PROPOSED BLM ROUNDUP OF WILD HORSES IN COLD CREEK EXAMINED CLOSELY

ANOTHER ILL-ADVISED BLM POLICY IN ACTION OR A RESCUE MISSION?

 

Greetings sports fans and welcome to a sunny May Sunday morning in Las Vegas. Happy Mother’s Day to all you awesome mothers wherever you are. If you’re not a mother then you should be spending this happy holiday with your mother reconnecting and reaffirming that bond that exists only between a mother and her children. If you can’t see her call her and tell her how much you love, and appreciate her because you never know when you’ll never get another chance.

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Now to the issue at hand. The wild horses of Cold Creek, and a look at their habitat more from the perspective of a wild horse.

Tomorrow, May 14th the Nevada BLM is scheduled to begin an emergency roundup of 200 wild horses in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and this planned roundup has local and non-locals alike up in arms. And well it should but not for the reasons that certain self-appointed advocates would have you think.

“Time is of the essence.” says, Donn Christiansen, who manages the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area for the Forest Service. “These horses are suffering, and their condition is rapidly deteriorating,” he said. “The range they’re on can’t support them,”

IMG_20180429_140447Healthy, happy, well-fed horse.

Nevada BLM just recently made an emergency roundup on Sept. 2, 2017, that captured 201 wild Mustangs from the area around Cold Creek. A total of 28 of those horses, six stallions, and 22 mares, were later euthanized from out of that herd due to what the BLM termed “poor prognosis for recovery or improvement,” Officials have announced their plans to collect even more animals they say are at risk of starvation.

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This is NOT a happy, healthy, well-fed horse.

I know that these horses live in the Cold Creek area, and their condition is completely unacceptable. The very idea that this is going to continue given the facts in play with regards to the future of this herd is equally unacceptable.

Karla Norris, who is an assistant manager for the BLM’s Southern Nevada district said that the agency had observed 57 additional horses while conducting an aerial survey of the population which, Norris said: “were in really poor shape.” She explained that the horses they saw from a helicopter were, “so lethargic.” that they didn’t even move when the helicopter flew directly over them.
Norris said, “We had no idea we had that many,”
She says that the BLM is going to utilize a corral-like trap baited with water and hay rather than revert back to their past method of chasing the herds around with a helicopter and scaring them out of their minds.

The decision to put the first 28 animals down was made by a Veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The Inspector is reported to have examined the wild horses at the BLM-owned, Oliver Ranch which is on Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon.

“We really did try to save them,” Norris said. Now she fears there could be as many as 150 more horses still out on the range “that are just as bad as the ones we gathered.”

Donn Christiansen, manager of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, says that the wild horse population has increased beyond the area’s limited forage resources. He estimates that there are 200 wild horses in the area immediately surrounding Cold Creek and that the entire ecosystem on the range and the forest lands up in the timberline are at risk due to the size of the herd.

Mr. Christiansen met with about 50 Cold Creek residents who were gathered together in the small community’s volunteer fire station to presumably hear the BLM’s plans for the horses. It appears to have been a town hall meeting of sorts.

But; rather than sitting down together and doing something productive and asking for specific answers to specific issues answers, (BTW, can you say Freedom Of Information Act, kiddies?) to which American’s are entitled by law. brainstorming to find fast and effective solutions to the obvious state of these horses. They chose to have hissy fits?

They had an opportunity to and working hand in hand with the BLM (which taxpayers do happen to own in case you haven’t heard), these hard corps horse advocates had nothing better to offer the horses (which they profess to hold in such high regard) than to throw a temper tantrum and act more like a herd of wild horse’s asses rather than horse advocates.

Way to go, Cold Creek. NOT.

While these horses are facing imminent starvation Y’all were busy hurling emotionally biased and very likely unanswerable questions, threats of legal action. and insults at Christiansen, Forest Service rangeland specialist, Rixey Jenkins and BLM wild horse, and burro specialist, Tabitha Romero.

“We’re concerned about the horses. Very much so. That’s why we’re doing the gather,” Christiansen stated. The issue is the size of the herd and the drought.

It is estimated that there are upwards of 470 wild horses in the area which ranges across the northeastern flanks of Mount Charleston approximately 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The BLM reports that this is 400 horses too many for the range to sustain.

I have to agree with this assessment based on my own inspection of the land between Pahrump, and Las Vegas.

Those who are against moving the herd are quite vociferous in their rantings, ravings, and threats to the representatives from the BLM.

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This same irresponsible and completely unacceptable attitude might play in some other rodeo arena folks but this is an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with the locals, the BLM nor any other fool who wishes to play a part. Put my name first on that list if you would please.

This is solely about the horses and their welfare. Any/Every/One/Thing else would be a huge help if they’d do a wise thing for a change and kick rocks. These horses will not be sacrificed on an altar of socio-political or any other pseudo-psycho sentimentality so just buck the fack away from the horses slowly, greenhorns.

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Case in point.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV)-Greg Clarke says Cold Creek is an area where everybody knows each other and watches out for one another. “It’s peaceful. Its kind of like neighborhoods were 50 years ago,” said Greg Clarke. “I actually came up because of the wild horses.”

You know what? That’s just lovely for you, Greg. It really tugs at the strings of my old heart knowing that your life depends upon seeing wild horses running around town and whatnot. I truly can relate to how you feel. But that’s only to a point and this would be that point.

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Those horses are not there for anyone’s amusement nor do they belong to you or to me or to anyone else for that matter. They belong to everyone, and to no one. They are wild and they are therefore by definition, free.

Perhaps some of the recent events in American politics and in the nation are what’s lead you so far astray and caused you to confuse it with free and wild; which is more akin to a national riot than the adored national treasures which these magnificent creatures represent.

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Ask yourself how many of their ancestors died carrying the fight for your nation’s freedom into the teeth of war? How many of them died carrying that freedom west to the Pacific? On the trails of the legendary Pony Express? At Shiloh, at Gettysburg, at Manassas and Bull Run?

They were bringing Americans their mail from far back east and beyond. They died on their feet carrying the news through hostile terrain, weather, Natives, and highwaymen. Through rain, sleet, and snow, through the dark of night. Their bloodlines were a part of who and what this nation has become and their bloodlines are still running through these same horses and they are in danger.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid and comfort of an animal so noble and with so much heart, and courage. I think it’s time we repay a debt we cannot possibly repay, for a gift we must have been given because we could never earn it.IMG_20161115_142619

Lady Bird and I in Lovell Canyon southeast of Cold Creek.

It seems to me, Greg that if it was in fact important enough for you to move to Cold Creek then it stands to reason that you should have no problem whatsoever moving on and finding another herd somewhere north around Reno. Travel can be enlightening, Greg I highly recommend enlightenment for everyone. It’s an enlightening experience, from all reports.

Cold Creek is indeed a lovely community and the creek is indeed cold. I like the same kind of township to live in as do a lot of folks I know.

But I would never presume to tie 200 wild horses down and sentence them all to die just so my peaceful little neighborhood can stay in Mayberry RFD mode for another Summer. Not even 1 horse. Nary a burro, nor a donkey. But that is what is being advocated by this group who are so obviously well misinformed.

The issue is according to the BLM one of both the size of the mob and of an ongoing lack of rain that has left the horses range-land with barely enough forage on it to sustain a much smaller herd.

To this end, the BLM has hired a private contractor who will begin rounding up all but 50 of the horses Monday, and then they will be transported to California where they will be placed up for adoption. The BLM states that the horses will not be returning to the wild.

Being concerned by the first reports I heard of this situation I jumped at the opportunity to ride up to Cold Creek with my good friend and expert horseman, Jim who owns two beautiful horses of his own. I thought at first he meant that we were going to ride the horses up to scout the region.

But then Jim showed up towing the RZR and we headed for the high country via Basin in Pahrump which reaches high up into the Spring Mountains and connects to numerous trails that are regularly enjoyed by 4×4 quad runner, and dirt bike enthusiasts of all ages.

I was trained as both a land and livestock judge in the Future Farmers of America when I was attending Ola High school in Ola, Arkansas and I continued to compete as a judge when I moved to Red Bluff, California and completed my Junior year.

So it was my purpose to inspect the area where this mob hangs out and see with my own two eyes what the conditions were. Both for the horses in general, and of the available forage. We did just that and toured the area up and back from 11am until 6pm.

The long and short of my findings is that the BLM’s assessment of the range conditions and their reportedly woeful inability to sustain a mob of the size which the BLM counted at around 450 are very sad, but still they are true.

Once the heat of Summer sets in, what little graze the horses are finding now will be unavailable because it will be cooked in the sun. Soon it will blow away with the wind and vanish; leaving 200 hungry horses screwed and dying of starvation outside of Greg’s house.

UH, HELLOOOO!

ANNUAL WEATHER SUMMARY: NOVEMBER 2017 TO OCTOBER 2018

Winter will be colder than normal, especially in the south, with the coldest periods from late November into early December and in late December, mid-January, and early February. Precipitation will be slightly below normal in the north and above in the south, with above-normal snowfall in both. The snowiest periods will be in early and mid- to late December, mid-January, early and mid-February, and early March. April and May will be warmer and slightly drier than normal. Summer will be drier than normal, with temperatures warmer than normal in the north and cooler in the south. The hottest periods will be in late June, early and late July, and early and late August. September and October will be cooler than normal, with above-normal precipitation.

(Reprinted from The Old Farmers Almanac Founded in 1792)

 

Shouted threats, epithets, and names such as “Liar!” and “Murderer!” echoed through the valley in Cold Creek Wednesday night during an informational meeting on the roundup.

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An anonymous Cold Creek resident and wild horse advocate illustrate’s here the most productive method of accomplishing absolutely nothing whatsoever while also wasting precious time. (the horses’ time) Not to even mention the waste of paper that might have been home to some, now newly orphaned beaver somewhere in the logging forests of Washington state.

The biggest shame of all if not then a crime against man and nature?

The utter disregard with which these “advocates” pissed, moaned, and threatened their way out of any opportunity to help the horses. According to them isn’t all of that what all of this is supposedly all about in the first place?

Nope. Come to think of it; Greg never did say anything of that nature when he had his face time with a television camera and a reporter from a national news media outlet did he?. Am I the only one who noticed that the entire theme running from the mouths of these advocates is all about what they want thinly disguised as a concern for the horses?

From the sound of it, they come off more like scenic enhancements to Greg and the Roundup the BLM T-shirt lady than a real concern.

Whereas Greg could have used the time to give voice in person, to deliver a valid argument for more public access and oversight of the BLM’s wild horse management programs and tactics, Greg said what was the only thing he could think of because the truth tells on itself. All he said basically was blah blah blah, horses, poor poor me, this used to be such a quiet neighborhood, BLM-BS.   #HorseS#it

One woman at the meeting reportedly wore a T-shirt that read, “Save the wild horses, round up the BLM.” Brilliant strategy, Napoleon. And then what? You are going to give 200 horses hay all Summer long until the rains return in October? Do the math, Miss. Moneybags. A bale of hay costs $16 on average for grass and more for alfalfa and other mixes. A healthy, fully grown horse eats an average of 10 pounds of food per day.

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I know the horses do that I take care of. Brown mare accuses you, Greg.

Are you going to pay for a ton of hay every day to make sure they are fed, Greg?

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Me: Well?

Doc: Are you?

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Well, Greg?

>>>The second natural dietary need we should recognize is the amount of feed a horse needs to eat to maintain healthy body weight given the work load (sic) of the horse.

Most nutritional experts agree that a horse should consume at least 1.5 to 2 pounds of quality hay, grass, and grain for every 100 pounds of body weight. Horses with heavy work loads and pregnant and lactating mares need to consume up to 3 pounds of dry matter for every 100 pounds of body weight. (http://equimed.com/health-centers/nutrition/articles/meeting-the-horses-basic-dietary-needs)

Do the math.

The crowd demanded to see photographs of the starving horses and some form of written proof of the poor range conditions. They also said that the roundup was cruel and unnecessary and that it would lead to the deaths of pregnant mares and newborn horses. Some residents fear the BLM is exaggerating the problem.

According to the BLM, the 28 horses that were destroyed were in poor to very thin condition, with scores of 1.5 or less on a standardized, 9-point system widely used to determine equine health. They also said that the entire herd was showing signs of starvation.

Most of the horses gathered during that roundup had a body condition score of 2, which is defined as emaciated, with only slight tissue coverage and vertebrae, ribs, shoulder, neck and other bones visible. None of the animals examined were rated higher than 3, which is considered thin. The ideal score for a healthy horse is  4 – 6.

They really have no clue at all they seemingly just fear it and so I suppose they wish for the BLM to mollycoddle them and shush away their fears because they apparently don’t have the time to study up on the subject. Or look at the horses as they really are.

Do you want pictures of starving horses? All of these emaciated horses were wandering around Cold Creek when the TV camera captured them.

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And why even bother to know the subject and to make a reasoned, intelligent, and effective speech on the behalf of those who cannot voice their own distress when you can just make senseless allegations, threats of legal actions you cannot even possibly afford to fight much less hope to win, and interject whatever seems like a relevant philosophy to a reporter’s camera before you start shouting it and waving protest signs about.

I call it doing the David Hogg.

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Watch all of the Cold Creek horses as they graze. They’re not eating the greenery you see they’re passing it by and scavenging along the bare ground for tidbits as a hungry horse is want to do.

Several of these lovely human beings brought their own photos of healthy horses that could have been taken at any given time and which prove absolutely nothing, and they recorded the meeting on their cell phones.

How sweet and thoughtful of them all.  Here 50 of them had a chance to present an intelligent defense for these poor horses. Instead, they acted like a bunch of spoiled bratty ass children demanding lollypops from Willy Wonka.

Alright then. Greg, I want you and the T-shirt lady to go out in the fields and meadows around Cold Creek and both of you need to pick 10 pounds of edible plants which a wild horse can eat, Greg. Show us all how simple it is.

 

200 or more wild horses live around Cold Creek. And Christiansen says that many of them are slowly starving to death because of the drought.

“There’s nothing there for them to eat,” he said. ” They’re eating off of Joshua trees and cactuses, which is not a proper food source for them, It’s why the BLM is going to be using a baiting method to lure the wild animals into pens, starting May 10.”

“Do you see any Joshua trees? Do you see a single Joshua tree? How do the horses above 6,500 feet eat Joshua trees?” he asked. “We’ve got, I know no other way to say it then, BS by the Forest Service and BLM,” noted Clarke.

Take note of this too, Clarke. From myfishmaps.com

 

Cold Creek in Clark County in Nevada

The Cold Creek is located in Clark County in the State of Nevada. The Cold Creek is located at the latitude and longitude coordinates of 36.472182 and -115.7552997 at an elevation of 1463 feet. The topological map of Cold Creek is drawn on and part of the United States Geological Service (USGS) area map of Willow Peak.

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Does that say 6,500 feet, Greg? Nope, it doesn’t does it? No, Greg, it says 1,463 feet. You only overblew your numbers by 3,037 feet. Close enough eh, Greg? And I know for a fact there are Joshua trees at 1,463 feet. But then again what’s 3/5ths of a mile in elevation anyway? Right, Greg? The BLM spreads the bulls#it and Greg spreads the horses#it.

According to Christiansen, the horses that are rounded up will be relocated and hopefully, they will all be adopted out to good loving homes where they can live out their lives in peace and contentment.

Christiansen stated, “We have to be concerned about the horses and the health of the forest. The home range the horses are living on,” said Christiansen.

As for wild horse advocate Greg Clarke, he has expressed his hopes that the wild horses can stay on the range, where he says, “they belong.” Horses are not native to North America Greg. The Spaniards brought them here a very long time ago. The horses native to North America were tiny and they became extinct centuries ago.

The horses gathered from the Cold Creek area eventually will be transferred to a BLM facility where they will be offered for adoption or purchase. Ante up or fold up, Greg it’s time to put up or shut up. I saw on the Channel 3 report that you have a horse of your own, Greg.

Three foals deemed too small for transport are being fostered in the Las Vegas area, Norris said. Why don’t you and your friends adopt those 3 foals, Greg? Put your money where your mouth is.

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The horses from Cold Creek that do not find homes will spend the rest of their lives in the Midwest in large holding pastures that are now home to tens of thousands of horses who once roamed free.

The government’s actions have also drawn a great deal of harsh criticism from wild horse advocacy groups such as, Protect Mustangs a California-based preservation group is calling for a full investigation by the office of the U.S. Inspector General into the management, roundup, feeding and veterinary care of the 28 horses that were ultimately put down.

“The BLM roundup was supposed to save wild horses not kill them,” said the group’s Executive Director, Anne Novak.

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Regarding the BLM’s statement about wild horses in poor body condition due to lack of forage, Arlene Gawne, President of America’s Wild Horse Advocates the Spring Mountain Alliance stated:

“Local wild horse observers agree that some wild horses – perhaps up to 70, but not 200 that the BLM intends to remove, have stopped migrating up to summer range where forage is available higher in the mountains and the mares with foals, particularly the older mares, are either in poor condition or starving. Had the government implemented a birth control program when we proposed it, these horses would likely not be suffering today.” Read the full article.

There will be more than enough time for pointing fingers at everyone else when the horses have been rounded up and are safely ensconced in greener pastures. Until then Y’all get to work and save those horses.

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Nuff said.

 

Images courtesy of, and a heartfelt thank you to Google, Charles Ramos Jr, Henry Brean of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kelsey Thomas and the Channel 3 News team at KSNV, Equimed.com, and especially Mr. James Belvin whose contributions to this article were indispensable.

 

 

 

 

 

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