Saving The Onaqui Pt 8
There has been such an outpouring of love, support and passion to help the Onaqui wild horses retain/regain their freedom, their families and their lives in the past few months it is absolutely beautiful to see.
I think it’s important to note before I get started on ways to coordinate and help that there are SO many other wild horse herds in the US that face the same fate. I am so blessed to be able to share stories of our Onaqui and allow people who maybe never met them to get a glimpse into their social bonds and personalities. Just because there isn’t someone doing the same thing at the other less known HMA’s doesn’t mean that those horses are any less special, social or bonded with eachother.
At the very end of this blog I’ve included links to the past 7 blogs which offer not only statistics and facts, but links to back them up, ways to help and people to contact.
Here are some very basic ways that we can all unite together right now and moving forward to hopefully enable change to happen and help our wild horses continue to live wild and free as the national treasures that they are.
Know the Facts
Probably the most important element of all of this is that we know the facts and are able to speak clearly, concisely, calmly and truthfully before we start reaching out to government officials, NGOs, Sanctuaries, etc. to hear our plea.
Emotions run so high when it comes to saving the lives of those we love, but careening off topic and making threats, rants, unrealistic demands only hurts the cause it doesn’t help it.
(see the link to previous blogs at the end of this article & specific Onaqui HMA info)
Convince Congress and the Senators
Do the research to find out who your states Senator and Congressperson is and make contact. Ask to speak directly to their (1) Legislative Aid
then to their (2) Legislative Director
and finally to (3) the State Representative themselves.
Below are some specific topics to address:
Message #1. The National Academy of Sciences confirmed there is no science supporting the basis (AML) for the BLM’s overpopulation myth.
– This arbitrary system is called AML = Appropriate Management Level which sets the number of WHB allowed to live on a Herd Area.
– The BLM created a biased system where wild horses are only allowed 20% forage on their own lands while 80% is given to livestock; any horse above the 20% use is considered overpopulation.
– What is happening to our local Onaqui herd is happening to wild horses and burros throughout the West.
– Polls show the vast majority of Americans, Republicans and Democrats, oppose roundups and want their American wild horses and burros managed with humane PZP fertility control on the range.
Message #2. We are calling on Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer and President Biden to require the majority of the budget be dedicated to humane, on-range management and stop the roundups.
– The government plans to round up and add 100,000 wild horses and burros to the more than 50,000 who are already warehoused in government holding facilities.
– The National Academy of Sciences said that roundups are not sustainable … adding more wild horses and burros to government holding facilities doesn’t make any sense; NAS said humane, on-range management is the answer. (NAS Report: https://www.nap.edu/resource/13511/wild-horses-report-brief-final.pdf)
Message #3. This broken system must be replaced with a fair and humane program that America can be proud of! A program that gives wild horses and burros their fair share; keeps them out of government holding facilities and wild and free on our public lands. This is what the majority of Americans want!
– Wild horses and burros are only allowed to live on 11% of our public lands;
– Even on this small area the BLM only allows them less than 20% of the forage (food) and gives 80% to commercial livestock.
– WHB deserve their FAIR SHARE of our public lands and on-range management with humane birth control should be used to manage population growth while preserving natural, wild behaviors which are so important to these magnificent animals.
– We support win-win solutions that work for ranchers AND wild horses (e.g. voluntary retirement of livestock grazing permits, compensation for non-use of livestock grazing permits, compensation to work with advocates on humane birth control, etc.)
Spread the Word
So many of us are new to this fight. Please don’t think that just because you’re just finding out about roundups you can’t make a difference! Our mustangs and American Heritage needs every last voice that they can get right now and moving forward.
For every person that is sharing the facts and the tragedies and the misspending of our tax dollars to take these horses from their homes on OUR public lands, just think of how many people in turn you can be introducing that have no news of the war that’s currently raging on for our Wild Horses & Burros. Now encourage these people to help to inform others and so on.
Every. Last. Voice. Is. Needed.
There are so many ways to stay informed of accurate and up to date information. Below are links to just some of the sources you may want to start following:
Once you have had an opportunity to gather numbers and facts begin reaching out to both local and national media outlets. And keep reaching out. This issue isn’t going away any time soon so it’s imperative that American’s make their voices heard even to the top tiers of our government offices that we want our tax dollars to go towards 1) Humane On the Range Management 2) Towards protecting this National Treasure as dictated by the 1971 Wild Horse & Burro Act and 3) that they be given their fair share of the forage and water supply on our public lands instead of 80% or more being allocated to livestock grazing. Quote the National Academy of Science report procured by our Government in 2013 – this document is available online at: https://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/13511.pdf and is a wealthy of knowledge and power!
It’s so important to at the very least show up in support of our Wild Horses & Burros when there is an organized rally in your area. There’s no need to be yelling or causing a fuss, but there is power in numbers and the more people that show up in support, the more chance there is of news media showing up for coverage and from there the words continues to spread gaining momentum along the way.
Previous links to Blogs Offering Facts, Figures and links on how to Save the Onaqui
FACT SHEET – ONAQUI – UTAH WILD HORSE ISSUE: AT-A-GLANCE
- BLM-MANAGED PUBLIC LAND USE IN UTAH
Livestock is given 10x more BLM-managed public lands than wild horses/burros in UT.
Livestock is given more than 80-90% of the forage in Onaqui (based on high and low AML for wild horses which is 121 to 210 horses).
Livestock is given 98% of forage allocations on federal public lands; wild horses/burros is given just 2%.
Following are the statistics for UTAH wild horses, burros (WHB) and livestock grazing on Bureau of Land Management-managed public lands:
1,956 WHB allowed on 2.15 million acres (current estimated population 5,746 WHB)
while the equivalent of
108,333 cows* (1.3 million AUMs) are allowed on 22 million acres in the state.[i]
* Cow grazing is used because cows and wild horses are allocated the same amount of forage; there are actually far greater numbers of sheep due to size (5 sheep = 1 cow).
The current estimated population of 5,316 wild horses and 430 burros in Utah comprises just 5% of the permitted livestock grazing on BLM-managed lands in the state.
BLM wants to remove 2/3 of all of Utah’s wild horses/burros.
- 1/3 OF ORIGINAL HABITAT HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM WILD HORSES & BURROS IN UTAH
Wild horses and burros have been zeroed-out or eliminated from ONE-THIRD of the original BLM-managed public lands in Utah that were designated for their use.
ORIGINAL (1971) CONGRESS-DESIGNATED
PUBLIC LANDS FOR WILD HORSE/BURROIN UTAH: 3,224,891 acres
REMAINING PUBLIC LANDS FOR
WILD HORSE/BURRO IN UTAH: 2,154,458 acres
Private, commercial livestock continues to graze on these zero-out wild horse/burro zeroed-out lands.
The federal grazing fee for 2021 remains the same at $1.35 per animal unit month.[ii]
allows more than any of Utah’s BLM grazing allotments are “common” allotments where more than one permittee is authorized to use the allotment. Grazing on these allotments is authorized through the issuance of 1,462 grazing permits and provide for just over 1.3 million animal unit months (AUMs) of livestock use.
ONAQUI HERD MANAGEMENT AREA GRAZING
Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology
10th Circuit Court of Appeals
“While action is mandatory if necessary to acheive a ”thriving natural ecological balance on public lands, the BLM is left with a great deal of discretion in deciding how to achieve that Congressional objective.”
The BLM’s claims of overpopulation are unsubstantiated and based on the unscientific population limits (Appropriate Management Levels – AMLs) imposed by the agency itself. The National Academy of Sciences found “no science-based rationale” for these population limits, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2016 that AMLs are not written into the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the BLM is under no obligation to remove horses just because their populations exceed the agency-created AMLs.