The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the twenty first edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of October 8th, 2022
Shadows of a wild horse herd from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Next Week: Utah Premiere of Wild Beauty at the Red Rock Film Festival
Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West will be making its Utah debut at the Red Rock Film Festival on October 14th! If you are in the Cedar City, Utah area you won’t want to miss the chance to watch Wild Beauty on the silver screen.
After the screening, Erik Molvar and Scott Beckstead will speak on wild horse advocacy and environmental protection as well as answer questions from the audience on these topics.
You can purchase tickets to the screening here, we hope to see you there!
As Wild Beauty continues its run on the film festival circuit, we thank each and every one of you for standing with wild horses and showing your support for our film. Be sure to keep up with www.wildbeautyfoundation.org regularly to find screenings near you; new locations continue to be added!
Massacre of the Alpine Wild Horses
Unfortunately, another senseless tragedy comes out of the Apache Sitgreaves Forest this week. Simone Netherlands, President of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group stated that volunteers with SRWHMG had found at least 13 Alpine wild horses shot to death, at least 10 missing and believed to be dead, and at least four that have been shot in the face, neck/and or bellies but are still alive and suffering.
Several foals have lost their mothers and are relying on the protection of other band members, undoubtedly putting stress on the dynamics of this herd.
We covered the auction of previously captured Alpine wild horses in last week’s newsletter after SRWHMG expressed their concern that the wild horses they so closely managed were subject to unreputable bidders. Due to their consideration as “feral” by the U.S. Forest Service, there are no limitations on slaughter. Advocates are calling for better protection of the Alpine wild horses and support that they be managed under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
WBF had the opportunity to behold these alluring wild horses while filming Wild Beauty, and our hearts break seeing the mistreatment that this herd has been subjected to recently. We hope that the individual(s) responsible for these terrible acts of brutality against our nation’s wild horses are found and prosecuted.
This Week’s Call To Action
Write to Congress and Urge them to Stop the Massacre of the Alpine Herd, Investigate, and Bring Criminal Charges to those Involved.
We urge you to help the State of Arizona, and the wild horses of the Alpine herd..
Two days ago, a historic herd of wild horses in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest known as the Alpine herd has been targeted with fatal shootings by an unknown assailant.
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.
Write to Members of Congress using the form below, and 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
Your Voices Have Been Heard: Wheatland Holding Updates
The power of our collective voices has proved to be fundamental in the fight for transparency at the Wheatland, Wyoming private off-range holding facility. We thank each of you who tirelessly contacted the BLM and signed our online advocacy form. Your convincing voices led to great change for the wild horses being held in this facility and a win for wild horse advocates across our country.
In last week’s newsletter we urged the BLM to release a public statement on the conditions at the facility as well as allow photographers and a non-affiliated veterinarian to evaluate horses in holding. It seems that the BLM has followed through with these requests and has since promised the following plans.
Recent updates to the Wheatland Holding Facility website revealed new measures by the BLM to increase public oversight at the private BLM facility. Additionally, in a call with Carol Walker, High Plains District Manager in Casper, WY, Kevin Christianson said the final few horses that had contracted strangles at the facility are improving and hope that their symptoms will cease soon.
Additionally, the Public Affairs Specialist is on their way to the facility to take photos of the horses in pens. These photos will become viewable to the public online and provide insight into current conditions at this facility. The District Manager also cited that the BLM contracted veterinarian would come and examine horses two weeks after their symptoms last present and a State Veterinarian, not affiliated with the BLM, would provide an independent evaluation.
After veterinarian clearance, the BLM will host a tour of the facility’s entirety so members of the public can see the horses and the condition of the facility. The BLM website cites that the facility has also expanded, though instead of increasing capacity, they will use the additional space to spread out the horses and provide better separation for sick and healthy horses. Adoptions at this facility are also set to be scheduled, though they might have to be postponed until the spring due to harsh winter weather conditions.
These are great developments that we have believe have been sparked by the outspokenness of wild horse advocates, and your letters sent to BLM officials through our online advocacy form. By contacting the BLM and requesting insight, the wild horses incarcerated in the private Wheatland holding facility are getting the publicity they need. We thank everyone who signed our Call to Action last week and actively champion for our wild horses, your voices truly make a difference.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Holds Meeting
Last week the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board met in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss recommendations to the BLM’s wild horse and burro management programs.
WBF Founder and President, Ashley Avis, submitted comments to the Board last week, citing Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West’s recent debut and the awareness that the film will bring to the public.
The meeting lasted for three days and the Board discussed each element of the BLM’s wild horse and burro management, as well as analyzed public comments on the topics. The Board brought focus to the BLM’s 2022 expenditures, population estimates, and facility reports. Updated information regarding wild horse management is vital public knowledge, and we are encouraged to see the materials being shared and open for discussion with the public.
The BLM plans to release a recording of the annual meeting soon, so those unable to attend in person or virtually last week will have access to the information examined during this year’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting.
Calico Complex Roundup Concludes
Helicopters were grounded October 1st as the Calico Complex roundup came to an end. The complex, comprised of five Herd Management Areas (Black Rock Range, Calico Mountains, Granite Range McGee Mountain and Warm Springs) has a BLM set Appropriate Management Level of just 572-952 horses within the more than 584,000 acre complex.
According to numbers from the BLM, this roundup left a total of 863 wild horses stripped of their freedom and en route to the controversial Indian Lakes Off-Range Holding Facility. Indian Lakes made news for mass wild horse deaths at their facility and inhumane management of animals in their care.
The BLM’s roundup plans cited that 1,036 wild horses were set to be removed, though we are heartened that the removal number was marginally less than originally planned.
There were 26 deaths from this roundup, many from BLM euthenazia due to what they claim as “knee deformities”. Additionally, many young horses were euthanized due to blindness, though otherwise in great physical condition.
We at WBF are discouraged to see roundups of this scale still occurring in the American west. These dangerous and deadly roundups via low flying helicopters are not the humane management methods that the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was created to uphold. We must use our voices to demand the grounding of helicopters in consideration of more humane management practices.
WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest’s Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader: Claire Forlani
Joining us this year for our Second Annual Short Story Contest as an Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader is actor Claire Forlani!
Claire Forlani began her acting career at 19 after moving to the US from London. She has since amassed a large filmography, including films like Meet Joe Black, Mystery Men, and Mallrats. One of Claire’s recent roles was that of Mrs.Winthorp, an upper class stable owner, in the Disney+ film, Black Beauty.
We are so proud to have Claire as a celebrity reader this year, and look forward to hearing her read one of our finalists’ incredible stories!
Submit your writings soon; the deadline to enter is less than 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!
Celebrate Halloween with The Wild Beauty Foundation!
Just in time for Halloween, we have introduced four new designs to The Wild Beauty Boutique! Perfect for a night of spooky celebrations or taking the family trick or treating, all while supporting your dedication to wild horses!
Looking for a last minute costume? Shirts are available in both adult and kids sizes, so the whole family can show their support for wild horses this Halloween!
Check out the new Wild Wild Halloween collection from The Wild Beauty Boutique!
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
This stunning photo by Jim Brown makes you feel as though we are running alongside one of our nation’s elegant symbols of freedom.
A Quote to Graze On
“We call it ‘Nature’; only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be ‘Nature’ too.”
– Denise Levertov
Maria Popova of The Marginalian dives deep into the misconception of our relationship with nature and the wild world around us. We too are a part of nature, and this is precisely why we must protect the beautiful natural creations around us.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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Join Us On Our Journey. We’d love to stand beside you.