Signed

22 07 2020

Thank goodness for our abundance of greasewood, which makes things look green in the basin. 🙂

We have a good-looking forecast, starting today!

All the documents for the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area Plan – signed! – now are on BLM’s ePlanning site.

From the final document:

Background: The 2015 RMP directed BLM to revise and update the 1994 Spring Creek Basin HMAP. This updated analysis and plan will incorporate specific goals, objectives, and techniques for guiding the long-term management of wild horses within the HMA consistent with the resource direction contained in the new RMP.

Decision: I have decided to select Alternative A, the Proposed Action for implementation as described in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) Revision (DOI-BLM-CO-S010-2020-0009-EA). Based on my review of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and project record, I have concluded that the Proposed Action was analyzed in sufficient detail to allow me to make an informed decision. This decision 1) establishes an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 50 to 80 adult wild horses that is in balance with the ecosystem and available forage; 2) implements the use of BLM approved fertility control measures to slow the annual rate of growth of the wild horse herd; 3) establishes monitoring criteria for initiating the removal of excess wild horses; 4) utilizes bait trapping as the preferred removal technique; 5) maintains genetic viability expressed as observed heterozygosity within the wild horse herd by periodically introducing outside horses from other similar herd management areas; 6) manages the wild horse herd to achieve a diverse age class and natural sex ratio; 7) establishes vegetation monitoring objectives for maintaining good ecological and forage conditions; and 8) authorizes additional new water developments for improving wild horse distribution across the HMA.

Overall, implementation of this decision will provide long-term management guidance for sustaining a healthy wild horse herd in balance with the ecosystem, while ensuring that Public Land Health Standards developed for Colorado are being achieved.





Because … this.

21 07 2020

Not too much earlier before I took this shot, the weather radar showed another lovely green blob right over us. … What we *really* had was a whole lotta blue in the big ol’ sky! I think it comes down to this: The weather gurus are just as hopeful as we are. (Otherwise, there are seriously some techy gremlins in their weather equipment.)

In very good and wonderful news, Connie Clementson, manager of Tres Rios Field Office, released a letter Monday saying that after “thoughtful consideration of the analysis and comments received” (thank you!), she has chosen the preferred alternative – Alternative A – presented by our herd manager, Mike Jensen, for our Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area Plan revision. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Now there’s a 30-day appeal period, then the decision record becomes final, and all that we’ve worked for these last many years is the official management plan in Spring Creek Basin. Documentation, bait trapping, PZP-based fertility control, AML increase … it’s all there.

I can’t begin to articulate my gratitude and overall feelings of relief. Thank you to all those who made this happen. You know who you are, and you know you are appreciated!

The world is kinda one big crazy-town right now, but all I have to do is drive into the basin, spot some horses, walk out, plop myself on the ground (dry as it is … watching for cacti and slitheries, of course) … and all that crazy melts away.

Nature and wild horses truly are the best medicine for what ails us (somebody said that once upon a time, I’m sure of it!), and I am so blessed and thankful to have huge dollops of both in my life.





A better red

20 07 2020

Kwana rocks the sunset on another dry Spring Creek Basin evening.

Good news on the moisture front, though: We might get a couple of good-rain-chance days starting Wednesday. Please dance for us! We’re watching! 🙂





The look of Ravens

19 07 2020

Look.

At.

Those.

Whiskers!

Raven makes me work for every glamour shot she gives me. … And she’s worth it! 🙂





The gold above

18 07 2020

At the very end of the day, as night is settling the covers over that ol’ sun for another twist ’round the planetary bend, sometimes we have clouds from the passing of rain far away, beyond our desperate shores.

And sometimes, under the full cover of darkness, Ma Nature decides that her parched and patient (OK, not very) Disappointment Valley country needs a bit of a slurp.

And *all the time* – ALL. THE. TIME. – when we received that “liquid gold” (thanks, Mom!), we are grateful. Later the night above (which was Thursday night), we got 0.08 inch of moisture, and we are grateful. … So very grateful.

We need more, of course. We’ve just been “upgraded” to the “extreme” level of drought. I don’t begin to know why the far western sliver of western Colorado still is only “severe” (maybe those recent curtains of rain I’ve seen to the west between us and the mountains have helped that country lately), but we’re now just inside the angry red.

The other night’s brief, gentle sprinkle was wonderful … much more is needed.





See ya

17 07 2020

Reya often is happy to help me out by posing attentively with spectacular Spring Creek Basin icons McKenna Peak (near) and Temple Butte (farther) in the background. Well, “happy” may not be quiiiiiiiite the right word, but her (brief) attentiveness means she IS rather cooperative. 🙂

What you fabulous readers don’t see is the-pic-taken-a-few-seconds-later …

… when she decides that she’d rather find something to eat than listen to me blather on about how beautiful she is, blah, blah, blah …

… even half covered in recent mud and giving me the butt view. 🙂

These pix were taken 15 seconds apart, at 6:19:32, at 6:19:39 and at 6:19:47.

See ya!





The big

16 07 2020

Big man (err, stallion) Skywalker always brightens our days.





Be still, my wildest heart

15 07 2020

Blessed.





Hello, darling!

14 07 2020

Juniper is most lovely against a stormy sky. While we didn’t get any rain in Spring Creek Basin, we could see curtains of rain around us, which had to be nice for those folks and critters getting it. Maybe soon we’ll get our due (which is kind of a lot, truly).

(And somebody must have been getting storms because the power went out before I could schedule this last night to post this morning!)





Comin’ on strong

13 07 2020

Hayden is proud of himself after running off an intruder who thought he’d cut in line to get to water. He wasn’t really too close, but Hayden thought he’d be the enforcer of the water-hole etiquette anyway.