Wild Horses

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Press Release: The Cloud Foundation Blasts BLM Plans to Gut Cloud’s & Destroy Mustangs in Government Holding Facilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Colorado Springs, CO (July 7, 2008) – Claiming that they have a budget crisis the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the government agency charged with protecting wild horses, announced plans to consider euthanizing some or all of the 33,000 wild horses they have rounded up and confined in holding facilities.

The Cloud Foundation, dedicated to preserving wild horses on public lands including the Pryor Mountain herd in Montana, was horrified to learn that BLM would turn to killing wild horses to balance their budget. “BLM has taken away their freedom and their families,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Emmy award-winning filmmaker and volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, “Now they want to kill them to avoid a budget shortfall? These are not injured, sick or starving horses, but healthy wild horses removed from their homes by the thousands.”

Since 2000, BLM has conducted massive round ups, removing over 75,000 horses from the range, driving the wild mustang population to the brink of extinction. Currently, there are few wild horse herds large enough to maintain their long-term viability. “The Pryors is the next case in point,” said Ms. Kathrens. “BLM is proposing the removal of all but 90 animals, a level that will jeopardize the horses’ long-term health and viability. Even though the Pryor herd traces directly back to the horses of the Conquistadors, they have targeted them for removal. Older horses on the Pryors would likely go into long term holding where they could face a death sentence if BLM proceeds with their plans.” Even the famous Pryor stallion, Cloud, falls within the so-called “older” horse category at 13 years of age. BLM’s drastic removals have swamped their own Adoption Program which has, in the best of years, placed 5,000 wild horses with private owners. As a solution to the growing backlog of unadopted wild horses the BLM came up with a long term holding program in which wild horses would be cared for until death. That death could now come from a bullet, rather than from natural causes. BLM refers to this as Euthanasia.

Euthanasia as a management tool was included in The Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, the legislation passed by Congress to stop the mass killing and exploitation of the mustangs. But, according to Hope Ryden, one of the individuals who helped draft the Act, Euthanasia was never meant to be used in the way BLM is planning. “On the contrary, the document’s authors first consideration was for those (wild horses) in the wild that suffered broken legs, paralysis, or were too sick to graze”, Ryden states. “These wild horses, it was determined, must be helped to die quickly and humanely. That the BLM now seeks to do this to healthy, captive wild horses, reflects on the Bureau’s woeful mismanagement of the wild horse program and their real indifference to horse suffering.”

Reacting in years past to BLM requests for “kill authority,” Congress placed protective language in each Appropriations Bill, specifically denying BLM the right to massively kill off the wild horses.

Then, in late 2006, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns of Montana slipped a rider into the Appropriations Bill which took the protective wording out. Reacting to this news, the U.S. House of Representatives quickly passed a bill, HR 249, which would have reinstated the protections in the Wild Horse and Burro Act. This bill stalled in the Senate in 2007 and has yet to be passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chaired by U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, (D) New Mexico.

In the meantime, BLM will decide whether to begin killing the public’s horses in September. They invite calls from the public at 1-800-710-7597 as well as emails (wildhorse@blm.gov) about this issue.

The Cloud Foundation strongly urges the public to call the toll free number and email BLM as well as their congressional representatives. “The public has every right to be outraged by this cruel and unnecessary plan,” Kathrens said. “And the solution is so simple. Release the thousands of incarcerated mustangs back into their home on the range. There is no over population. On the contrary, there are too few wild horses at present to guarantee they will roam free into the future.”

Over the past 35 years BLM has eliminated all wild horses from over 100 legally designated herd areas in ten western states on nearly 20 million acres of our public lands.

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For more information:

Ginger Kathrens (719) 633-3842

Volunteer Executive Director

The Cloud Foundation

www.thecloudfoundation.org

(The Cloud Foundation is a Colorado non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of wild horses on our public lands and the protection of Cloud’s herd in the Pryor mountains of Montana. The Foundation is named for Cloud, a pale palomino stallion, who Ginger Kathrens has documented since his birth in May of 1995 for two PBS Nature programs. The third Cloud program will premier in the spring of 2009.)

Printable PDF version of Press Release for distribution available at:http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/pdfs/TCF_Press Release_7-07-08.pdf

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6 thoughts on “Wild Horses

  1. I do not wish for any of the wild horses to be killed in Sept/2008. I think they should be released to live as they always have. Thank you Mrs. Peachey

  2. PRESS RELEASE

    Bureau of Land Management on Rampage to Destroy Famous Wild Horse Herd
    For Immediate Release August 10, 2009

    Cloud and the wild horses of Montana’s PryorMountains are world famous but fame it appears is not going to protect the herd from a drastic government round up planned to begin September 1st in their spectacular wilderness home.

    There are currently only 190 wild horses (one year and older) living in the PryorMountains. The BLM plans to remove 70 of them, plus foals. According to the foremost equine geneticist, Dr. Gus Cothran, 150-200 adult horses are needed in the herd to ensure their genetic diversity, which is vital to their long term survival.

    These 70 horses would be placed in jeopardy. Any horses over 10 years of age can be bought directly by killer buyers and transported over the Northern border to Canadian slaughterhouses or south into Mexico. Younger horses not adopted would be put into government holding with 33,000 others that the BLM has removed from the wild and has proposed killing because they can no longer afford to feed them.

    BLM cites poor range condition as the reason to remove the horses but abundant snow and rain for the past two and a half years has produced wonderful range conditions according to all who have visited Cloud and his herd. The Agency is not listening to anyone. They want this herd gutted. Nearly all the mares returned to the range would be given an experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22.

    This helicopter round up is just one among many that the BLM is trying to complete, perhaps before the Obama Administration can catch up with what is going on.

    The PryorMountain wild horses are descendants of the Lewis and Clark horses who were stolen by the Crow Indians in the early 1800’s. They can be traced further back to the horses brought over with the Spanish Conquistadors in 1500 making them one of the most Spanish of all wild horse herds in North America.

    Please contact The Cloud Foundation for more information

    http://www.thecloudfoundation.org, info@thecloudfoundation.org, 719-633-3842

  3. Sign Petition to Save Cloud’s Herd
    We need 5,000 signatures – please share this petition with friends!

    The round up of Cloud’s herd is scheduled for September 1st and 70 horses plus foals could lose their freedom and their families. Many of those removed would be horses in Cloud’s age group- even his 18 year old mother could be targeted for removal! This unnecessary removal must be stopped. Please sign this petition which will be sent to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey. Please click here to sign the petition- it only takes a moment!

  4. 11th Hour for Cloud’s Herd,
    URGENT MESSAGE ABOUT THE PYRORS
    Please act now to stop this unnecessary and cruel round up— the BLM still plans to move forward on September 1st

    The Bureau of Land Management is rounding up and eliminating 12 herds (650 horses) off 1.4 million acres in Nevada right now– next they plan to destroy Cloud’s herd with a massive removal of 70 horses that would include OLDER HORSES and YOUNG FOALS.
    Many of the horses you have come to love in the Cloud shows and will meet in the new Cloud show on October 25th will lose their families and their freedom next week. By zeroing out whole herds and reducing others to below genetic viability, the BLM is circumventing the will of Congress. The House just passed the Restoring of American Mustangs (ROAM) act and the Senate will review this bill (now S.1579) when they return from recess in September. Is BLM just trying to do as much irrevocable damage to America’s wild horses as they can before Congress can act?
    This round up will start on September 1st unless we can stop it. Removing 70 horses will destroy this unique little Spanish herd, leaving them well below the bare minimum for genetic viability. The range is in great condition and the horses are healthy. This removal should be stopped. Please do all you can to help! Listen to Ginger Kathrens on Endangered Stream Live– a special edition show “Angels for Cloud”

    National Call in Day for Cloud is Friday, August 28th — SPREAD THE WORD! Have your kids call in and write too– These horses need to be preserved for future generations and we must act NOW

    1. Call/write/fax President Obama as often as you can—this herd is a national treasure and should not be wiped out by a government agency. Please flood the phone lines with calls! Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000 Fax: 202-456-2461
    E-mail Obama

    2. Ask Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to stop this round up
    Call: 202-208-3100
    Write: feedback@ios.doi.gov

    3. BLM Director Bob Abbey, tell him to halt this round up– he must reconsider his agency’s actions
    Call: 202-208-3801
    Fax: 202-208-5242
    Robert_Abbey@blm.gov

    4. Call and write your own Senators and Congress people- tell them that Montana is allowing the destruction of Cloud’s unique and historical wild horse herd. Politely express your outrage and ask them to help stop this round up. Find your state offices here

    Listen to Ginger Kathrens NOW on “WFL Endangered Stream Live”

    REMEMBER: National Cloud Call-In Day is FRIDAY, AUGUST 28th!

    Thank you to everyone for signing the petition- we only need about 400 more signatures!

  5. compatriots!
    Status Update Wednesday, 02 September 2009 16:48

    The DC District Court Judge denied our request for a Temporary Restraining Order. We are not giving up on these horses though– KEEP CALLING YOUR SENATORS and CONGRESS PEOPLE, All MEDIA OUTLETS and tell your friends– this is another treasure being destroyed if we can’t stop this unneccessary, callous and massive roundup.

    We will do our best to keep you updated- the round up is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday Sept. 3 and over the next few days or week the BLM plans to remove over 70 horses– from older mares and stallions to young foals. Don’t give up.
    Who Has Been Hired to Round Up Cloud’s Herd? Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:28

    Dave Cattoor is a contractor hired by the BLM to perform wild horse round-ups. He and his wife and son run a business largely funded by the American taxpayer to harass and remove wild horses and burros. He was indicted by a federal grand jury and pled guilty to illegally hunting wild horses, aiding and abetting in 1992. He rounded up protected American mustangs, corralled into pens, loaded them into trucks, and hauled them to a slaughter house in Texas where they lost their lives. It was government theft and animal abuse. Among wild horse and burro advocates, he has a reputation of being cruel and inhumane. Photographs of newborn foals run to exhaustion, found hog tied on the range, horses and burros bleeding from their nostrils, broken legs and injured during exhausting gallops to captured pens are displayed on many wild horse and burro web sites.

    He is currently being investigated by the Department of Interior Inspector General for procurement fraud. It is known from federal contracting web sites that he has earned 13 million dollars since 2000 for which records are available. It is believed he has earned more than 21 million dollars since his conviction. Both he and his wife spoke separately before the Wild Horse and Advisory Board in 2009 and advocated for the continued use of helicopter round ups in an attempt to influence the boards recommendation to continue their lucrative contracting business. Federal law prohibits the use of contractors that have been convicted of a crime. Generally, a indictment would eliminate a contractor from consideration. However, Mr. Cattoor has been rewarded and made a millionaire many times over by the BLM despite the public outrage.

    Fully knowing the public’s concern about Mr. Dave Cattoor ‘s inhumane practices, the BLM Billings, Montana office have denied humane groups request to placed humane observers on the ground with full access during the Pryor round to ensure animals are treated humanely. Wild horses advocates have advised the BLM Billlings office as well as BLM officials in Washington DC that foals only day old and heavily pregnant mares are among those the contractor plans to run long distances for captured.

    Click Here for more information about Dave Cattoor

    Click Here to see a Helicopter Removal Pictorial
    Article from Honoring Freedom: The Ride to Save America’s Wild Horses Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:18

    American Indian Leaders and others concerned about BLM’s wild horse management gather for Ceremony to honor the land and pray for the safety of the horses

    Download PDF Here
    Legal Battle to Save Clouds herd Wednesday, 02 September 2009 12:37

    See Documents Who Has Been Hired to Round Up Cloud’s Herd Tuesday, 01 September 2009 15:02

    Click Here to visit The Cloud Foundations YouTube page.
    Congressman Raul Grijalva calls for BLM to stop Roundup Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00

    Congressman Raul Grijalva calls for BLM to stop Roundup not only of Cloud’s Herd but of all Wild Horses and Burros

    Download full PDF here!
    Crow Elder & Historian Speaks Against Roundup Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

    Howard Boggess, Member of the Crow Tribe of Indians, Elder and Historian talks about the Pryor Wild Horses he’s known all his life. Mr. Boggess discusses what could happen if the roundup of Cloud’s herd goes forward on Sept. 4th. Everything that is against the law for me they are planning to do to these horses. This is a very sad thing as far as I’m concerned. The horses have lived here for over 200 years. Even under the harassment of the BLM they’ve survived since 1971.
    Keep calling Secretary of Interior Salazar, BLM Director Bob Abbey, the Billings BLM Office and President Obama.

    http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/index.php/donate-now

  6. http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=11375828#

    New Cloud Program Airs on Sunday & Roundups Continue
    The BLM plans to remove over 35% (12,000+) of our federally-protected wild horses and burros this year & this must stop- roundup schedule here
    1. Please watch the most recent report from CBS’s George Knapp, this short news story outlines how BLM has moved from over-management to the clear destruction of our wild herds. Click here to watch the one-hour report “Stampede to Oblivion”
    2. Continue writing, calling and demanding a stop to these roundups (click here for your government & media contacts). An immediate moratorium is needed if we are to protect wild horses & burros into the future. Already less than a quarter of herds are genetically viable & 20+ million acres have been taken away from them since 1971. The BLM is acting illegally and clearly not following the Wild Horse & Burro Act- they must be stopped- these massive roundups are a cruel waste of these horses lives on the taxpayers’ dime. In Defense of Animals has an easy to use mailing form and great sample letter, click here.
    3. Sign the Save Our Wild Horses Resolution petition & join the Cloud Foundation mailing list to stay informed (join us on Facebook & Twitter & check our Blog for frequent updates too).

    4. Tune into your local PBS station on Sunday evening to watch “Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions”. Check your local listings for times and join Ginger for a live chat after the show online at PBS.org. Click here for more information.
    5. Please continue to support the Cloud Foundation through your donations and your purchases from the Cloud store (the new Cloud book & Breyer models just arrived- donate for your signed books and models here).
    6. Please share this with friends and family– wild horses were saved from destruction before, we have to do it again. Check the Cloud Foundation site soon for our new Kid’s page. Wild Horse Annie and thousands of children saved these horses before… let’s do it again, now!
    Thank you for all of your incredible support and action. We hope you enjoy this next documentary and please let it inspire you to continued action on behalf of all our wild horses & burros.

    Cloud turns to face helicopter in last month’s roundup- Ann Evans photo. Middle photo by Tony Wengert, Cloud & Morning Star’s bands race across the Pryors, Summer 2008.
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    Our mailing address is:
    The Cloud Foundation 107 South 7th St Colorado Springs, CO 80905

    Our telephone:
    719-633-3842

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