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11/14 note from the roundup, Leigh
When I document wild horse roundups many events occur in a single day. I sit at the end of the day and can only relate a couple of events to you each day until the operation concludes, I catch my breath, and find the time to edit.
Today the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind, that I do not think hits hard enough to people that follow this from a distance, the faces I see that are lining up at risk of death. Wild horses that go into any holding system have no guarantee of any safety anymore. The politics that threaten the land itself now threaten the very lives of any horse sent into holding. The “recommendation” by the Advisory Board to kill the horses in holding holds no legal weight, yet it reflects a faction of “politics” that values a dollar above any obligation; moral or spiritual.
Two events today really made my heart hurt.
A band that the BLM tried to get at the last roundup in 2013, that evaded capture, was caught in this (possibly) last day of operation in this area. They were driven a long distance to the trap. When in sight of the trap the stallion allowed his family to move ahead, lowered his head and simply walked toward the trap. He was a red mature band stallion, one with very little hope of ever being adopted. No matter how hard the chopper pressured, he just walked. He has little chance of being released. He will go into a system of holding facilities… and wait.
The last horse of the day to be captured was a beautiful young stud. Any horses chosen for the release will be older. Yet he was a mature boy… his color might get him adopted but the chance is slim. This amazingly beautiful boy does not meet the “criteria.” His run into that trap has run him directly into the web of politics that will hold his very life in it’s greedy hands.
WHE believes that every single mare with a prior fertility control brand should be treated and released. She will have a good response to the vaccine and prior financial investment was made to treat her. IF any of the older mares hit the facility they too will be placed in the direct line of a threat more real today than at any time in the last 30 years… her death.
We are tired of hearing BLM talk about the increase in numbers. The increase is partly due to better census methods and that should indicate just how flawed your census methods were in the past (not just my opinion, it is backed up by the National Academy of Sciences). To base your management on any number generated in an outdated methodology is illogical. Stop saying it to me… I am tired of hearing it.
Tomorrow is another day… and we wont stop fighting the lazy, ignorant and belligerent.
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Categories: Wild Horse Education