Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wildish Podcast: The unsexy burro

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Episode Five: In Arizona, two incarcerated men rehabilitate wild donkeys for adoption.

Anna Coburn AUDIO
Sept. 17, 2020

From High Country News in collaboration with Alan Wartes Media, Wildish is a six-part podcast series that chronicles the complicated world of wild horse management in the Western United States. Wildish is meant to confound you. It does not offer a simple solution to one of the region’s most intractable natural resource conundrums. It is a serial on humans. You’ll hear from the activists who ache for freedom — for the wild horse to be wild — and from those who flinch at the mythology attached to the species. You’ll also get to know some of the well-meaning people inside the Bureau of Land Management, the agency stuck in the middle, faced with balancing the horse as a relic of the Wild West with its undeniable impacts on the modern Western landscape.

Wild horses get most of the attention, but donkeys have problems, too. A special kind of mutual rehabilitation is unfolding behind the scenes in the much less sexy world of wild burros. With few resources and very little funding, the Bureau of Land Management has turned to prisons to train wild horses and donkeys for adoption. Wildish host Anna Coburn visits an adoption program inside an Arizona prison, where two incarcerated men train burros with carts and saddles, preparing the animals for adoption. It is hard and dangerous work, with a lot of kicks and bites and even broken legs involved, but the men who do it have come to love the “Donk Life.” They currently work five days a week with the animals. “You don’t even feel like you’re in prison when you come out here,” said Daykota Varner, who is serving his sentence at the Arizona State Prison. “It almost feels like you’re free.”

Read more and listen at:
https://www.hcn.org/articles/south-wildish-podcast-the-unsexy-burro

Friday, September 11, 2020

Wildish Podcast: Why helicopter gathers are so controversial

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Episode Four: The risks inherent in the Bureau of Land Management’s ‘most humane’ method of wild horse removal.

Anna Coburn
Sept 10 2020

From High Country News in collaboration with Alan Wartes Media, Wildish is a six-part podcast series that chronicles the complicated world of wild horse management in the Western United States. Wildish is meant to confound you. It does not offer a simple solution to one of the region’s most intractable natural resource conundrums. It is a serial on humans. You’ll hear from the activists who ache for freedom — for the wild horse to be wild — and from those who flinch at the mythology attached to the species. You’ll also get to know some of the well-meaning people inside the Bureau of Land Management, the agency stuck in the middle, faced with balancing the horse as a relic of the Wild West with its undeniable impacts on the modern Western landscape.

The Bureau of Land Management’s most controversial population control tactics are the helicopter gathers, which sometimes end up killing the horses involved. New legislation has been passed to increase wild horse gathers and offer funding to a new sterilization method for wild horses and burros. Wildish host Anna Coburn attends a helicopter gather in Range Creek, Utah, and speaks to Gus War, a wild horse and burro specialist, and public affairs specialist Lisa Reid, two BLM lead employees, about the gathers, their jobs and their hopes for the program. We also hear from Ginger Kathrens, the founder of the Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group that is fighting to allow wild horses to stay on the range...

Read more and listen:
https://www.hcn.org/articles/south-wildish-podcast-why-helicopter-gathers-are-so-controversial

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Wildish Podcast: Australia’s wild horse conundrum parallels the West’s

HCN.org Wildish Podcast - Listen

Episode Three: The ‘Brumbies’ are protected, but their abundance has degraded the land Down Under and sparked heated debate.

Anna Coburn
Sept. 3, 2020

From High Country News in collaboration with Alan Wartes Media, Wildish is a six-part podcast series that chronicles the complicated world of wild horse management in the Western United States. Wildish is meant to confound you. It does not offer a simple solution to one of the region’s most intractable natural resource conundrums. It is a serial on humans. You’ll hear from the activists who ache for freedom — for the wild horse to be wild — and from those who flinch at the mythology attached to the species. You’ll also get to know some of the well-meaning people inside the Bureau of Land Management, the agency stuck in the middle, faced with balancing the horse as a relic of the Wild West with its undeniable impacts on the modern Western landscape.

Human attempts to rein in the population of wild horses and burros give rise to a stubborn syntactical challenge: Are these animals truly wild — or something else? “They fall through the cracks,” says Tammy Colt, wildlife biologist. And this paradox is not unique to the United States. Brumbies, Australia’s wild horses, are as controversial Down Under as mustangs are in the Western U.S. Wildish host Anna Coburn speaks with Lacey Salabye, senior extension agent with the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture, about the overpopulation problem and the controversy it’s causing on the reservation. We also meet Laura Wilson, a young woman who grew in Riverina, Australia, where she frequently encountered wild Brumbies when she rode her own horse in the Snowy Mountains National Park.

Read more and listen:
https://www.hcn.org/articles/south-wildish-podcast-australias-wild-horse-conundrum-parallels-the-wests

BLM to increase wild horse gathers in coming year

Larisa Bogardus/BLM photo Wildlife.org - Full Article By Laura Bies January 20, 2022 The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will increase...