By THE CLOUD FOUNDATION
To The Desert Independent
March 30, 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – For over 20 years Ginger Kathrens has documented wild horses and burros, and advocated for their humane treatment. Her three documentary films about Cloud the Stallion for PBS Nature introduced wild horses to millions of people around the world. Now, hopefully, she will be able to impact their “management” on our public lands.
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has been a staunch supporter of Kathrens. In his letter nominating her to the Advisory Board he stated that Kathrens is “a passionate, knowledgeable advocate for the management of wild horses on our public lands,” and that she “will provide an important voice to help guide the future BLM management decisions. She has shown leadership in working to bring wild horse advocates to Washington, DC to establish a direct dialogue with the BLM.”
He went on to state, “I am determined to ensure the Wild Horse and Burro program meets the commitments made by Congress. The Federal Government, acting through the BLM, has a responsibility to humanely manage wild horses and burros in a transparent and open manner. Developing a strategy that limits roundups and decreases reliance on holding facilities, allowing herds to roam the range as they are intended, requires additional reforms and changes to current policy.” He concludes,” Ms. Kathrens has the experience and background to help make those changes a reality.”
Kathrens is Founder and Executive Director of the Colorado-based The Cloud Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of wild horses and burros on public lands as well as an Emmy award-winning producer. She is the creator of the acclaimed Public Broadcasting System series documenting the birth and life of a Pryor Mountains (Montana) wild stallion she named “Cloud.” Her first Cloud film was voted the most popular documentary in the 25-year history of the Nature series on PBS. Ginger's revealing journey with wild horses has been compared to Jane Goodall's experiences with Chimpanzees. Her documentation of Cloud represents the only continuing chronicle of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere.
Kathrens is an honor graduate of Bowling Green State University. In 2006 she was awarded BGSU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was their graduation speaker in 2007. In 2009 Ginger was chosen as one of the top 100 graduates of BGSU in the 100- year history of the university. Kathrens holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Florida State University and will receive a distinguished alumnus award from the FSU School of Communications in April, 2016.
Ginger Kathrens has a life-long fascination with wild animals and a sound foundation in agriculture and the challenges of making a living raising cattle. Her family raised Hereford cattle in the mid-West and Kathrens exhibited her breeding stock and steers at shows in the U.S. and Canada as a teenager. Ginger has also adopted and trained three mustangs. She brings qualities and sensibilities that allow her to understand the challenges BLM faces in managing public lands within their multiple use mandate. Her solutions-based initiatives include practical solutions to a complex situation.
Kathrens has long advocated for management of wild horses and burros “on the range” using safe and reversible fertility control to balance mortality with birth rate, the return of wild horses in holding to zeroed-out herd areas, maintaining genetically viable populations of wild horses and burros in their legal homes on the range, and the protection of their predators. Her appointment to the Advisory Board attests to her persistence and commitment. She has spoken out against and publicized BLM’s inhumane actions on many occasions; and she has filed lawsuits on behalf of wild horses when legal action was appropriate. She brings to the board an honest, passionate voice for all wild horses and burros and the lands upon which their future depends.
Regarding her appointment to the Advisory Board, Kathrens states, “I will represent the views of the majority of American citizens and I believe I can speak coherently about how they would like to have their wild horses and burros managed. I believe my appointment will serve to illustrate to the public that the BLM is sincere in wanting to make the Wild Horse and Burro Program more transparent, humane, and fiscally responsible. I look forward to participating in conversations with my fellow board members in a polite and forthright manner to reach recommendations that will allow BLM to manage the animals on their home ranges without the use of permanent sterilization procedures.”
Ginger’s first Advisory Board meeting will be April 13 and 14 in Redmond, Oregon. The meeting will be live streamed.