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Rewilding and Wild Horse Preservation Orgs File in Court to Protect First Amendment Rights

EAST OF NORWICH, NY, August 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the CANA Foundation and Wild Horse Education (WHE) filed documents in Reno Federal District Court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Land Management roundup ( BLM) at the Blue Wing resort north of Lovelock citing First Amendment violations.

Last month, the organizations filed a lawsuit in the same district court alleging the lack of public process and scientific information incorporated into the 2017 environmental assessment (EA), the “Ten-Year Pickup-EA,” that the agency uses to do several roundups. in the complex area of ​​2 million acres. (file number: 2:22-cv-01200)

The ongoing operation is targeting 800 burros and 200 wild horses. A roundup at the same compound in 2020 captured 1,653 wild horses and 220 wild burros. The organizations declare; BLM has failed to create open and transparent management planning, with a lack of current data and a failure to incorporate the use of modern science.

Manda Kalimian of the Cana Foundation states, “As American citizens, we have a right to have a voice in the process and a right to transparency in the actions of our federal government. Without the use of modern science and transparency , our government is ignoring its obligation to the American taxpayer.”

On the first day of operations, BLM reported that 174 wild burros had been captured, nearly 25% of the target goal. Four burros were roped and one broke his neck. Observers were placed more than a mile from the trap location, for most of the day. The trap has been blocked with trailers, moving the burros to a temporary corral that will be closed to public viewing, preventing observers from witnessing these reports themselves.

Burros will be shipped from temporary corrals to a prohibited holding facility. Again, out of sight.

“It’s becoming more and more common for BLM, especially BLM in Nevada, to hide their activities from observers. Therefore, denying us our first amendment rights as guaranteed by the constitution.” says Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education.

‘Open government has been the hallmark of our democracy since the founding of our nation,’ the U.S. District Judge said. Michael Simon wrote while finalizing his order to stop federal police from arresting or assaulting journalists and legal monitors for doing their jobs during the Portland riots, citing Ninth Circuit case precedent Leigh vs. Salazar. “When wrongdoing is in progress, officials are strongly urged to blindfold the watchful eyes of the Fourth Estate. The free press is the guardian of the public interest and the independent judiciary is the guardian of the free press.”

Leigh continued: “It amazes me that the hard-fought decision we won to gain meaningful access to view roundups and assess the condition of wild horses, burros and public rangelands can help journalists cover the riots, but we still have to fight to get meaningful access to a roundup.

The groups say their relationship to the land, wild horses and donkeys, and wildlife, is an essential part of the public process guaranteed by the US Constitution. The US Constitution also protects the public’s “right to know”.

The groups remain committed to exposing BLM’s deficits on the rangeland program, the management of feral horses and donkeys, and their work to bring science and proper management tools to life.

SOURCE: CANA Foundation

SOURCE CANA Foundation