The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the second edition of our weekly newsletter!
This Week in Wild Beauty
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of May 28th, 2022.
We are so proud to release a powerful PSA this holiday weekend, from our recent trip to Washington D.C.
Click the link above to watch an astounding two minute speech presented by fourteen-year-old WBF Youth Ambassador, Josselyn Wolf. Josselyn recently sat down with Congressman Steve Cohen, asking him to protect wild horses and burros for the generations to come. We are so grateful to the Congressman for allowing us to film her speech, and for standing with wild horses.
“Wild horses and burros have a place on these lands. The next generation is counting on it.”
~ Josselyn Wolf
Today’s Call To Action
How can you help? We want Josselyn’s speech for wild horses to go viral.
Please share the video from our social media pages everywhere you can think of (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok) – and tag your representatives and news outlets in the post! Know a reporter? Someone famous? Someone influential? Send them this video!
Also, make sure to forward our WBF newsletter to anyone you know who cares about wild horses!
Highlights From the SAFE Act Hearing
On Thursday May 26th, 2022, The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce discussed the safety and protection of wild horses.
The Committee reviewed The SAFE Act, an amendment to the Horse Protection Act of 1970 which would prohibit the shipping, selling, or receiving of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption. This act was discussed alongside the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” (PAST) Act that would enforce stricter regulation of soring, an inhumane practice used to create a higher gait in horse breeds such as the Tennessee walking horse. Both bills were strongly supported during the hearing, bringing good news to the wild horse community, as well as the equine community as a whole. The next step in the passage of this bill is for the bill to receive a markup before the full Committee.
After what is hopefully passage, the “Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act of 2021” would shut down the pipeline that sends any horse to slaughter. This is an important milestone in protecting our wild horses, as once they are rounded up, many find themselves caught in this broken system, and are sent to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. With this act in place, the purchase and transportation of any horses for slaughter within the United States would become illegal, stopping the operation long before horses are sent across the border.
Katie Kraska of the ASPCA introduced the bills and requested increased welfare for all equines within our country; wild horses and burros included. Additionally, she educated the Committee on loopholes found within The Horse Protection Act that allow devastating practices like slaughter and soring to continue. These loopholes need to be closed in order to protect the country’s equines, and the only way this is possible is through the passage of these new acts.
You can show your support for wild horses by calling your Members of Congress and urging them to support these bills once they reach the Congress floor.
And Her Name Is . . .
Last week, WBF introduced “Wishes”, a rescued wild horse from Louisiana. After reading nearly 200 name suggestions across several WBF social media platforms, her new name has been chosen!
The Wild Beauty Foundation would like to thank everyone who participated in suggesting a new name to wash away her bad experiences (“Wishes” was assigned to her by the kill pen, and we wanted to change that with your help). Below is a list of the top ten names we loved most. It was so hard to pick from so many beautiful and meaningful titles, and we appreciate every single person who weighed in!
After careful consideration, there was one name that stood out.
“Whisper of the Wild”
The name “Whisper” was suggested numerous times and clearly resonated with several of you, including Kami in California – and “Whisper of the Wild” was suggested by Mackenzie F.
WBF believes this name truly embodies this special horse’s wild and whimsical spirit. And in less than two weeks since her rescue, Whisper already has a spark back in her eye, and is on the road to recovery. Thank you again Kami and Mackenzie for coming up with such a beautiful name! These are the top ten names we loved the most.
Top 10 Names
1) Sekhmet : Meaning “She who is powerful” (Submitted by Justin M.)
2) Citana : Native American origin meaning “Star in the sky” (Submitted by LF)
3) Tikvah : Meaning “Hope” (Submitted by @from.th3heart)
4) Marion : Meaning “Star in the sea or sky” or “Beloved” (Submitted by Eleanor M.)
5) Shama : Sanskrit for “Peace of mind” (Submitted by Joan B.)
6) Liberata : Meaning “Freedom” in Italian (Submitted by Micky D.)
7) Tiponi : Meaning “Important” or “Child of importance” in Hopi (Submitted by Cindy C.)
8) Shai : Meaning “gift” in Hebrew (Submitted by Inna D.)
9) WBF’S Silver Lining : “Because you found her silver lining and second chance for life. And she looks like a blossoming silver queen!” (Submitted by Kimerlee C.)
10) Shyla : Meaning “White Dove” (Submitted by Rebecca L.)
WBF will continue to follow Whisper’s journey and will be looking for a very special adopter. To go along with Whisper’s rescue story, we will be debuting a new blog called “Mustang Diary” on our website in the coming weeks.
This blog will showcase stories sent in by those who have rescued their own mustangs. If you have a great tale about an adopted or rescued wild horse, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Mustang Diary” in the subject line, and include a paragraph or two about your journey. Please include any photos or videos that you would like to share as well!
Thank you again for participating in Whisper’s naming contest, and being a collaborative community of people who want to see the best for wild horses. We stand with you, and we stand with wild horses.
We cannot perform rescues for horses like Whisper without your help. If you are interested in donating toward the costs of her rehabilitation, please click the link below. Any amounts are greatly appreciated and will be put directly toward her care. If we exceed what we need for Whisper, the funds will go toward helping other wild horses and burros.
Wild horses at the East Cañon Correctional Complex on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, in Frisco. (Hugh Carey, The Colorado Sun)
New Review of the Cañon City Holding Facility
New information has come out of the Cañon City holding facility after a recent investigation. In an outbreak report released by the BLM on May 26th, it was revealed that failure to vaccinate captured wild horses was the leading cause of the tragic equine flu outbreak. While the BLM states that lack of vaccination was due to the “unusually high-strung” nature of the horses in addition to a staffing shortage, a review by an animal welfare team showed that vaccination was not the only issue.
The review found numerous BLM policy violations at this facility, a total of thirteen instances of noncompliance, many of which involve basic horse maintenance. Along with a six-month delay in vaccinations, the review found horses behind on hoof trimming, freeze-branding, and deworming; all of which must be completed within 30 days of arriving at the facility, according to BLM policy. Other violations included unsafe pasture upkeep and nonobservance of BLM euthanasia policy.
The horses involved in this outbreak were gathered from the West Douglas HMA in Northwest Colorado. These horses, rounded up by the BLM in August of 2021, have been in holding at the facility for almost eight months. Along with the West Douglas horses, many members of the Sand Wash Basin HMA are in holding at this same facility.
The BLM says that no horses from this famous herd were involved in the outbreak. This is likely due to prioritization of vaccination in this herd over the West Douglas horses. Due to the popularity of the Sand Wash Basin herd, the BLM knew these horses were being watched closely by the public. Unfortunately, this led to over 140 preventable deaths from horses taken from the West Douglas HMA; a group of horses just as beautiful, yet not having as much public recognition.
Fortunately, this review marks a step forward in protection for America’s wild horses. If the BLM is held accountable for their inhumane actions, future outbreaks and unsafe roundups can be prevented.
The Wild Horses of Onaqui during a round up in 2021. Still frame from our upcoming documentary, WILD BEAUTY.
Bible Springs Proposed Roundup
Last week the BLM released a statement, seeking comment on a proposed wild horse gather in the Blawn Wash HMA and Bible Springs Complex Area. Located in Southwestern Utah, the current population of horses in both areas combined is estimated just over 800 horses. BLM claims that the Appropriate Management Level (AML) is set at 80-170 horses which we at WBF maintain is a size that is not genetically sustainable. According to BLM reports, this leaves 62,787 acres in the Blawn Wash HMA and 223,000 acres in the Bible Springs Complex to be shared between less than 200 wild horses. To put this into perspective, that would be approximately 1,680 acres per horse. BLM’s Cedar City Field Manager reported that this roundup is planned due to “extremely dry conditions and drought, along with an excess of wild horses”. As you can see, overpopulation is not as urgent as BLM claims, considering the current population of horses allows for around 350 acres a piece.
To help advocate for these wild horses you can send a letter to the BLM expressing your concern and disapproval toward yet another unnecessary roundup. All letters must be sent to the link below by June 17th. WBF thanks you for standing with our wild horses.
Please ask the BLM to halt roundup.
Send your public comment in by June 17th to https://eplanning.blm.gov/
You can also contact the office of Gina Ginouves to express your concerns over this plan, and ask that Utah to stand with wild horses.
Call (435) 865-3011
BLM to Reduce Pace of Wild Horse Roundups
Encouraging news finally comes to the wild horse community. After recent public polling that revealed over 80% opposition of helicopter usage in wild horse and burro roundups, the BLM announced a reduction in the number of animals it plans to remove from federal lands. According to a recent report by the BLM, the federal government is pledging cut their 2022 goal in half. The agency had originally planned to remove 20,000 horses and burros off public lands a year. With the new number being reduced to 10,000, we can only hope that this number continues to decrease.
The BLM also announced the expansion of fertility control measures to manage wild herd populations. Though there is still change that needs to be made, it is refreshing to see steps being taken to conserve wild herds.
Submit a Public Comment for Sand Wash Basin
The comments are closing for the OHV (off-highway vehicle) Proposal in South Sand Wash Basin. Please send in your public comment! Demand that funds be used to promote wild horse tourism to bring commerce into the community and great state of Colorado, not invite the presence of more off road vehicles into Sand Wash Basin.
These vehicles can be disturbing and dangerous not only to wild horses, but to the other wildlife in the area including sagegrouse who nest in the Basin. There are also fossils in this area that could be destroyed with OHV misuse.
Please send your public comment by June 3rd, 2022 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
Our 2022 Goal
We are building our team right now, and we are grateful that you are on this journey with us.
As you know, we are doing all we can to help wild and domestic horses. We want to maximize our effects in rescue, education with children, creating videos for the community, and more.
Our goal is to bring on a WBF Program Director by the end of this year to bolster what our small, passionate team of volunteers is already doing. If you can help, or wish to aid in this goal in a significant way, please email email@example.com.
You can also learn more about our hopes for WBF by joining us for a Zoom discussion about our journey during a live Q&A when we debut our WILD BEAUTY documentary trailer in just a few weeks! More news on that exciting event soon.
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
(Photo Credit: Living Images by Carol Walker)
In times of darkness, we must remember to hold our loved ones tight and cherish the moments we have together. Wild horses are known to bond closely with members of their herd, similar to people. This touching photo of two McCullough Peaks bachelor stallions embracing each other was taken by Carol Walker.
A Quote to Graze On
“For to be free is to live in a way that enhances the freedom of others”
– Nelson Mandela
As we celebrate those who fought for our freedom this Memorial Day, we can reflect on what that freedom means to us and how we choose to enhance it in others.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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