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For Immediate Release-
Washington, DC -- The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition of more than 50 organizations, today announced that it has launched a national campaign to convince President Obama to appoint Congressman Raul Grijalva as the next Secretary of the Interior.
Yesterday, the group launched a web site, www.AppointRaul.com, where supporters can sign a petition to President Obama. As the President begins his second term, the AWHPC believes this is the moment when he can demonstrate the type of bold leadership on which he campaigned.
"The President has a critical decision to make for the future of our public lands and natural resources, including our wild horses and burros," AWHPC Director Suzanne Roy said. "After the failed tenure of Secretary Salazar, which included an expansion of the out-of-control and inhumane wild horse and burro program, the President can appoint someone who will stand up to the special interests and truly guard America's unique public lands legacy. There is no better person for the job of Interior Secretary than Congressman Raul Grijalva."
As the top Democrat and former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Rep. Grijalva has proven his experience and leadership on the wide range of issues Interior faces. He is a member of the Congressional Climate Change Caucus, the Congressional National Parks Caucus, the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition and the Congressional National Wildlife Refuge Caucus and serves as co-chairman of the Congressional National Landscape Conservation System Caucus. Grijalva has been an outspoken advocate for conservation and a leader in pushing for reform of the Bureau of Land Management's costly and ineffective wild horse and burro program. He would bring a bold voice to lead the Department of Interior. If named, Grijalva would be the first Latino appointed to Obama's second term cabinet.
Today, thanks to government roundups that remove wild horses from public lands in the West, over 50,000 wild horses are stockpiled in government holding facilities while fewer than 32,000 remain the wild.
In October 2009, Secretary Salazar announced his plan to reform the wild horse and burro program. However, the promised changes were never implemented. In September 2012, ProPublica revealed that the Interior Department had sold "truckload after truckload" of federally protected wild horses to a known kill buyer, Tom Davis. In October 2012, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign delivered a petition signed by 25,130 American citizens calling on Secretary Salazar to halt federal wild horse roundups and implement policies that will ensure that no federally-protected wild horses are sent to slaughter. To date, the Secretary has failed to respond.
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.
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