Return To Freedom http://returntofreedom.org Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:29:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Utah BLM to host Dec. 13 hearing on use of vehicles, aircraft in Wild Horse and Burro Program http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/06/utah-blm-to-host-dec-13-hearing-on-use-of-vehicles-aircraft-in-wild-horse-and-burro-program/ Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:16:32 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19473 A helicopter pursues wild horses during the recent Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

A helicopter pursues wild horses during the recent Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

 

BLM press release

 

SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah will host its annual statewide public hearing at the BLM-Utah Salt Lake Field Office to discuss the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in the management of wild horses and burros on Utah’s public lands. Federal Regulation requires an annual public hearing for comments on this issue; the hearing in Salt Lake City will be the only one held in Utah during the 2017 gather season.

The hearing this year will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the BLM Salt Lake Field Office 2370 S Decker Lake Blvd West Valley City, Utah 84119.

“Helicopter and motorized vehicle usage is a critical management tool when managing wild horses and burros on the open range,” said Tami Howell, Salt Lake Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. “These management tools allow us to conduct aerial population surveys, monitor animal distribution, and transport captured animals in an effective and humane manner.”

Utah’s current statewide wild horse and burro population numbers currently exceed 6,000 animals, which is well above the approved appropriate management level of 2,000. Having an over abundant number of wild horses and burros above BLM management levels may cause resource damage resulting in limited forage and water availability, which reduces the number of animals that can be supported on the land.

Salt Lake City was chosen as the location of this meeting due to the proximity and recent proposal to gather and remove wild horses from the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Tooele County. Other currently planned gathers include the Conger, Sulphur and Frisco HMAs located in Millard and Beaver Counties. Gather location may change due to the available funding, wildfires, or availability of water and forage due to drought conditions.

To date, the BLM has removed more than 13,000 wild horses and burros from Utah’s rangelands since the government removals began in 1975. Over 7,500 of the animals have been adopted locally; the remainder of the animals are shipped east for adoption or holding in off-range pastures. Utah’s 2017 satellite adoptions start in May and continue monthly throughout the state. Adoption locations are tentatively set for Farmington, Heber City and Delta, Utah. Daily adoptions are ongoing at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility.

For additional information about the upcoming statewide public hearing, or future wild horse and burro adoptions, visit www.blm.gov or contact the Utah WH&B Hotline at (801) 539-4050 or the BLM Utah State Office at 801-539-4057.

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Owyhee roundup ends with 1,832 wild horses captured, Dec. 3, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/03/owyhee-roundup-ends-with-1832-wild-horses-captured-dec-3-2016/ Sat, 03 Dec 2016 17:19:32 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19380 A contractor's helicopter pursues wild horses on Friday. All photos by Steve Paige.

A contractor’s helicopter pursues wild horses on Friday. All photos and video by Steve Paige.

 

Sign RTF’s anti-roundup petition here. Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

 

A Bureau of Land Management contractor on Friday captured 229 more wild horses to end one of the largest roundups in recent history at the Owyhee complex in Northern Nevada.

The trapping took place near, but not on, the Little Owyhee and Snowstorm Herd Management Areas “to relieve pressure on forage and provide for public safety,” along a road leading to a mine, according to BLM.

The capture of the 95 mares, 89 studs and 45 foals brought the total number of wild horses rounded up to 1,832 during the roundup, which started on Nov. 2.

Seventeen wild horses had died through Thursday. Humane observer Steve Paige of RTF said that one mare came in with a bad leg on Friday and may also have been euthanized.

As of this writing, BLM had not yet posted its final gather report with final totals. (When it does, it can be found here.)

Public viewing was allowed on Friday. Access was scarce during the rest of the roundup because traps were often set up on private property — not the tens of thousands of acres of public land that makes up the majority of the area.

A contractor’s helicopter ran the wild horses alongside a barbed wire fence. The horses, most in darker colors, in contrast to the paints and grays captured in the HMA, came into the trap in extremely large groups.

None of the wild horses captured on Friday are likely to see their home range again. Instead, they will join the majority of those captured and separated from their family bands during the roundup at the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada.

Those not adopted will later be taken to BLM off-range pastures.

BLM says it re-released 399 wild horses onto the range, including 226 mares treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine. Those included 201 wild horses ages 7 and older that were released on Thursday.

The BLM originally set out to capture 1,600 wild horses in two phases: 680 in and around the Elko District’s Rock Creek and Owyhee Horse Management Areas and 920 from the Winnemucca District’s Little Owyhee Horse Management Area.

BLM justified the roundup as an effort to “remove excess wild horses in order to prevent further deterioration of Greater Sage grouse habitat within the Sagebrush Focal Area (in northern Elko and Humboldt Counties. Overpopulation of wild horses leads to the degradation of rangeland resources, which adversely impacts habitat for other species as well as the horses themselves.”

 

To view video from Friday, Dec. 2, please click here.

Photographs from Friday, Dec. 2:

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Wild horses were run along a barbwire fence on Friday while being pushed by a helicopter toward the trap.

 

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Previously: 

Owyhee roundup expanded to 1,800 wild horses, Dec. 2, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 78 wild horses captured, Dec. 1, 2016

Owyhee update: 11 wild horses captured, 17th dies, as roundup resumes, Nov. 30, 2016

Owyhee update: Weather postpones Sunday helicopter roundup, Nov. 28, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Number of wild horses captured tops 1,500, Nov. 27, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 108 wild horses captured, Nov. 26, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 121 more wild horses captured on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2016

Owyhee roundup: On day with public access six wild horses captured, Nov. 23, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Three wild horses euthanized, Nov. 22, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Death toll rises to 13 wild horses, Nov. 21, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captures; three more die, Nov. 20, 1016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captured, another dies, Nov. 19, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Second phase begins without public observation, Nov. 18, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Phase ends with release of 45 mares, Nov. 16, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two wild horses die, 42 released, Nov. 15, 2016

Owyhee roundup: First phase nears end with 32 more wild horses captured, Nov. 14, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 70 more wild horses captured, Nov. 13, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Total wild horses captured tops 600, Nov. 12, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 114 more Nevada wild horses captured, Nov. 7, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Third Nevada wild horse dies, 128 more captured, Nov. 6, 2016

Owyhee roundup continues: 36 wild horses captured, Nov. 5, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two Nevada wild horses dead, 122 captured, Nov. 4, 2016

BLM to roundup hundreds of horses from Nevada’s Owyhee Complex, Oct. 25, 2016

 

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Owyhee roundup expanded to 1,800 wild horses, Dec. 2, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/02/owyhee-roundup-expanded-to-1800-wild-horses-dec-2-2016/ Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:20:18 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19301 Wild horses are transported Thursday from temporary holding to a release site. All photos and video by Steve Paige.

Wild horses are transported Thursday from temporary holding to a release site. Photos and video by Steve Paige.

 

Sign RTF’s anti-roundup petition here. Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

 

The Bureau of Land Management will capture 200 additional wild horses — beyond its originally planned 1,600 — as part of the Owyhee Complex helicopter roundup, now in its second month.

The additional wild horses are not on a Herd Management Area, BLM told humane observer Steve Paige of Return to Freedom.

Thursday’s announcement came after 201 wild horses were released back onto the range: 103 mares treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22 and 98 studs. All are estimated to be ages 7 and older.

Even before Thursday’s announcement, the Owyhee roundup was one of the largest in recent memory: A total of 1,603 wild horses have been captured since it began on Nov. 2. Of those, 399 have been released, including 226 treated with PZP-22. Seventeen horses have died.

The BLM originally set out to capture 1,600 wild horses in two phases: 680 in and around the Elko District’s Rock Creek and Owyhee Horse Management Areas and 920 from the Winnemucca District’s Little Owyhee Horse Management Area.

Of those, 1,100 were to be permanently removed from the range, while the balance — older mares, treated with fertility control, and stallions — were to be re-released onto their home ranges.

The captured wild horses are being transported from temporary holding to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada. Those not adopted will later be taken to BLM off-range pastures.

BLM justifies the roundup as an effort to “remove excess wild horses in order to prevent further deterioration of Greater Sage grouse habitat within the Sagebrush Focal Area (in northern Elko and Humboldt Counties. Overpopulation of wild horses leads to the degradation of rangeland resources, which adversely impacts habitat for other species as well as the horses themselves.”

Of the wild horses that have died during the roundup, BLM has listed 13 as having pre-existing conditions and four as acute. It has posted veterinary reports related to three of the deaths.

BLM labels deaths as “chronic/pre-existing” when an animal dies or is euthanized for reasons related to conditions “such as body condition, lameness, serious physical defects, etc. This term will include animals that are euthanized for conditions not brought about by the gather activity.”

BLM defines “acute” deaths this way: “when an animal dies or is euthanized due to acute injuries or medical conditions brought about by the gather and removal process including those that occur during capture, sorting and holding at the gather site. This term will include animals that die for known or unknown reasons thought to be related to gather activities.”

 

Photographs from Thursday, Dec. 1:

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Tractor-trailers are loaded with wild horses bound for the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center, where they will be prepared for the Bureau of Land Management adoption program.

 

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Above and below: Trailer after trailer carried 201 wild horses to a release site on Thursday. Mares treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine were freeze-branded with “FC” on the left side of their necks.

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Previously: 

Owyhee roundup: 78 wild horses captured, Dec. 1, 2016

Owyhee update: 11 wild horses captured, 17th dies, as roundup resumes, Nov. 30, 2016

Owyhee update: Weather postpones Sunday helicopter roundup, Nov. 28, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Number of wild horses captured tops 1,500, Nov. 27, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 108 wild horses captured, Nov. 26, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 121 more wild horses captured on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2016

Owyhee roundup: On day with public access six wild horses captured, Nov. 23, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Three wild horses euthanized, Nov. 22, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Death toll rises to 13 wild horses, Nov. 21, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captures; three more die, Nov. 20, 1016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captured, another dies, Nov. 19, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Second phase begins without public observation, Nov. 18, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Phase ends with release of 45 mares, Nov. 16, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two wild horses die, 42 released, Nov. 15, 2016

Owyhee roundup: First phase nears end with 32 more wild horses captured, Nov. 14, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 70 more wild horses captured, Nov. 13, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Total wild horses captured tops 600, Nov. 12, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 114 more Nevada wild horses captured, Nov. 7, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Third Nevada wild horse dies, 128 more captured, Nov. 6, 2016

Owyhee roundup continues: 36 wild horses captured, Nov. 5, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two Nevada wild horses dead, 122 captured, Nov. 4, 2016

BLM to roundup hundreds of horses from Nevada’s Owyhee Complex, Oct. 25, 2016

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‘BLM caught in middle of wild horse conflicts,’ Dec. 2, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/02/blm-caught-in-middle-of-wild-horse-conflicts-dec-2-2016/ Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:59:10 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19401 Wyoming's Checkerboard Area. Photo by Maggie Mullen.

Wyoming’s Checkerboard Area. Photo by Maggie Mullen.

 

As published by Wyoming Public Media Statewide Network

It’s an unseasonably warm November day in Wyoming, and a small group of Bureau of Land Management employees is out in the Checkerboard, just east of Rock Springs. Like a lot of Wyoming, it’s arid with wide open spaces. They’re looking for wild horses. Leading the way is Jay D’Ewart, who works with wild horses for the Rock Springs field office.

“Besides the paperwork,” says D’Ewart. “I’m the eyes and ears for the wild horses out here on the range.”

A few times a week, D’Ewart will come out here to make sure the animals are healthy, but it’s not always easy.

“They can cover a lot of country fast, I mean, they can be here one minute and ten minutes, they could be a couple miles away,” D’Ewart says.

Pretty soon, the group spots a band of a dozen or so horses about a hundred yards away. Most of them begin to move in the other direction. One—a tall, brown mustang—stays still, with a steady eye on the group.

There are no fences in sight, so from where they’re standing it’s hard to tell whether the mustang is on private or public land. Land ownership here alternates every other square mile, and is what gives the Checkerboard its name. It has also led to a lot of conflicts. Most recently, this October the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that the BLM broke the law when they rounded up wild horses on public lands in 2014.

Ginger Kathrens is the Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group. She became a wild horse advocate back in the 90s, while working on a documentary about a herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

“I really appreciate and respect the way they live and understand their uniqueness,” says Kathrens. “I don’t think most people do appreciate or understand what it’s like to live wild in a family.”

At any given moment there could be as many as 1,900 wild horses roaming in and out of the Checkerboard, and both ranchers and the BLM agree that is too many. The BLM determines population limits based on the amount of land and food needed to support the horses and other wildlife.

But Kathrens says the Checkerboard can support this many horses, and they’re better off here than in holding pins in the Midwest.

“On the range management means that the animals are not removed and warehoused at tax payer expense somewhere, but they’re allowed to live their lives on the range,” says Kathrens.

She believes if left to their own devices, wild horse populations will balance themselves out.

“And if that isn’t equaling out based on natural causes of extreme weather or predation,” Kathrens adds. “Then we enter the equation as the predators and we try to keep foals from being born.”

The BLM says it is researching how much fertility treatment would cost, but even that won’t fix the problem as fast as some ranchers, like Bill Taliaferro, would like it to.

“If it were up to me, well, I guess get rid of them,” says Taliaferro. “Apparently they can’t handle them. They’re going to run out of money here pretty quick; you can’t have that many horses just sitting around.”

In his view the problem goes all the way back to 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Horse and Burro Act, which gave the BLM the responsibility of managing and protecting wild horses. But Taliaferro says they haven’t done that job.

“The BLM wouldn’t allow us to devastate their grounds with cattle or sheep like they’re allowing the horses to destroy our ground,” Taliaferro says.

He’s worried that Wyoming will soon experience the same issues as other western states.

“I mean, look at Nevada,” Taliaferro says. “They’ve got huge problems of overgrazing by wild horses. I mean the horses are dying on the range now because there’s no feed.”

Back on the Checkerboard, the mustang that once stood on look-out has trotted away to reunite with the other horses. BLM supervisor Spencer Allred says being caught in the middle of opposite views is just part of the job.

“That’s our goal, is to find a balanced approach,” he says. “It often tends to be that when finding a balanced approach, both extremes are not happy, but it is part of our duty and what we do.”

The BLM hopes to have another chance to get it right as they draft a new management plan next summer.

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Owyhee roundup: 78 wild horses captured, Dec. 1, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/01/owyhee-roundup-78-wild-horses-captured-dec-1-2016/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:01:58 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19290 A contractor's helicopter forces wild horses into the trap on Thanksgiving Day. File photo by Steve Paige.

A contractor’s helicopter forces wild horses into the trap on Thanksgiving Day. File photo by Steve Paige.

 

Sign RTF’s anti-roundup petition here. Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

 

Seventy-eight wild horses were captured during the ongoing Owyhee Complex helicopter roundup in Northern Nevada on Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

The 38 mares, 24 studs and 16 foals bring the total number of wild horse captured since Nov. 2, when the roundup began, to 1,603. Seventeen horses have died.

Humane observers were not allowed to view Wednesday’s trapping, which took place on private land.

During this second phase of the roundup, BLM plans to capture 920 wild horses and remove 650 from the range. During the first phase, 770 wild horses (297 studs, 329 mares, 144 foals) were captured.

So far, 198 wild horses have been returned to the range, including 94 mares treated with fertility control vaccine, according to BLM. Twenty-nine mares were treated with fertility control on Wednesday, but they have not yet been released.

Captured wild horses — including 30 on Wednesday — are being transported from temporary holding to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada. Horses that are not adopted will later be taken to BLM off-range pastures.

BLM justifies the roundup as an effort to “remove excess wild horses in order to prevent further deterioration of Greater Sage grouse habitat within the Sagebrush Focal Area (in northern Elko and Humboldt Counties. Overpopulation of wild horses leads to the degradation of rangeland resources, which adversely impacts habitat for other species as well as the horses themselves.”

 

Previously: 

Owyhee update: 11 wild horses captured, 17th dies, as roundup resumes, Nov. 30, 2016

Owyhee update: Weather postpones Sunday helicopter roundup, Nov. 28, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Number of wild horses captured tops 1,500, Nov. 27, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 108 wild horses captured, Nov. 26, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 121 more wild horses captured on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2016

Owyhee roundup: On day with public access six wild horses captured, Nov. 23, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Three wild horses euthanized, Nov. 22, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Death toll rises to 13 wild horses, Nov. 21, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captures; three more die, Nov. 20, 1016

Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captured, another dies, Nov. 19, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Second phase begins without public observation, Nov. 18, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Phase ends with release of 45 mares, Nov. 16, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two wild horses die, 42 released, Nov. 15, 2016

Owyhee roundup: First phase nears end with 32 more wild horses captured, Nov. 14, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 70 more wild horses captured, Nov. 13, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Total wild horses captured tops 600, Nov. 12, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 114 more Nevada wild horses captured, Nov. 7, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Third Nevada wild horse dies, 128 more captured, Nov. 6, 2016

Owyhee roundup continues: 36 wild horses captured, Nov. 5, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two Nevada wild horses dead, 122 captured, Nov. 4, 2016

BLM to roundup hundreds of horses from Nevada’s Owyhee Complex, Oct. 25, 2016

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U.S. overhauls public land use planning; senator vows reversal, Dec. 1, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/01/u-s-overhauls-public-land-use-planning-senator-vows-reversal-dec-1-2016/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 21:30:19 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19342 Cattle graze along a section of the Missouri River that includes the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument near Fort Benton, Mont. U.S. government officials on Thursday finalized an overhaul of how they plan for oil and gas drilling, mining, grazing and other activities across public lands in the West. AP file photo.

Cattle graze along a section of the Missouri River that includes the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument near Fort Benton, Mont. U.S. government officials on Thursday finalized an overhaul of how they plan for oil and gas drilling, mining, grazing and other activities across public lands in the West. AP file photo.

 

As published by the Associated Press

 

U.S. government officials on Thursday finalized an overhaul of how they plan for oil and gas drilling, mining, grazing and other activities across public lands in the West.

The move by the Bureau of Land Management aims to address longstanding criticism of an often-cumbersome process that dictates development across almost 250 million acres of federal lands, primarily in 12 Western states and the Dakotas.

Administration officials said the changes would improve public involvement and government transparency by adding additional steps to land-use planning.

Members of Congress, industry groups and local officials have raised concerns about the overhaul’s practical effects. They’ve said it will elevate wildlife and environmental preservation above other uses such as energy development and shift decision-making from agency field offices to Washington, D.C.

It updates regulations adopted in 1979.

The Associated Press obtained details prior to Thursday’s public announcement.

The timing of the new rule in the Obama administration’s last days drew a rebuke from U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who predicted it would take authority away from local land managers. The Wyoming Republican pledged to work to reverse the action once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

About 28 percent of Wyoming’s land and 65 percent of the minerals beneath its surface are administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

“We need better coordination among state, local and federal land management agencies. Massive landscape-scale plans directed from Washington, D.C., are not the answer,” said Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.

The changes were backed by conservation and sporting groups including Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. Joel Webster, the partnership’s Western lands director, said the rule would ensure decisions affecting wildlife such as mule deer weren’t hobbled by artificial boundaries that separate bureau field offices.

Opponents were “seeing ghosts” with concerns that public involvement would be hurt, he added.

Among other changes, alternatives for development would be offered at the front-end of planning instead of well into the process.

Bureau Deputy Director Linda Lance said the intent is to frontload the process so that thorny issues are revealed early. That will reduce the likelihood of lawsuits or the need for substantial revisions down the road, she said.

The federal agency has 160 management plans for the lands and mineral reserves that it oversees. Crafting those plans currently takes eight years on average.

“The hope is we are going to shave years off the process, not days,” Lance said.

Other resources: BLM Planning 2.0

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Bait and trap of Sand Wash Basin, Colo., wild horses off to a slow start, Dec. 1, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/01/bait-and-trap-in-sand-wash-basin-colo-off-to-a-slow-start-dec-1-2016/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:58:17 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19318
The Bureau of Land Management holds wild horses in a permanent corral at Sand Wash Basin in mid November. The mares that were captured were given birth control and released back into the basin. The young horses were removed from Sand Wash and will be up for adoption next year. Craig Daily Press photo.

The Bureau of Land Management holds wild horses in a permanent corral at Sand Wash Basin in mid November. The mares that were captured were given birth control and released back into the basin. The young horses were removed from Sand Wash and will be up for adoption next year. Craig Daily Press photo.

 

As published by Craig Daily Press

Craig — The wild horse bait-and-trap operation underway in Sand Wash Basin, about 45 miles west of Craig, is off to a slow start.

A delay in completing a service contract postponed the operation until early November when it was expected to start in October.

Trapping has also been slowed by recent winter weather conditions.

Contractors Cattoor Livestock Roundup Company have managed to trap 55 horses for the Bureau of Land Management in the first 22 days of the operation.

Of the horses captured, 10 young horses were removed to BLM’s wild horse holding facility in Cañon City, seven mares have been treated with the birth control drug PZP and released back to the wild and seven young horses are currently held in the permanent corrals in Sand Wash Basin awaiting transport to Cañon City, said BLM Public Affairs Specialist David Boyd.

BLM’s original plan was to capture about 200 horses in the corrals so they can give birth control to mares that will be released after they’re treated. They also planned to remove 50 young horses in about 30 days. However, that process will now take longer.

“(Young) horses removed from Sand Wash Basin are expected to be available for adoption direct from the BLM mid to late January,” said Colorado Wild Horse and Burrow Off Range Lead Stephen Leonard, who manages the Cañon City Facility.

The young horses that are not adopted in January will be available for adoption through the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary in Deer Trail. They expect to have basic training completed for some horses by late spring or early next summer.

A BLM video about the bait and trap may be viewed on BLM’s You Tube channel.

More information about adoption Sand Wash Basin horses is available from the Sand Wash Basin Advocacy Team’s Facebook page.

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Volunteers, supporters invited to RTF Holiday Appreciation Party on Dec. 10 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/12/01/volunteers-supporters-invited-to-rtf-holiday-appreciation-party-set-for-dec-10/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:40:16 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19295 holidayinvitebig

 

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Santa Ynez’s Outpost Trading Co. to host Dec. 10 holiday fundraiser featuring RTF http://returntofreedom.org/2016/11/30/santa-ynezs-outpost-trading-co-to-host-dec-10-holiday-fundraiser-featuring-rtf-nov-30-2016/ Wed, 30 Nov 2016 20:10:52 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19251

Forever Thankful Holiday Faire and Fundraiser
Saturday Dec 10, 2016 1:00-6:30PM @ Outpost Trading Co.

A variety of amazing local artist and nonprofits will be here in the store selling their products and showcasing their organizations.

Complimentary savory appetizers paired with local wines will be served. *Great gifts for his and her home* & Fabulous local live music.
Matt Crist from Cinque Stelle Winery will be here from 12-4 p.m., pouring his family’s delicious local wines and bottles will be available to purchase.

Great holiday gifts for all featuring work from:

  • Tony Stromberg will be here from 4-6:30 p.m. signing copies of his new book “Horses” along with Neda DeMayo from Return to Freedom-Wild Horse Sanctuary and Preservation to talk about how to get involved and Sponsorship gifts. The Outpost will donate 5% of sales from Tony’s book “Horses” to RTF.
  • Erin Graffy and Tom Mielko will be here from 1-6 pm to sign copies of their new book “Animalia” along with Julia Di Sieno from Animal Rescue Team -talking about ways to sponsor. Erin and Tom will be donating a percentage of the sales from their book to ART.
  • Balance Jewelry by Patricie– Patricie will be here showcasing her fabulous one-of-a-kind custom pieces.
  • Peruvian Imports by Gigi-Gigi will be here with her Wonderful new collection of Alpaca wraps and ruanas.
Kathy from JOJI will be here with a new selection of bags, pillows, and other fabulous products. A percentage from the sale of JOJI products go directly to benefit the women of Tesores del Corazon, a fair-trade weaving cooperative in San Martin Chiquito, Guatemalan support of Xela AID
 

 

Owners, creators, and stylists, Missy and Emily, of By Design of Santa Ynez will be in the store with holiday entertaining ideas!
Balance Jewelry by Patrice
Peruvian imports by Gigi-Gigi
Erin Graffy and Tom Mielko’s new book, Animalia
Books by Tony Stromberg to benefit Return to Freedom, a national wild horse conservation organization.
 

 

Julia Di Sieno from Animal Rescue will be talking about ways to sponsor!

Who: Everyone!
What: Holiday Faire and Fundraiser!
Where: Outpost Trading Co
3547 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez, CA 93460
When: Saturday, Dec 10th
1:00 – 6:30pm

805-686-5588
thegrandoutpost@gmail.com

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A leader in the fight to save wild horses, Barbara Clarke, has died, Nov. 30, 2016 http://returntofreedom.org/2016/11/30/a-leader-in-the-fight-to-preserve-wild-horses-barbara-clarke-has-died-nov-28-2016/ Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:49:43 +0000 http://returntofreedom.org/?p=19241 barbaraclarkephoto

A champion for horses: DreamCatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary co-founder and Managing Director Barbara Clarke. Courtesy photo.

 

Return to Freedom is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Barbara Clarke, co-founder and managing director of DreamCatcher Wild Horses & Burro Sanctuary, on Nov. 22.

Clarke was a kindred spirit to RTF. She shared our belief in the value of creating humane sanctuaries both as a safe haven for wild horses and as places where the public could learn about the ongoing effort to preserve America’s iconic wild horses on the range.

“Return to Freedom is forever grateful to Barbara Clarke and DreamCatcher for providing a pasture for 71 mares captured during the tragic 2010 Calico Complex roundup,” said RTF President Neda DeMayo. “Barbara and DreamCatcher stepped up to help RTF  when no one else would and we had no place for those horses to land. Her compassion, collaborative spirit and keen intelligence will be missed.”

The RTF team’s thoughts are with Barbara’s loved ones and our fellow advocates at DreamCatcher working to preserve her legacy.

PLEASE … make a generous contribution to DreamCatcher ~ Click Here To Get To Their Website…

Read the full press release from DreamCatcher:

 

FEARLESS LEADER OF DREAMCATCHER WILD HORSE & BURRO SANCTUARY IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PASSES AWAY – BOARD OF DIRECTORS TAKES THE REINS

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Wild horses at DreamCatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary. Courtesy photo.

Sacramento, CA, (Nov. 28, 2016) – With heavy hearts, the Board of Directors of the DreamCatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary announce the passing of visionary leader, co-founder and Managing Director, Barbara Clarke, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. With her inimitable spirit, she fought long and hard against serious illnesses over the last few years, but lost those battles and left us for greener pastures. She will be sorely missed by the wild horses and burros in her care and by all of her colleagues and friends throughout California and the nation.

After leaving a successful career in the high tech world, Barbara became Director of Redwings Sanctuary in Monterey County in the 90’s. She wrote and had published numerous articles on the meaning of sanctuary in a technological society, winning the prestigious San Jose Mercury News Silver Pen award. She was named one of nine influential women in animal welfare by Town and County
magazine, was featured in the 2002 International Animal World Encyclopedia, and was on the Board of Directors of The Association of Sanctuaries. There she helped develop standards of care for wild and domestic horses and sanctuary business ethics.

Barbara moved to the 2,000-acre Lassen County ranch where DreamCatcher is presently located in 2003, fulfilling the vision and mission to create a natural and stimulating environment for wild (and a few domestic) equines. Her goal was to allow mustangs to rediscover their freedom and independence and to let the public experience what would be lost if roundups and adoptions continue. The sanctuary is home to more than 250 wild horses and 35 wild burros.

The Board and the Advisory Board of the sanctuary have rolled up their sleeves and are committed to taking all the necessary steps to keep Barbara’s vision and mission for DreamCatcher alive and well long into the future. These steps include stocking up on feed for the Winter, tending to all the administrative and ranch duties of the operation and beginning the search for a new Managing Director of the sanctuary.

The 300+ horses and burros in the sanctuary’s care are counting on the Board and, in turn, the Board is counting on and would be most grateful for the general public to help support the sanctuary during this important transition time. Tax-deductible donations in Barbara’s memory can be made at: http://www.dreamcatcherhorsesanctuary.org/

“Barbara was an incredible human being. She was thoroughly professional and at the same time a humble woman with an ambitious vision for how to create sanctuary for horses, burros and all forms of animal life. Barbara overcame obstacles that would have stopped most of us in our tracks and dedicated her entire life and all of her personal resources to DreamCatcher and the equine herds that
call it home.” — Robert Marsh, Director

“DreamCatcher began with the idea of a place where wild horses and burros could once again live free in a natural environment. Barbara kept the dream alive. Now with your help we can, too.” — Deborah Ellsworth, Director and Co-Founder

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