THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: October 22nd, 2022
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the twenty third edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of October 22nd, 2022
Short Story Contest Entry Deadline Extended
We have officially extended the submission period for our 2nd annual Short Story Contest! In order to give children & teens a bit more time to craft their best stories, we are now allowing entries until November 15th, 2022.
Top stories will be read aloud by TV & Movie stars on social media, plus receive other amazing prizes! Thank you for using your creativity to stand with wild horses.
Extended Entry Deadline: November 15th, 2022
A still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
More Updates on the Alpine Wild Horses
It has been approximately two weeks since the alpine wild horse herd suffered a horrifying massacre that claimed the lives of wild horses in the Apache Sitgreaves forest. Since last week, fifteen more horses were found dead by volunteers searching the forest for evidence. This brings the total number of deaths to 35, with 15 still unaccounted for and presumed dead. There are many young foals without parents and bands without lead mares and stallions, so it is assumed that these missing horses have also been shot as wild horses do not abandon their family in this way.
The reward for information concerning the shooting currently stands at $35,000. We at WBF hope the individual(s) responsible for this crime are brought to justice. Without conviction, similar crimes might be committed without the fear of implications. Our wild horses do not deserve to be the targets of their offenses.
So far, the Apache County Sheriff has not issued any updates on the investigation. We urge the county sheriff’s office to speak publicly on the massacre against the Alpine wild horses, the public deserves to know how officials are handling this situation and what developments are being made.
Some good news on the Alpine wild horses is that 65 of the 80 horses captured during recent roundups are confirmed to have found safe, reputable homes. These adopters were in contact with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group who worked to get the horses into secure homes through individuals and sanctuaries. Though the adopters of the other 15 horses are unknown, we hope that these horses have been given refuge as well.
This Week’s Call To Action
Write to Congress and Urge them to Investigate and Bring Criminal Charges to those Involved in the Alpine Wild Horse Massacre.
We urge you to help the State of Arizona, and the wild horses of the Alpine herd..
This month, a historic herd of wild horses in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest known as the Alpine herd was targeted with fatal shootings by an unknown assailant. Thirty five horses have already been found dead, with fifteen still missing.
The Forest Service deems the Alpine horses as “stray livestock,” and therefore has no intention of abiding by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which affords all wild equines a measure of legal protections.
The shocking reality is: this is not the first time a horrific shooting has happened in this same forest — A nearby herd of federally protected wild horses, the Heber herd, has also been targeted with shootings in the past few years, with at least 40 horses killed since 2018 without an individual being brought to justice.
Please stand with these horses now, and send a message to your State Representative and Federal Members of Congress. We must act immediately as this is unfolding.
You can easily write to your Members of Congress using the automated form below, and can customize your message if you would like.
We’ve received hundreds of signatures on this petition so far, and must keep our momentum going to help save the Alpine horses.
To further help the State of Arizona, you can call:
Senator Mark Kelly: 602-671-7901 / 202-224-2235
Senator Kyrsten Sinema: 602-598-7327 / 202-224-4521
Tucson Office: 520-475-5177
Sixteen Wild Horses Found Shot in Southern Utah
According to the advocacy group Advocates for Wild Equines (A.W.E.), on October 20th, 2022, sixteen wild horses were found shot on Bureau of Land Management land in southern Utah. These horses were outside of a Herd Management Area, therefore not federally protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The bodies were found just outside the Navajo reservation, where two Navajo men reported them to authorities. It is unknown at this time if they were reservation horses, escaped ranch horses, or truly wild horses who migrated to this area.
The San Juan County Sheriff, Jason Torgerson, reported a small number of live wild horses were still in the area and he voiced concern that they may be targeted. In order to prevent this, Utah officials are looking into finding homes for the remaining wild horses if they ultimately need to be removed from the area.
WBF finds it alarming that atrocities like the recent mass killings of our country’s wild horses seem to be ramping up. We must continue to urge local law enforcement and agencies involved to treat these incidents as serious crimes deserving of serious investigation. We are grateful for the hard work and leadership of A.W.E. in bringing this tragic story to national attention and their dedication in seeking justice for the horses who lost their lives.
Highlights from the FREES Conference
Last week, the first Free-Roaming Equid Ecosystem Sustainability summit open to the public occurred in Saint George, Utah. In past years, organizers of the summit excluded wild horse advocates, instead inviting only groups and individuals who oppose wild horses on public lands. This year, organizers reached out and invited members of the advocacy community, including Scott Beckstead, program director for the Wild Beauty Foundation.
Scott reports that while the conversations were based on flawed assumptions about supposed “over populations” of wild horses, there were good opportunities for advocates to present the viewpoint of those who want livestock limited on wild horse habitat and healthy populations of wild horses thriving on public land, free of helicopter roundups and other inhumane management practices. Perhaps more promising were the many constructive conversations between advocates, agency staff, and industry groups to find common ground and reach new understandings. Beckstead reports the organizers expressed their appreciation for his input throughout the event and promised to invite advocates back again to next year’s summit.
Photograph from the Bureau of Land Management
BLM Releases Photos from Wheatland Holding Facility
This week the Bureau of Land Management released a virtual tour of photos from inside the Wheatland Off Range Holding Facility in Wyoming. The new photos were posted to the official Wheatland page on the BLM’s website where you can also find updates on the ongoing strangles outbreak.
We are encouraged by the BLM’s steps toward transparency by releasing these images in a timely manner. WBF supports that your voices as advocates in our Wheatland Call to Action were heard and ultimately pressured the BLM to take this action. Unfortunately, these photos were taken in the feedlots during feeding so we are unable to see the behaviors of the horses outside of this time. We hope to see more photos like this released more often, preferably where the public can see how the wild horses spend their days in these facilities.
You can find all photos on the BLM’s Wheatland Page under “Virtual Tour”.
Thank you for signing our WBF Petition a few weeks ago in a request for transparency – your voices have been heard.
A still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Wild Beauty Continues on the Film Festival Circuit
Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West continues to grace the silver screen in major cities across the country. This week saw Wild Beauty in Utah for the Red Rock Film Festival, and California for Newport Beach Film Festival and DOC LA. Scott Beckstead and Erik Molvar, both experts who appear in the film, were on hand at the Red Rocks Film Festival to answer questions and speak with audience members about wild horses and their plight.
We look forward to Wild Beauty’s upcoming screenings in Missouri for the St. Louis International Film Festival on November 7th and Florida for the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on November 10th! If you are interested in seeing our elegant documentary on our nation’s wild horses in person, we encourage you to get tickets to these upcoming festivals. Be sure to check our website often as we announce new premiere dates, we could be coming to a city near you soon!
WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest’s Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader: Fern Deacon
Joining us again this year for our Second Annual Short Story Contest as an Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader is actor Fern Deacon!
Born in Hampshire, England, Fern has made quite a name for herself in television and film. Fern has starred as Chloe in Ackley Bridge and Agnes in Hetty Feather since 2017. Additionally, she is known as Georgina Winthorp in Disney+ Black Beauty.
We are delighted to have Fern read one of our winning stories this year and thank her for lending her voice in support of our nation’s wild horses.
Don’t wait! The entry deadline is November 15th, 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!
Last Week to Shop our Wild Wild Halloween Collection
You can share your love of wild horses this spooky season with items from the Wild Beauty Boutique for a limited time. Show off your “favorite nightmare” or “Wild horse lover costume” all while supporting WBF. Our limited edition Halloween apparel will only be available for one more week, so make sure to order now before they are gone forever!
Check out the WBF’s Halloween collection here!
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
The sun sets along the back of a wild mustang in this shining photograph by Mary Hone, a golden glow encapsulating this gentle, wild one.
A Quote to Graze On
“Our purpose is simple.
To love; to love each other, to love all live, and to love our Earth”
– Anthony Douglas Williams
October 22nd, 2022 is National Make a Difference Day. We at WBF encourage you to make a difference by standing with wild horses this week. Whether it’s by sending a letter to lawmakers, signing an online petition, or donating to a nonprofit like The Wild Beauty Foundation, we thank you for making a difference for our wild horses and the generations to follow that will be able to witness their wild beauty.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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