Dusty trail down dead end AML

Again… I feel the need to remind readership that this is a BLOG. A blog is defined as an “online diary.” It is not the same venue as an online newspaper.

Before you read the BLM explanation of an HMA in the Mojave Desert area unable to sustain more than 3 horses as an AML read this:

The plant would generate electricity using heat generated by the sun’s rays. BrightSource plans to erect thousands of “heliostats” on three solar fields. Each heliostat will have two mirrors that track the sun, and reflect it onto a boiler filled with water atop a tower. The boiler will produce steam for a turbine. The company says the mirrors will capture a greater percentage of solar energy than other solar thermal technologies.


or this:




BLM Nevada News


Tonopah Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment

Tonopah, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District’s Tonopah Field Office is proposing to remove about 182 excess wild horses and burros from within and outside of the boundaries of the Paymaster and Montezuma Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to establish the appropriate management level (AML) in the HMA to 27 wild horses and 10 burros.

The Montezuma Peak HMA is located west of the town of Goldfield and 26 miles south of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The Paymaster HMA is located less than five miles north of the Montezuma Peak HMA and 7 miles west of Tonopah.

The proposal and associated impacts are described and analyzed in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA).

The BLM would appreciate receiving substantive comments on the EA by July 15, 2010.

Comments received during the public review period will be analyzed and considered as part of the decision-making process.

The EA may be viewed at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field.html.

Submit written comments to Thomas J. Seley, Tonopah Field Manager, Tonopah Field Office, P.O. Box 911 (1553 S. Main St.), Tonopah, NV 89049.

Comments also may be via e-mail to montezuma_gather@blm.gov. In order to be considered, all comments must be received by mail or e-mail at the above addresses.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available.

The gather is needed to achieve the AML in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMAs and achieve a thriving natural ecological balance for the remaining wild horse and burro population, wildlife, livestock and vegetation. The BLM issued Final Multiple Use Decisions (FMUDs) between 2001 and 2007 for the allotments within the HMAs, which established an AML of 38 wild horses for the Paymaster HMA and 3 horses and 10 burros for the Montezuma Peak HMA.

These HMAs are very arid, located at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert and do not provide suitable habitat for large numbers of wild horses and burros. The areas have a history of poor animal health and emergency gathers due to lack of adequate forage and water, particularly during drought years.

It is estimated that approximately 45 wild horses would be gathered and removed from outside of the Paymaster HMA and inside if needed to leave a post gather population of 23 wild horses.

Approximately 61 wild burros and 78 wild horses would be gathered and removed from within and outside of the Montezuma Peak HMA to leave a post gather population of  3 wild horses and 10 wild burros.


So I am expected to believe that 3 horses (or 23 horses) represents a population protected? I am expected to believe that the Mojave desert can support heliostat projects but can’t have more than 26 horses?

So do you want to tell me exactly how you derive AML? Exactly what management means on MY land? Do you want to tell me whose pocket the money goes into? Do you want to attempt to actually TRY to manage in a way that allows enough resource for all uses? Or do you just want to keep lying to me and then saying it is for my own good?

YES… there may not be enough water for much in that desert… but I guess a 1.4 billion dollar boost can explain a lot.

Not very far from there stimulus funds were going to be used to create an organized crime museum….

“Stimulus” money… I guess today is not the day to get me started on that one.

Any of you watch the program “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”

And if you haven’t read Debbie Coffey’s article yet… PLEASE READ IT.

Water is more precious than gold.

I have a lot to do and will write more soon……. I like this song.

The beat goes on

Been on the road and have a minute to try to catch up. I have received a ton of email in the last week. Some of it I have responded to, some not. It’s hard to dig through. If you have sent something urgent that I did not respond to, please send it again… and accept my apology.

So much is happening right now.

People keep asking me “what can I do?”

We had the meeting in Denver. It was honestly filled with promising dialogue. But it is just dialogue at this point. The report wont go to Congress until the fall. Who knows if anything will come after that.

But for now we hear the same beat of the same old song.


More meetings where we will be told not heard.

A very suspicious gather of horses deemed “estray” by the BLM to be turned over to the NV Dept. of Ag. They go to slaughter… legally under current law. But the timing and the area make you go hmmm… for many reasons.

Rental rates for Solar energy developers are announced. But there is no cost comparison for you to see… for that to be known you need to dig.

Horses continue to die from the Calico roundup. Observers denied an ability to witness the gelding of older horses… told “you have seen all there is to see.”

Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district doing quite the sidestep after talking about cooperative monitoring.

And the beat of helicopters … http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_information_center/monthly_statistics.html

Change in this issue will only come when we have a full cost recovery system on public land. When lease holders actually get off the welfare line. But that action will only come through Congress. On all public land, not just places where horses are being forced off through manipulations of the multiple use mandate, lease holders are being allowed to reap private profit off of the taxpayer. Each lease requires an environmental impact statement that BLM field offices can’t perform in the manner truly needed to determine what those leases will do to our land. Ongoing effects to our wild resources can not be monitored as they should because the “powers that be” (in each field office) are not accountable to anyone but themselves. Conflicts of interest within our BLM/DOI are overwhelming and if they existed in the private sector would find themselves wrapped up in our judicial system in a manner that does not require the public to privately attempt to bring suit.

Write your Congressional representatives.

Write your newspapers.

Write your President.

The issues we are dealing with attempting to gain protections for our wild herds are identical to issues faced with any group looking for reform. In many respects our country is not regulated by our government… our government is regulated by special interests. The “checks and balances” have been removed through the lobby efforts of “industrializing” public land (not just on public land, everywhere)… on the back of a rapidly decreasing middle America.

But the symbol of the spirit of “freedom” is paying a great price.

I do not understand why in this time when America herself stands at this cross road we do not find it inside of ourselves to hold the symbol of the American Mustang high? We need all the reminders we can find of what it once meant to be resilient, brave, free…

not this…

Just pray…

In the field… car trouble…. heavy heart.

We are days away from round ups… no movement on proposals to save tax dollars and help horses… no cooperative effort for data… no indications of any change.

Our DOI was found to manipulate scientific info to support it’s “too little too late” in the gulf.

IF lease holders don’t pay enough in fees to monitor what they are doing and create a system that has any accountability… why stand up now to call for a moratorium in the gulf unless they need to save face yet in a manner that represents a DOI power grab.


Pray for the wild ones…

Back on the road.

Sheldon June 2010

So much for talking…

While we were in Denver listening to BLM’s hired gun Michael Harty act as if his meeting actually meant something … the stallions at Fallon have been castrated. I wonder how many of those smiling faces at that  meeting knew what was happening?


Gelding of the five years and older stallions took place this week.  During gelding, one stallion was noted with two cryptorchid testicles and was euthanized, one stallion suffered a spinal injury while in the chute and died on his own and one gelding was found dead in the pen.

The letters I have written (we all have written) go unanswered. Instead Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district replied to Craig Downers letter and cc’d us all.

That is not a reply to MY letter.

He addressed Craig’s fly over… never my questions directly… NOT EVEN CLOSE.

He never responded to my last letter. He has never sent me the schedule for data collection that he invited me to participate in… that started today. He is side stepping and squirming instead of simply answering. Does someone behave that way when they have legs to stand on? Or when they are acting like someone with something to be ashamed of?

A proposal sits unanswered that would have taken in all of these horses at a savings to the tax=payer that would not have required gelding!!!!!!

Does our president care that his BLM… yes Obama’s BLM… behaves in such a manner? A manner that only deserves the label “sociopathic.”

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

Before I left for Denver I said to watch them… best face, big hit.

Watch them now while they close air space and deny me access to observe data collection…. what are they really doing?

I am in the desert and rather beside myself at the moment…. we will NEVER even be permitted to see these older stallions that the BLM has castrated… who died? Does the BLM even care?

I will write more later… I need to walk or something.

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

SaveWildHorses posted this in comments. I think this is a great idea…. start cc ing the White House, Senators on your emails to the BLM.

Yes! And on every correspondence with any BLM official please make sure they see your cc: to the following

Your Senators
Barbara Boxer
all the chain of command in the WH&B and BLM (Don Glenn, Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar)
and the President

Soon, I think we may need to start contacting the Justice Department

BLM 101

This post is simply to address the number of emails I am receiving in reference to the scheduled flight over the new “megaplex.”

AML: (reference BLM website)

Q – How does BLM determine the appropriate management level of wild horses and burros (WH&B)?
A – BLM determines the appropriate management level of WH&B based on an ongoing program of monitoring over several years involving studies of grazing utilization, trend in range condition, actual use, precipitation (climate) and other factors. In Nevada, appropriate management levels of WH&B are generally determined through the multiple-use decision process. This process begins with an evaluation of range conditions; the evaluation assesses whether or not management and stocking levels for livestock, wild horses and/or burros, and wildlife are achieving rangeland objectives. If rangeland health objectives are not being met, changes in management or stocking levels are proposed. Proposed changes are analyzed in an environmental assessment and a proposed multiple-use decision (PMUD) is issued. Proposed decisions are subject to review and protect by parties affected by the proposal. BLM considers all protests filed and then issues a final multiple-use decision (FMUD). BLM’s final decisions are subject to administrative review (appeal).

OK.. so Algebra class begins here… sorry.

How many variables are noted above?

They list 4 and then say “others.” Without listing each one lets say 8 total. (for the sake of brevity and illustration).

Illustrative breakdown (not actual equation) looks something like this: a- (b +c+d-e-f-g)  (+ or – ) h = i (AML)

If  “e ” represents number of horses counted, the proposed fly over represents one variable.

In order to find the value “i” we need the rest.

If lease holders are known, that takes the place of another variable…. etc. down the line.

All variables filled in you have a valid equation.

Here’s the problem:

A valid equation does not represent truth.

Any student of mathematics can tell you that math is simply language. Any student that has had courses in basic principles of logic (actually a math class) and statistics can tell you that neither of these disciplines is about “truth.”

If you are interested here is a “Logic 101″ website

When BLM tells you they are mandated under “multiple use” it is a “truth.” When they apply it to the above equation they have all kinds of ways to manipulate that “truth.”

Each one of the variables of this equation are open to debate as the numbers used are based on protocol already deemed faulty within BLM’s own documents.

Even if (and I most certainly mean IF) the fly over gives an accurate count of horses… that does NOT establish an AML. The number will be used to support an assumption that it is relevant to something already shown to be inaccurate.

Why would the BLM continue to perpetuate an assumption of AML?

We already know that answer and it lies within the multiple use mandate.

I know Conrad Burns pissed us all off with “sale authority” in 2004. But one of the blows to the “death” of  Intent of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro act came in 1976.


(c) The term “multiple use” means the manage­

ment of the public lands and their various resource

values so that they are utilized in the combination

that will best meet the present and future needs of

the American people; making the most judicious

use of the land for some or all of these resources

or related services over areas large enough to pro-

vide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in

use to conform to changing needs and conditions;

the use of some land for less than all of the

resources; a combination of balanced and diverse

resource uses that takes into account the long-term

needs of future generations for renewable and non-

renewable resources, including, but not limited to,

recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed,

wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and

historical values; and harmonious and coordinated

management of the various resources without per­

manent impairment of the productivity of the land

and the quality of the environment with considera­

tion being given to the relative values of the

resources and not necessarily to the combination

of uses that will give the greatest economic return

or the greatest unit output.

Sounds good?

Sec. 202. [43 U.S.C. 1712] (a) The Secretary shall, with

public involvement and consistent with the terms

and conditions of this Act, develop, maintain, and,

when appropriate, revise land use plans which pro-

vide by tracts or areas for the use of the public

lands. Land use plans shall be developed for the

public lands regardless of whether such lands pre­

viously have been classified, withdrawn, set aside,

or otherwise designated for one or more uses.

Ahhhh…. the slimy door opens….

This is where special interests justify their exploitation of this intent.

(and the suspicion that legislators and their aides never read passed a first page)

But this second piece does NOT trump the first.

“Multiple use” is by design intended to benefit the interests of the American public.

It is a concept that has been twisted to trump anything that does not represent private profit.

Ecological, historical, etc. fall by the wayside when BLM answers you “we must manage by multiple use.” Even though it again does not represent an entire “truth.”

Read that whole document to understand the complexity.

So that brings us back to AML

AML is said to represent the numbers of animals the land can sustain. But if your land is being parceled off to livestock, energy, whatever, that is run by a private interest that gains private profit…  that someone besides you (like your president) determines is in your best interest…. AML is a number based not on how many horses the land can sustain, but how many leases are held in that area.

So who determines what I as an American feel has value?

In 1971 my Congress passed an act overwhelmingly demonstrating the importance of Wild equine herds… didn’t it?

Shouldn’t the value to the public be determined by responsible stewardship?

If a lease fee is less than the cost to evaluate the impact of the lease, then isn’t that a burden to the public not a benefit?

If the mission statement of a new complex is to manage horses integrated into “wild across the landscape,” than shouldn’t AML be determined to reflect that? And NOT to reflect a natural gas pipeline and increase in livestock permits? And NOT based on data the BLm admits is faulted in their own documents.

Congress needs to hear from us… again.


Need to get back in the pick up.

Herd Watch is on the road. We are becoming operational as we are being born. Thank you all for your support and confidence. Many volunteers have stepped up and those of you not currently on Teams will be contacted very soon. Continue to spread the word… we exist solely by the generosity of the public.

Love you all… and yes, I am being very careful.

Purge Valve

I need to hit the purge valve tonight.

Most of you that follow my blog know that I have recently been to HMA’s and HA’s in 6 states. I have seen horses in other jurisdictions beyond the BLM. I have seen horses held behind bars awaiting whatever decisions man makes toward their further confinement or freedom.

I traveled to Denver to participate in the “workshop” that presents as if it wants to address reform.

Yet my life is wrapped in ever increasing demands to deal with protocols that run full force down the old paths that perpetuate crisis after crisis. In practice their new direction is just “pedal to the floor.”

I am not saying that the workshop did not address a possibility toward change. “Possibility” of change exists… willingness to make it reality is another thing.

What I witnessed was extreme pressure from special interests. There was an undertone to the “positive vibes” of aggressive pressure from those that reap a private profit off public land. BLM’s own documents state that lease holders do not even pay enough to cover the costs of  initial assessments prior to leases being issued. Yet statements come from these interests that claim they bring revenue into the community. Is it redundant to state the obvious? After operating a private subsidized business on the back of the American tax payer because they can pay their mortgage it benefits me?

How many Americans are struggling to find jobs, health care and pay their own mortgage? I’m sure each one of them would love a business subsidized by tax dollars so they could become a protected special interest deemed “contributing.”

In creating the “industrialization” of public land the pieces of our America left truly wild decrease rapidly. Those pieces become scraps that anyone interested in protecting wild places has to fight for. A microcosm  battle wages for resource for sage grouse, trout, any wildlife that exists. The concept that wild horse advocates are referring to a balanced equid containing ecosystem on 10% of BLM controlled land and that the premise of the core issues could benefit all public land goes unnoticed. Think the gulf here folks.

Now we head into the summer gather schedule.

Wild Utah baby taken just weeks ago

In less than two weeks we begin the Owyhee and Rock Creek. More than 1100 animals on that schedule for July. In Utah we zero out Winter Ridge and Hill Creek in July. Think about this… July, desert, helicopter, babies. We have seen this curve on the same old road so many times. Do we really need to see those images again?

Mare and foal Broken Arrow

In July the adoptions of the Calico horses and dispersal of “inventory” will occur from Broken Arrow to make room for the incoming… before the surveys are completed to even confirm the state of the range gathered last winter.

I am making a plea here… give us something tangible now.

Hold off on dispersal and do the range data in Calico before shipping off these horses into the black hole of tax payer fiscal responsibility. Hold off on the gathers and redistribute funds into creating the database to support a real structure designed at preserving the public land that belongs to the people.

Remember that private interest is not a benefit to the public if it creates a burden that destroys investment. (think gulf here)

Work toward saving more money by approving these “sanctuary” proposals and put that money into fixing the foundation.

Actions of Salazar's BLM

Will there be a "New Direction?"

One year… one year… just give us one year without the sound of helicopter blades chasing our horses to make room to exploit our land. One year where the concept of determining what we have and how best to preserve it for the public while allowing only responsible private undertakings on public land is given a chance.

New directions need to happen now. Why not try this one?

Last Day for Inet Requests

A few of you have sent me tag numbers for horses to include in the Inet adoption event at PVC. (John Neil gave me until today to confirm the accuracy, etc. because I was in Denver and on the road).

Cat Kindsfather has a Flickr Gallery that shows tag numbers. I will hunt down that URL and paste it in here later.

Send John an email: John_Neil@blm.gov with the tag number and CC me at Calicohorses@gmail.com of any number you need confirmed as included. Please thank him for the additional time.

If you are interested in helping sponsor some of the Calico horses going into the group effort now is the time to email me.

I am on the road and will post a longer post soon about the Denver meeting and where we go next.

Disposition of Inventory?

Many of you sent letters to Gene Seidlitz of the BLM’s Winnemucca district in reference to the “Disposition of Inventory” at the Broken Arrow.

Gene’s response (he chose to respond to the group using Craig’s letter as the one to respond to. He did NOT respond to my request) :

Thanks for your continued interest in the Calico Complex. This note serves
as a response back to all of you regarding the recent flight by Mr. Craig
Downer which indicated only 50 wild horses and 350 livestock within
portions of the Complex.

As stated during the Calico Complex Gather, we have been planning for the
post gather population survey for this area and/or areas within the Tri
State area. Based on the significant amount of wild horse movement in and
outside of the HMA’s in this general area (northwest portion of Nevada)
this is the first time we will count the NW corner of the state to get a
comprehensive inventory. We intend to implement the Simultaneous
Double-Count with Sightability Bias Correction method. This methodology is
outlined in IM 2010-057. This method should yield the most accurate counts
possible. The BLM considers the methodology a valid tool for developing
estimates of horses (wild and feral) populations. It is a peer-reviewed
methodology, recommended by the USGS and BLM National Horse and Burro
Program research coordinator and tested on some BLM HMA’s and National
Wildlife Refuges.

This flight is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2010 with a
certified pilot and three crew members. Although we have had offers from
some of you to fly with the BLM, regulations, policy and protocols that
address both safety and liability issues are grounds to deny your requests.
Once the population survey is completed, the data will have to be compiled,
analyzed and then presented. At this time, I can not provide you with an
exact date for this data to be available to you and others.

Thanks for your continued interest in the WH/B program and the Calico

775-623-1503 (fax)

My response to Gene:

I thank you for responding. However your response is not a response to the requests.

The requests were directed, not at the survey that we all know is going to be done this summer, but to the disposition of inventory at the Broken Arrow. The disposition of that inventory is premature until the survey is complete using the parameters of current knowledge.

1. BLM has identified “new” knowledge based on movement among the various jurisdictions involved in the planning for the new complex.

2. A gather was conducted where insufficient numbers to complete the contract were found.

3. A new protocol has been outlined, but not implemented, for data collection within that complex.

Based on these three issues alone, any disposition of inventory is premature and borders on irresponsibility to the mandate to protect these horses as well as to the mission statement of the new complex.

Exclusion of interested participants in the actual “count” protocol creates the need for a project to be designed by the interested party that uses the same protocol, yet is executed independently. This will create the very situation you claimed you wanted to avoid at our meeting. We will then have the “us and them” battle with data obtained in an identical manner, instead of a “we” approach to “moving forward” in the “new direction” claimed in DC.

I realize the microcosm management issues at the district level yet feel strongly that the need exists to follow the intention of cooperation as promised during such “productions” as the meeting I just attended.

I hope to hear a response from you that is directed at the core request in each letter you received.

Thank you,

Laura Leigh
Project Manager
Herd Watch


Act on this information at your own discretion (courtsey of dictionary.com):


–noun 1.
the power or right to decide or act according to one’s own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice: It is entirely within my discretion whether I will go or stay.


the quality of being discreet, esp. with reference to one’s own actions or speech; prudence or decorum: Throwing all discretion to the winds, he blurted out the truth.

—Idiom 3.

at discretion, at one’s option or pleasure: They were allowed to work overtime at discretion.


I’m still at the Advisory Board meeting.

I just want to express that the tone in the room may be different than any “feed” you may have.

Dialogue is occurring… tone is different.

If actions follow in a timely manner…?

What does the sign mean?

Talking the talk… can we “walk the walk?”

I’ll update soon…

Just FYI a protest was scheduled for outside. It was called off because of a desire to support the concept of dialogue toward problem solving.

Let’s just say the greatest obstacle seems to be the fossils in the room.

Love ya all.

It’s about the horses…

This morning I leave for Denver.

Here is the info:


Where we will in essence address this:


If you can be there please notify whatever advocate organization you belong to. Many will have representatives there.

Because we all care about wild horses and burros.

Wild Utah baby taken just weeks ago

The current administration speaks of a “new direction” and dialogue toward that end.

Yet as it comes to the table not a single concrete action has been taken to demonstrate that is the intention.

The 2010 gather schedule runs full steam ahead. July 1 Owyhee and Rock Creek in Nevada will begin to hear the thrumming of helicopter blades over the horizon. They will drive over a thousand horses through the desert in summer including just weeks, days old, babies miles into their traps to forever loose their freedom. Actions that will be taken based on a broken system.

Mid-July the baby in the photograph above will have his family torn apart at Winter Ridge. This gather will zero out any horses in the area that is exclusively utilized for extraction.

The horses from the Calico Complex are being dispersed.

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner)

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner)

The are heading to adoption events, internet competitive bid, long term holding without any real post gather census. The Calico Complex gather was suspended because the projected number of horses were not found.

Right now range surveys are beginning as the Calico is part of the new “MegaPlex” being planned in that area. In weeks data might be available that concludes horses could have (allowed under current protocol) been returned… but the horses will be gone. An independent proposal from RTF/Kudrna sits awaiting a simple “ok” that would keep those horses in that area toward return as protocol within the complex actually begins to do range “repair.” Private dialogue has occurred attempting to hold the “powers that be” to statements made concerning the supposed intent of that complex.

Do you see any indications that a “new direction” is anything more than words? Conversations, meetings, proposals put forward all fall on deaf hearts.

Policy moves as it always has.

More, more, more…. clear the facility because it will need to house another 1,600 before the end of July.

“Move ‘em in … move ‘em out… rawhide.”

But we will go to this meeting and keep talking with the hope that someone will find the integrity to actually back up their words.

My daddy told me once “In this life you truly own nothing but your word. It’s all that really matters.”

Wonder what their daddies said to them?

“Move ‘em in… move ‘em out… rawhide?”

If you can’t come… prayers may be in order.


I have been told by someone that my last post is “over my head.” So here is a basic example… back to the Broken Arrow… those analogies have been relatively easy to speak to a greater protocol issue.

Definition (dictionary.com):


[ob-zur-vey-shuhn]  Show IPA

1. an act or instance of noticing or perceiving.

2. an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.

3. the faculty or habit of observing or noticing.

4. notice: to escape a person’s observation.

5.an act or instance of viewing or noting a fact or occurrencefor some scientific    or other special purpose: the observation of blood pressure under stress.

Pick one BLM. Which one applies to daily observations by the BLM vet and onsite staff?

Foal pic dated 6/3/2010  Cat Kindsfather

Foal pic dated 6/3/2010 (Cat Kindsfather)

Email Dean Bolstad referencing this foal:

Examiner article here

“One foal had a cough and nasal discharge and was not feeling well. The veterinarian had administered antibiotics to this foal early Thursday morning before the tour started at 10 AM. Today,  (Friday) at 5 AM this foal was found in his pen deceased.”

Foal pic dated 6/10/2010

Foal pic dated 6/10/2010 (Elyse Gardner)

BTW this baby now has a name “Resurrection.”

Please remember Little Hope.

OBSERVATION by the BLM vet occurs daily… of what? Obviously the communication of specifics gets lost in this food chain.

OBSERVATION occurs on the range to create AML… oh yeah?

When your own internal reports say you can’t keep up and many districts can’t even get to the landscape! If the base of the “tower” is broken you need to fix the foundation first.

TOP to BOTTOM… broken, broken broken. Because the start point for policy sets the shape.

MORATORIUM before ANY dialogue of “New Direction.”

One door closes…

Most folks “have a life.” My friday night was spent reading doc’s and searching the web…. hopefully that explains some of the links that were added for my own entertainment.

Someone once said “One door closes, another opens.”

So I have my flashlight out and every mental skeleton key I can grasp.

Y’all do the same. Read everything you can get your hands on. Go to the DOI website and read USGS, BIA, USFWS as well as BLM… Go to USDA…. read, read, read.

Read EA’s. Look at maps. Read geological surveys…. read.

But read with your “game” glasses on. Imagine an empty chessboard and put the pieces on it as you read. Imagine the next move…

The doors to observe the horses at the Broken Arrow have closed.

Yes, it hurts. But it has created a dialogue, again, about the fact that facilities ARE being contracted as “private” without any consideration to the fact that these are “public” horses.

It reminds us of how many… so many… that have been removed from our sight. But yet BLM continues to funnel tax dollars to a very select few that do have access to your horses.

It speaks directly to the mindset.

Remember that when you put on your “game” glasses. I know you don’t need any more reminders of how screwed up this system is, sorry.

I was sent a link today to a BLM web page with a bit of concern attached to the presentation.


It’s a web page.

That’s all it really is.

If you look at the content, nothing new. It says “updated May 24, 2010.” (I suggest screen grabs to compare with “updates done later” that have figures for years included in this page. It might make someone great fodder for a “Saturday Night Live” script someday. Is that still on?)

If you watch the video and read the page it has NOTHING new.

Same screwed up BLM math.

“herd sizes can double about every four years.”

OK BLM. You say “annual growth rates average 20%” at the meetings. That’s five years… 4 x 20 = 80%, 5 x 20= 100%. A 100% increase is doubling in size. Oh… now it is a 25% increase?

We will not address the gather schedules that have BLM counts that show figures that have herds increasing in numbers that would imply every mare and even the stallions had twins. (That could be a whole blog post in itself…. as well as more late night TV imagery).

But I get ahead of myself…

Let’s deal with the first line…

“The Bureau of Land Management estimates that approximately 38,400 wild horses and burros (about 33,700 horses and 4,700 burros) are roaming on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states based on the latest data available, compiled as of February 28, 2010.”

Game “glasses” on:

“estimates that approximately” and “based on the latest data available.”

This page never qualifies either statement. It never gives you a reference or methodology. That’s because within those two statements are fatal flaws of the system.

Look for things they never explain… only “tell.”

The truth is that the BLM does NOT have a database that uses a single methodology for data collection.

Those systems are all created “in district” based on the way a former guy did stuff. Then you take all this “stuff” that is formulated based on the guesswork of the guy that had the job before, add it to the same “stuff” that comes from the guy in the district you border, and create a management plan based on “stuff,” that isn’t the same “stuff,” that has to fit into the system of “stuff” some other state made to create national policy? You know what you should do with that “stuff?” And if the “stuff” is old and you mix it with new “stuff?”

You want to tell me how many horses are out there and how many the land can sustain based on this …. “Stuff?”

In 2008… yes, 2008, BLM created a document titled “Final Report for the Analysis of Inventory and Monitoring Activities in BLM.”

It is a recommendation that states in part:

“new demands for compliance monitoring to meet the needs of wind farms, solar farms, and oil and gas pads are rapidly increasing to the point that FO’s (Field Offices) are struggling or unable to keep up”

This document includes recommendations such as:

“Consider adopting over the longer term a full cost recovery system for permits and monitoring of permitted activity.  Landscape monitoring is what is needed but very often field offices and/or states cannot afford to go to a landscape-based monitoring program.  Part of the overall cost recovery scheme could very well have an option to have other parties do the monitoring required during the permitting process.”

Well now slap me in the — and call me Sally.

Did he just write that Field offices can’t keep up with the demands to monitor our public lands because of increased permits? Did he just suggest that one of the ways to handle this issue is to actually have permitees and lease holders actually cover the costs of monitoring our land so they can use it instead of burdening the American tax payer? Did he say maybe get someone else to actually get to the “landscape?”

Damn… he sounds like one of those wild horse advocates.

2008 folks. Recommendations in this report are still not implemented as they continue to round up our horses without accurate data from FO’s that can’t keep up.

And the video on the webpage?

It shows the same two holding “pastures” that the BLM always shows. They leave out the rest.

Wouldn’t you like to have your own private herd of mustangs that only you and your golf buddies could see? Paid for at the tune of $500. per head?

And ADD the numbers in the video folks.

9,660. short term                  36,000 long term             12,000 2010 gather schedule

That’s 57,660 horses that you, the tax payer, has no right to see! Sounds like a great strategy to keep up the same old crap and burden a system already in crisis.

If this were a drilling platform it would blow….

“New Direction?”

Gee… I never got past the first paragraph on that page… too much “stuff.” And it leads down the same old dusty road…

I forgot to add this last night… http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/11/28012.htm

Learn what you can about this lawsuit.

Bear with me because I like this song… I’ll give you horse pictures in the morning.

Letter Requesting Observation continue

NOTE: It has been my policy on this blog to not censor any comments. Anyone can come here and post. Members of the public, BLM, family and friends come to this blog.

I ask that comments be courteous, free of vulgarity, ON topic.

If profanity is used in the comments beyond the occasional “damn,” or become personal attacks on each other, I will censor.

Today was the last scheduled tour of the BLM Broken Arrow facility.

At the start of the tour Elyse Gardner presented John Neil, acting BLM manager of The Broken Arrow, a formal request from the advocate community to allow visitation at the facility to continue.

Elyse Gardner reading letter to John Neil (Val Dutter)

Elyse Gardner reading letter to John Neil (Val Dutter)

Text of the letter and original signers.

June 10, 2010
Bureau of Land Management
The Broken Arrow facility
John Neill, Contract Officer Representative/Manager
15780 SR445
Reno, NV 89510

Dear Mr. John Neill,

At this time we make a formal request that public observation be allowed to continue of any and all horses and burros at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) facility named “The Broken Arrow” located in Fallon, Nevada.

As these horses are managed for the American people by the BLM, we believe it is within our rights to continue to have access to them and therefore respectfully make this request.

Submitted by:

Elyse Gardner
Humane Advocate Observer representing the undersigned:

The Cloud Foundation, John Holland (President, Equine Welfare Alliance ), Vicki Tobin (Equine Welfare Alliance), Deiniz Bolbol (In Defense of Animals), Laura Leigh (Project Manager, Herd Watch), RT Fitch, Terry Fitch, Front Range Equine Rescue, Theresa Batchelor/Robert Batchelor  (Beauty’s Haven Farm & Equine Rescue, Inc.), Debbie Coffey , Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Craig Downer (Wildlife ecologist), Val Dutton, Cathy Kindsfather, Janet Eaker, Kathleen Eskridge, Deborah Goad, Morgan Griffith, Sandy Hamilton, Jerry James, Joan Leachman, Joyce Lindsey, Robert Lindsey, Robert Lipsky, Dr. Ann M. Marini, Pam Nickoles,Valerie James-Patton, Rob Pliskin,  The Rescue Friends, Lynne Simari, April Tate, William Tate, Vernon Tate, James Walls, Dr. Mark Walls, Marilyn Wargo, Barbara Warner, Pate Warner, Winnie Wong

added: Susan Rolfe, Anne White, Carol Garden-Poole, Carryl Edwards, Maureen Harmonay, Jennifer Alford,Carol Walker, Sandra Longley, Laura Weiner, Sabrina Pelletier, Roxanne Hale, Rebecca McCue, Jennifer J Gage, Terry Watt, Jane Bravery Schwartz, Donna Buscemi, Sunny Bass, Suzanne Moore, Sherry Oster, Diana Kunce, Darcy Grizzle, Syd Marcus, G.G., Diane Marcus, Lori Schmidt, Becky Mitchell, Constance Sweitzer, Ernest Sweitzer, Marilyn Kamna

This letter was written yesterday. I will add the signatures received that missed the early morning cut off, not much time to “get the word out.”

If you would like to sign on to this letter please send an email, including name, city/state and telephone number for verification to:


BTW some of the spam being sent is rather entertaining…

A copy will be given to the district manager of the facility during the Denver workshop. (The letter, not the spam).

Cat using Val as a desk to add her name (Elyse Gardner)

Cat using Val as a desk to add her name (Elyse Gardner)

Val using Elyse as a desk (Cat Kindsfather)

Val using Elyse as a desk (Cat Kindsfather)

Good-bye for now… to the horses of the Calico Complex.

The following photos (in this post) courtesy of a very tired Cat Kindsfather….

End of Visitation

photos by me unless otherwise noted on this site

Today is the day the doors close at the BLM facility, “The Broken Arrow,” in Fallon, NV.

Because the BLM privately contracted the facility the public will no longer be able to bear witness to the lives within those walls.

Row of mares that have babies at the Broken Arrow

Personally I find this distressing.

The intellectual in me finds it outrageous.

A contract by a government agency that manages American horses in trust for the people did not make arrangements (as it awarded a lucrative no-bid contract to, I am told, a personal friend) to allow visitation by the public. That contract (in my opinion) by it’s very nature should have included the stipulation that public visitation be standard in operation as it made it’s monetary “reward.” “Services rendered” at that facility should include the public the agency is tasked to serve.

Mare and foal Broken Arrow

The human being in me is literally in pain.

I have seen these horses run free.

Peaceful Freedom

General and his band captured (True is with him)

Actions of Salazar's BLM

Actions of Salazar's BLM

Soldier Meadows temporary holding

I watched them loose their freedom in a gather that looked like a gushing wound as band after band poured down those mountains. I looked into confused eyes as they stood in those pens after gather. I walked the hospital pens and agonized over little Hope… I looked in his pain filled eyes, too… helpless to help him as he died of hoof slough most likely due to roundup trauma (noted in the BLM, incomplete, vet report).

Calico Foal

Hope Springs Eternal

I saw them standing in the bitter cold in January at the Broken Arrow. A facility that was still under construction as almost 2000 horses entered it’s gates. Almost 3000 was the projected number for that facility. I shudder to think of 1000 more horses in that incomplete facility as this administration runs full steam ahead furthering an agenda instead of putting the breaks on as it claims a “new direction.”

Scar face Mare Broken Arrow January 2010

Youngsters January 2010

I got to know so many of those horses as individuals that have left a lasting imprint on my soul. The sense of responsibility to these amazing beings has grown… it is incomprehensible to me the lack of recognition these animals have as individual beings. They are not just “inventory.”

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner)

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner

My last visit to the facility brought instant recognition of many of these horses. Not only did I remember them… but I know some remember me. So many of the younger ones have grown into young adults, smart and curious. The older horses attempting to adjust to a life that will never resemble anything they were born to be. Many of them will now be shipped out of sight to die in long term holding, also off limits to public view.

Huge old stallion at Broken Arrow

Mare and foals Broken Arrow 2010

Medicine Hat

Young Sabino

Mare and foal Broken Arrow

My heart aches… just aches.

Instead of recognizing the value of the free, volunteer eyes at it’s disposal the BLM claims the observers place a “burden” on staff as the public is offered a tour comprising a few hours each Sunday. Each Sunday it seems the observers point out apparently overlooked issues within the facility. Orphaned foals, the Pigeon Fever/not pigeon fever abscesses still appearing in the population, injuries and the critical condition of the foal we now know as “Sorro,” are all issues brought to the attention of “staff” by the “burden” of public eyes.

Perhaps in this “dialogue of new direction,” and all the supposed areas for cooperative effort, perhaps the public actually needs to be involved? What a concept…

Sorro euthanized at the Broken Arrow

This “new direction” is a public relations campaign. The 2010 gather schedule stands. The “dispute resolution firm” is a hired gun to create a support document for placation of the public. Salazar’s plan to decimate our wild herds runs pedal to the floor. The “new direction” is just a short cut to “Salazoo.”

5/31 Wild Horses

Free Wild Horses

Free band stallion

My heart aches… just aches.

More info Utah

Article on the Utah Hearing and information pertaining to some of the areas.


If you can go, please attend.

I realize that there are so many issues to deal with as the core issue (round ups without real scientific reasoning) continue full steam ahead.

If a dialogue were truly open toward fixing a program that doesn’t work, they would stop current protocol.

We have the Denver workshop, the Twin Peaks tour (scheduled during the Denver workshop), visitation at the Broken Arrow closing to the public, issues of long term holding and sale authority, the “adoption” events around the country and the Calico horses heading to the block.

And please don’t forget Owyhee is slated to start July 1 in Nevada. See in your minds eye the babies being born at the Broken Arrow being chased by helicopter in the desert heat…

Please attend if you can.

Wild Utah baby (Laura Leigh)

Surface Pipeline/Winter Ridge (Laura Leigh)

Pipeline/Winter Ridge (Laura Leigh)

Nothing out there but extraction (Mar)

Click Below for Map pdf BLM website

Winter Ridge HA EA 2010


A Request in Good Faith

Several Advocates have made requests toward the release of the Calico Complex horses.

Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district is the man with final authority.


RT’s blog has Craig Downers letter. Here is mine.

Write him… cc anyone you think might care.

Wild Horse and Burro Division
Bureau of Land Management
Winnemucca, NV

Dear Sir:

At this time I would like to officially request that the disposition of horses currently held at the BLM facility named the Broken Arrow in Fallon, NV be postponed until such time as the range data collected confirms inventory left within the complex. No data has been collected or supplied to the public to confirm populations within the Complex since the gather took place. As the gather was called off early due to insufficient numbers to complete the contract, any other action would be premature.

As the survey is to begin shortly within the Complex the delay would pose minimal inconvenience.

With the Tri-state Mega Complex still in the planning stages, with an announced mission of managing wild populations across the landscape, this seems like an opportunity to create public confidence in such a statement.

If data comes back from the two week survey that would support the return of horses to the range we also have a unique opportunity to further the mission stated. Some of the horses gathered this past winter had been gathered previously in California. These horses now have blood draws and observation time at this holding facility, as well as the information collected in California. Including these horses in the potential release would give an opportunity to further the database on migratory patterns within the Complex.

If the mission statement is actually to reflect practices within the complex this request is made in good faith and with reasonable expectation.

Thank you.
Laura Leigh
Project Manager Herd Watch

Yearlings in Holding


Just downloading some of the pics and video I’ve taken over the last two weeks.

Sometimes when you see all the pics in one place you see stark contrast… contradiction… beauty…

Don’t get me wrong here… I think a relationship with a wild horse is an amazing thing. Smart, beautiful, spirited companions that teach us so much as they join our personal lives.

But the fight to protect them in their “fair share” as mandated by Congress is a task buried under mountains of diverse methodology and historical prejudice. “Multiple Use” is a standard catch phrase when asked about management in HMA’s. Horses currently occupy aprox. 10% of  BLM land. So in a sense simply by mathematics multiple use has been met. Yet in many wild places herds are being brought down as the “multiple use” line is used within that 10%.

So many of those areas are really beginning to look managed for a dominant use, not horses. Many look managed as cattle have become a priority species in wild places. Yet there is another use that is gaining priority status… energy.

I made this slideshow just to get the “yuck” out of my system.

Until a single data collection methodology is utilized on all public land, and decisions made in a truly public process,the “yuck” will return.

But for now I feel like I can finally crawl into bed.

Question of the Day for the BLM

If you zero out an HMA that has no other use but natural gas… doesn’t that now mean that an HMA is being managed for exclusive use? (not related to horses)

If you want to remove the horses from the area now called “HMA,” yet the surrounding area once referred to as “HA” could support them, why don’t you take down fences and just move them over? (You wouldn’t need new legislation for that)

What are we doing to our last wild places?

Surface natural gas pipeline (horses fading into the distance)