Horse News

BLM “Processes” Publicly Owned Wild Horses Behind Secret Closed Doors

Written by Examiner reporter, Maureen Harmonay

BLM restricts wild horse observers to Sunday only visits at Fallon Nevada holding facility


As had been feared, the BLM has announced that effective immediately, visits to the 320-acre Indian Lakes Road facility where the wild horses rounded up from Nevada’s Calico Mountain Complex will be restricted to a two-hour window on Sundays, by appointment only.  The agency will accommodate only 10 people each week, on a “first-come, first-served” basis, and even those observers will only be able to see what the BLM wants them to see on its “guided tours.”

The BLM says the strict new visitation policy is necessary “due to horse preparation for adoption activities (freezemarking, vaccinations, blood tests, deworming, aging and recordation of animal descriptions),”  and it implies that it simply won’t be able to do its work under the watchful eye of humane observers such as Elyse Gardener or Craig Downer.

Meanwhile, a report by veterinarian Richard Sanford, entitled “History and Report on Outcomes and Complications for Horses Adapting to Hay,” attempts to rationalize the disproportionate number of deaths among the wild horses being held captive in the Fallon, Nevada holding pens.   According to Dr. Sanford:

“Eighteen horses have died or have been euthanized as acts of mercy because they were not adapting to being fed grass hay in a domestic setting.  These horses ranged in age from 12 to 20 years and had Henneke body condition scores from 2 to 3.  The horses that were euthanized were losing weight and condition and were incapable of maintaining a Henneke body condition equal to or greater than three.  These horses came off the range in poor condition and were most likely eating brush (woody shrubs) because of the lack of preferred grass forage on overgrazed rangelands.”

There are two issues here:  most independent observers–including investigative reporter George Knapp–who were present to see horses arriving at the facility have disputed the BLM’s contention that the horses from the Calico Complex arrived in “poor condition.”  They were doing just fine before they were stampeded for miles and nearly run into the ground.

Second, Dr. Sanford’s report states that 1646 horses from the Calico Herd Management Areas were brought into the Indian Lakes Road holding pens between December 28th, 2009 through February 1st, 2010.  The roundup was halted on February 5th, before any new horses were brought in that day, and the BLM announced at that time that it had already removed 1922 wild horses from their ranges.  Were 276 horses corralled in the three-day period from February 2-4?

If not, where are they?

Thanks to Maureen for this timely article.  The implications are terrifying!” – R.T.

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97 replies »

  1. Just look at the stress the poor Mustang has to go thru; standing up on his or her hind legs due to stress and confusion?

    the blm is going to be stopped “Mark my words;…Anna Wahpoose Conn. usa


  2. “The BLM says the strict new visitation policy is necessary “due to horse preparation for adoption activities (freezemarking, vaccinations, blood tests, deworming, aging and recordation of animal descriptions),” and it implies that it simply won’t be able to do its work under the watchful eye of humane observers such as Elyse Gardener or Craig Downer.”

    Sorry, but that is a red herring. DOI/BLM have public relations staffers that can handle “visitors”. In fact, that is their job.

    How does the saying go?…when the people’s government decides that they neither have a responsibility or requirement to be transparent and open, the demise of that democracy is not far behind. Mr. Obama, you called for transparency and openness. You proclaimed change was coming. Where is it Mr. Obama?


    • Surrounded by “yes men” only.

      Please don’t hurt their feelings. . . they are only “helping” the horses. Oh, and they are too busy to talk directly to advocates — they need a co-dependent spokesperson who defends them.

      “Something’s rotten in the State of Denmark”


    • Why people accept what the BLM decrees is a mystery to me. Fallon is not a private operation. It is 100% tax payer funded. Those are our horses.


    • I assume the horses will be herded into small pens, alleys and squeeze chutes for “processing”. In those circumstances, if these so-called “experienced wranglers” can’t do their jobs under observation, they should be fired!

      Who was the BLM official who promised observers unfettered access? The observers are horse people. Their cameras have long lenses, so they don’t have to be right on top of things to get a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

      The BLM sets and changes their policies so often, one can hardly call them policies. They’re just whims.


  3. Were 276 horses corralled in a three day period? No, But 157 were reported ‘gathered’ from Feb. 2nd to Feb. 4th. That leaves 119 horses unaccounted for except by death… or special removal. We have seen only one pic with a single ‘Curly’ mare and BLM supposedly caught a small group. We saw pics with what could have been a couple of the rare albinos caught. Then there may be other deaths we do not know about.

    The lack of transparency has gone too far, too long. End the secrecy or get out of the business with our wild ones, please. Leave them to us. mar


    • We need to continue to demand to have observers at the Fallon facility. We also need to extend this to include the Holding facilities on the New, This Month, PDF list of all wild horse and burro short and long term facilities. This PDF is Linked at the BLM Quick Facts page under the WH&B Program. It has the number of horses the facility can hold, and the number that are there. I believe from my first look that there are fewer geldings than mares most places.

      If the new committee to discuss the fate of our long term holding horses is about to include Craig Downer then I ask that Ginger Kathrens be included as she represents the largest number of wild horse advocates and will add balance to this group. She has been central to the campaign since the Big Push began during the Cloud roundup. We need her there. Mar


  4. Every report I have ever analyzed or seen on BLM horse numbers does not agree with other reports. Horses, by the BLM own records, go “missing” in the accounting system all the time. I will go back to the reports that I have done and start totalling up all these numbers.


  5. From the BLM press release on closing Fallon to the public:

    “The Indian Lakes Facility is privately owned and operated. The BLM coordinates closely with the owner to schedule the guided tours to allow visitors opportunities to view the animals, while not interfering with the day-to-day operations at the facility.
    About a one-hour drive from Reno, Indian Lakes is the BLM’s newest contracted short-term holding facility, which currently is providing care for about 1,875 excess wild horses that were removed from the Calico Mountains Complex.”

    Notice the wording of “excess” horses and also notice that the BLM claims this is a privately owned and operated facility. It is not. It is funded 100% with taxpayer dollars. These horses are not privately owned. The American people pay for their care and holding. Just because this is on private land, does not make this a private enterprise. Why do we let the BLM continue to mislead the American people?


  6. I do not believe that there are 600 horses left on the range. To process and geld all those in holding without releasing some back to the wild to maintain health and bloodlines is gross mismanagement of a wild species. If the BLM does not understand anything but land, as they claim, they should not be the sole administrator of the WIld Horse program. And Mr. Seidlitiz says they are about the land, not the animals on it.


  7. Elyse and Craig will be first in line every Sunday. I bet my boots on that.

    No rounded up Mustangs from Calico were released back as promised in the original ‘gather plan’. It will be soon difficult to find any wild Mustangs or Burro in Nevada. So much for the state quarter Nevada choose to produce.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA! WAKE UP! WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING THROUGH THIS ATTROCITY? WHY DO YOU TURN A BLIND EYE, DEAF EAR AND DUMB HEART TO YOUR FEDERAL AGENCIES’ LAW BREAKING AND TAXPAYER DOLLAR STEALING WAYS? ISN’T THE NATIONAL DEBT AND BUDGET DEFICEIT ENOUGH FOR YOU YET? Don’t you worry about the America you are leaving for your children and grandchildren? Do you give one thought to the Presidential legacy you are building? Or are you so falsely self assured that you pay no mind to the people you serve and FUND YOUR PAYCHECK? Have you hardened your heart so much against this countries history that you are willing to repeat tragic mistakes all over again?


    • Residents of Nevada overwhelming chose the Wild Horse as the symbol of their state for the quarter. Soon they will have to replace the image of running horses on the quarter to an engraving of horses in holding pens with all the light gone out of their eyes.


      • Or the image of of them standing in a moving horse trailer, crossing the Mexican boarder in the dead of night. This is my fear as we have NO idea as to true numbers and this has happened, historically, in the past by “adopters”.

        When the numbers don’t add up you wonder where the missing horses are…it really doesn’t take much of a stretch to draw a likely conclusion.


    • Are there advocates out there who would be able to camp-out at the entrance/exit of the Fallon horse prison? I don’t understand haow they can keep getting away with all this treachery! I’m hoping the protesters in Las Vegas will be able to get President Obama’s attention at tomorrow’s rally. We can only PRAY! I wish this administration would just STOP! STOP! STOP!


      • kas0859ohio:

        The new Fallon prison is located on so-called private land, which is an absolute lie from the beginning. Tax payer dollars fund ALL BLM activities and facilities. Nothing can be nor should be private. Because of this mis-labeling of the facility, no public person may camp out, as you suggest. Unless, the citizen does not mind being arrested for their belief in the American right to protest publicly.


      • I’m able, willing and ready! How do we organize this? Not only does the BLM need to stop future roundups, they need to return the Indian Lakes Facility horses to Nevada! This is OUT OF CONTROL and WE THE PEOPLE need to take it back. Action people, Action!! We need to be present in number. Letters and calls are NOT BEING heard. WE must change our tactics!


      • Elisabeth, We have BLM up against a wall. Our calls and emails are having a strong effect. What you say here has an effect. Tactics are to keep on and stop the roundups and get horses out of holding facilities. Everything that goes on is not out in the open. We are on the issues list at the White House. There is much going on behind closed doors. If it fails we will call you. mar


      • Thank you MW, it’s encouraging to hear that our efforts are making a positive difference. It’s a battle worth the fight and hope keeps us all going forward. Ready and able.


      • Morgan- On the way to the “private land” there has got to be a public road (doesn’t there)? They trucked the horses to the Killing Fields of Fallon, I wish we could find someplace along those roads to watch for outgoing horses.


    • THanks Morgan for saying that. this should be put on facebook every day until someone wakes up to the fact that the beurocracy has grown too big, too uncaring, and too much a spender of our tax dollars. it’s about time if obama wants to do some good before being thrown out of office next election to do it now. bad enough that we have big pharma lobbying our congress to get more drugs into people that are sometimes deadly to some. Then they blame the fda instead of the congress people who take their money (so much you would be surprised) and then pushes the fda to approve it. years later they have to take it off the market beause people have been made sick or died. By then big pharma has already made billions. it all has to stop.


  8. I have first-hand knowledge about horses surviving by eating brush and woody shrubs.

    In May, 2009, the New Mexico Livestock Board seized 9 Peruvian Paso mares and one 90-day-old colt in Cuba, NM. The older mares (3 are 16-19) were Henneke 1-2, with one younger mare at 3. Three of were pregnant with very early 2010 foals.

    They had eaten their “pasture” down to the bare ground. It had never been tilled and planted, just wild, high-desert landscape. They had stripped all the trees, and eaten the sagebrush and chamisa down to the tough, woody stems. They even ate much of the wooden steps and posts of an abandoned house.

    The owner was in bankruptcy and provided almost no feed – about 10-15 bales of stemmie cow hay a week. The livestock inspector made 3 unannounced visits over a one-month period and found no hay of any kind in the feeders. The owner was charged with 10 counts of felony animal abuse (pled down to 1 count misdemeanor – typical NM).

    We rehabbed them at the Rescue at our expense, and finally got custody about 2 months ago. They are now healthy and most are ready for adoption. About a month ago a 16-year-old mare (1-1/2 to 2 at seizure) presented us with a fine, healthy colt.

    For pitty’s sake, if the BLM can’t be bothered with providing care for at-risk wild horses, why won’t they turn them over to a rescue before they deteriorate any more? Obviously, they’re afraid of being exposed. If the BLM refuses to surrender horses that “fail to thrive”, they should be seized, and the BLM contractors and vets charged with neglect and abuse. Doesn’t Nevada have a Livestock Board?

    My point is, these domesticated horses survived for about 2 years (the owner had them 4 years) on that “pasture”. If our Pasos made it through, there’s no excuse for the BLM killing wild horses that know how to survive in their home country. With proper care and compassion, I guarantee most of those sick or injured horses would be alive and thriving today.


    • Linda:

      You are using common sense. The DOI and the BLM do not subscribe to common sense theories. They only respond to money trail, greedy, land grabbing, deceitfulness, theft, over inflated ego and law breaking theories.


    • We can see that BLM has Not given proper care to the horses in Fallon and allowed many to die from bad and improper feed, giving birth to being born and roundup injuries. You would think that there is a process that needs to be followed as BLM Is A Repeat Offender. The horses need to be seized by the LAW and someone willing and able to give them that care now. They should remain there so as not to be stressed again. But how can they start the processing of mares when they are expecting foals? Put the horses under the care of someone responsible, now. We can prevent the deaths that are still happening. None are acceptable deaths. None. mar


  9. I don’t know but is sure seems like a waste of money to spend $1,000 a horse to run them to death and or sell them for $500 at the end of a breaking period. Theses round ups are a waste of tax payers money. A bullet to the head in their own surroundings would work quicker and be more tax saving, as do we really need to run the whole herd and eliminate it forever by capturing. I thought this project was to thin herds not eliminate them. The government must have plans for the land from which they are running these horses.


  10. I could not agree more Morgan. An no Obama don’t care what he is leaving for his children in the country who . He is funneling money our of social security and health care to pay the Cattoor’s pay check that is why the BLM is getting such a huge increase to run our horses to death so Obama can steal the west again. He is after that green and thats all he cares about. If he did care about our country he would be paying the bills we owe. In Illinois a medical bill has not been paid since 2002 Go Figure.


  11. I know we all feel for the people in Nevada loosing their wild legacy, but there were some very powerful organizations supporting the round-ups throughout their state. I just want to know why. Was the Sierra Club, and the others hoodwinked by the BLM’s statistics or being paid-off by somebody higher up the food chain?


    • kas 0859ohio:

      Just follow every fact you can find on the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada named Harry Reid. Why is his named linked to so much legislation in the Obama administration that will have phenominal impact on American for generations to come? Who’s deep pockets are his hands in? Why are other Senators appeasing him?


      • I’ve been tempted to send Harry Reid a Nevada quarter with a note reading:

        “Mr. Reid, you’d better hold on to this. It may be valuable one day. If the BLM has it’s way, Nevada’s free-roaming horses will be reduced to an image on a coin, and their lives a distant memory.

        You might want to pass it down to your grandchildren, and spin yarns of these “symbols of the American West” that have been consigned to history.

        And when they ask, ‘Grandpa, where have all the wild horses gone?’, I’d like to be there to hear your answer.”


      • Harry Reid appears to be a criminal, is a liar and somewhat of a racist evidently. He’s a ‘YES’ man, aka ‘toadie’. Whoever is winning is who he aligns himself with. Even if he ends up making a fool of himself!


    • Senator Harry Reid is up for re-election and is on “shaky ground” according to political blogs. He certainly is no friend to the wild horses and needs to be kicked out of the Senate. I guess Obama is coming to Nevada to award Harry with some energy programs to give Nevedans jobs and campaign for Harry. Hope the protest tomorrow is in the news spotlight.

      Conrad Burns, former Senator from Montana ,added the Burns/Reid amendment to the Appropriations act of 2005, without discussion or agreement of the public or the rest of Congress. The Burns/Reid Amendment overruled the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which protected America’s wild mustangs and burros. The amendment was negotiated with Senator Harry Reid as a response to Nevada’s ongoing “problems” with an explosive wild horse population, and added to the Appropriation act with the full knowledge of the Bush Administration.


      • Pres Obama is coming to Nevada just to award Reid with programs to stimulate the Nevada economy? You have got to be kidding me. After the public crack Reid made about Pres Obama being non-black because he didn’t use black lingo? Was there a big to-do about that? Like with Rep. Joe Wilson? Nooooooooooo. Harry Reid seems to be so dang special. I would like to know why. His hands are on way to much legislation right now for the Obama administration. How on earth did Harry Reid become of the know it all from no where all of a sudden.


      • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but as I remember it Conrad Burns’ amendment was tucked into an enormous omnibus bill at the 11th hour.

        I believe the bill included funding for the Iraq and Afganistan Wars, money to keep the government afloat, and loads of special-interest pork. With so many issues at stake, there was no way Congress or the President would even consider holding it up.

        Unfortunatey, our Presidents do not have the line-item veto. Bills are voted up or down and signed into law in their entirety.

        The only addition a President can make is a “signing statement”, indicating positions on and/or objections to parts of a bill. Instead of vetos, signing statements have become the way some Presidents hedge their bets.

        As I recall, former President Bush attached more signing statements to bills than any other President in history. I don’t know if Mr. Obama has attached any signing statements as yet.


      • i never knew that harry reid killed the protections of land and horses act back then behind closed doors without congress even voting on or knowing about it. It’s sneaky poilcy at it’s worst.. shame on him, he is a moron. how he can sleep at night is beyond what i can comprehend. And…..somehow he became vice president?????? How embarrasing is that??? He has made a mockery of our country and the world knows it. I wonder how much money got slipped to him. You all know he acts cocky when you see him. thinks that the world is stupid and Americans look at him the very same way. Bribery in the Whitehouse? Of course there is.


    • The Sierra Club is no friend to the wild horse! When they can join forces with Safari Club International who promotes killing of endangered species for trophy hunts, something is entirely wrong.

      As far as the horses missing, I was involved in another episode where the hauler actually turned in the facts. Yes he was paid but those horses didn’t go to short term holding, they went over the border and straight from the capture site! Even when in short term holding they have snuck them out in the middle of the night and sent them to slaughter. Their justification was the horses were unadoptable due to age and it was legal due to the Burns ammendment!

      When out in the field the only way to make sure those horses get to their ‘supposed’ destination is to follow ALL trucks and make sure they get there. The highways are public so the next time people go on a round up, please make sure someone is left behind on paved road waiting to follow those trucks.

      As far as Harry Reid getting re-elected, it’s not going to happen. He and Nancy Palosi are outta there! All the dirt is coming out about Harry. For all those that don’t now, Reid was the one that made a deal behind closed doors with Burns to Amend the wild horse act to include slaughter. He fed it to him hook line and sinker, he has admitted as much.I just wonder what he promised his state in return?

      Reid’s only concern is the energy, oil, and mining companies. It’s a land grab out here for the HMA’s and that is why they have been zero’d out. A couple of years ago I was researching proposed round ups and followed the money to Reids website where he stated he had brought in a couple of huge solar, geo, and wind companies to start producing energy for southern NV that would create 130,000 jobs, yeah right. Those proposed areas happened to be in a HMA that is now zero’d out.

      Reid may think as long has he has Vegas to hold him in office that the rest of the state doesn’t matter. He’s wrong and will find out come Nov.


      • Kate, just FYI – I wrote to Sierra Club about this bizare apparent partnership with the Safari Club. They, being National did not do this. They said that a local Chapter must have done this and they have no knowledge of it.

        We should all write them and put on pressure that we don’t like it whether local or what.


      • Thanks for the info Roxy, but I think they are playing dumb. You can look on the IDA website and see who ‘threw down the cash’ to help BLM fight it’s lawsuit in regards to the Calico round up, the Sierra Club is right there in black, white and ‘green’!

        Don’t let them back peddle on you, and don’t support them either! Like I said they are no friend of the wild horse and give their distorted comments in favor round ups here in NV and Northern CA on a regular basis, Craig will back me up on that one.


      • How do we know that trucks are not leaving for the border from Fallon as we speak?
        May be that’s part of the processing: Deciding which horse to send to slaughter and which one to keep.


      • Perhaps that’s the reason why observers are not allowed at Fallon.
        By allowing them in for only one day, it gives plenty of time during the week to have trucks come and go. Unfortunately, observers are not going to hang around for a whole week just to be able to get in for one day.
        The one day code is very convenient for sending horses South of the Border.


      • And since numbers are just… numbers, instead of the official number of 1922, what if they actually gathered 2900? And left only 1900 in the holding pen?


  12. The BLM uses the budget in the WH&B program to round up, corral and adoption of the wild horses. They do not use their budget for sound management of the HMA wild herd areas and protecting the horses in the wild. And they use none of their budget to monitor and follow up on horses “adopted” out to people, many of whom are unscrupulous. The entire premise of the WH&B program is flawed and needs to be abandoned. This is not a priority of the President at this time, as one can imagine. It will be up to the people to continue to shine a light on the flawed WH&B program and to bring as many lawsuits as possible, to hobble them instead of the the horses. If every single round up has a lawsuit filed against it, the BLM may need to take a look at their SOP.


    • We certainly can offer up programs and management that will save money, enhance the presence of our wild horses and Burros so that the public can see and enjoy them and make all our wild ones a precious part of our continuing heritage. BLM has no ability or intention to deliver that. mar


      • No, I don’t believe they do. They should not be the sole agency in charge of wild horses as they have no interest in maintaining them in their natural habitat. Gene Seidlitz said on camera that the BLM is about land, not horses, animals or cattle. If this is true, why does the BLM have an agency called the Wild Horse and Burro Agency?!!!


  13. I’m not sure aobu this point – anyone please advise:

    Don’t perineal grasses go dormant in winter – the range is not “overgrazed” causing the shortage of grass – its winter that is causing the shortage of grass?

    And further haven’t these horses existed through many winters (up to 500 of them) on dead shrubs and bark, etc and rebound once spring comes?

    Last, I still would like to see actaul photographyic evidence of the condition of the 2 and 3 ranked horses upon entering the chutes compared to when they were put down. I know I’m a broken record on this and it will not happen for Calico, but perhaps in future roundups (hopefully, not too many future roundups at all and done properly).


    • Roxy – When the Captives were taken, cheatgrass was starting to sprout (I know; I got a thing about cheatgrass). Cheatgrass is a winter annual. It virtually begins and ends before spring and summer grasses start to sprout. And grazers can eat all they want. It’s not very nutritious unless it’s consumed in quantity. The Wild Ones range when they graze. They self-medicate on different plants. And they’re the only grazers who can survive on things nothing else will eat.
      They’d pretty much have to be living on a dry lake bed to be starving in that area of Nevada.


      • Lisa, thank you. Just to make sure I understand, sorry to be such a bother -cheatgrass is not desireable on the range – am I recalling this correctly?

        And if not desireable, or even if its ok, the cheatgrass that the horses would have eaten, will now just die and become additonal fire fuel?

        Last, the horses that may have been on the skinny side from fall until now would have had an opportunity to begin a rebound even before spring on the cheatgrass?

        The problem I see with the perpetual BLM roundup program is we will never know if the horses will regulate their breeding unless we have other parts of the world to look to. As it stands the horses left on the range that can reproduce will do so like bunnies in order to retain viability giving BLM and the roundup crews jobs for eternity. Anyone else see something self serving going on here?

        However, even Cattoor warned BLM that the horses would become harder to roundup as they will learn to hide or escape from the helicopter – I think I recall in the FOIA papers that Cattoor indicated a DOUBLING of cost per horse in future roundups due to this. EeeeeeGads – since they will not capture as many horses they would have to double cost it for some reason wouldn’t they in order to still get their $2.5 mill a year of our tax dollars? What a SCAM!


    • Roxy: Cheatgrass is an import. Also listed on many government sites as an invasive or noxious plant, and extremely opportunistic: it can thrive in an area disturbed by wildfire or overgrazing, and it sucks nutrients and moisture from the soil to ‘starve’ it’s competition. But it’s readily available and is fodder before the other grasses show up. And when it dries out is definitely wildfire fuel.
      And I think you’re right: How can we know the impact of Wild Ones on cheatgrass if they’re removed from the equasion?


      • I think we should keep a very close eye on the wild fire season in Calico area for the next few years compared to prior to this rediculous Calico roundup – maybe there is proof on the horizon. It would be preferred that BLM return the horses home.


  14. There are 3 things which concern me – the number of free Calico horses left/the fate of the captured – secondly, that Obama will continue with his head up his arse – and last that the seed of hatred sewn by the BLM, their vet, “stagers” and contractors will blossom. If this latter should happen, IMO they have brought all of it upon themselves. God help them!


  15. Yep, Obama came out recently and flat out stated that he was giving billions of our dollars to build the first nuclear energy plant in decades AND that it would be only the first with more coming. Hmmmm how do you spell uranium? Sounds as if he is going to push it thru regardless and that means pushing past EA’s and public concerns.


  16. The only reason a Federal or state agency has the right to refuse full disclosure and restriction of access is because of National Security issues.

    Somehow, I don’t believe mustangs and burros are a National Security issue based on my terrorist/war handbook.

    Now, an serious argument could be made that even with FOIAs, the agencies find ways to stifle, delay and refuse disclosure and accountability.

    So, how about calling the ACLU? How about suing the DOI/BLM for failing to uphold FOIA protocal with regard to real time access? They are playing the time game.

    Check out the pick-up and disposal contracts (FOIA and don’t forget state agency involvement because they are even more slick)….it may take time, but you’ll get numbers, contractors, contract conditions and amounts (I still insist they are violating the FAR/DOIR). Feeding alfalfa to mustangs?!?! How poor of an equine manager does one really have to be? That alone seriously brings into question the competency of the BLM and contractors. Stooopudds! And we are paying for it!

    It is very clear to me that the BLM/Cattoor/NV want as many dead horses as they can get.


    • I think it would be good to talk to ACLU because they are able to tell you exactly what they can or cannot do. The BLM WH&B management is substandard and results in deaths from neglect. Horses are considered livestock in Nevada. People take better care of cows. The horses are the Nation’s and deserve better for all the money dumped into the pockets of contrary contractors. Who needs BLM?


    • I was once part of an ACLU case, and, as I understand it, most of their cases involve alleged violations of Constitutional rights. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I do have some questions and comments to add to the mix. If you can believe it, this is the short version.

      I think the issue comes down to this: are American Wild Horses considered the “property” of the citizens of the United States? If not, who owns them? Who owns the “public lands”? Are they ours, or are they kept “in trust” for the American people? Our taxes support both the horses and the lands, but are they, by extension, our “effects” and/or “property” under the law?

      I re-read the 4th and 14th Amendments in the Bill of Rights, and, as I see it, the real sticking point is the 14th Amendment, Section 5: “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” No matter how much we hate it, the fact is the 1971 WH&FRB Act has been legally amended.

      One definition of “appropriate” is “right for the purpose; suitable; fit; proper”, but one person’s “appropriate” is another’s “inappropriate”. I believe the Burns Amendment violates the “spirit of the law”, but that can be considered subjective rather than objective.

      I can’t imagine anyone who supported the original 1971 Act ever considered it would be twisted to ruthlessly destroy wild horses rather than to protect them. I certainly don’t think they would have considered the Burns amendment “appropriate”.

      Also, I feel restrictions on humane observers to be “taxation without representation”. I pay taxes, and consider they represent my interests. Unfortunately, cases regarding “taxation without representation” have never been particularly successful. The residents of D.C. can attest to that.

      Contacting the ACLU and getting their take on all this is certainly worthwhile, but, to my mind, passage of the R.O.A.M. and anti-slaughter bills are still the best option. They’re already in the government pipeline, and that’s where I’m going to concentrate my efforts.


  17. Get out yer calculators, folks; it time to ‘Check the Fax’, offered by the Bureau’s own Web Site:

    3040 = Wild Equines, Calico Complex
    1922 = Number Removed
    1118 (?!)
    according to Lisa’s Calculator, a traditional, non-European add-subtract-multiply-divide appliance familiar to most households.
    So either there was NOT over 3000 Wild Ones in the Calicos, or there were no more left and the roundup was concluded, but there is no justification in zeroing out herds on such a huge range, and now there is the mad scramble to Cover The BLM’s Backside. In any event, numbers don’t lie, but apparently, Bureaus do.
    The BLM’s Accurate From The Air count sez there are 600 left on the range. Except when they do their Spring Reassessment, then there may be an extra 500 or so who will also be starving and destroying the range and reproducing ‘like bunnies on Viagra’.
    The Bureau kicks out these numbers like no one can or will Do The Math, because, as we’ve all been told recently, Wild Equine Advocates simply do not understand, are illogical and emotionally irrational.
    That may be, but I can still add and subtract and Their Math? is Steer Manure.


    • Lisa, Yes – and according to BLM they did not know wild horses roamed?!?!?!

      So they are blaming the wild horses for roaming as the excuse for not getting an accurate count. I mean really, why didn’t those dang pesky horses just stand still during BLM wild horse counting – bad horses!

      Whatever happened to BLMs partnership with the federal mapping agency (still can’t remember what that is called) that was so touted by BLM? Well, they came within a 5% accuracy rate. Can’t have that! BLM and accuracy! How would poor, poor little mistreated Sue Cattoor survive on accurante counts?!?!?!?!


  18. Lisa: Funny, but sadly true post. However, throwing in the word “scientific” with anything the BLM does is the key…they don’t DO science; they do removal and livestock/mininig/forestry worship.

    If anyone can get a chance, read M. Pickens’s latest email. She is on a “select” committee. It was interesting. As for me, the jury is still out and most importantly, they (and us will) were never given access to all the evidence.


    • “D” There Is a problem in thinking that a ‘little committee’ can solve all the problems we are up against as a large group of tax payers. I am not so trusting in this little behind the scenes talk that I believe we will be satisfied. When I think of how far BLM would have to reach just to get to a position to compromise, it seems like another manipulation and the status quo. We are still here and seething and not backing down so I hope they realize they Still Have Us to Contend With, after they shake hands. mar


  19. Some unfortunates to take into consideration:

    Both McCain and Obama ran on new energy, both ran on creating new nuclear plants. Bush had made it very clear that he was going after public lands for this purpose. McCain made it very clear that no place was off bounds in his energy plans – EPA be damned. Not defending Obama, just saying…

    Who is driving this energy need? Who are the consumers? One of the candidates had so many houses to provide electricity to that he did not even know how many houses that was …

    Unfortunately our entire economy rests to some extent on the war machine – there is not one state that does not have major production plants to produce either the end product or parts to go into munitions, rockets, helicopters, airplanes, ships, etc. And I doubt there are many, if any, retirement plans that don’t also rely on profits from these endeavors, including energy.

    So what are the many choices that can be made to save the horses? The biggist unfortunate obstacle is that BLM and the Obama administration have apparently seen fit to lie about this and blame the horses (again). When they could have just been upfront and asked for input and help to find a common solution.

    An unfortunate turn about for me is that I started thinking this could be worked out with BLM, that they were just employees doing what they are told – not so today. I do wish they would change, so I can change my mind.


  20. And the HSUS is essentially DEFENDING the BLM!! They seem to have an extraordinary pattern of endorsing pathologically sick animal abusers, do they not?


    Because it puts money in their pockets – THAT is the HSUS agenda! Not animal welfare!

    Please do not support HSUS. There are credible hardworking and LEGITIMATE animal welfare organizations doing their best to defend the wild horses. HSUS only defends abusers to put more $$ into their pockets! THAT is too obvious now!


    • This is so not true. HSUS was all over Michael Vick for weeks and was at the trial. Also,they have called for a moratorium on the round up. They do NOT defend the BLM by any stretch of the imagination. I think they were hoping they would be able to work with them in this new admin, but they quickly found out it is the same old BLM.


    • You need to stay anonymous. Why take on HSUS? Do you have so much hatred spew in you you have to take on an agency that does good? Re-route it to BLM, they deserve all they can get! HSUS makes mistakes like everyone – your a prime example of that yourself anaymous. HSUS always works “with” agencies like BLM and its a good thing there are cooler heads out there trying this.

      Where is your evidence that HSUS is defending BLM? Don’t just tell me thay are. And who would be doing the good work they do if they did not exist? Yes, just another one, just as prone to occasional mistakes as you or I.

      Anyway HSUS is a charitable org – if you dont’ like them don’t donate to them.

      Savewildhorese, thank you for a beakon of light.


    • HSUS has dissed our loyal Humane Observers and said they ‘twist’ what they see! McGrath has implied we are too critical! It has taken us a long way to show what is going on. It has been suggested we pat BLM on the head when they answer a question or do something right. Amid this fiasco there is no simple right and wrong as the entire endeavor is deadly and needs to be ended and never revisited. We are doing what the must be done and HSUS would not have come out and said anything if we had not been here and if we had not also called them on their silence. mar


  21. Hey, Michael Vick could be the new spokesperson for the BLM! I’m sure HSUS can make arrangements! High profile, wealthy animal abusers make HSUS richer, and richer, and richer….


    • Nice try at slamming the HSUS. They are about the only nationally known group to step up against the round ups. Along with IDA.


  22. Savewildhorses :Nice try at slamming the HSUS. They are about the only nationally known group to step up against the round ups. Along with IDA.

    Sadly, it took them a very, very long time to take a position on the 2009-2010 round-ups. And with their war chest, they have not joined in to any litigation pending for the wild horses/burros. I don’t understand that kind of behavior.


    • Doesn’nt BLM derserve enough angst? Why spill over to HSUS? Please see my 11:29 reply to ananamous. Lets try stay on target – there is more than enough work for us to do. I drift off sometimes myself, and a good reminder comes from someone posting here and I appreciate it.

      R.T. where are you? You have more info on HSUS and can better reply than I can.


  23. D your absolutely right.

    I have a contact from the HSUS in CA and even met with some of their lobbists last year at the NV legislative session. I got in their ear about wild horses being pushed over boundries,lableled estrays by the various departments and shipped to slaughter; the need for some kind of federal push by the HSUS lobbist to stop the round ups ATLEAST until a census was done. I’ve sent these people hundreds of emails and press releases only to get ‘message was received not in office’. The only one that ever replies is Beverly McGrath HSUS lobbist in CA who is totally over burdened and her hands are basically tied with all the things she has to do in CA by herself. To her credit she does try but has minimal amounts of time to devote to it in surrounding states.

    The only thing the HSUS has done to date is endorse the use of PZP which is totally detrimental to the horses, even University of NV Reno dumped out of the PZP program even though they had federal grants. The HSUS has jumped on the band wagon when IDA has done all the ground work! I’m not sure, we would have to ask Suzanne Roy from IDA if HSUS had donated ANYTHING (resources or cash) to the lawsuit? I rather doubt it though…

    Okay, so they jumped on Vick, it was high profile and if they didn’t all those donors nation wide were gonna wonder why they haven’t? The other organization I wonder about is PETA? Where the hell are they in all of this? I got their periodicle a around Christmas asking for donations and with all of slaughter and wild horse issues exploding nation wide, they had two paragraphs on what the BLM intended to do for this fiscal year, and nothing about their stance on the issue. Rather void if you ask me.

    If you’re gonna support any of the other non horse organizations I suggest you do it locally, the SPCA for example that has a no kill policy. Let the big ones know that you’re mad about them not coming forward on the wild horse, and slaughter issues, and the best way to do that is withhold your donations or donate elsewhere. In tough economic times their corporate standards are going to take a hit.


    • Kate, Your right if you don’t’ want them doing whatever they do get accomplished don’t donate. There are people who don’t like SPCA or PETA either. Is our time being well spent on HSUS and ASPCA or PETA or well spent on BLM?

      I asked the same questions myself and was informed of HSUS good work on behalf of the wild horses. I was also reminded by a commenter to stay focused (which is not easy for me) and I thank them for that.

      R.T. has already written of the good works of HSUS on behalf of the wild horses much better than I can – I’ll not go there.


  24. If we had been Joined by HSUS and backed and helped rather than treated like we are not worthy of the outcome we seek I would be showing them respect they earned. The fact that they can go behind closed doors and make deals is not necessarily going to get us to where we are trying to go. Beware all the secrecy as it continues to exclude us. We may end up with a very splintered result that will not be pretty. The outcome we want is still what we are seeking beyond the little conferences and exclusive attitudes. Is their effort really our effort? I think not. I feel we are being herded now by all the above and it does not set well with me to be told what I am doing or how I do it is not ‘correct’ and the information I have sought and been given by Humane Observers is Twisted? Where were your observers, HSUS? You could certainly have had someone at every roundup. Those with money are not backing the advocates Real Daily Fight for the protection and freedom of our wilds ones. They are using us to make things come out their way. What is their goal? Please tell us we would be rapt with attention to hear it. mar


  25. Ok, its obvious to me I’ve missed something. Please direct me to this HSUS information – where they said we’ve twisted info, etc. Is it on thier web page? Or other?


  26. It appears that the criteria for humane treatment of Wild Equines falls under a different definition, one worlds away from any other animal. And that criteria can be purchased for Promises, especially for large, well-funded organizations. Why rock the boat when simply remaining silent will speak volumes the next time one of your pet projects may need a Federal go-ahead?
    In any court in the land, running an animal (though NOT a Wild Equine) to exhaustion, traumatizing an animal (again, not a Wild Equine) on a whim, causing brutal and intentional harm to an animal (yep, not a Wild Equine) is grounds for arrest on Misdemeanor or Felonious Cruelty. Except for the Federal Government. And most assuredly, not in regards to Wild Equines.
    Insert another species – domestic or wild, with the notable exception of maybe Wolves – handled with the same gross disregard and SOMEBODY’S gluteus is in a ringer. Multiple counts? Jail time and fines in the millions.
    Perhaps another category should exist, that of Felonious Cruelty under Color of Authority. But who is gonna lobby for something like that? Apparently nobody WE know.


    • Lisa, What a wonderful idea!! We need to get a rep to introduce a bill that will get Gov. abusers out from under what ever fantasy immunity they have been operating, and hold them and all past abuses, accountable, the Agency and Program, to the American People. We need some good folks like RT and Jerry, Ginger and Craig and a small army of advocates to write this bill and present it through someone we respect… No One can abuse animals and be above the law? Right! What makes wilds horses and Burros different? I have no idea when that was decided but we are not doing it that way anymore… mar


      • Mar – I can’t for the life of me understand why Wild Equines garner such blatant disregard or why so much effort goes into misinformation. Other wildlife suffers at human hands, but no other living entities dance on the edge like Wild Equines. They have ostensibly no protections and can be dealt with by any means necessary. We do our best for them and our results have the half-life of a gnat. I cannot recall a time when any government official spoke of them with anything other than thinly veiled contempt.
        (oh dear; I’m havin’ one of THOSE days…)


  27. This whole dilenma eats away at your core. I’m at work now, but my thoughts and prayers are always on the horses….everywhere !!!! I have also witnessed the Fallon facility, auctions and holding pen to slaughter on Wildes R. in Fallon. I’ve really got to “pull it together” as I have been physically sick and crying all the time seeing their faces in my memory.
    Spring is on the way, and I’m on the way to focus just on the health and well-being of the horses.


  28. We ALL know it’s a horrendous policy, we all know it needs to stop. We all have the opportunity to voice our opposition in Washington DC, Thursday March 25th. Please pass the word. More information at . This is a golden opportunity for us to show
    the BLM that they are NO LONGER in control of our wild mustangs. It is crucial that we enlist the support of as many advocates as possible for DC.


    I NEED TO KNOW THE STATUS OF THE FEMALE IN THE HOSPITAL PEN. SHE WAS VERY THIN AND ALONE IN A PEN ON THE CORNER. I WOULD LOVE TO TAKE HER HOME !!!! My phone number is temporary until June when I return to Nevada. The contact at this time is 253-475-6565-ex:7730.



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