Breaking News: Roundup of Wild Horses to Begin Despite Risks to Tiny Foals and Pregnant Mares

BLM Snubs Advocate Alternatives to a Helicopter Stampede

BLM bird of prey at Antelope Complex Stampede last year ~ photo by Terry Fitch

RENO, Nev. (June 7, 2012)—Despite extensive conversations with wild horse advocates who explained humane alternatives to a deadly helicopter stampede of tiny foals and late term mares, Gene Seidlitz, BLM District Manager in Winnemucca, NV, signed a Full Force and Effect Decision to round up hundreds of wild horses in the drought stricken Jackson Mountains, calling it necessary for “the health of the horses.”


“How believable is this emergency when privately-owned livestock are still in the
Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area?” asks Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “And for Mr. Seidlitz to say he is doing this for the ‘health of the horses’ is unbelievable.” 

Bait-trapping expert, Dan Elkins, of Mount Taylor Mustangs in New Mexico, was poised to drive to the area to assess how to safely trap the horses near the few water sources in the most severely affected area of the Jackson Mountain HMA. Elkins has trapped hundreds of horses without injury over the past several decades. 

Eleven national humane organizations signed on to a unified letter requesting that BLM remove all private livestock in the area and opt for a humane alternative to the capture of wild horses. Their letter urged BLM not to expose newborns and mares heavy with foal to a helicopter run. Their suggestions fell on deaf ears. 

44 comments on “Breaking News: Roundup of Wild Horses to Begin Despite Risks to Tiny Foals and Pregnant Mares

  1. When the fatalities start to occur, there is no spin on this planet that’s going to save the face of this district office. So many alternatives – even preventative measures early on – could have prevented this nightmare from happening.

    Mr. Seidlitz – it would have cost you nothing to consider some alternatives, and might have actually bought yourself some grace with wild equine advocates. But I suppose our grace really isn’t as important, is it?

  2. This is interesting…suppose there’s any connection?

    http://www.mail-archive.com/ecolog-l@listserv.umd.edu/msg22072.html

    [ECOLOG-L] Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area A.I.M Pilot Project Field Technician
    Bridget Walden
    Fri, 06 May 2011 18:38:56 -0700
    Position Objectives:
    The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
    Winnemucca District Office is recruiting two (3) Field Techs to work
    cooperatively on a four-person interdisciplinary field team. The overall
    objective of the team is to perform land assessments through assessment,
    inventory and monitoring (AIM) of the geomorphic, hydrologic and vegetative
    characteristics. Data are utilized for management and adaptive management
    decisions, restoration projects, and/or to improve wildlife habitat to
    achieve a healthy and productive ecological condition. The principle purpose
    of this pilot project is to generate an understanding of the process used to
    develop land health assessments, including the data capture and evaluation.

    Duties:
    General field duties include walking long distances over uneven terrain, and
    will require Field Technicians to collect GPS and photo points, observe and
    monitoring wildlife, and/or identify vegetative demographics and
    distribution. Office tasks may include assisting with data organization,
    processing and QA/QC; post-processing GPS points; and contributing to report
    writing.

    Time Line and Compensation:
    Contract length: May 31, 2011 – September 9, 2011
    Living Allowance: $3,700
    AmeriCorps Education Award*: $1,415
    Student loan forbearance and interest accrual*
    * AmeriCorps Education Award may be used for past, present or future
    education experiences, including payment of qualified federal student loans.

  3. This is interesting. Suppose there’s any connection?

    [ECOLOG-L] Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area A.I.M Pilot Project Field Technician
    Bridget Walden
    Fri, 06 May 2011 18:38:56 -0700
    Position Objectives:
    The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
    Winnemucca District Office is recruiting two (3) Field Techs to work
    cooperatively on a four-person interdisciplinary field team. The overall
    objective of the team is to perform land assessments through assessment,
    inventory and monitoring (AIM) of the geomorphic, hydrologic and vegetative
    characteristics. Data are utilized for management and adaptive management
    decisions, restoration projects, and/or to improve wildlife habitat to
    achieve a healthy and productive ecological condition. The principle purpose
    of this pilot project is to generate an understanding of the process used to
    develop land health assessments, including the data capture and evaluation.

    Duties:
    General field duties include walking long distances over uneven terrain, and
    will require Field Technicians to collect GPS and photo points, observe and
    monitoring wildlife, and/or identify vegetative demographics and
    distribution. Office tasks may include assisting with data organization,
    processing and QA/QC; post-processing GPS points; and contributing to report
    writing.

    Time Line and Compensation:
    Contract length: May 31, 2011 – September 9, 2011
    Living Allowance: $3,700
    AmeriCorps Education Award*: $1,415
    Student loan forbearance and interest accrual*
    * AmeriCorps Education Award may be used for past, present or future
    education experiences, including payment of qualified federal student loans.

  4. They are obviously autonomous since they pretty much do what they want when they want to. It’s kinda like when we didn’t want certain trees cut down we would tie ourselves to them. I really don’t think this strategy would work with a herd of horses. Then again we could sabotage their choppers.HMMMMMM

  5. This whole damn thing is a total disgrace and absolutely appalling they would round up pregnant mares and young foals under such horrible conditions. For Mr. Seidlitz to say he’s doing it for the health of the horses, pregnant mares and foals, no less, is preposterous! You mean to tell me that he couldn’t have given them more time, or safely trap the horses at the water sources?! He certainly had alternative actions that could have been taken, which makes this very sad, indeed. This my friends is where our tax money is being spent…to pay for irresponsible and poor management of America’s iconic wild horses and burros. My heart goes out to these beautiful and majestic creatures… tomorrow’s actions will be a sad day for everyone that truly cares about the welfare of these innocent animals.

  6. I don’t think the round up Should be held this time of year but if we can’t stop will they let us help the babies that are left behind .We are a rescue out of Elko (northeastern Nevada equine rescue)if we are able to help please let us know.

    • Shannon -I don’t know if this is any help, but they’ll be taking the horses to Palomino Valley for processing (though that seems like a helluva long haul from the Jackson Mountains). You could probably speak directly to the Winnemucca District Office; it couldn’t hurt to try.

    • Then you need to be there with the ability to something because they have never let rescues help before that I know of. Willis Lamm has connections to help save the little ones. But be prepared to lose them… the heat and the run are going to be devastating. We could pray for rain!!

  7. Maybe if right now we all called, faxed and emailed our local news channels, both radio and TV with our protests and grasphic photos of the damage, murder and death of a capture, and also bombarded all of the national and worldwide news networks with the same, maybe it could go virile. we can also clue in the “uneducated and naive” general public to the FACT that private business interest factions cattle are still on the very same public range grazing, and we are all stuck paying for this unnecessary and cruel capture, but also for those private business to be out there grazing making someone else (NOT US!) money. What about if anyone and everyone who is able to does videos that we put on YouTube……in the videos, we can hold up graphic photos of what it looks like when a horse breaks a leg, when a foal has their hooves run off down to the bones, when a mare aborts a full term foal right after being captured and her uterus prolaspes, show horses that have dropped from exhaustion and heat stroke, etc. In other words, VERY GRAPHIC photographs as we talk about the arrogant and lawless attitude of the BLM and name names of the major players in the decisions. Then we can hold up a list of the major players in these decisions, addresses where they live, their phone numbers (fairly easy to get this info with one of the search services and paying $39.95–found out a bunch about Psycho Sue Wallis this way), email addresses, etc. In other words, if we can turn these people from totally anonyomous to the general public to in-the-spotlight, notorious, and show the true faces of these arrogant, out-of-control people who make these life and death decisions while allowing cattle to stay out grazing on this so-called drought stricken range, just maybe these people, the BLM, the contractors and whomever else we can think of, would NOT be able to hide, do their dirty work, make their money and live a normal life. They need to be tried in a court of PUBLIC opinion since we taxpayers are forced to pay for this mayhem and cruelty, so since most of us have phones and email access, and some of us have video recorders and/or faxes and also YouTube accounts, lets get GRAPHIC and show the general public the REAL FACE of eradication and captures. No messing around with words that don’t look like anything but lines on paper or a computer screen…..show GRAPHIC PHOTOS and also GRAPHIC VIDEOS on your YouTube videos you post…..make the general public CRY, make them get ANGRY, and supply them with the info to pass it on via email, video, phone calls and faxes. It could turn into a snowball, gather speed and size as it races around the world, and maybe if the sheer cries of outrage are loud and clear enough coming from not just we advocates, but also humans of all classes, ages, colors and walks-of-life, maybe then we will FORCE them to STOP or be held accountable in the short and the long term. We have nothing to lose by doing it, so lets get busy and start SHOCKING the general public about the murders that are about to occur to our wild horses and get them to help us make them STOP!.

    • Laura,

      This is a good idea, but rather than just put in on You Tube, why not just read the requirements for CNN and Fox News cable for I-Reports and You-Reports. Their guidelines are pretty helpful. Video something really stupid, send it to Jon Stewart or Steven Colbert.

      We are so close to a major break through with the national media.

      It is totally appalling that tax payers are being asked to fund government sponsored animal abuse. It isn’t like the goal is to find a cure for cancer. The goal is to continue to collect wild horses and burros and put them in Charlie Stenholm’s meat stockades.

      The BLM needs to be vaporized and every Congressman who had a chance to provide meaningful oversight to this rogue agency should be vacationing in his own basement on a plastic lawn chair for the next six years after this election.

  8. They don’t care, the more fatalities they have the better they like it. What’s also very disturbing is they cleared out 95% of the horses they had in Palomino Valley last night. Many of those were mare also in late term and mares with new foals (2 months old or less). Where they hell did they take them if the holding facilities are at capacity?

  9. After the Calico catastrophe and the Antelope Complex disaster – they honestly don’t care how many horses die during these gathers. They are just making fun of horse advocates when they ‘listen’ to public comments because they have already made their decision and are going to do what they want to do anyway.

  10. How many livestock are on this HMA? Anyone know? I really think an injunction needs to be filed to stop it due to most invasive intervention, age of foals, inhumane distance, other alternatives not explored to address “emergency” and private livestock competing on federally protected HMA that should be removed first before protected horses are. This really is the only way to communicate with the BLM. The horses are really out of time for sweet talk with the BLM.

  11. We still do not know the whole truth about Owyhee in 2010 and they did try to cover it up. If things get bad out there they will make the observers leave. I hope someone has the guts to to refuse them. Maybe it is time to just say ‘no’!!!!

  12. NVKate, Have you contacted local media about this alarming disappearance at Palamino Valley? If you haven’t, will you please alert every investigative reporter you can find in in NV? We need people like George Knapp on this ASAP – these horses must be found! This is a battle cry in my heart! Please please make some calls?! I’ll do the same. (((Thank you))) Deborah in NM

  13. We are running out of time to make a statement. The Democratic convention is in Charlotte, NC, in early September. I have no idea at all if this is a place where a protest over government sponsored animal terrorism would be well received or not. I also don’t how many other protesters are coming to Charlotte. Charlotte should not be hard to get to (just long)—I guess it’s a little close to the IEC as far as travel plans go. Just a thought. I’d like to be part of making a statement, but I don’t want to endanger any horses or recognizable humans.

  14. Someone, anyone – please help me out with this. I’m a nobody. What (if anything) can I do to help the “missing” Palamino Valley horses? My heart is pounding with an unspeakable urgency to do something – NOW! How is that official comment obtained with proof to back it up?

    • Call them directly at 775-475-2222 and ask them where the horses went. When they give you the info, ask whomever you’re speaking with if you can have the phone # for the horses destination. If they ask you why you want it, simply reply that as a taxpayer, you’re concerned about where the horses went and want to follow up on what you were just told by the person on the phone. I was actually still interested in tag #6824, so perhaps ask if he is still at the facility or has been sent elsewhere…..that way you’re also following up on a horse too…..he is a 5 year old bay gelding that would be easy, easy, easy to “gentle” and also train for under saddle….he walked right up to the fence to greet me and within minutes, I was scratching clear down his back to his rump through the fence.

      • Laura, thanks so much! You’re an angel. I am so relieved to have this great info. Hopefully it’s not too late to call -I’ll keep dialing until I get an answer. Will post what I find out. Wish me luck …on a wing and a prayer I go. Deb

    • Sorry Deb, today I was told someone very close to me died. I am a bit behind. If John Neill is still managing PVC he is the person to speak with. He may give us a breakdown of where they went. Out of state Adoption, Long Term Holding and Sale Authority are the usual places.

      • I’m so sorry, Mar. I don’t even know you and I have tears streaming down my face. If it’s okay, I’ll pray for comfort to find and embrace you. Words fail me.

        Many thanks for your help. I’ll ask for John Neill when I get through. Deb

      • Thank you Deb. It has been a very sad day for me. My Aunt Edith was a sweet heart. And the anxiety over the start of this roundup is huge for all of us. Then there is the added sadness that the majestic Conquistador has died with the Freedom Families removed from the Pryors. A very rough day and tomorrow who knows what we will be hearing from the roundup. I have tears also, for all of this.

  15. Banging our head against concrete isn’t helping. Step up – time to take action is overdue.
    NRS 574.100 Torturing, overdriving, injuring or abandoning animals; failure to provide proper sustenance – NV statute
    Any animal rescue org can make citizen’s arrest for overdriving these horses – Where the hell is HSUS? Don’t wait for them, arrest Siedlitz, Sun J, Lueders, etc.

    Can’t we get injunction NOW since stampeding pregnant mares/foals is INHUMANE?????

  16. This may not be the time or place but I’ll burst if I don’t spread the word …
    If you haven’t read R.T.’s book, please do. Straight From the Horse’s Heart opened my eyes. I didn’t know they were closed. If you can’t afford the book, I’ll buy it – just send me an email.

    RT and Terry – from my heart, thank you …for everything. Deb

  17. The pictures are sad! Exactly why have the cattle been left on this HMA this long?
    And not only these mares with foals are at risk, but the horses who are already thin &
    debilitated sure arent going to do well with the helicopters running them.
    I saw one picture of a water hole “outside the HMA” that looked full & clean – Can the
    horses go outside of their area for water or food? I’ve seen some articles where horses
    are rounded up when they get into other areas. Strange these stay where there’s not
    enough food & water –
    It makes me sick too.

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