Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Farewell Song

I'm wrapping up the summer with one more post about horses. Is that alright?

Just one more, for old times' sake.

I'm not going to drag this out any more than I have to. Long story short, exactly the day before our Landscapes With Wild Horses show, I found out that the wild horses I've been making pictures of for the past three amazing years, the wild horses who have changed my life for the better, those wild horses who give so much just by being the free spirits that they are, will be rounded up by a helicopter. First of all, they will be terrified and run ragged for miles and miles. Some will die from heart attacks. Some won't be able to run that far. The little legs of foals won't be able to keep up. Others will break legs or become lame from the erratic helicopter swooping down on them, moving and pushing them faster and faster. They will be jammed into iron corral traps. It will be cramped with horses so confused and frantic that necks will be broken in attempt to break free. They will be separated from their families, foals taken from their mothers, stallions forced together, which is a really bad idea.

Hauling them away in a livestock truck has got to be the saddest image. And one I hope I never see. Their destination will be a holding pen. A prison, you might say. All mares will be treated with PZP birth control. They will be freeze branded with a number on their necks showing that they have been treated. Another brand with big block letters HB will be visible on their left rump identifying which herd they're from. The stallions will be gelded, some will die from complications and hemorrhaging. Any horse with a deformity will be euthanized. Older horses won't have a chance to be released.

So, let's say they bring some of the horses back to the range that they came from. Let's say I finally go back out there to see what I can see. What do you suppose will happen?

Of course! They will run like hell, far, far away from me, from ANY human activity. The years of my building their trust will be futile. One step forward, two steps back. To them, I am the enemy. And THAT my friends, makes me sad.

My heart aches. No, my heart is broken. Shattered in a million fragments. Tiny pieces of my heart were left scattered on that wild horse prairie yesterday. As I was leaving, I looked back and saw the remains in company with the blue sage and yellow rabbit brush. Heart remnants in Dapple Grays, black & white Paints, Palominos, brown & black Bays, vibrant Sorrels and charcoals & blacks, and a little piece of Pony Boy Gold.

The girls and boys of summer.

 

*** You can read about the BLM proposal and open to the public comment page here ::

The Bureau of Land Management Rawlins and Lander field offices announce that a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed wild horse gather in the Red Desert Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) Complex is now available for review.

The Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek HMAs, is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming Highway 287.

The proposed operation would include gathering wild horses, treating all mares to be released with the PZP-22 (porcine zona pellucida) fertility control vaccine, and removing horses to bring the population of the complex within its appropriate management level. All horses that have moved outside the HMAs would also be removed. The proposed gather may take place late this year or in 2016.

The preliminary EA analyzes three alternatives and is available by visiting the BLM website at: www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/red-desert.html.

The 30 day comment period runs from September 8 through October 7, 2015.

PS :: Chad and I are writing to urge them to adopt "Alternative #1" with regard to the planned 2015 / 2016 gathering of Red Desert Complex horses.

Thank you, to everybody, for following me on this journey and for your constant encouragement and support and love. These horses need all the friends they can get right now!

 

28 comments:

  1. This is incredible-- the power of your beautiful images and the force behind your words. There are some ugly truths that we'd rather not face, but ignorance is not bliss. We can still protect our wilderness areas and the creatures that inhabit them but it takes your voice, all of our voices in unison, to protect them. Let your voices be heard by writing a letter, and go a step further by supporting organizations that have the ability to challenge these monstrous practices in court. Thank you so much for being a voice for the wild horses, Lynn. Beautifully done.

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    1. Thank you for being a voice, too. For standing beside me, in person, no less.
      I couldn't have done any of this without you, Janet.
      I hope ALL our letters will make a difference in the end.
      xxxxx

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  2. Those words & photos are haunting and beautiful Lynn. We all need to let the BLM know what we think about their dastardly plan. It irks me their propaganda sounds so "for" the horses, when in reality, they are a major inconvenience to them. We can't give up or there will be no mustangs left...

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    1. I appreciate you Sheree. More than you'll ever know!
      You are well aware of what really goes on. The beauracracy, their DASTARDLY plan!!!!! Ha! Ever since I read that, I've used that word in many conversations...every single day now. I like it so much; it's really descriptive, and I love to say it.
      I even used it in MY letters to the BLM!! Hahahaha!
      Seriously tho, thanks for caring and being so involved in the fight for our Mustangs' freedom.
      xx

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  3. "A prison, you might say. All mares will be treated with PZP birth control. They will be freeze branded with a number on their necks showing that they have been treated. Another brand with big block letters HB will be visible on their left rump identifying which herd they're from. The stallions will be gelded, some will die from complications and hemorrhaging. Any horse with a deformity will be euthanized. Older horses won't have a chance to be released.'...*sigh* the Holocaust, Auschwitz, extermination camp!!!

    Judges 5:22 - “Then loud beat the horses' hoofs with the galloping, galloping of his steeds." Sweet horses, hold fast!!!

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    1. Oh, S! Thank you for that! I needed to read it. Coming straight outta the good book. Well, see? It's wrong what they're doing. Just plain wrong.
      HOLD FAST SWEET HORSES!!
      x ;)

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  4. Oh, my dear sweet sister of the prairie, This is so sad and so poignant and it just breaks my heart to hear of the impending fate of these beautiful animals. You've shared so much of their freedom and spirit, I almost feel as if I know each and every one of them.

    I am writing my letter, voicing my concern and my love for the wild mustangs of the west.

    Meanwhile, I am holding you in my heart and whispering a prayer to the gods each night that the horses will be spared.
    xx

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    1. Sagey! Don't make me cry!! (Anymore)
      So SO sweet, your genuine words and tone. I know you love them just as much as I do. You DO know them. Of course, you do because I named them!! Ha!
      Pray for Beast, Jigsaw and Bliss. Pray for Muzzle and Ghost and King. And the Three Prairie Sisters, the Black Boys, and the very special Spirit Band, the Indian painted ponies in Crooks Mountain.
      Is there, could there be, a tiny glimmer of hope?
      Xoxo

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  5. oh.no.

    my heart is breaking.
    for the horses.
    for you.

    i shall write my letter. right now.

    and, like others, i shall include the horses in my prayers.

    i love you, red dirt prairie girl.
    and i love those wild horses....

    xxO

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    1. I know. Your heart, my heart, they are cracked and breaking apart. Oh, Bernard, if only you could have seen them in person...
      I. Just. Don't. Know.
      Thank you for being there for me in all the ways you know how.
      I feel better, already.
      xxO

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  6. The day I read about this on your Flickr post, I had a hard time sleeping - it was all I could think about, and you, too. I do have a bit of encouraging news though: whichever ones are returned to the range, I don't think they will run from you. The McCullough Peaks herds were rounded up many times and I was always able to walk out very close to them. My heart breaks for them, and you, my friend.

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    1. I'm sorry that you, too, have lost sleep over this.
      Your kindness and letters and deep sadness you're feeling along with me means so very much. You are a special friend to me, Diana.
      And I suppose it is encouraging news, that perhaps when (if) I go out to Green Mountain again, they will remember "that nice lady." And not run away...too far.
      xxoo

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  7. This is so heartbreaking...I could barely read the post...I will check out the alternatives and support your choice. BLM should be ashamed for such practices...this is beyond disgusting. They should be imprisoned for animal brutality.

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    1. Oh, Mona. I wish you were a lawyer.
      With that kind of statement and attitude and absolute sincerity, I'm pretty sure we could accomplish that!!
      Wow. Thank you for WHO YOU ARE.
      You are a jewel in my life.
      xo

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  8. PG...this saddens me deeply and is so amazingly shocking and criminal....I have no words
    I feel shame
    shame that my race is so blind, so asleep, so f#&*ed!!!!!

    today I light candles for those lives...those precious wanted lives

    thank you for this beautiful post...painful as it is, this is a post of bravery and beauty and I appreciate your voice

    love and light

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    1. Hey Cat.
      Thank you for lighting candles. Thank you for being angry.
      I'm ashamed of the way people treat these wild horses,note.
      We have to stop looking at wild horse as livestock.
      Because they're not.
      Love & light as always, to you too.
      xx

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  9. My heart too is in so many pieces with yours on that prairie. I have felt as though ai have been there with your words and pictures.. You have brought the prairie to life in my home and I grieve for the loss of these beautiful ponies, their families and their suffering. Be strong my dear sweet cousin, I too feel your pain and am truly truly heartbroken with you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Their families and their suffering... You are right, Audrey.
      They will never be the same.
      I'm just sorry that this will probably happen before you get a chance to come to America again to camp with me and the beauties I've come to know.
      But, we will go up there, and spread some peace & joy and maybe, just maybe, we'll get a glimpse of a renegade stallion!!!
      xoxo

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  10. That is a real punch in the gut, right in the soul. I pray there is another way,,, the way to let them live freely. Truly, hugs to you Prairie Sister. If I'm pained to hear this I can just imagine how this affects you a million times more.

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    1. Yeah, a real gut puncher. ;) It still hurts!
      What an atrocity.
      I, too, pray they have a heart and that all the letters will make them re-think this proposed removal.
      It's a charade, I know it is. Who am I kidding. They really do not give a shit about those healthy & thriving wild horses up on Green Mountain.
      All anybody cares about around here is cows and pressure from (some) of the ranchers. Not to mention our own Governor wants them all gone.
      Thank you, prairie sis. Hugs to you across the way.
      xxxx

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  11. Thank you for your strong words and work, for your voice for the voiceless, quivering though it may be.
    Love you.

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    1. Aw Brandi...it IS a quivering! So true!
      I'm very tired from it all and I'm not giving up but I'm slowing down, from exhaustion and thinking and thinking and exerting all my energy to fighting for my horses.
      Thank you so so so so much for everything.
      Kisses to you and all your creatures!
      xo

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  12. Oh no Lynn!!! I'm just seeing this now. Oh no this is heartbreaking!!!! Trying to read through the 93 pg assessment, gack. I don't understand. What harm do they do? Is it more about them "using up" grazing land and competing w cattle industry during low rainfall??

    So obviously the "do nothing" option 3 is not a real option :( option 1 then is less intrusive bc they are returned to their land? Won't they die out if they're all given the fertility measure? Sorry for my ignorance. :/

    I feel like I just saw something on natgeo Instagram feed in past couple weeks about wild horses. I wonder if you could contact them...

    Oh this is Vicki/super pixie from Flickr btw xxxxoooo

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    1. Oh, Vicki. I'm so glad I don't have to explain it all to you....I'm happy that you got the petition and now you kind of understand. But, like I said when we talked, I will explain it more simply, in my letter.
      In the meantime, yes, your're exactly right. It's just like your dolphin situation.
      Absurd and heartless and I just can't believe the world we live in....
      xo

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  13. Ps I have some horse owner/lover friends on fb I can share this to to spread the word. Maybe I will link them here and to the gov comment page??

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  14. This is sad, sad, sad, sad, and I don't know what else to say :(

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  15. I know, I know, I know and you don't have to say any more than that. I'm positive that just knowing you care, makes a difference in my world. It truly is sad. Thank you for coming here and sharing how you feel with me, today, Clare.
    xx

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