Calico 2012 (Tri-State Calico Complex)

calico wild horse roundup/ one stallion from Laura Leigh on Vimeo.

Posts are presented newest to oldest on Calico

Link of BLM “Gather Updates” from the Calico Roundup 2011/2012: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico.html

Calico Complex, First Phase completed

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The first phase of the Calico Complex (Tri-state Complex) is complete.

Today saw the small band that often crosses the Highway (34) outside of Gerlach removed.

Stud released 12-17 Calico Complex

21 studs and 11 mares were returned to the Warm Springs/Black Rock West HMA’s.

To date apox 1050 animals have been removed in the planned operation. The BLM website states “The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office will gather approximately 1,300 wild horses and 140 wild burros, of which as many as 350 wild horses would be released back to the range following the gather. “

BLM’s gather status reports can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico/gatreports.html

Leap back “home”

At the High Rock Complex roundup (prior to Calico and part of the supposed Tri-State Complex) all animals were returned to the range with a hip brand marking their home ranges. During the Calico portion of the operation in this proposed Complex with the stated purpose of “cohesive and coordinated” management no studs were marked prior to release.

READ THE REST: http://wildhorseeducation.org

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12-14 Calico

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Still not able to load the all of the video online from the first half of Calico. Days have been spent at the roundup or crafting the doc’s for the Access case and the HUmane handling case, as well as research for other actions. So I apologize but expect to have an inclusive video recap of the entire roundup shortly.

Mom and Baby Calico, Palomino Valley Center 12-13

Yesterday was spent researching cases and checking on animals at PVC. There will some incredible horses coming up for adoption from Calico and High Rock. Remember many of these animals are direct descendants of the horses that filled the ranks of the US cavalry all the way through WWI. As you make plans to see “War Horse,” remember our American Icons that fought for freedom and need your help to fight for the respect and care they deserve.

Calico Roundup 12/14, sweat soaked

Two groups were taken today. The first group came in soaked in sweat. They began to steam after they hit the trap. This group was immediately loaded on a trailer. The trailer sat for over 3 hours at the trap. It was not a “full load” and the hope was to fill the trailer before taking them to temporary. The trailer left the range with only this group onboard.

The second known group to be chased never made the trap or clear view of the observation area. You could see the helicopter rise and then dip behind a mountain, dust rise back and forth in a canyon.  After over an hour of known pursuit the pilot refueled and did not resume moving that group. The reason is not known.

Observation had to quickly move to the opposite side of the valley. Horses were coming from the other side. This is the first time I have observed the trap mouth at the operation. Pilot appears to have over shot the group and had to turn around to get back behind the horses prior to pushing them to the trap. Video soon.

Last group on 12/14

Mares at holding have received PZP for return to the area. Several studs have also been selected. Please note that the studs at Calico ARE NOT receiving the hip brand mark for HMA as horses in High Rock received. This is an incredible opportunity to gain real data on animal movement after a large scale removal. The opportunity to gain actual data, and not theorhetical arguments, has been missed. The request was made at High Rock and granted. The request was made of Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca District of BLM NV and denied.

You can read BLM’s daily updates on the operation at this link: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico/gatreports.html

I would sincerely like to thank the BLM for cessation of the use of the words “no incident” on their report page.

Please go to WildHorseEducation.org to donate to the research and field observation effort, thank you.

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Wild Horse Education Releases Analysis of BLM report on Triple B

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Analysis of Triple B report released by BLM has been published on Wild Horse Education’s website here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2011/12/11/analysis-of-blm-report-on-triple-b-conduct/

Research will be published shortly on several other areas. The last Brief to be filed in the Ninth Circuit case will be public shortly.

AND I will be on “Dover’s World” Tuesday, “The National Day of the Horse.”

Click here to read the entry on Dover’s blog: http://doversworld.com/blog/2011/12/11/dovers-world-december-13th-the-national-day-of-the-horse-with-laura-leigh/

Downloading photos and will have more information for you all soon!

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Triple B Investigation Report Finally Released

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Calico roundup December 2011

BLM Issues Report on Inhumane Wild Horse Roundup Allegations

Report Admits Wrongdoing Related to Inhumane Treatment

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the long awaited report on its internal investigation into allegations of inhumane treatment in connection with the Triple B wild horse roundup that occurred in Nevada during July and August of this year.

The documentation, and subsequent lawsuit filed by Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education (WHE) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), resulted in a court order directing BLM pilots to temporarily stop their aggressive and harmful attacks on wild horses.  The court’s order was in response to videotaped evidence of BLM helicopters actually hitting horses to frighten and force them towards capture.  The legal action, filed by attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno, documented multiple additional acts of abuse and aggression by BLM towards the wild horses, including deprivation of food and water, use of electric cattle prods to shock the horses, and cruel handling at various stages of the capture.

The BLM report admits that it saw “specific instances of inappropriate, aggressive handling” and that wrongdoing had occurred, and provides recommendations for future roundups.  The report acknowledged the dangerously close helicopters, excessive pursuit of individual and small groups of horses, the use of rags as whips around horses’ heads, and “kicking, slamming of gates, pinning in gates, twisting of tails during horse loading processes.”  But despite all these admitted acts, BLM refused to agree with “animal welfare experts” that the horses were treated inhumanely.

“I find the report encouraging,” states Leigh, “however it is of interest that no document filed by the BLM in the course of litigation admits any wrongdoing occurred.  And the recommendations in the document are not in effect on the ground.  At the recent Calico roundup I have witnessed several instances of inhumane treatment that are in conflict with the recommendations.  There is no excuse for not having a standard in place before any further helicopters fly.”

Judge McKibben’s pending ruling will address the request for a postponement of the roundups until a policy is in place that outlines handling and a system of consequence for violations.

“The idea of sane and sensible management starts with honest conversation,” states R.T. Fitchauthor and president of WHFF.  “We have attempted to discuss these policies of treatment of the horses before, during and after their capture with BLM, but the possibility of productive dialogue was ignored by the BLM until litigation became a necessity.  A federal agency that insists on operating in such a manner is breaching its obligation to the public.”

Links of interest:

BLM report: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Communications_Directorate/public_affairs/news_release_attachments.Par.51335.File.tmp/TripleBReport.pdf

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Holiday Greetings… and the seasonal plea

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Just a moment to say “thank you” to those of you that have supported this work.  I thank you all…. it has been one “wild” ride.

Happy Holiday… may 2012 bring peace

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December 15th, renew the commitment

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This is coming together quickly… “non-partisan” and I hope you all can join.

Forty years ago on December 15, 1971 President Nixon signed into law the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_information_center/facts_and_stats/history_of_the_program.html

Join us in remembering that the fight to gain accountable protection for our “living symbol of the pioneer spirt” wages on.

The thought is a simple one, light a candle.

Form a candlelight group, or simply light one and place in your window, as a symbol that we will not give up until each life that is to be protected under law is given the consideration due to humanely care for them as outlined by law. That they receive their fair share of resource when the dwell free on public land and are treated with the respect they deserve when removed and enter into the realm of domestication and sanctuary.

As events are organized they will be posted on this Facebook page and will be shared via the blog: keeptheirlightshining.wordpress.com/ 

In remberance of the spirit of the law, and the continued will to see it implemented, we will light candles across the Nation and Internationally. This is NOT run by a single organization nor is intended as a fundraiser, media event, promotion tool for any organization… but to show as human beings that we are still committed to protect each life, and that we honor each life lost.

Velma Johnston’s grave marker, Reno (Carrol Abel)

Following Press Release came out last week:

INTERNATIONAL TRIBUTE TO WILD HORSE ANNIE

Animal Advocates Unite to Recognize Wild Horse Annie on the 40th Anniversary of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros act.

December 15 , 2011 – “Keep Their Light Shining”, an international candlelight vigil, will pay tribute to Velma Bronn Johnston , aka “Wild Horse Annie”, for the many years she spent in bringing legal protections to America’s wild equines. Wild Horse Annie is credited with the unanimous congressional vote that passed The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act signed into law by Richard Nixon on December 15,1971.

Animal welfare advocates will gather in cities across the US, Canada, Sweden and England to mark the 40th anniversary of Johnston’s law that brought the wholesale slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros to a halt.

“ While intent of the original act has been greatly diluted over the years, we feel it important to acknowledge this date. “ explains Carrol Abel , event co-organizer. “ Remembering the work of Wild Horse Annie inspires us all to continue her efforts. “

A note, handwritten by Wild Horse Annie,on a 1970 Christmas card is frighteningly relevant today:

“The battle for the wild ones gets rougher all the time.

Political now – but we’ll not quit.”

Wild Horse Annie – December 1970

Laura Leigh, event co-organizer, mirrors the sentiment of that handwritten note by saying, “ We will not give up until each life that is to be protected under law is given the consideration due to humanely care for them as outlined by law” says Leigh, founder of Wild Horse Education and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, “That they receive their fair share of resource when they dwell free on public land and are treated with the respect they deserve when removed and enter into the realm of domestication and sanctuary.”

———————-

Reno, Nevada – Singing legend Lacy J. Dalton will be joining the candlelight vigil around Wild Horse Annie’s grave site at Mountain view Cemetery, 435 Stoker avenue. 4:00 pm until 6:30pm. There will be 148 candles representing the horses that died in the Calico roundup of 2010

The Carson City vigil at Nevada’s Capitol will include a talk by Craig Downer.

Find a city near you, or join our “at home” brigade, by visiting:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/keeptheirlightshining/

Blog in progress: http://keeptheirlightshining.wordpress.com/

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Sunset release, Calico 2011 (Laura Leigh)

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Video of Thanksgiving

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Getting video up as it loads… in no particular order.

Thanksgiving

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Dear Santa,

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WARNING: this post will really get under your skin if you hate anything I write that expresses my emotional responses to what I see and do. So if you are one of those looking for “just the facts ma’am,” don’t say I didn’t warn you. REMEMBER: this site is my “blog.” http://wildhorseeducation.org is the organization website. I have two places I post for a reason.

~~~

Dear Santa,

I know you are a very busy man. You have that “making your list and checking it twice” priority right now. If you can look into my heart you will know that I have tried my best to be “nice” when it is called for and “naughty” only under special circumstances when my patience came to an abrupt end. Personal “naughtiness” has not had an opportunity, so I am not sure if that counts toward being good.

Please Santa, if you have it in your bag I do need to find a way to get some “things.”

There are many nice people that want to send me gifts but I have no place to put them. Please let them know that I am truly grateful for all of their wonderful words. But I live on the road and have no space for “nice” things. But I need a good jack. I need to get the exhaust fixed, as I punctured it on the range. I need a better lens, as I am being held far away from our horses. I need gas cards and cards to get supplies for the road. I need those things to keep working. That is the most important thing to me. It would be amazing to have a better vehicle and a new computer… but I know times are hard right now and not having those things wont stop me… but I need to keep this truck (I am so grateful for) running.

For me personally I would like to be able to take my dog to the vet to get his tumors looked at… but for now we have a deal that the day he looks at me and says “no more,” I will not be selfish and let him go… but I would still like to know… maybe it’s better if I don’t?

I would like to see my family, but I know times are hard and being in physical space is not as important as remembering to say “I love you.” But maybe next year you could help me figure that one out?

Next year please help me find a place to call “home.” A place I can be with my horses and maybe adopt that young colt I have fallen in love with. I need some space to heal. I wont stop working for the wild horses but it would be nice to find that space to get strong in between. Maybe you could spur someone to answer one of those resumes next year? I need an office as this has grown bigger than I ever dreamed.

And Santa… if you can touch the hearts of those in government… please help them to remember that only one animal in the history of our nation has an Act of Congress to protect it…. and we are doing a lousy job.

Kiss Mrs. Santa and remember to tell her how lucky you are that she puts up with you.

Oh… and if you can send the horses some snow and wind… it will help to give them peace for the holiday too.

Thank you.

Bitter Cold Christmas at Callaghan 2010

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Calico Video and frustration

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I have a stress headache tonight and three projects that needed done yesterday. Video that has been uploaded over the last week is difficult to get live. I have to get a data report complete (NAS) and the background info written for a wonderful group of people trying to make a change…. trying to keep the blinders on and let the drama slide off. Can only live one step at a time and with the tools at hand…. and if you stop to think about it… Like the old roadrunner cartoons, you just know if the coyote didn’t look down he would have made it….

Repost from WHE~~~~

Attempts have been made to upload video today. Most of them unsuccessful. The ends of video are being cut off or links not going “live.” We are working on getting the issues (most have to do with inadequate internet and overloaded equipment) resolved and the other videos loaded so you can see.

This video loaded with some success:

Please be patient as we work with “hamster and wheel” technology. Your support is needed to keep observations going. https://wildhorseeducation.org/mission-statement/donate/

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RIP “Wild Thing”

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Yesterday a mare broke her neck and was euthanized.

She was the last horse to load after receiving PZP-22 and was agitated and broke her neck on the panel. Story coming to Horseback magazine soon.

link to “gather” report: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico/gatreports.html

The young grulla mare was a beauty and full of spirit. RIP little “Wild Thing.”

“Wild Thing” during branding and PZP treatment

Please donate to keep observations going if you can. Calico will go on through the end of the year and without you this work can’t continue.

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careless

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here are several disturbing reoccurring issues with this contractor. From water, feed and pilot conduct. To access to witness actions facing further restrictions. Many revolve around simple carelessness.

This horse was driven into a chute that had the side panel open. He makes a break but the neck rope is in place. The struggle is impressive and on video. The contractors that should be on the opposite side of the chute are not present and the one wrangler is left to call for help.

Video will be up by Wednesday evening. I have to prep for tomorrow. Please donate to help this documentation of the management practices of BLM and their chosen contractors to continue.

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Who is Flying, Why wont BLM say?

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I have been told that they have changed pilots. I have been held to where I can not observe the mouth of the trap. I had a tripod today and, even though I was held where my view was severely obscured, was able to elevate the tripod… signature moves.

I also heard Ben Noyes say “Josh do you copy.”

It’s possible there are two pilots? It’s possible they gave him a reprimand? But is it possible for the BLM to answer?

Why wont BLM reveal the name of the pilot….?

Who is flying that chopper?

Let’s see if my access to view the mouth of the trap gets even worse now.

Trap was on a very bumpy road. Truck needs help. Please donate to keep this going.

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11-26, very fast

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I was told before I arrived at the trap there was a “great spot” for viewing. It would have been a good spot if I could have moved 15 feet. As it was I had to send a tripod up higher than they would let me keep my head… I was behind rocks and couldn’t see. I am reviewing tapes and it gets more interesting as I go….

I was also almost denied access to view processing. The situation was rectified and I did view processing.

Sharing an image for tonight… I actually have to review my video because I could not see what happened today… they really do not want us to see that trap mouth… hmmm…. why wont they say who is flying? More on that am. I have to make a few calls.

Studs to the right in release pen, the left to ship…

“Saying Goodbye”

More coming. Road was rough and truck has a new sound… Please help the work continue donate here: http://wildhorseeducation.org

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Update for the week of Nov. 19-25 (fast)

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There have been several folks (public and BLM) that have noticed that I have not updated the blog as I have in the past.

It has been a week of “roller-coaster” activity in several areas. I will try to give you a fast update on the avenues I have been working on.

Calico begins, first week breakdown

Of the seven days of operation (11/19-11/25) there have been six days of roundup operation. Day 2 was cancelled due to weather. Of the six days of operation I observed horses at the roundup site 3 days and in holding 4 days. (There was also a two day release of horses in the Fox Hog area of High Rock during this time, more on that later).

One group taken on Thanksgiving, 2011 before the wind kicked up.

First I would like to note that the atmosphere at the roundup so far has been relatively pleasant among those observing (including all government personnel). That said there are still access issues that include what appears to be a miscommunication among staff. Not one animal has been observed during proicessing. As animals are transported the “observers” are held on the range and are not even permitted to travel down a public road to wait on a public road (where processing could be observed, but limited) while staff sorts animals at holding. I have made a request to leave the trap site early and go to holding during my next visit. I had planned on being there today but my need for sleep had me fall out yesterday at 6 pm and not rise until 7 am this morning. (I will use the time to check on horses in short-term and get video up). Of note is that there have been 3 animals euthanized at the temporary facility: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico/gatreports.html

However it is “of note” that BLM’s gather report will look like this:

BLM “gather report” for Monday 11/21

Of note is the phrase repeated on just about every day “no incident.” If you follow the reports posted “incident” on the BLM page only translates into “fatality.” A change of terminology for the sake of accurate dialogue is in order. “Fatality” should be used as many “incidents” do occur.

If you look at the dictionary definition of the word it really does not apply. If they use the word “incident” things like horses being trampled or coming in exhausted should be included. So should each horse that is left behind and requires roping or any horses that show signs of injury to legs, face or appear sore. Perhaps they should change the vocabulary. It would be a shame if the public interpreted such omissions, in conjunction with the choice of words, as an attempt to mislead.

Not an “incident,” even though one of the horses demonstrates a hip issue at temporary.

There are some observations that are “of note.” First, the pilot (from limited observation) has a different “signature.” This was also noted during the last day of Barren Valley in Oregon. BLM will not disclose the name of the pilot. However at this roundup I was told it is not Josh Helyer.

This is an interesting “observation” as in Court documents BLM admits no wrong doing nor addresses any issues that have been brought forward in the case that lead to the TRO to pilot conduct at Triple B and is ongoing to conduct. IF BLM has taken steps to rectify an issue shouldn’t the public be notified? If mistakes are made and admitted to… and an issue actually being addressed… shouldn’t the BLM make the public aware even if they have to admit that a mistake was made in the first place? This agency  has a long history of discounting public concern and this would help create an area of public confidence instead of perpetuating the “veil of secrecy” that instills public distrust.

Second observation “of note” is that the tarps are still present in the loading area of the trap. The excuse that it helps horses “settle” is completely discounted through observation. Horses do not “settle” in the area of loading. Horses are being loaded most often immediately after capture with no “settle” time. If “settle” time is actually afforded it is done at the area on the opposite end of the trap. The only thing the tarps do is block the actual time of “handling” of the horses during loading.

Can you see how many horses are being crushed as they are flagged INTO the fence?

There is every indication that loading is still occurring in the manner it has in the past. Flagging at the opposite end of the pens still demonstrates a lack of understanding of equine behavior. Animals are often literally flagged into the panels instead of down the alley. Fast and hard flagging can still be observed (yet not the actual contact with animals as they are hidden) as the go down the alley. If you watch the horses feet (only part of them visible) you can still see the crowding of the alleys. Horse have been observed (in the area blocked by the saddle horses) “going down” during loading immediately after capture.

Observations as to the “drive” itself: Animals are coming in at between 1.5 hour to 2.5 hour intervals. The BLM line for this is that horses are being moved in “slowly.” However observations made can discount this assertion. On more than one run animals arrived at the trap visibly exhausted and “hot.” Animals were observed stumbling. Of note is that this trap location has now been used for 7 days. It would be logical to assume that animals are being brought in from greater and greater distances. BLM will not install GPS trackers nor cameras into contracted helicopters to confirm, nor dispel, their assertions.

Exhausted horses, video taped stumbling, reach trap area

Animals transported to the short-term facility (Palomino Valley Center) are not all in public view. Of those documented there are observations of note: Of the mares PZP treated at the roundup two years ago we have evidence that there have been late season births. This is evident in the body condition of several mares. At this time of year animals begin to conserve resource (in other words they travel fewer miles, slower speeds and “foaling season” has already past). Several mares have very young foals present and the resource used to give birth and nurse a young foal are evident. Also please remember the movement occurring in the areas due to construction for pipeline and geo-thermal and the adjoining roundup location. Many of these horses have travelled a lot in the last six months.

The majority of horses arriving at the facility appear in good health. A few arrived with superficial shipping wounds.

Observation of animals at holding and during roundup operations will continue.

High Rock Release

Also in the last week there was a return of horses into the Fox Hog area of High Rock. This is the first release and others are planned. I will update as I get info. But this almost did not happen… pat yourselves on the back. If we must address as distinct events than it works both ways.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2011/november/NC1210_foghogrls.html

Jeff Fonatana of BLM has provided me with brand ID’s on horses released and has promised to notify me as other areas are prepped for release.

However horses were released by sex, not in mixed sex groups nor partial bands.

Fox Hog release (Fontana, BLM)

Last Reply Brief Filed in the Humane action case

Late on the 21st of November the last reply brief went to the Court in the Humane care case. This statement from my Declaration sums up my feelings

“I am astounded that the BLM reply in this case does not outline concrete action being taken to rectify this type of conduct. I am fearful of the capabilities of such an agency that will continue to skirt every attempt to address the lack of standard. It literally causes pain that my government would rather argue my right to address this issue instead of creating a policy to carry out the most basic premise in the 1971 Act.”

The last reply is in and we may get a hearing on the Injunctive Relief or a ruling from the bench. The Complaint is still active. BLM’s reply does not address the issue itself at all. It attempts to tie this case to a case brought by another organization in the same Court (it is not associated) and simply my right to address the issue.

When you have staff at the roundups going out of their way to try to “give a better show” it is an implied admission that something went wrong. When you have a different pilot, it is an implied admission. When Dean Bolstad comes out of the NAS meeting to have a smoke an assures me that there will be a policy in a year… it is an implied admission it is needed. But not one area is addressed by BLM in any of their replies.

Triple B, Do we stand for this?

MORE

I am working on several areas of research as well that may bear some very interesting fruit soon… more on that later.

Calico 2011…. history repeating itself?

Smokin’ … (Every once in a while you catch a very “interesting” image.

I started this post at 7 am and just finished… had to stop and stop… more tomorrow…

Please donate if you can…. http://wildhorseeducation.org Without you this work can’t continue.

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2009 Or 2011

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Wind shut down operations early… getting report out. But having another “moment.”

Calico 2011….

General, no longer free 2009

Calico 2011…. I pray they release him….

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Day 3… very condensed

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VERY fast update. Today had MANY issues. We are filing reply tonight… working as fast as I can. NEED your support. Please donate if you can.

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Day 2 had no operations due to weather.

Calico Roundup 11-20-2011

Day 3. Full Report coming soon.

Older Palomino that came in the last load on day one was euthanized. Reasoning given was that mare would not make the ride to holding well. She was not eating like the others, therefore not good for release as she would most likely not make it through the winter. It is noteworthy that she did come in the last band (that took two and one half hours and three horses were witnessed stumbling. Was loaded immediately after capture and pushed into the panel by other horses and had a hard time regaining her feet). She was observed to be thin and weak in holding on Monday.

Today we had many things happen. I will get report out as I can. I need to sleep and get out very early.

“Flagging?” If you wave a flag at the back of a horse what direction does it run?

Calico 11-20 loading
Loading 11-20

On a bright note the lead dun stud (near back) will be released…. a couple of his mares are also in the release pen.

More asap….

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Calico report, day one

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 Calico report (11/19/2011)

PLEASE read: http://artandhorseslauraleigh.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/calico-then-and-now/  for background information on what is happening in the area.

Calico Complex Roundup, November 19, 2011

Operations in this Complex began in the Granite range. Granite shares a border with the now “complete” (release to low AML in that area still to occur, update soon).

This trap site is but a few miles from the last trap used at High Rock.

Present at the “public briefing” were Gene Seidlitz (district manager for Winnemuca), Lisa Ross (public relations Winnemucca), Leslie Coakley (public relations, Elko district), the Wild Horse and burro specialist, several BLM rangers, five members of the public and one from the media.

Four loads were brought in on the first day of operation. The public briefing began late and did not allow observation of the first load of six. Three more loads were brought in that were observed.

Temperatures of observation began at 23 degrees. Light snow was present in the area but the day was relatively clear and cold with little wind.

Observation report is limited to the very last part of the drive with trap mouth hidden from view behind “gravel” mound. Observation of horses in the trap pen limited to the very first portion of the trap pens as view was obstructed by saddle horses tied to the pens and tarps draped over the loading area. Handling during loading could not be observed, although the vantage would have allowed some observation were tarps not present.

Note on tarps: tarps are a new addition to the traps used by Sun J. The appearance of tarps came after the filing of legal action at Triple B. The documentation released to the public and filed in the Courts included the use of hotshots during loading as well as other disturbing images of handling during loading. Since the documents were filed no loading practices have been documented. 

The “excuse” given for the tarp is that it helps animals “settle.” 

This statement is disputed through observation as animals are most often given no time to settle and are loaded within minutes of capture. Most “settle time,” if any, is in the larger pens at the other end of the trap. Observation of movement of staff indicates the same practices and issues are occurring, but blocked from view.

Requests to place a camera at the alley end to capture the handling have been refused.

Each group brought into the trap (observed) took considerable time to reach vicinity of the trap.

First group observed entered the trap without incident that can be reported from the limited vantage. This group was immediately added to the first six and loaded for transport to temporary holding.

Note: District manager Gene Seidlitz was quick to say “isn’t it better” to me in reference to the pilot conduct. This comment was made in reference to the current litigation efforts that have final reply due Monday. Allegations in that case include inappropriate conduct by the pilot. Among the most egregious actions documented was contact between the helicopter skid and an exhausted animal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObXB0Wq3nRE

Current reply documents filed with the Court from the BLM do not address the conduct or any steps taken to address conduct. The attorneys for the BLM continue to ignore that issue in favor of bringing other arguments before the Court.

Yet repetitive statements that are made to “assure” that conduct is being addressed are constantly made by personnel on the ground. Yet those statements only address those actions taken that are witnessed with no written assurance that policy or protocol affords animals any differing treatment when public is not present.

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Calico… fast one

20112011

Calico 2011 begins 11/19 c 2011 Laura Leigh

Granite Range, 51 taken today. Injured mare (knee) will get banamine and antibiotic before transport on Monday.

Cold, no wind. Weather moving in.

Calico has officially begun… I have a lot to say about it… uploading video… full report soon.

Help keep this work going, please: http//:WildHorseEducation.org

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