When the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted its first wild horse and burro census in 1974, an estimated 15,000 wild burros roamed the West. Today, fewer than 5,000 are left.
Perhaps we need "sensitivity" training for government employees (and sub-contractors) at the Bureau of Land Management. After following this issue for several years, we continue to see the same pattern. Insensitivity to advocates, ignoring scientific studies, and the cruelty they impart to the animals that their very existence relies on (how ironic). I live on the East coast, and have worked in government agencies on and off for many years. I know that we were required to attend Diversity training, Workplace Violence seminars, Sensitivity training classes, etc. in order to keep our jobs. It still is a mandatory requirement in most, if not all governmental agencies. What happened to the BLM, are they excluded from such training?
But I can see that the occupational organizational culture called "Code of the West" or better known as "cowboy/girl" mentality is absolutely a serious threat to all concern, but especially very dangerous to our Wild One’s. This mentality uses brute force rather than brains to work through the issues at hand. Using harsh tactics to push through agendas, completely disregarding common sense advice by knowledgeable parties through scientific facts and/or advocates, and is always ignored completely. When this agency is questioned about their tactics, they revert to the outdated mode of thinking reminiscent of Roosevelt’s "Speak softly and carry a big stick" rhetoric.
We are a more enlightened society now, and most if not all government agencies work through issues taking into account all advice, from all parties concerned and will use some of that information to work out any differences but not always. Not this agency. They refuse to compromise. Their attitude is either "Our way or the highway" and that is the real root cause of so much dissention.
The Wild One’s lives do matter, to a great many people, professional or not, who love their spirit and have nothing but their well being and health as the impetus to get these conditions changed for them. The contentious and very violent reaction to the animals from this agency is the very reason we are so very adamant that their blatant disregard of their well being must change and very soon. If not, more animals will die in these unnecessary roundups, and the pressure on the agency to change will only increase as more and more people become aware of these unconscionable actions by a government agency who is paid with and by our tax payer dollars.
Personally, I will make damn sure a lot of people know what is going on. It will not be on my Watch that I want to ever see the complete annihilation of a species using my tax dollars. You should also want the same, as it is your great, great grandchildren that will benefit from their continued presence on our Public Lands.
Video/Image courtesy of Eagle Eye Media via American Wild Horse Preservation.
See on wildhorsepreservation.org