Federal Lawsuit To
Save Wild Horses From Planned Extinction
June 23, 2012: A federal lawsuit filed in September 2011 challenges the legality of a helicopter roundup and asks the court to return the captured horses to a bigger, sustainable range.
The September 2011 Telluride screening of the film “Wild Horses & Renegades” by James Anaquad-Kleinert sparked a groundswell of outrage and activism. Since then, a well-organized group of over 30 volunteers has pooled their efforts in support of Kleinert’s mission to expose the BLM’s mismanagement of wild horses and public lands, and to assert political and legal pressure on the BLM to treat wild horses in a humane and environmentally responsible manner.
Two weeks following the screening, the BLM held a helicopter roundup of wild horses in Disappointment Valley, near Telluride. These very horses, and the violence of a previous 2007 helicopter roundup, were featured in Kleinert’s film. The Telluride community became ignited. Unprecedented numbers attended the 2011 roundup, and they experienced first-hand the BLM’s cruelty and illegal conduct.
Incredibly, the Telluride volunteers have saved every single one of the unadopted wild horses to survive the 2011 Disappointment Valley roundup. Volunteers raised $25,000 and arranged for the transportation and board of 27 horses through the winter, sparing the horses years of feedlot-style captivity, or worse, slaughter in unimaginably inhumane conditions in Mexico.
The film also generated a federal lawsuit (Kleinert v. Salazar), challenging the recent Disappointment Valley helicopter roundup based on violations of the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the U.S. Constitution.
The legal strategy focuses on staying in court post-roundup. Federal lawsuits against the BLM under the 1971 Wild Horse Act are rare and recent, and this area of the law is literally developing by the day. Most lawsuits are dismissed for lack of standing and mootness. The Kleinert case is unique and should withstand dismissal. This is because the volunteer group is able to return captured horses back to the larger range they inhabited 1971, so the herd can repopulate to a higher, genetically sustainable size. Since the captured Disappointment horses can in fact be returned to the range thanks to community support, the court can grant this relief, which means the case should withstand dismissal and the plaintiffs can stay in court post-roundup.
This will be a rare opportunity to create new law. It could be a game changer for the American wild horse and its advocates.
We Need Your Support
Kleinert is asking for financial support to build on the progress made so far. Kleinert is completing the film “Wild Horses & Renegades” for final release and distribution. This powerful movie is an extraordinary media tool for raising public awareness of BLM mismanagement of wild horses and our public lands. Kleinert’s costs to release the film are about $75,000. Additionally, legal costs for the federal lawsuit are expected to be in the range of $50,000 to $75,000.
To donate online towards film release expenses, please click on the PayPal donation button below.
To donate towards legal costs, please send a check to:
Law Office of Diane Wolfson
560 Mountain Village Blvd., 102A
Mountain Village, CO 81435
We are currently seeking funding for James Anaquad Kleinert first Amendment case against the BLM. Harvard Graduate Raymond Vesvari expresses his interest in taking the case and it’s incredible potential.
We are seeking funding for this important 1st Amendment case or support from a pro-bono constitutional rights attorney.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration in helping to protect and uphold America’s Constitutional Rights.
– James Anaquad Kleinert