Horse News

Mother Nature Gives West Douglas Herd a 30 Day Reprieve

Update from the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Rain Rides in to Rescue Wild Horses

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

On July 30th the Colorado division of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) called off the alleged “Emergency” roundup of Colorado’s West Douglas Wild Horse Herd.  Earlier in the month wild horse and burro advocacy groups; Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue, Habitat for Horses, Dr. Don and Toni Moore along with the Wild Horse Freedom Federation attempted to block the proposed gather as it appeared to be an attempt to circumvent the current litigation blocking the BLM from zeroing out the unique wild horse herd for almost two decades.

Late in June the groups sent into the HMA qualified investigators that returned with photographic evidence that natural water supplies were prevalent throughout the HMA but on July 3rd U.S. District Judge Rosmary Collyer barred the BLM from removing all horses yet allowed the limited roundup of 50 horses due to the alleged short water supplies.

Wild horse advocates shared deep concerns that removing 50 individuals from the herd would seriously put the genetic viability of the ravaged herd at risk but it appears that mother nature has come to the rescue with ample precipitation and the horse removal operation has been suspended.

The resource conditions that warranted an emergency gather do not presently exist. The area has received rain on and off for the last 10 days. The horses have dispersed themselves throughout the HA and are no longer coming to the water trap. However, these present conditions are likely to change quickly and we could be right back in an emergency situation. The gather activities were placed in a “Suspend Work Order” for the next 30 days.

West Douglas Emergency Wild Horse Gather


Gather Reports

2012 Comments
July 15 Summary:  Construction began on the water trap today. No attempts to gather were made today.

Animals gathered: 0 
Animals shipped: 0 
Gather related animal deaths: 0 
Non-gather related animal deaths: 0 

 July 16 Summary:  Construction of trap completed at 1 p.m. Monitoring of trap area continues. No attempts to gather were made today.

Animals gathered:       0
Animals shipped:     0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 17 Summary:  Monitoring trap area today. No attempts to gather.

Animals gathered:       0
Animals shipped:     0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

 July 18 Summary: Monitoring trap area today. No attempts to gather

Animals gathered:       0
Animals shipped:     0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

 July 19 Summary:  Complete pannel contruction was completed and 10 horses were gathered.

Stallions Captured = 1

Mares Captured = 5

Foals Captured = 4

Animals gathered:   10
Animals shipped:  
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 20 Summary:  Horses gathered without any injury

Foals Captured = 1

Stallions Captured = 1

Mares Captured = 2

Animals gathered:      4
Animals shipped:  
Gather related animal deaths: 0 
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

 July 21 Summary:  Horses gathered without injury.  Transportation to Canon City is scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.

Foals Captured = 1

Stallions Captured = 2

Mares Captured = 2

Animals gathered:      5
Gathered related animal deaths: 0

Non-gather related animal deaths: 0

July 22 Summary: Gathering operations slowed with only one horse gathered.  No injuries to animals during this gather to date.  Animals gathered:       1
Animals shipped:     0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0
July 23 Summary:  No animals were gathered and no attempts at gathering took place today.  Animals were shipped to Canon City withoug incident.

Prior to the gather, one foal was identified as an orphan.  The mare responsible for this orphan was never located or identified.  The BLM  has sent the orphaned animal to foster care.

Animals gathered:       0
Animals shipped to Canon City:     19

Animals shipped for foster care: 1
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 24 Summary:  No animals were gathered and no attempts at gather were made.  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras.

General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

 July 25 Summary:  No animals were gathered and no attempts at gather were made.  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras.General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

 July 26 Summary:  No animals were gathered and no attempts at gather were made.  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras.General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 27 Summary:  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras. Horses remain in the area and are using water provided to them.  Gathering attempts were unsuccessful.General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 28 Summary:  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras. Horses remain in the area and are using water provided to them.  Gathering attempts were unsuccessful.General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 29  Summary:  Currently, we are collecting usage data with trail cameras. Horses remain in the area and are using water provided to them.  Gathering attempts were unsuccessful.

General Terrain and Weather: 

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Non-gather related animal deaths:  0

July 30 The resource conditions that warranted an emergency gather do not presently exist. The area has received rain on and off for the last 10 days. The horses have dispersed themselves throughout the HA and are no longer coming to the water trap. However, these present conditions are likely to change quickly and we could be right back in an emergency situation. The gather activities were placed in a “Suspend Work Order” for the next 30 days.

 

20 of the 50 were captured at the time of the roundup suspension, details can be viewed by clicking (HERE).

Further information on this ongoing battle can be viewed at Wild Horse Freedom Federation by clicking (HERE)

29 replies »

  1. I think we all also prayed for a miracle for these Mustangs , and the Mustangs got it !!!!!! Bravo Mother Nature and Mustang advocates ………………………………

    Like

  2. Well with the new EU Regulations for 2013 coming out that confirm that horses without passports will no longer be accepted for slaughter in 2013, I wonder what the BLM is going to do with all the horses they round up. Maybe they will have to stop the round ups and really try and figure this thing out. Maybe Pickens will have a chance to save them. Where else will they put them?

    Like

      • Yes, returning the horses to the range is called for. Then again, didn’t the BLM geld the stallions and colts? That’s a problem regarding family structures. Although, I’ve known domestic geldings who take refuge with a strong lead mare, and it seems to work out temporarily at least. Either way, the BLM is wrecking the lives of our icons.

        Like

      • Dear Chris1055, the BLM needs to be investigated for their Criminal Actions against the Wild Mustangs, they need to be tried in a Court of Law,,,,, for all of their Criminal actions……………………..

        Like

  3. What this says to me, is that these wild animals need to be left alone. They will disperse and look for water if they need to and mother nature is far more wise than man. Volunteers, including a vet, have been out there for over a month, documenting, photographing, and verifying that the horses do have water and the BLM was shouting “wolf,” just to zero out a herd that they’ve wanted to get rid of for decades.

    Like

  4. What this says to me is that the horses may make it through the summer ok but what are you all planning on them eating this winter? Basic common sense tells me that there has to be more than double the forage left at the end of the summer for them to winter on or you are going to have some starving horses come spring if you have horses at all. The first to die will be this years foals and then the mares. That is going to make genetic diversity just a tad bit tough to achieve if the majority of mares starve. I hope that you all that are fighting this now are wiling to follow these horses this winter and you call for an emergency gather if it is needed.

    Like

    • Funny thing Sandee, I think they did fine for many generations, long before you, me, the Grazing Association, and wild horse advocates were even a twinkle in God’s Eye.

      Like

    • Do you have any idea how many years, centuries, the wild horses have survived mother nature? And I am sure quite a few with little rain.They are the one of the hardiest animals in the wild. It is man they have a problem with. And the small artificial boundaries they are kept confined to.

      Like

  5. Sorry…but they still got some into that hell called Canon City and the judge disappoints me.

    The judge should know “emergency” to DOI/USDA means going around the system to still get their horses.

    The only good news is that they didn’t get them all; which proves NO drought conditions for highly resourceful and intelligent wild equines AND THE NUMBERS THESE MURDERERS THROW OUT THERE ARE FLAT OUT LIES!

    BUT!…they (the killers) still found away around our beloved judge re: West (and East?) Douglas Herd(s).

    Our side needs to start an internship with WWP.

    Like

  6. Agree Linda.

    Additionally, if these are BLM Gather Reports, notice that they have a line in the reporting box that is never filled in to report on the weather. It seems to me that they could have obviously been taking stock of weather and range conditions that could have suspended the roundup all along. Volunteers are out there doing the yeoman’s work of data collection. This represents 3 things to me:
    1. The roundup might have been called off earlier according to observed and reported conditions.
    2. If volunteers can do it, BLM can do it too. No excuse for not having the data.
    3. This includes the benefit of public-private partnership we hear so much about at the top BLM says “we can’t pay people to be out there monitoring blah de blah blah blah. We say, “oh, there’s an app for that. It’s called public-private cooperation. We’ll be happy to help you.”
    4. “Why, you would even lower expenditures by doing less roundups too,huh?”

    The trouble is, this would be sound, wise, proactive, pro-resource, money-saving management, wouldn’t it?

    I’m not sure how well-recognized this is by the agency, and what a real all-around gem they would have if they tried it. Resource managers would actually have to change their values here….

    Like

  7. The Judge could have and should have ordered someone to verify the conditions the Herd Management Area. BLM closed it to the public…even those on foot or horseback. Why is this area closed off for so long…even through the winter months?
    http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/wrfo_wild_horses.html
    Public Notices
    IMMEDIATE CLOSURE OF PUBLIC LANDS: The Bureau of Land Management, Northwest District, White River Field Office is giving notice that the BLM is temporarily closing certain access roads and certain areas to all public use, including vehicle operation and sightseeing, from June 20, 2012 to December 1, 2012. The closed area is located on or near Texas Mountain east of BLM Road 1214 and east of BLM Road 1063. Please click here to see the closure notice for more information including legal descriptions and a map.

    Like

    • Lieing is what they have always done the Best at ………………I am hoping their lies will come back and Haunt them !!!!! And I know they will !!!!

      Like

  8. With all the good news there are still 19 horses that need our prayers.

    Oh Gracious Heavenly Father, allow me to ask for a miracle and allow these precious animals to return to their families and their homes. They\’ve done nothing wrong. If that is not your plan then please let them find homes with loving caring hands and warm hearts. Amen

    Like

  9. There are several positives here. First, the BLM used water trapping. Second, they sent an orphaned foal to a foster. If the BLM had let Laura Leigh take Hope and care for him in 2010, they would have avoided the sense of outrage the public felt after they ran those little babies for nine miles over the frozen ground, put them in a cold, metal floored truck for a five hour ride to short term holding, and let the babies on the frozen ground. Then they told Laura she couldn’t take the little guy and nurse it back to health. No, they deceived her, and when she got back to ST holding, they had “humanely”????(what an outrage after all they did and did not do) euthanized the foal.

    So, I would see these as positives. But of course, Mother Nature called—-and the human guardians of these animals never gave up. There’s a lot going on here, but the important part of that the horses are on the range. Now the 20 the BLM removed need to be returned. And if that little foal’s mother can be found, the foal should be returned. That mare is somewhere out on the range looking for her baby.

    I agree with Rob 100%. Those horses don’t need our “help”. They need to be free of our unnecessary intervention. Secretary Vilsek, cut down that fence.

    Thanks for sharing. Prayers of Thanksgiving tonight.

    Like

  10. Sorry, Mr Plishkin but I have been watching BLM horses since 1974 when I adopted my first one and I can tell you that in the early days there were a lot of starvation cases. The reason that you no longer hear bout them is BECAUSE THE HERDS ARE MANAGED to a level that the land can handle. Does the BLM make mistakes, yes because you can’t trust Mother Nature to follow the plans. But you do your best and if something changes you adjust. That is what the BLM has done in this case, adjusted because there us some rain and they are hoping it will allow the horses to winter.

    Like

    • More human arrogance and ignorance….you can’t “trust” Mother Nature???

      Hmmm…yet you pretend to know better than Mother Nature and better yet, control it? BS.

      The wild equines lived and died well before the BLM ever showed their murderous faces on the planet.

      And the “starvation” argument is the perpetual red herring of horse butchers and wild equine exterminators. Thanks for showing your hand.

      Like

    • You’re expecting reasonable thinking folks to believe that Mother Nature is at fault and the BLM has saved the day? You really need to put down the kool-aid. The horses did fine for hundreds and hundreds of years before the BLM came along. You are aware they are the most successful prey animal that has ever existed on this planet aren’t you? Think that’s because of the BLM? HUMPH!

      Like

  11. Excerpts from an article written in 2004:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48739-2004Sep24.html
    Oil and Gas Hold the Reins in the Wild West
    Land-Use Decisions Largely Favor Energy Industry
    By Joby Warrick and Juliet Eilperin
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Saturday, September 25, 2004; Page A01
    PARACHUTE, Colo. — The last sanctuary of the West Douglas wild horse herd is a desolate, forbidding place, which is just how the horses like it. As many as 60 skittish sorrels and bays make their home on the steeper slopes and stony ridges north of here, abandoning the valleys to growing throngs of oil and gas men looking for places to drill.
    In west-central Colorado near the town of Rifle, a latticework of hundreds of gas wells and service roads in the energy-rich Piceance Basin ends abruptly at the foot of the Roan Plateau, which vaults 3,500 feet above the Colorado River valley. From this vantage, the stakes in the national debate over federal wild lands come into stark relief.
    The plateau’s white-shale cliffs support a summit that is an undeveloped island of green — 73,000 acres of virgin aspen forests and trout-rich streams. But it may not remain so for long. Energy companies want the natural gas that sits under the plateau. The Interior Department, which received title to the land in 1997, intends to grant access to at least some of it. The details await one of the 21 “time-sensitive” management plans now under development at the BLM.
    “Once the steamroller starts rolling, it doesn’t pick and choose,” said Duke Cox, a builder and businessman from the nearby town of Silt. “It just rolls over everything.”
    Some local gas companies also fear that the horses will lead to future limits on drilling. One firm, the El Paso Production Oil & Gas Co., filed a petition in 2001 urging the BLM to make good on its earlier promises to eliminate the herd. The petition said that wild horses had been a “destructive nuisance” on public lands.
    In March, the BLM unveiled a plan to remove the horses as soon as possible. The rationale was the poor quality of the herd’s habitat, owing to agency’s earlier decisions to lease 93 percent of the preserve for oil and gas production. And the plan allowed for drilling on most of the other 7 percent. Steve Hall, a BLM spokesman in Colorado, said the decision was difficult because of the horses’ “emotional and symbolic” value but added that the horses would be handled humanely. “It is overly simplistic to say that oil and gas drove the horses off the land,” Hall said. “But years of management decisions resulted in so much development that the horses can no longer thrive here.”
    The BLM plan would preserve the herd area in name only, keeping open the option that wild horses might someday be returned to the region, “after the oil and gas resources are depleted.” That makes some horse lovers laugh.
    “We’ve never seen an area where horses were zeroed out and then put back in — and it isn’t going to happen here,” said Toni Moore of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, which advocates preserving the herd.
    She sees the entire wild land going the way of the wild horses.
    “Once you’ve taken that away,” she said, “you’ll never get it back again.”

    Like

  12. I agree with Toni Moore. We know this area of Colorado well. Altho we do not live up there, Roger has worked there. Even in Winter on Piceance Ridge where he saw wild horses and wolves. We have continued to fight for the Roan Plateau, also.

    There are layers here the public has barely heard of or seen. Knowing your public lands is nothing short of a degree level experience. But you can learn and fight for these lands if you care enough to learn more.

    Thanks, Louie, that was good!

    Like

Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.