Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness and Hope – The call of the wild buffalo and the wild horses

I am reprinting a letter that originates from The Buffalo Field Campaign. The letter gives thanks for the few wild buffalo that still remain on public lands. The letter was written this time last year and was reprinted by TBFC in honor of the passing of Barb Abramo, an integral part of their long standing fight to save the wild buffalo.

This letter touched me deeply, especially today, Thanksgiving Day when this time last year Grass Roots Horse began to expand their work in the field for the wild horses who are very much under a similar attack from the same government agency. I have always felt a kinship to the honorable people that make up The Buffalo Field Campaign and held their commitment to what they treasure as an ideal to work towards.

The letter below exemplifies the hope that I want to keep in my heart, the hope that I need to keep in my heart, that both the wild buffalo, the wild horses and we the people will survive and thrive. I want to keep the hope that people will return to their state of “wild” too – “wild” meaning the state of independence. Where we can truly take care of ourselves and are free to choose and live a life that harms no one and we find peace. 

I hope that you feel the same hope as you read this letter.   

Letter From 2010 – The Buffalo Field Campaign

“We give thanks that there are still wild buffalo walking the Earth. Buffalo that still follow their migratory instincts and still carry the integral wisdom of the ancients that does not bend or bow to human fences, boundaries, or prejudice. We give thanks for the wild buffalo's instincts to simply place one foot in front of the other and walk the land, regardless of government plans; a drive so deeply rooted in their time before time that man's shallow greed has not yet taken this from them. We give thanks that buffalo still roam, confounding certain humans' selfishly inflicted consequences. We give thanks for the last remaining buffalo that found shelter in Yellowstone's remote Pelican Valley barely 150 years ago; the twenty-three that were all that was left of tens of millions, who ensured the survival and wild integrity of their prehistoric kind. We give thanks that buffalo have biologically withstood diseases brought by invasive cattle, their blood building resistance to the dark gifts from these bovine invaders. We give thanks that it is still possible to look into the eyes of a wild buffalo and remember a time we forgot we once knew, and dream of its return. We give thanks that the land cries out for the return of wild buffalo, welcoming their homecoming when the hearts of humans open to the drumming of the buffalos' foot steps, and the land is again shared, healed and whole with the presence of wild buffalo.

We give thanks for the abundance of snow that has been falling, snow that brings the life giving waters when the sun waxes and the rivers run fast and deep through the veins of the mountains and out to the sea. Bittersweet this gift, as the buffalo will also flow with the deepening snow, and this is as it should be, and though we know harm awaits them, we celebrate their life force and give thanks that they continue in their wild ways despite the obstacles. We give thanks for the persistence, resistance, and endurance of wild buffalo.

We give thanks for those who hear the call of the wild buffalo. We are grateful for the volunteers who come from around the globe to defend the buffalo, joining us for the first time, or coming back again year after year, or returning after an absence. We give thanks for everyone everywhere who cares about wild buffalo and celebrates their wildness and takes action for their right to roam. We give thanks to all of you who make it possible for us to be here standing with the last wild buffalo, bearing witness, sharing their story. We give thanks for the realization that long-term perseverance and passion-turned-action will bring the necessary change we all seek. We give thanks that the status quo that harms the buffalo and the land is an unsustainable and temporary thing in the grand theater of life on earth. We give thanks that there is still time to act, though the time is short, and act we must. We give thanks for the elders who guide us with experience and wisdom and for the flame of passion that burns within the hearts and minds of the youth; for the combined energy and power we hold in our hands to save us from ourselves, and learn to be more like the buffalo. We give thanks for the lessons the buffalo teach us about family, solidarity, fearlessness, abundance, resolve, gentle strength, coexistence, following our instincts without compromise, non-violence and the simplicity of the solutions right before our eyes. We give thanks for the hope and vision of a life for buffalo in which they thrive within their inherent wildness, for a world in which buffalo and all other native wildlife are given precedence on public land, and that buffalo herds will flourish as self-regulating sustainable populations, a rich and viable source for their future evolutionary potential and ambassador for the sovereignty of the land.

We give thanks ~ everyday ~ for the wild buffalo that remain and for each and everyone of you who cares about buffalo and makes the work of Buffalo Field Campaign possible.

Thank you from Buffalo Field Campaign!

Roam Free!”

This is a link to their website so you can learn more about them

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello. Who Are You……Really

I have to say I enjoy Twitter and Face Book immensely but I am finding my FB experience is marred by a disturbing trend. For those of us who mix our community service and advocacy in with our on line social lives we walk a challenging line.

A Genuine Connection

Since most of the people I interact with are as passionate about their advocacy and staying current with what is happening in the world  as I am, it is not unusual to have FB friends share links and articles and things that are pertinent to the work we do in the course of our everyday lives.

These posts are alongside our Birthday wishes to each other and our garden photos. Through this I feel a genuine connection is made. I honor what people want to share with me and  I feel honored to have it filter through my small page in cyberspace. We connect in good times and in bad.


If There Is Nothing To Hide, Why Hide

However, I have noticed an increase of new FB friends or FB friends in groups whose profile pictures, FB pages and photos are only "stock photos" and SPAM. They show no name or any indication who this person is. Along with those individuals who do not even use a name but a title of sorts that relates to the "cause of the day" are the people who are genuinely offering a friendship or a partnership in advocacy for a joint cause.

Months ago I closed my page to people other than friends which I felt really sad about. It used to be open to friends of friends which was alot of fun as we built what felt like a community. As the influx of the "friends" who don't share their names or real photos escalates it becomes apparant to me that because the pages they share only contain what I call industrial SPAM, my experience is diminished and a feelig of community suffers.

I'm an outgoing but private person. yet I put myself out there with honesty and with a thoughtfull respect for other people's time on social networks. For many it is their only leisure time and is rare. So when people don't show who they are and hide behind fake FB pages and then bombard me with posts that usually are to raise money for themselves, it insults me and it should insult you too.


I Appreciate the Opportunity to Be in a True Community

I am grateful when a fellow advocate, friend, family member or friend of a friend gives me the opportunity to help financially with their cause if I am able to do so. I want to know about their passions and I do what I can to network the information. When an unknown entity that does not even want to share their basic identity, or fills my timelines with an endless parade of the same posts pleading for money (SPAM of the worst kind) I draw the line. I cannot allow them the same space as those truly wanting a real connnection and an honest sharing of information.

I ask:  be real, be present, show who you are. Join a true community and be as respectful of me as my intention is to be of you. Please don't hide behind a FB facade as a means to blast people or scam people without accountability.  I have seen it on the comment sections of articles - many quirky names that are attached to the same person, and it is like watching Sybil as an advocate on steroids.  Each different name has a different perspective, many nasty and they are all the same person.  It dimminishes us all.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Thaw

The farm is beginning to wake up. The signs have been sporadic but picking up steadily. A young duck family is swimming in the small pond, the sound of the peepers at night is getting louder and of course the horses and donkey are shedding.

I have the urge to open up space, find order in the gardens and find some balance again. The horses seriously need baths and the pale grey horses are as dark as the bay horse. 

Snow and Ice – Repeat

The winter was a tough one. The frequent storms left a lot of snow and a lot of ice. I was stuck on the farm roads more than once and grateful for a husband who would show up with a shovel and a smile. After one ice storm in particular, my truck slid down the driveway and right into a deep snow bank. It was too icy to climb back up and when my husband came out to help dig my truck out the only way down the driveway was on his backside. He’s a good sport so even though it was just after sun up on a Sunday morning, he sat on the shovel like it was a sled and he was in the snow bank with me in a nano second.

I felt less guilty that I never got around to taking the burlap coffee bags out of the back of my truck since they were as useful for getting traction under my stuck tires as they were pretty in the garden as paths.  


Winter and Wild Horses

The work wasn’t just in the barn keeping the horses and donkey happy and well or making sure my elderly neighbor was happy and well but the fight for the very lives of America’s wild horses and burros was a 24/7 job. My cell phone and laptop were on call round the clock and the stress was high. 

I accomplished a goal I had set for myself which was to get the information, photos and videos from the obscure roundups out to the public in as close to real time as possible. With current information the public could use it to get help for the quickly disappearing wild  horses.  We got very fast at moving information and as soon as the info came to me, it went out to the public on the Grass Roots Horse blog ( ) sometimes in the wee hours of the morning and oftentimes I posted several times a day. My mantra became “let us make it through Antelope” (Antelope was allegedly the last roundup until the roundup at “Triple B” which was scheduled for the peak of July heat in Nevada and the height of foaling season.)  I made it through but I am forever changed and as the saying goes, “once you know, you can’t not know”.

Life will never be the same which is why my thoughts now are on finding a peaceful place for my mind to rest as I continue to fight for the wild horses and burros.  

New Directions

012 (3) Kelly for blog

Spring is welcome now.  Dead wood is being removed in all parts of my life.  The shrubs that suffered too much damage from the winter storms need whatever help we can give them. It’s time to cut back the ornamentals and uncover the pathways again. Clean the paddocks and repair the fences.  Those are great things to do while my mind has space to connect the dots and see the patterns that need to be connected and uncovered so real change can happen for the wild horses and burros.

I have faith that the new direction that Grass Roots Horse is focusing on will bear fruit. New projects are opening up for me personally as well and the seeds of past creative projects are bearing fruit after being dormant.

Now if only the pear tree in the vegetable garden will bear fruit again……. stranger things have happened……

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Report from Pine Nut Wild Horse Roundup #TWO

Grass Roots Horse will have more info also

This mare, along with 111 other horses were rounded up yesterday in the Dayton area of the Pine Nut Range. This morning the Bureau of Land Management's plan was to release all the mares and leave all 22 foals behind. Foals were transported from the Lohanton temporary holding area to Palomino Valley Center. After public outrage plans were changed and the wet mares have been transported to Palomino Valley to match up with their foals for release early next week. Alan Bitner of the Carson BLM expressed his concern along with many community members about this mornings plan. He seemed relieved as he informed the public that the foals would not be permanently removed from their mothers. the mare before this one fell jumping off & this girl said I'm gonna make it Pine Nut while BLM says that is all the horses to be released, after they leave, another trailer shows up ! PNRELEASEleap PNrelease03 PineNut3

Report from Pine Nut Wild Horse Roundup VERY SERIOUS !


Last night word came that there would be no roundup of wild horses today.  BLM claimed it was a day for treating the horses with fertility drugs and the public was not allowed, since the horses were very skittish. The Pine Nut horses by all accounts are quite accustomed to people as they are very popular among the people who live nearby. BLM stated that Friday would be a release day for the 122 horses they captured yesterday. HOWEVER, it is another BLM lie. Word came while I was on the phone with Laura that the BLM was releasing horses today ! She rushed out to be there. She arrived along with other reporters with no sign yet of the BLM. She called back within a short time with very disturbing news.  There are 22 foals who were captured WHO WILL NOT BE RELEASED WITH THEIR MOTHERS.  The BLM states they "cannot match the foals to their mares" and are not even going to attempt it.  The foals have already been shipped to Palomino Valley facility.

This is an outrageous situation and please make calls to Mark Struble 775-885-6107 he is the person who has made this call and is responsible.

Laura will be sending me pictures as the situation unfolds. Please spread the word and make the calls.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Need Help in Arizona- this is what happens to ‘protected wild burros’


In a few short days, the government agency, Bureau of Land Management, for no explained reason  will target exclusively wild burros in Arizona, Cibola-Trigo herd. The ancestors of the wild burros truly built America. If anyone knows burros or donkeys the horror of their fate at hands of contractor sadists will hit you hard, especially if you look at the three pictures at the end of this page. They, nor we, deserve this, and they offer no acceptable reason, no reasonable explanation and we are expected to foot the bill, again, for this massacre. I will not pay for government sanctioned animal torture and abuse. I will not.
Now we see clearer still why BLM fights so hard to keep citizens and journalists out of viewing range even though Grass Roots Horse/Laura Leigh as plaintiff won the legal challenge that we have a right to witness and report on our government in action. 
We are not giving up,  nor are we going away ! This is too important.  Grass Roots Horse is the people. We are not a big entity intent on harvesting donor bucks to further self serving interests. Wild Horse and wild burro roundups must stop, public granted full access from roundup to long tern holding. Video cameras in all government and government contracted holding facilities. Government/BLM/DOI come clean on what is really slated for public lands and water rights.  
If you have any questions please e-mail me at

Please bring cameras, videos, phones, all manner of electronic capabilities to get the word out on what is happening. Watch loading of trailers and if possible where they actually end up, how many get on, how many get off.

I am MyFlyingCloud on twitter, tweet me and we will make sure you roundup tweets go far and wide. 

What to Know Before You Go

Cibola/Trigo Wild Burro Gather According to BLM

September 27 – 30, 2010

Where to Meet

All visitors and media must meet at Wheelie’s 76 Gas Station and General Store in Palo Verde, California, at 6:30 a.m.  The address is: 73 Main Street, Highway 78, Palo Verde, CA  92266



All visitors and media must have their own transportation.  Vehicles with 4-wheel drive are recommended, however, all vehicles must have high clearance.  Make sure the gas tank is topped off and tires, including spares, are properly inflated before traveling to the gather.



There are several hotels in Blythe, California, or Yuma, Arizona


Amenities at Wheelie’s

Gas Station, Small convenience store, Restrooms


Location Information

Palo Verde, California is approximately 21 miles south of Blythe, California, and approximately 65 miles northwest of Yuma, Arizona.  The viewing site for the gather is approximately 15 miles from Palo Verde, California.


Driving Directions from Yuma, Arizona

Take Interstate 8 west to Olgiby Road, exit 159

Turn right on Ogilby Road and go approximately 25 miles

Turn right on CA-78 and go approximately 28 miles to Palo Verde, CA


Driving Directions from Blythe, California

Take Interstate 10 west to CA-78/Neighbours Blvd., exit 236 towards Brawley

Turn left onto CA-78/S Neighbours Blvd/1-10 Bl. and follow for 7 miles

Turn right onto CA-78/28th Avenue for 3 miles

Turn left onto CA-78S Rannells Blvd. for 2 miles

Turn right onto CA-78/32nd Avenue and continue for 4.5 miles to Palo Verde, CA


Weather Conditions

Plan on temperatures of highs of upper 90’s and low 100’s, and lows of mid to upper 70’s.


What to Bring

Closed-toed sturdy shoes and hat

Sunscreen and First Aid Kit

Food and plenty of water


Toilet Paper

Camera with a good zoom lens

Chair or blanket to sit on the ground



We recommend that you do not bring your dog with you to the gather, however, if you must bring your dog, please note that they must be on a leash and in control at all times.


**There are NO restrooms at the viewing site, so please plan accordingly.

Why ? plz b there 2 make sure this does not happen again.

sic fun 4 blm and contractors. Be there and stop it by your presence

not on my watch or with my money

Saturday, July 31, 2010

GRASS ROOTS HORSE PRESS RELEASE Leigh v Salazar –July 31,2010

On July 30, 2010 Laura Leigh re-filed Contempt of Court charges against Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Bob Abbey, Director of the BLM and Ron Wenker, Nevada State Director of the BLM in regard to what BLM calls the “Tuscarora wild horse gather.” The BLM continually refers to the three herd management areas of Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt under one umbrella name of Tuscarora. The judge, at the time of hearing earlier motions, recognized that Tuscarora was three herds and not one as BLM would like people to believe.


Adding to what seems like a deliberate move to create confusion, every day the gather schedules change. At present the BLM website, touted in BLM press releases as the only place for correct information, has two completely different gather schedules posted. If a person really wants to know the true schedule they have to contact the appropriate field offices.  It would seem to even the casual observer to be a shell game of now you see it, now you don’t.    


The judge denied the original motion to hear the case based on the parameters set forth in a statute known as the Winters standard.  This is the standard by which actions seeking injunctive relief are judged on their merit. On July 28, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals modified its position on the test used to determine the element, “likelihood of success on the merits” when

granting or denying injunctive relief under the Winters decision. The circuit court reaffirmed the use of its sliding scale method, finding it consistent with Winters.


The law change opened the door for the re-filing under the new guidelines.  “We are not going away,” said Laura Leigh, plaintiff in the lawsuit brought about through the support of Grass Roots Horse, a citizen action group.  Support for Laura Leigh’s court action is coming in from people all over the country. “Some people are donating to further the cause with $3.00 donations,” said Maureen VanDerStad, member of Grass Roots Horse. “That tells it all right there. People are so fed up with the mismanagement of the wild horses and burros that they want to be a part of doing something to stop it. The blatant disregard for our First Amendment rights by BLM and the cruel and inhumane treatment of the wild horses, which belong to the American people, has spurred the movement on with a vengeance,” she further states.


Laura Leigh is an artist, author and journalist who is best known for her work in documenting wild horses.  She is the founder and director of Herd Watch, a citizen group that monitors the actions of the BLM and the Wild Horse and Burro Program.  Full reports documenting range conditions in herd management areas and the condition of the horses themselves are conducted by Herd Watch with a meticulous eye for detail.


Yesterday at the Nevada State Legislative meeting, the main focus was on the implications of the Western Watershed Organization’s multi-million dollar settlement with Ruby Corporaton, representing Ruby Pipeline.  The Wild Horse and Burro Program came into the discussion and Laura Leigh was there to set the record straight.  “Sitting in the audience it was really interesting to see the cattlemen bringing up the very same issues of the difficulties of dealing with the BLM that the wild horse advocates have been dealing with for years. If people do not support accountability in government, it is easy to see how that failure to demand accountability and transparency can turn against them,” Laura Leigh said. 


To read the legal filings, donate to the legal fund, or volunteer please visit where there are links to the best sites with more information on the issue.