Guest Opinion by BILL SIMPSON
To The Desert Independent
April 10, 2019
Anyone who is being intellectually honest realizes that wild horses in America today are entering their darkest hour. That is an undeniable fact.
The efforts over past decades by paid wild horse and burro activist organizations (not sanctuaries or rescue orgs.), some of who receive a $-million dollars a year or more, have not changed the trajectory of the fate of wild horses. And the result is the BLM has committed to taking the total U.S. population down to about 27,000, which will be divided into tiny sub groups in many cases less than 50 horses in an area, guaranteeing inbreeding and genetic failure. This even thought there is no 'population problem' as alleged by some people. The pure and simple fact is that due to antiquated and flawed management paradigm, wild horses (and burros) today are simply being held and managed in many of the wrong locations.
In fact, there are areas (ten million acres on the west coast) rich with grazing and water that have no wild horses or burros, are depleted in cervids, and are manifestly unsuited for any livestock production now or anytime in the future.
The reason for the ineffectiveness of paid WHB activists is they have failed to design and present any plan that would be acceptable to all stakeholders and would save wild horses and burro from the horrors that have ensued.
They fail in their understanding that the people sitting on the other side of the table also have a say in what happens, and these people also have to agree to any management policy. Furthermore, no amount of glad-handing or posing with pandering politicians for Kodak moments is going to modify the influence on natural resource management on public lands that comes from industries that are funded via the $-trillions in annual revenue coming from consumers.
Let's face facts; 97% of Americans eat meat today, and nobody seems willing to give up anything from their own lifestyles! When my wife and I became vegetarians in 1971, 48-years ago, roughly 2% of Americans were vegetarians... a whopping 1% change in 48 years!
American Wild Horse Campaign, a non-profit who just in 2017 received over $1-Million in donations and paid out approx. $245,000.00 in 'salaries', has paraded the fact that in the same year they got 300,000 signatures on a petition to save wild horses.
Let's do the math here:
America has a total population of 327-Million consumers who are buying products for the industries supplying these consumers with what they are demanding, including livestock derived meat products. Lets deduct the 3% who are vegetarians and we end up with about 317-Million Americans who want meat and they want it cheap!
Therefore, the 300,000 signatures on the petitions from 2017 (there are just 100,000 signatures to stop the current Onaqui Roundup) represent a minuscule 0.0009% of all American consumers. Does anyone genuinely think this turn-out will change how behemoth corporate entities will think or act? Is .0009% market lost a worry for them? Not hardly! Will this scant number affect how the government and its officials will ultimately act in regard to policy? Doubtful.
If we truly want to save American wild horses and burros, then we must stop the daydreaming and make some smart moves. And going back to the same paid WHB activists and the minds there will only yield more of the same dire results. In the corporate world, these people would have been terminated from employment long ago for mission failure.
Ask yourself this question;
If you're on a ship in the middle of the sea and a friend or family member slips and falls overboard and is drowning, do you care who throws the life ring to save the drowning person?
Does it matter if it's the deck hand, another tourist, a Republican or Democrat? Does pride demand that it has to be you who throws the life ring as the person drowning is going down for the last time? And maybe you can't even throw a ball very well?
This I feel is at the core of the problem we find within the paid WHB activists; they are all jockeying for 'status', which translates into priority in obtaining donation dollars. There is no doubt that money and ego are adversely affecting the fate of America's treasured wild horses and burros, and unless we address this issue right now, wild horses and burro will be sent irreversibly down the path to extinction.
At the grave risk of American wild horses, there are paid WHB activists who are currently stonewalling a genuine plan that can relatively quickly save 50,000+ wild horses via re-wilding them into appropriate areas. That Plan is know as the Wild Horse Fire Brigade, which can re-wild 50,000 wild equids into wilderness areas rich with grass and water, yet these same areas are manifestly unsuited to livestock production.
Please consider the information and 9-minute documentary below, with an eye for possibly sharing it with whomever might give this young lad (Micah Robin) a leg up in starting his career as a documentary producer with a heart. Please help us to save thousands of wild horses! Please share, post, email, tweet, etc. the link to this short video.
You'd think that if the paid WHB activists loved wild horses like they say, they would be the FIRST to showcase this video? No. Instead they showcase Ben Masters/Charles Post video 'Horse Rich - Dirt Poor'. Why? Take a guess.... the controversy drives donations! Whereas a true and complete solution ends the controversy and saves wild horses!
Please tell the paid activists you know to get behind 'The Plan' and start supporting it while there is still some sand in the hourglass.
Sadly, it has come to this, me having to point all this out only because of the ongoing stonewalling. And I am not the only one who has seen this sad situation... a former BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board (Humane Advocate) said this to me in an email letter: