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Fiercely Independent Ranchers

Without a single dissenting vote, the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act was passed by Congress guaranteeing these animals protection from “capture, branding, harassment and death.” With virtually no oversight, the BLM’s duplicitous data and oblique maneuvers are methodically cleansing the land of these animals who have become an inconvenience and impediment to the goals of the ranching, gas and oil industries. This defies congressional intent and is nothing more than industrial imperialism and a war over grass. Native Americans, who inhabited the land when the nation was first settled, became an impediment to the expansion of the federation and so they, too, were rounded up, displaced from their land and sent to holding facilities.

It is the action of arrogance and the lowest instincts of man to place greed above the rights of others and to shape policy to fit private agendas. Millions of head of cattle are grazing on public ranges – public ranges that were designated for these wild horses and burros on land that belongs to American taxpayers, not to private entities.

These horses are connected to this land; their ancestors roamed unfettered on it over a million years ago. They represent the basic principal that our nation was founded on: FREEDOM. These animals are the physical embodiment of all that we as people and as a nation aspire to… liberty and self-determination. And at some level that resonates with each and every one of us. With every BLM round up that is allowed to happen, our heritage is under siege.

We have to stop eroding the law that ensures their protection, simply to cater to and placate private entities. It would be a tragedy to lose our humanity to a maelstrom of greed and commercial interest.

Since the BLM is a government agency, with perceived mismanagement and conflict of interest issues, the public has a right to call for an independent audit of the horses in BLM managed short and long term holding facilities, as well as an independent count of the horses remaining on the ranges. The management of our remaining wild horses should be moved to another agency, even one that may be non-governmental or a specially formed non profit or coalition with no conflict of interest.

Mariana Tosca