By THE CLOUD FOUNDATION
To The Desert Independent
April 2, 2018
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – In the wake of the passage of the Omnibus spending bill last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scrambling to release a management plan for our wild horses and burros as requested by Congress, according to an E&E News report.
For decades, wild horse and burro advocacy groups have been calling for the BLM to implement humane, science-based management strategies. During the passage of the Omnibus bill last week, Congressional committee members stated their frustration at the lack of a workable plan. At the behest of those committee members, BLM is now attempting to create a new management plan in a matter of days that could spell death and destruction for wild horses and burros in holding and on their home ranges.
To make matters potentially more perilous for our wild horses and burros, the BLM is now under the direction of Brian Steed, former Chief of Staff for pro-horse-slaughter Congressman Chris Stewart of Utah. Congressman Stewart was instrumental in the creation of the “National Wild Horse & Burro Summit” in Salt Lake City last year. The event was populated by anti-wild horse advocates, 99% of whom voted to sell wild horses for dog food, and 96 percent of whom voted to euthanize unadoptable horses.
“We have no confidence that a government agency led by Mr. Steed will draft a fair, humane, or science-based management plan for wild horses and burros,” said Lisa Friday, Director of Communications for The Cloud Foundation. “His former boss is a proponent of killing wild horses and burros in holding, and we feel that sentiment will likely shine through in whatever management proposals his staff manages to pen.”
For decades the BLM has failed to implement viable solutions for managing healthy horses on healthy ranges. They have ignored the wishes of 80% of the American public and now, the united voices of wild horse advocates, more than 100 of whom have signed on to aproposal for humane, science-based wild horse and burro management.
“While millions of head of privately-owned livestock continue to devastate public lands, BLM floats the phony argument that wild horse overpopulation is the cause of the devastation,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation and Humane Advocate on the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board. “Meanwhile, our management proposals go unheeded, proposals that will save money, protect our public lands, and preserve our wild horses and burros.”
The BLM cites that wild horses and burros in holding cost $50 million per year, a number that number pales in comparison to the $144 million per year that the BLM spends to manage millions of head of privately-owned livestock grazing on public lands. The grazing program operates at a net loss of at least $123 million per year according to the Government Accountability Office. Economists estimate the actual net losses of that program could well be between
$500 million and $1 billion per year.
The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.