Note from Leslie Peeples, Co-Director
WILD HORSES AND BURROS AT THE STEPS OF THE SUPREME COURT
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has had 40 years to come up with an acceptable strategy for “humanely” managing wild horses and has not done so. The simplest issue in the program, for most people to grasp, is the need for humane care. All horse people know that what they have seen over the years in photos and video is not “humane”.
The agency has not wanted us to see foals with their feet falling off, broken legs, broken necks, sick horses, animals hotshotted repeatedly, horses drug on the ground by a rope around their necks, stuck in panels and gates or driven to exhaustion by a helicopter. What we cannot see we cannot act on.
Due to Wild Horse Education’s (WHE) court cases, we will we be able to document the animals themselves. With the new access to information we will also be able to expose everything else that needs to be exposed to cfeate real change for fair and euitable management of wild horses and burros.
Legal issues can be complicated to understand but for anyone who cares about America’s wild horses and burros, or our constitutional rights, it is imperatve to realize the impact that WHE court cases are having toward positive changes and what those changes are and may become.
Our attorney Gordon Cowan once said, “The fastest way to create change is to make the guilty party operate in a fish bowl”. This allows the public to “see” the truth and act on it, creating change.
The public has been blocked from truly seeing and knowing what is happening to America’s wild horses and burros. From planning, to the range information, through the roundups and all the way to the animals end destinations, much has been hidden. WHE brought the “1st Amendment” suit to open the doors to the information to create change and it now has far reaching implications for transparency.
To help understand this complicated process we offer you this analogy; example once there was a child of color that was blocked from going to a “white” school. The case was taken to the local district court and denied. The case was then appealed in the Circuit Court and denied. The case then moved up to the highest court, the Supreme Court, where the judges ruled it was unconitutional to block her from the “white” school. They sent the case back to the local district court with strict instructions for the judge. Now the district court rules it is unconstitutional and the young lady is allowed to go to the school. Setting this “case law” means that from that moment forward no child of color will ever be blocked from any school anywhere in America.
On Tuesday, April 24th, a mandate came from the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco that has now become “case law” and can only be challenged in the Supreme Court. This “case law” will be used for years to come in challenges of our government by the people. Should BLM Appeal (in the Ninth) their denial to the Supreme Court, wild horses and burros may walk up the steps to the highest Court in the Nation.