Advocates Tell the BLM: Don’t Take My Balls
Written by ARLENE GAWNE
April 26, 2010
Every wild horse volunteer knows how hard it is to steal a bit of time from the demands of career and family and stand up for those wild herds that desperately need our protection. Yet 30 people showed up this fine spring morning, Sunday, April 25, 2010, in magnificent Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas, Nevada, in sympathy with the suffering of the approximately 1900 Calico Mountain wild horses held in the aptly named Broken Arrow facility near Fallon Nevada. Quadruple that number of people wished they could have come because last week the BLM painfully castrated all Calico stallions under 4 years of age, thereby stealing the next generation of horses – before a Federal judge could rule on a lawsuit demanding the horses be returned to their native range. So for a few hours, we became the Voices for Horses.
We volunteers know that Red Rock Canyon is the perfect place to protest the pillaging of our wild horse heritage by Washington bureaucracies. This National Conservation Area was recently home to some of the West’s most beautiful wild horses and gentle burros – a superb example of the heritage herds that have adapted amazingly to the poorest bits of American public land left to them by faceless bureaucrats, self-centered politicians, careless cowboys, energy and mining companies, and greedy bottom-line agribusiness. We have reason to be angry.
American taxpayers are paying over $10,000 a day just to hold these captured Calico horses at the Broken Arrow holding facility. Processing that includes freeze-branding, inoculating, tagging and castration adds thousands more to that cost. BLM has denied repeated requests for observers to be present during processing and only allow public visits by reservation for two hours once a week. They must not want us to see how they spend our tax dollars; they certainly don’t want us to fire them. But we will.
We stood this Sunday and heard passersby honk, cheer and stop to sign petitions. Over and over, locals said they used to hike or ride by magnificent horses and burros, but now they only see a few burros and never see a wild horse. “Why is that?” they ask. We tell them all the reasons and ask them to vote out of office the politicians who will not force these Federal agencies to give our wild heritage herds their fair share of public lands.
All images by Arlene Gawne
We have an anthem for those wild stallions whose bloodlines may be lost:
DON’T CASTRATE AT ALL.
IF YOU DO,
WE”LL BE WALKING
DOWN THE HALLS
OF THE SENATE, THE HOUSE
AND THE PRESIDENTIAL HOME
UNTIL WILD HORSES & BURROS
ARE FREE TO ROAM.
6 thoughts on “Wild Horse Red Rocks April 25 Rally Report”
Thank you for your tireless, inspired, unceasing work on behalf of the wild horses and burros. We each have something to contribute. One thing is certain: they need everything we are giving them. Thank you so much. How sad to realize that these animals would be better off had they never set their eyes on a human. I hope we can change all of that for tomorrow’s wild horses.
Elyse, you are one of the true heroes on the front lines who without which, who knows where we would be. All of us here at the Int’l Fund for Horses, our staff, volunteers and constituents, will do our very best to support the great work you, Craig, Arlene, Ginger, Makendra, Anne, all the celebs, protesters – the list goes on – are doing.
At this time we must keep working to get our Calico horses returned to their home with there family. We must never give up, we are there voice. We are their hope and salvation for they are pure innocent Wild Horses that should be left alone and protected in there homeland.
The hearts of all of us California wild horse advocates are there with you. You are the most self-less people in the world to care about the well-being of these wild and magnificant animals. Please never give up. You are their hope and salvation for they are pure innocent beings that should be left alone like the sacred cows of India. Thank you so much!
We must keep writing letter, calls, and protest so that those in Washington will know that we will not give up on our horses. Also, it is important that we work against the horse slaughter legation and get the states to accept the likes of the passed Florida non-slaughter bill. At this time we must keep working to get our Calico horses returned to their home.
Amen, Shirley. We need to battle on all fronts, in as many ways as we can think of.