American wild horse Preservation Campaign
Ellie Phipps Price, founder of Montgomery Creek Ranch, is a key supporter of and advisor to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC).
AWHPC is a national coalition of more than 70 organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving America’s wild horses and burros on public lands in the West for generations to come as part of our national heritage.
What We are Fighting For
Wild horses are protected by federal law as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.” Yet the federal government treats these national icons as little more than pests, hunting them down by the thousands every year with helicopters, stampeding them into traps and removing them from their homes on our Western public lands. Some of the captured horses are adopted. Others are sold for as little as $10 apiece. Most are warehoused in holding facilities for life.
Today, the government stockpiles more wild horses in holding facilities (nearly 50,000) than remain free in the wild (fewer than 40,000). The threat of mass slaughter remains ever present for the wild horses in holding.
Geovernment roundups deprive these animals of the two things that are most important to them – family and freedom. The National Academy of Sciences and other experts confirm that alternatives to roundups, such as birth control, are available, but the government roundups continue. Although a majority of Americans support protections for wild horses, a small number of ranchers who graze livestock on public lands view wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized grazing.
What We Do
AWHPC is at the forefront of the fight to save wild horses and reform federal management policies. Its work focuses on:
· Coalition Building – Expanding and strengthening the network of organizations fighting for the future of America’s mustangs while providing a unified platform and voice for these iconic animals.
· Grassroots Advocacy – Building a powerful grassroots army of citizens willing to speak up and take action for America’s wild horses and burros. Only the power of the people will defeat the special interests that want to see mustangs and burros erased from the Western landscape.
· Litigation – Giving wild horses a voice and vigorous defense in federal court. Through litigation, we have prevented the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from surgically sterilizing wild free-roaming horses in Nevada and Wyoming and stopped the agency from “zeroing out” (eliminating all wild horses from) the Jakes Wash Herd Area in Nevada. We’re now on the frontlines defending wild horses against rancher lawsuits seeking the mass removal and slaughter of wild horses and burros.
· Field Documentation – Observing and documenting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse roundups. Our field coverage has led to important media exposure, most notably last year’s NBC News expose’, Cruel or Necessary: The True Cost of Wild Horse Roundups.
· Policy Work – Reviewing and commenting on government activities that affect wild horses and burros. We annually generate hundreds of thousands of comments from concerned citizens in support of better protections for wild horses and burros.
· Legislation - Working at the federal and state level to secure better protections for wild horses and burros. Our work in Nevada led to passage of state legislation to facilitate a public private partnership for the humane management of mustangs under state jurisdiction, and the defeat of a bill that would have denied wild horses the right to drink water in the state.
· Solutions Implementation – Implementing humane, on-the-range solutions, including birth control as an alternative to roundups and removals. We are working with the BLM on a pilot PZP fertility control program that has prevented the removal of a group of mustangs outside the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada. We’re also working toward a cooperative agreement with the State of Nevada that will allow for the humane management of mustangs under state control.
· Rescue – Enabling the rescue of nearly 200 wild Nevada mustangs from slaughter by securing a cooperative agreement with the state to allow us to purchase the horses directly (instead of being forced to purchase them at the slaughter auction), and by raising funds to help local rescues and sanctuaries place the horses. AWHPC is directly responsible for the rescue and care of 25 beautiful mustangs who are still seeking forever homes.
Please Join Us
We’re asking Americans to take a hard look at the brutal and inhumane practices the federal government uses to erase wild horses from our public lands to clear the way for commercial interests. Each and every wild horse that falls victim to this program is a lost icon of the freedom and untamed beauty that make this country great. Americans must speak up and demand an end to these practices before it’s too late. Please sign up for our email list and support our efforts!
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign was founded by Return to Freedom, which is its 501 (C) (3) sponsor.