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Noted Law Professor-Litigator Michael R Harris Joins 'Wild Horse Fire Brigade' As 'Legal Advisor'

All-Volunteer Wild Horse And Burro Nonprofit Advocacy Organization Joined By Noted Law Professor-Lawyer Michael R. Harris


BLM photo shows burned forest and downed fences in Pokegama HMA in Oregon.

YREKA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, September 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- American wild horses and burros are treasured American Icons, and fully deserve to remain unmolested by humans, and truly wild and free on the American landscape.


Law professor-lawyer Michael R. Harris has spent a significant part of his career as legal advocate for environmental justice, wildlife, and especially for wild horses.


Professor Harris' career as litigator over the past two decades is notable with over 68 published court decisions, many being related to protecting the rights of wildlife and wild horses.


Wild Horse Fire Brigade, an all volunteer non-profit wild horse and burro advocacy organization believes that wild horses must be treated as native species North American wildlife, and must remain unmolested by humans.


Professor Harris agrees with this position and believes that Wild Horse Fire Brigade has a plan that can be implemented and provides a sustainable, natural, holistic and cost-effective solution to the longstanding plight of American wild horses and burros.


"We are grateful for Professor Harris' joining our all-volunteer team at Wild Horse Fire Brigade. His volunteerism sets an example and a new standard for what is known as 'walking the talk' when it comes to standing with and for our treasured American wild horses", said Deb Ferns - President of Wild Horse Fire Brigade.


Wild Horse Fire Brigade Vice President Kelsey Stangebye said; "I recall citing some of Professor Harris' legal briefs in an article I wrote during law school, 'Cowboys Gone Rogue: The Bureau of Land Management’s Mismanagement of Wild Horses in Light of its Removal Procedures of ‘Excess’ Wild Horses', which examined the use of public land in the western states. It will be a real pleasure to have a colleague on our Advocacy Board with Professor Harris' experience.


The Problem At Hand


Native species American wild horses have been long-suffering from gross mismanagement, as well as ineffective advocacy on their behalf.


The truth of that statement is fully supported and evidenced by the current dire situation that encompasses the questionable management and well-being of American wild horses under the administration by the Bureau of Land Management ('BLM').


A recent example of the ongoing and widespread gross negligence and mismanagement of protect American wild horses was seen at the BLM facility in Cañon City Colorado. The gross-negligence and mismanagement by the BLM was reported in May, 2022 by the Colorado Sun newspaper, stating that 145 wild horses had died while in BLM holding corrals.


Even though the 'Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971' (1971 Act) specifies that, wild horses and burros are to be protected by the BLM, it seems now that is no longer the case as evidenced by well-documented negligence and malfeasance by the BLM.


Lets Be Clear:


The preamble of the 1971 Act states the clear intentions of the 1971 Act by the U.S. Congress in regard to wild horse and burro management, pursuant to the following partial quote:


"Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found (as of December 1971), as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands "


Synopsis from Wild Horse Freedom Federation "When Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, wild horses and burros were found roaming on 53.8 million acres known as Herd Areas (HAs). There were 339 Herd Areas in 1971. At that time, their “range” was described as the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of free-roaming wild horses and burros which did not exceed their known territorial limits on public land. Unfortunately, ranchers knew ahead of time that the Act might pass, and started killing wild horses before it went into effect. Congress’ original intent of this Act stated that wild horses and burros were to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands, but the BLM created 179 subsets of these original Herd Areas called Herd Management Areas (HMAs), that then comprised of only 31.6 million acres. The most egregious erosion to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 came with the 2004 Burns Amendment, that allowed wild horses and burros to be sent to slaughter. Just days before a Thanksgiving holiday recess, when most of Washington was getting ready to leave for the long weekend, Senator Conrad Burns inserted a one page rider into a 3,300 page budget-appropriations bill on the eve of the bill’s Congressional deadline, leaving no opportunity for either the public or Congress to debate. This rider removed all protections for wild horses (and burros) that were over the age of 10 or had been offered unsuccessfully for adoption three times. Wild Horse Freedom Federation obtained this document through a Freedom of Information Act request, and although the BLM claims this sale, seemingly to a Canadian slaughterhouse, never came to “fruition,” where have all of our wild horses and burros gone? The BLM limits wild horses and burros on HMAs, but favors livestock grazing. A PEER report pointed out: “The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros…” According to equine geneticist Dr. Gus Cothran (Texas A&M), whom BLM hires to do genetic analysis on some herds, wild horse & burro herds need 120-150 breeding age adults to remain viable. However, according to a March 2014 BLM “Herd Area and Herd Management Area Statistics” report, the BLM has allowed only extremely low numbers of wild horses and burros on the HMAs, and certainly not viable herds. A few samples of low “herd” numbers of wild horses and burros on Herd Management Areas in California: 15-25 horses, 10-12 horses, 26-35 horses, 24-29 horses, 10-25 horses, 14-17 horses, 16-25 horses, 9-11 burros. New Mexico only has 2 Herd Management Areas left. One allows 40-60 wild horses and the other 18-23 wild horses. This means that in the entire state of New Mexico, the BLM allows only 58-83 wild horses on Herd Management Areas. Only 45 out of BLM’s 179 Herd Management Areas (about 25%) have viable herd numbers as the “Appropriate Management Level (AML), and even that 25% is questionable because it includes foals (that are NOT breeding age adults), mares given the fertility drug PZP, gelded stallions and herds with sex ratios skewed by the BLM." As of this Press Release, wild horses are now arguably worse-off than ever since the passing of the 1971 Act, when the collapse of their populations fell below 30,000 free-roaming wild horses in America. In fact, now, the BLM has stated an intent to immediately reduce the total American population of wild horses to 27,000 horses (or less). Today, due to the pressures of multiple industrial enterprises and the impacts of consumerism on public lands, including within defined Herd Areas and Herd Management Areas, free-roaming wild horse populations are now by many accounts below 30,000 free-roaming with over 65,000 genetically molested (stallions castrated; mares treated with sterilization chemicals) wild horses now being held in captivity at great cost to American taxpayers and to the ecosystems now deprived of the co-evolved symbiotic benefits of wild horses. Some of the many beneficial ecological effects that come from the co-evolution of north American flora and wild horses are cited in this executive summary that explains how and why the plan known as Wild Horse Fire Brigade works: https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/_files/ugd/b50928_b546b19ef08441349993b0d3fd8111eb.pdf What's wrong with the current picture? The BLM has and is continuing to violate the clearly-stated intentions of the 1971 Act to protect wild horses and burros. The BLM is engaged in the arguable abuses of protected American wild horses using American tax dollars as follows: 1. Spending $-millions annually rounding-up ('capture') wild horses and robbing them of the wild and free status Congress intended. This confinement is subsidized by taxpayers and is costing about $150-million annually; and, 2. Immediately after rounding-up (or trapping) wild horses (or burros) are segregated by sex and separated from their families; and, 3. Wild horses are then branded, again, contrary to the 1971 Act; and, 4. Wild horses are genetically physically molested by the BLM via castration of stallions, with mares being treated with chemicals causing sterility; and, 5. The BLM and some wild horse advocacy groups, like American Wild Horse Campaign, support and engage in the use of chemical sterility on remaining free-roaming wild horses, rendering herds into non-breeding, socially disrupted groups, that according to genetics studies are substandard in population size. The BLM intentionally assigns what are called Appropriate Management Levels ('AMLs'), which arbitrarily assign population size in given Herd Management Areas '(HMAs') below minimums required to maintain genetic diversity and the sustainable genetic health and well-being of wild horses; and, 6. Arguably the BLM has knowingly allowed loopholes to exist in the management of so-called 'Excess Animals' taken off the range by the BLM, where individuals working for slaughter houses gain access to wild horses via auctions, resulting in wild horses being sent to their deaths. Wild Horse Fire Brigade offers a new path to truly save American wild horses naturally, keeping them wild and free, and in the process end the conflicts with industrial enterprises on public lands that are driven by consumerism and helps to protect remaining American forests and associated critical and designated wilderness areas and the wildlife therein from wildfire via the reintroduction of the American keystone herbivore, the American wild horse. Learn more about Michael Harris and the entire team at the all-volunteer wild horse and burro non-profit organization 'Wild Horse Fire Brigade' at: https://www.WildHorseFireBrigade.orgWilliam E. Simpson II Wild Horse Fire Brigade +1 858-212-5762 gemmaster7@aol.com PZP is a Genetic Poison, it use is selective breeding and leads to genetic erosion