BREAKING NEWS: President’s Budget proposes to murder wild horses.
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group once again outraged.
The president’s budget, if approved, will allow for the murder and slaughter of Americas wild horses and burros.
“This is wildly inappropriate and unacceptable”, states Simone Netherlands, president of the group of volunteers who monitors the Salt River wild horses and caused enough outrage to save them.”
The Bureau of Land Management’s fiscal 2018 budget request states:
“The budget proposes to give the BLM the tools it needs to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability to conduct sales without limitation. The budget proposes to eliminate appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management options. The long term goal is to realign program costs and animal populations to more manageable levels, enabling BLM to reorient the WHB program back to these traditional management strategies
TRANSLATION of this deceiving language;
The President’s budget for the BLM just proposed to murder without limit Americas federally protected wild horses and burros to balance their budget. Yet wild horses and burros do not cost anyone a dime while living their lives peacefully on our public lands on which they have a legal right to live.
The BLM also wants to reduce birth control when they already spend less than 1% of their budget on that right now and refuse to give the only HUMANE management tool a chance. Instead they intend to rob the public of America of their rightful historic inheritance.
In order to convince you that its right, the BLM uses the following alternative facts on their website:
“Wild horses are starving”: They are definitely not starving, if they were we would be the first ones to complain about that. We have thousands of pictures of healthy and fat wild horses coming off the range after which they are stuffed in holding pens.
“They are overpopulated”: They are not overpopulated, we have fewer than 60,000 wild horses and burros left in the wild; when bighorn sheep were at the same number of 60,000 they were deemed a species of concern! We have one million elk and 35 million deer nationally, to call a population of 60,000 an overpopulation, is absurd.
“They are doing damage to the environment”; They are not, it is the 3 million cattle on our public lands that are doing the damage, not the 60,000 wild horses. Strangely no one mentions the 3 million cattle.
“There are 46,000 excess wild horses”: There are not, this number is made up, grabbed out of thin air by the BLM themselves claiming they are over Appropriate Management Levels. Appropriate Management Levels are actually highly inappropriate, not sustainable and will bring wild horses and burros to extinction. The NAS concluded that these numbers by the BLM bear no scientific basis or rationale.
“It is humane euthanasia”: No such thing exists, we are in fact talking about the brutal slaughter of our majestic wild horses, the killing of our American icons, the murder of our American spirit.
“This is wildly absurd, appalling and against everything Americans believe in,” states Simone Netherlands, “our people are on the phone right now with congress, calling for an end to this madness. There is only one way to manage wild horses and burros; on the range, through humane birth control, that is what will save tax payer dollars and it is what the public demands.”
The Salt River wild horses are the beloved and majestic horses roaming the lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, AZ. They are the pride of the community, a favorite subject of photographers and the icon of the wild, free spirit of the American West. These wild horses were brought into the limelight when they were slated for roundup and removal in July of 2015.
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group coordinates it’s volunteers every day to monitor the wild horses and record birth rates, death rates, herd dynamics and migrating patterns. We keep records for each individual wild horse and we care deeply about their well being. We have written and submitted a 48 page proposal for the humane and responsible management of the Salt River wild horses.
It is our goal to work for the good of the Tonto National Forest, its inhabitants and its visitors every day.
Our volunteers pick up bags of garbage from the riverbanks daily and buckets of nails and many pounds of old down barbed wire. We work hard towards improving public safety and horse safety by fixing many miles of fencing along Bush Highway and installing new gates.
To us, this fight is about keeping a small piece of wild for future generations to come. It is about who we are as Americans, and what we stand for – and also what we don’t.
We want you to know that YOUR voice makes a difference. We are not funded by anyone but you, the public. Your tax-deductible donation helps the Salt River wild horses directly, as no one in the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group gets paid; not even our president. With your support we can purchase fencing materials to keep horses off the roads, fund our education campaigns, help us fund humane management, and pay for the rescue of suffering wild horses when needed.
Background; On July 31 of 2015, a day we will always remember, the impound and removal notice for the Salt River wild horses was posted in the Capitol times by the US Forest Service. The round-up was reportedly planned with riders and helicopters and the horses would be sold at public auction and most likely end up in slaughter houses. After monitoring and watching these horses be born and grow up in the wild, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group had seven days before the notice would take effect and a roundup could begin.
Without delay or sleeping a wink, we alerted the press and the public to the imminent annihilation of the cherished herd. We made connections with over 6000 media outlets, we held rallies, we lobbied our legislators and we filed a lawsuit. Our attorneys as well as our coalition partner, the American Wild Horse Campaign, were with us as we negotiated with the Forest Service- it made the local news daily.
What happened next was nothing short of an unprecedented public outrage – the people of Arizona and its politicians gave these iconic wild horses their voice. Thousands of calls, letters and emails streamed into the Forest Service office. More than 100 news pieces can be found when you search “Salt River Wild Horse Management Group” , including pieces on CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Times and our very supportive local stations ABC15, FOX10, CBS5/3tv and 12News.
During our negotiations, the Forest Service committed to a 120-day temporary delay of the roundup after which we dropped our lawsuit (without prejudice) in order to further negotiate. Then just before Christmas of 2015, under continued pressure, the Forest Service agreed to completely rescind the impound notice. It wasn’t until then, that we could breath again. We are very grateful that the Forest Service heard and took note of the the public outcry, and that they listened.
But the fight was and is still not over, through continued work with AZ State Legislators a bill was born and amended, HB2340. The bill establishes that the horses are not stray livestock, makes harassing them illegal and requires a codifying of their humane management between the Forest Service, the State Ag Department and a private party. After 5 months of contacting every legislator in Arizona, the bill passed and was signed by Governor Doug Ducey, who had been very supportive from the beginning. We really appreciate our Governor for his crucial support and we have named the first colt of 2017 “Ducey” in his honor. The below video, shows Ducey getting up for the very first time.
However we need to warn the public that the horses are not “out of the woods” yet. They are still not protected and no headway has been made so far in the MOU’s for their humane management. The legislation was created with the intent to protect them, but both the Forest Service and the State still hold their fate in their hands.
After many years of advocating for humane fertility control, we have yet to be authorized to use this comon sense method to reduce population growth and prevent future roundups. Our data over many years shows that the herd is growing approximately at 12% per year. That is not as much as is claimed by the BLM for most herds, but it is still a positive growth rate and the Salt River wild horses only have a limited habitat and are fenced in by civilization on all sides.
An Environmental Assessment ordered by the US Ag Department is underway and a census by air was conducted. At a certain point in time we suspect that a government agency might announce that there is only room for a small amount of horses on the river. We will need the public’s continued support in opposition to anything that is not in the horses’ best interest. Dartible humane fertility control (PZP) is the only way towards solutions that will be a win win for everyone, the public, the authorities and most of all the horses.
This fight is about keeping a small piece of wild for future generations to come, and managing it humanely and responsibly, but it is also about more than that. It is about who we are as Americans, and what we stand for – and what we don’t.
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We want you to know that YOUR voice makes a difference. We are not funded by anyone but you, the public. Your tax-deductable donation helps the Salt River wild horses directly, as no one in the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group gets paid; not even our president. With your support we can purchase fencing materials to keep horses off the roads, fund our education campaigns, help us fund humane management, and pay for the rescue of suffering wild horses when needed.
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) is a non-profit organization 501(c)3, dedicated to monitor, study and protect the Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona. We use all of our resources and connections to prevent harm from coming to the Salt River wild horses and ensure that they will be here for future generations to enjoy.
Trailer to America’s Wild Horses, the Documentary.
This documentary was in the process of being made when the notice for impound and removal was posted by the Forest Service. We are in the process of updating it with all the latest that has happened since! The last year has been a wild ride for all of us at the SRWHMG!