Public Land Shell Game?

Fallon Livestock

Fallon Livestock

NOTE: Wild Horse Education needs your help to keep these action alive in court. Please consider a donation. Our only limitation is funding. We are NOT a large organization but we make a big stand.

(Fallon NV) On August 17, 2013 there will be a sale of horses in Fallon Nevada at the livestock center. The advertisement says these are “McDermitt Indian Reservation horses.” We have been up to Fort McDermitt. The sale flyer claims that they expect over 700 horses. Anyone that has ever been to that area knows that there are not 700 horses within the confines of the reservation.

We want you to look at this map that went out with the notice to remove; the dark orange is the reservation, the sage color is Forest Service.

Map of impound zone

Map of impound zone

The “impound zone” takes a great deal of Forest Service Land into account. The “peach area” to the west of both reservation land and Forest Service land is Bureau of Land Management (BLM). More importantly the land to the west is the area of the Owyhee (Little Owyhee) removal of last winter and just south of that is the land BLM is bait trapping horses at Snowstorm (also the Owyhee). (Oh wait… BLM just frantically told the court as a TRO was filed on Friday of last week that “nothing” is going on at Owyhee… even though BLM gave an invitation to Travel Chanel to go watch traps being set on August 1).

After much discussion with wild horse advocate groups the Forest Service has “postponed” the removal of horses and cancelled the contractor today (the same contractor that set traps August 1st at Snowstorm for a removal BLM told the court is not “happening”).  It is speculated that the contractor may be removing horses on the reservation right now as a cancellation at this late date still requires a fee be paid.

Issues of observation became a real focal point. Conversations had Forest Service claiming only branded reservation horses would be taken (since rescinded) and that observation on Reservation land could not be accommodated as the Reservation was a “sovereign area.” However holding was to be on Forest Service land and that became a real stumbling block (for some reason). No observation is allowed of the removal or assessment of animals.

The map below shows BLM’s Owyhee Complex “gather map” associated with the Final Environmental Assessment. Please note that the blue is the “gather area” and runs right into Forest Service lands and BLM land runs right up to the edge of the reservation.

BLM "gather area" map in the Final EA of last fall

BLM “gather area” map in the Final EA of last fall

It is claimed that Reservation horses travel into both BLM and Forest Service land. Permission has been granted for the tribes to gather “their” horses. However both branded and unbranded animals are expected at the sale.

It should be noted that the Owyhee Complex is already the subject of litigation that challenges not only inhumane treatment but an inability of BLM to properly determine excess, disregard for seasonal movement into traditional horse range (HA),  and lack of comprehension on movement in the Complex leading to a violation of authority to remove animals. That case was recently amended to include new information (the National Academy of Sciences report that backs up allegations) and to include First Amendment violations as the BLM was also prohibiting any observation of animals trapped. Please note that all of a sudden BLM claims that “nothing is happening” at Owyhee in documents filed in federal court.

The Fallon Livestock Auction has two places they hold horses for sale. One of the areas of holding pens is readily visible from the highway, the other is not. Guess where the horses for the sale are being held? However we have been told that there are some lovely paint horses. Please note that the population of OWYHEE horses in that area is comprised of many colors, including some lovely paints of very unique markings.

Owyhee winter roundup in the exact space that is adjacent to the reservation

Owyhee winter roundup in the exact space that is adjacent to the reservation

We have sent a letter asking the Winnemucca district if they are doing any genetic testing on the horses at Fallon and have not yet gotten a reply. It is BLM’s responsibility to protect BLM horses from shipping to slaughter (that is BLMs claim as we all know it is NOT true as in the case of the wild horses sold to Tom Davis). IF a wild horse is pushed off BLM land, it is a crime. We doubt anyone in government is monitoring where the horses are coming from.

A hearing has been set for August 21 in Reno Federal Court on the case carried by Wild Horse Education on behalf of Laura Leigh. However we are not done yet…

Video below was done before the original case was filed for the Complex.

Please consider a donation. Every time we must file new info with the courts in a way that is easy to understand and cited with pertinent legal  information it is an incredible task. Each time we must go to the range and document what is happening there are even more expenses and time. ~~ Thank you.