Calico report, day one

 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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16 thoughts on “Calico report, day one

  1. Mar Wargo says:

    I am amazed Sun J is doing this… but the Cattoors have been in Wyoming. Carol Walker has been observing there. “Business as usual” is bad news. The activity goes on against all basis in law and against public opinion and recommendations from observations. How many will die this time? We know the deaths begin as soon as the helicopters begin to fly. We will not be told the truth or the real numbers. This should not be happening. If only we had this stopped now.

    Nevada Has Never Been Without Her Mustangs! People want them as the state animal. They are not hurting anything and they are protected and on their own lands. This is s crime perpetrated by BLM and corporate greed and White House ignorance!

  2. Laura Leigh says:

    TYpos are fixed on the Wild Horse Education site. Creating last Declaration for Court and then heading back out… got a bit hypothermic yesterday. Need to find the good long underwear…

  3. Mar Wargo says:

    I would love to have your clothes and shoe size. There are lots of great sale items from field boots to jeans to layering for cold weather. And I have to wonder what you have to wear to court!?

  4. Linda Horn says:

    Laura, I hope your emotions don’t show on your face, as mine do. Gene’s “Isn’t that better?” would have resulted in my best dismissive scowl! If they want to prove things are “better” (in all aspects), why not let you and others observe from a place where you can confirm that? BTW, did they finally figure out the way to hang tarps is OUTSIDE the panels?

    “The third group (observed) arrived two and one half hours after pilot had departed the operation area.” I wonder how much of that time was spent in Josh’s usual “chase ‘em ’til they drop” mode. Not a good sign that horses were stumbling. And that poor old mare! I can only imagine how valiently she tried to keep up, and, whenever she fell behind, how hard he pushed her. I hope she makes it.

  5. Mar Wargo says:

    We will try to get you a small hydraulic jack from Walmart. They are so easy to handle. More gas funds needed!! Working on it.

  6. Mar Wargo says:

    We are working on getting you more space… but if you need things now, let us help!

  7. Nancy Zc says:

    Thank you for keeping a look out, for our horses.

  8. Louie Cocroft says:

    Laura, which contractor?

  9. Louie Cocroft says:

    and which pilot?

  10. Christi Fagerstone says:

    Laura, I have sent some more money so you can use it as you please.

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