NV Woman Files Suit to Stop Tuscarora Roundup

For Immediate Release: (online here with links:  http://bit.ly/LLvSalazar)

Mustang Advocate Finds BLM Violates Own Rules, Files Lawsuit

Hundreds of young wild horse foals risk death in imminent Nevada roundup

Reno NV (July 9, 2010)—One woman from Herd-Watch, a program of The Cloud Foundation, studied the newly published Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro handbook and caught BLM in the act of violating their own protocol for the Tuscarora (Owyhee Complex) roundup. The handbook states roundups are prohibited until six weeks after foaling season which ends on June 30th. Therefore the earliest date to start the roundup is August 11th. Laura Leigh, Project Manager of Herd Watch filed a lawsuit today in US District Court in Nevada to stop the roundup.

“I found their error right in the BLM’s management handbook,” explains Leigh adding, “The BLM disregards their own rules when it comes to ‘managing’ wild horse population.”

Based on past experience and the current rush to remove 6,000 wild horses in three months, The Cloud Foundation believes that the BLM’s priorities are based on contractor availability not humane treatment of wild horses—especially foals, some of whom may be only weeks or days old.

The Foundation is requesting that humane observers and members of the public be present during all phases of all the roundups. Since the deadly Calico roundup in NW Nevada, BLM has tightened restrictions, preventing the public and humane observers from viewing the horses adequately. In the case of Tuscarora, the public will not be allowed to view any round up activities for the first two weeks.

Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, shares Leigh’s concerns that “more foals may have their feet literally run off because they are too young to be chased by helicopter over sharp, volcanic terrain for miles in the hottest month of the year. At least two foals died a horrible death like this in the Calico roundup. Didn’t BLM learn anything from Calico?”

More than 100 wild horses died and more than 40 spontaneous abortions occurred as a result of the Calico roundup.

“Currently, the only way to gain accountability—with an agency apparently left to police itself—is for a member of the public to file suit,” remarks Leigh. Leigh’s efforts are being supported by Grassroots Horse, a collection of independent grassroots wild horse advocates who are not part of any formalized organization or group.

“If this roundup were being conducted in a safe manner,” says Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno, Nevada “one would make the assumption that the BLM would want the public to witness its entirety. Barring observers and press raises concerns.”

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11 Responses to “NV Woman Files Suit to Stop Tuscarora Roundup”

  1. jan eaker Says:

    Debbie from BLM on RT’s blog says the handbook information is being misinterpreted, I went to this site and read it for myself:

    4.4.4 Foaling Period
    Foaling period can be documented for each population (individual HMA or HMA complex) through direct observation. The capture of wild horses by using a helicopter to herd the animals is prohibited during the foaling period, which is defined as six weeks on either side of the peak of foaling to assure that young foals are mature enough to be able to remain with their band during gather activities. This period is generally March 1 to June 30 for most wild horse herds. Helicopters may be used year-round in the removal of burros. See BLM Manual Section 4740.1.

    how this is being misinterpreted is beyond me, but Debbie says foaling season really ends in mid-May, so everything is a-ok with going ahead with this roundup! BLM just keeps raising the bar for outrageous behavior.

  2. Lisa LeBlanc Says:

    Documenting for each population through observation WOULD indicate some involvement with that herd – like knowing their particular behaviors and family dynamics.

    However…

    I don’t think they really have the budget for on-the-range management, at least according to them, (or the inclination, according to ME) so the debbie person is blowin’ smoke.

    • jan eaker Says:

      Oh they certainly have the money to do this, they just CHOOSE to pay it to the roundup contractors and the LTH managers and the hay suppliers, etc, instead of putting real money into mangaing the horses as they are supposed to.

      • Linda Says:

        Yep, cozy, no-bid contracts for Cattors, holding facilities, etc. I’m tired of keeping them in business using our tax dollars. Taxation without representation by independent American citizens who pay the bills.

        I’m ready to sign a notarized affidavit that Laura, Craig, Elyse, or whomever else applies to observe are my official representatives.

  3. Joette Snyder Says:

    This is great news, Thank you Laura. Maybe this will give the horses some time for change. I know I am dreaming but you never know.

  4. Monika Courtney Says:

    Thank you Laura. You are a guardian angel for these doomed creatures. Our government ought to be replaced – such evil and corruption amongst us is enough to fear for ourselves. How dare them – failing all of us and their job duties – this country is so off path and greedy, I hope you succeed and thank you again so much for stepping up. I pray these horses get the miracle they need to protect them from EVIL and atrocious BLM.

  5. BLM Infamous Helicopter Contractor Returns for Illegal Tuscarora Wild Horse Roundup « Straight from the Horse's Heart Says:

    […] NV Woman Files Suit to Stop Tuscarora Roundup (thecloudfoundation.wordpress.com) […]

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