Saturday, May 30, 2009
Usually when I write to you about a wonderful wild stallion, I'm talking about the Phantom, but another great range stallion found himself chronicled in ways humans could appreciate him before I even knew there was a real Phantom.
I hope you'll read this letter, written by Cloud's soul-mate and biographer Ginger Kathrens. As you do, ask yourself what you can do to help!
I will be at the June 15th hearing in Sacramento. If any of you want to join me, please let me know and we'll get together.
Dear Friends of Cloud:
Today is Cloud’s birthday – fourteen years ago he tottered out of the trees with his mother in front of my camera. Now Cloud is one of the most dominant band stallions in the Pryor Mountains.
Unfortunately I am writing with some less than festive news to mark the occasion. The Bureau of Land Management has issued their Environmental Assessment and Herd Management Area Plan for Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains. Despite all of your comments requesting that this herd be managed at genetically viable levels, BLM has only raised their allowable herd number from 95-105 up to 90-120 horses over one year of age. There are currently around 200 horses on the range over one year old and reducing them to this number would require a round up in which some 80 horses would lose their families and their freedom. The round up is scheduled for August 30th of this year. Allowing this HMAP to stand as is would result in the ultimate destruction of Cloud’s unique Spanish herd. To further suppress the population virtually all the mares returned to the range would be given a two-year contraceptive drug– the effects of which are still being studied in the wild.
Additionally, the Custer National Forest has plans and money in place to rebuild the fence across one of the high subalpine meadows in order to keep horses out of the Forest Service lands (an area they’ve grazed and lived in for several hundred years). The Cloud Foundation will be appealing this action legally and we hope to stop the building of this fence and the hazing of the horses by helicopter out of their home. Under the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, these animals must be protected where found (in 1971); however the Cloud Foundation has never had a day in court to prove that the current range boundaries are not representative of the horse’s historical use area.
Please trust that the Cloud Foundation will be doing our very best to legally stop the building of this fence and insure a viable future for the Pryor herd. We will keep you updated on what you can do to protest these recent decisions and continue to work for the freedom of all wild horses. Please continue to lobby your Representatives to pass H.R. 1018, the Restoring our American Mustang (ROAM) Act. We hope this Act will be voted on in the House soon and move quickly to the Senate. Another opportunity to stand up and speak for the preservation of our wild herds is the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting on June 15th in Sacramento, California. Please join me there on behalf of our wild horse and encourage any friends you have in the area to come as well.
Please continue to support our wild horses and the Cloud Foundation—with a massive round up on the horizon and the Forest Service’s desire to banish the horses from their home, we need you to stick with us.
My birthday wish for Cloud is the same this year as every year: May you live your life with your family in freedom.
Volunteer Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
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Terri Farley @ 11:34 AM
Wow! He's a real beauty-he looks like the Phantom and Snowfire! Oh by the way Terri I got Galloping Gold as a present and it was AWESOME! Really really hope you write more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, I love Cloud. He's such a beauty. Happy Birthday Boy! I wish I could be there on the 15th...