Whether you are a fan of the American Mustang or not; whether you believe they are wild horses or feral horses or replants of the original horses in America, it would be hard to say that the Mustang is not part of American history. The Nevada Wild Horse site web http://www.kbrhorse.net/whb/blmnev.html tells us “Early explorers’ journals indicate horses were found in northern Nevada in the 1820s. Peter Ogden’s 1828 journal talks of discovering and capturing horses apparently abandoned by Indians.”
The Nevada site also tells us “In 1971 Congress passed legislation to protect, manage and control wild horses and burros on the public lands. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act declared these animals to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” Congress further declared it is the “policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death…” and that they are “…an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
Anyway you look at it, the American Mustang’s history is intertwined with our own.
There is a lot going on in the life of our American Mustang these days. Did you notice I said “our” Mustangs? Many people don’t realize that the American Mustang belongs to the American people and that millions of acres belonging to the American people were set side to protect as habitat for the Mustang. Much of that land no longer has wild horses on it and in 2010 herds are being rounded up (BLM tries to soften the sound by calling it gathering) at an alarming rate.
Currently there are more Mustangs in captivity living on American taxpayer dollars than there are Mustangs living free on lands belonging to the public. The balance tips heavier to the captivity side each time the BLM “gathers” more herds of horses adding thousands more to holding pens.
The American Mustang’s history with free range ranchers hasn’t ever been good. The poor Mustang has been a victim of greed for the largest share of it’s history, but now it has become even more of a political pawn, particularly in Nevada, where the Ruby Pipeline is set to benefit, guess who? British Petroleum or BP as we have come to know it through the oil spill that is ruining the habitat in the gulf. (see part 2 of the Mustang Conspiracy)
I’ve included a video, at the top of this blog, that was done by ATS News with George Knapp titled “The Mustang Conspiracy”, part 1. Please go to their web page to learn more and to find part two. The web site is http://www.abovetopsecret.com/mustangconspiracy/part1-low.html
Friday, that’s tomorrow,July 7, 2010 the BLM is set to start another round up in N. Central Nevada (the largest share of the wild mustangs are in Nevada). The round up earlier this year in NW Nevada captured just under 2,000 Mustangs with about an 8% death rate. (More continue to die in captivity from poor castrating techniques and bad handling). Friday’s gather, Tuscarora, will go on for 3 weeks while they capture another 1,000 plus horses. Think about it. This is the time of year that mares have little sucklings babies. These little babies will have to run in terror for their lives, like the big horses, while they’re relentlessly chased by helicopters from from 3 – 30 miles. In the past, older foals have run their hooves right off, dying a painful death. Many of these Tuscarora babies will die, and even more babies will be aborted. Is this what “We the People” want to have happen to our horses?
Who is responsible for this? Well of course it’s politicians first and that starts at the top with Pres. Obama, who seems to be carrying on Pres. Bush’s BLM policies with fervor. Directly under him with charge of the Department of the Interior, is Ken Salazar. As secretary of the DOI, Salazar is over the BLM (Bureau of Land management). The fellow who is overseeing the Tuscarora Round Up (gather) is David Overcast .
By the way, during the Tuscalora round up, the public lands used for the capture will be closed to the public, while the Government (those people who work for the people) harass and capture our horses. In short, no public citizen is permitted to film or witness the capture of our horses. The horses will have no advocate and “We the People” will not be represented. Do you suppose that’s because they don’t want us to see the suffering babies?
If you have anything you want to say to our public officials involved in all of this, why not drop them (or your Senators) a line or give them a call? I’ve listed contact info below .
Thanks for reading U. S Horsemanship. There will be more coming on the Mustangs, soon. Those contact emails follow my name.
Barbara Ellin Fox
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004
Department of the Interior
Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar
Tuscarora Field Manager,
Senator’s contact info