New BLM Director Called Upon to Uphold Federal Law to Protect Wild Horses as Ranchers Threaten Illegal Roundups

Washington, DC (April 8, 2014) ... Today, as the U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Kornze as the director of the Interior Department Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, its parent organization Return to Freedom and coalition partner The Cloud Foundation called upon the new BLM director to vigorously uphold federal law in the face of threats by ranchers in Utah and Nevada to illegally capture and remove federally-protected wild horses from public lands.

Across the West, ranchers are taking aim at wild horses because they view them as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. However, the number of wild horses on BLM land - fewer than 35,000 on nearly 27 million acres- pales in comparison to the millions of livestock that graze on 155 million acres of BLM land in the West.

BLM Held Hostage By Iron County Commissioners

Compliance with Iron County ultimatum to remove wild horses sets a dangerous precedent throughout the West.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (April 7, 2013) - The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a national wild horse advocacy organization, is shocked at the BLM's apparent agreement to comply with Iron County Commissioner's ultimatum: "Remove Wild Horses from Public Lands or we will." TCF urges BLM to fulfill their legal responsibilities to enforce the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, (the Act).  Any roundup and removal of legally protected wild horses from public lands by Iron County is a violation of the Law. Any BLM participation places them in violation as well.
 
TCF Board Member, Lisa Friday spoke with Iron County Commissioner, David Miller who told her that wild horses have devastated drought stricken public lands. There was no mention by Miller of the ongoing damage to public lands owned by the American people caused by federally subsidized privately owned livestock. Compared to the state's 3500 wild horses, 108,000 head of privately owned livestock are reported to graze on Utah's public lands.

Free Roaming Wyoming Horses Rounded up by BLM and sold to Canadian Slaughterhouse by Wyoming Livestock Board

No public comment period - no transparency - no opportunity for horse rescue organizations to save horses from a terrible fate.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (March 31, 2014) - On March 24, The Cloud Foundation received an anonymous tip that BLM had rounded up and removed 41 free-roaming horses from public lands in northern Wyoming.  Further investigation revealed that BLM conducted a helicopter roundup of the horses and turned them over to the Wyoming Livestock Board who sold the horses directly to the Canadian Bouvry Slaughterouse. The taxpayer-funded roundup was conducted with no notice of sale after the horses were impounded, giving no one the opportunity to step in and negotiate a deal to purchase any of the horses. Even Bighorn County Sheriff, Kenneth Blackburn, was surprised that he received no notification of the roundup, which was conducted in his jurisdiction. The horses were driven to Shelby, Montana, to the Bouvry-owned feedlot, the jumping off point to their Canadian slaughterhouse, the largest slaughterhouse in Canada.

BLM Rejects Offer of Wind Protection for Corralled Wyoming Mustangs

Agency denies need for same protection it requires of all mustang adopters

WHAT YOU CAN DO: TAKE ACTION

In late January Lisa Friday and Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) met with BLM District Manager, Mark Storzer, in Rock Springs, Wyoming to discuss ways to protect the over 600 horses held captive in the 30-year-old corral facility. Harsh westerly winds regularly blast the corrals and the BLM has tried to deal with the problem in the past by putting up plywood on the corral panels, but few of the wooden windbreaks remain.

3 Rachel Reeves New Foal at Rock Springs Holding 2014-02-21“At the meeting, we discussed what might work for windbreaks and Mr. Storzer indicated that plywood is too heavy and the wind could topple the entire fence,” states Kathrens, Executive Director of the Colorado-based wild horse advocacy organization. “A week after our meeting with Mr. Storzer, we were excited to find a state-of-the-art lightweight product that is easy to install. I contacted Mr. Storzer and Joan Guilfoyle, Chief of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in DC, to let them know what we had found and that we were willing to purchase the material and have it installed at no cost to the agency.”