As our team continues to work against pressing loss of wild horse and burro habitat, conditions in holding facilities, increased removals and the fight to protect all of our horses (wild and domestic) from slaughter, we have been searching. Searching for the captives that once roamed free on ranges we visited regularly; wild horse families we have tracked through generations.
Next week we have a series of articles for you addressing the BLM on-range program, a new legal action and a happy surprise. However, we wanted to talk a bit about some of what our team has been doing the last 3 months as we participate in summits, litigation, field work, etc. … tracking captured Pancake wild horses in holding.
It has been very hard (physically, logically and emotionally) for our team members as they face closed facilities and find faces they knew wild, some of them for a very long time. It is not enough to just catch a photo; you need tag, pen and location. Locations can change very fast.
Many of you were familiar with the Pancake Complex before the roundup. Some of you only learned of the over 1 million acre complex after a colt broke a leg during the first day of the capture operation.
The captives were taken to 3 different facilities: Palomino Valley Center (PVC) that is open to the public and the majority of them went into off-limits holding facilities. The wild horses taken at the beginning of the operation (Pancake HMA and Monte Cristo WHT) went into Sutherland in Utah and those taken at the end of the operation went into Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes).
It took 3 months to get into Broken Arrow. Our team worked hard just to get one fast tour scheduled of a facility that can hold 7,600 wild horses and burros, the largest short-term facility BLM operates. We did our best to find the captives we had potential homes for, but we could not find one captured the last day… he simply was not there. Apparently, the last day BLM says they did a release they did not notify our onsite observer about (WHE was at the roundup every day) and say he must have been one of the six released. We have yet to find him on the range and will keep looking.
It is hard to search a facility you cannot get into for a wild horse. There are many of you that have asked about horses taken to Sutherland, the core of the Pancake HMA went into that facility.
Our search has not ended.
For our team this is a never ending search for those known free, taken forever from the range and our ability to sit in a wild place and marvel at their social lives. But when we travel to these ranges it is not only the loss of the horse, it is the loss of public lands we see even before the wild ones are taken, often brutally, into a life of captivity and the dangers they face in holding facilities and beyond.
Capture marks the end of the battle for the wild. A roundup starts long before a chopper flies as a convoluted system continues to manipulate the decades old game of turning public lands into private pockets.
Our fight for the wild has not ended.
Next week we have a series of articles for you addressing the BLM on-range program, a new legal action and a happy surprise.
Have a safe holiday weekend as we honor all of those lost fighting in war. If you head out onto public lands, be careful… fire season has begun.
If you have not had time to take action on the SAFE Act, to stop the slaughter of American domestic and wild horses, you can take action HERE.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
Categories: Wild Horse Education