Cindy MacDonald of American Herds calls on citizens and wild horse advocates alike to petition Congress to impeach Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey.
In the article she states,
“At a time when the BLM is extending its hand with promises of reform, why should those who are trying to implement change demand the Impeachment of Director Abbey?
I’ll tell you why.
BLM has been promising reform and using their bureaucratic weight to generate these kinds of smoke and mirror tactics for decades now while our mustangs and burros have suffered and continue to suffer with no end in sight.
How bad is it?
MacDonald outlines the activities that showcase the BLM’s real agenda that is having such catastrophic consequences on the lives of America’s wild horses and burros.
Let’s pick it up from June of last year when wild horse preservation groups and advocates once again took the BLM at their word when they promised reform at a similar meeting getting ready to take place in Phoenix this week.
> In June 2010, the BLM hosts a public forum led by hired spin doctors to sell the Salazar Initiative. This event will culminate in the newly released strategy document referred to above, which coincidentally found three main topics worthy of consideration out of 9,000 public comments, two of which are almost identical to Salazar’s new vision.
> In July 2010, the BLM again closes all public lands during the Tuscarora roundup and is greeted by a lawsuit by Laura Leigh and Gordon Coward demanding public access. After filing a request for an injunction, the BLM suddenly announces the wild horses are dying of thirst and a BLM emergency response team is created to provide testimony to the judge. As a result, the judge rules in favor of the BLM and the horses are removed with little to no independent scrutiny.
> In response to evidence of inhumane treatment and allegations of illegal activites, Congress sends a letter to BLM requesting a moratorium on the roundups and urges the initiation of a study by the National Academy of Science (NAS) to review the Program. Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey ignore the request and the roundups continue. While BLM did agree to a review of the program by NAS, signs are already becoming visible that the study will have strict controls on what it will be allowed to review and just last month, BLM refused to upload the prior NAS studies online for public access. (That’s assuming NAS will actually be awarded the contract as it is currently up for Solicitation of Bid and may be awarded to another contractor based on a “viable response”.)
> On December 3, 2010, the BLM releases what it hails as an “Independent Observers Report” on the methods and procedures used to remove wild horses from public lands. Questions surface as to the allegiance of the observers and their “independent status” due to long-standing ties to the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and pro-horse slaughter industry supporters comprising the team.
> On December 13, 2010, the DOI Office of the Inspector General (OIG) releases a report extolling the virtues of Secretary Salazar’s initiative and asserts that roundups are humane and necessary. Though OIG inspections are generally conducted at the request of officials, the OIG reports they initiated the inspection themselves due to public concerns. Evidence of a whitewash surfaces one month later and suggests the large scale cover ups of the 1990’s attributed to the DOI’s OIG are ongoing. At the same time, a collaborative effort by advocates release an alternative report based largely on BLM published information and data that outlines the potential fraud and abuse of the Program and urges for the Defunding of Roundups through 2012. In response, the BLM ignores the report.
> In January/February 2011, a coalition of advocates document and film multiple abuses of helicopter techniques used to drive wild horses to trapsites in the Antelope Complex in Nevada. (“Antelope Roundup a Disaster for Wild Horses” by The Cloud Foundation, “Pictorial Essay of Obama’s Wild Horse Stampede at Antelope Complex” by R.T. Fitch/Straight From The Horses Heart, “Antelope Complex Wild Horse Roundup’s Final Days – Heavily Pregnant Mares and More Horse Abuse by Contractor” by Herd Watch/Grass Roots Horse, “Antelope Complex Ends With 1,368 Mustangs Captured” by American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign).
> The BLM reviews the Antelope Complex roundups, contractors, methods and treatment exposed by citizens to address allegations of impropriety. The BLM clears itself and the contractors of any significant wrong doing.
> Less than a month later, the BLM unveils its new plan and strategy for the future of America’s Wild Horses and Burros filled with the same old rhetoric, misleading statements and craftily presented alternative “solutions”. Promises of BLM’s proposed reforms supported by well-heeled government lackies ring hollow, both to America’s wild horses and burros, as well as within every page of the strategy itself.
THAT HAS CIRCLED ITSELF REPEATEDLY
AND MUST BE STOPPED!
If you are new to this issue, or even an old hand, please read Cindy MacDonald’s entire post. No matter how much you have already read, the way she has outlined it puts the harsh realities of the situation in sharp perspective. There are also numerous live links to data substantiating her statements not included here.
We welcome anyone and everyone to join us. Please feel free to cross-post and use the resources we have provided on our website at http://www.horsefund.org/wild-horses-action-alert-impeach-abbey.php
And yes, we hear the calls to impeach DOI Secretary Salazar. He is next.