Riding the range with Wild Horse Annie

Mustangs by Mark Terrell
U.S. Mustangs are being rounded up to extinction by rogue federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management, away from public scrutiny, at taxpayer expense in the millions of dollars, destroying hundreds of lives along the way. Photograph by (c) Mark Terrell.

Riding the Range with Wild Horse Annie

Cross-posted from the Las Vegas Review Journal

Written by JOHN L SMITH

(Selected excerpts)

The battle over the fate of Nevada’s wild horses is one of the longest fights in state history. But until recently I wasn’t aware that a woman they called “Wild Horse Annie” was one of the driving forces behind the movement to have the majestic beasts federally protected.

Her real name was Velma Johnston. Back in 1950, she was a 38-year-old secretary living in Reno. On the way to work one day, she encountered a truck loaded with care-worn wild horses that were on their way to be slaughtered for pet food. That experience changed her life, and she began a long fight that eventually resulted in the passage of the first real federal protection for wild horses.

The horse enthusiast realized early the power of the press in promoting her crusade. Her good intentions traveled much further through the stories she received from newspapers from throughout the region. A breakthrough came in 1957, when Reader’s Digest published a laudatory article on Johnston’s battle with the Bureau of Land Management and the ranching lobby. She would be inundated with mail, some of it addressed to “Wild Horse Annie.”

Johnston wasn’t just after publicity. She pulled raids to free captured wild horses, but she knew the only way to ensure the animals would be protected was through federal intervention.

All that publicity helped lead to the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The law was far from ideal, but its passage was an enormous victory that had come against very long odds. Read full story >>

3 thoughts on “Riding the range with Wild Horse Annie”

  1. Thank-you Vivian , Wild Horse Annie and all the AMERICANS and AMERICAN SCHOOL CHILDREN who wrote letters and worked to get Wild Horses & Burros protected from brutal ignorant monsters who want to exploit them for their own profit.
    Its very sad that our government is now so corrupt that the laws that American fought so hard for are ignored so that the corrupt BLM and their welfare cattle buddies have illegally removed almost all wild horses and burros and replaced them with 13 MILLION PRIVATELY OWNED WELFARE CATTLE ( and thats not counting private welfare sheep ), on our public lands. These WELFARE CATTLE cost Americans up to 1 BILLION DOLLARS per year and destroy, our public lands, wildlife, native plants, soil, cause desertification ( remember the DUST bowl ? ) and all pollute and destroy all water ways and fish. The BLM already illegally destroyed over 100 HERDS of wild horses they were supposed to be protecting. The BLM are corrupt murdering liars who do not follow science, blame all damage the cattle do on wild horses, ( the National Academy of the Sciences has found that wild horses are good for the land, grasses and native plants ) the BLM do all they can to send wild horses to slaughter and cruelly illegally abuse all the wild horses they get their hands on. Having the BLM care for Wild Horses is like putting Micheal Vick in charge of caring for Americas dogs.

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    1. Great parallel about Michael Vick Shari. Says it all as far as I am concerned.
      Why is all of this happening? Not a democracy, nor is it the “American” way.

      Is there nothing sacred and does no one in US congress have a conscious? Who votes these individuals in to represent them? Were they regular/normal individuals before they got there?

      Has the world really shifted to the robotic? Are all of these people filled with so much greed and lust for power that they couldn’t give a sh*t about anything? Glad I don’t know them personally.

      A sorry world we live in. Truly, Big Brother, Big Business, Big Failure!!!

      Paving the way for the demise of Mother Earth!

      Like

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