Over the past few weeks, tens of thousands of you have contacted the federal Bureau of Land Management, encouraging the agency to impose an immediate moratorium on the senseless wild horse gathers being conducted on our public lands.
BLM seems resolved to continue toward its goal of removing 12,000 horses from the range before next fall -- roundup levels to match those of the Bush Administration. The round up of these horses -- on top of the roundups that have left more than 30,000 horses in BLM short-term and long-term holding facilities -- will produce suffering for horses, swamp the adoption program, and result in the stockpiling of more animals, digging a deeper financial hole for the agency and ultimately for American taxpayers. This sort of mismanagement is all the more glaring since BLM has the know-how to implement a far more aggressive contraception program, keeping horses on the range, but slowly bringing under control the reproduction of the already diminished herds.
To draw attention to the BLM's stubborn refusal to turn around this program, Madeleine Pickens, the founder of Saving America's Mustangs and a strong ally of The Humane Society of the United States, has launched the Pony Express campaign. Between now and Sept. 1, Madeleine is asking advocates to sign a letter urging President Obama, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and BLM Director Robert Abbey to stop rounding up wild horses and warehousing them in costly federal holding facilities.
Then, with the help of her adopted wild mustang "Pony Express," Madeleine will personally deliver these letters to Washington, D.C. She's aiming to bring along 20,000 letters; please help her meet this goal by adding your voice.
Also, if you haven't already done so, before Sept. 3 be sure to submit comments on the BLM's new policy proposal for wild horse management, which the agency will use to develop a long-term plan. We've made it easy for you to tell the BLM to make good on the change it has promised in the past -- to steer the program in a new, sustainable, more humane direction using effective, cost-beneficial methods such as fertility control to stabilize and manage wild horse populations.
This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.