The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Re: Discrepancy in the Numbers of Gather Related Deaths from Calico, July 30, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 30, 2010

Well! It has certainly been a chaotic past couple of weeks, and as usual the hits just keep on comin’… Fires, droughts, floods, and storms are the oxymoronic topics that grace our daily news digests. We’ve all seen about 20 “breaking news” bulletins in the past week alone causing some of us to become a tad bit desensitized to them. However, when I saw the “breaking news” of 150 horses lost, I stopped to investigate. Now I don’t know if this is all inclusive, or if this is just a tip on the iceberg, but one report in particular caught my eye for sure…

The BLM’s National WH&B website has a “Completed Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Gather Reports (as of 6/9/10)” to show what gathers have taken place, what their results were, and what the estimated post-gather population of each HMA gathered from was afterwards. In this particular case, I saw the gather related deaths to be totaled at (0) and the non-gather related deaths to be totaled at (2).

This is a screen capture image of the “Completed Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Gather Reports (as of 6/9/10)” from the BLM’s National WH&B Webpage.

Needless to say, I was intrigued.

So, as usual, I went to the “source” to see if I could get some answers on just what the heck the deal was with these numbers… I know there are more than just (0) and (2) deaths, and I know that this just can’t be the right totals. The following email is the response I recieved in answer to my questions…

Tracie Lynn,

This is Dean’s accounting of the 2 gather related deaths during the Calico gather.

JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515
Office of Communications
BLM Nevada State Office

—– Forwarded by JoLynn Worley/NVSO/NV/BLM/DOI on 07/30/2010 02:07 PM—–
Dean Bolstad/NVSO/NV/BLM /DOI
To JoLynn Worley/NVSO/NV/BLM/DOI, 07/30/2010 01:31         Shayne Banks/JFO/ES/BLM/DOI@BLM, PM Sally Spencer/WO/BLM/DOI@BLM, cc Kaveh C Sadeghzadeh/WO/BLM/DOI@BLM

Subject: Calico Numbers 

JoLynn, Shayne, Sally, and Kaveh,

This is an updated and corrected version of the email that I distributed earlier this afternoon.  JoLynn, you can send this one to Tracie Lynn.
See the following that explains the circumstances of 7 horses that died (5 “non-gather related” and 2 “gather – related”) or were euthanized at the Calico Gather in the field.  The national website only shows two deaths at the field gather sites, it should be 7 and it has been corrected.  The number of Calico deaths at Indian Lakes is 109.  As of July 30, 2010 a total of 116 Calico horses have died (7 at the gather trap site during the gather and 109 at Indian Lakes).  See the following for details.

The following is the record of deaths that occurred in the field at the Calico Complex Gather.  Yellow highlights indicate the “Gather Related” deaths.  The other five deaths are categorized as “Not Gather Related” deaths and were euthanized according to BLM’s Euthanasia Policy. “Gather Related Deaths” are defined as animals that died or were euthanized at field gather sites due to acute injuries or medical conditions brought about by the gather and removal process including those that occurred during capture, sorting and holding at the gather site. This includes animals found dead in pens overnight and all animals that died for known or unknown reasons thought to be related to gather activities. “Not Gather Related Deaths” are defined as animals that died or were euthanized according to BLM policy at field gather sites for reasons related to chronic or pre-existing conditions such as poor body condition, lameness, serious physical defects, etc.. This includes animals that were euthanized for conditions not brought about by the gather activity.
***Seven Horse Deaths at the Calico Gather Site
1) 12/29/09 20+ YO, bay, mare, BC=2, teeth normal wear for age, lesser condition than peers, not eating well, seemed weak. Euthanasia reason #4. Non-gather related. (Black Rock East)
2) 1/1/10 6 mo old, dark bay/brown colt, died during gather, necropsy revealed ruptured pulmonary artery due to pre-existing heart condition. Gather related, attributable to a pre-existing condition. (Black Rock East)
3) 1/7/10 30YO, red roan, mare, BC=2, incisors severely worn and broken, feed packing under lip. Post-mortem exam revealed severe wave mouth, broken and loose molars, chronic erosion under upper lip. Very little chance of improvement Euthanasia reason #4. Non-gather related. (Black Rock West, mare captured 1/5/10)
4) 1/29/10 30+, brown, mare, BC=2, incisors severely worn and broken, spread. Weak and had impaired vision. Very little chance for improvement. Euthanasia reason #4. Non-gather related. (Granite, mare captured 1/29/10)
5) 1/29/10 7YO, buckskin stud, BC=3.5. Severely deformed left front foot, clubbed with a severe flare on the inside. Limb was deviated medially below the ankle. The horse was Grade 3.5 lame (0-5). (euthanasia reason #2, non-gather related)
6) 1/30/10 4YO, sorrel mare. Ruptured left eye with complete iris prolapse. (euthanasia reason #2 as an act of mercy, gather related)
7) 2/3/10 5 YO, bay stud. Grade 4 (0-5) lame on RH limb due to an old, pre-existing fractured tibia that had healed poorly with a nonunion. The limb was unstable and the hoof was worn abnormally. Euthanasia reason #2, non-gather related. (Leadville area horse captured 2/2/10)

Deaths at Indian Lakes Facility are reported on Nevada’s website in the weekly Indian Lakes update found at
Please note that horses from other HMAs have been shipped into Indian Lakes and that the cumulative death record on the website now includes horses that are not Calico horses.  The July 30th report for deaths at Indian Lakes displays a cumulative total of 111 deaths which includes 2 non-Calico horses.  Total Calico horse deaths at Indian Lakes is therefore 109.

Dean Bolstad
Deputy Division Chief
Wild Horse and Burro Program
(775) 861-6611(office)
(775) 750-6362 (cell)

SO! Here are the explanations of the discrepancies from the BLM’s WH&B Program in Reno, Nevada… Unedited, uncut, and unaltered except of course for formatting for easier viewing… I am not making any judgements one way or the other on this issue at this time… Savin’ that for a later date… You guys get a good read in on this… It’s for informational purposes only! Ya’ll please remember: I am just the messenger trying to get answers for those of you who’ve sent emails asking for them and of course for all of you who wanted to know but haven’t asked. T.


9 Responses to “Re: Discrepancy in the Numbers of Gather Related Deaths from Calico, July 30, 2010”

  1. Jan said

    thanks so much for doing a follow-up on these poor horses that were lost



  3. Lisa LeBlanc said

    Ms. Tracielynnthompson:

    Any chance of gettin’ an answer to the inquiries – why are other Horses from other holding facilites being shipped behind the Iron Curtain (Indian Lakes/Broken Arrow)?


    Have any Horses from the Calico Roundup been released back into to their HMA?

    Thanks, Toots; You Rock.

  4. Linda said

    Maybe they needed to wipe the slate clean to keep their published deaths under 5%(?) for FY 2010 so Congress and the uninformed public will be snowed into thinking they’re doing a good job.

  5. Roxy said

    Tracie, thank you. If you had not written to them that Calico count might remain at 2.

    Though, of course I disagree with 7 and hold Cattoor and BLM in disgust and my personal contempt for this “misinformation”.

  6. betty said

    I didn’t see the foal who was killed becasue his hooves soughed off inthe totals. Wasn’t his death gather related? Taht’s all I have to say. Numbers can lie.

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