The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Judge Hicks Rejects TRO Allowing BLM to Reinitiate Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 16, 2010


BLM Nevada News  

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-026                                             

For immediate release: Friday, July 16, 2010
Contact:  Doran Sanchez, 775-722-9796, doran_sanchez@blm.gov, or
Heather Emmons, 775-384-7966, heather_emmons@blm.gov

Judge Hicks Rejects TRO Allowing BLM to Reinitiate Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather

Reno, Nev. — Today U.S. District Court Judge, Larry R. Hicks, Reno, Nev. issued a decision ruling in favor of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and rescinding a temporary restraining order imposed on Wednesday, July 14.  This ruling allows BLM to move forward with the Tuscarora wild horse gather, which has become an emergency rescue gather operation following the determination that wild horses herds on the range are currently suffering from water starvation/dehydration due to a lack of water.  

Judge Hicks held a hearing Thursday afternoon to hear final arguments regarding a motion filed to stop the Tuscarora gather.  In addition to ruling that the gather could go forward, Judge Hicks ruled that BLM’s current temporary closure of the public lands during the gather is too broad, but held that BLM had a responsibility to protect the health and safety of the public, its employees and agents, and the horses during the gather, and that BLM could impose a reasonable closure. 

“The BLM is pleased that the decision of the court that will allow us to move forward with the Tuscarora emergency rescue gather, which is necessary to prevent the mortality of the wild horses that are currently suffering from water starvation and dehydration.” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director.  

After the ruling, the BLM gather contractor initiated operations and brought in 54 wild horses which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration. 

The Government also submitted an interim report to Judge Hicks during the hearing that was prepared by a review team composed of BLM and independent experts brought together at the request of BLM Director Bob Abbey.  The Report provided the following recommendations to the Director: 

  • Re-initiate emergency rescue gather operations as soon as possible to save as many animals as possible; 
  • Gather all the wild horses in the Star Ridge and Dry Creek pasture that are not showing obvious signs of water starvation, bring them to the existing pens, treat and care for them in the pens until stable and ship them to other holding facilities.
  • For those horses on the range that are showing obvious signs of distress from water dehydration and in too weakened a condition to gather, they would not be trailed into the gather pens and would be left on the range, likely to experience a high degree of natural mortality. 
  • For horses that are already down and unable to be trailed and are not responding to the helicopter, the BLM would attempt to humanely euthanize those animals.

Team members include Mike Mottice, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director (Team Leader); Tom Pogacnik, BLM California Deputy State Director, Natural Resources; Dr. Boyd Spratling DVM & BLM’s National Wild Horse Advisory Board; Eric Reid,Wild Horse/Burro Specialist, Fillmore, Utah; Dr. Klell Ekins, Equine DVM; and Robin Lohnes, American Horse Protection Association & BLM National Wild Horse Advisory Board. 

BLM field staff and specialists reported on Friday that the condition of the wild horses within the Owyhee Herd Management Area is critical and continues to decline rapidly.  The BLM Nevada will implement the Team’s recommendations, which may require the BLM to start humanely euthanizing suffering consistent with Bureau policy. 

The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) located in northern Elko County, Nev.  The BLM initiated gather operations within the Owyhee HMA on Saturday, July 10, and gathered 228 excess wild horses, but suspended operations on Sunday after it discovered that the wild horses had been suffering from a lack of water prior to being gathered. 

The BLM gather contractor conducted an aerial flyover of the Owyhee HMA on the morning of Tuesday, July 13, and located two large groups of wild horses: the Dry Creek group that consists of about 125 wild horses; and the Star Ridge group that consists of approximately 400 animals. 

The Star Ridge group is located around a dry reservoir and has made no attempt to move to the nearest water source located approximately 10 miles away at the South Fork Owyhee River.  The BLM installed six water troughs with a combined capacity of 3,000 gallons near and around a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of horses within the Star Ridge pasture, and used a water tanker to fill the troughs and the reservoir. The BLM has hauled 12,000 gallons of water to the North Owyhee horses, yet only a small group have watered (probably less than 15) based on tracks in the mud.  However, the BLM will continue to haul water.  

From Saturday evening through Wednesday 12 horses died from complications unrelated to the gather, as a result of pre-existing water starvation/dehydration or subsequent water intoxication.  Based on necropsies of the dead horses by the on-site veterinarian, the BLM has determined the mortalities were a direct result of a lack of water in the immediate areas occupied by the horses before they were gathered.  One horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals. 

As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website:  http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html.  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826. 

Advertisements

12 Responses to “Judge Hicks Rejects TRO Allowing BLM to Reinitiate Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather”

  1. SHIRLEY LE GARDE said

    I have to say your reports are always in the favor of the BLM. Are you certain you are not paid by them. Not one word of Laura Leigh’s fight to allow the public to be present at the roundups and that she won for the public and for the press. I feel you would be happy to see all horses disappear from the West. TELL YOUR BUDDIES THE PEOPLE WILL KEEP PROTESTING FOR THEIR WILD ONES.

    • Shirley,
      Your comment is very interesting. You feel that my efforts to put forth information and make sure that it is distributed as best as it can be are one sided, but this is not the case. I post what is sent to me to be posted. I have not received any information about Laura’s case, but I did receive the press release from BLM. I would be happy to post Laura’s information if she would like for me to do so. I don’t believe that a person can make a clear decision or opinion without having all of the information available about the subject which they are to decide upon.
      Laura won for the public and press’s 1st Amendment rights, yes. I am a firm believer in the 1st Amendment. Its principles are the same as TMP’s founding principles.
      As for the accusation that I would be happy to see the horses gone from the West… If you truly feel this way, then you do not know me or what I stand for – the horses. I stand for the horses and the horses alone, not for BLM and not for any particular advocate, group, or organization. My “buddies” as you call them are the people who can do what is needed for the health and welfare of the horses. Some of them work for BLM, some of them don’t. But you wouldn’t know that because you obviously don’t know me. I will continue my own fight for the horses’ sake until they are protected from all harm – from those who wish them ill will and from those whose intentions are good but have not so good outcomes.
      I am sorry that you feel the way you do. It is sad that individuals who work towards the same end goal have conflicts amongst themselves. The end goal suffers the most, not the individuals. I hope that conflicts like these can be a thing of the past one day, and that the day comes sooner than later.
      T.

  2. Jan said

    sending posting to jane velez mitchell and asking her to please run this news on her show

  3. sandra longley said

    The Interim report was 25 pages as well as photos of dead horses..I suggest you all read it very carefully..and look at the photos and ask yourselves..what is odd about these pictures..and if this is an emergency gather-why did the BLM suspend the gather for several days…BEFORE the TRO was granted..Who or What was responsable for the deaths of the horses you see?

  4. LOUIE COCROFT said

    TRACIE IS TRYING TO KEEP THE PEACE. SHE KNOWS THAT WE GET NOWHERE BY STARTING A FIST FIGHT. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN GAIN ANY GOOD FOR THE HORSES IS TO FIND WHATEVER COMMON GROUND THAT WE CAN. THERE ARE THOSE WITHIN THE RANKS THAT WOULD PROBABLY LIKE TO SEE “BUTT KICKED” AS MUCH AS THE REST OF US.

  5. LOUIE COCROFT said

    YOU MIGHT COMPARE THIS TO NEGOTIATING IN A HOSTAGE SITUATION.

  6. Here’s what the BLM sez(without impartial observation)
    From Saturday evening through Wednesday 12 horses died from complications unrelated to the gather, as a result of pre-existing water starvation/dehydration or subsequent water intoxication. Based on necropsies of the dead horses by the on-site veterinarian, the BLM has determined the mortalities were a direct result of a lack of water in the immediate areas occupied by the horses before they were gathered. One horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals.

    Here’s my reply to them
    “First you say the horses were in good condition and there is no statement about them being dehydrated. Then you call in the helicopter, run them for heavens knows, how many miles and then the BLM gives them water. Doesn’t the BLM know that you Do NOT water a horse that has been run for miles by helicopter? Has anyone in your office been to a horse race and observed that after a mile or even a half mile race the horse is walked by a hot walker, sponged off to reduce the heat in the muscles and given only small sips of water.

    I am amazed at how the actions of the BLM display such lack of knowledge and common horse sense. I am happy to see that independent observers will be allowed to keep “shining the light” on BLM procedures.”

    A taxpayer and keeper of a BLM 25 year old horse in Pennsylvania,

    • Nicely done! I remember as a kid getting literally knocked off the fence post because my dad found me watering my mare after a barrel racing event. “You don’t have a hot walker for nothing!”
      T.

  7. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I THINK THERE IS AN OLD SAYING THE YOU WALK THE FIRST MILE OUT AND LAST MILE IN.

    • I know this: you never water a hot horse until he is cooled down. You never put him up until he is cooled down. And you never leave him to stand until he cooled down. All of these “no-nos” can lead to serious muscle and electrolyte problems. It’s just common horse-sense. We walked our horses ourselves while at events or on the range, and at home we used the hot walker. I mean, duh, “hot” “walker”… LOL not rocket science!
      T.

      • reveil39 said

        Seems like a big rush out there.

        • I guess I could understand their sense of urgency given that the horses were severely dehydrated but I also rememeber the old saying of “Haste makes waste”… You get into too much of a hurry and you actually end up hurting more than helping.
          This past week has been one roller coaster ride after another of anger, rage, fear, sadness, helplessness, and downright confusion! It shouldn’t be like this, not for any of us and for damn sure not any of those horses.
          T.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: