Horse News

Judge Denies BLM’s Motion to Dismiss Wild Horse Lawsuit

Press Release from the Cloud Foundation

Court Declares Challenge to BLM Mismanagement to be “Ripe for Review”

Washington D.C. (August 27, 2010)— On August 25th United States District Judge, James S. Gwin, granted a legal request by The Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and photographer/author Carol Walker, to file a Second Amended Complaint against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) actions in the mismanagement of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. The ruling allows addition of the United States Forest Service (USFS) to the suit. The Custer National Forest is presently moving forward with building a restrictive boundary fence to prevent the wild horses from accessing crucial current and historical summer grazing lands. Judge Gwin ruled that the Plaintiffs’ claim against the fence is not moot as the fence could be removed or further fence building activities stopped should subsequent legal decisions rule in the Plaintiffs’ favor. Judge Gwin ordered the BLM and USFS to answer the Second Amended Complaint within 30 days.

“BLM’s tactic of completing removals of wild horses and burros from the range in whirlwind fashion and avoiding legal challenges to its underlying management of these animals did not work in this case,” explained Valerie J. Stanley.  Attorneys Valerie J. Stanley and Bruce A. Wagman represent the Plaintiffs in this action.

In his decision, Judge Gwin wrote that “[the] government is also incorrect that the Plaintiffs’ claim challenging the 1987 Custer National Forest Plan is time-barred” and found the Cloud Foundation’s legal challenge to BLM’s use of a Categorical Exclusion that BLM uses to avoid analyzing the environmental impacts of the processing of wild horses and burros removed from the range to be “ripe for review because it is a purely legal question fit for judicial review.”

The ruling represents a significant step forward in the Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and Carol Walker’s legal attempts to protect the beloved and historically significant Pryor wild horses. Commonly known as “Cloud’s herd”, the horses are descendants of the horses of the Spanish Conquistadors, the Lewis and Clark expedition and Crow War Ponies.

“We will never give up fighting to preserve this unique herd,” explains Cloud Foundation Director and Emmy award-winning producer, Ginger Kathrens, who has been documenting the Pryor Wild Horses for over 16 years. “They have a right to live free on lands we know they have continuously roamed for centuries. Attempting to fence them out of their home is unconscionable.”

Kathrens journey with the wild stallion she named Cloud began when he was just hours old. It represents the only on-going documentation of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere.

Links of interest:

Judge Gwin’s Opinion and Order

The Fencing Off of Cloud’s Herd

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’

Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit. America’s Disappearing Wild Horses

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan

Short-link to this release online:

Past Cloud Foundation press releases

Photos, video and interviews available from:

The Cloud Foundation, 719-633-3842

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905 – 719-633-3842

28 replies »

  1. Think good thoughts folks. I got a letter from TCF earlier this evening. Flint has lost his band to another stallion. You can thank PZP for the chaos on the mountain. Heather and Feldspar are so beautiful. Jaspar and Agate are totally cute and adorable. They are marked so similarly.

    I have a picture from earlier this month when I was there with the four of them. They were walking up the hill right across from Penn’s. It was taken about 5:30/6 pm. Moments after taking this picture we saw Bigfoot (who I didn’t take a picture of) with another stallion. Flint got very upset and started moving the mares. What I didn’t understand then and do now is how quickly families can change up there–even without help from man.


  2. i read the report from TCF–so horribly sad that family lives are ripped apart and the effects on those mares–actually the whole community. PZP is a monster.


  3. If the Humane wild horse observers want uniforms, I have a commericial embroidery machine, tell me what you want, what design, etc. I have lots of sweatshirts will be happy to do this for you without charge. I did embroidery for a business but stopped about five years ago. I still have the machine, etc. I was going to donate the sweatshirts to the salvation army, but this use is o.k. as well. I will look to see what is in the containers for cooler garments as well.


    • Debra, Please save the sweatshirts. If no uniform “uniform” 🙂 is desired for advocates, there might be a want for them for a rally. How much would the sweatshirt be including shipping? Do you have other tops, also? Just inquiring for their might be a need. Thanks for the information!


      • letting you know too. you can go to cafe press dot com (google cafe press) and have them make any shirts, jackets, hats you like, can upload pictures off your computer and add things like text and a american flag 🙂


      • Ronnie, I do have some although I don’t know how many polo shirts, T-shirts and a few jackets. There are lots and lots of sweatshirts. I would like to do this and there is no charge for the sweatshirts or embroidery. I kept everything nice, stored away in bins. I would like to clean out my studio so I can have more room for some of my other hobbies.

        I got very sick about five years ago with kidney cancer, abdominal aortic aneursym, etc, etc. and stopped doing embroidery for a business. I am doing fine now. I am riding my horses and all my horses seemed to understand that their job was to get me back in shape. They were very patient while I mounted and they walked very easy for me. Horses really do have a 6th sense. The horses are now back to their usual self trying to gallop every chance they can. When I was sick they didn’t do any of that.
        I am with you on trying to save the wild horses, I am lost at what to do. I am not a journalist, photographer or a great communicator so I have to sit back and watch my wild herds be destroyed. Hopefully, in a small way having embroidered garments would help let everyone know the plight of our horses. I would need to know rather soon if you would like me to do these. They are not stamped, they are embroidered and embroidery takes some time to do.


    • re: Sweatshirts: question: how big of the outline of a Mustang could you make on a sweatshirt so that the outline could be seen ?
      would you fill the Mustang Sillouette in with threads or fabrics?
      i would be very interested in a Mustang Emboriderd Sweatshirt;

      I think there would be a market with proceed towards Mustangs causes; a wonderful idea; maybe TCF could help sell for proceeds
      maybe other mustang orgs. would be interested too; neat idea! thx

      ps I could send you the sillouette of a very cute Mustang; my email is if you want to compare pix

      i feel like better days are coming for America’s Mustangs + Burros
      Anna usa


  4. There is a comment period open for the use of PZP on the Pryor herd for 5 years. The damage that PZP is doing to the families is becoming evident now. Please go to the Cloud Foundation and read and make a comment. mar


    • PZP. Maybe this is why the HSUS is not getting more involved with the wild horse horror as they recently did with the wolves…LEGALLY, through the courts! And won! *The HSUS has a deal with the BLM regarding PZP.


    • I don’t think the PZP study has any bearing whatsoever on the mustangs other than that they’re horses. Just because it works in controlled research doesn’t mean it works in the range. I remember TTMP posted the report a few weeks ago. I’ll try to find it.


  5. It is very scarey that the BLM fights these kind of cases and what if they win? does that mean they will be able to zero out the pryor mt. herds?

    or will they put up the fence and then wait for the horses to be blocked from forage and then declaire “emergency” and then zero them out.

    I can easy see how the BLM ‘creates’ an emergency by blocking water and food with fences and to small range 😦 and they have a lot of spite and hate for anyone who is ‘pubic’ about their love for these wonderful animals.

    must suck to work for the blm and listen to those horses call to their family and not be able to change anything. must be why they always have such a ‘churn’ in the lower positions.


  6. Hoo-rah. Thank you all!!!! I especially liked this part of Judge Gwin’s decision: “…and found the Cloud Foundation’s legal challenge to BLM’s use of a Categorical Exclusion that BLM uses to avoid analyzing the environmental impacts of the processing of wild horses and burros removed from the range to be “ripe for review because it is a purely legal question fit for judicial review.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • I wonder where all our letters go when they received them…about why NOT its a good idea to such and such roundup. I know we think they go in the spam can and maybe they do…but what if this Categorical Exclusion thing allows them to ignore what the advocates are saying.

      What happens to our letters in this open statement period thing (like open comments on PZP) IF all our comments go into this Categorical Exclusion thing??? Then they can deny ever reading them much less considering the advocates suggestions.

      I hope the next judge will listen to all of the evidence and not just one side.


  7. VERY good news ! the Us gov is big; the blm is small getting smaller; i’d like to zero out the blm instead of the moriah herd;
    in a peaceful way of course…anne many thanks to the judge!


  8. Debra, what a kind and generous offer!. You could contact the Cloud Foundation or Laura at Barn Door Studio. The links to both are on the sidebar to the right.


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