WASHINGTON, DC --- The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) today responded optimistically to reports that President Obama will nominate Sally Jewell, current CEO of REI, to replace Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary.
AWHPC Director, Suzanne Roy, said:
“Sally Jewell is a surprising choice, but we’re hopeful that, as a conservationist and outdoor enthusiast, she’ll appreciate the important role wild horses play in our national heritage and work with us to find ways to preserve them for future generations.”
“Jewell will face many challenges as Interior Secretary, but time is running out for America’s wild horses and burros, so she'll have to act quickly.”
“Jewell's predecessor, Ken Salazar, promised reforms, but instead allowed this program to get so out-of-control that it now risks running wild horses and burros off public lands for good. Under Salazar's tenure, nearly 40,000 wild horses were rounded up and removed from the range. Today, thanks to Salazar's failure to address this problem, there are more wild horses stockpiled in government holding facilities than remain free in the wild.”
AWHPC said that its fast-growing movement of citizens concerned about the future of America’s mustangs deserves to get answers from Jewell about her plans to reform this program. The Campaign looks forward to opening a dialogue with Jewell over the coming weeks, including during the confirmation process in cooperation with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, which has oversight of the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management.
Over the past four years, hundreds of thousands of citizens have spoken up for America's wild horses and burros and against the government's inhumane roundup program. In November 2012, AWHPC delivered a letter signed by 25,130 Americans calling on Secretary Salazar to pause the entire program until reforms were put in place to prevent federally protected wild horses from being slaughtered in Mexico. As of February 6, 2013, AWHPC has received no response from Secretary Salazar and a follow up letter is gathering signatures in the House of Representatives.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come.