Armed Law Enforcement Out Number 4 Credentialed Reporters at Wild Horse Stampede
TWIN PEAKS, CA (Horseback) – A heavy, armed police presence protected America and the Federal Bureau of Land Management wild horse stampede contractor from four journalists and no anti-BLM activists at the “gather” held today at Twin Peaks, according to Horseback Magazine’s R.T. Fitch at the site. There were two reporters and a photographer representing the Texas based magazine, as well as a videographer working for the New York Times, a paper which was provided unfettered access earlier this week while other media organizations and citizen observers were kept at bay.
“Why are we being kept away,” the Times photog asked, incredulous that she wasn’t given the same deferential treatment as her colleagues had been afforded earlier in the week before Horseback Online exposed BLM’s media favoritism and attempt spin its story to the powerful national paper.
She was told the captured horses were being held on private land and the landowner had prohibited outsiders from coming on his property, the usual reason BLM has refused access to its trap sites.
Fitch reported there were four armed BLM rangers, one armed sheriff, and multiple agency staff members guarding the two horses captured Friday from the intruding press. Chief photographer Terry Fitch took a photograph of the cars of personnel protecting the contractor from the press. The stampede helicopter and its operators have been the subject of intense scrutiny after scores of horses have died at recent “gathers.” The roundup was called off at 9 a.m. because the helicopter from Cattoor Livestock Roundups of Nephi, UT. could find no horses.
Fewer and few wild horses are to be found in the West in the wake of relentless roundups by the federal agency. Critics allege they are clearing the animals from the land for the utilization of special interest groups.
The chief of the BLM’s security detail at Twin Peaks has refused an on the record interview with Horseback regarding the reason for such a heavy police presence being paid for by the American taxpayers when there has never been an apparent threat.