1/4/10: Horses Flee BLM Helicopters In Subzero Temperatures
UPDATE: 1/4/10: This week’s “gather” of some 2,500 wild horses from Nevada’s
Calico Mountains marked the Bureau of Land Management‘s latest bungle to
“balance natural resources.” If you look into the eyes of the horses —
corralled in a subzero chill and bathed in sweat that freezes to their hide
— you see terror. With eyes bulging, they blow steam from their noses that
hangs in the frigid air. These are traumatized animals who do not quickly
settle, as BLM misleadingly tells the public. PHOTO by Kurt Golgart/Bureau
of Land Management as published in NY Times.
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President Obama, Vice President Biden, Acting Assistant Attorney General
Cruden, Secretary Salazar, Bureau of Land Management, Members of Congress:
The Bureau of Land Management continues to misuse the U.S. Wild Horse and
Burro Program. I implore elected officials to intervene — and stop — the
seizure of our nation’s last wild herds.
In early January 2010, BLM “managed” thousands of horses in Nevada’s Calico
Mountains by corralling them in subzero temperatures. With low-flying
helicopters overhead, horses ran until drenched in sweat. Once subdued,
sweat can freeze on their bodies and lead to respiratory illness or death.
Photographer Kurt Golgart unwittingly conveyed the horses’ fear in his image
published in NY Times. With bulging eyes, the horses blow steam from their
noses that hangs in the frigid air like fog.
BLM’s 2010 Round-Up Schedule calls for the capture of 12,000 wild horses and
burros. Most taxpayers do not want to foot BLM’s $32 million bill.
The Calico Complex removal exemplifies core problems with the agency. After
the same herd was corralled in 2005, all mares among an estimated 575 horses
left on the range received contraceptive vaccines. Today, BLM argues that
3,000 horses roam the area. It is outlandish to assert that a small herd
controlled with contraception quintupled in size in less than five years. In
fact, residents accustomed to the herd claim numbers are far lower.
For years, BLM has crowded American horses and burros in federal holding.
The agency impounds more animals than it can adopt out. Consequently, some
wind up on the auction block, sold to “killer-buyers,” and trucked to
foreign kill floors. This is neither fiscally nor ethically responsible. I
hope the Justice Department intensifies its investigation of BLM and the
current administration stops this agency’s disgraceful tactics.
Moreover, I urge the White House and Congress to advocate passage of the
Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act (ROAM) which renews protections
originally granted in 1971. Passage of this bill would keep these
magnificent creatures where they belong — on public, Western rangelands.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Calico Complex Roundup, Dec. 28 thru Feb 2010
Official photo released by BLM brings controversy to photographer Kurt Golgart
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