Timber Oligarchs Transform Into Beef Barons in Harney County and the Oregon High Desert

Source:  Counterpunch


The addictive beauty of an ungrazed sagebrush expanse and big sky bordering Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

by Katie Fite

Throughout the Ammon Bundy and militia thug seizure of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the media has not reported on the modern day filthy rich cattle barons of Harney County and beyond. Articles rarely if ever contain an environmental voice. Yet there have been endless interviews of carping ranchers claiming oppression by the federal government.

PROFILE OF A HARNEY COUNTY RANCH OWNING FAMILY: 6000 Cattle Impacting 750,000 Acres, 100 Race Horses

An Oregon Public Broadcasting story on taxpayer subsidies to cattlemen included a Harney County ranch manager griping about federal government over-reach.

OPB reported:

“Harney County locals may not like the militants’ tactics, but the prospect of more local control over public lands continues to have appeal. Ranchers say their tension with government is born from rules and restrictions driven by “radical environmental groups,” and the frustration of dealing with a plodding bureaucracy that drives up costs and undermines their economic security.

“This is our life. This is our livelihood. We’re good stewards of the land,” said Berry Anderson, manager of Treetop Ranches, south of Burns. “It’s frustrating that people who don’t even have a dog in the game can take it away from us.”

The Treetop Ranch Owner Family

Just who are these embattled ranchers, reeling from the heavy-handed tactics and oh-so-restrictive grazing policies of the BLM ?

Fancy “Treetop Ranch” signs have sprung up on huge spreads across eastern Oregon and portions of Idaho in recent years. Larry and Marianne Williams control Treetop Ranches, and their cattle herds impact a vast area of crucial sage-grouse habitat across eastern Oregon and portions of Idaho.

They are very wealthy people. The Williams family made millions in timber. Then went into public lands welfare ranching and raising race horses. The Simmental beef article describes:

“Mr. Williams had sold his company, Idaho Timber, and shifted into the cattle business primarily in Idaho and Oregon. He also maintains a very successful thorough-bred horse-racing program near Parma, Idaho. In 2012, William’s Horse Racing Nation’s “Rousing Sermon” finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby”.

“Mr. Williams put the Oregon operation together over the last 10 years. It consists of six different ranches, totaling 750,000 acres. The ranches are not adjacent

to each other, stretching about 150 miles long and 100 miles wide with other ranches interspersed among our properties,” Anderson said”.

The article continues:

“We run about 6,000 cows and 1,000 replacement heifers each year. We’ve had a serious drought in recent years, so we’re cutting back our numbers a bit. It takes about 125 acres to run a cow in this rough, lava rock country,” he continued. “Our headquarters is very remote, about 50 miles southeast of Burns (population: 5,000), which is where we do most of our shopping. The nearest larger city is Boise, which is 180 miles to the northeast.”

Yes, three quarters of a million acres – largely BLM public land plus large state and private holdings. Treetop controls ranches near Burns, at Oregon Canyon north of Mcdermitt, and across the “big empty” sagebrush sea of the region. Vast BLM grazing permits including crucial sage-grouse habitats and wilderness study areas are under the hooves of this operation.

A Hundred Race Horse Crop

Treetop also raises race horses, based in Parma, Idaho.

“For the last 13 years, Kiser has managed the horses owned by Larry and Marianne Williams. Kiser lives and works at the ranch and is in charge of about 100 horses”.

See also http://trainermagazine.com/.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Carol Walker to detail BLM plans to sterilize wild horses on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 1/20/16)


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, January 20th, 2016

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

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.



Our guest is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Carol will be detailing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) heinous plans to STERILIZE wild  horses, including “studies” (experimentation trials) using several methods on 225 wild mares: ovariectomy via colpotomy, tubal ligation, and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla.  The BLM is going to do this experimentation at BLM’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon, but will eventually do sterilizations out in the FIELD.

The BLM has not, as of this time, posted the Environmental Assessment (for public comment) for this sterilization plan on the Oregon BLM websites.  The only people who have received it are people who are on the “interested party list” in Oregon.  The deadline for public comment is 2/2/16.   A link to the Environmental Assessment is HERE.


Leon Pielstick, DVM, inserting a chain ecraseur via colpotomy incision

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/

and you can see her photography at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

Continue reading

BLM seeks comment on another Long Term Holding Pasture

The BLM is considering a contract for a new Long Term Holding Pasture (which is now called an Off Range Pasture…probably because the BLM knows the horses or burros won’t really be there “long term,” but only until the horses or burros can be secretively hauled away into the slaughter pipeline.)

Tate Farms, LLC is a business owned by Joseph and Jenifer Tate of Milwaukee, WI.  Tate Farms is a cattle company.  Scott Noll, a pilot, is listed as the agent for/member of Tate Farms.  So, who will be tending to the wild horses?  A pilot?   Wealthy individuals who live in a mansion in another state?  Long term holding shouldn’t be about just sticking the horses on a piece of land. The BLM should give a public accounting regarding the experience of the people who will be tending to the wild horses, including their knowledge of, and experience with, horses.   –  Debbie

SOURCE:  thehorse.com


BLM Seeks Comment on Potential Wild Horse Off-Range Pasture

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah’s Richfield Field Office is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed wild horse off-range pasture (ORP).

The proposed action is for the BLM to fund a contract for a wild horse ORP facility on the Tate Farms property, located on both sides of Highway 132 near Fountain Green, Utah, totaling approximately 3,900 acres. The application is from Scott Noll, who manages the family-owned Tate Farms. The estimated capacity of the Tate Farms property is a maximum of 700 horses.

The EA can be viewed on ePlanning at http://go.usa.gov/cTkMe or by accessing the main ePlanning Register page and using the “Advanced Search” feature to search for NEPA #: DOI-BLM-UT-C020-2016-0001-EA or project name “Fountain Green Off-Range Pasture.”

Written comments will be accepted by letter or e-mail until Feb. 15. Please note that the most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but might be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “Fountain Green Off-Range Pasture EA” when submitting comments.

Written comments can be submitted via mail or e-mail using the following addresses:

Mail—BLM Utah State Office
Attn: Julie Carson
440 W 200 S, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84101


Before including an address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—could be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

For additional EA-specific information, please contact Julie Carson at 801/539-4245.

BLM Photo Documents 72 Wild Burros but Submits Written Report of 1,378?

Black Mountain Wild Burro Herd Management Area: Analysis of Bureau of Land Management Aerial Census

April and October 2014 Flights

Independent Study by Undisclosed Environmental Researchers

Four Burros – Black Mountain Herd Management Area – BLM Photo

Four Burros – Black Mountain Herd Management Area – BLM Photo

The following independent review of the Bureau of Land Management’s 2014 burro population census aerial flight was completed using information, photographs, and other documentation that was collected through a formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the raw data of the BLM’s 2014 population census aerial flights. The aerial census data documentation over the nine days of flights fails to adequately document the BLM’s wild burro population count.


This report is an analysis of the data, pictures, and hand-written notes from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Arizona – BLM Colorado River District – Kingman Field Office wild burro census completed in two segments, between April 25-30th and October 6-9th of 2014 in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area. Over the nine days in flight only 5% (rounded) of the wild burros that were allegedly counted were photographed. In fact, the majority of the photos taken during the flight were of big horn sheep and trophy buck deer and duplicate burro photos and landscape features rather than of wild burros counted. There were four persons in the helicopter in each flight – pilot and 3 observers – see flight data for observers’ names and government affiliation (BLM & AZGFD & NPS). The aerial census over the nine days fails to adequately document the BLM’s purported wild burro population count. It was also noted by examination of the photos that the majority of the photos were taken of the wild burros while being chased by the helicopter.

 Data Summary

Summary of independent review of BLM aerial flight raw data:

Total Photos 54

Total Burros Counted in Photos 72

Total Photos of Burros (not counting duplicates) 20

Total Number Duplicate Photos (that were of duplicate burros groups) 15

Total Photos of “Other” 19

– landscape 10

– trophy deer 6

– big-horn sheep 3

BLM flight notes show they counted 1,378 wild burros (1,148 total adults and 230 total foals)

Nine days flying in 2014

Miles flown and time in air (see BLM notes)

All burros were reported as inside HMA except on flight day 4/27/2014 (27 adults and 4 foals) and on flight day 4/28/2014 (17 adults and 1 foal).

The majority of all flights reported at 0 – 30% vegetation concealment with occasional 70-80% in Juniper tree areas and “open” or “broken” visual field and rarely “treed” (see data)

 Flight Data

Arizona – BLM Colorado River District – Kingman Field Office

Black Mountain Herd Management Area

Survey Method: Simultaneous Double-Count

Helicopter – Bell L1

Elevations flown: 2,000-3,000 feet (Elevation at nearby Kingman AZ is 3,336 feet)

April 25, 27, 28, 29 & 30 of 2014

Flight Hours 24.7

Miles Flown: 2061 (plus additional ferry miles)

Conditions: Ranged from good to very good – Winds ranged from light to high

October 6, 7, 8, & 9 of 2014

Flight Hours 27.2

Miles Flown: Not provided

Conditions: Very Good Overall; Ranging from Good to Excellent; Light Rain One Day; Light Winds

No date/time stamp on any photos. FOIA requester was told that date/time was not done and not required by BLM.

The aerial census included the pilot and three additional observers for each flight date. The observers included BLM employees, Arizona Game and Fish employees and National Park Service employees (see flight notes).

Planned Speed 55-60 knots (63-70 MPH)

See aerial flight maps provided via FOIA – no explanation was provided with them.


The Fort Collins Science Center who guides the BLM’s aerial population procedures states, “Because population estimates drive nearly all management decisions pertaining to wild horses and burros, accuracy is important.” https://www.fort.usgs.gov/WildHorsePopulations/AlternativeTech

“The accuracy and precision of current wild horse survey methods have not been rigorously tested.” https://www.fort.usgs.gov/WildHorsePopulations/Counting

The BLM Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes program guidance and policy for inventorying and estimating wild horse population numbers to supply the managers and the public with scientifically supportable and defensible population estimates of wild horse and burro populations. More than ever before, Field Managers and WH&B specialists are challenged to base WH&B management decisions on accurate and credible population estimates. This was not accomplished with this survey and the true and accurate wild burro population was not sufficiently documented for the Black Mountain HMA and therefore is very much in question.



Complete data received via FOIA is available upon request. The aerial census documentation over the nine days fails to adequately document the BLM’s wild burro population count.

Click (HERE) to Download Compete Report

Sen. John McCain got it wrong about wild burros

Unfortunately, Sen. McCain was misinformed if he thought there was an “exploding” burro population in Mohave County.  Wild burros are almost extinct in the United States due to mismanagement by the Bureau of Land Management.  You can contact Senator McCain HERE.

Source.  McCain.senate.gov


Senator McCain Urges Interior Department to Address Exploding Burro Population in Mohave County

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Director Sally Jewell this week urging the agency to address problems with managing the exploding burro herd population in Mohave County, which are damaging lands from over-grazing, harming other wildlife, and causing numerous car accidents in the area.

“The Interior Department’s mismanagement of the [Black Mountain Burro Herd Management Plan] has resulted in significant unintended consequences for Mohave County,” writes Senator McCain. “For example, burros have devastated the areas’ natural resources by over-grazing the land, which has subsequently harmed native wildlife like quail, rabbits, and doves. Furthermore, burros have migrated into residential neighborhoods in search of food, posing a significant public safety hazard to the community. In just over two years’ time, the burros have been responsible for 24 car accidents in Bullhead City, Arizona… I strongly believe that any update to the Black Mountain HMA must address public safety and natural resources concerns.”

The signed letter is here and the text of the letter is below.

The Honorable Sally Jewell


U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20240


Dear Secretary Jewell:

I wish to bring to your attention the concerns of Mohave County, Arizona, regarding efforts by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to update the Black Mountain Burro Herd Management Plan.

As you know, Mohave County is home to the largest Herd Management Area (HMA) in Arizona, totaling approximately 1.1 million acres. The HMA was established in 1996 under BLM’s Black Mountain Ecosystem Plan at a time when HMA totaled just 478 head. However, reproduction rates have outpaced BLM’s ability to manage the herd. Today, the herd population in Mohave County has exploded to over 1,500 head while only 120 wild horses and burros are adopted each year on average.

The Interior Department’s mismanagement of the program has resulted in significant unintended consequences for Mohave County. For example, burros have devastated the areas’ natural resources by over-grazing the land, which has subsequently harmed native wildlife like quail, rabbits, and doves. Furthermore, burros have migrated into residential neighborhoods in search of food, posing a significant public safety hazard to the community. In just over two years’ time, the burros have been responsible for 24 car accidents in Bullhead City, Arizona (see attached).

Against this backdrop, I ask you to (1) indicate if you are aware of the public safety and natural resources concerns raised by Mohave County in connection with the Department’s mismanagement of burro herd populations in Mohave County; (2) outline a plan of action and associated milestones by which the Department intends to return burro population numbers to levels that can be more reasonably managed; and (3) identify what additional legislative authorities, if any, you need to address this problem.

I strongly believe that any update to the Black Mountain HMA must address public safety and natural resources concerns. The response you provide will be most appreciated, and I look forward to your timely reply.


John McCain

United States Senator



American Horse Rescue Network starts Youth Program

Source:  americanhorserescuenetwork.org

by Daryl Smoliak
American Horse Rescue Network (AHRN) has begun it’s Youth Program.  It is designed to educate the next generation of horse advocates.
Next week we will conduct our first seminar at Mel-O-Dee Stables in Minnesota.  Brooke Garber, one of our Youth leaders, will attend and assist in the seminar.
The program includes information about the difficult issues American equines face, such as the slaughter industry, the BLM roundups, Tennessee Walker soring and other human perpetrated crimes against horses.
It is our hope the young people in attendance at these seminars, which will be conducted nationwide, will be so motivated that they carry the messages learned into their communities.  Young Declan Gregg, one our Youth Leaders from New Hampshire, is well known for his pro-active stance against horse slaughter.  He is a role model for other young people in our country and the activities he has performed will be a guideline for those who wish to become horse advocates.
We are looking for volunteers who would like to put together a seminar for the Youth Program.  I, or one of our board members, would conduct the program.  All we need from you is to recruit young people who you feel would embrace the idea of becoming a horse advocate and help spread the word by eventually going into the community and giving speeches.  AHRN will provide all the tools necessary for the initial seminar and any additional seminars put on by the young people who become horse advocates.
If you would like to volunteer in helping put together a Youth Program in your community, please contact me at:
www.americanhorserescuenetwork.org and click on the “Contact” button.
Education is the ultimate key.  

Mohave County AZ Supervisor Proposes Wild Burro Hunting

Haley Walters Today’s News-Herald

“The article, below, is unedited but please read with your eyes wide open as the numbers are skewed, again, and the bulk of the content is pure, unadulterated anti-burro propaganda.  We need people at the meeting on the 19th!” ~ R.T.

Supervisor Steve Moss says he wants to force BLM into action to control burro herd numbers

Highway along Colorado river has NO wildlife underpass or crossing

Highway along Colorado river has NO wildlife underpass or crossing

Mohave County District Supervisor Steve Moss is proposing hunting licenses to offset the over-abundant burro population in the area.

The Bureau of Land Management estimates there are between 1,400 and 1,800 burros in Mohave County, and supervisors said they want to see that number reduced to 817. This is still well above BLM’s recommendation of 478 burros for the region.

The proposal is on the agenda for Tuesday’s county supervisor meeting, but Moss said it was placed as a way to spark a reaction from the BLM.

“No one truly wants to hunt Burros, including the board of supervisors. And even if we did, neither the local nor state government has the power to issue permits,” Moss’s office said in a statement. “What we want is the BLM to come up with a solution, regardless of what it might be. We are hoping that the ‘shock’ value of the agenda item will motivate the BLM to direct the funding required towards adoption, sterilization, removal and relocation, fencing, etc. programs.”

Moss said if the BLM does not take long-term action to control the burro population, the county will pursue legal action against the Bureau for not carrying out its statutory duties outlined in The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

“With that law, the federal government tied our hands as far as what we could do to control the burro population and gave the authority over to the BLM,” Moss said. “The legislation says it’s the BLM’s responsibility to control the burro herds but they’ve broken that promise and they’re not taking care of it.”

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Jayson Barangan said efforts to manage burro numbers have already been enacted, but it takes time to find the right solution.

“The situation [in Mohave County] has had our attention for a while and I think that with our toolkit and with our partnerships we’re trying to find a balanced approach to manage these animals,” Barangan said.

The BLM routinely rounds up wild burros for its Adopt a Wild Horse or Burro Program, and is currently conducting an environmental analysis to study the feasibility of antifertility inoculations.

“We’re working with some partners on a trial run on some fertility treatments of animals, but that hasn’t been set in stone yet,” Barangan said.

Still, Moss remains unimpressed with the BLM’s “token efforts” to control the burro population in the wake of numerous motorcycle and vehicle accidents involving burros.

“It’s only a matter of time until a burro goes through someone’s windshield and kills a family,” Moss said.

The BLM has placed fencing along Mohave County highways to dissuade burros from wandering into traffic, but the county still has the largest burro herd in the U.S., which is running out of space to roam.

“There is plenty of BLM land they can relocate the burros to,” Moss said. “I hope the BLM does that, or anything else, to get the local numbers under control as the current population is out of whack from what the habitat can support and is threatening public safety as the numbers are forcing the Burros to expand their range into Bullhead City and occupied subdivisions.”

The meeting will be held at the County Administration Building in Kingman on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

The Word “Donkey” Cracks Up Little Dude

Shared by R.T. Fitch

I’m sorry, just couldn’t help myself; while perusing the news for noteworthy and timely information related to our wild horses and burros I happened upon this little video clip and just had to share it with our readership.

There’s plenty of serious business swirling about all of us but after a moment of watching this little guy laugh you might find yourself doing the same as his giggles are infectious.

This clip has made the rounds but to the best of my knowledge it first appeared on “America’s Funniest Videos”.

Today, (by 4 p.m. Mountain time) is last chance to comment to save White Mountain HMA wild mares from spaying

Don’t forget to also call the White House and your Congressional representatives.

SOURCE:  Wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol Walker


Today is the last day to comment on the BLM’s disastrous plan to sterilize wild mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area in Wyoming. Despite the herd numbering only 268 wild horses, which is within the AML of 209- 300 wild horses in the area, the BLM plans to team up with USGS and conduct a study, first rounding up the herd using helicopters, removing horses until there are 209 left, and putting radio collars on the mares and tail tags on the stallions to study behavior for 1 year. They plan to put radio collars on the mares, and the last time the BLM did this in 1991 many horses died. This is just not safe.  Then they plan to round them up again using helicopters, and then spaying 30-50 wild mares in the field, which is an incredibly dangerous procedure, certainly fatal to many of the mares. The sterilization of this and other herds targeted for research by the BLM and USGS spells the beginning of the end of wild horses on our public lands.

Please comment today by 4pm Mountain Time. Your own words will be the most powerful and effective for having an impact on the BLM and their plans.

You can read more here in my blog:


You can use the Cloud Foundation’s excellent talking points here:


Or if you have just enough time to write a few sentences, please be sure to cover the following points:

1. Do not round up and remove horses from White Mountain Herd Management Area. The horses are within AML. If you must round them up, use bait trapping at known water sources not a helicopter roundup.

2. Do not put radio collars and tail tags on the stallions. This is unsafe and potentially fatal for the horses. Use observation of people int he field, interns or staff, to obtain information. The horses are easily identifiable and most are easy to approach – this invasive and dangerous method is not necessary.

3. Do not spay wild mares. This is cruel, inhumane, potentially fatal for many of the mares. It is completely unnecessary. If you must use birth control on this herd, use the proven, safe, humane and reversible native PZP or PZP-22 that can be given using bait trapping and/or field darting.

Send your comments to:


Put “White Mountain and Little Colorado EA” in the subject line of your email.

These need to be in by 4 pm Mountain Time on today, Thursday the 14th of January. Please pass this along.

Here is the link to the BLM and USGS project:
If you want to know what is really driving this and the other Checkerboard Roundups:
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