Take Action for Cloud and His Herd

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Originally Posted: 17 August 2011

Take Action for Cloud and His Herd

[Ed. Note: Watch Mustang Conspiracy - ATS News' Mark Allin interviews KLAS TV's George Knapp about a very dark and very real travesty that is being played out against our wild mustangs by a cast of bad actors from the U.S. Government.]

FROM Int'l. Fund for Horses

ACTION

Tell the BLM to NOT carry out proposed plan to remove 45-75 members of  the Pryor Wild Horse Herd from OUR public lands.

Attention: The BLM will not allow emails, so send your letters directly to the BLM (see address below). If you can only send an email, send it to The Cloud Foundation at info@thecloudfoundation.org and they will copy it and mail these emails to the BLM.

Jim Sparks, Field Manager
BLM Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101

The reason for BLM opting out of email is that we crashed their server last time. Well, let’s send enough mail to bury them in recycled paper this time around!

Cloud is a pale palomino wild horse stallion living in the Pryor Mountains of Montana, a range the Crow Indians called the Arrowheads. Cloud has been documented from the day of his birth (May 29th, 1995) by Emmy-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens. Her films about Cloud, Cloud: Wild Stallions of the Rockies, Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns, and the latest film Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions air on PBS's Nature series and represent the only on-going documentation of a wild animal in our hemisphere. Ginger's chronicles of Cloud have been compared to Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees in Africa. She has written three books about Cloud. Today Cloud roams free in his mountain home, although many of his family members have been rounded up and removed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS - USE some of these facts but USE YOUR OWN WORDS!!

From The Cloud Foundation:

Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR) Facts:

1. The Pryor Wild Horse Herd has not grown from 2010 to 2011. Known mortality plus one removal roughly equals births. (14 versus 17)

2. 8 horses are currently missing and have not been seen this year. If these horses are not found, the population will have declined by at least 4% in 2011. The population including these missing horses is 165 (not including 17 foals). The population not including missing horses is 157.

3. Currently, there are 11 wild horses 20 years or older in the population, with the oldest being Trace’s grandmother who is 25 years young. (She looks like a million bucks, by the way.)

4. The herd has had no opportunity to become habituated to using water guzzlers put in by the BLM over the past 2 years. These guzzlers are designed to spread the use to under-utilized portions of the designated range.

5. PZP, the vetted, one-year, remotely delivered drug, has now been given to the majority of adult mares. It is probable that even fewer foals will be born in 2012 and 2013.

6. The BLM is proposing removals to reduce the herd to the genetically non-viable Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120.

7. The Pryor Wild Horse Herd has not been below this level since 1977-1978 when nearly all the foals and old horses died over the winter.

8. The Billings BLM has proposed the introduction of wild horses including those from non-Pryor horses to mitigate genetic loss within the herd if needed. (p. 86—3.5 Mitigation Measures, Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Herd Mgmt. Area Plan, May 2009)

9. The BLM has criticized the introduction of wild horses from southern Wyoming and the Kiger Range in Oregon in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They contend that Cloud has an ancestor that came from the wilds of southern Wyoming. The BLM Field Office has threatened Cloud’s removal and that of his family as a result of this ancestor.*

10. Wild horses have been present in the Pryor Mountains for, at least, the past 205 years.

11. Wild horses were present in the Custer National Forest Service lands in 1971 when the WHB Act was passed.

12. Currently TCF has a lawsuit against both the BLM and the Custer National Forest challenging the low AML and the FS decision to ban the horses from vital summer and fall areas in the forest service lands. A 2 mile-long, wooden, buck and pole fence currently prohibits the wild horses from FS meadows atop the mountain.

Suggested scoping topics: (these must be in your own words or BLM will not count them)

1. Do not remove any Pryor Mustangs from the PMWHR. It is unnecessary due to high mortality and low foal production in 2011.

2. Continue with range improvements like reclamation of bait trap location from 2006 removal action and reseeding of target areas

3. Treat noxious and invasive non-native plants to improve the range.

4. Allow the horses to discover the new water guzzlers and begin using underutilized areas of the range.

5. Continue darting with 1-year, reversible PZP drug on selected adult mares at the appropriate time of year (late winter and early spring).

6. Work with Montana and Wyoming Fish and Game to reduce mountain lion hunting in the PMWHR and surrounding area.

7. Work with the Custer National Forest Service to legally expand the PMWHR to reflect the historic use area of the horses.

8. Raise the Appropriate Management Level to a number that ensures the continued genetic viability of this small, isolated herd. (i.e. 150-200 adults over 2 years of age).

9. Adopt management strategies, which will lead to the minimum feasible management as mandated by the 1971 Wild Horses and Burro Act. (i.e. natural management—predator/prey balance)

*BLM Field Manager, Jim Sparks, as reported in the Billings Gazette newspaper (October 23, 2010), said “the public needs to understand that if the BLM continues to protect Cloud and his progeny, that genetic influence (supposed southern Wyoming ancestor) will only grow stronger.” He is also quoted as saying “That could be part of the reason for more similarity to ranch horses and not Spanish horses,” Sparks said. He was referring to the general appearance of the Pryor Wild Horse Herd.


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