Posts Tagged ‘Cloud’
Major Removal Threatens Cloud’s Pryor Herd
BLM expands removal plan for young Pryor Mustangs
BILLINGS, Mont. (April 5, 2012)—Yesterday, BLM issued their Decision Record to permanently remove up to 40 young Pryor mustangs from their home in the mountains of southern Montana. The bait-trapping operation would begin no earlier than June 4th and could continue until September 30th.
“Surprisingly, the removal decision exceeds the level they outlined in their preliminary Environmental Assessment,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “Regardless of the nearly 10,000 comments sent to BLM requesting they proceed with caution, BLM has significantly increased the number of young horses to be removed. So much for listening to the wishes of the American Public.”
BLM’s Preliminary Environmental Assessment issued in December, 2011, called for the removal of 30 Pryor Horses in the 1-3 year-old category. This final Environmental Assessment ups the removal number to as many 40 young animals–two thirds of the young population.
BLM reports that they received only 1,000 comments, although it is likely they received 10 times that number. More than 4,000 comments were generated by American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) alone, but were only counted as one letter because they used “a sample letter or talking points provided from internet sites.”
Thousands of comments came to BLM, asking that Cloud’s look-alike grandson, Echo (Killian) be allowed to continue to live free on the Pryors. Although Echo could be removed based on age, BLM has acknowledged his rare color and genetics, and has ranked him as a horse to be removed only if they cannot achieve their target removal numbers.
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Links of Interest:
BLM Q&A on Pryor Bait Trap: http://on.doi.gov/HhwIpi
BLM 2012 Pryor Decision Record: http://on.doi.gov/HhwMpg
Final BLM Environmental Assessment: http://on.doi.gov/HhwLl4
BLM Sets Sights on Another Massive Removal in Cloud’s Herd (Foundation release): http://bit.ly/tFeuWZ
What is Bait Trapping? http://bit.ly/HhurdO
Stop the Fencing in of Cloud’s Herd – Foundation video: http://bit.ly/vO4kvw
Sunday, March 3, was a warm, sunny day in the Pryors. The mountain was blanketed from top to bottom with a fresh coat of wet snow. This is great for future forage production, although it made accessing the range a challenge—but that’s part of the adventure!
We drove just a few miles up Tillett Ridge “Road” (more like a rocky obstacle course), when we spotted the new band stallion, Grijala, and his little family foraging on a hillside. Just a few miles past them we found Jackson and his expanded family. The hefty, coyote dun stallion had somehow acquired part of Cloud’s band! While it is great that Cloud’s daughters, Dancer and coming 3 year-old, Jasmine, are with the Jackson band, we were surprised to see that Cloud’s young mare, Ingrid and her cute little dun foal, Lynx, were also with him. (more…)
Dear Friends of Cloud and his herd, and all our wild horses;
Cloud Foundation board members, Ann Evans (Denver) and Anni Williams (S. CA) and I traveled north for a quick, two-day trip to the Pryor Mountains. Despite less snow so far this winter, this is still the toughest season to spot horses. The most valuable pieces of equipment we carried with us were our spotting scopes. The most valuable trait in using them is patience.
An Update on Cloud, his Family, & All the Pryor Mustangs
Dear Friends of Cloud and the mustangs;
On our three-day trip to the Pryor Mountains this month, Lauryn and I saw only 76 wild horses. Most of these were dots through the spotting scope. But the ones we saw up close and personal were pretty spectacular—Cloud and family, his son Bolder and family, and Flint with his band! It is a thrill to see any wild horses, but these three bands are what I consider the “trifecta” of Pryor wild horse viewing!
Day One: December 15, 2011—the 40th anniversary of the Wild Horse and Burro Act
BLM Sets Sights on Cloud’s Herd Once Again
Dear Cloud and Pryor Wild Horse Defenders;
The BLM is proposing another significant removal of wild horses on the Pryor Mountains. I know. Just when you thought it was safe… they’re back!
BLM’s recently released Environmental Assessment (EA) seeks to remove via bait trapping and potentially water trapping,30 young Pryor mustangs, ages 1-3 years. Bait and/or water trapping could begin as early as mid-January. Comments are due by January 6, 2012. We urge you to comment and to support the NO Action Alternative, the only alternative that keeps a viable population of horses on the mountain.
An Update on Cloud and the Pryor Herd – Happy Thanksgiving!
Dear Friends of Cloud, his family and herd;
Our trip to the mountaintop late last month was a difficult one. At least six inches of snow had fallen several days before we began our drive up scenic Crooked Creek Road, just reopened after summer-long repairs. Our late start found us in the dark as Lauryn and I passed the Big Ice Cave. Within minutes, we were in snow following the tracks of at least one other vehicle which gave us hope of reaching the horse range. Then the tracks ahead stopped and turned around, and so did we. There was no getting through the wet drifts so we backtracked. Halfway down Crooked Creek, our headlights lit up a little red fox as it dashed across the road. It’s only the second fox I’ve seen on the mountain in 17 years.
We both agreed if we were to find Cloud and the rest of the mountaintop horses, it would not be on the “easy” road.
The next morning we made a trip out to the Dryhead to see if we could find Climbs High’s mother and the band. No luck. But we did see 15 Bighorn sheep including 7 that were foraging on mountain mahogany near the Devil’s Canyon Overlook. A young half-curl ram joined the ewes and lambs, clearly interested in one female in particular. Back on the main road we rounded a curve and came face-to-face with the young grullo band stallion, Fiero, and his little family as they strolled down the roadside. (more…)
An Update After the International Equine Conference
While Ginger and I were only able to attend the last day of the 1st Annual International Equine Conference, it was the wild horse and burro day. The weather outside might have been grim in Alexandria, VA, but the mood inside seemed hopeful.
And that was when the new head of BLM’s Wild horse and Burro Program stood up to give her introduction. The mood shifted, and you could cut the tension with a knife. Everyone was anxious to hear how Joan Guilfoyle, only at her new post for 5 weeks, would address a group of equine (both domestic and wild) advocates. She was joined by long-standing BLMers Dean Bolstad and Ed Roberson. (more…)