Independent Review Too Late for Wild Horses and Burros?

Moratorium on roundups must accompany National Academy of Sciences review

Colorado Springs, CO (August 27, 2010)— The Cloud Foundation fully supports the independent review of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) mismanagement of America’s Wild Horses and Burros by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), but only if it is coupled with an immediate moratorium on all wild horse and burro roundups. 54 members of Congress requested both the review and an immediate moratorium in a letter sent to Secretary of Interior Salazar on July 31, 2010. Each herd is an integral part of the ecosystem and without a moratorium there will be few genetically viable herds on Western lands in left to study. The NAS review of the flawed Wild Horse and Burro program is scheduled to begin in 2011 and last two years, but at the current rage BLM will have removed tens of thousands more mustangs from their legally designated ranges in 10 western states by then. In just this fiscal year alone, BLM has removed nearly 12,000 wild horses and burros, most warehoused at taxpayer expense.

“At the fast and furious rate of the removals, the NAS study will have far less value with so few wild horses and burros remaining on their home ranges. They will however, have the opportunity to study BLM’s techniques at managing over 40,000 captured wild horses,” explains Cloud Foundation Director and Emmy award-winning producer, Ginger Kathrens, who has been documenting wild horses and burros in the west for over 16 years. Kathrens is referring to the 40,000 plus mustangs, which will be corralled in short and long term holding by the end of next month.  “I expect the NAS report to be enlightening regarding the lack of science in BLM’s decisions aimed at ridding the West of our wild horse and burro heritage. A moratorium right now is essential so that NAS will have a few viable herds left to study.”

The Cloud Foundation and over 200 organizations and celebrities sent a request for independent review in the Moratorium Letter over nine months ago and have never gotten a reply from Interior Secretary Salazar or President Obama. The signees continue to request an immediate moratorium on roundups to be coupled with an independent review of BLM and the return of the over 24 million acres of public land taken away from the wild horses and burros since 1971.

Press ReleasesJesse Daly