By THE CLOUD FOUNDATION
To The Desert Independent
September 15, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, BLM head, Neil Kornze announced that the BLM was not accepting the recommendation from their National Advisory Board to destroy wild horses in holding and to offer wild horses that had been passed over for adoption for sale without limitation. “This recommendation met a firestorm of outrage across the country and caused our phones to ring off the hook,” states Ginger Kathrens, Humane Advocate on the Advisory Board and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the sole dissenting vote to the board’s recommendation.
Prior to the Sept meeting TCF learned that the BLM decided to drop Wild Mare Sterilization Research Experiments in which wild mares (and fillies as young as 8 months) would be surgically sterilized. BLM Director Kornze indirectly referenced the TCF and AWHPC lawsuit requesting to be present to view and record the sterilization procedures, as the reason the experiments in Oregon were cancelled.
Other lawsuits and thousands of emails, letters and phone calls from concerned Americans played a significant part in bringing a halt to the experiments as well as halting the recommendation to destroy captive wild horses.
Kathrens warns, “this does not mean the horses in holding and on the range are out of trouble.” Kathrens recalls the documents that came to her office in late 2008 revealing BLM Secret Meetings in which the agency discussed how many horses could be killed each year and how many psychologists would be needed to counsel BLM employees asked to kill healthy wild horses.
In June, Kathrens was asked to speak before the House Sub-Committee on Federal Lands. “It was clear that the Western congressional representatives had no interest in hearing what I had to say,” she states. “They wanted the horses gone, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming purred that euthanasia of thousands of captive wild horses would be such ‘a lovely way to die,’ Kathrens states.
When asked, “where do we go from here?” Kathrens replied, “it is imperative that we continue to speak up, encouraging BLM to use humane tools to limit births in our wild horse herds. The ultimate goal is limiting reproduction to natural mortality. And to reduce the number of wild horses held in short term corrals, we should return these non-reproducing geldings and mares to available BLM lands designated for wild horse use, but where no wild horses currently live.”
This victory is due to thousands of advocates and concerned Americans’ expressing outrage and presenting a united voice for the wild horses.