"Dear Director Abbey,
Following is the U Tube connection link to the recent Pryor Mt gather.
Explain exactly WHO is responsible for this gather? What tail is wagging this dog??
16 USC 1332 c defines range as the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free roaming horses and burros, which doesn't not exceed their known territorial limits and which is devoted principally to their welfare but not necessarily exclusively, in keeping with the multiple use management concept for the public lands.
Isn't this the same principle as an ACEC?
Clearly the agency does not do this to other free roaming wild life.
Are we to be our lying eyes or BLM spokesman Tom Gorey who stated “The Cloud Foundation is not a credible source for information.”
PO Box 236
Santa Ysabel, Ca. 92070"
The Big Story
Video Shows Cloud Limping, Foals Possibly Vulnerable to Lion Attack
By Steven Long
HOUSTON, (HORSEBACK) - Despite repeated denials by the federal Bureau of Land Management, horses including the iconic mustang Cloud, were injured in a hasty Labor Day weekend round-up.
Video evidence shot by Emmy award winning PBS filmmaker Ginger Kathrens show graphic images of horses limping, including Cloud, immediately after their release back into the wild.
“All of the babies are clearly footsore,” Kathrens told Horseback Magazine late Saturday. “Some of the adults seem to me as if they are really tired and are a bit foot sore.”
Kathrens returned to her ranch from Montana Friday after observing the horses on the mountain Thursday night.
The foal most footsore was Cloud’s offspring filly Jasmine, she said. The horse is a baby.
“She was really hobbling,” Kathrens said.
Some members of the Cloud herd were not allowed to leave BLM pens to return to Pryor Mountain and will be sold on September 26.
The herd’s normal grazing area is 5,000 feet above the pens which they were stampeded to by a low flying helicopter.
Repeated queries by Horseback Magazine have all received the same answer from the agency which manages the nation’s wild horses on public lands.
“There were no injuries or deaths resulting from the gather, to the best of my knowledge,” said BLM Washington spokesman Tom Gorey late Friday when he disputed Kathrens veracity saying, “The Cloud Foundation is not a credible source for information.”
Observers from the foundations and press were not allowed at the upper elevations during the chase to the base of the mountain at Britton Springs.
Jim Sparks, the BLM field manager of the Billings, Montana office also told Horseback that no horses were injured as they were chased into a trap and then herded into pens.
Sparks conceptualized and spearheaded the Pryor Mountains "gather." He acknowledged it was his decision alone to capture and thin the herd because he believes there aren't enough natural resources on the mountain to sustain the horses through winter.
Currently the horses all appear to be fat and healthy. Pryor Mountains mustangs have lived through hundreds of Montana winters.
Kathrens has spent much of the last decade chronicling the wild horses of Montana’s mountains, a line of animals that is believed to be genetically pure dating back to the 15th century.
The next installment of the “Nature” series featuring Cloud and the horses of Montana’s Pryor range will be shown on PBS, October 25, 2009. The special is titled “Cloud Challenges the Stallion.”
Two horses featured in the new film are now held in the BLM adoption pen.
Makendra Silverman, assistant to Kathrens said some of the horses are now vulnerable to predators because of their inability to move rapidly to escape attack.
“When you have foals run for 10 to 15 miles they are much more prone to mountain lion attack.”
Kathrens said that during the run down the mountain the Pryor Mustangs may have burned up much needed fat that would help them make it through the fierce Montana winter. In the video all of the animals appear well fed and healthy.
Silverman said it is doubtful older horses such as Cloud, bachelor stallions, and mares would fall victim to cougar attacks but very young horses are at risk.
Kathrens says she has left messages for BLM director Bob Abbey but has yet to hear from him. Abbey also declined an interview with Horseback.