Sunday, June 26, 2016
A Message from Wild Horse Annie
Tomorrow is the anniversary of Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston's death and this year she has a partner in Heaven.
Our friend Carrol Able, long-time fighter for the lives of wildlife, especially wild horses, passed away in April.
In 2014, Carrol gave me permission to share this message and I think it's time to do it again.
I would tell these two gritty wild horse angels to rest in peace, but as long as our mustangs are in danger, they won't.
Carrol Able July 20, 2011
I sat down with Wild Horse Annie
today. We had quite the conversation. I complained of how convoluted her law
had become, how it was now a life sentence for the very animals it was intended
to protect. She listened quietly, never uttering a word. “We really need your
help.” I told her. She offered no reply.
The grass surrounding us was cool damp; refreshing, the day warm and clear. I closed my eyes and imagined a
band of wild horses grazing peacefully nearby. How fitting it would have been.
But alas! Imaginings are nothing more than imaginings. There were no wild
horses and Wild Horse Annie was not going to answer.
Beside me was a small and unassuming
grave marker. In that, it was much like the woman buried there. Beneath the
name Velma B. Johnston, Wild Horse Annie and the dates March 5, 1912 - June 27,
1977 are three mustangs, running wild and free. As I ran my fingers across the
relief and looked closer at the image, I realized there was something
unexpectedly ominous portrayed there.
|image by Melissa Farlow|
The running mustang trio has reached
the edge of a dangerous precipice with no choice left but to jump. The last of
the three is rearing and looking over his shoulder as if deciding whether to
fight or flee. Tears started flowing when I put the scene in the context of the
battle we’re waging today.
I started sobbing like a crazy fool and blurted out,
“Help me! I don’t know what else to do.”
It was then that a voice came to me,
a gentle but strong whisper in my ear.
it said, “Fight like a wild stallion.”
*Wild Horse Annie
drew attention to the bloody deaths of mustangs, all sacrificed for
greed and fought for them. She organized a children's campaign that created bipartisan
support for a protective law in 1971.
Labels: Carrol Able, Melissa Farlow, mustangs, Velma Johnston, wild horse Annie, wild horses
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 4:00 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Wild Horse Politics: Constituent of Congressman Mark Amodei (Nevada)
6/15/16 1:10 PM pst source: legislative assistant
Stephanie Walker, Con. Amodei's office
By voice vote, Appropriations Committee adopted a bi-partisan proposal
to transfer captive wild horses to Federal, State and local governments for use
as work horses with a limiting provision stating they cannot be
slaughtered. BLM was also encouraged to continue exploring contraceptive
options with universities, but OSU's experimental ovarectomy program was not
|Velma Bronn Johnston -- Wild Horse Annie -- was responsible, along with America's school children, for passing the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act which sheltered wild horses from mechanized round-up and slaughter. Since her death, the Act has been legally perverted. Between now & tomorrow, we have a chance to stop a new way to make it legal to kill mustangs. |
Tuesday June 14, 2016
11:30 a.m phoned the D.C. office and was urged to leave a message so that my concerns could be passed on, I asked to leave two questions and get a call back or email response.
1) If tomorrow's Appropriations Committee "markup" meeting includes a proposal to transfer captive wild horses from BLM to Federal, state or local governmental agencies, where does Congressman Amodei stand? I noted that this would strip all equines in BLM custody of their legal rights as wild horses.
2) Who does the Congressman consult for well-rounded, especially scientific, expertise on the wild horse issue?
I was told I'd receive a response from Jason Riederer,Legislative Director at U.S. House of Representatives
No word from the Congressman's office and it's getting late in D.C., so I called again and asked if there was an email address to which I could write a letter that would be read before the Appropriations Meeting tomorrow.
I was transferred to Kate, who told me the Congressman was very aware of wild horse issues and she appreciated my call and that she was familiar with the content of tomorrow's Appropriations Committee meeting. I asked her to please make sure the Congressman looked at the fiscal impacts of keeping horses corralled vs. having BLM maintain oversight and the horses maintain their legally wild status if they should to to state or Federal agencies as "work animals."
Re: Congressman's consultants on wild horse issues,
When asked for a single name among the "vast number of constituents he consults" on this issue, Kate couldn't or wouldn't name one.
Pressed, she gave me this contact: Stephanie.Walker@mail.house.gov.
Dear Ms. Walker:
Kate in your office recommended I write to you for answers to my questions.
First, if tomorrow's meeting includes a proposal to transfer captive
wild horses from BLM to Federal, state or local governmental agencies as
work animals, how will Congressman Amodei vote? I urge him to stand
against this idea. These horses have already been taken off the range,
so the Congressman's loyalty to livestock interests is irrelevant. If he
still chooses to shuttle horses to other agencies, I urge him to add
language which maintains the horses' existing rights under Federal law.
It costs little -- only occasional BLM welfare checks -- and keeps them
from being legally sold for slaughter.
I have observed livestock auctions where wild horses deemed estray by
the Nevada Department of Agriculture are sold at auction to kill buyers
and this amendment would expand such practices. It is an obvious
backdoor to horse slaughter which the vast majority of Americans oppose.
There is no ethical reason for the Congressman to rubber stamp it.
Kate told me that the Congressman "consults a vast number of
constituents" on the wild horse issue, and yet she could not or would
not name a single one. That's when she passed me off to you. I hope you
can tell me who Congressman Amodei consults for well-rounded, up-to-date
scientific expertise on wild horses.
I am a journalist and the author of fact-based fiction about wild
horses. My work has received science awards and been honored by the
American Library Association. My recent book was vetted and endorsed by the head mammologist of the American Museum of Natural History. I would be happy to share my experience and sources in a civil conversation with Congressman Amodei.
6 am Wednesday June 15
No response from Rep Amodei's office
No response from Rep Amodei's office.
Phoned Legislative Assistant Stephanie Walker and had a cordial conversation. She was in the Appropriations "marking" meeting
Labels: BLM, Congressman Mark Amodei, Jason Riederer, mustangs, slaughter, Velma Bronn Johnston, wild horse Annie, wild horses
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 1:06 PM
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Wild Horses, Wild Fire and Politics
Cheat grass in the Great Basin dries out by
mid-June, then drops seeds and becomes tinder
for range fires.
Partial Solution: “Wild horses eat cheat grass before it can
drop seeds,” admitted Les Boothe Rangeland Management Specialist, adamant
supporter of wild horse removal at the Beaty
Butte Working Group sponsored by Beaty Butte Grazing Association, Oregon
Natural Desert Association.
Question: Should we write off as coincidence the fact that massive round-ups of mustangs coincide with proliferation
of cheat grass and the rapid return of wild land fires from every 60-100 years systems to less than 5
Western governors are concerned about the early start to the
2016 fire season and many, including Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval, support
the round-up of wild horses.
Tell Governor Sandoval to look at the facts
Labels: Beaty Butte, BLM roundups, cheat grass, fire season, Governor, range, wild horses
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 9:41 AM