The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Wild Horse Horror

Guest Opinion

as printed in the Daily Camera
To The Desert Independent

December 12, 2012

Our wild horses are on the edge of a planned extinction by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) because it has chosen corporate socialism over the interest of the American taxpayer. The American people must demand that the BLM stop wild horse round-ups immediately and require an independent investigation of their blatant mismanagement and betrayal of our nation’s magnificent wild mustangs.

“Ken Salazar should be proud,” says filmmaker Ginger Kathrens of the Secretary of the Interior. “This is an Advisory Board that Salazar has created to manage wild horses to extinction.”

Symptomatic of the disastrous BLM’s wild horse and burro program is the uncovered evidence of 1,700 captured horses being surreptitiously shipped to the Mexican slaughter market by Tom Davis – “known kill buyer.” The BLM pretends to not know Tom Davis’ intentions of buying the 1,700 horses at $10 each and selling them for $1,000 each. More: The BLM used tax payer money to have them trucked to Davis — a lifetime neighbor and business associate of Salazar. Another subsidized bargain from friends in high places!

The BLM was given the task of protecting America’s wild horses, but instead, they are misrepresenting facts, misleading the American people, ignoring science, violating federal law, and systematically mismanaging our wild horses (a returned native species) for the benefit of big money ranchers, mining, gas and oil interests.

The taxpayer funds our corporate welfare cowboys with up to $1 billion a year.

258 million acres of our public lands are grazed and degraded by privately owned livestock for the ridiculously low price of $1.35 per month for a cow and calf.

Twenty million acres – half of the public land allocated for wild horses — has been cleverly stolen to give the ranchers more land for almost free.

Taxpayers pay to have wild horse herds whittled down — by horrific round ups and captivity — to numbers not genetically viable for the benefit of private profits

Taxpayers even pay to remove predators for the private interests.

There are now 50,000 captured horses in BLM holding area — more horses in captivity than in the wild!

Much less expensive and more humane alternatives exist than the BLM’s cruel and relentless round-ups and subsequent imprisonment and slaughter of our wild horses at an ever rising and unsustainable cost of $76 million each year to support profits of private business interests. Craig Downer’s system of reserve design, (see “The Wild Horse Conspiracy 2011″) will establish healthy and self stabilizing herds. Yet the BLM continues to run the train off the tracks rather than invest in safe on-the-range methods of management.

It is time to relieve the BLM of its illegal, mismanaged and misguided extinction plan and give the job to wild horse experts who can implement a caring and intelligent management program that follows the law, saves the taxpayer money, and graces our public lands with the timeless beauty and spirit of our iconic wild mustangs.

Forty-one years ago, the American people spoke loudly and clearly and passionately for the preservation and protection of our nation’s wild horses. The Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed unanimously to protect these animals for America and absolutely not to get rid of them for private profits. The undermining of this law and trickery of adding “riders” to legislative bills without review of lawmakers is the power of big moneyed interests and not the moral spirit of America. The BLM’s hidden extinction plan is a total corruption of our democratic will. Details must be revealed in a court of law and justice done.

Please speak up for our wild horses before we lose them forever. Write physical snail mail letters to your congressmen. Create and sign petitions. Align yourself with horse advocacy. If you watch the videos of the BLM’s treatment of these wonderful animals your heart and moral conscience will guide you. (Search BLM wild mustang round-up videos online.)

Hannah Shook is an artist who lives in Boulder County, Colorado.

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