Horse News

Catch 22, BLM Hiding Identity of Landowners

Breaking News by Steven Long ~ editor/publisher of Horseback Magazine

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management is hiding the identity of landowners who are providing wild horse trap sites.

Champion of American Wild Horses, Laura Leigh ~ Photo by Terry Fitch

Journalist, author, and artist Laura Leigh won a major First Amendment victory in federal court when Reno’s Judge Larry Hicks ruled it unconstitutional for the BLM to bar observers and the press from observing wild horse “gathers.”

But she was barred by local deputies and threatened with if she pursued her recently won right to observe wild horse “gathers.” Why? Because the trap site used by the federal agency was located on privately owned land. Leigh was told the landowner would not allow press and public on his property.

BLM officials told her to get permission from the landowner if she wanted to see the horses.

“In the BLM response to my desire to observe Tuscarora (Owyhee specific) they claim that I should have independently contacted the landowner. How can I do that if they do not provide the trap site locations that are actually in use and the landowner’s information? Are we supposed to trespass and then ask the person listed on the summons?” she wrote to Horseback Magazine.

In a letter to BLM dated July 27th, the magazine asked for the names and contact information for the landowners. The agency response – a stone wall reminiscent of the classic Joseph Heller anti bureaucracy satire, Catch 22.

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19 replies »

  1. Withholding evidence in a Federal court case is pretty serious. All parties involved need to be questioned.


    • Louie, I do hope that is upcoming. Will an oath sort out the truth from people who have lied to the courts consistently and those lies were the edge on which they escaped verdicts against them before? Justice has been cheated. This time around it must be served. Anticipate the course of the opposition. Head them off. Stay out front. mar


  2. I realize that this may be difficult to do, but why can’t we get one or two people to the county records office and check out the plats and deeds?


    • Denise, This is the way to find out as the records are public. If you do not have a name it helps to have a location. It might be of great interest if the Owyhee land owner could be interviewed. Enough said. mar


      • This is Friday Morning. Laura goes to court… she needs to raise money for the Legal
        Fund. PLEASE DONATE to ASAP!!!

        Help get this case to Court!! Thanks for all you have donated already and all you can donate TODAY!!!!! We love you!! mar


  3. My county just had a reassessment and I am on the way to a Review. The assessesment was posted online and everyone in the county has access to all the land record assessments by name or address or plat #’s. You would have to get access to the information probably through someone who lives in the county or by visiting the county courthouse.


  4. Counties don’t record the same way across the US. However, for the deed which is most certainly at the county level annotations are made to deeds with regard to rights (water, ROW and grazing) and liens because those are part of the value of that land and frequently liens secured by same. There are some counties on line in conjunction with the assessor’s and tax collector’s offices…but not all are there yet.

    So this idea that grazing permitees are entitled to the right of privacy via BLM is BULLSH*T….it’s in the freaking county record you federal jerks.

    General Dynamics has less privacy than Land grazing/mining permitees, which is ridiculous because those permits are used for loans and are public lands…not stealth technology trade secrets protecting national security. Shell game playing asshats!


  5. The info about the land is public. Who pays the property taxes? Even if they don’t pay taxes for some reason (charity or senior or gov.) the name is recorded somewhere. LOVE to know who owns the land, how much taxes they pay and when they bought it, with water mineral rights or not.

    All that is public INFO- and it is weird the BLM is afraid to say the name. wonder why? Think at least they can direct the court to the tax and other public info. all this withholding info and foot dragging by the BLM is crazy!

    ok, now I read and see others understand that the names are public somewhere.


  6. Well, Laura…when you incorporate or apply for a loan that requires full disclosure and reporting or payment requirements.

    That the BLM wants to play games with non-National Security info that is publically available at the county recorders office is not only an insult to the American taxpayer, it is an insult to industries and govenment operatisn involved in TRUE national security.

    I don’t want phone numbers or loan numbers or social security numbers…I want NAMES! The rest I can find on the internet and actually, I’ve found a few of them already you FEDJerkoffs!

    Question: Any individuals want to explain to me why Nevada doesn’t appear to have tax and assessor info/maps available like my hick state?????

    HMMMMM….maybe because there is a ton of shennanigans going on with mining, grazing and water???????


  7. Anyone can go to the courthouse and look up who owns land , also probably can find out on gov – website – as the BLM is PAYING THEM -SO THEY ARE CONTRACTORS AND ALSO THEY PROBABLY ARE WELFARE RANCHERS WITH LEASES-ALSO ASK AROUND AREA . Probably can look it up on net.


      • My guess is that the BLM knows this isn’t a real privacy issue, but is trying to protect private land owners from being harrassed. Once the name of a private land owner gets out, that person will undoubtedly by contacted by the media, advocates, etc.
        Private land owners would then be less interested in contracting with the BLM, and right now it looks like the BLM is working really hard to keep their operattions on private land as much as possible.
        But land ownership documents are public domain, not private. In almost any county, you can go to the tax assessor’s office, look up plats, and find out who owns land.


  8. Well, Shepard flat out perjured himself when he testified about the roundup being an emergency. He stated that there was NO water, and NO cattle. The pictures PROVE otherwise.

    Is that going to be allowed to just slide? Crazy!


  9. The name of a land owner or company was given in an article related to a wild horse gather. It belongs to a major agricultural company. I just looked it up on line and learned that it has over 2,000,000 acres in public land leased from the BLM and Forestry Services. Nevada is one of the states it operates ranches in. If the “private land” is not owned by a private land owner, but is public land currently being “rented” for cattle grazing, could the BLM be calling it private, when it is actually public. We know they could. The question is are they. It is also possible that a person or corporation could own some land and have grazing permits on land adjoining it.

    If the land where the Owyhee gather took place and other “historical” gathers is really public land leased to individual or corporate cattle ranchers, that would explain why the BLM has never had to use tax-payer dollars to lease the land. I hesitate to actually name the company because they could be totally innocent, but I know that I have seen an article on-line recently where land was described as being (owner’s land).

    If I can find the article and verify the information, I will pass it on. However, I hold the BLM responsible for this, not the contractor or the land owner. The is the BLM’s call. They hire the contractor.


  10. The “gather” that I referred to was the collection of 175 horses that the BLM referred to as domestic stray “estray” horses abandonned in the Pilot Valley area. The BLM worked with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Neveda Fish and Wildlife Department, and the Simplot Land and Livestock Co. The horses were gathered on Simplot land. These horses were sold at auction, and with the help of Madeleine Pickens, all were privately purchased leaving the kill buyer empty handed.

    The founder of the Simplot Company recalled in an article written for Range magazine that his first business would be raising and selling pigs. He recalled watching wild horses by the hundreds run across the Owyhee Desert, and confessed to bumping a couple of them off from time to time so he could use horse meat to mix with grain to make his special pig slop. That was eight decades ago, and he died in 2008. But the company he founded remains a major player in agribusiness as well as in minerals mining and related industries.


  11. Laura is Going to Court This Morning!!!!!!

    Please Donate to her Legal Fund ASAP!!!!!! There is Need.

    Go to to help get this case moving today!!

    Thankyou for all your donations past and future!!! We love you all! mar


  12. I may have posted this already, sorry I have lost track – kind of hectic days around here.

    First, Tom Gorey said on NPR last week “come and see the horses in holding – see they are happy and fit”. How can he make that statement and then keep the sites a secret? Have we asked BLM or Tom Gorey specifically where they are? Or is this just another lie from them?

    Second, It is bizarre to me that a government agency, not dealig with military secrets, can even have “secret” contracts. Is it possible we are looking in the wrong places? Or, as posted by someone else It may be like the FAA no fly deal, and BLM just “says” they can’t reveal them. And that may be true that BLM can’t reveal them, but somewhere that information is available. I’ve worked in both Real Estate and for Cities and there is no way to keep any of this secret on the local level in AZ at least, don’t know other states or Fed though.


  13. I know that this is a late comment, but if all else fails we should be able to find it under the Freedom of Information Act. They may not realize it, but the BLM works for us. We are paying their salaries, and (choke, croak, choke), we are also paying the contractors.

    It would not surprise me one bit if that land is government land with an individual owning the permits to it.


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