I will have to post the family pictures we took tomorrow. I can not get them to upload. Had some of them posted and then it froze up.
This article was in the Letters To The Editor in our newspaper The Spokesman Review. It is titled Last roundup overdue and smoke is about to come out my ears. I will copy it here. I could probably get it electronically and cut and paste but I don't do that very well so will just copy it.
"The cruelty and blatant waste of America's hard earned tax dollars to remove wild horses has reached staggering proportions.
The level of disregard, disrespect and criminal behaviour the Bureau of Land Management exhibits in response to the American public outcry is something we can no longer ignore.
The wild horse herds are a symbol of Americans freedom. At what point do we need to make a stand?
Al.ready, 39,000 wild horses are in holding facilities and 11,000 more are scheduled for roundup next year.
These roundups are being operated on a deficit budget.
They castrate the stallions, break up the family herds, run the foals until their hooves fall off, lie about their numbers, and tell us they are starving to death and destroying the ecosystems while millions of cattle are allowed to roam and overtake their designated herd management areas..
The videos taken of the roundups reveal healthy, terrorized horses and unscathed landscapes.
Contact President Obama and demand he put an end to wild horse roundups."
I won't print her name. I don't know her but I will invite her to our Mustang Club Meeting in January. I am going to respond to the paper with an answer to her letter. If any of you care to it is firstname.lastname@example.org and letters can not be over 200 words and must include your daytime phone number and street address although they will not be printed.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is America but I am entitled to disagree with her opinion and I DO. First of all the BLM is not doing anything criminal. There are not millions of cattle on the horses herd areas. There are cattle who are allowed to range for periods of time in particular areas. Cattle do not eat the grass to the roots like horses do. They have to wrap their tongue around it to eat it, horses bite it with their teeth. Consequently horses can eat to its roots. I have not seen cattle in any of the herd management areas. I have been to several herd areas in Oregon and southern Montana.
There are other wild animals there besides the horses. Deer, elk, antelope, ect. and birds and little ground animals. They all have to eat and all use the same land.
I don't know where this lady got her numbers but I have not seen them before. There are a lot of horses in holding facilities and on rescues ect. For the most part they are well taken care of.
Yes, when they gather, to keep the horses from starving to death, they do castrate the stallions. Not many people want to adopt a stallion but many will adopt a nice gelding. The horse herds are in family units and must be moved around to keep the genetics pure. Inbred horses are not good.
The video's of the last gather in November were doctored to look bad. I have seen videos taken by other people. The horses were thin and needed to be brought in and fed up. They were not run over the ground. In fact it took two days to get them there because they did not want to stress the animals. The horse that broke her neck just wigged out and they could not stop her. They did nothing to make her so upset just tried to move them in to a different pen. The helicopter was NOT close to them, it was an optical illusion. I was not there but have two friends who were and photographed and videoed it all. We are going down next year to observe and photograph.
Bob and I are BLM volunteers and have been for several years. We turn in many hundreds of hours every year. We personally know many of the BLM workers in Oregon, Washington and Montana. They love the horses and would never hurt them deliberately.
There is my rant. I am going to write a letter to the editor tomorrow. Maybe by then my emotions will be in a better place.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a quiet Christmas. I will hope to get the pictures posted of our family tomorrow.