Horse Health

Why Can’t BLM Build Shade Structures Like This?

By Debbie Coffey      Copyright 2013          All Rights Reserved.

The Bureau of Land Management adoption site for wild horses at the Sundance Ranch in Redlands, CA, has excellent shade structures that don’t seem to put the horses in any danger, are open to the air on all 4 sides, and also allow sunlight on the ground in the morning and afternoons, to help kill bacteria.



Look, they even added some trees for shade OUTSIDE of the pens.

download  photos by Debbie Coffey

Depending on the position of the sun, the shade covers different areas of the ground.  To accommodate snow at other BLM facilities, this type of roof might need to cover more area and be more steeply pitched.  But the posts are attached to the fence and don’t seem likely to cause injury to the horses.

Then again, the BLM hasn’t worried too much about the danger to the wild horses during roundups and transportation, during the use of a hot-shot, in squeeze chutes, and during the field spaying mares or gelding of cryptorchids (killing many in the process), which also don’t happen to wild horses out in the wild, so why BLM’s big concern about some posts attached to a fence?

While the shade cover at the Sundance Ranch in Redlands might be improved (the roof could be a little higher and an expert could make sure a horse can’t get its head caught between any pipes) this is a huge improvement over most BLM facilities (including Palomino Valley and Indian Lakes Road), and it accommodates all of the horses in this adoption site’s care.

Why can’t the BLM, the Department of Interior agency that drops millions of taxpayer dollars on the roundups of wild horses every year, fork over some money for shade structures like this?  The Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, has a mandate to protect the wild horses.   The BLM can build shade structures like the ones pictured, so why won’t they?  How many more horses have to die before the BLM provides shade and shelter to captive wild horses?

The BLM can (and does) whip up an “emergency” roundup at the drop of a cowboy hat.                                                                                                                                                              Send your Congressional representatives these photos, along with the photos taken by many wild horse advocacy groups and individuals at Palomino Valley, and demand some of the “loot” from the Department of Interior’s oil & gas royalties subsidize the building these shelters for the wild horses, since the wild horses are being removed from their Herd Management Areas (HMAs) for oil and gas development on the same lands within the HMAs.

Also, demand a stop to all roundups and a Congressional investigation into every aspect of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.

14 replies »

  1. I will call my reps and will call white house and am writing on Jewells facebook every day, now whether she reads that I don’t know, probably not, but doesn’t hurt…. Here in Western Kentucky lots of folks use those barge covers there metal half circle connect posts to them and done, so they have a rounded pitch to them and very sturdy and I am sure fairly cheap folks here have used them for riding arena covers, just a thought but there is ALL kinds of things they could put up and be safe for god sake…. WE ALL will keep up the fight to try and make it right for them or at least shade, right would be setting them FREE……………….


    • There can be many different solutions for facilities in different areas and climates. I think it is a good idea to send photos to the BLM to give them “tools” for their “toolbox” (terms they like to use).


  2. I realize these photos show a temporary adoption facility and not the exact answer for the larger facilities with wild stallions but the point is that in the extreme high and low temperatures and strong winds of the Reno area the horses are trapped in the pens and unlike horses in the wild, they are not able to move to higher ground or shaded areas or canyons for natural protection from the elements. This is not rocket science – this is simply humane treatment of wild animals.

    Of course the true answer is that they belong on their own legally designated land where, per the 1971 Congressional Act, the land is to be devoted PRINCIPALLY but not exclusively to the wild horses and wild burros welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands.

    Definition of “principally”: First, highest, foremost in importance, rank, worth or degree, chief, mainly, largely, chiefly, especially, particularly, mostly, primarily, above all, predominantly, in the main, for the most part, first and foremost.


    • And now that we have given the BLM the definition of “principally,” I hope that agency will see fit to act “principly” — or, to use proper English, to act based on the principles of compassion, justice, mercy, and so on.

      When we speak of someone who has “principles,” we mean that they act with integrity, honor, honesty, candor, forthrightness, uprightness, straightforwardness, goodness, probity, rectitude, sincerity, virtue, and — here’s my favorite word of all the synonyms: incorruptibility.

      Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to say one day: “Yup, the BLM folks are as incorruptible as they come.”


    • You are totally correct in your statement but the truth of the matter is the money that the government gets from leasing the grazing lands set aside for the wild horse and burro is more important than the welfare of our NATION HERITAGE, the wild horse. Our government would much rather staisfy the large ranchers than to protect the animal that made it possible for our ancestors to settle in the central and western portion of the United States.


      • Would you want to found an activist group called Marines for Mustangs, David? 🙂

        The wild horses and burros, when tamed, have always been “Semper Fidelis” to our armed services. It seems time for the courageous members of our armed forces to return the favor to the untamed equines, who desperately need selfless people like you and your fellow Marines to come to their defense.


  3. This is a good example of shade that could work….

    Like you said R.T. so much for the concern for the Wild Horses during the roundups.

    It’s just a “Lame” excuse by the “BLM”.


  4. Here in Colorado many of the parks are using something new I have just noticed this summer – they are Shade Sails, they seem to hold up pretty well to our high winds and hail.
    Seems if they were to put the poles to hold them on the outside of the pens and strech the sails over the corral corners, the horses would be safe (but I have not been to an HMA in person) and could get the relief they need from the hot sun. Just a suggestion to try to help.


  5. Anything the “burning journalism bush” puts up (aka Ms Coffey) is almost completely acceptable to me. Another good report.

    As to Redlands, CA…ummm very hot, shade looks like typical CA shade engineering yet nothing like Nevada and what the killers have done to those concentration camp wild equines.

    To answer the basic question as to “why” BLM doesn’t build shade structures like “this”….ummmmm…because they don’t have to, the contractors need their death/extermination cash and they really want as many dead as possible.

    Why do we have to, or any one for that matter have to keep asking this question??????

    The powers that want the land and resources, want the wild equines dead.


  6. Wow! That’s what our wild ones need. See the article below—SHADE! It’s possible and life-saving!. This is something you can tell the House Committee on Natural Resources that is supposed to investigate the DOI (BLM). Here’s a great chance to put your 2 cents in. Talking points should include mentioning the NSA report that said wild horses should be managed ON THE RANGE. You could talk about what is needed in the long term and short term holding pen/jails. Below are 1st phone, then fax numbers for those on this committee. All area codes are (202). Their meeting is on July 17th.

    You could also contact Sally Jewel and the media about the fact that solutions are available if the money were used to such purposes instead of those destructive and cruel round ups. There are advocacies that have offered to buy the materials. Z2z hugs, DMCQ Republicans: Doc Hastings, Chair 225-5816, 225-3251 Don Young 225-5765, 225-0425 Louie Gohmert 225-3035, 226-1230 Rob Bishop 225-0453, 225-5857 Doug Lamborn 225-4422, 226-2638 Rob Wittman 225-4261, 225-4382 Paul C. Broun 225-4101, 226-0776 John Fleming 225-2777, 225-8039 Tom McClintock 225-2511, 225-5444 Glenn Thompson 225-5121, 225-5796 Cynthia Lummis (BOOO) 225-2311, 225-3057 Dan Benishek 225-4735, 225-4710 Jeff Duncan 225-5301, 225-3216 Scott Tipton 225-4 761, 226-9669 Paul Gosar 225-2315, 226-9739 Raul Labrador 225-6611, 225-3029 Steve Southerland 225-5235, 225-5615 Bill Flores 225-6105, 225-0350 Jon Runyan 225-4765, 225-0778 Mark Amodei 225-6155, 225-5679 Markwayne Mullin 225-2701, 225-3038 Chris Stewart 225-9730, 225-9627 Steve Daines 225-3211, 225-5687 Kevin Cramer 225-2611, 226-0893 Doug LaMalfa 225-3076, 226-0852 Jason Smith 225-4404, 226-0326

    Democrats: Edward J. Markey 225-2836, 226-0092 Peter DeFazio 225-6416, 226-3493 Eni F. H. Faleomavaega 225-8577, 225-8757 Frank Pallone Jr. 225-4671, 225-9665 Grace F. Napolitano 225-5256, 225-0027 Rush Holt 225-5801, 225-6025 RAUL M. GRIJALVA 225-2435, 225-1541 Madeleine Z. Bordallo 225-1188, 226-0341 Jim Costa 225-3341, 225-9308 Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan 225-2646, 226-4249 Niki Tsongas 225-3411, 226-0771 Pedro Pierluisi 225-2615, 225-2154 Colleen Hanabusa 225-2726, 225-0688 Tony Cardenas 225-6131, 225-0819 Steven Horsford 225-9894, 225-9783 Jared Huffman 225-5161, 225-5163 Raul Ruiz 225-5330, 225-1238 Carol Shea-Porter 225-5456, 225-5822 Alan Lowenthal 225-7924, 225-7926 Joe Garcia 225-2778, 226-0346 Matthew Cartwright 225-5546, 226-0996

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  7. Public Zoos must live up to higher standards than BLM.. Are Zoo critters more worthy of shelter than our captured/imprisoned wild horses?


  8. To protect these horses wouldn’t go along their elimination plan…An act of god my backside.. You all know what this is about.


  9. The conditions are absolutely inhumane and it appears to shade the areas would be the most sensible and relatively simple way to provide the relief they so desperately need. I’m sure many of us advocates would be willing to help, if need be. No animal should have to endure and live under such intensifying heat, day in and day out, with no relief! Disgraceful!!!


  10. There is an Anti-Horse Slaughter/ Save Our Horses from BLM Abuse PROTEST happening at 11:30am ,Friday Aug 2nd at the west steps, in front of the Colorado State Capitol. Please attend and share this event with your friends and families. We need as many people to attend as possible to show their support for the American horses both wild and domestic. Thank you.

    Here is the Facebook page link


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