MUSTANG MONUMENT MADELEINE PICKENS

Support the Cause Together

I am writing to encourage and inform all of our supporters to take a stand for our wild horses before it is too late.  The BLM recently released some startling statistics;  they are spending $50,000 per horse for horses in their holding facilities and, by their own estimates, there are upwards of 100,000 horses that will require this expenditure for a lifetime of standing in a holding pen or pasture far from their home ranges.   This dangerous situation foretells a much larger story.

The table is being set for an argument that a massive euthanasia program is the only way we can solve the issue of overcrowding in the BLM's wild horse holding facilities.  The BLM, through their continued stalling and failure to make any progress in the day-to-day management of our wild horses, is tacitly endorsing the notion that slaughter may be the only option.  The recent suggestion that states or other federal agencies should be involved in the management of the wild horses is another abdication of the responsibility they bear to get a handle on the Wild Horse and Burro Program.  And we know that there are instances in the recent past where BLM sales of wild horses in captivity have led straight to the slaughterhouse.

As advocates of these magnificent animals, we share the burden of speaking for the wild horses of the West.  And while we will not always agree on every approach to solving the problem, we must at least speak the truth and avoid engaging in speculation or the distribution of false reporting on various developments.  Recently, an old video resurfaced with a wild horse advocate arguing against a plan alleged to be a part of our program at Mustang Monument.  This was based on an old interview the BLM provided that was, for all practical purposes, an attempt to divide the advocacy community in its support for the Mustang Monument project.  It relied on maps and discussions that were never agreed to or even seriously considered by myself or those working for me.  This is not an unusual tact the BLM relies on when trying to delay or obstruct something from moving forward.  We must all be dedicated and informed enough to not fall for these deceptions.

 I would say to all my friends in the advocacy community, many of whom I have supported financially and respect and admire for their dedication, please understand that anything we are able to accomplish on behalf of the wild horses in or around the Spruce Ranch and the Mustang Monument project, will benefit the wild horses and ensure a better future for them.  The ranch and surrounding area are already in ten times better shape than when I bought it and the land will continue to improve as I make changes from the old cattle grazing model to a more broadly based approach to taking care of the land.

Please do not be taken in by the BLM when they tell you they are moving forward or even making progress on the Mustang Monument project.  Five years into the process we have very little to show for our efforts and a number of unresolvable issues have been put on the table by the BLM.  One of the more recent approaches the BLM chose to employ was to suggest that I surrender both the grazing and water rights to the ranch in which I have invested over $25 million.  An action such as this would make the ranch devoid of any value.  This is what third world dictators do; they nationalize anything they do not like and absorb the business and property.  They would then, of course, manage it the same way they have managed our wild horses for the past 40 years and soon it would be just another desert dust bowl.

It is time to speak with one voice on the issue of saving the most magnificent and iconic symbol of the American West, our wild horses.  Please join me in fighting this battle, saying no to the BLM's continuing abdication of their responsibility to manage our wild horses humanely, and ensuring they have a future in the places they now reside rather than a holding pen thousands of miles from home.
Thank you.

Madeleine Pickens