Horse News

Checkerboard Wild Horse Roundup Day 2

On-Site observations by Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Every wild horse is to be removed from the Checkerboard Lands in the Red Desert in Wyoming because the BLM at the behest of the Rocks Springs Grazing Association is treating this vast area of alternating tracts of private and public land as if they were just private land.”

photos by Carol Walker, music by Bill Webb

It is day two of the Checkerboard Roundup in Wyoming, and I am in a long line of cars with their lights on, as the sky is gradually lightening, headed down I-80. It looks like a funeral procession, and it actually even feels like one to me because I know there is no happy ending for the horses that will be rounded up today. At every other roundup I have attended in the past, at least some of the horses are released back into the range. They might give the mares birth control, or do something stupid ands skew the sex ration of stallions to mares, but still there was hope for some to remain free. Not this time. Every wild horse is to be removed from the Checkerboard Lands in the Red Desert in Wyoming because the BLM at the behest of the Rocks Springs Grazing Association is treating this vast area of alternating tracts of private and public land as if they were just private land. An the horses now must be removed not only from all private land on 2 million acres, but also from all the public land interspersed with it.

We are at the observation area for the first trap site at Great Divide Basin a mile and a half from the trap which we cannot even see. We are told the helicopters will bring the horses by us but I don’t believe it. There is a big group here today including reporter Dave Phillips from the New York Times and yes this is the Dave Phillips who originally lived in Colorado and broke the story about Tom Davis selling those 1700 mustangs to slaughter.

We saw one small group running on a ridge then just the helicopter. We were promised that the horses would run by us. I would call tho non-observation. This is hands down the worst location for viewing I have ever been stuck in at a roundup. – 1 1/2 miles from the trap and we cannot even see it – it and the approach to it are behind a hill.

Whoohoo we moved! We now have a much better spot and can see the large area on the other side of the trap and we are over the ridge that was blocking our view. We still cannot see the trap or the approach to it, but this is the area the horses were coming across earlier.

Now we can see on the ridge a small family led by a grey stallion, with a grulla mare, black foal and an old grey mare that I saw here 2 days ago. She is lame and they are tired, moving slowly toward the trap.

Troy Cattoor comes over on horseback to chat with us while waiting for the helicopter to bring the horses. We have seen the helicopter at a great distance but could not see horses at all for the last couple of hours. I am still here!

A group of 5 big bay and black bachelors ran right by us unexpectedly, Jay yells a heads up to me because I was getting water at my car, and I yell to the rest of the group while running back and we grab our cameras. Then the bachelor group circles around and heads out to the road.

Next two large groups with several families were driven into the valley in front of us along the far ridge and the two helicopters are together, working them all into the trap which is out of our view. There must be about 25 horses all at the same time headed toward the trap.

Finally we get the word that they have finished rounding up for the day. We are headed to the temporary pens to see the horses they removed today. We are told that we can see them after the horses receive food and water.

As soon as we are given the ok we drive into Salt Wells to the temporary holding area for the horses rounded up and Sue Cattoor gave us a tour of the horses. 63 total wild horses lost their freedom forever today: 24 mares, 20 stallions and 19 foals and yearlings. There were mercifully no injuries. The horses looked good, the babies were nursing, and all is pretty quiet except for a grey stallion who was calling to his mares and sparring with the other stallions in his pen.

The interesting thing about the roundup today is that the horses were very difficult to round up. Instead of the large groups they were anticipating, the horses came in in small groups and many only after a long hard chase and much driving back and forth. Most of the older horses have been through this before, and understandably want nothing to do with being trapped and having their families ripped away. And what happens when they are no longer more afraid of the helicopter than they are of being pushed into the trap? How then will the BLM keep rounding them up?

All day people have been commenting on my posts on Facebook, asking what is next, what can we do to end this? I wish I knew. There are no simple answers. I am here because it is what I can do for now.

45 replies »

      • If anyone finds out…why the silence from HSUS and PETA please inform me for I’m puzzled this is Animal Abuse in it’s most violent form

        THE SPIRIT OF THE HORSE WILL ALWAYS WALK THIS EARTH…

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    • Because HSUS and PETA are not really about animal welfare. Do some research. It is a known fact you should not give to HSUS because you think it will be decimated down to local humane society shelters in towns and cities across the U.S. It is not. You should always give directly to local shelters.

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      • I have heard that

        HSUS has been advertising on TV a lot lately showing abused animals and how your donations can help those animals

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  1. OMG !!!!We must put an end to this horror, my heart goes out to all the Mustangs, and Carol, this so heartbreaking , i cannot even read about without emotional meltdown, but what does not kill me makes me more determined to find a way to end this , the Mustangs return to Freedom is the only thing that matters …………………….

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    • I am with you Arlene. Reading is making me want to have an emotional meltdown.
      I can barely handle reading this. THIS IS SUCH A DISGRACE IN OUR COUNTRY.
      Seeing them in the trailer knowing this is the end of lives as they know it and it’s NOT RIGHT and NOT FAIR…….WE NEED REFORM!!!……WE NEED CHANGE TO THE LAWS AND THE WHOLE PROCESS..MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR WELFARE CATTLE TO ROAM ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS…

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    • Yes, good point, where are all the talking heads??????

      I guess the Catoor family tht has made their living since befpore the Act mustanging will have to actually find a job. Course, they got their start rounding up horses released by ranchers on public lands – there will be plenty of work fpr them in the future. But not on my dime!

      I feel for the old mare. She was secure and protected. Thanlks to Catoor and the greedy bastards forcing this capture, she is now vulnerable and insecure.

      Good job, BLM. You are paid to hold the line.

      As for Phillips – good that he is there. Now he sees where the majority of the stallions that Tom Davis sent to slaughter come from. They went to him from Canon City (after a mass gelding) after the last Adobe Town/Salts Wells capture that took thousands off back in 2011. Next he will have to visit Burns and see where all the pregnant mares came from that were shipped to Davis. But I digress.

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  2. HSUS and awful PETA are quiet as usual when needed. But it’s better to be mad than to cry. Thank you to all observers and for the deeply empathetic, detailed narrative. Will be using some phrases to express the devastation brought by total disregard of wild equines based in flawed policy — that of breaking up our wild horse families to benefit ranchers/energy companies. They’re both on the same coin but different sides.

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  3. Heart breaking. 2 million acres and government corruption has no room for wild horses? Government stupidity and greed enriches only a few local ranchers with our tax dollars.

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  4. This shatters my heart.. I have tears in my eyes.. These beautiful creatures being done this way! I love mustangs.. I write a very short story a long while back about horses that were wild and free.. This touches my soul. Caro

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  5. Last night I just had to take a little time away from this roundup and watched one of my many horse movies–take a minute or two when you get a chance–it helps to not always see horses being abused in some way by man.

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  6. Geri: Thank you for this information. I called the White House again today as well as the other legislative offices. I wonder why I haven’t seen this on the national news channels. This is of grave concern to many of us. Indeed, all are right in saying where are all the talking heads? Money helps, but why aren’t they out in front being personally seen at these roundups? HSUS and PETA too. These will be my next round of calls. The man who answered the phone in Jewel’s office has never seen or touched a horse in person. Where do they get these people who know nothing about the horses that they are making life and death decisions about? I know that we will keep fighting for the horses and the burros just like Wild Horse Annie did. To all of you who continue to be present and witness these atrocities, may God bless you and keep you safe!

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  7. Yes, the BLM’s wild horse program is broken…..mismanaged and a joke but this particular round up is due to our corrupt courts here in Wyoming that always come down on the side of industry.

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  8. Is there any way to find out what happened to the older lame grey mare that was with the small band – I’m wondering if the BLM put her down because she was older and lame!

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  9. Check out the plans for natural gas development and fracking plans for Wyoming . As to all the big names who profess to be Wild Horse activist Wherethe heck are you ? To all that care. The lesson here is Don’t wait til the next BLM round up develope a plan Now !

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  10. Exactly right, ellieroo….Anadarko, one of the shareholders in the Rock Springs Grazing Association is an energy company. The extraction industry hides behind ranchers because no one would sympathize with drillers.

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  11. When this all started it…..Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA)
    http://wildhorsepreservation.org/media/ranchers-blm-settle-suit-over-wyoming-wild-horses

    Ranchers, BLM settle suit over Wyoming wild horses
    U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne
    approved the settlement Wednesday. The settlement requires the BLM to round up horses to meet the new herd target numbers. Roundups will occur this year through 2015, or 2016 if the population objectives aren’t met by then.

    The association’s president (RSGA), JOHN HAY, of Rock Springs, declined to comment Thursday

    Rancher or Banker…or Both?
    http://treasurer.state.wy.us/advisory.asp
    WYOMING STATE TREASURER’S
    ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    JOHN HAY, President
    Rock Springs National Bank
    P.O. Box 880
    Rock Springs, WY 82902
    307-362-8801
    john.hay.iii@rsnb.com

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  12. JOHN HAY at Rock Springs Wind Energy Forum
    JOHN HAY of the Rock Springs Grazing Association discusses land used for wind farms. He supports Tasco Engineering’s Wyoming Wind Energy Project

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  13. I have been crying off and on since I heard
    the TRO was vacated. So if there are so many GD horses out there how come they can only find small bands??? What does that tell you? Mustanging? My heart holds only hate for the BLM at this point.

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  14. With those horses goes our freedom, everything that America stands for….my dad is probably rolling over in his grave if he knows of this…..and I believe he does..

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  15. Just a reminder everyone, IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR! Put your representative’s feet to the fire and see if they might buck up to owning a position on something that matters to you. If they don’t then you know how to vote.

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  16. OUR Tax Dollars at work

    Since there are numerous authorized helicopter round up payments listed for the Cattoor’s, (un-desgnated as to location) it is difficult to say exactly what we are paying the Cattoors for the Wyoming checkerboard capture but on the other hand you CAN see two designated for the “checkboard” – totaling $508,324 per usaspending.org

    http://usaspending.gov/search?form_fields=%7B%22search_term%22%3A%22CATTOOR+LIVESTOCK+ROUNDUP+INC%22%2C%22fyear%22%3A%5B%222014%22%5D%7D&sort_by=dollars&per_page=25
    Transaction # 1 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL14PD00691 / 0
    Recipient: CATTOOR LIVESTOCK ROUNDUP INC
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management

    Product/Service: F016: NATURAL RESOURCES/CONSERVATION- WILDHORSE/BURRO CONTROL

    Description: CHECKERBOARD HORSE GATHER IGF::OT::IGF
    Signed Date:
    07-14-2014
    Obligation Amount:
    $396,776

    PLUS

    Transaction # 9 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL14PD00691 / 1
    Recipient: CATTOOR LIVESTOCK ROUNDUP INC
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Reason for Modification: CHANGE ORDER
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management

    Product/Service: F016: NATURAL RESOURCES/CONSERVATION- WILDHORSE/BURRO CONTROL

    Description: CHECKERBOARD HORSE GATHER IGF::OT::IGF
    Signed Date:
    07-28-2014
    Obligation Amount:
    $111,538

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  17. I just read that a Sand Dune project in NY came to a halt by a Judge to protect an endangered species of birds

    Why is the written law for the wild horses not being upheld?

    The Judge…

    He’s your target find out who’s greasing his palms and put it in the media

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  18. This is deplorable!! They ought to be ashamed. We have to stop them!! Money is the game! Post this every where and contact the government BLM, Sally Jewel, your own government officials!!!
    Also anyone can host and promote “American Mustang the movie” @ tugg.com
    to help promote awareness of the roundups. I am promoting this movie in Round Rock, Tx. Oct. 2nd https://www.tugg.com/events/10599

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  19. This is just wrong. They dont bother anyone and they’re apart of American history. What are they going to do when theres no land left to develop or whatever..selfish jerks. Poor horses..Where’s PETA???? Oh yeah out for propaganda at Sea World instead of helping these beautiful creatures

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    • selfish jerks, right..with Money! they want either to drill oil, gas,? and have wind mills for they’re profit! Why can’t they use some common sense and talk with others for solutions for the animals instead of dragging their xxxxxx for years! If started sooner there would Not be this horrific roundup!!! THEY DON”T CARE!!!
      Call or write BLM, congrees people, white House!! THis is Animal Abuse!!!! Can’t a lawyer charge them with endangerment to animals???

      Like

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