Wild Horse Education

BLM fails #wildhorses in #NEPA threatening entire herd



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Commentary: Laura Leigh

When BLM announced an emergency roundup of a subset population in the Pancake HMA on a Friday, to begin on a Monday, with no public observation afforded; in my head “red flags” went up. BLM additionally placed temporary holding on tribal land, a place actually outside the jurisdiction of normal federal law. This placement was not a “last resort,” there were multiple places to put temporary holding that would not impede transparent activity. Something simply “smelled wrong” about the entire thing.

PancakeUpdateWe had to engage a legal argument to gain access to temporary holding corrals, were successful. Yet the operation itself was halted and we were informed less than 30 horses had been captured. The operation was suspended on July 10 due to heavy rain.

The BLM website has one day of operations highlighted; a date long after the operation was suspended. BLM proceeded in secrecy and failed to even notify those on an observation list it had begun again. The only date of capture highlighted on the BLM website is August 15.

BLM conducted this entire thing in secret and skirted the horses off into the closed facility in Fallon. They are required to create a tour if the facility is used as intake; however they said the operation had been suspended. By now the disrespect repeatedly demonstrated against a public that care about wild horses, and the horses themselves, likely has  all the horses mixed into general population. Good luck finding them in that facility. They are just numbers on a badly kept spreadsheet to BLM.

We had multiple instances of communication with both the field office and the State office; the Martin fire, the impending Silver King roundup, a potential data/fertility control volunteer agreement we proposed for the horses in this exact area and could not get any interaction, etc. BLM had ample opportunity to tell us about the resumption of the Pancake removal both formally and informally.

BLM had ample opportunity to send us notification of scoping, second scoping, draft EIS and final EIS on the Gold Rock project. The way we found out is an outrage: digging online because this operation was “just wrong.”

BLM Nevada is notoriously callous, minimizing, and disrespectful of those that try to engage the system appropriately; they repeatedly reward those that engage in disruptive conduct and even break the law. They prioritize the “buddy system” to the extent that personnel engage in social media interaction that promotes lies, bullying and harassment.

After the announcement of this operation and the way it was handled, from top to bottom by BLM NV, I began to dig. I found a project where no engagement or discussion had occurred with any wild horse interest; the Gold Rock mine. This mine will impact the heart of the Pancake HMA to the extent that the herds will be unrecognizable in their current surroundings; a truly wonderful core where you can sit and experience wild horses in the wild with sage grouse, deer, elk etc.

I keep searching for the beautiful places we have left, places to clear my soul of all the inept, insane and ugly. This exact area is one of them… one of those places we have left. This area deserves to be protected and it deserves our voices included. We are their voices. I can not describe just how upset this makes me. Is the strategy to just ignore, disregard, minimize until we give up? It is having the opposite effect on me.

This repetitive conduct by BLM Nevada is much more than simply unprofessional, it is reprehensible. 

We are going to fight the treatment of the wild horse; minimized, disregarded and actions based on perpetuation of the bad habits of BLM.

We are going to address the treatment of wild horse advocates; minimized, disregarded and actions based on perpetuation of the bad habits of BLM.

We ask that you read our press release and the letter we sent to BLM. Please read those two separate items and craft a comment before 8/29 and send to the email noted in the press release. Make sure you use “DOI-BLM-NV-L010-2013-0028-EIS (Gold Rock Mine Project)” as the subject line of your email to Maria Ryan, project manager mmryan@blm.gov

press release https://bit.ly/2MyEXFf

our comment letter: AMENDED_DOI-BLM-NV-L010-2013-0028-EIS (Gold Rock Mine Project)_Comment

You do not need to read the entire series of documents. The most important thing you need to know is that our voices are not included and the analysis for wild horses is basically based on a map of boundary lines of the HMA and an estimated population, nothing more. This is a travesty of how process was intended. BLM documents here: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=49330

We will need financial support to take this through the process ahead of us that includes a formal protest and litigation if that protest is not successful.

Also keep in mind that this is not the only area this secretive action is happening.

PLEASE take appropriate actions and keep your eyes open, your minds learning and your advocacy strong.

YOU are the only voice our wild ones have.


We have added the section below by request. In the NEPA process one comment, or ten thousand, can count as the same statement. It is appropriate to craft your own comment after reading the documents; that is YOUR voice. However if we must move this into a legal challenge, or you do not have time, you can sign the form below if you agree with what we write here: AMENDED_DOI-BLM-NV-L010-2013-0028-EIS (Gold Rock Mine Project)_Comment


Categories: Wild Horse Education