Recently a federal judge dealt another blow to “welfare” ranchers by reaffirming his late-February decision to halt grazing of private cattle on 17 Bureau of Land Management allotments covering some 450,000 acres in southern Idaho.
There are words to be said here, partly of a deep anger at the staff and management of MSLAR for all the death and destruction they caused, for the lies told to those who sent their loved animals to live their final days in peace, only to have their days end in the cold and misery from starvation while the caretakers stayed warm inside their luxury home with an indoor swimming pool.
During the final days of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “scorched earth” wild horse eradication program on Northern Nevada’s public lands private cattle were being quickly herded onto the same range that native, wild horses were cruelly removed from just hours before.
Five years after a cow dubbed the “Unsinkable Molly B” leapt a slaughterhouse gate and swam across the Missouri River in an escape that brought international acclaim, the heifer has again eluded fate, surviving the collapse of the animal sanctuary where she was meant to retire.
Fourteen hours after leaving Missoula, Montana, my plane landed in Houston’s Hobby Airport. None of the locals thought the 50 degree weather they were experiencing was warm, but I stood happily outside in shirt sleeves waiting for the shuttle. I doubt that I will ever complain about the cold weather of South Texas again, even on the rare day that it reaches freezing. Walking through frozen pastures at -10 is enough to convince me that the South is a place to call home.
Back home in South Texas, when the thermometer reaches fifty degrees, the ice, if there ever was any ice, disappears off the roads. Back home at fifty degrees, folks are wearing heavy coats and gloves, shivering before they walk into the mall. Western Montana is different. For two days now, with close to fifty degrees by mid-afternoon, the roads up in the mountains have turned into thick slush ice, the pastures are the same, and every step of man and beast is threatened with the possibility of a major fall, but the people are showing up without coats and in a few cases, in shorts. Things are different up here.
Land near Guernsey is looking “very promising” as the location of a multi-species processing facility that would likely be in operation by 2012.
This multi-species processing facility would slaughter horses, cattle and bison.
Sue Wallis, the Republican state representative from Recluse – who has publicly stated the United States has taken a valuable asset and turned it into a very expensive liability – is proposing the facility.
The goal of this conference stated “The sole purpose …convene the horse industry…bring together different perspectives…find pragmatic, sustainable, economically viable solutions for horses both domestic and wild.”
A look at the objectives and sponsors of the hosting organization, United Horsemen, of this conference infers this is a group of horse people united around a common goal. Yet if one were to look closely at the sponsors of this conference one would see all groups are not primarily involved with horses.
Hot Springs MT (SFTHH) – Eighty horses are receiving much needed veterinary care at a foster location while volunteers continue to move 650 llamas, two camels, several pot bellied pigs, donkeys, bison, cattle, goats, and sheep to safe locations for veterinary evaluation and future adoption campaigns.
High winds and drifting snow, laid over the top of pure ice. That’s Western Montana in the winter. The mountains, the trees – it all looks so wonderful from the inside of a warm car. The beauty fades away quickly when the car door opens and the first steps are taken, but those first steps are necessary to get the job done. It’s being pretty self centered when those steps aren’t taken and the beings that are living outside don’t have a way to feel warmth or enjoy life.