Many of our readers look to our pages for wild horses they might adopt. From Pancake, most of them we will never see again as they went into Sutherland, UT (off-limits) or into Broken Arrow (off-limits). The core of the herd that lived in the best habitat (with an extremely unique genetic pool and where AML could have been much higher), were taken first and shuffled rapidly out of sight. We cannot provide you with any additional information on that herd from the actual Pancake HMA and the Monte Cristo WHT at this time. (In a year or two we may see a handful show up on the internet adoption and the rest will be shuffled rapidly into “sale” or “long-term” warehousing.)
(The lawsuit is still active. The above paragraph does not mean we have stopped fighting.)
Do you remember the solitary mare run for over an hour at Pancake? BLM stated that the reason was that she was wet (nursing) and may have been the mom of a (4 month old) colt that came in with the band. It was later asserted that she was not the mom of the 4 month old and was nursing an older colt (yearling).
One of the justifications used to run her for over an hour (and then spend nearly another half an hour roping/trailering a solitary horse) does not make any sense because BLM considers that “weaning age.”
A very simple illustration of the entire program of contradiction (systemic in text, specific in parenthesis):
To someone that only looks at one piece of the BLM puzzle an assertion made in one segment of the process might make a bit of sense (we caught her because she might have a foal). Yet it is immediately contradicted by another statement (we do not put them back with mom because they are old enough to wean).
If you question the contradiction you will be given another assertion (they are orphans). If you point out that creates yet another contradiction (no deaths and we do not run horses so hard babies are separated from mom) you run a risk of never having an email answered again by the BLM. No one at the agency wants to address a logical follow-up question; they jump immediately to avoidance.
If you point out the lack of logic and multiple flaws in the reasoning of the agency to media or the courts, BLM instantly launches a personal attack: “Advocates are overly emotional and do not understand the system.” (They might tell media “Those babies were put back with moms,” claiming advocates are ill-informed, without revealing everything they had already asserted. Note: If you ever nursed a baby what happens biologically if you are kept from nursing for 4-5 days?)
Another question that arises after babies are tagged is “When do you change the tag?” We cannot even begin to list the number of incredibly tight tags seen on growing youngsters (It is like putting a collar on a puppy and leaving it on as it grows.)
Of course, if BLM just gave the public one clear and logical explanation from the beginning would the increasing frustration of the public exist in the first place? If BLM demonstrated basic humane practices would the public have a reason to distrust the entire system?
“We care” is a statement BLM continually contradicts by their actions.
We have been very busy addressing several systemic problems with the BLM program. The recent lawsuit that jumped litigation up the court system for the Pancake Complex has brought with it desperately needed attention to the need for accountability, oversight and real reform.
Since the big corporate agreements went to Congress “population growth suppression” seems to be all the media, the public and lawmakers talk about. None of that chatter addresses systemic problems in the agency. Focusing on one potential tool is simply a discussion akin to spending more money on roofing material when the walls keep crumbling on a building you were never given a blueprint for.
Unfortunately, the long awaited conversation to address real systemic reform in humane handling, actual on-range management, and transparency, has come at the expense of one of our very last large herds, Pancake.
Pancake was a place where we had nearly 2500 wild horses in a vast complex that still held habitat that could support a large herd (Yes, we dispute the number BLM said was on range as having included wild horses in nearby areas in the totals.) We were prohibited year-after-year from addressing real management planning and the agency masqueraded another “Gather EA” as a management planning document. The twisted and broken Wild Horse and Burro program has created another tragic charade of “we manage wild horses, we care.”
BLM is mandated to manage, they are not mandated to remove. Removal plans are not management plans.
More from our teams soon.
If you can adopt a wild horse (we recommend a pair) and give them a forever home and cherish them for all they are, have been through, the history they carry in their DNA, we encourage you to do so. All of our wild ones are truly American treasures.
Help keep us in the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education