Re-Posting Message from Willis Lamm, April 18, 2010
Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 18, 2010
First, some points of clarification for folks following the Calico issue.
The BLM posted on their daily update log that gelding has started on studs aged 4 and younger.
Some advocates expressed concerns that this activity might be in conflict with IDA’s court challenge since Judge Friedman is not expected to rule until late May.
The primary issue presently under the court’s consideration involves horses that would be turned over to long term holding. Horses aged 4 and under are headed for the adoption program and therefore don’t fall under the scope of these particular court arguments.
With respect to adoptions, our adoption corrals were next to BLM’s adoption corrals at the Nevada Humane Society’s “Super Adoption” yesterday in Reno so I got a chance to chat with JD from Palomino Valley Center. Since rumors still continue to circulate I verified some things with JD and some of the BLM volunteers.
No BLM horses remain at the Snow feed lot. None of the Snow horses went to Indian Lakes or vice versa. Most of the Snow horses have been or are going to the Mustang Heritage Foundation. The rumors surrounding BLM horses and Snow’s are just that.
Veterinarians Rich Sanford and Gerald Peck are licensed in Nevada. There has been a great deal of confusion regarding facility vets (who are licensed) and APHIS and Nevada Department of Agriculture vets who according to present regulations don’t have to be licensed. Docs Sanford and Peck are extremely competent and Doc Peck is who we call on to handle our most difficult cases at LRTC’s rehab corrals.
None of the Indian Lakes horses are going to any of the public adoptions (e.g., internet adoption) until the pigeon fever and any other health issues have been resolved. There are some rare exceptions, such as needy foals and/or other special needs horses that the nonprofit horse groups may occasionally take in for specialized care. BLM has a huge number of healthy animals to place and they are not going to offer unfit horses to the public.
Speaking of needy foals, LRTC’s Calico orphan went to the super adoption and was quite well behaved. Kelly Lyons had worked with her for about three weeks and the little filly did quite well in halter. We have a prospective adopter for her who we are going to check out. (As a BLM horse this foal will have to meet BLM’s adoption criteria and enter into a BLM maintenance and care agreement.)
The super adoption event coordinator informed me of a bit of skullduggery that took place prior to the super adoption. It seems that a representative of another Nevada horse group whom I won’t name went to Nevada Humane and basically claimed that BLM was going to bring over diseased horses and was going to spread pigeon fever among the animals at the event. According to the super adoption representative, this person’s group would step in and take over BLM’s spot at the event. LRTC’s and Let ‘Em Run’s horses were the only other equines at the event and our position was that this claim was pure BS and we were quite comfortable having our horses next to BLM’s.
While a lot of us may not be happy with BLM’s administrative range policies and some of the ground activities at Calico, the horses that BLM presents at these kinds of events are usually ones that have had some kind of special needs (rejected foals, orphans, etc.) and in which volunteer advocates have spent hours socializing and training. I’m as loud of a critic as anyone with respect to BLM’s range policies, but we all need to support the parts of their program that are positive and especially the tangible work to help horses that has been accomplished by all of the volunteers. These territorial games need to stop.
Apparently this same group asked BLM to prep a large number of burros that the group had assured BLM they could place. BLM arranged to provide the burros and the group never followed through. So it appears that BLM has a whole passle of really nice burros that perhaps some of the other groups could help find homes for.
An issue that is completely separate from what goes on out on our public lands is that there is great value in helping find the best possible homes for those horses and burros that are clearly not going back onto the range. Every horse matched with a qualified, caring adopter is a horse that is out of harm’s way.
Three horses were presented by LRTC.
- “Calico Kid” or “Calico Callie,” BLM orphan foal trained by Kelly Lyons
- “Black Coffee,” Virginia Range fertility study colt trained by Bonnie Repogle (“BC” is a Let ‘Em Run horse.)
- “Cinnamon,” a 4 year old Virginia Range fertility study mare, LRTC, trained by me.
The two Virginia Range horses were headed to slaughter dealer Ole Olsen until they were “redirected” to the non profits by Mike Holmes.
The other day in prep for a media presentation I was asked what the difference was between “wild horse advocates” and “wild horse activists.” I figured the answer was pretty simple. Unlike the conventional use of the term, an “activist” is someone who actually engages in finding solutions. While we should always advocate for free roaming horses and burros, we have to stay active and solve problems, even if it is one horse at a time.