Obama Agency Responds to California Congressman’s Accusation

Here we go again. The BLM says they don't sell our wild horses for slaughter, no matter WHAT some Congressman says. See, it says so right on the BLM's official pages that they do not sell our wild horses for slaughter so that must be the truth, right?

I don't know about you, but I have HAD IT with this corruption riddled government agency not only illegally rounding our wild horses up and making many of these majestic creatures disappear without a trace - without a trace of accountability on their part.

Even though photojournalist Laura Leigh has a Court Order the BLM still will not give her reasonable access to document what happens during their roundups. With the truly chilling cruelty she HAS been able to document, no wonder they won't let her get closer than 1.5 miles.

Enough is just enough! Please! If you are reading this, PLEASE re-post, re-tweet or whatever it takes to spread the word. Send this to your people in Congress. Send everything you can find. Do NOT let them ignore you any more!

I will have even more for you ASAP. Please get involved! This is OUR tax dollars - millions of them - at work. And, time is running out for OUR wild horses!

Thank you! http://grassrootshorse.com
Amplify’d from horsebackmagazine.com

Obama Agency Responds to California Congressman’s Accusation

February 22, 2011

Photo by Laura Leigh
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The chief Washington spokesman for the federal Bureau of Land management gave an answer to allegations by a California Republican congressman that wild horse were routinely going to slaughter to relieve bulging holding pens.
In a letter to a constituent, Rep. Elton Gallegly (R) of California implicated the bureau in the slaughter of North American Mustangs in the aftermath of their ongoing “gathers” which wild horse advocates claim will spell the end of the species.
In the letter dated February 10, Gallegly wrote, “I believe that the commercial sale and slaughter of free-roaming horses is a horrible and unnecessary practice. However, the BLM claims this slaughter is necessary due to overpopulation in holding pens and the rising cost of care for the animals.”
“The BLM’s position — that we do not sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughter — is stated clearly on our Quicks Facts page(http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_information_center/Fact_Sheet.html) and on our Myths and Facts page http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/national/about/myths.html).” 
Tom Gorey said, both pages can be accessed from our national Website (www.blm.gov).
The highly placed BLM official also challenged rumors spread by wild horse and burro supporters that horses are being transported from the secretive holding pens where tens of thousands are warehoused in the dead of night. The pens, on private property, are funded by virtully the entire budget of the BLM’s Wild HOrse and Burro Program.
“If anyone has any evidence whatsoever that trailer loads of wild horses are leaving holding facilities in the middle of night, we urge that this evidence be immediately turned over to law enforcement so the matter can be fully investigated.”
Wild horse advocates have long urged observers to turn over documentary evidence including film and pictures to federal law enforcement; however, they have also stated the documents should not be turned over to BLM security.
 The story broke Sunday night, however, Gorey did not respond to Horseback’s request for comment until Tuesday due to the President’s Day holiday.
Read more at horsebackmagazine.com
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Photojournalist Seeks Court Assistance in Reporting Access

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Laura Leigh and her lawsuit against the BLM for denying her 1st Amendment right to observe what they are doing to OUR wild horses on OUR public lands with OUR tax money.

Laura has had to appeal to the 9th District Court of Appeals to enforce her rights because the Nevada District Court Judge has been sitting on his verdict since December! Every day that goes by without a verdict, more horses are rounded up, handled with chilling lack of concern for their lives and well-being, then trucked out, never to be seen again.

If this makes you mad enough to chew nails, please help us! Spread this article to everyone you know. Word must get our to the American people about what the BLM is doing to the horses and to the land itself.

If you're willing to do a little more, please help support Laura in her legal battle with the BLM. The ONLY place you can do this is http://grassrootshorse.com

THANK YOU! For the horses.
Amplify’d from www.rcfp.org

 NEWS MEDIA UPDATE   9th Cir. · February 18, 2011 · Newsgathering
Photojournalist seeks court assistance in reporting access

Keywords: Access to places

A Nevada photojournalist petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) Feb. 14 to immediately appeal a Nevada district court's inaction on her attempt to remove restrictions on access to wild horse roundups and warehouse facilities, which, she claimed, functions as a prior restraint.


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Laura Leigh, a wild horse journalist, photojournalist and correspondent for Horseback Magazine, has covered wild horse roundups and warehouses, which are "operated, managed and/or maintained with U.S. government funds and are controlled" by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, according to Leigh's petition.

She claims that, in response to disliking "her published subject and seeking to avoid further 'negative press,'" the Bureau of Land Management cut-off Leigh’s "close-up access to observe crucial moments of wild horse captures," and "singled-out Ms. Leigh in punishment for her having publicly disseminated the videos and photos of the Respondents activities." Leigh said she is "blocked, repeatedly," from gaining access to a matter of "significant public interest."

Leigh originally filed for a temporary restraining order against the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada district court on July 16, 2010. The court affirmed Leigh's right to view wild horse roundups on public lands, but allowed the bureau to continue a policy of gathering horses by helicopter.

Leigh filed suit again on July 23, 2010, challenging the Bureau of Land Management's helicopter policy and decision to gather on private lands, thereby precluding her access to gather information about the roundups. The court denied the motion on July 27. Leigh filed for reconsideration on July 30, asking for a temporary restraining order of a particular roundup that was going to occur on Aug. 2, 2010. However, the court didn't rule on the filing until Aug. 12 and ruled the case was moot because the roundup already occurred.

On Sept. 22, 2010, Leigh filed for declaratory and injunctive relief in the same court as her previous suit. She sought to prohibit the bureau from doing a helicopter roundup of wild horses in an area known as Silver King Herd Management Area until she was allowed access to the facility, but, according to her petition, the court denied the motion because the roundup had not occurred yet. On Nov. 16, after the roundup had ceased, the court held evidentiary hearings, but has not decided on the matter.

In her petition to the Ninth Circuit, Leigh argued that the district court’s inaction is an effective denial of the requested relief; that such restrictions on the press are not permissible; and that a court should not apply mootness to forego review when conduct repeats, but ceases, before the court's review. The petition expressed Leigh's concern that "the [Bureau's]’ efforts causes a chilling effect on speech and expression."

"The case in a nutshell is about transparency. It's about me, as a free press, being able to exercise my First Amendment right and inform the public of the actions of our government and the handling of wild horses," Leigh said.

Rachel Costello, 7:14 pm

Copyright 2011 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Read more at www.rcfp.org
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D.C We Have a Problem ! Wild Horses Harassed and Abused by Government Hired Helicopter Contractor

A problem. Yes, I'd say we do have a problem. The problem is that no one is doing anything while the BLM and their contractors - this being Sun J - have repeatedly injured, harassed and tortured our wild horses, and will most certainly continue to do so until someone with authority steps up and says, "ENOUGH!"

These sadists are being paid thousands of OUR tax dollars to harass and kill OUR Mustangs. This entire stampede and all the others are being paid for with OUR tax dollars.

Not only that, how can these horses they are removing in such a cruel manner possibly be "excess" when the contractor has had to move the trap site several time because they can't find any horses! Clearly, this cannot be excessive population, and the BLM has no right to remove horses that are not contributing to overpopulation.
Amplify’d from blog.grassrootshorse.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

D.C We Have a Problem ! Wild Horses Harassed and Abused by Government Hired Helicopter Contractor

Calls need to be made immediately: Dean Bolstad 775-861-6583, Alan Shepard 775-861-6500, Bob Abbey 202-208-3801, Tom Gorey 202-912-7420 anyone and everyone you can think of to pull this pilot and this contractor off this roundup. Call your legislators now !  These pictures were taken today by journalist Laura Leigh. Copy the pics and send them to congress. There are 8 pictures and details follow.
antelope backside - this is what Sun J is doing
Antelope backside of trap bad contact
antelope backside of trap bad while cows graze
antelope backside of trap this is Sun J 2
antelope backside trap bad 4
antelope backside trap bad 4
Today when no information on the location of yet another new trap site location is given, journalist Laura Leigh traveled to the old trap site and made her way as the crow flies to find the new trap site. What was happening out there in the range to the Antelope Complex wild horses will turn your stomach.
Photos of extremely skittish and obviously exhausted wild horses have surfaced since the early days of this round up and the public needs to get very loud regarding what appears to be not only the questionable ability of Sun J helicopter pilot but his blatant abuse and harassment of these horses as well.
While Laura was searching for the trap location she came upon the trap site from a different angle that afforded her a full view of the gruesome happenings. (And plenty of grazing cows also)
The blm goes to great lengths to deny the public access to view the roundups, especially at the point of capture. Here is further proof of the reason for such gymnastics. 
It appears to me and to a great many other people that these horses have not only been run over great distances but they are being sadistically harassed and abused as well. This helicopter contractor, Sun J has brought in 2 helicopters and while only one helicopter is visible the other can be heard but out of sight, for a very long time and only a mare and a foal are brought in. What are they doing ? more of this ?
And before anyone tries to say the second helicopter is “unknown” we know they are both Sun J helicopters, we have proof.        .
Laura Leigh, supported by Grass Roots Horse is engaged in a lawsuit demanding access to view and report on the welfare of the wild horses from capture throughout their life in the “government system”. This lawsuit is critical and I hope you will visit our website to read the legal filings and make a donation to this fight.
Prior to our first lawsuit the blm was attempting to close off public lands to the public. We prevailed on a First Amendment rights argument and the judge ruled the blm could not bar the public. It would seem obvious by these pictures why they would want us off public lands while this behavior, which appears to be sanctioned by the blm is held from view of the public.  
We are committed to having eyes on the ground and to educating and training others to be effective advocates as well. As you can see from these photos, which are the tip of the iceberg, this is critical as well.
Please support us as we bring these atrocities and abuse of power and authority by the government agency, the bureau of land management who acts under the direction of the Department of the Interior.      
The wild horse roundups at Antelope Complex in NV continue today. The blm has still not updated their “hotline” which is by blm accounts, the “latest” and “most accurate” information nor have they updated their website which claims the same accuracy.
Journalist Laura Leigh is reporting back to us from this roundup which intends to remove 2,000 wild horses from their home range even though only small, scattered family bands have been seen. This same observation has been verified by Ben Noyes, the blm Wild Horse and Burro specialist.
Congress, we have a serious problem and congressional intervention and investigation is warranted. Immediately.
Read more at blog.grassrootshorse.com

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