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Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

URGENT Call for Help!!! May 07, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 7, 2010


ISPMB 

ISPMB White Sands Herd Dam and Foal

 

TMP Supporters:  I am writing this message out with an extreme sense of urgency. I know that we are all focused on a lot of different avenues at the moment… Calico geldings, Mother’s Day, Massacre Lakes, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. So when I tell you about this urgent cry for help, I fully understand the situations we are all involved with currently. However, this situation is one that I strongly encourage each of you to sit up and pay attention to. (Links and information listed at the bottom.) The following are emails from Karen Sussman at ISPMB from earlier this evening: 

Dear Tracie,

     Thank you for taking the time to read this E-mail.   I would like to thank you for all of your wonderful efforts and valuable time you have committed on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros.  I hope you will be able to help us to sustain our Conservation project. 
     As you know, I have been in the wild horse movement for nearly thirty years now.  Our organization has accomplished so much in our past 50 years.   Our reputation is impeccable, not only with the BLM but with all the wild horse and burro groups and conservation groups in the U.S.   Over the years, we have united more humane and wild horse groups than any other organization.
     ISPMB has a critical need to maintain our Wild Horse Conservation program.  In 1999, ISPMB took a great leap creating a new paradigm in preservation and protection of America’s wild horses by creating this conservation program.  We are the only organization in the U.S. to manage entire herds of wild horses gaining eleven years of data now.
     Princeton University has agreed to collaborate with ISPMB and will be here in June 2010.  Our goal is to validate all of ISPMB’s extraordinary findings.  We were fortunate as our first two herds had not been disrupted, rounded up, etc. in decades of time.   These two herds are the most natural behavioral healthy herds in the U.S.  Our third herd came in late in the year of 2004.  It was this herd that created an eye opening experience as to the effect of multiple round ups of horses and the devastating effects on the herd.
     We know that there are only two other herds besides our two healthy herds existing on public lands whose band structures have not been disrupted through gathers.  They are the Montgomery Pass horses in CA and the Cerbats in AZ.  Both herds have sufficient mountain lion predation that their numbers remain stable.
     I am asking everyone to support us in our efforts so that we can maintain these herds and continue our studies.  There are very few behavioral studies in the U.S.  We are the only ones that have ongoing studies now for eleven years.  I’m sure it is no surprise to you that BLM does not have data or even a solid management program for wild horses and burros in our country.
     Our Conservation program has one of the greatest opportunities to save our wild horses on public lands.  Our data after Princeton becomes involved will be undisputable.  Here is what we are finding:
Because of BLM’s lack of knowledge in managing wild horses, they have created a doubling of the fertility rates in 197 herds by their removal methods.
     BLM’s removal methods have destroyed the horses social structures which resulted in a severe lack of modeling to younger horses by the older and wiser horses.  This has happened by younger and younger stallions taking over the harem bands.   The best analogy is that the Harvard professors are no longer in charge of the harems which have given way to younger stallions who are the equivalent of grade school children.
We have the answer as to why the fertility rates have doubled in the past 15 years. 
     With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest. 
     We have started another study on our dysfunctional herd that had been nearly eradicated over the past ten years on Sheldon Wildlife Range.  Our goal is to find out the best way to manage wild horses who have not had behavior modeling from the older and wiser animals.  This is no small feat.  However, when we are successful in this area, we will be able to transfer our findings to the public lands herds.
     We also believe that the future of the herds on public land are at great risk for survival over the long term because of the breakdown in their educational system through the destruction of their social harems.
     Finally, we will share our “model management” program with the BLM.  Most of the programs that BLM have are from ISPMB.
     We believe our Conservation model has the greatest advantage now to save wild horses on public lands, more so than any other means currently in place from law suits to public protests.  We believe that if we can work together, we can truly solve the wild horse dilemma once and for all. 
     I hope you will consider helping us as we continue our work with Princeton in these first ever historical behavioral studies, helping us to make sure that our Conservation model continues. Working together can create a momentous change at a time when our wild horses need us the most.
  
For the horses,
  
Karen A. Sussman
President, ISPMB
PO Box 55
Lantry, SD  57636-0055
Tel:   605-964-6866
Cell:  605-430-2088]
Saving America’s Wild Horses and Burros since 1960
http://www.ispmb.org
Become a member of ISPMB today!
http://www.ispmb.org/how-to-help-2/membership/
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

(Next email right after the first one above… “Forgot the Costs”) 

Hi Tracie,  

     The costs to purchase hay is $2,000.   We feed hay every fifth day!  This does not include costs for other feed such as Foal Lac and Senior Feed which averages about $1,000 per month.  Veterinary and farrier fees are $2,000 twice a year.  These are just currents assessments.  We will be in need for the next six months until our other funding sources are in full-force. 

Thanks for your help! 

Karen 

This organization is one that I am sad to say I have not come across before; sad because I certainly should have!  (Thank you Louie for sending me in the right direction!) The work that ISPMB is conducting is like the answers to my prayers. Most of you know that as a trainer I have been faced with many challenges  and heartaches by the formerly-wild horse’s extreme lack of trust for humans due to the lack of understanding by the gather crews and the BLM Gather Procedures. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: You cannot effectively or efficiently manage an animal that you do not fully understand.  

Karen and the ISPMB are providing the very data that can give such understanding. And yet at the cusp of their work’s culmination, the almighty dollar is threatening to let 11 years of what could possibly be the most valuable set of data known to the Better Management of the American Wild Horses slip away before our very eyes. 

With Mother’s Day weekend upon us, we will have to work extra hard to get as many folks as we can to see this need. Of course, I have no doubts whatsoever in you guys. You’re just about the greatest group of folks any horse could ask for. As Louie calls us – Annie’s Army – is being called into service. We will answer the call.  

There are 4 total herds being studied by ISPMB, 1 of which is on grass currently with the other 3 still on winter pastures with little to no grass. Hay is essential for these horses to survive. If only 20 of us sent $100 each, we could reach the goal for Monday’s hay order. If 100 of us sent $5 each, we could reach the goal for the next two and a half weeks. Right now, we are focusing on getting Monday’s order covered and hopefully getting the next order set up for the next week. We will worry about the week after that once we get the immediate need filled.  

T. 

How To Help:  

Click the following links for the ISPMB’s… 

Wild Horse Annie – BOOK RELEASE: All proceeds benefit ISPMB, Velma’s original organization! Click here to view the Youtube video. 

ISPMB is an empowering force influencing global attitudes and catalyzing actions for the protection, preservation, and understanding of wild horses and burros and their habitat.

 

 

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36 Responses to “URGENT Call for Help!!! May 07, 2010”

  1. Lisa LeBlanc said

    I had a brief discussion not too long ago with someone; we were bemoaning the fact that, when it comes to ‘management’ in the wild, many government agencies fall short in that they believe the best route to ‘control’ is the most radical and devastating. Case in point: In Los Angeles County a number of years ago, it was decided, in order to control the encroaching coyote population, a massive campaign of poisoning was undertaken. The result: the coyotes tripled their population.
    In Equines, I’ve seen mares grieve after losing their infants, then within a few days, the biological imperative takes over.
    If you’re a wild animal and your family is gone, it’s time to make more family. That’s basic instinct.
    The roundups being conducted in a haphazard fashion with no science-based methodology destroy the culture (for lack of a better term) of the Herd; with the aged mares and stallions removed or destroyed, it’s the same as burning the Family Bible.
    It’s good to hear there is research being done to validate what I think a lot of Horse people have known all along.

  2. Linda said

    “Plan your work. Work your plan.” ISPMB is doing just that. Why is the BLM constantly playing a disasterous and deadly game of catch-up?

  3. Morgan Griffith said

    I have some rescue birds and I see the same thing–when their eggs are destroyed within a couple of days there are more eggs laid and usually more than the original laying. I had heard of this org before but had not delved into it. I will certainly see what I can send to help this very important project.

  4. Jan said

    hi i sent newsletter to madeline pickens and jane velez mitchell to see if they can help

  5. R. Thompson said

    Okay *T*…I sat up and took notice. Donation made, etc. For the record, the findings in ISPBM studies mirror my experience, and that of others far more credentialed than I am. The findings are scientifically reproducible.

    As for why do agencies go off on these disasterous tangents? Simple, In my opinion, and it’s one I formed as a “Fed” myself. All the serious policy and procedure decisions are made at the Senior Exectutive Service level and higher, right up to the Secretariat levels. All of those positons are appointments…e.g., they are all political. Period. To get any change from these folks they have to perceive a gain in it for them. That’s the hard part.

    The Civil Service worker bees below the SES can be good folks and try hard, but they can’t make policy. Abberant behavior becomes institutionalized after a while and no matter who is in the White House, it stays the same. Crazy procedures evolve because they appear easy to the SES and above….and why not, more often than not they have zero experience in the field what-so-ever.

    • Suzanne said

      Right, right, and more right. Unfortunate, but true. This stuff gets set in stone whether if makes any sense or not – usually not.

      I made my contribution too, T.

      I just hope somebody somewhere will listen.

      • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

        Ms. Suzanne!
        So great to see you again! Thx so much for the help and support! And I loved ur article over @ RT’s… So much good info!
        T.

  6. You guys are just the best group of folks ever! In a little over 12 hours, we’ve raised a little over $500!!! That only leaves $1500 to go and we’ve got 48 hours! Let’s kick up some dust and make this happen!
    T.

    • R. Thompson said

      I agree, let’s make it happen. I realize that the economy is tough these days, but every dollar helps. Just do it. I did what I could and I’d love company.

      I’m not trying to be all righteous here, just realistic. The ISPBM seems to be putting their dollars where the work is, not into 4 color fund raising brochures, etc. I tend to prefer to donate to causes I can see, feel and touch, so to speak…locally as often as not…help a neighbor, lend a hand without recognition, and so forth. Good Lawd I want no attention as I’ve been a bastard for much of my life, and would prefere not to hear about it in the future. Doing it without making anyone uncomfortable isn’t that hard if you try. Just keep smiling.

      This ISPBM effort is relativley small, but scientifically sound in the largest part. That’s why I send my money.

      I apologize in advance to anyone I have offended. I certainly do not intend to do so.

      • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

        No offense taken… 🙂

        Thank you very much for the continued support and help. “Winnnnnneeeeeiiigggghhhhh!” (<- the horses saying thank you LOL!)

        T.

      • Morgan Griffith said

        just sent in a paypal donation. Yes I agree this project needs to continue and it is good to support the people who are on the ground working hard and not just dialing-a-donation from a corporate office.

        • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

          Morgan, thanks so much! Yes, this is very true. This program’s work could be the one of the greatest discoveries yet in the wild horse management arena and just like most of us, it ain’t from no office that things get done. Its 430 in the morning, buckets and bales and lots of hooves stompin’ bc ur 3 minutes late! LOL
          T.

          • Morgan Griffith said

            Tracie you make me laugh, I can always tell what time in the morning it is by the sound of the surrounding neighbor’s horses kicking their feed containers or the fences near them, one of them has discovered a piece of metal that he uses as a gong. I didn’t know that all horses are born with such an accurate internal food clock

          • ROTFLMAO! Yup! Growing up on a farm, we didn’t wake up to a rooster crowing… It was what sounded like the barn being kicked down from the inside out! 😀 They definately know when it is time to eat and if you’re more than 2.79 seconds late, buddy you’re gonna hear about it!
            T.

  7. LOUIE COCROFT said

    THIS IS OFF TOPIC, BUT I JUST FOUND IT ON RT’S WEBSITE. WANT TO PUT IT WHERE IT CAN BE SEEN

    Update May 7, 2010: The pro-horse slaughter provisions from Missouri H.B. 1747, that were sneakily buried in S.B. 795, an unrelated bill, were NOT withdrawn or removed by amendment from S.B. 795 on May 5 as previously reported.
    S.B. 795 is currently in a conference committee because the Senate has refused to concur in the House Committee Substitute which passed the House with amendments, including the pro-horse slaughter provisions. If you live in Missouri, find your state senator here and urge them to reject the pro-horse slaughter provisions from H.B. 1747 that are buried in S.B. 795.
    Contact Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon. Here is more contact info for the governor:
    Office of Governor Jay Nixon
    P.O. Box 720
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    (573) 751-3222

  8. jo bunny said

    ISPMB can also be found on facebook!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/International-Society-for-the-Protection-of-Mustangs-Burros-ISPMB/112068515481516

    thanks for posting this, tracie!

    jo bunny

  9. Great news guys! As of late last night, we’ve raised 50% of our goal!!! That’s $1,000 in 24 hours! You guys are the best ever! With only $1,000 to go, we got a little over 12 hours to get it done. I have no doubts and all the faith in the world that we will accomplish this goal. We are – after all – Wild Horse Advocates… We don’t give up! Keep spreading the word!
    T.

  10. LOUIE COCROFT said

    HERE IS MORE ON THE PRINCETON STUDY–YOU HAVE TO PULL UP THE LINK TO READ THE REST. THIS ORGANIZATION HAS TO CONTINUE!

    http://campaign.constantcontact.com/render?v=001mw_CX3BXxzmviLArLA7VahSVvf2i0Xw7uzoxipqjYgQjwsZY4JD9fL2Q9d2MfDpMANOUgteKnYKjch5HLlFzhSiZq0MtUGkptqSfimgCeDxxcRzzNveWbyT9LYI7ycrvImMphNEookw%3D
    ISPMB’s Wild Horse Conservation Program

    Announces

    Partnership with Princeton University and the Whole Horse Institute

    ISPMB is proud to announce that Princeton University and the Whole Horse Institute are partnering with our organization to conduct wild horse behavioral ecology studies. Dr. Cassandra Nunez, Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University, and Mary Ann Simonds, Director of the Whole Horse Institute and equine behavioral ecologist, along with Karen Sussman, President of ISPMB, will investigate the various behaviors of four separate herds under ISPMB’s care.

    The purpose of the study is to identify the critical variables of functional populations of wild equids, specifically focused on social behaviors of individuals leading to the development of a model which can be used for both population management and conservation of critical genetics. ISPMB’s four herds have been managed for a number of years in the same environment, but with each herd isolated from each other. The herds demonstrate cultural differences and thus offer a unique opportunity to study the comparisons between herds.

    • R. Thompson said

      Is this a typo on that website? “$35 buys a bale of hay…

      It certainly doesn’t match current 2010 pricing I am aware of, and seems little shy of single horse needs as well.

      2010 Hay & Alfala prices

      • I just talked with Karen about the hay up there. Before I even saw your comment I was wondering about the quality etc. She was saying that they’ve had the “worse winter in ten years, it was raining all night last night and it was 34 degrees” last she checked. She says that they only get ONE CUT A YEAR! I couldn’t believe my ears. We get four cuts a year here. Granted, the protein content is not as high, but Karen says theirs is only at 6% on grass hay. Their alfalfa crop this year is actually in jeapardy because of the last season freezing temps – as the alfalfa needs the warm air to grow. So, supply and demand takes effect, and you’ve got hay prices that are through the roof. Its tough, and its rough, but its the way it goes. Hence the urgent need for the hay moneys now. She’s running out and there’s no guarantee that the prices won’t continue to rise.
        T.

        • R. Thompson said

          If true, I can’t believe that every hay and alfalfa farmer in Nebraska and Iowa is not hauling north or west to S. Dakota…should be a bloody traffic jam on the Interstate. A price ratio of 10:1 would do that.

          • R. Thompson said

            Okay, I rechecked my skull, dumped the dust and recalculated. Mouth in gear before brain engagged on the hay topic. My bad.

            She has to be feeding “large rounds” of hay/grass mix…which has gone up to $39+ per large round bale….enough for 4 horses for a week as the article states.

            See: Average prices

            and

            S.Dakota availability

            The supply in S. Dakota is scant at best.

        • Linda said

          Just a suggestion – in addition to monetary donations, maybe we could try to find a few sympathetic hay haulers who would work for cost, or negotiate a reasonable cost plus, and pair them up people who would be willing to donate full loads of quality hay (not moldy leftovers)?

          Could the media help with something like this? Someone would have to coordinate it.

          Have they applied for and/or received an ASPCA Emergency Hay Grant?

          • tracielynnthompson@yahoo.com said

            Good thinkin’! I’ll run all this by Karen and letcha know.
            T.

  11. R. Thompson found this one for us…

    Here’s one site that refers to the problem I mentioned that paralleled the Mustang issues.

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/GAME+PARK+NEEDS+FATHER+FIGURES+WITH+TUSKS.(NEWS)-a083850847

    T.

  12. sandra longley said

    I am paying 45 dollars for a 800lb bale of alfalfa, hay prices have dropped dramatically from last years prices and alot of this years hay still available-which is unusual, and will keep the prices down on first cutting this year..the export business got hit hard this last year..The Dakotas have some tough winters…

  13. reveil39 said

    Doing everything I can to help. Also passed the link around.

    • Thank you sooooooo much! There is still a need for the horses, and I’m pretty sure at this point that there will continue to be a need until the end June when everything can get *squared away* with the Princeton collaboration. Any amount at all – no matter how small – will help. If anyone knows of a corporation or business that would be interedted, PLEASE pass the message along to them.
      T.

  14. LOUIE COCROFT said

    DOES ANYONE EVER SHIP HAY BY RAILROAD. ALL OF THOSE FLAT CARS COULD HOLD A LOT OF HAY. HAY PRICES IN PARTS OF THE WEST ARE DOWN, FROM WHAT I HEAR.

    • Its not so much of *how* it gets there, rather its the *type* of hay brought in. Several years ago, Karen had some hay brought in from Oklahoma due to the severe drought conditions in the West. Several of the horses ended up with fescue toxicity.
      T.

  15. LOUIE COCROFT said

    OH. I THOUGHT IT WAS THE COST OF GETTING IT THERE. THAT MEANS THAT THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE HAY THAT THEY ARE USED TO. DOES IT HAVE TO BE GROWN IN THE VICINITY OF WHERE THEY ARE? DO THEY STILL GIVE HORSES PELLETS? I KNOW THAT DOESN’T REPLACE HAY, BUT WOULD GET THEM THROUGH IN AN EMERGENCY AND KEEP THEM GOING UNTIL THE GRASS IS UP–EASIER TO TRANSPORT AND STORE. I DON’T SUPPOSE THAT WOULD WORK IN WILD HERDS, THOUGH, WOULD IT.

    • Well, it is a matter of the cost as well… Transportation is pretty expensive these days and is going to get a lot more expensive pretty soon. Yea, the hay needs to be from their area or from an area that grows hay of the same species as theirs. I’m not sure what you mean by “pellets”… If it is some kind of processed feed, it probably wouldn’t be all that great of an alternative for the same reasons that different hay would not be a good one… It’s the change in diet, and I’m pretty sure we’re all up to speed on just how detrimental a change in diet can be to a wild horse.
      T.

  16. LOUIE COCROFT said

    YOU’RE RIGHT,TRACIE. YEARS AGO,THEY HAD ALFALFA PELLETS AND HORSES SEEMED TO DO WELL ON THEM. WOULDN’T WANT TO CHANCE MAKING ANY OF THEM SICK. BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND WILD.

  17. LOUIE COCROFT said

    PELLETS ARE CONCENTRATED AND HORSES DON’T GET THE CHEWING TIME THAT THEY NEED. THEY WERE SOMETHING THAT SEEMED TO HELP IN CASES WHERE THERE WAS A NEED FOR INSTANT NUTRITION.

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