Forest Service & BLM, Rivals in Staging the Best Scene to Support the Big Lie.
Yet again Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES) has caught one of the federal agencies, mandated to protect American wild horses, creating the scene they need to support the lies told to get rid of our wild horses.
After a week-long battle CAES has been given permission to provide water for horses the Forest Service (FS) has allowed remaining trapped inside an area with no water. CAES received a call from our Arizona branch, the Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance, letting us know that the FS had a band of 15 – 20 wild horses trapped in a fenced area where they cannot get to water. Our team there was told by the FS that they were not going to supply water to the horses. They stated that the cattle would be back out on the range in 2 weeks and the ranchers would be putting water out then.
Our first reaction was that gates must be opened when cattle are not on the land. This is not a solution for this band that is trapped, the fences run the wild horse territory (WHT) from the northern to southern boundaries, and there is no access at either end for the horses to go around. This band can stand and see water on the western side, beyond the fence, but cannot get to it.
The Information Assistant, Steve Johnson sent this email to one of our members:
“I’m an Information Assistant on the forest, and David Evans forwarded your email to me. We share your concern regarding the drought conditions on the Sitgreaves National Forest. The Black Mesa Ranger District is in the process of coordinating with local interested private individuals who have expressed an interest in providing water for the horses. Gates on the fences around earthen stock tanks are being closed on tanks that are close to going dry. This is to prevent animals from getting mired in the mud created by receding waters.
Steve Johnson, Information Assistant, Forest Service
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Supervisor’s Office
p: 928-333-6348, f: 928-333-5966, firstname.lastname@example.org”
When CAES board member, Val Cecama-Hogsett got involved she spoke with Mr. Johnson. He told her this closing of gates was to prevent a situation such as the one that allegedly happened on the Navajo reservation. The truth, in this case, is that there are no gates between these horses and the water, just miles of cattle fencing. He informed Val of the working group with local people. There is a meeting Monday for ongoing topics. But this is an urgent situation that has already claimed one wild horse’s life.
The BLM and FS must stop the lies, allowing horses to die by denying them water or food. That is illegal, cruel and goes against the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act which mandates they manage these horses for healthy, thriving ecosystems, and the survival of the horses for future generations.