ISPMB’s Karen Sussman Speaks Out Against Massive Removals
Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 13, 2010
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From Karen Sussman, ISPMB:
I’m going to get right to the point! In my thirty years of experience, nothing has stopped the BLM from removing large numbers of wild horses who have little to do with damage to the habitat. The 1990 GAO (Government Accountability Office) detailed how BLM’s refusal to remove the same percentage of livestock as they had horses did little to improve the habitat. So why does BLM continue on the same path? The habitat has been in a static to downward trend for years! So the excuse that wild horses are damaging the habitat cannot be used!
Here is the key!
When BLM lost to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in the late 80’s, wild horse removals came to a standstill for three years! BLM had to come up with another venue to remove wild horses. IBLA clearly stated that BLM had to determine that the horses were causing damage to the habitat – defining further what “excess” meant. The ONLY WAY they can define excess is through CURRENT monitoring and inventorying studies. When BLM spends less than 3% of their budget on monitoring and inventorying, how could anyone believe that BLM has the correct data to remove horses! Thus EMERGENCY GATHERS were invented.
There is no reason to remove wild horses due to emergency gathers! The BLM regulations clearly point out that livestock should be removed in lieu of wild horses but declared emergencies continue.
So what do we do about this?
ISPMB has been documenting wild horse behaviors on our wild herds now for eleven years. We have enough documentation to show that BLM’s constant removals of wild horses have contributed the destruction the herds’ social structures creating an increase in wild horse numbers due to the deterioration of their education system. Simply put – when wild horses are rounded up and then returned to the wild (selective removals) – leaving the gates open and horses to fend for themselves as they return to their habitat areas (contracepted or not) the younger stallions will take the opportunity to steal mares away from the older stallions that truly contain the herd wisdom. Over time, mentoring of the bands by younger stallions has led to breeding younger and younger fillies.
This behavior could lead to the loss of survival of wild herds over the long term!
We know that our studies will lead to the end of helicopter gathers by the BLM. That BLM will only be able to remove horses through bait or water trapping leaving band structures intact.
We must continue our studies! We need your help! We must raise enough money to feed our horses through winter. That means we must purchase 3,000 bales of hay before October! Each bale is $35. If we cannot raise this amount, we will have to disperse our herds and with that our studies! I believe our studies will be the only way that we can protect our wild horses on public lands.
We will present BLM with a management plan for wild horses before their latest deadline of September 3rd to respond to the Salazar plan. We also will present our plan to Congress. In thirty-nine years of the Act, BLM still manages wild horses like livestock and not wildlife. We have a solid plan we are putting together along with scientific references from Universities who have studied equids. We hope BLM will follow our plan. However, if they choose not to, then we must be prepared to take legal action. How simple this could be since this plea is being sent to more than 3,000 people on our list! If each of you could send $35 we would be set for winter. The future of all wild horses in our country depends upon our studies. I hope you can help today with a donation of $35.00! And please forward this to as many friends as possible.
Who is ISPMB?
ISPMB and our leader Wild Horse Annie brought you the 1971 law to protect wild horses and burros. We have been a leader in the field of preservation and protection of wild horses and burros. In 1999, we created a new paradigm in wild horse preservation by taking our first herd. The handwriting was on the wall showing that BLM would continue to remove wild horses regardless of any appeal, lawsuit, or uproar by the public. Little did we realize that we would acquire two wild horse herds whose band structures were intact for decades of time! This baseline data is key to understanding behaviors of wild horses that had not been manipulated, removed, gathered for decades of time. In other words, these herds are exhibiting healthy behaviors because their social structures had not been destroyed by constant gathers. Our third herd is the herd that showed us what happens when a herd is continually disrupted through removals destroying their social structures. Our Wild Horse Conservation program is the only one of its kind in the United States. We do not receive any federal money. Each dollar raised comes from the private sector. The majority of our money raised goes to our Conservation program. ISPMB wants to thank all of those who have helped us in the fight TO SAVE THE WILD HORSES for 50 Years!Karen Sussman, President 605-964-6866 email@example.com Buy Now
All proceeds benefit ISPMB, Velma’s original organization! Click here to view the YouTube video “This important addition to the history of mustangs and animal protection laws is highly recommended for animal lovers and Western history buffs.” – Library Journal, starred review