Eyes on Roundups

September 14, 2009

I was going to start posting photos and information from our recent trip, but based upon my observations while at the Pryor Mountain roundup, I began to think that maybe another issue needed to be addressed first.

It seems to me that having “eyes” on the roundup activities at the Pryors created some accountability. This was my first experience but I believe more time was taken with the horses, there was an effort made to keep bands together in separate corrals and possibly the personnel more aware of their actions while processing the horses. If you think about it, it just makes sense that folks might operate at their highest levels if they knew the world was watching. It wasn’t always the case as seen in several posted photos and video clips of this particular operation, but it certainly had to be a deterrent.

Observers being led by escorts back to the corrals from the ridge where you could watch and photograph the horses being brought down from the mountain by the helicopter - September, 2009

Observers being led by escorts back to the corrals from the ridge where you could watch and photograph the horses being brought down from the mountain by the helicopter - September, 2009

After we left the Pryors and visited some of the lesser known areas, I wondered about these particular horses. Who would be there to watch over them when it’s their turn to be gathered? That is the question and reason for this post. My thoughts? As long as these roundups continue, I think it’s a good idea for observers to be on hand at each one.

Please don’t misunderstand my intent when I suggest that people show up for these roundups. I would hope that anyone attending as an observer would conduct themselves in a responsible manner just as we did at the Pryors. We were polite, respectful of the boundaries (even if we didn’t agree with them) and we remained calm and civil during a very emotionally charged event. Offensive behavior might give cause to try to exclude the public and any appointed humane observer from future gathers and that is not what we want. So, with all of this in mind, maybe some individuals might consider volunteering to be the eyes for our wild horses during the many roundups still scheduled to take place this year. I have a list of the herd areas, by state, that have pending gathers posted on my website:
http://www.nickolesphotography.com/HTML/gathers.html

Exact dates would need to be confirmed through the various field offices managing the herd areas. If anyone knows of other locations, including those areas not managed by the BLM, please feel free to contact me and I will add them to the list.

Bolder's band and the Judas horse - September 6, 2009

Bolder's band and the Judas horse - September 6, 2009

Will it make a difference? We won’t know if we don’t at least try. Our wild horses deserve every effort we can make on their behalf.

Pryor foal in holding corral - September, 2009

Pryor foal in holding corral - September, 2009

12 Responses to “Eyes on Roundups”

  1. RJ Daum RPLS Says:

    Great suggestion,we can contact friends and relatives close to gather locations.Lisa Dines The American Mustang Guidebook has most all the locations and information. As I go throughout the country to the schools and volunteer firefighters I will continue to suggest the nearest wild horse area for them to visit.

  2. Vicki Freiberger Says:

    Thank Heavens, once again Pam, for your wisdom and insight for the horses.

  3. Deb Williams Says:

    So grateful for your watchful eye!! And again, your photography tells the story so beautifully!
    Thank you!!

  4. Laura Houston Says:

    yes, having the BLM watched has to help. I have always asked for a vid cam to record all round-ups by the BLM. There should be a vid cam on the helicoptor and vid cams 24/7 at all round-ups and at all BLM facilities. The live cams should be open to the public on the BLM main webpages.

    live cams are a easy way to have many eyes watching all mustangs on our public lands as well.

    The BLM has always run days old foals miles and miles, they have run to death many mustangs.

    What horseman runs foals 20-50 miles?, thats animal abuse!


  5. yes, this is a workable tool…and a “watch-horse” committee should be set up to coordinate these round up observances…heck, i’ll set it up…so keep me in the loop, the hardest part is knowing when they intend to round up as it is always announced in the last minute and its hard for folks to drop all and go…but i have a solution to that also…yet, another project…would love your photos in trueCOWBOYmagazine…whenever youre ready, the pages are here for you…Vivo Los Mustangs!

    besos
    calamity


  6. Sad that this is needed at all. Glorious that there are people to fulfill the need.

  7. Lona Says:

    Are you planning to be there on the 26th? If so, will see you there!

  8. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks everyone – hopefully, more eyes will help.

    Lona – I can’t be there on the 26th. It will be bittersweet I’m sure.


  9. We are putting together a coalition to get all advocates and groups to work together to do these types of things. One of the biggest we are working on is to have someone at EVERY gather, while making sure it doesn’t fall to be the responsibility of one person or group. Working together is the only way we can ensure that these animals are treated humanely and with dignity. http://www.SaveOurWildHorses.com We are also running a survey to find out how to best get news out to the public about gathers, comments and plans that the BLM has for our horses.


  10. I think we should start a “Herd Mentoring Program” where we will have one mentor for every herd who will make appropriate comments to the BLM re: any planned actions, and who will also file an administrative appeal. Not only would we have someone looking out for each herd in every state, but we would have a pool of potential plaintiffs at the ready if and when a lawsuit needs to be filed in that particular case. It will also come in handy for a National Case we should be looking to file for the overall mis-managment of the BLMs WFH&B Program.


  11. Yes, we need eyes on the roundups, I am wanting to know where the corrals are for the Red Desert Complex roundups this month. Thank you for all you do. I am at The Cloud Foundation Blog and trying to reach out to others who
    want to be there for the horses as well as find the ‘missing (?) 30,000’. I have time, a pickup and a little money and live in Pagosa Springs, CO. Mar

  12. Nancy Roberts Says:

    I would also like to be present at the Red Dessert Complex. I think it is a great idea, things have to get better!


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