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


13 thoughts on “A Request in Good Faith

  1. Linda says:

    Sure wish the BLM would allow an impartial observer to accompany them on these flights. Somewhere in the past, I remember reading a statement from a BLM spokesperson regarding the possibility they counted wild horses more than once because of their tendency to move around within an observation area.

    Do they make any attempt to identify individual wild horse bands to avoid mutiple counts? Will they be including numbers of cattle or other browsers in the observation area? I don’t consider data that does not include the “big picture” of all animals that impact the range to be valid.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Data is an interesting thing. Even more interesting is how statistics created from data can be formated to make differing conclusions.

      It will be another phase in the “wild horse education” to review the new AIM protocol.

  2. Suzanne says:

    An excellent letter, Laura, and a perfectly reasonable request. As I just posted on R.T. blog with Craig Downer’s information, if they just ignore this like they have everything before, why would be believe that anything is really changed?

  3. Jo De George says:

    A wonderful and fact-based letter Laura. Unfortunately, we are not dealing with people who are honest, loving and trustworthy the way you are. With Sylvia Baca back at the BLM (who is pro horse slaughter and out of BP) I just don’t see anything reasonable coming about. The combination of her and Salazar together makes my skin crawl. That being said, I still agree, it is best to keep on doing everything we can to save our beloved wild ones. Thank you, Laura, for inspiring us all.

  4. Jan Eaker says:

    I want so much to believe in something good happening soon for these horses, they have been through so much and deserve so much more, I am very worried that 6-10 will be the last visit allowed to see these horses. What will happen to all of them? it is so sad.
    I am hoping for a good outcome, but it is hard to see it from BLM

  5. savewildhorses says:

    I am also advocating for the Return to Freedom plan for the Calico horses if they won’t (and they won’t) release them outright.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      My only real fear about the RTF plan is that IF BLM approves conversion of cattle AUM’s to horses, that the horses at Kudrna’s will be included in a count of free horses within the complex.
      ’cause that sounds like BLM logic to me.
      I can hear the sales pitch already “See the ‘free, wild’ horses and stay at Kudrna’s ranch.” When really it is a “better” holding facility.

      In the “now” it is the best thing on the table toward freedom, if it can lead there.
      I also hope it gets a chance.

      But as always we will need to be vigilant.

      • savewildhorses says:

        I have NO faith at all that the BLM is going to release any of the Calico horses to be free roaming again. They would have done it by now. Can you imagine the egg of their faces and this is the most stubborn, know it all group of men around. I’d rather have these horses living some semblance of a natural life than the alternative. We just have to make sure they are not counted as free roaming.

        Also, can someone tell me why the feeding fence needs that bar directly over their heads? I think this may be contributing to broken necks. Can these be removed?

  6. sandra longley says:

    There are wild horses who would see that opening as an escape route_can you imagine the catastrophe..the shoulders would make it through but the hips would not..and there they would be hung..that thought gives me nightmares..it all boils down to-horses are not cattle and they cannot be feedloted in a safe sane manner..this whole thing has been ‘one flew over the cookoos nest”..which is why i want the horses returned to the wild…not preserves..that is a last resort..so to speak..they deserve to be truly wild and free..not managed on a preserve..lands should be restored equal to that that was taken from them..unfortunately the lands in the desert now have more value..no ones palms get greased for doing a good job with the management of the wild horses..there are no private sector jobs awaiting those that provide for the horses.. everyone is looking for their piece of the pie..

    • Laura Leigh says:

      I agree with you…

      They need to be protected as was originally intended (yet apparently subverted) in 1971 as “wild and integral.”
      Not “theme-parked” nor “showcased…”

      Fortunately there are many of us that don’t like greasy palms…
      : )

  7. […] Leigh, Project Manager of Herd Watch, has an example of her letter on her blog (HERE) and on our blog you can visualize Craig Downer’s letter […]

  8. Shirley says:

    OMG, and all Gods help us to save these creatures whose ancestors saved our Country!
    Are we writing to the wrong people. Why can’t we break thru?
    If “his eye is on the sparrow” surely the plight of these horses is noticed. Is it a test to see how long we can fight?
    Please, everyone, keep writting and donating what you can.

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