A tour of the BLM Broken Arrow facility on Indian Lakes Rd. in Fallon took place, finally.
In July of this year, BLM began shipping wild horses directly into the off-limits to the public facility from the Antelope Complex (North). The roundup that took place during the data-based foaling season in the area and heat index warnings that garnered a lawsuit that is moving through the courts, now. The Antelope Complex (South) captives were sent to an open to the public facility, Palomino Valley Center, and the impacts of being driven by helicopter in the blistering heat were evident. The only view of the Broken Arrow facility could be had by trying to see through trees.
When BLM delays any access to these facilities, the window for doing a “post-roundup” welfare check has essentially closed; most injuries, illness or death caused by capture and transport has already come and gone.
When we do these tours (that are delayed from time of capture) the focus shifts to monitoring ongoing issues with specific facilities and trying to identify wild ones for adoption.
These extremely limited tours and choices of dates create challenges. Many are getting ready for the Nevada Day parade (October 28, the day after the tour). If, like our team lead, you head out to go to a tour you have been waiting 3 months to attend and you have vehicle trouble, you are out of luck and will never see the horses you wanted so badly to see. Two or three tours a year is simply not enough.
Above: Wild horses from the Calico roundup were designated to go to Palomino Valley Center. They are being moved out fast. Some going to Broken Arrow and many going to the Winnemucca facility that has never had an “open public day” and is approved to house 4000 (currently housing 1000). The Winnemucca facility has housed wild horses for over a year (even though BLM will say it is still under construction… maybe they mean litigation?)
We were looking for the mares and foals of the stallion we called “Sunshine Man” that tragically lost his life at the Antelope Complex roundup this summer. At the bottom of a frame of video, our team lead caught a glimpse of one mare and her foal. (Screenshot below)
WHE volunteer Colette Kaluza was able to attend the tour. Colette has stepped up and has taken on tracking wild horses during and after capture.
Prior to the tour, Colette wrote an extensive piece and provided examples of BLM facility records. You can read the piece HERE.
We created an action item to go along with the article asking for an open portal for facility data to be created and made available online. BLM has said they will consider the suggestion. Creating this portal would help clear the BLM Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request backlog and save money. (Note: WHE has FOIA requests that have not been answered in a year; Colette was notified that there are 700 requests to fill before they will answer her requests about Antelope horses captured this summer. By the time FOIAs are answered, most of the horses will have been shipped elsewhere.)
BLM has agreed to give attendees at any future tour of closed facilities an inventory sheet noting which horses are in what pen by brand. This will help the public understand what they are looking at AND help facilitate adoptions.
THANK YOU to those of you that took our action item for your help.
Please continue to take the action item as we continue to move this important action forward.
As with all tours, there is a lot more information for us to publish. Colette is working on her report and we will have it out as soon as possible.
Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse.
WHE carries ongoing litigation to force BLM into open public process to create an enforceable welfare standard for our treasured wild ones. WHE carries ongoing litigation to hold BLM accountable. Our wild ones need data-based on-range planning (BLM has scant data, science and basic management planning) and transparency.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
As holiday shopping begins, you might be able to find a gift for yourself or the horse lover in your life at our WHE storefront on Zazzle. All proceeds support our work for our wild ones. HERE.
Categories: Wild Horse Education