Yesterday, Oct. 30, the Bureau of Land Management’s contractor Sun J was unsuccessful in removing the last few horses left in the Woodruff trap site area.
The horses were driven to that location after being moved for at least 2 hours.
Because the agency is incredibly reluctant to place gps tracking devices and/or cameras in the contracted helicopters the exact distance the animals travel remains unknown.
At the time of (our) arrival the trap was noted to have several areas where issues (accidents) were possible to occur dependent on the direction horses were driven from. This included observation of a fence line that contained barbed wire that was potentially in the path of travel. This despite the fact that this roundup, as well as previous ones, have had fatalities associated with the presence of barbed wire.
It was observed that one of the possibilities noted at arrival did occur and is demonstrated at this video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlXzyA1_fUo
Of concern at the trap was evidence that the pilot had brought in members of unrelated bands indicating that fracturing of family groups continues. Of the six that made the vicinity of the trap 4 grouped together and as the other 2 attempted to join them for safety a stallion gave warning for them to keep their distance. Also of note is that the group consisting of a mature stallion with three mares had no youngsters. Again because of the agencies reluctance to outfit the contract helicopters with cameras only speculation can occur (it raises serious questions as to what happens to animals when they are out of sight and why the agency is so adamant in their refusal).
Apparently the COR operating that particular day at the Woodruff site did call off the pilot from continuing his pursuit.
Observation of operations continued at the temporary holding facility located on Highway 34 in the Complex.
Horses that had been captured in previous days were present. As no new animals were removed handling during processing could not be observed.
The animals removed from this roundup are primarily of good flesh for this time of year. The only horses observed that are below a 5 on the Heinekke scale are those that appear to have dropped colts in the spring and are of more advanced age. (One exception observed was a young mare that may have an underlying illness or anomaly).
Observations noted wounds of various degrees on feet and legs.
Trap site was moved to Texas Creek area (area was included in the public tour pre-roundup).
Horses were observed in the operation site area. Forage and water was noted to support population present. No underweight or distressed animals were observed. Of population recorded 12% were estimated at one year of age or younger, (Includes observation of two apparent bachelor bands).
Observation of the trap noted that a small canyon would be used to hide the entrance to the panels. This area was strewn with sharp rock and large sage.
Assessment of the area indicated that the terrain was likely to increase injury to feet and legs. This information was noted in a fast post on the blog last night.
In BLM’s report today they note “no injuries.” Please keep in mind that none of the photos documenting injuries from puncture wounds to faces, severe lacerations to legs or bloody feet have never been listed in BLM’s update. BLM only notes injuries that lead to fatality in both facility and roundup reports.
Of particular note: BLM has stated that there will be no more animals released into any of the HMA’s of the High Rock Complex until the Calico Complex roundup has been completed. If numbers are not reached at Calico, no more animals will be released into High Rock. The reasoning is that the HMA’s share a boundary line.
So even though the public must continue to comment and address the AML’s of each of these areas through differing processes of public comment, the BLM now considers the populations fluid. This is an increasing trend and dilutes the public’s ability to address the system (utilizing their rights guaranteed under law) toward effective advocacy for this primary user (wild herds) as defined by the Federal Land Use Policy Management Act (FLPMA).
As I was informed that another observer would be present 10-31, I did not attend todays operation. The time was utilized condensing reports into a cohesive format for the NAS and actually taking a shower (the dog told me I stink).
Back into the field…
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