by R.T. Fitch
While Emmy award winning cinematographer Ginger Kathrens was held in a designated “protest area” , during the Pryor Mountain round up, and required to have “security” escort herself and a small group of professional photographers, writers and authors about the Britton Springs BLM holding facility; cattleman and purported horse trainer Ken McNabb and his family were granted free and unfettered access to the entire facility. Mr. McNabb’s children had free rein to run and play anywhere they wanted while the unbiased professionals were held under close watch and moved only when they could be escorted by security on this publicly owned property. Is this not a contradiction of terms, morals and clear acts of discrimination? We think so.
Mr. McNabb confronted Ginger Kathrens, volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation, on the morning of September 3rd after the attempt to procure a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to delay the unwarranted round-up of the Pryor Mountain wild horses had failed. McNabb sauntered down to the gate, from the BLM facility offices, with a microphone on his lapel and a film crew in tow. He clearly had rehearsed his attack on Ms. Kathrens and was unrelenting in stressing the “cattlemen’s” point of view. It was a staged assault and came off as a weak and shallow publicity stunt to all present, including attending major network correspondents (of whom gave him no notice or coverage what so ever).
But his unwavering support of the attack on the wild horses granted he and his family unlimited access to all areas of the facility while educated, forward thinking, tax paying professionals were treated like sub-humans by the BLM’s Operations “Commander” Jim Sparks.
Sparks continually belittled and berated the non-biased Humane Observer Elyse Gardner while treating any polite questions from the observing professionals with disdain. It was not until the very last day that Sparks demonstrated a single once of civility to the volunteer observers but after a week of nose thumbing it proved to be “too little, too late”.
So more questions arise; Why was McNabb allowed free access to the facility, along with his unsupervised children, while Ms. Kathrens and company were confined to a “protest” area and were under the direction and supervision of a security guard at all times? Does one need to own cattle to be in favor with the BLM? Could this be considered discrimination and a clear violation of federal law? Did Jim Sparks and the “shoot from the hip” BLM step over the line?
More questions for you to ask your Congressman, Senator, Director of the BLM, Secretary of the Interior and the President of the United States. Please, make the calls and speak the truth.