- The Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA) is a public 501 c3 non-profit corporation. To make donations: Or send checks to: Wild Horse Observers AssociationPO Box 932Placitas, NM 87043
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PLACITAS BLM LANDS
DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
Rio Puerco Resource Management Plan Update
Summary; The Resource Management Plan Update for the Placitas BLM lands is now in its second step visible to the public. The first step was the scoping process in 2008, the BLM accepted public comments on what folks thought were the issues and concerns. The second step is their recently published Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which gives four alternatives, none of which seem to include the public’s thousands of inputs.
It does contain some BIG SCARES regarding gas, oil, and fracking which appear to be empty threats as there have been no test wells here. The real threats to Placitas BLM lands are still:
- Mining and its associated water usage
- I-40 Bypass Loop Rd Highway
- Development and associated loss of wildlife, wild life habitat, and open spaces.
WHOA’s Preliminary Comments
- Out of Scope Horses: During the Scoping process the I-40 Bypass (Loop Road), wild horses and Land Tenure Adjustment for a Wild Horse Park were all out of scope of the Scoping Process. The scoping process is over and the BLM has now put these issues in scope.
- If the BLM is now putting the horses in scope, the Scoping Process needs to be re-opened.
- The issue of the horses being legally wild, or not, is being addressed outside of this public process for a number of reasons including the round-up attempt by BLM in May of 2011.
- The Highway (I-40 Bypass or Loop Rd) through the BLM has not been addressed. During the scoping process, BLM representatives stated that they had not received the Right of Way Request (ROW) from Sandoval County which WHOA had produced. The BLM representatives also stated that inputs by Sandoval County were confidential. However, WHOA has obtained both the ROW request to the BLM and the document the BLM received, and stamped as received, from Sandoval County. This is a ROW request by Sandoval County and it was part of the scoping process and is listed as comment ML 189 Michael Springfield 1 (See Attached). It is not addressed in the DEIS. WHOA’s many requests including that in green below was also not addressed. WHOA requested: We ask that Right of Ways (ROWs) be excluded from the Unit #5 BLM area in Placitas. We specifically ask also that roads and transmission lines be excluded from the Unit #5 BLM area in Placitas.
- Cattle Grazing: Cattle Grazing, Grazing permits, and the mis-use of grazing science were discussed in public comment and beyond and has also not been addressed.
Below is a copy of Sandoval County’s Comment into the BLM Scoping Process, Requesting a Right of Way:
All the letters, blogging, and phone calls helped end this possibility for New Mexico. The final nail was the European Union (EU) rejection of US horse meat which is planned on 7/13/13.
The EU declaration saved New Mexico from this Blow to our Tourism Industry, . . . to say the very least.
The article below admits that Valley Meats of Roswell was planning to sell horse meat to the Eurpean Union (EU). However, the article did not educate the public that the EU will no longer accept our contaminated meat, not raised as food animals, to be disposed of in their people’s food supply after 7/13/12
The media keeps beating the drum on the “tens of thousands” of unwanted horses in New Mexico trying once again to push for a slaughter house apparently on Native American Lands. This article, from Aug 22nd, gives no source for these tens of thousands of horses and implies these are on Native American lands. What is the number: ten thousand, ninety thousand? Where do they get these numbers? Where are these horses? Such is the state of journalism in NM.
(Please note that Charlie Grahm of Walkin in Circles, who is quoted in this news item, was a Board Member of New Mexico Horse Council, a self proclaimed pro horse-slaughter group)
FREE FILM! – STAMPEDE TO OBLIVION
Sat July 14th @ 2:00PM
Albuquerque Main Library
501 Copper Avenue NW
By Peabody award-winning George Knapp of KLAS news.
Bring your questions! There will be discussions and a question and answer period.
With less than 500 wild horses remaining on all New Mexico’s federal lands, down from over 7,500 in 1974, and with an average of only 71 abandoned horses/yr estrayed across the entire state of New Mexico over the last 6 years, you may ask, “Where is this “Booming Population” of “feral and free roaming horses” in New Mexico? Where are the “tens of thousands” from “individual” accounts? Where are the environmental damage reports?
We do have free roaming horses in Placitas, we are the exception. When you drive through New Mexico you will rarely see a free roaming horse. More about the Placitas horses later!
The tables below will give you the real story of the roaming horse population in New Mexico. The First American Nations are not included because there has been no survey here. I have included the cattle population, not to embarrass, but to provide an educational perspective. The truth of it is, there are very few wild horses left here in New Mexico.
Horses and Cattle on NM Public Lands
|NM Land Type||
Target No. Horses
|NM State Lands||
|NM BLM LandsSocorro||
|NM FS Lands Jarita Mesa||
NM FS Lands Jicarilla
Less than 500
We have all been hearing various accounts of all the abandoned horses around the state. The table below shows the actual data printed from the New Mexico Livestock Board Estray Data Base. This table shows that over the last 6 years, the number of abandoned horses has been relatively stable, with small spikes in 2008 and 2009. This is far from a magnitude of thousands or even “tens of thousands” of horses mentioned in other articles!
NM ESTRAYS (Abandoned/Lost Domestic Horses)*
*There may be some horses that qualify as State’s wild horses that get picked up as estrays.
The table below shows the actual numbers of horses in the US which have gone to slaughter. It is important for New Mexicans to realize that there are 9 Million horses nation-wide. Of these, only 1% go to slaughter. In fact, a 2012 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners showed that 80% of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. The nationwide survey reveals that Americans oppose horse slaughter overwhelmingly.
US DOMESTIC HORSES to slaughter
Euthanaisa can cost $70. As an alternative to land fill/burial- Renders pick up the animal at your home, 10-$70.
Environmental Aspects of Horses Hooves
The NM Cattle Growers Association & New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau made statements in the last Signpost “ Horse hooves have an entirely different impact on the ground the travel than cloven hoofed animals, compacting the soil rather than breaking it.” with no supporting evidence or data referenced. Here then is another perspective by Craig Downer, Renown Wildlife Ecologist, Biologist, and author.
“Horses have soliped hooves that make them superb long-distance runners. They evolved for millions of years, mainly in North America, and contribute positively to the open-terrain ecosystems of this continent. Unlike the case with many cloven-hoofed grazers, their hooves do not cut up the soil and expose it to the destructive forces of wind and water erosion. By compacting the soil, horses actually help it resist wind and water erosion in many cases and also to retain soil moisture. As always, this depends on the horses being allowed to occupy suitably large areas and to disperse their grazing pressure over large areas, which is their nature. . .Few will acknowledge, for example, the great positive contribution made by horse feces in building rich, moist and nutrient-laden soils and in seeding many plant species.
There are four legal categories of horses here in New Mexico.
- Wild Horses protected under the federal 1971 Act, present and unclaimed in 1971.
- NM States Wild Horses protected under the New Mexico State statute 77-18-5. 
- Domestic horses which as Livestock are exempt from protection under the Animal Cruelty Law of NM. 
- Estrays which are domestic horses with unknown owner are exempted from protection as Livestock in New Mexico. 
Terms used such as feral, have no legal definition. No amount of feeding, or “taming”, could change any of the legal designations of a horse. Feral refers to a specie being progeny of domestic animals at some point in time. Feral also seems to imply, that the Placitas horses are not legally wild.
Spanish or Not – This is culturally significant though not legally significant. Placitas horses have been DNA tested showing a large percentage of Spanish markers, see Signpost Article by Margo DeMello.
GAO reports abound on Equine Issues and The Humane Slaughter Act. These reports overall, and individually, state two basic facts/recommendations regarding horses and slaughter; I. The recommendation to end horse slaughter. II. 13.2 Million acres of Public lands legally designated as Wild Horse Areas in 1971have been zeroed out.
The Placitas Horses – Questions of the Day!
Yes, we do have free roaming horses in many areas of Placitas.
Fencing- WHOA has had them fenced out of La Mesa, Sundance, Los Ranchos subdivisions, a La Farge Pit, and many homes in Placitas. Last summer WHOA worked with San FelipePueblo to fence the horses out of the East side of I25 Algodonas, thus keeping them off the dead ended frontage road there. San Felipe also fixed their entire fence line along the BLM lands in Placitas.
Water- WHOA does help supply water for the horses along with many Placitans.
Feeding – All wildlife should be observed from afar and respected for mutual safety. Even horses raised in captivity can learn to bite and kick. Please don’t teach a wild horse to eat from your hand, even and especially the babies. WHOA discourages any feeding from the hand or pockets as this emboldens a horse rather than teaching or maintaining necessary boundaries important for their own future. WHOA has historically discouraged feeding. That said, the authorities have essentially blocked WHOA from managing their population through immuno-contraception, our population has grown and a warm dry summer is upon us.
Population Management – Neither round-ups nor population control by contraception would be required in nature. However the US Dept of Ag spends $100 million/yr killing off predators utilizing sodium cyanide banned in other countries. That cost is more than is spent on the entire Wild Horse and Burro program 75.7 million/yr. Add to that trappings, hunting, lengthening hunting seasons here in NM for New Mexico’s Bears and Cougars, and nature may need a hand with immuno-contraceptives. WHOA participated in the protest for Bear Watch just this week.
Lawsuit Status – WHOA filed suit May 2011 against the Department of the Interior (BLM) and a private citizen. All briefs have been filed and responded to and we are now waiting for a ruling from the judge. We expect that there will be a ruling towards the end of the summer.
FREE FILM! – STAMPEDE TO OBLIVION Sat July 14th @ 2:00PM – Albuquerque Main Library – 501 Copper Avenue NW – 505.768.5141. By Peabody award-winning George Knapp of KLAS news. Bring your questions! There will be discussions and a question and answer period.
 Target numbers are from the Environmental Assessments. Populations vary around these targets. Targets doubled = less than 500.
 Ninth Report to Congress on Administration of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act USDOI BLM, USDA Forest Service
 NMLB Data Base query through a Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA) Inspection of Public Records request.
 Calculated from NM State Lands grazing revenue of $5.910,144 Million divided by $2.88/per month per cow using 12 months. Revenue and grazing fee from Karin Stangl Assistant Commissioner of Communications New Mexico State Lands Office. Note; 84% is utilized for education. K.S. Most grazing is for cultural purposes. Ray Powell.
 http://www.blm.gov/public_land_statistics/pls10/pls10_combined.pdf Divided Total AUM’s by conservative 10 months grazing.
 USDA statistics courtesy of Darrell Charlton, Jr. and Equine Welfare Alliance.
 http://www.conwaygreene.com/nmsu/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-hit-h.htm&2.0 Statutes, Rules and Const./NMSA (Unannotated)/CHAPTER 77 Animals and Livestock /ARTICLE 18 General Animal Regulations /77-18-5. Wild horses
 NM State Statute 30-18-1.I Cruelty to animals; penalties; exceptions
 http://www.conwaygreene.com/nmsu/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-hit-h.htm&2.0 Statutes, Rules and Const./NMSA (Unannotated)/CHAPTER 77 Animals and Livestock /ARTICLE 2 Livestock Board /77-2-1.1.
 http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0977.pdf GAO-09-77 “… the BLM owned acreage managed for wild horses and burros has changed from 42.2 million acres to 29.0 million acres, a difference of 13.2 million acres.” Pg. 88
Why Not Ban Horse Slaughter in NM by Executive Order?
“. . . I believe creating a horse slaughtering industry in New Mexico is wrong and I am strongly opposed,”
However, since at least June of 2011, the Martinez Administration has lobbied the NM State Legislature strongly in favor of horse slaughter (for human consumption). The Executive Director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, lobbied to the NM State Legislature in June 2011:
“. . . the major reason for the increase in unwanted horses is the close of the slaughterhouses. . . Without slaughter, many horses face less humane treatment and death.”
Is she not aware of her administration’s actions? Really?
The Martinez administration recently has shown a strong negative bias against wild horses, as well as domestic:
• While the Livestock Board has come under fire for alleged abuses at the Dennis Chavez South West Auction house, the New Mexico State Veterinarian has now come under investigation for his own actions at Monero Mustangs Wild Horse Sanctuary.
• New Mexico State Veterinarian also recently stated at a meeting at the Albuquerque Public Library:
“The Placitas Horses are not wild. . . and someday they are going to be mine!”
Though Governor Martinez claims to be working to improve New Mexico’s image and Tourism prospects, she has not advertised the three Wild, federal Horse Territories in New Mexico for Clean Eco-Tourism, nor does she advertise any of the three privately operated wild horse preserves in New Mexico. This failure results in a huge loss to our tourism industry, New Mexicoâs largest private sector employer and second largest source of revenue, second only to Oil and Gas.
The Governor’s administration has also shown a strong negative bias towards wild horse population management by means of immunocontraceptive vaccine, native PZP opting by default for eradication of the horses, along with the eradication of their natural predators, the mountain lions, bears, and wolves. The jaguars, of course, are already gone.
In what can only be assumed to be a misinformed or mistaken statement, the New Mexico State Veterinarian recently told the Monero Mustangs wild horse preserve in beautiful Tierra Amarilla, NM that “PZP is illegal in the State of New Mexico, and must be delivered by a Veterinarian”. This statement is patently false as individuals certified by Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, at the Zoo Montana Science Center, may administer PZP with a permit from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Why Not a Horse Slaughter Ban in NM, Governor Martinez?
1. Sale of horse meat (wild or domestic) for human consumption in the United States is illegal, as horses receive medicines not made for food animals.
2. States have the right to Ban Horse Slaughter as California and others have done.
3. In 2007, New Mexico passed WHOA’s Wild Horse anti-horse slaughter bill, SB655, carried by the Honorable Senator Steve Komadina, which defined âwild horse,â and banned their sale, auction, or slaughter.
NM Attorney General Gary King – Also Against Horse Slaughter. . . Again, Really?
“A horse slaughtering plant in Roswell is a terrible idea,” said New Mexico Attorney General Gary King. “Such a practice, while not illegal, is certainly abhorrent to public sentiment, and I strongly suggest it be abandoned. I come from a ranching family but processing horses for food was never part of the plan for raising livestock. Horses are different and should be treated differently.”
Gary King states above that “horses are different” than cattle and “should be treated differently.”
OK Then, Gary – Why Are Horses Still Exempt From the Animal Cruelty Laws of New Mexico?
Horses are exempted from the NM Animal Cruelty Law just like cattle, as are ALL “Livestock”. Where is Gary King’s call for an executive order stating that horses should not be exempt from the Animal Cruelty Law in New Mexico? What is Gary King doing to make slaughter illegal for horses in New Mexico?
Is Horse Slaughter Abusive? Or is it Humane Euthanasia? You Decide
All the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports on slaughter in the US have highlighted egregious practices. The most recent report has even suggested a ban on horse slaughter contrary to its false promotion as a pro-slaughter report. The 2004 GAO Report to Congress on the Humane Slaughter Act states that “Ineffective stunning and Conscious animal” is the #1 violation found in slaughter houses.
The 2010 GAO Report to Congress on the Humane Slaughter Act
“Multiple unsuccessful captive bolt stuns Multiple misplaced electrical stuns. . . FSIS also does not have a current workforce planning strategy for allocating limited staff to inspection activities, including HMSA enforcement. FSIS has strategic, operational, and performance plans for its inspection activities but does not clearly outline goals, needed resources, time frames, or performance metrics and does not have a comprehensive strategy to guide HMSA enforcement. “
The 2010 GAO Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter. What GAO Recommends :
“GAO suggests that Congress may wish to reconsider restrictions on the use of federal funds to inspect horses for slaughter or, instead, consider a permanent ban on horse slaughter. GAO recommends that USDA issue a final rule to protect horses through more of the transportation chain to slaughter and consider ways to better leverage resources for compliance activities.”
“Leveraging resources for compliance activities” will cost tax payers much more than it could possibly benefit them, even if it were likely that compliance activities would be properly funded. It is clear from the GAO reports through time, that regardless of the regime, unconscionable abuse at slaughter houses will continue.
Popular (ie successfully promulgated) Misconceptions:
• The 2010 GAO Report listed above is being misleadingly promoted by pro-slaughter advocates including the Executive Director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, as suggesting that slaughter plants need to re-open in order to solve the “unwanted horse issue in this economy”. However, this report clearly shows that horses headed for slaughter need more protections en-route and more protections against conscious slaughter, and which they are not likely to receive. And, moreover, that a BAN on slaughter would resolve all of these issues.
• The US slaughter ban caused horses to go to Mexico where slaughter is unregulated; – Horses were going to slaughter in Mexico, through New Mexico, and other states, prior to the closure of domestic slaughter plants.
• Due to the economy the need for horse slaughter has increased. No excuse for abuse here. Utilizing veterinary assisted euthanasia and rendering service totals about $185, just $35 dollars more than the cost to keep your horse one more month as it costs about $150 per month to maintain a horse at your own home.
o Horses can be sold, given away, or euthanized by a vet for a mere $70. Trip fee if needed, is $45.
o The renderer will pick up your dead horse or cow for a fee of 10 to $ 70.
o Crematories will pick up, and cremate your horse.
o Horses in rural areas can be humanly shot in the head.
o For ranching type or large industries, composting is a cheaper alternative than rendering.
o Some landfills accept dead animals.
• Wild Horses are competition for the US Cattle Industry. Beef Imports, not wild horses, are the real competition for the US Cattle Industry. “U.S. livestock producers face strong competition from Canada and Mexico in domestic livestock and meat markets, causing some livestock producers to question the wisdom of the NAFTA, which opened our markets to competition from the North and South.”
Governor Martinez and Attorney General King have the power to take immediate action against having New Mexico become “The Land of Dismemberment”, “The Land of Disenchantment”. Perhaps they are already working on this, as the Wild Horse Observers Association in NM has recently proposed again. We wait for decisive action, not just “feel good” words from leadership.
- Please ask Governor Martinez to issue an Executive Order against Horse Slaughter in NM.
- Please ask Governor Martinez and Attorney General Gary King to change the NM Animal Cruelty law so that horses are not exempted from it as Livestock.
Governor Martinez- Phone: (505) 476-2200
Attorney General Gary King – Phone: (505) 827-6000
This is not a political issue-it is a matter of common decency.
Martin Luther King Jr. “Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well being of a person or an animal is at stake . . . ”
Horses are Slaughtered (live) for human consumption, not dog food. Horse Flesh is not approved by the US FDA for human consumption. This is because horses are not raised as food animals and are given medicines and wormers which are neither safe or approved for human consumption.
Torture is Legal in New Mexico
There is no law protecting horses against abuse in New Mexico. Horses are EXEMPT from the New Mexico Animal Cruelty Law.
Yes, You Can:
. . . Poke your horse’s eyes out, and leave him to suffer in New Mexico.
Anything Goes In New Mexico!
New Mexicans ARE clearly opposed to the unbelievable cruelties perpetrated on horses as discovered by Animals Angels at the Southwest Auction house in Los Lunas, New Mexico recently reported in the New York Times and the Albuquerque Journal.
However, Governor Martinez and Attorney General Gary King seem complicit by their lack of action.
Is this because their administration has been lobbying for a Horse Slaughter Plant?
Might protections for horses interfere?
Below are the relevant State of New Mexico statutes regarding Animal Cruelty (emphasis added to the portions directly related to horses and their general exemption from Animal Cruelty statutes):
2011 NMSA 1978 (unannotated)/NMSA 1978 (unannotated)/CHAPTER 30 Criminal Offenses /ARTICLE 18 Animals /30-18-1. Cruelty to animals; extreme cruelty to animals;
30-18-1. Cruelty to animals; extreme cruelty to animals; penalties; exceptions.
A. As used in this section, “animal” does not include insects or reptiles.
B. Cruelty to animals consists of a person:
(1) negligently mistreating, injuring, killing without lawful justification or tormenting an animal; or
(2) abandoning or failing to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person’s custody or control.
C. As used in Subsection B of this section, “lawful justification” means:
(1) humanely destroying a sick or injured animal; or
(2) protecting a person or animal from death or injury due to an attack by another animal.
D. Whoever commits cruelty to animals is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978. Upon a fourth or subsequent conviction for committing cruelty to animals, the offender is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.
E. Extreme cruelty to animals consists of a person:
(1) intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring or poisoning an animal; or
(2) maliciously killing an animal.
F. Whoever commits extreme cruelty to animals is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.
G. The court may order a person convicted for committing cruelty to animals to participate in an animal cruelty prevention program or an animal cruelty education program. The court may also order a person convicted for committing cruelty to animals or extreme cruelty to animals to obtain psychological counseling for treatment of a mental health disorder if, in the court’s judgment, the mental health disorder contributed to the commission of the criminal offense. The offender shall bear the expense of participating in an animal cruelty prevention program, animal cruelty education program or psychological counseling ordered by the court.
H. If a child is adjudicated of cruelty to animals, the court shall order an assessment and any necessary psychological counseling or treatment of the child.
I. The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(1) fishing, hunting, falconry, taking and trapping, as provided in Chapter 17 NMSA 1978;
(2) the practice of veterinary medicine, as provided in Chapter 61, Article 14 NMSA 1978;
(3) rodent or pest control, as provided in Chapter 77, Article 15 NMSA 1978;
(4) the treatment of livestock and other animals used on farms and ranches for the production of food, fiber or other agricultural products, when the treatment is in accordance with commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practices;
(5) the use of commonly accepted Mexican and American rodeo practices, unless otherwise prohibited by law;
(6) research facilities licensed pursuant to the provisions of 7 U.S.C. Section 2136, except when knowingly operating outside provisions, governing the treatment of animals, of a research or maintenance protocol approved by the institutional animal care and use committee of the facility; or
(7) other similar activities not otherwise prohibited by law.
J. If there is a dispute as to what constitutes commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practices or commonly accepted rodeo practices, the New Mexico livestock board shall hold a hearing to determine if the practice in question is a commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practice or commonly accepted rodeo practice.
Authors note: The provision J. above is a subjective determination made by the Livestock Board which has no equine advocates who are not connected with the horses industry ie making money from horses. Use of provision J. is slow, prejudiced against horses and appears legally ineffective against friends and associates of the Livestock Board.
2011 NMSA 1978 (unannotated)/NMSA 1978(unannotated)/CHAPTER77 Animals and Livestock /ARTICLE 2 Livestock Board /77-2-1.1Definitions. (2001)
As used in The Livestock Code:
A. “animals” or “livestock” means all domestic or domesticated animals that are used or raised on a farm or ranch, including the carcasses thereof, and exotic animals in captivity and includes horses, asses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, bison, poultry, ostriches, emus, rheas, camelids and farmed cervidae upon any land in New Mexico; provided that for the purposes of Chapter 77, Article 9 NMSA 1978, “animals” or “livestock” have the meaning defined in that article. “Animals” or “livestock” does not include canine or feline animals. For the purpose of the rules governing meat inspection, wild animals, poultry and birds used for human consumption shall also be included within the meaning of “animals” or “livestock”;
For more back ground information: NM Governor Susana Martinez- Against Horse Slaughter . . . Really?
1. Please ask that Governor Martinez issue an Executive Order against Horse Slaughter in NM.
2. Please ask that Governor Martinez and Attorney General Gary King change the NM Animal Cruelty law so that horses are not exempted from it as Livestock.
Governor Martinez- Phone: (505) 476-2200
Attorney General Gary King – Phone: (505) 827-6000
This is not a political issue-it is a matter of common decency.
WHOA has worked with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NM DOT) to provide needed Wildlife Corridor Signage for the mountain community of Placitas, NM. Among the wildlife to watch out for (at night especially) are mountain lions, bears, deer, bobcats, coyotes, and wild horses. There are even occasional porcupines, prairie dogs, and wild turkeys.
The DOT agreed to either a yellow diamond-shaped caution sign with the picture of a wild horse or a yellow diamond-shaped wildlife corridor caution sign. WHOA chose the wildlife corridor caution sign, so as to include information regarding all of the wildlife in Placitas, NM. WHOA has provided additional signage regarding the wild horses and the DOT has provided additional signage regarding the deer.
WHOA has also given a proposal for assistance with management of the Placitas Wild Horses to the appropriate agencies. There has been no official response.
Placitans continue to show strong support and take great pride in the Placitas Wild Horses as well as all the wildlife that grace this area and its beautiful open spaces.
Please stop and see the Wildlife Corridor Mural at the Recycle Center at the entrance of Placitas on the North side of RT 165. The mosaic mural project “Protect Our Wildlife Corridors”, depicts much of the Placitas wildlife and flora. This is an ongoing project of “Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM”, (a 501 c3), which has been co-coordinated by Laura Robbins (Foothills Studio) and Cirrelda Snider-Brian (Pot Hollow Studio) with the participation of literally hundreds of adults and school children from around the region.
The State of NM rightfully filed a charge of criminal trespass against the “perpetrator” (see below) for criminal trespass on posted private property and release of “the Placitas 8″. However, in the January 2012 issue the Sandoval County Signpost chose to publicly name this “perpetrator”. See http://www.sandovalsignpost.com/jan12/html/around_town.html.
WHOA decided this public “naming” in our small community of Placitas would likely stop any future criminal activity and therefore requested the sheriff’s department drop the charges. Hence the case was dismissed. Our thanks to the Sheriff in both cases. Our further thanks to the NM Livestock Board for verifying and certifying the Placitas 8 as Livestock (privately owned) prior to legal transport to their new home at Monero Mustangs Sanctuary in Northern NM.
(This post is in response to another misleading Albuquerque Journal article, which was entitled “HORSES ON THE LOOSE” and published on September 4, 2011)
The eight (8) horses mentioned and previously on the road in the Village of Placitas were the property of a Placitan. They were legally Livestock. WHOA worked with the owner, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Livestock Board to lawfully and safely remove these (8) horses and have taken them to safe haven. Local Placitans stopped by constantly to help with hay, water, tanks, money, even their land and man power, to capture, guard, and then even recapture these owned horses.
Two individuals with a development interest in a Loop Rd (I-40 bypass connecting I-25 to RT 14 through Placitas) harassed WHOA volunteers repeatedly, crossed the “No Tresspassing” signs, and one released these captured horses back out onto Camino de Las Huertas. A WHOA volunteer witnessed this Act and attempted to stop this action.
The perpetrater then even wrote a letter to the Signpost proudly admitting to this criminal act. WHOA has obtained this letter and a statement from the eyewitness and has asked the Sheriff’s Department to charge this individual with criminal trespass and harassment.
The perpetrator would have you believe that she just wanted these owned horses to be free. However, the two individuals were working toward causing an accident on Camino de Las Huertas that would be blamed on the Wild Horses of Placitas. Development interests and the Albuquerque Journal appear to be working overtime to cause a round up before WHOA can win in court.
What Can You Do?
- Please ask Sheriff Doug Wood to press charges on the perpetrator of this Act which intentionally tried to endanger Placitans and the horses they love by illegally releasing these horses. (The police report is available upon request)
- Drop your subscription to Albuquerque Journal
Please note: There are no horses in the neighborhoods of Terra or East Algodones (2 miles North of 165) as San Felipe and WHOA together fenced them out of those neighborhoods. WHOA also fenced them out of La Mesa, Sundance, Los Ranchos, and Santa Ana. WHOA believes that the complaints referenced in this article are mostly old complaints from other neighborhoods where WHOA has already resolved any issue. WHOA has therefore requested copies of all complaints. Also, these quotes from Sheriff Wood we believe were taken long ago, before WHOA resolved the issue.