COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- August 28, 2009:The Cloud Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue have filed a
lawsuit and a request for an injunction in Federal Court in Washington,
DC to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from removing horses from
the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, and to stop the unprecedented round
up of the Pryor Wild Horses slated to begin September 1, 2009.
The appellants argue that this removal of 70 horses will leave this
unique and historical herd genetically non-viable and unable to sustain
itself into the future. According to noted equine geneticist, Gus
Cothran, Ph.D. of Texas A&M University, “… a census population of
150-200 is required to achieve the minimum effective population size….
The [Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd] has been one of the most important
and visible herds within the BLM Wild Horse Program and it is important
that it stays viable.”
The Bureau of Land Management is circumventing Congress’ wishes that
wild horses be protected in the American West. The House just passed the
Restore Our American Mustangs (ROAM) act and the Senate will
review this bill (now S.1579) when they return from recess in September.
“Is BLM just trying to do as much irrevocable damage to America's wild
horses as fast as they can before the Senate can act?” asks Ginger
Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation.
“Right now there are twelve entire herds being eliminated from 1.4
million acres near Ely, Nevada because these lands are suddenly not
appropriate for wild horses,” Kathrens continues. “However, no action
has been made to reduce cattle grazing in these areas.” There are no
grazing permits in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range and reasons for
holding an unprecedented removal this year are not clear. The range and
adjacent lands are in excellent condition following three years of
Cloud and the wild horses of Montana’s Pryor Mountains are world
famous but fame and an outcry from the American public does not seem to
impact the BLM’s plans. There are currently only 190 wild horses (one
year and older) living in the spectacular Pryor Mountains. The BLM plans
to remove 70 of them, including young foals and older horses who could
be sold directly to killer buyers.
The Pryor Mountain wild horses are descendants of the Lewis and Clark
horses who were stolen by the Crow Indians in the early 1800's. George
Reed, Secretary of Cultural Education for the Crow Tribe Executive
Branch, wrote in 2006: “We advocate preserving our heritage, culture and
language, and these Pryor wild horses are part of our culture.”
The Cloud Foundation
CALL, FAX AND THEN HAVE YOUR
FRIENDS CALL AND FAX!
The white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a
thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who
shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand
how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo
that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would
die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the
beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the
ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell
your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach
your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our
mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men
spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the
earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which
unites one family. All things are connected.
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to
friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers
after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one
day discover; our God is the same God.
You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but
you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the
red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the
earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass;
perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you
will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of
the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave
you dominion over this land and over the red man.
That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the
buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret
corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of
the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival.