THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: July 2nd, 2022
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the seventh edition of our weekly newsletter!
This Week in Wild Beauty
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of July 2nd, 2022
A still from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary
The Beginning of the 2022 Roundup Season is Upon Us
July 1st marks a sorrowful day in the wild horse world. This month, brutal helicopter roundups begin in the western U.S. states. In the past few weeks, the Bureau of Land Management began announcing the upcoming roundups and starting initial preparations. This is after countless requests from the public and even Governor Polis of Colorado to halt helicopter roundups as well as allow investigation into government holding facilities.
From now until October, the BLM plans to conduct 13 roundups of wild horses and burros across six different states. Running these defenseless animals for miles in the intense summer heat is an unbelievably cruel practice. Many horses, particularly pregnant mares and newborn foals, become exhausted and risk injury or death due to the stress of low-flying helicopters driving them toward the trap site.
The BLM plans to roundup over 22,000 horses from the wild, forcing them into overcrowded holding facilities where their health can rapidly decline. Very few horses are released back into the wild or adopted, and most are left with no remaining family members or herd dynamics. And even those who are “adopted” can fall into the hands of a kill buyer who may ship them to slaughter in Mexico or Canada.
With proper oversight and management, our tax dollars would not need to be spent on holding facilities and the confinement of perfectly healthy wild horses. We at WBF urge lawmakers to look into the inhumane roundups and consider other management options for the wild horses and burros in our country.
These next few months will prove the BLM’s roundups are conducted with the interests of private contractors and livestock farmers in mind, not the well-being of our wild world.
WBF Releases New Newspaper Ads in Colorado
In light of the start of roundup season as well as the 4th of July weekend, we are running the above ad in Colorado newspapers. While people across the country are celebrating their freedom this Independence Day, countless wild horses have just entered the time of year where they risk having their freedom taken away.
We at WBF thank Colorado Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis for being so outspoken and supportive of our wild horses. We are proud to stand with them in protecting the freedom of these beautiful symbols of the American West.
We request that you share this ad with your local lawmakers and urge them to stand with wild horses as well. You can join the stand by posting a photo of a wild horse to social media, tag POTUS, FLOTUS, and your Representatives with the hashtag, #istandwithwildhorses
A band of wild horses runs free in our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary
BLM Begins Roundup in Nevada’s Buffalo Hills HMA
Breaking News 7/2/22: The BLM will now be shipping these horses to Palomino Valley Center in Reno, Nevada, the largest BLM facility in the country.
This weekend marked the beginning of the Buffalo Hills roundup. The primary method of roundup according to the BLM? Helicopters. Located just outside of Gerlach, Nevada, the Buffalo Hills HMA has an estimated population of 541 wild horses. The BLM plans to reduce this number down to a shocking 188-314 horses after roundups.
Not only are they reducing the herd size as a whole, but they also plan to implement GonaCon birth control for mares that are to be released back into the wild. You might remember our newsletter last month that called attention to the different forms of birth control that the BLM plans to administer. GonaCon, as we described, breaks down ovaries, leaving mares chemically sterilized after only 2 injections. They plan to inject up to 30 mares with GonaCon before releasing them back into the HMA. Not only will this herd size be genetically unsustainable, but the use of this destructive birth control on this many mares could lead to a collapse in the overall herd.
The press release issued by the BLM before the roundup said that the horses would be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corrals to later be adopted out or sold. Wild Horse Education cites that this facility is off-limits to the public, as is the temporary holding by the BLM. It appears in our opinion they are doing everything in their power to keep the public from seeing what goes on after these dangerous roundups.
As of the first day of the roundup, 68 wild horses were captured, including 10 foals. The BLM reported that a 4-month-old Bay foal was found dead in a trailer before arriving at holding. It is not known how this death occurred. We must stop these deadly roundups and advocate for more humane management efforts by the BLM.
This roundup will continue until July 21st, and we will continue to update you on the status of the wild horses in this area.
This Week’s Call To Action
Request the BLM Ground Helicopters and Stop the Use of GonaCon
It is widely known that low-flying helicopters driving wild horses into trap sites are dangerous and inhumane, yet the BLM still uses this tactic in almost all of their roundups.
The GonaCon contraceptive can also be highly dangerous to the wild horse population. Evidence has proven that this method can be irreversible and impacts natural herd behavior.
You can stand with wild horses by sending a letter to the BLM at:
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Photograph of Whisper by Airponies
Rescue: Whisper Settles Into California
Whisper has been settling great into her new home with Black Beauty actress Mackenzie Foy this past week! They are both learning to trust each other and are starting to form a beautiful bond. We are so glad that Whisper of the Wild is continuing along the road to recovery and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her and Mackenzie.
Photograph by Sandy Sharkey
Colorado BLM to Conduct More Bait and Trap Roundups
The Colorado State Director revealed in a BLM informational meeting that the state would implement more bait and trap roundups into their management efforts. While they still plan to maintain their originally planned low Appropriate Management Levels, bait and trap roundups are a step forward in grounding all helicopters used in roundups. This is promising for the future of wild horse management as it could lead to more substantial roundup reform.
This information comes after public disapproval of the Piceance HMA roundup being rescheduled from September to June after Governor Polis’ requests to halt the roundup altogether. Small acts of reform show that our voices can be heard, with more support from the public we can urge the BLM to change the ways in which they manage wild horses.
Upcoming: An Interview with Carol Walker
Famed wild horse photographer, Carol Walker, will be joining WBF in the coming weeks to discuss her new book, “Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert”! This beautiful book showcases Carol’s breathtaking photos of the Red Desert wild horses and tells a story of freedom, family, and separation as she follows the herd over several years.
WBF’s interview with Carol Walker will be posted to our blog and a Facebook Live will be planned so that you can ask her your questions as well!
“Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert” is available for preorder on Carol’s website.
Erik Molvar to Join WBF for a Facebook Live
WBF is looking forward to a virtual discussion with Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project to discuss Colorado wild horses. Recently, the Western Watersheds Project did a flyover of the current BLM roundup location in the Piceance Basin. They concluded that they did not see a need for an emergency roundup. Ask you pressing questions of Erik!
You can join our discussion live on Facebook this Tuesday, July 5th at 3pm PT/6pm EST by tuning in to our page.
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
Carol Walker’s photo of four Red Desert bachelor stallions reflects our summer celebration of freedom. Something that should not be taken away from our wild horses.
Photograph by Sandy Sharkey
A Quote to Graze On
“Since humans first huddled around campfires, stories have been told of wild horses with wind in their manes, fire in their eyes and freedom in their hearts. Those horses eluded capture, and scorned the comforts of civilization. Americans have insisted they want their wild horses to live that way, forever.”
Author of “The Phantom Stallion” series, Terri Farley, summarizes the wishes of wild horse advocates far and wide this 4th of July. WBF wishes wild horses could revel in the same freedom we are able to celebrate this weekend.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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