Wild Horse Red Rocks April 25 Rally Report

Advocates Tell the BLM: Don’t Take My Balls

Written by ARLENE GAWNE
April 26, 2010

Every wild horse volunteer knows how hard it is to steal a bit of time from the demands of career and family and stand up for those wild herds that desperately need our protection. Yet 30 people showed up this fine spring morning, Sunday, April 25, 2010, in magnificent Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas, Nevada, in sympathy with the suffering of the approximately 1900 Calico Mountain wild horses held in the aptly named Broken Arrow facility near Fallon Nevada. Quadruple that number of people wished they could have come because last week the BLM painfully castrated all Calico stallions under 4 years of age, thereby stealing the next generation of horses – before a Federal judge could rule on a lawsuit demanding the horses be returned to their native range. So for a few hours, we became the Voices for Horses.   
 
We volunteers know that Red Rock Canyon is the perfect place to protest the pillaging of our wild horse heritage by Washington bureaucracies. This National Conservation Area was recently home to some of the West’s most beautiful wild horses and gentle burros – a superb example of the heritage herds that have adapted amazingly to the poorest bits of American public land left to them by faceless bureaucrats, self-centered politicians, careless cowboys, energy and mining companies, and greedy bottom-line agribusiness. We have reason to be angry.
 
American taxpayers are paying over $10,000 a day just to hold these captured Calico horses at the Broken Arrow holding facility. Processing that includes freeze-branding, inoculating, tagging and castration adds thousands more to that cost. BLM has denied repeated requests for observers to be present during processing and only allow public visits by reservation for two hours once a week. They must not want us to see how they spend our tax dollars; they certainly don’t want us to fire them. But we will.

We stood this Sunday and heard passersby honk, cheer and stop to sign petitions. Over and over, locals said they used to hike or ride by magnificent horses and burros, but now they only see a few burros and never see a wild horse. “Why is that?” they ask. We tell them all the reasons and ask them to vote out of office the politicians who will not force these Federal agencies to give our wild heritage herds their fair share of public lands. 

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All images by Arlene Gawne

We have an anthem for those wild stallions whose bloodlines may be lost:
 
HEY BLM
DON’T CASTRATE AT ALL.
IF YOU DO,
WE”LL BE WALKING
DOWN THE HALLS
OF THE SENATE, THE HOUSE
AND THE PRESIDENTIAL HOME
UNTIL WILD HORSES & BURROS
ARE FREE TO ROAM.

Read Full Report here >>

Wild Horse Rally: Don’t Take My Balls

I’m like you. I thought, what? Does this mean what I think this means? It does. In polite horse circles it is referred to as gelding. In BLM circles it means bloody castration. In particular, the bloody castration of young males.

PRESS RELEASE

Las Vegans rally in sympathy with the young stallions under 4 years of age that were painfully castrated last week by the BLM at the Fallon Nevada holding pens. If the BLM wins the federal lawsuit, they will castrate all the remaining mature stallions from the Calico roundup.

We will hang bloody balls from lariats and pass petitions asking President Obama to rein in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), an outdated agency and friend of welfare cattle on taxpayers’ public land. Poster by Melissa Ohlson.

WHERE: RED ROCK CANYON SCENIC OVERLOOK ON HIGHWAY 159, from Las Vegas Strip, go west on Charleston, past the 215 Beltway and Red Rock Canyon Entrance Gates
WHEN:

SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2010 from NOON to 2pm
WHY: Castration wipes out the gene pool of Mustangs that have unique bloodlines adapted to their specific area.

See pictures below of some of the castrated horses, taken by Craig C. Downer last week.

Click to enlarge.

BACKGROUND: In January 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted a deadly roundup of 1922 wild horses from the CALICO MOUNTAINS COMPLEX in northwestern Nevada, despite a federal lawsuit underway to stop the roundups and the recommendation of the federal judge that BLM should NOT conduct a roundup in the dead of winter. The Calico horses were not starving and had not damaged the public range, meanwhile the BLM sharply increased the number of private cattle allowed to graze at subsidized cost on the horses’ range. Stress and trauma lie behind the majority of the 86 wild horse deaths (to date) and 40 spontaneous abortions, a report issued by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) concludes. AWHPC notes the expense of the Calico roundup which will cost taxpayers at least $1.3 million through April, and $1 million a year to warehouse the non-adoptable horses over their 20+ year lifespans. This costly policy, which relies on expensive roundups every four years, is pursued while cost-effective, on-the-range management strategies are ignored.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Arlene Gawne
Phone: (702) 277-1313

FOLLOW UP RALLIES:

For those of you planning to do a follow up rally in your city, Arlene will be happy to send you RALLY IN A BOX instructions next week.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Alarm at BLM’s surprise start to castrate Calico Mustangs as death toll rises
http://wp.me/p6VVi-2AH

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/

The Cloud Foundation press releases:
http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/index.php/news-events-a-media/press-releases

News Story on Calico, rising death toll & skewed numbers from George Knapp (KLAS- Las Vegas):
http://bit.ly/9f1DYb

BLM Daily Reports from Calico Roundup/Fallon Holding:
http://bit.ly/aSaeVc

American Herds:
http://americanherds.blogspot.com/

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit. America’s Disappearing Wild Horses – A History:
http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/resources/wild.html

Roundup Schedule (Updated February 2010):
http://bit.ly/bOhwdk