Forward

I am getting some responses from “our day in Court” that say “I’m sorry.”

I don’t feel that way, truly. Because so much ground was gained. I did not get the “miracle,” but my path has been cleared of some very major obstacles.

Cowan, myself and RT (photo by Elyse Gardner)

This has been a roller coaster month with the Year beginning back at Calico, then off to the Ninth Circuit and Flanigan. Flanigan had within it’s weather delays and the Washoe fire. An emotional roller coaster of a month.

I am also a bit “under the weather.” My efforts involve dealing with resource I have just about exhausted. My vehicle is now like the “Millenium Falcon,” it’s a bucket of bolts that needs a layover. Finances are tight. Paperwork has turned into mountain ranges. I have sold everything I have that was of any value to supplement the effort.

And if you look closely at the picture… see my right cheek? You can still see the bruising from almost two years ago after Elyse and I were rear ended by that drunk driver. I went into the Owyhee with concussion syndrome to meet that roadblock and have been on a non-stop marathon ever since… and my face still hurts.

Changing this program is like digging a path through Everest with a spoon. I tried to use some dynamite and was told to keep using my spoon… but that my spoon is valid.

This IS what happened in Court.

We have an attorney that had agreed to do this case for a reduced flat fee. The case was the original Complaint that lead to the TRO on pilot conduct. However in Court for that hearing we learned a lot from the Judge. So we took what we learned and amended that Complaint, Supplemented the motion and the Judge allowed the Injunctive Relief portion to move forward.

That action (regardless of what anyone else says) was recognized as a driving force to get BLM to do the review in a manner “different” from past action and was recognized by McKibben as “his fire” under BLM.

Now keep in mind that McKibben refused to allow that motion to be Supplemented after that. That means both BLM and myself could NOT give McKibben any new information until the day of the hearing.

At a hearing you NEVER know what BLM will do. (Remember at Owyhee they pulled that water emergency doc out of the air that was prepped the day of Court and NOTHING we wanted to address could be?) So we had to prep several documents without knowing if they would even be allowed in the Court.

Almost at the last moment the hearing was bumped from 4 o’clock to 2. Yes, we had an attorney but the second leg of this action was done as a piece of the first and we only had him for a short time… and just lost two hours.

What the amended complaint attempted to do was create a challenge to “conduct” and not simply associate with a single roundup. Even though existing precedent made the likelihood very slim of success… with all I see we had to try. That portion of the suit failed. That action is for Congress to take. So when I tell you writing to Congress is important, I mean it.

However we did not play the “game.”

BLM wanted this to be a conversation about how “good” they are and how “hard” they are trying.

Would you want me to “play?”

So when asked to recognize BLM’s improvement we said “No.”

Would you expect me to answer any other way?

The judge was given several documents in response to BLM handing him the review (that BLM claims is still online but you all know that link was changed and the actual review is gone). I gave McKibben the analysis of the report and I gave him observation statements and noted in the report that on the very same day as the report was made public Ginger and TCF documented burros excessively hotshot. I told him about the multiple runs that even had a horse tie up as the chopper ran the group multiple times at the trap and the baby in that group is now lame in holding. I told him about that horse that got stuck in the trailer and was then hotshot to get him to rise. Elyse Gardner made a great contrast report from Pryors 09 to Calico just weeks ago. Mike Lorden (a very level headed observer and a man very familiar flight protocol) wrote about his observations.

McKibben may not have read everything in that moment, but he will.

BLM then tried to pass off (by omission of language) a talking point list as a “policy.” I handed him emails from Leslie Peeples, Deborah Hurley and others (that they had with DC BLM) ┬áthat show clearly that there is no intention of a clear protocol.

McKibben may not have gone through that list (that Petersen, BLM’s Attorney objected to authenticity) but he will remember that conversation when we are back in Court.

I will publish that statement in it’s entirety later in pdf so you all can download it.

So in essence even though we do not have a policy McKibben has seen this supposed “list” they are going to follow. I can tell you the things on the list are NOT being done.

McKibben wanted me to say that improvement was made. I can’t because it hasn’t.He needs to also be “educated” that this “talk” cycle leads nowhere… we have been in it for a long time. We will show McKibben…. because he opened the door for me to go back.

My standing is recognized. The validity of this documentation was recognized. The concern and importance of the issue was recognized. The fact that this is not moot was recognized.

Do you realize what a “win” that is?

If I bring it like I did at Triple B… in the “hard road”… he will stop the roundup.

This is not cause for “I’m sorry,” this is “huddle” time. We need to get that ball down field because we can score that touchdown. The end zone has been defined…

Write Congress… FAX and call.

I will get back in this broken truck and do my best.

Roundups end March 1 and we have major access issues… but they start again in July… and we wont stop until there is a care standard and protocol for violation… but the path has just been cleared of some really big boulders.

Onward.