Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Wild Horse Adoptions and the BLM - Smith, Dave

Jo Ann:  I agree with you that “Odd farm’s” recent rant here against the BLM and its handling of mustang adoptions bares little, if any, semblance to reality.  At the very least, that rant goes counter to my actual experience in adopting two mustangs three years ago.  Prior to our adoptions, I spent nearly a year of weekends and after-work-hours preparing a place to house and pasture our horses to be.   I also conducted extensive research into handling and “breaking” wild horses. We joined a mustang-support organization, got hands-on experience in gentling wild horses and we made a number of visits to the BLM’s Palomino Valley mustang holding facility on the other side of the Sierra in search of the horses we might adopt.  On each and every visit, we found the BLM wranglers and administrators to be caring, attentive stewards of the wild horses under their management.  The horses at that facility were neutered, doctored and fed high-value forage. The staff was always helpful and always professional.  Eventually we adopted our two geldings through the inmate-training program conducted under a state/federal agreement at Carson City’s Warm Springs Correctional Prison. At the end of the day we came home with two wonderful, healthy animals that have enriched our lives. When the Wild Horse Act was passed by Congress in the mid-1970s, the BLM was tasked with the responsibility of managing wild horses on federal lands.  This was added to the agency’s many other responsibilities. It is clear that the agency made a number of mistakes when assuming this new and demanding duty.  But it is also clear, to me at least, that the agency learned from those mistakes and now does a most credible job in managing America’s wild horses.  Can it do better?  Probably.  But faced with shrinking budgets and expanding responsibilities, I believe the BLM should be commended, rather than damned, for the job it is doing. It is always easy to criticize – particularly if you know little about what you are condemning.