8-6 preliminary vent

There are days and then there days.

August 6th was one of those days.

As I sit and try to edit video to tell you all that was seen I am hit with an inability to edit. Every basic concept of humane treatment was broken. Every basic concept of common sense went out the window. Every basic demonstration of the simplest concept of equine behavior was non-existant.

The drives were long, no matter what is placed on the BLM site. Drives were well over ten miles. One group ran for over an hour and had a foal. They were run. The horses were confused and panicked.

A horse was left pinned between the trailer and the trailer door (after getting it’s head caught in an inappropriately set panel) while a group of horses are driven into the trap.

Exhausted foals are chased.

In holding evidence of injury.

The same issues with the bare minimum of feed that is NOT distributed in a manner to the best interest of the horses, but to convenience of the contractor.

The same water games with the foal and adult horses.

On this one let’s do the math one more time… 15 gallons a day is what BLM states a horse drinks. A 50 gallon tub filled 2 times each day is 100 gallons. 45 studs, in July and August, need more than two tubs. A nursing mare needs more than 15 gallons (according to BLM).

BLM according to the law YOU are responsible for making decisions on the ground. That includes determining that in the heat the horses need water. That includes determining if horses, and tiny babies, are being over-driven. That includes making the call that handling is too rough and counter intuitive.

BLM you can make the calls that include leaving a horse lost while horses are driven in. BLM you can make the call that a horse remains “wedged” for over ten minutes as other horses are driven in. BLM you can also actually make calls that are for the welfare of the horse… not just the “expediency” of the operation.

I am trying to edit video down to appropriate lengths. Youtube takes ten minute clips. I am sending the rough edit (over 25 minutes) to someone that may be able to get it cut into sections. I am trying to get everything logged… but need sleep.

Blew a tire and spun out after over an hour driving fast on gravel and dirt to try to catch a trailer…

If you can help get the truck fixed and keep gas in the tank it is appreciated.

http://WildHorseEducation.org

some pictures from 8/6, video soon

Third horse to try to break through panels sloppily set against the trailer. This one got her head stuck.

Rope around her neck they use a horse and rider to pull on her neck.

Left wedged while another group is driven in

Any horse owner knows feet and legs speak volumes (holding)

Why?

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Triple B_Quick post

Today saw 11 horses removed from the range to make a two day total of 33.

Horses were run into the trap and directly sorted into temporary. We usually do not have the ability to see the sexes of each group coming off the range as horses are captured and then sent in groups for sorting at temporary.The glare from the sun made the first group of 3 adults and one youngster hard to see.

Second group was two mature studs a mare and foal.

Third group a dry mare, wet mare and foal.

I will review tapes after I get sleep (two hours last night) but it appears the first group was much larger than four members before it hit the trap.

Do you think Sun J could possibly be repeating the same “crop dusting” patterns that broke apart bands at Antelope last winter? So far the we have every indication that the same type of flying is happening.

Will evaluate further tomorrow.

Sun J helicopter at Triple B

I will get video and real report out asap.

Literally am so tired I can’t see straight.

If you would like to help with documentation efforts go to: http://wildhorseeducation.org

Press Release_Wild Horse Education: Sheldon

Although horses were on the land we call the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge prior to the Refuge getting it’s designation, and before the passage of the Federal Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, they have no enforceable protections. These wild horses are fair game for slaughter.

In 2006 a roundup occurred on public land that rocked the wild horse advocate community. In the sweltering sun of June, during foaling season, bands were stampeded through the desert with disastrous consequence.

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (US Fish and Wildlife, USFWS) had their specially screened contractors poised and ready to take horses and the contractors would receive $300.00 a head for each horse they removed from the range. The public was assured that gathers are safe and not done during foaling season. Yet extreme measures were taken to attempt to hide all activity from the public. Police were hired, gates were installed and a two-mile distance was then established as a barrier to hide actions from the public. Cattoor, the company that flies the helicopters, took to the air.

USFWS announced that the roundup had gone off safely. They reported one injury involving a lip.

However reports began to come in from those in the field of the various deceptions. Those listening to radio transmissions during the gather heard talk of a horse that broke a leg and was shot. A ground search began that turned up dead and injured foals, some of them bound and left in the desert. Mares in the gather pens aborted.

The contractors were paid $300. per head as they removed truckloads of horses from the range. Two of the three contractors had slaughterhouse connections and the unbranded horses coming off of public land ended up in the kill pen.

This roundup became known as the “Sheldon Massacre.”

In 2009 I filed suit against the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Interior (Yes, they are under Dept. of Interior). In 2009 while the nations eyes were on the Pryor Mountains and the famed herd of the “Cloud” series by Ginger Kathrens, the horses from Sheldon disappeared again. The suit was based on the fact that contrary to the statements made by the Refuge horses from Sheldon had no protection when they left the range. USFWS is not mandated to manage horses and burros with the same “protections” granted in the Wild Free Roaming horse and burro act of 1971.The horses and burros leave with no freeze mark, microchip or any way to identify them as wild horses, with tragic consequence.

That suit was on the verge of becoming “moot” as Sheldon NWR signed an agreement with the Bureau of Land management to include Sheldon NWR in the “mega-complex” that included wild horse areas in three states. Grandiose statements were made by Winnemmucca BLM district manager Gene Seidlitz and Paul Steblien of Sheldon about actual management of “ wild herds across the landscape.” Those claims included studying migratory patterns and genetic viability.

I was to be included in range studies occurring at the Complex. Gene Seidlitz did an amazing rendition of the sidestep and the only documentation I received was the 2008 BLM in-house report on Assessment, Inventory and Management. That document is basically a self-study in the ineptness of and lack of data used within the Bureau’s management of public land. Useful, but not a “cooperative” toward data compilation.

The suit was dropped as it would have needed to be re-crafted and re-filed. The support for the suit was practically non-existent from the public as other more publicized actions were occurring. But in the process I made a friend. Attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno wrote off the rest of the bill and remained interested in the issue of wild herds and public land.

Last year, as I was returning from Twin Peaks to head to Reno to prepare documents for the First Amendment Lawsuit (BLM, Silver King) with attorney Cowan, I got a call from Katie Fite (Western Watersheds). She believed there might be a roundup occurring at Sheldon without public notice. Leslie Peeples, another “drive alone with your dog on public land gal.” I informed her of the situation as I could not go. Leslie went.

Her trip uncovered that indeed there was a roundup without public notice. Paul Steblien, now retired manager of Sheldon, confirmed that the action was taken in order to avoid public scrutiny. Her trip also uncovered photos of the “bone pit” at Sheldon. Bones were strewn about in what appeared to be a careless manner, “As if their deaths did not matter,” according to Peeples.

Bone trail to the pit (Leslie Peeples)

A few of the horses taken were fortunate and made their way to Carr’s of Tennessee, but the rest remain unaccounted for. How many were left vulnerable, and shipped, to slaughter?

No access was given to view the roundup.

It is going to happen again.

The Bureau of Land Management roundup schedule has a gap in it. During that gap the contractors, Cattoor, will be at Sheldon. It has been confirmed.

An Environmental Assessment for another winter roundup at Calico Tri-state Complex (new name for the “mega-plex”) is in draft form and open for public comment until July 18, 2011.

How is it possible that in an area where there claims to be “management across the landscape”  that a part of the agreed upon area is not subject to the same review? How is it that horses can be rounded up from one section of the Complex and the action not mentioned in the document the public is supposed to comment on? How can horses from one section of this Complex be rounded up and protected by the mandates of Congress and horses from another section leave the range with no real protection from slaughter under law?

How is this in anyway a managed “Complex” for horses and burros that they recognize historically cross the border? One day the horse is on one side of a Federal boundary and protected and the next day on the other side and vulnerable to slaughter?

Is “management across the landscape” just another way of saying “wipe out the landscape?” It would certainly seem so.

Will the EA for public comment on Calico be revised to reflect the removal of horses from the Northern section of the Complex? It has yet to be determined.

Will these agencies ever manage horses in an honest effort to maintain a genetically viable herd on public land? It has yet to be determined.

Will we be given public access to observe? It has yet to be determined.

But if a chopper flies at Sheldon, I’ll be there. Sheldon is very close to my heart. When I die I want to go to Sheldon, as long as there are horses left there.

These horses will not leave public land without the public knowing what happens to them again.

~~ Laura Leigh’s field work is supported through http://WildHorseEducation.org and her Litigation efforts throughhttp://WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Band Stallion (Leigh)


Lawsuit: Update

Hospital Area Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes) Calico Complex Horses 1/2010 (Leigh)

The battle to see our horses continues, as horses continue to die behind closed doors

Wild Horse Education is continuing the legal battle for transparency against the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Because the public is continually denied consistent access to roundups and holding facilities that house the American public’s wild horses, taken from public land with public funds, this action is gaining increasing importance.

On February 14, 2011 Plaintiff Laura Leigh filed for permission to appeal her First Amendment Rights case against the BLM to the Ninth Circuit Court. Her plea was based on the fact that there had been no ruling by the Federal Court in Reno to her request for Emergency Injunctive Relief in a case she had filed five months previous. Her request cited that “no action” in a case requiring emergency relief was an essential denial of her motion.

Judge Larry Hicks of the Federal District Court in Reno has now denied Leigh’s motion as “moot.” However in his ruling he does allow written testimony to stand in the record that had been objected to by the BLM.

“Basically this is good news,” said Leigh “What the Judge has now given me is an opportunity to present this case without first going through the process of gaining the Court’s permission. He has also ruled that the entire record of the case remains intact and that is vital to demonstrate the repetitive behavior that has precedent in higher Courts as not moot.”

Leigh has spent the last year observing more roundups than any government personnel and bringing the public daily reports. The suit she brought earlier last year, to the same Court over closure of public land and a roundup during the heat of summer for the Owyhee Herd Management Area, bore fruit for public observers. That suit found that closure of public land was a prior restraint to First Amendment Rights, creating the beginning of a daily observation platform for the public.

“The current suit is NOT about observing a single roundup,” Leigh stated “The emergency relief requested extends to the repetitive battle for observation. We have a right to know how our money is spent in the hands-on management of our horses throughout the process. From roundup through holding and their ultimate disposition, wherever that may be, it is our right to see it.”

This winter horses from the Eagle Complex joined those named in Leigh’s suit from the Silver King Herd Management Area behind the locked doors of the BLM Indian Lakes (Broken Arrow) facility in Fallon Nevada. Horses continue to die and suffer disease out of sight of public scrutiny. Horses in that facility continue to die at an alarming rate as indicated in the weekly reports.

Last spring the BLM closed the doors of the facility, which had previously offered weekly public tours, because of the intensity of public outrage. In an email from Dean Bolstad, of the Nevada state office in Reno to his superiors, dated May 25 of last year he writes: “The impact of stopping the tours pales in comparison to the impact to our employees and BLM’s image.”

Is this a reason to deny the public basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution? Or is this a reason to “clean up your act?”

The full Appeal is expected to be filed by Leigh and her attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno soon.

The legal efforts are supported solely by Wild Horse Education, a registered non-profit in the state of Nevada.

 

Laura Leigh
1/31/2011

 Personal Note: This suit has been a tremendous effort. You can ask anyone that has travelled with me how many hours I spend researching and crafting documents. Researching and collecting evidence and data in the field daily. The “concept of law” in this country is a complex process and the learning curve is steep.

Yet historically the evidence points to the fact that documentation and exposure changed practices that occured in the past. Documentation is creating a broader base of exposure throughout the world for what America is doing to it’s own symbol of Freedom.

We need to push this program into the light. The closed door facilities need to open. Meaningful observation MUST be allowed at roundups and facilities.

But I need your help. Support this action that benefits YOUR right to know.

Wild Horse Education Video

Wild Horse Education is beginning to publish Videos in a series titled “Roundup Reality.”

The videos will show footage taken at roundups and explain the size of the HMA and how many horses are to be “gathered.” They will show how the roundup was executed and demonstrate  if public access was allowed. Each video will be descriptive of each specific event.

Written explanation, with additional information, will be available in archived form on the Wild Horse Education Room 101 site.

The first in this series is the Eagle Roundup of 2011. This video has been chosen because the horses from this roundup went to the Broken Arrow facility (aka Indian Lakes).

Horses in that facility have been off limits to public viewing since the BLM shut the doors last spring due to public response from weekly images taken by observers that visited the facility. New information has been brought to light through the FOIA requested of journalist Deb Coffey. Her research has uncovered a copy of the contract held by Troy Adams for that facility. The contract states clearly that public visitation is part of the scope of the agreement through the year 2015.

The lawsuit brought by journalist Laura Leigh that is currently awaiting the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addresses these issues directly. The public has a right to know how their American herds are treated by their government and contractors, throughout the entire process. This suit and other actions are supported directly through Wild Horse Education.

Facility Reports can be viewed: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/wh_b/Indian_Lakes_Facility.html

Getting it together

Launching a new project today: http://wildhorseeducation.org

Take a peek and feedback is welcome. Content is being edited and added… and a free booklet is in the works.

For those of you that followed my artwork and have sat silently but learned an awful lot watching my “wild horse” travels you will be glad to know I have been painting… hope to have my hands in clay some day soon. New works will be available and showcased shortly.

Thank you all for your patience… it has been a long, dusty,  lonely road and the love and respect I have for our wild herds has grown so much…

I have been asked for my report on Antelope to include with public comments and to fax. Here is the report in the version I wrote: http://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/final_antelope_leigh2011.pdf  use it … fax it…