***UPDATE – H.R. 1018 passes***

From: Karen Sussman
Subject: Urgent! HR 1018 coming to floor tomorrow for vote
Date: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 5:46 PM

We have received notification that H.R. 1018 that will restore protections to wild horses and burros by reversing the Burns amendment and more will be coming to the floor tomorrow (Friday, July 17th) for a vote.

Can you please call your Congress person and ask that they vote in FAVOR of H.R. 1018. This is critical to the future of wild horses.

You can also call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask that you be transferred to your representative.

To find your representative and phone number go to: www.congress.org

We appreciate every effort to help save America’s wild horses!

Karen A. Sussman
President, ISPMB
PO Box 55
Lantry, SD 57636-0055
Tel: 605.964.6866
Cell: 605.430.2088
Saving America’s Wild Horses and Burros since 1960

www.ispmb.org

Become a member of ISPMB today!
http://www.ispmb.org/membership.shtml

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PRESS RELEASE – from The Cloud Foundation
June 11, 2009 – for immediate release

Documents Reveal BLM Secret Plan to Destroy Wild Horses

Documents obtained from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) via the Freedom of Information Act by a Phoenix-based non-profit, The Conquistador Program, reveal shocking and detailed plans to destroy healthy wild horses in government holding facilities as well as those still remaining in the wild on public lands.

BLM employees as well as a USDA veterinarian held weekly “Implementation Team” meetings beginning in July of 2008 in which they discussed and developed strategies aimed at ridding BLM of thousands of mustangs. In October they completed a 68 page document entitled “Alternative Management Options”. Tactics included in this document are reminiscent of those used to wipe out Native American tribes in the 1800s.

The BLM team created scenarios for killing mustangs using barbiturates, gun shots, or captive bolts. Bodies would be disposed of through rendering, burial or incineration. They discussed killing 1200-2000 wild horses per year. The document states that “the general public would be prohibited from viewing euthanasia.” Additionally, the Team felt that “increased support from public relations and management staff would also be needed to insulate those doing the actual work from the public, media and Congressional scrutiny/criticism.”

“Minutes from these meetings as well as the Draft Plan reveal what amounts to ‘the final solution’ for the American mustang,” states Ginger Kathrens, filmmaker and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “Despite a huge outcry from the American public last year regarding BLM plans to kill wild horses in holding, the agency is still pressing forward with a plan to destroy our American mustangs both on and off the range.”

Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program Don Glenn told The Cloud Foundation that “no decision has been made to move forward on a large scale with this plan, yet.”

BLM meeting minutes speak for themselves. “Security at facilities and at gathers would need to be increased to combat eco-terrorism. Having the people that are willing to put down healthy horses at gather sites could be a problem. Having vets putting down healthy horses at preparation facility[ies] could also be a problem.” Meeting minutes reveal the psychological toll that employees would pay—“have counseling for employees and contractors that have to euthanize the healthy horses because it is very stressful.”

The report created an option in which wild horses of all ages could be sold “without limitation”. In other words, horses could be sold directly to killer buyers in unchecked numbers. The Team admitted that “some wild horses will go to slaughter”.

“Once they are gone, they’re gone” says Karen Sussman, President of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. “To lose this incomparable species would be a travesty.”

Team Members formulated ways in which they could circumvent the National Environmental Policy Act, asking “How many (wild horses) could be euthanized during a gather (roundup) without having NEPA?” BLM discussed ways to circumvent the federal carcass disposal law (43 CFR 4730.2). Conversations included how many wild horses could be rendered at the Reno Rendering plant or “disposed of in pits”. The Team concluded that “there will not be large numbers of horses euthanized during gathers or in the field. This is due to state environmental laws.”

Recommendations include the creation of gelding herds, and sterilization of mares to create non-reproductive herds in the wild in place of natural herds. The team recommended changing the sex ratio from the normal 50% males and 50% females to 70% males and 30% females. Then the experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22, would be given to all mares that are returned to the wild. Plans call for rounding up the wild horses every two years to re-administer the drug.

“Mares on the drug will cycle monthly and, with the altered sex ratio, the social chaos will be dangerous and on-going,” Kathrens explains. “Any semblance of normal wild horse society will be completely destroyed.”

Kathrens has spent 15 years in the wild documenting mustang behavior for her PBS television documentaries which chronicle the life story of Cloud, the now famous pale palomino stallion she has filmed since birth. “Even Cloud and his little herd in Montana are in serious danger if BLM implements these options,” she continues. “The BLM plans a massive round up in Cloud’s herd beginning August 30, 2009.”

The BLM will not guarantee that Cloud and his family will remain free.

The BLM documents referred to above and photos of wild horses are available from The Cloud Foundation (and below).

BLM – Wild Horse Alternative Management Options
BLM – Implementation Team meeting minutes

The Cloud Foundation, Inc.
107 South 7th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
719-633-3842
719-633-3896 (fax)
info@thecloudfoundation.org
thecloudfoundation.org

More information:
The Conquistador Equine Rescue and Advocacy Program

Cloud Portrait in winter

Cloud Portrait in winter

The Little Book Cliffs

March 25, 2009

Our first wild horse trip of the year couldn’t have been much better. We visited The Little Book Cliffs just outside of Grand Junction, CO. We were fortunate that Billie Hutchings (who has the “Wild Horses of the Little Book Cliffs-Billie’s Space” blog) offered to show us where the horses winter in the lower canyons near Cameo. Tom and I left home around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning (wanted to beat the ski traffic) and arrived at the range just about 9:00 a.m. where Billie was waiting for us. The weather was perfect. In the 70’s with a slight breeze. It doesn’t get much better than that for hiking.

The first horses we came across were Spin, a Palomino colored stallion and his mare Fish.

Fish

Fish

Can you see how she got her name - her star is in the shape of a fish!

Can you see how she got her name - her star is in the shape of a fish!

Spin was quite entertaining throughout the day as he dashed down the side of the canyon, sparred with band stallion Magnum and later, stole one of Magnum’s mares and her foal. All within a span of 5 hours!

Spin and Fish

Spin and Fish

Spin charging down to spar with Magnum

Spin charging down to spar with Magnum

Magnum and Spin

Magnum and Spin

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All the activity probably made Spin thirsty – he and Fish headed down to the creek.

Fish and Spin at the creek

Fish and Spin at the creek

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Coming up and out of the creek

Coming up and out of the creek

Spin and Fish

Spin and Fish

Magnum and Tonopah watch Spin and Fish run off

Magnum and Tonopah watch Spin and Fish run off

We saw a total of 4 bands – Spin’s, Magnum’s, Diamond Rio’s and Laramie’s (who I’m told is the most photographed horse on the range. Well, he was pretty cooperative and could strike a lovely pose). 🙂

Laramie at the creek

Laramie at the creek

Laramie

Laramie

Laramie rolling

Laramie rolling

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Handsome boy Laramie

Handsome boy Laramie

Laramie

Laramie

I marveled at what I saw the horses eating. What looked like prickly sagebrush! I don’t know how they got around the barbs, but they seemed to enjoy the new green on the bushes. Amazing what they can get by on. I thought all of the horses looked pretty good.

Beauty eating from the prickly sagebrush bush

Beauty eating from the prickly sagebrush bush

Choca - Beauty's foal

Choca - Beauty's foal

Choca

Choca

Band stallion, Diamond Rio and Choca

Band stallion, Diamond Rio and Choca

We were also lucky enough to see a small herd of Bighorn sheep. A ram and 2 ewes. The ram had a crippled rear leg, but he seemed to get along just fine despite the handicap. It’s amazing what animals can learn to adapt to.

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Bighorn ram jumping down to the creek

Bighorn ram jumping down to the creek

Female Bighorn jumping into the creek bed

Female Bighorn jumping into the creek bed

Another ewe jumps down into the creek

Another ewe jumps down into the creek

I could certainly tell by the next day that we’d hadn’t had a wild horse adventure in much too long (since last September). After climbing up and down and hiking all around that range area, my feet and calves were pretty dang sore! Hopefully, we’ll be able to go more regularly and I’ll once again become accustomed to the long (painfree!) walks into the horse ranges that I enjoy so much.

At least I was able to relax and recover not far from the horse range at “Nick’s B&B” in Whitewater. That’s how we describe my father-in-law’s place. He spoils us each time we come over so it’s always a treat to visit him.

There are many more images that I took while at The Little Book Cliffs. I hope to have them posted on my website soon.

Thank you Billie for sharing your horses, knowledge and time with Tom and I. It was so much fun to go with someone who has such a connection to the area and the wild horses that live there.

Calling for his mother - Ajax

Calling for his mother - Ajax

A Proud Moment

March 14, 2009

I’d never been a huge fan of instrumental music, but from the first time I saw the movie, “The Man From Snowy River” and heard the soundtrack, I discovered the exception. Bruce Rowland’s music was so moving that I found myself listening to the songs over and over through the years. First I had the cassette, then the CD, then the ITunes versions of the songs. I just loved the music. When I started going out to the wild horse ranges, it was “The Man From Snowy River” soundtrack that was playing as I searched the landscape for signs of the wild ones. And it was on one of these trips that I contemplated the idea of creating a DVD that showcased the beauty of the wild horses through my images along with the perfect music – Bruce Rowland’s powerful compositions. I loved the idea, but it turned out to be a tall order.

I’ll spare you the details and difficulties of licensing music. Suffice it to say, I hit roadblocks with the music/movie companies and spent months writing letters and e-mails in an effort to get things done legally. It was my goal to sell the DVD once it was made and be able to offer it as a fundraising tool as well as donating some of the sale proceeds to several wild horse organizations that I have a personal connection with. It’s no wonder there are agents that do nothing but license music for events, movies, etc. It was frustrating! In fact, I almost gave up. But, family members and friends believed in the project and kept nudging me on – and it had become such a dream to me personally. I wanted to see it through, so I actually reached out to Bruce Rowland himself as a last ditch effort. It was Bruce who finally got the ball really rolling for me. The man is not only very famous and talented, he’s down-to-earth and approachable. I couldn’t believe he took the time to respond, provided me names and numbers and even got his agents in Australia to contact me (for some additional compositions not related to the movie that I used). So, after almost a year of trying, I managed to get the music licensed – my project was on. I was so excited!! I had also acquired the awesome talents of 3 other musicians for the project and together, I believe we created something special to honor the wild horses.

Of course, after what he’d done to help and the fact that he’s a horse person himself, it was really important to me that Mr. Rowland liked how I used his wonderful compositions. Once the DVD was finished, I sent him a copy and waited to hear back. Printed with permission, the note below is what he sent me:

“Hi Pam — I loved it! I particularly loved what you did with the photos during ‘’Cattle Drive” – it just worked perfectly. In fact, I also think that the multiple composer approach worked seamlessly & the different styles complemented each other beautifully! But enough about the music. You have taken some absolutely stunning photographs in some absolutely stunning locations. I’m sure it’s taken days if not weeks or months of photography and you’ve achieved an absolutely stunning result. I’m very proud that you asked me to be part of it and I want to thank you for asking me to be involved. I think that what you have achieved is probably the best photographs of their kind ever taken. I think your work is magnificent! Bravo.”
-Bruce Rowland

His note made me cry and it came at the perfect moment to lift both mine and my Mom’s spirits during a difficult time. He couldn’t have guessed as he was writing his e-mail how much it would mean to me. I teased him that I was going to frame his note. Well, I probably will! 🙂

And of course, many thanks to everyone else that provided wonderful “reviews” of the DVD after viewing it and to all of those that participated in its creation. I so appreciate how it all came together and my hope is that in some way, the DVD makes a small contribution to the protection and preservation efforts of “Our Wild Horses.”

Oh, and yes, “The Man From Snowy River” is playing in the background as I write this…

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Australia's finest film composer, Bruce Rowland

Australia's finest film composer, Bruce Rowland

Like many others who have fallen in love with the wild horses, it was filmmaker Ginger Kathrens’ portrayal of a wild stallion in the Pryor Mountains of Montana that inspired me to go see this horse for myself several years ago. It was an unexpected, life changing experience.

Horses have always been in my blood, but the wild horses hold a special place in my heart. Beautiful, hardy and very family oriented, I find them fascinating. Observing and documenting the wild horses over the years has motivated me to fight for their protection/preservation. The goal of my photographs, DVD’s and this Blog is to better acquaint people with these incredible animals and possibly inspire folks to act on their behalf.

The pictures below are of the famous Cloud – wild stallion of the Pryor Mountains. I believe Cloud is 13 now (14 on May 29, 2009). My hope is that he will always run free on the mountain.

Handsome boy, Cloud

Handsome boy, Cloud

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Cloud and band stallion, Prince

Cloud and band stallion, Prince

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and his grandson, Image

Cloud and his grandson, Image

Cloud and Shadow, who is also known as Hailstorm

Cloud and Shadow, who is also known as Hailstorm

Cloud and Arrow

Cloud and Arrow

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Pearly whites

Pearly whites

Related stories:

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/pryor-mountain-roundup-962009/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/pryor-mountain-roundup-972009/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/pryor-mountain-roundup-982009/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/pryor-mountain-roundup-992009/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/clouds-returning-home-print-available/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/shaman-of-the-pryor-mountains/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/clouds-image-pryor-mtns-mt/

https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/new-cloud-documentary-premieres-this-weekend/

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