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Lawyer asks Attorney General to Halt BLM’s Helicopter Assault Against Wild Horses

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“Enough is Enough”

According to a blog post by, a lawyer at the center of several legal challenges to wild horse roundups has written to the United States Attorney General asking him to ensure that the federal agency behind the roundups meets its legal obligations.

BLM Contractor's Helicopter Harassing Twin Peaks Wild Horses ~ Photo by Hector Amezcua

The letter from William Spriggs, of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, comes as the Bureau of Land Management launches its latest operation, targeting 2300 horses and burros in the Twin Peaks herd management area in northern California.

Spriggs has argued in several cases that the bureau’s program to manage the horses is executed in an illegal and unsustainable manner.

In his letter, Spriggs said he hoped Attorney General Eric Holder would ensure the bureau complied with the law and managed the wild horse population to guarantee their survival for years to come.

“Most egregiously, the bureau flouts the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act through its systemic relocation of protected wild horses from their homes on designated Western ranges to long-term holding facilities located throughout the mid-Western United States,” Spriggs said.

“Wild horses are relocated from where they are presently found and transferred to long-term facilities where wild horses do not currently exist.”

Spriggs said the act stated clearly that horses should not be relocated to areas of public lands where they do not currently exist.

“Wild horses must be managed by the bureau where they are presently found, on their protected ranges.”

Spriggs said the bureau’s policy of “systemically ridding the West of wild horses by shipping them to the mid-West where they will be intensively managed for the rest of their natural lives is patently illegal per the provisions of the act”.

He continued: “The bureau cannot claim that its long-term holding facilities are located in areas where wild horses have historically existed, or that its movement of the horses from Nevada to Oklahoma, Kansas, and/or South Dakota does not constitute a relocation.”

Spriggs aruged that the Wild Horse and Burro Programme, as administered by the bureau, “is also a highly controversial expenditure of the government’s money”.

“I turn to you, as head of the Department of Justice and chief enforcer of the nation’s laws, to please halt this gross abuse of power.”

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42 replies »

  1. WHO is going to listen??? Holder??? Someone? ANYONE?????
    I read on MP’s site that she has bought ranchland in NV, don’t know what the next step is with her plan.
    I am just hoping that something good happens for these horses, NOW, while they are still out there.


  2. I have to admit I frequently think who’s listening also. Its a frustration we all feel. But another day comes and we try again. Maybe? I’ve been so disheartened I’ve thought why should I bother to keep trying? Then I tell my self to shut up and get back to it. I agree I just want at least one good thing to happen so that we can see a group of horses such as the LTH horses get a better life. If only the ones still on the range could just keep the life they have. These horse raids are just killing me, I see what they are going through in my mind’s eye all day long.


    • Exactly, Morgan. But we have to keep going. It only took W.H Annie 20 years. That posted National Geographic article stated how it all depended on what was economically important at the time. Right or wrong. Let’s hope that’s not true.


    • Me too, Morgan. I try to get it off my mind, but the images just keep coming. I can hardly get to sleep at night for seeing them. I look at my own precious horses and think, “What if that was happening to Indy and Ami?” and it just gets worse – I stand there and cry all over both of them.


    • main stream media..some PICTURES of the abuse a NON-horse person can understand.

      They can’t understand sweatie or frost covered horses or horses expressions.

      The general public can understand and get OUT RAGED over a picture of 40 horses shot because they were ‘spoiled and hid under trees’ contractors words.

      Back 20 years ago, when the aircraft in UTAH ran wild horses over cliffs and tied tires to them..the pictures OUTRAGED the general public. hundreds showed up at blm offices…Utah stopped round-ups for years. search NYT articles.

      we NEED Pictures for the general public to help us stop the BLM and their buddies on gov payroll.


      • and not to say we need to hurry, but we need to hurry, the wild horses are almost gone. the land is checkerboarded all over the place too, sold off.

        They will move ahead to get that 90 million dollar land buy in nebraska and then get the general public pissed off about ‘welfare horses’ using up taxpayer funds. and then bring in slaughterhouse sue to reduse the taxpayers burdon. The writing is on the wall now!


      • well, maybe the new pictures of the gut-shot 2 week old baby will wake some people out, new posts from Laura and RT, absolutely sickening,


  3. Sitting in the D.C. courtroom with Spriggs and team was awe-inspiring. Their pro bono work involved so many people and they were step two in my rattlesnake theory.
    As a hiker in the West, I’ve been taught the first person down the trail wakes the rattler. The second makes him mad. The third gets bitten.
    If we’re the snake…the round up of Cloud in the Pryors was our wake-up call,
    the tremendous but “moot” fight to stop the Calico Mountains round up made us mad …how will we inflict the bite that brings BLM to a halt?
    I have high hopes for a perjury conviction re: Tuscarora! Or maybe a fiery Senate leader?


  4. please dear God, stop the helicoptors.

    Helicoptors = animal abuse!!

    They have GOT to stop the use of helicoptors. Got to stop the pre-round-up day ‘work’ of these contractors..pre round-up, their culling, pushing, sorting, pushing in pastures with NO WATER, shooting with the stupid helicoptors has to stop!

    stop the helicoptors. Helicoptors need to be OFF the table for wild horse management.


    • not to say survey of horses on the ground is not work. However the public land is in one square miles blocks now. (640 acres)

      a human can walk 3 and a half miles an hour. at a slow walk. mounted even much faster.

      There is no excuse to cover with helicoptors such SMALL HMAS.


  5. After exterminating the real Americans and stealing their land. The fake americans are now destroying the wild horses. Those idiots should all go back to were they belong originally and leave that land and his wildlife in peace!!!!!


    • Do you consider the mastodons the first real Americans.

      The real Americans you speak of, above, I assume means the Indians.

      These people probably didn’t have the word, “America” in their vocabularies!



  6. I saw an article yesterday where Catoor rounded up ONLY 2 horses – an older stallion and younger horse — AND REMOVED THEM. ALONE!

    Dispersed small groups were the cause of his “coming up empty.”



  7. Call all writers! Send any and all information to the San Francisco Examiner and
    The San Francisco Chronicle. The bay area is where you will find support. They are very much into animal welfare.


  8. “Ditto” to all above posted comments!! We HAVE to get radical, & DO something, OURSELVES, to get the BLM to stop all this insane, inhumane, madness!! Are we mad enough? Are we outraged & pissed enough? Are we ready to take ACTION?? If Velma Johnston(Wild Horse Annie), could DO something, no matter how long it took her, there is NO reason we can’t DO something as well, only this time, with technology on our side, it shouldn’t take nearly as long!! I think the BLM IS already worried, from what I read, worried that the “passive” horse advocates might “do something”, well, maybe, we SHOULD scare the crap out of them, let them know we mean business, stage huge rallies & protests, not just in Washington, it needs to be everywhere, in every major city, we have to make more people aware of the TRUTH, make all compassionate, caring, people mad, angry & outraged!!


    • Hi Valerie!
      I agree that we have to do something. Perhaps something a bit more radical than “writing letters”. I have lost my patience with the letter-writing” stuff. Have offered other groups in the past to do something such as a “sit-in” of a higher-up legal postion, either Senate or otherwise. Anything that would make it into the news worthy area for TV, etc.
      Please let me know of anything that I can accomplish!


    • My only comment, here, is to be very careful what you/we write as we are being watched very closely by the BLM and Homeland Security. There is much information that we do not need to publicly let the enemy see, remember, they are the ones suffering from paranoia.

      Also, I really do NOT want to edit things but we have had some very passionate comments come through that were just a bit over the top with the way of threatening language and in an effort to protect ourselves and each other I have edited a few words to soften things up. Passion is what is going to drive us to win this but we cannot threaten, we simply need to act.

      Keep the faith


      • Thanks for keeping us out of trouble RT. Sure would hate to try to get on an airplane and find out I’m on a list. For all you “suits” I and the others are ADVOCATES not ACTIVISTS.


      • I CAN’T let that happen to me as you know where I am.

        Plans are in the works but it appears that I may fly directly to an (undisclosed location), pass up going home, do not collect my $200.00. Will probably meet Terry out at (undisclosed location). We have a lot of work to do.


      • As I’ve said before, the BLM would be only too happy to brand us “eco-terrorists” as an excuse to keep us far, far away from the action. We cannot allow this to happen. Besides that, I’ve always felt that truly radical activism was counterproductive and alienated people who might have joined up.

        Like Morgan, I consider us Advocates rather than Activists – as the BLM, SSue, and all the others try to say we are. Let’s not allow ourselves to corroborate these lies!


  9. I personally don’t care what “they’ call me…how can they call us a bunch of handwringing do gooders and terrorists in the same sentance…Needing sherrifs and security gaurds for people who come to take pictures-seems to say more about them than us…a more unlikely looking group of terrorists would be hard to find. I don’t care what list they put me on, I don’t have to fly anyway..Being so concerned about what name they use to describe us-seems to play right into their hands -without an ounce of evidence to back it up-they still have to have protection..I suggest the best protection for them…is a condom.


    • I don’t care for myself, but I don’t want to prove these scummy people right. Besides it might push the fence-sitters off on the other side.

      I’m not against ALL ranchers or ALL animal agriculture – just the ones that think they own the world.


      • Found on another site – welfare cattle ranchers are calling us the “welfare wild horse bunch”.

        And I repeat – 1 Billion welfare for cattle vs $45 Million for horses –

        Both unnecessary.

        Simple – remove the welfare cattle, reinstate wild horses – cost ZERO.

        I can go back to eating USA grazed beef.

        WELL, maybe not ZERO on the wild horse column, but a lot less than $45 million – maybe even out of the “red” with tourism.

        Nothing wrong though with wild horses getting the same government tax payer support as other wildlife, birds and such.


  10. I have suggested before that we have a letterwriting campaign to the attorney general..glad to hear Spriggs did it..we should add our voice to that as well


  11. Sandra, glad you’re back! The place for homeland security is on our borders. That is where the security is needed, and where REAL law enforcement officers face REAL threats. Active and concerned American, taxpaying citizens do not need to be watched by ANYONE. WE are doing the watching.


  12. AND– for any that are watching and reading our blogs–how could they not be as sickened and appalled by the cruelty and brutality as we are?


  13. Just was browsing the web on definitions of advocate and activist. One definition led me to this:

    Antonyms:advocate (antonym is the opposite meaning)

    Definition: person supporting an idea or cause publicly
    Antonyms: antagonist, assailant, enemy, opposition, protestor


    Definition: support idea or cause publicly
    Antonyms: assail, attack, criticize, impugn, oppose, protest

    Also, in the case of ‘activist’ I found this paragraph:

    Political Dictionary:activist

    One who takes an active part, usually as a volunteer, in a political party or interest group. Because activism is costly, activists are unusual people. Either they enjoy political activity for its own sake, or they have off-median views (see median voter theorem) which give them an incentive to pull the party or interest group towards the position they favour, rather than the position it would take to maximize its vote or influence. Hence some have argued for a ‘law of curvilinear disparity’ which holds that activists hold more extreme views than either the mass electorate or the party leadership. There is some empirical support for this ‘law’ but it has rarely been tested carefully.

    Now, activists here are seen as influencing a ‘PARTY OR INTEREST GROUP’ toward a position THAT MAY NOT NECESSARILY MAXIMIZE ITS VOTE OR INFLUENCE.’ This is all about political groups. And has nothing to do with American voters and taxpayers who want a better way for the wild horses and burros.

    In using word, activist, the BLM is using a word or concept out of context.
    The word activist assumes an interest group or party by above definition which the activist is then trying to influence.

    Wild horse and burro advocates are not trying to influence a political PARTY or INTEREST group. The Wild horse and burro activist is speaking out for a better way for the horses.

    By speaking out AGAINST the Bureau of Land Management’s decisions and practices, and against the contractors who kill horses on a regular basis, the wild horse and burro advocates are exercising each citizen’s right of free speech.

    An antagonist is not an activist; nor is a protestor; nor is an assailant or enemy, nor is a person critical of the Bureau of Land Management wild horse and burro program an activist. (By the above political definition)

    Activism has been used to try to influence POLITICAL direction or movement.

    Wild horse and burro advocates are NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. Wild horse and burro advocates ARE NOT ENEMIES OF THE STATE, nor any political party, per se.

    Wild horse and burro advocates want their tax money to go to humane, careful, and intelligent management of our wild herds. Wild horse and burro advocates do not wish to see more DEATHS IN THE ONE HUNDREDS PLUS of our wild horses and burros WITH EACH MASSIVE ROUNDUP.

    (The guy on car talk in my ear is talking about how is car he was towing blew up just after he disconnected his tow truck. He is shouting in my ear. Fric & Frac are laughing. I can’t concentrate on this anymore. Bye for now)


  14. “I can go back to eating USA grazed beef.”

    Corn fed beef is the best. And they don’t have to be confined in feed lots to be corn fed. Ours come up every morning and evening to the feed bunks.


    • I don’t have any way at the grocery store to determine which USA grazed beef is NOT from Public Lands grazers – so I’ve boycotted all USA grazed beef – at least in prinicipal.

      I have yet to find any beef at the super market that tells me where it is from – same for restaurants. So I’ve pretty much, in reality, just cut back on beef all together. But I am still looking and when I find that South American beef, or other that is guaranteed not affiliated in any way with Welfare Ranchers I’ll be all over that.

      I live in the city – I have no access to trust any butcher shops or farmers markets about what they claim.


      • Go in search of your “locavores” website or group! (Locate thru restaurants claiming they use fresh, local sources)?


  15. “Spriggs said the act stated clearly that horses should not be relocated to areas of public lands where they do not currently exist.

    Wild horses must be managed by the bureau where they are presently found, on their protected ranges”


    Another negation of statutory law


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