BLM “News Release” Fraud?

Sharing an article written by Deb Coffey. This Issue is part of the First Amendment case I filed, months ago. When we filed the case the memo (at the time I was working as Herd Watch, operating in conjunction with the Cloud Foundation and was having meetings with Bolstad, Neil and Seidlitz) and a few other documents were in public hands and have been included in the case. Coffey’s FOIA request has gleaned a much larger picture. Please support the lawsuit at WILD HORSE EDUCATION if you can. WE are very fortunate to have an attorney that understands both the need for absolute persitance and the fact that there is hardly any support.
This case has the potential to go to the Supreme Court. We need your help to get it there.
This article is the first of three in a series.
 
Debbie Coffey   Copyright   2011    All Rights Reserved

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“Why shouldn’t we write or call our Congressmen and BLM management officials?   American soldiers fought and died so that you would be free to do this.  BLM POLICIES are set at THE TOP by Congress, and by Secretary Ken Salazar of the Department of the Interior, and by Bob Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management.  Call and write to them. ”

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AUTHORS NOTE:  ALL DOCUMENTS MENTIONED BELOW ARE AVAILABLE IN THE READING ROOM AT   http://wildhorseeducation.org/essential-reading/documents-broken-arrow/

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) News Release (the BLM seems to be using the word “news” loosely here) dated 5/28/10 with Lisa Reid and Dean Bolstad listed as contacts, was a BLM announcement of the final public tours at Indian Lakes Wild Horse Facility.   

This BLM release states: “Indian Lakes is a privately-owned and operated  facility, was never intended as a public facility and isn’t staffed to serve the public.  As a result, staff from other offices have been taken away from priority work and unplanned costs have been incurred.”

Foal dying Broken Arrow (Laura Leigh)

The most important question is “WHY would a government agency use OUR money to put something publicly owned (OUR wild horses) on PRIVATE PROPERTY, where we can NEVER HAVE ACCESS to them again?”  Isn’t this like stealing?

I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and asked for a list of staff taken from other offices, for a list of the priority work they were taken away from and for a list of and the amount of money spent on the “unplanned costs.”  I received a letter from Paulette L. Sanford of the Department of the Interior dated 10/6/2010, and was told “There is no itemized list or record of the amount of money spent on the unplanned cost” and “there is no list or record of staff who were detailed to work at the Indian Lakes Facility away from their priority work.”   

I also asked for any prior meeting notes and telephone conversation notes regarding the statement that Indian Lakes Road was “never intended as a public facility.” 

I received a contract modification for the Indian Lakes Road facility (AKA Broken Arrow USA) dated 3/22/2010 and signed by Troy Adams, for two hour public tours to be held once a week for the period of 1/01/2010 – 12/31/2015!  So apparently, 5 days before the “news release,” and only 3 days before the e-mail below, a contract was signed for future public tours of the Indian Lakes Road facility for the next 5 years.  Why would the BLM prepare and have a contract signed for something that they never intended to happen?

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Here we go again

Here we go again.

Nothing unexpected coming in. Nothing reassuring at all.

Same old, same old.

July is here and the claim that “foaling season” is over and running horses for miles is now “safe” is back in the dialogue.

We start in Owyhee in just days.

June 25 BLM Indian Lakes update: Mares are still foaling, but births are fewer and intermittent.

So I guess only mares in holding facilities are still giving birth. I guess running a foal born on July 1 at one week old for miles and miles in the desert is “safe.”

Oh yeah… and they will keep the public away until about the third week of July so if anything happens they can hide it. Close public land so no cameras can catch any of the horror or “civilians” find dead babies in the desert sun. I guess if we don’t see it somehow it hasn’t happened.

Sheldon 2006. They tried to deny what happened there. USFWS… but same contractor.

AWHPC Sheldon 2006 dead foal

We saw young horses die this winter from the effects of the helicopter gather. Those youngsters were about 8 months old… some of these babies will be less than 8 days old.

8 month old dying of hoof slough from the effects of being run miles by a Cattoor helicopter

Do you think we will ever get a schedule of proposed areas the BLM will close? When do you think such a schedule will arrive? If you are on public land and don’t know about the closures (because they didn’t post them) will you be arrested? Will lease holders be banned from the land or just the general public?

Write to Bolstad, Abbey and your Congressperson and tell them you demand observers be allowed from day one. To allow the BLM to operate without observers is not acceptable.

Observation?

I have been told by someone that my last post is “over my head.” So here is a basic example… back to the Broken Arrow… those analogies have been relatively easy to speak to a greater protocol issue.

Definition (dictionary.com):

ob·ser·va·tion

[ob-zur-vey-shuhn]  Show IPA

1. an act or instance of noticing or perceiving.

2. an act or instance of regarding attentively or watching.

3. the faculty or habit of observing or noticing.

4. notice: to escape a person’s observation.

5.an act or instance of viewing or noting a fact or occurrencefor some scientific    or other special purpose: the observation of blood pressure under stress.

Pick one BLM. Which one applies to daily observations by the BLM vet and onsite staff?

Foal pic dated 6/3/2010  Cat Kindsfather

Foal pic dated 6/3/2010 (Cat Kindsfather)

Email Dean Bolstad referencing this foal:

Examiner article here

“One foal had a cough and nasal discharge and was not feeling well. The veterinarian had administered antibiotics to this foal early Thursday morning before the tour started at 10 AM. Today,  (Friday) at 5 AM this foal was found in his pen deceased.”

Foal pic dated 6/10/2010

Foal pic dated 6/10/2010 (Elyse Gardner)

BTW this baby now has a name “Resurrection.”

Please remember Little Hope.

OBSERVATION by the BLM vet occurs daily… of what? Obviously the communication of specifics gets lost in this food chain.

OBSERVATION occurs on the range to create AML… oh yeah?

When your own internal reports say you can’t keep up and many districts can’t even get to the landscape! If the base of the “tower” is broken you need to fix the foundation first.

TOP to BOTTOM… broken, broken broken. Because the start point for policy sets the shape.

MORATORIUM before ANY dialogue of “New Direction.”

New I-Team Report

I-Team: Nearly 80 Wild Horses Dead After Roundup

LAS VEGAS — The Calico Hills wild horse roundup has been characterized by the Bureau of Land Management as a huge success. But wild horse advocates say it was a disaster, and one that grows worse every day.

The roundup ended months ago, but the horses are still paying the price — many with their lives — according to animal activists.

The case for the Calico wild horse roundup continues to deteriorate months after the government spent nearly $2 million to capture every mustang it could find in the rugged and remote terrain adjacent to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

From the beginning, the BLM claimed the gather was for the good of the horses and the good of the range, but it doesn’t appear either of those justifications were on the up and up.

First, there weren’t nearly as many mustangs on the range as BLM predicted. The roundup of about 1,900 mustangs fell short of the target by about 700. Second, the vast majority of the horses gathered were in good shape — not starving or emaciated.

BLM manager Gene Seidlitz said his agency was trying to avert a disaster down the road when food might be more scarce. As it turned out, the roundup itself was a disaster for the herds.

George Knapp’s I-Team Full Report on 8 News Now

Links to Award Winning reports by George Knapp can be found under “Ways to Help” in the menu at the top of this page. It is an honor to have my footage used in these reports.

If anyone finds an embed code on Knapp’s video send it on.  : )

Remember Me…

Today I announced the dismissal of the lawsuit I filed last fall against the Department of Interior and Sheldon NWR. The dismissal came after conversations with BLM staff and Paul Steblein of Sheldon NWR.

The dialogue about the Tri-state MegaPlex has been confirmed. It will happen.

I have stated before that historically the concept “complex” in BLM speak is simply another tool utilized to reduce AML.

However the possibility actually exists that new concepts for management can extend into the forum for change. In the spirit of supporting the idea that cooperative efforts among government agencies (and the public) can lead to solutions I have dismissed the suit.

We have all been witnessing the actions of the BLM at Calico. We all watched as Cloud’s family was driven into the trap by the helicopter.We all have the BLM clearly under scrutiny.

But I want to take a minute to remember the history of Sheldon.

AWHPC photo Sheldon 2006

Remember me? Perhaps just days old and forced to flee from my home in the heat of summer.

AWHPC Sheldon dead foal

Remember Me? I am one of the ones that couldn’t keep up and was left to die.

AWHPC 2006

Remember me?

Read more on the AWHPC site.

Sheldon NWR has no infrastructure to handle processing or adoption as these horses come off the range. I have written several papers about it in the past. Here is one. These horses historically have been vulnerable to the slaughter pipeline.

With dialogue on the table, in the works, however it is phrased… toward changing current protocol within the structures that manage wild horse populations I say “it’s about damn time.”

But I don’t want to hear the same old song.

This MegaPlex will happen.

But perhaps it can “really” happen. Perhaps it can create a change in protocol.

Put the damn breaks on. STOP.

Do the appropriate surveys in cooperation with each other.

Watch and track the horses as they move as you would with any wild population.

Then make a plan based on the data gathered over one year.

Create real cores that are balanced eco-systems. Protect them for the vanishing American treasure they truly are. These wild places represent the very soul of what it once meant to “be” American.

Steblein said to me “It’s time to stop pointing fingers and figure out how to solve this.”

I agree with that statement… but I will not forget.

AWHPC Sheldon 2006

*note: Sheldon is not BLM. They are Department of Interior, but USFWS.

Morning Coffee Chatter

It appears that there is some rather interesting “chatter” in the wild horse world today. I’ll start with this one and post again in a bit…

Maureen Harmonay wrote in an article for the Examiner about the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association reports posted on the BLM webpage about previously undisclosed deaths of Calico horses.

I wont comment to the specifics she addresses, but urge you to read the article. Instead I want to point out a bit more “food for thought” in the reports.

In the report dated Feb. 13, Dr. Davis (ASVMA), writes: “We did not see any indication of infectious disease.” He then goes on to note a horse in quarantine with an abscess that was suspected to have strangles.

comment: A horse with an abscess was in quarantine on Feb 13. A single horse with “no other signs of infectious disease” in the population. I thought we were being told horses had signs of pigeon fever and abscesses since they came in off the range?

He comments about the foals with sloughed hooves. He notes that only “verbal” information was available. He then notes that the foal was “emaciated,” and the metabolic issues associated with re-feeding may contribute to the condition causing eventual hoof slough.

comment: I will send Dr. Davis pictures of the “emaciated” foal with hoof slough.Then he will have visual confirmation that the colt was not emaciated. Perhaps he will delete the justification spin he hands the BLM in this report?

Calico Foal

Foal euthanized at Fallon Facilty

He also notes the average body score is 5 or above with a few at 3 or less. 12 horses in the hospital pen were of a 2 or less (mares).

comment: I was there at the end of January and saw a handful of 2’s, not in the hospital pens. The hospital pens held horses suffering from some form of lameness or another. I have photographs, no “2’s.”

However I agree the vast majority of horses were a 5 or better. The high percentage of older horses also refutes a claim of an unhealthy range.

I have too many comments about the reasons horses can drop weight quickly and if you read his report you will see the significant number of issues he left out.

He also notes that Dr. Sanford mentioned pregnant mares, gathered in winter, are usually in the poorest condition.

comment: So why did you do such a large gather during winter against the advice of a federal judge?

Popcorn?

I have re-edited the piece “Calico Complex In Retrospect” for viewing on the web.I was approached to provide video for a group pressing DVD’s for DC. They ran a test group and went only with my footage. I felt that the project I had begun was important because it told a more complete story of Calico.

I researched distribution and each option was expensive. This would slow down getting the images to the public in a manner that was timely. These horses need our attention now more than ever. So I created a public viewing option (click on Theatre)  here at a site devoted to the project.

A CD is still available and the edit is a bit different for anyone wishing to have a hard copy of the project. They are available on my website here.

Not sure if you want popcorn… but the piece is up for viewing.

In Retrospect