A Miracle for the Holiday

What an incredible story. These horses were on their way to Hell, but now they are safe thanks to Jill Starr, President, Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue and the incomparable Madeleine Pickens. And so much for those cynics who have cast doubt and disbelief on Ms Pickens' sincerity. Hopefully, this will shut their mouths permanently.

Please, share this and help care for these horses if you can. If you want to make a donation go here: http://www.wildhorserescue.org/donatefallon.htm  or here: http://www.savingamericasmustangs.org/

May everyone have a Merry Christmas thinking about these horses that were saved from Hell and are now in Heaven thanks to some Christmas Angels.
Amplify’d from www.wildhorserescue.org

Just hours away from being loaded on to double decker cattle trucks and
heading north on the Highway to Hell that would take the 235 little wild mustangs from their Nevada home to the horrible fate of a Canadian Slaughter Plant, Mrs. Madeleine Pickens, a well known and highly respected wild horse advocate made an incredible offer that turned out to be the "stay of execution" these horses must have been praying for.

I was having a conversation late in the evening on Dec. 22 with Mrs. Pickens about the terrible fate that the Native American horses were facing.  So many of the rounded up mustangs had already been sold and shipped to slaughter.
As I was talking with her about the group of foals I am trying to save from the same herd that have not been sold yet, she asked me if we could save any of the horses that were bought by the killers before they get shipped off. Admittedly I was caught off guard by that question, but I was quite happy to make a phone call and see if any of the auction purchased mustangs were still in the killer's feedlot.  I quickly found out that there were still 235 horses on the ground being readied to ship out on Friday, Christmas Eve. 

When the killers said sure we'll sell them to you for the same amount of money that we would make off of them at the slaughter house I called Mrs. Pickens back and told her the high price they demanded. She reeled temporarily by the large figure, but quickly rebounded with "we have to do it, we can't let those horses go to slaughter".

We both hung up with our respective jobs to do...I had to make the arrangements to receive another 235 horses at our temporary holding facility in Fallon, and she had to raise the funds.

By early morning Thursday, Dec. 23, all the pieces were in place and the
horses now have a new lease on life. 
All 235 horses will be housed along with Lifesavers other Fallon rescues until
their long term sanctuary is ready for them.

I have to say that I am amazed by and have much admiration for Mrs. Madeleine Pickens.  Her compassion is boundless and her determination is a force of its own.

I am honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with Saving
America's Mustangs & Madeleine Pickens in this blessed holiday miracle that saved 235 precious lives. 

I hope there will be more miracles to witness in the days to come.

May all your hearts be bursting with the warmth of this season of giving...

Many blessings,

Jill Starr, President,
Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue
See more at www.wildhorserescue.org
 See this Amp at http://bit.ly/e9kTLd
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Public “Observation” at Callaghan Complex Wild Horse Roundup

The latest report from Laura Leigh on the Callaghan Complex roundup leaves me speechless. Keep in mind, Laura is the ONLY observer braving the frigid weather to bring us these invaluable reports on OUR wild horses.

To have her drive for four hours - assuring her that she would be told if there were any changes in the protocol - Laura arrived to find - a change in protocol that would make "observation" even more difficult that it had been previously. Which means virtually nonexistent.

I realize the BLM hates Laura because they think SHE is the reason they look so bad. It's not them, folks, it's Laura for reporting it. These cretins are adults - at least in age if not in judgement - and they are acting worse than even the brattiest ten year old.

I plan to send this to my Senators and Representatives. It probably won't do much good, but this childish, vindictive behavior is unacceptable. WE pay these idiots with OUR tax money, and I'm totally, completely FED UP!

I'm afraid to think what their next move might be. I'll bet poor Laura feels like Alice in Wonderland. I know I do.

Amplify’d from blog.grassrootshorse.com
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Public “Observation” at Callaghan Complex Wild Horse Roundup

After braving a 4 hour drive through snow, rain and fog to observe and report back to us from the Callaghan Complex, lone observer Laura Leigh was met with an unexpected change in blm’s protocol regarding where the “public” would be allowed to view the roundup from. Although she was promised that she would be alerted to any changes in blm protocol prior to making the long journey she was not told that the  access to view would be changed from what she had experienced during the prior days.
While the prior access was not good, yesterdays access was almost non existent although a 60X zoom lens helped enough to capture these images for us. 
Why the unexpected change in viewing access ? There were no blm personnel available to speak with her on this concern, either by phone or in person at the location. 
The public counts on these reports from the roundups and we are concerned about this unwarranted and unnecessary change in the viewing arrangement. 
In my opinion, on a level of common decency and keeping an agreement in good faith, the blm personnel should have contacted Laura as they had promised, so that this long journey out the location in inclement weather would not have been taken for naught.
Why the unexpected and arbitrary change in the viewing access for a single, lone observer who is a member of the accredited press ?
On even the most basic level, common decency and keeping agreements………in my opinion the blm sets a pretty low standard, judging by past behavior.    

Posted by

at 12:40 PM
Read more at blog.grassrootshorse.com

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Pictures and Report from Bald Mountain Wild Horse Roundup

I believe the words and pictures in this report speak for themselves. Stampeding the horses during a "freezing fog" event, no shelter for the horses in bitter cold, new equipment including a "cell killer" which probably had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that every time Laura tried to go live, her cell service would immediately drop out even though it was just fine seconds before. Stinks to high Heaven doesn't it?

Please contact your Senators and Representatives in Washington and ask them if this is their idea of complying with a journalist's 1st Amendment rights. There is nothing so low that these creeps won't stoop to it.

And, get this, Laura was the ONLY observer there!
Amplify’d from blog.grassrootshorse.com
Friday, December 17, 2010

Pictures and Report from Bald Mountain Wild Horse Roundup

BM-01 BaldMountainCCCCCCCCC
Yesterday’s freezing cold and a fog of legends at Callaghan wild horse roundup was nothing compared to reports of the bitter cold temperatures in Nevada’s Bald Mountain today. 

The legend, >From Wikipedia:
The name pogonip is an English adaptation of the Shoshone word meaning "cloud" (payinappih). The English-speaking settlers who encountered this unpleasant and sometimes scary phenomenon when they went out West in the 1800s needed a word for it and they borrowed it from local populations.

This freezing cold fog has been known to kill animals by freezing their lungs.

Apparently, blm thinks its a great day to stampede America’s wild horses to their capture. 

Here are five photos, taken yesterday by journalist Laura Leigh. She is on the ground at Bald Mountain reporting back to us on the happenings there and the world is watching.
BaldMountainAAAAA BaldMountain6 
Basing my assumptions on the past actions of this government agency blm, no member of the public would have ever seen these horses. Laura’s pictures are the only testimony to their existence. Thankfully Laura’s courage and fortitude has her witnessing. 

All our attempts to stream live from this location, so far, have resulted in cell service “dropping” immediately as her equipment was set to go live even though it was clear and strong seconds earlier.  New equipment on the government’s blm vehicles, at least those seen in Twin Peaks, had the capability to kill cell service and broadband connections, much the same way as movie theaters do. I can’t help but wonder if Nevada has the same…….and more importantly, why would they need it ?

And since I am asking, why has blm supplied it’s employees with new cameras and new flip videos ? Why would a blm truck need what’s called a “cell killer”, cameras, tracking devices and other types of surveillance equipment ? Why do you suppose………..
Maybe they should have spent the over 62 million dollars in stimulus money they received last year to put the Wild Horse and Burro Program on a sustainable track and not on high tech “toys”.  The word shame does not even begin to describe this scenario.
I am waiting for Laura Leigh’s additional report from today’s roundup activities. I expect to hear from her shortly. 

Posted by

12:41 PM

Read more at blog.grassrootshorse.com

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The Truth About the AQHA and Horse Slaughter

The Truth About the AQHA and Horse Slaughter

posted from Hooflinks, the American Horse Defense Fund's blog
More often than not this forum is me posting information that I or others from the American Horse Defense Fund (AHDF) have collected and our articles. It isn't that there aren't a number of other great folks working on the issue, it's just that they usually have a forum themselves to say what they want to say. However, there are times when other's work is compelling and 
should be shared, especially when it's reach is limited.
There has long been speculation about the connection between the AQHA and their promotion of horse slaughter. We know that PMU breeders worked out a deal with the AQHA to register the foals that are produced as a result of the PMU industry (usually a cross between a Quarter Horse and a Draft). The AQHA profited by registering more horses and the PMU industry could profit by selling these foals for more money to individuals and introduce a preferred breed for the slaughter industry. 
There are similar connections to most if not all of the organizations who support slaughter. Such as the AQHA sponsorship of certain AVMA and AAEP programs. See the following links:
http://www.aqha.com/foundation/index.html (This page shows that they fund many AAEP research programs and scholarships for vet students)
Anyway, enjoy this article by Duane Burright on the AQHA and their connection to horse slaughter.
This article appeared online on the HorseTalk of New Zealand website on May 22, 2008 (see link: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/features/horseslaughter-149.shtml)
Quarter horse policies part of the problem, not the solution
An opinion piece by Duane L. Burright
Duane Burright argues that the American Quarter Horse Association shows its hand in arguing for the need for a United States slaughter industry, while at the same time having policies which encourage breeding on a massive scale. 
A few weeks ago, I wrote an opinion piece which argued why the opponents of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA) are wrong. Among these opponents is the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), whose standard argument against the horse slaughter ban is the old "unwanted horses" rhetoric that many people are familiar with.
 If you look at any of its public statements on the AHSPA, the AQHA always acts as though it is concerned about horse welfare. 
Since this organization keeps saying that we will be overrun by "unwanted horses" if the horse slaughter business is shut down, one would think that they would be doing something to keep the horse population in check.
But you'd be wrong.
The reality is that the AQHA recently registered their 5 millionth foal (see link:: http://www.aqha.com/news/2008%20Press%20Releases/182008fivemillionwinner.html) and that in 2007 the AQHA reported 140,000 registered foals. That is almost five times the number of registered Thoroughbred foals for the same year and is very close to the number of American horses that were slaughtered in 2007 which, according to US Department of Agriculture records, totals 122,459.
So how is it that so many American quarter horses are brought into the world in one year?
Three words answer this question, VOLUME VOLUME VOLUME, especially since the AQHA endorses the use of artificial insemination. Using this method, a quarter horse (QH) breeder can likely get 8 to 10 of his or her mares pregnant with just one visit to the farm stallion.
Think about this for a moment. The AQHA keeps arguing that slaughter is needed to prevent the United States from being overrun by "unwanted horses" while QH breeders are busy churning out 140,000 registered foals in a year's time.
Now if there is truly an "unwanted horse problem", why in the world does the AQHA appear to be sanctioning what could be referred to as "puppy mill" type breeding practices?
Quarter Horse breeders can make good coin on the horses which meet the breed group's conformation standards, as can be seen by Googling "Quarter Horses For Sale" (see link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Quarter+Horses+for+sale).
As can be seen, the average quarter horse can fetch a good price which targets the well-to-do horse owner.
But what about the rejects, the horses which don't meet those "perfect" conformation standards of the breed? Records show that quarter horses seem to show up at the slaughter plants in very high numbers as compared to other breeds (http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/horsemeat/DC/DCInventory10012004.htm).
It would appear large quarter horse breeding ranches dispose of horses that don't meet conformation standards by sending them directly to slaughter since they cannot sell the animal for the prices seen in my web search. This is the fate that their burned out breeding stock meets as well.
It does not appear to matter to them that many of these horses might make a good, cheap trail horse for someone who doesn't have a lot of money. These breeders have no interest in selling what could be considered a "grade" horse.
While doing some research I came across an article on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) / USDA website http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/eva/EVA_2006_Multistate_USAHA.pdf) describing an outbreak of equine viral arteritis which originated at a large-scale quarter horse breeding facility in 2006. Mare management practices at the affected QH farms were described as an "intensive 'feed lot' system."
When you think of a "feed lot" you think of a place where livestock such as cattle or hogs are fattened before slaughter. I certainly wouldn't characterize a feedlot with raising horses, but then I'm not the typical large-scale quarter horse breeder.
When you consider that a former brand inspector at the now defunct Dallas Crown horse slaughterhouse described the quarter horse as the "slaughterer's breed" due to their bulky conformation and the records cited above, the feedlot reference becomes ironic.
Think about the profits quarter horse breeders can make by putting their industry's cast-offs on the dinner plates of the Belgians with horse meat fetching $20 + per pound in that country. It's a profitable little side business for them.
Since the AQHA is the mouthpiece of these breeders, perhaps this is the real reason the group is opposed to the AHSPA.
The position of the AQHA becomes clearer when you consider its support of practices that encourage the spewing out of thousands of new foals in a year's time while epeatedly claiming that slaughter is necessary to humanely dispose of "unwanted horses."
I'd be willing to bet that the "unwanted horse problem" the AQHA and AVMA keep repeating like a broken record was really fabricated in a cigar-smoke-filled lobbyists' office - the type of place where Charles Stenholm (see link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stenholm) and now Conrad Burns, known for the infamous "Burns Amendment" which basically gutted the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1971 (see link: http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/resources/burns_story.html), make their living.

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Wild Horses: The Adobe Town Wild Horses in Prison

These beautiful, gentle horses were torn from their legal, Congressionally designated range by the BLM over the protestations of many Wyoming citizens.

What's ahead for them now? For the lucky few, adoption by people who will support them in one of the sanctuaries where they can live as close to the wild as possible. Others will be adopted by people who - HOPEFULLY! - will train them into the wonderful personal horses that they can be. They won't be wild, but they will be loved.

For the unlucky, Long Term Holding by the BLM. They will spend the rest of their lives in BLM Prison - sterilized, separated by gender, all under the tender mercies of the BLM on land from which the public is forever barred. They will disappear into the void, never to be heard from or accounted for again.

For the really unlucky - such as the sale authority horses - who can be sold "without limitation" (that means sold to anyone) the future holds nothing but a long, terrifying trip to a Mexican slaughter plant unless advocates can raise enough money/adopters to support them, and there are 255 of these innocent creatures. Don't they deserve more than a Mexican slaughter house? There is a killer buyer in Texas already trying to get them.

If you know of a place where these horses can go and be safe, PLEASE, contact Carol Walker at the links below. There is a link in this post where you can see pictures of these majestic horses.

We CAN save our precious wild horses IF we work together!

Amplify’d from www.wildhoofbeats.com

Wild Horses: The Adobe Town Wild Horses in Prison

One of the stallion pens
On Friday, I went to the BLM’s wild horse and burro facility at the  East Cañon Correctional Complex near Cañon City, Colorado. I was there to visit and to photograph the 1000 wild horses from Adobe Town and the 170 horses from Salt Wells Creek that were rounded up in October and November. These horses are in jail, separated from their families, their homes, and yet they are innocent of any wrongdoing. They are simply guilty of living on our public lands.

Feeding time for the horses
Cañon City is the largest BLM short term holding facility in the country, and it is a unique situation – the BLM has the help of 55 trained prison inmates to feed, water, care for and train the horses at the facility.  It is a situation that helps both prisoners and horses, and on my tour of the facility I was impressed by the efficiency and quality of care provided for these wild horses.  If these horses have to be in jail, this is the best possible place for them to be. I saw horses in individual pens that had come in thin, and were given a much better chance to get enough food so they could fatten up.  I saw prisoners working with wild horses, getting them ready to be border patrol mounts.  They were being slowly introduced to and led over obstacles on horseback.

The mare pens - mares as far as you can see
And then I was able to see my beloved Adobe Town horses. Pen after pen with horses – mares in one area, stallions in another, and weanlings, yearlings, and mare/foal pairs.  It was when I was standing in front of the fourth pen full of weanlings, and realized that there were hundreds of them, that I was hit by a wave of despair.  How could all of these horses possibly find homes? It is always the youngsters and the trained horses that are best able to be placed in adopted homes, but who was going to take HUNDREDS of youngsters? How could they have removed all of these horses when the adoption market is at its very lowest? How could 55 prisoners possible train all those horses?  It cannot be done. Most of these horses will go to long term holding.

One of the weanling pens - blue tags mean "Wyoming"
The weanlings were the most approachable and the most curious.  I had a few following me as I walked along the fence of their pen.

a curious weanling comes close

One of the weanling pens
The stallions stayed far away, and were extremely flighty still, not yet reconciled to their captivity.  As the feed truck came through with copious amounts of hay, they ran and stampeded, running with fear in their eyes.

Stallions running from the feed truck

The large stallion pen - over 100 horses
Those stallions – I have always had a soft place in my heart for them – so magnificent, some with gorgeous long manes, proud faces, all colors, red roan, many greys, bays, sorrels, and one lone gorgeous cremello.

Grey stallion with long mane
I found the older gray stallion who had put up such a valiant fight at the roundup.  He was in a big pen with many other gray stallions, so it was only the distinctive hoof- shaped scars that had him stand out in the crowd.
Older grey stallion
I looked in vain for the red roan stallion who had waited for and called for his family – and hope that he was released.  I did see his pinto palomino mare in the mare pen.

Pinto palomino mare that was with the red roan stallion
The stallions have not yet been gelded – that will happen in February. The horses have not been sorted yet by age, so there are young and old faces together in the mare and stallion pens.

Grey mare and foal

Mare and foal in the pairs pen
When I approached the mare/foal pair pens the mares were protective and kept their babies far from us.  But when we drove through the mare pens, the mares did not seem disturbed, in fact a couple of young mares came right up to the truck, curiously looking at us.  We discovered a newborn foal in one of the mare pens – a bit of hope here for the future!

Newborn foal!

The weanlings - "pick me!"
I spent quite a bit of time with the weanlings, taking photos as I know they will be the most easily adoptable.

I also was glad (and sad) to see that pale palomino colt with dark legs was indeed the one I had followed in the wild, with his gorgeous sorrel father, who I believe was released.  I had decided that I would adopt him, and bring him home to my herd of two other mustangs.  It seems like such a drop in the bucket- there were 8 other horses adopted that day.  I wanted to take them all, put them in a sanctuary where they would be free to live out their lives with their families………….maybe someday I can do that.
Two weanlings
Until then, I am getting the word out about the next adoption in Cañon City – Friday, December 17th.  They are offering an unprecedented free delivery within 150 miles. Contact the BLM if you are interested in attending and adopting, and want to have a wild horse for the holidays like I do. Here is a link to my photos of many horses there:

Two stallions
There was no way in one day to do justice to all of them, but you can see how beautiful they are, and larger in size than horses in many other herds.  This herd has been blood tested and found to have a high percentage of Spanish blood in them. Steve Mantle, who has probably trained more of these wild horses for the BLM than just about anyone else says the Adobe Town horses are his favorite to work with.  Please spread the word.

About Carol Walker

Carol’s images illuminate the relationship between horses and their people, as well as showcasing the beauty of horses at liberty.

Read more at www.wildhoofbeats.com

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Take a Stand for the Horses in Las Vegas

This was written by Brogan Hortan of Animal Rescue Unit. The subject is the so called "Summit of the Horse Conference," consisting of who's who in the pro-slaughter camp including the ever popular "Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis.

This is about getting the slaughter houses reopened in the US and NOTHING ELSE. They lie and spin, but they fool no one - they want to slaughter horses so they can keep on over-breeding to the max and have a convenient - and money making - place to dump their hundreds of "culls,"

I have no words for how much these people disgust me. No lie is too low, no process too inhumane. They don't even care that they will be feeding meat that is not safe to eat to unsuspecting consumers abroad. Their sense of responsibility is nonexistent

Please! Join us if you can. Our horses are NOT food. They deserve better than this.

Amplify’d from www.facebook.com

Taking a STAND for the horses in Las Vegas

by Brogan Horton on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 10:35am

As many of you have heard, January 3rd-6th will be a sad day for horses.  There is a conference in Las Vegas at the South Point Casino called, “The Summit of the Horse Conference”. This conference is a meeting of the biggest pro-slaughter heads in the country. The event organizer is Sue Wallis, the very same Sue Wallis who thinks that horses, domestic and wild alike, should be slaughtered and be fed to our children in schools and colleges. They are going to discuss, "How to deal with UNWANTED feral horses", "How to restore slaughter in the USA" and " How to deal with unwanted and abandoned horses"....  a few guest speakers include:

-The BLM's Chief Bob Abbey

-Dave Catoor- Sue Wallis- Wyoming

-Ike Sankey – Joliet, Montana

-Sankey Pro Rodeo – PRCA stock contractor

-Larry Johnson, Nevada Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife and former member of BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee

-Arlen Washines, Yakama Nations

-Frank Bowman, Illinois Horse Council

-Katherine Minthorn Good Luck, Umatilla, Inter tribal AgricultureCouncil & Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition

-Jason Smith, Warm Springs Tribe

-Tim Amlaw, American Humane

-Temple Grandin & Mark Deesing from Grandin Livestock Systems

-Joey Astling, USDA/APHIS Slaughter Horse Regulation

-Jennifer Woods – Humane Handling and Assessment Tool Project

-Bill DesBarres, Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada

-Chris Gould, Canada, World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses

-Manuel Sada, Criadores de Caballos Deportivos Mexicanos AC, Mexico

            It’s basically a giant conference of horse killers.... the BLM (our government, who is paid with OUR tax dollars) is now saying slaughter is a the only reasonable means of disposal for the "Mass"abundance of wild horses.

We have an incredible opportunity to make a HUGE difference in Las Vegas!

SHARK  has SO generously donated the use of their "TIGER truck", a truck with 4 HUGE TV screen's surrounding it playing looped video. We will drive around downtown Las Vegas, showing the general public images of what they are REALLY talking about inside the summit meeting. Driving back and forth in front of the Casino, in front of the pro-slaughter people walking in and out... Imagine the impact, and attention this would bring to our cause! To be able to EXPOSE the truth to the general public, RIGHT in Sue Wallis' face!!! The look on her face will be priceless, and worth EVERY PENNY!

We are in need of funding to RUN the truck! It needs to be driven from Chicago to Vegas for the Event



- The truck runs on diesel- The screens run on a gasoline generator



We need your help to make this happen!! This is our CHANCE to stand up for the horses in the faces of those who oppose us!



Please donate the following to help:



We need: Frequent flyer miles to get our volunteers to and from the event- Gas cards to run the truck and get it from A- B



Any donation can be made to:


Paypal-  cowgirl101786@yahoo.com (please include a mailing address foryour tax write-off receipt)



Mail Check or Money Order to: (Gas cards can be mailed to the same address)

   Animal Rescue Unit P.O Box 50 North Bridgton Maine 04057



We need to stand together, to be the voice for the horses, for their future!




Brogan Horton


President & Lead Investigator

Animal Rescue Unit

Phone (207) 939-7852

Fax (207) 647-3798


Shark's Tiger Truck
Read more at www.facebook.com


Live From A Roundup Near You! We ARE Watching!

This is Herd Watch/GrassRootsHorse first attempt at live streaming from a from a BLM activity. This is the release of the Pine Nut horses - mares WITH their foals.

At first, the BLM said that when they released the mares after administering PZP (controversial infertility drug) that the foals would NOT be released with their mothers. Why? No one seems to know, but whatever the reason, the firestorm of protest quickly insured the foals release WITH their mothers.

This picture was taken by Laura Leigh who was on site. Videos viewable at the link posted here. Yes, they are not great. Yes, the horses do look like ants. But hey! This was the first time, and this will all be fixed in short order.

Please stay tuned to the blog for up to the minute LIVE video of the BLM in action. We TOLD them. We ARE watching! And you can too!

Amplify’d from blog.grassrootshorse.com
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Breaking New Ground

In between moments of high anxiety, I had glimpses of what we can really do with live streaming and technology that is focused on this issue. We can really make some positive changes in this very crazy situation we are in. Judging by the calls I am receieving from technology companies, foundations and media, they see it too. I even had moments of "wow this is incredible" and we were not near to what I knew was possible, either. 

Considering, we decided to move forward, with system unfinished, since the public was so interested and frankly we did not know what to expect, I am so stoked.

pinenutrelease 119

When the connection for the feed first took place and I saw people talking and trailers moving through barbed wire fences and Laura wiggled her fingers in front of the camera, I was hooked ! I was there, we were there, together. My dream, is to have at least 5 of these at all roundups and holding faciltiies.......and well ....some undisclosed locations.

Read more at blog.grassrootshorse.com

Your Tax Money at Work - BLM Chief to Speak at “Summit” of Horse Slaughter Proponents

December 1, 2010



John Holland

Vicki Tobin

BLM Chief to Speak at “Summit” of Horse Slaughter Proponents

Chicago (EWA) - Event organizer Sue Wallis, a vocal proponent of sending America’s wild horses to
slaughter, has announced that BLM Chief Bob Abbey is a confirmed speaker at her organization’s
upcoming Summit of the Horse.

The event’s Master of Ceremonies, Trent Loos, has proposed solving the mustang issue by making
America’s wild horse a big game animal and the published list of speakers is a virtual who’s who of
horse slaughter proponents, including lobbyists, slaughter auctioneers, horse breeders, fake welfare
front organizations and even a few convicts.

Abbey has come under criticism in the past year for a greatly accelerated program of removing wild
horses and burros from public land. As the number of horses the BLM is holding increases and
budgets tighten, a crisis is inevitable. In 2009 it was discovered that the BLM was considering
sending mustangs to slaughter, igniting a firestorm of controversy. Abbey’s participation in this
event will certainly add fuel to that fire.

Master of Ceremonies Loos is an agricultural talk show host who first gained fame for his
management of a 50,000 pig factory farm on the land of the Rosebud Sioux. The Rosebud contended
that the farm and its vast lagoons of pig manure had been foisted on them by politicians and
successfully sued to evict Loos and his porcine pals in 2002.

Shortly after starting an organization called “Truth Keepers” to challenge “animal rights groups”,
Loos was charged with and subsequently convicted of cattle fraud (selling cattle he didn’t own).
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in his book Crimes Against Nature, accused Trent Loos of stalking him while
he was on a book tour, going so far as to follow him into a men’s room. When asked about the
stalking charge during his radio program, Loos readily admitted it, saying he had to keep Kennedy

When a slaughter ban was being considered in Illinois, Loos promised to bring a truck load of
“unwanted horses” to the capitol steps. In the event, he showed up with a large supply of toy stick
horses which he passed out to visiting school children. The bill passed despite this demonstration,
eventually closing the last slaughter plant in the US.

Also included in the confirmed roster is ex-congressman and horse slaughter lobbyist Charlie
Stenholm of the firm Olsson, Frank and Weeda. Before losing his seat and becoming a lobbyist,
Stenholm was minority leader of Bob Goodlatte’s house agriculture committee. The two men jointly
managed to bottle up HR 857, an early attempt to end horse slaughter, in their committee despite
the bill’s overwhelming support.

Another scheduled participant is Dave Cattoor, by far the most controversial of the helicopter gather
contractors employed by the BLM. Cattoor was convicted of illegally gathering wild horses in 1992.
In the years since, Cattoor has won contracts for millions of dollars to run the BLM gathers. In just
one gather on the Calico complex this year, over 100 wild horses died either during the operation or
shortly afterward.

Bill desBarres of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) will be giving the “international
perspective”. DesBarres is a stalwart defender of the Canadian abattoirs, even listing the Bouvry
horse slaughter plant as a “resource partner”. When devastating undercover videos of the treatment
of horses at the slaughter plants were released by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, desBarres
claimed they had been faked even as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was admitting
they were authentic.

And these are but a few examples of the people who will be speaking. While the event claims to be
open to ideas from all sides, it does not include anyone known to disagree with the pro-slaughter
anti-mustang positions of its organizers, United Organizations of the Horse and United Horsemen.

The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 125 member
organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation
of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

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Where The Wild Things Were from Conservation In Practice

Cover of Cover via Amazon
 Where The Wild Things Were from Conservation In Practice, a publication of the Society for Conservation Biology

This is not a new article, but still timely except for a few things that have been discovered since it was written in 2006 where I have entered a notation. I've also highlighted the sections that are pertinent to the issue of horses being North American natives - which everyone seems to know except those who wish to profit from not knowing. I decided to highlight these sections because this is a long - but interesting - read, and I've learned from experience that those who don't want to learn will not wade through a long piece to find something they don't want to see anyway. So, I decided to make seeing this information impossible to miss. "

Whatever you think about the "re-wilding" issue itself, you must admit, these top flight scientists certainly have no doubts about the horse as a native American species!

Where the Wild Things Were
THE RECENT NATURE PAPER proposing to bring cheetahs, lions, and elephants to North America raised a wild rumpus. But are the critics missing the point?

By William Stolzenburg
January-March 2006 (Vol. 7, No. 1)

The conjured images were surreal, lions prowling Nebraska corn fields, elephants stomping across North Dakota. From there the visions grew frightful, exotic and dangerous beasts swarming the Great Plains, slaughtering livestock, spreading disease, ruining rural livelihoods as far abroad as Africa. When, last August, a group of 12 conservation-minded scientists and scholars aired a provocative proposal in the prestigious journal Nature (1), the journalists who reported it and the colleagues who publicly pummeled it couldn’t help letting their imaginations run wild. Which was at least part of the idea.
Under the audacious heading “Re-wilding North America,” the paper’s authors—among them some heavyweights in the field of conservation biology—called for restoring “large wild vertebrates into North America,” meaning those that disappeared at the end of the last ice age. In the two pithy pages that followed, those large wild vertebrates were spelled out in the more-familiar terms of camels, horses, tortoises, and—as if to make sure no one was nodding off in an armchair—cheetahs, lions, and elephants. Yes, in the United States. For real.
The paper was partly meant to jostle a conservation community suspected of falling asleep at the wheel. At that it succeeded. In the first week following publication, the two lead authors received more than 1,000 letters and phone calls from three continents. They saw their proposal aired on network TV and discussed in national newspapers and magazines. Some of the comments were congratulatory, a good many of them were disparaging, a handful of them were downright hateful.
But too few of the naysayers, to the authors’ disappointment, offered much beyond wet-blanket dismissals. None seemed willing to venture near the soul of their proposal. In their paper they had politely pointed out that the 1492 arrival of Columbus—long considered North America’s standard of ecological excellence—was in fact the “discovery” of a continent already plundered of its greatest beasts. Why not raise the standard, to that more glorious and decisive moment some 13,000 years ago, when people first set foot in North America? It was a profoundly optimistic invitation—to elevate the very goal of conservation—that somehow got muffled amid a chorus of scorn. Maybe it was all just a misunderstanding arising from the little paper’s herculean task of explaining such a giant vision in so few words.
Maybe the authors—who do indeed see a need for elephants and lions one day to wander the plains of North America—had simply lost their marbles. Or could it be that the would-be rewilders—in so nakedly challenging the status quo of conservation—had unveiled a flaw too fearsome to face?


Whatever the reason, no one could say the rewilders hadn’t offered fair warning. The idea of restoring America’s fauna to something more closely resembling prehuman times—when sabertooths prowled and mammoths thundered through places that would later be called Los Angeles and Newark—has a far deeper history than its latest splash in Nature. Paul S. Martin, a coauthor of the rewilding paper and an outspoken paleoecologist from the University of Arizona, has been unabashedly promoting such Pleistocene visions in print and in public lectures for 40 years. Even as the Nature bombshell was hitting the streets, a book-length version of the rewilding proposal was quietly headed to press in Martin’s magnum opus, Twilight of the Mammoths (2).
Twilight is the autobiographical odyssey of Martin’s renowned “overkill” hypothesis, which lays the brunt of the blame for the late Pleistocene extinction—the abrupt disappearance of some 40 species of horses and camels, glyptodons and ground sloths, lions and bears, mammoths and mastodons—in the spear-wielding hands of North America’s first big-game hunters, the Clovis culture. Infused throughout with Martin’s admiration for America’s missing megafauna, Twilight’s concluding chapters are dedicated to their return. “I believe it is time to take an approach that includes not only creatures traditionally considered ‘at home on the range’ but also some of those not seen roaming the Americas by any humans since the Clovis people,” writes Martin. “The Bering Land Bridge should not be shut down forever in the interest of imagined faunal purity.”


Not everyone heard heresy in Martin’s Pleistocene preachings. In a 2004 is-sue of Conservation Biology, Martin and Cornell doctoral candidate Josh Donlan published a paper called “Role of ecological history in invasive species management and conservation” (3). In it they prodded their colleagues to rethink more seriously the pristine myth of 1492. Their paper was peppered with Pleistocene ambitions: “In the process of returning the California condor . . . to the Grand Canyon, should we also return the kinds of animals the bird once fed on: equids, camelids, mountain goats, and proboscideans?”
Donlan’s advisor at Cornell was the evolutionary biologist Harry Greene, by coincidence a friend and kindred spirit of Martin. Greene and Donlan often found themselves wondering about rewilding and how such a seemingly legitimate goal for conservation had apparently gone nowhere. “Most people dismissed it as silliness,” says Greene. “The more we talked about it, Josh and I decided it’s not silly. Let’s put together a working group. Let’s thrash it out.”
The two assembled an eclectic team of twelve—experts in paleoecology, large mammals, community ecology, predator-prey dynamics, invasive species, grassland ecology, the politics of conservation. Among them, of course, was the chief messenger of overkill, Paul Martin. There, too, was Michael Soulé, one of the spearheads of the modern discipline of conservation biology; marine ecologist James Estes, whose unveiling of the sea otter as a key architect of Pacific kelp forests had become one of the classic studies in ecology; and Dave Foreman, former congressional lobbyist and founder of the Rewilding Institute, a think tank for restoring large carnivores to vacant niches of North America.
In September 2004, they gathered for a long weekend at Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. Over easels and PowerPoint and after-hours beers, they dissected the rewilding idea and broke it down to its factual nuts and bolts, its practical challenges and criticisms, its societal costs and benefits.
The Ladder group agreed on several sobering premises: That human influence had utterly pervaded the planet. That what qualifies for wildness today is a paltry façade of the awesome Pleistocene bestiary we stumbled upon only 13,000 years ago. That the difference between then and now is at least partly, if not principally, our own doing and therefore our duty to repair.


Regardless of who or what was to blame, they concluded that the large animals’ absence was to be ignored at great peril. Forests, grasslands, and savannas had evolved in step with the Pleistocene megafauna. Their soils had been turned by trampling hooves, their seeds widely ferried and judiciously fertilized in herbivore dung. All but the very biggest of those herbivores had in turn been shaped in body and habit by their large predators. Were there no repercussions for such wholesale megafaunal erasure? Reports from the field were already suggesting the feared answer.
There was northern Siberia, where about 10,000 years ago 1 million km2 of vibrant grasslands had suddenly vanished. They had been replaced by infertile mossy tundra—a transformation that ecologist Sergey Zimov attributes to the disappearance of a great menagerie of Pleistocene grazers. Zimov and colleagues argue that the grassy Siberian steppe that once fed musk oxen, mammoths, and wild horses was fed in return by the megafauna. (4) Their manure fertilized the grasses, and their hooves trampled the competing mosses.
The legacy of the missing mammoths may run deeper still, to the frozen ground. There, some 500 gigatons of carbon—more than twice the tonnage stored in tropical forests—lies tenuously locked in ice. As the climate now warms at breathtaking rates, Zimov foresees the permafrost melting and those gigatons of carbon being released skyward, feeding runaway greenhouse heating. It helps explain the urgency with which Zimov has been leading a government-backed rewilding experiment in Siberia. Grasslands maintain colder soils than moss-bound tundra. By restocking the tundra with horses, musk oxen and bison, he is hoping to win back the grasslands, to buy time against Siberia’s 500-gigaton time bomb of carbon. 
Signs of megafauna importance have also been coming from the sea. Most notoriously, there is an  ongoing collapse of marine mammal populations in the North Pacific, quite possibly stemming from the decimation of great whales (the ultimate megafauna) by industrial whalers. This hypothesis, championed by Alan Springer and Jim Estes, followed from corroborating lines of evidence. (5) The great whale’s disappearance forced its chief predator, the killer whale, to seek smaller game in the form of sea lions, seals, and sea otters, whose numbers plummeted in stepwise fashion. From there, the ecological cascade rumbled all the way to the bottom of the sea. As sea otters disappeared, their prey proliferated. Sea urchins marched en masse, mowing down coastal kelp forests across the Aleutians and reducing one of the Bering Sea’s most productive ecosystems to barrens.
The megafauna’s most shining endorsement is now on public display in the dramatic greening of Yellowstone National Park under the reinstated reign of the gray wolf. For 70 years following the wolf’s extermination from the park, Yellowstone’s oases of aspens, cottonwoods, and willows had been browsed to stubs by the world’s largest herd of elk. Within five years of the wolves’ return in 1995, the elk were running scared and willows were sprouting three meters high. With the willows’ return, the beaver followed—from one colony before wolf reintroduction to ten colonies at last count. With the new beaver ponds have come more fish and with the streamside groves more songbirds. The list of beneficiaries goes on, from ravens and grizzlies fattening on wolf leftovers to the encouraging number of surviving pronghorn fawns now that the lurking coyotes have been scattered by territorial wolves. (6)
These are part of a growing body of portents to the ecological costs of doing nothing, not to mention the esthetic bankruptcy foreseen in a world overrun with weeds. In short, the megafauna matters. Which brought the Ladder 12 to a rather imposing quandary, that of resuscitating a graveyard of deceased species.
Their answer was, in a word, proxies—close relatives and ecological equivalents that would serve as megafaunal stand-ins, that might rekindle what the mass extinction had extinguished. The country was already well stocked with potential candidates. Not too far from where the Ladder 12 were sitting, some 77,000 large mammals were roaming the Texas hill country within the expansive confines of game ranches. Among them were camels, cheetahs, and myriad species of African antelope. Surviving cousins of mammoths and mastodons were living in zoos across the U.S., and there were some 16,000 working elephants in Asia.
Here was a means of not only restoring North America’s megafauna but also providing a fail-safe for endangered megafauna of the world. Wild Bactrian camels, on the verge of extinction in their last holdout in the Gobi desert, might find new refuge in the prickly scrublands of the Southwestern U.S.
Here, also, was a way to essentially resume evolutionary roles, wherein cage-bound cheetahs and lions might once again hone their speed and wits in open pursuit of North America’s repatriated herbivores.
If all went well with the trial runs, perhaps one day the fences could be moved back to accommodate grander arenas—Pleistocene parks—in the widest unpeopled spaces of the Great Plains. Such was the essence of the rewilders’ ultimate vision.
Word went out in the Nature paper, and word quickly came back, setting Greene and Donlan’s phones ringing and email boxes pinging. News bureaus on both sides of the Atlantic swooped in, smelling blood. Amid the few tepid nods of approval from the professional ranks, the jeers resounded. “Pure fantasy.” “A terrible and absurd idea.” “Impossible.”
African critics savaged the American rewilders for threatening to take away not only their animals but also their ecotourism dollars. One even suggested they were fronting for big-money sport gunners who shoot fenced animals. “It’s not a stretch to say that they mostly thought we were going to come dump a bunch of ele-phants on the suburbs of Topeka,” says Greene.
It was as though the rewilders had floated a handful of trial balloons and nobody had noted the blimp among them. There was no serious scientific challenge to the rewilders’ new Pleistocene restoration benchmark.


A 12-minute talk gains us no converts, says Greene. “Sometimes people’s first reaction is we must be stupid. But it turns out when we give the 50-minute talk, people realize they haven’t thought about this as much as we have. They say ‘Huh? I didn’t know there was a holarctic lion or that cheetahs lived here 11,000 years ago. I didn’t know there were five species of horses.’”
Five weeks after the 12-minute version of “Re-wilding” appeared in Nature, Greene was invited to give the full 50 minutes to a roomful of curious biologists and conservationists in the vertebrate zoology wing of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Greene began by passing around a fibrous sphere of dried plant bits the size of a softball. “It is what it looks like,” said Greene. Its original owner was a creature with the bulk of a grizzly bear, ambling about the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon 11,000 years ago.  “It’s a Shasta ground sloth turd and it’s not a fossil.”
This, explained Greene, was his favorite response to those suggesting the Pleistocene was such an irrelevantly long time ago.  “Ten thousand years ago is only a hundred centuries. It’s twice the lifespan of the longest-living plant on Earth today. Yes, 10,000 years ago is a lot longer than I’ll live, but it may not be so long in some other contexts.”
For the next 50 minutes, Greene serves up more metaphorical handfuls of sloth dung, irreverently bursting conservation’s most precious myths, chiding the media’s worst-informed critics, and repeating his blasphemy: Why not Pleistocene rewilding?
To the notion that wild horses are pests of the North American range, Greene offers this answer. “When I moved to Berkeley in 1978, I bought into the prevailing wisdom there, which is that [wild horses] are the scum of the earth, that they tear up wetlands, and we should all be given old-Model 94s and go out and shoot burros,” says Green. “It never occurred to me to wonder why, if they’re so bad now, they weren’t bad 100 centuries ago?” It turns out the animal the Spaniards brought to North America in the 1500s is very closely related to the animal that once played a key role in dispersing seeds of Pleistocene savannas, says Greene, which makes today’s wild horse literally the native returned. (Ed. note: Recent DNA discoveries have revised the date of the last horses in North America to about 7,500 years ago and possibly even later. New DNA studies have proven that the last North American horses were Equus caballus - the same species as the Spaniards returned.)
To one of the more resounding objections, that the African lion doesn’t belong here, Greene suggests that the African lion is a myth. DNA tests show that the king of beasts that so famously presides over African savannas is likely a subspecies of a more cosmopolitan cat—let’s call it the holarctic lion—that once ranged across the northern hemisphere. If conservationists can restock the U.S. with seven subspecies of peregrine falcon from around the world, why can’t they reinstate the holarctic lion?
 “Here are some other common criticisms,” Greene says, flashing a quote on the screen.
“Haven’t you people heard of rabbits and cane toads?” (Referring to the textbook catastrophes that followed introduction of South American cane toads and European rabbits to Australia, both of which ended up sweeping the continent like plagues.)
Greene adopts a comically incredulous tone: “I’m astonished to hear biologists say this to me. I know that there were no placental mammals in Australia, let alone rabbits, until very recently. And not only were there no cane toads in Australia, there were no bufonids ! We’re not talking about something like that, we’re talking about organisms whose very close relatives or conspecifics were in this country 100 centuries ago.”
Throughout his presentation, Greene conveys a bittersweet mix of vindication and disappointment with regard to the lameness of his colleagues’ objections, their blindness to rewilding’s inherent optimism. But even as he struggles to explain how the scientific discussion has so uncannily skirted the science, it soon becomes clear that science was never really the issue.
Greene flashes another  familiar doubt on the screen: “People won’t tolerate wolves and grizzlies; they surely won’t tolerate elephants and lions.” Here Greene has finally run out of hopeful retorts. “It might be this is an insurmountable problem.”
It turns out rewilding has laid far more than science on the table. It has challenged the topmost survivor among the megafauna to consider lightening up its 13,000-year death grip on dominance. It has opened new and frightening territory.
When all is done, Greene asks for questions. Nothing but softballs are returned. The conversation is courteous, playful, apparently supportive of bringing home the Pleistocene megafauna. But then again, this is the National Museum of Natural History, where all the elephants and lions down the hall are stuffed.
Literature Cited
1. Donlan, J. et al. 2005. Re-wilding North America. Nature 436(7053):913-914.
2. Martin, P.S. 2005. Twilight of the mammoths: Ice age extinctions and the rewilding of America. University of California Press.
3. C. J. Donlan and P.S. Martin. 2004. Role of eco-logical history in invasive species management and conservation. Conservation Biology 18(1):267-269.
4. Zimov, S.A. 2005. Pleistocene park: Return of the mammoth’s ecosystem.  Science 308:796-798.
5. Springer, A.M. et al. 2003. Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean: An ongoing legacy of industrial whaling? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100:12223-12228.
Smith, D.W., R.O. Peterson, and D.B. Houston. 2003.  Yellowstone after wolves. BioScience 53(4):330-340.
About the Author
William Stolzenburg is a freelance journalist researching the ecological impacts of top predators.

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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra