HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management is hiding the identity of landowners who are providing wild horse trap sites.
Journalist, author, and artist Laura Leigh won a major First Amendment victory in federal court when Reno’s Judge Larry Hicks ruled it unconstitutional for the BLM to bar observers and the press from observing wild horse “gathers.”
But she was barred by local deputies and threatened with if she pursued her recently won right to observe wild horse “gathers.” Why? Because the trap site used by the federal agency was located on privately owned land. Leigh was told the landowner would not allow press and public on his property.
BLM officials told her to get permission from the landowner if she wanted to see the horses.
“In the BLM response to my desire to observe Tuscarora (Owyhee specific) they claim that I should have independently contacted the landowner. How can I do that if they do not provide the trap site locations that are actually in use and the landowner’s information? Are we supposed to trespass and then ask the person listed on the summons?” she wrote to Horseback Magazine.
In a letter to BLM dated July 27th, the magazine asked for the names and contact information for the landowners. The agency response – a stone wall reminiscent of the classic Joseph Heller anti bureaucracy satire, Catch 22.
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