Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is BLM Hiding?

Horseback Magazine

Contractor Denies Horseback Request for Access to BLM Gather

Photos by Terry and RT Fitch
HOUSTON, (HORSEBACK) - Horseback Magazine requested access an upcoming Wyoming BLM roundup, even offering a signed release by our observer and photographer if they were permitted to watch the operation up close from beginning to end alongside the BLM contractor's pilot and wranglers..
The contractor, Sue Cattoor responded to the request that was forwarded by the government agency to her company. Request denied.
Today we met with Roy Packer, the Lander, Wyoming BLM Wild
Horse and Burro Specialist and Melanie Gilbert, the Rawling, Wyoming BLM
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at Baroil, Wyoming near Muddy Gap to do
the required Pre Work and finalize the plans for the Red Desert Wild Horse
Gather.  As always we discussed the interested public that had contacted
either the BLM or us as the contractor.  There are several people that
plan to attend the roundup.  Roy also said you were interested in
attending.  He said the BLM will be contacting you but because we kind of
know each other I told them I was going to email you also.  We set up our
holding facility and temporary trap today and plan to start gathering on
Green Mountain tomorrow if the weather is agreeable.  It was very windy
today.  This Red Desert Complex consists of five different HMA's (Herd
Management Areas).  Green Mountain with approximately 398 wild horses -
Crooks Mountain with approximately 70 wild horses - Antelope Hills with
approximately 141 wild horse - Lost Creek - with approximately 260 wild
horses and Stewart Creek with approximately 300 wild horses.  The BLM will
pick out mares and studs to release back on the range and the mares will
be given contraceptives.  The numbers to be released will depend on how
many we capture.  The goal is to get each area down to the lower end of
AML (appropriate management level) so the herds will not have to be
gathered again for several years.  The AML range for the entire complex is
480 to 724.  We are the contractor assigned to gather these areas and we
will be using a helicopter.  You are most welcome to come out and watch
and take pictures.  We always try to find a place for any visitors where
they can observe and take pictures but still not cause stress for the wild
horses or put our wranglers in any danger.  No one but our employees are
ever allowed to ride in the helicopter.  Our insurance does not allow for
any other passengers.  And no visitor is allowed to be horseback during a
roundup.  We have saddle horses at the gather site but the wranglers only
use them to bring in a foal or other horse that drops back from the band
and that is very seldom.  There will be an APHIS on site everyday and a
contract vet on call.  But you need to come out and spend some time and
see what we do as a contractor and what the BLM does.  The BLM is not
trying to climate the wild horses in the west.  Their job is to manage and
protect these wild horses and each and every wild horse specialist is
doing their job to the best of their ability.  And I am very proud of our
organization.  We have sometimes a very unpopular job but we have
wranglers who really care about all animals, horses, and wild horses.  We
do the job as humanely as possible and we have lot of things we do to do
this.  You need to come see for yourself.  I read with interest your
report on our death loss.  You make it sound like we are being very cruel
and lots of animals die or are injured.  We are working with wild animals
and things can happen but the 1% death loss includes every animals on
every gather.  Even the ones humanely destroyed to relieve their
I think that number is very low compared to other wild life captures or
problably even cattle and horse ranches.  Let me know if you need any other information. Sue Cattoor

No comments:

Post a Comment