Dear Friends and Supporters,

SAM would like to express its appreciation for the BLM’s selection of a 4,000 acre ranch in Wyoming to house some wild horses, but this proposal raises more questions than it answers. It continues along the outdated and inhumane path the BLM has pursued for years; continuing to give wild horses to private ranch operations that profit from them without assurances of a real public benefit.

But, let’s look at some of the other aspects of this proposed plan.

BLM has suggested they can do the necessary NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) compliance work in about 3-6 months. I have been waiting for over two years and have been told all along that the NEPA compliance work on the proposal that I submitted for an Eco sanctuary in northern NV would take as long as two years, if they ever start on it. I can only presume that there is a special, unique “fast track” for a rancher where NEPA is concerned.

When I met with representatives of the Elko County Commission to discuss my proposal for ranch in northern NV, I was told by the ranchers that taking only a thousand head wouldn’t really save the government and taxpayers that much money and, therefore, wasn’t worth much. Why then is a rancher taking 250 head cause for celebration, or is this just more double-talk?

And, why is it a “milestone” to continue the same tired, flawed model by which horses are gathered in the wild and turned over to ranchers who are paid a stipend by the BLM, instead of coming up with a humane plan which has a return to the public? The bottom line is this: the BLM tarts up the same tired program and marches it out as if they are offering the public and the wild horses a new experience and direction — when the reality is that it is just more of the same. I wait futilely for years while the BLM fiddles, instead of deciding to participate in a truly revolutionary project that would be ground-breaking and change the paradigm; different from business as usual, and they continue to putter on.

SAM certainly doesn’t want to criticize every small rancher that steps forward with a plan to take some horses. Unfortunately, the BLM has, since its inception, run the Wild Horse and Burro Program for and at the direction of the ranchers. We think the American public is entitled to better, is entitled to see that those with the right intentions and solid proposals are included in the process.

I thank you all for your continued support of Mustang Monument and let’s all continue to share the plight of the mustangs in your local community.

Your Friend,

Madeleine Pickens & all the Mustangs

BLM’s News Release Regarding Wyoming Wild Horse Sanctuary

BLM’s Q&A on Sanctuary Grant Applications

Feb. 24, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. (WTW) — The Bureau of Land Management has proposed using a private ranch in southeast Wyoming to house 250 wild horses in a so-called ecosanctuary.

The agency said Friday that the facility would be publicly accessible in hopes of providing ecotourism opportunities.

The BLM expects to take three to six months to conduct an environmental review of Deerwood Ranch, about 30 miles west of Laramie near Centennial, to determine the proposed ecosanctuary’s environmental viability.

The selection is part of an effort to feed and care for wild horses removed from Western lands. With the goal of controlling the overpopulation of herds, the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program gathers wild horses, puts them up for adoption and relocates them in order to balance horse populations and land resources.