This roundup occurred as a sanctuary wanted to take the Antelope horses and keep them “home.” That sanctuary has changed “missions” and is currently under consideration as a “long-term” holding facility within the HMA requiring a zeroing out of wild populations and is the subject of much controversy. Read HERE
BLM’s “home” page for the “gather.” http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_programs/wild_horse_and_burro/Antelope_Complex_Gather.html
Posts are presented latests at the top. These are sample updates to the public from the Antelope Complex.
During the Antelope roundup serious conduct issues were taken to the local Sheriff after attempts to address issues with ground crew failed to create any change in conduct. The Sheriff turned over the investigation to the BLM. Their own review cleared all “wrong doing.” It gives a false impression that allegations involved a single incident of an “older mare.” http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2011/february/NR_2_11_2011.html
Ms. Leigh was interviewed to pilot conduct as the pilot was repeatedly photographed chasing single horses and coming in close proximity. Ms. Leigh published many images and instances of this conduct were clearly witnessed by BLM employees. Ms. Leigh was asked to “turn over” files. She refused as the agency is culpable and her distinct impression was that the interviews were not to address conduct but to find “excuses” for it. She did however offer the published images. The issues she attempted to address on numerous occasions went unaddressed in any report compiled by BLM even though Leigh was clearly involved in the “investigation.”
The pilot conduct and issues continued with the same contractor, in the same BLM district at Triple B.
Ms. Leigh filed suit in Federal Court and won a TRO to pilot conduct. The “Humane Issue” case is pending hearing on Injunctive relief for ongoing conduct.
Reposted from Laura Leigh’s Blog
Hung out a PVC today with some of the Antelope Horses. Babies are cute no matter where they were born…. but I wish it were “home.”
Trying to get two more chapters completed in the guide onwww.WildHorseEducation.org but it I needed to go sit with these horses for awhile. Trying to get through the photos and digest all that I have seen… it leaves a knot in my gut.
I am hoping to be back on the road soon. Field data needs to come in… I dread July.
But it’s adoption time of year. May 21 will have an adoption event at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, Nevada. This program has had really well-trained horses in the past. These horses will be some of those taken last year from Twin Peaks. I will poat a reminder as the date gets closer.
Horses at PVC from Antelope are also available for adoption but will not be released until at least May. Strangles is still at the facility and all horses will continue to be swabbed before they leave.
I wish I could hit the lottery.
Let me try to simplify the “foal incident” of the second of March. Seems there are a number of folks that were not present that have taken it upon themselves, for one reason or another, to determine what actually occured. To determine (as they were NOT present) that my information is not correct. (You all know I am fond of questions… particularly the “why?”)
So let’s take emotion out of the equasion and discuss timeline:
11:45 arrival at PVC. Checked in at the desk with Tim, as always. John Neill was in the office at that time. Asked Tim where mares and foals were and he said in the front pen and also in back somwhere. (The exact location of horses at this moment seem to be a difficult question to answer simply).
11:50 began to walk around facility and photograph horses as I usually do. Mare foal pen observed the day before had the same pairs (still not present were two mare and foal pairs previously photographed). Documented very pregnant mares and noted tag numbers for future reference.
12:10 documented the few “hospital pens” that the public can actually see. Large puddles of water present as we had precipitation and melt off recently.
12:20 began the drive around the facility. Noted water truck spraying the pens in the back. Note there were high winds but no need for additional water as the roads were flooded and the pens had significant puddles. No dust present to go “airborn.”
12:22 documented large “caravan” of manure trucks leaving facility and returning, apparently filled with manure on departure.
12:30 water truck had returned presumably to refill and roadway was now clear. Made my way down to see the area he had sprayed (and caused horses to run).
12:39 discovered the “foal in question.” Photographed and returned for video camera as foal was in apparent distress. Foal and area wet.
After observing the situation as “unchanged” for about 20 minutes, determined baby was not “just fresh from the womb,” but in unmistakeable distress. I went to office. On my way to the office I made two calls to find out if there was someone that was interested in taking the pair.
At the office I informed Tim that a baby was in distress and I knew someone to take the foal/mare that was approved adopter. I told him about the water truck and location. He said someone would go out.
1:04 returned to foal. Water truck was again starting to spray the area. I stood at the point where foal was to indicate he should not continue.
1:32 John Neill and female wrangler drove truck into mare pen. When John got out of the truck I thanked him. He hardly looked in my direction and over his shoulder said that she gave birth first thing am and they knew about the baby… it was weak at birth. I told him I had observed baby and he was still fighting, I was “dismissed.” They removed blue liquid from cab, put baby in cab, drove off.
1:34 I took one last photo of babies mom and drove back to the office to check on babies condition.
John Neill and wrangler were out of the truck but got back into cab when I pulled up. They drove to the back of the facility where the dump trucks were removing manure and a few pens are hidden from view.
I went into office and repeated to Tim that I knew someone to take the pair. I left my number to please call me.
John Neill does not talk to me much after a discussion we had last spring that involved the specifics (who, what, how) of release of ”orphan foals” and the photographs of the colt that died at Broken Arrow after his feet fell off from Calico. So my expectation was that John would pass info to Tim and then Tim would tell me.
The gal that wanted to take the pair called me not ten minutes after I left, she was in tears. She told me the baby was put down. Tim called a moment after she did to confirm what she said. I thanked him for telling me.
NOW that is the “what is.”
Reasonable inference: That the water truck was never notified of the foal born in the corner area. As the truck sprayed the horses ran (they always do). The foal (if actually seen early that am) was seen at around 8 am when personnel began rounds to feed. Foal was there for a minimim of three hours before I saw it, most likely more. If the foal was observed to be new (weak) but simply waiting for bonding, it was left to bond. If an injury (or other issue was observed) foal was left in place until I “pointed it out.”
The question would be “why?” on many of these observations.
Draw your own conclusions. But that is the “what is.”
Note: completing compilation to be available soon. You can view video by scrolling to two posts back. That post describes how I felt… ill. Helpless and sick… it is not a good feeling. I can bring this information to you. This is still the US and law forbides me to act in any other manner… but for now… our Constitution allows me my voice (sort of).
Another note… there is hope y’know? winds of change are blowing and our actions right now will determine if the change is positive or negative… but change is coming. Look hard at actions and question… question… question… any source of information. That is why I have added the timeline.
Hang in… hang on… and raise your voice.
Didn’t I write this last winter? Didn’t I tell you all about a baby that I knew someone would take that died after a roundup?
Little Hope died after his feet sloughed off from being stampeded during Calico. I said that I would take him and it would cost BLM nothing… but they let Hope die after his vet report (if you remember it had no intake or treatment dates) said he got horsey ibuprofen by the experts as treatment while his hooves literally separated from the bone…
Well today I saw a brand new baby that had been born in the filth of holding… he struggled in the slippery surface with wind gusts of over 35 mph to stand… I don’t know for how long. I decided he needed help and went to the office to get it. He (and mom) needed to go to drier ground and he needed fluids… mom was attentive.
I made two calls and at least two approved BLM adopters would take the pair. I went to the office….
John Neill and a wrangler went out (after I went back to the pen and started photographing again). They drove the truck between my lens and the baby… took a liquid from the truck and drove off… baby in the cab. I looked at mom and she looked at me…
I went back to the office area where Neill and the wrangler were… they got back in the cab and drove through a mare pen and back to the “off limits” area where you can’t see anything.
All day dump trucks were leaving in a caravan taking what appeared to be manure from the back.
I walked in and left my number with Tim Greene to call me with the foals prognosis and repeated that I knew someone who would take the pair.
I got a call from a very upset friend… not ten minutes after I left… she said Tim was going to call me… they euthanized the baby.
I thought I was getting that baby help… but instead they “took out the trash.” (this is my BLOG and that’s how I see these animals treated… like garbage.. not an animal protected by an act of Congress).
I edited this to get it out… it’s not the best edit… but I feel like I’m goung to puke.
Baby never had a chance…
BTW: I have not seen the new babies I photographed two days ago… they are “somewhere in the back.”
WE all know BLM will come up with some statement about the baby… that he had an anomaly or was sickly… I can tell you a horse in the Antelope complex would never choose a muddy fecal filled hole to give birth in… an open area in 35 mph winds… I saw those mares run and run at a time of year that they never should be run.
I heard the raidio transmissions one day from the spotter saying horses were by the “cattle guard” and used my vehicle to determine those horses were at least ten miles away regardless of what the BLM “update” says. In that group of “about 14″ spotted only 9 made the area of the trap… three heavily pregnant.
When will BLM stop using a published fiction to facilitate ease to ranchers and contractors to determine when the safest time of year is to stampede our symbol of freedom into cages?
Palomino Valley Center: Antelope Complex
They say a picture is worth a thousand words… I have more than a “thousand” for BLM on the subject of “foaling season.” This issue WILL be addressed before the second “leg” of roundup season starts in July… trust me.
Next BIG questions to ask…
How come there were so few pregnant mares making the trap as the pilot was flying in a manner that spurred an investigation? AND How come there were no new foals two days ago in the wild when there are at PVC?
Edited to add: The photo of this foal born on 2/28 was added to show it’s umbilical cord and recent birth. If the foal was an orphan I would have written it was orphaned. Please don’t jump to conclusions without asking questions. Thank-you.
Working on photos and video… and an “end of roundup wrap-up” report.
Just came across this sequence and thought I’d share it… and explain a bit why I love these horses so much.
I am an American. My forefathers experienced great oppression… as did so many of the people of this world. They came to a new land of hardship to find freedom from that oppression and continued to experience it. So they wrote the “Declaration of Independance” and followed it with the Constitution of the United States.
The ideals of a free society of expression and thought… of a place where survival was not based on “pedigree” or station… but in theory everyone by his own will could build a life of their making. In practice it hasn’t worked as well as it could… but the premises are alive and well and as Americans (in theory) we defend those premises with our lives around this globe.
The spirit of the mustang… not based on pedigree, but on a tenacity and flexibility almost unrivaled by human or animal… an ability to adapt… a spirit of… well…
I’m an American… “Don’t tread on me”…. and if you do…. “Have a nice day.” (My fellow Jersians will understand that reference… for the rest of you it has a four letter word involved).
This mare was captured by violent stampede (just what it is), has had family ripped away, is in absolute unfamiliar ground surrounded by beings that are predatory and … I’ll leave the rest of my opinion out.
She stands in line to be branded and treated with a drug that will screw with her hormonal cycle for the next two years as she is pushed and prodded by these predators. She is curious and scared. She touched the metal… only to have her nose squeezed hard (look at the face of the human)…. but watch her reaction.
She could pay with her life in an instant by those that hold the powerful position… and then the (caring experienced horseman… where?… has to use the gate to control the wild horse) man squeezes her behind the door… wonder what would happen if cameras were not present? Just asking….?
I LOVE THESE HORSES!
If that isn’t a “living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the west” what is? Hopefully soon she will begin to live with the respect and honor she should have had after Congress passed the 1971 legislation… maybe this program can evolve into this century?
I will have the full report as soon as I get through pics and notes…
BLM will send out a press release this afternoon but the Antelope Complex roundup is OVER!
Lesli Coakley just sent me a text… but I think I owe the Elko district office lunch? Y’all wanna chip in?
Tomorrow we will document a treat and release and get that out to you…
More info when I have it.
Keep up the pressure…. storms moving in tomorrow afternoon. This needs to end now. More heavily pregnant mares…. more small family bands. Horses coming in so often in the roundup under 40 animals a day is NOT an over populated range. Warned BLM there could be trouble for days the way the trap was set… happened but (thank god) not fatal. More small families fractures… and I can show you what I saw but honestly can’t “tell” you much. Still can’t get respiration or get close enough to evaluate injury….
AND CLOG the FAX!
Please keep FAXING. Clog the fax machines at the local and DC offices of your Representatives. This program needs a serious investigation. BLM personnel have the responsibility to manage these animals in a humane fashion. Fracturing family bands and running pregnant mares in wind gusts over 33 mph that were so frigid spectators (including BLM) had to repeatedly return to vehicles. An abundance of heavily pregnant mares is a listed reason to halt a roundup.
The contractor continues to run horses into a trap with a 90 degree panel angle creating a safety hazard that can and has created fatal consequence… BLM has been told and it has not been addressed.
Take a good look at this mare… then take a good look at the lather on the stallion that just lost his band save one (perhaps two if she doesn’t abort).
Now look at these…
Now do me a favor, please. Find the FAX line for your Senators and Congressional Representatives… and flood the FAX machines demanding that a program that was NEVER implemented as intended… that is so filled with conflicts of interest that it should be illegal… that does NOT comprehend or care about the broad sweep genetic bankruptcy being carried out in an inhumane fashion (as if it was built in 1910 and never evolved passed stone-age concepts of humane care) be investigated top to bottom.
Would you do that for me?
Take a half an hour and compose a short letter … and FAX it until you get a response.
The name of todays game was: how do you put your observers closer than 1.5 miles and set them back just far enough that they can’t really see and obscure what they can see to make documentation as difficult as possible?
We could see when horses broke from the trap on our side but not the back… we could see that there was at least one single horse chased but I can’t tell you how far. We could see that the contractor has yet AGAIN set the trap with panels set at a right angle and horses hit it right where the saddle horses are tied but I can’t tell you what happened. I can’t get a respiration rate or even attempt to assess for injuries even in photos taken with a significant lens enlarged on the computer.
And yes… there were stunning, amazing, hearty, beautiful horses taken today.
Read full text on the Examiner:
Our founding fathers made an incredibly brave stand and wrote the Declaration of Independence. They knew by making a stand for what they believed in that they would not win an across the board popularity contest.
Next came the great Constitution of the United States.
The premises within that document began to build the consciousness of a nation. When I walk through the law libraries and touch the pages (yes, I feel books give a sense that the electronic age desensitizes) you literally feel the development of the identity of this nation.
Case law that demonstrates the evolution of the premises within the Constitution can literally remind you of the pride that is “America.” Sometimes it appears this occurs in spite of ourselves. Civil and human rights cases exist that when you read the cases themselves there is shame that what seems like a “no brainer” in current times was actually an issue that had to be decided within the judicial system. The pages are filled with “bad children” being given rules filtered through the guidelines our “founding fathers” left for us.
Within the Bill of Rights a concept was so important to our “fathers” that it was listed first. (The right to bear arms was second).
The concept of a free press is to allow the public an opportunity to investigate and report on the activities of it’s government without fear of reprisal and censorship. The intention is that the true power of decision making in a Democratic society comes from an educated public conveying ideas to a representative that then advocates those positions in debate within a Senate and House toward shaping our nation.
Within the dialogue of “Wild Horse and Burro Program” implemented by the BLM we have a serious breakdown of this process. Plain and simple the public, Congress and often BLM employess themselves are seriously uninformed.
There is currently a lawsuit that has been patiently waiting to actually be heard within the judicial system. A synopsis of the case can (and should) be read athttp://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=11713 this is an article written by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Congress asks for information and the BLM will chose an “independent” organization (read “pro-slaughter”) to do an investigation or an investigation occurs in house. The reports are continually bias or outright filled with ommisions and inaccuracies. Would we allow the tobacco industry to self-police? Would we make an appointment before showing up to do a search of a crime scene with a suspected perpetrator?
It appears yet again that an “independent” review is being prepared for the BLM by those chosen by the BLM. Those doing the review were suposedly on site Wednesday and Thursday of last week. I was not given the same access to the trap that they were. Activity at holding was very different when the government observers showed up with BLM public relations.
As photos get out access gets worse. I have not been able to get a respiration rate in over a year.
*******note: posts containing certain uses of profanity go into a folder that WordPress set up as a filter. Any posts that are profane attacks and not an attempt at dialogue go into a spam folder. Also be aware that if you posts alot of links you also get tagged as spam by WordPress………
It was below freezing and the wind was blowing across the valley. The cold was biting.
The ability to document anything at this site is practically impossible and the trap has been there for more than one week…. 1.5 miles away. About a 40-55 minute drive (depending on roads) AFTER you hit dirt.
However today a horse broke from his/her band. The horse stayed at the mouth of the trap and watched his/her family chased in.
Then the horse ran the length of the trap without entering, looked toward the family and headed on… hesitantly.
I honestly can’t see much even through the camera lens. I was shooting the trap then the single horse hoping to see something when I got it onto the larger screen. I looked back over for the single horse and did not see him… and hit the shutter anyway, one last time, as the chopper was driving in another band. I enlarged the frame and I am sick that I was kept so far away. I can not tell if this horse is down… or over a rise and I can’t see from where they have me to document much of anything!
I will try to head back there tomorrow if I can. (Now I know BLM reads my blog and maybe they can get back in there at dawn? Please…)
I was told that the chopper would most likely ground as winds were kicking up and I wanted to make holding for the trailer offload. (BLM had brought in about 30 from this trap, 8 later in the day: 38 total) So I left with escort. At every other roundup we have been told that moving vehicles are a distraction and a safety hazard during a drive and have been vehemently told to stop (even being held for an entire drive and the next at one location at Silver King). I thought I heard the chopper (hard to hear over the rattling now taking place in my vehicle from the roads) I looked over to my left and horses were very close and running down a mountainside out of the Wilderness Study Area. I stopped. I was reprimanded (complied immediately) and told I need to drive faster. This is another instance of arbitrary safety standards.
Perhaps they just didn’t want me to see that the horses were lathered on a horribly cold morning?
Apparently no contract staff present to refill water containers at holding. Horses in stud pen appeared to refuse the water in one tub and had drained the other. I have not been able to evaluate water in any pen except the stud pen.
AND folks we have holding packed with horses and another storm coming… If you are checking weather check Wendover Utah to Ely Nevada… Roundup right now is running Alt. 93.
Article for Horseback coming soon… Saving Americas Mustangs for full update and photos… I only have time to upload a few… bedtime.
Edited to Add (cause folks had trouble understanding the last weather here… West Wendover and Pequop Summit would be of particular interest and give you an idea… holding is a bit south… about 50?… someone google, I’m tired… miles north of McGill.)
|Winter Weather Advisory (as of 3:55 PM 2/18/2011)|
|SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO AFFECT NEVADA TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING…
.A LARGE WINTER STORM WILL PRODUCE WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL ACROSS ALL OF NEVADA TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT. HEAVIEST SNOWFALL AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED IN THE RUBY MOUNTAINS AND ACROSS NYE COUNTY… BUT ALL LOCATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE MEASURABLE SNOW.NVZ031gt;033-036-191200- /O.UPG.KLKN.WS.A.0001.110219T1800Z-110220T1200Z/ /O.NEW.KLKN.WW.Y.0004.110219T1200Z-110220T1200Z/ NORTHERN ELKO COUNTY-SOUTHWEST AND SOUTH CENTRAL ELKO COUNTY- EXTREME EASTERN ELKO COUNTY- NORTHERN LANDER COUNTY AND NORTHERN EUREKA COUNTY- INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS… JACKPOT… WILDHORSE…
OWYHEE… H D SUMMIT… ELKO… SPRING CREEK… PEQUOP SUMMIT…
WELLS… CARLIN… SILVER ZONE PASS… WEST WENDOVER…
BATTLE MOUNTAIN… EMIGRANT PASS 355 PM PST FRI FEB 18 2011 … WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM SATURDAY TO 4 AM PST SUNDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ELKO HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM SATURDAY TO 4 AM PST SUNDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: WIDESPREAD SNOW AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE EXPECTED. HIGHER AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 8 INCHES ABOVE 6000 FEET.* TIMING: WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SATURDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL CONTINUE… HEAVY AT TIMES… SATURDAY AND SATURDAY EVENING… BEFORE TAPERING TO SNOW SHOWERS SUNDAY MORNING.* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: JACKPOT… WILDHORSE… OWYHEE… H D SUMMIT… SILVER ZONE PASS… WEST WENDOVER… ELKO… SPRING CREEK… PEQUOP SUMMIT… WELLS… CARLIN… BATTLE MOUNTAIN…
EMIGRANT PASS.* IMPACTS: WIDESPREAD ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL CREATE SNOW COVERED ROADS MAKING TRAVEL DIFFICULT.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
(Data provided by the National Weather Service)
Sent out reports and loaded video.
Will edit when time allows.
Snow fencing down all day at holding until BLM media and lead PR show up… then up it goes for “safety” by a contractor smoking a cigarette by the hay bales….
A horse fought so hard to stay with family that he literally flung himself over the fence… video when I can find time to edit… later (most likely same horse) vaulted cleanly over.
Gorgeous stallion that I believe came in two days ago could be photographed and has evidence of a wound on his face….
Pens are literally packed as roads were too bad to travel this am.
Another storm coming over weekend….
How much ya wanna bet it’s “pest control” as usual on the range in the am?
The video shows how horses are offloaded at temporary. The horses at the front are scared by the “baggie whip” and push the horses at the back out. Often the horses at the back stumble backward off the trailer. This load shows the last horse off limps. (Any lameness will not be reported as a “gather” related injury as BLM does not consider a lame horse an injured horse regardless of cause).
Horses are then placed into a collective pen (all ages and sexes) until the contractor finds time to sort.
Note: the beautiful stallion that was calling to his mare all afternoon yesterday is still at temporary and will go to Gunnison in the am. His mare was shipped off to PVC this am.
BLM is claiming it was too dark to give an exact count of horses.. “about 80″… today. That implies horses are not counted as they load on the range and are only counted at holding.
They did not want to be separated…. he balked at the chute… she fought to be with him. He tried to answer her calls. They released him into a pen… she could see him… she did not want to enter the chute…
When they released her she tried to get into the stud pen with him and stayed at the gate until forced to move on…
They called to each other the entire time I was there.
Family and Freedom… American values?
Shipment to PVC in am… will it be mares and stallions? I don’t know…
I have been notified we will be kept a mile and a half from the trap… welcome to Elko. (Remember Owyhee?)
Here is the BLM report on the investigation (spin on the video).
BLM staff are present at the roundups. Several BLM staff reassure me on a continual basis that they “are there for the horses.” Not a single one of them has spoken out about what they see and have actually gasped at. All I can say is that there may not be a backbone in the entire agency.
Here is the relentless pursuit yet again of a single horse on 2/6… Superbowl Sunday. My equipment is not the best and I apologize for the render. I can’t export a larger file… the distance is great but you will get the idea.
My response to the “Investigation.”
The “relentlessness” (only word I can think of) of the outrageous conduct at the Antelope gather continues.
The issues are so many and range from actually having to notify official personel that there was only one 50 gallon water trough for 10-30 horses (do the math… 15 gallons each day per horse) to the conduct that demonstrates the pilot repeatedly flying dangerously close to horses (despite the BLM press release… c’mon!).
Have we learned nothing? Has our government become a dense faction of ostriches and cowards?
We have horses dying behind the “Iron Curtain” of Broken Arrow(aka Indian Lakes) of pneumonia. I warned them at Eagle and Callaghan that these horses are vulnerable to respiratory illness. Because there is no “temperature rule” we will have the same vulnerable population entering the warehouse system from Antelope.
Is America a leader in humane treatment or are we a “sell-out” nation?
****Note about 2/3 of the way through Is that Sun-J wrangler beating a horse in the face with his “baggie” and then turning the whip around to hit him with the stick end?
No horses captured on 2/7. Roundup called due to wind. Meeting location changed to Wendover from Ely.
Slideshow from 2/6… so many images and so little time. Hopefully this gives you a “flavor” for the day.
I finally hit saturation last night.
Reviewing the photos from yesterday and emeshing in the manner in which these magnificent animals, supposedly protected by Congress, are being literally harrassed and terrified into these traps made me physically ill.
I am very good at staying professional “in the moment.” I will vocalize my disapproval in a manner that is unmistakable. Yet I am very good at staying in a dialogue that remains civil. But last night the energy that took literally drained my reserves.
I took almost 2000 frames (plus more on another camera) yesterday. The majority of those of the actual roundup, and not the incredibly beatiful range, show the constant harrassment of our horses. Families broken and literally chased in separate directions, single horses repeatedly targeted, and a pilot that looked more like he was in a cutting competition than one attempting to “herd.”
I am working on a sequential slideshow today… but I am also heading out to the range and holding. Please understand the tremendous volume of information I have and the very long days that start at 4 am and often do not end until after dark… and that is just being out.
Nights have been spent dealing with constant drama… from places it should not be coming.
Keep it simple… keep it focused.
I will get out what I can asap.
18 horses taken today from Spring Valley.
We have gone into Spring Valley 3 seperate times for very few horses.
Last group run more than an hour. Three horses turned into two… and one left alone after he/she escaped. They came in beyond lathered.
Roundup was called a second day in a row by Ben Noyes and did not resume due to wind.
Oh yeah… access was awful. Saw horses run for under ten seconds and in trap for less than five. Horses loaded directly after capture with no time to settle.
I saw the News 4 report where BLM says the pics I took were the same day as the video of the mare.
I wasn’t there the day that particular mare went down. The only day I have not been on that range. The “photos” referenced were taken on the another day. They were taken from an area that no observation of the pilot could be seen by the “known” observers. I was on the opposite side of the hill.
It is not “telephoto” illusion or any such crap. My vantage was much lower (not higher). My vantage would not make the chopper look closer to the horse. Look at the wash from the chopper blades… there is snow on the ground. That tells you where that pilot was and how close…. this is NOT rocket science.
Pilot (from the limited view I had) flew in a more appropriate manner except when the last group broke from the trap as the wranglers on the ground were standing upright and moving during approach. He then resumed the “force” the horse methodology. I hear over the radio a voice I believe was Ben Noyes the BLM Wild Horse and Burro specialist call it… to let the horses go.
Only 9 horses were taken from the “overpopulated” range today.
I wonder if a member of the public were not present would this have been the case?
Need to get up at 4….
On February 1 I was told that there was an investigation as to what is occuring on the range. I met with Mary D’Aversa and Chris Hanefeld to discuss what I had seen.
The next day Lili Thomas of the BLM (apparently on the four member team appointed by Dean Bolstad) was at the trap. She was not on the other side of this ridge… I don’t think anyone was.
These pictures were taken at the trap on 2/2.
AND we NEED to get the doors open to the CLOSED facilities… NOW!
These are OUR horses and every life matters to us!
Today the BLM did not update their hotline so I was late getting onto the range. I would have been on the other side of the rise…
Does this pilot need anger management classes or serious glasses? Either way Sun J needs to be pulled from this roundup. Many instances of either incompetance or laziness. Internet issues… will write more tomorrow.
I take about 1000 frames each day plus hours of video.
I have been doing a video of each roundup with a voiceover that describes the area and AML, etc. This one I just put to music… cause it has taken too long. Articles coming soon…. Interesting article for Horseback very soon…
It’s been snowing all day… maybe the helicopter wont fly in the am? I have seen so many bands broken up by this pilot… He starts with a larger group and only a few come in… or he has to let a band go. Many of the horses are lathered… really lathered. The layout of each trap does not make sense. I am worried about what he has left on the range in his wake.
When we get to the point in time when a roundup takes place the time for policy talk ends… it becomes an issue of literally life and death for these animals. A dialogue needs to take place to evolve the methodology used to stampede horses and treat them like pests… This is the only animal in our history to have an entire act of Congress devoted to it….
President Obama… are we a civilized nation? Do we as Americans still value compassion? Or have we sold that off to the highest bidder?
I’m tired… goodnight.
Reviewing photos for am post.
About 57 horses today. So much to tell… I will write detailed report and get caught up AND a shower tomorrow… chopper down for mantainance.
Last load of the day was given about less than 5 minutes to settle before activity began to load. Public observers notified the BLM representative, Tom from Colorado, that loading now was not “the right thing.” He did not pass on the information and repeatedly ignored concerns of observers.
The youngster loaded with adults, immediately after capture, arrived at holding with a bloody nose. Was it really that important to “clock out?”
Isn’t it time we “evolve” as a society and begin to recognize that historic prejudice suurounds these horses and start “growing up” as a nation? DEAR GOD! This is the only animal in the history of the US to have an entire act of Congress devoted to it! Isn’t well past time that this program is taken out of the hands of those that hold those predjudices?
Can’t common sense and a bit of humanity actually exist in a society that claims to be “civilized?”
(Yes… I’m tired. I’ll pull it in after some sleep…. but this is my blog… )
Today could be dubbed the day of the “escape.”
First band of the day (5 member) was too hard for the pilot and was given up on. Another band of seven had one and then two break… last band at the first trap was eleven members and the pilot could not get them in.
Second trap had nine and the stallion tried to vault the panels… second band ran into the trap and before the gates closed a black ran back out, broke through the jute… and up past us.
Freedom won… but at what price?
I apologize for being behind on the article and video edit… I will try to get it out tomorrow after the roundup. We left the range at dark.
Will try to get update out to Grass Roots Horse et al. asap.
Just a side note: When BLM was asked by an observer if they could go take pictures elsewhere the reply was “it’s public land, of course.” Reminder: this is the Elko district… same as Owyhee… remember Owyhee? This legal battle continues.http://wildhorseeducation.org
Working on an in depth story on some of the issues on the Antelope range for Horseback… be ready in a day or so.
In the meantime the family that I photographed in the wild and then at the trap, shipped to Palomino Valley Center this am.
More beautiful horses came in today. Studs will ship to Gunnison including these…
The Antelope Complex roundup begins tomorrow… say a prayer that keeps them safe from injury and death.
Horseback Article up http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/6084
Ely portion of Antelope HMA.
No sign of over population. Small scattered family bands.
Forage, water, cattle, fences…. very few horses.
Full report coming to Horseback and Grass Roots Horse am.
I NEED sleep!
Slip, slidding around the very vast area to be rounded up in Northeastern Nevada. In a few days the largest roundup of the season will begin in the Antelope Complex jointly managed by the Elko and Ely district offices.
Had warm weather and the range had melt off… very “mucky.” Turning cold again and freeze over should take place.
Roundup postponed until the 24th (yet subject to change). Will keep ya’ all posted.
Just some “eye candy.”