Press Release: For immediate release
Potential BLM Appointee could threaten wild horses on public lands
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA (July 29, 2017) – Many qualified leaders could take the helm of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the largest land management organization in the country, overseeing nearly 250 million acres in the West. However, candidates for the job who would protect and preserve public lands may be passed up if rumors coming from Washington DC are correct.
Karen Budd-Falen, one of the infamous Bundy family lawyers, is among the list of current contenders to take the helm of BLM. Falen considers public lands grazing a right rather than a privilege and would almost surely favor her former and current clients in cases involving wild horses on their legally designated ranges in 10 western states.
“It is likely that this potential appointee will prefer livestock over wild horses,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “Wild horses already get little room to roam and on their home ranges are allocated only 18% of the forage with livestock munching up the rest.”
Ms. Budd Falen’s clients included the Bundy family who illegally occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January, 2016. Bundy sympathizer and supporter in the refuge occupation, Gregory Burleson was sentenced this week to 68 years in prison. The Bundy father and son team have yet to be retried. According to Colorado’s High Country News, “Cliven Bundy and others, including several of his sons, will be featured in two more trials, the dates for which have yet to be set.”
Ms. Budd-Falen has long contended that local officials should have greater authority in controlling federal lands than BLM officials. In addition to representing the Bundys, Ms. Budd-Falen represented ranchers in a suit against the BLM arguing that federal law requires removal of wild horses that exceed population targets. These HMAs in Utah that would have
been negatively affected include, Frisco, Four-Mile, Bible Springs, Sulphur, Choke Cherry, Muddy Creek, North Hills and Swasey, consisting of nearly 1 million acres.
The Cloud Foundation, AWHC, John Steel, and Lisa Friday were interveners in this suit in which Judge Parrish ruled in favor of the horses.
“Thank goodness the horses prevailed against Miss Budd-Falen this time. What will happen if/when, as BLM Director, she supports
removing all the horses,” asks Lisa Friday, wild horse adopter and board member of the Colorado based non-profit, The Cloud Foundation.
Lisa Friday – 804-883-6576
The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.