Why are we here?

I was asked that question by the New York Times videographer Clare Major as she was held back at the “public observation” area and not given the same access as her colleagues just days before.

I let her know that even though I had submitted press credentials prior to the gather, and was present the day her colleagues were there, yet I was NOT allowed access. That on the day she was there my editor, Steven Long of Horseback, had resubmitted what BLM now called credentials and if she got access… so would the Team from Horseback.

That day only two horses were gathered. Two geldings from a supposed previous gather that I have not seen since.

Here is the NYTimes video:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/09/05/us/1248068979753/controversy-on-the-range.html

Here is mine.

I finally did get access. But it took me 12 days and an awful lot of gymnastics. I still have not been allowed to approach the gather pens that the Times footage shows they did. 12 day… it took the NYTimes 24 hours.

During that twelve days Jeff Fontana (BLM)¬†and I had a dialogue that began every morning that started like this… “So Jeff, let’s start the dance.” I have to say that Jeff was in a tough spot. He had pressure from every side, but he continued to try. That’s more than I can say for most Field Offices.

This week we are back in Nevada… no more California.

Tom Gorey of the BLM has been out here. He said he is going to work on a National observation protocol and try to use California as a model. Yet of course he added the “disclaimer” that it “will take time.”

Time we don’t have. Not with the current “I know the brakes don’t work but I’m hitting the gas anyway” mentality in the bureau right now. If this years gather schedule completes and what we see shaping up for 2011… Salazar will have pushed his “few treasured herds” proposal through without Congressional approval.

We NEED this protocol to STOP. A Moratorium MUST accompany any study done on a 30 year old program based on guesswork that has flawed data plugged in to create irreversible damage to our symbol of American Freedom.

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15 thoughts on “Why are we here?

  1. Darcy says:

    & the cows roam free to graze behind you as OUR wild horses are penned & rounded up…. it’s a very sad world we live in these days.

  2. Cindy says:

    They make their own rules…and have no checks and balances.

    America shouldn’t be run like this. Cold,Covert and Calculated.

    People and organizations that are run like this make me ashamed to be an American.

    God Bless the Mustangs.

  3. Cindy says:

    How is it that they gather geldings off the range?

    • sandra longley says:

      There are geldings on the wild horse HMAs because they implemented their “secret” alternative management options plan developed last year-to geld and release stallions..even tho there is no social structure for geldings in the wild..We did get that reversed at Stinkingwater this year where they have already done that in the past…we raised a fuss in our comments to the EA-so never think that making comments on those EAs is a complete waste -altho most of the time it feels like it is.

  4. Elizabeth LaRoche says:

    I do not understand how deaf and blind our citizens have become that the ones in ‘power’ are able to pull the wool over the eyes of the nation and throw up all kind of smoke screens over each new loss of one of our freedoms. I am too old to do much more than maybe write which I can usually do effectively when my ire is up as it is now. What can I do?

  5. Linda says:

    The California Model? There was a different “model” for the two days, allowed close in or kept at a distance. Which is he talking about?

    Freedom of the Press? If it applies to one news organization, legally it should apply to all. HELLO!

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Eventually it did apply to “all,” but it took 13 days of “negotiations” on the ground. And then they brought in “bigger” voices like Debbie Collins and it all went to hell in a handbag fast.

      Tom Gorey saw it. He said he will create a National protocol… press means press, not selectoive. That’s “content control” and against the law.
      A young BLM employee said “that’s like China.”

      Gorey heard that, too.

      The guidelines need to be established, particularly in the gathers coming up in Nevada….

      • morganlvr says:

        I’m glad Tom Gorey sees the need for a National Protocol–finally. But, all this takes TIME. And, as you said, time is something we’re running out of.

        Debbie Collins is a bigger voice? Holey Moley! She’s an idiot!

      • savewildhorses says:

        Tom Gorey will do nothing. Just blowing more smoke.

        • Laura Leigh says:

          Right… but it’s anpother avenue to hold publicly accountable. The statement was made and the lack of follow through gives me a reason to email and a place to complain… at least.

  6. jean says:

    The truth of the matter is, the BLM is going to do whatever the hell they want to, regardless what the American people want or if it’s the right thing to do. They call this management?! Pathetic!

  7. Laura, You are doing an amazing job. Thanks. mar

  8. Honor Hannon says:

    Laura,
    Hang in there sister! You are my hero.
    Walk in Beauty (even though you are surrounded by bureau of mismanagement(bm) idiots.)

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