The BLM says NO photos allowed of Wyoming Checkerboard horses at Canon City wild horse adoption on November 7


A beautiful family near Eversole Ranch days before being removed

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

As many of you know, I have spent the past 10 years photographing the wild horses in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin, and I also spent many days during the Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup witnessing and photographing from very far away as 1263 wild horses lost their freedom and their families from these three herd areas.

The public was prevented from any close views of the traps or the horses during the roundups, usually being kept from 2 – 3 miles from the trap, and even when were allowed to go to the temporary holding at the end of the day, we were kept well back and could barely see the horses through the plastic mesh.


My very distant view at the roundup


The mesh blocking the view of the horses at temporary holding

On one day, some of the mesh was down and I actually got a decent view of the mares.  On posting these photos I immediately had someone interested in adopting two of the mares in the photographs.


The mares through a gap in the fence at temporary holding

On returning home from the last day of the roundup, I immediately emailed the BLM at the Canon City, Colorado facility to request to attend the first adoption where the public would be allowed to see the horses removed during the Checkerboard Roundup.  I was very happy to hear that at least half of the horses removed had been sent to Canon City as I believe it is the best short term holding facility that the BLM has.  The employees are knowledgeable and care very much about the horses, and they take very good care of the horses.  They are also very good to work with regarding adoptions, and I found that out for myself when I adopted my mustang Mica.

I also requested to be allowed to photograph the horses so that I might be able to post photographs of the horses that are there and to help get as many of them adopted as possible, as I have many people waiting on those photographs from me.  I said that I was willing to give the BLM copies of all my photos to help them get these horses adopted.  I even mentioned that I was prepared to pay the commercial fee to be allowed to photograph there, since Canon City has special rules regarding photographing since it is at a prison.  I had been allowed to photograph in 2010 when I adopted my mustang Mica after the 2010 Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek roundups.


Mica and the other weanlings at Canon City in 2010

Since I am a professional photographer of horses, I am able to get high quality images that will put the horses in their best light.  I have a very large social media following and the images would go out widely.  Photos get people involved, get people interested, motivate them to take action.  If the BLM were really interested in getting these horses placed, I believe they would allow photographs of the horses to be taken.

Instead this is the email response that I received:

“In regards to your camera request for November 7, 2014, I have had numerous requests to bring in cameras to photograph the horses.  Per Department of Corrections Administrative Regulations, no cameras are allowed on grounds for security reasons.  We do make exceptions, but with so many requests for this adoption, it is not fair to the others to see some people with cameras when they were denied.

I think it is in the best interest for the BLM and CCi that we do not allow any cameras on 11/07/2014.”

Notice that nothing is said about the best interests of the horses.

And doesn’t it make sense that if so many people want to photograph these horses,  that no one be allowed to photograph them.

I truly believe that if the BLM could find a way, they would prevent me from photographing the horses in the wild as well.

Oh wait, if they remove all of them, then that is exactly what they will be doing.






Report Compiled by:
Jesica Johnston, Environmental Scientist
Lisa LeBlanc, Environmental Researcher
Kathy Gregg, Environmental Researcher
Photographs by Jesica Johnston


Wild Burros


Wild horses and burros are different from their domestic cousins. Wild equines have to continually learn and adapt to the constantly changing environment directed by nature. During their lifetimes they will see life and death and must learn from their elders and trust their instincts and knowledge of their wild world in order to survive.

Three experienced wildlife observers searched for three days for wild horses and burros and other wildlife in Northern California-Nevada Twin Peaks, Coppersmith and Buckhorn Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas. These areas are managed for all American citizens by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and for the protection of our wild horses and burros. We traveled approximately 160 miles over 3 days and 13 hours in the herd management areas. We drove slowly with many stops; some off-road hiking and almost constant searching with binoculars for signs of wild horses and wild burros. After 3 days, a total of only 18 wild horses and 26 wild burros were observed on the three herd management areas. Of those, we saw 1 burro yearling and no horse foals or yearlings. All observed horses and burros appeared to be in excellent health. What was most obvious in our three day journey was the notable absence of wild horses and burros on their legally authorized herd areas on public land. A few of our wild horses and burros were found…but very few and far between.

During our survey there were times that only a short distance could be seen due to canyon walls but for the majority of the assessment a distance of more than a mile in all directions could be seen and often a distance of many miles were observable with binoculars. Even though time and mileage was documented and a map available, herd management area boundaries are vaguely marked, so some mileage and hours in the herd management areas are rounded or estimated in our report.

Click (HERE) to Download and Read the Report in it’s Entirety

Experts identify a descendant of the horse that roamed India 48 million years ago


Fossils reveal new branch of mammals: Experts identify a descendant of the horse that roamed India 48 million years ago

  • Scientists from Northeast Ohio Medical University Stony Brook University in New York came up with the new theory 
  • It gives anthracobunidae new descendants – elephants, horses and tapirs
  • Their theory makes sense because the ancient creatures lived in Asia, where tapirs are believed to have originated from 
  • Experts previously thought that anthracobunidae were related to the ancestors of modern elephants and sea cows, including manatees


For decades, experts thought that an extinct group of mammals known as anthracobunidae were related to the ancestors of modern elephants and sea cows.

But fossils believed to belong to a large land mammal that lived 48 million years ago, have led to experts disputing this theory.

The discovery of bones from the ancient creature has led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos and tapirs.

Two jaws and other bones (pictured) have led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos and tapirs - known as anthracobunidae - that lived in India and Pakistan about 48 million years ago

Two jaws and other bones (pictured) have led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos and tapirs – known as anthracobunidae – that lived in India and Pakistan about 48 million years ago

The mammals, known as anthracobunidae, lived in India and Pakistan and, until now, were commonly considered to be the ancestors of modern elephants and manatees.



Carol Walker on Wyoming wild horse roundups on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Oct. 29th)




WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show. Please call in with questions during the 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.


Our guest is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and a plaintiff on a recent lawsuit attempting to stop the BLM from removing over 800 wild horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, and Great Divide Basin in Wyoming.  Carol was an observer at the roundups, and will share her observations and give an update on the wild horses that are now in captivity.

Carol’s website is and you can see her photography of wild horses at


This radio show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Continue reading

Fleet of Angels, TMR Rescue & Wild Horse Freedom Federation combine efforts to save wild burros destined for Guatemala

11 once wild burros are safe from a future as beasts of burden, possible abuse and most likely death from being sent to Guatemala (where the BLM had planned to ship them).

Marjorie Farabee and Terry Fitch (The Dynamic Duo from WHFF) protesting in D.C. ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Marjorie Farabee and Terry Fitch (The Dynamic Duo from WHFF) protesting in D.C. ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

In a joint effort by Fleet of Angels (thanks Elaine Nash and all the volunteers!), TMR Rescue, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, these 11 burros are on their way to their new home at TMR Rescue.  They are being transported by Terry Fitch (co-founder and Treasurer of Wild Horse Freedom Federation) and Marjorie Farabee (Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Mgr. of TMR Rescue). 

Marjorie thought you’d all like to see a few photos.





Precious cargo rests awhile, and maybe they’ll nibble some hay.

Woman Transforms Horse into Scarey Skeleton, AGAIN

By Sara Malm for MailOnline

As far as Halloween costume accessories go, a full-size, real-life skeleton horse is definitely something to make the un-dead walk again.

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Horse tack maker Sandy Cramer has turned her filly Raven into a walking skeleton to celebrate the holiday of tacky terror.

Ms Cramer first painted her beloved horse three years ago, and since then, Raven’s ‘Skeleton Horse’ getup has made her an internet sensation.

Ms Cramer, from Rockbridge, Ohio, first painted Raven to enter a Halloween photo contest on Facebook in 2011.

The ‘Skeleton Horse’ became so popular that Ms Cramer is bringing it back for a fourth time this year.

Using non-toxic, acrylic craft paint, Ms Cramer has been turning Raven into a scary skeleton since the beginning of the month to promote her pet shop and horse tack business.

It takes Ms Cramer about three hours to complete the transformation, which is completely harmless, and the paint can be washed off with just water and a brush.

Ms Cramer has been incorporating Raven into four different costumes which the pair have been modelling to attract business to her shop.

‘People love Raven as a Skeleton Horse,’ Ms Cramer says.

‘I have people tell me that the only reason they stopped at my shop is because they saw Raven and I walking around and had to come see us up close.

‘This Halloween, we will be in costume together down at our shop and if weather is decent, we may go take part in the local trick-or-treat around town.

‘Each weekend up to Halloween and including Halloween day Raven and I get in costume together.’

‘The paint does in fact wash off with water and a cury brush, so it’s no worse than washing off mud. 

‘To her, it’s no different than standing there getting a good grooming.

‘I have been painting my horses for about five years now as I would paint them for our local Indian Pow-wow as Indian War Horses.

‘But for Raven and I it has become a bit of a tradition now, people just can’t get enough of her as a skeleton.’

BLM & some “nuisance” ranchers deceive American taxpayers

by Debbie Coffey,  V.P. and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation     Copyright 2014               All Rights Reserved.

On October, 16, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management Ely District in Nevada issued a news release announcing that in early November, it would begin a roundup to remove “approximately 120 excess wild horses from in and around the Triple B and Silver King Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in eastern Nevada.” And “The helicopter gathers are necessary to prevent further damage to private property and provide for public and animal safety.” 

For one thing, per BLM’s website, “Nevada is an open range state.  It is the responsibility of the private land owner to build a legal fence to keep livestock off private land.” 

Let’s take a closer look at what this news release did and didn’t say.

Silver King HMA

The BLM stated this:  “The District will remove up to 50 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King HMA.  The horses to be gathered are located about 120 miles south of Ely.  They are a safety concern on U.S. Highway 93 and are damaging private property, resulting in property owner complaints.  AML for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses.  The current population is 452 wild horses.”

The BLM omitted informing the public of the excessive numbers of livestock in the Silver King HMA, which is shown in the chart below.

The information on the 2 graphs below was taken directly from information on BLM’s Rangeland Administration System database.

Silver King

 Triple B HMA

The BLM stated this: “The District will remove about 70 excess wild horses from the Triple B HMA, located about 30 miles northwest of Ely, that are damaging private property, and harassing and breeding domestic stock resulting in landowner complaints.  Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Triple B HMA is 215-250 wild horses.  The current population is 1,311 wild horses.”

Again, the BLM omitted informing the public of the number of livestock on this federally protected HMA for wild horses.

Triple B



The BLM seems to act in collusion with ranchers when it actively advises ranchers to send letters of complaint to them to remove “nuisance” wild horses from private property.

At a Modoc-Washoe BLM Experimental Stewardship Program committee meeting in northern California, ranchers were told to use the “Coleman property request” as a “template” for everyone else’s “problem.” (The “problem” was supposed wild horses on private property).

In a Nevada Society of Rangeland Management newsletter, it states: “I requested a response from BLM due to the Section’s concerns with WH&B.  I received this from Alan Shepherd, Nevada WH&B State Program Lead / Joan Guilfoyle, BLM Division Chief for WH&B Program, dated May 5, 2014…
How will the potential gathers be prioritized?
• BLM has tasked a small group of managers and field staff to prioritize any potential removals within the program based on court orders, private property concerns, and public health and safety concerns. This team will also be considering concerns from the on-going drought across the West that
has led to declining animal and rangeland conditions.” 

It states in the Code of Federal Regulations,“§4720.2-1   Removal of strayed animals from private lands

Upon written request from the private landowner to any representative of the Bureau of Land Management, the authorized officer shall remove stray wild horses and burros from private lands as soon as practicable…The request shall indicate the numbers of wild horses or burros, the date(s) the animals were on the land, legal description of the private land, and any special conditions that should be considered in the gathering plan.”

Note that this regulation only authorizes the BLM to remove wild horses from private lands, NOT to then remove the wild horses from an HMA forever.

In Fallini v. Hodelthe court ruled that §4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act does not impose a duty on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prevent wild horses from straying onto private lands.   The court rules that §4 of the Act does not impose a ministerial duty on BLM to prevent wild horses from straying onto private lands. The plain language of the section creates no express duty and the court finds no implied duty. Congress clearly anticipated in §4 the possibility of wild horses straying onto private land, but it rejected the use of intensive management techniques.”

Since removing “nuisance” horses that are on private property is now becoming so widely talked about, and since the BLM is facilitating this, it now seems that this is an “intensive management technique.”

Even if the BLM removes wild horses from a private property, on what does the BLM assume it has authorization to completely remove those wild horses from the HMA?

When the BLM cites a “need” to roundup wild horses because they wandered onto private property, or are somehow a danger to the public, or because of drought, the BLM is grasping at straws for reasons to roundup wild horses and remove them to cater to their Most Special Interest.

A November 2012 PEER report concluded that “The biggest and most ambitious scientific undertaking in the history of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is languishing after it was revealed the agency directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a possible factor in changing landscapes.”

And “the agency’s own records show that the primary cause (nearly 80%) for BLM lands not meeting range health standards is damage from livestock, far eclipsing drought, fire, invasion by non-native plants or sprawl – the factors BLM now calls ‘overarching.’”

And just last month, another PEER report pointed out: “The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros…”   And, “within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.”

The BLM determined that such a low number of wild horses be allowed on these Herd Management Areas in the 2008 Ely District Resource Management Plan (RMP).

However, 88 grazing allotments (3,247,411 acres) were not even evaluated “for meeting standards of rangeland health” when the BLM Ely District issued its Resource Management Plan in 2008 (Appendix E, Table E-2).

Out of the 88 Ely District grazing allotments that weren’t evaluated for meeting standards of rangeland health, 4 grazing allotments were in the Silver King HMA (Highland Peak, Pioche, Rattlesnake, and Ely Springs) and 1 grazing allotment was in the Triple B HMA (Maverick Springs).

And where is the proof (GPS, time and date stamped photos) that the wild horses were actually on private property?  (And frankly, some ranchers could even drive the wild horses onto their property as an excuse to have them removed from public lands permanently.)

Is there REAL PROOF that wild horses actually did any of the damage the ranchers are claiming they did?  Or are these complaints convenient assumptions?  For instance, how would the ranchers know it was a wild horse that broke a sprinkler instead of a domestic horse or a cow?

Did all of the ranchers include the required legal land descriptions (township and range numbers) in their letters of complaint?  Is the BLM only removing wild horses that were actually on the private property, or all the wild horses in the area?  How long were the wild horses on the private property?  An hour?

Apparently, it’s okay with the BLM if livestock are on roads and a danger to the public.  And while ranchers complain that wild “nuisance” horses wander onto their private land, the ranchers feel an entitlement to let their excessive numbers of privately owned livestock create a nuisance on and damage to PUBLIC lands.  And it’s all on your dime.

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat  ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


The BLM did an Ely District Public Safety and Nuisance Gather Environmental Assessment

BLM gave this roundup a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).