A guest commentary by independent wild horse and burro advocate Cathy Ceci. Cathy came to Nevada and travelled with Wild Horse Education (WHE) President Laura Leigh. She got a glimpse into our hectic world at WHE on a day in and day out basis. Cathy has been working on pieces to relay her experience. Cathy has prepped a first piece and we present it here.
Our experience with Cathy is that she is going to be a strong voice in this fight and we were honored she travelled with us. Expect more from Cathy as she hones her voice for our voiceless mustangs and burros.
REALITIES OF THE RANGE
Cathy Ceci, September 2014
Traveling with Laura Leigh over the last several weeks brought a lot of eye-openers about our wild horses and burros, our vast expanses of public lands, those who run them, and those who think they run them. The time was intense. Days were filled with everything from anger and frustrations to exhilaration over successes, excitement over new technology and ideas, to tears over losses and heartaches or just the overwhelming beauty of things right in front of us. We were in desolate canyons and on different rangelands documenting habitat, prepping for meetings, making statements, supporting other advocates, speaking with ranchers and government employees, driving well before the dawn and far into the night, chasing down sightings and a few ghost trails, and counting many more cows and sheep than horses. It brought us both a great deal of laughter and friendship, and a huge sense of camaraderie. But most of all, it filled me with a huge dose of respect and appreciation for this one-woman powerhouse.
In this ferocious little bundle of fire’s head, I found an entire working library – facts, figures, names, places, dates, legal standing, current status, you name it. Used to working on her own, far from home, far from comforts, far from WiFi, let alone phone access, she somehow manages to put huge amounts of accurate, credible working material in front of thousands of people every single day. You’d laugh if you knew what it takes for her to do that. Well, you might laugh at first, then you’d wonder how she gets anything done at all.
Most of us take cell phone coverage and WiFi for granted. But out here where the wild horses and burros blend into the fabric of the land, WiFi isn’t easy to find … anywhere…. you just keep driving… it should be here somewhere… As it turns out, if you park on the north side of a funky little gas station/coffee/gift shop, and your laptop still has power, you load pictures off your camera and pick just one (because any more may take too long to upload), and if you turn your well-worn truck just right to maybe get some shade, if you’re lucky, you can catch some WiFi to post something to Facebook before the truck heats up. Just maybe. And none of this happens if you get there after they close for the night.
This woman is a master at finding WiFi. A master at spotting those little irregularities in the range that aren’t quite right. A master at “Who’s Who?” and “WhoDunnit?” in the wild horse world. A master at reading a legal brief or ruling and finding the holes that our wild horses will fall through.
This is just a little part of Laura Leigh’s life reporting realities of the range to you.
WITHOUT LAURA LEIGH ON THE RANGE, OUR WILD HORSES have very little left to save them. Laura and her knowledge, her fight, her drive, her truck, her gas, her computer, her camera – HER BOOTS ON THE GROUND – are a big part of the hope for keeping them wild!
Cathy was with us on our last trip to the Carter Reservoir HMA in California (as well as trips back and forth across the state of Nevada and into California). If you have not taken the action for a true treasure, the Carter Mustangs please click HERE.
To view a question and answer session with Leigh, click HERE
To view a bit of “Battleground Nevada,” where more wild horses exist than in all other states combined, go HERE
As usual we have multiple things we are addressing and will attempt to update as fast as possible.
Categories: Wild Horse Education