“The proposed ‘final’ management plan is outrageous,” says Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “They want to wipe out all the wild horses and burros at the Sheldon Refuge. They have no respect for the stakeholders or biodiversity.”
Robin Warren leads youth campaign for Protect Mustangs
For immediate release:
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (July 16, 2012)–Since joining Protect Mustangs in June as their new youth campaign director, Robin Warren, age 11, has met with a Nevada State Senator, documented wild horses on the range, was a featured speaker at the Stop the Roundups rally in California’s capital and gave oral comments at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) helicopter hearing also in the golden state. At the hearing, Warren presented the BLM representative with her Petition to Save Wild Mustangs asking the BLM to stop helicopter roundups.
“It’s not fair that the Bureau of Land Management has an exemption to the law that protects wild horses and burros,” states Robin Warren, youth campaign director for Protect Mustangs. “We want cruel helicopter roundups to stop and we want to make sure they always have access to clean water.”
The petition reads:
“We, the undersigned, do respectfully request that the Bureau of Land Management adhere to the same rules and regulations as the general public in regards to the humane treatment of wild horses and burros. We find it unreasonable that the Secretary of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, or any person or organization, is found to be exempt from our collective responsibility as humans to treat animals humanely. We further find it unreasonable that the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture are permitted to define “humane” as it pertains to their own areas of command. We respectfully request that the Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 be restored to its original intent, that no person or organization would be permitted to capture wild horses and burros by means of motorized vehicles, or by polluting or closing off watering holes, as these methods have been proven inhumane.”
Warren started the petition 3 years ago under her pen name Wild Mustang Robin–to stop the wild horse roundups. She was inspired to co-author the petition after reading “Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West” by Marguerite Henry.
She has been active in her hometown, Las Vegas, and over the internet to get signatures. After posting the petition online at Change.org she received signatures from 50 States, DC, Puerto Rico & and more than 30 countries.
At last week’s helicopter use hearing in Sacramento, Warren presented 2770 signatures from her petition to Amy Dumas, the BLM representative.”Kids don’t want to see wild horses in zoos,” states Warren. “We want to observe them roaming on the open range with their families.”
Warren’s speech at the BLM helicopter use hearing received a standing ovation from the audience.
“Robin speaks for the youth of America and touches people’s hearts across the nation,” says Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “She wants the wild horses to be protected–not harassed and torn from their families forever.”
Copy of Robin’s speech to BLM delivered as a letter at the hearing:
Robin Warren Director of the Youth Program Protect Mustangs P.O. Box 5661 Berkley, CA 94705
Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240
James G. Kenna & Amy Dumas
BLM Wild Horse and Burro State Director, and Program
California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W1834
Sacramento, CA 95825
July 10th, 2012
Re: Helicopter Roundups
Dear Messrs. Mike Pool and James Kenna and Ms. Amy Dumas;
Hi I am Wild Mustang Robin, Director of the Youth Campaign at Protect Mustangs; I came here today to talk about the mustangs. I am happy see there are many people here who could come today to say no to the roundups. First of all I would like to say the roundups are inhumane. There is a law made by Wild Horse Annie saying you cannot use motorized vehicles to round up the wild horses. If I – or even the President – was to round them up I would get arrested. Now there is one interesting thing: the BLM gets an exemption even though it is a law not to use motorized vehicles.
Helicopters are like monsters to the mustangs; children do not want America’s animals to be scared or hurt in anyway. This makes kids feel unsafe because they don’t want to have monsters in their life and children are like animals (they don’t have a voice really). The helicopters are so scary that the mustangs remember the noise for the rest of their lives. I went to the BLM holding facility in Sparks, NV and when we were walking a slow pace the horses got scared and ran away. They were scared of people walking – how do you think they feel about helicopters?
Another reason the roundups are inhumane is because they separate the families apart – the foals from the mothers and the mothers from the fathers. They might spend the rest of their lives behind gates and never see each other again. Their ability to have families is a gift because many creatures have to let their babies live on their own after a few weeks of them taking care of them. I know how it feels because I lost my whole family. I have found a new home and happiness but the mustangs may never get to be in a herd again – and they long for family. It is not humane to separate families from each other. How would you feel if you lost your family?
A much more humane idea is to keep the family bands whole and send them all together to sanctuaries. It is an idea that would save money and make money as a tourist attraction – a business like a hotel near where the mustangs and burros live. This is a great idea and it can cost less than feeding, watering, and taking care of them when they can take care of themselves. It could make money for all the states where mustangs still live – both yours and mine.
The mustangs and burros deserve to be treated right. I know that and a numerous amount of others do too. Many people care about the wild horses and burros and do not want any of them rounded up or eaten. There are the big names you know, that spoke before me, and then there are the “little names” you don’t know yet, like mine. I represent the voices of many children.
Please do not use helicopters or motorized vehicles for roundups or management. Please reconsider your roundup plans and let them live in freedom.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume a roundup of wild horses about 150 miles northeast of Reno on Sunday, nearly two weeks after a federal judge temporarily halted it due to foaling season.
With the end of foaling season Saturday, BLM officials said, they plan to begin removing about 200 horses from the northern portion of the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area.
U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben on June 20 granted part of a temporary restraining order sought by horse protection advocates who say the BLM’s own rules prohibit helicopter roundups during foaling season.
He allowed the roundup to continue in the southern portion of the Jackson Mountains because BLM had proven an emergency due to drought. An emergency roundup there began June 8 and ended June 22 with the removal of 424 horses.
But he said that emergency didn’t stretch to the northern half of the target area covering a total of more than 400 square miles east of the Black Rock Desert. He said no helicopters could be used there at least until foaling season ended June 30.
The rest of the roundup in the southern portion of the Jackson Mountains is expected to last about two weeks.
The roundup, which will involve the use of a helicopter to drive horses for miles to corrals, is needed because of a lack of forage and water on the range due to the drought, BLM officials said.
“Gathering the remainder of the excess animals in the northern portion will greatly assist the rangelands from a forage and water standpoint and will reduce the competition among the wild horses, permitted livestock and wildlife,” said Gene Seidlitz, BLM Winnemucca District manager.
Horses removed from the range are taken to the BLM’s Palomino Valley center north of Reno, where they’re put up for adoption or sent to long-term pastures in the Midwest.
The roundup in the southern portion of the Jackson Mountains resulted in the “gather-related” death of only one horse and the “non-gather-related” deaths of six horses due to pre-existing health conditions, BLM spokeswoman Heather Jasinski said.
“We put them down in the field at the trap site or temporary holding corrals,” she said, adding another three horses died after being transported to the Palomino Valley facility.
Anne Novak, executive director of California-based Protect Mustangs, said the animals probably would be alive today had they not been rounded up.
“Curiously, these wild horses were surviving on the range and only died at the hands of the BLM after being captured,” she said. “We want transparency and request that all deaths be counted as roundup-related when they die or are euthanized within 30 days of the roundup.”
The helicopter roundup puts pregnant mares and tiny foals “seriously at risk,” Novak added.
“Just because it’s July 1 doesn’t mean foals aren’t being born,” she said. “Running foals with delicate hooves for miles is inhumane … Helicopter roundups are terrible. They traumatize the wild horses when they stampede them for miles.”
Nevada is home to about half of the estimated 37,000 wild horses on public lands in 10 Western states.