Sunday, August 16, 2009

Local Utah Ranchers Work to Save Wild Horses in Time of Drought

My husband Robert , friend Chet, and local retired Burbank Utah. rancher averted disaster to save several bands of Sulphur Spring mustangs.

Perhaps we should work out an agreement with DOI for a change in managment policy where as BLM contracts with locals to monitor the water sources, haul water in emergencies, and notify BLM to correct defective systems. This would be good for local economies. AND save wild horses and burros from dying from thirst. (After all guzzlers are maintained for wild life) Herd areas are often too remove for BLM to monitor effectively during the the critical summer drought. The locals may be most familiar with the water sources where as not all BLM employees are.

Kathleen Hayden

Coyote Canyon Caballos d'Anza

In emails Robert Hayden sent to Kathleen Hayden from Utah, we get a glimpse of issues facing the BLM mustangs and the local people coming to their aid...

August 13, 2009
"Well just to let you know what is happening. Today Chet and I went to Ladd Davies for a visit and say hi. Told Chet we could go and see the solar water tanks for the mustangs at the Cove near Needle Point just South of Ladd Davies Ranch and possible get a look at some horses. Ladd said he would like to go and we took his 4x4 truck. When we got to the solar panels the tanks were bone dry. There were lots of fresh tracks around the tanks but no moisture what-so-ever. Then we decided to go to the next water hole, Jep Springs, (possible sp). When we got to Jep Springs we saw about ten mustangs take off up the hill to the west but two mares and a young filly stayed, which did not seem normal. They usually head for the hills when we get close. Looked like they were still drinking, putting their heads in the tank and back up again. We got out of the truck and they did not run off till we were about 20 yards away. When we got to the tank it was also empty with only a small trickle of water coming in at one end. We looked for a problem, but could see none.

We then went back to Ladd's house to use the phone to call BLM. First we called Gale Bennet who is x BLM and has been keeping an eye on the horse in the area around the Mt Home Range where the mustangs are located. No answer but left a message of what we saw. Next I called Gus War in Salt Lake BLM office and got a message he would be out for 2 weeks and left a message on his machine. Then I called Chad Hunter of Cedar City and got him on the phone at home. Told him what we found, he thanked me for the info and said he would right away call Delta, BLM and have someone take a load of water today to the horses and find out what the problem could be. Chet and I then went home to Baker for something to eat and take a break. After talking it over we went back to Ladd Davies to find out if the water for horses had arrived. Ladd said he got a call from Gale Bennet saying the BLM had called him and he would be out tomorrow mid-day with a 250 gal tank for water and a generator to try and get the tanks filled at the solar panels. If he could not he would reccomend having someone haul water in to the horses. Ladd had talked to some neighbors who had quads and they took 20 gallons up to Jep Springs to dump. When we got to Ladds we had to 50gal plastic barrels and decided to take some water to the solar panels tanks asap in case some of the horses came looking for water from Jep. On the way out we stopped and talked to the McDonalds who took the 20 gallons up to Jep and they said that when they got there, 15 horses were standing around the tank trying to get water out of the dribble that was coming out. Also found out that 2 weeks eariler they went up and the tank was also empty and a small filly was trying to get water and they got to within 5 feet of her while she was drinking. The mother had run off. McDonalds did not know where the solar tanks were and if other water was in the area. Ladd told me that Gale Bennet was by his house a week ago to check on the horses. If he did go to the water sources, I cannot understand why this was not a big problem a week ago.

Chet and I will check at the solar tanks tomorrow early and find out if the horses were there last night. We could tell these horses are in dire need of water because of the way they did not run when we approached and stood at the tank trying to get water. We are afraid that they went to the solar tanks looking for water and not finding any, may not go back tonight to get the 150 gallons we put in the tank and stay at Jeb Springs. We would have taken the water to Jeb, but you need 4x4 .

Am very disapointed the water did not show from BLM, as was stated would be there pm today. Sounds like someone passed it off to Gale.

Will call you on your cell phone tomorrow when I have something to report. Hope the horses are not as bad as I think and make it till they get water."

August 14, 2009

"Today we took another 50 gallons of water to the solar panels and checked if any horses had been there to water last night. We saw track over our tire treads from yesterday. Looked like about two or three had come in for water last night. We put in the 50 and went down the road towards Ladd Davies and met a BLM truck coming our direction. Stopped and talked to the two passengers, one was Scott from BLM in Delta that had been sent by Chad Hunter from Cedar City BLM. The other was Gale Bennet from Delta.

They were going to check the solar pump. Chet and I met them at the solar and with a meter tried to find the problem. After much checking it was determined the pump was not working or out of water. BLM will be sending someone to pull the pump.

On the way to Ladds we ran into three quads, the McDonalds, with about 40 gallons of water heading to Jeb Springs to dump and check on the horses. Chet and I hauled two more loads of water to the solar tanks which now has about 300 plus gallons of water. Scott said he would be calling Gus War to find out what should be done to get water to the horses while the pump is being fixed.

After we were home in Baker for a while, Ladd called and said Scott will bring a 500 gal tank on his truck and haul water from Ladds to the water tanks so the horses would have plenty of water. We will meet him tomorrow early and check the horses and help with the water to make sure all is ok and then head back to California."

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