The largest bait trap operation ever attempted of wild horses by the BLM is underway in the Antelope Complex.
The BLM has targeted 1250 wild horses for removal. No observation is being allowed during trapping. Observation at temporary corrals has been limited to “every other Wednesday,” but only when they have places wild horses in the holding corrals. No flexibility was offered. BLM did no notification of any release and provided no observation opportunity.
Removal totals since August 10: 946 (388 Stallions, 393 Mares, 165 Foals) # One foal was miscounted, is yearling mare.
Wild horses shipped to Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes): 918 (375 Stallions, 378 Mares, 165 Foals)
Released: 17 (10 mares, 7 studs). One foal has been placed in foster care.
Deaths: Pre-existing: 9 Acute: 2.
Acute: 8/15 – 5 y.o. Sorel Mare with broken neck, 9/8 2 y.o., Brown Mare with broken leg.
Labelled chronic or “pre-existing”: 8/18- 4 y.o. Sorel Mare with broken leg, 8/19- 3 y.o. Black Stud with broken hip, 8/20- 10 y.o. Sorel Mare (blind), 8/22- 4 y.o. Bay Mare (blind), 8/29- 5y.o, Sorel Stud Mare (that is how BLM posted it) due to chronic injury (broken leg), On Sept 1 a death is reported, but BLM gives no details. 10/1 10 y.o., Dunn Stud (blind). 10/1 5 y.o.,Sorrel Stud (blind). 10/2 15 y.o., Black Stud, broken leg.
The Antelope Complex is approximately 1,324,724 acres and contains the Antelpe, Antelope Vally, Goshute and Spruce-Pequop HMAs. The stack of documents covering this removal are not a “site specific careful analysis to preserve resources and protect wild horses.” Instead the justification for the operation has been lumped into a massive, and massively broad, Environmental Assessment (EA) that includes the Triple B Complex that consists of multiple HMAs covering about 1,682,998 acres.
BLM claims to do carefully analysis and manage HMAs based on their unique characteristics with careful management objectives. Not one of the Herd Management Areas, in either complex, have had a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) created; the document that would be that site specific plan after public input and engagement. Instead of actual management documents we see a lazy approach to facilitate rapid removals in the next few years. A stack of papers that cover over 3 million acres separated by fences and highways and broad changes in terrain and vegetation.
BLM is mandated under law to manage, not remove, wild horses. But what we see in the stack of justification documents are NOT management documents, just removal EAs.
Wild horse advocacy, and the wild horse, are not treated like others. Examples: Sage Grouse need to be protected so we have years of engagement, input and layers for advocates to argue for protections (it is still failing as the process has literally been controlled by industry, but the process exists). A livestock permittee, or mine, has a defined process of engagement that advocates their position.
Wild horses? we get a stack of nonsensical paperwork that has been, time and again, found by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to be severely flawed in data, science and logic. The stacks of paper get thicker and the layers of justification without true substance multiply.
slideshow: meet the mares.
It is always hard to see wild horses at Broken Arrow, that BLM now calls the Indian Lakes facility. If you “Google” BLM Broken Arrow you might see why BLM no longer uses that name when they reference the facility. (or just check out our archive including the litigation needed just to get public tours twice a year and if the facility is used as intake)
Changing a name, does not change your identity or your history. It may make it harder for people to find it, but it still exists.
BLM will often transport pregnant mares, or mares and foals, to the Broken Arrow facility.
BLM will use Broken Arrow for intake from the range (like in this instance with Antelope).
Foals will grow and never been seen until they are older. They will receive a brand and a tag that marks them all “born in a facility.” They will not carry in their paperwork the HMA where their family lived and they were conceived. They will be nothing but a number now in the paperwork that follows them. (article: Not Just a Number) Many born on the range but too young to be immediately weaned will also carry “born in a facility.” When asked “why” doesn’t BLM mark the foal weaned with the HMA mom was captured in? It is too hard to do.
Just as BLM lumps millions of acres into copy-paste roundup EAs to make a thick stack of words to make it look to a judge, a Congressman, an uneducated journalist, that they are working with diligence for the program whose name provides their taxpayer footed salary, Wild Horses and Burros. In truth they are simply doing all they can to satisfy political pressure to remove wild horses as fast, and with as little public scrutiny as possible.
But just like the stack of paperwork that now has these little ones born in, living in, hidden in, a facility that sees them as no more than a number… changing their name does not change their true identity. These are our wild horses, born in a facility, yet carry the wild of Owyhee, Triple B, Antelope in their DNA and in their hearts.
Foals that will be labelled as “born in a facility” and probably not seen again, just in a pen at Broken Arrow, until past their 3rd birthday. Or, they will be trucked around the nation under BLMs new “we have upped our adoptions” sales pitch; in truth these events are both adoption or sale… a buyers choice. (the difference between adoption and sale)
It should be noted that wild horses in the state of Nevada are a particular target for BLM in the coming year. Nevada is going to get hit hard in the next round.
We were asked about the Antelope roundup: “Why did BLM do Antelope via bait trap, is it where the trespass cows were? If the herds in the south are supposedly in critical condition why, for the last two years, has BLM only removed wild horses we can call almost fat?”
Craig Hoover is a career BLM employee that was fired. BLM said it was because he left his ID badge unattended, he said it was because he continued to report trespass livestock. He had to fight to get his job back. He worked in the Ely district, the same district as this bait trap operation. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/oct/21/blm-whistleblower-reinstated-in-nevada-grazing-dis/
For decades BLM said it could not do large bait trap operations and that is why it used helicopters for them. You are correct that this is extremely unusual.
We have been told that many of the operations, including this one, were placation operations over the last two years. In this instance it could also be asserted that an effort has been taken to exclude “the pesky public” from the area and not risk a journalist showing up.
We will have a more in-depth analysis of what is ahead, and how it is rooted in the past, soon.
Please keep calling your representatives and urging them NOT to increase BLM funding based on nothing but the requests of corporate lobby groups that will financially benefit from the removal, storage and treatments proposed. Remind them they work for you and you vote. (our webinar summary can get you started).
We need you help to fight back!