Horse News

BLM’s Own Numbers Indicate Wild Horses Will Be “Zeroed Out” in 2011

Analysis authored by Lisa LeBlanc, Forward by R.T. Fitch


Several days ago we ran a “tongue-in-cheek” article about the poor math skills of a much recognized individual, Mr. BLiM.  That piece was published in an effort to prime the public for the following information, facts and figures.  We now have a real sense of urgency upon us as the BLM’s recent release of the 2011 Stampede schedule indicates their misguided plans to remove 11,000 wild horses from their rightful land…by the BLM’s OWN numbers that is all that will be left in the wild after their assault on the horses in 2010.  There will be NO MORE wild horses, by their numbers, after 2011.

The graph, below, was compiled by our own Lisa LeBlanc and has been checked and doubled checked as the numbers come straight from the BLM themselves.  It’s alarming, terrifying and there is no time to waste.  Lisa’s computations did not cost $1.5 million dollars nor did it take 1.5 years to complete.  They are real time, in your face and for your immediate review and action.  Below the chart is a break down of the analysis.  (Click on graph to enlarge)

Lisa LeBlanc, all rights reserved

The Table’s average yearly percentage increase of Wild Horse & Burro population estimates exceed the Bureau of Land Management’s assertion of basing their Published Estimates on a 20% per annum reproductive rate. This table shows, averaged over the period from 2000 – 2010, an annual increase based on year to year Pre-Roundup Population increases, of 32.76% per year.

The total Wild Horse & Burro populations removed from the range are based on information published by the Bureau of Land Management. The total animals removed for 2000 – 2010, as of 8/4/2010, are 101,052. The estimated population increase for the same period, based on published Pre-Round Up totals, is 84,056. Roundups have exceeded estimated population increases by 16,996, further calling into question the Bureau’s assertion of 38,400 Wild Horses & Burros for 2010 (31,628, post-round up as of 8/4/2010) as a highly optimistic and unrealistic estimate.

Published commentary by various officials of the Bureau of Land Management have stated that 2007 had been the only year where populations of Wild Horses and Burros  came closest to what their combined ranges could theoretically support (27,000). However, this Table shows clearly, in post-roundup Baseline populations, Wild Horse & Burro populations fell below 27,000 in years 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and were only slightly above in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

Round Ups from 2001 – 2006 removed the highest numbers of Wild Horses & Burros, averaging over 11,000 per year during that period, for a total of 66,235. However, from 2007 – 2009, this trend plummeted, removing a total of 19,414, an average of 6,471 per year for that period. Populations increased for the 2007 – 2009 period, based on estimates, by 29,251. Had the 2001 – 2006 trend continued, Wild Horse and Burro populations would now be below zero.

There were no published materials available for this Table that take into consideration On the Range Mortality, for example, Infant Mortality, Predation, Natural, Environmental or Illegal Causes – essential components in estimating Wild Horse and Burro populations more accurately.

(Analysis authored by Lisa LeBlanc, Aug 31, 2010)

30 replies »

  1. To Terri Fitch:

    I would like to congratulate you on an excellent slideshow depicting the blatant animal abuse by the Bureau of Land Management concerning the welfare of Our American Mustangs…

    Question: was that a foal tying to nurse on an exhausted Mare?
    by that I mean; did the BLM run a Lactacting Mare to exhaustion;

    and in this way; the Foal was having trouble nursing? so not only does the BLM put the Hay in odd places so some Mustangs cannot reach the Hay; by the same token: do the BLM “monsters” take Foals away from Mums Milk and or injure Mares so they cannot nurse their Foals? If so the BLM will be indicted on animal cruelty charges…Illegal to pen an animal and not provide feed etc.

    Round Ups from 2001 – 2006 removed the highest numbers of Wild Horses & Burros, averaging over 11,000 per year during that period, for a total of 66,235. However, from 2007 – 2009, this trend plummeted, removing a total of 19,414, an average of 6,471 per year for that period…..(Cavel plants were closed….duh? )

    Comment: the trend plummeted…guess why ? “usa banned horse plants…easy to see; just like a crystal ball depicting the evilness of the “Wh & B Program where they “destroy them daily;aw

    BLM i am on the warpath and I will get you to stop the roundups !
    mark my words ! BLM moronic horse abusers and horse thieves !
    WITH NO SHADE WHATSOEVER; does that make my blood boil !


    • still the BLM can not bring-up one horseman who says they run their personal pregnant mares or their foals for even 2 miles.

      much less the 2 or 3 HOURS over 3 or 4 days(helicoptor pre-sort days before actual round-up dates) the BLM allows their contractor.

      I always say it, BLM are horse killers!! and their contractors with the aircraft should burn in hell for all the thousands of wild horses they have killed over their 40 year family history!!

      We are the wittnesses of the loss of the LAST naturally selected ‘free roaming’ wild horses left in america. omg, Obama you’re letting Big business along with the DOI Traitors!!! ruin america and its like obama is held hostage and can do nothing.


  2. I knew things were serious for our wild horses but this shows how very critical the “managing for extinction” really is.


    • There are now less REAL natural selected (unfenced!)wild horses than some species of whales!!

      any animal that has one young a year and depends on migration/ contact with unrelated groups is easy to push into extinction.


  3. Ms. LeBlanc:

    Once again an outstanding summation and exercise in mathematical acumen that seems to be sorely lacking by any and all government agencies in charge of “managing” our American Icons.


    Thanks for featuring Ms. LeBlanc (once again) and the forward.

    Everyone reading ought to go over to Steve Long’s Horseback Mag and read how the AAEP is going to feature Dr. Tom Lenz at their Baltimore Convention. Leave a few polite, but well documented facts for the readers there to consume about god ol’ Tom….he may be a licensed equine vet, but in my book he is nothing more than a equine meat inspector (the equivalent of Sue Wack ‘Em Wallis with a ton of education and sheepskins[pun intended]).

    And Congress continues to fund this rogue agency…pathetic!


  4. Rereading and thinking to myself….if these numbers and related incompetence of gov’t agencies of same isn’t enough to shut this operation down or win in court, I don’t have clue as to what is a viable relief for the wild equines.

    Does anyone know if any of the groups or individuals that have filed suits in the past ever filed on population v roundup numbers in and of itself?


  5. First, Lisa — you’re my hero!!! Sending you a huge cyber HUG!!! And, again, thank you RT for your dedication and up-to-date reporting.
    Next … I really don’t mean to harp on the mortality rate issue … but it’s weighing heavily on my mind and heart at the moment, as I read Ginger Kathrens’ story yesterday about the Pryor stallion, Bigfoot. His most recent mare and son died, and this amazing senior stallion, in all probability, won’t make it through the winter. Please read this story on the Cloud blog, if you haven’t already.
    The BLM stats say NOTHING about projected decreases in herd size due to death out on the range. Ginger documented in one of her Cloud programs that all but one foal in a single band died. (I don’t remember if they were all killed by mountain lions, but I think most were.) So, let’s look at that. Each of-age mare produced a foal, and all but one died. The BLM would probably call that a 100% population increase without admitting that there was something like a 90% mortality rate — just within that one band.
    Ginger has also documented how a single lightning strike on a mountainside can wipe out many adult horses at the same time — I think it was something like 5 or 6 that she showed in her film. So, those horse deaths, which the BLM doesn’t count, significantly effect the overall numbers.
    Folks, with what Lisa has just shown us, compounded by unknown/undocumented mortality rates, our wild herds are all but gone. There won’t be any left to round up as of next year.
    I’ll send this chart along to my congressmen. I’m compiling an educational packet for them and will include this.


    • Nora:

      The wild equine advocates and SMEs most certainly understand the “natural” Mother Nature mortality factors. Gov’t agencies are allowed to NOT factor that into their “rabbit” reproduction numbers which are fallacious at the start from an equine reproduction scientific standpoint. They have been allowed to spew sewage from the very inception of the 1971 Act.

      We get it.

      The courts, the Congress and most especially the Executive Branch CHOOSE NOT TO GET IT!


      • Denise — You’re right. We do get it. It’s just so hard for me to accept that our decision makers choose NOT to get it. In fact, it’s unacceptable.
        One letter I received from my congressman used the tired mantra “no natural predators.” Fortunately, I feel that this is a man who is capable of being educated, so I’m going to give it my best … again … and again… and again …


    • It is horrible that any group of stallions is FORCED to endure a year around ‘breeding season’ with the widespead blanket use of pzp.

      There has to be a tremendous loss of fat reserves and much more injury especially among the stallions.

      some months ago I commented cloud looked more battered, I pray horses like him can make it through winter.

      * I kind of get the feeling that SOME in the blm sit at their desks, laugh about the extra stallions- and place bets on what stallions will lose their herds or not live through winter. *


  6. If it does not change by October, indeed the current existence of wild equines will change, but I believe that if the massacres are allowed to continue:

    (1) The Cattoors and Cooks of the kill ’em brigade will be out of work; and,
    (2) We must change our efforts to maintain, find and restore the herds and their lands with science, legislation and court actions.


  7. Oh this DOI CRAP just gets sicker and sicker….seems we now have another Gulf oil rig explosion in the killing fields. Think the crud called Slaughterczar will EVER GET FIRED?!?!?


  8. This is so outrageous. BLM is MANDATED by law to protect the horses on their Federal Land that was given them 1971. Why are so many people starving in this world when we only consume 3% of the beef raised in this country? All that beef has to be going somewhere and isn’t to starving people. Isn’t any of the beef going to help the poor or hungry?

    And it isn’t just the horses that are being shut out of water. Global warming is playing havoc all over the environment. Amendment rights are being broken daily–look at what happened in New Orleans after Katrina. Yet, while people complain no one does a thing to correct that.

    Currently it sure seems that the BLM is sitting on their hands ignoring Judge Hicks rule how they violated Laura’s First Admendment right to see the roundup. This hopefully will come back to bite them in the backside. Hopefully Judge Hicks will become so aware of BLM tactics that he’ll force them into court to explain to him under oath why they haven’t bothered to answer the charges.

    The problem is all of this causes more distress to the horses in the meantime. Even if Congress gets off their dusty rears that have become glued to their chairs who will get to go in and figure out which horses go to which HMA’s???? This will totally change the bloodlines of herds like at Calico. They’ll become mixed with horses from other HMA’s.

    Sure they all be mustangs and all of them will have their hardy ability to navigate this world. But if your saw Elyse’s video of that stallion who continually called to his mare and foal–that was heartbreaking. Which brings me to another question–Twin Peaks had roundedup some 900 horses yet only released 57 of them. When will they release the other 450 horses? And who and how are those decisions going to be made? Or did the BLM suddenly say that Twin Peaks can no longer handle any wild horses on their HMA’s???


  9. Be certain to get your letters in today. You can go the the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website or the International Society for the Preservation of Mustangs and Burros website to see their letters:


    Stallion Captured in BLM Roundup. Photo by Elyse Gardner
    BLM has extended the deadline for public comments on the BLM’s draft “strategy development document” to September 3. After many complaints from the public, the agency also finally created an email address ( to which people can submit their comments on the document that the agency is touting as a blueprint for reform of its wild horse and burro program. [Previously, BLM had restricted the public’s ability to comment to snail mail or a complicated and unreliable on-line software that many people had trouble using.]
    So, if you have not yet submitted your comments, please send them by September 3, using the sample letter here. BLM has stated that it will be incorporating public comments into a report for Congress so let’s take a strong stand for our wild horses and burros.


  10. I don’t know that these links will work




  11. I was just wondering, isn’t there some way to save & preserve mustang herds or bands, with some kind of national registry?? I’m thinking, like Neda DeMayo’s Return to Freedom ranch, & others similar to hers, each possibly assigned different mustang “breeds”, to continue their wild bloodlines in the safety & confines of large, natural sanctuaries. Safe from the death-grip of the BLM, designated as a national historical species, to be preserved & protected. Thought of this idea after looking at my newest issue of Horse Illustrated, page 34,”Wild Spirit”, under breed profile. They list several “breeds” of mustang including: Colonial Spanish horses, Spanish Mustang, Kiger Mustang, Nokota Horse, & the Pryor Mountain Mustang. If we could somehow get enough people &/or organizations together to pitch in to establish these wild horse breeding sanctuaries (letting nature do her work), for all of our mustangs, maybe we can save them from extinction this way?? Even though they’d technically be in “captivity”, they would still be wild & free, to roam, live, reproduce, grow old, & die, in peace & dignity, & in a safe environment! I know there are wild horse sanctuaries, but, if they were designated “mustang breed” historical registries/sanctuaries, maybe they could qualify for government assistance, & be able to enlarge their facilities & take in more wild horses?? Just some ideas, I’m not real educated on all the facts, or all the red-tape involved, but it sure would take a load off the BLM, save horses from inhumane misery & extinction, & make the BLM look much better in the eyes of the American people, & people worldwide!!


  12. The alacrity of the BLM roundups more than verifies Lisa’s stats. Such madness. I’ve always considered the horse one of God’s greatest and most beautiful creations. A horse in the wild…beyond compare.


  13. Very sobering the public deceit and malfeasance that our so called public servants charged with protecting and preserving wild horses are engaged in. As the poignant film so well expresses “Who is listening!”


  14. I believe this 150% … and have, since the 1st day I joined the WH & B Advocacy.

    It is as obvious as the nose on ones face:
    The BLM has been lying and cheating for the past 10 years (minimum) 40+ years in Reality!

    Their current main mission is: to exterminate ALL the Wild Horses and Burros in the West.

    Just as their cousin Departments, under the D.O.I. have done with other animals over the. past 30-40 years
    i.e., Cougars, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Wolves, Bears, Coyotes, Prairie Dogs, Jackrabbits, Foxes, Badgers, etc.

    Have YOU seen any of these animal recently? (or – EVER?!)

    E.G. . Rights to: Oil, Coal, Gas, Presious Minerals, Water, Cattle & Sheep Grazing (a REAL JOKE), and Hunting Tags

    “Get $$$ – screw the animals” – That IS their Mantra.

    And … American Taxpayers are unwittingly paying for this underhanded BS!

    Extinction is Forever


  15. I just finished watching a documentary titled American Outrage. The way the BLM and the government treated 2 American Indian sisters and the horses on their lands proved the BLM just forges ahead and does what they want. Bob Abbey is mentioned in this film. The BLM rounded up horses off of their lands against their permission and basically stole them. They used choppers to round them up and in the process ran these horses through fences-video shows this. All because they found gold in Nevada.


    • Deb!

      I saw this film too! Dang, it was on the internet and I don’t know the site. (Maybe it can be found in a search.)
      So, if the BLM can ‘get away’ with doing this to two Indian sisters, AND there is a film made about it; it just seems to PROVE what we already know. They CAN get away with it and won’t stop!

      Native American women who have MORE right to that land AND their horses, stripped of their lives and livley hood! I was soo upset after watching that, asking myself if ‘they’ can do that, there is nothing stopping them from taking all our Wild Ones…

      I just feel like we’re looking, searching, begging for something to ‘break’ in all of this madness, but it keeps coming one blow after the next. Each ‘blow’ taking it’s toll on the horses. What can we do short of something totally radical? Cause, really, at this point I’m ready and willing for radical!

      I want my son to see HIS Mustangs & Burros some day. I think I’m taking him before the year is out, up to Sand Wash to make sure he can say, ‘I saw them’.

      Sorry, didn’t mean to be ‘Debbie Downer’, but with Lisa’s graph, which is awesome work, just goes to show that ‘we’ don’t have time or Mustangs left!

      I’m still in it, don’t get me wrong! I’ll fight to the bitter, ugly end if need be… I just don’t want there to be an ‘end’. For them or for us!

      Thank you ALL, for your tireless work. I’m so proud of everything that we’ve accomplished thus far and look to each day hoping there will be a headline saying Salazar, Abbey, Gorey, etc.. have been fired…
      Wooo Hooo! What a day that would be, huh!?!


  16. Manipulated numbers just create manipulated and false sums. There is nothing that can replace a genuine, independent wild horse and burro census. This needs to be done. Those are the numbers to Act upon. BLM is making numbers fit the plan not the plan fit the numbers. mar


  17. TOPIC: Sustainable Herds
    – The concept of sustainable herds is based on arbitrary and artificially low “appropriate management levels” (AMLs), which is based on unfair allocation practices and incomplete, faulty range data, by BLM’s own admission.
    – Immunocontraception must be utilized when necessary to control wild horse reproduction and avoid mass roundups and removals.
    – I oppose castration and spaying of horses and non-reproducing herds on the range.
    – I oppose manipulation of sex ratios to manage herds.
    – I support increasing available forage for wild horses through the conversion of livestock grazing allotments.

    TOPIC: Preserves
    – I urge an immediate moratorium on roundups to prevent creating need for more preserves.
    – Preserves must not replace on-the-range management and should only be used to phase out long- and short-term holding. Preserves must be located in Western states.
    – Preserves must strive to maintain the social integrity of wild horse herds, allowing horses to live in more natural conditions instead of the current imposition of domestic conditions on horses who are still designated as “wild” under the law.
    – I support using the authority the BLM has always had to re-establish wild horse populations in zeroed-out herd areas.
    – I support the commitment to not killing horses deemed “excess” and “unadoptable.”
    – I support private-public partnerships. BLM must immediately pursue proposals, such as those offered by Madeleine Pickens and Soldier Meadows Ranch/Return to Freedom, to reduce long- and short-term holding.

    TOPIC: Treasured Herds
    – Congress has already determined that every herd is treasured. I oppose BLM’s proposal to manipulate and micromanage designated herds.
    – I support the concept of showcasing certain herds in order to promote awareness of America’s wild horses and burros and the need to protect them.

    TOPIC: Adoptions/Private Care
    – I oppose any weakening of adoption requirements.
    – I oppose financial incentives to increase BLM horse adoptions.

    TOPIC: Animal Welfare
    – BLM must have complete transparency in all agency operations.
    – Interested members of the public must be allowed at all aspects of range monitoring, aerial counts, roundups and all holding facilities. This must not be limited to specific individuals or organizations. Public access must be representational and fair.

    TOPIC: Science and Research
    – Currently the BLM does not have the science or research needed to manage this program.
    -All data gathering (i.e. census, etc.) must be done with independent public observers or with video technology to provide documentation to the public.
    – I support a comprehensive review of the program by the National Academy of Sciences – beginning with the scientific/legal basis for the establishment of AMLs, the utilization of on-the-range management options, the environmental assessment process, and operations of BLM as a whole and the field offices.

    This Strategy Document is based on a flawed foundation given that the Salazar initiative does not represent the fundamental reform that is needed. While I agree with portions of the initiative, it is premature to forward to Congress.

    I urge our United States Congress, Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to immediately place a moratorium on roundups and schedule public hearings to create a program that upholds the intent of Congress to protect and preserve America’s wild horses and burros.


  18. Any SMART HORSE PERSON knows you don’t RUN a pregnant mare like BLM does at any stage of pregnacy. BUT THEN BLM & THEIR GOONIS ONLY THINK THEY ARE HORSE PEOPLE!! And with that PZP, mares are pregnant any time of the year now. I also wonder what that PZP is doing to already bred mares. You know good & well that Vets aren’t checking those mares before they dart them or shoot them up in the pens!


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.