Friday, July 18, 2014

"Feature Friday–American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign"

Howdy Friends,
For today's Feature Friday we have a guest blogger, Grace Kuhn of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC). AWHPC is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. I hope you'll read and share this important information about a coalition of dedicated people giving voice to the voiceless. And please, for the horses' sake, and our future generations, consider joining and supporting AWPC. ~ Dutch Henry

"The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. AWHPC was founded by Return to Freedom, a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation. RTF operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA and is AWHPC’s parent organization.
What would wild horses tell us if they could speak?
Wild horses and burros are fenced in, fenced out, given the scraps of forage in Herd Management Areas after the BLM allocates the vast majority to livestock. They are forced to live under unnatural conditions. They’re being set up for crisis by BLM’s failure to utilize fertility control and to reduce livestock grazing in designated wild horse and burros' habitat areas.

This policy of favoring private livestock over protecting wild horses and burros continues, despite the fact that livestock grazing on BLM land is authorized solely at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, whereas protection of wild horses and burros are mandated by an act of Congress. 
Across the West, ranchers are threatening illegal action against the BLM to defend what they believe is their "right" to graze private livestock on our public rangelands, even during extreme drought conditions, and, all too often, the BLM caves in to their demands.
Recently, the BLM revealed that in designated wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas 77% of forage is allocated to livestock, leaving less than a quarter of forage resources for federally protected wild horses and burros. Public lands grazing is a remnant of Washington's interest in settling the West by providing a financial leg up to covered-wagon pioneers and private interests alike. Ranchers pay a fee, far below market rate, for each mother cow and calf they turn out to graze on BLM acreage.
And things may be getting even worse for our cherished herds. Just this week, a bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) on behalf of ranchers and their local representatives that aims to bypass a Congressional prohibition on the sale of wild horses and burros for slaughter.
Americans need to take a hard look at the brutal and inhumane practices the federal government uses to erase wild horses and burros from our public lands to clear the way for commercial interests. Each and every wild horse or burro that falls victim to this program is a lost icon of the freedom and untamed beauty that make this country great. Americans have got to speak up and demand an end to these practices before it’s too late."

Please join us in this important struggle,
Grace Kuhn
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign 

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