Horse News


Press Release from The Equine Welfare Alliance

Half of All California Wild Horses to Be Captured In Coming Weeks

Stop the bloody roundups, NOW!!!

San Francisco, Calif

. (August 10, 2010) – Today, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to stop the roundup of half of all California wild horses, plaintiffs in the lawsuit are joining more than 54 members of Congress who are calling on the Obama Administration to halt the government roundup. Over 2,000 wild horses and 200 burros will be removed from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in northeastern California by helicopter stampede scheduled to begin on Wednesday, August 11, 2010.

Last week 54 members of Congress sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar demanding a halt to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse roundups and recommending reform of “what seems to be a deeply flawed policy. . .” Representatives Barbara Lee, George Miller, Lynn Woolsey, and Mike Honda are among the members of the California Congressional delegation who signed the letter on July 30, expressing concern over the BLM’s recent helicopter roundup of 1,224 Nevada mustangs, which caused the deaths of 34 of these iconic animals, including at least eight foals.

The Twin Peaks roundup will be conducted in the heat of summer and will unnecessarily subject many old, sick, lame and vulnerable young wild horses to potential injury and death. The BLM’s current policy of mass roundups, removals and stockpiling of horses has created what Interior Secretary Salazar has called an “unsustainable” situation whereby the agency is spending tens of millions of dollars annually to stockpile more than 38,000 wild horses.

The lawsuit was filed July 16 on behalf of ecologist Dr. Chad Hanson, a researcher at the University of California at Davis and author of numerous scientific studies; Barbara Clarke, wild horse expert and director of 2,000-acre DreamCatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary in Northeastern California; Linda Hay, a local resident who has visited and enjoyed the Twin Peaks horses for the past thirty years; and In Defense of Animals, a Bay Area-based animal protection organization.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C., is joined as counsel in the lawsuit by the national law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney and San Francisco Bay Area-based environmental attorney Rachel Fazio.

“The President must step in if this roundup is to be stopped. The Interior Department continues to disproportionately allocate public resources in order to serve the private livestock and other commercial industries and in turn scapegoats wild horses and burros deeming them overpopulated,” said Stuart G. Gross, of Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy. “In Twin Peaks, the Department authorizes four to seven times more privately-owned sheep and cattle than wild horses and burros to graze on Twin Peak’s nearly 800,000-acres – which is federally protected to serve as horse and burro areas.

“Under the Obama Administration for the first time in history, there are now more wild horses in government holding facilities than are left on the Western range. The vast majority of the captured Twin Peaks horses will join the 38,000 mustangs already stockpiled in zoo-like conditions,” said William J. Spriggs of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney. “This scheme is not only fiscally unsustainable, it is also blatantly illegal.”

“The Department of Interior has a policy of removing mass numbers of wild horses from the range without fulfilling its obligation to establish the need for the action,” said environmental attorney Rachel Fazio.

Wild horses comprise a small fraction of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by livestock nearly 50 to 1. The BLM has recently increased cattle grazing allotments in areas where wild horses are being removed. Currently the BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public lands of which cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres; wild horses are only allowed on 26.6 million acres of this land, which must be shared with cattle. The Obama Administration has accelerated the removal of wild horses and burros from public lands in the past year.

51 replies »

  1. Did the court actually hear the case or did they decide not to hear because the case has no merit? Anyone know the depressing details?

    The White House, Washington, DC (aka the People’s House)…the lights are on, but no one is home (or listening, or caring, or reading emails/faxes/letters, or answering the pleas of the PEOPLE!!!!).


  2. WHAT and WHO is behing this and WHY? Somebody, somewhere knows. It sounds as though the President is told what to think, what to say and what to do–by?


    • An excellent question Louie! I know Abbey and Salazar hate them, but seriously who is behind these massacres and extermination? Why are a handful of wild equines considered to be such a problem? I just don’t GET IT! It can’t just be the ranchers….or is it? I know water is an issue and the drive to control and privatize it. Is that the problem? Still the numbers of equines versus the level and intensity of effort to cruelly remove them just doesn’t make any sense to me.


      • I don’t think it’s the ranchers, because they are starting to worry themselves. I used to think it was them, but, seriously, do they have THAT much power? I have begun to feel there is more to it – a LOT more.

        The BLM is being SO blatant in their flouting of the WFH&B law and seem to be confidant the they will get away with it. Even the Ruby pipeline wouldn’t seem to be THIS powerful. We haven’t been able to get even a brief moratorium from the courts, and why is that such an unreasonable request? Everyone’s screaming and screaming, and NOTHING.

        If feels like this HAS to be a done deal that gets the horses out no matter what. And so far, I just haven’t seen or heard of anything that would make for such a RUSH. I’ve really never seen anything like it.

        Some of these Congressmen need to speak to Obama PERSONALLY and just see what he says. His silence is getting to be absolutely unacceptable and obviously deliberate.


      • Suzanne, Yes, I agree. What IS the big deal about speaking out about this?? What IS the big deal about having a Discussion???

        With what I can only call a crippled press in this country, is the only way we will find out the underlying deals be once the horses are gone? The burros are nearly gone already. This herd at Twin Peaks is California’s last viable burro herd. Out of thousands. This is simply saying there is no 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

        Something worse is still the fact that citizens are asking to be heard and they are being ignored. Nothing is being said by the people we elected and whose salries we pay. Sounds like we stop electing ‘professional’ politicians in the future. mar


    • Try our friends at BP – see they need the mustangs to simply GO AWAY! so that they can build their dangerous but rather profitable ruby pipeline right through the middle of mustang territory…
      and i think we have all learned just how much BP cares about PROFIT over ANYTHING else… look at our gulf!
      sooooo, it seems apparent to me that our President Obama (who I gladly and proudly voted for) is nothing more that a street punk who cares about getting paid also… not about what is just, right or even legal…
      remember the 1971 ROAM ACT that was signed into law to protect the mustangs and burros from exactly this type of corrupt greed…?
      YES OBAMA can stop these genocidal roundups with a phone call or a snap of his fingers… but he has chosen not to do so… action or inaction tells a lot about internal motivations.

      HOWEVER if ENOUGH voting Americans demand that justice is served to our wild living legends (IE: the roundups are permanently cancelled, and the ones being held brutally in pens (over 30k of them) be released back to their lands immediately…)
      then he better worry about 2012 – cuz as of now there is no way he gets my vote, and I know many others that feel this way – yes over a bunch of wild horses… that the BLM, BP and the President all thought they could “get rid of” without us noticing…


  3. whoever is behind it really doesn’t matter, to me, what matters is that they want the horses GONE! and so they will be, it’s not just ranchers, it’s water and mineral rights and for some, just that the horses are in the way;

    The spinmeisters are already turning the Gulf into a happy place, ” the oil is mostly gone, it’s evaporated and dissipated and the seafood is safe to eat, and everything is just rosy!” I don’t think that’s the reality for most of the Gulf, but that’s what’s being put out by the govt.
    What’s being put out by the govt is that the horses are too many, and harming the land and more bs, and people are believing it, hard as that is for me to comprehend.


    • Yes, there’s a big agenda behind this and I’m beginning to think it’s more international than national. Foreign countries (especially China) hold so much of our debt that they can the U.S. economy at a time of THEIR choosing.

      One thing keeping them from it is the knowledge their own economies would take a tremendous hit, but they also know the most damage would be to the First World. The common people in less developed and Third World nations would suffer, but they’re suffering as it is. And the higher-ups have already moved their wealth away from paper currency.

      Another factor is their fear of our military, but with the money other governments are raking in (most of it OUR money – service on the debt) who knows how long that will last.

      This all began when the U.S, came off hard-backed currency and started printing “funny” money. Then the government allowed foreigners to own land in OUR country, which many of those same countries forbid.

      BTW, NOTHING is safe in the Gulf. Over the weekend I talked to a young man working to save oil-damaged birds and he said the rest of the country doesn’t know the half of it. I asked if he had heard anything definitive about the damage to the sea bed. He said the “powers that be” continue to waffle and won’t accept any “anecdotal” evidence from the locals. The government is saying the Gulf will come back. They just aren’t saying when.

      All of this is so disgusting and dangerous!


      • Bad edit – meant to say “can sink our economy”. And I know there are allot of other factors that contributed to where we Americans find ourselves today, but I mentioned the two that stand out in my mind.


  4. It matters to me…if you can’t identify the enemy, how does one plan for a defensive or offensive strategy?

    And the remaining numbers versus the populations of history past and at the time of the 1971 are way, way below. So why are these animals still a problem?


    • If BLM is the guardian (choke) manager of the wild horses and burros and they are directly doing the removals for the benefit of those other industries it gives our land to then it is BLM in the center. We fight them for the duplicity, lies, manipulation and their greed in destroying the peaceful societies of freedom loving wild ones. The connections that influence BLM actions are complicit. None of this should be happening but it is and it is beyond unlawful. It makes the White House complicit. Maybe we need to sue the president?? Mar


  5. What entity has more power than the DOI? WHERE does the lion’s size share of our national budget go? Why is Congress so SILENT? Why is the President silent? Why are all of the courts and judges caving in? The most important question is, what did our soldiers fight so hard for and sacrafice so much for in WWll? Our FREEDOM.


  6. If Obama took so much air time and publicity to choose the perfect dog when he should have adopted one from a shelter; what does he care that 36,000 horses are in pens and that the tax payers are footing the bill.


  7. Phone numbers President’s office 202-456-1111.
    Senators and Congressmen: 202-224-3121. Ask for your lawmakers because they’ll ask your name and address.
    BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Program, at 866-468-7826. Be nice but clear. Nothing they say can convince you they aren’t wiping our wild horses off the face of the earth.


    • Wendy, people have been calling the White House and their Congress people almost DAILY for almost a year. What has it gotten us?

      I have written as well – more letters and faxes than I can count. What have I gotten for it? One canned response from Obama and one canned response from one Senator. That’s IT.


  8. these are OUR lands, they are OUR wild horses and the genocide against them is being paid for with OUR MONEY! this should piss you off!!!! make sure the president knows it!!! boycott BP – i mean dont even buy a stick of gum at the mini mart! Let BP (or whatever their crafty PR person decides to change their name to) know that they are NOT WELCOME in AMERICA!!!!


  9. R. T. Can’t we… shouldn’t we be making an appeal to Arnold? He is the Governator.. and a Horse Lover. I think we should get him on board to end this maddness.. NOT IN CALI?????? He did say no to off shore drilling in California, after the gulf disaster


    • Contessa (barefoot or otherwise) I like that idea of contacting Arnold. Maybe he could be our standard bearer.
      I am really sad the way things are going judicially.


    • When we campaigned to change lead shot to aluminum for hunters in Condor country in CA I wrote to Arnold and he had already come out against the change, but enough of us asking him to save the Condors, again, made him change his mind.

      I have waited for people in CA to stand up and bring him into this crisis. Arnold is a business man also so tell him the stupid plans for water and cattle and all the other things we have heard and give him a chance to step forward.

      Ask him for a moratorium in CA. NOW. mar


    • Californians want Laura’s help, so please help Laura so she can do all she can….
      Christine added a new comment to the post HerdWatch Fundraiser.

      Christine said on HerdWatch Fundraiser
      August 10, 2010 at 8:03 pm
      In response to Marilyn Wargo on August 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm:

      How do we contribute items?? I had no idea this was being done. mar

      Thanks everyone for all of your support. We had these items for a California silent auction that didn’t work out. This Auction is a test. If the Auction is a success, which I hope it is, then we may request more donated items for another Auction-fundraiser.

      No One is at Cloud Blog!!!!! GO SEE the items and buy them and we can replace with more things like wild horse jewelry and handbags… just waiting to be put up there !! mar


  10. I cant believe that the BLM and Salazar are still rounding up our national treasure and heritage,” THE WILD MUSTANGS and BORRUS” We recently went to D.C spoke to several senators and congressmen whom claimed to add thier support in the defence of the ROAM ACT of 71 created by Wild Horse ANNIE.I am appauled as a tax paying constituent and a 501c3 non profit federal Equine rescue of 16 plus years.We must stop this tragic roundup now. We have Madeline Paulson Pickens, whom in my personal opinion is a great lady at the forefront of the MUSTANG Rescues.We have called OBAMA,SALAZAR, and our senators and congressmen to no evail.How do you R.T Fitch suggest WE STOP THE roundups and KILLING of our american mustangs? We all have tried to stop this brutal inhumane practice as different rescue groups horse lovers, horse owners,etc.HSUS,The American horse defense fund,Chris Hyde,and so many others have stomped the hot summer pavements of our capitol.Why wont they hear the shrill screams and cries of the innocent mustang equines and the young beautiful foals that die , white rimmed terror showing in thier newborn eyes.The USA is acting erratically and immorally. I am disgusted by all politicians. SAVE THE MUSTANGS NOW? Kathleen Hofferty,President Ipswich Equine Reswcue Corp, Massachusetts an Texas.


  11. Arnold is married to Maria Shriver a Kennedy.they also own several horses. If Ted Kennedy , God Love him, were still with us here today things would certainly be alot better for all american equines.I will try to use personal contacts to see what is really going on in D.C other than the El Paso/Ruby pipeline .I do know for certain this is all about money,we met with Diane Fienstein from CA, an old senator and she is hand in hand with SALAZAR and her rep for the envoronmental affairs is from the north shore of Massachuseets like mysef. We even swam at the same beaches.The Rep clearly stated that FIENSTEIN was against our mustangs and was promoting the Ruby pipeline.I thought democrats were liberal, meaning they should be against The BLM and SALAZAR. This is sick political mayhem.


  12. We are advocates who follow the law; we make the calls to Washington, D.C., the trips; we write the public comments REQUESTED BY THE BLM, we share information.
    We don’t shoot people or horses, we don’t stampede any horses we may own or have access to; we pay taxes.

    Kathleen, if you can find out anything that will help us save the dwindling herds and keep them wild and free


    please come back soon!



  13. The reason I have to keep saying this is because no one seems to Gets IT! We must support people in the field and stop Leaning on them!

    Please Support Laura Leigh’s legal fund at Grass Roots Horse as well as Herd Watch.
    Be sure to mark all donation as for Laura and field work.

    If you want the campaign to stand up and give BLM a black eye publicly then Support the Active people to keep doing this. I am shocked day after day that all these people who contact DC and make comments have raised SO LITTLE and could MOVE MOUNTAINS if you wanted.

    Please Support laura Leigh In the Field NOW. We need the Support NOW! mar


  14. You are right, Mar. NOTHING is moving in the horses’ favor except Herd Watch and Laura’s efforts. We must have our people there to “bear witness,” as it may be the only way to end this! By all means, Californians, please contact Governor Arnold and Maria Shriver as this may help also! If you want to DEFEND the horses, dig deep and send some money to the Cloud Foundation. I just don’t see any other “positive” thing we can do.


    • Correction, Lenore, thanks… but to get money to Laura send to Grass Roots Horse right up the right side of this page there is a link and logo; right side near the top.

      Please donate to and the funds will help Laura fastest…

      If you knew how people have squeaked by you would be shocked. Help, because there are plenty more roundups coming in Utah, Nevada, colorado and Wyoming. There are thousands of horses about to be torn from their range just as Twin peaks horses and burros are being made to pay for the greed , ignorance and complete inability of BLM/DOI and the White House to stop and work something humane and non violent out with the public.

      Democracy means dialogue and fair play… this government is a fraud… mar


  15. here is a little good news, an update on Return to Freedom’s web page, as we all know they recently bid on and bought 8 stallions from the Calico roundup internet adoption, according to the update, they have been asked and have agreed to take 10 more stallions, they are also tracking down mares taken from the same areas as the stallions in hopes to reunite some of the families torn apart by that roundup.


    • Jan, wonderful news!! I knew they were looking for some of the mares but this is great. If only they could go home… what a sad thing to have to keep them now, forever. But maybe they will have good lives despite captivity. That is all we can ask for. mar


      • It sounds like the Soldier Meadows proposal is still on the table, it would be a good thing if some of these horses were at least released there, maybe that’s why they agreed to take the additional stallions. at least some of these bloodlines will not be lost. They have also agreed to take a paint mare and her baby from Calico.


      • Even at Soldier Meadows I do not know if any natural band families would be able to be reproducing. Land there is limited, too. I just do not know as it has been snagged in BLMese now for weeks. mar


  16. We ARE being heard. I don’t even have to finish what I’m saying, now, when I call the White House comment line. If we weren’t being heard, we wouldn’t be referred to as “aggressive activists”.


  17. Go to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website and see the letter. Letters need to be in by FRIDAY.

    American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
    Dear AWHPC Supporter,

    We have been sending you frequent emails asking you to take action to oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) summer offensive against our wild horses. Please know that our letters are having an effect. Never before has the BLM been under such intense public pressure, and now Now is the time to keep it up! Please read below and take action. Thank you so much for caring!


    The AWHPC Team


  18. This is out and out war to save the horses. But beyond that it is a war to save the integrity and ecology of our public lands from private corporations that have no interest in preserving the natural eco-systems. We are the public in public lands and we must keep the pressure on hard. Whatever it takes. these horses are being driven off their homeland, they are being incarcerated and some are ending up at auction and are ending up at the slaughter. This is morally wrong and an injustice to humanity. Bad DOI and BLM.


  19. BLM has long lost it’s feel good adoption PR by neglecting the program and not following through and putting off potential adopters with ‘da rules’ that only matter when they need them. If I were certain people inside this agency I would opt for early retirement and wait to see where the axe falls in coming months.

    This is a runaway train with the souls of wild horses on board. mar


  20. Thanks for posting this, RT….Would you mind if it was cut, pasted, printed and faxed to the White House?…by lots of people?


  21. REGARDING FOIA — Here’s a website I found looking for information on what do do with a Carolina Wren nest where the birds are unfledged and the mother may have been eaten by a kestrel. . .HOWEVER IT IS A RESOURCE FROM DOI FOR INFORMATION ABOUT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.


  22. I guess this may not be “news” but yesterday I came across a page on BLM website promising $500.00 to adopters of mustangs who kept the Mustangs over one year. This was for Mustangs of an older age.

    When the adopter gets the “title” to the Mustang, he also receives $500.00 from the BLM.



    • . . . this may explain the sale authority use more and more — because under the sale authority the BLM woudn’t potentially be “on the hook” for $500.00 per adopted horse over a certain age!!!!!


    • i also saw that, it was an “incentive” to adopt older horses, I think in the New Mexico BLM area, and could be used as justification for the sale authority, as in “see, we’ve offered this monetary motivation, and we STILL can’t get people to adopt older horses” BS, so what else can be done with them but to offer them for sale? “


    • This is about the June 2010 NM Adoption Event for wild mustangs and burros. The BLM info is included.

      More about the BLM NM Trial Incentive Program under “The Cost of Adopting”. The $500 incentive is from the BLM. I don’t believe the NM adds any incentive. Like all states, we’re broke enough as it is!

      And this is an April 2009 article. Evidently the Trial Incentive Program was introduced fo the NM, TX, OK, and KS areas. Sounds like private incentives could be available in at least one state.


    • And comments about the Sale Authority horses are right on. If the BLM had even ATTEMPTED proper mustang and burro management over the years, this death and distruction could have been lessened to the point it was entirely eliminated, and the Cattoors would have had to find some other species to torment!


  23. These people of the 9th circut do NOT care, nor does the White House. And as for Salazar he looks hedious in that cowboy hat. Does he know which end of a horse is what? Buy the way, where is OUR water Salazar???


    • Thanks , Janet. There’s so much to go through here, but I got information on something I’ve been harping on in my EA comments in the very first affidavit. Way to go!


  24. je pensse que pour la populations des mustangs ,il faut le faire et dévité la conginité de la mémes familles
    une populations bien gérer et donc pour une homoginnité de la harde
    se projet doit et étre gardé
    moi de france de cherbou-octeville cabel daniel et ençiens éleveurs de cheveaux et pationneé des équidé

    je donne un vot oui pour la gestions et pour le patrimoinne nationnal
    merçie de frances


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