Wild Horse Education

Holding; Rock Springs

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Flashy curly at Rock Springs

The Jail at Rock Springs, Wyoming: by Cathy Ceci

Traveling around the Western states, we’ve had some great opportunities to check on some of the BLM wild horse holding facilities.  Some real life, true story, visits. Rock Springs Corrals in Wyoming, where they can handle up to 800 wild horses and burros, primarily from Wyoming’s herd management areas, was one stop.  It also acts as a rest stop for the West to East transports. 

One thing we’ve noticed in many of the facilities are fairly loose hours and attendance policy.  Most of these are smaller offices and we “get it.”  But at some of these smaller facilities we’ve actually walked into offices and found employees napping on lobby couches.  We regularly visit facilities where hours are clearly posted, but there is nobody around, even when we are on site for hours.

At Rock Springs, this was no different.  At 4pm, when hours are until 5pm, there is nobody around.  For an agency that is supposed to serve the public, the general public is not well served.  For an agency that is supposed to be managing wild horses and burros, this version of management is no more than a feedlot that posts random hours and deals with an exclusive, buddy system, clientele.  Is this on purpose or just a government job with little oversight?

RockSprings Aerial GoogleMaps May2018

Aerial view; Rock Springs

As to the facility, the area is barren, as are the corrals.  The pens are clean and full of hay, in fact, to the eye, many of the animals appear too well fed and appear lethargic.  There is no life but to wander from one pile of hay to another, a far cry from the ‘luxury hotel’ picture painted by management.  This is not natural, this is not healthy.  For wild animals that are used to moving at least ten miles a day, the pens are tiny and cramped. The feed is not what a wild horse eats.  The feed is better for domestics than anything wild and perhaps even too carb loaded for any domestic horse.

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WHE visits multiple holding facilities to track captured wild horses.There are many  heavily pregnant mares; several very new foals in the pens with more clearly on the way.  The mares give birth without the herd that provides their hard wired sensation of safety. Babies never learn the herd mind set. For many, and I would say most, the light is gone from their eyes.

This is prison, a mismanaged life sentence, the odds heavily stacked against them.

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Our work is active in the halls of Congress addressing the BLM report recently released. Our range work that addresses the core disease of mismanagement is vital to illustrate the reality that perpetuates these deadly symptoms; like holding facilities with little chance of adoption. That (BLM) report holds a nightmare of more mismanagement and the creation of more symptoms that will be carried on the back of our wild horses.

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The fight in Appropriations points to agendas, all sides. Very little of the discussion revolves around facts with even the BLM report focused on agenda and with no substantive data. BLM is moving quickly to build an underlying frame at the ground level that is just awaiting for release of funding. That frame will carry with it an agenda hidden in it’s language; it carries no justification except years of neglect in a copy/paste.

As I look at the wild horses in these pens in a holding facility I wonder…. maybe BLM needs to remove couches from their offices? Nap time should have ended forty years ago.


Coming soon…. Building a fast house made of straw; the frame of agenda.

Further reading:

Do you know the difference between “adoption and sale?” https://wildhorseeducation.org/three-strikes-adoption-and-sale-authority/

A visit to Palomino Valley and the Triple B roundup  https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/03/02/a-visit-to-holding-pvc-and-triple-b/

Broken Arrow and Fox Lake and Range roundup  https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/12/09/fox-lake-and-range-broken-arrow/


Categories: Wild Horse Education