In deep

30 03 2011

Sorry about the lack of recent posts. I’ve been working on one that’s more of a rant, and I keep deciding not to post it … and I keep reading things that make me really want to post it.

Suffice it to say that no budget for roundups this year will put the Spring Creek Basin herd on rough ground, literally. It’s hard to feel so nearly alone in this “advocacy.” Thank goodness for the work Little Book Cliffs and Pryor Mountain and McCullough Peaks are doing to stop/slow their roundups.

Here are some pix of Grey/Traveler’s band getting water from a bit flowing through Spring Creek a couple of weeks ago. I was walking back to the Jeep, and they were walking the ridge, and we met in the arroyo.

It doesn’t look like much – and it’s not – but it’s actually trickling through (from beyond them (east) toward my direction and past).

Grey and his girls.

All the family. Love the water droplets.

Gorgeous girl

Sharing a moment with daddy … How many foals has he sired? How many has he helped raise … sent away, seen taken … and yes, I still say a roundup is necessary, and PZP is the best thing to put it off in the future. Where would we be now if PZP had already been implemented? He is so good with them …

I have so many hopes for this herd … . I know the public as a whole sees the trauma of roundups – and their aftermath – and focuses simply on stopping them from happening. Think deeper.

Spring Creek Basin needs to have a roundup this fall. We’ll have it this year, when there are more horses than optimum (90-95) but they’re in good shape, or we’ll have it next year and maybe call it an emergency (with around 130 horses). Why should we have to wait until the horses are in bad condition? Why can’t we do it now, when they’re in good condition – and able to withstand the stress? Argh.



6 responses

30 03 2011
Linda Horn

Rest assured, you’re not alone, and I don’t care who knows it!

30 03 2011

Thanks, Linda. 🙂 We’re the minority … and yet the quiet minority is making things happen for our horses, for the better. Just look at Little Book Cliffs, Pryor Mountain and McCullough Peaks. I so hope we can add Spring Creek Basin to that list.

30 03 2011
jan eaker

I support PZP use, too. If it keeps the helicopters at bay, and the herd and rangeland healthy ,I am all for it. You have finite resources and must manage accordingly.
I know you love and want the best for these beauties!

31 03 2011
Lynn Bauer and Kathy Pariso

You know we both understand the situation there in SCB – we’re with you all the way! Folks need to step back, take a breath and see that for this particular area, you’re right and we’ll say that to whomever needs to hear it and as often as they need to hear it!! You KNOW what has to be done… and there are a bunch of us who know it too… Take heart.

1 04 2011

When I see roundups, I usually get mad :] This post really made me think about it harder. It’s just hard for me to see the horses driven away from their homes and the wild. Thank you for posting this! I hope everything goes well for the horses so they are healthy and happy! I do hope PZP replaces roundups one day though :]

1 04 2011

I don’t want folks to think PZP = no roundups. In some herds, that could work. It works on Assateauge Island. Here, at least, we want to *limit* reproduction, not stop it. Especially with a herd this small, we’ll need to be careful – and I still think we’ll need periodic introductions of “other” genetics. What we’ll really push is bait trapping. We introduced that idea locally after the last roundup – and even had Dan Elkins and his business partner, Karen Herman, here a couple of summers ago … Unfortunately, BLM treated that like so many other things, and we’re still on track for a typical helicopter-driven roundup. In my proposal to implement an annual PZP darting program here, I suggested that with the massive amount of money that can be saved, BLM should seriously consider bait trapping.

The other thing is that PZP should so reduce the frequency of necessary roundups that hopefully we’ll also be able to round up fewer horses. BLM says the helicopter contractors round up horses at something like $200/head, but our last roundup was about $75,000 – for 77-88 (?) horses. That’s about $850 to $975/head. Why the extra? All the “hangers on,” I have to assume. Dan’s costs are inclusive, $750-$1,200/head. If we could limit births and thus limit the need to remove horses, when we DO need to remove horses, my hope is that we can contract Dan and remove FEWER horses at a time – and not as often. In conjunction with that, I hope we can create a sort of “market” for *Spring Creek Basin mustangs,* to get those horses adopted – to create a demand. If we could get to a place of 100 percent adoption of horses gathered slowly and respectfully … well, that’s the goal.

We have to start somewhere. We’ve been working at it for several years now – it takes some pressure, which the whole wild horse and burro “issue” is seeing now. 🙂 Maybe we’re on the cusp of a management break-through. How awesome would that be?!

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