Horse News

Utah Ramps Up Propaganda Against Wild Horses

“In My Humble Opinion” by R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

In a rare flash of intuitive thought, BLM Management identifies main problem with Wild Horse and Burro program

On June 9th, 2010 a public hearing was held by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Salt Lake City, UT on the issue of using helicopters and motorized vehicles in the controversial round ups of native wild horses on U.S. public lands.

If you did not, personally, attend the meeting you are not going to get a straight answer on what exactly went on or hear/read anything about the questions that were posed to the BLM authorities who were in attendance.  Instead you will read local press releases containing ample rehearsed commentary from the BLM with plenty of hype thrown in for Ken Zalazar’s eastern wild horse death parks affectionately known as “Zalazoos”.

Gus Warr, head of Utah’s BLM wild horse and Burro program did throw out a caveat that the repetitive churning of helicopter blades is traumatic to the animals (and every living thing within earshot) BUT:

“Using saddle horses and roping and choking them down — well, this is the best alternative we’ve got given their sheer numbers,”

Thanks Gus, nothing like choking those stupid ole horses down into the dirt, that’s what every little school girl loves to hear; and numbers, what sort of numbers are you talking about Gus, not BLM numbers I hope.  We just documented in an article, yesterday, that the BLM couldn’t count the number of fingers on a hand without getting confused with the square root of their toes.  Come on Gus, we all know that taking a “Ciphering” class just ain’t on the BLM job application so let’s get real.

Jared Redington, Salt Lake Wild Horse and Burro manager was quoted as saying:

“We have found the use of helicopters is the most humane method in gathering horses from the open range and remote mountain areas where they live.”

Okay, so they are out on the “open range” and in the “remote mountains” where they are bothering no one and you all go and hunt them down, terrorize them, cause injury and even death, lock them up in pens, expect us to foot the bill to continue turning the helicopter contractor into a multi-millionaire and then we have to pay all of the up keep expenses for the poor horses when they used to take care of themselves for, ahhh, hmmmm, FREE?!?!?

The scientific reply is:

“Even though it is very wet out there, drought conditions might develop later on in the year and cause the horses distress.”

Wow, there’s some quantified science for you; drought conditions MIGHT happen (this is a phrase that all BLM agents learn in “BLM Double Talk School).  Using that sort of logic the moon might fall out of the sky, pigs will fly, Obama will keep a campaign promise and I will give birth to a litter wart hogs…Come on!  Can’t we do a little better than that?  Do we really, really look that stupid or is it just that you are that stupid in thinking that we are.  It is all so very, very outrageous it would be laughable if not for the fact that you buffoons are destroying the lives of thousands of wild horses and killing many in the process.  Give it a rest.

You even admit that your system does not work; you already know that over two thirds of your annual budget goes to maintaining captive wild horses and what do you consider the logical thing to do, GO OUT AND GET MORE!!!!

Those horses have been out there hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.  The bulk of the horses are fat and happy (we have pictures) with better feet on them than most domestic counterparts.  The range and public lands were doing just fine until you guys started the “welfare ranching” business and began allowing private cattle to destroy our lands and out number the horses.  I would think that it would make more sense to clear out the cows, have one great big barbecue and let the horses take care of themselves.

Emmy award winning cinematographer Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation has been telling you guys or years that if you leave them alone and don’t decimate their herds their breeding levels off.  If you would quit trying to play God by removing their natural predators their numbers would be controlled but do you listen?  Naw, instead you let your PR agency and desk bound admins fool around with Google earth, calculators and slide rules while no one bothers to do an accurate head count, but that brings us back to the math thing again and we really don’t want to go there.

One of our avid readers wrote today,

“I wouldn’t spend one more minute of time registering complaints with BLM. I’d send them to the President and my elected representatives with a “cc” to Salazar/Secretary of Interior specifically complaining about:

(1) Poor science and management
(2) Improper execution of the 1971 Act (which (BTW) is very similar to the NEPA and waiver garbage that is the BP blowout)
(3) Lack of transparency, science, dissent criticism of the current program being considered.
(4) Extraction of all minerals and expediting of all of the wildlife that get in the way”

She’s right, right as rain.  We aren’t going away, boys.  We are here to stay and many of us have been at this longer than some of your agents are old.  It’s not that we are trying to be unreasonable or asking for something outlandish and out of the question.  Quite the contrary, we would like to see something very simple, economical and inherently humane.  The only thing that we are campaigning for is to simply leave the wild horses alone.  It’s just that simple.

Why aren’t you listening?

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27 replies »

  1. This just came in to me as well, does anyone have an update?

    Under a plan proposed by the California-based, nonprofit Return to Freedom Horse Sanctuary and Jim Kudrna, owner of the Soldier Meadows Ranch and Resort near Gerlach, Nev., about 1,700 horses gathered from the Calico Complex would be located onto 5,200 acres of private pasture owned by Kudrna.

    The plan also proposes that Kudrna would receive payment of $350 per horse per year from the BLM to compensate for revenue lost by removing his cattle from the pastures. Return to Freedom would manage the mustangs, said sanctuary founder Neda DeMayo.

    The Wild Horse and Burro Act does not prevent the BLM from placing mustangs on private lands after the animals have been removed from public ranges, said Don Glenn, director of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.

    DeMayo and Kudrna originally proposed the plan as a possible settlement to the March 2010 federal suit, Glenn said.

    “But we were unable to talk about it until the suit was settled,” he said. “We will meet with them sometime in June to see where we have some common ground and where we don’t.”


    • Kudrna land includes cattle allotments. Do you think BLM will change a highly controling and prejudicial part of their management strategy of refusing to allow wild horses grazing rights and then turn around and set a precedent to do this??

      Please go to the Twin Peaks Tour this coming week, Monday, if you are in California or Nevada and see what will become of this fine horse range as AMLs are continued to be reset and lowered. realize these wild ones are to be captured. This is the last viable burro herd in CA! Please put your focus on what is really going on and not on what might happen if you turn your head away a minute.

      Stopping all the roundups, passing ROAM, a moratorium for the study and change of management of wild herds, and the access to all our captive wild horses by observers is still what we all are asking for. Remember, this is what this is all about. That many people want to get a BLM contract is just a fact. Our wild horses have land given them by Congress who declared them Wild and Free. Keep on track and work for the wild ones now and the captives there after. They need to be seen and known. All of them. mar


    • “1,700 horses gathered from the Calico Complex would be located onto 5,200 acres”

      Thats to small for that number of horses, it will become bare dirt!!


      • That was my thought. The BLM continually snivels about tens of thousands of acres are not enough for maybe a few hundred to a couple of thousand horses and yet they are even entertaining this concept of making Kudrna rich with the $$ he will get us to pay him. I was going to say this doesn’t make sense but then I had to remember that sense gets left outside the door when BLM gets to thinkin’. I think this is a lousy idea that will eventually pave the way for the very Salazoos that we are fighting against. If they are going to return these horses to the range return them to the real range–the one they were used to running and playing on without restrictions. No these are horses Mr. Kudrna NOT cash cows. I saw someone mentioned “science” well I have written to the director of science and technology to chide him for not delivering on another of those little ole promises that O made while campaigning. You know the one about scientific integrity–and how the agencies that made govt decisions would share the peer reviewed (lets hope they don’t stand too much on the “peer” part of that as I don’t like the folks they hang with) actual SCIENCE that was used in the decision process. You know like setting AML’s., decisions on cattle grazing leases and how long each range can be grazed by the offending hoofers. And when we get down to science is anyone even noticing that they have to sidestep a Pronghorn sheep or two? Last I saw they do eat and they don’t dance above the range as on wings. But then you can buy hunting licenses and organize hunting trips with guides for the Prongers.


  2. Utah has some lovely wild horses. But I am not sure where BLM will find wild horses on some of the lands up for roundups this July… It is a curious thing to find no horses, no sign of horses and no sign from horses in recent years past at these places up for zeroing out herds in just a few weeks. Maybe it is the natural gas extraction which is all over and the ground criss-crossed with above ground gas lines. Maybe the horses have been gone for many years already? Isn’t it a curious thing to schedule a roundup and have nor horses there?? mar


    • Mar, yes this would be a curiouse thing to any intelligent forthright person.

      But, remember who is doing this rationalization – BLM. Need I say more?

      So Cattoor or Cook fly around and find no horses, do they get paid?


      • Whats to stop those ranches next to public lands from dumping horses on that land?

        The BLM doesn’t freezebrand every single wild horse, whats to stop them from dumping wild horses there and re-rounding them up?

        The contracter is a criminal who conived with several other criminals to send wild horses to slaughter!! whats to stop him from dumping horses and then rounding them up?

        There is no trust with these people they have not earned an ounce of trust from me!

        They have to start filming everything and using 24/7 webcams before I would believe a single thing they ‘said’. Their talk is cheap, I want to watch them work!


    • Kind of like what if they declared a war and nobody came? well what if they throw a gather and no horses come? Yep that’s egg dripping off your faces. What if they sneakily release horses and then round them up again. There is suggestion that that has already happened. Sometimes they screw up and they go overboard and no one can find those 600 horses. Come out come out wherever you are.


  3. Hey!
    You know that ‘New Path’ the BLM’s been touting as the Second Coming in the realm of better interpersonal relationships between the Bureau & the Advocacy??!

    How ’bout ‘Give A Little to Get a Little’??!

    How ’bout holdin’ off, for just one blasted minute er two and REALLY LISTEN with YOUR EARS to what Advocates & Scientists and the Range is REALLY SAYIN’!!

    Not one Herd, NOT ONE, is left alone long enough for any true observation of Nature taking Her course. Each & every time them geniuses set out to decimate a herd, the survivors are left to wander & wonder and ‘procreate like ‘bunnies’, because THESE fools couldn’t excercise some common sense.

    How is it, do they suppose, that Wild Equines survived & thrived a couple hundred years BEFORE the advent of the Dead Predator, the Fenceline, the Pipeline and the Caucasian??!

    They roundup, en masse, with NO consideration to the Herd Dynamic – simple, on-the-range (which is what part of your massive budget is SUPPOSED to administer to) familiarity with the Herds & Families so they can make INTELLIGENT & REASONABLE culling choices, if necessary, instead of the standard Killing the Baby With the Bathwater.

    And don’t insult me by tryin’ to shove sunshine up my *ss that they give a SH*T about the ‘possibility’ of future drought, earthquakes, volcanoes, range fires, locust swarms, plague or forage shortages because THEY DON”T. The ONLY reasonable excuse they could give for a roundup of ANY kind is to save these animals from IMMEDIATE threat, not one that MIGHT happen. Or that use of a helicopter is the HUMANE way to round them up. We got eyes, we got the Internet AND we can tie our OWN shoes.

    They may as well preface any request for Public comment or opinion with ‘This is just a formality; we’re gonna do it our way anyway’.

    And another thing! SpitspitsputtersputterSPIT!! I have RUINED my keyboard!!!


    • Lisa, Wonderful post! I have copied it to a word doc for future reference.

      And you have raised, in my opinion, a most important point. And so, I am going to repeat myself, again – don’t want any new readers to miss this perspective:

      We keep saying the BLM does not know wild horses. I keep saying that. However, how can that be after 40 years of doing only that? I have said many times, that no matter how much we have dug up and how much we have exposed, there is still something missing from the equation that I can never put my finger on.

      So, without further adieu, not making any accusations, just pulling some words from Wikipedia:

      Excerpts from Wikipedia: “Perpetuity…a stream of cash payments that continues forever…there is no present value for the principal…”

      “ SCAM: A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, hustle, scam, scheme, swindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, confidence trickster, or con artist, and any accomplices are known as shills. Confidence men or women exploit human characteristics such as greed and dishonesty, and have victimized individuals from all walks of life.”

      I would change the last sentence: “Confidence men or women exploit human characteristics ‘not only limited to greed and dishonesty, but also including care and compassion, and entire taxpaying societies’, and have victimized individuals ‘and groups’ from all walks of life.”


      • I have felt as if I’ve been asleep for years. How could I have been so in the dark about the atrocities perpetrated by our gov’t. against wild herds? The wild horses and bison are just a new version of the Great Bison Destruction to steal land from Native Americans who lived on the land for generations. I have never understood why squatter ranchers were allowed to graze on land set aside for our wild herds. They brought brucellosis to bison, and now it is just another excuse to destroy bison. Eco tourism is becoming more popular. I got a shock when my neice moved in with me to go to college. She lived on a dude ranch on gov’t. land in Wyoming. She has accepted hook line and sinker all the BLM lies to justify their not doing what they are paid by taxpayers to do. I liked the National Forrest Service motto. Do the most good, for the most, for the longest time. How do we keep the gov’t. honest? They are wasting millions of our tax dollars to destroy a National Treasure. How can we get wild mustangs on the endangered list? Regards. L.P.


  4. R.T., great article!

    Every summer is some degree of drought.

    Do these baffoons just wake up every year and newly discover that there are seasons?

    And, my point being, the horses have survived this for over 500 years. Do more horses die during a drought? YES. Do even more horses die during an extreme drought? YES, YES. The strongest survive? YES, YES, YES.

    So what! Did any of these buffoons ever watch Nature Channel or pay attention in grade school nature class?

    Do more horses die during a roundup? YES, YES YES, YES………………… Do the strongest survive on the range – Don’t know, they are rounded up indiscriminately.

    So, during this drought, called, um, SUMMER, when do the wild bunny roundups begin? Will they use itsy bitsy little helicopters with itsy bitsy little helicopter pilots for that?

    Ok, I realize there is global warming, yes I believe there is, and that drought conditions are worsening – so get the cattle off this “crummy” forage barren arid land (called such by BLM), and move them to the Salazoo land, the wonderful grass laden pastures (per BLM). I’ll gladly pay my taxes to buy the land, give (yes give) it to the cattle for them to never return to public lands. Then pay Cattoor and Cook one last time to move their cattle, and then move the horses back to where they belong. Then send Cattoor and Cook employees back to school; I’ll even gladly pay taxes for them to learn a new job. A whole lot cheaper than this perpetual roundup scheme, yes “scheme”, that we will pay forever.

    I suppose they would start rounding up sea life if the ocean started to shrink?
    But, no, the ocean is expanding due to global warming, so we are going to fish more whales out. My head hurts, getting aspirin! The sports hunters have hunted down Karaboo (spelling?) that the native people depend on, and do we stop sports hunting of Karaboo? Nooooo -. we shoot wolves. Already documented that wolves are not the culprits, it is the sports hunters. Where’s the Vicoden?


    • Oh damn Roxy, you know I’ll be dreaming about little bitty bunnies hopping in front of itty bitty heli’s. Do they have Judas bunnies? Hysterical and good points. I’ll be more than happy to have you grace my California beaches any time you want.


  5. Humans are the ones who don’t belong. We radically change nature because we’re not physically equipped to survive as the poor weaklings we are. I hope we have the humility to admit our mistakes and attempt to correct them, but, with all the greed and rampant self-interest in the world, I don’t see that happening.


  6. (Sorry guys – I normally delete crap like this as I am not going to supply a platform for the insane, but this email address…it was just too good to not let through. It is all about the cows – R.T.)

    The feral horses are a burden to the tax payer. Cash them in. They are food

    CJ Oakwood


    • Let me correct you..cattle are a burden to the taxpayer..It is the Job of the USDA to subsidise and wipe your butts.. Not the BLM..We are sick and tired of supporting your PRIVATE business with our tax dollars..twice..You have a whole government agency to cover for your Industry..Public lands should be managed for the wildlife, and those that enjoy our beautiful coutry..When has someone stopped alongside the road to admire a herd of cattle..News flash..Beef is not a necessity of life..we can get our protein more cheaply elsewhere..What is the problem with you going out and actually buying your own land to raise your stock like the rest of us do? Shure would be sweet if I could rent BLM land for 1.35 a head for my horse breeding operation..My advice to you..women do the grocery shopping..they decide whether or not to buy your product…go ahead and piss us off so that we boycott beef..You will truly be a welfare rancher..sucking off of 1 agency or another.


      • I have a compromise proposal for the BLM..Buy your 40 million dollar ranches back in the midwest where the grass is belly high and move the cattle back there..seems to be a better economic scenerio to me..Oh thats right..those winters in the Dakotas kill alot of livestiock..thats why land is cheap there..the land is wide open and the winds sweep across the plains with not a tree in sight for shelter..but then horses are tuffer than cattle..cattle stack up on top of each other and huge mounds of dead cattle are found in those blizzards.Did it ever occur to the BLM that high desert is natural habitat for wild horses? thats why they were found of the highest concentrations of wild horses was New Mexico and east texas in the 1800s.


    • Poor misguided cj – cough, gag, ugh!

      cj, cattle are on the down side of the paradigm shift all the way around. The beef market slid ‘again’ last month – how many months is that now anyway? If your lively hood depends on welfare ranching, aka grazing on public lands, get out while you can! We tax payers are NOT going to continue funding this 500 million dollar a year (that was in l997, CATO Policy Analysis) failed socialist program that supports you. Oh, wait, socialism implies that the contributors benefit – hold on, wait again, most beef grazed in the USA is exported for profits (cj, that’s per USDA, put that in your hat and smoke it!). So, cj, better get braced to move off that potty trainer and into the real free market system.

      Sandra, you go girl! I have not eaten beef since the Canadian scandal and guess what, I only miss it occasionally. If all follows quitting smoking I will soon not miss it at all. I have also, but no big deal because I am not a foreign traveler though I have been quite an eclectic shopper of goods, boycotted Mexico, Canada, Belgium, France, Spain, Japan, and Nevada (Nevada because of BLM and Calico). I am spending my money in New Mexico and their products whenever possible and CA (can’t give up the beach!).


      • Yeah, and I tried to send him my response directly..its a bogus e-mail..Most of these cattle raisers have been suspiciously quiet on the subject of the wild horses..they don’t want to stir up a hornets nest..and in fact most cattle ranchers do own their own land..its that 3 % of bloodsuckers doing all the damage. For some reason these old boys think they are entitled to every blade of grass on the planet..What we have sacrificed on this planet in order to have beef is astronomical..The destruction of the serengetti is due to cattle raising.Now I find out cow poop is the major contributor to methane gas and global warming…headline reads “planet earth wiped out by cow farts”


      • Sandra, it is like any kind of welfare, it becomes engrained into the subculture, passed on from generation to generation as an entitlement and then folks can’t even figure out how to get out of it. I usally champion for them, I think they can work their way out, but these cow grazers, no way, they are anti my wildhorses and no amount of trying to be quite about it now will fix that – so double cow fart right back at ’em!!!!!

        Yeh, lets make this about the methane – I had forgoetten about that. Good one – get rid of the cows and I can drive my car with less guilt.

        I am sorry for the few cattle folks who are on the wild ones side and wish there were a way to separate you out of the rest of the pack, maybe there is, but I’m not giving up the wild horses for you, sorry, can’t do it.


  7. As I remember, 70% of the grazing allotments are held by corporate or BIG ranchers. Wild horses account for less than 5% of the grazing on public lands. Do I have my facts straight?
    My guess is that the push is coming from the big guys, but they’re letting the little guys go on the front lines. Doesn’t that sound familiar?


  8. This was a really good article, even a little funny, concerning how stupid the BLM actually is! So true, also, the statement saying, “rounding them up from open ranges & remote areas”, WHY?? They’re certainly not bothering anyone, & they’re living there free, at no cost to anyone. These wild horses are living in places NO cattle could ever survive in, so what is the BLM’s “excuse” for removing them? What exactly is it, that makes them hate these wild horses so much, &, why is our inept, also apparently stupid, government, refusing to classify them as a native species, which they ARE, & refusing to protect them, as the law intended? If they played by the rules, &, obeyed the laws, we wouldn’t be having to have this discussion!!


  9. Growing up we had a average of 160 horses on 520 acres, it was also hayed for the winter ( if you could call a Florida winter winter that is) and never had any problems with feeding any of the horses. Now it cost 30 million a year to feed and house captive mustangs. How much would it cost to just manage that range and grow the proper food out there for the horses, maybe 10 million? There are many ways to leave these horses alone including just leaving them alone and let them starve or die of thirst as nature intended. Strange thing is The Pryer herd was aprox 250 horses when recognized and talked about in the 30’s they just reduced the heard from 190 down to what? 100 horses? bet they find a way to get back to 200 again if the remaining ones are not poisoned or shot under raps. Stop taking the horses and the horses will stop breeding, simple as that they are not like people, breeding for the sake of breeding, they know when to stop. Don’t believe me then try my idea and prove it wrong it shouldn’t take more then 10 years of being left alone to prove or disprove it and it doesn’t cost more then 10 separate scientist salaries to watch it and document it. That would be 10 independently hired scientists not BLM approved or staff scientists! But alas it wont fly as no one will make money off it for 10 years.


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