On the first day of the new trap (set in the Antelope Valley HMA) 42 wild horses (18 Stallions, 16 Mares, and 8 Foals) were captured. A cool front hit the over 1.3 million acre Complex and the high was 89 degrees. The HMAs to south received rain and thunderstorms, but not the area of trapping. Our observer was the only member of the public onsite.
It is worth reminding people that this area has already been hit with 3 roundups since the EA was approved in 2017. Unlike some other areas on the capture schedule, that have not seen a roundup in a decade, this area is repeatedly squeezed.
Wild horses were loaded immediately after the first run. You can see the angle that the back of the trailer meets the trap. Yesterday, before capture took place at this location, our observer noted the issue. BLM is supposed to lower the back of the trailer to decrease the possibility of injury, not increase the angle. Our observer was essentially scolded by BLM public affairs for the comment (as has happened with un-flagged barbed wire, to temperature requests, etc.). Our CAWP team members that attend roundups are trained by our team lead that was given expert witness status due to extensive observation (more than other other observer, public or government, for over ten years. Unlike most government employees that attend operations only in their district or state, our team travels to all western states and the experience has value). We do not know why BLM is so insistent on minimizing stakeholder engagement for wild horses and, at times, will even resort to denigration. It is particularly upsetting when you see how stakeholders for mining or livestock are engaged by public employees. It is like night and day.
The wings on this trap are wide and, in our opinion, too short.
Videos below: one run, 2 parts. Chaos and repeated attempts at capture. The foals were roped and brought in.
Mechanical issues with the helicopter suspended operations temporarily. BLM appeared to be digging to lower trailer and inspected and fixed wings.
In a dramatic and chaotic drive through some of the cows on the range, a wild horse breaks through the jute and is followed by another. One is immediately recaptured.
Additional runs and holding tour video will be posted as time allows.
Trap moves in the morning.
These horses continue to be in excellent body condition, most even with “jiggle” placing them at about a 6 or 7 on the Henneke scale. We saw one older mare that looked… old.
Our teams are back on-site at roundup and busy behind the scenes. More coming very soon.
Help keep us in the field and in the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education