BLM Poised to Eradicate Last Large Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

US Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), supports listing of wild horses as endangered species

Mares rounded up in Salt Wells Creek in December 2013 – photo by Carol Walker

ROCK SPRINGS, WY (July 23, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation (TCF) with 280,000 followers, as well as numerous wild horse and animal advocacy groups, condemns the Bureau of Land Management’s scheduled roundup which will eliminate all wild horses on 1.2 million acre checkerboard land (alternating one mile square sections of private and public land for 20 miles on either side of Interstate 80) within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMA).  The roundup of 946 wild horses is the first step in the planned total elimination of all wild horses in Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek. 

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, renowned equine photographer and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) Board member (Listen to Carol Walker TONIGHT on Wild Horse and Burro Radio, see below). Walker has photographed the unique southwestern Wyoming herds for 10 years. “Genetic tests link the Adobe Town herd to horses re-introduced to the America’s by the Spanish in the 1500s. Great Divide Basin wild horses are descended from Calvary remounts,” she continues.  “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage, and the untamed spirit of the West.”

The roundups, aimed at appeasing the powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), are in compliance with a Consent Decree between the BLM and RSGA, a back door deal allegedly encouraged by then-Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. According to the Consent Decree the BLM agrees to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, arguing that these unfenced wild lands allow mustangs to freely roam into private land in the checkerboard areas. Yet even in the Adobe Town HMA, which contains only a small portion of land within the checkerboard, the BLM intends to slash the herd by 100% leaving only 500 horses on over 400,000 acres of federal lands.

While BLM and RSGA contend that 1,912 wild horses overpopulate the 2.4 million acres within the HMA’s, TCF and WHFF research reveals that 356,222 cattle and 45,206 sheep graze the same lands under federally subsidized grazing leases. While cattle and sheep are not on the range year round like wild horses, the monthly average of 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep is staggering compared to fewer than 2,000 wild horses.  Livestock, not wild horses overpopulate and degrade the rangelands

TCF and other advocate groups question the legality of BLM’s Decision to reduce herd levels far below Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) set in their own Resource Management Plans, and without an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Wild horse and burro herds and the federal lands on which they roam are under fire from those seeking to control land currently owned by the American public,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF.  Since 1971 wild horses and burros have lost over 20 million acres of habitat. 339 wild horse herds were designated for protection on western ranges when the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed. Today only 179 herds remain. 70% of the remaining herds are no longer genetically viable due to their small herd sizes. The intent of the forward thinking, environmentally sound and unanimously passed 1971 Act has been totally ignored by the agency charged with protecting wild horses and burros. 

As recently as July 10, Utah Representative Chris Stewart introduced HR 5058, The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014 which, according to a Salt Lake Tribune article,could allow states to sell wild horses to slaughter.”  

“Apparently, Congressman Stewart is not satisfied with the sweetheart deal welfare ranchers have had for decades, in which they pay virtually nothing to run their cattle and sheep on land owned by the American public,”  Kathrens says. She also attributes the dire situation to BLM’s bungling of the Wild Horse and Burro Program. “BLM has turned their back on management practices that would allow for the animals to live out their lives in freedom, rather than languishing in costly holding pens and pastures.”

“Wild horses are between a rock and a hard place.  The BLM wants to eliminate them in Wyoming, and Utah Congressman Stewart wants states to have the authority to eliminate them on federal rangeland,” states Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “This is why The Cloud Foundation joined Friends of Animals in filing a Petition to List North American Wild Horses under the Endangered Species Act.”

“With the myriad of threats posed to the remaining wild horse herds in America, it is past time that we look to science to guide their management on our public lands,” states US Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ).  “I support The Cloud Foundation’s call for wild horses to be federally protected under the ESA.”

The ESA petition’s introduction states:

The primary threats to wild horses on federal public land are habitat loss, inadequate regulation, and excessive round-ups and removals. Overall, wild horses on federal public lands face the threat of extinction due to at least four factors identified in the ESA. First, habitat loss, particularly from cattle grazing, mining, energy exploration, and urban expansion, endangers the distinct population segment (“DPS”). Second, human utilization threatens the species, specifically removal and sterilization to reduce the population and allow commercial grazing. Third, existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to manage the threats that face wild horses and may, in fact, constitute an independent threat to their survival. Finally, other natural and manmade factors also threaten the continued existence of wild horses in the United States, including their artificially fragmented range and small population size. Thus, it is vital to the survival of this population segment of wild horses that it becomes federally protected under the ESA

Livestock vs WH

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 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, and you can call in with questions during 2nd hour of the show.

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

Our guest is CAROL WALKER, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, talking about the DIRE SITUATION for Wyoming wild horses: the decimation and ZEROING OUT of Herd Management Areas next month in Wyoming.

Carol Walker on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., July 23rd) to talk about the dire situation for Wyoming Wild Horses

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 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, and you can call in with questions during 2nd hour of the show.

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

Our guest is CAROL WALKER, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, talking about the DIRE SITUATION for Wyoming wild horses: the decimation and ZEROING OUT of Herd Management Areas next month in Wyoming.

14CarolWalker659-

2008 roundup photo by Carol Walker

This radio show is co-hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Marti Oakley, PPJ Gazette.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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

LISTEN TO ARCHIVED RADIO SHOWS:

11/6/13 – John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance discussing the latest in horse slaughter issues. Click HERE.

11/13/13 – Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and founder of Wild Burro Protection League (under Todd Mission Rescue) and Carl Mrozak, videographer (Eagle Eye Media), with work appearing on CBS, PBS, the Discovery Channel, the Weather Channel and other networks. This show focused on wild burros. Click HERE.

11/20/13 – Simone Netherlands, Natural Horsemanship Trainer, founder of respect 4 horses Organization, and director & producer of the documentary “America’s Wild Horses.” To see the trailer for the documentary, click HERE. To listen to this radio show, click HERE.

11/27/13 – R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation and author of the much acclaimed book “Straight from the Horse’s Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope.R.T. also runs the blog “Straight from the Horse’s Heart,” which posts current news and information and gives a comprehensive education to the public on issues in connection with wild horses & burros and public lands issues. Also, Ginger Kathrens, founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, joined in on the show to talk about the Salt Wells & Adobe Town roundups. Click HERE.

12/4/13 – Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and a member of the Board of Directors of the Cloud Foundation. Craig is the author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” and has a website http://thewildhorseconspiracy.org/. Also, Robert Bauer, Wildlife Biologist. Craig and Bob debunk the Bureau of Land Management’s “junk” science about wild horses and burros. Click HERE.

12/11/13 – Ginger Kathrens, the Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, who has been described as “the Jane Goodall of wild horses.” Ginger Kathrens is an Emmy Award-winning producer, cinematographer, writer and editor as well as an award-winning author. Her documentary filmmaking trips have taken her to Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America and all over the U.S. Click HERE.

1/15/14 – Victoria McCullough, international equestrian and CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum and John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance, give details on the key support from Vice President Biden and congressional leaders, and the defunding language in the omnibus bill, which stopped horse slaughter from being reinstated in the U.S. Click HERE.

1/29/14 – R.T. Fitch, John Holland and I hosted this show to honor and celebrate the life of wild horse advocate Garnet Pasquale, who dedicated her life to save the wild horses & burros, especially the wild horses near her home in Las Vegas, Nevada through her work with the Spring Mountain Alliance. Garnet’s dear friend, wild horse advocate and wildlife photographer Arlene Gawne,gives a vivid account of these wild horses and the work of the Spring Mountain Alliance. Click HERE.

2/26/14 – Barbara Clark, founder of Dreamcatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary in northern California talks about the sanctuary and natural behavior of wild horses and burros. Click HERE.

4/1/14 - Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Manager of Todd Mission Ranch (home of TMR Rescue, Inc.) and President of the Wild Burro Protection League, who recently went to Bonaire (Dutch Antilles) to investigate the donkeys that turned out to be a thought to be extinct, rare globally endangered species. Marjorie was joined on this show by Carl Mrozak, videographer (Eagle Eye Media), with work appearing on CBS, PBS, the Discovery Channel, the Weather Channel and other networks, and Rona Aguilar, member of the team formed by her father, Al Catalfumo, to investigate the plight of the donkeys in Bonaire. Click HERE.

Feds Circumnavigate Protocol to Destroy Wild Horse Herds

Unedited, less headline and byline, BLM Press Release

No Resource Management Plan or Environmental Assessment, just Total Removal and Destruction

BLM Header

BLM Schedules Wild Horse Removal on Checkerboard Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will remove all wild horses from checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) beginning approximately Aug. 20.

This removal comes at the request of private land owners and to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree for Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) vs. Salazar, No. 11-CV00263-NDF, and Section 4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The three HMAs total approximately 2,427,220 acres, with 1,242,176 acres falling within the checkerboard. The majority of private land in the HMAs is in the checkerboard of alternating sections of public and private land and owned or controlled by the RSGA. Wild horses will remain in the non-checkerboard sections of the HMAs.

All removed wild horses will be examined by a veterinarian, dewormed, Coggins-tested and given booster shots.

“Animals removed from the checkerboard will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” said Rock Springs Field Office Manager Kimberlee Foster. “Those not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their ‘wild’ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

There will be opportunities to observe the removal. To be notified of these opportunities, please contact Shelley Gregory at 307-315-0612 or ssgregory@blm.gov to have your name added to the observation log.

For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Checkerboard.html, www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal.html or contact Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0331.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

–BLM–Rock Springs Field Office   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs WY 82901

Ranchers vs Wild Horses: Pure BS


 

“Avid readers and researchers brought this article to our attention WITH commentary. Often times we issue a “tissue” alert before reading a touching article; not so in this case, instead we will formerly issue a “GAG” alert as anything that is in your alimentary canal may want to take a fast exit after reading the facts about why ranchers really want wild horses removed.” ~ R.T.


 

http://www.opb.org/news/article/running-from-drought-dry-conditions-force-wild-horses-onto-private-land/

Herald And News: Dry Conditions Force Wild Horses Onto Private Land

The Klamath Falls Herald and News | July 12, 2014 8 p.m. | Updated: July 14, 2014 3:37 p.m. | Dorris, California

Contributed By:

LACEY JARRELL H&N Staff Reporter

http://www.opb.org/images/fetch/c_limit,g_center,h_350,q_90,w_220/http%3A/s3.amazonaws.com/p2x-photos/787a5bb4d6cb4be37bc32248228af15b_original.jpg

Roger Porterfield was a courteous, but reluctant host when 90 uninvited guests began showing up at his ranch, grazing his land and depleting his water holes. Even as the guests brazenly took hay from his cattle feeders day after day, Porterfield accommodated them, until one day enough was enough and he asked them to leave.

In late 2013, Porterfield, of Porterfield Ranch in Dorris, Calif., filed an official complaint with the Bureau of Land Management stating wild horses were moving off the nearby Red Rocks Lakes Herd Management Area and onto his property in search of food and water. At the time, Porterfield noted about 30 to 40 horses were bypassing his fences and helping themselves to his livestock stores.

“Feed and water are crucial for the ranch operation, especially in drought years,” the complaint read. “This situation is totally unacceptable.”

On June 10, BLM officials surveyed the 18,000-acre Red Rocks site and discovered all of its 17 water sources — including the area’s two namesake Red Rock Lakes — were completely dry.

“There’s not even mud in them,” said Doug Satica, manager of Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Susanville, Calif.

Just two days later, the agency approved Porterfield’s complaint and began removing wild horses from his ranch. In all, 90 were collected — 30 studs, 45 mares, and 15 foals — and transported 170 miles to the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Facility, where they are awaiting adoption.

“Like the rest of the West, it’s abnormally dry. Northern California, by most accounts, is having one of the driest seasons on record,” said Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District public information officer.

Water sources dry up

The Red Rocks Lakes BLM Herd Management Area (HMA) is named after the Red Rocks Lakes that, when combined, cover about 75 acres. According to Litchfield manager Satica, they are the area’s main water source.

Alan Uchida, a rangeland management specialist with the Alturas, Calif., BLM office, said the lakes, although shallow, typically hold water for a few months after a wet spring, but the mild winter produced little snow and left fewer water reserves.

“The last time I visited the lakes, they were plumb dry,” Uchida said.

Uchida explained the Red Rocks HMA sits atop a ridge and is surrounded by private land on all sides. He said horses occasionally travel off the HMA in search of food or water, but he’s not surprised many are making regular visits to Porterfield’s property. Porterfield manages 2,000 head of cattle and has the most reliable water sources around, he said.

Fontana explained Red Rocks’ horses and livestock are sustained through summer months by 17 water holes, which are a mixture of natural water sources, like springs and the lakes, and manmade pits positioned to utilize natural runoff flows.

“But we haven’t had a drought like this in a long, long, time,” Satica said.

The drought, which encompasses most of the West, has left horse managers north of the California border, eying emergency plans as well. Jeff Clark, an Oregon BLM public information officer, said his agency hasn’t received any nuisance complaints about mustangs and private water sources yet, but it has plans in place if water becomes scarce for the state’s 4,200 wild horses: Some Eastern Oregon livestock grazers are working with the BLM to keep watering holes full even after their cattle have moved on, and last year in the Lakeview District, water trucks hauled hundreds of gallons of water to replenish wildlife watering holes.

“More than likely, that’s going to happen again,” Clark said.

All wildlife affected

In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to protect, manage, and control wild horses and burros on public lands. The act is intended to allow the animals to roam within reasonable populations that are balanced with other species’ rangeland needs. Although the Red Rocks HMA has a management objective of 16 to 25 horses, officials initially estimated the herd could be as large as 80.

Since Porterfield’s complaint was approved in June, nearly 100 horses have been gathered from his ranch and officials believe there could be more on the HMA.

Rob Sharp, a wild horse management specialist in the Burns BLM office, said horses are no different than other livestock, and although they tend to travel quite a bit between water and forage sites, resources restrict how far they will go.

“When things get really poor, you’ll start to see horses congregate on whatever water source is left, along with other wildlife,” he said.

Fontana emphasized HMAs are not devoted exclusively to horses; domestic livestock, mule deer, pronghorn, upland birds and countless other species utilize the same water resources.

“If there’s no water for horses, there’s no water for wildlife,” Clark said.

Craig Foster, a district biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the water situation in the desert east of Lakeview isn’t dire yet, but some animals are moving to higher elevations, where springs may have received more precipitation.

“If the 95-degree-plus weather continues, water is going to be an issue later in the summer,” he said.

Foster added research has shown when water gets tight, wild horses will protect and defend a resource, preventing other animals, such as deer and pronghorn, from using it. He said if conditions remain dry, it’s likely conflicts between the horses and wildlife will arise.

“It’s going to be a concern, especially in the Beatys Butte area,” he said, noting the Lakeview District’s horse population also is well over its management objective.

ljarrell@heraldandnews.com; @LMJatHandN


THE REST OF THE STORY

 

This little HMA (Red Rock) is north east of Weed and almost on the Oregon/CA border with a VERY small AML of 25 horses.

Just so you know, the guy Porterfield who is quoted in the below article, and who made the official complaints for wild horse removal has 1041 active AUMs on the HMA equal to about forage enough for 87 wild horses full time if just he didn’t run his cattle there.  In addition, I estimated the total AUMs (Porterfield and a few others) at 1795 AUMs which would be equal to about 150 wild horses if they would all get their cattle OFF.

To take it a step further for the sake of argument, if the horses got their legal principal share using multiple use – that would still allow for 88 full time wild horses and an almost equal but slightly smaller number of livestock.

(*** Above numbers from RAS but they are rounded and the grazing allotments used for calculation appear to be almost equal although not exact to the size of the HMA.)

Also, Porterfield received $149,913 in federal farm subsidies (2002-2012) and two of the other ranchers with allotments on the HMA received a combined total of about $300,000 in farm subsidies.  If these so-called “ranchers” can’t successfully manage their livestock on their own land without this federal welfare money – then they do NOT belong in the ranching business.

Porterfield is right about one thing … this situation is totally unacceptable BUT it is his personal for-profit livestock on my land and on the land that belongs principally to the wild horses that is unacceptable!

It is much more about the water than even the land.

The Red Rocks seems to be a small HMA (a friend used to go there and said it was very remote and very few horses) and if the ranchers own the water rights and they turn off the springs after removing their livestock (and they DO that!!!) then there would be a water shortage for the wildlife and wild horses.  There is no doubt that many of the water catchments (manmade) are dry this year and we must realize that drought is “normal” …… heavy rain years and light rain years are NORMAL.  That in itself is not the problem.  If the water (springs and natural lakes) was not sucked dry by irrigation then there would not be this problem and if you look at Red Rocks HMA on google earth, it is surrounded by BIG irrigated private fields.

Attached google earth photo I did … HMA is in the middle and surrounded by irrigated corps.

Red Rock HMA

As for Porterfield … They are listed as producing CATTLE GENETICS AND INTERNATIONAL PRODUCER OF CATTLE!  i.e. they are insisting that our wild horses be removed in favor of GMO cattle and beef for export (see below).

As for their exact location, I am not sure but believe their main ranch is just east of Dorris and north of the HMA – so I would say 99% sure they are sucking up the water for irrigation for hay for their cattle.  It is also common for big ranches to own other bits of ranches that have sold out, so they could have numerous lands in the area and in this article about him when he was awarded cattleman of the year … it does state that they irrigate.

http://www.heraldandnews.com/article_9f3c8fcb-1214-547f-a3e5-0577c252b1af.html

 

more:

Porterfield Ranch

5524 Dorris Brownell Road
Dorris, CA 96023 - View Map

Phone: (530) 397-4726

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Porterfield Ranch

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More Details for Porterfield Ranch

Categorized under Livestock Producers. Our records show it was established in 1965 and incorporated in California. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 280000 and employs a staff of approximately 4.

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Burrowing in on Wild Horse and Burro Management

By Wayne Pacelle as published on Humane Nation

“…allow the transport of 100 burros to residents in Guatemala, for use as working animals?”

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Burros are among my favorite of the animals residing at our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, with their long ears and friendly stares. We have a couple hundred of rescued burros there, and visitors seem to have a special fascination with them, too. As with all of the animals at the ranch, they’ve landed there because of some tale of woe – in most instances, because the burros have gotten a raw deal from the federal government, which manages, or mismanages, their populations on the vast reaches of public lands in the West.

Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the federal government, through the Bureau of Land Management, is mandated to maintain populations of wild horses and burros in the 11 western states where they live. There are only about 40,000 wild horses and only 8,000 burros, and three quarters of the horses are in just two states – Nevada and Wyoming. The remaining states have relatively small populations, typically with 3,000 or fewer animals.  There are millions of cattle and sheep on those federal lands, yet ranchers complain of too many wild equids.

The government has been rounding up and removing horses and burros, ostensibly to control these wild populations and minimize their ecological impact.  In the process, the feds have been building a captive equine population now in the tens of thousands, at short-term and long-term holding facilities. Just last week, the BLM released new information that its personnel and contractors would round up nearly 2,400 more wild horses and burros this year. The cost of the round ups and housing and feeding the animals is now cannibalizing about two-thirds of the budget for the program, which has been widely regarded through the years as a case study of mismanagement.

For years, we have pressed the Bureau of Land Management, which runs the program, to focus instead on fertility programs to manage populations – a solution that the National Academy of Sciences also recommended in a report commissioned by the BLM. The BLM has been slow to implement the recommendations of the NAS.

Now, in what can only be described as a case example of poor decision-making, BLM is undertaking a pilot program with the Department of Defense and Heifer International and intends to allow the transport of 100 burros to residents in Guatemala, for use as working animals. While burros have been traditionally used for this purpose, this use is at odds with the provisions of WFHBA, which requires that the BLM’s first priority has to be the humane treatment of wild burros in their care.

We are not insensitive to the difficult and challenging lives of people and animals in Guatemala and other developing countries, and we acknowledge the value and importance of working animals worldwide. Through Humane Society International (HSI) and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Program (HSVMA) affiliates, we have a robust and proactive assistance program that helps provide veterinary care and other resources in these countries. But Guatemala has burros of its own, and does not need shipments of burros compliments of the BLM – a practice that simply relieves pressure on BLM to revamp its program and protect our nation’s heritage of responsibly managing wild horses and burros…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read more at Humane Nation

BLM Releases 2014 Roundup Schedule Devastating to Red Desert Wild Horses

By Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
as published on Wild Hoofbeats

“Week by week, month by month and year by year the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) chisels away at what few herds of wild horses and burros remain on public lands while giving more and more concessions to welfare grazing interests.  While screaming that they have no money nor room for former free equines the BLM announced last week that they are going to rip yet another 2,500 equines from their rightful homes and virtually “zero out” or totally destroy several long standing Wyoming herds.

Equine photographer, and Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Carol Walker has taken the time to put the the math to the BLM schedule and sheds light on a very serious situation in her latest blog post.  Please check back often as we will attempt to keep you abreast of this rapidly developing story as the future well being of thousands of wild equines hangs in the balance as the BLM dances with the law and climbs into bed with private, profiteering grazing interests.” ~ R.T.


Mares rounded up in Salt Wells Creek in December 2013 ~ photo by Carol Walker

The BLM has finally released its roundup schedule for 2014:

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/herd_management/tentative_gather_schedule.html

On this schedule are three roundups in Wyoming:

Adobe Town 8/20 – 8/24, plan to remove 177 wild horses

Salt Wells Creek 8/24 – 8-28, plan to remove 228 wild horses

Great Divide Basin 8/28 – 9/10,  plan to remove 541 wild horses

This is despite having just rounded up and removed 586 wild horses from Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town in December 2013.

Looking at the numbers provided by the BLM, Great Divide Basin will be virtually zeroed out after this roundup and removal. The AML for the area is 415-600 wild horses. At their May 2013 count they said there were 439 horses and they estimated that there would be 579 in the summer of 2014.  Removing 541 would be almost all,  if not all, of them.

In Salt Wells Creek, the AML is 251-365. In their projected estimate before the 2013 roundup the BLM said there were 823 wild horses, they removed 586,  and they plan to remove 228. Even estimating a 20% population increase this year, this would bring the population below low AML.

In Adobe Town, the AML is 610-800 wild horses. The BLM projected the population to be 624 in 2013, they removed 14 in 2013 and they plan to remove 177, Even estimating a 20% increase in population this year, this would bring the population below low AML.

Currently, the Resource Management Plans for both the Rock Springs and Rawlins Areas are being revised. It is during the Resource Management Revision process that AML can be changed for herd management areas and herd management areas can be changed to herd areas, allowing them to be zeroed out. This process has NOT happened yet…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story

Reprint: BLM Long Term Holding ~ Wild Horse Heaven or Hell

(In my own words) by Terry Fitch, updated forward by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Yesterday, 7/8/2014, Debbie Coffey shared information on this blog about one of the BLM’s long term holding contractors who, regardless of their wealth and TV personality status, abused their equine charges by holding a devastating fireworks display over the very area that we, the taxpayers, are paying to warehouse our splintered remnants of captured wild horses.  This report from Debbie, which only shared posted information from Ree Drummond‘s publicly published blog, set loose a fire-storm of misinformation and attacks from a serious group of internet trolls who thought they were coming to the aide of their beloved multimillionaires ‘Pioneer Woman’ and her husband who is nicknamed after a cigarette.

As usual, anything that comes close to the BLM and/or grazing interests, the attacks were full of misinformation and blatant lies regarding the property where the horses are kept…”the area is full of valley’s, hills, forests, etc. so the horses never saw a thing.”  Sorry trolls, we know different, we have someone who has been there under the watchful eye of the BLM during a sanctioned tour and that someone is my wife and co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Terry Fitch…and it was all caught on camera and published, here, on November 12th, 2010.

Granted, the Drummond property is expansive and not all of it is legally designated as holding for the horses but one of it’s unique characteristics is that, outside of the eastern and north east corner, it is wide open prairie land.  Not a tree to be seen and the “valleys” are nothing more than gentle rolling hills making it very easy for humans or horses to easily view overhead pyrotechnics.  It’s wide open folks with only a gentle hill barely obscuring the Drummond compound to the major state road to the south.

Debbie has reported the facts, these people use your money given from the BLM to warehouse horses that should never have had their freedom and families destroyed in the first place and their abuse of your trust should be exposed.

Please take a few moments and read Debbie’s report, if you have not, and read the report written by Terry back in 2010; one who rarely speaks and never writes.

There is truth in the words of both these brave and outstanding women.

Thank you Deb and Terry.

Keep the faith!” ~  R.T.


Pretty to the Eye – Sterile to the Soul

Tulsa, OK Nov 11, 2010 – (SFTHH) The much anticipated “press day” for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Long Term Holding Tour started out by meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel (Airport) at 8:00 am in Tulsa, OK. Debbie Collins, National WH&B Marketing Specialist; Lili Thomas,Wild Horse & Burro Program Specialist; Pat Williams, WH&B Facility Manager; Art from the Media Division of the BLM; Janet Jankura, Public Interest Representative from the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board; two gentlemen reporters from Tulsa World and me.

We drove for about an hour and a half where we stopped and picked up 3 more people along with a local film crew (Channel 6). We continued on our journey until about 10:45 when we got to our first destination. The ranch was located out in the middle of virtually nowhere. We could see herds of wild horses before we even entered the ranch. I must admit, it was very picturesque; like something out of a movie. We were greeted by Ladd Drummond of Drummond Land & Cattle Co., a fourth generation rancher. The Drummond family (according to The Land Report) owns approximately 120,000 acres which, according to Debbie Collins of the BLM, 24,292 of those acres are dedicated to the approximately 3400 wild horses living out their lives on this land.

If I didn’t know the first thing about wild horses, I would say that this is a paradise for the horses; however, I do know a little something about wild horses. The BLM attempts to portray this living arrangement as a paradise for the horses with their videos of the horses frolicking through the pastures. If these were domestic horses, it would be a perfect environment; but, they’re not. They are wild horses that belong in the wild. I guess; however, it is better than the alternative feed lots and 3-strikes $25.00 sales to kill buyers.

While all looks completely natural to a non-horse person, you soon realize that the mares and geldings are living in separate facilities; hence, no family units. The reason, according to the BLM, is that some of the geldings could still reproduce due to Cryptorchidism and other such oddities; therefore, foals were being born, adding to the alleged problem.

The ranchers, per Ms. Collins, are paid $1.35 to $1.50 per head, per day. For these 3400 horses, that equals to $4590-$5100 per day or $1,675,3500-$1,861,500 per year. Out of these moneys, the ranchers are required to pay for everything from feed, hay, pasture maintenance, fencing, vet care, etc. In addition, they are required to provide chutes to unload the horses and small corrals to acclimate them to their new environment. From there, they are moved to a paddock and then to their final pasture.

The horses are vaccinated, only once, when ‘processed’. After that, they virtually live out their lives as ‘wild’ horses. Once the horses are at the long term facility, there is no hoof care nor vaccinations. The BLM does, however, require there to be adequate amounts of rocks in the pastures so that the horses wear their hooves down naturally. A potential long term facility must add rocks to their pastures in order to be accepted into the program. At the two facilities we visited, both had rocks in the pastures and, from what I could tell, their hooves looked naturally worn. There were natural water sources such as ponds and creeks, along with water troughs.

The ranchers seed and fertilize the pastures along with ‘managed burns’, if necessary. And, to help them sustain in the winter months, the horses are supplementally fed pellets along with hay. Of course, being in captivity, it doesn’t take them long to recognize the feed truck and chase it, which they did in our presence.

All in all, it’s the perfect place for domestic horses not wild horses that are ripped from their family bands, separated by gender, and living their days out. The horses do live longer in captivity.

There are 16 such long term facilities; 10 of which are in Oklahoma. The BLM plans to add 4 more next year for a total of 20 facilities in 5 states.

The second facility was a reiteration of the first facility; only there were 2500 horses on 19,295 acres.