Opinion: The Wild Horse and Burro Round-Ups

by Jodi Kain

The BLM plans to round up 12,000 mustangs in the year of 2010. They have already started the roundups in the Calico Mountains in northwestern Nevada. The BLM plans to round up 2,500 in the Calico Mountains. Since beginning the round up in the beginning of January of this year, 810 wild horses have already been “gathered”. The mustangs are the true symbol of the west! They are native to North America, dating back 45 to 55 million years ago. They have been here before us and have a right to the land. According to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971, Congress agreed, by declaring that “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” The BLM is now capturing, branding, harassing and causing death to these American wild horses and burros. The BLM has no right to do their currently planned massive round ups that will make the wild horses extinct. The BLM has been reducing the amount of land that the horses can rightfully roam on and using it for other purposes including cattle grazing and energy resources. There are already 33,000 horses in government holding facilities that the BLM has rounded up over the years. In 2008 the BLM spent over $27 Million dollars on wild horses in these holding facilities. On the BLM’s web site they state that to continue the removals, holding and restrictive sales practices, they need approximately $85 Million dollars in 2012. Despite nationwide protest letters, calls and emails, the BLM continues their round ups. Depending on whose numbers you believe, there are anywhere from only 15,000 to 30,000 wild horses and burros still roaming free. If the BLM continues as planned, they will make an important part of our American History and Culture extinct! They are rounding up so many horses that the horses will no longer be able to reproduce, their individual herd sizes will be too small to have any genetically viable wild horses. Please take action to help stop the BLM round ups. Help by calling, emailing or writing letters to your Senators and Congress people. For more info check out http://thecloudfoundation.org/index.php/news-events-a-media/action-alerts/261-ask-senators-on-subcommittee-for-hearings-on-blm. It also helps to send emails or letters to President Obama, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and to the BLM. Thank you!!!

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