THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: October 1st, 2022
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the twentieth edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of October 1st, 2022
From left; Kimerlee Curyl, Erik Molvar, Josselyn Wolf, Marty Irby, Edward Winters, and Ashley Avis following the Boston screening of Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Wild Beauty Wins Best Documentary at Boston Film Festival
The Wild Beauty Foundation is incredibly proud to announce that Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West has been awarded Best Documentary at the Boston Film Festival this past week!
WBF founders and filmmakers Ashley Avis and Edward Winters were joined by Josselyn Wolf, Marty Irby, Erik Molvar, and Kimerlee Curyl at the East coast premiere of Wild Beauty. Following the screening, they participated in an insightful question and answer session with attendants of the event.
We at WBF were delighted to bring the beauty of the western U.S. to Boston, and are honored to have come home with the award for Best Documentary at the event. We hope that the audience was touched by the story of our wild horses and now know the importance of their presence on western rangeland. This is only the beginning of an incredible journey for Wild Beauty, and we cannot be more excited to share this important documentary in more cities very soon. Be sure to keep up with www.wildbeautyfoundation.org regularly to find screenings near you; new locations are added often!
Watch the Official Teaser Video here!
Please support WBF’s efforts to get Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West to as many viewers as possible. We hope to screen our documentary in as many cities as we can to share the beauty of wild horses with everyone!
We thank you, wild horses thank you.
The Wild Beauty Foundation Submits Comments to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board
This week, WBF submitted comments to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for discussion in their upcoming meeting. The board is set to meet October 4-6 at the Bureau of Land Management’s National Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
We believe that it is important to comment and share our thoughts with the Board on improving the BLM’s wild horse and Burro program. Without collaboration between the BLM, advocacy groups, and the public, changes cannot be made to how we oversee our nation’s wild horses.
This meeting will be open to the public both in person and virtually via zoom. Join us to hear firsthand how the BLM plans to manage the future of wild horses.
The BLM press release introducing the board meeting lists details on how to attend in person.
More information on how to attend virtually can be found here.
Another Adoption Event at Wheatland Off-Range Facility Canceled
Yet another adoption event at the Wheatland, WY private off-range holding facility has been canceled this month. The event, scheduled for October 7th, would open Wheatland Off-Range Corral to the public and allow them access to adopting select horses at the facility. This week, though, the Bureau of Land Management marked the event as canceled on their calendar, without issuing a public statement. We call on the BLM to release pertinent information regarding the condition of horses at this facility and the reasons for the unannounced adoption event cancellations.
Horses being held in this facility are from several popular HMAs for tourists and photographers alike; Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, and Adobe Town to name a few. Horses in the Great Divide Basin HMA are a beautiful array of black and bay while Salt Wells Creek horses can be found in stunning dilutes and pinto patterns. The Adobe Town HMA sees an even more diverse collection of horses, with roans and dapple grays dotting the Wyoming landscape.
In April, this facility faced a deadly strangles outbreak, causing cancellations in scheduled adoption events. However, when events were canceled again in early August, this was even more cause for concern for wild horse advocates and supporters. At first the BLM blamed staffing shortages for April cancellations, but later it revealed the true cause was an outbreak of strangles, a highly infectious and contagious upper respiratory infection. When a similar staffing shortage excuse was given in August, the public rightly began to wonder if this was the truth.
During an inspection in June by the BLM’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program team, the Wheatland holding facility was found to suffer from staffing shortages, an insufficient number of pens (including inadequate “sick” pens used for caring for sick/injured animals), and a lack of proper shelter and quality hay in several pens. Ironically, the BLM gave itself a “B” grade for the conditions in its holding facilities despite these serious and fatal conditions. The findings of the CAWP team, as well as the high marks the BLM gave itself, sparked outrage among those advocating for proper care and management of our wild horses that have had their freedom taken away from them and who now languish by the thousands in crowded, filthy conditions.
Wild horse photographer and friend of WBF, Carol Walker, sent an email to the BLM in August asking for further details on this facility. In return, she was told that the horses being kept in the facility were still exhibiting signs of the infection, approximately three months after the initial outbreak.
Now, we see a third cancellation in October, once again announced without reason from the BLM. Upon hearing of the cancellations, Walker emailed the BLM. only to receive an automated response directing her to the Wheatland Off-Range Corral website. After public outcry and insistence that the BLM speak out on this matter by Walker, she received an email detailing that horses were still experiencing symptoms of strangles and they could not open the facility to the public.
Strangles, a bacterial upper respiratory infection in equines, has an incubation period of four to five days, but can be implemented as long as two weeks to ensure there is no exposure. The infection spreads in crowded conditions, inadequate housing, poor sanitation, and stress from transportation, among several other factors that are all seen in government wild horse holding facilities. This is why ending the roundups and focusing on on-range management of our wild horses is so necessary. Keeping horses out of these unsanitary and unsafe conditions is vital to their wellbeing, and would save tax dollars spent on these facilities each year.
We at WBF believe the Bureau of Land Management should be responsible for releasing a detailed public statement concerning cancellations, when they occur. In addition to this, updates should be released regularly when a facility is undergoing an outbreak of infectious disease or other illness or conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of the horses. The public deserves to know what is happening to the wild animals that belong to each and every one of us as Americans. By holding them accountable, we can ensure that our government is following the mandates of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and taking the appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of these creatures.
Past Newsletters on Wheatland:
This Week’s Call To Action
Contact the BLM and Urge them to Release Information on the Wheatland, WY Off-Range Holding Facility
Without input from the taxpaying public, the BLM will continue to believe it can get away with keeping the conditions in the private off-range facilities a secret. We must use our voices to stand with the wild horses, now trapped in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. At the very least, the Bureau of Land Management must be required to release a public statement updating the American people not only on the condition of wild horses kept at a facility currently dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, but also on details regarding changes or cancellations of adoption events.
Every email and every phone call from a concerned citizen matters. We encourage you to contact the following BLM officials and demand that true and accurate information about the conditions of this facility and the horses be provided to the public on a regular and sustained basis. Transparency has never been the BLM’s strong suit, but the situation is clearly dire and the American people have a right to know what is happening.
You can fill out our online advocacy form by clicking the “Take Action” button below. The form has a pre-written message that can be sent as-is, though we do encourage you to customize the message to make it personal to you. Your comment will then be sent directly to the following officials.
June Wendlandt; Wild Horse and Burro Lead
Andrew Archuleta; Wyoming State Director
Brad Purdy; Deputy Director Communications
The Cloud Foundation to Host “Born to be Wild” Western Gala
Our friends at The Cloud Foundation are hosting their annual fundraising event Saturday, October 22nd, 2022! Aiming to protect and preserve wild horses and conservation of wildlife and western rangelands, the “Born to be Wild” event will feature a night of fun, food, and music to support America’s wildness. The gala will be held at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia; tickets are on sale now until October 10th so be sure to make arrangements soon, you won’t want to miss it!
Every dollar raised at this event benefits The Cloud Foundation and their work to keep wild horses wild. You can find more information and purchase tickets to the event here!
The Alpine Wild Horses from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Alpine Wild Horses in Desperate Need of Adopters
The breathtaking wild horses that once roamed the Apache Sitgreaves Forest of Arizona will be up for auction this weekend, and are in critical need of secure homes. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages these horses, targeted them for removal earlier this year. Officials deemed these horses “unauthorized livestock”, despite history of horses residing in the forest for over 100 years.
Unfortunately, with many equine auctions, the possibility of suspicious buyers is quite high. This is why the Alpine horses need your help more than ever. In order to keep these beautiful symbols of freedom out of the slaughter pipeline, we need to spread the word to our equine loving friends who might be interested in giving an Alpine wild horse a safe home.
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group reached out to WBF about the Alpine horses;
“As a wild horse protection group it is the stuff our nightmares are made of. They were the picture of horse happiness in their home of abundance, where they were not hurting anyone and not costing anyone a dime. They are cherished there by the public as an amazing recreational resource. This forest is part of our public lands, set aside for all of the public of America.”
SRWHMG has worked tirelessly to document 300 of the 400 wild horses in the forest so far and has formed a local Alpine management group to maintain protection of these horses. They offer humane, cost effective solutions at no cost to the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, and work to keep as many Alpine wild horses out of the slaughter pipeline as possible.
If you are interested in giving an Alpine wild horse refuge and loving care, you can follow this link to the auction website where you can place a virtual bid. You must pre-register for the opportunity to bid on a wild horse. Horses will be listed online Friday, September 30th and the auction will be held October 1st and 2nd, with bidding ending Monday morning. Pickup is at the Navajo County Fairgrounds in Holbrook, but delivery will likely be available for an additional cost.
We also ask anyone who stands with these wild horses to speak out on their management and request that the Alpine wild horses be managed as wild horses, not unauthorized livestock. This would allow the horses to be protected under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and would hold the U.S. Forest Service accountable for proper management and adoption practices. Call or email the officials below and urge them to stand with the Alpine wild horses of the Apache Sitgreaves Forest.
Apache Sitgreaves Forest Service:
Jeffrey Todd PIO
General office (928) 333-4301
(928) 333 6200
(928) 333 6280
Region3 Forest Service. (They are over the Apache Sitgreaves Forest Service.)
Senator Mark Kelly: 602-671-7901 / 202 224 2235 Tucson Office: 520-475-5177
Senator Kyrsten Sinema: 602-598-7327 /202-224-4521
(202) 224-3121 Capitol switchboard, you can reach any representative this way by naming your state and town.
Find your AZ State representative
To learn more about the Alpine wild horses and more, you can visit www.srwhmg.org
New Report Shows More than 1,000 Wild Horses were Sent to Slaughter in the Past Two Years
In a recent investigation report by the American Wild Horse Campaign, it was revealed that at least 1,ooo wild horses had been sent to kill pens in the past 22 months alone.
It is shown that through the Adoption Incentive Program, a program constructed by the BLM that pays adopters $1,000 to take on up to four untouched wild horses, “adopters” are collecting this payment and selling the horses to middleman buyers who drop the animals in pens destined for slaughter.
Advocates urge that the Adoption Incentive Program is only incentivising those looking to make quick money off of the sale of these animals rather than finding them safe, quality homes. We at WBF support the removal of the AIP and urge the BLM to implement new adoption measures to confirm the safety and wellbeing of wild horses adopted from their care.
You can read more about AWHC’s investigation into the AIP and wild horses being sent to slaughter here.
WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest’s Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader: Michael Gladis
Joining us this year for our Second Annual Short Story Contest as an Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader is actor Michael Gladis!
Beginning his career in New York theater, Michael later brought his passion for acting to the screen. He has starred in numerous film and television productions, though he is best known for his role as Paul Kinsey on MadMen.
Michael is an avid equestrian, and has even adopted a sweet percheron mare named Rosie. In addition to riding and spending time with Rosie, Michael volunteers with a therapeutic equine program assisting veterans and children with disabilities.
We are extremely proud to have Micael Gladis join our Short Story Contest this year, and look forward to hearing his reading of one of the selected finalists’ stories! WBF thanks him for using his voice to stand with our wild ones.
Continue writing; the deadline to enter is only a month away!
The entry deadline is October 31st, 2022 so be sure to get your stories in now so they can be considered by our wonderful panel of judges. To learn more about the short story contest or submit your story, visit our website!
Show Your Support for WBF and Wild Horses Everywhere by Shopping the Wild Beauty Boutique!
As wild horse activists, we look for any excuse to share our devotion to keeping wild horses free with those around us.
By purchasing apparel from The Wild Boutique you can not only display your love for wild horses for all to see, but benefit our work in educating others on our country’s wild beauty too!
All proceeds benefit The Wild Beauty Foundation, and our work on behalf of wild horses and our upcoming educational programs for children.
Check out this NEW shirt by browsing The Wild Beauty Boutique!
Tara Coyote and Comanche
An Interview with Tara Coyote: How Comanche the Mustang Lead a Journey of Healing and Education
The Wild Beauty Foundation recently sat down with author and founder of Wind Horse Sanctuary, Tara Coyote to talk about her new children’s book, Comanche the Wild Mustang, and the healing benefits she has seen from connecting with a wild horse.
Tara is a passionate advocate for wild horses and through Wind Horse Sanctuary, teaches others the transformational healing work of equine therapy.
You can read our full interview with Tara here, and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Comanche the Wild Mustang on Amazon today!
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
There is little comparable to the beauty of a glowing sunset on the range. Moments like this, captured by Tori Gange, showcase the sacredness of our untouched, wild world.
A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
A Quote to Graze On
“This brilliant film by Ashley and Ed Winters is a game changer for the future of our iconic American wild horses whose very backs this country was built upon,”
– Marty Irby
We thank Marty for sharing his thoughtful words on Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West at Boston Film Festival this past weekend, and for continuing to be an outspoken advocate for our nation’s wild horses.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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