American Wild Horse Campaign -Seriously…WHAT Are You Doing???

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AWHC puts out another “give us your email” petition which will give them some kind of claim to another issue they did not even realize was an issue, but rather celebrated as one of their wins:

Take Action for the Wild Horses of Warm Springs

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) for the Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA) in Oregon…

That plan includes the return of just 66 horses to the range to meet the low Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 96 horses…

Bottom line: The BLM plan is releasing too few horses to maintain a healthy, genetically viable population…

We encourage you to submit comments directly there, and also take one moment to sign our petition below.

Val Cecama-Hogsett who has been following the media reports, doing the FOIA’s, and assisted on the legal cases Citizens Against Equine Slaughter filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals in both 2016 and 2018 posted on your Facebook page the following comment in regard to your latest action:

“For crying out loud…YOU celebrated this as a great win of your 1st amendment lawsuit….now after we pointed out that BLM’s plan is definitely NOT a win, not acceptable, not legal NOW you put out this action to make people think you actually care?!?!?!?! How about you get real and honest with your supporters. I know Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and several other small advocate groups have had it with the fraudulent posts and half-truths of this organization.”

2019-03-10 (1)

CAES addressed the celebration AWHC claimed on this issue just a few weeks ago:

BLM DEAL TO RETURN WARM SPRINGS HORSES IS NO DEAL #FAKEWIN

WHILE OTHER WILD HORSE ADVOCATE GROUPS CELEBRATE, LIKELY BECAUSE THEY NEED TO FIND A WIN IN THE LAWSUIT THEY HAD DISMISSED FOR BEING MOOT, WE SEE THAT THIS NEW ANNOUNCEMENT OF BLM ON THE WARM SPRINGS CASE IS NO WIN AT ALL FOR THE HORSES. IN FACT, IT IS NOTHING AT ALL.

THE REAL STORY HERE IS READING THE MESSAGE BLM JUST ISSUED:

WE DIDN’T GET OUR WAY SO WE ARE NOT RETURNING 200 HORSES AS WE AGREED TO IN A PREVIOUS APPROVED PLAN. BUT HEY WE’LL TRY TO RETURN HORSES, JUST NOT FROM NOW THROUGH DECEMBER OF 2019, AND NOT PREGNANT OR UNPREGNANT MARES, OR STALLIONS.

What is BLM really proposing?

BLM issued a new plan to release wild horses on the Warm Springs Horse Management Area (HMA), changing the already approved plan. As we reported in our previous article on this the release of less than half the horses approved in the plan should not be changed because BLM could not go through with plans to sterilize mares. If the range could support 200 for their gruesome study, it can support the release of 200 without the study. Period. 200 horses must be released and we reject this new plan.

As if that was enough of an insult to our intelligence BLM also gives the following restrictions on releasing even the meager 66 these mainstream fake advocate organizations are touting as a great win. Here are the conditions that may change the release of just 66 horses:

BLM can’t return horses now or until approximately May or June because the roads are not good enough

Can’t return mares that are pregnant March – June because well, they might deliver on transport?  (They gather and transport pregnant mares routinely)

Won’t return mares with foals because of danger to foals on transport (They transport foals routinely)

Won’t return mares until foals are weaned and ripped away from mares 4 – 6 months after birth (so no returns from March – June until after 4 – 6 months later which would be as late as December

No returns during fire season June through fall

No returns if there is not adequate water (to be assessed in flyovers in June) even though forage is good and water on one half is good, the other side was questionable, and the solution is the removal of a livestock fence between the 2 sides of the HMA

No mares returned who were not pregnant, they could be sterile (erm the original plan was to return nearly 30 sterile mares wasn’t it?)

No stallion released without a mare released to keep a 50/50 sex ratio (unnatural and why can’t they release 33 stallions and release 33 mares as they can based on their other fake conditions)

AND BLM retains the right to alter, change, nullify, or create a whole new plan even if this one is passed

So, in other word BLM has said :

WE DIDN’T GET OUR WAY SO WE ARE NOT RETURNING 200 HORSES AS WE AGREED TO IN A PREVIOUS APPROVED PLAN. BUT HEY WE’LL TRY TO RETURN HORSES, JUST NOT FROM NOW THROUGH DECEMBER OF 2019, AND NOT PREGNANT OR UNPREGNANT MARES, OR STALLIONS.

Again in the latest attempt to promote your organization, you claim that your organization stopped the sterilization experiments…when in fact the BLM asked for an order to vacate and remand the plan during OUR legal case. The fact is that until the BLM can find a way to get around the law that says ‘surgical experiments on any wildlife expected to survive MUST be done in an aseptic (not field sterile) environment’ they simply cannot do these experiments. We asked you in 2016 to help us pursue this legal avenue, you refused, even after taking donations to file a lawsuit to “stop” these experiments. When we pointed out to you in emails that you had in fact collected funds for these purposes and asked you to donate those to us since we and several other orgs. were, in fact, filing that lawsuit, you refused, then 3 days later filed a lawsuit to ‘watch’ the experiments.

When your case this last time, 2018, again a first amendment lawsuit to watch the experiments was ruled moot because BLM canceled plans, again during OUR legal action, you announced it as a win YOU had for the horses and told people BLM would be releasing the horses. Hence, we clarified that with the above Feb 18th article. We would like to know what action your organization took that resulted in a win for any horse in this situation?

BLM responded to the end of your lawsuit by telling the media that they are working on ways to proceed with the experiments despite the litigation. They have not STOPPED plans to sterilize mares, they are simply trying to figure out how to get around the legal issues brought before them. Your lawsuit did nothing but once again, as in 2016, give them a first amendment lawsuit to claim was an issue, use as the reason the media gets for stopping plans, when in reality it gave them the chance to get our entire legal battle, and then use you fake lawsuit to request a vacate and remand order, and avoid a ruling on the legal issues we have now TWICE filed. Instead of working with us on solid legal arguments you file a first amendment lawsuit…something you told another advocate from yet another group is a lawsuit that doesn’t work when she asked about helping her file one to watch radio-collaring of wild horses in WY.

You not only refused to post but completely ignored our article to address the issue with BLM regarding this decision in another article we posted on February 15:

BLM DECIDES NOT TO RELEASE ALL THE HORSES PROMISED IN OREGON

BLM DOESN’T GET THEIR WAY AND WARM SPRINGS HORSES FROM OREGON SUFFER FOR IT.

Feb.15, 2019

In 2018 we filed legal action to stop the BLM in Oregon from performing brutal, archaic sterilization experiments on pregnant mares. The BLM, after receiving our legal arguments against their plans, and after we got the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board to investigate the lead veterinarian who wishes to do these procedures, Burns BLM in Oregon canceled their plans to do them.

One declaration written by Burn’s BLM Rob Sharp to the court stated that if BLM was not able to do the experiments they would not release all 200 horses, which was what the approved plan stated. We called this emotional blackmail then, and after bringing this up on the BLM Facebook page for their wild horse and burro program…just the next day…BLM loads online a new proposed plan to return less than half what was approved in the previous APPROVED plan.

“Despite the DR being vacated, the conditions that caused the BLM to determine that approximately 652 animals were excess and needed to be removed from the range remain present and necessitate the current decision. To that end, this determination of NEPA adequacy (DNA) assesses whether the 2018 EA adequately analyzed the environmental impact of permanently removing wild horses and burros from the Warm Springs HMA, the proposed return of horses to low appropriate management level (AML) for the HMA, and the treatment of mares to be returned to the HMA with porcine zona pellucida (PZP). This DNA in no part replaces or relies on the 2018 DR, which was vacated in its entirety.”


OOPS – FOIA DOCUMENTS PROVE THIS IS A LIE

BLM — you removed “850 or so” stating “only 652-ish” are to be permanently removed.  The following email communication was received by CAES through a FOIA request. Note the author is BLM Public Affairs Specialist Tara Thissell.

Thissell emails 1

According to the gather reports from Sun J, the contractor who did the gather…846 horses were gathered, and of those only 813 made it to holding because of the horses that were killed or euthanized (and one lucky one that got away)

Per the new BLM proposal they will only leave a total of 96 horses and 15 burros (the low end of the AML for the Warm  Springs HMA. The reason they claimed an emergency to gather the HMA before any appeals on the gather were heard was deteriorating range conditions…which we also challenged because they had known about, and had been hauling water for months.

Despite the range being able to support the release of 200 of the gathered horses then (to do their study), they now claim that it can only support to the low end of the AML.

“The AML for the Warm Springs HMA is 96 to 178 horses and 15 to 24 burros. The number of animals gathered combined with the estimated 30 horses and 30 burros remaining on the range indicates that there are approximately 779 excess horses (plus 2 mules) and 56 excess burros above the low end of the respective AMLs.”

BLM tries to say…mares released would have been spayed so we would be releasing mares that can reproduce and add to the population which was not part of the original plan. When in reality only 28 – 34 of the 200 released would have been spayed mares, and BLM states in the new plan that they are
So let’s recap…

BLM removes 850-ish

SunJ Contractor who did gather says 889 removed – 846 horses, 43 burros. However, only 813 of those horses were shipped to BLM holding because one got away and 33 were killed

Plans to experiment on some of the 200 they say they will put back on the land

BLM stomps feet and says in court documents if we can’t do the experiments we refuse to let all the horses we said we’d release go back on the range

BLM claims 850 or so were gathered

BLM claims 652 were “excess”

BLM can’t do experiments

BLM claims really 779 +2 +56 (horses mules and burros which were all added together in the number of animals gathered in 2018) are excess now…837 excess animals

BLM Plans to return 66 horses instead of the 200 approved in the proposed plan, and according to their estimate that there were also 30 burros left after the gather which is over AML so none will be returned.

And what is their justification…” the conditions …remain present and necessitate the current decision.” The conditions that were such that 200 horses would be returned?

Go to this link:

CLICK HERE TO COMMENT TO BLM

Tell BLM that when conditions remain the same…they have no justification for putting less than half the planned horses back out on the Warm Springs HMA. There was range to support 200 for a study, and they admit conditions remain present, not worse, therefore there is range to support returning 200.

WHY does AWHC seem to support only advocate groups that blindly, unquestioningly follow whatever AWHC wants to say/do? We asked you in 2016 emails, how you decide what actions to take, how you involve your members in making those decisions…your response was we are not a coalition. Now you seem to have your favorite ‘partners’ but again your members seem to be left in the cold with information provided to them, and you don’t seem to be following what we hear advocates saying they want. Why?

WHY is it that you refuse to give CAES credit for any work in stopping the mare sterilizations both in 2016 and 2018, why did you post only a short video from Salt River Wild Horse Management Group on the situation with the Heber wild horse shootings but completely shun CAES, and our AZ office the Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance and the decades of work we’ve done to protect that herd? When in fact that small video was done by Simone Netherlands of the SRWHMG actually was more harmful than helpful. It put the orphaned filly’s location out to the public when we were not sure if she was a target to the shooters, and all the commotion of Ms. Netherlands and her entourage chased off a family band we had hoped would adopt the foal. Then in the same posts about the Heber’s from the day she spent in the area she posted photos of herself at dinner with people she said were community members helping protect the horses, keeping an eye on the orphaned filly…we know these people, and we know they have been known to open their gates to a curious wild horse that later ends up part of their horses provided for trail rides. Another person in that photo who claims to be a great advocate in that area actually picked up and removed shell casings from some of the crime scenes. So instead of sharing the situation from the advocacy group that is most familiar, most involved and getting results in the case you promote one of YOUR partners. WHY? What is your real motivation?

WHY instead of promoting Anna Orchard, who was and is providing the on-the-ground work for the Virginia Range horses, are you trying to destroy her reputation trying to make sure she doesn’t get a contract to continue care for the herd? Why didn’t you support WHOA’s NM Bills for wild horses? So many ethical questions about your organization….and you just refuse to answer us.

Again we ask why you seek to destroy or diminish the work of all these small advocate groups and organizations…are we a threat to your visibility or funding? Are you working for the government to divide the advocacy? Are you providing distractions via less than adequate lawsuits, half-truths and other divisive tactics to cover-up BLM or FS actions?

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