of illicit, cruel traffic. (And I have not given up arguing with our local vet who, foolishly, I believe, supports horse slaughter!)

  44. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    OK–I TAKE THE WARNING ABOUT RANGE MAGAZINE. I DIDN’T ORDER A SUBSCRIPTION. I ONLY HAD A FEW COPIES AND DIDN’T SEE THOSE ARTICLES. GLAD YOU WARNED ME.

  45. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, THAT IS WHAT I HAVE FOUND. I DIDN’T KNOW THE WHOLE TRUTH UNTIL I HEARD THE RADIO PROGRAM WITH EQUINE WELFARE ALLIANCE. I DO BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE AWARE OF IT. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT, BUT THE HORSES DON’T GET A CHOICE.

  46. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, IT IS SOMETHING EVERYONE WHO HAS A HORSE EVENTUALLY HAS TO DEAL WITH. THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT SENDING THE HORSE TO AUCTION IS NOT WHAT THEY MAY THINK.

  47. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    IS ANYONE ELSE SENDING LETTERS TO THE FOREST SERVICE? DUE BY MARCH 19.

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