Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

photo:  Carol Walker


Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

Trump’s Interior Secretary has some ugly plans for America’s wild animals

by Matthew Rozsa

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has raised red flags for a number of reasons during his short tenure. He seems to care less about protecting America’s national monuments than allowing them to be exploited by special interest groups and has been caught up in one corruption scandal after another. You would think that it’d be difficult for a man like that to do anything else that could make people who don’t bleed money-green to despise him.

Unfortunately, the lives of 50,000 wild horses and burros are in Zinke’s hands, because Congress is preparing to negotiate appropriations for the Interior Department and whether to allow for the unlimited slaughter of wild horses and burros.

It all stems back to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 a bill that offered protections to the horses and burros that roam the United States — and, of course, was immediately opposed by special interests in Big Agriculture who were determined to erode its protections. The interests’ first major success in doing so occurred in 2004 after Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., attached a provision to an omnibus bill that removed most of the legal protections established in 1971 and privatized the animals themselves.

That’s where Zinke comes into play. In 2009, the Montana State House introduce a bill to build a horse slaughterhouse in the state at a time the country had been two years without one.

Zinke wanted to bring slaughter back so ranchers and others in the horse business could dispose of their unwanted, unhealthy or inconvenient horses quickly and for a profit,” Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates and Debbie Coffey of Wild Horse Freedom Federation told Salon by email. “The [Montana] bill did not pass but fast forward to today, and now all these animals are facing extinction. The Interior Department’s budget being slashed by more than $1 billion also doesn’t help.





Feel Good Sunday: This Bride Totally Just Got Upstaged by Her Smiling Horse at Her Wedding


By Jamie Cuccinelli

While all eyes would ideally be on the bride, sometimes things happen.  Sometimes spotlights are stolen.  And sometimes you get upstaged by a damn horse.  Hey, it happens.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM to Postpone National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting. (The BLM did not give the public 30 days notice.)

Thanks to Ginger Kathrens, The Cloud Foundation and American Wild Horse Campaign for threatening legal action to stop this meeting that was scheduled without enough public notice.  The BLM knows years in advance when the term of each Board member will be expiring, so this is a routine matter, not an “urgent” matter.

This really bad photo where the faces of Board members are very small and blurry:  BLM


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. – The Bureau of Land Management today announced that it was postponing its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting scheduled for March 27-28 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The meeting was delayed when one of its members threatened to sue the BLM because it did not provide 30 days’ notice of the meeting.

The dispute arose when the BLM gave 15 days’ public notice, as required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act and – when “urgent matters arise” – BLM regulations.  For non-urgent matters, BLM regulations require 30 days’ public notice. In this case, the terms of three board members are expiring on March 31, and without them, the board would not have the quorum necessary in order to provide recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior.

A meeting for the board will be set when its new members are seated.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was established pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and is regulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (Act, which governs the establishment and operation of advisory committees and by BLM advisory committee regulations.  The Act and the BLM regulations recognize the merits of seeking the advice and assistance of our nation’s citizens to the executive branch of government.

Ryan Zinke To U.S. Rep. Whose Grandparents Were Imprisoned In WWII: ‘Konnichiwa!’

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa begins to speak about 10 minutes into the video above

Source:  Huffington Post
Ryan Zinke To U.S. Rep. Whose Grandparents Were Imprisoned In WWII: ‘Konnichiwa!’
Zinke made the dumb comment in response to a plea that we not forget a dark moment in our country’s history.

Let’s all hope President Donald Trump’s next candidate for secretary of state isn’t Ryan Zinke. Because as evidenced by a stupid blunder on Thursday, diplomacy isn’t his strong suit.

The incident centers around Zinke’s tone-deaf reaction to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), whose grandfathers were incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II for their Japanese heritage. She said one of her grandfathers, a U.S. citizen, didn’t speak about the painful experience until much later in life.

Hanabusa shared the detail Thursday morning in a hearing with the interior secretary, seeking to persuade him to restore around $2 million in grant funds for organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of that ugly chapter in American history.

“I believe that it is essential that we as a nation recognize our darkest moments so that we don’t have them repeat again,” Hanabusa urged Zinke.

“My grandfather was born in Hawaii and is a citizen by birth,” Hanabusa noted during the hearing. Despite being a U.S. citizen, however, he was imprisoned in an Oahu camp called Honouliuli ― though the prisoners there used a different name: “jigokudani,” or “Hell’s Valley.”

After listening to her concerns, and for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Zinke responded to the U.S. representative with a cheery and extremely tone-deaf “Konnichiwa!”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

THE TRUTH #18 – Dean Bolstad’s Information Memorandums for the Director of the BLM give an overview of the BLM’s experimentation on wild horses & burros

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issues THE TRUTH to share Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and information with the public.  Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

March 16th is Freedom of Information Act Day.

THE TRUTH #18 – Dean Bolstad’s Information Memorandums for the Director of the BLM give an overview of the BLM’s experimentation on wild horses & burros

Below are 2 examples of an Information Memorandum for the Director sent by Dean Bolstad, then the Division Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, to the Director of the BLM.  The first Information Memorandum is dated Sept. 14, 2016, and the other one is undated, but was likely issued after Jan. 1, 2016, since that was the time frame of our FOIA request.

Looking at the Sept. 14, 2016 Memorandum, #4 is “Testing a new surgical sterilization method in domestic mares:  oviduct constriction via nylon ligature.”  The reason the BLM is testing this at the University of Kentucky is to be able to try it on wild mares.  Even though this states “In progress – but early results not promising” it looks like this testing would go into 2018 and cost taxpayers $391,000.

Did they stop this experimental procedure when the results weren’t “promising?”

#6 is testing a new sterility drug in domestic mares (again, with the goal of using this on wild mares).  This experiment with Colorado State University is in progress, and to run into 2019 and cost taxpayers $798,000.

Most wild horses and burro herds are not even at genetically viable numbers, so the BLM’s sterilization experiments are frivolous.

#8 is developing and testing a new drug that targets ovarian cells.  The drug uses technology from cancer treatments to target gonad tissues.  This runs until 2019 at Louisiana State University and is costing taxpayers $850,000.

What is the name of this drug and can it cause sterility?


Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.

Donate here:

Urgent! America’s Wild Horse and Burros Need You to Take Action NOW!

“Our good friends and partners at Equine Advocates beat us to the punch on this news blast so we are re-blogging it here asking you to be the voice of the voiceless.  Let’s dig in and get this done…it may be our last chance!!!” ~ R.T.

The Lives of Wild & Domestic Equines Are Hanging in the Balance as Congress is Scheduled to Vote Friday, March 23rd!
Horse Slaughter Could Return to U.S. Soil
The Government Wants to Kill the 50,000 Healthy Wild Horses & Burros Being Held Captive in BLM Holding Facilities and Tens of Thousands More on the Range!

By making just three important phone calls, you can help save our horses!


This is the “Humane” process in Mexico

Last year, majorities in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees voted on totally opposite sides with respect to vital issues affecting America’s wild and domestic equines:
  • The House Committee voted to fund USDA horse meat inspectors which would permit horse slaughterhouses to operate  in the U.S. and to allow our wild horses and burros to be stripped of all of their protections and be killed or sold without limitation – which means slaughter!
  • The Senate Committee voted to keep the language defunding USDA horse meat inspectors in the new federal budget so that no horse slaughterhouses can be built and operate in the U.S. Its members also voted to restore protections for our wild horses and burros so that they are not killed or sold for slaughter.
Because the two committees voted on opposite sides, the matters involving both of these issues are now before Congressional Conference Committees where lawmakers on both sides are fighting it out.
NOW is the time to call your three U.S. lawmakers to make sure horse slaughter does not return to U.S. soil and also so that our wild horses and burros are preserved and protected…And NOT “managed” into extinction!
FIRST – Remember, everyone has just one Member of Congress in the House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators – that’s only three phone calls you need to make. It’s easy and if you don’t know who your lawmakers are, just follow these instructions: Click here and type in your address and your zip code…and the names of your three lawmakers will appear along with their contact information.
SECOND – There are two things you need to tell each of your three lawmakers:

1. Please keep USDA Horse Meat Inspectors defunded so that NO horse slaughterhouses can open and operate in the United States.
2. Please call for the protection and preservation for ALL of America’s wild horses and burros so that NONE are killed or sold “without limitation” which means slaughter!
Please make these three calls right away. If you have already made them, please do so again!  Also, please ask your friends and relatives to make these calls as well. If you are not able to reach one or more of your lawmakers at one office, then please try one of their other offices.

Time is of the essence!
Thank you for taking action!
Susan Wagner, President
Equine Advocates
We at Wild Horse Freedom Federation LIKEWISE endorse this action and thank Equine Advocates for their love, care and concern for the future safety and welfare of American Equines.
R.T. Fitch, President

BLM Advisory Board Meeting Violates Federal Law

Source:  The Cloud Foundation

March 14, 2018
Contact: Lisa Friday, Director of Communications

BLM ADVISORY BOARD MEETING VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW                                                                                                  Last-minute board meeting is in violation of public notice regulations

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The Bureau of Land Management’s upcoming National Wild Horse and Burro
Advisory Board meeting is in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The meeting, scheduled for March 27-28th, 2018, was announced today, in clear violation of the requirement
for 30 days of public notice prior to an advisory committee meeting. The BLM FACA Regulations state in 43
C.F.R. 1784.4-2:
“Notice of meetings: (a) Notices of meetings of advisory committees and any subcommittees that may
be formed shall be published in the Federal Register and distributed to the media 30 days in advance of
a meeting. However, if urgent matters arise, notices of meetings of advisory committees and any
subcommittees shall be published in the Federal Register and distributed to the media at least 15 days
in advance of a meeting. (b) Notices shall set forth meeting locations, topics or issues to be discussed,
and times and places for the public to be heard.”
“While a representative for the BLM has stated that the meeting is urgent due to the tenure of 3 board
members lapsing at the end of this month, this meeting also fails to meet the 15-day notice requirement for
urgent matters,” said Lisa Friday, Director of Communications for The Cloud Foundation. “Additionally, it is
difficult to understand how a tenure lapse of three board members could be urgent when the length of their
term has been known for three years. “
Members whose terms expire on March 30, 2018 include Ms. Jennifer Sall, Public Interest Representative; Ms.
June Sewing, Wild Horse & Burro Advocacy Representative; and Dr. Julie Weikel, DVM, Veterinary Medicine
BLM Meeting Announcement:
Federal Advisory Committee Regulations:
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.

Jonathan Thompson, Contributing Editor to High Country News and author of new book about the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/14/18)


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, March 14, 2018

9:00 a.m. PST … 10:00 a.m. MST … 11:00 a.m. CST … noon EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Our guest today is Jonathan Thompson, a Contributing Editor at High Country News and the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster. In his new book, this award-winning investigative environmental journalist digs into the science, politics, and greed behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and details the environmental, economic and social impacts wrought by a century and a half of mining, energy development, and fracking in southwestern Colorado.

Jonathan is a native Westerner with deep roots in southwestern Colorado. He owned and edited the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in the tiny town of Silverton, Colo., and was the editor-in-chief of High Country News from 2007 to 2010. After that he lived in Berlin, Germany, and then was a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2016, Jonathan was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalist’s Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market.

You can read Jonathan’s many articles in High Country News HERE.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us:


To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit

Donate Here:

1/17/18 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on efforts to get the BLM to allow her to photograph wild horses at Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals (where the public is not allowed to see them) to help facilitate adoptions. Listen HERE.

1/19/18 – Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. Erik is a contributor to The Hill and his blog posts can be found here. Western Watersheds Project (WWP) aims to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy. Listen HERE.

2/21/18 – Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., and John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance on veterinary drugs banned in animals (including horses) used for human consumption, food safety issues, and the banned drugs that the Bureau of Land Management gives to wild horses & burros. Listen HERE.

‘UGH!’: Zinke’s wife’s travel caused headaches for Interior staff


Newly released records shed light on the outsize profile Lola Zinke has established compared with the typical Cabinet secretary’s spouse.

Secretary Ryan Zinke bringing his wife Lola along on official trips isn’t illegal as long as the government doesn’t pay for her expenses. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s wife has frustrated department staffers by saddling them with extra work when she traveled with him on official business, according to new records that a liberal watchdog group says uncover the potential misuse of government resources.

The records document Lola Zinke’s last-minute requests to join high-level dinners and additions to the guest list for a conservative group’s event near their home in Southern California earlier this year. The Western Values Project filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last month to force Interior to release more than 100 pages of documents related to Lola Zinke’s trips with her husband and interactions with Interior staff.

Shared first with POLITICO, the documents shed new light on the outsize profile Lola Zinke has established compared with the typical Cabinet secretary’s spouse, including her dictating people to invite to a town hall hosted by the conservative Young America’s Foundation for her husband.

New emails also reveal a celebratory dinner the Zinkes attended that was organized in part by a major GOP donor who gave heavily to Ryan Zinke’s congressional campaigns. And they show Interior staffers had to accommodate a last-minute request for her to join the secretary at an official dinner with Alaska’s governor. The records cover two trips Lola Zinke joined in the first three months of her husband’s tenure as well as some other interactions with Interior staff, such as coordinating her attendance at a White House briefing for Cabinet members’ spouses.

While the department says Lola Zinke paid her own way, the records show Interior used staff time to coordinate some of her activities while traveling with her husband. And the trips gave her access to high-level politicians and GOP activists and donors who could benefit her as a political operator in her own right.

“These emails show that the leadership at the Department of Interior treats basic ethical standards like an inconvenience,” Western Values Project Executive Director Chris Saeger said. “If Secretary Zinke is willing to be so sloppy with something as elementary as this, then God only knows how they’re handling big decisions about energy and public lands behind closed doors.”


Recommendations on Wild Horse & Burro Management

SOURCE:  Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who joined us in signing a letter for Recommendations on Wild Horse & Burro Management that was sent to members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Please feel free to copy the letter below and send it to your Congressional representatives.

Recommendations on Wild Horse & Burro Management

The undersigned groups and individuals consist of a unified major segment of those advocating for the welfare of wild horses & burros and for healthy public lands. We strongly oppose any plans to “euthanize,” kill or sterilize America’s wild horses & burros. The purpose of this letter is to address some frequently discussed issues, and to offer our recommendations on the management of America’s wild horses & burros.

Costs of wild horses & burros in BLM off range facilities

There is evidence that the number of horses & burros that the BLM claims are in the off-range holding facilities are not there. Using the BLM’s own records, obtained by FOIA, on the BLM’s reported numbers of wild horses in off-range holding facilities and comparing it to our evidence, we prove that more than half of the horses that BLM and their contractors claim are on many of the off-range pasture facilities are, in fact, not there. We have video, photographs and other evidence regarding this.

The BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program record keeping is also seriously flawed.

The cost of caring for wild horses & burros pales in comparison to the money that taxpayers lose on the BLM’s livestock grazing program: $125 million each year ($1 billion each decade).

Regarding an “excess” or “overpopulation” of wild horses & burros on public lands

The BLM’s population estimates remain wildly inaccurate. We’ve provided a review of BLM’s own statistics where, according to the BLM, some herds of horses have increased by as much as 750% to 1,250% in only one year. This is biologically impossible and scientifically absurd.

One independent report based on the raw data (received in response to a Freedom of Information Act request) from BLM flyovers while doing an aerial population survey over Twin Peaks HMA in 2013, showed the BLM was only able to document seeing 468 wild horses & burros, but issued a final written count of 1,750.

There is no scientific proof that there is an “excess” or “overpopulation” of wild horses & burros. Most BLM Land Use Plans, including Resource Management Plans and Environmental Assessments, do not even allow for numbers that are high enough to maintain a minimum viable herd number in their “Appropriate Management Level” (AML).

Dr. E. Gus Cothran, an equine geneticist used by the BLM for decades, has consistently stated that wild horse and burro herds need a minimum of 150-200 members, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals, to sustain genetic diversity in the herd and maintain a viable population.

Regarding wild horses & burros dying of starvation and dehydration

There is current documentation from many Herd Management Areas that the remaining wild horses & burros are healthy and in good shape.

However, other uses on most Herd Management Areas, including livestock grazing, mining and oil and gas, far outweigh the “use” by wild horses & burros. Even if livestock grazing is “not year round,” the BLM only counts livestock as one animal for a cow/calf pair, so both the numbers of privately owned livestock on public lands and the use of the resources, are far greater than most Americans realize.

The BLM does not use scientific methods to discern what damage on public lands is caused by livestock, but is being blamed on wild horses & burros. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) wrote a report titled BLM Weighs Wild Horse Impact Much More Heavily Than Cattle.” It can be read here:

As a matter of fact, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a federal lawsuit this year, because after 27 years of pledges to reform, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has yet to take even the most basic steps to stem illegal livestock grazing. Vast stretches of public rangeland continue to degrade because BLM does little to detect or deter unauthorized livestock grazing.

Our recommendations for the management of wild horses & burros are:

    • Do not “euthanize,” kill or sterilize America’s wild horses & burros
    • Reintroduce the wild horses & burros that are now in BLM off range facilities back to their historic ranges, where they can graze for free. When Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 (16 U.S.C. §§ 1331–1340), the wild horses & burros were to be protected in their historic herd areas. In 1971, wild horses & burros occupied 53.8 million acres managed by the BLM, but the BLM now only allows wild horses & burros on half that original range area: on only 26.9 million acres. We recommend the reintroduction of wild horses & burros that are in BLM off range facilities back to their historic herd areas, and that the BLM use on-the-range management.
    • Revise and amend all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans, including Resource Management Plans and Environmental Assessments, to allow for wild horse & burro numbers that are high enough to maintain a viable herd in their “Appropriate Management Level” (AML), which would be a minimum of 150-200 animals, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals.