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Terri Farley
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't LOCKDOWN our wild horses

June 9, 2010

Mr. John Neill
Palomino Valley Wild Horse Adoption Center
17800 Pyramid Highway
Reno, Nevada 89439

Dear Mr. Neill:

Please keep the Indian Lakes wild horse facility on Broken Arrow Ranch open for public visitation at least two hours each week.

This facility has had its share of problems, but citizen vigilance alerted BLM staff to problems which might otherwise have resulted in the deaths of more captive wild horses.

The decision to lock out the public is "explained" in a BLM press release by the fact that Indian Lakes is a privately-owned and operated facility that was never intended as a public facility and isn’t staffed to serve the public. If it was never intended to be a public facility, why not? Americans have a right to view the care of horses deemed theirs by law. As for staffing, during my many visits to Indian Lakes I was never guided by more than one BLM staffer until a recently-arrived PR person was added to a late May tour. If BLM has a five year lease on this private property, two hours a weeks is a paltry bit of time, but I’ll settle for it.

The press release indicates weekly facility web site updates will be published. I welcome that, but not in place of visits. There may be other gaps in business-as-usual like the one which does not keep track of foals born in the facility.
The same press release claims the Calico Mountains horses have “successfully transitioned” to their new environment. BLM's own numbers say over a hundred (including premature foals) have died at Indian Lakes and dozens remain in hospital pens.

Wild horses are tough. They take care of themselves in the wild, but they cannot when not in fenced they are drugged, castrated and captive. They have not regained the health they had on the range. To say they have contradicts what visitors have seen with their own eyes.

Secrecy breeds suspicion and, in this case, death.

Please reconsider the decision to hide America's wild horses.


Terri Farley

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