My readership has risen over the last month. Many are wild horse advocates that have come to expect me to report on the issue. But many of my readers are government personnel from various agencies.
I realize that my observations today will not make officials “happy.” But I report what I observe and the logical conclusions that can be made.
If it is good I will say so.
The Kiger/Riddle roundup had serious access issues at both the trap and holding. But with what could be observed there were no issues with pilot performance, so it was not mentioned nor criticized. At the Burns Corral I was actually given access. What I saw was reported honestly. Yes, it was a professional (that is what I am) assessment of performance. The staff at the Corral has every right to be proud of what they do.
Today I saw very real indications that the issues I observed at the Antelope roundup with this same contractor are repeating at Triple B. The most basic assessment tool is still denied me, the ability to take a respiration rate. (That no official nor contract staff was taking either, btw) However being able to see the sexes of the horses and the time frame it took to bring them in, give me every pause that there are still serious issues. I could see the “signature” flying at the mouth of the jute for the first run and knew the pilot.
This time of year is extremely fragile in a wild equine population. Roundups should not be occurring in the state of Nevada at all in July. The combination of foaling season and heat create a dynamic where only the “best” should attempt any such operation. Any operation this time of year should be for emergent reasons only.
11 horses is not enough to confirm, but it is enough to raise the question. Yet the opportunity to further evaluate these issue through observation of sorting by sex as the horses leave the range will not be available again at this roundup and other “tools” will come into play.
The “padding” that could be seen was not on each bar that should have had it and it was significantly inadequate,no more than a “see we did it” statement. LOOK at your own Corral in Burns.
Today the PR staff was a pleasure to be with. Chris Hanefeld and I have spent more time alone together over the last year than I have with any man in a long time. He is a pleasant human being. Jeff Fontana came in from Twin Peaks. Jeff is also a very nice man who really does like his job and people. He is a great “front guy.” Jeff is also very willing to have discussions that contain mutual respect and a willingness to discuss areas that could be improved and Jeff and I agree on many things.
Yet neither Chris nor Jeff make policy. Too bad.
This is for those in DC reading my blog: Access to evaluate must occur. An actual discussion about how to assess a wild population must occur. I am amazed at how little basic tools are utilized by onsite “vets” and the lack of comprehension for the value of those tools.
There needs to be serious reform and standards of review that have consequence… and not just to the horses anymore.
Just had to get that “off the chest.”
Oh… and tell your Rangers to lighten up. Not one armed guard was there to glare and bark at Kiger, not one. They set at the area of operation entrance to monitor any incoming traffic and that was it. I’m a journalist and wild equine subject matter expert. I use “my big girl words” and have always followed directions.