What’s Wrong with the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program? LOTS!

20 Apr

While reading Necktag #5846 profile information on the bidding page I realized she was a a young foal when captured and now has spent 5.5 years in short term holding. As I reviewed the Elm Creek, Nebraska photo gallery, I noticed some of the horses available for internet adoption auction had been in short term holding facilities all their lives, 6 years for some while others were “born in a holding facility” and some of these did not indicate which holding facility or the HMA of origin.
It is annoying that they can’t keep good records about the cattle grazing on public lands, or have solid data on the numbers of horses and burros still running free so it’s not new that the Wild Horse and Burro Program cannot track foals in holding pens and know their HMA of origin. Or, maybe they do know but can’t recall or find the missing data? It doesn’t help that any foals born in a holding facility aren’t counted if they are under 6 months old. And if they die, they still don’t count! Yet vetting, food and care during the first six months of their lives is still paid for via tax dollars. What a way to run a federal program! They don’t count everything we pay for….


Gray 6  old mare from Lost Creek (Cyclone Rim) Herd Management Area

Gray 6 old mare from Lost Creek (Cyclone Rim) Herd Management Area

For the past few weeks, I’ve been checking the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Internet Adoption pages to see what horses are there and prepare to make some tweets in advance for more exposure to find homes for the wild horses and burros. However, this isn’t easy or quick to do because there are no social media share buttons on their pages!

I’ve used lots of federal government pages and really don’t recall whether all of them had social media share buttons or not but many do…especially those government agencies and departments that realize the tax payers are funding it all and have the right to know how  money is spent. Poor data collection prevents the public from getting information paid by tax dollars. Does the BLMWHB program use some of their budget (approx. $80 Million) on social media marketing? If the BLM wants to improve their adoption rates, it’s a no-brainer that the photo galleries and profile pages should be updated to include social media sharing buttons and modify their settings/code that includes a photo page and not their logo.
When the photo gallery for a specific horse is shared by copy/pasting the link to facebook, the photo of the horse does not appear. BLM logo shows up instead?  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon or a social media marketing specialist to know that PHOTOGRAPHS and VIDEOS catch peoples’ attention! Photographs are compelling…the BLM logo isn’t.
There are two ways to solve this problem and both of them take a lot more time to do.
One way is to download a copy the photo of the horse you want to share and reload it up to facebook, instagram or twitter with enough information about the horse and a link back to that’s horses gallery. Ideally, the info that should be included in the tweet or facebook post are the Necktag number, color, sex, age, holding facility caring for the horse or burro, the HMA it came from AND a link to the auction profile page of that horse.  All this information is quite a bit, but fine if it’s a facebook post. However, Twitter only allow 140 characters and spaces per tweet.
The other method is to copy a link of the enlarged version of one of the photographs of the horse (or burro) from their respective gallery and then add a link to the bidding page where all the information about that animal is located. However, those are just links so description informative text must be added that it’s easily searchable such as sex, age, holding facility and the HMA the horse came from in order for the facebook post or tweet to be able to be found and read by a potential adopter.
When I have visited BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro facebook page to see what adoption auction horses they have shared only to discover 5 maybe 6 photographs with no information about the horses or a link to the appropriate horse profile page. Not all people are proficient enough to find that horse, or any other horse in the photo galleries available since the galleries are not searchable. The only alternative is to scroll through each and every horse available for that internet auction…tedious and time-consuming indeed!
It’s evident that BLM Wild Horse and Burro program fails in social marketing skills … just add that to the long list of failures including the lack of keeping accurate public data available.  Why is it it that many of the horses that were “born in a holding facility” do not indicate the HMA of the foals dam? How can a horse have a capture date that predates the existence of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program? Go see Necktag 3878 on Fallon NV photo galleries page HERE or Necktag 5104 also at Fallon.

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Internet Adoption Event Starts April 21, 2015

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro holding facilities participating in the internet adoption auction event starting April 21 that have been tweeted thus far can be found by using these hashtags (I’ve added some observations as well) click the hashtags to go directly to twitter to see all the tweets using that hashtag.‪
#‎BLMWildHorseAdopt  . . . for all the tweets for this internet adoption event.
#‎MantleRanch‬ . . . 2 young horses with some training and 2 jennies who are best friends from ‪#‎CibolaTrigoAZ‬)
#‎BLMFallonNV ‬. . . Two 46-year-old horses born in holding and lots of young horses 6 years old or younger #BornInHolding … their whole life has been spent in a holding pen. For some or all of them they could be on their third strike.
#‎DeltaUT‬ . . . all horses are from Sulpher Springs, UT: 3 mares are PZP’d; 9 sale authority studs (gelding optional); 2 Studs 25 years old; 2 studs 20 years old
‪#‎RidgecrestCA . . . . .‬ many horses #BornInHolding may be on their last strike!
‪#‎ElmCreekNE ‬. . . . . All the horses are listed as 13.2H ( coincidence … or sloppy record keeping?); many 4, 5 and 6 year olds ‪#‎BornInHolding‬
 #PaulsValleyOK . . .  has not uploaded any photos yet (Sunday night 9:30pm)

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