BLM rounds up 23 wild horses from West Douglas on 1st day


Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd.  We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds.  Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.  –  Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

SOURCE: The Daily Sentinel

BLM gathers 23 wild horses at roundup

By Gary Harmon

Twenty-three wild horses were brought in during the first day of a gather on Wednesday, hours after a federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected the notion that the federal government intended to “zero out” the West Douglas herd.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that the public interest was better served by allowing the Bureau of Land Management to manage “wild free-roaming horses” over preventing potential harm from the gather, which the judge said would be “minimal.”

The BLM started the gather at 6:30 a.m., using bait and water to attract horses in the West Douglas area, as well as driving horses toward corrals using a helicopter.

“All of them looked healthy and there were no incidents coming into the trap,” BLM spokesman Christopher Joyner said Wednesday. “The contractor did a good job of ensuring the horses weren’t stressed.”

The agency will conduct the gather until it collects 167 horses — the number of spaces available in long-term holding facilities run by the BLM.

Cooper ruled that the BLM’s designation of all horses in the West Douglas Herd area as “excess” didn’t mean that the agency intended to remove all horses from the 123,000-acre area.

Excess animals are those that must be removed to preserve “a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands,” Cooper wrote.

The injunction was sought by The Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Don and Toni Moore of Fruita, and Barb Flores of Greeley. Don Moore is a veterinarian.

Several opponents of the gather — many of them from Arizona, which has a band of horses in Salt Wash — called reporters on Wednesday to question the gather, or roundup, of animals that played a significant role in U.S. history.

The plaintiffs filed suit on Sept. 4 and filed for an injunction on Sept. 6. Cooper presided over a hearing on Sept. 11 in which Flores and an official with The Cloud Foundation and Kent Walter, manager of the BLM’s White River Field Office, testified.

“This case has proceeded at a gallop,” Cooper wrote in his decision, in which he also cited a lyric from the Rolling Stones 1971 song, “Wild Horses.”

“(They) have (their) freedom, but (they) don’t have much time,” Cooper wrote, “So it is for a group of wild horses that, beginning tomorrow, are scheduled to be removed from two tracts of federal rangeland in northwest Colorado.”

As the BLM zeros out the West Douglas herd

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

You can call the roundup hotline at 970-878-3818 for information about daily public viewing “opportunities.”  (like this is a big gift to you)

To find out about the daily number of wild horses removed, injuries and deaths, you can look here.


Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

Joint Press Release from The Cloud Foundation and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

West Douglas Stallion taken day of ruling Sept 15, 2015 by plaintiff Dr. Don Moore

Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).

The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “

“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case.  “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”

“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain.  It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”

“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”

“The BLM does not consider mortality rates in its population estimates,” Flores continues. “While we all expect the death of old, sick and injured wild horses, research shows that foal mortality is often 50%, and in many herd areas it is even higher. This means that less than half the foals make it to their first birthday. Shockingly, BLM’s 20% population growth rate assumes all foals live and no wild horses, of any age, die.”

“To add insult to injury, the helicopter contractor chosen to round up the West Douglas herd, is noted for their cruelty,” adds Hanick who personally witnessed a roundup in 2010 conducted by Sun J Livestock in which 12% of the horses were killed.  “We will hope for the best and attempt to record what happens this time around if granted adequate access.”

“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”

R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”

“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming.  They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”

Media Contacts:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation


Carol Walker

Director of Field Documentation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation



Legal Documents andPrior Press Releases

WestDouglas Herd Area Final EA 

BLM PressRelease July 29, 2015

 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.

 Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a Texas based registered 501(c)(3) non profit which puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction.

 The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (“CWHBC”) is a non-profit Colorado corporation, organized to educate the public and wild horse and burro adopters about wild horse issues and to protect wild horses and burros

 Ms. Toni Moore is a resident of the state of Colorado and is the Secretary/Treasurer of CWHBC and the Special Projects Coordinator of The Cloud Foundation, Inc. (“TCF”).

 Dr. Don Moore is an equine and small-animal veterinarian and has live in or near the WDHA and PEDHMA most of his life.

 Barb Flores, a resident of Greeley, Colorado is chair of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition and has photographed and documented Colorado’s wild horse herds for over 20 years.

BLM Aims to Start Wild Horse Roundup Wednesday

By Dennis Webb as published in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

“…once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone.”

West Douglas Wild HorsesThe Bureau of Land Management plans to start a local wild-horse gather on Wednesday, two days later than planned, following the recent filing of a lawsuit challenging the action.

Agency spokesman Christopher Joyner said the BLM pushed back the gather “to ensure the courts had time to review the case.”

However, “We plan to proceed with the gather unless told differently” by the courts.

Activists are seeking an injunction to prevent the roundup from beginning before the case is further litigated. A four-hour hearing was held Friday and a federal judge’s ruling is being awaited, said Paula Todd King with the Cloud Foundation, one of the plaintiffs.

The BLM is hoping to remove 167 “excess” horses located within the jurisdiction of the White River Field Office, based in Meeker. Its primary target is horses in the West Douglas Herd Area, west of Colorado Highway 139 between Loma and Rangely. The BLM considers that area inappropriate for wild horses for reasons including its remoteness and difficult access for management purposes, lack of summer range, and the range damage that has been occurring there, Joyner said.

On Sept. 4, the Cloud Foundation, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, veterinarian Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, and Barb Flores of Greeley sued seeking to stop the roundup. They argue the BLM failed to conduct the proper environmental analysis and abide by the requirements of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

They contend horses have inhabited the West Douglas area for centuries, and the BLM is blaming horses for damage caused by privately owned livestock. They also worry that the BLM will eliminate horses there.

The BLM estimates the West Douglas area is home to about 365 horses, while wild-horse advocates argue the number is far less.

“I just hope for the people of Colorado that we can save that herd, because once the BLM comes in and gets them out they’re gone,” King said.

The BLM plans to use bait and water to try to attract horses, and a helicopter to help herd them. Among the concerns of horse advocates is potential physical harm to animals as a result of the operation…

30 wild horses from Cold Creek have now been “euthanized”

The current murder count is now up to 30.  Then the BLM plans to send the survivors to the holding facility at Axtell, Utah (which is flat like a feedlot with no trees and where there is no shelter) for what is expected to be an extremely harsh winter.  The BLM would rather just spend money to completely remove/kill wild horses than to distribute some food and water before the winter snow.  One has to wonder if the water being used for all the solar development has caused more man-made “drought” conditions by using water from shared aquifers and dropping the water table, making less water and forage available for wild horses and wildlife.   Shame on the BLM!  –  Debbie


cold_creek_emergency.Par.12448.File.533.300.1  BLM photo

236 Cold Creek wild horses rounded up, 30 euthanized

By Mauricio Marin |, Tim Zeitlow

Thirty horses have been euthanized since the Bureau of Land Management started rounding up wild horses about two weeks ago.

So far, the BLM has captured 236 horses. Officials believe the  animals will die if they’re left to fend for themselves.

The wild horses are from Cold Creek, an area northwest of Las Vegas. Cold Creek is about 6,000 feet above sea level and very dry because it gets little rain. There is not much vegetation for wild horses to eat.

BLM says they’re doing everything they can to protect the horses and some Cold Creek residents are making sure they keep their word.

Over the years, people in the Cold Creek area have looked forward to seeing the wild horses.

BLM crews have rounded up horses they say are malnourished.

“The horses  are just getting hungrier and skinnier,” said Carmen Rhoda, a concerned resident.

She agrees drought conditions have left little food for the horses to eat, but she wants to make sure the BLM only takes horses that need help.

“We’re gathering the horses that might look like they may be in need,” said Jason Lutterman, BLM. “We’re not removing  all the horses in the area.”

BLM officials say 30 horses out of about 230 that have been rounded up were extremely thin and weak so they had to be euthanized.

Rhoda calls the situation heartbreaking.

“They are suffering from malnutrition that affects their internal organs,” she said. “Their kidney’s, heart and everything so I understand maybe they had to put down 28 of them.”

Rhea Little who also lives in Cold Creek feels the BLM could have taken proactive measures to stabilize the population.

“My feeling is if they would have implemented birth control four years ago, the majority of the horses taken today wouldn’t have been born,” Little said.

Now the BLM is looking into ways to keep this from happening again.

“We’re exploring the options in the future of implanting some kind of program or some way to keep the population in balance with what the land can support,” said Lutterman.

Since the roundup, there’s a lot fewer horses near Cold Creek.

Rhoda applauds the BLM for being more humane and using a bait and trap method so the animals wouldn’t get spooked.

“They’re very gentle with them. I have to commend the BLM that in this instance they’ve done a good job,” she said.

The horse advocates have asked the inspector general at the Department of the Interior to investigate this specific gather because of the number of horses the BLM put down.

The BLM has not confirmed whether the roundup is complete.

Once the horses are healthy enough, the BLM will put them up for adoption.

BLM to roundup 1,400 wild horses from Beaty Butte HMA in Oregon

BLM continues stampedes to extinction.



Photo: Vince Patton/OPB

BLM Plans Beaty Butte Wild Horse Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District has announced that it plans to gather approximately 1,500 horses associated with the Beaty Butte herd management area (HMA), in Oregon, in early October 2015.

Exact dates will be set based on the herd’s location closer to the gather period. The Beaty Butte HMA is located east of Adel, Oregon, in southeast Lake County.

Of the gathered animals, about 1,400 horses will be permanently removed from the Beaty Butte HMA and 100 horses (60 stallions and 40 mares) will be returned to the range. This is consistent with the appropriate management level of 100 to 250 horses established for the HMA.

“The herd population is currently six times the appropriate management level, which is damaging habitat and forage for wildlife, particularly sage grouse habitat,” said BLM Oregon/Washington Director Jerome Perez. “Our goal is to manage the resources and the horses to the best of our ability.”

Heavy wild horse grazing utilization can jeopardize the health of the rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and ultimately wild horse health and condition. Horses have overgrazed sagebrush and other plants to the extent that plants and soils are being lost entirely. The problem is compounded by the extensive drought, which has already stressed plants.

Once gathered, the horses will be taken to a temporary holding facility, where they will be provided hay and water. Following a veterinary assessment, the horses will be transported to an off-range BLM holding facility and made available for adoption or sale, or relocated to a permanent holding facility.

A limited number of members of the public will be allowed to view the gather activities in BLM-escorted groups. Interested parties should contact Larisa Bogardus at or 541/947-6237.

The BLM’s goal is to maintain healthy, free-roaming herds at levels that balance a thriving natural ecological existence with local habitat and other multiple uses in each area. On average, Oregon herd numbers increase annually by 20%. Decisions to gather excess animals are based on rangeland monitoring studies, availability of forage and water, and wild horse numbers compared to established population targets for each HMA.

Normally, three to five of Oregon’s herds are gathered annually to balance population numbers per the range’s sustainable capabilities.

The supporting planning documents for the upcoming gather are available online at

Wild horse gather proposed in the Red Desert

The BLM continues to wipe out herds of wild horses in Wyoming.  The BLM’s “Appropriate Management Level” (AML) is only 480-724 wild horses on over 700,000 acres of public land.  The BLM wants to remove every wild horse outside the HMA, and leave only 602 in the Red Desert HMA Complex.  The BLM also plans to give PZP to every mare gathered and returned to the range.  Let’s keep an eye on the BLM’s oil and gas lease sales in this area. – Debbie



File photo of wild mustangs near McCullough Peaks. Photo by Dennis Donohue/Shutterstock.

The Bureau of Land Management Rawlins and Lander field offices announce that a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed wild horse gather in the Red Desert Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) Complex is now available for review.

The Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek HMAs, is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming Highway 287.

The proposed operation would include gathering wild horses, treating all mares to be released with the PZP-22 (porcine zona pellucida) fertility control vaccine, and removing horses to bring the population of the complex within its appropriate management level. All horses that have moved outside the HMAs would also be removed. The proposed gather may take place late this year or in 2016.

The preliminary EA analyzes three alternatives and is available by visiting the BLM website at:

The 30 day comment period runs from September 8 through October 7, 2015.

BLM extends Cold Creek roundup after killing 28 emaciated horses

Same old story.  Local advocates aren’t seeing the number of wild horses that the BLM claims are out there.  This just keeps getting worse by the day.   –  Debbie

SOURCE:  Las Vegas Review-Journal


A young foal travels with its herd near the community of Cold Creek on Friday, July 24, 2015. (David Becker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Less than a week after 28 emaciated wild horses were rounded up and put down, Bureau of Land Management officials announced plans to collect more animals they say are at risk of starvation in the mountains outside Las Vegas.

Karla Norris, assistant manager for the BLM’s Southern Nevada district, said the agency spotted 57 more horses “in really poor shape” during a helicopter survey Tuesday morning in the Spring Mountains about 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

She said the horses were “so lethargic” they didn’t even move when the helicopter flew overhead.

The BLM will attempt to capture the animals and nurse them back to health starting Wednesday morning by setting up a corral and baiting it with hay and water.

The agency just concluded an emergency roundup on Sept. 2 that netted 201 horses from the area around the tiny community of Cold Creek. Twenty-eight of those horses — 22 mares and six studs — were later euthanized due to “poor prognosis for recovery or improvement,” according to a BLM report.

The decision was made by a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, who examined the once-wild horses at the BLM-owned Oliver Ranch, along state Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon.

“We really did try to save them,” Norris said.

Now she fears there could be as many as 150 more horses still out on the range “that are just as bad as the ones we gathered.”

“We had no idea we had that many,” Norris said.

The BLM launched the initial roundup Aug. 29 near Cold Creek after officials said drought and overpopulation had left some animals at risk of starvation.

In May, the bureau counted about 470 adult horses in 102,000 acres around Cold Creek, roughly 400 more than the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the area.

According to the BLM, the 28 horses that were destroyed were in poor to very thin condition, with scores of 1.5 or less on a standardized, 9-point system widely used to determine equine health.

BLM officials said the entire herd was showing signs of starvation.

Most of the horses gathered during the roundup had a body condition score of 2, defined as emaciated, with only slight tissue coverage and vertebrae, ribs, shoulder, neck and other bones visible. None of the animals were scored above 3, which is considered thin. The ideal score for a healthy horse is between 4 and 6.

According to BLM reports, 170 of the surviving horses have been transported to a privately owned contract holding facility in Axtell, Utah, to be fattened up and cared for.

Three foals deemed too small for transport are being fostered in the Las Vegas area, Norris said.

The horses gathered from the Cold Creek area eventually will be transferred to a BLM facility where they will be offered for adoption or purchase.

Those that do not find homes will live out their lives at off-range holding pastures in the Midwest that are now home to tens of thousands of once-wild horses.

The government’s actions have drawn criticism from wild horse advocates.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

BLM Sued Over Wild Horse Removal


“Wild horses are a natural heritage species and to continue seeing them removed after a law was created to protect them is a travesty,”

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A Bureau of Land Management’s plan to move 167 horses, that has been almost three years in the making, could be put on hold.

The BLM planned to move 167 horses from the West Douglas Range.  The movement was to start on September 14. The BLM alleges that this movement will help support the range’s health in hopes of preserving resources for all wildlife.

This week The Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition filed a lawsuit in hopes of stopping this movement by the BLM. They want the horses to remain on the range as they have for hundreds of years.

“Wild horses are a natural heritage species and to continue seeing them removed after a law was created to protect them is a travesty,” said Toni Moore of the Cloud Foundation.

Advocacy groups argue that wild horses are a staple of the west and that the BLM is driving some wild horse herds to extinction. Advocacy groups do not want to see the West Douglas horses become extinct so the organizations have filed an injunction in hopes of creating a restraining order that will delay the movement of the horses until further action can be taken.