Posts tagged ‘wild horses’

August 8, 2011

New! 2011 Wild Horses Christmas Cards & Fine Art Prints

Bridger: A Wild Stallion in Wyoming, McCullough Peaks


   I have always loved and admired Wild Horses and preserving safe numbers in the wild for future generations to enjoy is one of my utmost priorities.     I enjoy watching these beautiful animals in the wild – there is something special about them!

Bridger is special to me.  Whenever I get the chance to see him, at the Wild Horse Range near Cody Wyoming, I am so happy to see that he hasn’t been rounded up yet!  He is still free!
He is a big handsome stallion, that seems to have a more laid-back personality.  I could just stay out in the quiet desert for hours watching him and his wild horse family.

There was something special when his eyes met mine out there in the Wyoming desert.   

Bridger is the first of my new 2011 Wild Horse Christmas Cards!  Collect them today and beat the Holiday rush!  Remember, its for a great cause too!

New!
2011 First Edition Wild Horses Christmas Cards benefitting Wild Horses
available at  www.westerngalleries.com


Standard shipping will be added & Texas Residents add Sales Tax

August 6, 2011

Federal Probe Raises Questions About 47 Siezed BLM Horses Going Out of Holding Pens to Alleged Slaughter Ring

 

Horseback Magazine

By Steven Long, Chute Photo by Laura Leigh, Chase Photo by Terry Fitch
released August 6, 2011

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The secretive federal Bureau of Land Management has long kept the doors of the giant taxpayer funded pastures where thousands of wild horses are warehoused, well, closed.

But while the doors were closed to press and public, they may have been wide open to a well known Utah killer buyer who was caught hauling 47 older wild horses allegedly to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. The investigation includes BLM enforcement agents, the FBI, several state agencies, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in possibly two or more states.

Multiple individuals are targets of the probe. Department of Transportation registration for a cattle truck shown in video by Salt Lake television station KSL was traced by respected animal welfare investigators Animals Angels to Willard, Utah based DK Ranches owned by alleged killer buyer Dennis Kunz.

“There have been suspicions of BLM involvement in the trafficking of wild horse to slaughter since the early 1990s when a formal Grand Jury probe was instigated” said documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens whose three PBS ”Nature” specials on an iconic horse named Cloud have captivated millions.  “The Cloud Foundation has been asking for full public access to all facilities where mustangs are being warehoused for years.”

Kathrens remembers the earlier probe well, but believes chicanery from higher up brought the investigation to a halt.

“Before the first witness could testify in the hearing in a Del Rio, Texas courtroom, the plug was pulled and the investigation findings were never released,” Kathrens told Horseback Online.  “Implicated in the investigation are people still employed by the BLM. In fact one employee with the Wild Horse and Burro Program is in charge of the facilities for the Agency. I have no idea whether there is a any link to these same employees or not.”

“Wild Horse and Burro advocates have always fostered a nagging suspicion that our national icons were being shuttled out the back door of long term holding to slaughter, and this incident validates that fear,” said longtime wild horse advocate and author R.T. Fitch, president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“But the larger question is why did the BLM intervene and what makes this incident different from the possible hundreds before it, something doesn’t add up,” he said.

Tom Gorey, Chief Washington spokesman for the BLM, was unavailable for comment Saturday. It is unknown if anybody has been charged in the alleged BLM slaughter ring, or if any agency employees are suspects.

Jerry Finch is the founder and driving force of Habitat for Horses, a Hitchcock based rescue that has handled some of the most difficult seizures in recent history.

“For the BLM to suddenly be concerned about America’s horses going to slaughter is laughable,” he told Horseback Magazine late Saturday.  ”Since former Senator Burns gave them the out to dump horse by the truckload, s, they have been disappearing by the hundreds, if not by the thousands. That this truckload was stopped means that someone broke the silence of corruption and squealed.”

Since Horseback Magazine began investigations into practices of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, unconfirmed reports have repeatedly reached the magazine claiming the sighting of 18 wheel cattle trucks hauling horses from BLM facilities in the dead of night. The agency has steadfastly denied horses are being taken from pastures and sent to slaughter. However, BLM branded horses are sometimes spotted in USDA holding pastures and at slaughterhouses carrying the BLM brand.

“The BLM refuses to give the public an accurate accounting of the horses they have captured or to allow anyone but their own to see these supposed holding areas except on a very limited basis. Why? What is the BLM hiding?” Finched asked.  ”People are being paid a per horse rate to care and feed these animals. If the horses aren’t there, then where is the money going?”

Gorey states that the BLM does not send horses to slaughter. However, the agency doesn’t keep track of its horses after they are sold, critics say.

It is estimated that there are app. 30,000 horses of all ages housed under lock and key on private property that the agency refuses to grant access to on a routine basis.

The reason, “the horses are on private land,” Gorey has repeatedly stated citing the federal privacy act. According to the BLM, 10,755 wild horses were removed from public lands and placed in giant holding pastures in 2010.

Ranchers in western states frequently call the Mustangs, “the cockroaches of the west” and view them as a nuisance.

The agency has refused to allow an independent audit of the number of horses held privately by ranchers at taxpayer expense, despite the fact that BLM controls app. 243 million acres of mostly vacant land where the horses could be housed for free. The horses compete for grazing land with more than 1 million cattle that inhabit leased pastures at the fire sale rate of $1.35 per cow and calf per month.

The horses seized in Utah are over the age BLM offers for adoption. When such horses are sold, buyers agree not to sell them to slaughter, the BLM says.

The wife of the owner of the cattle truck which carried the horses told Utah reporters for the Deseret News and KSL-TV, “We are known for buying slaughter horses,” she said, “but it was just our truck that was being used.” The woman claimed the horses were Texas bound but not destined for slaughter, despite the fact that Mexican slaughter houses are just across the U.S. Mexico border from El Paso.

Finch, like many others, believes the BLM would rid western lands of all wild horses.

“The next move by the BLM will surely be a cry that they can no longer afford to support all the wild horses they have taken and to ask Congress to add an amendment to allow them to sell horses without restriction. That should make the non-thinking horse haters in Congress squeal in delight.”

”Bottom line, older wild horses should never be removed from their homes on the range and caring BLM employees have said as much to me,” Kathrens said. “Older mustangs are particularly vulnerable, not just because they have trouble adapting to incarceration, but because they are not attractive as adoption animals, making them targets for sale and potential purchase by killer buyers. Are unscrupulous government employees and private contractors involved in the current trafficking case? Until that question can be answered, there should be an immediate halt to round up operations and the subsequent hauling of wild horses to holding facilities where the public is denied access.”

Kathrens is calling for a federal tracking system to document the whereabouts of every wild horse under BLM control. “BLM needs to prove the whereabouts of every animal they have removed, particularly these older animals who have been rounded up in the last few years. If we can track an orange from the time it leaves the grove to the time it is sold at the grocery store, BLM can certainly implement a tracking structure for these federally protected mustangs. Until they can implement this kind of tracking, no wild horses should be removed from the safety of their ranges.”

 

July 30, 2011

BLM’s Roundup Schedule (July 22, 2011) and other Reports

BLM 2011 Holding Facilities Report

BLM Fiscal Year 2011 Adoption Report

BLM 2010 Completed Round-up Report

BLM 2009 Completed Round-up Report

National Wild Horse and Burro Tentative Gather Schedule

July 22, 2011

Herd Management Area
Gather Date
Planned Gather Number
Planned Removal Number
Office of Administrative Jurisdiction
Outside Paisley
Bait Trap
7/1/11 – 9/29/11
10
10
Outside Warm Spring
Bait Trap
7/1/11 – 9/29/11
10
10
Buck/Bald Complex
Triple B
Cherry Creek
Maverick/Medicine
Antelope Valley West
7/20/11 – 8/31/11
1,687
1,579
Jackies Butte
8/2/11 – 8/8/11
210
135
Three Fingers
8/9/11 – 8/15/11
250
175
Little Colorado
8/17/11 – 9/6/11
 280
 241
White Mountain
8/17/11 – 9/6/11
594
455

China Lake Navy

9/2/11 – 9/5/11

54

54

Ridgecrest, CA
Field Office

Winter Ridge HA
9/10/11 – 9/14/11
200
 200
Barren Valley Complex
Coyote/Alvord
Sheepshead/Heath
Sand Springs
9/10/11 – 9/30/11
 626
258
Spring Creek Basin
9/15/11 – 9/18/11
60
50
Piceance/East Douglas HMA
9/20/11 – 9/30/11
300
300
March 30, 2010

BLM’s Round-up Schedule for 2010

Here is a link to more round-ups at the taxpayer’s expense.

http://thecloudfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/roundupschedule2010_3pp.pdf

March 30, 2010

BLM wants 1000 more Wyoming Mustangs rounded-up

Bridger - McCullough Peaks Wild Stallion

The Bureau of Land Management, has proposed the removal of 1,000 more Wyoming Mustangs claiming that 1.7 million acres of public, wild horse designated lands can support no more than 1165 mustangs spread over the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Herd Management Areas.   Please take time to write BLM and Obama today.   In Defense of Animals has set up an easy-action form here – write today, comments due by Friday, April 2nd.

In all my years of photographing the Wyoming Wild Horses, I have never seen starving horses – except for one old & sick mare that I once observed at winter.    Please taks action if you enjoy Wild Horses and want to preserve this historic icon for our future generations.

March 30, 2010

Texas lost its Wild Horses

Did you know that Texas alone use to have over 1 million wild horses?

   Independent analysis of BLM’s own numbers reveal there may be only 15,000 wild horses currently remaining on public lands…. thousands fewer than when the 1971 Wild Horse & Burro Law was passed.

·      Very few herds left in the wild are genetically viable (meaning over 150 adults, allowing for herd to sustain itself)

·      It costs the American taxpayers over $110,000 a day to feed the 36,0000 wild horses the government has moved from the range to short and long-term holding (that is $44 million cost annually to American taxpayers).

·      BLM proposes to roundup an nearly 12,000 more wild horses and burros this fiscal year alone, likely only 3000 will be adopted

The BLM is always asking for more money, a larger budget, to store wild horses in holding pens…. ‘for the good of the horse’.

Please take a stand for Wild Horses!

March 22, 2010

77 Wild Horses Dead from Calico Roundups

So sad, literally depressing!

I just LOVE photographing and watching the wild horses, and I visit the wild herd areas as often as I can. To see that magical ‘wild spark’ in their eyes, with their ears perked toward you… their full attention aimed at you as they determine if you are friendly.

Horses have amazing senses, and unlike cattle, are indeed a true companion. (I’ve raised both)

Not only is the recent death tolls unacceptable, but the costs of the roundups are outragous!

RENO, Nev. — Activists in Nevada are questioning the rising death toll from a government roundup of wild horses from the range north of Reno.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman JoLynn Worley says 77 mustangs involved in the Calico Mountains Complex gather have died so far – 70 at a Fallon facility where they were taken and the rest at the roundup site.  That’s nearly double the 39 horses that had died when the roundup of 1,922 horses concluded on Feb. 5.

Calico Roundup- Death Toll Continues to rise 13 March 2010 BLM is “Processing” Calico Horses Now that the Roundup is Over 1922 mustangs captured, 610 estimated left on the range.

At least 77 horses have died and 40 some mares have had late term spontaneous abortions.  Foals are being born in the pens now.   The death toll continues to rise in the Fallon feedlot-style facility where the Calico mustangs are held.  Two foals have died after their hooves began falling off.

Nearly 12,000 wild horses and burros are to be rounded up and removed from their homes this year at a cost of over $32 million in taxpayer dollars.

Be sure to check the Cloud Foundation Blog for frequent updates.  Wild horses are outnumbered on our public lands at least 100:1 by privately-owned livestock on our public lands and although federally-protected by the 1971 Wild Horse & Burro Act, are not being treated as such on their designated western public lands, 24+ MILLION acres of which have been taken away since the Act’s passage.

Please take a stand for the Wild Horses!

January 6, 2010

A new year, and new items!

Wild Horse Gift ShopWild Horse Gift Shop

Visit our Wild Horse Gift Shop

 

October 28, 2009

Bridger update

A huge THANK YOU to fellow photographer Pam Nickoles who just found out and informed me, that one of my favorite Wild Horses, Bridger, from the McCullough Peaks Range was not rounded up and is still living free!

Pam and Carol Walker were both so helpful! – Thanks!

A small bit of good news when the world seems so tough now-a-days!

Bridger is the big, stocky grey stallion on the left.

bridger

Bridger and Bachelor Stallions, McCullough Peaks

 

October 26, 2009

Wild Horse Population Numbers

The Numbers:

Around 1900 there were about 2 million horses running free.   

Millions were shot, poisoned, slaughtered, and considered as pests by western Ranchers.

In the 1950’s (when Wild Horse Annie first brought horses to the national spotlight), there were only about 25,000 left in the wild.

In 1971, The Wild Horse & Burro Act was passed, and there were about 54,000 horses in the wild.   It was a long, hard battle for Horse Advocates to get this passed, but the law set aside 54 million acres for wild horses. – the initial public land where these horses were already established.

Now in 2009, there are approx. 32,000 horses in the wild.  Some say fewer, and want an actual census of horses and land to be done by a third party.

The BLM plans to remove 12,000 horses between Sept 2009-Oct 2010. 

If they conduct these expensive roundups in the next 12 months, that will leave about 20,000 horses in the wild – about 1/2 of the horses than when the Law was initially passed in 1971!  

The BLM is greatly reducing Wild Horses to near-extinction, and very quickly too. 

Since the 1971 Law was passed, 25 million acres (about 50%) have been quietly taken away from the wild horses.   Because of these little known BLM actions, the BLM tries to claim that these current (smaller and fewer) Ranges are overpopulated, and the land is ‘degrading’.  They claim that round-ups are for the safety of the horses – to prevent starvation. 

That is simply a lie from the BLM to convince the average American that round-ups are needed. 

There are 3 million cattle, 100:1 ratio of cattle to wild horses on public land. 

The horses are being mis-managed and driven to extinction, one horse range at a time, all across the great American West.

Please contact your State Senators, Congressmen, and the Obama Administration, to support the ROAM ACT and the Wild Horses.  Give them back the land that should be theirs in the first place.