Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Update on Wild Horses Shipped from Palomino Valley
My concern over empty corrals at Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Preparation Facility led me to request more details about our mustangs and their after-capture movements
All of the information I've put in italics are taken directly from BLM sources.
"As of December 31, 2015, the number of animals at PVC are as follows: 1,129 horses and 12 burros, "
I also asked for the WHO, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of wild horse shipping.
Although the WHY is still forthcoming, but these shipping records cover the period I asked for, from November 1 - January 1. They were secured for me by BLM Public Affairs Specialist Jason Lutterman.
"November 5, 2015: A load of 86 horses shipped to the off-range corral in Carson City, Nevada (inmate training program)
"November 16, 2015: A load of 36 horses shipped to the off-range corral in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma.
"November 16, 2015: A load of 36 horses shipped to the off-range corral in Bruneau, Idaho.
"November 23, 2015: A load of 8 horses shipped to the off-range corral in Elm Creek, Nebraska.
"December 8, 2015: A load of 34 horses shipped to the off-range corral in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma"
WHO are these horses? Their coat colors are sorrel and roan, both strawberry and blue, gray and bay, black, brown, pinto and dun.
They're as old as 15 years and as young as one. Some were born on the range, but many are facility born. Some have strikes listed on their final shipping orders.
Strikes tell how many
times a wild horse has been offered for adoption but failed to find a home.
Three strikes aren't good.
The 3-year old bay with 4 strikes, 2-year old sorrel with 5, and three yearlings with 3 or 4 each are not protected by the BLM oversight afforded adoptees. Three strikes mustangs and horses of certain ages may be be sold outright.
To whom? For what? If they're fortunate, they might be sold to someone with good intentions.
|My Calico Mountains mare Ghost Dancer was a Sale Authority horse. |
WILD HORSE HOW-TO: Have questions about mustangs or burros in facilities other than Palomino Valley? Contact that facility directly. If the facility cannot pull the
information for you, ask who can and you should be given a name and phone number/email address for someone who
Labels: adoption, BLM, Bruneau, burros, Calico, Carson City, Elk Creek, Idaho, mustangs, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Palomino Valley, Paul's Valley, Sale Authority horses, Three Strikes, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 6:18 PM
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Ghost Dancer: this mustang mare survived
First they took her freedom and family. Then, they put her in the stallion pen
I was on the range in January 2010, not far from the home land of Wovoka, the Paiute prophet whose vision began the Ghost Dance movement, when an ivory and
adobe-colored Medicine Hat mare was taken from her home by a BLM helicopter round-up.
|She came to be known as Ghost Dancer|
I saw her transferred to a government facility
called Broken Arrow -- an ironic symbol for peace -- where she was accidentally penned with
|Wild horses arrive at privately owned ranch called Broken Arrow, in Fallon, Nevada. BLM pays the ranch owner to corral hundreds of wild horses. |
|The mare was injured by other traumatized mustangs|
At this time, the Broken Arrow facility was open to the public. I visited the mare whenever I could and
brought her sage leaves, the scent of home. On days I couldn't go, friends checked on and photographed her (photos by Cat Kindsfather)
The mare bonded so quickly with a black and white pinto, I wondered if they'd known each other when they both ran free. Maybe their reunion, in captivity, was a bittersweet surprise.
Eventually the Medicine Hat mare was moved to BLM's Palomino Valley facility and put up for sale. She was
not eligible for adoption because she was over 10 years old. This meant
she could be sold “without limitation”. That meant she
could have gone to a kill-buyer, but I was fortunate enough to outbid
everyone in an online auction. She was mine, but a bidder in Texas won her best friend, and the mares parted again.
The Medicine Hat mare was captured not far from the lands of the
prophet Wovoka. Inspired by the Ghost Dance religion and poem “Ghost Dance”
by Sara Littlecrow-Russell, I named this resilient mare Ghost
The history I've read -- always iffy when it documents the lives of Indians -- says a dream showed him a circle dance which would cause the disappearance of the Whites and return the land to the way it was before their invasion, Wouldn't a wild horse, captured and ripped from her home, have the same dream?
I freed Ghost Dancer in a 5,000 sanctuary with a young sorrel mare captured on the same day, in the same place.
|Sage and Ghost Dancer arrive at Wild Horse Sanctuary in northern California|
The Medicine Hat mare wasn’t mine to name really, but we have a
bond. From my first sight of her, I haven’t stopped envisioning her life
from her early coltish days in the Calico Mountains to the day the
helicopters came for her and took her freedom, and I am writing that story. I hope she approves.
Labels: BLM, Broken Arrow, Fallon, Ghost Dance, ghost dancer, Medicine Hat, Nevada, sale authority, wild horses, Wounded Knee, Wovoka
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Terri Farley @ 9:43 PM
Saturday, October 24, 2015
BLM Cares Really, Truly, Deeply About Wild Horses
BLM 2008: Killing captive wild horses “magic bullet for budget problems"
BLM 2015: Killing captive wild horses sold to Tom Davis in 2008 was "deceitful"
Three years after the
public demanded an investigation of Bureau of Land Management sales of wild
horses to Mexican slaughter houses via known kill-buyer Tom Davis of Colorado, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office
of Inspector General issued a report confirming the deal.
|BLM helicopter round-up of wild horses, Melissa Farlow photo|
the Associated Press ”Steven Ellis, the BLM’s deputy director of operations, lamented
Davis’ ‘deceitful actions.’”
I mean, BLM had absolutely no idea what Davis had done with 1,794 federally-protected wild horses.
almost 7 years to the day since my op-ed in the Reno Gazette Journal quoted then-BLM Deputy Director Henri Bisson who suggested killing captive wild horses might be a “magic bullet for budget problems".
At the same time, Susie Stokke, then Nevada’s Wild Horse and
Burro Program Manager, told KUNR that though BLM spends millions on many
programs, “aggressive management of wild horses is the magic bullet for BLM budget
2008: Sally Spencer, director of program which sold wild horses to Davis:
“BLM hasn't yet
exerted its full powers” over mustangs.
I mean, it almost sounds like a policy had been born.
Still, after the publication of the Op-Ed and a longer blog on the same topic, I heard from Spencer
who asked why I’d turned on the BLM. I responded that I was tired of lies, and never heard from her again.
The Denver Post
quotes the report : “Between 2008 and 2012, Davis spent $17,940 on horses from
the BLM... “ and “BLM spent more than $140,000 delivering the horses to Davis…”
If this wasn't an attempt to balance the BLM budget on the backs of wild horses, what was it?
Before this report came out, I asked BLM questions about Tom Davis and other wild horse policies. They never answered, so I turned to government websites.
BLM’s Myths and Facts page often lags behind current events and modern science, but it's never sounded
with such hollow irony as it does now.
"Myth #2: It is the BLM's policy to sell or send wild
horses to slaughter.
Fact: This charge is absolutely false. The
Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about
the well-being of wild horses"
But they sent them to slaughter, just the same.
Labels: BLM, Department of Interior, Henri Bisson, horse slaughter, kill buyers, mustangs, Office of the Inspector General, Sally Spencer, slaughter, Steven Ellis, Susan Stokke, Tom Davis, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 1:13 AM
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Wild Horses & Young People Fight to Save Each Other
Melissa Farlow image
We were born to cozy warmth and milk
into the care of those with muscles to protect our fragile bodies.
We were born to grow strong legs and far-seeing eyes
as we followed the paths made by wise guardians.
Instead, Destiny tossed us to the cruel.
We hurt. We starved. We tottered, bewildered, from one hard hand to the next.
Until, reflected in each others’ eyes
We healed a little, forgot a bit. Too tough and afraid to
believe in love, we still dreamed of gentle hands held out, palm up. We dreamed
a mirage of hope.
The story of a girl named Robin, who spent years in foster
care, and her love for Rocky the mustang appear in WILD AT HEART.
Watch the film: WILD AT HEART: MUSTANGS AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE FIGHTING TO SAVE THEM
Purchase the book WILD AT HEART first edition, hard cover volume
Labels: Cold Creek, Melissa Farlow, mustangs, Nevada, rescue, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 9:46 AM
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Will BLM be Cowed by Ranchers, Miners?
|Standing room only crowd at BLM's RMP meeting, Fallon, NV|
May 19, 2015 Fallon, Nevada
About 170 people crowded elbow-to-elbow in the Churchill County
Commission chamber. More spilled outside, eager to hear about BLM’s new Carson
City Resource Management Plan (RMP) for public lands.
Along with a few other wild horse advocates, I came to dispute a plan that would zero-out bands of mustangs but leave livestock
home on the range. BLM figures 4.8 million acres can sustain only 2,508 wild
horses but 12,600 cattle.
Right off, the crowd was disappointed. BLM staff wouldn’t
answer questions; they came to listen.
Four speakers mentioned wild horses and three represented
the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes. The
rest of the 6-8:30 pm comment period belonged to the Fallon Tea Party, mining and
livestock industries. Samples from my notes:
"Churchill County is not Sherwood Forest and BLM is not the
Sheriff of Nottingham" (speaker dons green Robin Hood hat)
"We have enough trees" "We have enough protected lands" "We got
"We’re not going through a drought; it’s just a dry period
and mining’s our cash cow"
"Looks like you’re going to drive people off the land"
"I hunt. My kids hunt and I don’t need no Master’s degree"
"Cattle are good for the range and mining is good for the
Why worry? Throughout
the West legislation is being introduced to prohibit the Federal government from managing lands within a state. That would mean an end to public lands and
the meager protection afforded to range, water, vegetation, sacred sites, wild
horses and other wildlife.
Remember Cliven Bundy, a rancher backed by an armed militia
(ladies in front, please) protecting his “right” to skip out on a million
dollars in grazing fees? On March 31 the Bundy Ranch gang, headed by
Cliven’s son Ammon, are coming to the Nevada Assembly to support a Resource
Nevadans only (sorry): Want to enter your opinion of AB408, which would turn all public lands over to the state? .Click here to vote AGAINST giving wild horse lands to ranchers & miners _______________________________________________________________________________
Please watch and listen for further developments.
Labels: BLM, Bundy, Fallon, Jon Ralston, public lands, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 5:19 PM