Video of the TRiple B roundup that gained court actions
Selected Images From Triple B
Reposted from Laura Leigh’s Blog
BLM Pilot Conduct Ruled “Inhumane” at Triple B Wild Horse Hearing
Federal Judge “Deeply Concerned” Over BLM Defense
Yesterday, August 30th 2011 in a Reno Nevada Federal Courtroom the Honorable Judge Howard McKibben granted a Temporary Restraining Order against the continuation of documented helicopter pilot conduct at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Triple B wild horse roundup in Eastern Nevada. Citing his authority as a Federal Judge to enjoin an agency’s conduct where their actions have been demonstrated to be “in violation of an Act” Judge McKibben issued the TRO.
“I am deeply concerned,” Judge Mckibben stated to Eric Petersen, BLM’s legal counsel, “that declarations presented to the Court by the Agency do not address the issue, but simply deny wrong doing.”
Judge Mckibben went on to recite the only declaration, of the four presented to the Court, that addressed an instance where video taken by Plaintiff Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education (WHE) shows a BLM contract pilot coming dangerously close to an exhausted horse apparently making contact with the animal was in direct contrast to what was recorded. He stated that the declaration by Defendant was not what he observed in the video as he could see an exhausted animal and the pilot apparently making contact. He said he did not appreciate the “blame the horse” direction of the Defendant’s statements.
Although McKibben did not rule in Plaintiff’s favor on other cited alleged violations he did verbally address the Defendants. For example in the insufficient water assertion McKIbben did say that if the horses drain the water they should simply be given more.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to bring these issues into the Courtroom,” stated Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno “this is a beginning to addressing this most basic premise of an Act of Congress that still has significant public interest.”
Mckibben also noted that if the BLM brings a helicopter contractor back to Triple B, as stated in Alan Shepherd’s (BLM) declaration, “this Court will be watching.”
This beautiful horse broke out (jumped the panel after capture at the trap) and stood by the jute… moving forward and back… forward and back… as his family loaded.
After the trailer (with his mares) went past him he shot up the hill behind us… then eyed the trap from the other side of the hill calling to the babies… he moved off as vehicles came in but stopped as a trailer came back up the road… and called to see if his family had come back.
Off in the distance you could see a chopper… he briefly headed toward the band being chased and then so very slowly… with head down… went down the road… and over the horizon.
I have seen thousands and thousand of horses loose everything they have. I don’t normally name them.
But this horse is “Allegiance.”
It is what he demonstrated and what we owe him.
I will edit video and get images together as soon as I can… but I am exhausted… have hours of tape and pics to log of over-driving, atrocious flying, BLM admits hotshot use and more.
As well as a few tears to shed tonight.
A local auto shop fixed my truck today even though I couldn’t pay… he said to bring the money when I get it… but to get out to the range and keep an eye on “our” horses….
Tears for many reasons tonight… these people that live here love these horses… but they are not a mine or ranching interest… they are just people that read the local paper and live their lives in this hard, but beautiful place… and cherish the ideals of Freedom and survival that “our” horses represent.
There are days and then there days.
August 6th was one of those days.
As I sit and try to edit video to tell you all that was seen I am hit with an inability to edit. Every basic concept of humane treatment was broken. Every basic concept of common sense went out the window. Every basic demonstration of the simplest concept of equine behavior was non-existant.
The drives were long, no matter what is placed on the BLM site. Drives were well over ten miles. One group ran for over an hour and had a foal. They were run. The horses were confused and panicked.
A horse was left pinned between the trailer and the trailer door (after getting it’s head caught in an inappropriately set panel) while a group of horses are driven into the trap.
Exhausted foals are chased.
In holding evidence of injury.
The same issues with the bare minimum of feed that is NOT distributed in a manner to the best interest of the horses, but to convenience of the contractor.
The same water games with the foal and adult horses.
On this one let’s do the math one more time… 15 gallons a day is what BLM states a horse drinks. A 50 gallon tub filled 2 times each day is 100 gallons. 45 studs, in July and August, need more than two tubs. A nursing mare needs more than 15 gallons (according to BLM).
BLM according to the law YOU are responsible for making decisions on the ground. That includes determining that in the heat the horses need water. That includes determining if horses, and tiny babies, are being over-driven. That includes making the call that handling is too rough and counter intuitive.
BLM you can make the calls that include leaving a horse lost while horses are driven in. BLM you can make the call that a horse remains “wedged” for over ten minutes as other horses are driven in. BLM you can also actually make calls that are for the welfare of the horse… not just the “expediency” of the operation.
I am trying to edit video down to appropriate lengths. Youtube takes ten minute clips. I am sending the rough edit (over 25 minutes) to someone that may be able to get it cut into sections. I am trying to get everything logged… but need sleep.
Blew a tire and spun out after over an hour driving fast on gravel and dirt to try to catch a trailer…
If you can help get the truck fixed and keep gas in the tank it is appreciated.
some pictures from 8/6, video soon
Taken from BLM Triple B “gather update” page
1‐ A 2‐3 weeks old palomino foal was brought in with a pre‐existing deformity on the right front fetlock joint. The foal was showing some signs of lameness and could not stand straight on that leg. Exercise associated with the gather activity likely aggravated the condition and the foal was standing and walking with difficulty. With the heat and activity of the gather the foal also showed signs of respiratory distress.
She was treated with injectable procaine penicillin and flunixin and sorted into a smaller pen with the mare. The flunixin injection to be repeated once daily for 3 days. The signs of respiratory distress subsided substantially over time, however the right leg was still exhibiting the same symptoms causing lameness. This deformity would most likely affect the animal’s survival in the wilderness, and reduce the animal’s quality of life for the foreseeable future. The deformity has a poor prognosis for recovery. The decision was to monitor the condition for a few days and consider euthanasia if no improvement is noted.
Final disposition, on July 25, 2011 this foal was re‐examined:
The foal was not improving in condition. She had been treated daily with anti‐ inflammatory injections for 3 days to relieve pain and showed no improvement. The foal as euthanized based on no improvement in her condition, the limb deformity and a poor prognosis for recovery from the lameness.
help keep documentation coming: http://wildhorseeducation.org
edited to add:
Wanted to add some more information in case this page goes to those interested in WHY this is so outrageous.
First take a peek at this illustration so you know what part of the horse we are talking about.
Now read this quote about an adult, trained athlete, named “I Want Revenge.”
“The ultrasound exam that was performed on May 3 showed changes in the middle distal sesamoidean ligaments (also known as oblique sesamodean ligaments), which are the ligaments below and behind the fetlock joint that support the fetlock during high speed exercise.”
Now look at the illustration on the page the quote comes from to understand the rest of the anatomy. http://ieah.com/cgi-bin/news_article.cgi?news_id=1002252
Now just look at this breeding website on foals, quote: “So, your new foal has arrived, it is now about 3 weeks old and most probably enthusiastically skipping around the paddock and causing Mum a few annoyances! By this stage any initial tendon problems have usually righted themselves…”
scroll down and look at the photo… that baby would have been euthanized, but is within the range of NORMAL. If we continue to run these horses during FOALING SEASON they will continue to DIE.
IF this agency continues it’s pattern of “shell game” all we will have are “new policies” that block the public from hearing that runners are going out. We will have policy that hides these deaths…. Roundups should NOT be occurring during foaling season. It is inhumane and a violation of the Act… no where in the Taylor Grazing Act nor in FLPMA does it allow for the most basic violations of humane treatment we are witnessing.
Just a quick informal update:
I have left the Triple B area. Another observer has come in. I had not originally planned to go to Triple B as I was under the assumption that others would be there and I could “track the gap” in the roundup schedule.
However sometimes things work the way they are supposed to even if you don’t realize it. I was able to further document the actions of Sun J at yet another operation. I have been at all of their activities since last fall. So the documentation is still an inclusive record.
Yet by not being able to “follow my gut” it appears (I have been informed, but have not seen the Press Release) that an unpublicized roundup did occur as I suspected it would. The gap in the schedule made me suspect Sheldon was “on the radar” and that proved correct. An estray roundup occurred in Oregon. Where they went, I don’t know. Winter Ridge will be “zeroed out” as it is HA, not HMA. (I have been to Winter Ridge and there are no horses there… only near the BIA land).
I am heading back to complete the work I began in the field and off to cover the Oregon Roundups. So at this point it appears that you will all be able to follow the activities of both contractors.
The photo I posted earlier on this blog IS of the foal euthanized. The other foal I never saw and have serious suspicions that it ever existed. If anyone has time to FOIA the vet report? Thanks.
Two articles on other investigations coming your way sooooooon.
Some pics real quick and then I turn the ignition.
Roundups should NOT happen in July. This is “no-brainer” stuff that makes the idea that any sanity or comprehension of what humane management means exists at all.
note: Alan Shepherd went back to his desk and is no longer at Triple B.
Much has happened the last two days and I will get info and pics up very soon. But I hear BLM is tweeting each load that comes in. But they are only giving you times… not any other info.
I’ll fill in the gaps soon.
Here’s a preview.
Help keep gas in the tank: http://wildhorseeducation.org
This is the last video that will be posted for a bit. Editing video takes an incredible amount of time. I will go back to archiving the video in case the documentation is required and posting still images. But I think this series of three days gives you an idea how frustrating this is. It will not give you a clear picture of the wear and tear on your vehicle, the damage done to your equipment or the toll it takes on your face.
Day 4 began at holding and the lame excuses about the medical treatment of these foals (that were now euthanized) set the tone. Sometimes my hands will shake from the stupidity. It is like being a teacher in Kindergarten… but the Kindergartners make the rules.
Yes, the tone of this report is terse. But being with this contractor every day but two during Antelope, and now watching this at Triple B, is like chewing on tin foil.
I am usually very patient and quiet. I do my observations and reports.This time I am trying very hard not to allow the frustration to drive me.
On another front there may be some good news soon, but that will have to wait for another day. So pray that sanity can begin to take root somewhere.
Day 4 brought with it frustration after frustration.
It began with the excuses about water and food, with no indication that anything would change. It continued with the absurd assertions about the injured foals.
At the trap the radio was again left so I could not hear anything until one time Heather Emmons left it loud enough that I could pick up a call. It was the pilot asking Alan Shepherd to glass a horse that could not keep up. I was given no further information as to the age or reason the horse could not keep up… and of course I was held to a position that did not allow me any observation.
The horses the pilot drove into the trap came in two groups.
Then 4 runners went out and the pilot. The pilot asked Shepherd the location and was told it should be “right under you.” It was apparently a bush.
I asked if I could go to the rise and look. I said that all eyes should be utilized. I was not granted permission, nor was it denied. I stayed behind the tape. It is my belief that this agency attempts to push the limits of control until we are tempted to break them… only to utilize the unreasonable restraints against us.
After almost an hour of no information, BLM personnel reading newspapers, I asked to go give my dog water and check on him. That permission was granted. I hung out in the vehicle with the dog, as it is much cooler there. I saw two runners beating it back to the trap so I went back to the observation area only to find out that the runners were coming back… not because they had found anything… but because the pilot was driving horses to the trap.
Shepherd had given the authorization for resources to abandon the search and begin operations. The other two runners also returned to the trap. I expressed my outrage in no uncertain terms. I informed personnel that I had called people from my vehicle and the public knew they had stopped looking. I informed them I was not leaving until the horse was located.
After the drive Heather was called down to speak with Alan.
Miraculously the horse that had now been missing for over an hour and a half had been found. It had “run back home” and hooked up with a stud. A trailer went down the road and in less than ten minutes came back… with a load that looked much like it did when it left.
As I am not permitted to travel the same road as the trailer it would take me about an hour longer to reach holding. I would not see this animal unload.
The animal was allegedly a 4 month old that was so deformed it couldn’t run correctly and was euthanized. The same animal that ran almost to the trap and back again… I can not confirm that there was an animal even picked up off that range.
Have you pulled out all your hair yet? Have you gritted your teeth so badly that you have broken molars? Have you bitten your lip so hard it bleeds? Have you vowed to god you will not allow this “spoiled child agency” to continue without challenge… no matter what it takes?
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EDITED to add:
They killed the babies in this report today.
At the roundup we had runners go off with no explanation. We had a baby come in that I could see was injured.
So I added an extra two hours of driving to my day and headed to holding.
There I saw three youngsters treated for injury. I do not know how many were treated prior to my arrival. (note: it is interesting that I asked about the injuries and am only given information on the treatment I actually saw, with no other information offered. It always seems like “If they don’t see it, it didn’t happen”).
A big bay stud and his band have really hit me hard. He was in the last group (or at least the last group I knew of). One of his foals (the only one that came in with his band) was injured. They put his mare and injured foal in the pen next to him. He kept all the other horses from the fence line. He called to them non-stop while I was there. He was there at the fence line when I arrived in the morning. I was pretty upset by some comments Alan Shepherd made so I got a few quick takes and did not get one of his calls as they began to load that am.
I quickly headed to the roundup site instead as the day before they had already captured 40 horses before my arrival. Leaving holding early didn’t change anything, they still had about 40 prior to my arrival on Day 4. Keep in mind we leave our “meeting” spot at 4:30 am, that’s how much driving is involved.
The comments from Shepherd that were so distressing go like this: ”The palomino foal had weak tendons. The little chestnut has a bad mom. The other foal that was treated has a laceration to a leg, but it’s pre-existing. The animals drain the water and it needs to be refilled a couple times.”
Did that hit you like it hit me from the State Lead for Nevada’s Wild Horse and Burro program, Alan Shepherd? Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that constantly blames the animal for it’s situation? (Old Mare at Antelope) Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that took part in several “Final solution” conversations for our wild horses?(2009 Article animal Law Coalition) Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that answered in Federal Court that there were “no fences, no cows, no water” in the Owyhee HMA? (Gorey’s explanation to Horseback)
At the Antelope Complex Roundup this past winter there was the exact same situation with this contractor, Sun-J (it is a pattern). When I pointed out the deficiency Ben Noyes, the WH&B specialist in Ely, simply grabbed more tubs for water and placed them in the pens. He directed the contractor to appropriately distribute feed. He made no excuse.
Perhaps a man like Ben Noyes, that is able to admit a deficit and comprehends that the equation for the amount of horses translates into water consumption, should be the state lead and Mr. Shepherd should go muck at the Burns Corral until he comprehends what horses are?
I was told the runners went out to get the two injured foals. We already know that is also not the truth.
This IS foaling season. ALL foals have weak legs, that is why you don’t run a foal. It IS over 90 degrees during the day and horses need water. The fact that this conversation has to occur at all with an agency tasked for the last 40 YEARS with the humane treatment and management of our wild herds is OBSCENE.
note: and the more I review my tapes the more I believe that the roan is NOT that little chestnuts mom. The chestnut mare at the trap is most likely his mom. They even look alike. A bay dad and a roan mom will most likely not produce a chestnut baby. That baby was leaning against ANY family member he could because he could NOT stand. I’ll bet that’s why she was so agitated. I wonder where her baby is? I wonder so much about the ability to actually OBSERVE and not just process inventory in this agency. I need to see that chestnut foal.
Day 4 video coming soon… and more on Mr. Shepherd
When you are at a roundup what you don’t see is as important as what you do see. Realize that the PR folks sitting with you are very good at what they do, that’s why they are there. Conversation can be extremely pleasant but a real distraction if you can’t talk and work at the same time.
Conversation began the first day I was there about Director Abbey’s “new normal.” The “new normal” just means “get better at hiding.” So you have to be very sharp. I told Jeff “new normal” just means Abbey sends cuter memos.
At Antelope and Eagle I was often able to listen to radio transmissions that filled in the gaps… as I am held to positions that limit my ability to assess. This roundup I guess I would scare horses if I could hear what is happening.
If you see riders (runners) go off you know it is for a reason. Open your eyes and ears and try to figure it out. Often you will not know, nor will you ever be able to confirm what you are told.
This day, in spite of every effort to keep pilot performance hidden, I saw the same evidence of fractured bands I saw at Antelope.
A lone stallion came over the rise…. and in spite of assertions that observers scare horses…. this poor baby came up over the rise to address us several times in an attempt to figure out how to save his family. Seated observers do not scare wild horses.
Again please note what you don’t see. Gather reports will not tell you how many are treated for injury. Gather reports will not tell you how many were fractured from their families and left. Gather reports will not tell you an awful lot. But here is the link: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_field_office/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/triple_b__maverick/gatreports.html
At the end of the “roundup portion” of this day it was vital that I add an extra 2 plus hours driving time to the already long day. The amount of driving you need to do at roundups in Eastern Nevada can be staggering. The roads can be rocky and filled with alkali dust that is like driving in baby powder. I have gotten several nose bleeds from the combination of dust and dry air.
You will see why the extra time was absolutely needed in Triple B day 3_Part 2, coming soon.
PLEASE if you can donate to help me stay out here you are the gas in my tank!http://WildHorseEducation.org
Day 3 and 4 videos coming soon.
(It is taking a long time to load on this connection).
The single edit was over 40 minutes of all three days combined. As there seem to be conflicting issues and a need for folks to “see” I have taken the time to deal with several issues including these video edits.I had to cut this into three days to be able to upload.
Please realize that what is presented is the same activity we saw at Antelope. It is a better “package.” However that package contains the very real issue of foaling season in the desert. The idea that rounding up new babies in 90 degree heat as the alkali blows… in the most arid state in the nation… is an assault to any sense that this agency comprehends the most basic of mandates, humane treatment.
I do point out my observations. My questions are relayed but never answered in the moment. Radios stay silent as PR folks tout Bob Abbey’s “new normal.” I guess in the “new normal” my actually hearing transmissions creates a “safety hazard.”
These issues will be addressed as the First Amendment fight moves forward.
Horses coming in are not family bands. Actually discovered as the sexes of horses could be observed through sorting immediately after capture, something we can’t usually see.
In the morning these horses are loaded and go to Palomino Valley.
A semi has three compartments. Two dry mares are left behind to avoid overcrowding. Yet the mares and foals load together. I warn that this increases risk f injury. I believe there have been reports of a foal arriving at PVC with lacerations.
Day 3 and 4 will be more telling of the climate of this roundup. I can not get up at 3, drive 3 hours each way and attend roundups and write reports and edit video. I will get back to the roundup as soon as possible. I am observing several other areas but cannot operate in the schedule and distances required to travel to the roundup… just not enough hours in a day.
They will be posted shortly.
I am almost out of battery. Need to find a place.
Will post tomorrow.
What do you get when you round up babies in July?
I saw three youngsters treated. Have no idea how many before I got there. No one to answer questions. Saw Alan Shepard has the “honcho.” He saw me and turned away from the camera.
I will file EXTENSIVE report tomorrow night…. with lots of pictures and video.
Today saw 11 horses removed from the range to make a two day total of 33.
Horses were run into the trap and directly sorted into temporary. We usually do not have the ability to see the sexes of each group coming off the range as horses are captured and then sent in groups for sorting at temporary.The glare from the sun made the first group of 3 adults and one youngster hard to see.
Second group was two mature studs a mare and foal.
Third group a dry mare, wet mare and foal.
I will review tapes after I get sleep (two hours last night) but it appears the first group was much larger than four members before it hit the trap.
Do you think Sun J could possibly be repeating the same “crop dusting” patterns that broke apart bands at Antelope last winter? So far the we have every indication that the same type of flying is happening.
Will evaluate further tomorrow.
I will get video and real report out asap.
Literally am so tired I can’t see straight.
If you would like to help with documentation efforts go to: http://wildhorseeducation.org