The White House has just released its budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and it again urges Congress to lift restrictions on the Bureau of Land Management’s ability to mass kill wild horses as a management tool. It also again contains language allowing the BLM to transfer horses to federal, state and local agencies to be used as work horses, while also losing their federal protections. Both of these requests are similar to what was included in the president’s FY18 budget.
To make matters even worse, the White House has requested $13M less for the Wild Horse and Burro Program than what was appropriated last Congress. Less funding for the program will put even more pressure on an agency already unable to do their job, thus giving them an excuse to complain back to Congress that they are burdened with caring for wild horses.
The continued assault on these basic wild horse and burro protections is why your help and support of Return to Freedom is so critical. Remember, Congress has still not finalized funding for FY18 so there is a risk that language to kill wild horses could slip through. Your calls and our pressure on Capitol Hill have been able to push back hard against efforts to mass kill wild horses and burros. They are planning on doing this by March 23. So far, we have been hearing that most in Congress don’t want wild horses killed, but do want the BLM to come up with a solution instead of this annual drive off a cliff approach to wild horse management. Offices are getting the message that killing wild horses would not solve anything because the BLM has no management plan, it would destroy public trust and would cause irreversible damage to our wild horses and burros.
Return to Freedom has been aggressively advocating proven humane, on the range management tools for 19 years in meetings with legislators and their staff in the House and Senate, through media, programs and events. Please keep calling and emailing your representative and both senators urging them to reject these misguided and devastating schemes contained in the White House budgets. Please remember to represent the horses professionally by remaining articulate and cordial. Congress must hold the BLM accountable and force them to implement responsible wild horse management plans such as those advocated by Return to Freedom.
FY19 Budget Appendix for full government: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/appendix-fy2019.pdf
FY19 Budget Appendix section for Department of Interior: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/int-fy2019.pdf
FY19 BLM Budget Highlights: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/fy2019_bib_bh007.pdf