Wild Horse Education

Calico update and action (9/16)

At the ongoing roundup of wild horses from the Calico Complex 251 (97 Stallions, 113 Mares, and 41 Foals) have been shipped to Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes) in Fallon NV; 7 have died. 

This operation targets 1,556 wild horses of the estimated 1,593 in and outside the complex. BLM will treat and release about 40 mares after fertility control vaccination. 

You can follow our team reports from the Calico Complex roundup CLICK HERE.

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Above: While we peeked through with a very long lens we could see a wild horse in distress; possibly colic or spontaneous abortion. The air quality was abysmal due to wildfire smoke coming in from California. 

Broken Arrow is “off-limits” to the public; the doors slammed shut after bad press from the Calico roundup of 2009/10.

Doors were reopened to public tours in 2015 after years of litigation. BLM said they would use the closed facilities as “overflow” and not for “intake” from the range to give the public an opportunity to view newly captive wild horses during processing (branding, vaccination) and to check on treatment and condition post capture.

Two tours each year were to be arranged to view longer term residents and, if used as intake, a timely tour was to be created. Triple B wild horses were just brought into Broken Arrow… and now Calico. No tour is on offer now.

All of the progress on access began to erode as the deals were being made for “Ten Years to AML” (later called Path Forward) between large corporate entities. During the Calico roundup of 2009/10 facility reports were also online (including vet reports). This practice of placing facility reports online as part of the “gather update” evaporated as political players were on the move selling their products and were willing to sacrifice public access to wild horses and information that they did not care about.

Below: In order to adopt a horse from the facility you must have a tag number so the horse can be pulled and taken to Palomino Valley Center (PVC). An intake facility north of Reno. The only tag we could see clearly was this bay: 5185.

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In March of 2022, the BLM Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) team did an internal review of Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes). You can see that review HERE. 

The facility had multiple violations of the policy during the scheduled visit for internal review. From what we could see over the fence it looks like many of those violations (including a lack of spacing of feed to allow all horses to eat) continue.

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As roundups continue to accelerate and more and more wild horses are being hidden in expanding “off-limits” corrals, ten years ago we would simply give you the contact of BLM in DC and tell you to call. This program has gone back in time… the “Path Backwards” is running rampant…

Sample script: “Off-limits to the public that pays for the roundups and holding facilities is simply outrageous. Open all facilities used as intake from the range so the public can provide the oversight intended by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Facility reports must be placed online including all shipping and vet reports. No contract paid for with taxpayer funding should allow this type of secrecy.”

Holle’ Waddell
Division Chief (Acting)
(202) 603-3740

Paul McGuire
Off-Range Branch Chief (Acting)
(405) 579-7190

Calico HMA, Sept. 2022

Operations are now moving to the southwest. 

Prior roundups in the area (and surrounding areas) saw wild horses branded to use the marks to track movement. The Calico complex became the “Tri-State Calico Complex) back in 2012 during litigation. Neighboring areas (including Surprise) added brands to track how horses move through the area. In 2015 the NV State Director (John Ruhs) put the brakes on anything that could provide data to change the existing system. John Ruhs was brought in during the Grass March/Bunkerville fallout to “calm the cowboy.” He certainly did. He put internal pressure on employees that tried to remove livestock during drought and carried the Path Forward deal to DC when he was promoted to BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs in 2017. (All GOA and OIG inquiries into John Ruhs were simply turned over for internal review and went nowhere. Tracy Stone-Manning, the new BLM Director, has just let all of it slide… including continuation of using wild horses as a scapegoat.)

Below: Wild horse trying to navigate hundreds of miles of barbed wire fence as smoke from California wild fires creates hazardous conditions. The marks on her hip would show where she had been captured in the past; but no one from BLM seems to care about data anymore and there will is no report and there will be no new one after the entire area (Surprise, Twin Peaks, Calico, Buffalo Hills) has been decimated by the 2022 fiscal year roundup schedule

All of the work done to try to gain a data-based system went out the window. (You can learn more and take ACTION to help us gain a review of the consequences of the BLM 2020 Plan that incorporated “Ten Years to AML” by clicking HERE.)

There will be no tracking of wild horses captured at Calico by BLM to determine movement within the massive complex.

The scapegoating continues…

Below: Wild horses are still being blamed for damage done by livestock…. as more fences, roads, ATV use, mining, continues to fragment habitat. (September 2022, Calico HMA)

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You can follow our team reports from Calico CLICK HERE.

Help keep us in the field and in the fight.

Categories: Wild Horse Education