Wild Horse Fever

19 06 2010

Time to update links, everyone, and you’ll definitely want to. Tales of the Little Book Cliffs wild horses has moved to this address: http://wildhorsefever.wordpress.com/

Billie’s former blog is still live, so you’ll be able to access all her great photos and write-ups about visits to the range and the goings-on of the horses. She’s one of my original inspirations, both in keeping an Internet record of the horses and sharing them with virtual visitors and in the work done by her and others who are members of the local advocacy group, Friends of the Mustangs, in documenting the horses and working  to ensure their health and well-being.

So here’s just a nudge in that direction to get readers started on the right hoof this morning! Welcome to WordPress, Billie! I look forward to reading your stories and seeing your photos in a whole new format!


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8 responses

19 06 2010
Billie

Thanks for the plug TJ. I hope that someday other areas can also get an advocacy group that works with and not against the BLM. It sure makes things go smoother when all are on the same page. I think it would help if more people would work towards this rather than just complain.

19 06 2010
Janet Ferguson

I am afraid you are a little free and careless with your words, “. . . rather than just complain.”

There are many who are working as wild horse and burro advocates doing a great deal more than “. . . just complaining.”

19 06 2010
TJ

“There are many who are working as wild horse and burro advocates doing a great deal more than “. . . just complaining.””

These are obviously not the people we’re talking about. 🙂

But it is true that some people offer no alternatives, and I believe that’s the segment Billie is talking about. As an example, simply “stop rounding up wild horses” is not helpful with no suggested alternatives to address reproduction and the multitude of range resources to consider that lead to said roundups. As advocates ourselves, believe me – speaking at least for myself – I wholeheartedly support advocacy based on science and common sense and on-the-ground reality. Complaints without alternatives is something that leaves me shaking my head.

Working on this issue leaves me with an ever-expanding appreciation for the nuances of human emotion. This is not a black and white issue – would that that were true! Who’s to say what way is THE way? Clearly, the current way – status quo – is NOT working and suggestions for alternative management methods are needed – and a great many have been publicized.

As I stated, as someone who, like Billie, works closely on this issue, in the field with a specific wild horse herd and BLM office, I agree with her assessment. It was not a knock against the advocates you mention who ARE offering these alternatives but a plea for common sense, in my opinion.

19 06 2010
TJ

Agreed!! Meanwhile, you guys continue to be an incredible inspiration to me as we work toward the common goals of protecting and admiring our country’s wild horses!

19 06 2010
wildhorsefever

Did not mean to make waves. TJ stated it much better than I did. Sorry if I hurt feelings.

19 06 2010
Karen Keene Day

Hi ,
I just wanted to say that I enjoyed looking at these photos so much; especially the mothers and babies and their affection for each other. It is so moving to see this bond, over and over, year after year.
Bounce is a majestic horse indeed. There is quite an energy of leadership about him.
I am glad to see Duke doing well too.
Monday I’ll be out to look for these wonderful horses and I cannot wait to see them!
Thank you.

5 09 2010
Mara LeGrand

If the advocates worked together, more horse herds could be kept free roaming. As a filmmaker, I’ve found extremes on both sides. No one has all the answers, it will take many solutions to come up with what is sustainable for horses and habitat.

Not all BLM employees, advocates, ranges or habitat are created equal. Roundups are brutal and out of control now, though. I’ve witnessed the bait and trap method, which is a far more gentle process. The BLM says they don’t have the money for it – but ….. they sure put a lot of money into roundups and then long term warehousing.

6 09 2010
TJ

Advocates would first have to agree. I will never advocate “let nature take its course” – aka, starvation – of horses that are FENCED into certain portions of ranges. “Free-roaming” is a misnomer of the 1971 act, which you start to understand when you dig deeper into the politics and/or culture of those times.

I agree that not all are created equal. I’ve heard of BLM folks who never want to see another helicopter roundup … and I know of those who can’t see past the ends of their noses that fertility control (PZP) and bait trapping are effective – and cheaper – in the long term. PZP is safe, effective and COST-effective in places, like Little Book Cliffs, Pryor Mountain, McCullough Peaks … Spring Creek Basin … where the horses are documented and approachable, and it has nearly four decades of scientific research behind it. I will acknowledge it is not appropriate in all herds/herd areas – which brings bait trapping into the picture.

If BLM truly was using “the best science available,” it not only would use PZP but follow it up with monitoring and documentation.

I don’t understand why so much misinformation is spread about PZP. “If PZP is so bad, why are the mares on it (notably Assateague mares, where it has been studied the longest and most comprehensively) living longer, healthier lives?!” That’s the best rebuttal I’ve heard lately to the gross inaccuracies spread about PZP. (PZP-22 is not the same as native PZP, by the way. It is now the subject of an HSUS study in Cedar Mountains and Sand Wash Basin, and research is ongoing.)

I cannot recommend this series by Matt Dillon of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center highly enough: http://pryorwild.wordpress.com/category/pzp/

See also:

Click to access pzp_report.pdf

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/wildlife_overpopulation/qa/q_and_a_pzp.html

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