Thank you Madeleine Pickens.
It’s been all over the news for a while, but certain lazy bloggers are just getting around to posting about it. We rail against the very wealthy quite often. They get all the tax breaks, they hog the land in places like Colorado and Wyoming, driving real estate values up so high that ranchers who have worked that land for generations can’t pay their real estate taxes and must sell and abandon their way of life. The list goes on, but I don’t have the heart to inventory the crimes of the rich. Instead, I’m applauding a decision made by one of the very wealthy, Madeleine Pickens, wife of 80’s takeover maven, T. Boone Pickens, who now champions wind farms as an alternative power source.
Plans had been put in place for euthanizing 2000 “unwanted” BLM mustangs on federally-managed land. These wild horses and burros have been minding their own business and require no assistance from humans for hundreds of years. The reason the BLM needs to “manage” them? There are too many, and the are encroaching on human territory. According to Kathy Gill, “The 31,000 horses held by BLM in June was more than three times the 9,807 held in captivity in 2001; BLM official cite budget pressures.” The reason the BLM has so many horses and burros in captivity for adoption? George W. Bush’s aggressive round-ups. The cost of care and feeding of the penned-up animals is straining the BLM’s, and therefore the federal government’s budgets. Additionally, more than 19 million acres of land where wild horses and burros once lived free have been excised from the BLM program, concentrating the population of wild horses into ever smaller areas, giving the appearance of overcrowding where none should exist.
Madeleine Pickens to the rescue. She has announced not only her intention to adopt most if not all of the doomed 30,000 horses and burros awaiting euthanasia, but is also looking for land appropriate to sustain them. See? The very rich do have hearts after all.
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