Horse News

An Open Letter to the President to Stop the Extermination of our Wild Horses

by Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition

Read and Pass along Letter (HERE)

Wild Horses in the Pryor Mountains, MT - (Photo by Terry Fitch)

I did vote for you. I was intrigued by your call for “change“. You signaled a dramatic new course, one of openness and inclusion.  Certainly I applauded your choice of Joe Biden as vice president, a staunch animal welfare advocate.

The promises

During the 2008 campaign you said, “Federal policy towards animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect…. I have consistently been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy and would continue to be so once elected.” You announced that you had co-sponsored legislation to stop the sale for slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. During the election you signed on as co-sponsor to the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption.  When asked specifically during the campaign, “Will you support legislation …to institute a permanent ban on horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption“, you gave an unqualified “Yes“. (HSLF questionnaire)

Today, in January, 2010, you are presiding over one of the deadliest, most cruel and unnecessary government roundups of wild horses ever documented by BLM.

As of this writing, more than 2 dozen horses have been killed by helicopters used by your administration to run them off their legally protected herd areas and corral them in long term holding pens. The hooves of two little foals have literally torn off as they ran for their lives from the BLM. BLM’s Richard Sanford DVM reported on one, “Multiple hoof sloughs were noted and the foal was euthanized for humane reasons. The cause of these hoof abscesses/sloughs was most likely hoof trauma from the gather operations.”

Several mares have also aborted spontaneously or miscarried. This after being forced to run miles from a helicopter and trapped in a corral, terrified, traumatized and forever separated from their herds, their families. A long time BLM official whom you promoted to the job of Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning in the BLM, Edwin Roberson, claims the spontaneous abortions are “the result of the poor condition of many of the older mares and … directly related to lack of forage on the range.” Except that they weren’t miscarrying on the range and didn’t do so until after they were forced to run hundreds of miles, extremely afraid, and lost their families and freedom forever. Your administration would have us believe that the mares all miscarried in the past few days because of years of eating the forage on the range and it had nothing to do with the severe trauma of the roundup they had just endured?

The nearly 2,000 horses that have now been removed from their herd areas are contained in an open, dirt arena, basically a feedlot, with no windbreaks or other protection from the weather. Visit Saving America’s Horses – A Nation Betrayed, for more information on this deadly roundup.

Wow, your words about respecting animals as co-inhabitants and protecting them in their habitat really ring hollow, don’t they? Not to mention I do not see that your administration has lifted a finger, let alone “championed”, for “animal-friendly legislation and policy” as promised.

Thousands of citizens have gathered at dozens of ongoing protests of BLM’s policy of extermination towards our wild horses and burros.  Tens and even hundreds of thousands more have written and called your administration and Congress, asking you for a moratorium on wild horses and burro roundups, an evaluation and change in policy, like the one you promised. But you seem to have dug in, your attitude reminiscent of President Richard Nixon, refusing even to acknowledge the outcry, let alone the cruelty.

Taxpayer money – the budgets

Calico is only the latest of the roundups of wild horses that have actually accelerated during your administration.  In FY 2008, the cost of rounding up and holding these animals was approximately 81.3% of the $36,201,000 budget for the total wild horse and burro program. The BLM wild horse adoption program consumed another 13% of the total budget, leaving a meager 5.8% for monitoring and managing herd areas, census, and compliance inspections. (BLM report – 2010 Budget Justification)

The 2009 budget was $40,613,000 with the increase used for more roundups and holding costs. (BLM report – 2010 Budget Justification)

Then you proposed for FY 2010 a substantial increase in the budget for the wild horses and burros program for a total of $67,486,000 with the entire additional $26, 873,000 to be used for rounding up 12,000 horses and holding what will be a total of about 40,000 horses in pens. (BLM report – 2010 Budget Justification)

Now for FY 2011 you have requested an additional $12 million apparently to defray the costs of holding wild horses and burros in corrals and long term holding facilities.

How do you explain to laid off workers, unemployed fathers and mothers, struggling businesses, and taxpayers shouldering substantial government debt in this worst of economic times, why you want to continue, even step up, round ups of nearly all of the wild horses and burros and put them in costly holding facilities?

What’s next – deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons?

You appointed Ken Salazar to be the Dept. of Interior Secretary. Sec’y. Salazar supports horse slaughter; he is an avid supporter of taxpayer subsidies of livestock grazing on public lands which BLM has given priority. It has been said that grazing livestock on public lands is a “$132 million loss to the American taxpayer each year and independent economists have estimated the true cost at between $500 million and $1 billion dollars a year.” Another burden for the taxpayers.

Sec’y. Salazar also supports oil and gas development so this appointment probably made Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) happy.  He conspired with then Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) in 2004 to legalize slaughter of wild horses and burros and has through special laws and otherwise, facilitated removals of large numbers of these animals from lands in Nevada his contributors want for development, oil and gas drilling and production, mining, recreation and the like.  The cattle and even sheep would be allowed to stay and their numbers increased. Whatever is profitable at the expense of the American people’s public lands.

Horse slaughter

Needless to say, since your election, you’ve not said a word about supporting legislation to ban horse slaughter. I guess if you were planning to keep that promise, you would not have appointed Ken Salazar or Bob Abbey. Your BLM Director, Bob Abbey, is a long time BLM employee who as director of the Nevada BLM office signed off on numerous wild horse and burro roundups and sales for slaughter.

Mr. President, the issue is not one of balancing interests, the wild horses and burros, the ranchers, energy development. The issues are integrity, compliance with our laws, and humane treatment of animals.

Sec’y. Salazar has disseminated the outline of a plan, really a culmination of Bush era BLM meetings, that will basically mean moving wild horses and burros to pastures, even feedlots in the Midwest and East, from herd areas and ranges in the west where they are supposed to be “free roaming“, managed at the “minimal feasible level” and protected from “capture”, “harassment” and “death“.

Not only is such a plan contrary to the promise of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 USC §1331 et seq., Nena Winand, DVM, has advised such a move makes no sense because taking horses from their native habitat to pastures in the Midwest or East with different nutrients is likely to cause them to suffer metabolic syndrome.  This is one reason why there is an effort to protect “animals and their habitat”, recognize “their rightful place as co-habitants” of the earth. (Do you remember that you said that?)

But this, like the explanations for the miscarrying mares, is typical of the lack of science underlying BLM’s management of the wild horses and burros. Secy Salazar has asserted as his premise for this plan that exploding numbers of wild horses are responsible for the degradation of the range and must be removed. He adds that this is for the horses and burros’ own good because they are also starving. Secy Salazar has asserted this over and over as if repeating it will make it true.

President Obama, your administration has used newspapers and its own websites to try to convince the American people of this. One blogger would remind that it is illegal to use appropriated funds to hire publicity experts. 5 U.S.C. 3107 “Appropriations law “publicity and propaganda” clauses restrict the use of funds for puffery of an agency, purely partisan communications, and covert propaganda.” BLM fails to include “Letters in Opposition” to the agency’s action, and also does not in its “News Releases and Editorials” any news reports or editorials critical of the agency’s actions.

The truth

In 1990 the GAO found the range was in the best condition it had been in during the past century. The GAO found any degradation was the result of livestock grazing and suggested removal of cattle, not wild horses and burros. The removal of wild horses at that time was something done largely to appease ranchers.

Since 2001, however, over 74,000 wild horses and burros have removed from the range, and now one year after you took office and stepped up the Bush era removals, there are almost more wild horses in holding facilities than roaming free. As of October, 2009, BLM was holding 32,000 animals in holding facilities. More now since the roundup of the Calico horses that began in late December, 2009.

Two federal judges have warned BLM that driving horses from their historic herd areas and ranges into long term holding facilities as a means of managing them, may not be legal even if they are deemed “excess“, your Secy Salazar and your BLM director, Mr. Abbey, have pushed ahead to remove more than 12,000 wild horses and burros this year alone.

The truth is there are fewer free roaming wild horses now than in 1974.  Wild horses make up only .5% of grazing animals on public lands; they are outnumbered by cattle at least 200 to 1. The BLM manages more than 256 million acres of public lands. Cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres, while wild horses are restricted to 26.6 million acres of land that is shared with cattle.

Take as an example the BLM’s zeroing out or eliminating 12 herds in Lincoln and Nye Counties in Nevada in September, 2009. BLM estimated there were 1,357.43 acres per wild horse in one herd area, about 350 horses; and 3,377.38 acres per horse in another herd area, about 270 horses. The BLM zeroed out all of these herd areas, known as the Seaman including Golden Gate, and White River Herd Areas and the Caliente Herd Area. Not one wild horse will be allowed to live anywhere in these herd areas despite that in 1971 they were designated for the wild horses and burros.

In the Calico Mt. Complex, site of the current roundup of 90% of the estimated 3,100 horses living there, there are approximately 175 acres for each horse.

Hardly an overpopulation of wild horses and burros. But that’s not all. BLM’s population numbers simply don’t add up.

In 2007 BLM said there were 700 horses there and in 2008, there were said to be so few horses that BLM decided not to monitor them further. BLM then authorized what amounted to a 300% increase in cattle in one allotment of this area. Just a few months later in 2008 BLM decided the numbers of horses in this area had exploded and were degrading the range. In 2009 BLM employees responsible for monitoring the wild horses and burros in this area testified they were “surprised” to hear about an exploding population of wild horses in the Calico herd management areas, that they believed the range could adequately support the number of wild horses. The idea seems to be to exaggerate the number of wild horses to justify removal of more and more of them until there are no more?

BLM would like everyone to believe the agency is just really bad at counting wild horses. According to Cindy MacDonald at American Herds, BLM is also claiming “hundreds and hundreds of wild horses moved outside the [herd management areas] when the choppers arrived in 2004-2005 – but after the choppers left, the mustangs snuck back inside“, thus accounting for the population increases.

It is highly questionable that these horses, however many there are, should have been declared “excess“, meaning BLM determines there are too many for the range to support and they must then be removed under the WFRHBA. BLM specialists tasked with monitoring wild horses in this area didn’t seem to think as of the spring, 2009, there was any reason to remove wild horses; these specialists actually testified that the range could support the numbers of wild horses.

Also, the environmental assessment for the Calico removal was a sham. Anyone could see very dated studies of the range condition were used. And, your administration would have the public believe that wild horses too few to bother monitoring as of 2008 somehow destroyed the range but thousands of cattle and oil and gas development had nothing to do with it?  For more….

Just like for the Pryor Mountain, Caliente and Seamen/White River roundups in 2009 where BLM claimed without any current assessment or real proof that the range was degraded because of the horses and never mentioned the tens or even hundreds of thousands of cattle and even sheep also occupying those areas that trample the land and foul the water.

In all of those cases, wildlife ecologists and other witnesses offered substantial proof there was no real evidence of degradation of the range and a dwindling number of horses, not an overpopulation.  Regardless, rounding up wildlife and putting them in holding facilities is hardly an ecologically sound method of conservation or preservation.

What about the law?

And what of the law, the requirement that the BLM “shall maintain a current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros… to… make determinations as to whether and where an overpopulation exists and whether action should be taken to remove excess animals; determine appropriate management levels [AMLs] of wild free-roaming horses and burros on these areas of the public lands” §1333(b)?

Does it matter at all that the BLM’s wildly fluctuating census, obviously made up, and unsubstantiated or outdated claims of “range degradation” violate the law?

By the way, Mr. President, we have seen no evidence of starving horses.  Instead, we have seen  horses killed, injured and terrified by helicopters BLM uses to run them down and corral them, their families destroyed, their anguish, suffering and fear.

How do you and your DOI and BLM simply ignore the mandate against inhumane treatment of wild horses under the WFRHBA? Why have you not stopped your administration’s disregard of the law, called for the Justice Dept. to investigate and prosecute criminal violations of WFRHBA?

BLM has also basically thumbed its bureaucratic nose at the National Environmental Policy Act, The BLM is required by National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq., to prepare Environmental Assessments or EAs or, if indicated, Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), for any proposed changes to public lands that may have a significant environmental impact.  The law directs the agency to identify environmental concerns, consider alternatives including no action at all and take a “hard look” at the problem and minimize significant environmental impact. A significant environmental impact includes actions that are likely to be highly controversial or have uncertain effects on the quality of our lives and that affect cultural and historical resources. 40 C.F.R. §1508.27(b).

These evaluations as well as land use plans are full of words but have little substance when it comes to stating why wild horses must be removed from their homes. They are all cookie cutter, cut and paste, blaming the wild horses and burros for unspecified “range degradation” without mention of thousands of livestock or other wild animals that share these areas.

BLM’s plan for non-excess horses and presumably for healthy unadoptable excess horses is what Ginger Kathrens, founder of Cloud Foundation, has decried as “managing the wild horses to extinction”.  Secy Salazar’s plan, again, not the “change” we were promised, calls for aggressive sterilization and creation of herds that are all geldings or all mares or not in sufficient gender ratios or numbers to maintain genetic viability. Those left after these Frankenstein-like machinations will be placed in those Midwest or East Coast pastures. Forget pastures. The BLM team thought feedlots would be sufficient.

How is that maintaining free roaming behavior as required by WFRHBA? Even BLM agrees herd behavior would be “out the window“.

It is evident that BLM’s preference for the horses it has captured is to kill them or send them to slaughter. Is that really the long term plan for these horses? During the Calico roundup, for example, no one seems to be keeping track of the horses, many have not been freeze branded as required by law. The BLM is strictly controlling access by the public, treating us as if we are terrorists instead of citizens trying to protect our animals and uphold the laws we passed to protect them.

During its Bush era discussions BLM considered ways to keep the public away from round ups and the killing and sales of healthy horses and burros and planned to brand protests as “eco-terrorism”.  This was all to be done in secret. Unless you step up and stop this rogue agency, Mr. President, it looks like BLM’s plan may succeed.

BLM eroded the protections WFRHBA is supposed to provide for the wild horses and burros long before you took office, Mr. President. That is why the change we are looking for is not more of the same, but a moratorium on these outrageous abuses, an investigation, a new direction.

BLM, for example, has long ignored the limitations on the “multiple use” concept under the WFRHBA and Federal Lands Policy Management Act.  BLM issued a regulation that effectively rewrites WFRHBA to say the “objectives of these regulations are management of wild horses and burros as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands under the principle of multiple use“. 43 CFR § 4700.0-2 Yet, the WFRHBA says only that wild horses and burros “are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands“. 16 U.S.C. §1331.

WFRHBA mandates “[a]ll management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level“. 16 U.S.C. §1333 BLM’s regulation says “[m]anagement shall be at the minimum level necessary to attain the objectives identified in approved land use plans and herd management area plans.” 43 CFR 4710.4. Two very different laws.

FLPMA makes clear that the protections under WFRHBA take precedence. FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1732 (a) Yet, despite this, BLM has issued a regulation that provides “[w]ild horses and burros shall be considered comparably with other resource values in the formulation of land use plans.” 43 C.F.R. §4700.0-6(b).

Indeed, BLM has not managed herd areas as required by WFRHBA only to “maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “protect the natural ecological balance of all wildlife species which inhabit such lands, particularly endangered wildlife species“, or to “protect the range from the deterioration associated with overpopulation”. BLM has also ignored the law requiring ranges to be “devoted principally” to use by wild horses/burros. Instead, BLM has used a “multiple use” approach under which the wild horses are generally treated as nuisances to be removed from their own herd areas and ranges.

The BLM has authorized itself to divide herd areas into “herd management areas“, something not authorized by WFRHBA. 43 CFR 4710.3-1. In this way, with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas. This is done without thought about the horses’ seasonal migration patterns or available resources. The BLM then removes wild horses and burros from the artificially created “herd management areas” on the basis there is insufficient forage, water or habitat! BLM also targets them for removal if they cross the artificial boundaries into their original herd areas.  The creation of herd management areas has resulted in the loss of more than 20 million acres of historical herd areas. For more…..

What you can do, Mr. President

Mr. President, you can stop the roundups, the cruelty, and you can do it now. Put a moratorium on the roundups, order the Justice Dept to investigate BLM’s wild horse and burro program and work with Congress and the public to determine the best course for conserving these animals in their habitat and at the same time meeting the country’s energy needs.

What we can do

1. There have been a number of protests of BLM’s actions in rounding up and removing these horses, and more are scheduled to take place. Join one of the protests now scheduled or plan your own!

2. Animal Law Coalition along with The Cloud Foundation and Equine Welfare Alliance have called on the public to continue to call on the Obama administration and Congress to put a moratorium on the Calico and all BLM wild horse and burro roundups until Congress can decide the best course of action for these animals.

Send a letter (please be polite) to President Obama in the web form found at Urge President Obama to put a moratorium on the Calico and all BLM roundups of the wild horses and burros until Congress can decide the best course of action for these animals.

Follow your email with a phone call to the White House (both numbers) to appeal to the President to halt the BLM’s cruel Calico and other wild horse roundups.

Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000; Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Forward this message to five friends and family and ask that they take a couple of minutes to help the horses – every public comment and phone call counts. You can help us increase the number of active wild horse advocates.

Please write or call your U.S. representative and senators and urge them to join in this effort to put in place a moratorium to stop the gathers, the roundups and removals pending Congressional action on the future management of the wild horses and burros.  Also, ask your representative and senators to hold a hearing on the course of the wild horses and burros program.

Urge your representative and senators to vote for de-funding of the roundups for FY 2011.

Information contributed by Equine Welfare Alliance

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29 replies »

  1. Laura, Wow, what impact! Powerful, excellent, can’t even find the words.

    All, maybe this is the way to get past the mail room guy in the White House. Lets all write our “open letters to President Obama” and post them in the printed newspapers!

    Keep very respectful and factual. Emotions get ignored unless agreed to, and most readers don’t even know this is going on – so suggest staying away from emotional pleas. Mine will not be as lengthy, due to cost.

    What do you all say? – MASS printed newspaper postings in the personal section? Or what other section(s)? Local and DC? Both? All this month?

    Expect flak – unavoidable – but worth it?


  2. Superb letter! Laura Allen hit on so many topics that are of concern and then some! Well thought out and wonderfully researched – kudos!


  3. This is excellent. Thank you Laura! I agree Roxy, a mass open letter to President Obama to newspapers in all our towns and cities. Most papers have opinion columns, so start there first. Flak is good–that means people are looking at it. And the old adage, any press is good press because it begins discussions.


  4. Lura –

    You about cover it all and with scienctific backed FACTS unlike the BLM’s contraditory, ignorant mis-statments and induendo and out & out lies ! Excellant writing ! The only additional question I have for President Obama is how is he explaining all this horse slaughter by his appointed DOI Secretary to his two little girls Sasha & Malia whom I’d bet are fans of Terry Farley’s White Phantom series ?

    I agree that getting this message out to more media, espcially coverage of the various protests along with more ‘celeberty’ visability (talk shows, etc.) is a great idea, I also think using ‘Wild Horse Annie’s’ tactic of using school kids would be helpful. Arranging visits to schools (w/ media in tow) with gentled Mustangs & Burros would make great political “hay” for our cause. If we could generate thousands of letters via classroom projects to the White Horse & news media from kids, I don’t how they could ignore us. And their parents are going to hear all about it as they walk into the voting booth and hopefully the youngsters will grow up voting protection for wildlife.

    Also, note I do not believe they’re “feral” but “native wildlife” as there has not been a single modern horse fossil found outside of North America. We may have lost them for a time being due to the ice ages (or maybe not – there is Native American lore that the horse was already here in NA in isolated pockets here and there used as a food source), so I don’t see much differnce than saving the Condor or Grizzly, etc. and they’re all considered “native wildlife”. Can the Endangered Species Act be used to our advantage ?



  5. Super letter! Great organization, style, and covers all the bases.

    Read a similar, much shorter version under “Questions/Comments” while waiting for this afternoon’s “Conversation with the President” to begin. “Conversation”?!? I don’t think anyone at any level of government knows the meaning of the word. Never expected Mr. Obama would address any horse issues, but what he did say was pure political rhetoric.

    Started 20 minutes late, 10 minutes of self-congratulatory introductions, a 25-minute speech, and 20 minutes answering 4 QUESTIONS! A total of 55 minutes, and out! I’ve had longer “conversations” with a naughty horse!

    4 QUESTIONS!!! He didn’t even give good answers. The third one was a riot. How did he get from the angst of American youth to energy and transportation policy? Just more pre-scripted, canned jargon. Chose questions to fit your answers.

    I scrolled through the 6180 supposed “questions” twice, counting those regarding horse issues. Found 20, more or less. About 6 were from the same two people. Submitted a question on his position on Calico, R.O.A.M & Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act about 5 this morning. Short and to the point – never did find it. THERE HAD TO BE MORE!

    Started scrolling “last to first”. About 1/3rd asked why the thing was so late! Noticed all the questions were within the last two hours, so I changed to “first to last”, and found the same time frame. About 3/4ths were sent while the “conversation” was going on. Maybe I didn’t understand the format.

    Started out with enthusiasm for his administration. Still hope he’ll at least try to live up to his original vision, but politics is politics. All in all, a real disappointment, especially for our horses.


  6. This is a great letter to use as a guide for a shorter version for our local newspapers! Thanks so much.
    I too waited for the online “Conversation with the President” after posting my question concerning the DOI/BLM budget. Read comments also, after having problems with them loading, and was happy to see the wild horse community there. Finally had to go to CNN to see the live chat that never showed up on my screen. Ditto on above comment–real disappointment.


  7. Do away with the BLM and their roundups,the wild horses will do just fine without mans help,they did it quite well before man came into the equasion.BLM is mean cruel and inhumane.God made his own way of regulating the horses and all the animals,such as preditors and there are prey,and to the weather also plays a role.Man needs to butt out now and leave them alone.and birth control they don’t need either.There again man is butting in where he doesn’t belong,they are not GOD,quit trying to play like they are.Disband the whole BLM and do away with them as no one needs them.And return the land to the horses that was theirs to begin with,including the land taken away for cattle,the wild horses and the cattle can live very nicely together with NO PROBLEM,SO LEAVE THEM ALONE BLM NOW!!!!LEAVE GODS CREATURES ALONE AND LET THEM LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES AS THEY’RE SUPPOSE TO,AS GOD INTENDED THEM TO!!!


  8. DOI News


    Interior Opens Conversation on Open Government



    On December 8, 2009 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Open Government Directive, instructing federal agencies to take specific steps to increase transparency, participation and collaboration in government.

    Today, the Department of the Interior launched – an online portal to Interior’s Open Government Plan and other efforts in to increase transparency, participation and collaboration in our agency. At you can:

    Join Our Online Dialogue
    We want to hear from you! The Department of the Interior has launched an online dialogue focused on Interior’s Open Government Plan. You can submit your ideas in one of five topic areas (transparency, participation, collaboration, innovation and improving the dialogue) and vote and comment on ideas submitted by others.
    Track Our Progress
    The Open Government Directive lays out several deadlines for federal agencies to meet as we develop an Open Government Plan. You can track our progress here.
    Check Out FOIA Reports
    The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to access Department of the Interior records and information. Learn more about our FOIA program and download our annual reports.
    Download Data
    DOI is committed to the President’s Open Government Initiative has submitted seven high value datasets in support of the Open Government Directive. Although there are seven high value datasets specifically targeted for meeting the needs of the Open Government Directive we continue to identify more opportunities for dataset publication and have many more in the review queue. Learn about our seven high value datasets.

    Get the Latest News
    We’ll post regular updates about the progress of our Open Government Plan and respond to some of your questions and ideas. Be sure to check back often.

    O.K. Folks…lets go get em!!! I have been hitting Salazars facebook page daily..I was hoping we would get it so clogged up …they would have to do something…we just drowned his facebook and opened it up to public scrutiny…please find their website and start posting there daily…keep blogging news articles, write comments to your local papers to get dialogue to local horse groups, please…get the school kids involved…they are a powerful lobbing group…Can you imagine the president when his daughters look him in the eye and ask why he let the horses be killed???


    • Signed up this morning – 2 posts. Checked back this afternoon – 3 posts. From the categories, whatever is posted will need to be framed as an “Idea”, and not a complaint.

      They’ll most likely bounce anything that’s critical of their policies and/or practices, just like the BLM only posts information that endorses their actions. No dissentors allowed!

      The trick will be turning what we’d like to say into what we’re allowed to say. Any “Ideas”?


  9. Calico roundup has ceased!!!!!!!! Approximately 600 horse left on range.

    I’ll celebrate only briefly, because others will start tomorrow no doubt. I will celebrate in ernest when ALL of this nonsence is over!

    I think they met their quota, wasn’t this about the number BLM intended to leave on the range? So they could have slowed down since they had until the end of February I think.

    Probem is, that means none of the horses already gathered from each of the separate gather areas will be returned? Those can be considered zeroed out?

    The Article on the Cloud site states that BLM will no longer be reporting deaths, injuries, or miscarriages resulting from the roundup, do I read that right?

    I put togther this little thing, excerpts from daily reports:

    BLM says: “Feb. 5…Gather operations concluded today.” Yipee!

    BLM says: “Feb. 4…Death at gather (Granite HMA) site: 1, cumulative total: 7… Facility deaths: 4, cumulative total: 32”

    BLM says…”Jan. 29…Granite HMA…Deaths at the gather site: 2, cumulative total: 5…Fallon facility deaths: 4, cumulative total: 23…approximately 20 to 30 mares have miscarried…”

    This is the first report of miscarriages – it would be important to know what day they were gathered, what was the weather, how far had they been run, what was their body condition on the day of gather, not when they miscarried!

    Cattoor says: “Calico Roundup Update January 26, 2010 – … There have been no serious injuries or deaths during the gather.”

    “…no serious injuries or deaths…” WHAT????? Makes one doubt the .5% deaths (or .05% – can’t remember) quoted by Sue Cattoor!

    BLM says: ”Jan. 26 …No gathering…today…Fallon facility deaths: 2, cumulative total: 15”

    BLM says: :”Jan. 27… Two 12-year-old mares in poor condition and not adapting to change in feed were euthanized…”

    What was the date of gather of these 2, what was their body condition on date of gather, what was the weather on date of gather, and how far did they run in the gather, were they pregnant? Same for all similar BLM comments regarding deaths, unexplained, or contributed to feed, or injuries.

    BLM says: “Jan. 25…Calico HMA…Fallon facility death: 1, cumulative total 13”

    BLM says: “Jan. 18…Warm Springs HMA…Fallon facility death:1, cumulative total: 6”

    BLM says: “Jan. 4… Black Rock West HMA…The condition of the mares is noted as slightly poorer condition than those gathered on the Black Rock East HMA.”

    OPPS – BLM did you forget that you have edited OUT your previous postings of good body conditions until you decide here to report “poor” body conditions?

    BLM says: “Jan. 1…Black Rock East HMA… cumulative total deaths at gather: 2…”


  10. Just realized – this adds up to 2500. Didn’t BLM say there were approximalty 3500 horses?

    This shows the inaccuracy of thier ability to judge the number of horses on the range!


  11. Yes, the BLM estimated 3100 horses there and their original plan was to remove 2500-2800. Had they stuck with that, there would be ZERO horses left.

    How can they say they are overpopulated (or conversely starving) when they can’t count (and the vast majority of horses are not thin)? Lying from both sides of their mouth.


  12. Isn’t it great that the roundup is over now maybe the ones left still can recover. I wonder if the round up ended because of protests or if the cattoors could not find any more horses makes you wonder if any ar left out there. I have family out by calico when I was little. I remember seeing Wild horses run free out there it was awsome. I hope there are still some left but knowing our government they probably grabbed every poor horse they could find. Anyone see that stallion Tomahawk we should fight for him to go back in the wild his blood is exactly what the calico needs back he belongs with them free we should fight for him. It really would be a sin to lock him up i remeber seeing a stallion looks kind of like him back in the 80’s. He needs to go back one way or another. if we can’t get government to set him free someone please adopt him and set him free again.


  13. Everyone has to call the White House every day. Add to your speed dial (202) 456-1111 and for Michelle (202) 456-1112. We cannot give up.


  14. Lori, agree. Not sure why they didn’t release any back to the wild. It just goes to show they need an equine expert to work with them to preserve bloodlines and genetics. Too bad they view them as pests and nothing more.


  15. I wish I had the money and land to adopt him myself i would keep his bloodline going and find away for him to stay wild boy i hop he is not the stud the BLM said they put down or the one that died in the pens.


  16. More broken bones reported on BLM site broken leg and neck and spinal injury. what are they doing to these horses sounds like they are just beating on their spines with clubs or something.


  17. according to cattoos website this first horse death was on the 30th a mare kicked in the face and had ruptured eye. And now there is a report of a club foot horse put down.

    ok here is a qoute by sue

    “Next, with reference to the habitat, everyone needs to understand that wild horses do not move from one area to another to find food or water by migrating or jumping over the fences like deer and elk do. They are not wildlife. A wild horse will sometimes go through an open gate or through a hole in a fence. But if they run short of food or water and are living inside even a very large fenced allotment area, they will just die there. And it is a slow painful death.”

    Now how many people here have seen the Clouds movies seems like they do migrate and how many of us has to go out and fix fences cause our horses decided the grass was greener on the other side. And not being wild life is complete BS they are wild and run free and we don’t feed them they find their own food and fight off cougars and other wildlife and get this they where born in the wild too wow sounds like wildlife to me. Man i am glad i am not that stupid i might not be able to find the barn if i was.


  18. Laura has provided so many great “Ideas” to post on the DOI’s new website. This is the direct link to their sign-up page:

    Please read the terms and conditions, so our “Ideas” will be posted. I voted for and commented on “Please establish a hotline to report alleged violations”, and “Please end BLM’S culture of secrecy”, which I found particularly disturbing and disheartening since it came from a BLM employee.

    The deadline for posts is March 19th, and there haven’t been many so far. I suggest we submit a variety of ideas and comments on wild horse and BLM issues as soon as possible. And don’t forget to vote! I believe they’re tracking e-mail signatures to prevent multiple votes from a single address. Still can’t figure out the “Agree” or “Disagree” displays, and have posted to that issue. Don’t know about multiple comments yet.

    I’m posting on the need to monitor horses once captures are over to assure accuracy and transparency on their full impact. I’m suggesting the BLM employ existing devices and procedures used by hospitals.

    I write long posts in “Word” and paste them in, because I want to be respectful, on point and clear, especially when contacting the government.

    To paraphrase R.T., “It’s time to tighten our cinches and ride!”


  19. P.S. Unless someone thinks it would be a bad thing, I’d like to post this message after every great idea I read. Please let me know your thoughts.


    • Just posted my idea to the DOI Website. Wish I had written a better title.

      I received this surprisingly prompt reply on how they are displaying votes:

      “Hi Linda,

      As it’s presently configured, our site keeps a rolling tally. As people vote for an idea, the vote count increases. As they vote against the idea, it decreases.

      I have e-mailed the site administrator, to see whether adding up/down counts and/or percentages would be possible. I’ll post a follow-up when I have a reply.

      Thanks for your idea.

      Posted By: Larry [DOI Moderator]”

      Their current tally system doesn’t make any sense to me. Hopefully they’ll be able to change it to show the total number of “Agree” and “Disagree” votes. Right now equal +/- votes zero out the total, and we’ve had quite enough “zeroing out”. Maybe if more folks disagree than agree, they’ll use a minus sign?


  20. Just opened my inbox and found 12 votes and 7 supportive comments on my BLM Wild Horses & Burros idea, as well as 16 votes and 4 comments supporting changes in BLM policies, practices, and transparency. So far our calls for overhauling BLM, especially its wild horse and burro program, are outpacing all other issues.

    Almost every comment contains one or more good ideas. If we take those comments, turn them into new “Ideas”, and post them as such, we will be able to vote and comment on each of them. Also, we can post “Ideas” tailored to each different category (Transparency, Participation, etc.). This will exponentially multiply our voices and strengthen our position.

    This ball is now officially rolling. I hope it will be a wake-up call for change at the BLM and help save our wild ones.

    P.S. Just logged off and back on the website and read the latest post about installing webcams. 4 votes so far, and 2 positive comments, including mine. EXCELLENT!


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