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Archive for the ‘Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather’ Category

Final Report of the Tuscarora Review Team

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 24, 2010

Final Report of the Tuscarora Review Team 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 4 Comments »

BLM Press Release: BLM Completes Tuscarora Gather, August 04, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 4, 2010

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-038
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Contact:  JoLynn Worley, (775) 861-6515,
jolynn_worley@blm.gov

BLM Completes Tuscarora Gather

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has concluded the Tuscarora wild horse gather.  The BLM finished gather activities outside the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) on Monday, August 2, which was the third and last HMA to be gathered to remove excess wild horses.
The BLM gathered a total of 1,224 wild horses because of degradation of rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands resulting from an over-population of wild horses.  This over-population also resulted in the need for emergency rescue operations to save water starved wild horses, including the hauling of 46,000 gallons water for wild horses within the Owyhee HMA from July 12 to July 18.
Of the gathered horses, the BLM contractor transported 1,064 animals, including 346 studs shipped to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 718 mares, foals, and studs to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) near Sparks, Nev., without incident.  The animals are receiving good quality grass hay, water and veterinarian care as needed.
The animals will be de-wormed, vaccinated, freeze marked and gelded (all studs 12 months and older), all animals will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at
www.blm.gov for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro.
The BLM applied fertility control on 64 mares (PZP-22 – Porcine Zona Pellucida) and released them back into their respective HMAs.  The BLM re-released a total of 126 mares and studs back into the Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs.
A total of 34 animals either died or were humanely euthanized during gather operations:  13 animals died due to insufficient water resources on the range, succumbing to water starvation/dehydration-related complications; 12 animals had pre-existing injuries or conditions such as lameness, blindness, pneumonia, or birth defect/physical injury-related deformities and were humanely euthanized.  Four wild horses died or were humanly euthanized as a result of gather-related injuries, and five animals died from assorted causes after transportation to the short-term holding facility.
Two additional wild horses (a mare and foal) that were not being gathered were also found on the range during reconnaissance activities and were humanely euthanized because of life-threatening injuries.  The contractor found the two animals while rescuing a group of approximately 28 wild horses stranded on a steep cliff as he guided the horses down the steep mountain.
The BLM did not report these two deaths as part of its daily mortality log, because that log documents mortalities for wild horses that are gathered. BLM Nevada is modifying its reporting methods to better document all wild horse deaths that occur or are found during gather operations.
The BLM staff conducted a post gather survey flight of the Owyhee, Little Humboldt and Rock Creek HMAs on Tuesday, August 2 and found the following: the Owyhee HMA has a total of 112 wild horses (88 adults and 24 foals), and the horses are in good condition and continue to utilize the water the BLM hauled in early to mid July;  Little Humboldt has 46 adult wild horses in good condition: Rock Creek HMA has 47 wild horses (42 adults and 5 foals), all in good condition.
The BLM identified a total 205 within the three HMAs, and estimates the current population of wild horses is within the population range that will allow for a thriving natural ecological balance. The BLM will conduct a detailed census flight of the Owyhee, Little Humboldt and Rock Creek HMAs within the next two months. 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.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 4 Comments »

BLM Press Release: Tuscarora Gather Operations Continue Throughout the Weekend August 01, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 1, 2010


TMP Disclaimer!!! 
The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

 

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-037
For immediate release: Sunday, August 1, 2010
Contact:  Doran Sanchez (775) 722-9796 

        Tuscarora Gather Operations Continue Throughout the Weekend 

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Tuscarora gather
operations continue in the Rock Creek drainage area, where 193 excess wild
horses outside the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) have been gathered
without incident since Friday. 

An estimated 200 excess wild horses have been sighted throughout this area.
These excess wild horses must be removed because they are causing
considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private
lands, as well as impacting habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout. 

The BLM contractor concluded operations in the Cornucopia Mine/Ridge area
on Thursday after gathering 23 excess wild horses (12 studs, 9 mares, 2
foals) without incident or injury. The Rock Creek drainage and Cornucopia
Mine/Ridge areas are several miles outside the HMA.  The excess wild horses
moved into these areas and out of the HMA after a wildland fire in 2006. 

The majority of the gather has been conducted between 5:30 a.m. to 10:30
a.m.  Morning temperatures range from the low 50s to the low 80s when the
animals were gathered and heat has not been an issue. To date, the BLM has
safely gathered more than 1,100 excess wild horses. 

“The first part of the gather involved emergency rescue operations to more
than 600 wild horses within the Owyhee HMA that were without water” said
Ken Miller, BLM Elko District Manager. “The BLM hauled more than 46,000
gallons of water between June 12 and June 16 to help stabilize the
condition of the horses prior to the rescue operation.” 

The BLM initiated the emergency rescue gather on Friday, July 16.
Emergency gather operations concluded on Wednesday, July 21, and the BLM
successfully rescued 636 excess wild horses. 

“As a result of prompt action to haul water and to provide care for these
rescued horses once we learned the wild horses in this area were suffering
from water starvation/dehydration, we were able to save the lives of most
of the gathered horses from the rescue area,” added Miller.  “A large
number of the excess wild horses we gathered from the Owyhee HMA would
likely have died without the water hauling, gather operations and
subsequent care we were able to provide.” 

However, 30 animals suffering from pre-existing, non-gather related
injuries, including water starvation and dehydration-related complications,
older injuries (lameness, blindness, pneumonia, etc.) or birth defects and
physical injury-related deformities have been humanly euthanized. Four wild
horses have died or were humanly euthanized as a result of gather-related
injuries. 

“The remaining wild horses we have gathered are at or soon will be at one
our facilities and receive the best food, water and veterinarian care
possible,” added Miller. 

The regularly scheduled part of the Tuscarora gather in the Rock Creek HMA
is expected to continue throughout the weekend.  The excess wild horses
throughout this area are in much better condition than the Owyhee HMA
because lack of water is not an issue. 

The BLM contractor shipped 24 mares and 11 foals to the Palomino Valley
Center (PVC) at 6 a.m.  Saturday, July 31.  Those animals arrived at the
facility in good condition and are receiving a good diet of grass hay and
water and veterinarian care if needed. 

The BLM also shipped 22 dry mares to PVC on Thursday, July 29, and 23
excess wild horses (12 studs, 9 mares, 2 foals) to PVC on Friday, July 30.
Both shipments arrived safely and without incident.  The horses continue to
gain strength and rehydrate daily, and are receiving a good diet of grass
hay and water with and without electrolyte supplement. 

After the animals have been dewormed, vaccinated, freeze marked and gelded
(all studs 12 month and older), they will be made available for adoption to
qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.
The public may visit the BLM’s website at www.blm.gov for more information
about adopting a wild horse or burro. 

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.
 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 8 Comments »

BLM Press Release: Windy Conditions Disrupt Daily Gather Operations, July 28, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 28, 2010

TMP Disclaimer!!! 
The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-036                                        
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Contact:  Heather Emmons, (775) 861-6594, heather_emmons@blm.gov
                   JoLynn Worley, (775) 861-6515, jolynn_worley@blm.gov

Windy Conditions Disrupt Daily Gather Operations

Reno, Nev. — High winds today temporarily halted gather operations in the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) to gather excess wild horses in the Cornucopia Mine/Ridge area, which is approximately five miles outside the Rock Creek HMA.  
Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contractor gathered 78 excess wild horses, including 30 studs, 34 mares and 14 foals in this area, where about 50 -70 additional excess wild horses have been sighted.
Yesterday’s gather went well with no incidents or injuries.  An 18-year-old mare with an older pre-existing fractured knee and upper leg injury was humanely euthanized.  
Morning temperatures were cool and heat was not an issue. The contractor ended operations after the animals were gathered.
A second group of approximately 285 excess wild horses has been sighted in the Rock Creek drainage area, which is about three miles outside the HMA.  All these animals moved out of the HMA after a wildland fire in 2006.  
Cumulatively between the two groups of excess wild horses, the BLM needs to gather about 350 excess wild horses.  They are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacting habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.  
After adjusting the sex ratio of 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares, the BLM released 38 studs back into the Rock Creek HMA at 9 a.m. today.  The BLM also applied fertility control on 41 Rock Creek mares, which were released back into the HMA at 1 p.m.  One mare, determined too old to apply fertility control, was returned back into the HMA with the treated mares.
The BLM shipped 30 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 23 mares and 16 foals to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nev. Today.  After the animals have been wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and gelded (all 12 month and older studs), they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at
www.blm.gov for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro.
The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs.  The BLM concluded an emergency rescue gather operation in the Owyhee HMA on Tuesday, July 20.  The BLM completed gather operations in the Little Humboldt HMA after conducting fertility control on the mares, adjusting sex ratio, and releasing the mares and studs back into the HMA on Sunday, July 25.  The BLM anticipates it could conclude gather operations in the Rock Creek HMA by the weekend.  
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.

-BLM-

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 14 Comments »

News Release Monday, July 26, 2010 BLM Delays Tuscarora Gather Operations to Conduct Overflight

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 26, 2010

News Release Monday, July 26, 2010 BLM Delays Tuscarora Gather Operations to Conduct Overflight

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 18 Comments »

BLM News Releases, Sunday, July 25, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 25, 2010

News Release Sunday, July 25, 2010 Public Continues to Observe BLM Tuscarora Gather Operations (pdf)

News Release Sunday, July 25, 2010 BLM Releases Wild Horses After Applying Fertility Control and Adjusting Sex Ratio (pdf)

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 12 Comments »

BLM to Apply Fertility Control on Mares in the Rock Creek HMA

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 23, 2010

TMP Disclaimer!!! 

The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-031
For immediate release: Friday, July 23, 2010
Contact:  JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515,
jolynn_worley@blm.gov 

BLM to Apply Fertility Control on Mares

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gathered 103 wild horses in the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) without incident or injury on Thursday, July 22. The animals gathered included 31 studs, 58 mares and 14 foals.  The Rock Creek gather will continue on Friday. The BLM will apply fertility control on the mares gathered from the HMA. Once treated, the mares will be released back into the HMA. The BLM also plans to adjust the sex ratio of animals released back to the HMA to 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares.
“The positive results of applying fertility control and adjusting the sex ratios will be to slow population growth and help us maintain population size within appropriate management levels in the HMA,” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director. “These actions also will extend the time before another gather will be required to remove excess wild horses.”
The BLM contractor conducted gather operations from 6:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Temperatures ranged from 61 to 82 degrees, resulting in minimal stress on the horses from heat.
“The Rock Creek horses we gathered are in much better condition than those in the Owyhee HMA because the lack of water is not a critical issue,” added Wenker.  “The BLM and the gather contractor will use the same care, skill and compassion to humanely gather these animals as was used to save the Owyhee horses.”
The BLM anticipates removing approximately 425 excess wild horses that have moved outside the Rock Creek HMA.  These animals are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacts to habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
The excess wild horses will be shipped either to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, or to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nev.  During the next several months all the animals will be closely monitored, provided good feed, water and veterinarian care as needed.
The animals will be wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and all 12 month and older studs will be gelded.  Once the wild horses have fully recovered, they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at
www.blm.gov for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro.
The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs.  The BLM concluded emergency rescue gather operation in the Owyhee HMA on Tuesday, July 20.
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.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 7 Comments »

Independent Designated Observer Program Accepted by BLM

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 22, 2010

Please visit the following links to ensure you are getting correct and current information about your concerns.  There is a lot of misinformation about the BLM and the gather being posted on blogs, etc.  The BLM NV page is the main reference page for all factual BLM  updates and future announcements: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en.html    At this site you can also find the veterinarian reports for all the horses that have been lost.

In addition, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) accepted an offer from the American Horse Protection Association (AHPA) to initiate a pilot Independent Designated Observer Program that involves observation and reporting on the care and handling of wild horses and burros during this summer… See More’s gather season. One of AHPA‘s missions is the protection and preservation of America’s wild horses and burros on US public rangelands. AHPA is responsible for selecting the team of independent credentialed professionals who are academia-based equine veterinarians or equine specialists, from among universities with established equine veterinary medicine or equine science programs, such as Michigan State University, University of Kentucky, University of  Vermont, West Texas A&M, Rutgers University, and UC Davis, who will attend at least three of this summer’s major gathers. Two such observers were on site at the Tuscarora gather from July 18-20.

Thank you for your interest in the program.

Debbie Collins
BLM National WH&B Team

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 71 Comments »

BS, er, Rumor Control, by Willis

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 22, 2010

There has recently been quite a bit of speculation circulating, presented as being facts, that are getting folks fired up over stuff that doesn’t exist.  If we are going to pursue a successful advocacy campaign for wild horses, we need to deal with reality and our arguments have to pass scrutiny.  As a result, I’ve done a little homework on this water issue at Owyhee (Tuscarora) and here are verifiable facts.

Any claims that BLM has sold off water rights to ranchers are pure BS.  Under state law the “Public” (State of Nevada) owns all the water in Nevada and assigns rights to use that water to end users.  BLM is a land manager, not an end user, so the lessees and permittees were the ones assigned water rights by the state.  This situation is verifiable from public records held at the Nevada Department of Water Resources.

We have to understand that water rights were assigned long before 1971 when BLM didn’t have its own “livestock” to support. BLM didn’t apply for rights to provide water for wild horses because it wasn’t charged with responsibility over them.  Since then the water has since all been allocated.  Presently BLM isn’t even allowed to drill a well on its own property.  What’s done is done and the state isn’t about to allow a “do over.”

Claims that ranchers have fenced off public water at Owyhee are also pure BS.  I’ve gone to four different sources to obtain the facts and the information I received is consistent.

The Desert Ranch Reservoir (privately owned water on public land) is fenced off to control the movement of animals around the reservoir, however there are openings in the fence designed to let animals get to the water.  Since no cattle are out there, “animals” in this case are wildlife and wild horses.

Bookkeeper spring is on private land but access is provided for horses and wildlife to get water.

The rancher who owns the private well out on Owyhee, operated only when cattle are present, has indicated that BLM could operate his well if necessary.  We all need to remember that the allotment was rested this past winter season (no cattle placed on it) so this well was not operated this year.

Desert Ranch provided much of the water that BLM hauled out to the dried up ponds.

Clearly there has been a problem at Owyhee and there was a serious imbalance between available resources and the number of animals present, however it is inappropriate and not in the horses’ best interest to throw stones at private landowners who are actually providing assistance in this crisis.  We alienate them and the horses would only suffer more.  We also have to bear in mind that the area involved is huge and the benefits of these resources are limited to the areas immediately surrounding the water being provided,  So while they definitely help, they can’t solve the entire crisis.

Another area where advocates are being misled involves cattle.  The allotment has been closed to cattle since last year.  I see reports coming out of “advocates” observing lots of cattle and water with the inference that these things are on public land.  Someone needs to learn to read a map.  The cattle and water are located on large private ranches in the area.  What someone does with private livestock and private water on private land is none of our business.

It has been claimed that cattle are proliferating the public lands allotment while horses are being removed.  As I previously stated, the allotment was closed to cattle last year.

It has been suggested that the BLM could use some kind of mysterious emergency powers to appropriate water from private property and private sources.  First of all such a statement leaves the reader to conclude that private parties haven’t voluntarily provided water.  Secondly, the statement presumes that BLM can just come onto someone’s private land and appropriate private property.  It’s pure nonsense.

I’m not claiming that BLM hasn’t made some serious mistakes out on Owyhee.  There are real issues and real problems that we need to address and resolve such as a failure to monitor the catchments (ponds) but we’re not going to get anywhere pursuing fantasy issues presented for dramatic effect by certain individuals.  The real issues are far less sensational but have significant real impacts on the health and viability of our wild horse herds.  If we want to be effective advocates, we need to keep our eye on the real ball that is in play and advance reality based arguments.

It’s not like we don’t have real issues to keep us busy.

Willis

One who jumps to conclusions risks an unhappy landing.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 26 Comments »

Tuscarora Gather Horses at Palomino Valley Center and Gunnison, Utah Facility

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 21, 2010

Tuscarora Gather Horses at Palomino Valley Center and Gunnison, Utah Facility

Tuesday, July 20   Palomino Valley Facility
Fifty-two Owyhee horses consisting of 41 mares, 4 foals and 7 studs were received from the Owyhee HMA, arrival was approximately 6:10 p.m.  No immediate health concerns were noted at that time.  All animals unloaded from the trucks in stable condition and were placed in pens where there was grass hay and water with and without electrolytes.  No other deaths have occurred at this time.

Total facility death: 1

Monday, July 19    Palomino Valley Facility
87 animals were received from the Owhyee HMA (23 foals and 64 mares). They were in stable condition upon arrival and placed in pens where grass hay and water with and without electrolytes are available. No other deaths have occurred at this time.

Received: 87 | Total at facility: 343 | Total facility death: 1

Sunday, July 18     Palomino Valley Facility
91 animals were received from the Owhyee HMA (42 foals and 49 mares).  They were in stable condition upon arrival and placed in pens where grass hay and water with and without electrolytes are available.  No other deaths have occurred at this time. 

Received: 91 | Total at facility: 256 | Total facility death: 1

Saturday, July 17  Palomino Valley Facility
Thirty-seven horses from the Owyhee were received at 6 p.m., consisting of 13 wet mares, 4 dry mares, 8 foals and 12 studs.  No immediate health concerns were noted on arrival.  All animals unloaded from the trucks in stable condition and were placed in pens with grass hay, water and water with electrolytes.

Received: 37,  Total at facility: 165

Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility
The facility received 75 studs at 6:00 p.m.  Utah State Veterinarian Dr. Bruce King was on site when the horses arrived.  All the wild horses made the trip without incident and appear healthy with no problems after they were unloaded.  The animals were placed in pens where they can be monitored closely.  Grass hay and unlimited water was provided to each pen.  The horses all appeared alert and did not show signs of stress from dehydration.

Received: 75

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 2 Comments »

Press Release: BLM Concludes Emergency Rescue Portion of the Tuscarora Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 21, 2010

TMP Disclaimer!!! 
The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-030
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Contact:  JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515,
jolynn_worley@blm.gov

BLM Concludes Emergency Rescue Portion of the Tuscarora Gather

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concluded emergency gather operations yesterday afternoon within the Owyhee Herd Management Area (HMA) and successfully rescued 636 excess wild horses.  The contractor will relocate the temporary gather and holding facilities to areas within the Rock Creek HMA and resume gather operations on Thursday. The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt 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 was discovered that the wild horses were suffering from water starvation/dehydration as a result of lack of water. The BLM installed troughs on Monday and began hauling water via tanker to the troughs and a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of the Star Ridge horses in the northern part of the Owyhee HMA.  Since Monday, July 12 the BLM hauled more than 46,000 gallons of water. The BLM coordinated with local ranchers who own the water rights to allow the BLM to use their reservoirs and wells to provide water to the horses. Also, there are no cattle within this immediate area, but cattle are present in the Chimney Creek pasture and on private lands within the southeast portion of the HMA. Some of the animals were in weakened condition as a result of water starvation/dehydration-related complications.  However, many of the wild horses were in better condition than expected, indicating they had been drinking from the water the BLM had provided. “The water we hauled saved the lives of hundreds of the wild horses we rescued,” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director.  “Many of the 636 animals we saved would have died.” Of the 636 excess wild horses gathered, 21 animals died during emergency rescue operations.  However, 18 deaths were not gather related: 13 died as a direct result of water starvation or dehydration-related complications; 5 horses died from pre-existing injuries or deformity and were humanely euthanized.  Three horses died from gather related injuries that occurred in the temporary holding corrals and were humanely euthanized.  The veterinarian report is available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html. “The success of this rescue also clearly reflects the care, skill and compassion the BLM and the gather contractor used to humanely gather and save these wild horses,” added Wenker. The contractor shipped remaining wild horses Tuesday, July 20, including 69 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 52 animals to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks (41 mares, 7 young studs, and 4 foals).  All the animals arrived safely at the respective facilities without incident, and are being monitored, provided grass hay, water, and electrolytes if needed.  No deaths occurred during transport. During the next several months all the animals will be monitored closely, provided good feed, water and veterinarian care as needed.  They will be wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and all 12 month and older studs will be gelded.  Once the animals have fully recovered they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at www.blm.gov for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro. The BLM conducted daily fixed wing aerial reconnaissance to locate the bands and document the on-ground conditions of the wild horses and the public lands.  BLM specialists reported seeing approximately 19 dead horses in various areas within the Owyhee HMA. 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.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 9 Comments »

Press Release: BLM Schedules Observation Days to View Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 20, 2010

Release Date: 07/20/10
Contacts: Heather Emmons, 775-861-6594, heather_emmons@blm.gov
News Release No. 2010-029

BLM Schedules Observation Days to View Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather

Reno, Nev.— The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District has tentatively scheduled two observation days—Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24—to provide the media and public opportunities to view ongoing BLM gather activities to remove excess wild horses in the Tuscarora gather area in Elko County, about 90 miles northwest of Elko, Nev.

The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. These will be the only two observation days offered for this gather based on gather site location accessibility and private and public landownership.

The BLM will rendezvous with interested members of the public in Midas, Nev. at 7:00 a.m. and caravan to the gather site, which will be a two-hour drive from Midas. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles, appropriate shoes and clothing are recommended. The observation days will last approximately four to five hours, leaving the gather site between 1-2 p.m.

Members of the media/public may call Debbie Collins at (866) 468-7826 to sign up. In an effort to provide a safe environment for the animals, BLM staff, contractors and members of the public/media, requests will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and be limited to 10 people per observation day. Also, daily gather operations could be suspended if bad weather conditions create unsafe flying conditions.

The BLM is planning to remove about 1,137-1,197 wild horses located on the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs), and including about 425 wild horses located outside the Rock Creek HMA.

The BLM estimates there are about 1,550 wild horses in the gather area and any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMAs so that the remaining population is within the appropriate management level range of 337-561. The mares released back to the range would be vaccinated with PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine.

The gather, removal and fertility control are intended to slow population growth, maintain population size within the appropriate management levels and extend the time before another gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed. Additionally, adjustment of sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be made to 60 percent male/40 percent female ratios.

Gather operations began on July 10 and are expected to continue through late July. To date, 636 excess wild horses have been gathered and 615 transported to the Palomino Valley Center outside Reno, Nev. and Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah. The public may visit the Palomino Valley Center during its regularly scheduled visiting hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. At the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility, the horses will be paired with inmates who will saddle train them and prepare them for adoption.

For more information, photos and updates on the status of the gather please visit the BLM Nevada website at www.blm.gov/nv/.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 10 Comments »

Tuscarora Rumor Control

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 19, 2010

I’ve been checking out some rumors that have been circulating.  My concerns are that if we are to wage an effective campaign for the horses, we darn sure need to know what we’re talking about.  So I’ve “double sourced” the following rumor control issues before posting this message.

Rumor #1:  Horses are dying while cattle are still out on the public lands.

Answer:  No cattle are on the public lands in the Star Ridge and High Creek pastures (the public lands associated with this gather.)  I wanted to confirm that the grazing season is over, which is correct, but I also found out that both pastures were on “rest” this season so they weren’t grazed at all by cattle over the past winter and spring.

It was suggested to me that the confusion over cattle could be caused by the fact that the road to Owyhee passes through private ranches, most notably the IL Ranch.  There are fenced off areas on these private ranches that hold cattle.

Rumor #2: Ranchers fenced off horses from water.

I hadn’t thought of the answer to this one but it soon became pretty obvious.  Since no cattle were turned out in the pastures, the stockmen didn’t operate the wells.   So it wasn’t a fence out issue but rather a wells not being started up issue.  My personal thought is that someone should have put two and two together on that one and made arrangements to acquire supplementary water.

Using Star Ridge as an example, most water is accumulated in water catchments and is supplemented by a private well when cattle are out.  The catchments have dried up since there has been almost no rainfall and of course with no cattle being run, nobody was providing supplementary water.  The result was that the pasture went dry.

Other notes.

BLM reports having delivered 30,000 gallons of water so far.  Some of the horses are drinking it.  Some are not.  I was told by a couple of folks that the access to the river is steep and tricky and the weaker horses are believed to not be able to make it down to the river, which explains why some of them aren’t getting water.

I’m attaching a photo of one of the springs on private land.  You can see that the spring is not fenced, but the problem is that the spring is running so poorly this year that it’s barely a tiny puddle and it takes the horses an inordinately long time to get a drink.

I think the most significant lesson here is that these resources issues have to be monitored, especially when seasonal land uses (that bring in man-supplied water) are not occurring and when there is a marked decrease in normal rainfall.  My experience has been that horses and other wildlife will use man supplied water sources when not in an already severely weakened state and when their mental faculties are operating correctly.  Sometimes they can reach a point of weakness and being so “spacey” that they won’t approach anything that is unfamiliar.

Willis

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 25 Comments »

BLM Press Release: Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather Operations Continue, July 18, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 18, 2010

BLM Nevada News BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-028
For immediate release: Sunday, July 18, 2010
Contact:  Doran Sanchez, 775-722-9796,
doran_sanchez@blm.gov
Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather Operations Continue
Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gather contractor resumed emergency rescue gather operations today and by 12 noon had gathered a total of 142 excess wild horses, including 57 mares, 23 foals and 62 studs.
The contractor brought the first group of 77 excess wild horses from the Star Ridge area in at 9:30 a.m.  The animals are in very poor condition as a result from water starvation/dehydration-related complications, and currently are receiving food, water and veterinarian care by BLM staff, specialists and the on-site U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian.
The contractor brought in a second group of 65 excess wild horses from the Chimney Creek area at approximately 12 noon.  From initial observation, this group of animals appears to be in better condition than expected.
The 192 wild horses gathered yesterday also appear stable, which may indicate they were drinking from the water the BLM continues to haul water via water tanker to water troughs and a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of the North Owyhee horses.  No horses in this group died overnight.
The BLM has hauled more than 30,000 gallons of water during the past week, including 800 gallons of water to the Bookkeeper Spring area. The BLM has been coordinating with local ranchers who own the water rights and who are
allowing the BLM to use their water/water sources (reservoirs and wells) to provide water to the horses.  The ranchers also have opened gates to allow horses access to water.  There are no cattle within this immediate area.
Of the 616 excess wild horses gathered to date, 18 animals have died, of which 16 resulted directly from pre-existing water
starvation/dehydration-related complications, severe congenital deformity and physical injuries – not from gather-related operations: 13 died as a direct result of water starvation/dehydration-related complications, including one foal transported to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) on Wednesday, July 14; a 20 plus year old blind stud with broken teeth and two
2-3 month old foals with deformed and crippled front legs and incurable lameness were humanely euthanized Saturday, July 17; one horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered on Saturday, July 10 due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals; and one horse died today from a neck injury that occurred in the temporary holding
corrals.
This morning the contractor shipped 37 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 49 mares and 42 foals to the PVC.
The 75 studs shipped Saturday, July 17 to the Gunnison Facility arrived 6:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  Utah State Veterinarian Dr. Bruce King was on site when the horses arrived.  All the wild horses made the trip and unloaded without incident.  The animals were placed in small pens and will be monitored closely. Grass hay and unlimited water was provided to each pen.
The 37 horses shipped to the PVC yesterday (13 wet mares, 4 dry mares, 8 foals and 12 studs) arrived at approximately 6:00 p.m.  No immediate health concerns were noted upon arrival. All animals unloaded from the trucks in stable condition and were placed in pens where there was grass hay and water with and without electrolytes.
The BLM is currently conducting daily fixed wing aerial reconnaissance to locate the bands and document the on-ground conditions of the wild horses and the public lands.  BLM specialists have reported seeing some horses down in certain areas within the Owyhee Herd Management Area.  For horses that are already down and unable to be trailed and are not responding to the helicopter, the BLM will attempt to humanely euthanize those animals from the ground, as recommended by the Review Team in their Interim Report to BLM Director Bob Abbey.
The BLM reinitiated emergency rescue gather operations after U.S. District Court Judge, Larry R. Hicks, Reno, Nev. issued a decision ruling on Friday, July 16 in favor of the BLM and rescinded a temporary restraining order that had temporarily stopped gather operations.
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.
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.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 12 Comments »

Tuscarora Gather & Facility Reports Sunday, July 18, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 18, 2010

Tuscarora Gather Reports 

Sunday, July 18 Emergency gather operations continue and by noon 142 animals, including 62 studs, 57 mares and 23 foals were gathered. The BLM is conducting daily fixed wing aerial reconnaissance to locate the bands and document the on-ground conditions of the wild horses and the public lands.  BLM specialists have reported seeing some horses down in certain areas within the Owyhee HMA. One horse died from neck injuries sustained in the temporary holding corral. 

37 studs were shipped to the Gunnison facility today; 91 animals, 49 mares and 42 foals were shipped to PVC. 

Gathered: 142 (as of noon) Deaths: 1, Total deaths 18 Shipped: 128, Total shipped: 369 

Saturday, July 17 Emergency gather operations began at 6:30 a.m., and by 8:30 a.m., 107 animals were gathered and temperatures were at 79 degrees F. Emergency gathering continued during the day bringing in a total of 192 animals: 68 studs, 79 mares and 45 foals. One foal was found dead due to complications related to water starvation/dehydration. One blind stud with broken teeth and two foals with deformed and crippled front legs with incurable lameness were euthanized. 75 studs were shipped to Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah. The Utah State Veterinarian will be at the facility to check the animals on arrival. 

Gathered: 192 Deaths: 4, Total deaths 17, 5-month-old colt, 25+ year-old stud, 3-month-old colt, 3-month-old colt

Shipped: 112 (37 mares and foals to PVC; 75 studs to Gunnison) Total shipped: 241 

Friday, July 16 Gather operation were suspended until early afternoon after the District Court Judge ruling lifted an emergency temporary restraining order and denied a request for a temporary restraining order. The gather contractor brought in 54 animals, 18 studs; 26 mares; 10 foals. Gathered: 54 

Facility Reports

Saturday, July 17 Palomino Valley Facility
Thirty-seven horses from the Owyhee were received at 6 p.m., consisting of 13 wet mares, 4 dry mares, 8 foals and 12 studs.  No immediate health concerns were noted on arrival.  All animals unloaded from the trucks in stable condition and were placed inpens with grass hay, water and water with electrolytes.

Received: 37, Total at Facility: 165

Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility
The facility received 75 studs at 6:00 p.m.  Utah State Veterinarian Dr. Bruce King was on site when the horses arrived.  All the wild horses made the trip without incident and appear healthy with no problems after they were unloaded.  The animals were placed in pens where they can be monitored closely.  Grass hay and unlimited water was provided to each pen.  The horses all appeared alert and did not show signs of stress from dehydration.

Received: 75

Friday, July 16 Palomino Valley Facility
The Owyhee HMA horses appear to be in stable condition and are gaining energy and strength.  All have found the grass hay and water, including electrolyte fortified water that is being provided to all new horses. 

Thursday, July 15 Palomino Valley Facility
All mares and foals looked in stable condition at 6:30 a.m. The animals had consumed the hay that was fed on Wednesday and were drinking water.  At 9:30 a.m. one mare was noted in poor condition (dehydration).  She was removed from the pen but died shortly after on her own.  Remaining animals are all stable at this time.

Facility death: 1; 15-year-old mare (without foal)
Number of animals at PVC: 128

Wednesday, July 14 Palomino Valley Facility
At about 5:30 p.m. trucks arrived with 129 animals consisting of wet mares and foals from the Owhyee HMA.  All animals unloaded from the trucks in stable condition and were placed in pens with grass hay and water with and without electrolytes. The facility veterinarian was on site at time of arrival and no immediate health concerns were noted at that time other than a few minor cuts and wounds which will be attended to.

Received: 129
88 mares; 41 foals

Veterinary Reports

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 6 Comments »

Tuscarora: BLM Has Lifted the Temporary Closure of the Public Lands

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 17, 2010

The BLM has lifted the temporary closure of the public lands where gather operations are taking place.  There will be no restrictions on access to these public lands, except if necessary for safety purposes and the well-being of the horses.

Members of the public should be advised, however, that gather sites to which the at-risk horses will be brought (the first site was set up Friday, July 10) that are located on private property may or may not be accessible by the public.  It is the private landowner’s decision to allow or not allow members of the public onto the private lands. 

The BLM lacks jurisdiction over privately-owned lands and therefore, cannot independently bring the public onto private lands.  The gather sites will be located in the areas most favorable to gathering the wild horses, and given the need to move promptly with the emergency rescue operations, it is not feasible and would not be in the best interests of the wild horses to move the planned gather sites to another location.

The BLM will post maps that indicate where the gather site is located, as well as landownership status, so the public will be aware of which lands are private rather than public lands. Private lands are shown in white, and public lands are shown in yellow. 

All gather sites located on a private land in the gather area and private roads will be posted with no trespassing signs.

If You Plan to Go –Important Safety Information
It is essential to bring plenty of iced water and sports-type drinks.  There is little to no shade in this area.  While temperatures are cool in the early mornings, mid-day and afternoon temperatures can reach 90 degrees F.  Hats, sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks and study shoes are other important items to bring.  Make sure to fill your vehicle with gas before heading to the gather area.

 

Maps

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 9 Comments »

Press Release: “BLM Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather Underway” July 17, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 17, 2010

BLM Nevada News
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-027 
For immediate release: Saturday, July 17, 2010
Contact:  Doran Sanchez, 775-722-9796, doran_sanchez@blm.gov

BLM Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather Underway

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gather contractor began Tuscarora emergency rescue gather operations at 6:30 a.m. today, and by 8:30 a.m. had gathered approximately 107 excess wild horses. BLM staff, specialists and on-site U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian are treating the animals, which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration due to a lack of water. 

After U.S. District Court Judge, Larry R. Hicks, Reno, Nev., issued a decision ruling on Friday, July 16 in favor of the BLM and rescinded a temporary restraining order, the BLM gather contractor immediately reinitiated gather operations, and brought in 54 wild horses, which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration.  

One foal among the 54 wild horses was suffering from extreme water starvation/dehydration, and was humanely euthanized this morning.  The remaining 53 animals appear to be stabilizing. 

The gather contractor will continue to gather as conditions permit.  The BLM also is conducting fixed wing aerial reconnaissance Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 3 Comments »

Observations: Tuscarora Court Ruling, by Willis Lamm

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 17, 2010

Wild horses have had a pretty good day today.

The judge in the Tuscarora roundup case ruled that BLM’s policies
regarding the press and observers at gathers were unconstitutional and
that their designations of closed areas were too large and too vague.

The judge did lift the stay on the roundup, however given that this
roundup has been allowed to evolve into a true emergency, that was an
appropriate decision.

There are people from the other side already claiming that the original
stay increased the death and suffering of Tuscarora horses and therefore
it is the plaintiffs’ (advocates’) fault that they weren’t brought in
sooner. However here is what appears to have really happened.

It appears that BLM had no clue as to what was going on out there and
they failed in their Congressionally mandated responsibility to protect
the horses. Since BLM supposedly surveyed the area being gathered, they
should have recognized there was a problem. In the words of one
rancher, “Those ponds don’t dry up overnight.”

It is my understanding that BLM’s initial arguments did not mention
emergency conditions in the gather area. As a result the plaintiffs
could not be expected to have any knowledge of those conditions, and
therefore they did not have the opportunity to adjust their position
regarding a temporary injunction based on knowledge that BLM should (and
possibly failed to) have acquired. However when BLM finally revealed
that they had a true emergency, the judge made the right call and caused
no further impediment to BLM’s getting these horses secured. Horse
safety trumps legal wrangling. Therefore it is BLM that is fully
responsible for the outcome of this tragedy, as it should be.

BLM is required by law to protect, manage and control wild horses. The
law doesn’t say that they are mandated only to round them up, or that
they can fail to protect them because they are too busy removing
“estrays” for the state, or that their management and control activities
can be conducted in ways that diminish their protection.

The Animal Law Coalition quotes BLM’s Gene Seidlitz as stating, “We are
not the bureau of horses”. Maybe we should send Mr. Seidlitz a copy of
the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“:O) Willis

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 4 Comments »

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. 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Duty to Protect, July 14, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 16, 2010

The following editorial has been posted to the AOWHA Wild Horse War Room
(
http://www.aowha.org/war/war_room.html ) along with some links to legal documents.

Editorial Opinion: Duty to Protect
Willis Lamm
July 14, 2010

The following is the opening sentence in the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act that outlines the intention of the Act.

(16 U.S.C. 1331)

Sec. 1

To require the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands.

Three requirements are stated here: protection, management and control. None are exclusive of the others. All three are required.

While there is plenty of room for debate over the meaning of “management” and “control,” particularly given the various conditions that apply to the management and control of wild free-roaming horses, “protection” is pretty a clear cut term.

After nearly three decades in fire / EMS, I pretty well understand the meaning and application of “protection.”

Protection involves three elements: prevention, mitigation and response.

Prevention involves understanding and evaluating risk factors and preventing them from adversely impacting the protection of whatever or whomever is being protected.

Mitigation involves taking steps to ensure that risk factors that cannot be reasonably prevented are not allowed to compromise the protection of whatever or whomever is being protected.

Response is what is necessary when a situation arises in spite of prevention and mitigation efforts and immediate intervention is warranted.

BLM has clearly developed formulas for the management and control of wild horses, however the agency is horribly lacking in its ability to carry out its third required duty, the one Congress listed first, the requirement of protecting the horses.

Taking the Act at face value, BLM is not empowered to manage and control horses at the expense of protection. Conversely BLM is obligated to manage and control horses in ways that facilitate their protection. The requirement of protection extends to roundups, field preparation, transportation, facility operations, after capture care and placement. The Act does not contain any language where these activities can supersede the requirement of protection.

Furthermore the Act does not contain language that allows BLM to abdicate protection because the agency hasn’t gotten around to prevention or mitigation, or simply because people don’t know what is going on out on the public lands or what they are doing.

Protection is the first requirement stated in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Apparently it is the first requirement that BLM has forgotten about.

——————————————————————————–

Note: This commentary reflects the views of the writer who is solely responsible for its content.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 11 Comments »

ASPCA Press Release, July 13, 2010 – USA: Speak Up Against Inhumane Wild Horse Roundups!

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse Roundups
ASPCA Position: Oppose
Action Needed: Call the White House today at (202) 456-1111 to notify the Obama Administration of your opposition to the cruel wild horse roundups currently underway in the West.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is at it again! On the second weekend of July, it started rounding up more than 1,200 federally protected wild horses on public lands in Nevada. The use of helicopters to run the terrified horses over miles of scorching desert resulted in serious injuries and several horse deaths—in fact, it was been such a public relations disaster that the roundup was temporarily suspended after only one day. However, it could resume at any time.

Due to intense outcry regarding the BLM’s handling of wild horses, the agency several months ago drafted new strategies for managing these animals and invited the public to comment via its website. But instead of waiting until the comment period is over to hear what the American public has to say, BLM officials decided to go forward with these cruel and brutal “gathers” in the blistering heat of summer. Your help is needed now to stop this inhumane roundup and a whole series of additional gathers scheduled for the coming weeks.

For background on the BLM’s mismanagement of America’s wild horses, visit our Wild Horses page.

What You Can Do
Call the White House Comment Line today at (202) 456-1111. President Obama needs to hear from you that these inhumane roundups must not go forward if the BLM hopes to retain any credibility with the American public. For the safety of the horses, the current roundup and others scheduled in the peak of the summer must be cancelled immediately.

Here are some talking points to assist you when you call the White House to politely ask President Obama to step in and stop the summer roundups: 

  • Chasing wild horses with helicopters in sweltering desert heat is unacceptable.
  • At least seven horses died in the first 24 hours of the June 10 roundup.
  • Crackdown on public access to observe roundups is unacceptable and flies in the face of the President’s own Memorandum of Transparency and Open Government. 
  • America’s mustangs are cherished internationally as symbols of independence and freedom and protected by an Act of Congress. Yet the BLM’s destructive management policy has reduced their number to a mere 30,000. 
  • The agency warehouses more wild horses in government holding pens and pastures than are left on the range, at a cost to taxpayers expected to exceed $70 million next fiscal year.

Please remember to be polite when you call, and afterward, log your call below. Thank you for speaking up for our nation’s wild horses! 

Make a call to President (D) Barack Obama’s Office

Phone: (202) 456-1111

District Phone:

Log a call to President (D) Barack Obama’s Office

Thank you for your help!

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 1 Comment »

HSUS Press Release, July 13, 2010: The Humane Society of the United States Calls for Moratorium on BLM Roundups Following Mustang Deaths

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Humane Society of the United States Calls for Moratorium on BLM Roundups Following Mustang Deaths 

(July 13, 2010) — Following the untoward deaths of seven wild horses in Elko County, Nev., The Humane Society of the United States today called for an immediate moratorium on all Bureau of Land Management wild horse roundup and removal operations. The dead horses were discovered Sunday morning.

The seven mustangs died as result of dehydration, water intoxication, and injuries sustained following the Tuscarora wild horse roundup. As with most wild animals, any effort to capture, handle, restrain and transport wild horses, no matter how carefully planned and executed, will inevitably cause a certain amount of stress and discomfort. In this case, the BLM conducted this gather in July—the hottest month of the year for Elko County—when water is scarce and temperatures exceed 90 degrees. The probable effect of chasing stressed and dehydrated animals for miles and then offering water should have been known to BLM, and in fact, the BLM admitted it was aware of the danger of “water intoxication,” but proceeded with the roundup under extremely adverse conditions anyway.

“For years, The Humane Society of the United States has campaigned against the use of roundups to manage wild horses on the range,” said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS’ president and CEO. “Methods for capturing, handling and transporting wild horses during gathers are centered, more often than not, on a bureaucratic timeline and agency convenience rather than animal welfare. We urge the agency to place an immediate moratorium on all gather and removal operations until the BLM develops and is prepared an implement a new wild horse management strategy.”

A new management strategy must set clear procedural standards and policies for regulating all gathers for temperature extremes, vulnerability of young, elderly, injured or diseased animals, and length of travel for equines over various surfaces.

The BLM also must implement an animal welfare observer program that provides trained, designated individuals with the authority to intervene and cause the cessation of any gather operation when undue risks are taken with the welfare and safety of the animals involved.

Media Contact: Pepper Ballard: 301-258-1417; pballard@humanesociety.org

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 2 Comments »

BLM Press Release, July 14, 2010 – BLM Takes Emergency Actions to Provide Water to Wild Horses

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

BLM Nevada News
NEVADA STATE OFFICE No. 2010-025
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT                                                     
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Contact:  Heather Emmons, 775-861-6594, heather_emmons@blm.gov
JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515, jolynn_worley@blm.gov                                        

BLM Takes Emergency Actions to Provide Water to Wild Horses

Reno, Nev. — Due to escalating drought conditions, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has implemented emergency actions to provide water to wild horses within the Tuscarora gather area, which encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) located in northern Elko County, Nev.  

The BLM gather contractor conducted an aerial flyover of the Owyhee HMA at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, July 13, and located two large groups of wild horses: the Dry Creek group consisting of approximately 125 wild horses; and the Star Ridge group consisting of approximately 400 animals.

The Star Ridge group is located around a dry reservoir and making no attempt to move to the nearest water source located approximately 10 miles away at the South Fork Owyhee River.  The animals are considered at risk of dying from complications of water starvation/dehydration.  While some of the Dry Creek group has recently watered, the BLM remains concerned and will continue to monitor the group.   

“BLM Nevada considers this an emergency situation,” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director. “Yesterday afternoon the BLM implemented a short-term emergency strategy to provide the animals water during the next four to five days in an effort to stabilize their health condition.”

The BLM installed six water troughs with a combined capacity of 3,000 gallons near and around a reservoir located about two to three miles from where the Star Ridge group is located, and used a water tanker to fill the troughs.  If the wild horses do not independently travel to this water, the BLM will assess having the gather contractor use his helicopter to gently and slowly guide the animals toward the water with the hope that they will drink.

“A large number of these excess wild horses could die if they are not gathered,” added Wenker. “Therefore, BLM Nevada’s goal is to gather these animals within four to five days after stabilizing their immediate water starved condition.” 

The BLM cannot sustain this level of support to provide water to the animals over the long-term because of the limited road access and the poor condition of roads in this area.  This drought condition scenario was considered and analyzed by the BLM in the environmental assessment prepared for the gather. 

The BLM also has organized a review team consisting of BLM and independent experts to analyze the on-the-ground conditions of wild horses and the public rangelands.  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 Nevada has been coordinating closely with Review Team members regarding the current drought conditions and related impacts on the wild horses.  The Team currently is in Nevada and will be assessing overall gather operations.  The Team will develop a report and provide recommendations to the BLM Director as to if and/or when planned gather operations should be resumed, and under what conditions.

The BLM continues to provide food, water and veterinary care for the 216 wild horses in the on-site temporary holding corrals.  No wild horses died on Tuesday and the health conditions of the animals appear to be stabilizing. Given the overall improvement of the condition of the animals that were gathered last Saturday, the BLM today shipped three truckloads with 88 mares and 41 foals (129) to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) regional adoption facility, located 20 miles north of Sparks, Nev. 

The BLM initiated gather operations on Saturday, July 10, and gathered 228 excess wild horses.  To date, eleven horses have died from complications related to 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.  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/blm_programs/wild_horse_and_burro/owyhee_rock_creek.html.  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826.

 

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 13 Comments »

Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Daily Updates from BLM.gov – July 14, 2010 @ 1917hrs CST

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

Date/2010

Comments

Wednesday,
July 14

The BLM continues to provide food, water and veterinary care for the 216 wild horses in the on-site temporary holding corrals. The health condition of the animals continues to stabilize. Given the overall improvement of the condition of the animals that were gathered last Saturday, the BLM today shipped three truckloads with 88 mares and 41 foals (129) to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) regional adoption facility, located 20 miles north of Sparks. 

Gathered: 0, Deaths: 0, Total deaths: 12
Shipped to PVC: 129 animals
Animals remaining at temporary holding corrals: 87

The wild horses on the Owyhee HMA are primarily in the Star Ridge area in the north and the Dry Creek area in the south. The Star Ridge group of wild horses is staying around a dry reservoir and making no attempt to move to the nearest water source, the South Fork of the Owyhee River about 10 miles away. These animals are considered at risk of dying from complications of water starvation/dehydration. While some of the Dry Creek group has recently watered, the BLM remains concerned and will continue to monitor the group.

The BLM installed six water troughs with a combined capacity of 3,000 gallons near and around a reservoir located about two to three miles from where the Star Ridge group is located, and used a water tanker to fill the troughs. If the wild horses do not independently travel to this water, the BLM will assess having the gather contractor use his helicopter to gently and slowly guide the animals toward the water with the hope that they will drink.

Photos of the Owyhee water holes, taken July 13, 2010.

Tuesday,
July 13

Continue to provide food, water and veterinary care for horses in temporary corrals.  The health of the animals appears to be stabilizing.  No deaths.

Gathered: 0, Deaths: 0, Total deaths: 12
Number in holding: 216

Monday,
July 12

Gather operations continue to be suspended.  Two more animals died and two were euthanized because of complications related to water starvation and water intoxication.

Gathered: 0, Deaths: 4, Total deaths: 12
4-year-old stud, 4-year-old stud, 4-month-old colt, 3-year-old stud

Sunday, 
July 11

Four horses were found dead in the temporary corrals this morning. They exhibited signs of colic and brain swelling, which was subsequently attributed to water starvation/dehydration and subsequent water intoxication.  Gather operations were suspended as BLM staff, the contractor and the on-site veterinarian began providing treatment to horses showing signs of water starvation/dehydration and water intoxication.  During the day, three horses that didn’t respond to treatment were euthanized.

Gathered: 0, Deaths: 7, Total deaths: 8
3-year-old stud, 2-month-old colt, 6-year-old mare, 2-year-old stud, 5-month-old colt, 8-year-old mare, 6-year-old mare

Saturday,
July 10

Start gather on Owyhee HMA at 6:30 a.m. By 9 a.m., the BLM contractor had gathered 228 horses, 91 studs, 92 mares, and 45 foals/colts. One group of 32 horses within one mile of the temporary gather corrals and a second group that was about 8 miles from the corrals.

On arrival BLM saw that the animals were “drawn up” or lacking fill from water.  They were otherwise in good conditon with most scoring 4 to 5 on the Henneke body condition scale. The animals were provided water and hay through the afternoon and evening.

One horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals.

Gathered: 228, Deaths: 1
5-year-old mare

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 15 Comments »

BLM Issues Right-of-Way For Ruby Pipeline Project, July 12, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

Release Date: 07/13/10 Contacts: Mark Mackiewicz, 435-636-3616 News Release No. 2010-023  

Record of Decision For Ruby Pipeline Project

The U. S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday, July 12, signed a Record of Decision (ROD) and Right-of-Way Grant (ROW) for the Ruby Pipeline Project, a proposed 678 mile interstate natural gas pipeline that crosses 368 miles of Federal land beginning near Opal, Wyoming, through northern Utah and northern Nevada, and terminating near Malin, Oregon. The BLM Nevada State Director, as the designated Federal official, signed the ROD and authorized the ROW for the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of the pipeline and associated facilities across lands under jurisdiction of the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the four states. The ROD is for the selected alternative for the Ruby Pipeline Project, and the ROW is for the route certificated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), with the inclusion of the Newmont and Southern Langell Valley reroutes. The FERC is responsible for authorizing interstate natural gas transmission facilities under the Natural Gas Act and was the lead Federal agency for the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in January 2010 in compliance with the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act. The BLM has the primary responsibility for issuing ROW grants and temporary use permits for natural gas pipelines across most Federal lands pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. On April 5th, FERC issued its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Ruby Pipeline Project authorizing construction and operation of approximately 672.6 miles of 42-inch diameter mainline natural gas pipeline, approximately 2.6 miles of 42-inch diameter lateral pipeline, and related above ground facilities. The BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office, and the Board of County Commissioners in Lincoln County, Wyoming, served as Cooperating Agencies in the preparation of the EIS. The BLM decision is based on extensive environmental analyses; consideration of agency, tribal, and public comment; application of pertinent Federal laws and policies; and information contained in the Final EIS for project-related actions affecting the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands. A copy on compact disk of the ROD is available at affected Federal, state and local government agencies and interested parties. It will be available on the Internet at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/nepa/ruby_pipeline_project.html and at the following Federal agency offices:  

  • BLM, Kemmerer Field Office, 312 Hwy 189 N, Kemmerer, WY 
  • BLM, Salt Lake Field Office, 2370 South 2300 West, Salt Lake City, UT
  • BLM, Elko Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV
  • BLM, Winnemucca Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd, Winnemucca, NV
  • BLM, Lakeview Resource Area, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR 
  • BLM, Klamath Falls Field Office, 2795 Anderson Ave., Ste. 25, Klamath Falls, OR
  • BLM, Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville, CA
  • Fremont-Winema National Forests, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR
  • Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Klamath Basin Area Office, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls,

OR An electronic copy of the ROD is available on CD by request via e-mail at: blmruby@blm.gov or by mail to: Mark Mackiewicz, BLM National Project Manager, c/o125 South 600 West, Price, UT 84501. Questions concerning the ROD may be directed to Mark Mackiewicz at the above address or by phone: 435-636-3616. 

  

Map Courtesy of Matt Dillon, PMWMC

 

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather, You Be the Judge Series | 1 Comment »