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Last week, the famed and beloved Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa, Arizona were in immediate threat of total eradication thanks to a U.S. Forest Service plan to begin rounding them up as early as Friday, August 7. These special horses have been present on the lands in and around the Salt River for over a century, but the Forest Service claimed that they are “stray livestock” and intended to “impound” all “unauthorized” horses in just a few short days.
This is a precarious situation because the Salt River horses lack federal protection due to the Forest Service’s failure to designate a protected Wild Horse Territory for them after the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed in 1971. At the same time, the Forest Service admits that the horses have been present in the National Forest since the 1930’s, and historic articles document their presence on those lands since the late 1800’s. The legal upshot of the Forest Service’s failure to protect the Salt River horses is that they can be rounded up and sold at auction, where kill buyers could purchase them for slaughter.
Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support from the local Arizona community and from advocates all around the world, the U.S. Forest Service has abandoned this controversial plan to remove dozens of horses from their Salt River home and is currently searching for alternative plans to manage them.
Read more and watch video of the struggle to save these wild horses.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet on September 2-3, 2015 in Oklahoma City. Click below for details on the meeting and to send a strong message to the Advisory Boardagainst the BLM’s plans to start conducting sterilization experiments on wild horses living on the range. The BLM is moving full steam ahead with these destructive plans — and we need to let them know in no uncertain terms that this is NOT acceptable. There is not a moment to waste! Let’s start by sending a loud message to the BLM’s Advisory Board, which is supposed to represent the public in advising the BLM about wild horse and burro management issues.
The two-day meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 2, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, September 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The meeting times are local time; Oklahoma City is in the Central Time Zone.) The meeting will be live-streamed at http://www.blm.gov/live/
Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com); please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.
Raging wildfires in a number of western states are wreaking havoc on the land and wildlife alike. Sadly, wild horses are also being seriously affected by a number of fires. We are in touch with various BLM offices and other agencies to gather as much information as possible about how the fires are impacting wild horses and burros. In Idaho, sadly more than two dozen wild horses died when they were overcome by a fast moving blaze. Extensive fencing on public lands built to accommodate welfare ranchers, who use our public land to graze their cattle, always blocks the free movement of wild horses. However, in emergency situations like these, it tragically limits the number of escape routes available to them and other wildlife species. Please click below to read more about the fires affecting wild horses.
Warm Springs Fire, Oregon:
The 64,000 acre Warm Springs fire in Oregon has affected drastically impacted animals – including wild horses – on tribal lands. Our coalition partner, the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition (COWHC) is actively working on emergency relief efforts, including donations of hay. If you would like to donate to the COWHC, call 541-441-8165, or visit their website or their facebook page.
The Soda Fire, Idaho:
Twenty-seven wild horses died near Salmon Creek in the Hardtrigger herd management area, about 45 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho, when they were caught in the fast-moving Soda wildfire.
The horses were found by a team of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees and a veterinarian who were checking the condition of two herds in the area. A gate was opened near the animals, but they were overtaken before they could escape.Additionally, two horses have been euthanized because their injuries were so extensive that they could not have survived.
Three wild horse herds are affected by the Soda fire. The Sands Basin herd has about 60 horses and the Hardtrigger herd has roughly 170 animals. The third herd management area, Black Mountain, was not damaged to nearly the extent of the other two.
As of August 21, 2015, this fire is 95% contained.
The Cold Springs Fire, Nevada:
The Cold Springs Fire started at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14. The fire is burning approximately 50 miles East of Fallon, NV, off the Carroll Summit Highway between Fallon and Austin in juniper trees and grass. Air and ground units are actively engaged in fire suppression activities. Investigators have confirmed that lightning was the cause of the fire.
The fire has been burning mostly in inaccessible steep and heavily wooded terrain in the Desatoya Mountain Range. This fire is in the vicinity of the Destoya HMA, but the BLM Carson City District says that gates are open for horses to leave the area, and that there have been no reports of horse injuries or deaths.
As of August 21, 2015 the fire is 90% contained.
It’s been almost five years since I rescued Rock and Roll. Roll was a real nut when I first got him. He would hide behind Rock and looked like he would spook and run away at any minute. I was convinced that Rock lived that whole year from 2010-2011 to make sure that Roll would have a good home without him. Roll is a whole lot calmer now and much more trusting. His physical condition is incredibly improved with our slow, sequential and logical approach to training. I knew he would never be able to pull anymore heavy wagons or even carry a heavy rider and with the side bones and ring bone, I never really expected him to stay sound and be able to carry me under saddle, but he has attained what I thought in the beginning were very high goals. This is no special training approach…it’s what we do! Rock and Roll were the ultimate validation of my entire training program! He now stands quietly while mounted in the open driveway for the very first time …
…flexes laterally at the poll on his own with the slightest of rein cues…
…walks obediently forward with a slight squeeze from my legs upon request…
…is not fearful nor tense and resistant while going past scary things anymore…
…keeps pace with his riding partner with rhythm, cadence and regularity of gait…
…walks freely forward with impulsion, keeping slack in the elbow pull at all times…
…is relaxed and comfortable in his work…
…bends correctly through his rib cage…
…trots easily upon request…
…stays “on the bit” and has good muscle tone throughout his body…
…and knows exactly where to park at the work station when the ride is completed! At twenty-one years old, he just keeps getting better! Look for “Rock and Roll: The Story of a Rescue” in the “Mule Crossing” section of my website for the complete story.
We want to thank those who helped us keep the 65 wild horses alive and well. The good news is that 10 were placed, so now we are down to 55 plus the babies. We are also taking care of other orphans while we find homes for these amazing horses.
The little baby on the left is COWBOY, and his mama is LACY. Cowboy is in serious trouble and definitely a special needs little boy. His knee is not only deformed but has some tiny fractures, and we have him and his mama here at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang for some specialized care. He needs huge prayers!!! (Just got this update – looks like we might have a plan for Cowboy’s legs. It will be a lil bit spendy, but will give him a chance to have a life.)
We were on a mission to get y’all pix of the horses that need saving. We managed to get pix of Rojo and Waylon’s bands, but then had to stop and round everyone up so we could get hands on Cowboy and treat him. His mama had rejected him at birth, but Jan Hall (who has been feeding them since February), managed to finally get the mare to reattach emotionally.
The rest of the horses need their forever homes. In the meantime, we are needing to raise more monies to purchase fencing so we can lease land for them until they are adopted. It will be portable fencing so we should not have to raise money again for the same thing. The property in question is beautiful, big and has lots of water. In this area, water is worth more than gold.
So we will need to transport the horses, put up the fencing after it is purchased, and then continue to find homes for them. If you are interested in adoption, there is inexpensive gentling/halter training available.
or you can go to:
Paypal – Palominodancer@yahoo.com
to donate for this cause. Please note if you would like your donation to go for the general cause or for a specific need.
You can also visit our website at www.chillypepper.org and donate there.
We appreciate your help as this is the hardest part. Folks will jump up quickly during the “emergency”, but then rescues are left to support these horses and that can be a 30 year commitment. We also have several other special needs horses.
If you have room for a “pasture pet”, or one of the “special needs” horses, please contact us at 530 474 5197.
Thank you and God bless!
After unprecedented and intense public outcry, the U.S. Forest Service has suspended its plans to round up the famous Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and U.S. Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain are among the elected officials who have added their voices to the call to protect these beloved “icons of the West.” AWHPC coalition partner, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and their attorney, William A. Miller of Phoenix, filed a lawsuit to stop the roundup and obtain lasting protection for these beloved horses. With the roundup on hold, both parties are now working together to develop a workable plan that will permanently protect the horses and keep them in their home in the National Forest.
Thank you to the 13,000 AWHPC supporters who called and emailed the Forest Service to protest plans to eradicate these horses, and to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which partnered with us to send a legal letter informing the Forest Service that it would be violating federal law if it proceeded with the roundup. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments. For more information and the latest news, please click below.
“Is this better, Spuds?” “I suppose so, Augie…as long as he keeps his distance!”
“Hey, Spuds, how’s it feel?”
“It’s so hot, this feels GREAT, Augie!!!”
“Oh yeah, Spuds, this is great…nice cool water!”
“Uh, excuse me, is anyone listening? BIG FOOT here is getting a little too close again!”
“Oh good! Thanks, Mom!”
“Just you wait, Spuds!”
“Hey, Augie! Did he just threaten me?”
“Naw, he’s just kidding, Spuds.”
“Are ya sure, Augie?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. We’re all too COOL to behave badly!”
Sincere thanks to all of our family, friends, and followers for supporting AAE. With your ongoing care, everyone here at AAE will continue to give horses a new life as best we can.
We have been a bit quiet the last couple months, but rest assured, we have been busy helping horses, planning events, and expanding our networks. There is much more to come, but for now, thank you for caring, sharing, and making a difference, one horse at a time.
In The Meantime….
We have a new little gal that needs our help.
Bella II is a recent intake. She’s only two to three years old, and such a sweet face.
What you don’t see, is she has been dealing with contracted tendons, probably since birth. We picked her up and brought her home, and she looked like this:
Radiographs show her condition is a bit severe.
She has been trimmed a couple of times, and a therapeutic shoeing effort failed to help.
This is one of those cases where Bella’s needs are a bit beyond what we normally plan for with a new intake, but she is young and healthy with a good prognosis for a happy future with treatment.
Bella needs surgery to help relax her tendons in her front legs. Although not common, it looks like her hind legs may need surgery, as well. After surgery, she will need special shoes during her recovery. With two surgeries, radiographs, at least two sets of new shoes, and treatment to date, costs will likely exceed $2,500.
We are asking for a little help with Bella’s costs. If she does not need surgery on her hinds, any excess funds will apply toward veterinary costs toward other current cases.
Help however you can: donate, share, or send a good thought for this cute little girl!
To date, we’ve raised over $500 towards her treatment.
Thanks to everyone that has donated thus far!!
Dr. Jerry Black Elected AHC Chairman
Dr. Jerry Black was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Horse Council at the AHC’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on June 15.
Federal and Industry Speakers Address AHC’s 2015 Issues Forum
A broad range of speakers from the federal government and the horse industry addressed the American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum in Washington, DC on June 16. The theme of the forum was “Protecting and Promoting the Horse.” This year’s forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health, drew a crowd of about 175 and was held in conjunction with the AHC’s annual convention, which ran from June 14 to 17 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. “We were very pleased with the crowd and the presentations,” said AHC president Jay Hickey, “particularly the afternoon sessions which were very upbeat and highlighted the efforts of six organizations working hard to attract people, particularly youth, to the horse experience and keep them involved.”
PAST Act Introduced in the House
On July 28, 2015, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re-introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 3268) (PAST Act) in the House of Representatives. The PAST Act is supported by the American Horse Council (AHC) and almost all major national horse show organizations and many state and local horse organizations. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) earlier this year.
Racing Medication Bills Again Before Congress
The last few Congresses have seen an increasing number of bills introduced that call for a new, national structure to replace state regulation of medication in racing. Hearings have been held on some of these bills in past Congresses.
Congressman Yarmuth Receives AHC’s Rolapp Award
Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville, Kentucky was awarded the American Horse Council’s 2015 Rolapp Award for his outstanding service to the horse industry. The award was presented to Congressman Yarmuth on June 16th at a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill during the AHC’s annual meeting in Washington, DC before leaders of the horse industry and Members of Congress.
UHC Celebrates 10th Anniversary and Releases New Educational Brochure
This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in 2005, a time in which new legislation had brought slaughter to the forefront of the equine welfare debate.
National Forest Trail Bill Gains Momentum
The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R. 845/S.1110) introduced to help address the current trail maintenance backlog on many National Forests, continues to gain momentum. Recently, the bill won praise in a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing and the number of endorsements from many national and local groups continues to grow.
Equine Disease Communication Center Fundraising Initiative Launches
The horse industry is always just one step from the calamity of a disease outbreak. Our industry is built on its ability to move horses easily for sales, breeding, racing, showing, events, work and recreation and an infectious disease outbreak has the potential to limit such movement through emergency action imposed by state, federal or international authorities to stop the spread of the disease.
Positive Developments on Several Tax Issues
The Senate Finance Committee recently approved legislation to extend retroactively a number of tax provisions, including several beneficial to the horse industry and supported by the American Horse Council. Additionally, the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced their intention to amend the IRS regulations regarding the reporting and withholding of gambling winnings on pari-mutuel racing. The AHC and horse industry have requested for many years that these regulations should be updated so that they accurately and fairly reflect the realities of wagering on horseracing today.
Horse Slaughter Amendments Debated
The horse slaughter issue continues to receive Congressional attention, most recently when two Congressional committees debated amendments to the FY 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) appropriations bill.
Yvette Anderson-Rollins Receives AHC’s 2015 Van Ness Award
On June 16, the American Horse Council presented the Van Ness Award to Yvette Anderson-Rollins of Springville, Indiana during the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.
We have an urgent situation that requires your immediate attention. The famed and beloved Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa, Arizona are in immediate threat of total eradication, thanks to a U.S. Forest Service plan to begin rounding up these horses as early as Friday, August 7!
These special horses have been present on the lands in and around the Salt River for over a century, but the Forest Service is claiming that they are “estray livestock” and intends to “impound” all “unauthorized” horses beginning in just three short days. Because the Salt River horses lack federal protection, legally they can be sold for slaughter.
The Forest Service is heading down an irreversible path to destroy this important heritage herd that is beloved by locals and tourists from across the world. We can’t let this happen. Please click below to speak up for the amazing Salt River wild horses today!
Thanks for everything you do – together we can and will save these horses!!
– The AWHPC Team
Just remember that the land did not always look like this until cattle leases became seductive for the Federal Government. Now they are looking for expanded development and even cattle ranchers are getting pushed out. This is a serious management issue and not just an “either, or.”
We are heartbroken that we have to share some very tragic news with you. Grulla #3907, the senior stallion captured by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from the Sulphur Springs Herd Management Area in Utah earlier this year has died. He perished on July 28, 2015 at 4 p.m. at the BLM’s Delta, Utah corrals while BLM was gelding him, which is BLM’s standard practice for all stallions — including seniors — held in short- and long-term holding. The medical reason given for his death is “heart attack.” But his rescuer, who has devoted the last five months of her life to saving him, believes the real reason was something else:
“I have watched this magnificent mustang in holding over the past five months. We all have seen his sadness in the photos I’ve shared. He lost his freedom, his family; and then, his two best friends were adopted and taken away a few weeks ago. If you ask me, he died of a broken heart.”
You can read her entire moving statement here.
The plight of this proud, 26-year old wild stallion — once wild and free, then imprisoned in a holding pen — captured the hearts of thousands of citizens as his story spread across social media. Now in his death, Mr. Grulla is again tragically illustrating the true cost of the BLM’s wild horse roundup and stockpile program. He is showing the world that the only place for a wild horse is in the wild.
In his name, we must fight on against the senseless and cruel government policy that rounds up and removes our mustangs by the thousands each year from our public lands. In his name, we must stand strong and united to demand humane and sane government policies that protect, not destroy, these national icons.
Although Mr. Grulla can no longer find sanctuary, his spirit will live on in our work.
In Solidarity and Sorrow,
– The AWHPC Team