Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The range used to be an oasis for me. I could sit all day without seeing another human face and listen to peace. A home to deer, to birds sharing their many songs and the flash of their wings overhead, and of course to wild horses.
My trip to the Twin Peaks rangelands yesterday was different. The only deer I saw was smashed in the middle of a rural road ripped wider by earth moving vehicles making way. If birdsong soared from the cliffs and fields, it was smothered by the racket of man, but I think the birds escaped, because the only flash overhead was the glint of sun on helicopter rotars as they harrassed bands of wild horses into a trap where their lives changed forever.
I love Nevada, but I am a fourth generation Californian and I watched my home state's wild horses disappear.
The bands zig-zagged down a hillside, planning escape with each step. A black mustang forged to the front. A blaze faced black followed, and the herd surged after them, only to be cut off by the metal sound and fuel smell of a low swooping moster. A family trio lagged, then doubled-back under the belly of the chopper, but the mare's bravery gave way to protectiveness when her foal stumbled, the helicopter closed in and years of experience told her safety was with the herd.
Oh, lucky birds to be able to take wing and escape. Not one of these horses was so fortunate.
The herd soon entered the the jute arms of the trap, and their lives changed forever.
BLM photo of of Twin Peaks Appaloosas
The horses were black dots from the far-off space where "observers" had been stationed by BLM, but binoculars and serious zoom lenses brought the story closer.
In the next few blog entries, I'll share what I experienced, from "high alert" BLM rangers, to the bloody chaos of the stallion pen and one caring BLM staffer doing her best for humans and horses alike.
Labels: BLM, California, Twin Peaks round up, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 9:10 AM
If mustangs could fly like the birds and was natural for them to do this, man would still find a way to bring them down and reduce them to practicaly nothing...
There is hope in those that care for the horses and their freedom.
Terri, Thank you for going there. You have put your name on lawsuits and been involved to the eyeballs. I appreciate all of it so much. Your posting this is also important because you have so many readers. I hope they can understand what you see and feel. Hang in there, mar