Friday, October 31, 2014

The BLM says NO photos allowed of Wyoming Checkerboard horses at Canon City wild horse adoption on November 7

Straight from the Horse's Heart

A beautiful family near Eversole Ranch days before being removed
by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
As many of you know, I have spent the past 10 years photographing the wild horses in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin, and I also spent many days during the Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup witnessing and photographing from very far away as 1263 wild horses lost their freedom and their families from these three herd areas.
The public was prevented from any close views of the traps or the horses during the roundups, usually being kept from 2 – 3 miles from the trap, and even when were allowed to go to the temporary holding at the end of the day, we were kept well back and could barely see the horses through the plastic mesh.
My very distant view at the roundup
The mesh blocking the view of the horses at temporary holding pen
On one day, some of the mesh was down and I actually got a decent view of the mares.  On posting these photos I immediately had someone interested in adopting two of the mares in the photographs.
The mares through a gap in the fence at temporary holding pen
On returning home from the last day of the roundup, I immediately emailed the BLM at the Canon City, Colorado facility to request to attend the first adoption where the public would be allowed to see the horses removed during the Checkerboard Roundup.  I was very happy to hear that at least half of the horses removed had been sent to Canon City as I believe it is the best short term holding facility that the BLM has.  The employees are knowledgeable and care very much about the horses, and they take very good care of the horses.  They are also very good to work with regarding adoptions, and I found that out for myself when I adopted my mustang Mica.
I also requested to be allowed to photograph the horses so that I might be able to post photographs of the horses that are there and to help get as many of them adopted as possible, as I have many people waiting on those photographs from me.  I said that I was willing to give the BLM copies of all my photos to help them get these horses adopted.  I even mentioned that I was prepared to pay the commercial fee to be allowed to photograph there, since Canon City has special rules regarding photographing since it is at a prison.  I had been allowed to photograph in 2010 when I adopted my mustang Mica after the 2010 Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek roundups.
Mica and the other weanlings at Canon City in 2010
Since I am a professional photographer of horses, I am able to get high quality images that will put the horses in their best light.  I have a very large social media following and the images would go out widely.  Photos get people involved, get people interested, motivate them to take action.  If the BLM were really interested in getting these horses placed, I believe they would allow photographs of the horses to be taken.
Instead this is the email response that I received:
“In regards to your camera request for November 7, 2014, I have had numerous requests to bring in cameras to photograph the horses.  Per Department of Corrections Administrative Regulations, no cameras are allowed on grounds for security reasons.  We do make exceptions, but with so many requests for this adoption, it is not fair to the others to see some people with cameras when they were denied.
I think it is in the best interest for the BLM and CCi that we do not allow any cameras on 11/07/2014.”
Notice that nothing is said about the best interests of the horses.
And doesn’t it make sense that if so many people want to photograph these horses,  that no one be allowed to photograph them.
I truly believe that if the BLM could find a way, they would prevent me from photographing the horses in the wild as well.
Oh wait, if they remove all of them, then that is exactly what they will be doing.

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