Trouble in Paradise…

The BLM told us that they would be doing a selective removal, but they have changed to removing whole bands in order to eliminate all the horses living outside the designated range. If this was their desire from the get-go then the draft EA and final EA should have clearly stated this. This herd is just barely genetically viable at 188 horses. The BLM is reducing them to 120, far below the minimum genetic viability levels recommended by Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University. In all our meetings the BLM told us that this would be a carefully executed SELECTIVE removal. They have since changed this to be a semi-selective removal. If the BLM does remove 70 horses, we want them to use the recommendations provided by experts as they said they would in their draft and final Environmental Assesments as well as their Herd Management Area Plan.

 20+ year old horses are being taken off the range at great expense to the taxpayers and more importantly these older horses now have what Congressman Grijalva calls “a death sentence” when they are torn out of their range at such an old age. It costs over $2000 to remove a horse, and no one wants to adopt an older wild horse except to save them from slaughter and an uncertain future. Let these horses live out their lives on the range. The BLM is putting horses on welfare who don’t want or require it. 

**CORRECTED** The only independent observer is not being allowed full access to observe the processing and an APHIS vet is the new independent humane observer. We want the independent humane observer to be allowed in to watch the horses being processed. This observer was initially granted access to the processing for the first two days (when the media was there). Now the BLM is not allowing for transparency in their handling of our wild horses. 

*I initially wrote that the BLM is denying the independent observer access, this is not true and I apologize for the error. We appreciate the access and time that the BLM is taking to allow the observer to go through and observe horses in the corrals but we would like to have an independent set of eyes and ears in the processing area. -MS

The BLM has forgotten that they manage our horses on our public lands. These aren’t anonymous horses- they are well known and beloved around the world from the popular PBS Nature programs about Cloud, one of the stallions likely to be rounded up tomorrow. The third program about this herd will on PBS stations nationwide in less than two months. Many of the horses that people watch — disbelieving that such a beautiful wild horse heaven exists — will already be gone. Kids who dream of going up to see these horses one day might never have the chance as the BLM sweeps them off into genetic non-viability. A little girl once asked us “are they still real?” We’d like to be able to tell her yes next year, too.

We are all intelligent reasonable people, here for the horses, but this is beginning to feel like a nightmare as we are being treated as powerless when it comes to protecting this herd. Media coverage, legal efforts, floods of calls to the white house and to DOI and BLM and all they do is send out national BLM people to preside over this controversial roundup. This reflects the greater destruction of our western lands and its inhabitants. People are asking me what they can do. “is there nothing we can do, this is devastating” and I truly don’t know what to tell them to do outside of spreading the story to friends and media. Ideas anyone?

This is beginning to feel like a war zone with the horses stuck out in no-man’s-land and their peaceful home invaded by people who just don’t care to be truthful or transparent or caring. The young foal below will probably be run 10 miles down the mountain tomorrow and both she and her young mother are slated for removal. 

 It was 90 degrees today and this roundup should have occurred after Oct. 15th when the horses were in the lower country and the foals older and stronger. Hopefully tomorrow is cooler.

Don’t give up on these horses and this herd.


Adelina stands MS 8-09Halcyon nudges Adelina 8-09 MS


16 Responses to “Trouble in Paradise…”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Thanks for all you are doing up there. Tomorrow and beyond will continue to challenge you, the horses and all who have tried to help save them from all this. It has only gotten worse, hasn’t it. It is a brick wall we are all up against. I feel there are inexplicable things that are obscene to me, at play in this terrible drama. The removal of older horses is the most damning, and the new foals being put at risk with this entire fiasco. It is an insult and an historic blunder, to beat them all, that BLM has come to stand for the extermination of wild horses on their own lands where they had been proudly protected. The betrayals may continue, be ready for them. I hope all the horses continue to survive this ordeal. But it has gotten worse each day. I fear for them more each day. marilyn

  2. Janet Ferguson Says:

    I hate to be monetaristic at this time, but it occured to me that if each of the 8300+ people who signed the petition sent $10.00 each, there would be $83,000.00.
    This is as far as I can go with this concept. It would seem a large sum capable of (perhaps not buying a congressperson) but doing SOMETHING for the mustangs.
    Just a thought.

  3. CStone Says:

    I think Janet’s idea is a good one– but would take too long now. What if we “pledged” to send it in, in order to help PAY BACK Mrs. Pickens (or someone with similar cash flow & interest) –IF they would quickly fund a crazy idea that I posted on the previous message:

    (in part) But THINK… who is a bigger Celebrity than CLOUD, himself?

    Many of you speak of raising MONEY for a fight and/or BUYing the oldest members of the herd– (& I agree with these ideas…BUT) remember that Madeline Pickens is still trying to BUY ALL of the horses in long-term holding– and the BLM & government Won’t LET HER!!!— they’re NOT going to let US do it either!!
    Why doesn’t the BLM HAVE to do what the Chairman of committee on Natl Parks, Forests, Public LANDS (Grijalva) asks/ demands that they do?? what the G.A.O. demands that they do? What the other chair of Natural Resources (Rahall) demands?
    WHO are they REALLY working FOR? {some say it has to do with Uranium sources in Pryors— & implied links to Dubai–UAE–???} I don’t know, but I DO know that this is BIGGER than forage for cattle.

    However- my IDEA is: would Madeline PICKENS agree to quickly BUY up news & advertising spots ALL over different type stations –{maybe fly Anderson Cooper or Christiane Amanpour {sp?}to do story}-
    — then put CLOUD, and ELECTRA, and GRUMPY, and the late Wise SHAMAN, and IMAGE, and QUELLE C with babe, and CONQUISTADOR, etc as “the Celebrity faces”, while Ginger & the Crow elder & Viggo & Hope Ryden & Karen S., & Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, etc. do the talking in the BackGround??? Get their Majestic FACES on everyone’s screen, on everyone’s mind— the FACES no one will be able to Forget??? What do you think?
    {someone here had a way to contact Mrs.Pickens}

    Maybe even a simple background voice saying “What Will YOU SAY when your children or grandchildren ASK if You did everything that you could DO– to save them? to protect them?” “How Will YOU explain this loss to YOUR children?”…along with the flashes of CLOUD, Electra, the many HORSE FACES…. (I figure that any ppl that DON’t help (incl Obama & govt officials), will at least feel guilty as **, if only for a few moments! & Many WON’T get those FACES off their minds…!)… or maybe THEIR KIDS won’t let them forget, either?

  4. Joni Says:

    Money, power, greed, in the driving seat. We don’t have a government run by the people for the people — and the the horses pay with their lives. So sad.

  5. Shirley VerHoef Says:

    Yes, if Mrs. Pickens can’t do it, what good are we. But keep trying. The person at the round up showed that there is no grass in the desert for them. Well, imagine that. LOL. The horses are on the lush mountain side. Sure winter will come, but it would be cheaper for the BLM to drop hay for them at that time. Cheaper than keep 33,000 cooped up and fed ALL YEAR!!!

  6. Shirley VerHoef Says:

    My daughter said, we should go there and chain ourselves to the fences like tree huggers. LOL. I guess we are too afraid of being shot or something. I know we are not allowed on the exact property, but they shouldn’t be allowed to DO THIS!!!

  7. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    We have to go to Washington. Mar

  8. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Now, from what I remember from watching Law and Order on TV, it seems that the goal is to get all this type of thing in front of a jury of their peers. The thing is, (just talking out loud here) THE MUSTANGS NEED TO BE REPRESENTED IN A COURT OF LAW. Not a person or oganization or the Public, but the actual Mustangs themselves. As part of a body of wildlife (or however you want to phrase it) for which the public is the caretaker only — SUCH AS ONE MIGHT DEFEND A CHILD OR A PERSON INCAPABLE OF DEFENDING HIM/HERSELF. EX: “The Free-Roaming Horse on Public Lands vs. The Bureau of Land Management, Bob Abbey, Director; the Department of the Interior, etc. and then throw the book at them for every single count of animal cruelty and barbarism (which most certainly has been well documented in many places). I am not a lawyer but this is my idea, “talking out loud.” Pry them suckers off this range. (excuse my French).

  9. Janet Ferguson Says:

    How I hope when the day comes that a solution is found it is not placed in the hands of the BLM.

  10. Valerie Kennedy Says:

    What about that really tight rope around Ichilay’s neck? Why does it have to be so tight? Is that just in the chute?

  11. CStone Says:

    Yes! regarding what Janet Ferguson suggested, I wonder if the Cloud Foundation lawyer, Valerie {I’m blank on name}– could do this! Although she may have already tried it or thought of it– ” THE MUSTANGS NEED TO BE REPRESENTED IN A COURT OF LAW. Not a person or oganization or the Public, but the actual Mustangs themselves. As part of a body of wildlife (or however you want to phrase it) for which the public is the caretaker only — SUCH AS ONE MIGHT DEFEND A CHILD OR A PERSON INCAPABLE OF DEFENDING HIM/HERSELF. EX: “The Free-Roaming Horse on Public Lands vs. The Bureau of Land Management, Bob Abbey, Director; the Department of the Interior, etc. “—
    could someone bring it to her attention???

    {Hopefully, Makendra or someone at Cloud Foundation monitors these postings? I don’t know how to get hold of Valerie.}

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      I sent the idea to Laura Allen, Animal Law Coalition, and she said “it wouldn’t work now, but “maybe in the future.”

      Just to let you know. . . .

      • CStone Says:

        Thank you, Janet- for forwarding that info for me. It can’t Hurt to TRY anything & everything- right?
        Who knows–maybe it will work in the future…

  12. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    I am just getting back on some of the older posts. mar

  13. CStone Says:

    WOW! Makendra- I just re-read this post–
    the PAIN pouring out of your words here is Palpable– SHARP– and deeply Aching, as well!

    ANd now- after 2 more months, the doubtless REALIZATION that our Government, our “new administration of CHANGE”, the good-ole-boys and-gals plus the new-ole-boys-and-gals— truly ARE not and WERE Choosing NOT to listen to US at all… (except for a very few special ones)… THAT has become an even more UNbearable PAIN!!

    It is over???— The US of A is no longer the bright beacon for ALL that we have grown-up believing would always stand for the values of its people, and DO the right thing– listen to the outcry of the innocents, or minorities, or (anything other than $$)… !!

    Did anyone EVER hear even ONE single word regarding yours and our thousands of calls, letters, meetings… from the OBAMA administration?? even an Acknowledgement of having heard the message– or a “lame– but relevant” excuse for not helping or even answering?
    I can’t help but feel that– the COACH was only a PUMPKIN–afterall!!
    —–and much, much worse is to come… so disheartening!

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