On Monday, October 11th, BLM’s White River Field Office began round-up operations southeast of the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (PEDC HMA) in the heart of Colorado’s oil and gas-rich Piceance Basin. Statistics from the agency’s website , set up to track gather operations, are updated each evening but by the end of the second day, discrepancies were evident.
On Monday night, BLM reported 13 horses captured. Tuesday night, at the close of the second day of operations, only 12 were listed as the total captured for both days. On Wednesday morning, as our caravan of press and observers prepared to head up to the trap site, BLM public relations specialist, Vanessa Delgado, stated that there had been a mix-up and Tuesday’s numbers were correct.
So, if Tuesday’s numbers were right, why did Wednesday night’s total come to 21 when only 3 were captured that day? Delgado replied on Thursday that there were only three people who were authorized to update the website, including herself, and might have been too busy to get around to it.
Six horses were captured on Thursday for a grand total of 27, by BLM’s calculations. By Friday’s end, the total was 31, which meant that 4 had been caught. According to the website, 8 were captured on Saturday, bringing the total to 39 removed from outside the P-EDC HMA. But, let’s back up for a minute.
If Tuesday’s grand total of 12 was correct, Wednesday should have shown a grand total of 15 removed in the first three days of the round-up. Add Thursday’s 6 and you get 21. Add Friday’s 4 and the total should come to 25. Saturday’s 8 brings it to 33 – not 39. Eight animals may not sound like a lot but in this case, BLM’s count could be off by 20 – 24%. At the very least, there is no explanation for the sudden change of totals in the early part of the week.
If BLM stands by the accuracy of its statistics, it should clear up the discrepancies and show the public how it reached these totals. Vague responses to valid questions are not the kind of transparency the public expects.
Stay tuned…and, thanks for listening.