Advocates Will Speak Out for Wild Horses at Press Conference during BLM National Advisory Board Meeting

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, director of field documentation and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Walker has a bond with the Wyoming herds she has been photographing for the past 10 years. “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.”

For immediate release:

Advocates Will Speak Out for Wild Horses at Press Conference during BLM National Advisory Board Meeting

Proposed roundups would rob American public of their rightful legacy.              

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. at BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in 2012~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. at BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in 2012~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (August 18, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation, Respect 4 Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation will hold a press conference and rally at the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, August 25 in Riverton, Wyoming. The press conference will begin at noon, in front of the Central Wyoming College Student Center Building.

The purpose of the press conference and rally are to better inform the public of the costs and risks of ongoing wild horse roundups which have already eliminated wild horses from 20 million acres designated for their use.  Of the 339 herds originally identified for protection, 179 remain on only 11% of public lands and the BLM seeks to remove most of the horses in Southern Wyoming in September. 

The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the BLM and its plan to roundup over 800 horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs) known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. The lawsuit alleges that the BLM violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Wild Horse Act) and the Administrative Procedure Act, by authorizing the permanent removal of hundreds of wild horses from public and private lands within these three HMA’s, without conducting any environmental analysis, engaging the public during the decision-making process or making certain statutorily required determinations under the Wild Horse Act.  In response to the lawsuit, the BLM has agreed to delay the roundup which had been scheduled to begin on August 20, to at least Sept. 1.

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, director of field documentation and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Walker has a bond with the Wyoming herds she has been photographing for the past 10 years. “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.”

BLM claims that wild horses need to be removed from public lands to protect rangeland health. However the vast majority of public lands are open to livestock grazing, which causes enormous damage to the land.  In most cases, even in the wild horses’ own HMA’s, livestock far outnumber wild horses.  According to the BLM’s own data, on average, 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep occupy the three HMA’s targeted for roundup, compared to 1,912 wild horses.

“Instead of protecting wild horses, the BLM’s roundups threaten the ongoing survival of wild horse herds in the west,” states Simone Netherlands, President of Respect4Horses added. “Eerily similar to the rainforests of the Amazon, our public lands are being exploited for the benefit of profit driven business.”

“BLM must begin to manage wild horses ‘on the range’ with the goal of balancing reproduction and mortality.  Over 70% of our wild horse herds are not large enough to be considered genetically viable, sustainable herds,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation “The Wild Horse and Burro Act mandates that the BLM manage wild horses at a sustainable level, which is essential if we are to preserve wild horse herds for future generations of Americans.”


BLM Delays Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup as Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed

Wild Horse Groups File Suit to Block Massive Roundup in Southwest Wyoming

Media Contact:

Paula Todd King, The Cloud Foundation, 843-592-0720,

 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands with a focus on Cloud’s herd in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana.

 Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)(3) status. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction.

Respect4Horses (R4H) is a horse welfare organization whose goals include providing information and documentation to educate the public, the media and legislators in order to promote changes in legislation in regards to current horse welfare issues such as horse slaughter and the roundups of our last remaining wild horses and burros.

Simone Netherlands on “Wild Horse Wednesdays” radio tonight!


(An educational outreach by Wild Horse Freedom Federation)

7:00 pm PST8:00 pm MST 9:00 pm CST10:00 pm EST

Listen Live Here!

Call in # 917-388-4520

You can call in to the live show with questions!

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


Tonight’s guest is Simone Netherlands, Natural Horsemanship Trainer, founder of respect 4 horses organization, and director & producer of the documentary “America’s Wild Horses.”

Simone will talk about the Salt River Wild Horses, her documentary (“America’s Wild Horses”), the raw deal given to some wild horse herds that were omitted from federally protected Herd Management Areas (HMAs) when the HMA boundaries were being decided, and other issues relating to wild horses and horse slaughter.  Simone will also let you know what you can do to help the wild horses.

Wild Horse Wednesdays is co-hosted by Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Marti Oakley, PPJ Gazette.  This series of radio shows on Wednesday nights will feature upcoming guests including Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation, and R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.


To contact us:

Or call 320-281-0585


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. Click HERE.

Video: Stop the Slaughter of American Horses, Now

Video supplied by Simone Netherlands of Respect 4 Horses

How YOU can Help!

TCF R4H & WHFF Spearhead Massive Wild Horse/Slaughter Media Attention in OK

Source: Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Oklahoma Stands Up for Wild Horses and Gives Thumbs Down To Slaughter

Open Letter from R.T. Fitch

Dear fellow Equine Advocates;

Please be advised, up front, that this is neither an OpEd or Editorial of any sort; but instead a most heartfelt thank you note to so many who have given so much to support those who cannot advocate for themselves.

On March 4th and 5th of this year we turned a very sharp and significant corner in the way of advocating for our companion and wild horses and burros.  Put quite simply, your voices were heard, not just by ourselves but also by the press, the BLM and the public.  That is huge.

Too often I feel that we are preaching to the choir; not that doing so is particularly bad as it is important to get together to build our advocacy tool box and to network/strategize but for one that has a type “A” personality I often feel that we are treading water and not making headway or getting a decent return on our investment of time and money; but not so this week.

We managed to turn some heads, open a few eyes, peak a lot of interest and it was all managed and accomplished by hard working, everyday, regular, stick-in-your-throat, grass roots, American tax payers.  That speaks volumes.

No glitzy public relation firms were hired, no professional speech writers were retained, no qualified logistical experts were employed it was just us, the heartbeat of America and I am so very honored to stand amongst you.

A few thanks are in order but if you don’t mind please allow me to give you some background on how the Unified Equine Welfare Press Conference/Rally was born and how it normally works.  (If you note, Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation have fallen into the habit of doing this over the past several years. But this time it was killer.)

Last month, half way around the world I picked up the BLM’s news release announcing the Advisory Board Meeting.  I contacted Simone and asked if she was up for another press conference and she was in full agreement and, as usual, Ginger jumped on board.  Done deal…I think not.

Ms. Simone Netherlands worked this issue like a full time job for weeks for no pay for no glory and totally for the horses.  She made the arrangements, along with volunteer help, and secured services with her own funds and allowed her income generating operation to slide as she prepared, for all of us, the venue, schedule and structure to pull off this major media event.

Terry and I owe Simone a most sincere debt of gratitude for years of hard work and dedication.  Little did we know when we first met her while lobbying in D.C., years ago, what a fine friend she would become.  The words of “thank you” just don’t seem to reach as deep as they should.

Thanks go to Ginger, as always, and to Lisa Friday from the Cloud Foundation for their continued support and total alliance.  The Cloud Foundation and their staunch Director and Board are a living model and showcase of not only how to run a non-profit correctly but how to actually put your money where your mouth is and get things done.  We are forever in debt.

Thanks to Doc Friedlander for coming to speak and to further educate not only us but the public on the horrors of horse slaughter and how medically dangerous it would be if it were allowed back into our country.

Thanks to the press for attending and for spreading the word.

Thanks to several members of the BLM Advisory Board for listening, and I really mean that this time, I think several of our messages actually got through to a few folks and the tone of the meeting shifted to a more positive ring on the last day.

And last but not least, thanks to all of you whether you were there in person or sitting listening/watching on your computer…your presence and your support pushed these issues into the spotlight and if we can keep the pressure on and the volume turned up we WILL get to where we need to be.

Below are links to news videos and articles regarding the press conference and the rally. (I know that I have missed several)  As is usually the case, due to time constraints and lack of research, several of the reports may not have been as in-depth or accurate as you may have wished them to be and several even highlight an organization that was not even involved but that is how it works in the wild and wacky world of fast paced media news.  The main point is that the message is getting out and THAT message is all about the horses…and YOU made it happen.


Related Articles

Video: Unified Advocate Wild Horse/Slaughter Press Conference and Rally Packs Oklahoma City

BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting Overwhelmed with Disgruntled Equine Advocates

The Press Conference in it’s Entirity

(Oklahoma City) – Equine Welfare Advocacy organizations, the Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation held a unified press conference during the lunch break of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting at the downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Sheraton this day.  The press conference covered the topics of horse slaughter, which Oklahoma politicians are attempting to fast track laws to bring it into their state, and the gross mismanagement of America’s wild horse and burro herds by the Department of Interior’s (DoI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Growing crowd quickly becomes standing room only for press conference ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Growing crowd quickly becomes standing room only for press conference ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Press from all four major networks were on hand while advocates from around the country quickly filled up the existing 60 chairs available and soon the room was packed with the crowd standing and pouring out the door into the hallway to hear the equine advocacy leaders speak.

Simone Netherlands, natural horsemanship trainer, founder of Respect4Horses and principle organizer of the event, opened with an informative presentation on exactly what is happening in the state of Oklahoma with the fast-tracking of legislation to allow predatory horse slaughter plants to be able to slaughter American horses so that their flesh can be shipped overseas to satisfy fringe foreign pallets.  With the roaring support of over 150 spectators it soon became apparent that the bulk of the audience were from Oklahoma and the concept of horse slaughter coming to their state is not an option that they would care to endure.

Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM and former USDA Veterinarian, next spoke to the inhumanity of horse slaughter and the suffering it causes to an animal that is not intended to be a food animal.

R.T. Fitch, author, writer, blogger and president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, spoke to the issue of the BLM selling wild horses to known kill buyers for slaughter and produced BLM bulk sales and state brand department documentation, obtained through a WHFF FOIA, which proves that BLM contractors have been selling BLM wild horses to kill buyers.

Lisa Friday, member of the Cloud Foundation’s Board of Directors, displayed graphic pictures depicting the cruelty of BLM helicopter roundups and gave eye witness accounts of abuse during the last BLM helicopter stampede conducted in Utah.

Emmy Award winning cinematographer and the creator of the PBS’s “Cloud” series Ginger Kathrens closed out the educational and informative conference by outlining the broken program and gross mismanagment of our last remaining wild horses and burros and offered sane and humane ways to manage the herds on the range versus attacking them with helicopters, destroying their families and sentencing them to concentration camps for the remainder of their lives.

“I think that the advocates and press walked away with much more knowledge and information on the cruelty of horse slaughter,” stated Dr. Friedlander, “I would travel around the world to save one horse and I think that with arming the audience with this information my translate into saving hundreds of horses if not thousands.”

Simone Netherlands, R.T. Fitch, Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Simone Netherlands, R.T. Fitch, Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Organizer, Simone Netherlands said, “I hope that we did a service for the people of Oklahoma, today.  They are extremely unhappy and disgruntled over what their state government is attempting to pull off and the over the top attendance of the conference is a clear indication that these citizens want to be heard as well they should”

“I was shocked by the number of attendees,” said Lisa Friday, “Both the state of Oklahoma and we as an advocacy are lucky to have so many great people who truly care about the welfare of horses.”

R.T. Fitch said, “I hope that this sort of active engagement and the high volume of unhappy Americans begins to sink into the skulls of the bonehead BLM.  After attending the first day of the Board meeting most of these advocates now know when the BLM is lying and attempting to pull the wool over their eyes; it’s when their lips are moving.  We are not stupid.”

“It has been years since the BLM has seen that sort of attendance and today they got nothing but a huge dose of more bad press.” stated Ginger Kathrens, “All those great people want is what is best for their state and for the wild horses out west; we are exceedingly lucky to be supported and to be able to give back to such a great bunch of positive and compassionate people.”

Immediately following the press conference a rally was staged outside with dozens of signs, banners, chants, circulating horse trailers with banners and even a miniature horse participating.

Day two of the BLM’s board meeting commences tomorrow, Tuesday, and be viewed live on

Equine Advocates Take On BLM Wild Horse and Slaughter Issues in Oklahoma City

Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Outraged Tax Payers to Stage Press Conference During BLM Board Meeting
Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. during BLM Advisory Board meeting in late October, 2012 ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Spurred by angst over the continued waste of federal funds on a failed Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agenda of illegally removing native wild horses and burros from public lands and the state of Oklahoma’s newly acquired blood lust for slaughtering America’s horses several equine welfare groups, and their members, will be staging a press conference and rally in opposition to the BLM’s Advisory board meeting to be held on March 4th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation will be holding a unified press conference at the Sheraton Oklahoma City, One North Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK on Monday, March 4th at 12 noon Central time with a rally to follow immediately thereafter.  A live audio feed of the press conference will be made available at

Equine advocate speakers will include:

  • Simone Netherlands ~ Founder of Respect4Horses
  • Lisa Friday ~ member of the BoD for the Cloud Foundation
  • R.T. Fitch ~ author, blogger and president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
  • Ginger Kathrens ~ Emmy award winning cinematographer and Director of the Cloud Foundation
  • Dr. Lester Friedlander ~ former USDA Veterinarian

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting will commence at 8:00 AM at the same location and date as the Equine Advocate’s press conference and will be streamed live at

The BLM board will be receiving public comments at 3:30 PM, directly after the press conference and rally; advocates and concerned Americans are urged to comment or view.  Registration for comments concludes at 2:00 PM and the BLM will be restricting speakers to 3 minutes or less.

Video Update: Wild Horse Protection Groups Hold Press Conference at BLM Board Meeting

Press Conference held by Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Equine Welfare Groups Demand Investigation into BLM Wild Horse Slaughter Sales

Video courtesy of Respect4Horses


Advocates decry BLM’s wild horse roundups at meeting in SLC

By , Deseret News

“They need to stop selling horses sight unseen by the truckload…”

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

SALT LAKE CITY — Multiple wild horse advocate groups called on the Bureau of Land Management to stop rounding up wild horse and burros, a practice they say leads to warehousing thousands of animals in abysmal conditions and the slaughter of others for human consumption.

The groups voiced their concerns Monday at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, where members of the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board convened for a 1½-day meeting.

The nine-member citizen’s board, which includes a representative from Utah, is meeting to review issues pertinent to the program and to make recommendations to the BLM for management of the program, which oversees wild horse and burro populations in 10 Western states.

“Instead of finding ways to manage them on the land,” the groups say the BLM is now stuck in the “syndrome” of stockpiling wild horses in holding pens or pastures, where their numbers at 47,000 eclipse the animals that roam wild — 38,500 by the BLM’s own estimates.

Such a practice has led to a fiscal disaster, said R.T. Fitch, president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, enticing the federal agency to turn a blind eye to “kill buyers” who purchase hundreds of animals for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

“They need to stop selling horses sight unseen by the truckload,” said Simone Netherlands, managing director of Respect4Horses.

The BLM officially acknowledged Monday that an investigation is being done by the U.S. Department of Interior‘s inspector general after allegations surfaced that a Colorado horseman had purchased more than 1,700 wild horses from the BLM over a five-year period.

The horseman admits to being a slaughter proponent but signed contracts with the agency agreeing that none of the animals would meet that fate.

Ed Roberson, assistant director of the BLM, said sales to the horseman were immediately stopped once allegations surfaced. While advocates say such large bulk purchases of animals absent any inspection should arouse suspicion, Roberson said the practice isn’t unusual.

In this case, the buyer said he intended the animals be used in movie shoots or to keep rangeland grasses short in oil field productions areas.

Netherlands scoffed at the explanations and said the BLM is “funding unspeakable cruelty” so wild horses can go from an idyllic existence on public lands to a “dinner plate.”

The last U.S. slaughterhouse for horse meat intended for human consumption shut down in 2007 when the federal meat inspection program for that purpose was defunded.

Lack of such plants has fueled a lucrative market in Canada and Mexico, where advocates estimate horses are shipped by the thousands.

The BLM says it has a strict policy against selling to “kill buyers.” Last year, the federal agency intercepted dozens of horses outside of Price they say were destined for sale in Mexico.

Groups are ramping up their calls for an end to BLM roundups because the agency is on an accelerated schedule to remove horses from Western lands due to the drought.

While Utah BLM managers had been contemplating a pair of roundups in Tooele County due to wildfire and poor range conditions, those roundups have been canceled because of more severe conditions in neighboring Nevada, said Gus Warr, BLM’s wild horse and burro director in Utah.

Warr said as dry and harsh as Utah’s rangelands may be, they are lush compared with Nevada’s.

“I’ve been involved in this program for 24 years, and I have never seen conditions this degraded,” he said.

Click (HERE) to visit the Deseret News and to Comment

Investigation Underway in Possibly Illegal Shipment of Wild Horses to Slaughter

By John Hollenhorst of Salt Lake City’s KSL

“These animals are being managed to extinction…”

Click Image to View Video – photo by Terry Fitch

SALT LAKE CITY — An investigation is underway to find out if 17 hundred wild horses were illegally shipped off to slaughter.

That number was confirmed for the first time today amidst demands for an immediate halt to roundups on public land.

Wild horse lovers accuse the BLM of driving them to extinction while turning a blind eye to their slaughter for horse meat. The BLM countered they’re stepping up roundups because the horses are facing disaster.

They’re an icon of the West. But they’re threatened by extreme pressure from drought and wildfires, the BLM says, so they can’t be left out on the range to die.

“It would be an ecological and, I think, a social disaster,” said Edwin Roberson, Assistant Director at the Bureau of Land Management.

The government’s top wild horse people are meeting in Salt Lake. Their critics turned up the heat at a news conference.

“Cease and desist all roundups now,” demanded Simone Netherlands of Respect4Horses.

“These animals are being managed to extinction. There is no doubt about it,” added Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation.

BLM officials say they’re required by law to protect the horses, even if it means putting them in long-term holding corrals. But critics want the horses left alone. They claim the BLM is doing the bidding of the ranching, mining and energy industry.

“These are our taxpayer dollars that are funding this unspeakable cruelty,” said Netherlands.

But the BLM says Nature has been cruel, especially in Nevada.

“There was very little forage for the winter, and all the summer forage was gone,” offered Roberson.

Critics are angry that the BLM sold 1700 horses to a single buyer who may have shipped them to slaughter in Mexico.

“I can confirm right now that the inspector general of the Department of Interior is investigating,” said Roberson, “(and) has an ongoing investigation into those allegations. Beyond that, I can’t comment.”

“There will be no peace until those individuals are behind bars in long-term holding corrals of their own construction, and then we’ll see how they like it,” said R.T. Fitch of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

So far, the drought-related roundups have been concentrated in Nevada. But the BLM has just approved one in western Utah about a month from now.

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