FOIA document obtained by WHFF shows wild horses betrayed by RTF, ASPCA & HSUS

Desatoya Wild Horses in short term holding after being rounded up by the BLM.

The Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) has obtained an alarming report through the Freedom of Information Act clearly showing that “Neda DeMayo of Return to Freedom, Nancy Perry of ASPCA, Gillian Lyons of HSUS and Drew Lesofski of the American Mustang Foundation participated in a closed door, round table meeting with pro-slaughter groups.”

Jason Lutterman, a BLM public relations employee, stated in an attached email that the aforementioned advocacy groups agreed to “the need to reduce overpopulation and achieve appropriate management level quickly through gathers,” and “the advocates also expressed desire for BLM to follow gathers with intensive fertility control…”

You probably recognize the names except for Jason Lutterman. Lutterman states on his LinkdIn page that he is a Public Affairs Specialists for the Bureau of Land Management since July 2014. He has been one of the BLM’s most active campaigners for spaying and neutering Mustangs.

Here is an image of the cited email.

There is much more to this story. Read it all at the Wild Horse Freedom Federation website »


CREDIT

Featured image: Desatoya Wild Horses in short term holding after being rounded up by the BLM. Photographer Unknown.

American wild horses on path to extinction?

Two Mustangs. National Geographic. 2017.

PRESS RELEASE

by WILD HORSE FIRE BRIGADE

YREKA, Calif. – Oct. 14, 2019 – PRLog — In a certified letter delivered to Return To Freedom, Inc. (‘RTF’) and it’s board of directors on September 16, 2019, key wild horse and burro advocates demanded that Return To Freedom, a 501-C-3 non-profit, immediately withdraw its support of the so-called proposal titled; ‘The Path Forward For Management Of BLM’s Wild Horses & Burros’ (‘Proposal’) [1].

On August 28th 2019, naturalist William E. Simpson II had a phone call with the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council, Mr. Ethan Lane. In that telephone call, Mr. Lane alluded to Mr. Simpson that via RTF’s support of the Proposal, he arguably had the needed majority of all wild horse and burro advocates to support the Proposal’s acceptance by Congress. This is tantamount to an admission that, without the support of Return To Freedom, the livestock industry’s surrogates (BLM, HSUS, ASPCA, AMF, etc.) would have to go back to the drawing board.

A majority of wild horse advocates and organizations, including Friends of Animals (‘FOA’) feel that the current Proposal as written is seriously flawed and would likely lead to the final extinction of native species American wild horses and burros in America. This Proposal is particularly troubling given there is a superior alternative plan for managing wild horses and burros called ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’, which offers savings to taxpayers using an ecologically sound method for rewilding BLM and USFS wild horses and burros [2].

There is more than enough existing and new science, as well as decades of empirical experience, that argues compellingly against the flawed precepts upon which the Proposal RTF supports is built.

The current Proposal posits are premised upon known misinformation, including those found in four key precepts of the Proposal, each followed by a brief counterpoint made by experts who oppose the current Proposal:

Proposal: Conduct targeted gathers and removals at densely populated Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to reduce herd size and make progress towards AML.”

Counterpoint: This has been done unsuccessfully for decades and is by all accounts a draconian methodology only made necessary due to the large-scale decimation of the evolutionary predators of wild horses and burros, namely, mountain lions, bears, wolves and coyotes.

Proposal: Treat gathered horses and burros with population growth suppression tools prior to being returned to the range. Reversible methods must be administered to an appropriate percentage of mares (generally close to 90%) to control populations, with some flexibility depending on modeling of range and herd parameters.”

Counterpoint: The latest science proves that the use of chemical contraceptives in equids leads to the breakdown of critical social structures in family bands of wild horses as well as resulting in varied degrees of sterilization and erosion of genetic viability.

Proposal: Relocate horses and burros in holding facilities, and those taken off the range, to large cost-effective humane pasture facilities funded through public-private partnerships.”

Counterpoint: Here again, this has been an ongoing expensive failure that will continue to burden taxpayers.

Proposal: Promote adoptions in order to help reduce captive populations and costs. The BLM is currently spending $2,250 ($3,250 with incentive) per adopted horse to promote adoptions that ultimately provide considerable cost savings to the agency. Investing in the adoption process for each horse will reduce or eliminate the estimated $46,000 per horse expenditure in off range holding over the course of their lifetime.”

Counterpoint: Another paradigm that has proven relatively ineffective as evidenced by tens of thousands of wild horses and burros that nevertheless end up in off-range facilities at great ongoing cost to taxpayers. Even though a small percentage of native species American wild horses can be successfully gentled and thereby ‘domesticated,’ management of wildlife in this manner is costly and very limited in its scope and effect as any genuine solution.

Leading independent wild burro and horse advocates are of the opinion that if RTF rescinds support of the existing Proposal, it could then be amended to include what are arguably the minimal components to assure a future representation of free-roaming native species American wild horses and burros in carefully selected remote wilderness areas in America where the presence of a proper proportion of the evolved apex predators of equids will certainly control equid populations [3].

The 3 minimal components are:

1) Current management practices amount to an egregious misuse of the WHBA. Not only must helicopter roundups come to an immediate end, BLM and the USFS must provide greater protections to wild equids in existing HMAs by reevaluating HMA boundaries and AMLs, giving priority to wild equids over any human use of these public lands. These agencies also currently ignore any benefit wild equids have on the lands they currently occupy, including the potential to lower the risk of wildfire in the grasslands occupied by wild equids. Congress must ensure that wild equids and their benefits are given more weight in establishing HMA boundaries and AMLs.

2) All wild equids that are rounded up after considerations in no. 1 will be transported, families intact, unmolested (no treatments with any chemicals or castration of stallions) into carefully selected and appropriately remote wilderness areas. Where possible, such equids can also be used to establish larger AMLs on existing HMAs (or expanded HMAs) where such populations would benefit the grassland habitats.

3) A percentage (TBD) of 10-year old (and younger) wild horses and burros held in off range captivity will be rewilded into carefully selected and appropriately remote wilderness areas.

The following *advocates were signatories on the letter to RTF.

* Friends of Animals (https://www.friendsofanimals.org/about-us/)
* Board of Directors Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza Inc 501 c 3 –
Kathleen Hayden, Secretary
* Carla Bowers
* Lorna Moffat
* Darice Massey
* Dr. Sharon Greenleaf La Pierre – Red Raven Farms – Colorado & Kentucky
* Speak Up For Horses
* Jeff Hudson
* William E. Simpson II – Naturalist / Rancher

[1] https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=0869B02B-E9C5-4F0B-9AE8-9A8A1C85293E

[2] http://www.WHFB.us

[3] Impact Of Wild Horses On Wilderness Landscape And Wildfire – Preliminary Findings Report – By: William E. Simpson II -Naturalist – July 25, 2019 (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6a30c6_98642a78546849f0a94e2687cdf35654.pdf)

FEATURED IMAGE: (not filed with press release)
Credit: Two Mustangs. National Geographic. 2017.

Sutter is the ASPCA® Horse of the Year

Sutter, Wild Horse. Photo: Bristol MacDonald.

ASPCA® PRESS RELEASE

Sutter, Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary
Lompoc, Calif.

A stunning palomino stallion born in northwestern Nevada, Sutter was captured from public lands when he was barely two years old. Immediately following his capture, he was adopted to a private party through the Bureau of Land Management’s horse adoption program. During that time, Sutter endured tremendous abuse, including being whipped and left tied up under a hot tarp, and kept from food and water. Traumatized by this experience, Sutter was deemed “dangerous” and returned to the Bureau of Land Management marked to be destroyed. He was fortunately rescued and cared for by the Heritage Discovery Center (HDC), who would be a future colleague of Return to Freedom

For months, Sutter was so traumatized that if anyone even walked nearby his enclosure, he would slam himself into walls, attempting to free himself. With time, patience, and loving care, Sutter learned to trust humans again, appearing at venues including the Rose Bowl Parade, where he safely carried a novice rider, as well as in a number of educational documentaries and clinics.

When the HDC was forced to move and downsize in 2002, they contacted Neda DeMyo, founder of Return to Freedom, so that Sutter would find a safe forever home where he could continue to be an ambassador for wild horses through programs, clinics and events. Since that time Sutter has resided at Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary, where he continues to not only thrive, but inspire equine awareness, rescue, and advocacy through his presence and story which is emblematic for tens of thousands of nameless and faceless wild stallions.

Sutter loves to connect with people, and is a stirring ambassador for the dwindling number of horses who deserve our promised protection on public lands. Sutter also reminds us all that when we extend love to animals, we receive it back, multiplied. For these reasons, Sutter is the 2016 ASPCA Horse of the Year.

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FEATURED IMAGE
Sutter by Bristol MacDonald.

National Coalition Calls on Utah Governor to Stop Attack on Wild Horses

The Cloud Foundation Logo

THE CLOUD FOUNDATION PRESS RELEASE

Salt Lake City, Utah (April 28, 2014) — Today, representing millions of American citizens, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a national coalition, its parent organization Return to Freedom, and its coalition partner The Cloud Foundation sent a letter to Utah Governor Gary Herbert (pdf) in response to his attack on wild horses.

Responding to public statements he made last week, the groups urged Governor Herbert to stop exaggerating the number of wild horses in Utah, stop scapegoating wild horses for range damage caused by private livestock, and drop suggestions that the state take over management of wild horses in Utah.

In their letter, the wild horse groups stated:

America’s wild horses and burros are the heritage of all Americans, and Americans overwhelmingly support maintaining and protecting these animals on our public lands. They must be managed in the interest of all Americans, not the few who view mustangs as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized grazing on our public lands.

The number of wild horses pales in comparison to the number of privately-owned livestock grazing on federal land in Utah, and the groups charged that by focusing attention on wild horses, Governor Herbert is “scapegoating wild horses for the damage to our public rangelands caused by livestock.

According to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) statistics:

  • Livestock grazing occurs on 22 million acres of BLM land in Utah, while wild horses are restricted to just 2.1 million acres.
  • Fewer than 3,500 wild horses are estimated to live on BLM land in Utah (one horse per 600 acres), while hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle graze the public rangelands in Utah.
  • The BLM allocates 55 times more forage to privately-owned livestock in Utah than to federally-protected wild horses. (23,472 AUMs [Animal Unit Months] to wild horses vs. 1.3 million AUMs to livestock)

Meanwhile, according to national public opinion polls, Americans overwhelmingly support protecting wild horses on public lands and oppose horse slaughter.

By contrast, only 29 percent of Americans want to ensure that our public lands are available for livestock grazing (pdf).

The letter concludes:

After reviewing the facts contained in this letter, we are hopeful that you will acknowledge the disparity of resources allocated to private livestock versus wild horses on federal land in your state, and specify that all citizens, including those in Utah, must respect federal laws that mandate the protection of wild horses and burros. We understand that you do not endorse the unlawful and violent behavior that has occurred in Nevada related to the case of Cliven Bundy, and we are certain that you would not want your public stance against wild horses to inspire similarly unlawful activity in your state.

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