This is difficult to look at.
THE BUREAU OF LAND MISMANAGEMENT DOES IT AGAIN, AND THEY ARE ROUNDING UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS — THE WILD HORSES, OF COURSE — AND CHASING THEM WITH HELICOPTERS IN THE HEIGHT OF FOALING SEASON. How did it come to this?
Below are the fragile, soft feet of a one-day-old mustang foal born in captivity. Look how thin the hoof wall is, barely twice the thickness of my thumbnail.
BELOW: And the sole of this foot (the inner, flat part of the hoof), which is almost rock-hard in adult horses to withstand covering all kinds of terrain, in this youngster's foot is rubbery and pliable, similar to a large pencil eraser, and it gets worn down in the rough terrain in a like manner.
BELOW: The same one-day-old foal's soft hind feet, with their paper-like hoof walls and rubbery soft sole. His Maker equipped him well, but not to withstand running from a helicopter over miles of rocky ground in the first six weeks of his life.
HOW DID IT COME TO THIS, where BLM is violating its own protocols to remove many horses before their scheduled roundup several weeks away, risking the lives of the very young? — who, by the way, are not being seen in the trap, I'm told. So where are they?
BLM FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS has not reduced livestock grazing in this Jackson Mountain HMA as good range stewardship called for. Thus, they have denuded the range; and let's please not forget that horses are outnumbered by cows and sheep in this area, which is one of the few remaining legal areas designated for the wild horses and burros.
Additionally, there are serious drought conditions BLM has been monitoring in this area, and BLM began hauling water weeks ago.
But once again, it's the wild horses and burros, who are by law supposed to be considered an integral ("essential, central, core") part of the natural system of the public lands, are instead being driven off their homes in this illegal way because of BLM's own mismanagement. And BLM boasts that the livestock permittees have voluntarily reduced their grazing. That's great for the permittees, but it is BLM's responsibility to manage the grazing, not rely on the permittees' goodwill, which we, by the way, very much appreciate.
I say "illegal" for two reasons....Go to her website to read and see more.