Horse News

THE BLM’s Multiple (R)Use Mandate

By Debbie Coffey

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) empowers itself to do pretty much whatever it wants with its interpretation of the “Multiple Use Mandate” from the The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA).  This should really be called the BLM’s Multiple RUSE Mandate.

For instance, if you ask a BLM staff person why they’re removing our wild horses from our public lands (the Herd Areas that Congress intended for primary use by our wild horses with The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971), they’ll probably say it’s “because of the Multiple Use Mandate.”  To the unsuspecting, this might seem to imply that the BLM has to give a fair share of public land use to everybody – like everyone gets a piece of the pie.  But in reality, the BLM’s use of the Multiple Ruse Mandate will only leave the American people with a dried up piece of crust.

The FLPMA defines the term “multiple use” as meaning “management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources…balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account long-term needs of future generations for renewable and non-renewable resources…and coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment…and not necessarily to…uses that will give the greatest economic return …”

If you look at the projects in each BLM field office,  you’ll see that corporations, often foreign owned, are getting the green light for projects that use massive amounts of our public lands, resources and water.

The BLM will soon be rounding up 1,506 of our wild horses in northeastern Nevada in the Antelope Complex (Wells and Schell Field Offices of the BLM’s Elko and Ely District offices).  The BLM only plans to leave only 471-788 wild  horses on 1,306,766 acres of public land.  Even with 788 horses, that’s only about one horse every 1,658 acres.  The BLM’s Environmental Assessment (EA) states that they need to round up these wild horses to “prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the public lands and to protect rangeland resources from deterioration associated with excess populations of wild horses within the HMAs and use of rangeland resources by wild horses outside the HMA boundaries.”

Well, a horse only drinks about 15 gallons of water a day, and couldn’t possibly cause the massive degradation and deterioration of the land and water that just one mine causes.  To give you a little background, just one mine, Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike mine, has used over 383 BILLION gallons of water, and excavates about 20 tons of earth to make one gold wedding band, can you imagine all the earth it takes to make all mens wedding bands? (“The Mining of Our Aquifers” )

If you want to see degradation and deterioration of our public lands, take a look at some of the new projects the BLM has in these districts (these don’t even include existing mines and oil and gas projects):

The Rossi Mine by Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. – (in Elko county, located in the Antelope Creek drainage)  Halliburton needs to expand the Queen Pit (and other pits), expand the waste rock dump footprint (I wonder if this is bigger than a wild horse footprint) and build a new haul road because there are international demands for the barite mined here.  Barrick Gold controls 137.4 of the acres of “disturbance” with the remaining 269.6 acres of disturbance on land managed by the BLM.  Barrick manages a storage area and Barrick Gold’s Betze Pit mine is only about 5 miles to the south.  The EA notes that “The lowering of the water table at the Rossi Mine and the decreased production from existing wells indicates that the groundwater table in the vicinity of the mine is declining.”

They’ll probably blame that on the wild horses.

Pequop Exploration Project by West Pequop Project LLC (in Elko county Nevada) – The entire project is on public lands with a projected “disturbance” of about 400 acres.  They’ve assured us that none of the drilling fluids used will contain hazardous substances and will not contaminate aquifers.

You could sigh with relief, except that many other hazardous substances have already contaminated our aquifers.

Betze Pit Expansion Project by Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc. (Elko and Eureka counties) – Another 315 million tons of waste rock will be generated by this expansion.  New access roads disturbing 414 acres of public land.  Expansion of the pit for a disturbance of 50 additional acres of public land.  Construction of a tailings facility 46 acres of public land disturbance.

God forbid the wild horses dig a little hole anywhere.

Genesis Project by Newmont Mining (near Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike Operations)-  Expansion of the Genesis open pit mine, disturbing 43 new acres and reworking existing mine disturbances for a total of approximately 1,135 acres, with development and operation of the Bluestar Ridge open pit mine and construction of an access road.  Approximately 450 million tons of waste rock would be removed to extract 60 million tons of ore over a 12 year operational life.  Currently, up to 35 drains and 10 wells pump up to 250 gallons per minute for up to 10 years, are expected to be necessary to dewater the Genesis Pit.

Do you consider a pit mine, which will eventually be a pit lake that will, in perpetuity, suck water from the aquifer beneath it, to be a permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment?  Or is it just me?

Long Canyon Exploration Project by Fronteer Development and AuEx, Inc. (in the eastern Pequop Mountains, 28 miles southeast of Wells, NV) – Exploratory drilling for minerals on 5,348 acres of public land.  The Long Canyon Joint Venture also owns unpatented mining claims on the public lands.

Emigrant Mine Project by Newmont Mining (10 miles south of Carlin, NV) –  Estimated that it will use 130 to 140 MILLION gallons of water per year.

Leeville Project by Newmont Mining Corporation – This is a gold mine with a dewatering system scheduled to pump a peak of 23,000 gallons of water per minute (gpm) over the life-of-mine.  And they’re going to pipeline groundwater from the Leeville mine to Barrick Gold’s facility.

Newmont Mining’s South Operations Area Project Amendment (SOAPA) (In the Carlin Trend) – This is an expansion of this gold mine.  They want to deepen the quarry: “total tonnage to be produced for the remaining life-of-operations is approximately 118 million tons…” also, from 2010-2015, they’ll transport 915,000 tons of ore to Newmont’s Twin Creeks Mine near Winnemucca.

Papoose Canyon 14 Federal Well #1 by Fasken Oil and Ranch LP of Midland, TX (Pinion Range, southwest of Elko)  Oil exploration, disturbing about 29 acres of public land.

You get the picture.  And what about the fast tracked renewable energy?

Just in the Amargosa Valley of Nevada, the cooling process for one solar project could require 1.3 BILLION gallons of water a year.

Natural gas is touted for burning more “cleanly,” but Michigan and other states pump millions of gallons of water and thousands of pounds of chemicals into the wells under intense pressure to fracture the rock and release the gas.  This has caused serious water contamination in several states.

There are many geothermal projects.  In May, 2010, the Nevada State BLM office sold 328,020 acres for geothermal leasing.  Who snapped up this land at $2 an acre?  Barrick, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Michael A. Casey (who owns/owned the property where our wild horses are held in short term holding at the Indian Lakes Road/Broken Arrow facility in Fallon, NV), to name a few.

Any BLM field office can bypass an Environmental Assessment (EA) by determining there isn’t a significant impact.  They can issue a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) or a CX (Categorical Exclusion).

In 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)  issued a report regarding BLM’s use of Section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (GAO-09-872 September 16, 2009) that the “BLM’s use of section 390 Categorical Exclusions has frequently been out of compliance with both the law and BLM’s guidance.  First, GAO found several types of violations of the law, including approving more than one oil or gas well under a single decision document, approving projects inconsistent with the law’s criteria, and drilling a new well after time frames had lapsed.  Second, GAO found numerous examples – in 85 percent of the field offices sampled – where officials did not correctly follow guidance, most often by failing to adequately justify the use of a categorical exclusion.”

So, now we’re just stuck with those illegal decisions?

There have also been numerous challenges to the BLM’s FONSI decisions by groups including Great Basin Mine Watch, Northern Plains Research Council, Nevada Environmental Coalition, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Western Watersheds Project, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, In Defense of Animals, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Wyoming Wilderness Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society and The Sierra Club.

The BLM doesn’t even have to do an EA on wild horse roundups if they deem it an “emergency.”  In July, 2010, the BLM got a judge to lift an injunction in Owyhee after telling him 75% of the herd could die because of a lack of water.  ( )  Interestingly, the EPA fined Kinross DeLamar Mining Co. for violations of the Clean Water Act in 2009, when its inactive gold pit mine discharged water into Cabin Gulch, which flows into the Owyhee River.  Then, in 2010, BLM Director Bob Abbey presented Kinross DeLamar Mine of Owyhee County, Nevada with the BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award.

While the BLM is busy rounding up our wild horses to the point of eradication, they’re allowing our land, resources and water to be raped by mostly foreign owned companies.  Do you think they’re managing our lands in a way that will benefit your grandchildren?  Or, do you think they’re clearly in violation of the FLPMA?



Fronteer Development (USA), Inc., 2010 Amendment Expanded Exploration and Groundwater Well Drilling, March 2010

BLM Draft EIS, Emigrant Project, November 2008

BLM Draft EIS, Genesis Project, Newmont Mining Corporation, February 2010

Papoose Canyon 14 Federal Well #1, EA, August 2009

DOI Record of Decision, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc, Betze Pit Expansion Project, May 2009

FSEIS, Newmont Mining Co, South Operations Area Project Amendment (SOAPA), April, 2010

Rossi Mine Expansion, EA

Leeville Project, Final SEIS, March 2010

West Pequop Project LLC, Amendment #1 Plan of Operations NVN-071287 to Permit for Reclamation No. 0193, March, 2010

Antelope Complex Gather Capture Plan and EA, September 2010

66 replies »

  1. JT, isn’t this also bordering the lands that the Pickens sanctuary has set aside for the horses…so why the rush to do a roundup now when they could easily slide them over if need be…not to mention the basic lack of respect for the l971 Free-Roaming Horses act. There are so many questions but the basic one is of “protection” for the wild horses and burros and what “laws” actually mean. Hopefully the ASPCA suit will she light on this on Oct. 20, 2010?


    • The “ASPCA” suit is our suit AKA Terry and R.T. Fitch AKA HfH Advisory Council with Habitat for Horses, ASPCA and the Cloud Foundation as plaintiffs. We are centering on several very specific points of law that have been broken by the BLM and, for the sake of the case, will not elaborate until later.

      Stay tuned…



  2. Thank you. This article really puts Multiple Use into perspective in ways that I’ve never seen before. Short, concise, easily absorbed information. This is the kind of research that needs to be forwarded to Congress.
    Thumbs up!!


  3. Thanks, Debbie. I’m very interested in what’s already happened or is being planned for the land AFTER the herds have been decimated or HMAs have been “zeroed out”. I’m focusing on energy and extraction projects at the moment.

    This is a fairly new company – Nevada Exploration – that’s using a method of identifying gold/geothermal potential in new areas by testing groundwater.
    They’ve already obtained 33 mining permits, are applying for others, and are working with other mining companies to expand their grip on Nevada.
    If anyone wants to understand more about the process, this is their September 2010 Concept Powerpoint presentation:

    Click to access NGE_Corporate_Exploration_Concept_3-18-09.pdf

    I swear there won’t be a square inch of Nevada that isn’t disrupted and polluted by one thing or another!


  4. From the Environmental Working Group:
    ” One in 50 acres of Nevada’s Public Lands fall under a mining patent, operation or claim.”
    The majority of mining operations in Nevada are Canadian, British or Australian. And all that acreage in the West used for mining directly profits a group of about 89,000 people (not those who work the mines – those who invest in them).
    Considering Nevada is about 82% Public Lands, that’s a whole buncha undue influence from the overseas contingent.
    The Bureau is also supposed to give ‘special consideration’ to sacred sites when authoring their ‘assessments’ (they do, at least, when scheduling Wild Horse removals). I think the Shoshone would beg to differ as the BLM has given a go-ahead for further destruction of Mt. Tenabo.
    Water, open space, cultural significance – all ethereal little playthings when it comes to the Bureau kissin’ the international booty at the behest of the DOI.
    Why are these guys still in charge?


      • Linda, yes jobs. The massive number of unemployed construction workers are clamoring for those energy construction jobs. Its hard to sway the public when their literal lively hood is at stake.

        I don’t understand why we are even building solar farms – there are already adequate numbers of existing rooftops all across the USA and plenty of workers to install and service solar without uprooting them and thier families to costly new camp towns and roads (with thier own environmental demands and destruction) across the Public Lands.

        Congress – you can do better!


  5. Sandra Miller Says:

    October 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    Sandra, I have thought about the behavior of the present BLM for some months, and I’ve decided that there will never be significant change in this department without a totally new work force with a more modern, scientific, and humane orientation. That is what the American people expect – they do not expect to have things run by a group stuck in the 19th century when Cattle was King in the West, mining, under the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, was a pick, a mule, and one miner, and the local residents did as they pleased. Having such a “backward” group in charge just holds up all progress! There seems not to be any recognition of the fact that modern technology has made it much easier for ALL American people to participate in the running of THEIR Public Lands. This is not just an issue for the states in which the Public Lands happen to exist. I am hopeful that eventually all the present employees of this department will be swept away by a tidal wave sent by the American people of all 50 states.

    I continue to be optimistic about the growing rise of the humane movement in this country, though. Just this week in South Bend an old black lab mix was dropped off at Pet Refuge, a local no kill shelter, in absolutely deplorable condition – weight of 25 pounds and untrimmed nails grown in a circle into her pads, making it almost impossible for her to walk. In 24 hours after the LOCAL station reported on “Rose”, as she is being called, donations began to flood in from as far away as Hawaii! This amazes me, but that is what modern technology has made possible. Quite different, wouldn’t you say, than the “shoot, shovel, and shut up” mentality. BLM, we in these 50 states are all looking in on your behavior, you are being observed and monitored by citizens in all 50 states (and a great share of the civilized world, at that), and I would say that your time to give way to new management is just down the road.


    • There’s a bill before the New Jersey House to require convicted animal abusers to register just like child abusers, rapists, etc. I believe New York is considering similar legislation.


    • Louie,
      I have sent my objection letters to BLM re: Antelope Complex and also to the sale of our public land in Farmington, NM. Have you discovered what the next BLM land sale will be and if so, will you please post the info so others an myself can write our objection? How can our wild ones (and wildlife) continue for future generations if all of their/our land has been sold to the energy hogs! We must persist with our objections. Thank you.


  6. What a great article, easy to understand and precise, Thank You !!! As for the BLM packs your bags , Your Betrayal to America and The Wild Mustangs , will end…. All of America is watching all that you do !!!! No more Deception and Lies the Truth is out !!!! to all……………….. America will give their voices to Our Beloved Wild Mustangs…………….


  7. Note to BLM and this administration. Your days are numbered, we will prevail. Our wild horses will be returned to their ranges, and all these money grabbing individuals, taking bribes under the table, will be discovered. And, hopefully, when this happens, we the American people will be the judge of who gets mineral and water rights. Definitely, it should not go the foreign interests. It appears, noone is minding the store. God help us achieve heaven on earth for these beautiful animals. With all of us working towards it, it will come. It’s just a matter of time. And, I would like to think, it is very near. I think we should demand that Bill Richardson takes over the BLM. He is interested in the wild horses and who better would know how to balance and solve this.


  8. Deb Coffey thanks for getting on the expansions. I had been looking at them this summer when I found the listings and it is continued growth while the water holds out. There may be harsh times for anyone living within 100 miles of all this mess in the future. The processes being allowed in these gold and oil sands extractions were always considered too polluting and expensive. They are now everywhere. This means greed won out over all environmental concerns.

    Water is gold around the world now and this waste and pollution of ground waters is unforgivable. Burt Nevada and DOI/BLM have embraced this for every penny they can get. Too bad these corporations are not putting something back in the kitty to get the wild horses and burros displaced back on to real range, intact and healthy and alive. If we had been involved in the plans we may have had a chance to barter a better place for the wild ones than ‘processing, adoption, sale authority and long term imprisonment.’ There is money here that should be gotten to help save the herds. There are solutions we must look for that will get our horses before processing does.

    We Need to Adopt All of Our Wild Horses and Burros and negotiate for new lands for them and keep them intact. They must not continue through processing. We must do all we can to get possession of all the horses and burros being removed from designated and off hma lands.

    This may be the only way we can get them away from BLM and create a future for them. mar


  9. When I look at the HMAs on Geo, I always check the HA boxes for comparison. The HAs had to be the places where “wild horses were known to roam” at the time of the 1971 Act, otherwise there would have been no point in including the designation.

    There’s a huge HA across the highway (50?) from the Calico Complex. Not as large as the Complex itself, but pretty darn close. The BLM Q&A page states they have the authority to redesignate HAs HMAs, but I don’t imagine that’s happened in the history of the program. Just the other way ’round or removing the land entirely.

    When I looked at Twin Peaks and the surrounding HMAs, I noticed there are no HAs in that area. The wild ones certainly must have roamed over a larger range in 1971 and perhaps it was one big HA at that time. Still can’t find maps showing the progression.

    I’d like to know how the original survey was conducted and the criteria. Did there have to be a certain number of animals in a specific area before it was considered for inclusion?


  10. Good article, if frightening. Makes one wish we were only up against cattle ranchers. It does highlight the urgency of the plight of the remaining wild horses. One question; if HMAs are created for the mustangs to roam free and wild, why are they the first and only thing to be removed under this multiple ruse policy?




  12. This is so very informative – although sickening – and we need to pass this around to those who may not know it or need to know it. Thank you very much for your information and dedication, Debbie.


    (just happened across this article – and although believe our horses/burros belong on thier wild range … we cannot overlook those that are already captured and put into “jail” – they need our attention also!):
    Wild horse facility has outbreak of equine distemper
    Last updatedTuesday, October 19, 2010 – 5:27pmTags for this HERRIMAN – The BLM’s regional wild horse and burro facility here is addressing an outbreak of “equine distemper,” an upper respiratory infection, which is linked to the death of eleven wild horses at the facility.
    The deaths have occurred over the past two weeks, with six of the deaths occurring within the last 48 hours.
    Equine distemper is a common upper respiratory infection that occurs in horse populations, especially when confined in holding facilities. It is highly contagious, causing a lack of appetite, fever, listlessness and a distinct swelling of the lymph nodes in the throat area. Often signs include pus-filled lymph nodes, nasal discharge, breathing difficulty, and cold-like symptoms. When the immune system is weak, the bacteria can spread throughout the horse’s entire body creating a systemic infection.
    Once the disease has gone systemic, it is generally fatal.
    The primary groups of horses affected by the bacterial infection are younger animals with weakened or immature immune systems. BLM personnel are working closely with the facility contract veterinarian to ensure the best care possible for those animals impacted by the infection. All animals at the facility are under a BLM-imposed quarantine and will not be shipped out until several weeks after any clinical signs are documented.
    BLM is also working closely with the Utah State Veterinarian and following his recommendations to ensure any further spread or outbreak of the disease is contained on-site. A necropsy or postmortem exam is being done on individual animals. Bacterial cultures are also being collected to isolate the specific Streptococcus bacteria infecting the horses. Having this information will help determine the best available treatment and allow horses to be treated with the most effective antibiotics.
    Due to the severity and contagious nature of the “equine distemper” occurring at the facility, public access may be limited at times while veterinary care and sanitation measures are being undertaken.
    Would this have happened if they were out on the range where they belong? What can we do?


    • sounds like strangles, all those poor wild horses. Can see from pictures the blm employees using their old trailers and bringing their personal gear/ riding horses, using old cattle ground ..all that is exposure to diseases. plus the BLM horse care is SUB STANDARD. How many of those horsemen run their personal horses and treat their personal horses like the BLM allows? non of them because they know that kind of treatment harms horses.

      Horses do so horrible when housed like beef cattle. And the beef cattle are only kept in those crowded conditions for a couple months, then off to slaughter.

      Maybe the key is to focus on one thing, the pictures of over crowded pens with NO SHELTER.
      Surely a couple of the pictures where the wild horses live with less than 20 square feet ‘floor space’ totally exposed to the elements, living on sand. Perhaps some expert horsemen/Vets will make statements that what the BLM does and allows done is animal abuse! look at Gunninson prison on google map, my god the horses are PACKED together, not a speck of shelter!
      Obivious the BLM totally ignores anything from the longtime avocates, the blm even get vindictive towards some the avocates. Very similar to abusers who ‘punish’ humans they hate by harming animals they love.
      Terrible problem, there is still a chance Obama will step up and stop the rape of America by DOI and the BLM. Obama also seems powerless against what was started and created over the past 15 years. The loss of the wild horses is tied in with the loss of america by these anti-american devils.


    • I just searched to see if there was any more news about the situation at Herriman and found none. Now that it’s in “lockdown” I don’t suppose we’ll ever know what’s really happening.


      • Thank you, Linda.
        More innocent souls lost.
        More BLM shame to add to their big pile.
        I wish to think that these animals are well…


  14. NO! They would NOT have contracted distemper had they been left on the range, where they belong. They are pulled of off the range where there are thousands of acres to graze– forage that they are adapted to– fresh water. Then, when thrust into crowded holding pens, nose to butt, drinking from the same water troughs, and STRESSED, it’s a given that they are going to contract any contagious SOMETHING congatious. How often are those holding pens even cleaned?


    • The horses’ water troughs need to be cleaned often. Weekly is what they are supposed to do. When someone fails to do it- horses can be affected like this. They would not be ill but for the conditions forced upon them. mar


      • It’s kinda strange, isn’t it, that we never hear about Wild Horses and Burros contracting exotic & virulent diseases while their on the ranges?
        No salmonella, no pigeon fever, no hyperlipemia, no ‘equine distemper’, pernicious anemia or West Nile until AFTER their systems are compromised by trauma and they languish in layers of old filth, eating foreign foods and drinking questionable water.

        Only when they’re in the safety of Governement holding do they begin to sicken or die from BLM-initis.


  15. savewildhorses, the Department of the Inferior appears to be a threat to wildlife, as a whole. Anything on the Federally Protected list is in the way. The buffalo and the wolves are also being targeted. It seems that only those that have Powerful groups to protect them are left alone. It also seems that wildlife that can be hunted as game are protected. No bureaucrat in his right mind is going to interfere with hunting season.


  16. Thank you, I knew there was money behind these gathers. They want us to fight amongst ourselves, and tell others we are just crazy bleeding hearts activist. They tell the corporations to not worry, we are not smart enough (and to busy worrying about the gathers) to realize what is happening behind closed doors and it will be to late when we do find out.
    If they try to tell us it is to late, the papers are already signed, then tell them to un-sign them, we did not agree to this plan of action. This global climate change is being used as a ruse to control our most precious freedoms. Do not let them destroy our water, land and wildlife.
    Wasn’t there a big stink about the Department of Mining and Minerals and the oil spill? Something about literally being in bed with the managers of the oil industry. Something about working at the oil company (lobbying) then being hired into the Department. If you dig into that area you will find some dirty laundry.


  17. Canary in a coal mine, I’ve long known it was true, had to be true. It’s how I rationalize the madness that is so far neverending, unrelenting. It’s the only way I’ve been able to accept that all our outcry has not made one dent in the BLM destruction machine. So it truly is the MONEY, root of all evil, and the SLIMEBALLS at BLM/DOI controlling who gets to make the money.

    Debbie, thank you for laying out the justification for thinking this way. The removal of these horses is just a symptom of something MUCH worse: the total destruction of all our wild spaces. We must NEVER give up on this fight for the horses because to save them, we will also be saving our beautiful cherished public lands. What do we have to offer our future generations if there is nothing left but fully destroyed land covering this continent?


  18. Currently, up to 35 drains and 10 wells pump up to 250 gallons per minute for up to 10 years, are expected to be necessary to dewater the Genesis Pit.

    To Debbie: Thank u so much for this article…I think I see what you mean about the “open pits…

    The open pits would be partially filled with Rainwater and dew; however most of these abandoned Pits would be “filled with Ground water because you say: The Pits are below ground water level so since water rises up; the water fills the pits from below;

    thus the pits evaporate the Ground water which is in the pits; thus; this is an unnatural process of bringing ground water to surface;

    I agree 100% these pits should be filled in ASAP; I don’t care how much rock sand and pebbles they have to move to fill these pits !

    1. pits are a great hazard to wildlife and other animals + people !
    2. Pits fill up with STAGNENT water; mud and sludge

    a. Stagnent water is exactly where germs and viruses breed !
    b. Stagnent water HOLDS toxic minerals while streams wash sludge minerals away
    c. Stagnent water does not have fish or other organism to thrive


    A STAGENT WATER PIT COULD NOT BE USED AS A LAKE FOR RECREATION…my gosh; the whole lake would be like a toxin

    from the stagnent water which lacks Algae to clean the water;
    to THE HEAVY METALS LEFT IN THE PIT from the mines (using a blue Cyanide to soften the ore: whose residues are in the pits

    and the think

    the BLM is considering letting your children swim in these waterpit

    the ENTIRE water system of Nevada could be affected; this would be something like out of the twilight zone;

    the blm talks alot but most waht they say doens’t make any sense
    sure is good to hear words of reason and facts and figures ! thnx !

    warning: please no one get near any of those groundwater pits! A.


  19. Not to forget Sec. 202 (2) of FLPMA (43 USC 1712) which states, “…any management decision or action pursuant to managment decisions that excludes (that is, totally eliminates one or more of its principal or major uses for two or more years) with respect to a tract of land of 100,000 acres or more SHALL BE REPORTED BY THE SEC. OF to the HOUSE OF REPS and the SENATE for APPROVAL…”

    Another provision of statutory law that Salazar and the BLM are ignoring. How many herds have they zeroed out with 100,000 acres or more? According to this provision of FLPMA,….this type of action can only be done with CONGRESSIONAL approval. Hope someone will address this issue in one of their lawsuits.


    • I’m sure, imo they used whatever ‘loop-holes’ they could find to make sure the land was slightly less than 100,000 acres so they could squander and sell-off whatever they wanted to their buddies. Maybe that’s why they checkerboarded all the land, have easements between. Fence off water with fence most wildlife can jump…except horses.

      It’s just freaking criminal the way these departments ruined america.

      I bet the DOI is one the main reasons america is in such debt and getting worse.


      • There are plenty of herds zeroed out that made up 100,000 acres or more. Moreover, that “Multi-Use / Sustainability of Yield” consideration / factor thing 0f FLPMAs DOES NOT APPLY to lands designated prior to 1976 as “principally for use by wild horses (and burros)
        The exception to FLPMAs “Multiple Use” requirement is just one of MANY federal statutes the BLM is NULLIFYING and that is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. When are the lawyers going to wake up and put forth these arguments? A win on these grounds would have National implications, in other words,….NO MORE round-ups anywhere.
        Bottom line, it is a EXCELLENT example of a “seperation of powers” case,….here we have an administrative body (BLM) UPSURPING legislative (law making) power,…..only the legislative body can make, break, modify or nullify laws. For an administrative body to do so is an impermissible, un-constitutional, wrongful delegation of power…that is, the BLM is delegating onto itself the lawmaking (and breaking) powers of the legislature….I cant understand why none of the lawyers can see that? I am here to discuss and debate the issue – gladly, speaking as a Constitutional Law Paralegal of many many many many years….who has actually litigated a seperation of powers case against the Gov on NY (and won!) This is a CLASSIC case of same issue. Why (again I ask) is is NOT being raised in any of these WH&B lawsuits? Why I want to know, why?


  20. Excellent CJ great point , hope that is addressed Immediately, so things they are doing wrong, One of them is going to stick !!!!!


  21. I don’t know if anyone’s put this up yet. If so, please excuse the repetition. It’s the 10/15/10 BLM Press release about the Public Comments for a “new direction” they requested and so many of us submitted.

    Question: If “Comments totaled 1,069 pages. More than 200 issues were identified and hundreds of suggestions aimed at improving the BLM’s strategy were received.” 9,000 submissions and only 1,069 pages? What’s up with that? I personally sent 12 pages “snail mail”, and I’m sure others were long as well. Maybe it’s a typo.


    • You know, Linda: BLM has a real hard time with counting! I snail mailed my comments with a registered return receipt and never got notification back that they were recieved. Hmmm.


  22. to CJ I read that blog spot–it is incredible and full of valuable information–that present modifications do not nullify the WH&B Act 1971–neither its intent nor protection of these wild horses. Thanks for re-posting the site.

    All the wild animals of the USA need to be placed on the endangered list– it seems that the word “protected” has no meaning any more– it just means that the particular agency- in- charge is allowing them to survive until it decides to hunt/slaughter/decimate them–just because they exist–that our wild heritage is disposable. Not on my watch– I am signing every petition/calling the White House/e-mailing the White House.– I want my wild life free and roaming!

    ps– If this situation were (some how) SPORTS– it would be solved. Congress/ senate/every mom/dad/kid would be clamoring SAVE OUR SPORT!


    • Ann L., what do you mean by this,…..”that present modifications do not nullify the WH&B Act 1971–neither its intent nor protection of these wild horses.”

      Do you mean to say the amendments that were made over the years to the WFHBA that divested the wild ones from their statutory right to remain on their lands??

      Does it still say preserved..”where found” and/or “to be principle users of their lands.” ????

      Do you have a link to the amended Act? I would like to review it again.


    • Im sorry if I mis-read yyou Ann, I think you are agreeing with me,…..”that present modifications (amendments to the WFHBA of 1971 and/or FLPMAs enactment in 1976) DO NOT nullify the WH&B Act 1971–neither its intent nor protection of these wild horses.”

      That the wild ones right to remain on their historic rangelands and to be principle users of same STILL STANDS, and that their lands are EXEMPT from any MANDATORY “multi-use” or “sustainability of yield” designs.


      Now WHAT are we gonna do about it?


      • CJ
        This is how I see it: the amendments do not negate the law as it was originally written. The amendments add/subtract/change the original law but do not disqualify the original law. If the amendments were intended to exclude the original law, then those parts “§1331…It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found…” would have been exed out and/or noted as such. The original law is still is the law.


  23. Looks like my previous comment was removed. I’m amused that you think of censorship as a tactic when censorship is one of the things you say you’re fighting against.

    My point was: The BLM has a PR department. Wild horses need better PR. BLM PR needs some competition!


    • yes you can start by listing every single wild horse in your “inventory” online. And stop using handbills and radio to anounce adoptions, that is so 1920s ish. Offer a training program (with a selection of outside contractors, the adoptor chooses) for any of the listed horses people wish to adopt.

      Take a note from the top horse adoption 501c and how they adopt out horses and use a good contract that protects the horse.

      Revamp that crappy BLM adoption program !! you’re one step above a kill pen seller!


      • and I grumble to myself.. actually with the no shelter crap the blm aren’t one step above the kill pen. They are equal to the people who are arrested for breaking the no shelter state laws!


    • Has anyone been able to get on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart? He interviews authors and that kind of exposure could be helpful, particularly if the book is specific to the BLM’s mismanagement.


  24. Thank you Roxie for that link. I hardly recognized the law, they amended it so much over the years. I see they have taken the “principal user” provision out,….but THANK GOODNESS they left this part in: …..”they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

    So yes, in areas where herds are being zeroed out,….the statutory nullification thing would still apply,….

    I see also it was amended to incorporate portions of FLPMA, specifically the “multi-use” part……I feel another challange coming on to the legality of amending the WFHBA on the basis of a law (FLPMA) that specifically EXEMPTS their historic rangelands from any MANDATORY multiple use. Talk about “tayloring the law” to their own liking! How neatly they have woven FLPMAs mandatory multiple provision requirement into the WFHBA when in fact by FLPMAs own provisions, the law does not apply to land specifically designated for wild horse (and burro) use! Do you think they (the BLM) are CHOOSING to ignore the exemption or are their lawyers and politicians really that stoopit not to realize the mistake…..all they have to do is read the darn FLPMA law til they get to the ‘EXEMPTIONS” part!


  25. CJ, they read what they want to read – these are all cattle people, have been for eons, going through revolving doors from DOI/BLM (Salazar as example) to the range and back again – jobs for sons and daughters and friends. And we all know DOI is owned by corporate oil and mining. This is a subculture that has ‘entitled itself’ to our Public Lands and our tax dollars through a failed socialist welfare system – see CATO Institute 1997 Welfare Ranching. They reported public subsidies in direct and INDIRECT public contribution of 1/2 billion dollars a year – more current reports come closer to 1 BILLION A YEAR. Now, that would be ok in my mind if it benefitted the needs of the citizens (and the ecology) pumping all that money into it – but that is not what is happening – these ranchers (actually mostly big corporations like HP) export most of that beef for profits. Talk about a “legal” scam going on against the American taxpayer?!?!? Think that checkerboard land system wasn’t designed specifically to lock up the land ‘against’ the American citizen? I used to love the idea of our country and our pioneers settling the west (except for the Indian affairs) – but what their heirs have done in their names is obscene – they have sold their souls as far as I am concerned.

    Many see this battle as representing a much bigger picture of what is broken in the USA and the current realm of the Corporation, especially clearly evidenced throughout DOI.

    We must change the law back to its original intent and boot out BLM (at least the current regime) from wild horse business. The lessons learned from this judge’s ruling will come in handy in others – seems like every ruling gives us more ammunition. And any insight from people like you who have some legalize will always be important.


  26. Exactly! Agreed w/ Roxie and G’Ma,….the corruption goes deeper than just the mis-management of the wild equines, but the good part is that the TRUTH is getting out….more and more people are realizing that it is not really about them cows,….its about resource exploitation, special interest, the privatization of public lands all based on GREED.

    The only reason the Welfare Ranchers keep a few cows around is to MAINTAIN the vested interest in the land….some of them dont even own cows of their own but rent OUR lands out to other people w/ cows and do so at a PROFIT!

    Here is a link to an excellent online anthology book that covers just about every aspect of Welfare Ranching and the Destruction of the American West;


    • CJ, there’s another good book I’ve been reading “Western Turf Wars(the politics of public lands ranching)” by Mike Hudak. A collection of interviews from many that have tried to do the right thing and how quickly they are squashed by the powers that be and the political process. One of the interviews with one of the range supervisors shows that when he found out this subleasing was going on he terminated their lease–its illegal, has to be your OWN cows not your neighbors. You can’t say I have a lease that allows for 20 AUMs and only have 15 head so I’ll lease to a neighbor the rest. Its a no-no but I’m sure it happens all the time. After reading this book I can see how our horses have stood such a small chance of success. Don’t ever hold a government job and try to follow the law or do what you know in your heart and what common sense dictates. As we see time and time again only the evil and yes men survive this system that is stacked against them.


      • Morgan, yes I am familiar with Hudak’s work,…did you happen to notice where he is from? Lol. We got Hope Ryden too….


  27. ….and the Welfare Ranchers get to ride them damn ATV things all over the place where nobody else could go with em. “Regular” folk have to stay on designated roads, and even those are fast disappearing. How fair is that to the rest of US or the lands?


    • And wasn’t it the BLM that gave a permit to off road truck race on Public Land that killed spectators a few weeks back? Ironically, a small child that witnessed the accident and death of friends was taken to “horse therapy” to help him coup with the situation! This was on national news.
      So our “roundup advocate observers” are kept far back from the action(for their own protection) by the BLM but standing anywhere you please to observe an off-road truck race on public lands is just fine. Geezzzzzz

      Has anybody seen a listing of the owners of Public Lands grazing leases yet? I thought this was to be made public.


      • Good point Barbara! And I would like to see a copy of the Public Welfare Ranching list also,,,,although it is SUPPOSED to be public information,…I believe it was one of those enviro-groups that had to sue for it. I think it was the Center for Biodiversity, though I’m not sure…..


  28. Horse therapy is the best, no pills to mask problems, it always works…………….. it cures …………..does create dependency though ,but is that a bad thing???????.Proven Fact !!!!!!


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