Equine Rescue

BLM: Horses Have Water?

Source: By DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS of the Elko Daily Free Press

The BLM employee didn’t see any horses, but because water was available, the BLM believes the horses to be in good shape.

BLM "caring" for Nevada wild horses ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM “caring” for Nevada wild horses ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

ELKO — Reports that wild horses were without water prompted local Bureau of Land Management to investigate this week.

Contracted water hauler Jackie Wiscombe told the county commission Wednesday that the federal government shutdown had prohibited her from watering wild horses in Ruby Valley and Deer Springs, an area about 15 miles north of Currie.

She said she was concerned the animals were dying of thirst. The road to Deer Springs had been washed out, Wiscombe added, and she was unable to drive to the guzzlers.

Alerted by the news, BLM Elko District Director Jill Silvey said an employee was sent to Deer Springs to check on water and horse conditions.

The BLM employee was able to get to Deer Springs on a road that had some washout but was passable, Silvey said. The employee also reported that the horse guzzler still had water.

The employee didn’t see any horses, but because water was available, she said, the BLM believes the horses to be in good shape.

Silvey was unsure where the communication broke down, but said hauling water to the horses is an essential service and the BLM didn’t intend for Wiscombe to stop watering the two areas.

Wiscombe said she was contacted Thursday night and told that she should have received an email and voice message when the shutdown began, telling her to continue hauling water.

Wiscombe is also unsure how the miscommunication occurred, but couldn’t recall getting an email.

In any event, Wiscombe said she’s glad to be working with the agency again.

“I like working with this BLM office,” she said, “and they really do care about these wild horses.”

Mostly, she’s happy to be watering horses again.

On Friday she hauled water to Ruby Valley where the tubs were “bone dry.”

Wiscombe said she didn’t see any horses but did find fresh horse tracks near the guzzlers.

“I filled them up,” she said. “And I’ll go fill them back up in a few days.”

Commissioner Demar Dahl said Wednesday he could help fix a road if it was impassable.

Wiscombe said she would keep in contact with the commission if the road needed repair.

The Elko District BLM office is closed. Almost all of its employees have been on furlough since Oct. 1, when the federal government shut down.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Elko Daily Free Press

29 replies »

  1. “she should have received an email and voice message when the shutdown began, telling her to continue hauling water.””

    Sounds like this contract worker didn’t even care enough to call the BLM management herself? To assume that it’s ok under ANY conditions to stop watering animals is neglect of those animals. The other employee reported road as passable, they drove the road and checked the water. such poor management!!.contract workers have no management. No one checks that they do what the paid contract demands of them. BLM even provides the trucks, the water-everything. All they have to do is put in the hours they are PAID for.


  2. I agree Sunlei—sounds like they are clucking like chikens now that they were found out–excuses-excuses-excuses, she was not a non essential employee so she should have been working all along. Besides I have read articles that they are going to get back pay any how, so why did she feel it neccesary to think she did not have to take care of OUR animals, Just your typical BLM employee.


  3. Contrary to the BLM beliefs they should be checking in person , there are Magnificent lives here at stake !!!!!!! that cannot be compromised !!!!!! What in the hell is wrong with these people !!!!!!! Mustangs are priority one !!!!!!!!!!


  4. So, can we really take any of these workers or the BLMs word for it that the horses are indeed receiving water? How do we know? Seems we cant trust the word of any government employee or those associated with our government about anything anymore! What a mess this government makes out of everything!


    • BLM’s word ( lMAO, my side hurts.. please make it stop :)) or a workers word, heck NO. They have proven themselves to be liars every time they get a chance, or end up in a tough spot. Sorry, to say they do NOT care about these horses.. Only the paychecks that the Mustangs generate for the workers, and contractors. Getting rick off of taxpayers money!


  5. Also park your vehicle, ride a bike to the water. I would have found a resourceful way to check if i was that contractor. I am sick of excuses!


  6. Sorry gettin soap box out again, these people cant seem to survive in the old west anymore! What happened? We from the central to the easten and the states below the western corner of usa have turned whiney. What happened to tough, weather trained hard working people which didn’t allow anything to stop them? There’s tougher weather working people who let nothing stop them inside New York


    • Sorry meant people in the old west turned whiney and people south of those states central and eastern states are tougher and more hardworking people in New York City taking care of animals than in a few old west states thatvused to have true grit, looks like New York City has More True Grit than the old west can muster these days!


  7. The contractors are supposed to be caring for the horses in the absence of BLM staff at the various facilities. A minimum number of BLM staffers are supposed to be at the facilities to oversee the contractors. Why wasn’t the contractor able to water the horses? Why is the BLM intent on killing off all of our wild horses, and quite frankly, while Mr. Fitch is merely passing stories along, it seems to me that a comment from him would be most helpful.


      • Sorry, both myself and the other volunteer who manage this blog are away from the computer while working a project that will, hopefully, put a stop to much of grief that we write about, here. We are not sitting in front of a computer screen for the bulk of the day but instead behind the wheel, volunteering in hopes of making a difference, plus keeping the information flowing.


      • You are a new commenter. All new commenters have to be initially approved for the sake of security and we are not staring at the computer all day long but instead out in the field, hopefully, making a difference. We only have the time to check on this system in the wee hours of the morning so your moderated comments will have to wait, as do we.


    • You will find my comment to be the very first one on the page where this article originally resides. I have but several links, above, and requested that all post there. That is the norm, if the comment is of interest I will comment, on site, and share here.


    • Yes Diane , I was thinking the same thing ??? Mr. Fitch has been very quite , almost a dead calm ,through this so far , hope he comments soon here !!!!!!


  8. Ain’t it funny…a BLM employee is deployed to look at the guzzlers and reported back they still had water yet when the contractor hauled water she says they were bone dry…things that make you go hmmmmmmm!


  9. A noxious stench all right – these money grubbers and their lawyers stink, and our water supplies all over the country are polluted, how can anyone justify making them worse or say environmental review is ‘meaningless’.


  10. Again? With the contracts?????? Really? For living beings there is ANY discussion of government shutdown??????


    Another nail in the Federal and State coffin that proves they are out to KILL wild equines.


  11. We need boots on the ground. We need to see this in person. The time is now. These are our precious horse families just existing and we need a plan to put them back in the wild somewhere. We all must work on this and collectively we can put together a great and workable plan to help them. Better than the govt plan. We must step in to help them. I say we can rally up a huge convoy of trucks to get them to where they need to go when we get through the govt red tape. The govt is broke and we must save them one group at a time. The horses are depending on us. We must make sure they are getting water. Winter is almost here then what? Shelter they need shelter from winter storms. Yes we can rally up the right people to do a huge job and get it done now.


    • You’re absolutely right, Judith!!!! Groups must step in to help, now more than ever! It’s disgusting the lackadaisical attitude they show for our beautiful wild horses. They deprive them of their freedom, now THIS?!


      • I believe this is the very situation we have been waiting for all these years, our Mustangs must be put back where they belong !!!!!!!


  12. Dear RT, so far we have not heard a comment from you on the situation concerning and facing Our Mustangs of late , we all have been here for so very long unable to do anything to help them, wouldnt now be the time to show the Force of the Horse…. I believe that every single one of us here have been here trying to help these magnificent Mustangs return to FREEDOM, would this be the time to do so ????????? I for one am willing to fly from here to designated area if there is a united Plan to save our Mustangs , The BLM has not done one thing for our Mustangs lawfully and I understand we would be Lawful ……..isnt there something we can do to help them RIGHT now !!!


  13. Its too bad that some of the mustangs in captivity couldnt be divided up and brought to other states in the northeast and southeast, where they could live on state owned lands. This would help cut down on the over population in the western states where the climate is so harsh with wildfires, droughts and huge snowstorms. This would help the eastern states with an increase in tourism and make it much easier for those looking to adopt wild mustangs by bringing them closer to the ones who want to adopt them. The states all would be responsible for managing the herds. Like they do with the Chicoteaque ponies and they could have a yearly adoption auction. I know there are some states that have vast tracts of state owned forests and fields. There are lots of abandoned ranches and farms with land that is growing up for lack of use as pastures both private and state owned that could be put to good use. Private land owners could receive tax breaks from the state if they agree to take on a band of wild horses and manage them and the states would receive help from the Feds for their care. It would seem something like this could be worked out to save our wild horses from going to slaughter, if people really cared enough to try to do it! Does this sound like a good plan? Maybe i should write my state government and broach the idea? Just racking my brains out trying to think of something to save them if they cant be brought back onto their own designated lands!


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