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.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Senator Reid Has Power to Stop Wild Horse Removal- tell his supporter Carole King- Idaho Wild Horse Advocate Rally- Hey Harry !

Good evening folks -attached is the map for our HEY HARRY RALLY - where we remind Senator Reid that has the power to stop the BLM's removal of the Wild Mustangs.
He has that power but he choses not to use it. In fact the infamous Senator Burns still claims Harry and he wrote the amendment in Harry's office - the amendment that gutted the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. And Burns doesn't have much to gain by claiming that Harry instigated it. Burns lost his senate seat, Harry denied he was in on the amendment.
I used to believe Harry but not now; not as he stands back and pretends to work with Madeline Pickens and she says no he won't. So we need Harry's supporter Carole King - yes that Carole King - to know it. Carole is an ardent supporter of the Idaho Mustangs. She could stop raising money for Harry until he cancels congressional support for the arrogant actions of the BLM. But it is about as hard getting that message through to Carole - even on facebook - as it is difficult to get through to Harry when you are looking him right in the eye.

So we will be out with special posters, when Carole kicks off 'A VOLUNTEER DAY OF ACTION AT THE SUMMERLIN OFFICE HEADQUARTERS". Now either she doesn't know Harry like we know Harry (try working with his staff to get ecotourism and wild horse/burro preservation) or Carole is naive. We will make this a throwdown to Senator Reid - either you help end the outrageous roundups or you don't get votes from horse huggers. Like us.
So come on out at 9am to 11am tomorrow, Saturday July 17 at 810 South Durango, at the parking lot of a little office complex corner of Durango and Grandbank - that's south of Alta and north of Charleston. You might want to wear a hat and bring water. Wear red clothes if you can for the blood that will be spilled Saturday as the BLM rounds up 500 horses "to save them dying of thirst" as they told the judge Thursday in Reno.
See you all,

Arlene Gawne  CEL: (702) 277-1313 and FAX: (702) 838-1009    


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Friday, July 16, 2010

Tuscarora Wild Horse Lawsuit-July 16, 2010


There are so many things to be very happy about in this case so far. This judge is listening to us, he read all of the testimonies and actually understood that while BLM wanted him to believe that Tuscarora was one round up it was actually three roundups- judge understood that, which is why we still will have hearings on the Rock Creek and Little Humboldt.

The judge is allowing BLM to roundup the Owyhee horses because he believed their testimony that the horses would die. He does not want horse deaths on his hands. I would say that bodes very well for any roundups in foaling season. The judge is unfamiliar with the issue or BLM’s penchant for lying so he believed them.

So even though a so called ‘emergency’ roundup of the Owyhee horses is allowed, we cannot forget the superstar win, which is the upholding of our First Amendment right to witness and document what the government does to our horses on our public land.

The judge ruled the public cannot be denied although it can be limited in numbers. He ruled they cannot black out the area. That is a huge victory. It is the chink in the armor, the first of many to come. 

Also with the right to document the roundups comes the opportunity to prove that the BLM lied.

There will be TRO hearings for Rock Creek and Little Humboldt herd areas coming up shortly.  

Hopefully with witnesses and cameras on the Owyhee roundup, possibly no horses will die. The judge has left many doors open for us to set additional precedents.

This is a momentous day.  More will follow. Tonight I will drink to the Tuscarora wild horses who have died as a direct result of the arrogance and disregard for life and law by the Bureau of Land Management and their contractors who do their evil with them and enjoy the suffering they create.

Tonight I drink to the Tuscarora Twelve. Long may they live.  

Grass Roots Activism Takes a Stand

Many people have asked me how this grassroots supported lawsuit to stop the Tuscarora roundup in Nevada cam about. 

I would like to share that and say this is just the beginning. 

Geographical location is not a hindrance to making a difference in the fight to save our wild horses. I took action right from kitchen counter.

Last week, when it came to my attention that no lawsuits were being filed to stop the Tuscarora roundup ( I just can’t call it a gather) grassroots activism took a stand.  Through networking, regular people were able to bring a lawsuit to stop the Tuscarora roundup and to make an argument that our First Amendment Rights are being violated by barring the public from witnessing and documenting what the government was doing to the horses on our public lands.  The argument that really got me fired up was the one that the BLM would be rounding up during foaling season.

Many newborn horses and pregnant and nursing mares would be stampeded along with the others. Babies and young horses who could not keep up would be left to die in the desert as the helicopters stampeded their mothers onward to capture pens.

All the horses would be driven over razor sharp volcanic rock.

As if what is being done to all our wild horses isn’t bad enough, this was too much to bear.

In record time we hired our own attorney to bring the suit with Laura Leigh, as a plaintiff with standing. Within 24 hours the papers were filed.

Through word of mouth, social networking sites, such as FaceBook and Twitter, we began to raise money for legal fees. People from all over the country who may have been less than pleased with the legal representation in the Calico case and the lack of lawsuits being brought to stop the roundups, joined forces by donating to our legal fund.  By being a grass roots group of individuals we are free to move fast, to keep our hands on the case and ensure that lawsuits are  being  brought on arguments that will win.  It is a time for action.  The goal is to challenge the BLM on every roundup from here on in. We have access to the expertise of the people who know the wild horse issue inside and out, are on the ground with eyewitness accounts. We have now and will always be sure to have legal representation that cannot be bought, co-opted or swayed from presenting the best case possible for our wild horses. 

Please join us. We are receiving no financial help from big organizations, and this is to our advantage for the above reasons.  We need funds to finish the Tuscarora case. The courts and congress are the only things that can stop the BLM from doing this to our horses. Congress won’t listen until we are successful in the courts. Our cases are good, really good, we have a shot at stopping this runaway train that is the BLM.

We have what may seem an ambitious goal but it is do able. Raising $100,000 would ensure we fight all roundups.  We have to give it a shot. Any help you can give will ensure the fight continues. If you may know of someone else who may help please ask them. This effects all citizens. The only place to donate to us and this endeavor is through which has a link to PayPal where our address is and which links to the same PayPal address.

This is the only place to donate to our legal defense fund.