Interview with John Neill, Ruby Pipeline investigations and more: The Mustang Project

Plus: Galloping Scared from Vanity Fair— an older article well-worth reading

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47 Responses to “Interview with John Neill, Ruby Pipeline investigations and more: The Mustang Project”

  1. jan Says:

    i emailed tracie about the stallions being altered – wondered if she thot to ask him or if it did not come up

  2. themustangproject Says:

    Yes ma’am, I got your email earlier today… No ma’am, that one didn’t come up yet. We are looking into this though.
    I would like to inquire – just for background info – what are the reasons behind not wanting the stallions to be gelded? We would like to be able to give the best answers possible to you all, but need to know all of the why’s to get the right questions first LOL
    T.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Tracie — who is the “we” you refer to in your comment?

    • jan eaker Says:

      Because many of us would like to see these horses rightfully returned back to their range, and gelding them makes them unable to reproduce; also the lack of humane observers to make sure that all is done as humanely as possible. there are enough geldings(i hope) in longterm holding pens, these stallions should NOT be added to the already outrageous total.

  3. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    TRACIE, I THINK I CAN SPEAK TO ONE OBJECTION–THAT IS THE FACT THAT THE HUMANE OBSERVERS ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO BE THERE.
    OTHERS CAN ANSWER BETTER THAN I, BUT I ALSO THINK GENETIC VIABILITY IS A MAIN CONCERN. TO SEE THE GENE POOL CUT OFF FOREVER IS VERY DISTURBING. WE ALL ARE VERY WORRIED ABOUT HOW THE ANIMALS ARE TREATED. ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT A HORROR IT IS FOR THE HORSES.

    • themustangproject Says:

      As always Louie, you bring some of the best points to the table. I will get in touch this next week with Gus and Buddy to ask them about the genetic viability issue. Remind me about mid-week if I haven’t posted any responses.
      The observers are a heated debate right now. I am actually working on that particular section of my proposal now and over the past week. There are some serious issues that need to be addressed on an official level, and there are some changes that need to be made regarding this situation.
      T.

    • themustangproject Says:

      Louie,
      I spoke with Dr. Gus Cothran today. I asked him about the genetic viability and the gene pool status. Dr. Cothran stated that with the amount of horses left on the range (500-600) that there should not be a dramatic or substantial affect to their genetic viability. Obviously, the number left on the range is the number that was reported by the BLM, and as it is the only number that we have at the moment, it’s the number that this is based on.
      Dr. Cothran has done some studies on the Calico herds, and said that he would send this info to me later today / early tomorrow. As soon as I get it, I will let you know.
      T.

  4. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Thanks for doing this interview. It is still not completely clear to us who is responsible for what at this facility. It seems it would be helpful if BLM would simply say; This is the work schedule for the facility on a daily basis; what is on a weekly or other time basis. Is the facility run directly by BLM staff or people hired by the facility owner? These simple things could be answered and help the public envision this as a functioning place where the horses are the center rather than the impression of it being without supervision much of the time. What vets are there and when? He says daily. One vet for all these horses? These questions will help us understand just how the horses really are taken care of. mar

    • themustangproject Says:

      That’s a good point… I will add it to my list of questions for the next time I speak with John.
      The vet thing is also one of my inquiries. As I have commented in the interview, on this blog and over on TMP blog, I’m not quite satisfied with the outcome of the veterinary care coversation. This will be a point of much more discussion in the very near future.
      T.

  5. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Humane Observers are also needed at this facility when ever they are able to be there. Any restrictions on the few people willing and able to be there representing the publics’ concerns are seen by all of us as manipulative and secretive on the part of BLM. Individuals who have become known to BLM at Fallon are reputable and should be trusted. It still comes down to the fact that massive removals are not selective management and the advocates are wanting our wild horses to be managed in a manner that reflects the future of the herds and their genetic variations. The prospect of the end of long term holding is reason enough not to be gelding hundreds of stallions and colts. mar

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      As Geo Knapp indicated in a recent report, Gathers are ONE of the options given to the BLM to manage these horses, but that is about the ONLY option they are using.

      I guess now that they are using PZP this gets them “off the hook.” from being seen as using only gathers. However, history has shown they are not using stewardship.

    • Lisa LeBlanc Says:

      Mar – At the risk of baring my ignorance for all to see, is this the first time for a holding facility on private land?

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        lisa and al Friends here, this is long but this is important. This is a New List of all BLM Facilities, Preparation and long term are two categories. The Number of our horses is also included. You got a calculator handy for this one???
        FACILITY REPORT – February, 2010
        Facility Name
        PREPARATION FACILITIES
        Facility Cap
        2/15/2010
        Palomino Valley/NV
        WOF53
        1,650
        1,041
        Kingman/AZ
        AZF52
        0
        8
        Litchfield/CA
        CAF52
        1,000
        800
        Ridgecrest/CA
        CAF56
        1,000
        1,294
        Burns/OR
        ORF52
        600
        914
        Rock Springs/WY
        WYF54
        600
        656
        SUBTOTAL
        4,850
        4,713
        MAINTENANCE FACILITIES
        Facility Cap
        2/15/2010
        Elm Creek/NE
        WOF54
        500
        343
        Canon City/CO
        COF85
        3,000
        2,468
        Canon City/CO/Mens
        COF87
        35
        36
        Ewing/IL
        ESF59
        150
        201
        Piney Woods/MS
        ESF55
        50
        44
        Mequon/WI
        ESF56
        20
        0
        Boise/ID
        IDF51
        150
        152
        Challis/ID
        IDF54
        150
        5
        Pauls Valley/OK
        NMF56
        600
        549
        Hutchinson/KS
        NMF85
        350
        461
        Fallon/NV
        NVF93
        1
        674
        New Fallon/NV
        WOF56
        2,850
        1,731
        Carson City/NV
        NVF83
        1,200
        512
        Salt Lake/UT
        UTF52
        500
        379
        Delta/UT
        UTF54
        300
        16
        Gunnison/UT
        UTF88
        1,000
        1,004
        Mantle/Chugwater/WY
        WYF55
        120
        189
        Riverton/WY
        WYF83
        170
        134
        SUBTOTAL
        11,146
        8,898
        TOTAL
        15,996
        13,611
        CONTRACT HOLDING FACILITIES
        Grassland Pasture Facilities
        Facility Cap
        2/1/2010
        Bartlesville/OK/G
        NMF94
        2,300
        2,260
        Catoosa/OK/G
        NMF95
        2,000
        1,993
        Pawhuska/OK/M
        NMF90
        3,400
        3,554
        Foraker/OK/G
        NMF91
        2,500
        2,494
        Hulah/OK/G
        NMF92
        2,200
        2,135
        Grenola/KS/M
        NMF93
        2,600
        2,222
        Teterville West/KS/M
        NMF97
        2,200
        2,397
        Teterville East/KS/G
        NMF98
        2,200
        1,879
        Herd/OK/M
        NMF99
        1,000
        986
        Whitehorse/SD/G
        MTF93
        400
        1,037
        Strohm/OK/M
        NMF70
        1,000
        960
        Gray Horse East/OK/M
        NMF72
        2,485
        309
        Gray Horse West/OK/G
        NMF73
        1,015
        0
        Cassoday/KS/G
        NMF96
        1,972
        0
        Hominy/OK/M
        NMF74
        1,059
        134
        Mission Ridge/SD/G
        MTF94
        1,000
        0
        Mt Ayr/IA/G
        ESF90
        400
        215
        G=Gelding
        Total
        29,731
        22,575
        M=Mare
        Grand Total
        45,727
        36,186

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        The list of facilities is found at the Quick Facts Page in BLM on WH&Bs. It is a link in green print on the right center of the page… mar

        http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_information_center/Fact_Sheet.html

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        The first number is how many horses the facility can hold and the second is how many are there. I have the figures from the last list. The Fallon Facility was not on it. The numbers are different. I hope some of you will try to find the addresses and other info on these holding facilities. mar

  6. Barbara Steele Says:

    John Neill- “Normally, our protocol is about 5-6 days is when we work our horses in the sick pens.”

    Traceu: “Every 5-6 days!?”
    Wow–a lot can happen to a horse, particularly a sick one waiting 5 to 6 days for treatment.
    My question is—how many veterinarians are on duty for this number of horses, and what are their qualifications. Are they horse specialists?

    • Laura Evans Says:

      I found it interesting that they let some one have the orphaned foal but wouldn’t let Laura Leigh have Hope Springs Eternal. I wonder how many wild horses disappear that way. Some one decides their kid wants it or something and it just disappears.

      • themustangproject Says:

        The orphaned colt was not allowed to be adopted until he his illness / injury was treated and he was fit for transport.
        The second colt with hoof sloughing was still unfit for transport. Even if that transport was only 1/2 mile, the pain would have been unbelievable for this colt – more so than what he had at the facility. I say this only because that seems to be a fact not considered by many.
        T.

      • Morgan Williams Says:

        Mustangproject:

        Laura Leigh was seeking little Hope way before hoof sloughing happened. Laura had been volunteering to care for Hope quickly after Hope went into the hospital pen. Laura Leigh would have saved the colt. But no, the BLM can’t have that. One lucky little Mustang did slip out. Calico Callie is in good hands and thriving.

        Have you personally met the Vet Sanford? Do you really know his attitude? Why was he picked to be the Vet and why is he serving on the BLM Advisory Board? Big deal on the papers and credentials. What are his skills and his mindset? 49 Mustang horrific deaths and 30+ late term miscarriages speak way louder than his paperwork saying he’s a Vet.

      • themustangproject Says:

        I was not aware of this. It was my understanding from the vet’s report and from the conversation with John that this colt arrived with sore feet and was placed in the hospital pens directly as a result; and that he was treated over the course of the next 10 days for said lameness.
        I do not mean to be adversarial with this, but I do not agree with the statement of “would have saved the colt” simply because we cannot know that for sure. The colt could have been lots of things, but speculation on those things are simply that: speculation.
        “Calico Callie” was allowed to be adopted only after his treatments were completed. This is good practice for any situation involving any horse who is ill or injured because transport during serious illness or injury only aggravates the condition.
        I have not personally met Dr. Sanford, I have not spoken with him, and as a result I cannot speak of his attitude or his mindset. I can only say what I see from the papers and credentials. I definitely understand where you are coming from with this comment. As I have stated previously, it not an outcome that I am satisfied with; I will be researching further into this situation. I neither defend nor condemn his status as a veterinarian (based on outcomes of Calico) or his personal attitude because I haven’t spoken with him directly. Until such conversations take place, I cannot make a clear opinion of the situation. There may be extenuating circumstances that I am not aware of presently that affected his performance. There may be any number of “puzzle pieces” that I do not currently have knowledge of that could have a bearing on this. Yes, actions speak louder than words, papers and credentials, but I just can’t make that call yet without hearing both sides of the story.
        T.

      • Morgan Williams Says:

        Themustangproject:

        I really do want to give you the benefit of the doubt and show some due respect. It is nice that you want to have conversations with all the bloggers here. But, c’mon! Common sense will tell you the story! You don’t need someone fabrication of the truth on these two colts! It is not speculation that the colt would have survived. It is experience speaking. Brass tacks of the whole argument is that the 2 colts NEVER should have been run in dead of winter conditions over obscenely rough terrain for ungodly distances. This roundup was unneccessary & unobserved much of the time as was promised by Don Glenn. I was at the Advisory Board Meeting in November. I heard with my own two ears the bold profession Mr. Glenn made that ALL roundups are open and welcome to independent and public observers at all times. Meanwhile, secretly a round up was going on that day with no public notice and no humane & independent observers.

        The BLM had to end the brutal roundup early due to the LACK of Mustangs to be found in the Calico region AFTER claiming over and over that the region was overpopulated and Mustangs were in danger of starvation. ZERO Mustangs were released back into the region which can only lead to the logical conclusion that the Calico region Mustangs have been zeroed out.

        The BLM agents reports from Fallon are giving confusing headcounts of Mustangs. Numbers don’t add. Now the public is BANNED from personally viewing upon demand property that belongs to every single tax paying citizen of the U.S.A. Why is Fallon on private property? The property owner is being paid by a federal agency to do a job for the public. Are you being given special privildeges and access to verify truths with processing, continued fatalities, well being or movement of Mustangs from out of Fallon?

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Also, the BLM statement is unclear. Does he mean every 5-6 days they are worked, or they are worked FOR 5-6 days/week? Why wasn’t that clarified by Traceu?

      • jan eaker Says:

        it’s pretty clear, they are treated at 5-6 day intervals, which is not how penecillin needs to be administered to work, also so very tired of hearing of all the horses in poor condition, then all the pictures I’ve seen must be from somewhere else, cause ALL these horses are NOT in poor condition.

    • themustangproject Says:

      There is one veterinarian on duty for the facility. He is on site every day. He is an APHIS veterinarian. From what I can tell so far, his credentials are credible and sound. (Richard Sanford) As well, when needed, Al Kane assists at the facility. I know that there have been some not-so-pleasant views of Dr. Kane in the past, particularly because of his involvement with the Implementation Team Meetings. The one thing that has always bugged me about this is that it always seemed more appropriate for Dr. Kane to be on the “Euthanasia Assignment” vs. the “Sex Ratio Change Assignment”… He’s a vet. Who better to give clear and precise facts about this option than a vet? Certainly not someone without a doctrine in veterinary medicine, such as Lili Thomas who was originally assigned to the exploration of this option.
      I dunno, just my thoughts LOL.
      T.

      • themustangproject Says:

        I have to make a correction to this statement.
        Dr. Richard Sanford is not an APHIS vet. He is an independent contractor to the government and has been so for the past 20-25 yrs. He does not have a private practice, just works for the BLM and WH&B programs.
        I apologize for the mix up. I was typing about Dr. Sanford and thinking about Dr. Kane.
        T.

    • themustangproject Says:

      Yea, the 5-6 days thing was really a shocker for me. See the comments under the YBTJ edition on the blog page to explain more.
      T.

  7. Morgan Williams Says:

    I read all the banter back and forth on all the blogs. I add my own words too. Sometimes I write encouraging words to bring wisdom or urge others to actions. Sometimes my words are hastely written to knock someone off their misguided soapbox of ignorance. However, at the end of the day, my heart’s desire remains focused on one thing alone – freedom.

    I had the most lovely dream last night. Ginger Kathrens was on national TV announcing the release of all the Calico Mustangs. The gates of the prison pens were opened as Ginger spoke and shouts of glory were whooping up the air as we watched the stampede of Mustang with the scent of freedom in their nostrils.

    I can barely keep composed thinking of it. Please dear Lord. Let it be so. Your creation cries out to you with pleas for Your rescue.

    • Laura Evans Says:

      If I were on Facebook I’d have to “like” your comment. Not just for myself but it’s bringing tears to my eyes at the thought of my daughter seeing something like this. “Ms Ginger Kathrens” is her hero and that would be the icing on the cake for her.

  8. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    MORGAN, LET’S ALL HOLD ON TO THAT VISION.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Louie:

      I tell most people I know that I will be taking care of horses in Heaven, amongst my other main duty of serving Jesus forever. I know new horses ARE there already (but not our beloved pets who have died). Horses are mention more times (I think) in the Bible than any other animal. Most importantly, this is the Scripture reference I use to support my belief:

      Revelations 19: 11-16

      Christ on a White Horse

      11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

      KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

  9. Angela Valianos Says:

    Hello Everyone-

    IMPORTANT PLEASE CROSS POST EVERYWHERE: THE HORSES URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP !!!!!!

    CAVEL has booted out the Muslim group that was renting the property ! They are ramping up for OUR WILD MUSTANGS once again !

    This is what the BLM means by sending THEM east ! ! Please find my post under Antelope Round Up for an indepth evaluation on this !

    The hearing on HB 4812 will take place until Feb. 23rd. Rep Sacia has indicated he would not be calling the bill as mpreviously propossed(Feb.16th), we know that he will wait instead until the 23rd. He is doing this so that he has time to bring in “expert” witnesses to testify.

    We believe that Sue Wallis (expert witness) (ha ha ha !) will be testifying in favor of Sacia’s bill.

    THE HORSES URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP !!!!!!

    The horse slaughter plants and their meat industry allies are at it again. Illinois State Representative Jim Sacia has introduced a bill (HB 4812) that would repeal the 2007 Illinois ban on horse slaughter, which if passed, would ultimately allow Cavel to resume slaughtering horses in DeKalb, IL.

    In what is perhaps even more disturbing, Rep. Sacia has also offered a clause to HB 4812 that calls for a fee of $25 to be charged to the slaughterhouse for each horse slaughtered. This money would then be placed into a fund for eventual distribution to equine rescues for use in expanding their operations or providing care to rescued horses, yea sure ! However by adding this clause he just may well WIN OVER the GOOD OLE BOYS thinking this will quiet the ANTI-SLAUGHTER folks….blood money for rescues? How sick is this?

    PLEASE CALL and CROSS POST EVERYWHERE !!!

    Thank you-

    Angela Valianos
    815-260-1722
    annabell81824@aol.com

    THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP ! PLEASE !!! I live around the corner from CAVEL and I really can not go through another 8 years of what I witnessed before, PLEASE HELP ME/US to STOP THIS !!!! PLEASE !

    We need each of you to call, fax, and email each member of the House Committee on Agriculture. Please make sure to write “Vote NO on HB 4812” in the subject line of your emails and faxes.

    House Agriculture Committee Member Contact Information http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=626&GA=96

    Representative Brandon W. Phelps (D) – Chairperson

    (217) 782-5131

    (217) 557-0521 FAX

    Email: bphelps@yourclearwave.com

    Representative Patrick J. Verschoore (D) – Vice-Chairperson

    (217) 782-5970

    (217) 558-1253 FAX

    Email: pverschoore@qconline.com

    Representative Jim Sacia (R) – Republican Spokesperson

    (217) 782-8186

    (217) 558-7016 FAX

    Email: JimSacia@aeroinc.net

    Representative John D. Cavaletto (R)

    (217) 782-0066

    (217) 782-1336 FAX

    Representative Shane Cultra (R)

    (217) 558-1039

    (217) 558-3481 FAX

    Email: cultrash@ilga.gov

    Representative Lisa M. Dugan (D)

    (217) 782-5981

    (217) 558-4553 FAX

    Email: duganlm@ilga.gov

    Representative Robert F. Flider (D)

    (217) 782-8398

    (217) 782-2528 FAX

    Email: bobflider@repflider.com

  10. Lisa LeBlanc Says:

    These are portions of the BLM’s updated (02/17/10) Quick Facts on Wild Horses and Burros:

    “Off the range, there are more than 36,000 other wild horses and burros that are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures. (As of February 2010, there were approximately 13,600 in corrals and 22,600 in Midwestern pastures.) All wild horses and burros in holding, like those roaming the public rangelands, are protected by the BLM under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

    So the Mid-West Wild Equine Zoos are an actuality & NOT a ‘proposal’ as outlined by SalaCzar. Perhaps we might be told where.

    “In the most recent fiscal year (2009), which ended September 30, holding costs were approximately $29 million, or about 70 percent of the total congressionally enacted wild horse and burro program budget of $40.6 million for FY 2009. When money re-programmed from other programs is included, the BLM spent more than $50 million on the wild horse and burro program in FY 2009. In the current fiscal year (2010), holding costs are expected to exceed $34 million out of a total wild horse and burro budget of $63.9 million (plus an additional $2.1 million in 2009 “carryover” funding).”

    Please outline for me the depth and breadth of the $40.6M in ‘holding’ costs; define ‘money re-programmed’; and please, outline how $29M is spent on the Wild Horses and Burros, when it’s neither spent on care of the Wild Ones, their environments or any other visible benefits to them.

    In short, Where The Hell Does All That Money Go.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Lisa:

      Your last line……………. you nailed. If that was an Olympic winter sport….. you would score a perfect 10.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Lisa, that Long list up there is the Places where the horses are now, all of them, and how many are held at each place. I think anyone who can take those figures and add them up and compare them to all these other ones they give us, guess what? I bet it won’t add up! If you google the places you can get addresses. Some of these places are private which is why we are not supposed to go there. Some are national Grasslands where we should be able to visit… mar

    • Angela Valianos Says:

      We need to FOIA all 14 regional offices dating back at least 10 years to get the numbers the BLM is trying to state they have in possession. As we all know these numbers will NOT match the actual the head count our Humane Observers can count if allowed ! On private property or not, this is why we need to pick apart the 5th amendment to find a loop hole on who actually owns the land and the wild horses and burros’. This has been done before with some positive outcomes. I really did not want to publish this in a public forum because the PRO-SLAUGHTER CAMP reads everything !

      If anyone is up for helping me FOIA to get accurate info, or as accurate as the records will show please let me know. This will be a WAR all in itself !!!

      Angela

      annabell81824@aol.com

      815-260-1722

      • Morgan Williams Says:

        Angela:

        You are right on the money with FOIA. I can’t tell you how many smart people like yourself have pushed and prodded and screamed for FOIA to be adhered to by our state and federal government offices. The info is slow in coming and extemely inaccurate. We have come to believe that all reports written by anyone from BLM or DOI are false and misleading.

      • Angela Valianos Says:

        A FOIA request is carefully constructed by Federal law; meaning, whomever you are trying to retrieve info from has a set amount of time to either get you the requested info and or respond witha time frame.

        There is also federal office to whom you can make all complaints to which will speed up your request.

        Angela

  11. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    ANGELA, HAVE YOU CONTACTED EQUINE WELFARE ALLIANCE? THIS IS THEIR LINK
    johnholland@vickitobin.com or john@equinewelfarealliance.org

  12. Laura Evans Says:

    Tracie, thank you for not only posting these interviews but also for coming back on here and responding to our questions and comments.

  13. themustangproject Says:

    No problem… this is what I think we need… the discussions back and forth so that we can all come together on these issues and gain as much knowledge and education as possible. I know it’s cliche, but I gotta say it anyway… United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Cliche, but true. Ultimately, we all have the same goal in mind: better management options for the wild horses and burros. Its obvious that none of us can do it along – as one person, but together as many, we CAN and we WILL make a difference for these horses and burros.
    T.

  14. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Thanks Tracie, Information and the getting of more and more of it is what we are all about here. We want all that you and the rest of us can find. mar

  15. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    TRACIE, OR ANYONE–I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE LONG TERM HOLDING. ARE THOSE RANCHES THAT ARE CONTRACTED WITH THE BLM? HOW DOES THAT WORK? HOW ARE THE POPULATIONS MANAGED THERE? IS THERE OVERSIGHT?

  16. Cole Says:

    Well, I can say that this topic is really interesting. Some points mentioned will really be worth to share to others.

  17. Valerie Says:

    Angela,

    What is the status of HB 4812? Is it still actionable (i.e. can we still stop it)? Please let me know. My head has been buried in the sand for too long and I’ll be darned if I’m going to sit back and do nothing. Please let me know what I can do to help. Thank you for what you are doing.

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