The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro facility in Fallon NV has history. That history included a long fight to gain access to the facility (and observation at removal operations) in federal court.
Litigation filed in 2010 by Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education went up and down the court system eventually landing in Mediation efforts ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As part of the discussion the BLM Broken Arrow facility in Fallon NV has been reopened for public visitation.
In a press release by Wild Horse Education in July of this year:
“This year we have increased tensions on the range,” stated Laura Leigh, “Access to view captured wild horses and burros will be more important than ever. Wild horses and burros have been hidden from public view for almost two years now at Broken Arrow. After months of conversations we have come up with a starting point to begin to work on access issues outside of the courtroom. In addition I believe we have begun to create a conversation that can address a multitude of issues that begin on the range long before a wild horse or burro is ever removed or family bands shattered. Many of those conversations have already begun within districts in this state. It is insane that issues of public access ever had to be taken into a courtroom. It is my sincere hope that we can begin sanity into ways in which issues are addressed before the need for litigation becomes necessary.”
Other issues Leigh is talking about are the management issues on the range and the current debacle of more wild horses sitting in holding facilities than in the wild. Those conversations are beginning to be seen come to fruition as well. (see RAC meeting from August 2014: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2014/08/28/resource-advisory-council-rac/ )
“There are things you never forget,” said Leigh, “I remember that colt whose feet I literally watched begin to fall off at Broken Arrow after being run in the dead of winter. I remember every injured horse that I could not follow into that facility and then reading the facility death reports and wondering which horse died. I think of all the foals there that are born and grow and are never seen. The closed gates of Broken Arrow are a personal constant ache for me. That facility should never have been closed off. It is literally contrary to the BLM stated mission to do everything possible to adopt out animals. How can you adopt out a horse or burro the public never gets to see?”
On October 19th the public went on the first tour of the facility since October of 2012.
The BLM keeps a web page for the facility. More tours will be added in the spring and if the facility is used to intake wild horses or burros from the range. http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/wh_b/Indian_Lakes_Facility.html
The slideshow below is of some of the wild horses and burros at the facility. Capacity of the facility is nearly 3000 animals. Many of those housed in the facility are familiar to us. Owyhee, Calico, Flanigan, Jackson Mountain, and two we saw that we know from Eagle in 2011, just to name a few. Some of the mares from the Calico roundup in 2009/2010 when the facility first opened are still in residence. 400 of the horses from the Gunnison prison are now at Broken Arrow. There were several babies there as well. Some of them were born to mares from Blue Wing that were transferred there in the spring when the last of the Silver King mares went to Palomino Valley Center (and are still housed in that facility).
If you want to adopt please contact John Neill at Palomino Valley Center, (775) 475-2222. Horses or burros can be identified by tag number, hip brand or freezemark.
Wild Horse Education is devoted to gaining protection from abuse, slaughter and extinction for our wild horses and burros. Action, not words.