Issue: Pending "excessive" horse gather in the Pryor Mountains
Priority: CRITICAL / IMMEDIATE
Situation Report Summary:
The Bureau of Land Management has made plans to round-up and eliminate 12 herds (650
wild free-roaming horses) from 1.4 million acres in Nevada right now. They also planned to decimate Cloud's internationally famous herd in the Pryor Mountains by removing 70 horses, including older horses and young foals. The Cloud Foundation has started an action to protect Cloud's herd.
The public has come to love Cloud and his companions through books and the media, and Cloud has become an iconic symbol of America's free-roaming horses.
Advocates worry that BLM's planned round-up will cause irreparable harm to Cloud's herd and to the thousands of citizens who visit the Pryor Mountains and care about Cloud's herd. If the herd is brought down below genetically viable numbers, the damage to the herd will be permanent. In a recent memorandum issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia involving a planned round-up in the West Douglas Herd Area (Colorado,) the Court recognized the irreparable harm caused by BLM to horses affected by gathers that exceeded the agency's authority, and recognized the standing that citizens and public charities had in asking the Court to review and issue findings regarding such round-ups. (Please see Bureau of Land Management Exceeding its Authority.)
This round-up is scheduled to start on September 1st. Advocates had hoped that following the West Douglas Decision the BLM would review and reevaluate its gather plans. So far it appears that the BLM is ignoring the Court and expects Advocates to challenge each round-up on a case-by-case basis, a time consuming and expensive process. In the meanwhile Advocates hope that public pressure will cause BLM to come to its senses and adjust its horses management practices to become more compliant with Federal law and the will of the public. Therefore the Cloud Foundation is attempting one last show of support by the American public before having to fight this issue in court.
Please see The Managed Extinction of Cloud's Herd by R.T. Fitch. (This document opens in a new window.)
What you can do:
The Cloud Foundation has organized a National Call in Day for Cloud on Friday, August 28th. Everyone interested in helping preserve Cloud's herd is asked to:
- Call/write/fax President Obama as often as you can. This herd is a national treasure and should not be wiped out by a government agency.
Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000
Email President Obama
- Ask Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to stop this round up!
- Ask BLM Director Bob Abbey to halt this round up and reconsider his agency's actions.
- Call and write your own Senators and Members of Congress and tell them that
the Bureau of Land Management is allowing the destruction of Cloud's unique and historical wild
horse herd. Politely express your outrage and ask them to help stop this round-up. Contact information for Senators and Representatives can be found Here.
UPDATE: August 31, 2009
The court ordered a 48 hour stay on the roundup and will hear the case - in DECEMBER. Congressman Raul "Ray" Grijalva (pronounced "Gri-halva"), Chair of the House Subcommittee on National Forests, Parks and Public Lands, sent a letter to BLM Director Bob Abbey asking BLM to suspend gathers until the Bureau gets its program straightened out. You can read Congressman Grijalva's letter here. This letter was, as expected, ignored by the BLM.