Litigation Intensifies

NOTE: I have been working my fanny off and things are going to intensify. Please be very patient with me if I can’t answer emails timely or return calls. Yes, there are two “organizations” represented here, but that is a framework. I am gathering info, researching, working on other issues of accountability on the ground, logging, editing, crafting documents and trying to keep the pulbic informed by writing the press releases and getting video up.

AND i do need your support. Without you this work does not exist. ~ Thank you. Laura

For Immediate Release: November 10, 2011

Contact: R.T. Fitch, President WHFF, 281-766-7566

Laura Leigh, Vice President WHFF, 800-974-3684

Litigation to Protect Wild Horses and Public Rights Intensifies

BLM Faces Multiple Legal Challenges

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Two actions brought into Federal Court by Laura Leigh, Founder of Wild Horse Education (WHE) and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) moved forward this week.

Litigation filed referencing First Amendment claims against the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Interior that addresses areas of discriminatory access, and access denied, to document the governments care or lack there of wild herds will be heard on January 9 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This case began in 2010 and addresses repetitive conduct by the Defendants toward hiding actions from public scrutiny.

Plaintiff Leigh contends that the activities addressed in that case are ongoing to date. Leigh says “the games continue.”

“If government becomes committed to silencing those voices of opposition, or to hiding their actions to avoid opposition,” states Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno “we have truly entered into dangerous times.”

This case has been signed on through Amicus brief by both the Reporters Committee for a Free Press and the National Press Photographers Association. The outcome of this case may have far-reaching ramifications into the ability of the American Press to address issues that create controversial conversation in the public sphere.

In Leigh’s other ongoing action against the Agency, that has become known as the “Humane action” case, the BLM has published their reply to the Court.

The agency’s defense includes statements that challenge Leigh’s right to address the actions she witnessed (including a helicopter skid striking a horse), and the timeliness of her claim, yet fail to address any measures the Agency has taken to rectify the situations that cause such activity to occur.

“It is so absurd that an agency tasked with humane care of our wild herds by Congress has no standard of care and consequence for violation. Instead it is left up to a citizen to address the issue in a Courtroom,” said Leigh “And even after we gain a TRO (temporary restraining order) the agency still will argue my right to call them on inappropriate behavior instead of addressing it. It’s like dealing with a very naughty child.”

The Complaint filed by Leigh addresses conduct that was clearly demonstrated at the Triple B roundup earlier this year in eastern Nevada. The conduct addressed has been documented on many occasions at other operations by the agency.

“The amount of work required to obtain documentation and then format it into appropriate action to create meaningful change is incredible,” states Leigh “We are talking about two simple premises here: handle our horses with care and demonstrate accountability to the public. Why is this so difficult to accomplish within the agency tasked, and paid, to do exactly that?”

Leigh and her attorney will be filing their response to the Court before Thanksgiving.

“Leigh is working diligently in both field and research,” states equine author R.T. Fitch and President of WHFF “and the commitment of Ms. Leigh, WHFF and the American public to see this through to a positive outcome has never been stronger.”

Links of interest:

To support the work in the Field

To support litigation: you can tag contributions for the suit you want to support or give to the general fund


Horse hit with helicopter

Orphan and hotshot use

Foal chased and roped

Clips of denied or discriminatory Access

Not foal? BLM DOES roundup during foaling season



12 thoughts on “Litigation Intensifies

  1. MorganG says:

    Mr. Cowan, I believe we entered into these dangerous times many, many years ago. The government was just somewhat better able to hide it until the level of corruption burst the containment point. Its sad that people have to take to the streets out of frustration and a feeling of hopelessness and stagnation. When we were sleeping our government bought and sold us out.

  2. Barbara Warner says:

    Laura, your fanny isn’t very big so please take care of yourself. Many thanks for all you’re doing.

  3. Mar Wargo says:

    Here you go. This is what you have been working for… Those of us who believe in you and this work are here, behind you all the way. If you need something tell us. I know you need funds. We will keep asking and sending what we can. You make me proud!!

  4. Paula Denmon says:

    MorganG. I totally believe that you are right. As the “good times” rolled no one noticed that the individuals (humans and horses) were losing their importance/rights and it was being replaced by the will of the corporations and financiers. I think that a few politicians and corporate/finance giants pulled off a coup of a sorts. We wake up about 2008..and it is too late.

  5. I ditto what Mar says, here ya go, anything ask, were here for you always ! Oh and fanny means something else here in UK, LOL .

  6. Paula Denmon says:

    But, back to the fight for the horses. It is up to us to force the hand of this agency, hopefully before there is a tragedy such as the Gulf Oil Explosion that exposed the MMS.
    I believe that Laura’s Wild Horse Education’s two pronged approach…Use the courts to force change, and approach the BLM with well-thought out and documented elements of the care and treatment of the WH&B that could be changed by them for the better….is an amazingly effective battle plan.
    I am amazed when I hear her well-moderated conversations with the BLM. (I would be a screaming memie.) She is a treasure, accomplished as a writer, and photographer, dedicated to the cause in a way that is not matched by another, and so intelligent when it comes to the legal issues, and the information to be released through the press.
    And R.T. gives us a blog that is easily readable, and often funny, and calls the bad apples to task and makes us all look forward to reading and sharing it each day. And the work that he leads us all to because he knows the ins and outs of the advocacy is important and significant in its relationship to making a change.
    I want to be able to make a difference too, and can do that through my computer, my advocacy in letters, and faxes, and emails, and by finding a way to send them more financial aid. and by adopting one little mustang foal..I hope.
    It has been a draining couple of weeks for those of us who have been in a “horse welfare” fight. and I, for one, need to go back to work. But I am committed to following the leaders and doing what I can.

  7. Marge Mullen says:

    When courage is needed, ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

    Thank you Laura….you are a gift!

    • Mar Wargo says:

      And you can say the same for Laura’s support system, Marge, if it were not for us she would be walking. It is the folks right here that have made this possible and kept Laura going. She needs more help now. Donate!! Be proud to be her support!

  8. Ann Lawrence says:

    We support Laura and her team all the way! And thanks to the internet, there are more and more of us marching with you. We must be the watchdogs– we must save these herds.

  9. Thank you, Laura, and Gordon Cowan. Very well stated and fought. Thank you so much for continuing to document and be a presence for the horses. Yours is vitally important work.

  10. Stephanie Graham says:

    January 9th… court….but where? How can I be there to support you???? Please tell us? Or did I miss it in the report?

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