After the largest roundup of wild horses from a single complex of HMA in 2023 that captured 3,078 wild horses: 39 died onsite; 10 died at south, 29 at north. The majority of catastrophic deaths (broken legs and necks, dehydration and colic) coincided with the heat index rises in July. BLM says they released 6 from north trap and 2 from south; what they mean is that those horses escaped the temporary corrals that were miles and highways from the ranges where the horses were caught.
The rest shipped to processing facilities for branding, vaccination, gelding, weaning and shipping elsewhere. BLM calls these facilities “short-term holding.”
1,095 went into Palomino Valley Center, an open to the public processing facility north of Reno, from south trap.
All 1,936 of the wild ones shipped from the north (Spruce-Pequop, Goshute, Antelope Valley West) went into the off-limits to the public facility Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes).
One of the facilities with the highest death rates… and BLM approved an increase in the capacity to 7,600 wild horses or burros. The facility encompasses 320 acres containing 75 holding pens. Basically, just a huge feedlot.
The facility is now closed to the public.
When the facility first opened in 2009, BLM gave once-a-week tours. Once, we were able to walk around the facility. We were able to scan pens each week for wild ones we knew or those injured. Visitors facilitated hundreds of adoptions.
Bad publicity stopped the tours.
After litigation, twice a year BLM opens the facility that what was first called an “overflow.” BLM had said horses fresh from the range would go to the facility north of Reno where the public could assess condition, the wild ones branded and vaccinated and then they would be shipped to Broken Arrow only as “overflow” so the Reno facility could take in more. BLM rapidly slid back on that promise, as they do with any promise they make, and the facility is routinely used for intake of newly captured horses.
If you take a tour today, you are kept on a wagon and get less than 90 seconds at a pen they will stop for. The vast majority of pens they just drive you down a bumpy alley and if the horse you are looking for is on the backside, behind another horse or has a head down, you are simply out of luck and can’t get back in for at least 6 months… and that horse could be gone. You can’t send BLM a picture of a horse in the wild and ask them to find it. YOU have to have a tag and pen number of any horse that went into this facility in order to beg BLM to pull it and take it over to Reno so you can adopt it.
Below: If you want to see any of the wild ones in Broken Arrow you have to try to balance standing on your vehicle and peeking through breaks in the brush.
Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes) has no shade structures, is reflective sand that can blow like a sand blaster as winds are known to be very strong in this area. In fact the sand blows so much, during an inspection by BLM: “The height of the fencing in some of the pens was less than 6 feet due largely to blowing sand and dirt accumulation along the fence lines.”
The ground is also prone to flooding.
The same shelter and shade requirements adopters need to follow are not mandated for BLM facilities.
The BLM welfare assessment (Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program) found numerous violations of policy.
Public observation of facilities serves the public good and ensures better treatment of wild horses.
BLM should open facilities like Broken Arrow IMMEDIATELY if it is used as intake for newly captured horses or burros and maintain at least a once a month public day.
We found a presentation BLM did for the Public Lands Council (livestock lobby group) and it had this chart in it.
Holding facilities are under the purview of the Division Chief and the Off-Range Chief.
The public should be able to see a public resource (wild horses and burros) being house using public dollars.
Wild horses from various roundups including Antelope, Pancake, Twin Peaks, Calico and more are in this facility.
Our team is completing range runs to check on herd health in various Herd Management Areas (HMAs) around the West. We just finished the 42-day Antelope Complex roundup running 2 teams on the heels of the Reveille roundup that kicked off summer helicopter capture on July 1.
After checking on the wild ones left on the HMAs in Antelope, we had to try to see what we could at Broken Arrow.
Our lawsuit for the Antelope Complex continues. So do the cases at Pancake (approved for capture through 2030) and Blue Wing (approved through 2026). We have several active appeals as well. Our legal team is super busy and is working on an update we hope to have out to you by the end of the week.
You can show your support and help us keep our team in the field through the purchase of a “Stop Abuse” t-shirt. We have brought these shirts back for the next 2 weeks by request. Click HERE or on the image below.
Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
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Categories: Wild Horse Education