PIGEON FEVER, BUSINESS AS USUAL (?) and HAPPY BLACKOUT EASTER WEEK?

Our wild horses are learning about city living. Pigeon Fever has come to roost.

Read the latest from the humane observer blog here

Also: updated contact list now posted on the Cloud Foundation website for BLM, DOI, Congressional and Executive Contacts

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78 Responses to “PIGEON FEVER, BUSINESS AS USUAL (?) and HAPPY BLACKOUT EASTER WEEK?”

  1. Barbara Warner Says:

    As if these poor horses didn’t have enough problems now they have Pigeon Fever. How many more will die since they will receive no care ?! This sickness will be the BLM’s excuse for not letting in observers.
    Thank you so much , Elyse, for your reports. We must work harder than ever now to save our wild horses and stop the roundups.

  2. sandra longley Says:

    The USDA needs to be called in immediately to lock down these facilities where there are outbreaks of contaigious diseases..NO adoptions_NO transport of these horses across state lines..even horses who don’t come down with syptoms of strangles or pigeon fever can be carriers and shed the virus in their feces..This will-become an epidemic as fly season hits..flys will feed on the puss and bite the next horse and they will come down with it..they cannot control the manure out there and flys will come from miles away to those facilities, Foals will be lost from septicemia-start looking for 45 day old foals who will have dropping titers from the initial antibodies from the mares colostrum to start becoming sick..swollen joints diarra and death..mares have no place to foal that is not full of horse shit..you can’t doctor the navels-it is a diredt entry into the body through the unbilical cord..this will be the disaster that keeps on giving.

  3. sandra longley Says:

    We need to post the USDAs # so we can all call and demand a lockdown of all facilities in Nevada..no more roundups in nevada..everyone in quarrintine including private domesticated horses in Nevada.This is our means to stop all the roundups for the summer months when fly season is on..Lets get on this NOW!!

  4. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    ALSO, LET’S LET JANE VALEZ-MITCHELL ON CNN KNOW THIS AND KNOW THAT THE FACILITIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED OFF TO ALL VISITORS. NOW IS THE TIME FOR TRANSPARENCY.

  5. sandra longley Says:

    ANYONE GOT THE NUMBERS FOR THE CDC and USDA? start calling..shut down the movement and roundups of wild horses in Nevada

  6. sandra longley Says:

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/emcontact/ CDC home page FREE #s to call at bottom of the page..this is not an emergency so do not use that contact..start calling..demand a lockdown and inspection of those facilities and no movement of those horses..no more roundups in nevada until it is under control. Domesticated horses across the west could be exposed to the epidemic.

  7. sandra longley Says:

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/gluck/q/2003/apr03/q_main.htm

    Read and be knowledgable on the subject of pigeon fever.

  8. Karen L. Says:

    The portion of the USDA that deals with disease is APHIS–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. (The vets who attend the mustangs are supposedly APHIS certified.) Anyway, here is a link to reporting outbreaks by state.
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/services/report_pest_disease/report_pest.html

    • Karen L. Says:

      Should add that there are regional phone numbers and addresses on the right side of the page for reporting animal issues; and if you click on an individual state, the names and all contact information for the state officers/vets comes up in a small box.

      • sandra longley Says:

        I just put in a call to the regional vet for Nevada, located in Sacramento, the vet listed is no longer there..The vet is Dr Gary Brickler, phone # is 916 854-3950..Got message mach..asked for facilities to be locked down investigated-to stop all movement and roundups in the state of Nevada-as I am a domestic horse breeder that could be affected by this highly contagious outbreak among 1900 held horses…will now try to get ahod of the CDC

    • sandra longley Says:

      Dr Brickler just called me back..he does not deal with the BLM wild horses,,The blm vet is Dr. Albert Kane #976-494-7234 -Ft Collins Colo. will call him first thing in the morning and go from there…will also call nevada dept of agriculture to try and get state quareentine, so no horse can be hauled out of the state…got to try and get the ball rolling NOW

      • Linda Says:

        Contacted the NDOA as well, the last stop in a very long string of frustrating phonecalls. The woman I spoke with said it was a BLM problem and to contact them. I cautioned her to watch for a potential spread of Pigeon Fever outside the Fallon Facility, but she didn’t want to hear about it, ending the call with the predictable, “Have a nice day!”

  9. jan Says:

    LETTER I WROTE TO HUMANE SOCIETY

    CANT YOU STEP IN AND DO SOMETHING??

    THESE HORSES ARE GOING TO DIE!!

    DOES ANYONE REALLY CARE??

    SO SICK OF OUR STUPID GOVT AND PEOPLE THAT WONT HELP HELPLESS ANIMALS

    I USED TO BE PROUD TO LIVE IN AMERICA – NOW WE TREAT OUR ANIMALS LIKE ANY OTHER THIRD WORLD COUNTRY

    HOW DISGUSTING – WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN??

    THAT ANIMALS DONT MATTER – THEY DONT COUNT ANYMORE??

  10. sandra longley Says:

    Just got off a e-mail to the CDC asked for a response back from them..PLEASE everyone-THIS CAN STOP THE ROUNUPS—NOW..call for a halt to all roundups as the penning of this large numbers of animals can lead to epidemic porportions of the spred of pigeon fever..there is no way to isolate these large numbers of horses contained in these pens to stop it..As soon as fly season starts it will spred to local horses that are domesticated and those horses that are moved and hauled can spred it throughout the US-causing a larger epidemic among domesticated horses..There should be no movement or adoptions within the holding facilities…I have asked for inspections and quarrentining of these horses, and proper procedures to be utilized by the people there to lesson the epidemic porportions of this bags on feet..stop processing and handling the horses..disposable gloves when handled…People who have actuall physical contact with the horses can be responsable for spreding the disease.

    • Barb S Says:

      My biggest concern is how the BLM handles the situation. You know what they did to the mares they deemed in poor condition. If they feel these wild horses are a “threat” to their cattle businesses or domestic horse breeders what might they do?

      • sandra longley Says:

        This is a highly contagious disease..not normally a fatal one…but then how many places do you have 1900 wild horses penned up that are difficult to treat? You don’t have enough facilities to separate and treat like you would domesticated horses..so we have no statistics to go by that are comparable. Highly contagious is enough to shut down transport of these animals across state lines..it is not grounds to have the animals destroyed.

      • Karen L. Says:

        My fears and thoughts exactly. It looks as though this IS containable if they will quarantine the facilities for a few weeks and implement something basic like Universal Precautions. These horses should not become further scapegoats.

      • Linda Says:

        What’s the incubation period for Pigeon Fever? The BLM will probably try to convince everyone the wild ones brought it with them to Fallon. Before they make any move against these horses, they should be required to test horses on the HMAs.

        I read the bacteria can remain active in the soil/manure/etc. for 55 days. Also the infection can recurr at any time.

        Were there any horses at Fallon within 55 days of the wild ones’ arrival? Were any domestic horses/cattle with Pigeon Fever in the area? Have any of the wranglers/vets/etc. been exposed at somewhere other than Fallon? Any symptomatic horses or cattle taken to the rendering plant?

        These horses shouldn’t be shipped ANYWHERE. The whole area should be quarantined!

      • sandra longley Says:

        I have had pigeon fevor take months to break the abscess, I had a mare that broke and healed up and then did it all over again.the second time we put a tube in to keep it open to ensure it did not close too fast and I flushed it every day…can’t do that with the wild horses

  11. sandra longley Says:

    I just talked to the CDC, they have no control over this and referred me to the USDA so the number i posted above for DR> Brickler above would be the contact number you should call.

    • Karen L. Says:

      Yes, sandra, just to clarify—the state vet for Nevada is actually located in California and is Dr.Brickler. I am showing the Western Regional Office for Animal Health to be in Fort Collins, Colorado; and that number is shown to be (I haven’t tried it yet) (970) 494-7385.

      • sandra longley Says:

        The # Dr Brikler gave me on the call back is for the vet that handles WH&B Dr Albert Kane,Fort Collins-(976) 494- 7234. He refered me to him. Will call in the morning

      • sandra longley Says:

        The number I was given by the vet in Calif was no good…I called the number you gave and it took me to the switchboard I asked for Dr, Kane and they transferred me..got a message machine. Left a message describing the problem and asked for a call back, told him I was a member of several horse organizations, a breeder and wanted to know what they were going to do about the situation, asked that they lock down and quarenteen the facilities and not alow movement of the horses until this has run its course..will see what happens.

      • Karen L. Says:

        sandra, Good! (I wondered about the difference in the area codes.) I hope they respond—that you are able to say you are a breeder may give you credence as opposed to being just “an interested party”. Quarantining is definitely warranted.

  12. jan Says:

    i emailed jane velez mitchell at cnn

    just where or how did the horses get this infection??

    • sandra longley Says:

      it cannot be transmitted from sheep-but it can be from cows. When the abcess breaks there is alot of pus..it gets in the ground on fences in handling chutes, and from human to animal by having infected clothing..they should be wearing disposable plastic covers on their boots, gloves and ect when handling horses for processing..Once those abscesses start breaking-which can take awhile it is easy for people unknowingly to get it on their clothes and take it home to their own animals..I can only imagine what a group of 1900 horses under stress already-will be subject to.;you cannot handle and doctor them like you would domesticated horses..I would ask that all processing be stopped..the chutes will become contaiminated.

      • Barb S Says:

        I just read on a Utah vet site that the hornfly is the vector and it lays its eggs in “fresh cow manure”. Cows can also get Pigeon Fever.
        The whole operation needs to be shut down. Does the Broken Arrow complex have cattle nearby?

      • Barb S Says:

        http://www.emeryanimal.net/PigeonFeverFactSheet2.pdf

      • Linda Says:

        More and more cases in NM. Our vet says, “It just shows up like it fell from the sky!” He thinks much of the increase is due to shipping horses around the country, especially from California.

      • sandra longley Says:

        This is a new facility, we need to know if there had been cattle on that ground before..probably-cattle also run out on the horse ranges, there were domestic horses at the gather site, Like the native americans..the wild horse have no immunity to domesticated horse diseases, caused by over crowding…foals get immunity from the mares colostrum..but the mare has to have been exposed to build antibodies to pass on. I would think that all thoose panels are new as well as the chute facilities, but that is a question we will have to ask.

      • Linda Says:

        My question is WHO to ask? I spent about two hours on the phone today, getting passed from agency to agency. Most of the answers were, “Contact the BLM. It’s their business. Have a nice day!” I was alternately crying and seething wiith frustration.

  13. jan Says:

    i also called in defense of animals and they know about it and are working on it

  14. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    AS IF THESE ANIMALS WEREN’T MISERABLE ENOUGH ALREADY.

  15. Tara Bruning Says:

    Oh my! This is the most inhumane and CARELESS roundup. This is not going to come to an end anytime soon. Where is the Humane Society? They need to stop the roundups promptly. This outbreak should be reason enough to prove that the BLM and its contractors are lacking the knowledge to handle such a large gather.

    They are talking about another gather…they need to finish what they started here!! All of the equipment used is now contaminated…everything. I pity these poor horses and their destinies now….

  16. sandra longley Says:

    http://quarterhorsenews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=821&Itemid=1

    Excellent article on Pigeon fever..Dr. Spiers/colo.

  17. jan Says:

    watch the blm blame the horses – sounds like they could have brought disease on their clothes but they will blame horses – would they destroy all of them to prevent spread – you know ranchers in the area are going to put pressure on blm – how horrible for the horses to be sick

    • sandra longley Says:

      No, they could not get away with destroying the horses with PF, it is not a deadly infection..It is a hassle and I had a friend last year that put her 12 year old mare down because the PF had gone to her Bag and busted out and continued to abcess, would not heal and the mare was in alot of pain and could hardly walk..can produce mastitis in that location which is a permentant situation with scar tissue forming and is extremely painful to the mare..flys tend to feed on that midline area where there is less hair and tender skin.

  18. Jan Eaker Says:

    I will call in the morning also, I am very worried that they will use this as an excuse to destroy this entire herd, especially worrisome as they are NOT allowing visitors this weekend, and will not give an alternate date for visitors.

  19. themustangproject Says:

    “Pigeon Fever” Information… 1947hrs CST – Update http://themustangproject.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/pigeon-fever-information/
    T.

  20. Jan Eaker Says:

    Tracie, according to the articles you posted, a method of treatment is the use of hotpacks to bring the abcess to a head. Even if this were possible, being as these are WILD horses, I just don’t see the BLM getting all warm and fuzzy out there and doing this or even trying to administer the drugs that can bring some relief to these poor horses.

  21. themustangproject Says:

    Hi Jan,
    The use of hotpacks is only one form of treatment. Most often, treatment includes lancing of the abscesses with collection of the pus to prevent further spread of the disease by body fluids. However, lancing is not usually performed unless the horse becomes symptomatic, such as residual lameness or limb swelling that hinders the horse’s ability to walk to and from feed and water.
    Controlling CLA with antibiotics is not an easy task since viable bacteria stay protected inside abscesses due to the thick capsule that surrounds them. It is generally agreed that the best strategy to control the disease is vaccination of healthy animals, along with the identification/removal
    of infected animals. However, the difficulties associated with the early clinical identification of infected animals can be a hindrance to such a strategy.
    T.

    • themustangproject Says:

      Also, remember that most of the veterinary medical data available is on domesticated horses, not on wild horses. Therefore, we are at a disadvantage in regards to how much information we know about their physiology and pathophysiology. Yes, they are the same species, but they are definitely not the same animal. This is why TMP has continually requested more medically-focused scientific research in this area. It only makes sense… If you’re going to treat an animal, wouldn’t it be better to understand that animal’s make-up beforehand?
      T.

    • Linda Says:

      Is there really an effective vaccination? More contradictions. I would think to administer vacs, the wild ones would have to be tranquilized or run back through the potentially contaminated chutes. Maybe darts (dosages per weight?), but that would probaly send the horses into a frenzy.

      What a mess!

  22. Sandra Miller Says:

    I woke up in the middle of the night and knew there was something I was worrying about – pigeon fever! So grateful all of you are on it and I will read up on everything. What has happened is predictable to everyone except an agency intent on carrying out a plan, like the BLM. In the Civil War and WWI, in particular, all those farm boys gathered up from their relative isolation on our farms died in droves in the army camps as they were exposed to diseases they had no immunity to. In the Civil War more died from disease than were ever shot, and in WWI those sent to training camps often succumbed quickly to the so called Spanish flu of 1918. Also, just so we can do everything we can to head off any draconian measures, remember, the bighorn sheep with contagious pneumonia are being systematically shot when they are found as I am typing this, by those in the government trying to contain the disease. We need to follow up on the aspect of this being carried and transmitted by cattle, because in the case of the bighorns, it is thought it is exposure to domestic sheep that is bringing disease to the bighorns. More reasons to move the welfare cattle and welfare sheep off our Public Lands! If the BLM thinks they have to operate behind closed doors to protect themselves from US, they “ain’t seen nothin’ yet”. Wait until the cattle interests tune in to this – we will be treated to a scene of real hysteria, then! If cattle can also contract this, can abscessed cattle be accepted for slaughter?? The BLM’s masters in the cattle industry are going to turn on the agency like rattlers! And the greedy cattle interests in Nevada may get exactly what they deserve. Does someone know if there is a professional organization for veterinarians which opposes horse slaughter and supports the existence of the wild horses and burros on our Public Lands? One of their organizations SUPPORTS horse slaughter – I hope that isn’t the only professional organization for vets! We need to find a way to send out an SOS for vets who will do pro bono work with these horses and FORCE them on the BLM, to block any attempt by the BLM to shoot the horses “for reasons of economy”.

  23. true15 Says:

    Just read this concerning a natural treatment approach:
    http://medicinegarden.com/homeopathy/homeo_caseHorse.html

    • Linda Says:

      Isn’t homeopathy considered anecdotal (like herbal, folk medicine, accupuncture, accupressure, etc.) no matter how effective those treatments may be?

      Also, every report I read seems to contain contradictory information. THIS IS ALL SO CONFUSING!

      • Karen L. Says:

        Just a thought—although based on scientific principles, the practice of medicine is exactly that, a ‘practice’. Traditional and holistic methods have a place.

    • Linda Says:

      I didn’t mean to criticize traditional and holistic practices. I use herbal and folk medicines all the time. It’s just that many question or won’t use anything that hasn’t been approved through FDA clinical trials.

      The drug companies are making a big push to invalidate anything that isn’t patentable. They want alternative medicines off the shelves for humans as well as animals, because the very ingredients they use in their propriatary formulas can’t be patented in their original forms. For instance: Slippery Elm is in alot of horse medicines (especially for ulcers), but it’s naturally-occuring, and, therefore, can’t be patented.

      I found a very old book online that has all sorts of information and formulas for using herbs and folk medicines with horses. I didn’t print it out ’cause it’s WAY to long, but I saved it somewhere, and will put up a link as soon as I can find it.

      • true15 Says:

        Homeopathy is VERY effective.
        In Europe, an M.D. studies it as a specialty, the same way he or she would become a gastrologist or anything else.
        London has two hospitals treating patients with homeopathy, Paris has one. 40% of the population in France uses it. It is also used widely in India, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the rest of Europe.
        It was popular in the US at the turn of the century but was later labelled as “anecdotal” because not only is it effective, but it is also VERY cheap.
        Its theory is “like cures likes” and it acts on the energetic levels of the body taking into account the human being as a whole. Not two cases are alike, that’s why two people with the same apparent disease do not receive the same treatment, since homeopathy cures the problem at its roots, (mental or physical.)
        There are many cases of animals responding very well to homeopathy. (bees, cows, horses, cats, dogs, etc…)
        Although simple problems can be self diagnosed (Arnica Montana for bruises for example), a case study should be conducted by a specialist for an in-depth evaluation (a first exam typically lasts 45 minutes with a questionnaire)
        More on the subject:
        http://www.homeopathyworks.com/
        http://www.boironusa.com/
        http://www.holistichorse.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=876&Itemid=158

  24. Linda Says:

    We can make all the noise we want, but the VETS are the only ones the BLM will pay attention to. We need to find licensed professionals who are willing to submitt credible research and recommendations. The more on board, the better.

  25. Karen L. Says:

    The Horseback Magazine site has the Pigeon Fever story as their headline today. While reading related story items, I discovered that IDA has filed a suit AGAIN (today apparently) to specifically have the horses now in holding returned to their home ranges. It’s not clear if this was in the works before the illness outbreak, but IDA is keeping up the pressure on the BLM on as many fronts as they can. Here is the link.
    http://www.rgj.com/article/20100331/NEWS/100331001/-1/CARSON/Lawsuit-seeks-return-of-1-800-wild-horses-to-Nevada-range

  26. Jan Eaker Says:

    I have emailed George Knapp and Jane Velez-Mitchell, Mr. Knapp replied, that he will be making inquiries of the BLM, he has had other emails regarding this, also called BLM this a.m., no response as of yet, no surprise there, what ever the treatment is, BLM has shown no desire to ease much of what these horses are going through, their “treatment’ of the foals w/abcesses was minimal, this whole situation makes me sick, how can they just keep getting away with blatant cruelty and mismanagement.

  27. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, HERE IS A LINK FOR A VETERANIAN THAT OPPOSES SLAUGHTER. JANET POSTED IT IN JANUARY:

    http://www.hsvma.org/advocacy/news/equine_vet_speaks_out.html

  28. Barbara Warner Says:

    Visit http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org They have a white paper against horse slaughter too.

  29. sandra longley Says:

    Called Dr. Albert Kane again this morning, again left a message asking for a callback. his direct line to his office is 970-494-7234. I have read the statement this morning at the BLMs website and i take exception to its validity..I first want dr. Kane to give me his posistion on what he is going to do…there are states that do not have pigeon fever historically and shipping these horses out of state to adoptees could spred it across the US..I will call each state vet across the US and ask them to close state transportation to Nevada horses..there is a big Cutting show coming up in Reno..they need to be informed

    • Karen L. Says:

      sandra, I have a background in health care (for humans) and I agree that the PF should be a concern for any horse owners/breeders whose animals may be exposed to the bacteria. I was thinking, though, that in public health a disease has to be considered “reportable” before certain restraints are applied. I found an APHIS page that lists “reportable” diseases for various animal groups and am linking it here. It would be nice to know that Dr. Kane at least investigates the Nevada situation and issues some sort of statement explaining his assessment. I hope he gives you a personal response, too.
      http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/disease_status.htm

  30. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    HOW ABOUT A VETERINARIAN FROM A UNIVERSITY, PERHAPS DAVIS? THEY HAVE A STRONG EQUINE VETERINARIAN PROGRAM AND IT’S NOT ALL THAT FAR FROM THE FACILITY. DOES THE VET HAVE TO BE FROM NEVADA?

    • Karen L. Says:

      I’m sure many vets are familiar with PF and have valid educated opinions on it as a disease. Apparently, to have any influence or authority with the BLM and the WH&B program, though, the vets must be USDA/APHIS vets. Dr. Kane is the regional coordinator and epidemiologist for the western region of the USDA’s animal disease division, which assists with the BLM’s western operations. I looked into his background as much as is available, and he is well educated—a PhD in addition to his DVM. He is listed as a researcher for Cal-Davis as well. I would like for him to issue an official response to the inquiries on this outbreak, but he’s probably not required to do so.

      • Karen L. Says:

        Here’s one link I used.
        http://www.fort.usgs.gov/WildHorsePopulations/Collaborators.asp

      • Karen L. Says:

        I can’t get the other bio information on Dr. Kane to link properly.

      • sandra longley Says:

        There is a y-tube video of dr.Kane, giving an interview a couple days after the start of the calico roundup..He said there is NO problem with a winter roundup causing stress to the horses…wonder what he has to say on that subject now?
        The APHIS/USDA vet told me Kane is the only one who has authority over BLM horses, and that I would have to talk to the state vets for the dept of agriculture about each state issuing a no transport through each state for nevada horses..you would think there would be a uniform one process for an outbreak.
        I was reading WYO had a large outbreak last fall, another reason they should not be gathering the Adobe town herds

      • Karen L. Says:

        My guess at this point is that if the disease is not “reportable”, then there will not be a quarantine or any restriction of movement for the horses. It is unfortunate for the mustangs. The “reportable” diseases require surveillance and a process for tracking does exist.

  31. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    NO WONDER NOTHING CAN EVER GET DONE. THEY CAN FAST TRACK EVERYTHING ELSE.

  32. Sandra Miller Says:

    Thank you, Louie and Barbara, for your information. Using it I have gleaned that two vet organizations are stuck in the dark ages and so are pro horse slaughter: the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). However, two organizations would be very useful to appeal to if the BLM threatened any further harm to the Calico horses: the Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW) and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA). Just keep that in your file for later reference.

    Louie, did you get an automated response from the Forest Service about your recent letter? I put my first letter on the Forest Service web site, then sent it again to Heather Mobley, and finally signed the letter and petition provided by IDA. I was wondering which approach generated even an automated response, seeing that such a thing was a first for me!

  33. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, NO I DIDN ‘T GET A RESPONSE, BUT I SENT MINE THROUGH THE MAIL. DON’T SUPPOSE THEY ARE GOING TO WRITE TO ME. WOULD IT BE BETTER TO EMAIL? I THOUGH EMAILS WOULD JUST GET IGNORED. IT’S GOOD THAT YOU GOT A REPLY AT ALL. I THINK FOREST SERVICE HAS A LITTLE BETTER TRACK RECORD, FROM ALL THAT I HAVE HEARD.

  34. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I WOULD GUESS THAT IT WAS YOUR EMAIL THAT GOT YOU THE RESPONSE, AS THAT WOULD PROBABLY GENERATE AN AUTOMATED RESPONSE, WOULDN’T IT?

  35. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, CORRECTION–I DID GET A REPLY FROM THE FOREST SERVICE AFTER SIGNING THE PETITION. I HADN’T CHECKED BEFORE ANSWERING YOU.

  36. Sandra Miller Says:

    Right – an automated response would be to an email. If you received an automated response, and the only email you sent was through IDA by signing their petition, then that tells me that it’s IDA that is getting a response. I was curious about this, because no one had ever responded to me before. IDA has their attention, it seems, which is excellent! I forgot to mention this earlier, but there is a big problem with sending letters through the mail. Everything, everywhere in the government, has to be screened for dangerous mail. Every once in a while it is reported that a letter containing some suspicious white powder or something sent to the government has been intercepted. My elected representatives have all cautioned me not to depend on the US mail because it can add two weeks to the length of time it takes for the mail to be delivered because of this screening. At the same time, they have greatly improved their web sites, which tells me they are relying on them more and more for contact with their constituents. This is true at the state level, too.

  37. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I THOUGHT THAT WAS FOR LETTERS GOING TO D.C. MY SENATOR GAVE ME THE ADDRESS OF THE HOME STATE OFFICE TO SEND MAIL TO.

  38. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I ALWAYS THINK “WHAT IF THE COMPUTER SYSTEM GOES DOWN? ALL WOULD BE LOST? AT LEAST DELAYED. I STILL THINK HONEST TO GOODNESS LETTERS HAVE SOME IMPACT. WHEN SENDING TO D.C., I THINK POST CARDS ARE GOOD.

  39. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I ALSO THOUGHT THAT LETTERS CAN BE TAKEN INTO COMMITTEE MEETINGS. I GUESS THEY CAN PRINT OFF LETTERS FROM THE COMPUTER. I JUST SAVE THEM THE TROUBLE.

  40. Sandra Miller Says:

    That IS true of DC. I thought you meant that was where you had sent it. If you have a home office for your senators, that should be OK, unless you hear otherwise from them. How do your senators get their mail from the home office, I wonder? You know how they like to hang out in Washington! Either way, it seems there would be a time lag over email. I’m sure in the past letters were the preferred form of communication, but today it seems that everyone is using email for convenience and speed.

  41. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, WHEN I WRITE, I WRITE TO BOTH–D.C. AND HOME OFFICE. SAME WHEN I CALL. I THINK THEY FORWARD ANY NEEDED INFORMATION. THE SCOPING LETTERS ARE KIND OF DIFFERENT–THEY ARE STATE, AREN’T THEY. I HADN’T THOUGHT THAT THEY HAD TO INSPECT THOSE.

  42. Sandra Miller Says:

    I have never heard of a problem at the state level in this state with the mail, but as threatening things happen, changes are made, I suppose. I have noticed a definite improvement in the web sites of not only my US senators and representative, but even my State of Indiana representatives (at the state level I have one senator and one representative) are doing more and more online. State legislative surveys that all used to go out by regular mail are now available online, too. For the first time U.S. Senator Dick Lugar(R-IN) has an actual place to contact him on his web site – until this year if you wanted to write to him on the computer you had to write a letter and use an email address to send it to him! Now he has a greatly “gussied up” web site, with a place to contact him with your comments. So, everything seems to be flowing in that direction these days. Did you send your Forest Service letter through the regular mail? If so, I don’t know why that would be a problem. I used the comment form on the Forest Service web site and then, later, when we were given Heather Mobley’s email address, I emailed the same letter to her. But if you wanted to also write to your US senator at his Washington office about the Forest Service request for comments from the public, I don’t think I would send that kind of letter by regular mail – that is the kind of mail I was told would take at least two weeks to be delivered.

  43. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SANDRA, I DID SENT MY FOREST SERVICE LETTER THROUGH THE MAIL–I SENT IT PRETTY EARLY. I HAVE USED EMAILS FOR MY SENATORS–I’VE USED EVERYTHING AVAILABLE. I AM PROBABLY JUST A BIT
    HARD-HEADED ABOUT REFUSING TO BE HERDED INTO THE “CYBER AGE”. I STILL GET A CERTAIN SATISFACTION FROM JUST WRITING A LETTER. THERE IS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT A PEN AND PAPER–AT LEAST FOR ME. IF THEY WANT TO START A DATA BASE ON ALL OF US, THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK FOR IT.

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