Wild Horse Education

Triple B (8/16/22 video report)


The roundup of wild horses at Triple B resumed with 59 (18 Stallions, 29 Mares, and 12 Foals) captured as BLM flew one helicopter and the other was grounded.  We inquired about the pregnant mares in the area (many of you commented on a previous video) and the BLM Specialist indicated in reply that she was not pregnant, just fat.

This operation is nearly 70% complete: 1248 (438 Stallions, 606 Mares, and 204 Foals) wild horses have been captured of the 1900 targeted, 20 have died. This is the 4th roundup in this complex in 5 years. This area has been one of the hardest hit under the “2020 plan” that aims to slam levels down to those not seen since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act passed and “increase fertility control.” BLM is switching from using very small amounts of PZP to using GonaCon in a two dose application (that can cause permanent infertility) at Triple B. This operation is being done under a ten-year Gather-EA that also includes the Antelope Complex (combined the area is bigger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined). At the halfway mark this one plan is likely to hit nearly 10,000 wild horses removed from one of the last places left that could have sustained herds of thousands. There is no place in the US where we will ever have herds in these numbers again unless a real hard turn is made, fast.

Our team has been onsite every single day since day 1.

You can view team reports from 7/15-8/9 HERE.

From 8/10 and ongoing HERE. 

Below: On the 3rd run the group fractured in the wings as the pilot juggled multiple bands. One group crashed through the jute. The pilot went back into the wings to push the rest; they followed over the jute. The pilot then proceeded to drive in part of the larger grouping.

Below: In the next run you can see a tiny baby come in at the end and then get sorted out and put into the “foal pen” after sorting from the group. We bring your attention to this pen, the time the foals remain in that pen. During the 2011 roundup foals were kept in these pens all day. Foals will nurse in 1-2 hour intervals. After the court win in 2011 (12 and 13) BLM is supposed to keep water in that pen and foals are to be a priority for moving to temporary holding.

Just like everything else in federal or state government, there is a law and then internal policies to drive and define the actions to adhere to the law. Humane handling is one of those laws “already on the books.” The Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) is the internal policy only created after driving litigation was filed and repeatedly won. At first that policy began to demonstrate some changes in the field. But just like everything else, under the lobby agreements that began in 2017… everything else was neglected or ignored.

It is a real shame that accountability to all stakeholders is something that is also being ignored. It is obvious industry gets the lions share of attention. But in “wild horses” there is a new term coined by the agency: the preferred partnership. In fact, over the last 6 years the BLM uses the same invitation list for every stakeholder meeting and has simply ignored (or flat out refused) requests from others.

Most of the hard-won policies at the turn of the last decade have rapidly slipped backwards and we back in time to the days of the ’71 Act. As the agency touts new policies that reflect things like climate change, wild horses are going back to the days when most people did not even have color TV.

Below: This little family came up over the rise. You can see the youngster calling for missing family members.

Below: It appears he continued to seek family and separated and then roped.

A lot needs to change in this program.

BLM still routinely skips actual management plans that were codified into law, the Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP). Instead, BLM uses the Gather plan to rapidly implement what the “preferred partner” list wants. This is the key factor, the “missing link,” in on range management.

The CAWP policy needs the actual review and reform promised in 2015.

Access to information and to wild horses and burros must be addressed. BLM needs to publish facility reports in conjunction with the gather update pages again. We need to know how many arrive, die, leave, facilities. In order to fulfill the wish list of the preferred partners BLM needs space in holding facilities. To accomplish this they are expanding and approving off-limits to public viewing facilities. This needs to stop.

The oversight of the adoption and sale program still lands thousands of wild horses into the slaughter pipeline each year.

And… can we please… start prioritizing simple things like how long foals are left without a drink and without mom at trap?

Below: Foals are separated at trap before shipping so they do not get trampled. Often, they are left for hours at trap before loading to ship to temporary to (hopefully) be reunited with mom. When foals are stressed they will often try to nurse off of each other as the tiny one does at the back of this trailer.


Our team has been covering this operation since it began on July 15 and has been in field every single day. 

Our database of consecutive days at trap is the largest in the world. We stand ready to assist toward reform and review of the CAWP policy. If we cannot get through the new iron curtain of preferred partnerships, we will find another way in…. even if it means the hardship and expense of going back to court.

The program under the big corporate shield of big money lobby groups has been a disaster for our wild ones and it cannot continue down this fast path to collapse.

Congress is set to fund another year of this corporate plan… the 3rd and final year to hit initial goals. There is still time to get a few changes that could begin to open the door to actual reform. (more HERE)

Our teams are busy on many fronts from on-range, roundup, in appeals and in federal courts. We are working on our work and assisting numerous others with theirs.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education