opinion s in the blm roundups - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 09-25-2013, 10:40 PM
Green Broke
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I have had 4 BLM mustangs.. and they were great horses:/ we had to end up selling them( a couple years later) because we got out of horses..:/ and now are back into them. I am hoping one day ( maybe My birthday) I can get a yearling.. from the adoption pens.

I think.. the roundup it's self, looks bad... but is needed. IMO.. but im 16 and don't pay much attention..:/
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post #22 of 31 Old 09-25-2013, 10:40 PM
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I am going to have to agree to disagree with several of you. And yes, I know and have seen a Przewalski Horse up close and personal, the Smithsonian wild life zoo is about 45 minutes from our farm and we have done several wagon rides there.
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post #23 of 31 Old 09-25-2013, 10:42 PM
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I came to the knowledge of the BLM by sheer irony while watching a Cloud Foundation video on YouTube - by simply joining via internet, one is notified on a weekly basis or less of the exact round up activity happening, about to happen within that month, and the near future... I've not felt so far away from a worthy cause in my life than seeing these travesties occur, and yet they do. I'm not one to "stand on a soapbox" shouting my views, but by golly, I feel inclined to politely do so on this forum as we're all about (or supposed to be!) the goodness, health and well being of all horses.
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post #24 of 31 Old 09-25-2013, 11:19 PM
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GreySorrel - You are mistaken about the basic effect of hoof type on range.

Cloven hooves will help aerate the soil. Domestic cattle and sheep, and even (truly) wild cloven hooved herbivores like pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep and goats, all aid in the reseeding and regrowth of forage.

Solid hoofed animals like the horse, whether domestic or feral, compact the soil. This prevents new plants from taking root and, when it rains, the barren soil is more likely to erode.

Those who think the BLM is somehow picking on the feral horse herds are a bit nearsighted. Only looking at their favorite animal.

We need to appreciate that the BLM has a multitude of groups pressuring them. There are groups who favor the pronghorn antelope, the deer, the plover, several who lobby for the interests of various amphibians. Then there are the recreationists, and at the opposite end, those who want anything that wasn't here a millennia ago to be removed and no humans allowed on BLM ground. Including you and me.

Ranchers who do get a grazing lease are held to very strict guidelines. Guidelines that not only preserve the range for the grazing of livestock, but preserve and even improve the range for all wild and feral animals, and recreationists. The rancher, or his employees, are often the eyes and ears for the BLM and other groups tracking range conditions. Some of the other groups are governmental and some are academic.

It is much more complex than anyone picking on a species.
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post #25 of 31 Old 09-25-2013, 11:22 PM
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Oh. An interesting sidenote about BLM roundups... Miss Wildhorse Annie, of California, was a proponent of the use of helicopters in gathering the feral horses.

After observing the use of horses and motorcycles, she noted that the strain of prolonged runs to be more detrimental to mares with foals, and their foals than a more controlled gather of shorter duration. Also, when horses were used to gather, more feral ones broke away, leaving them on forage that wouldn't sustain health.
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post #26 of 31 Old 09-26-2013, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by boots View Post
GreySorrel - You are mistaken about the basic effect of hoof type on range.

Cloven hooves will help aerate the soil. Domestic cattle and sheep, and even (truly) wild cloven hooved herbivores like pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep and goats, all aid in the reseeding and regrowth of forage.

Solid hoofed animals like the horse, whether domestic or feral, compact the soil. This prevents new plants from taking root and, when it rains, the barren soil is more likely to erode.
Not too mention the damage a solid hoof does to water holes, by compacting the land around the water holes they cause them turn to mud
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post #27 of 31 Old 09-26-2013, 06:56 AM
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Not a huge fan of the government in the first place, and I don't think the BLM is doing a particularly good job managing the mustangs. That being said, every BLM employee I have worked with has been helpful & really seems to care about what they are doing...try saying that any other government agency...The DMV for instance. As someone pointed out, they are pressured by a number of special interest groups, mustangs being just one factor in the mix. I have never attended a gather, but I have been to several adoptions and to Paul's Valley long term holding. The horses have always looked healthy & at least in OK, seem to be well managed and not overcrowded. I do have some issues with the amount of tax payer money going to maintain horses in long term holding, a very small number of which will ever be adopted. I have noticed that very few of the folks up in arms about the mustang issue have any actual experience with mustangs or the BLM......many of them don't even have horses.
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post #28 of 31 Old 09-26-2013, 07:54 AM
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I think it is necessary.

I do understand the other sides argument stating it's not, that the numbers are dwindling and they should be left to roam and reproduce...

BUT with that said, these horses do present a problem. Not only are they detrimental to land, they suffer far too easily from environmental factors.
I don't know the average age that they live to, but it is not long. They have a multitude of problems and it's difficult for them to thrive. As for the abuse they may endure being rounded up, the horses suffer worse from mother nature.

Horses can suffer from slaughter, should we end that completely? No. Because without human aidwe would have more of a problem on our hands. Humans are here to help them, and I think we should continue doing that.
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post #29 of 31 Old 09-26-2013, 08:27 AM
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I have photographed wild horses professionally for more than 20 years. I have watched them in nearly every state that has wild horses. Is the BLM perfect in their management of them? No. But they have improved dramatically over the years in the way they round them up and how they handle them after they are in captivity.

Since the BLM land is spread over such a wide area, they handle everything from drought to flooding on their lands all in the same year, just depending on where in the country the range is. It is a daunting task and I have worked with many BLM managers and biologists who take it pretty seriously. It is a multiple use ground and must be managed not only for cattle grazing but for game animals, song birds, upland game birds, wild horses, energy production and much more. Much of the range is in fantastic shape and that is a compliment to their management. However, it needs to stay that way and it is MUCH harder to recover a habitat than it is to keep it healthy once it is there. It is a precarious balancing act. Managing wild horses is just one part of that equation.

I think the roundups are necessary. Eventually, all range reaches it's capacity, regardless of what the number of animals is. Personally, if you want a cause to get behind, I would work toward improving the roundup process, improving the adoption process and work on what to do with the thousands of horses on ranches across the west that are unadopted and are in government care (on private ranches) that we are paying for. There is NO WAY that the wild horse roundups, auctions and sales are money makers for the BLM and are never looked at as an income source but rather an expense on their budget.

I LOVE wild horses and I think they should stay where they are but they need to be managed just like all other pieces of the land management puzzle and we as citizens should work to make sure that they do that part of the job with compassion and effectiveness.

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Les Voorhis
Cowboy, Nature and Wildlife Photographer
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post #30 of 31 Old 09-26-2013, 08:49 AM
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I agree that the adoptions are probably more of an expense than a money-maker for the BLM. I am adopting a horse from Oregon for $125 and it's getting shipped to Texas for free? That probably won't even cover gas for crossing one state, much less the country.

The roundups are necessary, the way they handle the roundups themselves are not. But, on the other hand, you can not prevent every horse from getting hurt. If you own horses you know that they are masters at injuring themselves, and asking the BLM to round up hundreds of horses without injury is impossible. But, don't get me wrong, I do think that the gathers should be much more gentle and take more precautions, but horses will still get hurt. It's sad, but true. If all of the horses were left on the range, it would eventually cause death - either to the horses because of lack of food, cattle for the same reason or other smaller animals that need food that the horses are overgrazing.

I'm definitely pro-BLM but I do want to promote improving gather and holding methods.

If you want to see a pretty cool inside view of what it's like for private ranches to own hundreds of these mustangs, there is a woman who has a blog about photography that lives on one of those ranches and often blogs about the mustangs, what they get paid, how they get paid, and how they care for the horses. It's pretty neat.

Just google Pioneer Woman Blog and it should pop up - I can't remember the link right now and I'm on mobile.
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