The BLM employees and Rangers were all very helpful, friendly and accommodating. Even as they are verbally assaulted daily by gather opponents, which they should not have to experience, and which does the horses no good. They are people, doing their jobs to the best of their ability and knowledge.
I will also add the presence of humane observers and horse advocates has made a positive difference in the way the horses are handled, which is a very good thing. Observation opportunities are possible daily throughout the gather.
The decisions about these gathers are made at a much higher level, and the politician decision makers rely on "expert advice". As it was discussed and evident at the gather site no one really knows much about wild horses. So the political decisions are being made based on livestock handler/ranchers expertise who look at the wild horses as livestock, a commodity or liability to be managed, not as valuable citizens and participants in our environment with very intricate social structures. If emotions are calmed and critical information gathered, decisions could be made on studied, documented, scientific data which will support the remaining herds.
The ones pictured here are now wards of the Federal Government, who will come up for adoption or be sent to long term holding facilities.
There is much that can be done to help them, so if you feel called to action, there is no time like the present!
|Litchfield Holding Facility|
P.O. Box 455
Litchfield, CA 96117
|The "excess" horses. |
739 received, 3 deaths to date.
The Stud Pens...
|First stud pen. Gathered the previous day (8/20/2010)|
|Gathered the previous day (8/20/2010). Buckskin seen here, pic|
|The White and Chestnut Stallions (furthest to right) from the Summit Trough/Shinn Mountain area, seen here, here and here. The White Stallion is who's seen in this blogs title photo at the top of every page.|
They were gathered the previous day (8/20/2010).
|Strong gusty 40 mph winds whipped up blowing the sand around like a Minnesota blizzard, but the sun was hot, the wind was dry and the sand stung the eyes.|
|So many colorful horses.|
|Third stud pen also previously gathered.|
The Mare and Foal Pen.
|Appaloosa Mare with her foal from Shinn Mountain, we saw them here and here (they are to the far right). Gathered 8/20/2010|
|The Chestnut Stallions mare and filly seen with him here.|
|Seen here. |
|Foals are marked with spray paint at trap site, when separated from the mother, for identification at corrals so they can be reunited with their mothers.|
|Last saw the Appaloosa Mare toward the back, and her foal to the right, here early this morning.|