Saturday, August 21, 2010

THE BLM Armed and Dangerous!

Notes from Twin Peaks round-up, pt. 2

Monday, I could not see inside the Cattoor family's wild horse trap. With binoculars, I could see what went on just outside.
Men waved flexible whips attached to plastic bags, spooking mustangs into trailers. They also flipped the whips to prod the thick ends into mustangs' flanks, or slam them repeatedly over horses' backs. This wasn't encouragement. This was beating.
Law suits focused judicial eyes on our First Amendment rights, so members of the public are allowed to watch our wild horses on our public lands, but we were warned that BLM rangers would "take things to the next level" if we didn't obey orders.
Two days earlier, near the Litchfield BLM facility, my car was pulled over by two white trucks with flashing lights. A ranger asked for my i.d. while his partner looked in my backseat.
The ranger was polite, even smiled when I showed him the red tags from my wild mares' necks (yes, they are still in my purse), but he explained they were expecting trouble at the Twin Peaks round-up.
I'm pretty dialed-in to wild horse issues, I told him, and I'd heard of nothing brewing. He kept the details to himself.
After Monday's round-up, as wild horses were trucked to temporary holding pens, I overheard rangers describing how they'd been "primed for a riot."
I have friends and family in law-enforcement and fire departments. You're kidding yourself if you don't believe part of the excitement and fun of such jobs is based inconflict.
I get that. I've dedicated books to a bunch of emergency professionals because their work fascinates me.
I know they run toward trouble as most of us run away. And I admit I'm not in BLM's inner circle, but I'm confused. I don't know what to hope for.
Truth? That means threats have put BLM on red alert against horse advocates.
Lies? That means BLM rangers have been sicced on non-existent trouble.
Go see for yourself, please.

YOU can view the Twin Peaks round-ups 7 days a week. You can drive to round-ups from anyplace in the U.S. and see wild horses galloping -- for their lives, it's true, but this may be your last chance because BLM plans to round-up 6,000 wild horses by summer's end.


MorganG said...

Oh come on--there is a small handful of ADVOCATES whose only fight with the BLM has been through a jaded court system and a non-responsive ignorant political system. These advocates were out in the middle of nowhere, unarmed in the midst of an armed,rogue agency and police presence and Cattoor cowboys and one or two helicopters. What makes these drama queens think that any advocate would do anything but observe, question and perhaps get angry or cry. This is all a show for any press that might be present--"see these horse huggers are so obsessed and radical we have to arm ourselves". WE fight fairly, using facts, documents produced by the lying BLM and the courts and Congress. WE tell the truth about what has happened on the range. How about an explanation of the TRUE events at Owyhee BLM & CATTOOR? Truth? BLM and Cattoor ought to try it some time. What a contrived response from armed officials. Is it because you were sued and were told by the judge you had to allow press in to observe, which you didn't do anyway, despite the property owner saying it was OK? Is it because there is presented to the same court evidence that supports contempt of court? Is it because the government states you have no scientific policy in place, the GAO states you are not doing your job and your own memos state you need a major overhaul to properly do your job? Or maybe its the employee who under oath stated the range was in excellent shape altho BLM officials stated the horses must be rounded up anyway? Is it the claims of no water at Owyhee which caused the judge to agree to an "emergency roundup as to not allow this would cause the death of 75% of the herd" but in pictures taken in the exact same area show the Owyhee River with lots of water and horses leisurely strolling down to drink. Put your guns away, quit playing games and stand up and tell the truth for once. You might find you like it.

Arkansas Blogging and Updates said...

It's a pretty good bet that the BLM wants to force a confrontation so they will have a good excuse to shut down the public observations completely.

The advocates who go to the gathers and put up with the abuse are a lot stronger than I am.