This is an update we hate to give. We have another dead foal in the Muddy Creek herd.
Our ground crew was watching an injured foal. It appeared to have a break just below the knee. It was being guarded by its mother as if she were a grizzly with her cub. All our ground crew could do was watch from a distance as her herd gently watched and loved her as she passed on from that injury.
The cause of the injury is unknown. However, we are worried that the hazing that we brought up in our 2018 case for the Muddy Creek horses is going on now and this foal may have been hit by one of those vehicles.
In our 2018 administrative appeal against BLM’s illegal gather and removal of the Muddy Creek horses, we submitted an affidavit from our ground crew who witnessed the Emery County Search & Rescue people pull up to a band of horses and offload their off-road vehicles.
4 dirt bikes and 1 four-wheeler proceeded to go chase the horses. One rider spotted our ground crew member filming them and was observed quickly getting on his radio, when not getting a response he took off to go warn the other riders they were being filmed.
The activity that day resulted in the death of a foal. This year seems to be a possible repeat of that situation. Was this foal’s death a result of being hit by one of these thugs chasing our wild horses? Read below for more reports from our many ground crew volunteers.
So far this week our ground crew have observed several dirt bike and 4-wheeler tracks around the areas of the dry dirt tanks, our campsites, and areas where the horses graze the most.
The horses are acting spooked and more nervous around us after gradually getting used to our various crew members camping and hauling water, etc.
A helicopter was seen flying from campsite to campsite, very low to the ground. BLM vehicles were seen speeding through the area and stopping to check out the belongings at one campsite. However, they sped away as quickly as they arrived when they saw our crew watching them look through things in the camp.
Ranchers were seen removing any tank they left out on the land. We don’t know if BLM was worried that, after making us remove tanks we were providing water in, we would ask why ranchers had “unauthorized” tanks out there which they hauled water too for livestock…or if they all just really want to make sure no water can be left out there for wildlife and are even removing the livestock tanks they typically leave out there year-round.
BLM put out a fake Press Release stating there is “abundant” water out there, we proved that is nothing but a lie or a twist of truth. Either the water sources they told us were available to horses & burros were bone dry, or they were not accessible to the animals. The only thing we have found an “abundant” supply of in both the Muddy Creek and adjacent Sinbad Herd Management Areas for these federally protected wild horses & burros is mismanagement and true hatred of these publicly owned sentient beings that are our heritage.
Hazing of our wild horses and burros is one of the very things the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act sought to stop from happening. What’s perhaps the most appalling is that this harassment is coming from local law enforcement and the federal agency entrusted to enforce the law stopping this kind of behavior.
Call the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Raul Grijalva, and ask him to:
- make it clear that the federal government doesn’t have permission to break the law and harass these animals,
- clarify that use of an off-road vehicle on wild horse or burro Herd Areas is going to continually be a form of harassment of these animals so they should not be allowed in these areas
- with climate change and continuing, worsening drought there needs to be a change in management practices to provide water year-round or get the livestock using natural water sources off the lands,
- allow horse advocates to provide water for wildlife if they allow ranchers to provide water for livestock, and stop the unequal protection of invasive livestock over native wildlife such as our wild horses. Something has got to change and it needs to change NOW. Police reform isn’t happening because We the People were being heard for years when we asked to be represented. We are asking for BLM reforms and we are asking you to hear us now as we have been asking for years too. Protect our native wildlife, and our western lands from livestock damages and water theft, from harassment and death.
Congressman Grijalva can be reached at:
Washington DC Office: 202 225 2435
Arizona Office: 520 622 6788
As always if you support the work CAES is doing, the awareness and education we provide, or the legal battles we fight for these animals please help keep us going by making a donation. No amount is too small, and our American horses & burros thank you for your help!