Journalists are in love with cowboys, and so wild horses will die.

Vickery Eckhoff

Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

I’ve made a subspecialty out of writing to journalists about wild horses and, more importantly, cattle.

Below is a letter I wrote to Matthew Shaer of Smithsonian, whose May 2017 article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,”  is typical of how journalists cover wild horses. It is also typical of what senators can expect to hear today, June 21, when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the Trump budget plan, which will lift Congress’ ban on removing protections for wild horses and burros and selling them for slaughter.

This is not journalism that speaks truth to power. My solution is to speak truth to journalism. Here’s my letter, dated May 5, 2017:

Dear Mr. Shaer,

I read your Smithsonian article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a…

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Wild Horses Heading For Extinction: The Bureau Of Land Management And The Facts

Straight from the Horse's Heart

as published Western Journalism

“Any person or any agency who says that wild horses are not native to North America is just uneducated…”

First of all, let’s set the record straight:

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild horses are an American native species, according to Ross MacPhee, Ph.D., Curator of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Given this man’s impeccable credentials and experience, his findings are beyond reproach or debate.

Here is an article by Dr. MacPhee that is crystal-clear: Wild horses are native to America.

This finding is also shared by many other highly credible scientists, including Dr. Jay F. Kirkpatrick.

Any person or any agency who says that wild horses are not native to North America is just uneducated, misinformed or intentionally lying for some reason, usually motivated by…

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The High Cost of Cheap Grazing on Public Land

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Andy Kerr as published on his Public Lands Blog

“Bovine bulldozers have caused more harm to the public lands than mining or logging…”

Private “Welfare Cattle” being herded onto BLM Antelope Complex in Nevada, while Wild Horse roundup was being conducted ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

It costs more to feed a domestic house cat than to graze domestic livestock on federal public lands.

This has generally been the case since the early 1900s, when the federal government first required ranchers to pay a fee for grazing their livestock on millions of acres of federal land, primarily in western states.

Each January the USDA Forest Service and the USDI Bureau of Land Management calculate what the federal grazing fee will be for that year. For 2017, it’s $1.87/animal unit month (AUM), down from $2.11/AUM in 2016. An AUM is the amount of forage…

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Call to Action: Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice NOW

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Open letter by Grandma Gregg

There is no time to waste! Please feel free to use the sample letter below and using the form (link below) send your own message to the US House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations.” ~ Grandma Gregg

https://appropriations.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Do not allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Forest Service (USFS), Farm Bureau and the extraction and mining giants and the domestic livestock grazing associations to pull the wool over your eyes. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. Per the unanimously passed United States 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act, the land is to be devoted principally although not exclusively to the wild horses and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands.

The recent National Academy of Sciences study found…

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Groups File Formal Petition to Ban Cyanide Traps in Wyoming

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Story by as published on the Casper Star Tribune

“We’re not at war with native wildlife, and it is irresponsible to allow poison landmines to be sown anywhere in Wyoming,”

Star-Tribune File Photo

A coalition of environmental groups formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday asking for a ban of M-44s, a cyanide trap used to kill coyotes across the state.

Many of the groups, which include Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a similar petition in Idaho in March. Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, decided to remove all M-44s from private, state and federal land in Idaho.

“We’re not at war with native wildlife, and it is irresponsible to allow poison landmines…

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Video: Equine Advocates Alarmed Over Salt River Wild Horse Harassment

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source: Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and ABC15.com

Public Harassment May Have Caused Foal’s Death

From Simone Netherlands; “Dear Supporters of the horses, please click this link first, then you can leave a comment under ABC15’s post about the harassment of wild horses. The more you care, the more you share, the more people will be aware. Thank you!”

http://www.abc15.com/news/state/animal-advocates-concerned-about-horse-harassment

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Ochoco National Forest Doubles Wild-Horse Monitoring

via Ochoco Natl. Forest Doubles Wild-Horse Monitoring | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by KTVZ.COM

Two census efforts set; volunteers sought

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Ochoco National Forest announced Monday it is embarking on a new strategy for monitoring its wild horse population for the Big Summit Territory.

This year, two wild horse census efforts are expected to provide a more complete picture of the herd’s condition, demographics and location.

A herd count has been done annually for many years on the forest. However, officials said, it is challenging to cover all of the territory and outlying areas where horses are thought to frequent in a single monitoring effort.

Horses are reported to move into many remote sites and canyons.  An accurate numbers count will provide needed information for the development of the new Herd Management Plan.

This new plan will replace the existing one, which is more than 40 years old. Many conditions outlined in the present plan have changed over the years, forest officials said.

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition has a long-standing partnership with the Ochoco National Forest in monitoring the Big Summit herd.

This June, as in the past, the coalition will bring volunteers to help with their census ride.

“The efforts of the coalition have contributed greatly to the Ochoco National Forest’s administration of the wild horse herd,” the announcement said. “This year’s two-prong monitoring effort, to add a second census ride for two days in July into outlying areas, is expected to compliment the efforts that the coalition has coordinated in the past. ”

There is much interest in the herd, the forest officials said, and with additional volunteers to support a second census effort, the forest can make a better determination of the overall health of the horses, try to determine how many are actually on the landscape and what possible interactions they are having with the land and resources.

The forest is working with Discover Your Forest to recruit volunteers for the July effort.  Those interested in helping can contact Stacey Cochrane, Community Engagement Director, DYF at (541) 383-5530 or discoveryourforest.org.

For those interested in further information about the program, please contact project team leader Tory Kurtz at (541) 416-6500 or tkurtz@fs.fed.us.

http://www.ktvz.com/news/ochoco-natl-forest-doubles-wild-horse-monitoring/529495671

Washington Wildlife Officials Too Quick to Kill Wolves

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Press Release from the Center for Biological Diversity

“Washington needs to protect its recovering wolf population — not make it easier to kill these amazing animals…”

OLYMPIA, Wash.— Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials late Thursday released a new protocol that would allow wolves to be killed too soon after incidents with livestock and without enough oversight.

The new “wolf-livestock interaction protocol” guides when the agency will move to kill wolves in response to livestock depredations. Conservation groups are concerned that the protocol allows wolves to be killed under dubious circumstances and lacks sufficient requirements for ranchers to exhaust nonlethal measures.

“This protocol fails to protect the state’s small wolf population or prioritize scientifically proven nonlethal measures to safeguard livestock,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wildlife officials should have left much more room for nonlethal measures and allowed…

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A Plea to Save our Wild Horses & Burros from advocate Bonnie Kohleriter

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation photographing members of the Cold Creek Herd, Sept. 2012 ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

by Bonnie Kohleriter

PLEASE CONSIDER TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WILD HORSES AND BURROS ALLOWED ON

  29 M ACRES OF OUR PUBLIC LANDS IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THEIR CONTINUED VIABILITY

CONCURRENTLY PLEASE CONSIDER TO DECREASE THE NUMBER OF ALLOWABLE LIVESTOCK IN

THOSE SAME AREAS TO PRESERVE THE RANGELANDS

THESE STEPS TAKEN WILL PROVIDE A COST SAVINGS TO THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS

The BLM manages 245 M acres of our public lands and the USFS manages 191 M acres. Wild horses and burros (WHBs) are limited to 27 M acres on BLM land and 2 M acres on USFS land. Only 26,600 WHB are allowed on the BLM 27 M acres and only 2000 on the USFS 2 M acres. In addition, some 400,000 livestock are allowed on the same…

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Speak Up Against BLM’s Plans to Decimate Wyoming’s Red Desert Wild Horse Herds

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Carol Walker as published on Wild Hoofbeats

“The BLM should raise the Appropriate Management Level for the Red Desert Complex wild horse populations…”

Red Desert Wild Horses at Risk of Removal and Slaughter

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a massive roundup and removal of 2,096 horses, or 80% of the 2,620 horses in the Red Desert Complex that includes Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek, and Stewart Creek Herd Management Areas.  BLM wants to end up with a  low Appropriate Management Level of only 524 wild horses on 753,000 acres of public land.

Please also consider that any horses currently in short and long term holding, as well as any removed from their homes on public lands this year will be in jeopardy of being sold without limitation and may end up at slaughter if the Trump Budget is passed.

There is no…

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