The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the first edition of our weekly newsletter!
This Week in Wild Beauty
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of May 21st, 2022.
WBF Attends the “Save Our Wild Horses” Conference
The Wild Beauty Foundation Founders, filmmakers Ashley Avis and Edward Winters, joined a number of outstanding experts, journalists, scientists, media members, and wild horse advocacy groups at our nation’s capital for the “Save Our Wild Horses” conference. They brought along WBF’s fourteen-year-old Youth Ambassador, Josselyn Wolf, who presented a powerhouse speech to Congressman Steve Cohen on behalf of wild horses and burros.
Along with Josselyn’s speech, WBF presented several Public Service Announcements featuring footage from the upcoming documentary, as well as videos submitted by children who are taking a stand for our wild horses. These videos were played on a digital billboard circling the capital on the weekend of the conference. The first of several PSAs featuring children will be coming out later this week, so keep an eye out on WBF social media so you can share the powerful words of these young wild horse advocates. In the meantime, check out photos from the conference below.
WBF and other collaborative experts had the pleasure of meeting in-person with Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee, as well as virtually with Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada, to discuss the necessary steps we must take to preserve the rangeland and keep our wild horses free. This includes grounding the inhumane helicopters used for roundups, further educating the public on the inherent value and natural beauty of these animals, and proposing humane plans to manage the land that our wild horses call home. Congresswoman Titus expressed her support of the conference and voiced her disappointment in the Bureau of Land Management’s cruel treatment of wild horses stating, “You know I’m a friend, you know I am always going back to The Wild Horse Commission in the state of Nevada”. Conversations with both Congress Members can be found on WBF’s official Instagram account.
During the conference WBF presented attendees with a special short preview of their documentary, “Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West”. To go along with this, they debuted limited edition art pieces from the documentary at the D.C. Art Show. These pieces tell beautiful stories of the wild horses that WBF filmmakers were privileged to follow throughout the film’s creation, and include “The Eye of Old Man”, “The Onaqui Trio”, “Windswept”, “The Sentry”, and “Molten”.
WBF plans to release these art pieces in first limited editions of 10-25 in the coming months. If you are interested in collecting one before they are officially announced, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On the final day of the conference, WBF attended the “Save Our Wild Horses” rally on the National Mall. Here, Ashley, Edward, and Josselyn spoke with top animal lobbyist, Marty Irby, about the new bills being introduced to lawmakers by both political parties. This is an important milestone in wild horse advocacy and WBF looks forward to seeing these bills voted on soon. This discussion, as well as an excerpt of Josselyn’s speech live from the rally, can be found on WBF social media platforms linked below.
Colorado Governor Sends Letter to the BLM
Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, and first gentleman, Marlon Reis sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management this week (read on Twitter). The letter urged the BLM to halt the round-up of the Piceance Basin horses until further investigation of the Cañon City holding facility can be completed.
“In light of the ongoing Equine Influenza outbreak that has claimed the lives of 142 Wild Horses at the Cañon City Wild Horse Corrals, Governor Jared Polis is calling on the Bureau of Land Management to halt plans for the Piceance Basin round-up later this summer and work with Colorado as a partner to ensure more cost-effective and humane management of our State’s iconic mustangs.”
The outbreak at the Colorado facility, holding approximately 700 horses from the famous Sand Wash Basin herd, gained public attention last month after a highly contagious “mystery illness” spread through the holding pens. This illness, later revealed to be Equine Influenza, has taken the lives of 142 wild horses and counting.
The Wild Beauty Foundation along with many other wild horse advocates are glad to see state leaders standing up for wild horses. With their help, we can be voices for the four-legged animals that cannot speak up for themselves.
BLM Proposes Plan to Turn South Sand Wash Basin into Recreation Area
Colorado land which is home to one of America’s most famous wild horse herds is subject to new recreational plans by the BLM. In a press release issued last month, BLM announced plans to bolster the existing South Sand Wash Open Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area. This comes after the roundup of nearly 700 wild horses from the Sand Wash Basin HMA in early September of last year, which nearly wiped out the iconic herd.
Not only is the wild horse population being threatened by devastating roundups, but the remaining few wild horses left on the range are now forced to share their habitat with what would likely lead to a significant increase of loud motorcycles and ATVs in the area. These vehicles can cause harm to the environment, and also can affect other species, such as the delicate nesting grounds of sage grouse, along with disturbing or destroying fossils in the area.
We must use our voices to question the BLM’s plan and stand up for the remaining wild horses that are now facing habitat destruction. We propose that the great state of Colorado should embrace the wild beauty that exists there, and promote global tourism to visit Colorado to see these national treasures instead of adding infrastructure to promote OHV use to an otherwise wild area. It is time to think bigger and innovate!
Demand that funds be used to promote wild horse tourism to bring commerce into the community, not invite the presence of more off road vehicles into Sand Wash Basin.
Please send your public comment in by June 3rd to BLM_CO_LSFO_Web@blm.gov and call Bruce Sillitoe out of the Little Snake Field Office in Craig, Colorado at 970-826-5000.
You can also contact the office of Governor Jared Polis to express your concerns over this plan, and ask for Colorado to embrace tourism for wild horses!
Call (303) 866-2885
Wild Beauty Rescue
On the night of May 19th, The Wild Beauty Foundation pulled a dapple-grey mustang mare from a Louisiana Kill Pen. This sweet soul is the victim of a broken federal system, where wild horses are subjected to slaughter rather than federal protection. She was transported to Texas overnight where she will stay with our partners through her quarantine period. Once she is rehabilitated, she will be up for adoption to a very special person.
Until then, WBF is holding a naming event for this mare once known as “Wishes”. They hope to select a name that embodies her spirit and gives her a fresh start outside of the kill pens. Anyone who wishes to suggest a name for her is welcome to visit the Wild Beauty Foundation Facebook page or the Wild Beauty Foundation Instagram page and comment on the pinned post with her photo. As always, the best idea (with the most inherent meaning) wins!
Her name will be announced next Saturday, May 28, 2022. WBF looks forward to keeping up with her journey of healing and are searching to find her a perfect forever home.
We cannot perform rescues for horses like Wishes without your help. If you are interested in donating toward the costs of her rehabilitation, WBF has set up a donation page. Any amounts are greatly appreciated and will be put directly into her care.
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
May is National Photography Month and WBF is celebrating their wonderful photography ambassadors by sharing some of their favorite wild horse photos. WBF is so thankful that these photographers share the beauty of wild horses with us.
Photo by: Kimerlee Curyl Photography
Photo by: Sandy Sharkey Photography
A Quote to Graze On
“You can’t mend a world, but you can mend the hole in the polka-dot pocket of your favorite coat. They are not the same thing, but they are part of the same thing, which is all there is — life living itself through us, moment by moment, one broken beautiful thing at a time.”
Take a step back from what could be, and reflect on what you can do in this very moment. No matter how small or mundane the task is, you are working toward a beautiful future. Read more about how you can demonstrate this outlook in Maria Popova’s “The Marginalian”.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team