|Action Alert: Cloud's Echo
"It's Not Too Late to Help Me Live Free"
Dear Friends of Cloud and Echo;
A pale palomino was born on the Pryor Mountains in April of 2010. I named him Echo for obvious reasons. The colt was a spitfire from the get-go like his famous grandfather, Cloud. You can feel the magic when you are around this dynamic, bold colt—dangerously bold at times as he challenges older horses and even courted a young filly from Morning Star’s family.
Echo is the embodiment of Cloud, which we fear may ultimately work against him. By capturing and removing Echo, BLM managers may hope to erase the memory of Cloud, once the proud stallion is no longer alive (although we hope that will not be for many years). We hope you will help us keep Cloud’s legacy alive and the ongoing tale of family and freedom he inspired. Please help Echo and his young friends live free in their Pryor Mountain home.
Comments are due tomorrow, Friday, January 20. BLM plans to remove at least half of all the 1-3 year olds—30 young Pryor mustangs. But, the Herd Area Management Plan (HMAP) 2009, under which this removal action is tiered, says this:
Some, like Echo and Jewel, his buckskin half-sister, represent rare and unique colors.
“Manage to maintain rare or unusual (for the Pryors) colors”
“Manage to prevent bloodlines from being eliminated”
Velvet, Echo, and Jewel (Photo by Pam Nickoles)
Some, like Echo, represent the only offspring of their line. Echo’s mother is the only daughter of the now deceased band stallion, Mateo. Bolder represents the only offspring on the mountain of the mare Pococeno.
Please urge BLM to follow their own directives!
Many, like Echo, are still nursing because their mother’s did not have a foal in 2011 (only 17 foals are alive on the mountain – the smallest foal crop in over 30 years).
Our comments argue numerous reasons not to do this drastic action including:
We urge you to recommend the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE. Letters must be postmarked by Friday, January 20. BLM is accepting emails (BLM_MT_Billings_FO@blm.gov) on this topic until close of business hours on Friday (4:30 pm MST). Physical mail to: Jim Sparks, BLM Billings Field Manager, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101.
Open the 3,650 acre Administrative Pastures at the bottom of the mountain. BLM has the legal authority to do this. They were closed temporarily in the 1980s to allow for horseback roundups that have not occurred since 1994. This would allow for 10 more horses to occupy the range.
Allow for other non-removal alternatives already in place to take full effect (PZP, water cachements, etc).
Send your letter mail or email to the Billings Field Office. Even if you have contacted BLM on this issue, you may want to use some of the points made in our comments and write or email again.
Two week-old Cloud (left). Two week-old Echo (right).