Some Thoughts and Recognition on the Removal

I found out this week that the BLM Billings office was going to be presented with an award for the job they did in the removal this past summer.  This award was presented to Jared Bybee yesterday in Washington DC.

I was happy that Jared and his team were getting some recognition on a job well done.  Hopefully other HMA’s will ask him for advise on how to better do their gathers.  They can ask him to come and show them, but they cannot keep him, he needs to stay here with the Pryor Horses!

As I said in my April post about this gather, there are some good people in the BLM and we need to make an effort to continue to communicate with them.

Just in case you did not remember how I felt about the removal you can click on SANDY and it will take you to a post I did the beginning of April.

Also here is the link to the list of Awards.  Click on Awards to go to that page.  I also copied and pasted the paragraph telling about the Pryor Gather award:

BLM-Montana Pryor Mountain Horse Gather and Adoption Team, recipients of the Director’s Team Accomplishment Award.

This Award recognizes this year’s tremendously successful Pryor Mountain wild horse gather and adoption. Thanks to outstanding public engagement, sound decision making, and cohesive teamwork, this gather and adoption were completed safely and with positive public support.”

It is still painful for me to think about the horses that were removed, those I will not see on the mountain again.  But I know where most have gone, and I will continue to see how they are doing.

But I am glad that the Pryor Horses have a team of BLM people who for the most part listen to our concerns and hopes for these horses.  I thank them for that.

I believe that if everyone would take the time and effort to effectively communicate with them that the management of these horses may just continue to get better and better.


Polaris, Isadora, Lemhi and Rosarita, July 2011


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

33 thoughts on “Some Thoughts and Recognition on the Removal

  • I am very happy to hear that Jared and his team received recognition for a job well-done in the recent removal. He and other team members have shown great care and concern for the Pryor horses. However, the number of horses removed was too high, in my opinion, and many were removed who should not have been. And there were some that were not removed who should have been… this was not the team’s decision, though, and they handled their job in the best way possible, under the circumstances. The whole thing is still stomach-wrenching for me and I certainly hope it doesn’t have to happen again.

      • OH..ok Joy…you must be going by TCF names. Sorry but I don’t follow the CF names and this is confusing to me. All I have ever known is the names that the Center has.

      • No, I believe her CF name was Heather or something like that — she and her foal were with Ferdinand later in the year and didn’t survive the winter.

      • Awwww…so sorry. I have a difficult time keeping up with all of the names, especially since before I got involved with the Center. I still don’t know all of their names…but I am learning. I don’t think that would have happened if the FS did not put up that ugly fence. I feel so sad about that and wish that the horses could go where they used to go for many many years. That is where I first saw the wild horses while I was visiting out here one year. We used to visit my Dad every year and we were on top of the mountain right above the big ice cave. I will never forget that!

      • I too don’t keep up with TCF names anymore. It just gets too confusing. I remember seeing the forest service boys not too far from the Ice Cave too. I really miss them being over there. It gave us an opportunity to be able to spot the horses miles before the “range”.

      • I am familiar with all of the Dry Head horses names because I go there alot and I see them way more than the mountian horses.

      • Yes, and I am much better IDing the horses in person than in Photos. At least we have people out there that are only used to Iding them in photos and can help us out when we make a mistake! 🙂

      • You bet Sandy! I don’t have the photos and so I am used to seeing them in real life too…then I can check on my list!

    • It most likely will happen again Joy. Until the numbers can be raised it will happen again. Would you rather have them do a more aggressive PZP program so there would not have to be gathers? Lets get some ideas out there now for them to see. I personally do not want a more aggressive PZP program, I would rather see small gathers of maybe 10 horses more often then waiting and having to take 30-40 again. Do I like it? NO, I do not. But it is a reality. I would like to see the numbers raised. Lets start acting on these things now instead of waiting until another gather is proposed.

      • Not only does the AML need to go up, but more land needs to be appropriated — either the former Forest Service property or the Administration area. At this point I feel water is the most important, because even though it has been so dry this year, the horses are FAT. which is good going into winter. But even during the worst winter recently, 2010-2011, except for some nursing mares and older individuals, the horses who survived didn’t look exceptionally bad. Do I want them to look bad? Of course not, but I am also no longer sure that removals are necessary due to little forage. I’ve looked at that cohort chart over and over and all I can see is that there are going to be some years ahead where we will lose a lot of horses.

        As for PZP, not only do I not want a more aggressive program, I would like to see them back off giving it to as many as they do. I don’t feel they should automatically give it to older mares — and if it makes them live longer… is that right? Give PZP to older mares so they can live longer and then have to remove younger horses from the range? It just doesn’t make sense. And as long as we’re on the subject, I don’t like to see so many of the mares with those reaction bumps from the shot, either, especially the ones which turn into open sores.

        To me there are also indicators out there that there is something not right — too many 2 yr olds giving birth and too many father-daughter pairings. Although I know this happens with animals, it seems to be happening too much.

        Man, do I need a post from Matt right now!!

      • I am not disagreeing with it. What I am trying to do is to get everyone who really cares about these horses to present ideas that we can as a group or each other separately, present to the BLM. Not just make comments on blogs. We need to work towards these goals now, not when they propose another removal, by then it is too late.
        I also am trying to encourage Joy and anyone else who comes over to see the horses to meet with the BLM and NPS in person. That can be a lot more effective then a letter or email.

    • The comment about needing a post from Matt was definitely not a slam against this blog, but a desire to hear his perspective. He has been watching the horses for a very long time and his insight and opinions on the dynamics of the herd as a whole is always appreciated, regardless of how often the posts are made.

  • I’m glad they are recieving recognition for the good job they did in the Pryors. But like Joy I also agree that the number was too high and while there was reasoning behind which horses to remove there were also many considerations overlooked. Like you said though, those decisions weren’t in Jared’s hands. I also hope to see more gathers like this take place with other herds in the future. Although I hope no more horses have to be removed from this small herd again. And like I had said in another post, there are some changes I would like to see in the PZP program as well. And while I believe there are some serious issues that need to be addressed about the BLM, it is nice to see that there are some good people working within the organization and I appreciate all the efforts of Jared and his team. And while I didn’t like the outcome of the gather (so many horses being removed) I was glad to see the process completed with the horses well-being a priority.

  • I also feel it should be noted that, although “this gather and adoption were completed safely and with positive public support”, the support was for most of the methods used, not the gather itself. The public was told there was going to be a gather, regardless of our objections, and if it wasn’t done with bait-trapping beginning by a certain date, then it would be done with helicopters. And NO ONE wanted a helicopter gather — basically, it was a threat. So again, the team definitely deserves the accolades, but the gather itself does not.

  • Just from reading these comments I can really tell how much your blog informs a lot of people. I was here for all of the gather this summer, where Sarah and Joy weren’t, and yet they’re still so educated on it. And it may not all be from your blog, but I like to think it’s a big part of it. I’m glad you care so strongly about these horses Sandy. They definitely need someone like you. And like all of the other people who are involved and work towards what’s best for them. I also hope there never has to be a removal here, this one was hard enough. We can only hope though..
    I drove through the Dryhead earlier today. I didn’t see anyone on the way there, so on the way back I stopped where we had seen Seattle, Kemmerer, Sacajawea and Strawberry the other day, and hiked around for about thirty minutes. I didn’t see anyone, but it was really pretty out where I was. Then, just before the turn to go into the bay, Hickok was on the right side of the road. I didn’t see anyone else, but they were probably on the other side of the hill. I was a little disappointed that I only saw one horse, but one is better than none! And of course I stopped to visit Liesl and Kaibab on my way home. Liesl was being friendly as always, but Kaibab seemed to be a little friendlier today too (:

    • Thank you so much Brianna. You know me and know how much I care for these horses. Your comment is very much appreciated.
      ps: I saw your great photos you took today with Liesl and Kaibab! Loved them!
      You need to get more younger people interested and involved with these horses over there in Lovell. If you need any help with that, just let Lori and I know. We both would be happy to help you!

      • I’m actually doing my FCCLA project on the horses. Before I can take it to state I have to present it to at least three groups. I just haven’t decided who my three groups are going to be yet. As soon as I decide I will start my project, and luckily I think I know enough to teach others too.

    • Brianna, thanks for taking the time to go out on your own. It really means a lot that a younger person, especially one who lives in the area, would take such an interest in the horses and also educate friends and others. You’ve been a great help this year — and we all appreciate it.

    • I appreciate you going out and helping keep us up to date too 🙂 I know if I lived closer I would love to be out there as much as I could! I also enjoy seeing your pictures too! I really hope you’re able to be the first to find one of the 2013 babies since Malayna was removed. She’ll always be your first baby but I hope you can make another special connection with another one next year and get to name it too 🙂 You definitely deserve it!!

    • I totally agree with everything you said Brianna. I know how you feel about all of the horses and I know how much Sandy cares about the horses too.I share the same feelings.
      Sandy, we are all very appreciative of the information that you have posted on your blog since the very beginning. Matt does not do his blog very much at all anymore and he seems to have less and less time for the horses and the blog. I for one appreciate you taking the time so that all of us can get a glimpse into the lives of the Pryor horses. By sharing your beautiful pictures and your knowledge of these horses people can keep up with what is going on out on the WHR. .
      Since I do live close to the range I am going out there as much as possible and I am honored that you, Sandy, have asked me to report and write on your blog…this way people can see and read more information on these horses.
      Brianna, you know I will help you as much as possible with your project.

  • I am glad that the bait trap and adoptions went so well for the Pryor horses, it is def the way it should be done, Sadly this is not the case with so many and yes there are decent BLM folk’s that truly care for the well being of some Wild Mustangs but there are way to many that do not sincerely care and it has been seen over and over again with some ot those nasty helicopter round ups and way to many deaths of the old, young and babies. After watching the one Live Stream of the BLM and how they have stated that the LTH is just not working , well to me that was a no brainer from the get go and now shady sales of Mustangs to a Davis fella for $10 a head and with no idea where 1700 of those horses have gone, since the BLM have little success with so many being adopted what made them not even raise an eye brow when this man took 1700, just what did they think was going to happen to them, turning a blind eye and heads in the sand, it is a very sad scenario as to the final fate of those 1700, shameful and heart breaking. However Sandy as I said I am sincerely grateful for some as the Pryor’s it went well for. Thanks for the post as always I truly appreciate all of them…

  • PS: Totally agree about the communication and when it works it is wonderful as it did here but this is just not the case with so many of the other round ups

    • You are so right about that Jeannie and this is what needs to be changed. But ultimately it is the government in Washington DC makiing some of these decisions. That is not to say that the BLM in each of these states is not responsible for poor decision making. It is a disgrace to these wild horses who without them many years ago were used in battles and lost their lives in the name of freedom. They seem to forget those things. These wild horses should be held in the highest respect and treasured!

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