Friday, January 22, 2010

Snow, Rain, and Mud....

We have had some crazy weather around here lately. Lots of rain, more rain, then more rain followed by snow, some more snow, and then even more snow all around the mountains. The ranch is a mudhole right now and we are all slipping and sliding all over the place. Gus (along with all of the other animals at the ranch) could definitely use a bath! Even though the weather has put a damper on getting alot of work done, it has provided us with some beautiful scenery.






Mustang Hooves

This is a perfect, strong, and healthy Mustang hoof. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rummage Sale to benefit Mustangs!

Just wanted to share an email that I received from my friend, Paula Isengard. Feel free to forward this information along to others who may be interested. This will be taking place in the Las Vegas, NV area.

Thanks,

Eric

*********************************************

To all my friends, equine and otherwise:

As all of you know, I spend most of my time, effort, energy and money rescuing horses that would otherwise be mistreated, starved or sent to the Fallon Feedlot. Currently we have six horses in rescue. Although we do have two adoptions pending there never seems to be enough time, money or hay. The Mustang geldings we have are very lovely boys and we know that their best chance for a good, permanent placement will be if they are saddle trained. To that end, we would like to have a rummage sale to raise the funds to send them to college at the Diamond W Ranch where they will be trained by Joe Weitekamp. I am hoping to have the sale on February 20 at Lake Mead Hardware. All proceeds will go towards the training of the Mustangs.

If you have household items, clothing, electronics or tack sitting around gathering dust, please consider donating them to the Mustangs and our rummage sale! And of course, if you would like to volunteer to work the sale, I’d love that too. We appreciate every single bit of help we receive. You can call me to donate or for more information at 702-437-3367 or text to 702-858-3542. Thank you!

Please feel free to forward.

Sincerely,

Paula Isenbarg
The Huppie Syndicate

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wild to Mild

Mustang/Colt starting Clinic

Joe Weitekamp will be picking up a new Mustang for the Norco Extreme Mustang Makeover on February 12th 2010 and will be holding a clinic on February 13th and 14th. Come on out and join him as he starts his new Mustang.

What to expect:
Joe will be working with his Mustang and explain what he is doing and why as he starts laying the foundation of trust, respect and leadership, that is required for further training.

There will be question and answer periods where you can ask more specific questions

This Clinic will be audit only

Where: 8425 Jakes Pl.
When: February 13th and 14th
Time: 9:00 am to ?
Refreshments: Cold drinks will be provided however food will
not. Please bring a picnic lunch.
Cost: $30 each day or $50 for both (If purchased by
February 10th)
$40 each day or $70 for both ( if purchased after
February 10th)

Please visit www.diamondwranch.net to reserve your place or call 702-664-4381. Space will be limited so reserve yours early. All purchases are final and non-refundable but they are transferable.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday / Fun Day

I got to the ranch before the sun came up on Thursday. It is always no nice to see the sun come up over the mountains and it proved to be the perfect day to do so. The weather was great, and it got so warm that it was T-shirt weather! Augustus got loose today, but wound up having so much fun with the Wanderers that I let him enjoy it. He ran, kicked, bucked, and farted all morning with them. It is always so cool to see that "Wild Spirit" kick in and imagine what he would look like if he was still out on the range. After his morning, we did some light riding and then he spent the rest of the afternoon in the turnout with his friends while I went to work with Iceman. As always, it was a great day.








Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dakotah and Augustus

Looks like someone else is starting to ride Gus....

Awesome job, Dakotah.


Wild Horse and Burro Vision Statement

This "vision" is taken from the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program website.

Concepts

* Relocate animals from overpopulated Western ranges to new preserves throughout the nation that would be managed and maintained to showcase the animals. These preserves would be acquired by the BLM and/or partners, and managed by the BLM or through cooperative agreements with partners.

*Designate popular public land Herd Management Areas with distinctive characteristics as National Wild Horse Ranges, National Monuments, or National Conservation Areas.
Control the breeding populations of wild horses on Western rangelands. Increase the number of animals placed into good homes with more flexible adoption tools.

Implementation

Nationwide Preserves – Create wild horse preserves throughout the nation, located in areas most appropriate for wild horses (primarily in the Midwest and East) on lands or interests in lands acquired by the BLM and/or partners, and managed by the BLM or through cooperative agreements with partners. Some or all of the preserves with Federal interests may be congressionally designated.

New wild horse preserves would be carefully located and managed to:

* preserve local or regional heritage;
* protect native or restored grasslands;
* develop opportunities for tourism benefitting local communities;
* enhance adoptions; and
* care for these iconic animals.

Treasured Herds – Designate popular Herd Management Areas with distinctive characteristics as National Wild Horse Ranges, National Monuments or National Conservation Areas.

Enhance any ecological, wilderness, scenic, cultural or historical values in these Herd Management Areas.

The nationwide preserves and Treasured Herd Management Areas could become popular destination spots for American and international tourists, bringing revenue and jobs to local economies and providing recreational opportunities.

Sustainable Herds – Use a combination of non-reproducing herds, fertility control, and sex ratio skewing to control the population growth rates of western herds on public lands. Place more animals into good homes by making adoptions more flexible.



BLM photos by Kurt Golgart

Message from Director Bob Abbey

Message from Director Bob Abbey

As directed by Congress under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the BLM protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands. The Bureau manages these iconic animals as part of its overall multiple-use mission across 253 million acres of public lands.

When Congress passed the 1971 law, it found that wild horses and burros – those Living Legends of Western history – were “fast disappearing from the American scene” because of their lack of legal protection. Now, nearly 40 years after that landmark law was enacted, these special animals are experiencing robust population growth under Federal protection. In fact, wild horse and burro herds, which have virtually no natural predators, grow at a rate of about 20 percent a year, which means herds can double in size every four years.

Impacts from Overpopulated Herds

Because of this rapid growth, the BLM must remove thousands of wild horses and burros from the range each year to protect public rangelands from the environmental impacts of herd overpopulation. Currently, the Western rangeland free-roaming population of 37,000 horses and burros exceeds by more than 10,000 the number that the BLM has determined can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. The ecosystems of public rangelands, which provide habitat for wildlife, are simply not able to withstand the impacts resulting from overpopulated herds.

As former Director of the BLM's State Office in Nevada, where most wild horses live, I know first-hand the need to protect the land on which these treasured animals roam. Without healthy rangelands, wild horses and burros cannot thrive. Moreover, they cannot even survive when range conditions – which are affected by drought, wildfire, and climate change – deteriorate beyond a certain point.

The need to gather and remove horses and burros from the range, I would note, is fully recognized by Congress in the 1971 law. Section 1333 of the law mandates that once the Secretary of the Interior “determines...on the basis of all information currently available to him, that an overpopulation exists on a given area of the public lands and that action is necessary to remove excess animals, he shall immediately remove excess animals from the range so as to achieve appropriate management levels.”

GAO Finding: “Critical Crossroads”

When excess horses and burros are removed, the BLM feeds and cares for these animals in short-term corrals and long-term pastures while trying to place as many as possible into good private care through adoptions or sales. Since 1971, the Bureau has adopted out nearly 225,000 wild horses and burros.

While the BLM is working hard to boost adoptions, the public’s demand for adoptable wild horses has declined sharply in recent years, leaving more than 34,000 horses and burros in corrals and pastures that must be kept operating at a cost of $29 million a year – a figure that is rising and which accounted for 70 percent of the wild horse and burro funding approved by Congress in Fiscal Year 2009. (Animals in holding, keep in mind, retain their “wild” status and remain under the protection of the BLM, which does not sell or send any horses or burros to slaughter.)

So the BLM finds itself in the predicament of needing to gather overpopulated herds from the Western range each year while its holding costs keep rising – with no end in sight. Recognizing this unsustainable situation, the Government Accountability Office, in a report issued in October 2008, found the Bureau to be at a “critical crossroads” because of spiraling off-the-range holding costs and its limited management options concerning unadopted horses.

Salazar Wild Horse Initiative

In response, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and I announced on October 7, 2009, a new and sustainable way forward for managing our nation’s wild horse horses and burros.

At that announcement, we recommended the establishment of new wild horse preserves across the nation, particularly on the productive grasslands of the Midwest and East, that could be a home for thousands of horses that the BLM currently holds in short-term corrals and long-term pastures, the latter of which are currently filled to capacity.

We also recommended managing the new preserves either directly by the BLM or through cooperative agreements between the BLM and private non-profit organizations or other partners to reduce the Bureau’s off-the-range holding costs.

We recommended showcasing certain herds on public lands in the West that warrant distinct recognition with Secretarial or possibly congressional designations.

And we recommended applying new strategies aimed at balancing wild horse and burro population growth rates with public adoption demand to control holding costs. This effort would involve slowing population growth rates of wild horses on Western public rangelands through the aggressive use of fertility control, the active management of sex ratios on the range, and perhaps even the introduction of non-reproducing herds in some of the BLM’s existing Herd Management Areas in 10 Western states.

In the view of the Department of the Interior and the BLM, this set of proposals is the best and most viable approach to protecting and managing America’s iconic wild horses and burros, and I hope you will look over the materials on this Website relating to the Secretary’s initiative. If approved and funded by Congress, the Secretary’s initiative, we are convinced, will be good for wild horses and burros, good for public rangelands, and good for the American taxpayer.


BLM photo by Kurt Golgart

The Calico Gather

Info regarding the controversial Calico Gather, taken from the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program website:

The goal of the BLM gather action is to reach a population level of 600 to 900 wild horses in the Calico Mountain Complex of five herd management areas in the Black Rock Desert. That population range is what has been determined to be the appropriate number of wild horses that can be supported as healthy viable herds by the amount of forage and water available on these rangelands.

The current population is about 3,040 animals, which is 5.5 times the low range AML of 572 horses and about three times the land's full carrying capacity, or high range AML, of 952 horses.

The gather is consistent with the provisions of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates that the BLM will remove excess wild horses to achieve a population within the established appropriate management level (AML), to protect rangeland resources from further deterioration associated with the wild horse overpopulation, and to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship in the area.

Monitoring studies indicate that the overpopulation of wild horses is causing resource impacts within the Complex, such as moderate to heavy use of rangeland vegetation and damage to sensitive riparian areas, which are springs, streams and seeps. The gather also will help ensure that there will be sufficient water and forage for the remaining 600-900 wild horses and burros, wildlife, and permitted livestock.

The BLM will remove approximately 2,500 excess wild horses from the Complex, adjust the male/female sex ratio to 60/40 percent, and administer fertility control measures on mares that will be re-released within the Complex.

For Gather Updates, Photos from the Gather, Questions and Answers, Contact and visitation information, Fact Sheets, and News / Press Releases, please visit this link:

The Calico Gather


BLM photo by Kurt Golgart

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Mustang Genius

I know Augustus is extremely smart, so he must be waiting for me to come get him instead of following the escape artist, Sawyer, out of the turn out. He couldn't possibly still be in there because he didn't realize the gate was wide open....