Horse News

BLM Loses Bid to Stampede Wild Horse Law Suit Out of New York

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch

BLM Loses Bid to Move Law Suit

HOUSTON (SFTHH) – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) attempt to strong arm a Federal judge into moving a wild horse related law suit out of the New York Court system, prior to a hearing, has failed.  In a detailed letter submitted to the Honorable Judge William Pauley on October 12th, the BLM struggled to support a case for “change of venue” to move a suit filed by Habitat for Horses (HfH), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and The Cloud Foundation (TCF) to a more BLM friendly court in either Colorado or Washington D.C..  Today, a Temporary Restraining Order was filed by the case’s plaintiffs against the BLM in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York and a hearing has been ordered in the same venue for October 20th.  The BLM will be forced to defend it’s illegal wild horse roundups in New York City.

The well researched suit contends that the BLM uses faulty and out dated data in determining which wild horse herds on U.S. public lands will be completely and totally removed from their lawful homes (zeroing out).  This suit focus on the illegal roundup of the Colorado Piceance-North Douglas Herd, one of America’s federally protected wild horse herds. Likewise the finely crafted suit brings to light a variety of federal laws that the BLM knowingly and willing violates as it unleashes it’s “Wild Horse Harvesting Machine” on the tens of millions of public acres in the U.S. western states.

“We are encouraged by the Court’s desire to move forward with a hearing regarding the BLM’s flagrant violation of federal law,” commented R.T. Fitch author and volunteer Executive Director of the suit’s co-funding organization HfH Advisory Council.  “Some of the very first U.S. Humane Animal laws originated out of New York so it is only appropriate that this fine state comes to the aide of the American wild horse as these horses and burros belong to every American, not just to the BLM and their special interest cronies.”

The suit is filed in New York because one of the plaintiffs and co-funders for the case is the ASPCA.  Over 140 years ago the ASPCA was founded to prevent the negligence and abuse suffered by the carriage horses of New York City.

“The BLM is systematically driving America’s wild horses to extinction,” said Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty. “They have continued to increase their efforts to remove these horses from public land legally designated for their use despite intense public outcry. The ASPCA decided to take legal action against the BLM’s inhumane and fiscally irresponsible policies before a national treasure is completely eradicated.”

The BLM, also, continues to violate the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which was passed to protect wild horses and burros from capture and preserve the land used by them. More than 19 million acres originally designated for their use have slowly been whittled away for cattle grazing, making them both the victim and target for removal. The use of helicopters to run the terrified horses over miles of scorching desert has resulted in serious injuries and several horse deaths throughout the summer, as well as one-half or more of the wild horse population languishing in long-term holding pens.

HfH Advisory CouncilHabitat for Horses, ASPCA, The Cloud Foundation, and over 200 other organizations and tens of thousands of members of the public continue to call for an immediate moratorium on BLM wild horse and burro roundups. To date the BLM has not changed course and plans to roundup and remove a total of 3,295 wild horses and burros before the end of the year. Currently, nearly 40,000 wild horses and burros are held in pens and pastures at taxpayer expense.

56 replies »

  1. Hope the NY judge can really hear what’s being said and see what’s going on–he has the advantage of being enough removed, at least geographically, to perhaps not be blinded by a conflict of interests. Sure hope this does the trick and turns the tide!


  2. I Love New York ! There couldn’t be a better place for a lawsuit “for the horses” than in the city where Prevention of Cruelty to Animals began. Go RT and Bershadker —we’re behind you all 100%.


  3. I hope the horses and American people get some relief soon. Something has to go right for the horses and We the people who love them.


  4. Any court but a cattlemens court. Unfortunately, I think the first issue that will be put up in this case is a fight over proper venue. Prediction: NY will kick it to the western courts claiming they have “subject matter” jurdistiction as that is where the herds roam and that is where the gathers are happening. Is this herd located in Nevada? If so, perhaps we should be suiting for Breach of Trust of the Leo Heil will in the proper California Surrogates Court where the will was probated.


    • If you look at a somewhat bigger picture, this is about any wild horse on any public lands managed by DOI. The wild horses of Corolla, NC are not federally protected, but managed by a private group. However, they graze on USFWS land, so the service wants to reduce the herd to non-viable numbers. They want to reduce the habitat to make more room for native birds according to an article in our paper. There are wild horse herds in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia.


  5. This is great!! Now the truth will be spoken and law enforced. There is no paid off judges in favor for the BLM. Only can now hope for some jail times; to get the full justice they deserve…


  6. Thank you for this news. I hope New York will realize that they are also part of the America that is betrayed and lied upon by this corrupt agency, and that these horses deserve protection from the rogue Western influenced minions – what shame it is we have to hope upon some decency being left in this State, when mos others have turned their back to these mustangs – God help that this judge will prevail.


  7. THANK HEAVENS—-Now let’s see the law work the way it should and (must) to help straighten out this entire mess. I will be hoping and praying so hard!~ Thanks for this FANTASTIC NEWS!-We are ALL here in support!~


  8. Maybe it is time for a billboard in Times Square showing the bloody helicopter roundups. This case needs to be tried in the court of “public opinion”–no better place than the east coast with the population center. This is about the humane treatment of OUR Wild Horses—they don’t belong to Nevada or any other state for that matter.


  9. While most of the wild horses are located in Western states, they still belong to ALL Americans in every state. Great idea having the case heard in New York! Prayers for the mustangs!


  10. GREAT NEWS !!! Tired of being pushed around by the BLM all these months. They can’t do that to us New Yorkers (former) :- )
    Thanks to all the people that are standing up for our beloved Mustangs & Burros. It ALL Helps !!!


  11. Honorable Judge William Pauley, my hat is off to you. Hopefully you will have what it takes to take on the BLM. They have proved before that they have back door deals with people much higher up that you sir. New York, don’t let me down.
    Protect these horses.


  12. It would be so wonderfully ironic if a NYC judge put a boot to the neck of the BLM, to borrow Salazar’s phrase, with all of those in favor of the elimination of the wild horses that say all the advocates are city folk who don’t know what we’re talking about.


  13. RT, you promised it was going to be good, and damn if ya’ll didn’t deliver!!!!! Finally, an honest chance for our wild horses and burros!! Folks, keep the donations coming for the support of the lawsuits – I have a good feeling this one and Laura’s are going to be groundbreakers for our beloved wild bunch! Great job!!!


  14. A big Thank You to RT and others who have been so dedicated in helping to protect and preserve our American wild horses. This is wonderful news, so far and I hope that when it’s all said and done we’ll be celebrating together the freedom they so rightly deserve. Keep up the good work….justice must prevail!


  15. who wants to meet me in NY for the hearing ? Let’s fill the gallery ! This is that important to Americans. NYC law is used to dealing with thugs like BLM but be sure to prepare well…..BLM……they LIE !


  16. Thanks to Laura and RT and all who made this possible,,,,your work has not been in vain,,,,,and as someone said, “the boot will be on the neck of BLM”, hopefully. And praise to the ASPCA!


  17. I know many here have been at this a very long time and I’m very grateful to you all for being here when I was not paying attention. Like others have mentioned, I don’t see any conflict here — these horses belong to all of us, this is not a territorial issue at all. The suit should remain in New York, there is no merit to a change of venue… ANY court in this country has jurisdiction in a matter that concerns the whole country… if it was filed in NY, then in NY it should remain!

    I spent days and days reading and researching and finally had to give it a rest — I don’t know how you all do it. And it is not a simple subject, ever more complicated because of the convoluted bureaucracy of the BLM and others, the cold hearts of the contractors, the very real concerns about horse slaughter and on and on… and then tragedy after tragedy at each recent “gather” and still no relief, no injunction… and still they suffer in holding pens with no shelter. It’s disgusting…

    I keep thinking, “there but for the grace of God go I…” and I think that’s part of it too, a big part — they are doing it because they can, because they think no one can stop them… and to keep everyone who may be paying attention broken down in fear and despair. I guess they weren’t counting on such a focused, dedicated group working together.
    Thank you all!!! :o)

    Another thing that came to me… it’s that old poem I can’t quite get the words right… maybe some of you can help me… it might make a good attention getter on a poster or something??

    “First they came for the wild horses, but I had no concern for the wild horses, so I said nothing…
    “Then they came for the grazing cattle, but I was not a cattle rancher, so I said nothing…
    “Then they came for the water and minerals and all the other treasures of the land, but I had no care for the land, so I said nothing…
    “And then they came for me and just like me, no one was paying attention and no one spoke for me either…

    Not exactly perfect, but I trust you all get the gist… if they can do this to the horses, you can bet they’d have no problem doing it to us too…

    Bravo to all of you!! Thank you!! thank you!! thank you!! :o)



    • You are pretty close to the original pattern. I have seen this before also. It is appropriate. You make a good point. We must stay focused on the horses, but this is about much more than the horses.


  18. Woot! Woot!

    Let’s bounce this off of the high desert canyon walls, to the concrete walls of NYC!

    R.T., Laura.. EVERYONE involved… YOU ROCK!!

    I kept praying, saying.. Trying to convice myself that ‘Braveheart’s’ death would NOT be in vain… ‘We’ HAVE to win this battle… Then on to a full blown war!

    Such an awesome idea if it were possible, to have a video ot that damn chopper; hanging over the heads of a mare and foal or that picture of Jess’ hanging over the protective stallion.. be on the Times Square ‘T.V.’ (OK, seriously, I’m from podunk Colorado, I dunno what it’s called!)

    This is HISTORY and ‘we’ are making it, Gang!

    Faith, Hope, Prayers and some Pointy ‘Ass Kickin’ Boots’! ;O)


  19. This is great news. It’s about time someone stopped the BLM in their tracks. Yay for the wild horses and burros. We will never give up the fight to save them from the mismanagement and cruelty of the BLM.


  20. This is long past due. I am so surprised, shocked that finally there is one judge that will stand against the BLM’s corrupt roundups. Maybe, finally, the wild horses can go home and be at peace. Too long and too many horses have gone to slaughter houses because of BLM.


    • Two events in the news that have significant relevance to our wild equines:

      (1) While Congress, the Pentagon and the White House/Dept of Justice diddle with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a judge has thrown it out (the policy, not the case); and,

      (2) Senator Landrieu threatened to hold up important legislation(you know, Senator Larry Craig style) if the White House/Department of Interior didn’t remove the ban on deep water drilling immediately…Executive Branch caved and removed the ban.

      Why are these related and important? Because it shows how critical judicial support and rulings are when the appropriate authorities FAIL to do the right thing AND how a truly concerned and outraged Congress person can also find the necessary way to get what they believe is the honorable thing to do when people/special interest or White House conspire against you.


  21. I did a “google” of Judge William H. Pauley (I think someone stated he was the jurist). He seems to be an interesting individual; in addition to the Wiki page, I found this Wall Street Journal article (March 2010) very interesting:

    *note what he decided re: SEC/banks and the firewall law that THEY wanted in 2003 and reveresed themselves in the current filing….YES!!!!!! I think I like this individual!…time will tell us.


  22. IDA has a petition:

    Oppose Wild Horse Roundup In Nevada
    1,659 Wild Horses Targeted for Removal
    Deadline for comments: Tuesday, October 19 at 4:30 p.m. PDT
    The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to round up and permanently remove 1,659 wild horses from the Antelope Complex in northeast Nevada, more than 1.3 million acres encompassing four herd management areas (HMAs): Antelope, Antelope Valley, Goshute, and Spruce-Pequop.
    BLM Elko District Office
    Attn: Bryan Fuell, Wells Field Manager
    3900 East Idaho Street
    Elko, NV 89801
    Contact Bruce Thompson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
    Phone: 775-753-0200


  23. Our wild horses belong on the range. They have a legal right to roam on public lands which are have been taken over by for-profit interests. Wild horses belong to all Americans and are a precious genetic resource. The cruel roundups that have killed and maimed so many horses are a disgrace to a government that purports to advocate for humane causes.


  24. Some sanity at last – I really hope Judge Pauley will stand his and the horses ground and give the BLM a great big kick in the pants.


  25. At last a favorable hearing. There is no way they can justify their actions! Speaking on behalf of Grey Beard Bandit I applaud the judgement of the New York Judge. Don’t stop fighting, the battle isn’t won yet but it’s a good start.

    We hope the rally on Nov. 14th goes well, wish we could be there. Play our song, it’s free and will make people think……Bill/ Grey Beard Bandit


  26. Thank God!!!!!!!!!! The BLM is not getting away this time!!!!!!!!! I pray they are not only Sued but COMPLETLY CEASE TO EXIST! Read this and Scream Halleluiah!


  27. The dark powers must be very proud of the BLM AND KEN SALIZAR and shame on our president for being a part to this holocaust! i am very disappointed and sad to say i have campained and voted for Obama. Now, he seems to have become another bush. and KEN SALIZAR is DANGEROUS FOR OUR COUNTRY! NOT TO MENTION THE BLM..


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