Downloading…

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.

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18 thoughts on “Downloading…

  1. cat Kindsfather says:

    Touching, as you know. Well done Laura.
    Sitting here for a moment, up late and knowing that tomorrow’s tour begins one hour earlier. My heart is getting heavier to carry lately, and now, nearing the midnight hour, I am just wondering, which horses will be missing from Broken Arrow tomorrow. What will become of all the sweet faces we have come to know there, and have fallen in love with. Will they find adoptive homes? Will they be shipped out to adoption venues and trucked to the midwest for long term holding. Will any slip away to slaughter? Is there a chance for them in the sanctuary proposed in Northern Nevada? Only one more day next week that BLM is allowing us to see them.
    I guess the pressure of public disapproval & the daily snivel, has worn them down. I read in the Reno Gazette Journal, that BLM thinks advocates look for anything they can find wrong while o the tour. I don’t think we have to look for it, something always shows itself. And no, one vet is not enough. I also read that the vet treats cases immediately, but why did True have to wait 6 days, even when the vet was alerted by you, more than once I think! Then it was too late for the stitches and skin had to be cut away. We should never have to make grueling discoveries on the tour! If they did have enough staff to look over the horses, as was stated in the RGJ story, then I don’t think advocates on the tour would NEED to witness problems first hand. Dean Bolstad has been very kind & polite and has given an informative, well planned tour on each visit. I appreciated that so much from him. He is very likable and I don’t think he has purposely neglected any of them, but it does happen. There are so many horses! Now the public is being cut off from visits! Why, because we saw things that reflected badly on them? Are you kind, or just kind of?

    Even when they do things right, it still seems all wrong. Wild horses deserve their fair share of their land. Your photographs show that they are part of the diversity of landscapes that fill our hearts with joy! Never can we give on up being their voice. Now it must be louder and clearer. Keep the vision, stay strong and true.
    Thanks Laura. Enjoy the wild ones and care on the road. Goodnight….

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Good Luck today.
      Yes, Dean has been cordial… but it is obvious that “we” have become an annoyance by simply being present. Yet aren’t public servants supposed to deal with the public? This IS NOT a private business venture even though it often appears run that way.

      Kiss those fillies and love on 1099 for me!

  2. Jan Eaker says:

    Oh Laura, what you must have seen and witnessed on the road, will the day of freedom ever come for these horses, or is BLM stubbornly set on their way and ONLY their way to do things?
    Thanks to you and to all that have made the trips out to our horses and then have shared all of it with us,

  3. sandra longley says:

    The sad truth is that clean energy does not have to exclude the wild horses from the land they can both occupy. The wild horses are a temporary inconvience to the construction of these projects,, but this is dealt with on every project on private lands..getting rid of the horses-has been a bargining chip with the sierra club, wildlife safari and the sage grouse people to get their support..make no mistake about it. The government has refused to list the sage grouse as an endangered species..knowing it would severly tie up these lands in a battle..so they have made consessions to bring them on board..but-the construction will severly disrupt the sage grouse leks and habitat..and their decision to go along with the BLM will seal the fate of the sage grouse.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Some of the places out there could bring disaster if a hunter ever fired a shot.
      Can we say “Hiroshima?”

      None of these areas need to be “exclusive” to any single use… but that’s sure what it looks like.
      It drives me nuts that the BLM keeps using “multiple use” as an excuse when horses are ONLY given special status as “wild and integral” on a current 10% of BLM land. The only place in our country that horses have that status for “protection” (not just management) is BLM/USFS land. Damn… that IS multiple use by definition!

      Leave the 10% for horses! Allow the populations an opportunity to stabilize. Die off’s happen in wild populations and then stabilization occurs so that minimal interference is needed.

      Manage them as “wild and integral” as outlined by Congress and stop using them as a resource to harvest! Tax payer money could be “better” spent.

  4. Linda says:

    The BLM WH&BP website is offering an opportunity for people to submit alternative management strategies. I believe this is a disingenuous attempt to get wild equid advocates off their backs. They have no intention of considering our proposals, but will only give credence to those that support removals. And, as they deliberate, the wild horses and burros will continue to be kidnapped and die.

    I have yet to see a single letter or press release on the BLM WH&BP website criticizing or opposing their deadly actions. They have bought off wildlife organizations with what may very well turn out to be empty promises. I hope these organizations are aware of that, and prepared to litigate. The Gulf tragedy should be their wake-up call.

    Our lands and seas are being raped by for-profit energy corporations at a frightening pace. They promise to restore the lands and waterways to their original state, but often either ignore their own contracts, or do a half-assed job and simply move on. Meanwhile the damage has been done, and may take hundreds of years to recover. Many places will be lost forever, and species extinction is more than a possibility.

    If the BLM and El Paso continue their assault on Soldier Meadows over the objections of the rancher, their cards will be on the table. Dominant use by “big energy” and cattle as the preferred species will have trumped their legal mandate to protect the wild ones on the HMAs THEY CREATED. That should be as plain as day to everyone – even the Congress, President, our supposedly “blind” system of justice, and other parties fighting to preserve the quality and very existance of our public lands and threatened and endangered species.

    This illegality, “cozy relationships” with vested interests, and corruption must be stopped, and STOPPED NOW!

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Amen, sister!

      The BLM has received several proposals. Each one either rejected or not responded to.

      My “dialogue” has centered around Reserve Design. Each time I am asked “where?” and told it is impossible because of current leases and checkerboard land. It is anther cop out response. Reserve Design can exist with a corridor system. All I need is a layover map showing leases and exact locations of boundaries and not a geocities website that is not created to a single scale or topography map.

      How the hell can they manage public land without one?

      And how can they possibly manage wild horses without a migratory map? Saying “they move” is a no brainer statement but they can’t answer the “how?”

      • Morgan Griffith says:

        I asked Jerome Fox at Winnemucca what is the average distance a horse ranges. He didn’t know, I asked if they had tagged horses and tracked their movements, well yup they have tagged horses (or I think that was what that mumble was saying) and yes indeed lo and behold horses did, do and will move. If you manage how can you not know the distances they cover in their movements. They know this about elephants, lions, jaguars etc. Why not horses. Oh yeah you have to care.

  5. The trend on and off the herd areas on BLM and our public lands is to special interests who have no intentions of creating a balanced ecology. The occupied horses’ range is likely the best out there and the horses are removed despite their beneficial presence. Cattlemen keep fencing horses off their allotments and use harsh chemicals to remove sage as well as chaining sage; pulling it out and then reseeding for the cattle. Mining interests take over land that is gated and ‘no trespassing’ signs are posted and no access to public lands nearby is allowed. Water use goes to the mines and the cattle guzzlers. There is land and it can be used for the horses. The upcoming roundups and the idiotic stockpiling of still more wild horses will become the most unneeded removal of a wild animal we have attempted in modern times. mar

  6. savewildhorses says:

    laura is this on you tube?

  7. savewildhorses says:

    Have you all read this press release? Lots of links with reports in this webpage. It is a step in a very good direction. Have not read the BLM draft report of the independent firm’s report yet.
    Also, a new link to a page for the public to comment and upload documents. Something tells me that the President may have whispered something about change and transparency in Bob Abbey’s ear. Who knows?

    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2010/june/NR_06_03_2010.html

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Yes… I’ve read it.
      On my list of things to blog about.

      The language used in a few of these areas has me concerned.

      And until things move from pretty packages to action we need to remain vigilant.

      • savewildhorses says:

        Agree 100%. A press release does not establish trust. I asked Tom Gorey how the new direction heralded by Bob Abbey squares with his comment last year the BLM will really be ramping UP the round ups in the next 3 years. Here is his response: (hint, I don’t think he got a copy of the press release)…

        The BLM recognizes that for the near term, gathers must continue so we can achieve the appropriate management level on the range of 26,600. Right now the on-range population exceeds that figure by nearly 12,000.
        The ultimate goal, once the appropriate management level is achieved, is to bring the population growth rate into better alignment with public adoption demand, which currently is about 3,500 animals per year. That would reduce the number of gathers in future and would result in fewer animals going into holding.
        Regards,
        Tom Gorey

        Tom Gorey
        Senior Public Affairs Specialist
        BLM Public Affairs
        Washington, D.C.
        202-912-7420

        I see no indication that they will consider a new definition of “appropriate.”

        • Laura Leigh says:

          But both statements are accurate to the “new direction.” Please understand that.
          Nothing in Abbey’s statements apply to “now.” They apply only to AFTER BLM gets horses down to the “level” they have mandated in the 2010 schedule.

  8. Morgan Griffith says:

    Waiting to read your blog about this. The language has me concerned also. esp since none of us trust them. They have quite a history of ignoring public comment and I find it hard to believe this time will be any different. I’ll make my comments anyway for one never knows, but I reserve an opinion of their motives until further down the line.

  9. Jan Eaker says:

    Let’s ALL point out to them that their figures are WAY off, : 72 horses have been counted by RELIABLE people as being left in Calico area, NOT 600, so until they actually COUNT the horses, or better yet, have people we TRUST do it, we’re not buying the excess horses garbage,

    • Laura Leigh says:

      There is even a “rumor” within the BLM that 300 were left out there….

      There will be a complex wide count happening (range data survey) using the new AIM protocol this month. So the data aint in yet on the MegaPlex.

      There is a provision within the context of the plan that if an area shows it can sustain more horses and another shows degradation…. that horses can be “moved.”

      But I know I’m not the only one that sees that as a way to keep money in the pockets of wranglers. Horses move on their own… study movement first.

      We have an extraordinary opportunity with the Calico gather. Several horses gathered in CA were regathered in winter in NV.

      RELEASE them and study the movement IF you really are trying to “manage” as a wild population.

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