Wild Horse Round Up In Nevada
By Mitch Kumstein – The Dog That Blogs
“It’s the end of another year, and I figured before I barreled into 2010, I would look back on some of the events that made 2009 the most memorable time of my life! It started off really rough. I was dumped in the desert, and left out there to fend for myself against the elements. I met my heroes and friends at Coyote Springs, made alota new friends on Facebook, began workin’ with the super-cool staff at DesertRoadTrippin.com and DesertCaddie.com, and fired up my very own website, www.mitchonthemove.com! But my most awesome experience had to be runnin’ into that herd of Desert Bighorn sheep at Specie Springs, just north of Las Vegas! To see those beautiful, powerful, and FREE wild animals also made me realize that we have been entrusted with the responsibility of carin’ for these awesome creatures, and that their presence on Earth is a blessin’ that has no price. That’s why I’m outraged and, quite frankly, embarrassed over this week’s roundup of 2,500 wild horses by the Bureau of Land Management in Northern Nevada.
Startin’ today, over 80% of the entire wild horse population located in the Calico Mountains Herd Management area will be rounded up by helicopter, and the survivors will be shipped to several Midwest warehouse facilities for “processin.” That’s right, survivors, cuz’ it is estimated that at least 25% of these horses will either die or be seriously injured durin’ this roundup, chased over rocky terrain until they either collapse or die from sheer fright. These are creatures that have freely roamed this area since the 1860’s, before Nevada even became a state! Three thousand descendants of 500 beautiful Spanish ponies livin’ on a 157,000 acre of federally- managed area. That’s one wild horse for every 50 acres! Sounds like overcrowdin’ to me! So, they’re leavin’ behind ‘bout 500 roundup survivors, or one for every 300 acres! And when the herd expands at around 20% per year over the next 3 or 4 years, they’ll spend millions of dollars and do it all over again!! The BLM’s wild horse program cost ‘bout $50 million this year, and is expected to escalate to at least $85 million by 2012. And their “program” currently has ‘bout half of the country’s total population of wild horses and burros incarcerated in pens throughout their Midwest detention facilities! Get this, a full $35 million of the BLM budget goes to roundup and lockup fundin’! Obviously, the ranchin’ lobbies, along with the appointment of a 4th generation rancher as our Secretary of the Interior, have controlled this issue. Obviously, power andmoney are runnin’ roughshod over compassion and sensibility! The Federal Bureau of Land Management is literally managin’ the wild horse population right into extinction!
So, if we’re spendin’ $50 million or so doin’ it wrong, what would it cost to do it right? Why not transition into a public/private fundin’ partnership, where properly-subsidized wild horse sanctuaries are developed and used in part to build a wild horse safari industry? And what about the water issue? All I can say is that if we used the resources of this state for the good of its citizens and wildlife instead of sellin’ ‘em off to the highest bidder, we might find that we truly have more than we need! As for me, I’m getting’ kinda greedy. I wanna be able to witness the majesty of our natural environment, and not have that taken away by those who either don’t care or use what is rightfully ours to line their own pockets! By the way, I’m plannin’ a trip next fall to see my bighorn buddies again… Anybody wanna tag along??..”
Mitch Kumstein Bio
“When people ask me about myself, I just hafta say I’m the luckiest dog on the planet! I was abandoned out in the desert just north of Las Vegas; left to fend for myself. After a few harrowing days and nights lookin’ for water and runnin’ from the coyotes, I stumbled onto a golf course, and was taken in by the staff. Soon, I came to the conclusion that I had a new lease on life, and there were a lot of adventures waitin’ for me out in the wild. So, I took a leave of absence from chasin’ critters at the course and struck out to follow the scent of adventure. And, I decided to write about my findings so everyone could be exposed to the unbelievable history, scenery, personalities, and wildlife that make up our natural environment. If the pics are kinda shaky, and the writin’ kinda sketchy, just be patient….Remember, I’m just a dog!!” – MITCH
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