Horse News

BLM rounds up 23 wild horses from West Douglas on 1st day


Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd.  We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds.  Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.  –  Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

SOURCE: The Daily Sentinel

BLM gathers 23 wild horses at roundup

By Gary Harmon

Twenty-three wild horses were brought in during the first day of a gather on Wednesday, hours after a federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected the notion that the federal government intended to “zero out” the West Douglas herd.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that the public interest was better served by allowing the Bureau of Land Management to manage “wild free-roaming horses” over preventing potential harm from the gather, which the judge said would be “minimal.”

The BLM started the gather at 6:30 a.m., using bait and water to attract horses in the West Douglas area, as well as driving horses toward corrals using a helicopter.

“All of them looked healthy and there were no incidents coming into the trap,” BLM spokesman Christopher Joyner said Wednesday. “The contractor did a good job of ensuring the horses weren’t stressed.”

The agency will conduct the gather until it collects 167 horses — the number of spaces available in long-term holding facilities run by the BLM.

Cooper ruled that the BLM’s designation of all horses in the West Douglas Herd area as “excess” didn’t mean that the agency intended to remove all horses from the 123,000-acre area.

Excess animals are those that must be removed to preserve “a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands,” Cooper wrote.

The injunction was sought by The Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Don and Toni Moore of Fruita, and Barb Flores of Greeley. Don Moore is a veterinarian.

Several opponents of the gather — many of them from Arizona, which has a band of horses in Salt Wash — called reporters on Wednesday to question the gather, or roundup, of animals that played a significant role in U.S. history.

The plaintiffs filed suit on Sept. 4 and filed for an injunction on Sept. 6. Cooper presided over a hearing on Sept. 11 in which Flores and an official with The Cloud Foundation and Kent Walter, manager of the BLM’s White River Field Office, testified.

“This case has proceeded at a gallop,” Cooper wrote in his decision, in which he also cited a lyric from the Rolling Stones 1971 song, “Wild Horses.”

“(They) have (their) freedom, but (they) don’t have much time,” Cooper wrote, “So it is for a group of wild horses that, beginning tomorrow, are scheduled to be removed from two tracts of federal rangeland in northwest Colorado.”

19 replies »

  1. “This case has proceeded at a gallop,” Cooper wrote in his decision, in which he also cited a lyric from the Rolling Stones 1971 song, “Wild Horses.”

    “(They) have (their) freedom, but (they) don’t have much time,” Cooper wrote, “So it is for a group of wild horses that, beginning tomorrow, are scheduled to be removed from two tracts of federal rangeland in northwest Colorado.”

    Well-connected rookie judge to preside over Khattala Benghazi trial

    Just three months into his tenure on the federal bench, and before his formal investiture ceremony later this week, newly minted
    U.S. District Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper
    has been handed one of the most high-profile and politically sensitive American terrorism cases in recent years.

    Cooper, who was confirmed by the Senate in March, has been randomly assigned by the court’s selection system to preside over the U.S. government’s case against Ahmed Abu Khattala, a suspected ringleader in the deadly attack on U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya.

    Cooper, 47, was part of the Obama administration’s transition team and is one of the more connected people in D.C. legal circles. His wife, Amy Jeffress, is a former national security adviser to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    With his father-in-law, Cooper successfully defended senior Saudi government officials in a lawsuit brought by families of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judge Cooper said, “Excess animals are those that must be removed to preserve “a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands”. If he did even a drop of research, he must have known about the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF invasive domestic livestock that are the true excess and must be removed to preserve a “thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” … unless he worships his steak dinners over a thriving ecological balance???

    Liked by 1 person

    • GG, have found out that a “judge“ nor his staff, even at supreme district levels!, do NOT conduct Any of their “own research “. Therefore, the cattle numbers and their destruction must be cited and “proved“ by the plaintiff – which I’m sure was included in complaints from tCF, WHFF, etc. (well, unfortunately I can’t say that I’ve personally read their case file -but…).
      Unfortunately, such “court research “ only occurs by (e.g.) ADJs, appeal “judges“ for Disability* cases (also appointed for LIFE, btw!) – during which they have special MDs, and ‘experts’ who are PAID (by SSA) specifically to FIND that you are NOT disabled! and to file (completely Falsified*) exams – withOUT ever seeing or speaking to their “patient“ and /or even checking IF they have received all of the true medical evidence or testimony provided to the SS Agency! Yet, you find (with extreme difficulty) EXAM reports and function Rating* scales from MDs that you’ve never HEARD of their name – written as if you were IN their office face-to-face; and THESE “expert exam reports“ are cited with more weight than a patient’s true MDs, tests, affidavits, and witnesses! -i.e. IF/when they find in the “negative“; saving government $$(?) as you starve or die! (excuse my personal RANT)–»
      but I write this to *compare* what would / does -likely- Happen with any research responsibility (even reading* of profusely available literature) BY such Judges courts asked to rule “against“ another Government Agency (BLM, DoI, Ag) – the court giving more weight to BLM documents /reports, even those which are so Obviously false or fabrication — than to “outside government“ evidence! We’ve all seen how rarely and how Blatant non-DoI evidence must be – for a Court to recognize (much less even read, I’d guess) its impact, if at odds with Agencies agendas! Such as Laura’s video of helicopter attack, images impossible to refute.
      So that’s WHY this judge, as with 99% of others, do not read or research even common-sense info regarding Wild Horses, oR Cattle oR sheep oR water pollution oR extractive industry impacts!
      =because they don’t HAVE to accept evidence other than government Agency “experts“
      – their “research“ is already DONE and decided beforehand…..! and here, it is apparent that such district Judges are not EVEN expected to consider their own* court’s previous Decisions? regarding similar or EXACT same cases and sites and circumstances!?…..grrrrrr!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly – and if I understand it correctly THIS case has not even been heard by the court yet and yet this judge decided to ignore this restraining order to postpone the capture and removal AT LEAST until the court case was heard and decided … but oh no he wouldn’t even do that … he gave the blm the go ahead to capture them without the case even being heard yet! So when the case does finally get heard and decided these wild horses will be LONG gone. To me, that is like killing the criminal before he/she has had their day in court … i.e. gulty until proven innocent. I might be off with this train of thought but that is how it looks to me and as you said … the decision was already made before the decision was announced … DIRTY politics? You betcha!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not following the judicial logic here… if all horses were described as “excess” and all so labeled can be legally removed, how then can he conclude that the BLM will NOT remove all the horses? It seems the only constraint against that is the number of places they can go to, for now. It is easy enough to understand more “slots” will be made available and all these horses will be removed.

    Can this decision be reviewed or appealed? I find it cynical and disturbing to learn this man was thinking about an old rock and roll song (whimsically it seems) as he sentences all these horses to a future we all seem to understand better than he. It doesn’t help to consider he may have little or no understanding of the west (based only on what is written here, I have no other information about this man).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The BLM’s Resource Advisory Council (RAC) committees are supposed to research and review and provide information and suggestions to the BLM regarding their local areas although it appears that these RACs are mostly members of the anti-wild horse and burro ranchers who only care about the size of their bank accounts.

    My questions after reading these politically driven meeting notes are:

    #1 If the BLM acknowledges that a 150 wild horse population is NOT large enough to sustain genetic diversity then why does the BLM take continual removal actions so that the majority of the legal herd areas below a population of 150?

    # 2 Since when is the return of THREE wild horses considered a “significant bump” when they have and continue to remove hundreds and hundreds of wild horses?

    # 3 Why was the BLM response to the rancher’s request to remove 200 wild horses not made public?

    Example (excerpts):

    Northwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council Meeting, Dec. 4, 2014
    Field manager updates
    Little Snake Field Office

    “Wild Horses – I have responded to the letter from grazing permittee, Steve Raftolopolous, requesting the immediate gather of 200 horses from Sand Wash Basin. A copy of my response is attached.”

    “Horse release – The genetic diversity of the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range got a significant bump with the introduction of three new horses. The wild horse herd in the Book Cliffs is approximately 150 or so horses. This population isn’t large enough to sustain genetic diversity over a sustained period. Therefore, it is written in our herd management plan that we will introduce new horses often when recommended through genetic sampling. Genetic sampling occurred during the 2013 gather and introduction of mares was recommended. Three horses gathered in the Wyoming Checkerboard gather were introduced November 19.”

    Click to access Field%20Manager%20Update%20Dec.%202014.pdf

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dee, it seems the answer will be when there are no biologically and socially intact wild, free-roaming horses and burro populations left in the American West on public lands. Hope your grandkids will enjoy the museum photos and stuffed carcasses with the thousand-mile stares as they eat cheap, subsidized burgers while in the background our new national anthem plays over and over: “America the Political.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • My Grand Daughter already knows the plight of our beautiful Wild Horses. She’s 16, she loves horses and I gave her all the DVD’s about the Wild Horses for Christmas last year. She is taking a journalist class this year and writing articles for the school paper. She’s hoping they will let her write an article about it for the paper. I hope she can. It just makes me sick what our own government & the BLM are doing to these beautiful creatures!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “agency will conduct the gather until it collects 167 horses — the number of spaces available in long-term holding facilities “ …..hmmm, I wonder how Long it will take for enough extra “spaces to become vacant in order to achieve the removal of this entire HERD?? and does the rule OR original EA state that they can continue with this removal (forevermore) AS such holding room becomes available?? (sorry that I did not have the chance to go back to read the full EA to find how it is worded, regarding this number of horses…)?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a horrible injustice for these wild creatures…..leave mother nature alone and leave these wild beauties alone. These horses belong to everyone….please leave them in peace…and quit horsing around with nature

    Liked by 1 person

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