FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2010
Denver Area Horse Advocates Hold Third Rally Against Wild Horse Roundups
Calico Roundup continues with 9 horses dead so far, including a colt whose hooves were damaged so badly running over rock that he had to be "euthanized."
Controversy Grows Over Government Acceleration of Removing Wild Horses From Western Public Lands
Boulder, Colorado - Wild horse advocates from several groups, including The Cloud Foundation, In Defense of Animals (IDA), and other members of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign Coalition, will hold a rally Saturday, January 30, at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Canyon Blvd., Boulder, to call attention to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's massive roundup and removal of wild horses from public lands in the West. The largest of such roundups is currently underway in the Calico Mountains Complex, known as the National System of Public Lands, in northwestern Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is removing over 2,500 horses, or 80 to 90 percent of the horses living in the Calico Complex. To date, nine horses have died in the Calico roundup, which began on December 28 and continues through February, at a cost of nearly $2 million to taxpayers.
What: Rally for America's Wild Horses
Where: Broadway and Canyon Blvd., downtown Boulder
When: Saturday, January 30, 2010, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Press Conference at 2 p.m.
"The environmental assessment, which led the BLM to conclude that the horses should be removed, was wholly inadequate,” explains Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation. “BLM did not analyze the impacts of cattle grazing in the Calico Complex. When asked why, the agency said ‘this issue is outside of the scope of this environmental analysis.’ How convenient then, that wild horses can be blamed for range damage, and then removed at a cost of millions to the American taxpayer.”
"The Obama Administration's decision to continue to spend millions of tax dollars to remove wild horses from public lands in the West to stockpile on private ranches in the Midwest is fiscally irresponsible," said Elliot M. Katz, DVM, IDA president. "The BLM claims that it takes wild horses from their homes and families, stampedes them by helicopters, and warehouses them in pens for the good of the horses and the American taxpayers. Do they think we are stupid?"
"The BLM mismanages our public lands for one reason: to benefit commercial interests, such as cattle ranchers and other industries that exploit our lands and profit from the removal of the horses," Katz continued.
If the Obama Administration’s BLM continues its current course, initially charted by the Bush Administration, it will capture and remove nearly 12,000 wild horses in fiscal year 2010 from their Western ranges and place them in Midwestern holding facilities, where they will join the 35,000 horses already stockpiled at taxpayer expense. Using the BLM’s own numbers, the number of horses in BLM warehouses will then be roughly twice the number left on the range.
A December 23, 2009, decision by federal court Judge Paul Friedman — in a lawsuit brought by IDA, ecologist Craig Downer, and renowned children’s author Terri Farley — found that the BLM's Midwestern holding facilities are likely illegal, and suggested that the BLM postpone the Calico roundup.
Wild horses comprise a minute fraction (0.5 percent) of large grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by cattle at least 200 to 1. Currently, the BLM manages more than 256 million acres of public lands of which cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres; wild horses are only allowed on 26.6 million acres of this land, on which thousands of privately owned cattle also graze.
IDA and The Cloud Foundation are members of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition of 50 organizations representing over 10 million people nationwide, whose goal is to protect America ’s wild horses on their rightful ranges, our public lands.
For more information, visit www.idausa.org, www.thecloudfoundation.org, and www.wildhorsepreservation.com.
Cathy Bryarly, event organizer, 303-746-4729,
Makendra Silverman, The Cloud Foundation, 719-351-8187, firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzanne Roy, In Defense of Animals, 919-697-9389, email@example.com
Elliot M. Katz, DVM, In Defense of Animals, 415-448-0075, firstname.lastname@example.org