Monday, January 03, 2011
Taking the WILD out of the WEST
Calico Mountain stallion captive at Indian Lakes, BLM : photo by CAT KINDSFATHER
This news footage CNN Wild Horses Round-upsTEXT
was shot on the real Phantom's home range. The film of a BLM helicopter buzzing a burro, then knocking the little guy off his hooves will make you catch your breath and think of the worst bullies, ever.
Watch the video, then read the transcript to see what you missed.
Terri Fate of Wild Horses
AZUZ: When you think about an old-fashioned round-up, you might picture a cowboy on a horse, trying to corral some group of animals. But a modern-day round-up out in the American west is causing some controversy because horses -- thousands of them -- are the ones being rounded up! John Zarrella rides into the middle of this debate between the U.S. government and animal activists.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF AND CORRESPONDENT: There is no Secretariat, no Seabiscuit, no Black Beauty. Here, they have no names, none needed. In their eyes, you see who they are, rugged, powerful, independent. They are the wild mustangs of the American West. Woven generations ago into the fabric of this land, they've become the focus of lawsuits, even protests as far away as New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help save America's wild horses.
ZARRELLA: The horses are at the center of a tug-of-war between the U.S. government, chasing them down with helicopters, and animal rights groups who want it stopped.
RICHARD COUTO, ANIMAL RECOVERY MISSION: The roundups of the wild horses and burros of the United States is a true holocaust of the animal world.
ALAN SHEPARD, NEVADA BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: We can't let one, say, the horse, impact everybody else by taking all the feed, all the water, all the, do damage to that habitat.
ZARRELLA: The disagreement is clear cut. The Bureau of Land Management, BLM, is charged with caring for and managing nearly 40,000 horses and burros roaming on 26 million acres of the West. While this federal land, your land, was set aside for the horses, they don't have free rein. The land is considered multi-use.
SHEPARD: Wildlife, livestock, recreationists, mining interests, whatever.
ZARRELLA: The BLM insists it must reduce herd sizes because the land can't support the numbers.
MARK STRUBLE, SPOKESPERSON BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: This ain't Kentucky bluegrass.
ZARRELLA: So, it holds roundups. Last year, the goal: remove 12,000 horses. That's right, 12,000, and take them to holding pens.
BONNIE MATTON, WILD HORSE PRESERVATION LEAGUE: This is our land. We want the horses on here, most of us.
ZARRELLA: Armed with cameras and recorders, the activists document what they see as brutal roundups. Here, a helicopter chases one single burro, eventually knocking it over. It staggers off. Here, you're looking at steam rising from the backs of chased-down, exhausted horses. The BLM says less than 1 percent of the animals die in these round-ups. Activists say that's 1 percent too many.
Labels: BLM round ups, burros, cnn, mustangs, Pine Nut Range
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Terri Farley @ 4:15 PM
This was an interesting report and I gasped when that little burro did a bellyup!
However it was sort of a biased report...
I would like to hear the full other side of the story though... do you have a site that lists the FULL reasons that people support the roundups??
I fully support the reduction of horses being taken off the land.. I just would like to read everybody's opinion.
It would be very cool if I knew EVERYBODY'S opinion. I don't, but I've had probably a thousand hours of pro and con discussion about the round-ups.
Many people -- environmentalists, hunters, ranchers -- fear the range is in bad shape & short of water. They're afraid the horses are making the problem worse. That is BLM's stand and lots of people who believe them have never been out with the horses.
I have. I consider myself an environmentalist and I have looked hard at things like riparian damage.
For the most part, the hoofprints and manure around water holes belong to cattle.
I am the grandaughter of a cattleman. I have their best interests at heart, but things are not always as they seem. Last January, I actually had a rancher show me BRUSHFIRE damage and said it was overgrazing by wild horses.
Extractive industries want to use range water for "frac"ing and Las Vegas really wants the water from the northern rangelands where the horses, cattle and wildlife roam.
Hope that helps a little. I wish everyone could get out on the range with open eyes and make their decisions based on what they see.
I am so pleased that CNN has organized this report to be released Nationally. The American people deserve to be made aware of this situation. Attempts by advocates to move our taxpayer money into better applications and to appreciate the beauty of these animals running free needs to be shouted out all across the country.
Let's hope our lawmakers will re-think what is going on and allow nature to resume taking care of our horses. At least nature knows what it is doing... and does it well.