Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Few things are more effective in making positive change for wild horses and burros than meeting with your representatives or contacting them personally by letter or by phone.
Most wild horse and burro issues relate to federal lands and agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, so contacting your federal representatives will be most appropriate. If the issue relates to state-owned lands, it may be appropriate to call your state’s governor and legislator.
Here are some tips for writing an effective letter
- Be sure to include your address and contact information, whether you send a hard copy of your letter or use a web form. It’s essential that your lawmaker’s staff knows that you come from his or her district.
- Use your own words. RTF’s website provides information to bolster your argument in favor of ending roundups in favor of on-range management of horses or the SAFE Act, but expressing your opinion in your way is more powerful than any form letter.
- Be brief, direct and organized. Begin your letter by stating the point you wish to make, then build on it. If you’re supporting a specific bill, for example, like the SAFE Act be sure to include the bill number and say so in the first one or two sentences. If possible, explain how what you’re discussing affects you and other constituents.
- Be respectful and courteous. When writing a letter or making a call, you are speaking not only for yourself but for wild horses and burros. Please represent them well.
- Be constructive. Whenever possible, offer alternatives to any laws, policies or practices that you oppose. For example, RTF’s Wild on the Range Campaign is an effort to provide humane, politically viable solutions.
Thank-yous are also appreciated. If your lawmaker votes or takes an action that helps wild horses and burros, a show of support can be valuable and help advocates build a working relationship with that representative.
Calls to Congress are most effective when they are about a current piece of legislation and our directed to your representative. To call your senator or representative, you can dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asked to be directed to the appropriate office. In most instances, you will be connected with a member of your representatives’ staff.
Here are some tips for making the most of your call
Identify yourself, where you live and what issue you’re calling about.
If you’re calling about a specific piece of legislation, identify it by number and say whether you support or oppose the measure. Usually the staff member will have been tasked with keeping a tally of callers for or against.
Briefly explain your position and be constructive whenever possible. Understand that in many instances, staff members assigned to take calls will not necessarily be well-versed in the details of a particular bill, law, policy or practice.
Be courteous and respectful. Please represent wild horses, burros, and their advocates well.
Meeting with Your Members of Congress
While your representatives and senators are back in their home states, you can deliver the message of support for wild horses in person.
To schedule a meeting with your congressperson, senator or his/her staff, call the district office nearest you. District office phones numbers can usually be found on lawmakers’ homepages or listed on their websites under “contact.”
If you’d like help scheduling or preparing for a meeting with a representative or senator, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.