The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Update, July 13, 2010 @ 1215hrs CST

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 13, 2010

Ok… Just talked with a few different folks out at the gather. Don’t quote me on any of this yet because everything was said so fast and there was so much information – I haven’t double checked anything yet. I usually don’t even post anything without the double and triple check but I’ll make an exception for this situation given the circumstances.

According to what I have been told so far this morning, there are no cattle on these lands currently, nor have there been cattle or any other livestock on these lands for quite some time. The reason is due to the lack of water on the range. Basically, the ranchers don’t even want to see their livestock out there because there isn’t enough water for them, let alone them plus the horses.

Additionally, there are no fences around the watering holes. The terrain simply does not allow for fences as it is very rocky and very uneven. And of course, if they’re not going to graze their livestock on it, why would they waste their time, money and energy putting up fences.

According to the National Weather Service the area in which these horses reside has been in drought conditions for the past 10 years. Currently, it is under a “Red Flag Warning” and a Hazardous Weather Outlook” statement has been issued. These warnings indicate that the chances for wildfires are extremely high given the drought conditions and the gusting winds across the area. The Elko, NV Regional Precipitation Table (both current and past) can be found here: Precipitation maps for the past month can be seen here:

And lastly (for the moment) – there were the campers out by the next nearest water source – the river. Apparently, in light of all of the criticism regarding land closures (not just from advocates but also from those who use the lands for recreation) the BLM utilized the “tightest and smallest land area closure as necessary in order to facilitate the gather process”. They kept the length of times as small as they could, as well as the amount of acreage that would be closed as small as they could while still trying to make sure no one would be hurt by a herd of horses galloping their direction. These closures were all done by the Tuscarora Field Office. Idaho officials were not involved.

The contractor performed a fly-over of the area in order to locate other possible sources of water for the horses, i.e. which one would be closest to get water to the horses.  Unfortunately, there were campers from the Idaho side that crossed into the area and had set up camp next to the river where the horses would normally receive their water when other sources were dry. Because of the camp, the horses would not approach the river, and therefore were becoming very dehydrated. The contractor promptly returned to base and informed the gather officials of the situation, who then in turn contacted the Ranger’s office who of course went out and told the campers to vacate the area. No word yet on whether or not the horses moved towards the river or not.

Bottom Line: This area is a fire pit of rich-lighter-pine just waiting for a spark. (Rich-lighter-pine in the South is the equivalent of whatever the North has that burns good, hot, and fast LOL.) Talk has been spread around about whether or not an Emergency Gather should have taken place a month ago due to the range conditions. Whether advocates like it or not, BLM does have authority over the horses. Whether advocates choose to believe it or not, BLM does conduct some gathers that are really in the best interest of the horses and no one else. This gather has already had casualties and it’s only a few days along, a high number of casualties when comparatively speaking. The area is dry. The horses have good body condition scores, but remember – BCS measures physical, objective ratings that are seen from the outside of the body. Yes, these are indicators of what is happening inside the body, but without further examination and tests the true nature of a physiological or pathophysiological condition cannot be known for certain. These are just a few resources regarding this subject:

More details to come as I get them.


61 Responses to “Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Update, July 13, 2010 @ 1215hrs CST”

  1. betty said

    thank you for the update. I saw the BLM photos of the water inthe area and have been fishing with my fmaily inthe general area a few years ago. It is certainly not a wild horse paradise! Tough animals to survive out there at any time. Could the BLM put out stock tanks and haul water out if it is an emergency situation until a gather could be done safely? Could you ask your contacts about that?

    • Yes’m, they are trying to come up with a plan now for either something like the stock tanks, or another way to get water to the horses or the horses to water without causing more harm than help.With theterrain as rough as it is and so “disconnected”, the logistics have to be very carefully laid out to ensure safety for thehorses and the gather personnel. If the gather personnel go in thewrong way, they couldpotentially cause more harm to the horses – obviously because of their already weakened state of dehydration -but also because aspooked wild horsein this area with his weakened state could havedisastrous consequences. For instance, if he is disorienteddue toagreater degree of dehydration, he could miss a step, make a wrong turn, etc and harmhimself.

      This really is a touch and go situation.Dealing with a dehydrated horse is difficult enough; dealing with a wild dehyrated horse in the open range is a whole other story.As if theterrainfactors were not enough, the biggerissue here is what is known as hyponatremia, or “water intoxication”.Basically, thehorse will not realizehow much water he is drinking nor how fast he is drinking it. His body will not beable to process the gulps of water he is intaking fast enough to keep the electrolytes balanced in his system.The result is apotentially fatalimbalance of electrolytes in the brain that causes extreme impairment of body functions and mental status.

      With a severely dehyrated domesticated horse, you can ration how much water he is drinking – if he is still able to drinkunassisted – or administer IV fluids. Everymilliliter of fluid that is consumed is measured,documented, and planned out overa period of time to prevent hyponatremia. However, when dealing with a herd of wild horsesin open range, how do you ration their water intake? The lead mares and studs will befirst tothe water, and herd dynamics state that they will get their fill before allowing the other members of the herd to drink.Remember, despite what the common belief has been, “family” is not the most important drive for these horses; it is survival.

      Currently, the best option that has comeup has been to slowly push the herd in the direction of thenext nearest wateringwhole. Now at last update, I was told that this was approximately 8-10 miles away from where the herd is currentlylocated. “Pushing them wouldbe donevery slowly, very carefully, and not even the coltswould be pushed past a fast walk.”To the best of my knowledge at this point, yes, it would be done by helicopter. But that doesn’t mean thatit will bethat way once the next update comes in later.Again, these are allfrom earlier this morning and from different sourceswith the information compiled. So I don’t know that this iswhat is happening or has happened until Iget details later.

      I knowsome of this seems insane, and someof it makes no sense at all. I do know thatLOL. But I just couldn’t not tell you all. It will all make sense one day, maybe, hopefully, I keep telling myself that! LOL T.

  2. BLM has said they are in the northern section of Owyhee. The far northern section of this HMA is a well cared for cattle range with newly fenced allotments and water only for cows. Just south of this is a valley with the Little Owyhee River. The horses have been squeezed into the poorest section of their own range by the cattle allotments in the north and the cattle allotments iand the huge open pit mines in the south. I have been to both ends. The north central area where the horses are in this case is driest. The southern section has reservoirs and ditches carrying water out to the cattle. There was plenty of water in late May. For cattle. The horses own resources have been taken from them, under multiple use, and they are fenced from much of the cattle range. To say there are no fences in the roughest and driest area where the horses have been left and the cattle are not brought to is not saying much by the management that has created this problem. We all know the HMA is the horses’ range and they have been kept from the best of it for many years. I do bear witness to this. The horses have not created this problem. BLM and the contractors have planned this and they have called the reason for this removal to be drought. Yet there s much water on this HMA and it is being used by cattle and mining very intensely. mar

  3. Donna Buscemi said

    Thanks Tracie,
    Level headed and factual, whenever possible! We all need to be this way and less over reactive!

  4. Morgan Griffith said

    Thanks for the update on the range conditions. I will think about taking the only water available the next time I am in the wilderness–human fun could mean animal tragedy.

    • Morgan, that is probably the best advice I have heard allday!I mean that, seriously!

      TheWestern United Stateshas one of the most arid and dry climates in the Northern Hemisphere. Therehave literally beenbattles fought over water in the West. The “NevadaWater Wars” still carry on to this day in some families and communites.

      I live on the coast, theGulf of Mexico out myfront door and Lake Sam Rayburn out my back door.My own pastures havetwo ponds on them. If ever you can’t find me in the barn or get me on the phone, its because I am fishing.My point is that I amcovered in water, so to speak. Even in drought conditions in my area,the most recent worstyear was in2007, ouranimals still hadplenty of water; we still had plenty of water. We didn’t necessarily want to eat the fish, but they were still swimming. Never again will I take those luxuries for granted after being in Nevada, andyes, they are luxuries. T.

      • The area where the roundup is going on is remote and has not had any of the development for water use for the horses as has been done in other parts of the range. When our little group of advocates spent a couple days looking over as much of this area as we could, we were amazed by the size and number of the mines and the huge number of cattle and the water all very much in use for the cattle and the mining while the horses were not in evidence. The concentration of mining and cattle here is never going to cease. The horses places of forage should be tended to and improved. This is what multiple use is doing; allowing mining and agriculture to dominate the landscape without sharing anything with the residents the lands were set aside for. The deck is stacked against the horses because of greed and old fashioned hate. It never had to be this way if the planning had been done with all the residents, horses and wildlife, included. The wild ones have no representation within the BLM/DOI it would seem. Planning with all in mind and with creative management, the horses could remain here and not be a problem to anyone. It never fails to amaze me how well our wild horses have done on the poorest of lands. mar

        • Morgan Griffith said

          Just as I suspected–there are indeed cattle and plenty of water,just not where these horses have been maneuvered to. I believe that if they take all the good land and water they ought to be required to make range improvements to those areas they have forced the horses onto by over fencing. Thanks Mar.

          • Morgan, I do so agree. If this had been the case years ago we would not be facing these problems now which came out of the greed others have for the land use and the general neglect of the wild horses. It is a sad thing to know it all might have been better and we never would be facing the loss of so many more wild ones along with the captives we have already lost from the wild. Mismanagement over so long a time and we can’t get them to stop? This is not the fate we see for these horses. mar

  5. reveil39 said

    This is good news, but I am surprised that a study had not been performed or even just an assessment prior to the round ups to discover that the horses were not accessing water due to the presence of campers. Is there a reason this was only discovered after a high number of fatality?

  6. Roxy said

    Thanks for this information. But without actuall independent observers I cannot beleive one word from any BLM employee or contractor. I will look at all the links you provide and thank you for that.

    This situation is exaclty what I was talking about months ago about chicken little. Now that there is a suppposed real reason to take action – no one beleives them.

    And that dried up water hole – put one of those fire fighting bags on the helipcoters, fly them over the river, pick up some water, and dump it in the almost dried up water hole until the horses are hydrated or ahve moved over to the river, wait another month, then do the gather. How is this even nearly rocket science?

    I do have a question – what about all those cattle observed by Downer that are direclty adjacent to this area. Across one imaginary line there is all of a sudden adequate water and forage? There may not be water sources direclty fenced off within the HMA, but that does not mean water is not being drained from this area to another.

    • Exactly, Roxy, why have they not done this?? Maybe they have by now or will. If trucks only got to their capture site and not beyond… and campers were not noticed in time for the ‘normal’ movement of the horses to water, this would seem to be very poorly worked out. If that is the case. I have to wonder if this capture site, as remote as I know it is, was placed on private land?? I hope this is public land. Maybe BLM is over reactive to the pressures from some diligent advocates… mar

  7. Thanks T… m

  8. Roxy said

    Few more things to ask your ocntacts. BLM indicated all the horses they ran on Saturday were 4 and 5 scale. Yes? No? That they appeared “drawn up only some time after the run or on Sunday? Yes? No? Also it is stated that the water hole is NOT DRIED UP, but nearing that condition. So right now there is water in that hole? Yes? No? If yes, then the horses out on the range are NOT dehydrated? Yes? No? If they are not dehydrated at the water hole, then the dehydration on Saturday and Sunday was caused by the run? Yes? No? If the horse are not currently dehydrated, what is the fear that they will become disoriented and not find the river?

    I guess my last thought is this, sometime, maybe many times, in the last 500 years there have been droughts. This is a natural way for mother nature to weed out the weakest? Yes? No? Do we are truly to want these horses to be wildlife? Yes? No? If yes, then drought is a good thing as is mountain lion predation. Yes? No?

    • 1. BLM indicated all the horses they ran on Saturday were 4 and 5 scale. Yes
      2. That they appeared “drawn up only some time after the run or on Sunday? No
      3. Also it is stated that the water hole is NOT DRIED UP, but nearing that condition. So right now there is water in that hole? Yes & No – water but mostly water that is the murky-mud-water.
      3a. If yes, then the horses out on the range are NOT dehydrated? Unknown other than the horses that have been seen currently. There may be and there may not be; won’t know until they are physically seen.
      4. If they are not dehydrated at the water hole, then the dehydration on Saturday and Sunday was caused by the run? No, they are showing signs of dehydration at the water hole now because there are too many horses / not enough water that isn’t the murky-mud-water.
      5. If the horses are not currently dehydrated, what is the fear that they will become disoriented and not find the river? Its not that they will become dehydrated and not find the river, it’s that if they find the river, they may become disoriented from hyponatremia (water intoxication) due to a lack of means to ration their water intake during rehydration.

      I guess my last thought is this, sometime, maybe many times, in the last 500 years there have been droughts.

      6. This is a natural way for mother nature to weed out the weakest?
      7. Do we are truly to want these horses to be wildlife?
      8. If yes, then drought is a good thing as is mountain lion predation.

      For #’s 6-8… I really cannot answer these questions right now. I have the answers, I just can’t get into them right now. It’s close to what I stated in my statement for Reno back in Dec. 2009.

      And no, absolutely not, would never be mad at anyone for asking questions.


      • Linda said

        I can’t remember who from the BLM said the wild horses hang around the shrinking waterholes. She seemed convinced this is some sort of strange behavior unique to mustangs. The same thing happens in Africa during drought. Of course, the mustangs don’t have to contend with crocodiles … yet!

  9. Roxy said

    PS please don’t hate me for asking too many questions.

  10. Guys… Again, I am just the messenger LOL.
    Please remember that we are talkning about thousands of acres here. I do not have GPS coordinates to the location of these specific horses. Those of you who’ve commented about the different locations on the range and range conditions may be the same locations as the horses. They may also NOT be the same locations. We don’t know yet. Lord knows, I wish we did at this moment but we don’t yet.
    The actual “how” of the now dried up conditions being reported from the range is something of a debate for the ages. We can play the blame game all day long. Won’t do any good in the end for this specific situation. We have horses who have and are now dying of dehydration. What will do some good is getting past the personal beliefs, personal issues, and personal agendas and moving the path forward to a solution for these horses.
    YES, that may be a decision that includes them being gathered, but gathering is not the only choice.
    Come on guys… Give some real ideas! Let’s discuss this! Let’s bounce this problem and get a solution! Blaming, griping, he-said / she-said, whatever. No time.
    How can we fix this, right now? Not 10 years from now. Not 1 year from now.

    • Here are the coordinates. Right off the closure … Of course we would love to see this on a map… would you allow the advocates that one little advantage, T??
      SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This temporary closure affects public land
      in the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Wild Horse HMAs in Elko
      County, Nevada. The legal description of the affected public lands is:

      Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada

      T. 45 N., R. 48 E.,
      secs. 11, 13, and 14,
      sec. 24, NE\1/4\, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, SW\1/4\NW\1/4\, NW\1/4\SW\1/4\,
      S\1/2\SW\1/4\, NE\1/4\SE\1/4\, and SW\1/4\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 25, NW\1/4\, E\1/2\SE\1/4\, and SW\1/4\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 35, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\, and W\1/2\SE\1/
      sec. 36, E\1/2\, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, and E\1/2\SW\1/4\.
      T. 45 N., R. 49 E.,
      secs. 19, 20, and 29 to 32, inclusive.
      T. 44 N., R. 48 E.,
      sec. 2, NW\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\, and E\1/2\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 11, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\, and W\1/2\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 13;
      sec. 14, W\1/2\NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NE\1/4\, NW\1/4\, and S\1/2\;
      sec. 24, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\, and SE\1/4\.
      T. 44 N., R. 49 E.,
      sec. 19, NE\1/4\, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, SW\1/4\SW\1/4\,
      N\1/2\SE\1/4\, and SE\1/4\SE\1/4\.
      T. 43 N., R. 50 E.,
      sec. 27, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, SW\1/4\NE\1/4\, W\1/2\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 28;
      sec. 29, NE\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\NE\1/4\, N\1/2\SE\1/4\, and SE\1/
      secs. 30 and 31;
      sec. 32, E\1/2\NE\1/4\ and E\1/2\SE\1/4\;
      secs. 33 and 34.
      T. 42 N., R. 50 E.,
      secs. 3, and 4;
      sec. 5, E\1/2\NE\1/4\, E\1/2\SE\1/4\, and SW\1/4\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 6, NW\1/4\NE\1/4\ and NW\1/4\;
      sec. 19, E\1/2\, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, NE\1/4\SW\1/4\, and S\1/2\SW\1/
      sec. 20, E\1/2\;
      sec. 29, NE\1/4\, SE\1/4\NW\1/4\, NW\1/4\SW\1/4\, S\1/2\SW\1/4\,
      and NE\1/4\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 30.
      T. 42 N., R. 49 E.,
      sec. 33, NW\1/4\NE\1/4\, NW\1/4\, NE\1/4\SW\1/4\, W\1/2\SW\1/4\,
      and E\1/2\SE\1/4\.
      T. 41 N., R. 49 E.,
      sec. 4, NW\1/4\NE\1/4\, S\1/2\NE\1/4\, NW\1/4\NW\1/4\, and SE\1/
      sec. 9, NE\1/4\ and E\1/2\SE\1/4\.
      T. 41 N., R. 48 E.,
      secs. 6, 7, and 18.
      T. 41 N., R. 47 E.,
      secs. 1, 12, and 13.
      T. 40 N., R. 48 E.,
      sec. 27, N\1/2\ and SE\1/4\;
      sec. 28, W\1/2\;
      sec. 29, NE\1/4\, NE\1/4\NW\1/4\, SW\1/4\NW\1/4\, NW\1/4\SW\1/
      4\, S\1/2\SW\1/4\, N\1/2\SE\1/4\, and SE\1/4\SE\1/4\;
      sec. 32, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, SE\1/4\SW\1/4\, and S\1/2\SE\1/4\.

      The temporary closure areas encompass 26,813 acres, more or

      This temporary closure will limit public access to protect persons,
      property, public lands and public land resources. The closure will
      ensure the safety and welfare of the public, contractors, and
      government employees, and provide for the orderly implementation of
      authorized actions to gather excess wild horses. The temporary closure
      will prevent public access, use, and occupancy during wild horse
      capture operations scheduled to occur between July 6, 2010, and July
      31, 2010.

      • said

        Hey Mar, just saw ur coordinates comment… I’m not sure I understand:
        “Of course we would love to see this on a map… would you allow the advocates that one little advantage, T?”
        I can try to plug these coordinates in on a map but they don’t look the same as the ones that my GPS uses, as in the format isn’t the same. Which map system or type of GPS did you use?
        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

        • These are BLMs coordinates done by navigation… are they different from Global Positioning?? I thought it would be the same… and therefore possible to place on a map… I wonder why it is not the same?? mar

          • said

            LOL *my* GPS is a Garmin 😀

          • J.T.Quinn said

            Marilyn, try

          • said

            I really hope JT’s link worked cuz I’m still trying to get my GPS to pull it up 😦 I’m not normally this technologically challenged LOL.

          • J.T., I am familiar with Geocommunicator. But maybe someone else can do the honors!? mar

          • From Roxy;
            Marilyn, the coordinates you have provided are for Townships/Ranges and Sections called “legal descriptions” and used almost entirely west of the Mississppi for land descriptions. Those are hard land points, they are registered in the state or county recorders (assessors) office. They are measured from actuall implanted markers and when the land is owned they are deeded land points.

            Probably not GPS. GPS is based on street addresses. I don’t know geocommunicator, so appologize if this is basic.

            Look up your properties up on your local Assessors office and you can find the complete “legal descriptions” based on Townhips (T) and Ranges (R) which is basically the X on a map, and then Sections (sec) that run in one mile squares 6 across and 6 down zig zag, sectin 1 is the north west 1 mile square, then to east to 6 and the one direclty below 6 is 7, then go west. They all start from a baseline and meridian that is also a hard point recorded by the Assessor. Except for one little corner the rest of Arizona is on the Gila and Salt River Baseline and Meridian system, where at one time the two rivers converged, Baseline Road for example is Zero so everything going north and south adjacent to Baseline Road is either Township 1 North, or Township 1 South. Ranges run the opposite from the Baseline and Meridican, Range 1 East or 1 West. Though the rivers may change tha Baseline and Meridian point remains the same distance from all borders – it is fixed coordinate.

            Following the 1/2 sec and 1/4 sec is just taking the section indicated, draw the first 1/4, then just keep dividing as the long list of 1/2 this, and 1/4 that suggests – it tells you which direction.

            Example in the legal description above, Township 45 North is 45 x 6 miles north of the fixed point known as Mount Diablo Meridian and section 36 is the very south west 1 mile square in that Township, in the example above it is the 5th line down and would be direclty north to Section 1 of Township 44 Norht, a few more lines down.

            If you have graph paper (or can just draw sort of straight lines) just draw alot of big boxes with a super bold line, then a bold line around every 6 x 6 squares, number them 1 – 6 going from left to right, then 7 – 12 going right to left, then 13 to 18 going left to right and so on.

            The reason the section numbers zig zag – its was easier to walk (or ride) back and forth while measuring out the miles.

            There are probably some example on internet of how this works.

  11. If the area was closed to the public for the roundup why were campers allowed to be there in the first place since the area was so dry? Are the campers allowed to have campfires in such a drought area with pine needles? I just came back from Assateague Island–there is a drought warning and you can not even have a campfire on the beach by the Atlantic Ocean. Get a helicopter that fights fires to bring in a bag of water to the water hole, for heavens sake.
    And why would you move horses by helicopter first before providing some water? Confused in PA–

    • The campers came into the area from the Idaho side to the North.
      No, to my knowledge, they are not allowed to have a fire anywhere in Elko County right now because of the Red Flag Warning from the NWS.
      As for the moving without water – I can’t answer that one yet. Hopefully, I will know more this evening.

      • sandra longley said

        If those had been advocates at the river-they would have brought in armed federal marshals…Hey maybe we should all go cmping in the roundup areas…And i don’t believe for a minute those horse wouldn’t go to the river if they were thirst because there were (1) camper there…they will come in at night when things are quiet..I have seen too many -photos- (thank you photographers)-Of dead dehydrated wild horses on the other side of a fenced off water when BLM tells me dehydrated…thats where my mind goes..

        • said

          No, those horses would not have given a rat’s a** that there were 1 or 20 campers there if they were dehydrated. Either the lead mare of the harem stud would’ve made it very clear to any human in the way that his/her family was coming to get a drink of water and the humans had better damn well steer clear or else!

        • This is true, Sandra. In my opinion these campers may be friends or family to Cattoors’ bunch. I would bet on it… I see some really bad things going on out there in my mind’s eye. Now they have been checked… but without observers we cannot file against this helicopter pilot and I sure would like to put their pilots away, ground them, charge them with cruelty, abuse and the killing of wild horses. These people are protected by BLM and DOI and they are definitely criminals. mar

  12. I’ve got to go feed & take care of the critters… Should be back on in about an hour and a half to two hours. For the comments that WordPress sends to “moderation” I will try to put all of them thru via Blackberry but please be patient. Promise I will get to everyone’s soon as I can.
    You guys are all awesome, keep your heads held high!

  13. Linda said

    Perhaps “The Magnificent Seven” did not die in vain.

    HSUS post 2 hours ago calling for a moratorium on the roundups.

  14. Well folks, 2.5 hours of sleep since Sunday morning at 4am has finally caught up with me. I am going to have to lay it down for the night.
    I haven’t heard back from anyone else this evening yet. Then again, they are two hours behind me and probably haven’t made it in from the range yet.
    As always, I will do my best to keep you guys in the loop, and please stay safe.

  15. sandra longley said

    Lets cut thru the crap..the horses are in excellent condition..because there have been heavy spring and summer rain..thru June..2 weeks of 90 weather does not constitute a drought..T you get your infor from the BLM..not exactly an unbiased resourse..Thats their story and they are sticking to it..All along they have stated “potential drought” as the reason they are removing horses”..those of us that actually live in the high desert..dispute that claim..what looks like barren desert to you looks like good forage to us..I am more inclined to go with Mars, and craig downers assesment as to the conditions there..and i suggest others do the same..If there is a lack of water it has less to do with drought and more to do with human factors..I personally have never seen so many cachements of water in the desert…BLM COUNTS on people not from the area buying into this line of cover their A** and manipulate their way into accomplishiung their goals..It is a means to an end to ‘proving their point”.

    • said

      “T you get your information from the BLM..not exactly an unbiased resource.” <- which is EXACTLY why I've tried to remind everyone over and over… I AM ONLY PASSING ALONG INFORMATION!
      The statements that have been made by BLM & the gather personnel to me have been passed along to you all here for the purposes of trying to shed some light on a very dark situation. These horses – along with horses slated for future gathers – are in danger, no matter which way the cake is cut. No matter the reasons, no matter whose fault, no matter what – they are in danger as a result of their environments and habitats. We need better solutions than gathers, removals, and euthanization. We need more safety oversight. We need more medical oversight. We need more "lessons learned" so that past mistakes won't continue to be repeated.
      Yes, I know: BLM didn't listen to our suggestions in Denver for the most part.
      Why should that stop us?
      Why can't we continue to try compromise and collaboration with the managers of these horses rather than continuing to butt heads with them?
      Conflict does not bring resolution; find solutions not fault.
      I realize that we are all angry. Hell, I'm so freakin' mad I could spit nails enough to build a freakin' mansion at this point. But my anger fuels my drive to work that much harder and that much faster towards a solution that they WILL listen to and that WILL be viable. Directing my anger at them is counterproductive to my goal.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • sandra longley said

        Clear and simple..what their goals are and what our goals are are light years away from each other..and in my world..compramise takes two..otherwise we are taking the same role as an abused and battered wife..thats submission -not compramise…compramise is what should have taken place during the EA process or at Denver..the time came and went..and those are the facts. Had BLM actually managed the horses and the land..we wouldn’t be in this posistion..I don’t compramise with criminals

  16. sandra longley said

    Doesn’t it seem at odds with what they are saying..that they have thrived and multipled for low these ten years of drought..only to die of thirst in the wetest spring/summmer in years??? any questioning minds want to KNOW why???

  17. Roxy said

    Someone has to carry the torch of compromise. To date it has proved that BLM just continues to lie. Maybe someday it will be a break though.

    I appreciate the information being passed to us, though like others, I do not believe the source, being BLM.

    Why no pictures from BLM of the conditions they are portraying? I just don’t buy any of it. All they had to do was invite some observers – the fact that they have barred observers makes the whole thing beyond suspicion.

    The fact that there is no water on one side of an imaginary line is further proof to me that the water tables are being siphoned.

    Were any of the areas with cattle ever HMAs? And when did the fences go up that arbitrarily pushed the horses into this more supposedly desolute area? Anynoe know?

  18. Morgan Griffith said

    I just saw this on the BLM website, they are taking emergency actions to provide water to the Tuscarora horses:

    • Linda said

      Doesn’t declaring an “emergency” change the rules? Won’t this give the BLM cause to remove every wild horse the Cattoors set eyes on? At least they’re providing water, but then what? Run them again? Stabilize and back to business as usual.

      • said

        I’ve been asking myself this whole time: If the range conditions were this bad, why didn’t they do an emergency gather a month or more ago?
        All of the watering hole didn’t dry up overnight. And if the plan/mandate is to manage wild horses on healthy rangelands, then they’ve deviated from the plan.

        • Do you think? If you try to follow what BLM does and compare it all to their protocol, you know they deviate from protocol all the time. As if it did not exist. Although the range is now dry in the areas the horses are held, the Spring was a good one, I was there. mar

      • This is a dangerous situation. It could become an emergency removal for an emergency that was a set up. I would not put it past them to do this. We have been told they did it before. Without knowledgeable observers we have nothing to go on for the present situation. They don’t mind the deaths because they do not take precautions to prevent death and injury. I hope people realize this by now.

        BLM is ignoring a Colorado Judge’s decision to stop them from Zeroing out the West Douglas HMA, an action attorney Valerie Stanley won last year. They intend, again, to try to zero out that herd. BLM makes it up as they go. No laws or rules of protocol matter. mar

      • Morgan Griffith said

        Seems they do intend to provide water for 4-5 days and then the run is on. I pray we get a reasonable ruling on Thursday.

    • It is only my opinion, but after all that we have been through and the rumors we have heard for years about the things BLM has done, is rumored to have done etc; I think they set these horses up and now they want to show the world they are attempting to save them. That is what they tell us all the time; we are removing horses for their own benefit and welfare to protect them from dying of thirst and starvation.
      MY FOOT! They are saving these healthy horses from a situation the Contractor/Cattoor has created! IMHO. Is this as insidious as I can guess?? There are others who have implied it. Were these horse driven to a place where they could not get water deliberately? I believe they were. These people are entirely irresponsible with the lives of these wonderful wild american horses. mar

  19. Morgan Griffith said

    Mar, I believe you nailed it. I think the whole thing was a setup. I spent part of the afternoon reading all the BLM nonsense on the Tuscarora website and it all fell into place entirely too easily. And this emergency status gives them the full on green light. And they can then do as rough and brutal a gather as they want because they can say if the horses were in such bad shape and in such danger of dying that they had to sacrifice some for the good of the many. Very scary indeed. This raid will be done like lightning. 288 horse by 9 in the morning will probably seem like a slow pace.

  20. Morgan Griffith said

    They put these photos of the HMA’s yesterday in case anyone hasn’t seen them yet.

    • Morgan Griffith said

      If the horses are all standing around at the water holes waiting then why are there no horses in any of these photos? Not even at the river??

  21. Linda said

    I keep going back to their statement that the horses came in at Hennekke 4/5, but were “drawn up”. Now they’ve shipped 129 – more than half of the captives? How did all those dehydrated horses turn around so fast? This whole thing is a fraud.

    • Morgan and Linda, It would be great Not to think this or feel it in my heart. But it was too easy and the horses were most likely in another area. Maybe not far. I was not in this low, wide section but I looked out over part of it. It is big. I am trying to identify the mtn range in the photos. Maybe the Santa Rosa Mtns. where they already zeroed out the herd. If they are to the West. Calico had Katie Fite’s report and Cindy MacDonald’s discovery of the BLM lady giving testimony that all was more than good in the Calico and they were seeing no range damage despite there being a larger population of horses than they had estimated. So they predicted a drought. Here, in the Owyhee desert, they created one.

      Tomorrow my friends are going to that court room to fight for these horses. May the judge hear them loud and clear and make the only reasonable decision possible. They were all in Owyhee, on the ground, this Spring. They know the same as I do. These horses have been pushed to the poorest areas on their range and they have not been given their share of the water and other resources. mar

  22. Roxy said

    BLM – 1) when I said I wanted pictures – I meant dated pictures of horses standing around the dried up watering holes!!!!!!!!!!! 2) I have no idea from these pictures when exactly there were taken or where other than your (BLMs) word for it – and that will NEVER happen.

    Stop playing insulting games with us! You just had an opportunity to place one or two REAL advocates on the advisory boards that could have been observers with cameras that we trust. But no. So now you must live with the result.

    I agree with Mars post at 4:05.

    • Morgan Griffith said

      Roxy the funny thing is even when I was looking at the photos I kept thinking I had seen some of those exact same photos before. That annoying little thought won’t leave me. I’ll try to dig around in my photo downloads from BLM sites and see what I can come up with, these are photos I would have seen months ago.

  23. I don’t like to get angry. The thought that these horses were pushed to a nearly dry place like sacrificial animals really gets me. The horses could have gone to the river as no campers will keep them from water, if they were ‘campers.’ They could have gone at night as Sandra said. Their dehydration was not long lived because it was a result of being pushed to a capture site. Have you ever known the Contractors to stop and let the horses drink when herding them by helicopter? mar

  24. sandra longley said

    There are so many questions that need to be answered here before we can come to a conclusion…but there is more going on here than the story so far has have horses scoring 4/5..that is because there was great spring growth this year..late late weather didn’t hit until 2 weeks ago..I looked at the pictures I still see water..why are the horses so dehydrated? I see one full reservoir and a river full of water..and why are there so many horses all together in one band or several large bands..that is completely un natural.Large numbers of bachelor bands with a small herd of mares. Those horses know every spring, water hole, and catch basin from hundreds of years to present..its passed down to their offspring..If I was in the desert i would follow deer or wild horses to find water for myself..speaking of which…the deer and antelope must be congregated at the river trying to survive the extreme emergency situation…shouldn’t we truck them out as well? and MY GOD, lets save the cattle from perising as well!!!!

    • sandra longley said

      Oh, I forgot..the deer and antelope can get thru fences..still shouldn’t we be seeing those herds congregating at the river??? Wouldn’t that be proof there was a drought? Not just a horse specific drought..

      • Morgan Griffith said

        yes one would expect to have a notice of emergency of all wild beings in the area. Of course the deer and antelope CAN get through the fences to share the cattles water. The horses just have to knock them down and the cattlemen have to worry that their cash crop would have to live on the badlands that they have relegated the horses to. Tit for tat if you ask me.

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