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Originally Posted: 18 November 2008
Doomed Wild Horses Have a Hero?
From Kinship Circle
To receive a formatted letter (word doc), email Kinship Circle to copy/paste into an email or print letter to fax or mail.
The unwanted horses seemed destined for death... The Bureau of Land
Management knew that euthanasia was a legal alternative, but officials were
proceeding slowly, afraid of an intense public outcry. The wild horses had
become too expensive to maintain, and cattlemen argued that turning them
loose would be a drain on the already scarce grazing lands of the West.
Wild horses gathered from the Fox & Lake Herd Management Area near
Empire, Nevada, wait in a pen
Then (11/17/08), at a public hearing in Reno, Nevada...Madeleine Pickens,
wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not
just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros
kept in federal holding pens... Madeleine Pickens is looking for land in the
West that would be an appropriate home for the horses.
She is working with the BLM staff to adopt the horses, said Henri Bisson,
the bureau's deputy director, while the agency persuades Congress to shift
$20 million in funding to feed and protect the horses now in captivity for
another year. As backup to Pickens's offer, he said, two other groups, both
animal rescue organizations, have expressed similar interest in adoption.
"We are very hopeful that euthanasia won't be necessary this year," he said.
News that Pickens and others intend to adopt wild horses and burros was
celebrated by animal rights groups; several were preparing legal challenges
to prevent the government from putting the horses to death.
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION
Bureau of Land Management
National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260
ATTN: Ramona DeLorme
1340 Financial Boulevard
Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147
ph: 775-861-6583; email: [email protected]
**Include "WH&B" in the subject of your email + name/address in the body**
U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs
1849 C St NW, #5655 MIB; Washington, DC 20240
ph: 202-208-3801; fax: 202-208-5242
James Caswell, Director: [email protected]
Henri Bisson, Deputy Director Operations: [email protected]
Luke Johnson, Deputy Director Programs and Policy: [email protected]
Janet Lin, Chief of Staff: [email protected]
To identify your federal legislators and find contact info, go to:
Congress.org – http://www.Congress.org
USA Senate – http://www.senate.gov
USA House of Representatives – http://www.house.gov
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
The Honorable Representative _____________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Senators _________________________________
The U.S. Senate, U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
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SAMPLE LETTER. This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue. Write a personal letter using these talking points.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Senators, and Representative:
I understand the Bureau of Land Management's National Wild Horse and Burro
Advisory Board convened on 11/17/08 to consider the fate of wild horses and
burros on Western public rangelands.
The BLM has angered citizens worldwide by depleting 19.4 million acres once
allotted to wild horses. The roundup of thousands of animals in eight years
alone has thinned viable herds to all but a scattering.
In their place, millions of privately held cows graze on public rangelands.
Oil and gas drilling leases squeeze out wild herds as well.
Contrary to BLM misinformation, the public now realizes: Wild herds are not
overpopulated. They do not require mass "rescue" and relocation to
government compounds, only to be slaughtered because BLM captures more
animals than it can adopt out.
Fortunately, Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, has
stepped forward to adopt not only 2,000 healthy mustangs set for immediate
slaughter, but also some 30,000 other horses and burros trapped in federal
holding pens. Considering the couple's crusade to shut down the last U.S.
equine slaughter plant, along with their aid for animals stranded by
Hurricane Katrina -- they may just be the heroes who help BLM save face.
Clearly, the present system does not work. At the root of the debate is a
law that allows euthanasia and a national outcry against it.
For over 30 years, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971
preserved "wild free-roaming horses and burros," as "living symbols of the
historic and pioneer spirit of the West." The law mandates horses be
"considered...an integral part of the system of public lands." Yet, this
same law directs the government to maintain "appropriate management levels."
I strongly urge BLM to integrate non-violent methods -- such as range
expansion in conjunction with the National Park Service and intensified
contraception programs. In addition, property owners who permit wild horses
on their grounds ought to receive tax incentives.
The BLM is tasked to monitor federal lands that belong to all Americans.
This agency and the U.S. Congress should heed overwhelming opposition to
death. Please release wild horses and burros to some of the 19.4
million-acre range they once roamed.
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