Horse News

Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary: Relief for the Imprisoned but No Help to the Free

(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Wild Horses should be Wild

Anyone who knows anything about Wild Horses and Burros has heard the recent news that Madeleine Pickens has reported to garner agreement from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to move 1,000 captive wild horses from long term holding to an “Eco-Sanctuary” environment with the remaining 38,000+ to follow.  Ms. Pickens should be applauded for her efforts but while she moves 1,000 altered Wild Horses to private land the BLM will strip from public land several thousand more and put them behind bars.  Doesn’t speak highly of the BLM’s level of commitment to a solution, does it?

Although we want to see all of the horses out of their BLM prisons a declared moratorium on the process of using bad numbers, junk science and political motives as excuses to steal America’s mustangs from their rightful land should be a component to these negotiations and an eventual solution.  Without a moratorium on the roundups, to give time for a full accounting of actual Wild Horse and Burro numbers, we are just pumping more horses into a cruel situation while gutting the taxpayer’s pocketbooks.

In reality, we are giving a spoon full of medicine to treat a symptom while the cancer continues to ravage the body; outside of giving a little comfort it does not change the inevitable outcome of the sickness’s progression and the “Eco-Sanctuary” will not stop the BLM’s decimation of the wild horses from their native homes.

Personally, I do not trust the management of the BLM as for decades they have been attempting to destroy the wild horses and burros of this great nation.  It was just two short years ago when this same agency wanted to kill all of the horses that they had in long term holding; a leopard does not change his spots that quickly.

This is not an act of benevolence on the part of the BLM but an excuse and a device to distract the public outrage as the BLM “Wild Horse Harvesting Machine” continues its consumption of all of the wild horses from their rightful homes.  12,000 horses this year added to the existing 38,000 and 11,000 more stampeded into oblivion next year.  Do the math and being that we do not have an accurate accounting of what is really out there, the end of the American Wild Horse draws nearer with each passing day.

Madeleine’s news will be good news to the horses that are in BLM concentration camps but it will do nothing to stop the BLM from continuing its assault upon our national icon.   The only way to slow this down and stop the deadly stampedes is to chant the mantra of “Moratorium”; repeat it loud and often, the madness has to stop so that true science, compassion and ethical management can be applied to the saving of our last few, true, wild horses.

What we need, today, is a moratorium; that would be something to truly celebrate about.

99 replies »

    • I agree wholeheartedly, Frank. Madeleine’s solution is a quick fix for some lucky incarcerated horses, but it makes it too easy for the BLM to look like the good guys and keep on their roundup schedule. Nothing short of a moratorium is acceptable in the short term.


      • It is not a “quick” fix. It is getting these horses out of BLM Hell so they can enjoy the rest of their lives in a somewhat natural environment in somewhat natural herd structures while educating the public on the remaining wild horses left in the wild. It is trying to right what the BLM has screwed up so monumentally.
        I am sure if a BLM incarcerated mustang languishing in some muddy, crappy “short” term(read years) facility, where the public must file a FOIA to even find out where that crappy facility is, could talk, they’d say, if I can’t be free, please let me go to a eco- sanctuary. This is taking wild horses away from the government and private individuals who keep them hidden from the public, and returning them to an environment as close to the wild as possible.


      • It was a relief to hear yet it will take time and it will create problems I hope will be solved with care for the remaining horses who will be one day back on Western soil.
        I agree with RT and SWH that BLM is only accommodating itself. If we are lucky we will have further positive changes soon. I want to believe this is a crack in the wall and it will lead to good changes. But we are all skeptics when it comes to BLM actions. I think they are attempting to save money on LTH and will still want to continue to remove herds all over. Having pockets of wild ones that are not genetically viable would be and is in some cases already, a rescue mission. I think we are in a recovery at this point but only if we stem this tide of removals ASAP. mar


  1. It does remove the worry of what could’ve happened to these horses with the current political momentum for a changing of the guard in D.C. I have been getting almost hysterical emails from environmental groups attempting to get movement of their global warming agenda in the Senate. I know it is now or never for us.


    • It is now or never for the wild horses and it is now or never for our planet. So very true. It is the 11th hour for both the horses and our planet. What will man”kind” do?


      • You are right; we are at the tipping point for the horses. They are the suffering as an example for all that we wrong with the planet, animals and with each other.

        If we can stop this and utilize the same processes elsewhere there may be hope, but being that we cannot be all things to all of the planet we are concentrating on our first love and doing what we know how to do…saving the horses.


  2. Hi RT:

    I read your article with great interest; and I agree with most of…I agree “the Eco Sanctuary could create the emptying out of one corral and the filling up of that corral with new horses; I did not know the first 1,000 Mustangs would be from the long term holding
    I think that is pretty good news: I say; lets give the Sanctuary a chance; undoing the BLM damage will take time and legislation…

    Most people do not have a clue as to what a Wild Mustang roundup is…before the Calico roundup I was getting hints; but not until I began watching videos did i get the picture…of Mares and Foals being separated; the whole thing is deplorable and wicked;

    letting Mustangs live in rain snow sleet; eating wet hay; standing in mud; every time these Mustangs see a BLM person they panic…

    this is why they have trouble being tamed; they think of the BLM; when they see people; this is why we must not let up or stop the pressure; if we think we have won the war; we have not; we have won a major battle and that is good; lets hope for the best…ps when you write your Congressman or Senators; just “paste the link to the video of a bad roundup” or link to a page of pix; like I sent the link to my rep of the downed mare; hope and then feathers; if you make the email too long; they don’t read them;

    for example I will be sending the video of the lil Honey bandit who is better; the lil foal had “90 scratches over his little thin physique;

    who would put a Foal in a pen of adult horses anyway ? have faith!


    • Anna;

      I am not in opposition to what Ms. Pickens has done, I am certain that a sanctuary will be better than long term holding but it is only a reaction to an action and that action is the unwarranted removal of our wild horses from their rightful land. Stop the problem at it’s source, stop the roundups.

      At this point in time, every horse that is put on a sanctuary clears the way for yet another horse to be pulled from the public land at a horribly high cost to the horses and, likewise, to the American tax payers.

      Ms. Pickens’ solution to the inhumane holding of long term captives is one part to a puzzle that can easily be resolved by putting a moratorium on the round-ups. So although it might help those who have lost all, I am not breaking out the champagne, yet.


      • I agree with fitch 110%..this is not THE solution, and what is “nearly” wild? these are geldings and mares in large pastures, these are still zoo animals-will they be allowed natural reproduction, or will they still live their lives out and all those genetics will disappear??? In the Alternative management Options document-the BLM anticipated-in their own words-that the american public would step up to rescue all the wild horses they gathered..It was anticipated we would do this to relieve them of their burden..the only reason they are considering this..the reality that in October…Congress is going to deny funding for their project of spending millions on ranches to house wild horses…and rather than face the possibility that congress orders the horses be returned to public lands..they chose this..There are BIG plans for that land..and once the horses are removed..its clear sailing for private as a taxpayer will never set another foot on that land..It will be chainlink fenced with barbwire on the top, and sequrity will patrol..I know that for a fact..I have worked in that business..all those 174 windmill projects, miles of solar panels geothermal projects have to be secure..nevada will be” no mans land” forever..wildlife will never be able to use that land, no hunter, no livestock one but private industry will acess the land water or forage in those massive acreages..and that also frees up more mining operations..when we sell out our wild horses-we sell out our public lands and natural resources forever.


      • Part 2 of this plan-is “treasured landscapes” -the american public will nominate places or areas to save from development and destruction, and that is all you will have left of your public lands..time for the sierra club, safari club and all wildlife and conservation groups to join together despite our differences-and create an uproar heard cross the country..the selling out of americas publicly owned lands and future to private industry..and altho many will not like to hear this..Mrs. Pickens husband IS one of the largest developers of energy who will benefit from the opening of those lands now occupied by the horses, so maybe it is a sevice to himself he serves.


    • Anna I don’t know every wild horse or their situation. I do know that when I was at the Pryors this summer Cloud and the rest of the horses seem somewhat gentle. They are fairly use to people coming into their terroritory. Cloud let me pretty close to him. Two Boots passed within feet of me as did his mare. I never once saw his go back in anger. I never had one horse snake his/her head at me like they were going to bite me.

      Obviously all that changes if you try to corral them or start to gentle them. It changes if you use one of those whipsticks.


  3. My view ~ This is a partial solution for some of the captive ones in conjunction with releases back to their native HMA’s, preventing the BLM from EVER touching any Wild Horses in the future, stopping the gathers, restoring the land taken from the HMA’s and protecting the herds in their traditional HMA ranges is the only solution we should settle for.


  4. And what about the 175 at auction today?!

    There should be no words used as “trying to save…” BLM should get them out of there since they should not be there in the first place!

    By law, they are to BE safe!

    The BLM can prevent air space usage and citizen observation and are above the courts and the law… they need to STOP this AUCTION, get those horses back and give them to Jill and Life Savers and let them use the donated funds gathered for the purchase of their lives(?!), for their care and land!!!

    But, today is Saturday and anyone with any clout at the DOI is out playing golf or still on vacation.


  5. ps “as i said; I did contact my Congressman and relayed to he the news about the public auction sale of the 174 Estray Equine:

    I was reading on blm site about the “BLM Estray Adoption Program; this has got to be the biggest bogus program yet !

    the blm breeds Estrays on private and public lands; then rounds them up just like Mustangs; but does not brand them and sells them! This is called “The Virginia Range (NV) Estray Adoption Program; they only have to hold the Estrays for 60 days; and if not adopted; they can be sold (@ public sales); so what I say is:

    When I do have my personal meeting with my Congressman; telling Rep. Himes about This bogus phoney “Estray Adoption Program; which is a “Breed Estrays on Private and public land; don’t freezebrand them; and then sell them @ public sales…

    I hereby predict the bogus Estray Adoption program of the Virginia Mountain Range; where they go to the tops of Mountains with helicopters (approved in 2003) and round up Wild Estrays;
    then hold them for 60 days; unlike the Mustangs 3 strikes adoption;

    I predict this “Estray Adoption Program (they round up 350 a yr.)
    WILL BE “SHUT DOWN LIKE THE PHONEY HOUSE OF CARDS THE ESTRAY ADOPTION PROGRAM IS; because no sane official is going to allow the “breeding of Estrays on Private Lands!

    so this will be the first topic of my agenda with the Representative !


  6. While not taking away what MP has achieved here my first thought was “what is the BLM up to, they are trying to distract us and this is an abysmal attempt at pacifying us, it will not pacify us”,. I agree with all who have commented before, this just makes room for 1000 and more newly “gathered” mustangs. They are trying to save face and while some may think this is a wonderful thing that the BLM have done it is actually pathetic. Sorry, as I say, taking nothing away from MP but the eco sanctuary will be filled with “altered” no longer wild horses who have been separated from their families and will never be the family units they were in the wild, they have been terrorised, immunized (funny how they only need meds once they are in the hands of man), gelded, given birth control and branded.


  7. I wanted to add, as my post sounds really condescending, I applaud the fact that 1000 horses will at least be out of those concentration camps, just makes me soooo sad that there are 35 000 odd more and counting. How are the horses going to be chosen that will go into this sanctuary? or is it too early to ask these questions, I am just hoping that our fantastic experts amongst the advocates will br brought into this decision process to attempt to choose the lucky horses.


  8. and then to the Wild Estrays today at the Fallon Public Sales; my message to you is: I do not know your fate; I hope your fate is good; each one of you Wild Estray Equines is precious to each of us…and many of us are here for you Wild Estrays hoping to “Stop the Madness; so I wanted to tell you Beloved Equines:
    I know its not much…however:
    I DID CONTACT MY CONGRESSMAN ON THURSDAY and I did write to him about your plights; and today I did find out about the “Virginia Range (in NV) Estray Adoption Program; so to you:

    Combining my complaint to my Representative; with my knowledge of the “Estray Adoption program; which is a breed and sell scheme on public and private lands…in the Virginia range NV;

    there is a very good chance this Adoption program will be erased from the Legislation of Nevada for Good; and so therefore; thousands of Mustangs will be saved because of you 175 Mustang
    we are with you oh Mustangs we will not give up until each is Free!
    (and that does include Burros ! lets give Madeline a chance; imo

    source: Dept. of Agriculture Nevada…
    The policy of the Department of Agriculture is that estray horses will be removed as soon as practical from congested
    residential and commercial areas of the range.
    Horses removed will be relocated or placed in the estray horse adoption program.
    Furthermore, the Department will remove specified numbers of estray horses from non-congested areas when and
    where necessary to maintain a healthy and sustainable estray horse population. Decisions for such removals will be based on
    habitat and resource availability in any given year.
    All estray horses removed from the Virginia Range will be noticed,
    processed and held for a maximum of 60 days to allow for proper placement, by non-profit groups, through an approved
    adoption process.
    In accordance with existing state statutes, estray horses not placed through the adoption process will be sold
    at a public sale after the prescribed holding time has expired.
    The Department’s long term goals are to annually remove 250 to 350 head per year…(from the virginia range estray population)
    comment: 175 plus 175 = 350; almost exact no. at “public sales;aw

    ps the entire blm program is a “state wide network; a ship of fools !


    • Click to access VREHP-FactSheet.pdf

      I do not know if today’s equine are from the virginia range; i did not even know until today the Virginia range was in Nevada ! I the BLM tries to use “word games; number games; pea shell games; but they don’t fool me and you ! we can see through their shodiness; like they can’t even put up proper fencing at corrals…!

      I have seen horse corrals in 3rd world nations looking better than blm; BLM corrals look like something out of another century imo

      Did they ever hear of water hoses to cool the Stangs in summer?


  9. This roundup is completely unnecessary as these wild horses are NOT over the high AML level. Also there are many more cattle which completely upsets the balance of uses BLM is supposed to be managing. Comments are due by Oct. 2 even though the web site has just been fixed after I called Doug ,a BLM agent. Before that the Email address was wrong. He said there never has been an appeal about his HMA’s roundups. Thanks to Darynne for getting this information web site out and the Email addy fixed. Please comment.


    • thanks Barbara; the link does work: I will send my comments; anna

      ps i copied this from the BLM page…
      Approximately 866 of an estimated 1,083 horses would be gathered, but only 221 horses would be removed…

      Ha ha that’s a good one !
      then they go on to say: “in the Post Gather we will remove 800 ! blm? what is a “Post Gather? i don’t go for word and mind games!
      oh I see; a sale is a dispersal; and a roundup is a post gather ?not
      (i’d like to get alex trebek after these ignoramous illiterate hooligans


  10. I also worry about the precedent this gives the BLM. Now that they’ve given Ms. Pickens the go ahead for her Eco Sanctuary they’ll just round up whatever is left and dump them on her.

    I would like to see viable reproducing herds left. Preferably in the wild but I’ll take the Sanctuary if need be. At this point Madeleine says that they will be NON reproducing. What happens when this generation dies out?

    I also have questions about the Sanctuary. I have no problems with all the diverse activities that Madeleine wants to offer. I think its great. It gives something for everyone. But for me I’ll just want to see the horses. Do I have to pay for all those other activities even if I choose not to participate? How will charges be broken down?

    I think Madeleine is offering a wonderful solution for the most part to an agency who is so reluctant to abide by the law. I do think some things need to be reconsidered. If the horses can be safe that is a VERY IMPORTANT aspect to me.

    This is all my own humble opinion.


    • Yes, are these horses safe in perpetuity? And I think there needs to be some reproducing stock in there. And I am all for tourists paying for everything that keeps these horses out of BLM prisons. If you want to see the horses she has saved, you need to pony up the dough. Excuse the pun.


  11. Please please start with the horses who have been in captivity the shortest; Calico, Twin Peaks and Owyhee. Spring them before the BLM ruins their spirits forever. And please put them in natural family bands. As natural as can be with gelded stallions.

    God bless you, Madeleine and time to start educating the country just how many wild horses are in captivity for no good reason because the BLM has no idea how to manage wild horses on the range.


    • This is the article from HorseTalk:

      Mentions “in perpetuity” and has some other info. Phasing this in is going to take some time. I agree, the last captured should be the first rescued. There may have been less psychological damage, and I would think they would adapt better having spent a relatively short time off the range.

      Where is MP’s ranch? The fact that Winter’s not far off should considered. Relocating horses that have spent time in somewhat warmer climates and at lower altitudes could be a health risk.


  12. Maybe the reason behind the escalated roundup shcedule is now clear. If Madeliene expects another 36000 horses to be released from LTH, and there aren’t that many left, because BLM has been doing underhanded things with these horses, in order to get to that number, BLM is taking as many as they can off the ranges as quick;y as they can, before MP gets to counting how many are REALLY left in LTH facilities. Just a thought.


    • The funding depends on the count, so keeping the count up justifies the funding.
      Without complete, independent censuses – in the wild, ST/LT holding, adoptions, and sales – there’s no way of knowing what’s being done with our tax dollars. In order for that to happen, all wild horse and burro program activities need to stop … NOW!


      • Actually, I think adoptions should be allowed to continue, as long as complete and accurate records are kept and made available to the public.


  13. I so agree with all comments that the BLM is just making room for more by doing this. I am elated that Madeleine Pickens has a place for the said horses to go. It is a continuous fight. I thanked MP but have NO INTENTION OF EVER thanking the BLM for giving MP, the GO. They had no right doing what they did in the first place, the LAND BELONG’S TO THE WILD HORSES (not the ranchers or the miners or the gas line..If the BLM thinks that we are all just going to now sit back and relax, they are dam wrong..Our fight is stronger then ever…It is so hard to fight corruption of this magnitude but we will. They don’t give a rat’s a$$ about the horses or they would not continue to break up the bands and mame and kill with every roundup.
    R.T., please know we are all still standing with our pistols loaded…We are still going to continue to do what we need to do. The Herd at Water Lake are simply magnificent as all Wild Horses are and we are now fighting for their continued RIGHT TO BE wild and free.
    Regardless if the BLM thinks, well we will throw those do gooders a few crumbs..I WILL TAKE THEM……but make no mistake…We want the entire Crumb Cake..we are still on YOUR HEELS..forever. FOR THE HORSES…OUR MAJESTIC LANDSCAPE/our friends, THE WILD HORSES


  14. I agree with RT, it is such a tragedy how the wild horses and burros are being systematically displaced from their rightful legal herd areas. Now this will make more room for more clearances. The Wild Horse And Burro Act is being clearly subverted and the conniving and hypocrisy displayed by our so called “public servants” and how with millions of taxpayer dollars they seek to whitewash their sins while bending over backwards to appease the wild horse enemies is utterly disgusting. Yes, MORATORIUM ON ALL ROUNDUPS NOW!!!


    • And can someone please tell me why ANY BURROS are being rounded up? There are only ∼2000 left in the wild. Hardly an overpopulation.


  15. Bittersweet news for sure…on one hand, it’s great to see Ms. Pickens make some progress; on the other hand (as been stated repeatedly here) this is such a huge mess and BLM is still controlling EVERYTHING! There is just so much that is so terribly wrong with this entire situation.

    Moratorium NOW! And no more sterilizations!…not until this gets sorted out.

    We know that this IS NOT going to happen.

    Again, the only way this will stop is if Congress takes away or freezes DOIs funding…and they have shown that they are unwilling to do this.

    I feel like the wild equine killers are throwing us a horse bone to shut us up and feigning “good will” and a spirit of cooperation when in reality they are still removing and killing our wild equines. Very sad..


  16. Wild horses are not hard to gentle.
    Although it does take hard work, compassion, understanding,experience, and knowledge.
    My family has done this for generations.

    Long term holding releases for Madeleine and round ups are two separate issues and I am happy to finally see some good news for horses in such a horrifying time.
    I like to think positive and believe that good things will happen. We all know we cannot undo the horrors of the BLM but at least we can start to get the truck out of the mud and that is good news for all horses. Fingers crossed the BLM will stop round ups very soon.
    The Great Spirit knows all of us who help are full and need help. It should have never been our tax money rounding up so that our money would care for them. It is like a backhanded slap.
    This will hopefully give some relief and a future for wild horses.
    In the end the ones released will live great lives in freedom which is something that is magical to watch when it happens. It may not be their original home and yes they will have gone through hardships, but horses, like children, are resilient and in time they will be fine.
    Blessings to all horse loving people.


  17. Did Madeleine get the other part of the agreement that she was asking–for the BLM to help kick in for expenses–as they do with other ranchers that they contract with? Has anyone heard any more about that? I had thought that was part of the sticking point.


  18. I start with the “Burros”, I got this info from the Twin Peaks BLM report. They released 1 Jack 1 jenny and 4 Molly Mules…..this is the BLM’s idea of a “viable” herd! The rest, I applaud, Madeleine’s generous heart to help the Wild Horses in prisons. However I do agree with the above comments, that now the BLM is just speeding up the process to eliminate more Wild Horses, and soon they can be seen only in Private Reserves. We MUST DEMAND a MORATORIUM IMMEDIATELY ON THE CRUEL ROUNDUPS, and SUPPORT THE ANTI-SLAUGHTER BILLS!!!!All of these issues are inter related!! I am holding unto the rarest strains of Wild Horses and planning on a Wild Horse “Preserve” so anyone in support of this idea please contact me for further info. I authorize RT. to release my e-mail to interested parties!


  19. Agree with you the remaining ‘free’ wild horses need a moratorium.

    The BLM has to STOP making their land smaller(fencing) and STOP using aircraft.

    Perhaps putting a single ‘simple’ question- asking about the use of Helicoptors to run their own, horses, pregnant mares and foals. A question put to as many expert horsemen as possible(blm horsemen/supporters) racehorse trainers, they don’t even train at slow distance 5 miles, endurance pros. get a list of experts saying the BLM are idiots to allow aircraft running horses.

    I’d like to see that ranch mcnabb was his name? *state in text* with his personal endorsement- he would run his own foals and pregnant mares even 10 miles.


  20. About the Burros; I got this info from the BLM Press. At the Twin Peak roundup, they released 1 Jack, 1Jenny, and 4 Molly Mules…..the BLMs idea of a “viable herd”.
    I also share the opinions above, that Madeleines Eco-Sanctuary is only a “band-aid” on a huge gaping wound! I want to clarify, that I supported her efforts and thankful for her generous heart to “free” the poor Mustangs from the horrid BLM Concentration camps. However I agree the BLM is now picking up the pace to eliminate more Mustangs! I am wondering, when They “PRIVATIZE the PUBLIC” lands, will they re-classify it as “GOVERNMENT LAND”?? Then soon we won’t be a DEMOCRACY but COMMUNISM, where everything is “GOVERNMENT PROPERTY! WE MUST DEMAND IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE CRUEL AND ILLEGEAL ROUND UPS! AND PUSH FOR THE ANTI-SLAUGHTER BILLS! These issues are ALL INTER RELATED!
    On a different note I am holding unto the rarest of Mustang strains and working on a “Wild Horse Preserve” anyone interested in supporting my efforts, please contact me. I authorize RT to release my e-mail to interested parties!


  21. It seems that one of the most important things is to lock in some land for them–land with water. Madeleine has gotten to that first base.


  22. I haven’t yet heard ANY of the details of the sanctuary agreement, and I’m WELL aware that this means nothing for the horses still in the wild. I don’t trust the BLM with ANYTHING.

    However, if these horses – even though they can’t reproduce – are just safely away from the BLM, we can at least stop worrying about whether they are being discretely sold off to slaughter. THAT takes a great load off my mind, and I can totally concentrate on stopping the BLM from getting their bloody paws on all the other horses.

    I wish I could be there to watch some of these long time prisoners released. I’m sure they must have formed strong friendships during their time in “stir” and it’s a beautiful thought to me to imagine these buddies running free together.


    • The mares can reproduce and I hope will be able to return to the real wild one day when we get the rest of this insanity squared away. If these mares, pastured or corralled, have been PZPd even when there are no stallions then they may not be able to reproduce ever. They are still the viable genetic carriers of all the decimated herds. mar


  23. Freedom for the 38,000 is already gone no mater what the surrounding.
    Our American Mustangs are unique because they wrote the rules about
    society and survival by doing it for 500 years. Never in the entire universe
    will this type of knowledge ever be replicated. They must not be tinkered
    with and the gene pools must be viable. Place the 38,000 in a sanctuary
    but as a President once said.”Take down this wall.” The holding facilities
    must go, they will be too muchof a convenience if empty, and those profiting
    by the round ups will be only too willing to fill them back up. There must
    be a stipulation to that effect.


    • Without cooperation who will be listening to us? So far we say what we think and it is used against us. They say mustang breeders can help replace those removed. I have yet to hear one word from those breeders about what is going on. Some of the mares may be able to reproduce if they have not been ruined deliberately with PZP. If that is the case I promise BLM will pay for that loss in a court of law one day. mar


  24. We are not letting up for one minute on the MORATORIUM and we are not letting up on the horses’ and burros’ legal right to be on our public land. That is OUR PUBLIC LAND and those are OUR wild horses and burros. We just keep marching forward.
    Madeleine is getting some of the hostages freed.


  25. This will probably sound wierd to yall, but I was wondering if Abbey and Salazoo are really REALLY afraid about all those incriminating comments made by old Cattoor and his lame crew, about hiding the horses IMMEDIATELY from the press, so they won’t know they actually DO damage and kill the horses. And since it was video-taped , well, maybe the blm is so scared, they think giving Madeline her 1000 horses will draw people’s attention to HER, and the fact they, the blm, is finally doing something good, …and away from THEM. It isn’t going to work, tho. I’m NEVER going to forget it, and have been sending that video to all my regulars (senators, congresspeople, reps, etc).


    • Susie…YEP! They have blinked! The “gift” of release and cooperation is surely a sign that they are running scared of the negative press. It doesn’t mean they will stop the killing fields, but it is certainly a start. They would not have let go unless the pressure and bad press, letters, etc are mounting against them.

      As said…great they are letting some wild equines go, but the main issue and problem of holding and reckless roundups remain.

      Good news, with or without their cooperation and transparency we the advocates are building a case that will eventually ruin them. I just hope there are enough wild equines left to undo the damage wrought over 40 insidious, lying, cruel years of abuse and murder.

      We shall see because like many of you…I will not go away. I will never go away. Unlike Chief Joseph, I will fight forever for justice, truth and humanity.


    • The BLM, I think is running a little scared because for the first time the internet and social networking is shining a spot light on their actions. They cannot control the information anymore.


  26. Don’t know whether this link will post. Have all of you seen this video?
    This is they way our Wild Horse and Burros should be valued:

    YouTube – Netherlands Horse Rescue 2006 with names of
    God bless those who save the horses. Their names at last. The video answers why we are with horses – they make us better, stronger, bigger then ourselves coul – Proxy – Highlight


  27. This was more treacherous that the video shows. There were fences under the water, so the navigation had to be carefully planned and the horses had to kept right on that path.

    One person who commented on this video gave this suggestion:
    Place this vision in our minds–all of our wild horses and burros being taken back to the land that belongs to them and to us.


    • Louie…wish I could do videos. I live in the country that is poorly serviced by high tech. I can’t afford satellite service….not enough competition and the price is outrageous.

      Can you do a summary of the video for those that can’t do video?


  28. it has water sources, seasonal rotational areas, it sounds wonderful, no matter what, I am so happy for these horses; and also relieved they will be safe.


  29. Denise, the horses were stranded on an island in the Netherlands due to heavy storms. Rescue attemps were made –men in boats–no luck–boats got stuck in the sand. The horses were fed by boat, but the water kept rising. They were crowded on that island like they are in those BLM holding pens. The whole world (at least in Europe) was watching– holding its breath. 18 horses had drowned already. Then, the storms stopped and the water receded enough for 6 women on horseback to ride out, through the water and lead the horses back. YES, women–in answer to that comment made by one of those people who have no emotion. Men were there, too. There was one part that didn’t show on all of the videos–men lifting and pulling one of the horses that was just too tired to make it across the channel.


    • This event I did know about. I followed it closely.

      I loved the common sense demonstrated by those women and that of the stranded equines. But remember…they eat them there.

      Doesn’t dismiss the horsemenship displayed by the ladies or the trust equines give the humans that are their masters. A very moving story.

      Thanks Louie.


  30. I agree that this all might be good news for the horses presently in holding, but, not if they’re all sterilized! If they aren’t “allowed” to reproduce, they will eventually die out. What about all the remaining free, wild horses?? The BLM still needs to be stopped, & there needs to be a permanent moratorium on present & future roundups!! This may be a step in the right direction, but, the fight isn’t over yet! I think part of this is a ploy to get negative attention off the BLM. And, does anyone know, whatever became of Madeleine’s “Pony Express”??


  31. Valerie, this was the latest report on the letters that I saw–Madeleine said in her video that the letters helped–she also had to put an extra contact point for people from other countries.

    Dear Supporters,

    We are still getting so many emails and letters from you now that the Pony Express deadline has been extended until September 10th! Keep them coming, we are so appreciative of all your effort! We have surpassed our goal so much and are just over the moon! We have also been joined with letters from the Humane Society of the US and ASPCA to give us a total of 71,000 letters!!


  32. Ms. Pickens needs to give the letters to the White House. I have great admiration for Representative Jim Moran. He really is a decent guy…rare animal in Congress really. To stop at DOI without contact to the head guy, the Prez is an unfinished act. What she is doing behind the scenes may negate my concerns.

    But remember, Congress voted the funding for DOI, USDA and they collude with state wild equine killers to be the physical henchmen often. They also approved the stimulus funds by which DOI was allowed to continue their accelerated kill and removal program. I appreciate any benevolence (sp?) from any quarter, but they (Congress) must accept responsibility for this disaster….and they don’t.

    At the signing of the 1971 Act there was estimated to be 71 thousand wild equines on over 50 million acres. They are down to half the acreage and half are in concentration camps and the other half is going to be halfed to holding and roundup death. The math and the law don’t seem to add up for me OR the equines.


  33. The data from the comparison charts does not reflect the
    12 Herd Management Areas that were ZEROED OUT in the ELY DISTRICT in 2008


  34. There are 3 majors issue facing our horses:
    1. slaughter
    2. those held in internet corrals
    3 roundups

    Issue 2 has been negotiated or so it seems. Horse slaughter is back on the front burner but in order to get a moratorium we need large numbers to protest. I held a animal seminar last night and did a presentation on horses and garnered much support. Madeline Pickens had over 71,000 letters that is what is needed.


  35. Louie..seems to show emphatically that DOI, USDA and the state sanctioned wild equine killers just AIN’T doing their job that’s called protect and manage…does it?

    Better question is, just why in the hell have the majority of court decision protected the killers????? Better yet, if the protectors have removed 75% of the equines and nearly 50% of their “where found” acreage….how can the courts continue to protect the government killers????? I don’t get it!!!!! I’ll give you that the killers have found ways to subvert the 1871 Act, but seriously….this is getting irreverseable and tragic.

    And Judge Hicks has done what???? Still waiting as equines die and land is lost!?!?

    This is becoming the range war of the 22d Century….on the internet.


  36. if you read what madeline paulson pickens is actually doing you will see that she has paid the BLM to save all remaining free roaming mustangs to add to her personally purchased 600,000 acres of land.the only horses at stake here are the captive wild mustangs.Madeline and TBoone are saving all free roaming wild mustangs and burros.Read her posts carefully.Today 1000 captive wild mustangs and burros were at stake to be slaughtered which i am sure they were as they were purchased by TEXAS killer buyers and sent to the 6 bordering feedflots on the mexican /tx border.Do you need names of the abilene kill buyer purchasre?coakley asin sammy.lets check our stats please.Madeline is the only real herione in this film and drama.knowbody else ever can come close.


    • Kat, This is intriguing and I wish you would say more on this. We have recently heard of corrals on the TexMex border where horses are taken before shipment to slaughter.
      I have no proof of this but there is rumor rife. If you know real facts and people can verify, please tell us more. mar


  37. Denise, I agree, the court decisions are VERY DISTURBING. There has to be an honest and just court system for anything to work. Judges are appointed, for the most part.


    • Louie, you are correct…at the Federal level judges are appointed; lower level in many states are elected. Good and bad sides to both situations.

      I just believe that the wanton destruction of the HMAs and the numbers (god only knows the real numbers because NO ONE MAKES THE HORSE KILLER COUGH UP TRUTH ANTWHERE OR TIME) rounded up and in holding logically defines the killers “management” program as destructive..not protective. The numbers speak for themselves.

      Why this is lost on litigants and the jurists is beyond my comprehension.

      Hey folks…let’s call a spade a spade and stop doing the snake dance. we do we get it and the Feds and courts don’t?


    • There are no jurists-only decisions from judges..can you imagine a jury of american taxpayers ripping into the feds for this gross negligence incompetence and corruption and destroying of americas heritage and land..LOL not much hope or help for the BLM in frount of a jury of their PEERS


  38. Worried about wild horses and burros for any reason? Call for a Moratorium on wild horse and burro gathers
    Worried about our environment? Call for a Moratorium on wild horse and burro gathers
    Worried about our ever increasing tax debt? Call for a Moratorium on wild horse and burro gathers
    Worried about OUR public lands? Call for a Moratorium on wild horse and burro gathers

    This plan, which is great for those in holding facilities and should move forward for their sake, involves non-reproducing captive animals that will eventually die off with no progeny to carry on so it will eventually demand replacing. Most of the animals being moved to the sanctuary are over the age of 10. Horses in the wild are lucky live to the age of 20 and while being in a sanctuary will increase that by about 10 years that still only gives the sanctuary horses on site for the next 20 years or so. Although elderly horses probably won’t attract as much tourism as younger ones. Then what?

    Another problem is that I have 2 mustangs and you couldn’t tell them from other domestic horses in captivity. Once captured you take the wild/freedom from them and stop the very behaviors that we find so magical in mustangs in the wild. A true eco-project involving our wild horses and burros would consist of trips out to our public lands to see them in wild, free, free roaming, viable herds. That is why when the original bill that protected mustangs was debated there was a concerted effort to ensure that they NOT end up in a “zoo-like environment”.

    The plan, no matter how well intentioned, is NOT even the beginning of a solution. We cannot trust the BLM to tell us the truth about our wild horse and burro population numbers. Apparently they can estimate elk or big horn sheep numbers nationwide and be off by as little as 1 to 3%, but can’t get the wild horse and burro numbers right by 20% or more!! We need an INDEPENDENT census done before it is too late. Already gathers are being done where they are bringing fewer and fewer animals than they have estimated removing. It is possible that those herd areas no longer contain wild horses and/or burros and can join the other millions of acres where horses were supposed to roam forever protected by law.

    We cannot trust the BLM not to lie to us. They have proven that over and over again. Why were folks surprised that a recent court found that they failed to listen to their own experts and only accepted those that supported their ultimate goal and ignored all public comments? It isn’t the first case where that has been proven and probably won’t be the last. It isn’t just the wild horse and burro program it is EVERY program that the DOI is in charge of managing. We must have a moratorium if we are ever going to keep wild horses and burros running free in this country.

    A sanctuary fails to address the cost the American taxpayer is paying for these constant gathers and holding. Two companies have made millions and millions from us for conducting these horrific events. The fees collected for adopting mustangs and burros doesn’t even begin to cover the cost for the gathers. Horses and burros on the range barely cost the taxpayer any funds. Even if the BLM put in all the improvements they would need to survive. However, horses removed cost the taxpayer for the gather, sorting, shots, vetting, holding and handling. This doesn’t even count the loss to our hearts and souls.

    The plan also fails to address the humane issues relating to gathers. Every one of the horses in holding were subjected to it and were survivors of those horrific gather procedures. There are a number of videos that show how terrible the gathers are. It is so horrific that the BLM takes extreme caution that the public cannot view them. This even despite court rulings that humane observers should be allowed to watch. So I doubt most of us, who have never been near one, have any idea what is going on and how bad it truly is.

    Caring about those still on the range doesn’t mean you don’t care about those in holding facilities. In fact it just means that you don’t want more going there and want their loss of freedom to count. Their sacrifice should mean something.




  40. ****Written comments for the Clan Alpine/Pilot Mountain/Pine Nut Gather Plan and EA will be accepted through September 23, 2010, should be directed to: (note there is an underscore in between EA_2010) or mail to Stillwater Field Office Manager Teresa Knutson and Sierra Front Field Manager Linda Kelly, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd., Carson City, NV 89701. Direct phone inquiries to Steve Kramer, Planning & Environmental Coordinator, 775-885-6005. Only email comments received through the identified e-mail addresses will be considered. Written comments for either EA can also be sent via FAX to 775-885-6147.

    Link to BLM site:

    Simone Netherlands, Respect4horses Organization



  41. I have an Idea, Why don’t we just let the Wild Horses LIVE Free!?!
    They aren’t hurting anyone, and there is No Reason for any of this.
    It truly Breaks my Heart that MAN is the Enemy to All of Gods Creatures, and soon if it doesn’t Stop all will be EXTINCT. We are busy Destroying Everything that is Good. It Needs To Stop!
    They Need to Be FREE and Their Land is Their Land.
    Stop Destroying OUR Animals and OUR Planet!


  42. Appreciated your thoughtful blog. When the Pickens announcement came out I wondered how many of us would be in the minority if we said what I beleive, that sanctuaries are not a solution. I say that even though I run a large one. Sanctuaries for wild horses are a stop gap and have nothing to do with the long-term solution of self-sustaining herds and no roundups. Without a moratorium, all this will do is leave a lot of room for more horses to be removed from the wild, divert public attention away from the wild horse issue and it cannot and will not make up for the loss of DNA pools and hundreds of years of adaptation. I say this, not to discredit the Pickens Plan in general, for who would not want to say they saved thousands of horses and returned them to a life of freedom. But that return will not be so easy. Wildlife rehabilitation is a difficult process.

    The real solutions are not “feel good” things like sanctuaries or rescue which are human constructs; they are ordinary legislative /political arm wrestling to allow the horses to keep the freedom they have always had by law and by nature, as far away from human constructs as possible. There is no sanctuary large enough to take the place of that freedom.

    B.A. Clarke


    • very well said Clarke, and I concur. I believe the BLM was running out of room for all the horses they have gathered and yet to gather, sending the Owyhee/tuscarora horses to a prison that had previous handled about 20 now have a 1,000..has anyone asked the question or demanded to see those gelded stallions and how they are doing..who is still alive and who has died in that process..They are out of room and keep postponing gather dates..We need volunteers checking the borders and we want to see bills of lading for horses being sold out of long term holding in truckloads, BLM shipped those horses without coggins tests, the public should be alerted the BLM is circumventing all laws-and endangering all animals-it is beyond time that congress grabs the reins from BLM


  43. This whole public lands grab has something to do with energy and the global market–it’s a good bet, anyway. As has been pointed out–OUR WILD MUSTANGS AND OUR WILD BURROS are federally protected and endangered–that’s under the law. They are in the way of HUGE profits.


  44. Our focus must be on the fact that the wild burros and wild horses need to be kept on the ranges from which they were found. This is their home. This is where they belong. The BLM wants our focus to be on alternatives such as eco-sactuaries and not on the roundups. In this manner they have our eyes off of the roundups and they can do what they want, no resistance i.e. raping the land of its wild horses and burros. We have to keep our focus on stopping the roundups and pushing for a total restoration of the wild horses and burros, that are in holding now, back to the ranges from which they were taken. In viewing the public lands out there, there is more than enough capacity to release all back to the wild without any detrimental effects to the ecosystems. The horses and burros would be an overwhelming benefit back on the range in many many ways. They don’t belong in a man made zoo. They belong in the wild, unhindered by man’s devices. Only in this way can the beauty of their wildness be seen and much more experienced to a spirtual level, yet it would be enough to just know that they are out there and free. What is freedom? Ask yourselves. These are wild horses and burros that can be perfectly managed by nature along with every other species of wildlife, in perfect balance, if mankind would step aside. The argument of the horses and burros being “feral” has no truth. They are the true natives. Yet if being ” feral is an argument for removal then the big horn sheep are also feral as well as the cattle being introduced from Europe 500-600 years ago. Let’s roundup the big horn sheep and cattle and remove them if feral is the argument. The wild horses and burros are true natives. Let these symbols of freedom live their lives in true freedom!


  45. Perhaps the horse and burro sanctuaries could be viewed as a temporary thing, not permanant until the situation opens where they can be released to the wild. The problem, exists, however, that as horses and burros are taken from long term holding into these sanctuaries, the BLM will view this as an opportunity to fill the long term holding again through more roundups until all of the horses and burros are gone from the HMA’s, completely gutting the areas. This in turn is an excuse on their part to completely elimimnate these wild horse and burro herd areas as such, hence the necessity to keep our focus on stopping the roundups altogether and restoring the horses and burros in holding, back to the wild.


  46. Click here to view this message on-line in your web browser.

    IDA Home | Action Center Home | Donate | Sign Up! | Tell a Friend
    Two Quick Actions to Oppose Roundup of Wild Horses

    So far this year, the Obama Administration has removed more than 10,000 wild horses from their homes on our public lands and the government isn’t done yet. Despite tens of thousands of Americans and more than 54 members of Congress calling for a halt to the roundups, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar – a fifth generation rancher – continues to push forward with the Administration’s plan to remove thousands of additional horses.

    Just this week the Interior Department concluded rounding up and removing nearly half of California’s 4,000 wild horses in the Twin Peaks roundup – removing 1,639 wild horses and 160 burros. In Defense of Animals filed a lawsuit to try to stop this ill-conceived roundup; sadly the U.S. District Court ruled against our injunction to delay or stop the roundup and we are now appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appellate Court decision is not expected for a number of months. We will keep you informed on this legal effort.

    Today we ask for your help to protest two Nevada roundups. Public comments on two upcoming roundups are due this Thursday, September 23, 2010. So please don’t delay – click on the two links below to submit comments. Every public comment is so important – while the Interior Department continues business as usual, it is imperative that we have on the record thousands of Americans protesting these unjust, inhumane and unnecessary roundups that destroy wild horse families and remove them from their homes in the wild only to be warehoused in government holding facilities.

    Every voice counts: please submit your comments and forward this alert to your friends and family.

    Click here to Oppose Wild Horse Roundup in Nevada’s Clan Alpine, Pilot Mountain, and Pine Nut Mountain Herd Management Areas.

    Click here to Oppose Wild Horse Roundup in Nevada’s Lahontan Herd Management Area.

    In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA’s efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

    In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

    In Defense of Animals
    3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
    Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

    nonprofit software


  47. Great article, Fitch! I agree wholeheartedly…thanks for exposing the truth behind the smokescreen! Sadly, many will believe that this will be the cure all and that the BLM is well run & good for mustangs & public land. Hope not.


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