I just spent two days in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. Normally this time of year it is a beautiful and peaceful place to be. Most of the horses in the herd are up in the high meadows, foals are playing, and it is peaceful, especially in the early mornings, my favorite time to be out photographing them.
Not any more. Near the large reservoir water hole, there is a bait trap set up by the BLM in order to capture the 40 young horses they plan to remove from their homes and freedom forever. There are panels with mesh around them, two openings, and in the middle of the trap, goodies for the horses which can include mineral blocks, hay and other items that the horses tend to find irresistible.
There are also signs warning people to keep back 300 feet.
The very first thing I saw was scuffling and rearing and screaming, coming from Prince trying to keep other horses from coming into the trap.
In the course of the morning, I watched as 10 bands went in and around the trap stallions fought, chased each other and when in the trap, ate the goodies. Knowing that when the BLM personnel arrived, many of the young horses would be caught in this trap and be taken from their families was extremely depressing. I also worried that some of the horses could be seriously injured.
I watched as Cloud appeared from the trees with his family following him, and proceeded down to the trap. Most of the horses in the trap ran out the minute they saw him approach, but a couple ended up getting chased out before Cloud allowed his family inside. As I left, Cloud’s family had been in the trap at least an hour, and the BLM was on their way to start removing horses.
I knew that three members of Cloud’s family were on the list to be removed and as it turns out, this was Agate, Feldspar’s daughter’s last day of freedom.
When I returned the next morning, most of the horses were not in sight, but Cloud appeared next to the trap. His family stood next to the trap as he entered. Then I observed Cloud pace around in the trap. He did not stop to eat the goodies but kept smelling the ground, walking back and forth – I do believe he was searching for his lost family members, Breeze, Lynx and Agate. He only left the trap when his mares headed down the hill toward the water hole, and he ran to catch up with them, but kept looking back to the trap.
I had seen Cloud’s strong loyalty and devotion to his family and his drive to keep them together once before, at the roundup of 2009 when they released his band he kept driving them over and over back toward the corrals because he knew some of them were missing. The wranglers finally had to drive him away on horseback.
I went down to Britton Springs to observe the horses that had been captured and who will be available for adoption soon.
I want to be very clear. I am glad that they are not using a helicopter to round these horses up this year. Bait trapping is more humane and should be used as much as possible as an alternative to helicopter round ups.
However, I completely disagree that this removal of 40 young horses plus many foals is necessary, and I have maintained this since the Scoping document was published last year. This herd needs at least 150 adults to ensure its genetic viability. They are using birth control to maintain the population. Removing horses at the same time as using birth control makes no sense and spells trouble for this herd and for any other herd. The best possible solution would to be to tear down the fence cutting these horses off from their historical summer and fall range, and to continue the use of birth control ONLY to maintain the population.
Removing wild horses from their homes and their families and their freedom and keeping them in captivity, whether it be in short term holding, long term holding, or adopted is not the solution. Managing these herds in their herd management areas as the primary species in these areas is.
You can check the BLM website page for information on the removals, and they will also be posting information on the September 8 adoption at Britton Springs in Lovell for these young horses:
Thank God they are using more humane methods….but just like the govt approval of GMO foods which are destroying plant diversity pandering to private business….this genetic blunder is typical of man’s screwing up nature…we have a saying in the South,” GOD DON”T SLEEP…AND HE DON”T LIKE UGLY” there are short and long term consequences ( and unintended consequences) for messing with God’s order of creation
This is so true. That is why the world is in the shape it is in today. The gov. tries to control everything. There is less and less free, open land. Hundreds of empty houses sitting abandoned but morebeing built every day. If you build one, tear one down! Stop complaining about wild animal attacks if YOU invade their territory.
I completely agree with you, Dotsey!! They need to leave the horses alone and stop pandering to the big oil and welfare cattlemen. There is more than enough range to sustain the remaining horses. Cattle need to be removed before the horses are! You are right about the unintended consequences of messing with God’s order of creation!! We see it every day and yet the lesson goes on unlearned. I’m afraid we will interfere so much with God’s creation that we will utterly destroy it. All for greed and self indulgence. God have mercy on us!
AMEN !! You are 100% right!! The removal of these horses is NOT a good idea and WILL do more harm than good! I commend you for your words of wisdom and for taking a stance for what you believe in!! I am sure many Americans feel just as strongly as you and I about ensuring their freedom, not only for our generation, but also for future generations! Thank You!!
I agree with you,I think that is the only way to make sure the horses live a good life,the life they know.Locked up for who knows how long is not right. It isn’t for any one or thing.How sad they must be to be taken away from their family.To go to a strange place.Very sad. Keep up your good work.I have seen it on PBS.
Thank you! But you have seen Ginger Kathren’s work on PBS about Cloud – I am a still photographer.
I am overwhelmed with hurt, sorrow, and I only feel anger that I cannot take the much needed action against the wrongdoings of the capture of wild horses into my own hands to stop it. I feel worthless and it is depressing that I can not stop the wild mustangs from being taken away. Senseless, waste of the horses lives. The horses are made to suffer for the stupidity of humans. I am in shock, I feel so helpless. I want to do something but am told not to interfere because I will go to jail. This goes against all I know – to stand and do nothing when I see an animal being hurt. I just don’t understand. I want to hear it is ok to try to stop these people from stealing these horses. That is what it is called, in the day did they not hang horse theives. Why not revert to those days is that not what they are doing when they steal the horses from the own land? I don’t know I am out of my mind from their on-going senseless removals, I don’t even make sense. ALL I KNOW IS I OPPOSE ALL ROUNDUPS OF WILD MUSTANGS AND OPPOSE SLAUGHTER HOUSES BEING OPENED IN THE US AND THE TRANSPORT OF HORSES TO CANADA OR MEXICO. I DO NOT AGREE TO HOLDING FACITLITY’S TEMP OR LONG-TERM.
You are absolutely right, Colleen. I feel the same way. I get so horribly frustrated and feel helpless against the “giant politcial machine” that takes whatever they want, whenever they want. The removal of these beautiful horses and burros is totally unnecessary and barbaric. Long term holding is soul destroying and cruel and needs to be stopped. All roundups need to be stopped. Write and call and fax and e-mail your representatives constantly and keep this issue in front of their eyes until we succeed in getting the out of control BLM stopped. They are in truth STEALING the wild horses from the American public and stealing the public lands for private use as well. Tell everyone you know, tell them to contact their representatives and keep up the pressure to stop this insanity!
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BLM IS ABOVE THE LAW. WE NEED TO TAKE BACK AMERICA. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET AND THEN VOTE THEM ALL OUT NO MATER WHO TAKES THEIR PLACE. WE CAN KEEP ON VOTING THEM OUT UNTIL SOMEONE GETS THE IDEA THAT SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY TO GET IN WON’T BE PROFITABLE IF THEY ARE IN FOR SHORT TERM.
Just so sorrowful that this happens, over and over. We have two horses, one is a mustang – I don’t know her background, we rescued her from a negligent owner six years ago. We will never separate them, they are their own little herd.
I think I need to knit a little Cloud.
I just can’t seem to find the right path. The path to the desk of someone who can and will do something about these abuses. I can’t find the words to break through to the heart and soul of the demons in Washington DC. So worried about their jobs and pointing fingers at each other and wasting time arguing about Olympic uniforms being made in China when “life” itself is threatened.
I’m sure there were only good intentions when the WFRHB act was written and passed but the devil saw an opportunity here and another there to abuse the law and bend it to their own profit and loose the spirit in which it was composed. To hell with the dumb animals.
Yes they are dumb as they cannot speak but that is the only definition of dumb that fits. The horses are strong on family values unlike most people. They are loyal to the herd unlike most people. They exemplify power and grace in their beauty unlike most people.
Thank you Carol for being our eyes. My ‘bucket list’ has a visit to the Pryor’s on it to see this magnificent herd before the BLM completely destroys it.
God bless Agate and all the others. Now we can only pray they find a good home with loving people who will love and care for them.
Colleen I hear you. Steve too. I am also saddened and frustrated. What can we do?
The only wrong thing to do is nothing. We cannot sit by and watch these animals managed to extinction. Don’t get discouraged.
Keep taking action. Keep writing, keep signing, keep educating, keep fundraising and keep voting! We must not stop if we want to keep our wild horses.
I agree with Colleen and Steve. These horses are such amazing creatures and live a good live. They say to thin, so far as I can see are those horses in perfect condition. I hope they all find a good home 🙁
These people are the new torturers. I hope they will die of the worst, slowest, most painful cancers possible, with no relief whatsoever. And thanks for this in good part to our allegedly democratic president who put a rancher in charge of the Interior and assorted other villains and fascists to “care” for agriculture and widlife.
I am sooooo utterly upset with this torture of God’s Creators!!! When will it end…..they were all put here for a reason, not to be caught and slaughtered……How do you people who hurt these animals live with yourselves!!!! May God Forgive you…because I cannot!!! XO
Carol, you did a great job documenting this. I am very proud of you! I can only imagine how disheartening it is to watch the removal. I will never forget accidentally coming upon this very spot in another baited trap roundup a few years ago. I thought the roundup was a couple of weeks away. It was my only trip to the Pryors. Spent a lot of money and sweat getting there. Finally get to that spot, and the contractor was so threatening to my friend who happened upon him, that she was horrified beyond words. We left in a hurry. NO time to photograph Cloud, as I did finally see him. We met three female BLM employees as they were headed up the mt. (we were about 1/3 of the way down). We stopped to explain how threatening this guy was to us. He came at my friend with a pipe. I’m not exaggerating. He asked her if she got some good pictures as he was coming at her in a threatening way with that pipe. The BLM employees were very smug, condescending and totally infuriated me. I told them that I, too, was a government USDA employee. I wrote some letters to political figures about my unprofessional dealings with them. I’ll never forget it.
I have learned when I go to roundups, all kinds, that I write down names as they’re supposed to have nametags. If they don’t I introduce myself and get their names. I encourage everyone else to do the same in the future. Being accountable for their behavior becomes a big deal then.
The problem that I see is that PZP is not holding the herd size to what the land can handle. If it could then I would agree with you to leaving the herds alone but since it is not and the number of foals born is greater than what will die in a given year you cannot leave the herd to manage it’s self. If you want to see what happens in that case then look at the state owned horses in Nevada where they do not capture or maintain herd size and they are now dying of starvation and lack of water. It would be nice if mother nature was not so hard on the animals but I would rather see them capture the young horses and find them homes than see the older horses gathered and have to stand in pens until shipped to LTH.
I know that there has been a lot of controversy over the minimum number of horses needed to keep a viable herd but the Kiger and Riddle herds have both been kept well below the 150 adult horse level for the past 30 years with only movement between the two herds without loosing it’s genetic diversity.
What needs to be done is to remove the fence so that the horses have access to their historical summer and fall range – then there is no need for removing horses. Also in this herd they are not using birth control on all of the breeding age mares. – I would rather see more mares on birth control than any removals.
Wild horses are not starving to death or dying of thirst in Nevada. That is a BLM myth, as is the idea that the herds in Oregon which are kept at 50 or 60 horses can remain genetically viable. The BLM is destroying those herds, and what they then do is say the herd is too small, we might as well zero them out and remove all of them.
You are right about the BLM lieing about the wild horses starving to death. NONE of the photos of ANY of the wild horses show any of them looking unhealthy or in need of food. Only when the BLM gets involved and water and food is fenced off do you see horses going hungry and thirsty. The BLM is on a constant march to deceive the public into thinking it’s necessary to remove them for their own sake, but the fail to tell the truth about where they end up once removed. So many thousands have ended up in slaughter and have died during roundups having their hooves run off, breaking legs, breaking necks in the pens, dieing of pneumonia after being run for miles in the cold, left standing sweating and forced into trucks, hauled for long trips with sweat freezing on their bodies, horses being struck by helicopter skids, knocked down and run to exhaustion. This is NOT humane care or maintenance – it’s annihilation and torture! There are less than 30,000 horses on the range today – to live on over 500 million acres. There are MILLIONS of cattle taking up those ranges and destroying it for other species. People are naive to think that the BLM is telling the truth about what is really happening on the range and what they are doing with the wild horses and burros. This has been documented time and time again, photos, videos and personal accounts, documentation handed to judges, lawsuits, and still it goes on. UNCONSTITUTIONAL! The BLM constantly breaks the laws pertaining to humane treatment of animals. If any private citizen was caught treating horses the way the BLM treats them, they would be in jail. It’s time the BLM is brought under control and stopped in their tracks. There may be some sincere and caring indivuduals in the BLM, but they are few and far between and subject to follow the direction of the head of the BLM, who neither cares for nor cares what happens to the wild horses and burros.
WHERE DID YOU GET THIS INFORMATION? YOU BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR? THE BLM REPLACES THESE HEARD WITH CATTLE, GAS AND OIL AND OTHER COMMODITIES AND THIS IS WHY THEY WANT TO REMOVE THEM. DID YOU SEE ANY SICK OR STARVING HORSES TAKEN? OF COURSE NOT. NONE OF THEM WERE TAKEN LIKE THAT AND BEFORE THEY WERE NOTICED DOING THIS, THEY WERE TAKING THEM TO SLAUGHTER HOUSES IN MEXICO AND CANADA. THEY THE BLM HAVE NO MORALS. THEY HAVE SOLD US OUT FOR PROFIT. THE TAX PAYER IS PAYING TO HAVE THEM REMOVED AND FEEDING THEM AS WELL AND THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A SHELTER FROM THE COLD AND HEAT. TREES MAKE A GREAT SHELTER, BUT THEY ARE IN OPEN PENS. MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHECK THS OUT YOURSELF, DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.
Great job Carol and thank you for sharing. Your lifetime of equine experience, coupled with your photographic eye, captures so much of this event for the rest of us to see. We head up there this week, with great trepidation.
Once in the wild always to be wild, bring them in to tame down, be ridden, is not in their nature, I stand 100% that theses horses should and shall be left where they have come from. Cut down on the stallion breeding or fix some Mares if there is a Too large of a population. There are to many horses NOW in the U.S that are abandoned, abused and this is what happen to theses horses….
RONANNE: ABANDONED AND ABUSED HORSES THERE ARE. BUT THESE WILD AMERICAN MUSTANGS ARE BEING REPLACED WITH CATTLE FOR PROFIT. THEY REMOVE THEM AT THE TAX PAYERS EXPENSE. THERE ARE OVER I,000,000 HEAD OF CATTLE TO 1 HORSE NOW SO GET THE FACTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT. YOU CAN ASK FOR A MAP SHOWING WHERE AND HOW MANY HEAD OF CATTLE ARE ON P0UBLIC LANDS. EACH DOT REPRESENTS ONE MILLION HEAD OF CATTLE. SUCH A SHAME TO BE SO GREEDY. THE FEW HORSES DO NO HARM TO LIVE AMONG THE CATTLE. THEHY ARE NOT COMPETEING, THEY ARE BEING DRIVEN OUT BY GREED AND THE BLM AND THE REST OF OUR GOVERNMENT A ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN.
I am so angry that it is not probably appropriate for me to reply to what has been posted. These roundups and removals will never stop. Those in charge, BLM officials and employees have a strong agenda. Remove the horses….constantly, as often as possible, in as secretive way as possible and intimadate those who ask questions or object to the gathers. We all have been working to put a stop to it for years. We are told to be civil, respectful, work in a dignified way through the proper channels. What has that gotten those who oppose the manner in which not only the horses but “we the people” are treated with condescention and intimidation. We ask for an investigation……seldom does anything happen and no one is held accountable for the death, injuries, trauma caused to the wild horses we ask to be left alone. Just because the BLM says they know what is best for the horses, does not make it true. There are many conflicts of interest, much money involved, special interests that want the land the horses were given by law. The BLM goes so far as to keep reducing the land that belongs to the wild horses and burros. All the truth is out there to see and read but nothing we do seems to stop this “juggernautht”. When do we stop taking these “gathers” quietly. When do we demand that actions against the power plays of the BLM be taken. I grow weary waiting for those who are suppose to speak for “we the people” on the State and Federal level to do so………..I believe in dialogue, law, and civility. Still NOTHING happens to save the herds we have left. Our government has received more than enough petitions, letters, phone calls, emails, etc. to know that the majority of American wants this management of our “National Treasure” of wild horses, all equine creatures to STOP. Officials have selective hearing and are not in touch with their own constituents. They have turned a deaf ear and will only turn on their “hearing aid” when the horses are for all intents and purposes, GONE from our mountains, deserts, prairies, our landscape. They will no longer run free but have to be kept in sanctuaries and concentration camps know as “long term holding”. That is not what I want for the wild equines. Mankind has caused the extinction of many of our wildlife. The obsessive need to control everything is over the moon. What the government needs are real “horse advocates” making the decisions about the wild horses. People who have studied for purely research and observation the wild herds. It takes years to get the real essence of these animals. College educated officials who meet a job criteria are not the ones who should decide. Those with “boots on the ground” experience about the habits and habitat of wild horses should be doing the advising with a strict policy of accountability for mismanagement. I do not think I am willing to wait for them to be “zoo spectacles” to demand change. What ideas can we come up with to have more influence and to get better answers from our “ELECTED” officials. Thank you all for hearing my frustration with our lousy process of getting something done.
I don’t know what we can do either, but we should do something before it’s too late!
Well said, Joy! Every word of your comment is true. The BLM needs to be abolished in my opinion. They do not care what anyone thinks or what the laws are – they march on to annihilation of the wild horses. We need a major march on Washington – marching on horse back up the white house steps right into the congress and refuse to leave until the BLM is stopped and we the people are heard!!
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU JOY. THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW. IF WE DID THAT, WE WOULD BE IN JAIL.
It literally brought tears to my eyes seeing these pictures. I do all I can here to help bring this to light,but can do no more. It breaks my heart that I am disabled and can’t be out there to help fight the fight. I’m sure if I was young and stupid again,I’d be a thorn in the blm’s side at the roundups. I don’t condone breaking the law at all,but I can’t see myself sitting by and not accidentally knocking a fence over or helping one escape capture before its too late. I can only imagine the agony and fear Cloud and his family has for their missing family members. It angers me that the blm uses any excuse to destroy the herds even more. They will never thrive like before as long as the blm has control over them.
Although I’m glad to see them using more humane methods, this entire action is anything but humane. I wonder how these people would feel if someone came into their home and snatched their children away. The BLM is completely out of control and needs to be stopped. I get so sad when I read about all this.
I would like to see the BLM do something constructive, like manage the wild horses and burros, instead of destroying them! This is disgraceful! I live in AZ and heard on the local news two days ago that a BLM rep was “forced” to shoot and kill a stallion he encountered who was “injured and emaciated.” Why do I not believe that?
The sadness and frustration endured by these horse families being broken up is no different than the reaction domesticated horses experience when their youngsters are removed from their presence, other than that the sire is more involved with the youngsters in the wild.There is nothing more pitiful than a mare and foal whinnying to one another during the weaning process, or when they are separated for other reasons. It happens all the time, every day, everywhere—not just on wild horse ranges every few years. If this is such a terrible thing, then we should not allow family members to be separated in any venue. Sound realistic? And would you want to see unlimited procreation of domestic horses in their nice little paddocks? Life goes on. And real life is not a movie, with the writer able to create a wonderful, problem free environment with a fairy tale ending. The wild horses who do live free have a much more wonderful life than their domesticated counterparts, in my estimation, but most of the “owned” horses are doing well. This is a very complicated issue, and I don’t think it’s that useful in the long run to use emotional reaction to “incite the crowd” with people who are relatively uninformed about the subject. With the Pryor horses, there’s more than the BLM involved, thankfully. Checks and balances are always good. People need to be interested and involved, but they also need to be very sure they know ALL the facts before making judgements. Do some research on the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center’s website @pryormustangs.org and elsewhere, and open your mind to what you see. One point that needs to be made here is that Joviana WAS absolutely too thin and not producing any milk for her foal who was also becoming very thin.They would have perished before long left on the range. And @ Donna, the stallion you’re talking about was Lakota, I’m sure, and he WAS BADLY INJURED and would have suffered longer and died of malnutrition and dehydration if he had not been found and put out of his misery. I saw the injury, and altho I’m not a veterinarian, I do have some commmon sense. It’s not productive to try to make a lie out of everything that’s said that doesn’t fit your idea of how things should be. Keep caring about the horses, but let’s be realistic.
I did not say a word about Lakota, (where does @Donna come from?) or his being put down by Jared. You must be thinking about someone else.
I have observed and photographed Lakota for 8 years and am very sad that he is gone. I do not pretend to know his condition at the time of his death as I was not there and had not seen him for over a year.
Yes of course horses endure separation in their lives just as human beings do, and young mares leave their families to find new ones and the young stallions are kicked out of their bands and form bachelor groups and some eventually have their own families, just as older stallions eventually are bested by younger ones and lose their families. Wild horses also die. Yes change is a way of life on the horse range BUT these removals by the BLM are unnecessary especially since birth control is already being administered by the use of PZP to control the numbers of this herd. Bringing the numbers of this herd down to a very low level and simultaneously using birth control is a recipe for disaster for this herd and many others. The BLM should be working with the Forest Service to get the fence torn down that separates them from their historic summer and fall range, so that the horses can continue to thrive in the Pryor Mountains. Montana has just one small horse herd left, and somehow that is just still too many wild horses.
why can’t you people leave OUR horses alone… america with out her wild horses is
not even close to being cowboy heaven anymore…
Perhaps a way for the BLM to validate their actions would be for them to post complete photo documentation as in the case of Lakota, leaving nothing to anyone’s deductions or conclusions. A photo of Lakota down, unable to walk nor eat or drink would tell a thousand words and quell all of the dialogue. Then there would be no second-guessing and it would instill a level of credibility in BLM actions.
Why is “the fence” not being removed? What are the arguments for keeping it intact? I agree that the herd needs viable numbers to continue, but removal is also necessary sometimes. I live in this area and our lands are all drying up with this drought. I had horses escape onto some BLM land last summer and experienced first hand what lack of good forage can do to a herd of animals. Both sides need to come to some compromise. Providing more information on the existence of the fence limiting the range land would be helpful. That might be a target for public action.
Here is some information on the fence from an earlier blog post of mine: https://www.wildhoofbeats.com/news/wild-horses-pryor-mountain-herd-targeted-for-removals-again
Currently I am a plaintiff along with the Cloud Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue to have this fence that was erected in 2010 and has already caused the deaths of at least 4 wild horses, removed. That is what is needed to help this herd and to help the range.
I know it is an unintended consequence, but since the fence (which is probably necessary somewhere to separate the forest service and its grazing alotments from the BLM range—-and I agree should be, or I wish it was, at a location that allows more of the fertile area for the horses) is part of the HMAP, I have heard that if the case is won, then everything done under the HMAP guidelines must be undone. This means that all of the guzzlers that were put in, and I have seen used often, will get removed. The area is “drying up because of drought” as Vicki stated, and is hard to argue when 16 counties of Wyoming and 2 in Montana were just declared drought disaster areas. Some of the lower horses, such as Sitting Bull and Bristol in the lower sykes area, rely on those guzzlers right now. During the early summer, I also saw it spread some of the horses out all the way to Burnt Timber Canyon instead of Cheyenne Flats. I think they are a huge benefit to the horses. Moving the fence may open up more land, but also concentrate the horses causing just as much degradation if the guzzlers are removed.
As a plaintiff, do you know of a way for people to see the case. Like I said, I have heard it overturns the whole HMAP, but don’t know if that is true for sure. I would like to be able to see for myself where the truth of the matter lies.
I have never heard anything about the guzzlers having to be removed. That sounds like a scare tactic on the part of the BLM. I do know that the horses have used this range historically and many were born and grew up on land that they are now barred access from. You just need to look at the deep horse trails that lead up and under the fence to see evidence of this. I have been photographing horses on the mountain since 2004 and using the Forest Service land was simply part of life for the wild horses. Once I heard that the fence was to be erected I knew that it was a set up for the BLM – keep the horses from their summer range, then say “gee now they are overgrazing, we need to round up and remove wild horses” instead of “perhaps we should work harder to come to an agreement with the Forest Service to benefit this precious and unique herd.”
At least 4 horses have died because of this obscenity of a fence. It needs to go. Simple as that. there is something so incredibly sad about watching the horses gaze over the fence, or pace along it – I know they do not understand. But I do.
There is no way to share details of the case right now.
I do agree the fence cuts through old trails, and like I said, I would like to see the fence moved, too. There will probably have to be one somewhere, but even a little further would open up a lot of the greener, high nutrition top.
I don’t know about the guzzlers, which is why I asked. I did read through the HMAP, and since the installation of guzzlers was part of it, if the case is to revert the land to how it was before the HMAP it would make sense that they would have to come out. On the other hand, the case could be specifically just to remove the fence. That is why I wanted to see some actual information about it, but I do know that sometimes documents can’t be released while a case is ongoing. I don’t see this as privileged information, so I would think the actual case was on file somewhere, but I could be wrong. It would just be nice to not be told how things are by different factions, but to be objective and find out for myself.
The idea the guzzlers could come out MIGHT be a scare tactic for if the BLM loses, or a sour grapes action. It is a political issue, and neither side is above using worst-case scenarios and scare tactics. Is the range as deteriorated as the BLM may say? Maybe not, I haven’t looked at studies, yet. Is it likely the whole herd is removed and gone if the BLM has its way? Not at all. I don’t have much extra money, but if I did then I would bet everyone that wanted $125 that there are still over 100 horses on the range in 10 years, or 20 etc. It isn’t a lot, but I am so sure that the horses will still be there that if 100 people bet me I would have $12500. I don’t have the money to cover if I lost, so I can’t do it, but that is how sure I am that THIS herd will still be there.
The original case (not all of the in court stuff) is not a public document that people can see?
Thank you for your respectful comments and reply. As far as I know the guzzlers have absolutely nothing to do with the fence. I remember 2 1/2 years ago before they were put in that there was some concern at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center that because of the lawsuit, that the guzzlers might not be installed, and of course they were installed. I am not sure where this talk about the guzzlers being removed has come from – it sounds very strange and not at all practical – what would be the motivation of the BLM removing them? Who would pay for this? And how would it be justified, removing water sources from the range that benefit not only wild horses but other wildlife? I would imagine there would be quite an outcry against this, and I have never heard of anyone removing a water source that they have previously installed from a wild horse range. This is a scare tactic.
Being on the side of working on getting the fence removed, I can tell you there have been no scare tactics or retaliation on this end – simply years of trying to protect this herd, and then when all the talking and letter writing and negotiating has not borne fruit, what is left except litigation? Unfortunately this has become the new normal not just with this herd but virtually every wild horse herd that remains. Montana has only one very small herd left and unless people who care about this herd speak up and fight to keep it, even this herd can be zeroed out, or brought down to numbers so low where it is not genetically viable. This is happening every day in all the states that our wild horses call home and this is worth fighting against.
Whatever happened to “free roaming” wild horses as the act is labeled? Yes, the bought politicians legislated it out of existence so there’d be no more really wild horses.The BLM needs a total shakeup and the west needs to be cleared of drilling, mining, housing developments, over populatin of cattle, sheep and people using exponentially more water than a few wild horses.
The BLM merely churns out it worthless tripe of propaganda, over and over, year after year.
I looked back in my folder and have a letter of response from the BLM from 12/08/2010 05:59 PM from John Axtell Clan Alpine Gather, Dear Reader Letter that reads exactly like the one for theSeveral months ago you provided comments on the “Desatoya Mountains Habitat Resiliency, Health, and Habitat Restoration Environmental Assessment (EA). The Decision Record has been signed regarding the wild horse gather phase of the EA. Attached is the Dear Reader letter with the pertinent information. Sincerely – Teresa J. (Terri) Knutson
Gee, nothing at all different of 2 years and 2 different locations. Same blue rubber stamp and everything.
I agree that the wild horses should be left alone – Let mother nature take her course. These wild horses have lived through drought, snow, hail storms, and cattle infringing on thier territory for hundreds of years. A viable genetic strain must be maintained for future generations of our children, grand children and great grandchildren. Our Population has slowed for many reasons (economy, birth control, etc.) Many people are no longer eating meat of any kind and the need for cattle and sheep is decreasing. The Ranchers should keep thier cattle on thier OWN RANCHES and NOT ON PUBLIC LAND. If they did, there would never be a reason to round up our wild horses. These horses belong to the PUBLIC – YOU AND ME – NOT BLM. Leave them alone and reunite all stallions and thier families – ESPECIALLY CLOUD AND HIS FAMILY – THEY ARE ALL A NATIONAL TREASURE AND SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND AWE! They belong ON OUR PUBLIC LAND.
It’s a pity,the BLM does the horrible things to our Wild Horses,they do it in the name of GREED!! not for any other reason.They want the wild horses off the Public Lands,so they can allow more cattle on the land.But they aren’t abiding by the Free Roaming Act 71.Cattle ruins the land for anything else to graze on it.The BLM and the government need to leave these magnificent,beautiful Wild Horses alone,They’re Gods creations and he planned for them to multiply and roam free all their lives,not to be in pens the rest of their lives.Obama want’s to do something GOOD in this world,SAVE our Wild Horses and Burro’s and FIRE the BLM’S and leave the wild horses and burro’s on the lands where they were born and raised,and release all those that are in holding pens back on the open ranges where they were born.BLM and the Government need to kick the cattle,sheep oil people and whoever else that are Public lands that were given to the wild horses and burro’s many years ago and should still be their’s to roam wild and FREE!!Because they don’t need the BLM to control the family size,between the severe weather,and preditors,those things do the controling as God so intended.Thats why he created Prey and Preditors,so they can be control by those means not man’s way,all man does to these animal’s is DESTROY THEM.Treat them inhumane and cruel.Its heart breaking to see the way the BLM treats the Wild Horses and Burro’s,its disgusting.The BLM is getting paid with the taxpayers money to do such inhumane and sickening cruel things to these beautful animals.We’ve got to speak up for these wild horses as they can’t speak for themselves and they’re depending on us to help them.The BLM’S do nothing but LIE about why they need to round-up wild horses.And I know that once one of these wild horses are captured and put in a pen to stand around and do nothing in dirty pens no less,it breaks their SPIRIT.You look at the horses in pens and they pretty much just hang their heads and are not happy.Besides the families of the wild horses being split up.Stallions away from their mares,and mares taken away from their foals and yearlings.I will sign as many petitions and etc.until our wild horses and burro’s are left alone and left to FOREVER ROAM FREE AS GOD INTENDED THEM TO.
You probably know this, but Jerri Tillett (Pryor next door neighbor for those who don’t know who Jerri is), Nikki Spotted Owl (Jerri’s sister) and I, tried to get a TRO but of course we were denied. No doubt our legal appeals will be dismissed as “moot” after the gather is over.
And to Linda, what is most sad to me is that these horses ARE being managed like a group of domestic horses in a paddock. Yes sometimes humans need to step in and euthanize, just like with any injured wildlife. And sometimes humans need to leave well enough alone.
This again is a disgusting tale of our governments being “bought” by the big ranchers and their greedy money. I wish each and every one of them a death one hundred times worse than the worst slaughter one of these beautiful horses would endure. There are no excuses for this travesty. THey along with the killer buyers deserve to die the worst death possible and I hope God will give them it — and I hope it is SOON. We must gather all our advocates and demand that the wild horses are ours AND WE DO NOT WANT THEM REMOVED FROM THE RANGES. WE WANT THEM TO REMAIN WITH THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST WITH THEIR FAMILIES. At this rate, I would stop eating meat just to see these individual ranchers go under. Our government needs to be completely changed at the BLM and the Dept. of Agriculture. THese are despicable individuals and they need to be removed and FIRED immediately. These are our horses and we demand they are treated with love and care and left alone.
Just a short note but have you seen the different stallions in the same corrals fighting to keep their mares. Also I was just in Nevada and saw a beautiful black stallion with a few mares and they just stood there while I took pictures of them. They were nice and fat werent starving at all.
The Government needs to do away with the BLM’S of this Country,and release all the wild horses and burro’s that are penned up and take them back to the anges where they were born and raised and release them to ROAM FREE as they’re suppose to be.Get the Cattle,sheep and oil people and anybody else that shouldn’t be permitted on the public lands that is meant for the Wild Horses And Burro’s.They need to follow the law of the Free Roaming Act 71.No where does it state it’s land for the Cattlemen or sheep men oil drillers to use and take away from the Wild Horses and Burro’s,since the Taxpayers are paying for the public land so the Wild horse’s and Burro’s to be on it and forever Be Free to roam free and multiply and raise their families as God so Intended them to.I do not understand why the Government pays these BLM’S to round up and abuse and treat such beautiful Wild Horse’s and Burro’s in such an cruel heartless way.We need to SAVE these animals now.So BLM’s leave these Wild Horses and Burro’s alone.They know how to take care of themselves,they did it for a long time before the BLM’s and they can without the BLM’S.Band sizes are controlled by preditors and severe weather,man IS NOT NEEDED.The Wild Horses and Burro’s are very much a part of this Country’s History and Heritage,we need to preserve our Wild Horse’s and Burro’s so our Grand children and future Generations can see them out in the wild and not just pictures in a book or museum.They need to stop the Roundups of the Wild Horse’s and burro’s and LEAVE them ALONE!!!
I too am horrified at what is taking place with these wild horse roundups.
I really believe “man” is innately humane….Let’s do something about it.
Is there any organization that has a voice to reach the ear of those in
a position to help stop this inhumane treatment of our wild horses? What will it
take to change things? Where can you get information on the Free Roaming Act 71?
The link to the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act is here: http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/92-195.htm
What is working right now is litigation. The best thing you can do to help our wild horses right now is donate to a legal fund that is supporting ongoing litigation to save and protect wild horses. You can go to: http://Www.thecloudfoundation.org or http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org and donate.
I read that you believe the fence killed at least 4 of the horses.
I’ve often wondered if that was the cause.
Are you speaking of Caberet, Fortunatas and the rest.
Do you believe the fence killed Ferdinand as well?
I’ve assumed that and asked around but can’t get any one to tell me yes or no.
I was quite fond of Ferdinand and eagerly looking forward to watching him establish himself. He was quite a stallion.
By the way, would you happen to know where it was exactly he died?
Dear Scott, the best information on the fence and the deaths of the horses is the article by Ginger Kathrens in Natural Horse Magazine “Did the Fence Kill Cabaret?” I have only seen one of the bodies, it was a mare, so no I do not know where Ferdinand died.
Thank you for documenting what is happening here. Heartbreaking to hear. Unbelievable this is being allowed. Even without the helicopters.