Wild Horse Education

In Holding (updates)

As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) begins to load wild horses onto another packed Internet Adoption page, we wanted to take a moment and revisit some of the wild ones in holding and issues with the off-range program.

Note: Many people see the Wild Horse and Burro Program (WHB program) as “one program.” In fact, the WHB program operates as two distinct programs: the on-range program and the off-range program. These two subset programs are extremely distinct; leadership, knowledge base, objectives, etc., even the paychecks, all originate from distinct sources.

Surprise Complex:

Wild horses captured at the Surprise Complex were initially taken to Palomino Valley Center in NV and Litchfield in CA. Several of the wild horses came in showing signs of Pigeon Fever. Litchfield isolated cases and in Palomino Valley many appeared to part of a larger population where symptoms spread. We documented active cases of Pigeon Fever into the beginning of November.

Many of you will remember, gelding of Surprise wild horses began in November. Several of these wild horses appeared to be suffering infections and other complications.

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Pictures above: This week we documented a few of those Surprise geldings that appear to be recently branded. The hip brands indicate this group will be “sale authority” or long-term holding. It is unclear at this time why BLM would geld a horse months ago and then brand it now? As of this writing, we have not received our Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) on the gelding/complication/death statistics. We are checking to see if it is still policy to only track deaths by brand number. We will update when we have more info.

Transparency is a serious problem with the BLM program. Not only do we have difficulty gaining any actual on-range data BLM bases roundups on, but facility statistics after capture are a nightmare to obtain. The agency needs to be required to (once again) continue to update each “gather report page” to include injuries, deaths and shipping of wild horses captured from the range for at least 60 days post capture. 

You can help push to get public records into an online data bank so the public can access them. In the long run it will save BLM money and clear the backlog of FOIA requests.

CLICK HERE and scroll to the Appropriations action item.

You can also take action to pass the SAFE Act at the link. Sale Authority is a dangerous slide to slaughter. 

Four Mile

BLM sent out a press release stating that “The public is invited to view the wild horses at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals located south of Boise just off Pleasant Valley Road on Feb. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.” These wild horses were captured in November. This is not a “timely tour” to view the condition of captive horses.

After the roundup of 215 wild horses that slammed this population down to an absurd 37 wild horses (the number BLM says the range can sustain after they give away the land to livestock) BLM released 13 studs and 13 mares treated with a fertility control agent GonaCon. The agency (apparently) failed to notify the public of the release claiming “bad weather” inhibited them from notifying the public and the release could have been on a “bad road.” BLM posted a video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmidaho/51848359298/in/album-72157719703448504/

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We did our best to track this overlooked Idaho herd.  Many of the same gelding complications witnessed at Palomino Valley in NV were documented at the Boise facility. We are awaiting FOIA results from Boise as well.

BLM will be placing many of these horses on the internet adoption according to the press release.

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Newly captive pregnant mares “grazing” at Palomino Valley Center (PVC). Moving and grazing is a natural part of horse behavior. There is nothing natural about how BLM “manages” wild horses.

The vast majority of wild horses being taken from the ongoing roundup at the Pancake Complex have gone into Sutherland in Utah, and now into Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes, Fallon, NV), both off-limits to public viewing. The core herd from the best habitat in the complex was among the first areas targeted by BLM. Those horses all went to Sutherland where we will never see them again.

The lawsuit against this “Ten Year Gather EA” is ongoing. You can learn more about it HERE.

Our team members remain on-site at the operation. 

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Categories: Wild Horse Education