OpEd: BLM slapped down in California
Jerry Finch, September 29, 2013
San Francisco based Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter brought the lawsuit to stop the USFS and the BLM from rounding up unbranded, free roaming horses on the Humboldt-Tolyabe National Forest lands and the tribal lands of the Fort McDermitt Tribe. The agreement was to last until May of 2015.
The first McDermitt roundup resulted in many of the horses being auctioned off to killer-buyers for foreign equine slaughterhouses.
A strong point needs to be made that these two nonprofit organizations, and many other such organizations across the country, are taking their hard earned donations to fight our own tax funded government. In a democracy that is to represent the will of the people, with the majority of us opposed to the destruction of wild horses, we should not need to spend money fighting our own representative government. The BLM has become nothing more than a tyrannical dictatorship that has set itself apart and above any control.
This was a slap down, a small one, that saved a few of our wonderful wild horses from another needless roundup and a trip to the slaughterhouse. What will it take to stop it altogether? More court battles funded by nonprofits? More realization by the citizens that our own government no longer represents us, but instead fights us on behalf of the meat and oil/gas industry? While a small group of equine advocates voice opposition, the majority of our citizens absorb the BLM propaganda and watch complacently, believing that our government knows best.
Less than 20,000 wild horses are left. It wasn’t that long ago that over 2 million of them roamed the plains and mountains of the west. They are almost gone, wiped out by the very agency that we pay to protect them. Chances are very high that your grandkids will never see a true wild horse.
We were all seduced by the hope that, with Salazar gone, things would change. In walks Sally Jewell, and the silence from the Department of Interior has become deafening. We hoped the NAS report would bring results, yet we hear nothing, and the roundups keep rolling on. The BLM says, “We never send horses to slaughter,” but never say anything about the thousands of missing horses. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Something is very wrong in America and you have the voice to do something about it. On the other hand, there are some great TV shows on this season. What are you going to do about saving our horses? The choice is entirely up to you. No one will ever truly know if you cared enough to call, fax or write, or if you plopped down on the couch to watch a comedy. But in the end, you will know if you did nothing. This time the future is truly in your hands.
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington DC 20240
phone (202) 208-3100
fax (202) 208-6950