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Terri Farley
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Saturday, October 24, 2015

BLM Cares Really, Truly, Deeply About Wild Horses

BLM 2008: Killing captive wild horses  “magic bullet for budget problems"

BLM 2015: Killing captive wild horses sold to Tom Davis in 2008 was "deceitful" 

BLM helicopter round-up of wild horses, Melissa Farlow photo
Three years after the public demanded an investigation of Bureau of Land Management sales of wild horses to Mexican slaughter houses via known kill-buyer Tom Davis of Colorado,  the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General issued a report confirming the deal.

According to the Associated Press ”Steven Ellis, the BLM’s deputy director of operations, lamented Davis’ ‘deceitful actions.’”
I mean, BLM had absolutely no idea what Davis had done with 1,794 federally-protected wild horses.


It’s been almost 7 years to the day since my op-ed in the Reno Gazette Journal  quoted then-BLM Deputy Director Henri Bisson who suggested  killing captive wild horses might be a “magic bullet for budget problems".

At the same time, Susie Stokke, then Nevada’s Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager, told KUNR that though BLM spends millions on many programs, “aggressive management of wild horses is the magic bullet for BLM budget shortfall.” 

 2008:  Sally Spencer, director of program which sold wild horses to Davis:

“BLM hasn't yet exerted its full powers” over mustangs. 

I mean, it almost sounds like a policy had been born.

Still, after the publication of the Op-Ed and a longer blog on the same topic, I heard from Spencer who asked why I’d turned on the BLM. I responded that I was tired of lies, and never heard from her again.

The Denver Post quotes the report : “Between 2008 and 2012, Davis spent $17,940 on horses from the BLM... “ and “BLM spent more than $140,000 delivering the horses to Davis…” 
If this wasn't an attempt to balance the BLM budget on the backs of wild horses, what was it?  
Before this report came out, I asked BLM questions about Tom Davis and other wild horse policies. They never answered, so I turned to government websites.

BLM’s Myths and Facts page often lags behind current events and modern science, but it's never sounded with such hollow irony as it does now. 
"Myth #2:  It is the BLM's policy to sell or send wild horses to slaughter.

Fact:  This charge is absolutely false. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses"

But they sent them to slaughter, just the same. 
Author's Note: Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt pushed back its publication deadline to give the agency over a year to respond to inquiries about wild horses, but BLM chose not to answer a single question on the record for my recent non-fiction book, Wild At Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Wild Horses & Young People Fight to Save Each Other

 Melissa Farlow image
We were born to cozy warmth and milk into the care of those with muscles to protect our fragile bodies. 
We were born to grow strong legs and far-seeing eyes 
as we followed the paths made by wise guardians. 
Instead, Destiny tossed us to the cruel. 
We hurt. We starved. We tottered, bewildered, from one hard hand to the next.  
Until, reflected in each others’ eyes
We healed a little, forgot a bit. Too tough and afraid to
believe in love, we still dreamed of gentle hands held out, palm up. We dreamed
a mirage of hope.
The story of a girl named Robin, who spent years in foster
care, and her love for Rocky the mustang appear in WILD AT HEART.
Purchase the book  WILD AT HEART first edition, hard cover volume 

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