Before a roundup the conversation to preserve and protect our wild horses and burros lies deep in public lands law, land use, and a history of politics that masquerade as management. You can see a brief overview HERE in a 5 minute short video and article.
A roundup is a demarcation zone in the federal wild horse program. Range programs (that receive less than 2% of funding), and roundups, are funded and organized at the state level. Each BLM state office, and state program lead, is technically the “final word” and where all the paychecks come from for range and roundup. Yet each district, managed by the same state, still have extremely diverse views and practices that each defends as “what the law determines.” The BLM program really has no consistent protocols nationwide.
After a roundup it is the national office that determines protocol and policy for facilities and adoption/sale protocols. It is also where the “paychecks” come from. Facilities are not managed by the state offices they reside within.
Our remote herds tend to get attention, and visitors, that come and go with the helicopters. The wild ones, that have lost their freedom, are removed and become just a “tag number” in inventory. Often the BLM gives very little information on the wild horses they are mandated to care for, adopt (or sell with protection from slaughter), except “just a number.”
A wild horse, one protected under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, maintains it’s legal status as a wild horse until adopted or sold. Once title transfers the wild horse changes legal jurisdiction and is no longer considered “protected.” This change to the original Act occurred in the 2004 “Burns Amendment.” Prior to the Burns Amendment wild horses were “fostered” by the public and maintained the legal status “wild” for their lifetime. (more HERE)
So many adopters want a deeper story about their new family members. If you are considering adoption, the wild ones from Triple B have a rich history, many still live in truly wild places. We are losing the wild places fast. (you can learn more about Triple B, and read our free digital magazine, HERE).
Foals are too young to be adopted as singles. You can adopt a mare/foal pair. This pair (above) is simply stunning. We are showing two images to help you identify both the mom and babies tag.
It’s not easy capturing tag numbers of a baby that matches it’s mom. Mares still utilize the social herd structure. Sometimes you will see a baby with a sister, aunt or grandma. Sometimes when you frame an image that finally can capture both the mom and babies tag number, the entire pen shifts position.
However, in order for the facility to find your mare/foal pair (if you chose to adopt) they have said they need both tag numbers. They are processing intake from another roundup (Pine Nut) and will be assimilating into the general population. So multiple WHE team members have captured thousands of images, are processing them. We are even working to match some to images of capture, some from the wild, for those of you that want to adopt based on individual stories.
Above is a slideshow of some of the images we have captured that show both mom and baby tag numbers. Please be aware that BLM will not adopt foals as singles for several months. However, keeping a mom and her baby together can be a very satisfying experience.
Sometimes it would be easy to spot a pair even if there was only one tag number, like this beautiful mare and her baby. Her baby will, most likely, go through a dramatic color change in the next year, making finding a roundup photo extremely difficult in a year or two. Identifying them now, when coloring is the same as during capture, helps identify the individual journey. However, we do have both tag numbers if you are interested in this pair.
Some images of the moment they lost their freedom below.
We will continue to match tags, mare and foals, do a separate feature on the boys (you can view a first visit HERE) and present an article that matches some roundup footage to holding.
Our work is intense right now in many areas (on range, in legal processes and Congress). However, please don’t forget the wild ones from these remote places after the helicopter lands. The wild ones still free need us to fight for them.
The ones that have lost their freedom need to land safe… and the sacrifice of freedom, honored.
All of our wild horses are more than “just a number,” on and off the range. Every single one of them carries an amazing story of our public lands, wild places and a wild heart… even if no one is there to take a picture.
Categories: Wild Horse Education