The Cloud Foundation Appeals to House Appropriations Subcommittee to Reject BLM’s 2017 Budget Proposal

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Proposal would Amend 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and afford fewer protections to wild horses in BLM captivity.

WASHINGTON, D.C, May 25, 2016 - On May 24 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) sent letters to the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior stating: "The Cloud Foundation urges your opposition to dramatic policy changes affecting the Wild Horse and Burro Program as contained in Section 110 of the Administration’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We urge that these policy changes be rejected during the Subcommittee Markup on the FY 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill this Wednesday, May 25."

BLM’s proposal would allow for unlimited transfers of wild horses to other Federal, State and local government agencies for use as work animals. The transfer of Wild horses under the provision would be unlimited, would be subject to immediate transfer of ownership (instead of a one-year wait required by the Act *) and the horses would lose their status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined by the Act.

The Cloud Foundation Stresses Need for Protective Language in BLM’s Wild Horse “Transfer of Excess Animals” Proposal

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-Easy fixes in wording will demonstrate good intentions of BLM

COLORADO SPINGS, CO (Feb. 12, 2016) - As described by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the Cloud Foundation (TCF) this week, the BLM is attempting to increase adoptions of four and five year-old horses currently in short-term holding facilities by offering them to other government agencies. Currently BLM wild horses can only be offered to individuals. BLM states that this ability will create more time for BLM staff to work on other pressing issues, decrease the costs of holding, and provide a higher quality of life for the horses placed with agencies. With this in mind, they submitted the following language for inclusion in the President’s 2017 Budget:

TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS

SEC. 110. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals: Provided, That the Secretary may make any such transfer immediately upon request of such Federal, State, or local government agency: Provided further, That any excess animal transferred under this provision shall lose its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

New Information Reveals Unreported Death in Experimental Wild Mare/Burro Sterilizations performed by Dr. Leon Pielstick

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Dr. Pielstick is scheduled to perform mare sterilization research at Oregon State University.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (May 17, 2016) - On May 10, The Cloud Foundation (TCF) received a call from an unnamed Phoenix resident who had witnessed deadly burro and mare sterilization operations performed in Arizona last month by Dr. Leon Pielstick, DVM, the veterinarian slated to perform such procedures on hundreds of wild mares and foals, currently being held in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Hines, Oregon corrals. The BLM funded mare sterilization operations would be undertaken through a BLM grant to Oregon State University (OSU).

Federal Agency Shifts Blame – Hiding Their Mismanagement of Wild Horse Program

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Agency has ignored humane fertility control for decades

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (May 16, 2016) – The Federal agency responsible for controlling wild horse populations is seeking to rewrite their mismanagement of this program spanning the last 30 years. The Bureau of Land Management claims wild horses in holding are busting their budget, yet failed to address economic tools that have been at their disposal for decades to keep horses out of holding and on their legal ranges in the West.

“BLM’s recent press release fails to address economical tools that have been at their disposal for decades which can control wild horse populations in a humane manner on their home ranges as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” said Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “BLM’s lack of on-the-range management has come at a very high price. Helicopter contractors make millions. Wild horses lose their freedom. And the American public foots the bill for large scale incarceration.”

Lawsuit Filed to Stop BLM from Sterilizing Idaho Wild Horse Herd

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Lawsuit Filed to Stop BLM from Sterilizing Idaho Wild Horse Herd

Boise, ID (January 4, 2016) . . . Today, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), Return to Freedom, and Virginia Marie Hudson filed a lawsuit in the Idaho District Court against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), charging that the agency’s plan to permanently sterilize the entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) violates the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (“Wild Horse Act”) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Happy Holidays

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All checks must be postmarked by Dec 31st to qualify for the 2015 tax year.

Taxpayer Subsidized Livestock Grazing Responsible for Destruction of Public Lands

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Protected wild horse herds victims of economic exploitation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (Nov. 12, 2015) - The Cloud Foundation (TCF) applauds Vickery Eckhoff’s article, “Livestock Data Fills Gap in Ongoing Wild Horse Debate,” a statistical analysis of livestock grazing in comparison with wild horse use on public lands in the West.

The well-documented article, published in The Daily Pitchfork makes clear that our public lands are being over-run by welfare livestock at the expense of wild horses and burros and other wildlife species. Points made in the article include:

  • 2.1 million cattle graze on public lands -- 37 times greater than the 56,656 free-roaming wild horses and burros
  • Privately-owned livestock are allocated 97 percent of the forage across 251 million acres of BLM and USFS managed lands.
  • Wild horse and burros inhabit 12 percent of that land and are allocated 3 percent of forage overall.

"The media has taken the BLM and ranchers' word that wild horses are the cause of overgrazing and overpopulating of our western public rangelands for too long,” states Ms. Eckhoff. “How can one horse out-graze 37 cattle? It's simply impossible; the livestock figures show it. It's time the media reported the numbers, to get at the truth."

Investigation Confirms BLM Sale of 1794 Wild Horses to Slaughter

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The Cloud Foundation presses BLM to focus on keeping horses on the range
Washington, DC (October 25, 2015) - After 3 years of waiting for the Office of the Inspector General to complete an investigation of Colorado rancher and livestock hauler, Tom Davis, their report has finally been completed and confirms what The Cloud Foundation (TCF) has been saying publicly since October of 2012. The report states, “During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses he purchased from BLM went to slaughter.” The report also states that between 2008 and 2012 BLM spent more than $140,000 in taxpayer dollars transporting horses to Davis who admits he only paid $10.00 for each horse.

BLM’s performance in this deadly incident is completely unacceptable. Who is being held accountable here?" asks Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “It appears everyone gets off---BLM, Davis, the Vet, the Brand Inspector and everyone involved.

The Report states: “We referred this investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, who declined both civil and criminal prosecution. The State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office also declined to file charges against Davis. We referred the public health issue concerning a USDA-certified veterinarian signing IHCs without inspecting the horses (false statements) to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. The District of New Mexico formally declined prosecution.

The OIG report also indicates that BLM law enforcement officers who looked into the background of Tom Davis “found no evidence of Davis selling the horses to slaughter.”

BLM to Sterilize Idaho’s Saylor Creek Wild Horses

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Drastic Plan threatens future of all wild horse herds in the West

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (Oct. 20. 2015) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), long criticized for its inhumane helicopter roundups, massive, indiscriminant removals, and warehousing of America’s wild horses and burros, announced their intent to sterilize the Saylor Creek wild horse herd in Idaho. The BLM’s Jarbridge Resource Management Plan would “treat all wild horses surgically or chemically to eliminate reproduction capability.”

“This chilling decision, if allowed to stand, will set a deadly precedent for all our wild horse and burro herds in the West,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF). “Sterilizing a herd is the opposite of the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act (WFRHBA) and the BLM’s long repeated mantra, ‘Healthy herds on healthy rangelands.’ How can a sterilized wildlife population be considered healthy?”

TCF, partnered with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), argues that the plan violates both the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the WFRHBA:

Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

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Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”

Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) - Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).

The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “

“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case. “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”

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