The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Casualties’

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

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 13, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More details to come as I get them.



Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | Tagged: , , , , , | 61 Comments »

BLM Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 21, 2010

Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports 

Each fiscal year since 1989, the Bureau of Land Management has compiled a national, BLM-wide Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, and Evaluation Report. This report contains 7 tables and has undergone various modifications through time. Tables 1, 2, and 3 contain results on the BLM’s vegetation inventories and trend. Tables 1 through 3 are presented to satisfy Section 201(a) of The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1978, both of which affirm¬†Congress’s intent to have BLM prepare and maintain on a continuing basis an inventory of public rangeland conditions and trends. Table 4 reports how livestock grazing allotments are categorized. Tables 5 and 6 report on monitoring activities and plans implemented on allotments. Table 7 reports on results of evaluations of Standards for Rangeland Health.

This report is generated by the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, Colorado.

Contact Mike “Sherm” Karl at or at 303-236-0166 for more detail.

PDF versions of the reports are listed below for Fiscal Years since 1989. Click on the year to download the report.

Current Year (Fiscal Year 2009)

Previous Years
1989 1993 1997 2001 2005
1990 1994 1998 2002 2006
1991 1995 1999 2003 2007
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008

 Content Manager: Sherm Karl,

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BLM is Investigating the Helicopter Fly-over at Wild Horse Holding Corrals

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 2, 2010

BLM is investigating the helicopter fly-over at Broken Arrow USA / Fallon Facility. A private helicopter flew over and hovered for a few minutes above the Indian Lakes Road Short-term Holding Facility on Sunday, Feb. 14.  The next day a healthy stallion was found dead in the pen by a damaged corral panel. The death is attributed to a fractured neck that resulted from collision with the corral panel caused by the presence of the helicopter. 

Law enforcement rangers with the Bureau of Land Management are investigating the incident. If anyone has information about the incident, please call Mike Marquart at 775-861-6621.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »

You Be the Judge, 10th Edition, February 18, 2010 – Q&A w/ John Neill, Mgr of the Fallon Facility…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 18, 2010

You Be the Judge

10th Edition

February 18, 2010

By: Tracie Lynn Thompson

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†On February 08, 2010 I spoke with Mr. John Neill, Manager at the now ‚Äúinfamous‚ÄĚ Fallon Facility in Fallon, NV (AKA Indian Lakes Rd Facility or Broken Arrow USA) following the end of the 2009-2010 Calico Wild Horse Gather. Some of these answers you may have heard before, but I‚Äôd be willing to bet that you haven‚Äôt heard at least a few of ‚Äėem from below. The topics I discussed with Mr. Neill included deeper exploration into:

  • The Colts with Hoof Sloughing
  • Calico Daily Gather Updates ‚Äď Deciphered
  • The Miscarriages
  • The Calico / Fallon ‚ÄúOrphaned Foal‚ÄĚ: Status Update
  • The Windbreaks
  • Dietary Concerns & Sorting Concerns

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I requested this conversation with Mr. Neill for a few reasons (curiosity mostly) but more so in response to the many comments and concerns about the communications ‚Äď or lack of communications ‚Äď between BLM personnel and the public. Now, I am not in Nevada, nor am I an ‚Äúobserver‚ÄĚ of the gather from on site. But I am an observer nonetheless and I am a member of the public.

         For those not familiar with YBTJ Q&A format, these are very candid conversations from both me as the author and from the individual being questioned. I ask questions as pointedly and as bluntly as I can, and I report the answers as they are given to me, albeit checked for spelling and grammar. Mr. Neill proved true to YBTJ form and answered just as candidly as I was asking the questions.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†By the way, I left a few little ‚Äúclues‚ÄĚ throughout this edition ‚Äďjust for those who pick up on ‚Äėem ‚Äď as a reply to the questions of ‚Äúwhat are my issues with this whole situation‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúsneak peaks‚ÄĚ at my proposal for better management options. Best I can do at the moment, but of course ‚Äď more to come later. And don‚Äôt forget to check out the great list of references and links at the end!

The Colts with Hoof Sloughing:

T: Medically speaking there is a correlation between nutritional deficiencies and a resultant inflammation ‚Äď the inflammation being a precursor to the hoof sloughing. Could that be a possibility with these two cases?¬†(1)¬†(2)

Mr. Neill: That did not happen here.

T: Ok. What exactly did happen to these colts that would’ve caused sloughing of their hooves?

Mr. Neill: Extreme trauma to the foot / feet due to traveling too far over rocky terrain, that’s what’s happening there. It isn’t related to a diet change issue or anything nutritionally related. These two colts that have this trauma came in with poor body condition prior to the gather. The gather had nothing to do with their poor condition. The gather did have most likely everything to do with the trauma to their feet.

T: Just so I know that I have this correct, are you saying that the colts had in fact had ‚Äútheir feet run off‚ÄĚ as some advocates have charged? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

You Be the Judge, 9th Edition, Supporting Documentation

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 13, 2010

Some of the supporting documentation for You Be the Judge, 9th Edition – The Ruby Conflict. Just for information and to download if you don’t have them already.Part 1:¬†¬†¬†¬†

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Message from T. & Calico Gather Updates, February 02 – 09, 2010…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 10, 2010

(The fonts in this post have been intentionally left in black with the exception of the ending prayer.)

Message¬†from T…

I spoke earlier with Craig Downer via email. Craig stated that his count of casualties at the time of our correspondence was forty three¬†(43) horses.¬†Craig also¬†stated “I am going out again on Thursday and again on Saturday, then the facility will be closed to public viewing according to BLM announcement.”

This past evening, I spoke with Dean Bolstad, Deputy Division Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program. During our conversation, the topic of the public being onsite came up. Personally, I was surprised there were still observation days taking place, and that visitors from the general public were still being allowed into the facility.

The reasoning for this is that foaling¬†season is now upon the Calico mares who’ve retained viable pregnancies. Two foals have already been born in this past week. With the ordeal that these horses have been through, on top of being heavily pregnant, all personnel¬†attention should be focused on their¬†care and needs… not on members of the general public who would like to visit. Mr. Bolstad¬†stated that this was their concern as well, hence the discussions regarding the closing of the public visitations.

As a matter of liability and protection for all parties (and horses) involved, members of the general public cannot be allowed into the facilities or onto¬†the grounds without an employee escort. Being¬†the owner of a business that involves equines, I know this lesson all too well. Again we come back to the old adage of “the best of intentions…”; they don’t always have the best outcomes.

While I understand the desire¬†from the public to “be near the horses” and/or be as involved as possible, there does come a time when their presence is more of a hindrance to these horses than any amount of help, no matter what the motives.

Case in¬†point: ¬†Just before this post, I viewed an online video the 2nd colt who consequently¬†died / was euthanized¬†as a result of hoof sloughing.¬†Obviously, I was affected by the¬†plight of this young colt. His pain should not have been allowed¬†to continue in his condition without being given attention and care to his needs. On the other hand, I can’t describe the feelings I had while watching this video towards whoever the videographer had been. The mere presence of this “stranger” and “intruder” placed added and undue stress on¬†his already horribly stressed psychological state of mind. It is late, and I don’t want to attempt a direct quote only to get it wrong because I am fatigued, however the general context of what I read along with the video was that the colt was in so much pain that he could not stand to move away from this intruder as did his paddock mates.

At this point, the question came to my mind of¬†‚ÄúWhy did this person(s) continue to remain in this colt’s pressure zones?‚ÄĚ There was an obvious knowledge of the affect their presence was having on this colt as is evidenced¬†by their comments, and yet they remained – continuing to add to this colt’s stress. Just because this colt was already¬†having undue stress and was in undeserved pain does not nullify the actions of an individual¬†or individuals who add to that stress and pain. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

I do not intend these comments in a condescending manner. More so I intend them in an inquisitive and somewhat awestruck manner; and also with the attitude of one who would expect anyone in close proximity to these horses to respect their boundaries. They are indeed wild horses, not the family pet (yet). Adding pressure to an already pressured animal does not produce a positive outcome; quite the opposite actually.

Given this colt’s particular situation, it is my opinion – for what it’s worth – that he should have been allowed¬†to spend what time left to his short life without the prodding eyes and emotional pressures of another¬†creature¬†that was not of his own kind. Again, the motives behind these actions are not sufficient¬†to justify the actions themselves; not by any means.

Again, in my opinion –¬†for what it’s worth –¬†as for the facility personnel not giving him¬†proper care in his time of need – at least a sedative or pain relieving medical intervention – I am again inquisitive, but now wholly¬†awestruck.¬†Giving the colt some sort relief in his last hours would have been the¬†more appropriate course of action versus allowing (or forcing)¬†him to lie in wait of euthanasia. Even¬†most who are not accustomed to dealing with the health and behaviors of the equine in general would see these¬†are measures¬†of compassion and humanity. This colt may have been “only 1 of 1900”, but he was one. His life meant no less and was no less significant than any of the others.

I suppose the best way to explain this would be that he should have been given as much peace as was possible. Unfortunately, he was not given this peace, but instead was given two separate instances Рavoidable situations Рthat further took away any chance of peace he might have found in his own mind.

I will add him to my prayers along with the others as I ask St. Francis to bless them and St. Christopher to guide them in their journey ahead. May they all find the peace that was not granted to them on this Earth before death.


Calico Gather Updates, February 02 – 09, 2010

Tuesday, Feb. 9 Indian Lakes Road Facility
Studs and weaned colts continue to do well and gain weight. Most mares from the Black Rock East and Black Rock West HMA are doing well.  Mares from the Warm Springs and Calico HMA are generally improving.  Most of the Granite HMA horses appear to be doing well, however, BLM is monitoring three or four Granite horses with poor body conditions. No miscarriages were noted today.  One Black Rock East mare and one Warm Springs mare died.  Both were euthanized because of poor condition/hyperlipemia/metabolic failure.

Facility deaths: 2, cumulative total: 39

Monday, Feb. 8 Indian Lakes Road Facility
BLM continues to monitor the condition of two weaker mares from the Warm Springs and Calico HMAs and three to four horses from the Granite HMA in poor body conditions.  One 15-year-old stud from the Black Rock West HMA was euthanized because of poor condition/hyperlipemia/metabolic failure.  No miscarriages were noted today.

Facility death: 1, cumulative total: 37

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »