URGENT ACTION REQUEST
Below is a letter template you can use. All you have to do is copy/paste/PERSONALIZE/email.
Please feel free to use the below as your template letter for PUBLIC COMMENT to the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office . You may use all or some, or personalize it as you see fit.
Email Addresses Below:
Public Comment in response to EA 2016 – Horses
I am writing to request that horses in Kisatchie National Forest be saved. Many citizens would like to see these free-roaming horses either remain in the areas they naturally migrate to or be relocated to another area of Kisatchie National Forest where they will be safe and unharmed. With over 600,000 acres, there must be a place for them. Firstly, I’d like to say, that before machinery, these horses WERE YOUR ARMY. They are to be honored, not dishonored in any way. Dog patrols get more honor these days.
Our Free-Roaming horses should NOT be captured by HORSE TRADERS that sell horses for SLAUGHTER nor Subject to sale barns. After purchased at Sale Barns they end up in Feed Lots for a few days up to 2 weeks, then to crowded trucks in their own waste, with no food nor water, in extreme heat or cold to be transported across borders to be slaughtered.
The Kisatchie region holds much Native American history and is one of the settlement cradles in early America that hunters came through, while others raised families, farmed and raised livestock through generations, including the logging and livestock railroad trade era of the early 1900’s. Heritage Family members reported for decades that horses and mules were loosed when families left after their farms and land were taken for Camp Polk’s military training use in the 1930s. Hundreds that belonged to these families served as remounts or hauled equipment at Camp Polk because of the shortage of Cavalry Horses. Unlike Cavalry Horses that were retired at Fort Riley, KS, some remounts that survived the rigors of their work were reportedly loosed when the army no longer had use for them and were never given the recognition they deserved. Their history is so much richer than their ties to the military. Herds roamed the Kisatchie National Forest before and after the WWI and WWII eras and those toward the more remote Peason Ridge area are a smaller Spanish type and though some like them are also found down by Fort Polk, they may have been there much longer. There is no evidence that the horses ever left, other than being destroyed or removed by horse trader/ kill buyers. It has already been stated by the army on hard copy paper that the horses (or their ancestors) were once owned by heritage families. Citizens are concerned over the inhumane treatment and injury the horses were subjected to because of the army’s unregulated capture program and feel this is a shameful legacy that General McGuire left behind. There is also much concern that depleted numbers of horses (than had originally been reported) have been observed for several months now. Kisatchie National Forest is not just for hunters, it is for many who observe all of its beauty and the animals in their natural setting.
Horses were in the Kisatchie long before there was Fort Polk. They are Kisatchie Region Heritage animals and are part of the area’s history that in it’s depressed economy, Louisiana can be proud of. While most of the horses should remain in their wild setting, several working together with the army and KNF, could serve as a resource to help humanely manage animals that truly are in need of care or adoption, through the use of low stress livestock handling techniques, wherever human intervention is actually needed. Many do not support removals or destroying horses which others do not understand or respect.
Please reconsider humane, respectful solutions for these animals, other than having them removed and going to uncertain futures. The horses’ history goes back much further than their ties to military, it is SO IMPORTANT people begin to understand and echo this. They are Kisatchie Region HERITAGE ANIMALS. For many reasons, gelding or permanent sterilization of horses that are left to live in the wild is *NOT* a solution
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