The comprehensive white paper cites taxpayer waste and multitudes of inconsistencies in documentation presented to both the American public and Congress. These alleged offenses continue to occur under the direction of Trump-appointed Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI), Ryan Zinke.
WHFF’s document notes current and historical violations that include evidence of misrepresentation, wasting taxpayer funds, and lack of scientific accounting for the wild horses and burros — in absolute defiance of the Congressional statute that provides for the safety of the iconic wild herds.
The five-year investigation culminating in the document has uncovered a consistent pattern of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) releasing misinformation thought to confuse and mislead the American taxpaying public and legislators.
For years, the BLM has taken healthy wild horses and burros from their legally protected lands in the American West at the expense of taxpayers. Notably, on those lands, the cost to taxpayers was nothing, yet the BLM roundups have continued, taking tens of thousands of wild horses into captivity. Despite the reported number of horses in captivity (46,000) to date, large numbers of horses have mysteriously disappeared from the holding pens or during transports where they never arrived. And it appears that taxpayer money has been wasted by the BLM, at the expense of the wild horses and burros they are supposed to protect.
WHFF’s FOIA obtained documentation on this topic, many of which have never been reviewed by Congress or the public, appear to verify that BLM statements are filled with inaccuracies and poor math. The beneficiaries of this systemic misrepresentation have been ranching and corporate energy interests, both of whom, not surprisingly, are major donors to politicians who cover the areas where the most wild horses and burros are found.
Despite a strident outcry from American taxpayers who want, as the law requires, the horses and burros protected and returned to their rightful place on public lands, the BLM has repeatedly asserted to America that the wild horses and burros need to be under its care. In the last century, the wild horse population has gone from two million to less than 36,000 under BLM management. Less than two out of 100 wild horses that were present then remain in 2017.
WHFF’s white paper details multiple examples of mishandling of taxpayer funds, but the upshot is simple: alleged false assurances have been offered up to taxpayers while private and special interests have had their way with the use of public lands. In another words, the BLM is the fox that guards the henhouse, seemingly unwilling to enforce the laws that obligate them to protect wild horses and burros.
“The DOI and the BLM have undertaken a long term ‘Fake News’ campaign to spread misinformation to confuse the issue. They want the wild horses and burros slaughtered, gone, full stop. Americans are not going to stand for that,” says Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s President R.T. Fitch. “It appears that President Trump appointed a long time horse slaughter proponent to oversee the DOI and his first major act could be to kill tens of thousands of wild horses and burros making this White Paper a timely must read for all Americans.” he continued.
This is paramount in importance right now for the wild horses and burros and American taxpayers. In the coming days the Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the Interior appropriations bill, which includes the Wild Horse and Burro Program with the threat of killing wild horses and burros touted as a budgetary necessity. Without intervention, for the rising generations of America, wild horses and burros will be gone forever.
To read the WHFF white paper and for more information go to:
Download and deliver it to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators (pdf, 44 pp).
Wild Horse Freedom Federation(WHFF) is a Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501c3 status. WHFF is the voice of not only those animals that cannot speak for themselves but also, most effectively, for the majority of the American public which has repeatedly expressed the desire to stop the unnecessary removal of wild horses and burros from public lands where they should remain, and the proper, legal management of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.
WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.
Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Inc. News Release