Monday, September 27, 2010

BLM caught conducting secret wild horse roundup in NV

Feds and Contractor Caught Conducting Covert Wild Horse Stampede


(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Documentation supplied by GrassRootsHorse

GrassRootsHorse Catches Feds and Dave Cattoor with their Pants Down

USFWS&BLM/Cattors covertly loading and shipping wild horses from Sheldon ~ Photo by Katie Fite

While law makers and the American public had their eyes concentrated on the much contested Silver King round up in Nevada the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) along with helicopter contractor David Cattoor where conducting an unpublished and unannounced secret wild horse gather at theSheldon National Wildlife Refuge (Sheldon).

Plaintiff in several suits against the BLM for lack of transparency and violation of First Amendment Rights, Laura Leighof GrassRootsHorse, was tipped off that there was illicit activity taking place at Sheldon as many roads were closed due to a “wild horse gather”.

On September 22, 2010 Ms. Leigh discussed this situation with wild horse advocate Leslie Peeples, who was already on the road to visit another wild horse herd, and Ms. Peeples immediately changed plans and headed to Sheldon to investigate as no such “gather” was indicated in any public records.

On the morning of Sept. 23, 2010 Ms. Peeples phoned the Lakeview office of the USFWS and when asked if a wild horse gather was being conducted she was told, “yes”.

Cattoor Truck at Sheldon ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples

Ms. Peeples headed out to Sheldon on back roads when she encountered an oncoming semi-truck with a livestock trailer being towed behind it at a reasonable speed. Ms. Peeples intended to ask the driver where the stampede was taking place so she pulled her car over to the side of the road and stepped out into her lane of traffic to flag the driver down for information. Upon seeing this, according to filed court documents, the truck driver aimed for the center of the road, speeded up and missed running over Ms. Peoples by only inches.

“It is my opinion based on clear observations at the time that, had I not moved out of the way, the truck would have hit me,” stated Ms. Peeples, “As it turns out, the truck which passed by me was loaded with, what I am informed and believe to be wild horses from the Sheldon gather.”

Same Truck at Twin Peaks ~ Photo by Terry Fitch

Photos verify that said truck was owned by BLM helicopter stampede contractor, David Cattoor. One photo was taken by Ms. Peeples at Sheldon and the other by Terry Fitch at Twin Peaks. They both match.

Subsequently, upon heading further up the road, Ms. Peeples was barred access to public lands and told that the stampede was not published because “We like to keep things low and quiet”. Likewise when Ms. Peeples inquired about viewing the horses at the holding facility she was told that it was on private land and that she would not be allowed.

Upon departing Sheldon and with the resumption of cell service Ms. Peeples did make contact with the USFWS Lakeview Regional Office (Lakeview Office) and spoke with a Mr. Paul Steblien who confirmed that a wild horse roundup was taking place and that 400 horses would be stampeded. Further information relayed by Mr. Steblien indicated that the horses would be transferred to the Dufferina Refuge Headquarters and that 250 of the captured horses would forever lose their freedom while 150 would be “vasectomized” and “ovarectomized” and returned to the refuge. Mr. Steblien did agree to escort Ms. Peeples into the gather area the following day.

Ms. Peeples then headed to the Dufferina Headquarters to further search for information regarding this secret stampede. Unfortunately no one was available at the office so she continued down the road to locate a place to take her dog for a walk.

Horse Bones near subversive burying pit near roundup wild horse holding facility ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples

Once outside of her car she began to notice skeletal horse remains scattered on the ground, as she began to investigate and walk further away from the road the bones became more numerous until she came upon a freshly dug pit. Nearby was what appeared to be another pit that was freshly covered with numerous bones scattered throughout the area.

“There were horse bones scattered everywhere. I photographed what I observed…”, Peeples said.

As she headed back to her car she heard horses whinnying. She walked towards the direction of the calls and discovered a holding facility with approximately 250 horses confined. There was no signage indicating area restrictions. Likewise, she witnessed parked in the area what she believed was the same truck that tried to run her over, earlier. There were no humans at the facility.

Chopper violating FAA Safety Regulations ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples

While walking back up the hill towards her car she could hear the roar of helicopter blades which as she proceeded and crested the hill she observed the helicopter hovering just a few dozen feet above the roof of her car. Once her physical presence was reveled the chopper pilot aggressively turned the aircraft in her direction and hovered directly over her with little more than 30 feet of safe clearance.

“At this point the helicopter was so close I could see the pilot’s face and his facial features appeared angry”, said Peeples.

As the unsettled Ms. Peeples attempted to make her way to the car the aircraft continued his aggressive actions and orbited around her at an estimated distance of only 60 feet. Even while in the car and attempting to drive away the chopper continued to harass her until she stopped and shot another picture which, then, caused the aircraft to depart the area.

Relentless helicopter attack againest taxpaying U.S. Citzen ~ Photo by Leslie Peeples

Ms. Peeples pulled over to gather her composure and exited her vehicle for some fresh air only to have the chopper return, again, to harass her. Once more the camera proved to be an effective weapon in deterring the marauding helicopter.

The level of harassment did not let up as soon Ms. Peeples was accosted by a USFWS Ranger and the following day her “escort” was canceled due to her unexpected presence on public land the day before.

Likewise Ms. Peeples was interrogated and harassed by federal officials the following day as is described in court documents submitted by Gordon Cowan, attorney forGrassRootsHorse.

Ms. Peeples has and will submit to the court her video and photographic documentation of the events laid out in this brief article. Her declaration, in its entirety, can be downloaded at GrassRootsHorse.

Please check in at GrassRootsHorse for the latest on this ever changing misuse of Federal Authority

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Effort to have HR 503 moved out of committee gets no help from Arkansas Reps

I'm Lisa Griffith and the following comments are my opinion, only.

No Arkansans on the list. I'm not surprised .. There are a few congressional members have the courage of their convictions and are able to articulate their position on an issue whether they are for or against it.

I called Snyder's office this morning and expressed my disappointment, not only that his name was missing but that he's never had enough respect for this constituent (namely me) to express how he might vote, whether for or against and why, though I have asked many times.

I'm sure James Savage is partially to blame for this in that he probably filters information to the Congressman but I have asked him several times for some sort of indication on how the Congressman would vote .. if for no other reason than it would help me target the Congressman's concerns (and not waste my time on aspects of this issue that he was not concerned about) I hope he doesn't end up moving to another DC office when Snyder leaves Washington.

Here are those who signed the letter: God bless them. I hope Pelosi can (or will) do something.

Jim Moran
Elton Gallegly
John Campbell
Robert Andrews
Mike McMahon
Patrick Kennedy
Walter Jones
Shelley Berkley
Raul Grijalva
Peter King
Dan Burton
Jim Gerlach
James P. McGovern
Madeleine Z. Bordallo
Earl Blumenauer
Jim Himes
Dennis Kucinich
David Wu
Barney Frank
John Olver
Mike Castle
Mazie Hirono
Marcy Kaptur
Bill Young
Nick Rahall
Mike Rogers
Gary Ackerman
Mary Bono Mack
Judy Chu
Susan Davis
Robert Brady
Steve Israel
Maurice Hinchey
Edolphus Towns
Steven Rothman
Diane Watson
Harry Mitchell
Nita Lowey
John Lewis
Brian Bilbray
Betty Sutton
Rosa DeLauro
Gwen Moore
Sue Myrick
John Linder
Judy Biggert
Lois Capps
Roscoe Bartlett
Richard Neal
Joe Courtney
Emanuel Cleaver
Pete Stark
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Ted Deutch
Bill Delahunt
Vern Buchanan
Carolyn McCarthy
John Sarbanes
Steve Cohen
Janice Schakowsky
John Yarmuth
Mike Doyle
Dan Maffei
Alan Grayson
John Hall
Patrick Murphy
Gary Peters
Dina Titus
Eliot Engel
Frank LoBiondo
Adam Smith

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Animals' Angels - Going on the road, again.

Please help Animals' Angels get back on the road. The horses need your help!

The export of American Horses for slaughter
Since July 2007, all horse slaughter plants in the United States are closed - but the slaughter of American horses for human consumption continues. Every week, hundreds of American horses are exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

Loaded at auctions all over the country, the horses are transported thousands of miles without food, water or a chance to rest. Many of them are still transported on inhumane double deck trailers, designed for short neck species, where they are forced to hold their head low during the entire journey.
By the time the animals cross the border, several of them are already down and trampled by the others. The Commercial Transport of Equines to slaughter regulations require that the horses are checked prior to loading to ensure their fitness for travel.
Unfortunantely, Animals' Angels recent investigations revealed that this is often not the case....
Please read our investigative reports...

Comments from Laura Leigh

A hole in my Moccasins

Laura Leigh | September 12, 2010 at 6:54 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

Just sharing a picture...

Twin Peaks

So many days on the road and so many miles on the truck that I now have a hole in my moccasins, literally.

Tomorrow I will respond again in the contempt case. I will pray that a judge will actually allow this to be heard in a courtroom.

I will head off to watch BLM essentially zero out two more HMA's from areas that have sustained horses for centuries using the same old excuses.

I will watch as BLM essentially ignores Judgr Larry Hicks findings in Tuscarora and orders a public land closure in Ely to facilitate the removal, in secret, of our horses.

I will argue for access at HMA's where again we, the public, will be offered a single day to observe round ups that include more than one HMA.

This agency will thumb its nose at the Judicial system.

This agency will thumb its nose at Congress as it pushes Salazar'a proposal to reality without approval.

This agency will thumb its nose at the outcry of the American people as it puts big bucks into the pockets of a select few. This is literally the theft of America.

I have a hole in my moccasins... and one in my heart.

There are too many "snakes in the bushes."

We need to be so careful right now yet not fearful that we will fail... it is a fine line.

back on the road....

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sign Petition below to Impeach Salazar

Was anyone watching Salazar during the Gulf Oil Spill hearings? Was this man out of his element or what? He is clearly reached his level of incompetence and needs to be removed from office.

He has been Secretary of the Interior for three tragic events:

The April 6th, 2010 mine disaster In West Virginia where at least 25 died and left NO survivors.

The April 29th explosion of the Deep Water Horizon that killed 11 people and did billions of dollars of damage to the Gulf Coast, marine and plant life.

The August 16th, 2010 off road racing disaster in the Mojave Desert that killed 8 people .. and ruined countless more lives.

Has there ever been a Secretary of the Interior whose lack of good governance has cost more lives?

Sign this petition ... he needs to go back to his ranch in Colorado where the only thing he can kill are his own cattle.


Please read carefully before submitting your information.

Thank you for your support.

Livestock Exported to Mexico through August, 2010

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 USDA Market News
US to Mexico Weekly Livestock Export Summary

Current Previous Current Previous
Week Week Y-T-D Y-T-D*
Species 9/4/2010 8/28/2010

Dairy totals include 1465 head of Canadian Dairy.
Hog totals include 1859 head of Canadian Hogs.

Beef Cattle
Slaughter 0 0 0 0
Breeding Males 18 30 661 678
Breeding Females 0 85 741 782
Total Beef Cattle 18 115 1,402 1,460

Slaughter 0 0 0 0
Breeding Males 0 41 803 928
Breeding Females 0 249 3,552 3,571
Total Hogs 0 290 4,355 4,499

Slaughter Lambs 0 0 0 0
Slaughter Ewes 1,045 750 62,184 52,492
Breeding Males 0 0 59 0
Breeding Females 0 0 0 0
Total Sheep 1,045 750 62,243 52,492

Dairy Cattle
Breeding Males 0 0 43 33
Breeding Females 111 0 16,304 7,402
Total Dairy Cattle 111 0 16,347 7,435

Angora 0 0 0 0
Spanish 0 0 435 2,137
Other 0 0 0 0
Total Goats 0 0 435 2,137

Slaughter 817 1,054 32,987 30,534
Breeding Males 60 70 2,180 2,090
Breeding Females 79 75 3,258 3,138
Geldings 19 9 721 797
Burro/Mule/Pony 3 14 83 31
Total Horses 978 1,222 39,229 36,590

Exotics 30 5 1,106 605

Grand Total All Species 2,182 2,382 125,117 105,218

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BLM is on track to zero out wild horse population

My comment in blue precedes the article by Lisa LeBlanc.

The BLM estimated the wild horse population at the end of 2008 was around 36,000. Two years into a massive roundup removing 12,000 horses per year they still say in their public comments that the wild horse population is around 36,000. How can that possibly be the truth? Can anyone over there do basic math or do they think we can't?

If there were 36,000 horses at the end of 2008 and they remove 12,000 per year, how many will be left at the end of 2011. Please do yourself a favor and subtract 12,000 per year for three years from 36,000.

Does anyone remember the bison that roamed the range up to the 1800's? Think about it. The wild horses are already doomed, thanks, in part to an uncaring Congress and a President without imagination. What will be next?


BLM’s Own Numbers Indicate Wild Horses Will Be “Zeroed Out” in 2011


Analysis authored by Lisa LeBlanc, Forward by R.T. Fitch


Several days ago we ran a “tongue-in-cheek” article about the poor math skills of a much recognized individual, Mr. BLiM. That piece was published in an effort to prime the public for the following information, facts and figures. We now have a real sense of urgency upon us as the BLM’s recent release of the 2011 Stampede schedule indicates their misguided plans to remove 11,000 wild horses from their rightful land…by the BLM’s OWN numbers that is all that will be left in the wild after their assault on the horses in 2010. There will be NO MORE wild horses, by their numbers, after 2011.

The graph, below, was compiled by our own Lisa LeBlanc and has been checked and doubled checked as the numbers come straight from the BLM themselves. It’s alarming, terrifying and there is no time to waste. Lisa’s computations did not cost $1.5 million dollars nor did it take 1.5 years to complete. They are real time, in your face and for your immediate review and action. Below the chart is a break down of the analysis. (Click on graph to enlarge)

Lisa LeBlanc, all rights reserved

The Table’s average yearly percentage increase of Wild Horse & Burro population estimates exceed the Bureau of Land Management’s assertion of basing their Published Estimates on a 20% per annum reproductive rate. This table shows, averaged over the period from 2000 – 2010, an annual increase based on year to year Pre-Roundup Population increases, of 32.76% per year.

The total Wild Horse & Burro populations removed from the range are based on information published by the Bureau of Land Management. The total animals removed for 2000 – 2010, as of 8/4/2010, are 101,052. The estimated population increase for the same period, based on published Pre-Round Up totals, is 84,056. Roundups have exceeded estimated population increases by 16,996, further calling into question the Bureau’s assertion of 38,400 Wild Horses & Burros for 2010 (31,628, post-round up as of 8/4/2010) as a highly optimistic and unrealistic estimate.

Published commentary by various officials of the Bureau of Land Management have stated that 2007 had been the only year where populations of Wild Horses and Burros came closest to what their combined ranges could theoretically support (27,000). However, this Table shows clearly, in post-roundup Baseline populations, Wild Horse & Burro populations fell below 27,000 in years 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and were only slightly above in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

Round Ups from 2001 – 2006 removed the highest numbers of Wild Horses & Burros, averaging over 11,000 per year during that period, for a total of 66,235. However, from 2007 – 2009, this trend plummeted, removing a total of 19,414, an average of 6,471 per year for that period. Populations increased for the 2007 – 2009 period, based on estimates, by 29,251. Had the 2001 – 2006 trend continued, Wild Horse and Burro populations would now be below zero.

There were no published materials available for this Table that take into consideration On the Range Mortality, for example, Infant Mortality, Predation, Natural, Environmental or Illegal Causes – essential components in estimating Wild Horse and Burro populations more accurately.

(Analysis authored by Lisa LeBlanc, Aug 31, 2010)