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?


14 thoughts on “Purge Valve

  1. Barbara Warner says:

    Laura, this makes so much sense but it doesn’t look like there will be a moratorium. Now may be the time to start the protests again. I think we are going to have to fight even harder to keep the Salazoo plan from going through also.
    Many thanks for all you have done and continue to do. You are awesome.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      I know it doesn’t appear that any “change on the range” is going to happen… so it’s business as usual. Puts me back on the road….
      You are awesome, too.
      We are pretty awesome as a group… I saw that in Denver.

  2. jan eaker says:

    Laura, I add my voice to this heartfelt plea. Why is it so difficult to just hold off for ONE YEAR! what will it hurt?????? will there suddenly be a million horses overrunning the range? why do so few people have such power over OUR lands?

  3. Laura P says:

    The “few” have such power because everything in our government has gotten out of control with too much power given to them, corrupting them. Too much power caused by too much money given by lobbysts who are owned by the ELITES who are the ones really controlling decisions, writing policies, controlling 90% of the Media (TV & print) and writing our bills by their hired hack attorneys. Then, our politicians are so corrupt they never even read the bills anymore! Yet, they pass them. It’s the “Nothing Matters” generation we are witnessing. And, it is OUTRAGEOUS. And, the corruption stems deep into the bowels of Congress & the Senate, both sides. Unfortunately, this “mentality” and “arrogance” is now turning on the public, and it is evident all the way down to Local and State levels in our society–the arrogance, that is. We are now living in the past few years in a CORPORATIST–FASCIST “STATE” that the mere mention of “majority rules” at a local Parks Board means nothing, where they physically turn their backs on the residents, indeed, it is outrageous what has happened. Starting with bailing our the “Big Banks” which was a major mistake, we’ve morphed that power grab into takeover after takeover of industries, something I thought only would happen to “other” countries, not ours. So, here we stand, and our horses are suffering for it. Why? Because here in Montana, the majority of the “people” do not want all these senseless round-ups, yet they happen. If the masses were to go to the polls this fall and vote all Republicans AND Democrats out, that would be a start. In the meantime, I fear for our beautiful, wild, helpless horses. And, I fear for God’s wrath…someday, too.

    The dumping of Goldman Sachs shares to the tune of 44% a month before the Gulf oil catastrophe, the dumping of 1/3 of the CEO’s shares, the fact that BP has been at the forefront of pushing “green” initiatives, the abysmal fact that our President has drug his feet in cleaning up the spill, when he could have accepted the help from 13 countries who could have sent their oil skimming tankers to the gulf to suck up the oil BEFORE the lion’s share of it moved into the coasts, ALL OF THIS IS SICKENING.

    But, what to we do about our beloved horses? Keep yelling!! And, doing everything you are doing, Laura!

    • Laura Leigh says:


      America has become like a dysfunctional family unit… where we defend principles with our very lives that we don’t live ourselves.

      Is there any hope that we will actually become the country our history books want us to believe we are?

      • I don’t know, Laura. In my second letter to Gene, I said so many of the same things you’ve said in this post. That they need to give us SOMETHING because so far, it’s been US that have done ALL the compromising. I said it was nuts to move any more horses BEFORE they got the new science. I said we would NOT take the BLM’s word for it that there were 600 horses on the Calico range and demanded an independent survey before they did anything else with any of the horses.

        So far, I haven’t received an answer, but whatever he says, I’m sure it won’t actually be an answer – just more BLM-speak.

  4. sandra longley says:

    There is no indication that i can see of a move in that direction..I say slap a lawsuit on each and every planned gather on each and every HMA..ask for injunctions…it is our only option left..There is no time left for waiting hoping or debating the issue..

  5. Jo De George says:


    I so much appreciate your blogs and all the information they provide. Was not able to be at Denver but watched at lot of it livestream.

    I totally agree with you about the special interest group. The deals with many of them were made a long time ago and I see no direction for change at that end. We all keep hoping and fighting though.

    I so dread July. We all do. I feel the tempestous wind blowing already and it sickens me no end. Perhaps, we all need to show up at a roundup and be willing to physically try and stop the helicopters from taking off. Sounds radical, I know, but if enough of us are willing to do it, we may be able to stop a tragedy. I know several people who are more than willling to do this. Radical yes, but at this point it seems talks, petitions, attempts at negotiations and meeting are not at all effective. The BLM has their private agenda and I honestly feel they will not deter from that.


  6. Craig says:

    Excellent and to-the-point on our desperate situation with America’s last few wild horses and what they are up against: apathy and conniving of the most greedy sort and sluggardness in government officials!

  7. The continuation of the plans BLM has scheduled for this summer’s removals is the most damaging, non scientific move against a protected species in the USA ever. Our Wild Horses are being targeted for their lands and the use of them by special interests with no ‘ecological balance ‘ in mind. Such words are all exposed now for the misdirection they have been employed for. The Burros are nearly gone. The removals will not be reversed. Stopping now would make a census possible and necessary to base further decisions upon. Science needs to be respected and used as the common denominator it is. Stop the false projections of numbers of the wild horse and burro herds. Clean up this picture. Create a real level ground to work on, BLM. Or let us remover the wild herds from your deadly grip. mar

  8. Mara LeGrand says:


    I was glad to meet you at the BLM workshop and to learn of your dedicated service to the cause of stopping round ups and horrid management. I look forward to staying in touch with you and lending what I can to help. See a mini-series reflective of my film at http://www.wildhorsesinwindsofchange.com. The documentary is more issues related than the trailers but all are meant to showcase mustangs as a wonder to behold and integral to our land and eco system. Mara

  9. maryam says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
    – Mahatma Gandhi

    morals?? do we have any? or do we create fancy laws to justify our need for greed, money and self gain? give the horses their land back. we did this to native indians, africans, which we stole from their land and now have moved up to our own wild horses! who’s next to get kicked out of their land!!!

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