THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: July 23rd, 2022
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the tenth edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of July 23rd, 2022
Congressman Joe Neguse Introduces Amendment Eliminating Funding for Roundups Using Aircraft Methods
Colorado representative Joe Neguse, Chair of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands introduced an amendment to H.R. 8294, the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Minibus. This amendment would eliminate funding for wild horse and burro roundups that utilize a helicopter drive method or any type of low-flying aircraft in the roundup of equines.
“I am deeply concerned about BLM moving forward with these roundups. We must reevaluate and reconsider the methods in which we manage these herds, ensuring that we are doing so cost-effectively and humanely.”
Last month, Neguse spoke out against the Bureau of Land Management’s Piceance Basin roundup plans in a letter sent to both the BLM Director and acting BLM Colorado State Director. Within the letter, Neguse requested a delay and reevaluation of the upcoming roundup considering the state’s unsafe handling of the equine influenza outbreak at their primary holding facility.
He urged the BLM that “Wild horses are vital to the biodiversity of the American West”, a statement that we at WBF agree with completely.
We are delighted to see Congressman Neguse standing with wild horses and advocating for their protection for generations to come.
The majestic Alpine wild horses from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary
Lawsuit Filed Against the U.S. Forest Service for Unnecessary Roundup in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Our imaginations were utterly captivated by visiting the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest wild horses in Arizona last year. These fairytale horses exist in the deep woods, and now like many herds across the Western U.S. – they are been targeted for removal.
In a press release submitted by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs (ISPMB) it was revealed that a lawsuit was filed to stop the removal of wild horses that have been living on the Apache side of the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest. First hand observers claim these horses have resided within the forest for over 100 years.
Unfortunately but not shockingly, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to move forward with roundup efforts despite the public’s disapproval. Due to horses within National Forests currently being classified as “feral”, the Apache-Sitgreaves wild horses are not being protected under the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Because of this loophole, the U.S. Forest Service is able to sell horses to buyers without the regulation of adoption papers, leading many to end up in the horror of the slaughter pipeline
This Week’s Call To Action
Advocate for the Apache-Sitgreaves Horses to be Protected Under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971
This is where you come in. In order to save the Apache-Sitgreaves wild horses, we must band together to express our disapproval of the Forest Service’s management. Call or email, and make sure to tell them “I stand with wild horses.” We must push for these animals to be protected under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
These horses need you to share your voice. You can send a letter to the Apache Sitgreaves Nation Forest office at:
Apache Sitgreaves National Forests
30 S. Chiricahua Dr.
Springerville, AZ 85938
Judy Palmer, Forest Supervisor
Ericka Luna, Deputy Forest Supervisor
WBF Releases New Ads in Colorado Newspapers
This week WBF released a new ad in Colorado newspapers urging locals to join the fight to protect their state’s wild horses. This follows a stunning article written by Eva Thomas for the Telluride Daily Planet about WBF’s efforts and upcoming film.
Set on a beautiful image of strength and perseverance by Kimerlee Curyl, this latest ad asks locals if they stand with wild horses and provides resources to learn more about their cause through The Wild Beauty Foundation. WBF is very excited to bring wild horses to the world stage through creativity, teamwork, and illumination this fall with our upcoming documentary WILD BEAUTY.
WILD BEAUTY Documentary Update
A mustang glimmering in the late afternoon sun from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary which at last debuts in September!
We’re going to reserve the details for now, but WILD BEAUTY: Mustang Spirit of the West will at last debut on the film festival circuit in September 2022! Watch our social media channels for announcements and calls to action.
We will invite all wild horse groups to support the release, and for collaborative and positive personalities to promote #wildhorseteamwork
We don’t always need to agree. But we must stand together. For them.
BLM Looks for Public Comment on Proposed Wild Horse Contraceptive Research
This Wednesday, the BLM released a statement asking for the public’s comment on new research regarding wild horse fertility control methods. They state that they are interested in developing a “longer lasting” fertility control method. This wording could become destructive as several current forms of fertility control are potentially deemed irreversible and could eliminate a whole herd if used incorrectly.
Although it seems encouraging that the BLM is looking into alternative management for wild horses instead of helicopter roundups and sending horses to live out the rest of their lives in a crowded holding facility, we as advocates must watch out for specific wording by the BLM that might lead to another loophole in eradicating the wild horse population altogether.
If you are interested in leaving a public comment on this proposed research project, you can do so by visiting the BLM’s ePlanning page and leaving an educated comment by August 22nd.
Photograph by Carol Walker
BLM to Roundup Approximately 2,000 Wild Horses and Burros from Twin Peaks HMA
Unfortunate news out of California and Nevada reveals the BLM’s plans to remove approximately 1,800 wild horses and 339 burros off of public land within the Twin Peaks HMA. This herd management area falls between the California and Nevada line and amasses more than 758,000 acres of land.
According to the BLM’s website, this HMA is especially unique as it is one of few areas that include both wild horses and burros, allowing wild mules to exist within the HMA.
This helicopter drive trap roundup began Saturday, July 23rd. WBF is saddened to hear of yet another HMA ravaged by low-flying helicopters and exhausting runs over miles of land. At this moment, the BLM claims that the Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 448-758 wild horses and 72-116 wild burros. These numbers reduce the population down to approximately 18% of its current size. These excessive roundups must stop before our wild horses are moved to extinction.
Current Roundup Updates
As of this week, the BLM is in the process of three wild horse roundups across the western U.S. These roundups include the Piceance-East Douglas HMA, Triple B Complex, and Twin Peaks HMA.
In Colorado, the Piceance roundup has been met with strict criticism by elected officials and advocates alike. From June 16th to July 22nd, BLM has rounded up 538 wild horses and shipped 425 of those to holding facilities. Their current AML is 135-235 horses of an estimated population of 1,385. This is a very low AML considering the current population and acreage numbers for this HMA. We continue to stand by Governor Polis of Colorado, First Gentleman Marlon Reis, and the elected officials who are fighting to halt helicopter roundups in their state.
Further west, Nevada’s Triple B Complex horses are facing yet another destructive roundup. Just three years ago in July of 2019, WBF visited this HMA to gather first-hand accounts of the inhumane treatment that wild horses face during helicopter gathers. The Triple B roundup was the first that WBF witnessed live and captured on camera, and we were shocked to see just how low the helicopters were flying to the terrified herd.
This year’s roundup has seen 285 horses rounded up since July 15th, with 246 horses shipped to holding facilities so far. The BLM has also reported an upsetting 6 deaths within the week that the roundup has been occurring; two of which being 4-month-old foals who were euthanized due to a fractured front leg and lax flexor tendons.
While the BLM states that the reason for the roundup is overpopulation and lack of water and forage, they continue to allow livestock grazing and mining within the HMA.
WBF supports that this narrative given by the BLM to excuse their roundup efforts is false, and allows for those in favor of special interests to profit off the land allocated for wild horses.
We at WBF urge the public to stand with wild horses. These animals need an increase in advocacy as the BLM continues to give what we believe are false narratives for their roundups.
Photograph by Carol Walker
Interview with Carol Walker on “Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert”
Last week, we sat down with photographer and advocate Carol Walker to discuss her new book, “Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert” on WBF Facebook live. Watch the interview here, which contains quite a bit of fantastic information about wild horses.
Next up, WBF will be publishing an extensive Q&A with Carol on next week’s newsletter!
Photograph by Jim Brown
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
This vibrant photo of a group of grey wild horses in the Wyoming Muskrat Basin HMA was captured by wildlife photographer, Jim Brown. Even on the darkest days, America’s wild horses are an image of strength and freedom.
A Quote to Graze On
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.”
The sooner we begin to appreciate the natural beauty around us, the sooner we will learn how to protect it for generations to come.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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