Shady tactics surround BLM roundup of famous Kiger mustangs

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Public comment process subverted despite NEPA

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 7, 2011)—The Cloud Foundation is outraged at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) lack of transparency and avoidance of public input pertaining to the Kiger/Riddle Mountain roundup happening now outside of Burns, Oregon. T

he herds are famous for their Spanish Conquistador ancestry as well as Disney’s hit movie, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The Foundation asks Congress to stop the illegal roundup now in order to save these herds from being destroyed. BLM’s plan would reduce the two herds to grossly non-viable populations of less than 50 animals each.

To the Foundation’s knowledge, no pro-wild horse interested parties received the Environmental Assessment (EA) within the allotted 30-day comment period. The only public notification appears to be a March 16, 2011 blurb in the local Burns Times Herald newspaper saying “the proposed action will begin in September, 2011.”

“I was shocked to learn that the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds were going to be rounded up in early July,” states Diane Pinney, Kiger wild horse adopter and Wild Horse and Burro Representative, Southeast Oregon’s Resource Advisory Council (RAC). “I never received the EA or a notice that it was available, and I can’t find anyone else who did.”

BLM typically receives thousands of comments from concerned members of the public protesting their wild horse removal actions. Despite this, BLM Three Rivers Field Manager, Richard Roy, indicated the agency received “no public comments pertaining to the EA.”

As soon as The Cloud Foundation realized they had not received the EA, nor had anyone they knew, they alerted Portland Attorney, Geordie Duckler. He quickly filed a request for a temporary restraining order. It was denied by District Judge Hernandez and this denial allowed the roundup to begin today.

“This is one of the sleaziest BLM tactics I’ve seen in 16 years of documenting wild horses and dealing with the agency,” states Ginger Kathrens, EMMY Award-winning filmmaker and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “BLM’s actions appear to be a carefully designed strategy to keep the public in the dark and subvert the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process which promotes public involvement.”

“If BLM succeeds in flying under the radar, the wild horses and American taxpayers will pay the price,” explains Kathrens. “We want this roundup to be put on hold right now so we can have at least 30 days for public comment.”

The Cloud Foundation believes BLM’s actions are a violation of the public trust and they vow to continue to fight for the rights of America’s wild horses and burros to roam freely on their legally designated ranges. They encourage members of the public to contact their U.S senators and representatives and request intervention on behalf of our nation’s wild horses and burros before they are managed into oblivion.

Source: The Cloud Foundation Press Release

LINKS OF INTEREST

Save the Mustangs Fund: http://bit.ly/qZZKQM

“Advocates ask Congress to stop dangerous Kiger roundup in Oregon” – Foundation press release: http://bit.ly/kohGUz

BLM Info on Kiger Wild Horses: http://bit.ly/nzW4tg

BLM Roundup Schedule: http://bit.ly/iHNvU9

13 thoughts on “Shady tactics surround BLM roundup of famous Kiger mustangs”

  1. I closed the comments on this post because of the numerous email complaints we were receiving about the tone and content of them. Because of this, Diane Pinney was not able to comment. She has asked me to post her response to Andi Harmon’s comment. I am pasting it in below. I am then closing comments again, so it looks like Diane will have the final word on this one.

    Diane’s response starts here:

    First, Andi, we always disagree and I know that will not change.

    I did not post everywhere about the Kiger gather — I posted asking if anyone had seen the EA. To this date, July 11, 2011, I have not found anyone who received it to comment on it. I surely did not.

    As to your skepticism that I knew about the round up — I found out at our RAC meeting third week in June, roughly 10 days before the date Kenny told me they would be gathering the Kigers, and Riddle a week later. If you don’t believe me, you can ask District Manager Kenny McDaniel whether I was surprised or not. He’s the one that told me. I am sure he would say I was. My first question to him was where was the EA? I surely was looking to comment on it.

    Since I am generally not a conspiracy theorist, I figured it was just I who had not gotten it. I started becoming really concerned when I could find no one who had gotten it, and the gather was looming.

    Then I read ON THE BLM PAGE, since apparently, Andi, you also did not read the EA which said this, nor the BLM page, that they would be returning GELDINGS to the HMA. That was when I reached my limit of patience with giving the Burns District the benefit of the doubt. If that is not foolishness, to turn geldings out, INCLUDE THEM IN THE AML that they say they are bringing the herd down to, and not be concerned with continued issues that come up when a gene pool is too low?

    In my opinion, BLM circumvented the public input process on these gathers, and no member of the public had any opportunity to comment on the gather, even tho BLM’s own NEPA handbook highly suggests that they do so, and in fact the concurrent CEQA regs require them to send the EA to national associations that are concerned with the issues at hand.

    The Kiger round up resulted in 2 deaths. At least that we can see. I suppose you who want to see the pretty horses running into the traps, and comment on which ones you want, covet them so you can adopt them, are fine with running the horses into the traps (yes, they did more than just trot them in) and destroying the family bands for no other reason than that people want to have them for their own.

    And yes, I am a Kiger breeder. That is why I am so concerned that the integrity of these magnificent horses remains. At this point I am beginning to think that I may be the only one who does.

    Perhaps my objections to turning the Kigers into designer Arab/QH cross looking animals, and my constant pleas for people to recognize them for the old world Iberian genetics that they carry, and preserve them for that, which I have tried to spread all over the internet for the past many years, rather than issues with this gather is what has confused you, Andi.

    ~ Diane Pinney, Spanish Sage Ranch.

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  2. I was also at two days of this gather and omly met Andi today so read what I have to say and spare me the name calling. The gather was done with much regard for the horses. The helicopters applied pressure when necessary and hung back whenever they could. We watched extra care taken with small foals. We also saw the horses today in the Burns corrals as they were unloaded and for anyone out there who is a Kiger owner potential buyer or admirer there are some very nice horses to choose from in October. We have hours of film and hundreds of still taken of many of these horses over the last 5 years and they kooked as good tofay – post gather as they ever have. I am not looking for an argument but if it is truth you look for, hear both sides and kmow your facts

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  3. Then why did Pinney make this statement in the news release: “I was shocked to learn that the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds were going to be rounded up in early July,” states Diane Pinney, Kiger wild horse adopter and Wild Horse and Burro Representative, Southeast Oregon’s Resource Advisory Council (RAC). “I never received the EA or a notice that it was available, and I can’t find anyone else who did.”

    Are you calling Pinney a liar? At any rate, it is my opinion that you speak with a forked tongue Andi. You fool no one here.

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    1. Calling no one a liar. I saw Dianne commenting about the gather on Facebook last month. I have no idea if she received an EA or not, and I have no idea if she was “shocked to learn” or not. All I DO know is that she knew at least in June that the gather had been changed to July.

      And so you slam ME for stating the above, and then call ME a liar? Show me one single statement I have made that is a lie.

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      1. Give it up.

        You support the BLM’s initiatives, which we all know are not in the best interest of the horses. It is all for money, greed, cattle and oil/gas industry

        We don’t support this and neither do the vast majority of other Americans.

        You and the BLM are simply out to take away what God put on this earth for our pleasure.

        Please go away.

        Shameful.

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      2. Why come here and waste your time and ours. We know who you are. We know what you do. You say this woman knew all about the EA’s — and now point to evidence of it — yet she gave a quote to the Cloud Foundation she knew nothing. I questioned if you were calling her a liar. Seems pretty clear. The forked tongue comment about your statement stands. So sorry you are offended, but there you have it.

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  4. The gather of the Kiger HMA has been completed with no injuries, no accidents; it was a picture perfect gather. I was there all day today and watched the conclusion of the gather and was impressed with the handling and such of the horses. We viewed the horses in the temporary holding pens and they were quiet and calm, little squabbling going on and the horses look to be in good shape.

    I have no idea why people didn’t see the paperwork on it; I know I saw it and was aware of it in May. I know Dianne Pinney, who is not only an adopter but also runs a Kiger breeding operation, knew about the gather in July because I saw her commenting all over the place about it.

    The minimum AML for both the Kiger and the Riddle HMA has been the same (around 50 for Kiger and around 33 for Riddle) for at least 15-20 years so this isn’t something “new” nor are they “wiping them out”. The Kiger’s started out genetically deficient back in 1976 when they were brought in from Beaty’s Butte, where they were found in a “family band” of 27 horses. Since then, the Oregon BLM has worked at improving their genetic viability and, from the looks of the horses I have seen over the last year, and today, they have done a good job of it.

    Like most HMA’s in Oregon, the Kiger’s are gathered every 4 years or so, depending on the range and the population. Last winter was tough on all the horses and they appear to have had some bumper foal crops. The last gather was 2007, so it was time. This is one of the few HMA’s the BLM has that has nearly a 100% adoption rate. People fly and drive in from all over the country to the “Kiger Fest” adoption, which will be held this year October 7-8 at the Burns-Hines BLM Wild Horse Corrals. I encourage everyone to come see these magnificent horses and take one home!

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  5. The BLM does know who pays their salaries, they just don’t care because they know none of us can do a thing about it. I have a good idea the judge that refused to stop the roundup is a friend of Richard Roy.

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  6. Lies, maiming , murdering all without just cause, and no determination of need, before any agency goes on a killing maiming spree, there needs to be JUST Cause, they need to have outside agencies make concerted study with factual numbers, The sooner the BLM REALIZES THEY ARE AN AGENCY PAID BY AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT Horses and starts \doing what they are paid to do the better, if they cannot do this they need to be outta here……………………. They have already showed that they can only Lie………….

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