Transcript, in part, of WH & B Advisory Board Recommendations

Screenshot 2017-10-19 15.54.23
We were not able to get the end of the recommendations portion of the meeting because it ran late and they stopped live feed and transcription at the planned time for the end of the meeting and not the actual end. So this is what we were able to obtain.

*Note this transcript does not say what recommendation 1 is, but it was stated earlier in the meeting that the recommendation to kill the horses in holding , made last year in the September meeting, would be recommendation 1 for the recommendations from this meeting as well.

*NOTE we do NOT endorse the recommendations made by this advisory board. The statements and subsequent recommendations are solely those of the advisory board and others you see speaking in this transcript.

>> Julie Weikel: These are now formal real recommendations from the advisory board 2017.
>> Ben Masters: Phase out long-term holding for three years and take that budget and put it towards on-range management. Three years.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Ben, where would the horses go that are living long-term.
>> Ben Masters: They would be destroyed.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay. Additional discussion for recommendation number two? Which is —
>> June Sewing: I would like to add the adoption program as well.
>> Julie Weikel: Wait a minute you want to phase out the adoption program?
>> June Sewing: No, that the budget go to on-range management and adoption if that’s okay with that guy down there.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay Ben is nodding so now recommendation says phase out long-term holding over the next three years and apply that budget to on-range management and adoptions.
>> Ginger Kathrens: I think it should add what it is and that’s that it would be destruction of the animals.
>> Steven Yardley: I wonder if we would be better off to put as stated in the act that we — the horses be put up for adoption at least three times, all horses in long and short-term holding facilities be offered for adoption at least three times. And all unadopted horses be made available for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.
>> Ben Masters: That recommendation was made in 2016 and is made in recommendation number one currently.
>> Julie Weikel: It’s not obligatory that recommendation number two contain the mechanism.
>> Jim French: I think that’s great point because destroying of the animal is just one of the options that is offered in the toolbox and I would hope that as we have moved through the process of trying to, and that was going to be my other motion I was going to make here for is that we, I believe we have the opportunity here to actually engage those organizations which have shown an interest in adoption, in tip training and also the system that’s in play right now. To actually take those animals, those excess animals, that are going to be released out of long-term holding and actually put them into the system for training and adoption down the road. I would hope that we could actually list that as well as one of the options and not just drop to the final one but obviously there’s that but I want to add a third one after we’re done with this one.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay. I want to wipe out all the modifying language and vote on the original recommendation number two just the way it stands and if you want we can add the operand if you will leaving BLM any options that accomplish this. You know, short of putting them back on the range but — I think it just muddies the water. Ben’s exactly right. These are separate issues. And if there’s an alternative, for example, we have in front of us a proposal that Russia would like 20,000 mares and all you have to do is pay the freight to get them there. And if it turns out that BLM does the cost benefit analysis of that and Congress allows it, then fine. I don’t mean to to preclude those options in this — perfect. Okay now recommendation says, thank you to Kathie, phase out long-term holding over the next three years and apply that budget to on-range management and adoption. BLM will use all options that accomplish this focusing on humane options.
>> Steven Yardley: Could we add to that excluding putting them back on the range.
>> Julie Weikel: No, Steven.
>> Ben Masters: How about we keep out phase out long-term holding over the next three years. Just keep it simple.
>> Julie Weikel: Well, it’s called call for the question and as member of the board you can say call for the question.
>> Steven Yardley: Call for the question.
>> Julie Weikel: Take out the second sentence. Call for the question. We vote on it up or down and if it goes down we add the next sentence back and see if it passes. Phase — phase out long —
>> Sue McDonnell: Is it still going to have where the savings will be put.
>> Julie Weikel: It says apply that budget to on-range management and adoptions.
>> Ben Masters: Call for a question.
>> Julie Weikel: All those in favor for recommendation number two —
>> Julie Weikel: Call for the question.
>> Ben Masters: Call for the question.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay, all those in favor of recommendation number two, please say aye. All those opposed to recommendation number two, please say no.
>> Ginger Kathrens: No.
>> Kristin Bail: Did Sue vote?
>> Sue McDonnell: I said aye.
>> Julie Weikel: The motion carries. Recommendation number two is in place. 5-1. Okay. All right. Are there additional recommendations to bring forth at this time?
>> Jim French: I was trying to see if we could divert some of the maybe I just — I’ll just say it anyhow but I would like to divert some of that revenue that’s going to be saved from the long-term holding facilities into enhancing the tip program make sure it’s fully funded. As far as the training side of it and that we by policy the BLM increases the ability for those training facilities to process more horses.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay the motion that just passed says and adoptions of which the tip program is one of those. So that summon now all specified for range management and adoptions. Are you suggesting an additional recommendation relative to adoptions that accomplishes the other things and I’m suggesting maybe it is a separate, it’s not a modification to, it’s a separate recommendation about adoptions?
>> Jim French: My sense is that because it’s contained within the language that involves open range management as well, that the intent of my motion will be lost and I believe that my feeling is that in order for us to maximize the number of horses that can be adopted we need to fully fund the capability of those organizations that are actually doing that hard work and I’m not sure how this is going to work but I would like some of that funding diverted into that process.
>> We had some other language, Jim, I don’t know if you want to combine them. To take excess animals and put them in for training and adoption. Do you want to combine this?
>> Jim French: Ultimately that’s what I’m trying to accomplish but I’d like to include somehow a funding mechanism to go about that because that’s what’s been missing in the past for a good portion of and it I would like to give the opportunity for those horses for adoption at the same time that, you know, we’re actually doing the hard work in terms of trying to determine how we’re going to move forward with long-term management. And in one of the options in that is to enhance the adoption program and that’s how I would — that’s what I propose.
>> Julie Weikel: Could we maybe amend that recommendation to say adoption programs? Which should include —
>> Jim French: It would include all of them, won’t it?
>> Julie Weikel: Right.
>> Jim French: Yeah, I think that would be more complete?
>> Julie Weikel: How does that work for you Ben?
>> Ben Masters: That’s fine.
>>?? I want a little clarification about the phrase in current systems.
>> Jim French: Is there a regulatory moratorium which limits the number of horses that these organizations can actually take into there system.
>> Ginger Kathrens: It’s a funding mechanism. You saw that pie you shrink one piece and grow one piece piece
>> Jim French: I don’t want to later on be sitting here talking about we were going to do this and hit a wall in terms of the funding side and the rest of those animals were euthanized I would like to make sure that somehow we put — we enhance that fund to where we can maximize that number.
>> Kristin Bail: So you can grow the pie or reallocate the pie.
>> Jim French: Whatever it takes but adopt as many as we possibly can.
>> June Sewing: What if it just said create funding mechanisms to maximize adoptions? Does that work? I mean, it allows us to tap into the foundation, to take donations it asks BLM to make a bigger pie splice I mean it kind of does all those things. Doesn’t it?
>> Jim French: As long as in the discussion we capture those organizations and then secondly we capture the international adoption because those are the things I spoke of earlier today. Because I think we have a lot of options out there to pull a lot of those horses that are going to be coming out of short-term or rather long-term.
>> Julie Weikel: Kathie’s getting it down again. Through successful programs because I think that’s one of the things we want to prioritize. We heard that over and over again about prioritizing those programs that can get it done. So maybe instead of especially through partnerships but especially through successful programs. Does that capture your intent? I think we all have it on our list. I mean, in one version or another —
>> Steven Yardley: Is that going to exclude like newcomers that want to take part but feel like they can’t because —
>> Jim French: No, I hope it would encourage it. That’s — my term maximize adoption means if we got — if we double the number of people out there that can actually perform that service let’s get after them. So —
>> Julie Weikel: I think it needs to include international adoptions. Okay so at this point recommendation number three says create funding mechanisms to maximize adoptions especially through successful programs and to include international adoptions. Dean, you’re looking like you want to say something.
>> Dean Bolstad: I get in the weeds and very technical. Adoption maybe sales might be an appropriate term to transfer animals to other nations but — anyway I get the concept.
>> Julie Weikel: Adoptions/sales fits for me everywhere that it says adoptions. Now it says make rems DAGSs through adoptions/sales and to include international adoptions and/or sales.
>> Jim French: Yep.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Do we want to put any other verbage in there that would maintain a humane transfer or something. We’ve tossed out in the past numerous international sales things before. Don’t we have some concerns about this and should we put some protection in there for the animals? Jim
>> Jim French: What do you recommend?
>> Ginger Kathrens: I don’t know, Dean, what do you think?
>> Dean Bolstad: So I don’t think the United States Government can enforce U.S. regulations on the soils of foreign countries if that’s the question.
>> Jim French: Well I understand that we’re not going to go to war but I can tell you that, you know, certainly within the context of an MOU or something along that line we could at least go on record that if they don’t meet a set of standards in terms of ethical treatment of animals they lose that contract as null and void.
>> Dean Bolstad: So Ginger’s intent here is that if we provide them to another country they’re going to go for something other than meat on a hook. That’s what Ginger’s concerned and that they be taken care of if and you talked about third party monitors in other countries. The burros to Guatemala had that. It was veterinarian to other countries. We’re not going to spend 7,000 dollars an animal to get them to Russia for somebody to eat them. That’s ludicrous.
>> Jim French: I agree and I’ll tell you I think in the context of this thing I think we’re covered then under what, under the regulations that were outlined for the Guatemala thing, right?  (*NOTE Earlier in the meeting it was stated that Russia want 20,000 mares for an area were they have an abundance of Siberian tigers and a lack of prey for them.)
>> Dean Bolstad: Well they’re not regulations but it was all part of the deal. The concept and the, yeah, it’s not policy but it was the proposal included veterinarian assistance once they got over there.
>> Jim French: Sure. Well I guess ultimately that’s what Ginger’s talking about that the protection is here as well.
>> Kathie: I threw some words up. Do they help at all?
>> Jim French: I’m sorry?
>> Kathie: I threw in maximize adoptions or sales that meet basic humane standards. Does anything like that help, Ginger?
>> Jim French: If that’s direction more towards bureau in terms of how it orchestrates those types of transfers, yes, because that sets the stage for what you were talking about, Dean, and that satisfies what Ginger’s talking about.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Is that right?
>> Dean Bolstad: The print is too small for me. I’m sorry.
>> Ginger Kathrens: She added that meet basic humane standards. I’m not sure if there’s teeth in that or not.
>> Dean Bolstad: I hear Sue committing a comment.
>> Sue McDonnell: They could be shipped to Japan and humanely slaughtered.
>> Dean Bolstad: And that’s what I was thinking too. The intent is they’re put to a productive use and purpose that’s really what’s being discussed here if we go to the expense of transferring them to other countries. They could be breeding herds and create their own free roaming herds on the steps of Russia.
>> Julie Weikel: That’s one of the proposals you have in front of us is they’re going to be free roaming herds in a habitat that has three endangered big cats so —
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> Julie Weikel: No. It’s Jim’s baby.
>> June Sewing: My comment would be that, I don’t know whether we’re talking about adopting or selling but if it’s a sale thing it would be the same as any other sale. Once those people have their animals they can do anything they want with them.
>> Jim French: I’m wondering then obviously the bureau looks at these recommendations for implementation. I’m guessing if you want a full feel for what the intent of was for the board you go back to the minutes of this meeting and hear this conversation and I think that suffice because your comments, Ginger are on the record on that. Agree with you on that and I think and that’s the nature of my motion.
>> Ginger Kathrens: I had a long conversation with this gentleman a year ago maybe. Maybe less and as he explained it to me, the endangered cats would have a prey base that currently does not exist. So the horse would be going to an environment that’s somewhat different than where they came from and they would be a prey species. Wild horses are a prey species. When we talk about no predators which was said in this meeting in the states, the predator’s the mountain line so in this case it’s the endangered Bengal tiger or something I don’t have a problem with them being considered a prey species.
But they do, just like what Dean says they have to be handled humanely and I don’t know whether based on the discussion I’ve had with them I’m not sure if that would occurr or not. I’m just not sure.
>> Julie Weikel: Are we ready to vote on this recommendation. For Sue’s benefit the recommendation now says, create funding mechanisms to maximize adoptions and/or sales especially through successful programs and to include international adoptions and programs. Or sales. Okay all those in favor of recommendation number three please say aye. I didn’t hear Sue.
>> Sue McDonnell: Aye. Did you hear now?
>> Julie Weikel: Did you want to add to that, Sue?
>> Sue McDonnell: No, I just wanted to make sure you heard me. It takes me a second to get my mute undone here. All those opposed say no.
>> Ginger Kathrens: No. Because I have those same reservations and I’m a little worried about this. Thanks.
>> Julie Weikel: All right any other recommendations to come forward at this time.
>> (Speaking off mic).
>> Julie Weikel: Where’s that guy from meeker that could do basic math. I need a tutor. Hey.
>> Kathie: Right at the beginning there were seven ayes.
>> Julie Weikel: Quick question are Jen or Fred on the phone yet? Okay. No. All right. We miss you. Are there any other motions to — or recommendation to come forth at this time?
>> Ginger Kathrens: Dean is it appropriate to make a suggestion on budgets and allocation of funds this the pie chart?
>> Dean Bolstad: Okay.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Then I would like to see an increase in the percentage of funding for fertility control right now it’s at 0%. In other words I think it’s around 100 some thousand dollars. Well, it’s going to have to at least, yeah, I mean, even a million dollars is, I don’t know, Ben, do you have a thought on that?
>> Ben Masters: What is the budget for long-term holding right now?
>> Dean Bolstad: I’d have to go back to my notes but it’s about 24 million that we spend on pasture contracts. That’s your question. It’s 23 or 24 million. Michael could say exactly.
>> Ben Masters: If we phase that out over three years and split half of that between fertility control and half of that between adoption just throwing some numbers out, I would say increase the funding for fertility control —
>> Ginger Kathrens: — to ten million.
>> Julie Weikel: Wait a minute you — we have — we have recommendation number one or number two that says that budget will go to on-range management and adoptions. It doesn’t say anything about it going to fertility control and now —
>> Ben Masters: On-range management is fertility control. I consider on-range management to include fertility control.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay. All right. I was going to rehab pastures with that but anyway.
>> Ben Masters: How about three million dollars just, you know —
>> Ginger Kathrens: In the next fiscal year. Yeah. And, you know, I’m thinking a percentage of that of course would help not just buying the vaccines but also maybe helping with some of the expenses to deliver the vaccine.
>> Ben Masters: Dedicating personnel and subsidizing the volunteers.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Yeah, it would be for the volunteers as well. Yeah.
>> Julie Weikel: So recommendation number four says increase wild horse and burro funding for fertility control in the next fiscal year to three million dollars.
>> Ben Masters: What’s it currently at?
>> Ginger Kathrens: It’s 140,000 dollars. I’m trying to remember.
>> Dean Bolstad: Well those numbers don’t capture all of our costs. Not even close as Michael explained but it’s not a large percentage of our budget. I’m not going to say it is. And on the other hand we can spend three — I like broad discretion to do what you’re suggesting. So throwing three million dollars out there and treating ten horses in each of the 177 HMAs doesn’t do anything. So I think we would have an eye towards maintaining AML once it’s achieved. Those kind of things that you’ve talked about earlier.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Well it’s to stabilize population growth. Something like that. Yeah.
>> Dean Bolstad: And I think we’re going to be looking to maximize the leverage these dollars through partnerships and where we can do those kinds of things. We can fly a helicopter and spend three million dollars but I don’t think that’s what you folks are intending here.
>> Ben Masters: You get what the recommendation is that I would like to see a lot more fertility control used and if you’re comfortable with that we can further specify how it would be used.
>> Dean Bolstad: Used responsibly getting the most bang for the buck so to speak is what your intent is and increasing the programs in a meaningful way. That’s what you mean.
>> Ginger Kathrens: That sounds good to me.
>> Julie Weikel: Good and Kathie’s just about to get it there.
>> Kristin Bail: Just to clarify in question we are now in fiscal year 18 so you are saying for fiscal year 19 which begins October 1, 2018 just want to make sure everyone is on that page.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Yeah, I understand that, that’s unfortunate but I understand that.
>> Dean Bolstad: So which fiscal year did you mean?
>> Ginger Kathrens: I would love for it to be tomorrow but Kristin is pointing out that we are already in FY 2018.
>> Julie Weikel: So put fiscal y — year 2019.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Is it possible to reallocate funds, move them around at all or not?
>> Ginger Kathrens: We could look within our discretion in order to address to a 70 million dollar budget from an 80 million dollar budget we had to eat our young and cut staffing, support, administrative support.
So it would be difficult but we could see do.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay. Recommendation number four says increase wild horse and burro funding for fertility control in fiscal year 2019 to achieve — to enable goals for achieving AML.
>> Ben Masters: I think for maintaining AMLs in appropriate HMAs.
>> Julie Weikel: What happened to the three million?
>> Ben Masters: I think it’d be good to have a number in there.
>> Julie Weikel: Three million comes back.
>> Ben Masters: In appropriate HMAs.
>> Kathie: Thank you. Okay, I apologize I thought the conversation was (speaking off mic).
>> Julie Weikel: Now recommendation number four says increase wild horse and burro funding for fertility control in fiscal year 2019. Increase to three million.
>> Dean Bolstad: Instead of specifying the funding perhaps we could suggest numbers of animals treated or something like that. I mean, it equates to funding too but, I don’t know, just another thought.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Well it’s not all for buying darts it’s —
>> Dean Bolstad: It might be three million, it might be two million, it might be one and a half. It might be a thousand animals. It might be two thousand animals. We kind of get what you’re saying.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay the question is whether we want to change from a monetary measurement, three million, to per head treated goal. It’s your motion.
>> Kristin Bail: Would it be fair to say this would also be fair to protect potential public private partnership so we can increase the numbers not only from federal funds but outside federal funds as well and clarifying that.
>> Dean Bolstad: I think that would be a lot more open and helpful and —
>> Julie Weikel: Okay would you help us capture that because that just okay so it’s to longer about three million dollars is that right?
>> Ginger Kathrens: No, it is.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay —
>> Ginger Kathrens: Because the money, you know, quantifying how many mares are going to be darted for three million dollars is not what this is about. It’s about the whole program is the volunteers that go out there and do it. I don’t know how many we’re talking about. We need to be doing thousands of of course. The word — what did you mean by appropriate, Ben?
>> Ben Masters: By appropriate I meant if there is a two herd management area that’s right next to each other one of them is seven times over AML and the other one is at AML I would say that the one at AML is much more appropriate because the one that’s seven times over AML is more likely to be facing a gather in the next few years.
>> Ginger Kathrens: I guess that’s okay. I don’t know, what does everybody else think.
>> Dean Bolstad: Ben you’re thinking to get the spring creek and replicate that within AML and healthy rangeland, lots of grass and really good condition horses under management plan that doesn’t call removals. That’s what you’re saying when you say appropriate HMA.
>> Ben Masters: Right the HMAs that, I mean, if you look at an HMA that’s seven times over the AML that is going to be gathered next year or is on a high priority list to be gathered I think it’s more appropriate to spend money doing fertility control to try to prevent an HMA to be gathered for the next five or ten years to have some type of prioritized list of where do we begin the darting process on a scaled up level.
>> Ginger Kathrens: I’m thinking of the herds in the red desert and those herds are over AML but some of them have such small AMLs like, and I’m just using this as an example lost creek which has some Spanish colonial markers in there the AML is like 70 and maybe there’s 150. There are other extenuating circumstances I think in trying to maintain a herd that is really very special even though it’s over AML. You can bring that down to close to the AML with fertility control. And still be really selective.
>> Dean Bolstad: So sand wash would be a better choice to focus money and contraception to improve — to increase what’s going on compared to going to antelope valley where we visited last year there’s thousands of horses I think Ben you’re saying don’t go to the valley but to target places like sang wash
>> Ben Masters: Places that are more feasible.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Right and I think the red desert calls under that and sang wash but they are over AML. I don’t want AML to be the reason why we would use fertility.
>> Ben Masters: How about we take everything out after fiscal year 2019.
>> Ginger Kathrens: That’s fine by me if it’s okay with everybody else.
>> What if we added such funding might be applied to males and/or females. It does and that’s the point of putting it right there. There’s kind of been a usurpation of that phrase to mean immune know contraceptives and fertility control means fertility control. It’s such a big jump of what we have I am not going to quibble over the number.
>> Ginger Kathrens: My intent was for fertility control not overreyak mising mares certainly you know me well enough that I believe that we should be doing things that we can take back if we have to if we have a weather event in the prior months and we use two-thirds lose two-thirds of the herd and taken the ovaries out of the mares.
>> Julie Weikel: Would you amend to say reversible fertility control because fertility control control means fertility control control.
>> Ginger Kathrens: I understand and yes.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay so now take out — might be used for — reversible and take out all after six. That all comes out too.
>> Kathie: Take out what’s now called five but it’s not really five. That’s all gone? I didn’t know if we agreed to it. Thank you.
>> Julie Weikel: Isn’t that what you said, Ben, and everyone said okay? So now number four says increase wild horse funding for reversible control by three million dollars in fiscal year 2019. All right? Ready to vote? Sue, is that clear?
>> Sue McDonnell: Yes.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay all those in favor of recommendation number four please say aye. All those opposed say no. No.
>> Ben Masters: Madam Chair, you have been voted against.
>> Julie Weikel: Yes I have. Thank you for reminding me of that but it’s not the first time. Let’s move on do we have anymore recommendations coming from the floor?
>> Steven Yardley: I have a recommendation. I’d like go to go into a little bit of background because I believe this discussion deserves it.
All the recommendations we’ve made thus far do nothing to deal with the excess of three times AML that are across the ranges some places six and seven times over the levels and the dire consequences that are happening because of these. If we leave it alone we’re going to go from 75,000 horses this year to potentially 150,000. That’s assuming there’s not a population crash. From 150,000 four years from then we’re going to be going to 300,000 horses assuming there’s not a population crash.
I don’t think a lot of these areas and sustain those numbers without having a population crash. A population crash can is really kind word for animals starving and dying of thirst. I don’t think that’s humane in any way, shape, or form. I think that’s one of the least humane things you can do to an animal and as an advocate for animals, and someone who takes care of them, I believe and part of why I’m here and why I’m doing what I’m doing is I believe we’re all children of God and he’s given us a stewardship over this earth and over his animals and he expects us to take care of his animals and sometimes that means making hard decisions that’s best for them. I would suggest that we follow the wild horse and burro act as written in its entirety and most of my recommendation comes directly from that. And I’ll start with the BLM immediately and by immediately within the next three years remove excess animals. Defined as any animals over AML from the range so as to achieve Appropriate Management Levels. Such action should be taken in order in priority to restore a thriving balance to the range and protect the range from the deterioration associated with overpopulation. BLM shall order old, sick or lame animals be destroyed in the most humane order possible. BLM shall charge additional free burros to be captured and removed for private maintenance and care for which the BLM determines an adoption demand exists by qualified individuals and groups. All animals shown offered for adoption three times and thereafter should be made available for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be euthanized in the most humane manner possible. Ladies and gentlemen, we are facing one of the greatest travesties that’s ever happened in your country regarding our range resource. And if we don’t make hard decisions now, generations to come are going to be making much harder decisions. The damage that’s taking place currently nears impossibility to repair. I don’t know if you can do it. We have ranges. We have reseed that had were homesteaded that we tried to reseed three times and because of the arid nature of the ground, we haven’t had any success to speak of. We have tried various things from grading the land to making berms so that the seed would catch more moisture. We’ve tried spraying off the cheek grass and the mustard weed to get salvaged seeding and none of it has worked and that’s using Siberian wheat grass, the most prolific producers of perennial grasses that are nonnative. That doesn’t even come close to approaching the perenniel bunch grasses and the wenteder fat that’s out there that I think right now is the time to act. And I feel unfortunately that this problem’s been kicked down the road for a long, long time and now we’re having to make some really hard decisions because of that but if we couldn’t to kick it down the road the decisions are going to get harder and harder.
And animals including horses, burros, and wildlife are going to suffer the dire consequences because of it. And that’s why I’m making this recommendation.
>>Julie Weikel: Okay, Steven, please indicate your first statement. Follow the build and horse and burro act in its entirety and then you immediately start quoting and wild horse and burro act which you just read. If you could help Kathie out by telling us exactly where in the wild horse and burro act you’re starting. Pull it up and where you’re ending. This is the exact words out of the act. Okay? And we don’t have to — I mean, it is what it is. Now you did say, did you say within three years because that’s not in the act.
>> Steven Yardley: It is not in the act. Immediately is in the act and I propose we define immediately in this recommendation as within the next three years.
>> Julie Weikel: Do you want to put that in parenthetically behind immediately and then just use the rest of the wording intact because if we wordsmith the act very much it will turn into a big deep discussion. I’m in favor of hanging onto the act.
>> Steven Yardley: I am also in favor of hanging onto the act.
>> Kathie: So you give me the proper citation or whatever.
>> Steven Yardley: I had it pulled up for some reason it’s not pulling up.
>> Julie Weikel: I had it here marked also but I’m not finding it.
>> Ben Masters: Steven I would like to write something down and it may kind of be what you wanted to say is to achieve the Appropriate Management Level within three years. Then to use fertility control to slow the population growth to where the recruitment meeting the adoption demand. At that point in time we would have a perfectly sustainable solution.
>> Steven Yardley: I think that would be excellent to add to it. I also failed to mention I think we should include in this that we further recommend the BLM utilize the help and assistance of all state and local governments and agencies and individuals in achieving AML. I agree is that should be the end goal and that’s what I would like to see is a sustainable herd of healthy horses on healthy ranges and using fertility control, adoptions and permanent sterilization as part of that.
>> Julie Weikel: Before we modify the act language let’s be clear about what you’re including. Okay?
>> Steven Yardley: Okay. So if you go down to —
>> Julie Weikel: Because you start literally in the middle of a sentence.
>> Steven Yardley: Let me find — if you go 1333 powers and duties of secretary. Down to —
>> Julie Weikel: I see where you are and you started reading right here where you said exist — that an overpopulation exists on a given area of public land and an action is necessary to — and that’s where you started. Remove excess animals. You shall immediately remove excess animals.
>> Steven Yardley: Yes.
>> Julie Weikel: Is that where you want to start?
>> Steven Yardley: Yes. That’s where I want to start. With he, he shall immediately decrease the size of the ALM. We can’t make recommendation to him. We’re making our recommendation to the BLM. The BLM referred to here is he, referring to the secretary of agriculture shall immediately remove excess animals from the range so as to achieve Appropriate Management Levels such action shall be taken in the following order and priority comma —
>> Julie Weikel: I have a question, if you just stopped it right there. Immediately remove excess animals from the range to achieve Appropriate Management Levels. BLM is already obligated to follow this law about, from there on. Even without us recommending it. They are. And so I don’t know why we have to add all this extra language. You’re asking BLM to follow the wild horse and burro law.
>> Steven Yardley: I agree but they’re not.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay, so do we need all that verbiage or can we just said BLM will immediately within the next three years follow the wild horse and burro act in its entirety and remove excess animal to achieve AML.
>> Steven Yardley: That’s fine with me. And I would like to include — we further recommend that the BLM utilize the help and assistance of all state and local governments and agencies and individuals in achieving AML. Thereafter, the goal should be to maintain herds at AML through darting, adoptions, and permanent sterilization.
>> Julie Weikel: Sue, we’re just kind of caught up in a little wordsmithing right now.
>> Sue McDonnell: I’m still here. I’m listening.
>> Kathie: We’re going to lose closed captioning in — we have about nine minutes left. We will lose closed captioning.
>> Dean Bolstad: That doesn’t mean the broadcast stops, right?
>> Kathie: The closed captioning we can continue to record but the live streaming will end because it has to be captioned by law. Just to clarify.
>> Julie Weikel: All right. Nine minutes. BLM will immediately within the next three years follow the wild horse and burro act and remove excess animal to achieve AML. Further, use help and assistance of all state and local agencies and individuals in achieving AML.
>> Ben Masters: the goal should be to maintain herds at AML through darting, adoptions and permanent sterilization. There’s a lot in that. Is there any chance you’d be open to having some separate recommendations. One is achieve AML and a separate one is about maintaining AML. Just so it’s clean and tight.
>> Steven Yardley: That would be fine.
>> Julie Weikel: Okay. So I would suggest that number five BLM will immediately within the next three years follow the wild horse and burro act and remove excess animals on the range to achieve AML. From the range. Okay. That’s the end of five. Or do you want —
>> Steven Yardley: Include the next —
>> Julie Weikel: He want to keep further use of all states and individuals in achieving AML. Okay. So that stays part of five. Let’s discuss that, number five, right now, okay?
>> June Sewing: I would like to add organizations to that state agencies. Organizations.
>> Steven Yardley: I agree.
>> Julie Weikel: Any further discussion of number five? Ginger?
>> Ginger Kathrens: Who does the killing?
>> Julie Weikel: Number five doesn’t say anything about the processing. It says get them off the range.
>> Ginger Kathrens: And then what?
>> Julie Weikel: That’s a separate issue?
>> Ginger Kathrens: It is?
>> Julie Weikel: Yes, it is.
>> Ginger Kathrens: In 2007 BLM had meetings that contemplated destruction of healthy wild horses and I think that they came one within a thousand or two thousand that they could do a year without violating clean water standards and other EPA acts. And they talked about the psychologists and how many they would have to have to counsel employees that were told to destroy healthy animals. I think that if we’re willing to make this kind of a — recommendation then we have to be responsible for taking part in the deed itself. I can’t even imagine it.
>> Steven Yardley: That’s what’s required in the end.
>> Julie Weikel: Further discussion? Calling for a vote on recommendation number five. BLM will immediately within the next three years follow the wild horse and burro act and remove excess animals from the range to achieve AML. Further BLM, I might be getting tired, further BLM will use the help and assistance of all state and local agencies, organizations and individuals in achieving AML. All those in favor please say aye. All those opposed please say no.
>> Ginger Kathrens: Same as before. No, absolutely not.
>> Julie Weikel: Sue, I think we might have drowned you out. Did you vote on that motion?
>> Sue McDonnell: I voted aye.
>> Julie Weikel: All right. We’re up against losing some of our ability to communicate with the public. Actually that topic of maintaining AML, that statement, we have language drafted about that, I’m looking at you because do you want to provide that or will this start with, okay, all right. This was in that basic goals and then somewhere at the end of it where removals with the goal that eventually removals equals adoptions.
>> Ben Masters: And I think that’s what we should all have is a goal. What are we doing. What are we looking forward? What are we trying to do and I think that the goal is to achieve the Appropriate Management Level within the next three years. Then to use fertility control to slow the population growth, to where —
>> Julie Weikel: Just let Kathie get started. Are you going to use the language that’s up there, Kathie to start with?
>> Kathie: I’m just listening to what he is saying.
>> Ben Masters: Let’s just start on a new one here if you can write down exactly what I’m saying we’ll just start a new one. To achieve the Appropriate Management Level —
>> Julie Weikel: To maintain the Appropriate Management Level.
>> Ben Masters: To maintain the Appropriate Management Level by using fertility control to slow the population growth to where recruitment equals the adoption demand. Where removal equals the adoption demand.
>> Julie Weikel: Can I ask for what clarification of what fertility control means. All the tools in the toolbox or just immuno contraceptives.
>> Ben Masters: I would like to see a priority in immuno contraceptives but I understand that permanent is more realistic option but I would prefer it to have as fertility control in this. Unless we want to, I mean, unless we want to try to flesh that out right here.
I guess we can.
>> Julie Weikel: I was just asking you if you were confining it.
>> Ben Masters: This is not confining it. No.
>> Julie Weikel: And number seven is really number six.

A Peoples National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting (with Poll)

POLL: What would you rather for our Nation’s Wild Horses & Burros?

Choose A or B and Click on the Link Below to Vote:

A. I WOULD RATHER OUR WILD HORSES ARE:
-Sold to foreign Nations including Russia where they are hammered in the head prior to slaughter.
-Mass Euthanized and MASS composted.
-Sold to poor peoples for food.
-sold to a corrupt tribal government, ignoring their own natural laws and the will of their people.
-sold to Zoo’s for zoo animal protein.

B. I WOULD RATHER OUR WILD HORSES ARE:
-Managed utilizing natural predators.
-Managed utilizing the recommendations of the National Academy of Science and stated the best solution was PZP immuno-contraception.
-Managed by darting from helicopter IF NEED BE: Keeping each family band together, not separating families, with darting each band in about 5 minutes, on the larger more remote Wild Horse Areas- All helicopters must have live stream cameras on the bottom ( as they ALWAYS should) facing in each direction so that the public can see how close the helicopters are/went, and if any wild horse went down or was separated etc.

Vote Here: Wild Horse and Burro Poll

ORIGINAL LIVE STREAM VIDEO POST today BELOW:

What are the real choices? (Listen to Video)

What are the choices being discused? (Listen to video)

What is the real reason that the Department of Interior refuses to manage ON THE RANGE in a non lethal manner? (Listen to video)

Why have we been threatened constantly with slaughter AND MASS EUTHANASIA when 80% of Americans are opposed? (Listen to video)

 

Postponed Tuesday the 17th – Thursday the 19th still on Calendar…Budget Senate Hearings are on the calendar for Oct 17 & 19

Your action is needed….fill their inboxes, faxes emails and facbook and twitter accounts. This is it folks…now or never. The fate of up to 120,000 wild horses and burros depends on your action.

 

 

The Interior Appropriations mark-up by the sub and full committees is on the schedule for next week. The times listed are EST. It says they will be audio only, but I have seen in the past where it says that but they are livestreamed, either way you can listen and/or watch at:

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES SUBCOMMITTEE (Lisa Murkowski, Chairman)
Markup of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
9:30 a.m., Room 124, Dirksen Senate Office Building
NOTE: The markup webcast will be audio-only

_________________________________________

 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS (Thad Cochran, Chairman)
Markup of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
Markup of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018
10:30 a.m., Room 106, Dirksen Senate Office Building
NOTE: The markup webcast will be audio-only

__________________________________________

If you have not done this yet, or even if you have, please make those calls to your 2 senators and the ones listed below. This is it, our wild horses and burros need us to speak up, loudly and in multitude!

Here’s an example of what you can say:

Hi my name is ______ I am calling/faxing/emailing, Senator_____________ today to ask him/her not to vote for any language that allows unrestricted sales or transfers of our wild horses and burros, which was presented by Representative Stewart in the House Bill. I also do not want restrictions lifted that allow my tax dollars to be used for the destruction  (slaughter or euthanasia) of healthy or unadoptable wild horses or burros.

Wild horses and burros need to be managed on the range with a safe birth control vaccine. The facts about this vaccine presented thus far in congressional hearings, have been incorrect. PZP can be darted by helicopter, or by ground. Volunteer groups can, and are in some herds, be used to do the darting and record keeping. PZP costs under $30 per dart. Which is considerably less than rounding them up and warehousing them.
I know the Senator has seen the survey’s that clearly show the American people are not in favor of slaughter, and there have been huge outcries from the American people not to allow what Mr. Stewart called ‘humane’ euthanasia. We must not take a step backward, to be a less compassionate society, when there is a humane way to manage our wild icons, an important part of my culture and heritage.

Please tell the Senator that the people they represent want them to vote NO, on any language in the bill or introduced during the Senate hearings, that means the death of our wild horses and burros. Thank you for hearing my voice on this important issue.

****If faxing or emailing sign your name***

****If it is going to one of your senators (your senators need to hear from you even if they are not on the committee because they will have a vote on the budget when it goes to the full Senate vote) make sure you put your address so they know you are one of their constituents.***

To find your Senators click here

This is the list of Senate members & their legislative director’s email (we could not locate a few of them) of the appropriations committee:

SENATE LIST:
(IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO ALL please do the key & your 2 senators)

Thad Cochran
@SenThadCochran
Phone: (202) 224-5054
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Senator-Thad-Cochran

Patrick Leahy
Erica_Chabot@leahy.senate.gov
@SenatorLeahy
Phone: (202) 224-4242
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorPatrickLeahy

Mitch McConnell
Phil_Maxson@mcconnell.senate.gov
@McConnellPress
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499
https://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell

Patty Murray
@PattyMurray
Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238
https://www.facebook.com/pattymurray

Richard Shelby
@SenShelby
p: (202) 224-5744
https://www.facebook.com/RichardShelby

Dianne Feinstein
Roscoe_Jones@feinstein.senate.gov
@SenFeinstein
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorFeinstein

Lamar Alexander
Allison_Martin@alexander.senate.gov
@SenAlexander
Phone: (202) 224-4944
Fax: (202) 228-3398
https://www.facebook.com/senatorlamaralexander

Richard Durbin
@SenatorDurbin
p: 202.224.2152
f: 202.228.0400
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorDurbin

Susan Collins
@SenatorCollins
Main: (202)224-2523
Fax: (202)224-2693
https://www.facebook.com/susancollins

Jack Reed
Elyse_Wasch@reed.senate.gov
@SenJackReed
T: (202) 224-4642
F: (202) 224-4680
https://www.facebook.com/SenJackReed

Lisa Murkowski                                                 KEY CONTACT
Garrett_Boyle@murkowski.senate.gov
@lisamurkowski
Phone: (202)-224-6665
Fax: (202)-224-5301
https://www.facebook.com/SenLisaMurkowski

Jon Tester
Dylan_Laslovich@tester.senate.gov

@SenatorTester
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594
https://www.facebook.com/senatortester

Lindsey Graham
Office: (202) 224-5972
Fax: (202) 224-3808
https://www.facebook.com/LindseyGrahamSC

Tom Udall                                                         KEY CONTACT
@SenatorTomUdall
(202) 224-6621
https://www.facebook.com/senatortomudall

Roy Blunt
Tracy_Henke@blunt.senate.gov
@RoyBlunt
Phone: (202) 224-5721
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorBlunt

Jeanne Shaheen
@SenatorShaheen
Ph: (202) 224-2841
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorShaheen

Jerry Moran
@JerryMoran
Phone: (202) 224-6521
Fax: (202) 228-6966
https://www.facebook.com/jerrymoran

Jeff Merkley                                                   KEY CONTACT
Jeremiah_Baumann@merkley.senate.gov
@SenJeffMerkley
Phone: (202) 224-3753
Fax: (202) 228-3997
https://www.facebook.com/jeffmerkley

John Hoeven
Daniel_Auger@hoeven.senate.gov
@SenJohnHoeven
P: 202-224-2551
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorJohnHoeven

Christopher Coons
@ChrisCoons
Phone:(202) 224-5042
https://www.facebook.com/senatorchriscoons

John Boozman
@JohnBoozman
Phone: (202) 224-4843
https://www.facebook.com/JohnBoozman

Brian Schatz
@SenBrianSchatz
PHONE: (202) 224-3934
FAX: (202) 228-1153
https://www.facebook.com/SenBrianSchatz

Shelley Moore Capito
Adam_Tomlinson@capito.senate.gov
@SenCapito
Phone: 202-224-6472
https://www.facebook.com/senshelley

Tammy Baldwin
@SenatorBaldwin
Phone: (202) 224-5653
https://www.facebook.com/senatortammybaldwin

James Lankford
@SenatorLankford
Phone: (202) 224-5754
Fax: (202) 228-1015
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorLankford

Chris Murphy
@SenMurphyOffice & @ChrisMurphyCT
P: (202) 224-4041
F: (202) 224-9750
https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMurphyCT

Steve Daines
Darin_Thacker@daines.senate.gov
@SteveDaines
p: (202) 224-2651
https://www.facebook.com/SteveDainesMT

Joe Manchin
@Sen_JoeManchin
Phone: 304-342-5855
Fax: 304-343-7144
https://www.facebook.com/JoeManchinIII

John Kennedy
@SenJohnKennedy
Phone: (202) 224-4623
Fax: (202) 228-0447
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorJohnKennedy/

Chris Van Hollen
Sarah_Schenning@vanhollen.senate.gov
@ChrisVanHollen
Phone (202) 224-4654
Fax: (202) 228-0629
https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/

Marco Rubio
@SenRubioPress
(202) 224-3041
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorMarcoRubio

 

Recharging Your Soul and Heart

Mae’s Bog
Installment #3


Yesterday I traveled along the Green River, WY Wild Horse Loop.  Wow some beautiful wild horses, in the wild lots and lots of open land again.

I went the wrong way in the morning there was a sign for Green River. I was on 191 south. There was a huge huge canyon. I could see Salt Wells HMA with trucks up on the hill. . I even got SNOWED ON while on the mountain.

Finally, I was on the road, if you call it a road. There were only dirt tracts, a great reminder of our ancestors who traveled some of these same lands by covered wagon. Those covered wagons that were pulled by these same wild horses that I seek to protect. Wild horses were caught and tamed for many uses, pulling wagons was just one of many. Thinking about all of this gives me a certain air of nostalgia as I travel slowly along looking for the herds in this areas.

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I chose the dirt path with most manure. There was no shortage to guide my way. I drove for 10 miles, thinking to myself, “come on guys where are you?” I had just finished complaining to Pip, my parrot and co-pilot, about not seeing the horses. Then I heard the neighing.

I could feel the excitement in my heart. I followed the sound going down another dirt track. And there they were, 6 majestic, free, wild horses. 2 yearnings, 2 studs (at least I imagined they were, but neither one wanted to tell me if they had previously been gelded and released), and 2 mares.

Wow was the only thought I had at that moment. I was just in awe. I walked closer to them, reminding myself these were wild animals and I had to keep control of my desires to be near them and maintain a safe a distance.  A couple raised their heads while the others just kept grazing.

I took many pictures. Then, they started towards me, dam I knew I had to walk toward ,y car. While I was standing safely in front of my car they crossed the track right behind my car. I took more pictures, wishing I had a better device to take great pictures, but this will do because the beauty I saw would be forever embedded in my memory.

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I drove further along the dirt road and saw lots of pronghorn. They looked so content playing and enjoy this beautiful place. There was so much land, and it was in very good shape with plenty of forage.

green river

I turned around went back to the main road following the way the other 6 horses had been heading. No more 60 feet after I turned around, there they were. There were resting at a rock cropping, butts to the wind. 3 were laying down and 3 standing up. Of course this was another opportunity for more pictures.

I started driving again. Remembering this was supposed to be a loop. I found 2 more on this track  Walking cautiously closer to the pair, I realize there’s a foal laying on the ground. Thrilled at finding such a young wild horse I spent quite a bit of time here and taking more photos of course.  I was not as close as I had been with the other little bands I had found earlier in the day. The adults were keeping their eyes on me, I knew I needed to make sure I was not making them nervous or invade their space. After all, this is their land, their home, and I am only a visitor.

22119311_1525499624182521_903656640_n

I get back to my car and realize there is hissing sound coming from the rear of my car. Everything appeared to be fine though. I spent another 2 hours looking on from the road. everything seems fine Got here after I spent another 2 hrs looking from the road. I was hoping there would be others wandering through and maybe closer.

I saw 3 more but, I wasn’t taking any more dirt tracks as the day was progressing toward evening and I needed to be on roads I knew better before dark. But, YES, I say it was pretty good day. I needed to see my beloved horses free, healthy, happy and in the wild where they belong.

Continue reading “Recharging Your Soul and Heart”

GOOD BAD AND UGLY TRUTHS

Mae’s BoG Installment #2

In installment one, I called in my report and Val Cecama-Hogsett of CAES put my experience into words (linked at the bottom of this article). I feel it is important to state that this is all new to me. I have been involved and reading about wild horses and burros, but decided it was time for me to hit the road and see it for myself.

I reached out to CAES, and they were very happy to have me on the BoG or Boots on the Ground team. I hope as I learn the road, literally, and the things that help me document the story I see, you will all have patience and understand this is an educational journey upon which I am sharing my observations.

After leaving the Elm Creek Facility I traveled to Montana, went to Pryor Mountains and spent 4 hours driving in search of wild horses. I am sharing the pictures I took. While I saw no wild horses (learned after that I should have called someone who is familiar with the herd to show me where they would be this time of year, I assumed I would see them not knowing what an expanse the HMA really covered), I didn’t want to waste gas, which many of you have been donating to support my trip. I was amazed at how much empty land there was, with no wildlife, the only thing I saw was a chipmunk that scurried across the road in front of me. But as you can tell from the photos, Pip, the parrot enjoyed his turn at driving through the Pryors. It is such amazing beauty, I just don’t understand why there is no room for horses? How can they claim we have too many when the land is so healthy, and there is so much of it?

 

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Pryor Mountains 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

After leaving there and getting to a place I could call-in I spoke with Val, from CAES, and she said that I should check for an advocate or photographer’s group for each HMA I was going to. So, I told her of plans to go to McCullough Peaks. We found a photographer’s group on Facebook and asked for a guide. They answered very quickly and were happy to meet me and show me some wilds in the wild. 45 beautiful, very well fed, gorgeous horses. I was surprised there were no foals, and 2 young (maybe yearling) horses. I was told there are 2 water holes. I went and found 1. There was a lot of wildlife, and I had forgot how beautiful pronghorn antelope are, with their cute white butts.  I took lots of pictures here too. In taking a lot of landscape pictures, not just animals I am making a point on both of these places:  LOTS OF EMPTY LAND, AND I MEAN LOTS. I wanted to do 15 Mile but ran out of time and really pushed to get to Rock Springs, WY for the roundup.

USE ! 2
McCullough Peaks 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

So, here’s where this is all me and my opinion… this was my first roundup, and my last. I have felt completely broken, and I could only stand to watch the first group brought in by the helicopter.  I met really nice people, Mr. Brown the BLM man there, was very personable. I think sometimes we forget that the BLM heads are the ones making the decisions, and not every employee agrees with the removal and treatment of the horses. (Not saying this is Mr. Brown’s opinion, just that I am always surprised to meet friendly, honest people from an agency I have so long been disgusted with). We talked for a long time.

The day started at 6 am, in the dark, with lots and lots of fog. We waited until 11:30 or so for the helicopter to be able to fly.  Everyone there had big cameras, me with my pad. (CAES would love to be able to supply their BoG team with good equipment but said they remain focused on funds to keep fighting in court, although keeping me on the road is one of their goals). So I apologize the pictures not as good as those you see from some others, maybe I’ll write a book and finance a proper camera!  I am hoping Jen Howe, CAES BoG team leader can do something with them.

Think of your 1st roundup, for those that have been, and for those that haven’t, your views and expectations largely depended on your stance on the wilds and the BLM. For me, I started this trip to find the GOOD BAD AND UGLY TRUTHS. To share my thoughts and what I find and see.

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Rock Springs Gather 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

I feel broken, like my heart and soul was assaulted. I called Val to talk about the experience and she told me that she knows it is traumatizing, that the experience almost if not definitely leaves you with PTSD. I told all watching the gather I would be crying for days, and I still am.  This is why it has taken so long to be able to put the words into a report for all of you to read.

There were only 3 observers and a few BLM. I didn’t last an hour. The helicopter was herding them to the pens.  We were very far away (more than a mile) all you could hear was the whir of the blades… such awful noise. Then I spotted them, 3 young wilds, running SO hard away from everything, far ahead of the group that were soon to be in view and who were the first victims of the big metal predator.

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Rock Springs Gather 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

Then, they came with the helicopter on them, running for their lives. All that fear, it was all I could see, and their determination to stay free. They kept trying to go back, to go home, but it wasn’t happening. They kept veering away from the path the helicopter pilot wanted them to go, and the helicopter kept adjusting to force them toward the trap tunnel. I learned they really do not pay much attention to the ‘Judas’ horse and follow it in.

There was a young horse, who turned back to the helicopter. The rest of the group, 7 or 8 horses, turned back also. It was a standoff, these beautiful animals attempting to face their foe, that huge, loud predator, and find an escape route to home, to freedom. The helicopter dipped its blades SO low, it looked like he was going to hit the land. They just stood there, facing their enemy as if to say: “NOPE NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

This is when I lost it. My heart was shattered to know they were about to be forced into that trap, separated from their families, never to be free again, and very possible be those the government is voting to kill. I said to all, “I can’t do this.” I was walking away, going back to my car, to my Pip, my friend, my comfort. I was told promptly told this was not allowed, I had to wait until the helicopter was finished.

22156991_1527253970673753_1881516934_nRock Springs Gather 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)
22127474_1525497767516040_1994231575_nRock Springs Gather 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

I simply could not bear it, I could not watch anymore, I felt I would fall apart. I turned my back to them all. I didn’t want everyone watching me while I was crying so bad. I waited until I was told I could go. That just made me cry harder, it meant they had were trapped, no freedom again ever, maybe even facing death.

Do you know that the BLM has armed guards at these roundups? He, followed me to my car, nice guy really, though I was at first nervous about having an armed escort. Pip just came over to me, got on my shoulder and rubbed his face on my cheek to comfort me. He just stayed there. They know, animals know if their loved ones need them.

22155255_1525497820849368_112189556_nPip the Parrot 2017 ©CAES, photo credit Mae Martini
(More photos on Mae’s Gallery)

After they got me out of there, I made my way back to Rock Springs for another night.  I just felt numb. I felt useless out here, wondering why I am here. Am I going to be able to do any good, am I going to be able to make things different, better, safer for these animals I love so much? I didn’t know what’s next on this trip or where I would go next, I had just decided that I had to carry on. I must see…what, what am I trying to see?

I don’t even know that yet, perhaps I am trying to see some kind of justification for the claims that I hear from my own government, some reason for rounding them up, locking them up, often killing or hurting them in the process. Some answer to why they claim there are too many, somewhere they have destroyed these beautiful lands, somewhere the horses are starving.

Somewhere, just anywhere, there has to be some answer that tells me WHY I should ever be okay, in my own thoughts and sense of morals, for the death of these horses being proposed as mass euthanasia or even by going to slaughter. Are the answers out there? If not, what can I do?

I do know that was my first and only roundup. I know this is pretty long, but I had to share this   with all you.  Just as watching the kill pen, and that draft horse that it took 11 tries before he died   this will NEVER be forgotten, not ever, by me. If this should light a fire in your hearts and souls, that’s good. This genocide of these wilds MUST END.  WE ARE THEIR ONLY VOICES.

PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING US KEEP MAE & PIP ON THE ROAD. WE ARE TRYING TO PAY FOR HER GAS AND SOME FOOD. SHE AND PIP ARE SLEEPING IN THEIR CAR AS THEY TRAVEL. SO THERE ARE 2 WAYS TO HELP:

1, OFFER A BED IF YOU ARE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES SHE WILL STILL BE TRAVELING THROUGH: ID, UT, WASH. OR (covered), CA, NV, AZ, NM & CO
contact Val at out office @ 541.315.6650

2. MAKE A DONATION BY USING OUR PAYPAL LINK AND JUST PUT IN THE MESSAGE ‘MAE’S BOG’ WE WILL PASS IT FORWARD TO HER. (We are also trying to raise $100 for her to get some chains and an oil change in the coming weeks.)
Our PayPal Link

Continue reading “GOOD BAD AND UGLY TRUTHS”