More on BLM’s Palomino Valley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
CONDITIONS WORSEN AT BLM’S PALOMINO VALLEY CENTER, FOR CAPTIVE NATIVE WILD HORSES AND BURROS
 
BY: Jetara Séhart, Native Wild Horse Protection
 
August 30, 2014
 
The Bureau of Land Management, Native Wild Horse & Burro holding facility, located in Palomino Valley, Nevada, has taken a turn for the worse.
 
Last year, citizens of Nevada and from across the country, including veterinarians, many animal and equine welfare organizations expressed deep concern, for the welfare of the horses and burros held within this facility, over inhumane treatment, animal abuse and neglect, caused by failure to simply provide basic needed shelter and more drinking water troughs, to prevent doctor warned heat related and suffering and death, for many horses and burros. 
 
Located in high desert, approximately 1,800 horses and burros held within the BLM’s, Palomino Valley Center, are fenced within cages, with no shelter, provided no way to escape, life threatening Summer desert sun’s blazing hot rays, or Winter’s freezing cold storms.
 
The Bureau of Land Management’s, Palomino Valley Center, responded to public concern to end abuse, to create shelters and provide needed water troughs, with a “wild horse comfort workshop”, where shortly there after promises were made to try 3 shelters, to determine, which would be most effective, that was 12 months ago
Three small shelters were installed, but no real action, since has been taken to erect shelters, to ease suffering and help the near 2,000 horses and burros survive, within this facility.
 
 
The BLM’s PVC and individual facilities, require Secretary Jewell and the Bureau of Land Management, executive branch, located in Washington D.C., to instruct these improvements be made, in order to utilize a portion of this year awarded budget to the BLM, in the amount of $120,000,000, to be applied, to erect shelter protection, for the BLM captured, captive native wild horses and burros. Unfortunately, Secretary Jewell has been silent on this urgent matter and the BLM Washington D.C. executive office, fails to order the life saving changes to be implemented. Public outcry, continues for immediate emergency changes to be made to erect shelter for wild horses and burros, in social media networks.
 
A visit to the BLM’s, PVC facility, yesterday by wild horse advocate and Nevada, resident Patty Bumgarner, uncovered further health and safety concerns for horses, burros and also near by humans. A large insect infested manure filled pond, caused by this week’s rains, is located standing, openly behind the horse pens. Bumgarner, noted swarming insects flying and birds gathering eating insects, but no BLM staff was seen working to alleviate the apparent health hazard. This week’s rains, created concern of flooding upon the playa, that caused Burning Man to delay their opening, is located near the BLM’s Palomino Valley Center, facility.
 
Dr. Lester Friedlander BA DVM, former Chief USDA Inspector, President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter, expressed his medical opinion about this situation:
“The stagnant water is a very good breeding ground for Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are carriers of the West Nile Virus and other Diseases.. It has been well documented thru out the United States that horses got sick and then died. Veterinarians who did the Necropsies of these horses did isolate the West Nile Virus.
It should be of Public Health Significance that no water lay stagnant, to prevent Mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water; since West Nile Virus affects both Humans and Animals.

The stagnant Water should be drained or kept moving until it is dispersed into the soil.”

 
Upon Bumgarner’s arrival at approximately 11:30 am., she visited the BLM air conditioned offices and heard acting Director Jeb Beck, instructing several BLM employees to keep the water cool in the troughs, for the horses. There was no discussion, to erect needed shelters, nor to remedy the standing water pond. When Bumgarner, left the facility just before noon, the temperature already had risen to 92 degrees, with an expected high temperature forecast of 97 degrees. The Bureau of Land Management pens are mainly barren, shelterless and in full Sun, barren soil in 104 degree temperatures may reach 148 degrees or higher, posing serious risk for the captive horses and burros
 
Cost effective compassionate solutions lie waiting for the BLM to implement, such as “rain water catches” and solar panel roofed shelters to save the horses, burros and create free electricity for surrounding residents and the BLM facility. This is the Chinese New Year of the Horse, a good time to support our nation’s treasured wild horses and burros to survive and thrive.
 
Photo: Patty Bumgarner, large still water pond provides a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, BLM’s Palomino Valley Center, Nevada
PHOTO: Patty Bumgarner, BLM’s Palomino Valley Center, located in high desert, a burro seeks shade beneath another burro, awaiting over a year for the facility to erect, urgently needed shelter, the burros here, appear to have come up with a temporary solution, to try to alleviate the Sun’s heat.
PHOTO: Cat Kindsfather, Many magnificent horses await help at the Bureau of land Management’s, Palomino Valley Center
All horses are available for adoption, please adopt and support the public land to be shared equally with native wild horses and burros.
Included links for reference:
Contacts for Media:
Jetara Séhart, Executive Director, www.nativewildhorseprotection.com (415)275-4441
Dr. Lester Friedlander BA DVM, former Chief USDA Inspector, President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter
Patty Bumgarner, Wild Horse Advocate ( 775) 301-6512
Coleen Denson, Wild Horse Advocate (775) 276-1187

Wild Horse & Burro Advocates make next move in Wyoming Welfare Ranching Case

Source: HorseTalk

“This decision illegally elevates the interests of a small group of private landholders and ranchers over the broader interest of the American public and our federally protected wild horses,”

photo by Carol Walker

Wild horse advocates have lost a legal bid for a temporary injunction to stop the muster of mustangs from the checkerboard lands of Wyoming, but they have been granted more time to allow for an appeal…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at HorseTalk

Court Grants Emergency Injunction to Delay BLM Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup

An update from Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, who is a plaintiff in this Wyoming case.

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats.com

Salt Wells Creek Wild Horse Family

For Immediate Release

Court Grants Emergency Injunction to Delay BLM Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup

Cheyenne, WY (August 29, 2014)…..Late yesterday, the U.S. District Court in Wyoming granted an emergency injunction to delay until September 12 the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) planned roundup of more than 800 wild horses from public and private lands in the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in an area known as the Wyoming checkerboard.
The injunction allows the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom and wild horse photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl the opportunity to appeal the district court’s denial of our motion for a Preliminary Injunction to stop the roundup, which was also issued late yesterday.

In response to the rulings, the plaintiffs issued the following statement:

We are pleased that the district court in Wyoming has temporarily enjoined the roundup, but are disappointed in the court’s denial of our longer-term preliminary injunction request. This decision illegally elevates the interests of a small group of private landholders and ranchers over the broader interest of the American public and our federally-protected wild horses.

We look forward to the opportunity to challenge this decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The ruling fails to hold the BLM to account for its flagrant violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Over 40,600 citizens have signed a petition opposing this wild horse roundup. Their voices are being ignored as the BLM marches to the tune of the Rock Springs Grazing Association, whose members view America’s cherished wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on our public lands.

We are hopeful that the Tenth Circuit will reverse the district court’s decision to allow the BLM to trounce federal law and the will of the people by proceeding with this unprecedented wild horse roundup without even attempting to comply with governing laws on federally protected public land. At stake is the integrity of well-established laws that govern the BLM’s management of our public lands.

READ THE REST HERE.

 

Judge Sides with BLM’s Quest to Destroy Last of Wyoming’s Wild Horses & Burros

Source: Mulitple

Dispite Evidence that BLM Violated Environmental Laws the Deadly Roundup Will Proceed

BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A federal judge has denied a well aruged request from wild horse and burro advocates to block the federal government’s plan to round up  800 wild horses in Wyoming and virtually “zeroing-out” several very significant herds.

Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne on Thursday denied the group’s request for an injunction. The groups responded by filing an appeal with a federal appeals court in Denver.

The groups are challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s plans to remove horses from the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas in southern Wyoming areas starting next month.

The groups claim the federal agency failed to follow environmental laws in planning the action.

The state of Wyoming has inappropriatly intervened in the lawsuit, saying wild horses must not be allowed to damage the lands or conflict with private property rights, even though private cattle and sheep outnumber the horses over 100 to 1.

80 Mustangs Die After Move To Scott City

(To read the article referenced in the article below, titled “Wild Horses of the Flint Hills,” click HERE.)

SOURCE:  KMUW.org

Fury and her mare buddies at the Flint Hills ranch, Feb. 2014 – This summer they were removed to the Scott City feed lot.  Eighty of them perished.
Credit Aileen LeBlanc

You may remember a story that we did in February called “Wild Horses of the Flint Hills.”  It was a story of thousands of wild mustangs which were roaming almost free in vast ranches in the Flint Hills near Cassoday, Kansas.  They originally came from the open ranges of the West and they were brought here because of over crowding.  They are managed by the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

When we were there in February, the horses were all looking healthy–even a little plump.  And now, 80 of them are dead.

“Fury” in the Flint Hills, photo taken in February 2014
Credit Aileen LeBlanc

“The horses had to be removed from a private ranch where they had been held for a number of years under contract.  And that rancher elected not to renew his contract with the government,” said Paul McGuire.  “So BLM was obligated to remove those animals and find another home for them.”

Paul McGuire is with the BLM based in Oklahoma City. Fourteen-hundred and ninety-three mares were moved–200 a day–on semis beginning in the middle of June.

“The first full-month report we had from the facilitator operator came at the end of July.  And it was at that time that we saw numbers on the order of about 47 horses had either died or had to be put down during that time,” said McGuire.  “Those are the numbers that, when they came to BLM’s attention, our leadership immediately dispatched a team to look into that and figure out what was going on and halt it.”

But it didn’t stop at 47.  The horses continued to die in the corral.  Some were too weak to get up and had to be euthanized.  These are the same horses that had lived in the Flint Hills pasture for 14 years.

The feed lot in Scott City is a lot that is used to taking care of cattle and some bison, but not horses who are unaccustomed to being penned, traveling in semi-trucks in the summer, or eating from a bunk or trough.

Video of the Scott City feed lot courtesy of BLM.

“In a feed lot, the horses have to push their way to the bunk, and in some cases, compete for space,” said McGuire.  “You have situations of dominant horses maybe keeping more timid horses back.  And that behavioral dynamic was found to have been what was really at play, or suspected to be what was the cause some of these horses not adapting well to that new environment.”

The inspection team included a vet from the USDA, and though their findings are preliminary, the changes that they made include a different blend and portion of feed.  But the shock of relocation and adjustments to the new home were determined to be the causes of death.

Mares at a lake in the Flint Hills. This photo was taken for our “Wild Horses of the Flint Hills” story which aired in February 2014.
Credit Aileen LeBlanc
 The mustangs began their lives as free roaming animals and have never been broken or gentled, ridden or been hitched to a cart. They like the humans who feed them in the winter–but that’s about it. On the pasture there are many stands of trees, lakes, hills, and valleys. At the corral there is no shelter, no shade. The BLM found that heat has not been a factor. Stephanie Boyles Griffin, senior director of innovative wildlife management with the Humane Society of the United States disagrees.

“We have been stressing since last summer that the BLM has to provide shade for animals that are at a government holding facility–either a long-term holding facility or a short-term.  Adopters are required to provide those animals with shade,” said Boyles Griffin.  “They’re currently doing a study to see if shade is necessary at the Palomino Valley facility outside of Reno, NV, and we all said this is ridiculous.  And again, it speaks to the need for a comprehensive animal welfare program.  If they can’t even make a decision to provide animals with shade without having doing a study, there’s clearly a disconnect between the BLM and identifying just common basic needs of animals they hold in captive holding facilities.”

Paul McGuire of the Bureau of Land Management says that the situation at the Scott City feed lot has stabilized, and that they are trying to secure pastures for the remaining mares.

The “Wild Horses of the Flint Hills” video was shot by Aileen LeBlanc in February 2014. 

Photos of wild mares (& bison) on BLM’s contracted feedlot in Scott City, KS

Yesterday it was about 97 degrees with no shade on this flat feedlot in Scott City, Kansas.  There may also be thunderstorms and lightning this week.   The BLM recently shipped almost 1,500 wild mares to this feedlot from the Teterville long term holding pasture in Kansas.  80 wild mares have died in a short period of time.  As you know, the BLM only invited CREDENTIALED PRESS on a tour of this facility.  The BLM did NOT invite representatives of any wild horse & burro advocacy groups, or members of the public.   However, the public (who cares) posted these photos and comments on the internet:

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20 -30 horses in one pen beside bison.

No shelter, in small pens, with extremely hot temps.  It seems that some of the horses had no freezebrands or tags on their necks.

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This is a lagoon for this feedlot.

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Signs from the road.

Live-stream of BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting TODAY in Riverton, Wyoming

 

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be live-streamed at blm.gov/live

at 8:00 am MST on August 25, 2014

The link to the meeting AGENDA is HERE.

(A link to meeting handouts is attached to the live-stream page, but at the time of this posting, there were no meeting handouts on that link)

Wild horse & burro advocacy groups will be holding a press conference at noon (MST).

Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the removal of wild horses in Wyoming is there and will be speaking at the Press Conference at noon.  Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation is also there.

You can find links to you tube videos, minutes and recommendations of past National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meetings HERE.