On June 3, 2011 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gave the public an hour and a half wagon ride through the Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes facility) in Fallon Nevada. Closed for about a year, this is the first glimpse the public has had behind these walls since the BLM claimed the facility was never intended to be open to the public. Then they closed the doors after public outrage over images taken at the facility caused an influx of calls and emails.
In an email dated 5/25/2011 requesting that the doors of the facility be closed to the public Dean Bolstad of the BLM Reno office writes:
“We now have a favorable Calico Court decision and we need to seriously consider the toll that these tours are taking on our employees, our resources and the damage that is being done to BLM‘s image as a result of the tours.”
The facility was not closed because it can not be open to the public. The facility was closed because they did not like the publics response. Further investigation also has revealed that the contract for the facility actually allows for weekly public tours.
This past winter horses died in that facility. Horses continue to die. Respiratory infection ran rampant in the facility this past winter as horses were stockpiled behind the iron bars out of sight of a public that would have seen the results of roundups that occur in sub-zero temperatures.
During the tour you saw a facility that was well prepared for the “tour.” A wagon pulled by a pick-up truck where a representative of the BLM sat in the cab, available only at brief intervals for questions. Hospital pens were off limits. Horses from various roundups were mixed and no individuals could be identified as the tour did not stop long enough and visitors were not allowed to walk through the facility.
“Content control” was an effective, if illegal, tool to keep the public uneducated about the realities of the mis-management of America’s National Treasure.
A lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Laura Leigh has gone to the Ninth Circuit Court. The suit filed by attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno deals with the issues of “content control” as a violation of First Amendment Rights guaranteed by the Constitution of The United States. The suit directly deals with this issue in the management of wild herds from range through their ultimate disposition.
The suit is supported by Wild Horse Education, a registered non-profit in the state of Nevada. All documents mentioned are viewable on the website:http://WildHorseEducation.org