Horse News

BLM Delivers another Public Relations Nightmare

Press Release from the Equine Welfare Alliance

Heaps of BLM B.S. Does Not Hide All the Wild Horses Killed

Dying Calico Foal who's hooves were run off by BLM contractor Dave Cattoor ~ Photo by Laura Leigh

Chicago (EWA) – The Bureau of Land Management’s December 3rd Observer’s Report evaluating BLM’s handling of wild horse round-ups has left advocates and independent observers stunned. It is impossible, they say, to reconcile the positive, almost congratulatory findings with the mountain of negative evidence they have collected over the past year.

The disconnect appears to begin with BLM’s appointment of Robin Lohnes to its Wild Horse Advisory Board. Lohnes in turn appointed the “independent observers”.

Lohnes is the executive director of the American Horse Protection Association (AHPA). The AHPA has no website and maintains only a small, unoccupied office on the lower level of a Georgetown hotel. If the organization has been involved in any activity (horse protection or otherwise) since the 1990’s they have managed to conceal it both from Google and from the hotel’s maid who told an EWA investigator that she had never observed anyone in the office.

The report’s observers witnessed a 3 – 4 day period from 3 round-ups conducted during the summer; the Owyhee Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada, the Stinking Waters HMA in Oregon, and the Twin Peaks HMA in California.

Typical of the findings were comments like, “contractor and BLM personnel appeared to be gentle and knowledgeable, horses did not exhibit undue stress or show signs of extreme sweating or duress due to the helicopter portion of the gather…”

It is difficult to reconcile this with independent observations at round-ups like that in the Calico complex. There, the helicopter, that the report claims was no louder than a riding mower, literally ran hooves off of foals. There were at least 39 simultaneous abortions in pregnant mares and a reported death toll of 160. Dozens of videos and hundreds of photographs were released that tell a totally different story than the observer’s report.

Virtually every round-up over the past year has had inexcusable incidents that would have no doubt gone unreported if independent observers were not present to capture the incidents on video and photographs. A recent round-up video documents a stallion that was literally lifted off the ground by a helicopter. In another case, BLM’s “gentle and knowledgeable veterinarian” was captured on video amusing himself by poking a stick at terrorized mustangs packed into a truck.

Suzanne Roy, Director of American Wild Horse Preservation commented “This biased report is an attempt to deflect increased scrutiny on and public opposition to the BLM’s inhumane wild horse roundups. The report’s authors do not have any wild horse handling experience and its conclusions are not credible and lack scientific validity.”

One hand-picked observer is outspoken horse slaughter proponent, Dr. Carolyn Stull from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Stull aggressively opposed Proposition 6 in California, a law that banned the slaughter of horses. She testified that there would be increases in abuse and neglect if the proposition was passed. Not only did her warnings prove false, but horse thefts decreased 39% in the year after the law was enacted (1998), and continued to decline over the years that followed.

The Equine Welfare Alliance and wild horse advocates across the country are calling for an independent commission appointed by Congress to oversee the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Enough tax payer dollars have been wasted on Public Relation firms to change the perception of a rouge government agency that has no intention of changing.

For the BLM to regain any credibility, their claims of being transparent must be backed-up with actions. Allowing truly independent observers at all stages of round-ups and at holding facilities would be a good start.

EWA President John Holland summed up the organization’s position, saying “The BLM needs to understand that this is the age of Wikileaks, cell phone cameras and YouTube. Attempting to hide a smoldering pile of misdeeds with a fanciful report, instead of trying to fix problems, only makes the agency look more dishonest and inept.

The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 125 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.

214 replies »

  1. If these folks got any lower they’d have to live underground. Everyone kept asking where are these “observers” that were supposed to be out there–well of course they weren’t.


    • You don’t just hear it – you can feel it – displacing air, rumbling through the ground – and I’m just a puny human who saw and heard that mess from half a mile away.

      I don’t have super-sensitive ears that swivel independent of one another and can hear a friendly call from miles away or binocular vision that let’s me see separate vistas from each eye, and I didn’t have my kids to watch out for. I see and hear loud motorized mechanical devices each and every day, so those noises are simply annoying. I can only imagine how terrifying that sound could be if it were 20 feet above my head and was the only sound I could hear.

      Maybe this is part of what divides Advocates from ‘experts’ – the ability to empathize, to understand the terror our animals experience – as opposed to an ‘expert’, who could care less.


      • These people were by no mean “Experts” unless their expertise fell under the category of deception and collution.

        It’s criminally despicable as the BLM continues to thumb their noses at the law, the constitution and the American people. The leadership should be in jail.


      • The ability to emphathize. Exactly. Imagine a huge beast with a deafening roar (only predator to make noise) with blades turning up all the ground around you, just a few feet above your backs, at times inches, at times touching you. Chasing you for miles, never tiring (unlike other predators). Imagine being a horse thinking this beast is going to eat you at any moment. Only those moments last for minutes, Many minutes, sometimes hours.

        Now, please tell me what other predator acts like this in the wild? Nature is not inhumane. Man is.


    • I wonder if that “priviledged” (NYT?) reporter surrounded by dust would agree the helicopter was “no louder than a riding lawnmower”. I remember the photo, but not where, when, or which advocates were there (Laura?).


    • I remember when I was stabled close to Randolph air force base. Helicopters would frequently fly over (why up) and it was STILL horrible. The blasts from the props was like gun shots, bang, bang, bang. It went thru your whole body.
      Luckily we had a Coplonel’s wife stabled there. She would get on the phone and the copters would disappear.


    • I live along the Snake River & many times a year there’s a small, light helicopter flying up & down the area where I live. That helicopter can be heard LOUD & CLEAR from my house when it’s a good 10 miles away as the crow flys. Who do they think they are fooling! The noise these light choppers make is about half what a huge helicopter makes & I can always hear life flyt coming longgggg before I can see it & it flys right over my house!
      I was once in the mitst of a round up in 1977, out side of Winn. Nevada, they are ALL BUT HUMANE!


  2. Was it Abe Lincoln that said something about fooling some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time?


  3. This bogus report done by “experts” appointed by Robin Lohnes is a bad joke. I suppose she used funds from her organization to pay them. It would be intersting to see its financial report and list of members and donors. The report has no credibility at all and can easily be refuted .


  4. These hired “observers” are so typical of the ridiculous attempts the BLM uses to cover up their “do do” … just like a cat does … problem is, just like cat “do do” … their “do do” STILL stinks…
    (PS I love cats)


  5. I would imagine that this bogus BLM Observer’s Report, and unused hole in the ground office (American Horse Protection Association) of Robin Lohnes could be used in court with back-up, verified *facts and photos of our observers and EWA. I mean, it is so cut-and-dried, obvious, settled! But then knowing the BLM and the courts, maybe I am Pollyanna. But, worth a try. Keep on going to court with all we have. And this, above, is a good one. How can it get to DC? 🙂 😦


  6. No matter what the BLM says or does they can never cover up the Truth, no need to explain what the truth is !!!!! BLM is structured on Blatant Betrayal Lies and Deceit , do they really think that America would ever believe them no matter what they said !!!!! They can rant and rave and hold all the totally ridiculous Meetings or Summits they want on Americas dime until every American knows the truth… What they have done to the Wild Mustangs is un forgivable……. They employ 3rd grade mentality every time they open there mouths…..To state that a helicopter does not scare the Wild Mustang is out and out stupidity….. another remark that rates 1st grade mentality is this one Horses are nothing but rats with hooves…….. They scrabble for approval with these type of statements????????? There will be no approval from the USA and its people ever, or anyone who knows the TRUTH about the BLM S murderous assaults on what America holds dear………….(The Wild Mustangs) I really cant say this enough we need the MEDIA very badly if we ever expect this to end , Media coverage is most essential here i cannot STRESS that fact enough…..If we ever expect this rein of terror and criminal activities to stop within the BLM , and the people to retaliate there disapproval they have to KNOW…….. The only way to do this is the MEDIA !!!!!!!!!!!


  7. Helicopters sound like lawn mowers? I live 5 minutes from a hospital, where LifeFlight choppers fly in out and frequently. I can hear them and feel the vibration of their fly-overs inside my dang house!! And I’m hearing impaired, folks!!
    In the other direction, about 15 minutes away, is a military air field. Again, choppers small and large frequently fly over. Again, the noise and vibration penetrates my roof and walls.
    And, because we’re just outside of Atlanta, we often see metro news crews hovering in helicopters over certain areas, covering news stories. They’re loud!!!
    So, anyone who says that these machines are no louder than a lawn mower has worse hearing than mine — and mine is pretty darned bad. But if they’re hearing is really that bad, I’m happy to recommend a good audiologist. 🙂


  8. I do admit that saying the helicopter is no louder than a helicopter is playing it down a bit. But, these helicopters are also smaller than your average heli…maybe that makes them quieter? Maybe a new solar powered helicopter will come out in a few years that will drastically decrease the noise. Do we have any design mechanics here?

    The problem is the alternative at this point. The BLM is doing what has to be done now to control populations. With cattle, grazing permits are increase or decreased depending on amounts of forage. Wildlife are controlled by hunting tags. Horses are controlled by gathers every 4 years. Now, with PZP becoming routine in horse herds, hopefully those gather will decrease in frequency. Not only will this goal of fertility control be more cost effective than a pilot and helicopter in the air all day, but it will be more humane for for horses with less stress and human intervention — this was what John W. Turner and his crew had in mind when they worked for so long on PZP fertility. Turner was the reproductive biologist with whom Kirkpatrick and many others worked with to make PZP what it is today.

    We can only hope that it works as well as we’ve been predicting. It would be wonderful if roundups met the adoption demand so less horses went to long-term holding or sanctuaries.


      • My point was discussing the future of fertility control which will reduce frequency of roundups and that until growth rates slow, they have to use some means to round up the horses.


      • When I was studying wildlife management in the 70s it was discovered that a program for predator control that was specific and only for the individuals who were doing damage did not affect the population like other programs, still widely used across the West, where the animals were shot and a bounty paid.. the populations went wild.

        This is what BLM has been doing with wild horses. They have been Harvesting wild horses and creating in them the need to reproduce under pressure and this has made the herds bounce back over and over. At this point in time the goal is to be rid of the vast majority of wild horses. Salazar has said this and so has Abbey. Horses do not belong in the ecology of the West according to our Very Unscientific government caretakers.

        Now we have a change in the goal and it is to stop the horses from breeding entirely. The use of PZP-22 and possibly other newer and more experimental birth control is on the range in order to stop producing wild horses entirely. You do not PP all the mares in a herd. You do not take chances like that with their Sustainability!

        One thing you do not do is respond to these facts. Do you not know what is really going on out there?? We have people come here time and again who want to object to what we say and tell us we are wrong. But I do not believe we are and I do believe BLM, which does not have a scientifically run program for wild horses- is very wrong. There is no subtlety there at all. The management the horses have is the backside of cattle management and not designed for them. Even if BLM could create ideal management they will not because they don’t want them anymore. mar


      • They do not PZP all the mares in the herd for exactly that reason. I agree with Robert Garott that herds need to be looked at individually before the application of contraceptives. Applying only a general knowledge can result in either increasing the growth rate even more, or drastically decreasing it so that if there are any environmental catastrophes the population won’t be able to bounce back.

        This is why when I asked the Burns District BLM Rangeland Specialist what he would like me to study in their HMAs, he said herd behavior, herd dynamics. There is concern about the effect of PZP on the herds, and the skewed sex ratios. Not only that, but knowing the population of the herds is important for administering fertility control. They realize that, but budgets are constrained to what they can do.

        I have knowledge of what is going on out there. I have just walked away with a different take on it


      • OK, Now you are talking our language. There is a place for PZP but in reality it has not been found for wild horses and the island ponies in VA are not comparable…. for many environmental and physical reasons. Also this is the one year dart not the PZP-22 which may be found to be too damaging and should not be used as widely as it is now.

        But I want to add again, Jessie, that no one as yet has ever managed these horses as the principal species on their own land. It has not been done and BLM will never do it. Many people have gone to work for BLM in the hopes of helping the wild horses and they have not been able to affect management because of politics and economics. Our Craig Downer worked for them and he left in disappointment like many after trying for years to do good and was unable to have an influence.

        Because of the direction BLM is going I am not sure you will have any better luck.
        I am not fighting you. And we do understand a few things. mar


      • We are not naive… there are predators. You have got to realize this information is either not available or it is suppressed. It is also a BLM rouse to say there are no predators! Horses die from many things in nature besides starvation and thirst which are often caused by man’s interference as we have seen this year in Owyhee.

        No one here really believes the horses do not need any management at all. Of course they do. Selective and careful management. It is in comparison to what BLM is doing= Overkill, that people are constantly saying “Leave the horses alone!” It is not literal.

        As I stated before several times, BLM has been Harvesting horses for years. They have been removing and waiting for the bounce back and removing again. Maybe they were not aware they were pushing them to balance out their populations but I think they did know and used that to profit from them. But that is another can of worms and you won’t learn about that in a book.

        Observations by wild horse observers and professionals and researchers are finding that PZP will affect the family bands by bring the mares into estrus repeatedly throughout the year. The normal seasonal breeding and foaling gets all off kilter and this has cause under age fillies to be bred to young.

        One thing you never mention is how the herds are with minimal interference on finite range. from Craig Downers experience the horses populations level off and self regulate. But with BLM v]being so contentious about the horses they have taken to constant interference on the level of managing cattle.

        “In July 2008, an independent analysis examined BLMs statistics and found a very different scenario than what BLM continued to report regarding the number of animals still remaining on the range published in, “America’s Mustangs and Burros: What’s Left, The High Cost of Miscalculating and Will They Survive?”” From Cindy MacDonald. You should read her at American Herds.

        The Horses are disappearing and I know this. mar


      • Ray, there is testimony by BLM WH&B manager from Winnimucca that the Calico herd was not doing any damage At All and the BLM had no idea so many horses were there and yet the range was in excellent condition. I was on Owyhee and several HMAs in Nevada this year. The horses have been reduced in number and their land reduced around them so their resources have been shrinking… This is management caused.

        Got to go… mar


    • Speaking from the wisdom of 82 years, I can say you have sadly been misled. The BLM has allowed the cattle to graze at about 50 to one for the horses. They have fenced off water supplies, restricted access to where the horses usually grazed. They are gathering like mad to exterminate the horses so that they will have more land. If these herds are completely fertility controlled, they will die out. They are zapping all the horses in certain herds. They even did castration in open field surgery. Many stallions died. You can find this all out if you look. Try The Cloud Foundation or Grassroots horse


    • BLM has no one in the field who even knows the horses at most HMAs. They are using a tool indescriminantly. Can’t you understand that is not Management! They do not approach real management because the district WH&B folks are not working with their herds in this manner. They are carrying out an initiative from the suits that is all about manipulating horse numbers and land and either cattle allotments or private mining or energy projects that were never approved by anyone but BLM. The horses have no real management except they are grown and harvested like cattle, not like horses. mar


    • Jessie, do some more reading on cattle leases–they are governed more by how loud the landowner cries to his in-the-pocket Senators. Several BLM employees have commented on this. Read the book by Steve Hudak on rangeland management that has interviews with the people who tried to use common sense with a bit of science thrown in. The BLM is misusing the fertility drugs ie using them on entire herds. There are numerous concerns about the effect of these drugs causing off-season births, these drugs are not the answer they seem to be but another attempt by BLM and their bedfellows to eradicate the mustangs from the lands they were to be wild and free on.


    • Jessie, this whole helicopter/lawnmower analogy is ridiculous. We have no point of reference unless we know where the observers were in relation to the bird.

      Who thought up the whole “riding lawnmower” thing anyway? Did these ladies get together after a hard day at the traps and simutaneously ask, “Do you think that helicopter sounded much louder than a riding lawnmower?”

      The BLM provided a CHECKLIST, and I’d pay more than a dollar to see it. Have you ever taken a survey and suspected the questions were written to influence the outcome? Do you suppose the checklist might have asked the ladies to rate the helicopter noise in terms of a riding lawnmower, or in terms of other noises including a riding lawnmower?

      Here are some decibel levels you might want to consider. Human speech is about 25-35 decibels. When you’re standing next to a riding lawnmower, it’s about 80-85 decibels. Standing next to a small helicopter is about 115-120 decibels (pretty much the same as gunfire).

      Humans experience some hearing loss above 85 decibels, more if exposed for long periods of time. The human pain threshhold is about 120 decibels. I’m not going to get into accoustical pressure, but that’s also a factor.

      Horses and humans have similar mid-range hearing. Humans hear low frequencies slightly better than horses, but horses hear high frequencies/ultrasonics MUCH better than humans. Both horses and humans with hearing loss may exhibit behavioral problems.

      I’m assuming these ladies didn’t spend their entire lives in the relative quiet of the open range. Have they ever been to a nightclub or a rock concert? Do they wear earbuds and turn up the MP3? HAVE THEY EVER MOWED A LAWN? Sorry about this, but how old are they? In other words, how good is THEIR hearing?

      So is this report accurate or biased? Without context we haven’t got a clue!


    • Jessie, there is NO “overpopulation” it’s a “BLM Myth”. Look at numbers; 10 million head of livestock vs. 20-40 000 Wild Horses and Burros. common….it is plain greed and misinformation. I wonder what happens when they “exterminate” all of the Wild horses?? Who is going to be the scapegoat for the trashed rangeland?! Everything was just fine until Men started “managing” nature. There was a perfectly functioning ecosystem, predators. When the “stupid” domestic livestock was put out, they had to start killing the predators to protect the domestic livestock….then all hell broke loose. The PZP is not a “fix it all” it is an “experimental” drug, that has never been approved for use on domestic horses……granted it should be used to “control” the QH, Arab and TB overbreeding”! 😦


      • Both horses, cattle, and other livestock contribute to overgrazing on rangelands. More cattle can graze because of how and when they are on rangelands. Cattle are only out there a few months out of the year when forage is more available, then they are removed. They are also extensively managed by the permit system and rotations. Horses are out there year round and only a certain number is removed every four years to limit their population.

        Horses are here as a result of their introduction 500 years ago. When they were here 10,000 years ago, they had predators. Now they do not. Cougars and wolves will not do near the amount of population control that was once done by the dire wolf or sabertooth tiger. Both were very capable predators of bringing down a 1,000 pound animal. Humans did a large share of hunting them as well. Predation is not the same as is was in the Pleistocene.

        PZP is not a fix it all drug, you are right. The goal of fertility control is to limit population growth in horse populations (which can double in 4 years). This will lesson costs and make management more humane by fewer roundups and human intervention, as stated by John W Turner in his many studies of PZP (among those who worked with him were Jay F Kirkpatrick).


      • Jessie, Dr. Turner’s studies will not be over until sometime in 2012. I believe he had some concern over the anti-bodies the PZP caused or at least how long they lasted.
        We don’t mean to fight you, but it does seem you believe more of the BLM theories.
        And they DID inoculate whole herds.


      • I have not seen that they’ve inoculated all mares in a population…something to look into

        Good for Dr. Turner! I will then look forward to another paper in the near future. His research will probably never be over, however. There will always be another, better vaccine — or something else entirely. Horse management is continually evolving. From mass killings in the 19th century, to roundups for slaughter in the 20th century, and then gathers for adoption (or long term holding), fertility control…Things are getting more humane when you look at it that way! It will be interesting to see where Turner’s research takes us…or someone else’s…


  9. BLM HELICOPTER round-up. Remember– a horse’s hearing is MANY more times sensitive than a human’s sense of hearing:


    • Interesting that you say that Louie.

      When I let my dogs out (and they don’t come back on schedule) or confused about what is going on with hunters or the wildlife (the human)….I watch my horses. Their ears and attention tell me everything on just 30 acres. They also can tell me the difference in a distress or brat call from the surrounding farms livestock and horses. They are also good at tornadoes or bad winds.

      Their eyesight and hearing is spectacular. I’ve learned to watxh and “trust” them….after that, they will never be worthy of eating.


      • They won’t be worthy of eating because the equine is so far above the concept of meat…they are comapnions in battle, in exploration, in life. The joy they bring!

        You want meat? Breed a cow.


  10. The debate here isn’t that the wild equine killing machine put out another piece of noncompostable manure with toxic implications…it’s about the machine that continually allows them to do same.

    The funders are the killers and more guilty than BLM, NV Dept of Ag (HAGS).

    Send your letters to them and call them out! If you want to cc: the killers to make your protest official….fine. But don’t think your letters are making a difference unless you start to go after the MONEY PEOPLE.

    Abutt, Gore’em can’t do squat without cash. ‘nuf with the complaints to DOI/USDA…go after the funders!!!!!!!….and your reps to stop the funding!

    Isn’t that right, Mr. Abbey (and his taxpayer funded troll checking the posts)???????


    • This is something we all need to be doing… I agree, Denise. And we need to make them pay for dislodging the wild herds, too. With money to help replace land and create
      a future for them. The horses and burros are going fast.

      Great info there Louie.. If anyone out there has not read Cindy MacDonald’s research at American Herds blogspot… get to it! She is in a class by herself. mar


  11. AMERICAN HERDS–SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2009–Go to the website to read the rest of this report:

    What’s Left?
    According to BLM, their target is a maximum national population goal of 26,578 wild horses and burros, a target that BLM has cut by over 2,000 animals just in the last five years, and BLM intends on spending approximately $32 million dollars to remove over 12,000 animals this year to reach it.
    In the spring of 2009, BLM reported over 37,000 wild horses and burros still roamed free on public lands throughout the West but if you look at the numbers, serious questions arise as to the validity of these claims.
    For example, in 2002, BLM removed 12,029 wild horses and burros equating to 31% of those reported on the range; despite this high percentage, BLM reported it only reduced the national totals by a mere 1,600 animals. In 2003, BLM removed over 10,000 more (26%) but still the removals seemingly made no impact as BLM now reported national totals declined by only 51 animals.
    In July 2008, an independent analysis examined BLMs statistics and found a very different scenario than what BLM continued to report regarding the number of animals still remaining on the range published in, “America’s Mustangs and Burros: What’s Left, The High Cost of Miscalculating and Will They Survive?”


  12. Thank you Louie…..until an independent population count (to include the equines in holding with permanent/temporary sterilazation records) is forth coming…the DOI/USDA/State wild equine killers should be put on MORATORIUM.

    Answer that Congressional “losers”…what’s the number and why are you giving the killers so much money?!?!?

    p.s. I have a big problem with no peer papers from HSUS on their PZP program. They may have a grant problem and made deals with the “devil”…but they should be putting out papers to show efficacy, results, etc.


      • This is what we’ve been saying all along. Even by the BLM’s own numbers, no one has any idea how many wild equine are actually left in the wild, nor are the numbers clear as to how many are in holding. Why keep rounding them up when there aren’t any reliable census figures?
        Lisa, your chart a few months back on BLM numbers was so amazing, so incredibly well researched. Maybe we should re-post it.


  13. The focus should be on those committees in Congress (and state levels) THAT PERPETUALLY GIVE THESE KILLERS THE MONEY!!!!!!

    No more saying…”DOI, USDA, States listen to us, pretty please?!”

    Take AWAY their money! Go after the budget funders. I don’t hope to see another laundry list of DOI/regional office email lists for contacts. Courtesy copy them? Certainly….but they are no longer worth the outrage effort.

    The committees and your elected reps to make sure the power hungry, special interest influenced committee heads MUST get the messages to CUT OFF the MONEY!



    For many reasons and soon we won’t have to listen to the taxpayers manure that spews from DOI/USDA.

    BTW…remember how MMS doctored reports?????


    • This should be in everyones’ mind… look at what they have done! Do not underestimate them. Give them money and they destroy the earth and wildlife and water! mar


  15. ‘scuse me…that should have read….”taxpayers FUNDED manure (always noncompostable[toxic])…”

    We will get them…eventually!


  16. Question:

    Why is anyone debating with “Jessie”? (although I appreciate that RT let’s it post)

    We need documented contrary opinions at every opportunity…..just like Abutt and Goreman. Get it on record.

    Having said that, you can’t fix stupid. (lawnmowers v, heliocopeters?…seriously?????)…sorry…Army days…helo’s v. lawnmowers.

    You can certainly fix government sanctioned and taxpayer funded stupid.

    Stop funding it.


  17. very silly for the blm ‘experts’ to make silly noise volume statements about the helicoptors when there are facts from the FFA about decibles and wind from the blades.

    Brings up another question to the VET ‘observers’ , IT IS a fact the helicoptor decibles cause hearing damage and the blades are proven to blast sand at 75-100 miles per hour.. do you Vet observer experts say that is a humane method for your own horses? don’t you notice all the cuts on the wild horses, the claimed rounded-up blind reports?? would those Vets stand next to a helicoptor for a hour or 2 and blast sand at 100 MPH at their own eyes? why not?

    “””An honest helicopter noise estimate is 105 to 150 decibels plus structural, long wave infrasound vibration. A helicopter at 100 feet is 50% louder than a jackhammer (107 decibels)! Helicopter Rotorwash (75 – 100 MPH) equals a FEMA Category 1 Hurricane! Check it out yourself. Here’s the FAA Study site. “”””””


    • Excellent point Laura , well written ………we need to send this info to the BLM s < Dean Bolstead……………………………Hes the only one i have ever talked to there , who is willing to listen to facts !!!


  18. Exactly, Ray. I think we are on the same page…

    Mar, you are right. Naturally, the horses will self regulate once they get they reach the full carrying capacity of the land. In the process, however, they will crowd out the wildlife that share the area. There is documentation that supports horse occupied areas have fewer populations of small mammals, reptiles, and even ants. This is why the BLM has to manage them at the numbers they do, in order to preserve the landscape, flora/fauna, and recreational uses that occur.

    Knowing these things, how should horses be managed if not by current methods fo gathers, contraceptives, gelding, or skewed sex ratios? What are your (or anyone else’s) suggestions to manage horse populations? I’m being honest here and open to hear answers.


    • Got my BA in Geography (Environmental and Resource management focus) in 2008. I am now a first year grad student in Natural Resource Management. So I’m still in school using it as a way to get down and dirty with some horsey field work this summer.


    • Oh, and I’ve been following information on free-roaming horses since 2005 when my Dad adopted a Kiger. I was initially interested in wildlife management, but learning about my dad’s horse focused my interest. I’ve stuck with it ever since.


    • I think the ranchers should rethink the way they produce beef. Maybe 100 years ago it was fastest and cheapest to graze on desert land, but now with all the quality hay and concentrated feed, isn’t there there is a more cost effective way.? to produce beef?

      Another issue are ATVs, there are to many allowed on public lands. Having ATVs running about and also helicoptors that backwash throw sands at 100 MPH, and gallop horses for hours must be very hard on small wildlife and desert land.


    • Its really good that people are study the lands. It would be a great study to note the difference in the land from say 200 years ago and today. 200 years ago the land was in much better shape, yet there were many more wild horses. I think the fencing and less free roaming is what has the effect on watering spots and graze. The fencing only disrupts horses, other wild life can jump or go under.

      The helicoptors alone must do much damage to wildlife of all types. They fly low, are very loud and spend days running large animals all over the land.

      What kind of effect do you think that kind of disruption has on all wildlife, especially in winter?

      “”An honest helicopter noise estimate is 105 to 150 decibels plus structural, long wave infrasound vibration. A helicopter at 100 feet is 50% louder than a jackhammer (107 decibels)! Helicopter Rotorwash (75 – 100 MPH) equals a FEMA Category 1 Hurricane! Check it out yourself. Here’s the FAA Study site.

      I feel to gather ‘adoptable’ horses they should be fed in their locations, Its easy to teach horses to ‘come for feed’, portable pens can be set-up and gates monitored and closed remotely.
      Much less disruption to the lands, wildlife and to the bands of horses.


    • Thought I’d chime in. Jessie — just a suggestion. Please look at data for wild horses on Cumberland Island, GA. I can find you some links if you need them. These horses are not managed at all. No culling. No fertility control. Their population increase has stayed at a stable rate of 4 – 7% per year. There are approximately 150 horses on the island, and that rate has remained fairly constant for years.
      These horses have not crowded out other species. There are few predators, though the horse certainly do die — and not generally from starvation. On occasion, a sharp shooter will be called in the destroy a horse that is suffering. But that’s the extent of management.
      I believe the most recent census of these horses was completed in spring 2010. Again, I can find the link, if you’d like it.
      Interesting that, when left to themselves, they’re able to regulate population.


    • Thank you. I’d be interested in seeing that. It might go well with my looking into the Mongolian wild horse over winter break… I predict that forage availability is a large factor in why horses living in marshes aren’t as much of a concern as the horses on arid rangelands. But would be interesting to compare management, environment, behavior, and resource availability!


    • “gelding, or skewed sex ratios?”

      This certainly cannot be good management. As I have said before, and you can read about it, the gelding isn’t done in an operating room or a sterile environment. They do not use an anesthetic, but use a paralyzer. Sevberal of the stallions have understandably died.
      And I cannot understand the releasing of more stallions than mares. How does this help. Do they expect the stallions to kill each other. Seriously, no joke. How does it help?


    • Less mares, more stallions means fewer foals in the spring. It’s a 60/40 policy. The Oregon BLM tries to change it by gelding 10 of the 60 so there’s less conflict between stallions. Basically trying to equal the ratio, but still abiding by national policy.


    • I’ve never seen gelding done in a sterile environment or operating room. The vet or whoever gelds your horse comes out, knocks him to the ground with a local anesthetic in your pasture, and does the cutting.


      • whoever gelds your horse comes out, knocks him to the ground with a local anesthetic in your pasture, and does the cutting.


        Jessie, as you said “gelds YOUR Horse: A domesticated calm animal. The mustangs are wild and fearful. Which is why I think they do not use a regular anesthetic. They would have to use too much to keep them quiet, Instead they just cruelly paralyze them.
        My horses have always been gelded standing up. It is a much safer procedure. Easier to get both testicles.


  19. Many people here are not attempting to be management experts. They see cruelty, yes. But when nature and not man kills, if there is not good management in place then the horses die of thirst… or starvation and in Nevada I have seen horses’ HMAs fenced to keep horses off their own water. So many pro slaughter people use the excuse that nature is cruel but that would be where good management would make a difference. When BLM has not got enough people to put on the range to become familiar with it and the herds how can they know when there is a need for water? They have not done their job. Shipping wild horses to Mexico is against the law altho’ that law has been circumvented. Kill buyers like healthy horses best and they get them from domestic sources and wild.

    I hear no echo or deception here. We are very aware and you have not the ability to see past your prejudice towards us which is demeaning. BLM is not sued into a box- they have violated YOUR 1st amendment rights! If we had our processes in place that we had pre Bush we would be hearing more from the American public about this. The system is broken and BLM takes full advantage of this.

    You sound like the zealot to me. I am a wildlife advocate and have been for 40 years and I work on the bison issue and the wolves, grizzlies and marine mammals.

    As Bob Dylan said a few years ago; “There seems to be a war against nature.” fin


  20. Ray, just read your own post! You are contradicting yourself. If the horses are “overbreeding” then just let them starve, and die a natural peaceful death, would solve the “overpopulation” inexpensively! Have you any clue of the TERROR that goes on in a slaughterhouse? Obviously not, or you just don’t care. Starving is to wildlife … natural….I bet they rather die free then be butchered alive!


    • Ray, I don’t mean to be picky, but how many antelope, deer, elk (ESPECIALLY elk), and, pehaps, bighorns are in your area? The only place I’ve ever read these populations specifically addressed and Appropriate Management Levels established was when the Green River area was “remanaged”.

      It’s important to know the numbers of ALL grazing and browsing wildlife in an area (not just say they’re “present”) to make an accurate assessment of which species are making what impacts to the range.

      Somewhere in my vast and extremely disorganized filing system, I have a study on deer and elk metabolism compared to wild horses. Deer and elk (I don’t remember if antelope were included) burn more and eat more to replenish their systems than many people think.


    • I will agree Mexican slaughterhouses are not likely state of the art but don’t agree they butcher horses alive. From a practical standpoint cutting up a live animal makes no sense.

      Ray, have you seen any of the videos of the killing of horses in Mexico. I do not think that by “butchering” she meant cutting them up in pieces. She referred to the WAY they are killed. The “people” use use a knife and keep hacking at the spinal column to kill of paralize them. Then they hare hung up by one leg and bled out. There is no way to humanely slaughter a horse. They are too mobile and especially their heads can swing around out of the way of the captive bolt.
      I believe a good fertility drug, wisely used is the answer.
      Also the money the BLM spends on round ups and captivity could more wisely be used to drop hay if they were in danger of starving some winter. The BLM could give them back some of the land they were entitled to in 1971.
      I realize with our ever expanding population we need more land, but surely HUGE sanctuaries on some good land where the horses are right now could be an answer.


    • Ray, Please remember when there is legitimate drought the elk and the antelope LEAVE the area and move beyond the fences the horses are captive within…. If conditions are bad enough for horses to need supplemental water and feed the game have moved to other range for water and forage. And only if people are aware of the horses plight will they get help and still not always. Some people may not know this but I do and so do you. mar


    • Ray has no idea what goes on in a Mexican slaughterhouse or on the way to that slaughterhouse. Or it doesn’t bother him. Either way, he is not worth debating.


    • Wild horses are wildlife… they are a very vital part of the ecosystem in Nevada and all other places they are found. We have soil and plant studies and we understand the difference between horses teeth and cows gums and cows stomachs and horses digestion.

      Why can’t the horses have their land in peace? You say Madeleine bought the ranch by you.. well, why would managing wild horses be such a threat to people?? I personally think the cattle industry and sheep included has got to be cut back on our arid Western ranges in order to save them. The horses will help recovery and fire prevention and they do not pollute flowing streams the way cattle are allowed and even encouraged to do on public lands. I see this all over and I am outraged by it. I places I could find elk year round now the cattle are there over prime forage and the streams and banks become muddy as the cattle stay close by and DENUDE the streamsides by August… I hate to see this. The elk do not return until the cattle are hauled to market and they are left this polluted mess and the grasses are gone.
      The imbalances are man caused and horses are a scapegoat. Horses are not even present in most of these areas the cattle do too much damage. I have fought this fight of overgrazing since the 70s. It has not been won and 60% of the cattle out there could be removed to Eastern pastures and allow the land to heal. You know why? That 60% is owned by Corporate America and they have no need for subsidized grazing. Cut back that 60% and you have a chance to make other improvements and let more range heal. Come on, Ray. If I know all this you Must! mar


    • “And for a mental exercise ponder what goes thru a foals mind when coyotes open its flank. Whats the foals mother think about this? No slaughterhouse matches the cruelty of mother nature.”

      Mother nature simply is. Suffering in life is natural. Suffering when dying is natural. We see the wild horses as wildlife and we do not wish to interfere with nature but with the mismanagement by humans. Nature needs to be respected. She has helped pick and choose these animals and make them what they are. The North American Wild Horse is today a wonderful creature. We celebrate that here. If only more people understood the hard road they have come down and the few victories they have won and the many defeats as they are going through now they would want to protect and preserve them also. mar


  21. Mar, thanks, we might be able to talk. Guess I don’t mind rattling a few cages but Ms. Picken’s just bought my back yard. I would like to keep it healthy in all ways for all things….including a few horses.

    Cheers Jesse!


    • Ray, Jessie, and others, I’d like to get your opinions on this report from Willis. If you know other folks who attended, I’d be interested to know their reactions as well.

      I live in NE New Mexico and participated in extremely contentious hearings on the “remanagement” of the Upper San Juan River (part of the Colorado River Compact) to “re-introduce” two species fish on the Endangered Species List. While they may be “endangered” in this particular river, they’re plentiful in others, so I don’t see how they will be extinct any time soon.

      Feds, state, and local folks were at the hearings. Feds and state trumped locals, and all third-tier water rights were taken away, including rights held by a personal friend. Luckily she has a small pond on her own property and will carefully irrigate her equally small (2 acre) pasture from there.

      “Remangement” also provided a huge amount of water to the Navajo Reservation. I’ve commented on how that all went down and the ramifications of the tribe totally abandoning their rights to the Lower Colorado on another SFtHH post.

      Once again, “Whiskey is fer drinkin’, and water is fer fightin’!” Personally, I’ve always called for cooperation over confrontation, including in my submissions to the BLM.


      • I should have said “tribal government” rather than “tribe”. Actually the outgoing President, Joe Shirley, did this pretty much on his own in exchange for $500 million, which will likely “disappear” into the pockets of EXTREMELY corrupt elected officials and their cronies. The rights could be leased for MUCH more over time. The majority of Navajos are outraged and mounting a lawsuit to overturn this action and regain their rights.


  22. Jessie:
    ” Horses are here as a result of their introduction 500 years ago. When they were here 10,000 years ago, they had predators. Now they do not. Cougars and wolves will not do near the amount of population control that was once done by the dire wolf or sabertooth tiger. Both were very capable predators of bringing down a 1,000 pound animal. Humans did a large share of hunting them as well. Predation is not the same as is was in the Pleistocene. ”

    That may be a pre-historic fact, but before Caucasians began running the show in recent history, there were plenty of predators to keep the balance. They, too, have been dominated and displaced down to token populations for the perceived inconveniences they cause.

    And wild Equines and the wildlife they share their environs with have had practice at adaptation and symbiosis for 5 centuries – well before those environs were dominated for human interests.

    Mountain lions are hunted by the hundreds; a few years ago, mountain lions managed to kill 90% of a winter foal crop in the Pryor Mountains. But you won’t find those mortality stats published, only the population increase. Grizzly are extinct in California and are severely strictured throughout the West; wolves are extinct in Nevada, and any lone wolves crossing down from the North may be summarily shot but as a species are so hated by hunters and stockmen alike, their very existence causes foaming-at-the-mouth fury; coyotes are similarly hated. So anything that could possibly be a natural predator for wild Equines hasn’t got an ice cube’s chance in Hell of gaining a foothold.

    If this was indeed an issue of overpopulation, of overuse of rangeland and forage then ALL who use those ranges must accept a responsibility for it’s destruction, including stock people. It’s simply easier to lay blame on an animal that doesn’t generate revenue, that no one profits from and that is routinely bastardized in efforts to facilitate it’s removal.

    If we don’t speak for wild Horses, stand up and defend them as well as we are able to, you can rest assured, No One Will.


  23. Do you know how horses die in Mexican slaughterhouses, Ray? Do you know how they are shipped to Mexico? I suggest you start watching some videos on Mexican slaughterhouses before you make a statement like that again. And there were predators in greater numbers before man decided they had to go too because of the threat they posed to cattle ranchers.


  24. Compared to the Wild Horses, the rest of the Nevada wildlife appear to be doing well. There are comparison charts (AMERICAN HERDS-Thriving Ecological Balance) that show the same in other states.

    More from AMERICAN HERDS–
    FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2009

    Wielding Wildlife (And Other Stories)
    Today, an article in the Ely Times announced Nevada Wildlife Commissioners and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) have given two thumbs up to opening several areas in the Nevada to livestock grazing, which had been closed due to wildfire damage. Click Here to read, “State Wildlife Commission to open areas for grazing”.
    Wonder if that includes many of the burned areas in the Ely District wild horses were removed from back in 2006 to “protect the range”?
    Notice it doesn’t say “BLM to open areas for grazing” (though in reality, that IS who has the last say in the matter) but it does disclose the power of NDOW in Nevada.
    After all, that’s how NDOW’s Lincoln County Elk Management Plan slid through without any public consultation or legally required NEPA review (BLM approved the plan under a “Categorical Exclusion”, which allows them to circumvent any sort of analysis or public reporting on the project), even though elk – at least at that time before BLM recently zeroed out the 1.6 million acres for wild horse use – would out number wild horses in the area by a ratio of 3-1. Today, this disparity would climb even higher….


  25. Before cattle numbered in the millions there were millions of bison and 2 million wild horses and grass was stirrup high. Of course there were predators then too and the Native Americans who used the bison to survive. Now our wild horses are going the way of the bison. Read the 1990-91 Government Accounting Office report that proves cattle ,and not wild horses, have destroyed the range and riparian areas. There are not even enough wild horses left now to warrent the use of PZP. The AML’s that were set according to ranchers wishes are too low for genetic viability and sustainability. Don’t forget cattle from public lands only supply 3% of the beef and welfare ranchers get subsidized a half billion a year and pay only $1.35 to graze a cow and calf /month.


    • You have just made a world of sense……………….It should be sent to the BLM .only what for they dont understand good sense ??????? Very useful this is…………….


    • Right on Barbara! And to Jesse & Ray, some data with *photos that show the damage done to the range by cattle. Might seem boring, but not when you get into it! See links bellow: Dr. Michael Hudak, *science-based environmentalist. Author of, “WESTERN TURF WARS: THE POLITICS OF PUBLIC LANDS RANCHING,” October 2007. This does not give a bad name to cattle, but holds the cattlemen, DOI/BLM accountable for the devastation to grasses, water, wildlife, flora… THE LINKS>>> 1) About Mike Hudak w/lots of links (articles/photos) left side of page: 2) Photo Gallery/Photo Essays: 3) List of Hudak’s extensive work, range/ranchers/cattle: (Apologies for no paragraphs…computer needs fix.)


    • In discussing his trade agreement with South Korena, the President said that one of the unresolved sticking points is that he wants to open the South Korean beef market to American ranchers and farms. I interpreted that to mean that he is negotiating to see that more of these welfare ranchers can sell more beef to foreign markets. Exactly how much more, if any, more land would be needed is only speculation. It may be that the loss of the European market would balance this out. Anyway, I see Harry Reid’s handwriting all-over this.

      I don’t remember where I read it, but somewhere I read that even though the total number of cattle grazing on public land have been reduced in the last few years, the cattle that remain are being kept on the land longer. Rather than selling a 900 to 1000 lb. cow, cows are kept on the range until they average 1200 pounds which means that the cattle that remain have greater need for forage per head, so you have to look at more than numbers.

      It makes me really angry to think that we are letting Russia and Canada extract uranium from Wyoming, China will be able to mine for a rare element used in a variety of technologies on two huge mountain repositories in Nevada and now we are going to produce more food for South Korea meanwhile we have a policy that is destroying America’s wild horses. Worst of all, this policy has not been studied or passed by Congress. It has been implemented by circumventing current laws by this administration. Not that Bush was innocent—he set the path, but this administration could have chosen not to follow it.


  26. commen sense, yes. If the horses were dead ‘littering a spring’ why weren’t ALL wildlife (and cattle) dead in the area?

    Its because* only the horses* are pushed into to small an area using horse proof fencing. All other wildlife is free to jump fence and move to other watering spots.

    Its not good management for wild horses to block/fence them from water.

    (Ranchers need to start using the condensation mills, even the small personal mills can pull several gallons a day of water from desert air.)

    Would love to see the ‘water-war’ try to stop the wind 😉


    • We also have documentation from the Calico complex that cattle are left year round in some areas… In Owhyhee in May 2010 the cattle were already back on the range… and would stay until Sept-Oct so that is loner than the 2 to 3 months many claim… this is done… The range has a hard time getting any relief when it is used this hard… and the cattle are where horses are… but the majority of places fenced have only cattle and the horses are fenced out and the gates shut. Water is hauled to some allotments and some have pump houses in Owyhee but now the horses are all gone.. but a few. because BLM ‘created a water emergency’ there… I had been there 6 weeks before the roundup and there was over flowing water all over. Lots of cattle and most allotments showed no sign of cattle for YEARS! Not a trace of horse manure and not one track. No horse sign at all. What do you say to all that? mar


    • This really has always angered me immensely; If a rancher leases an allotment on the designated range for wild horses upon an HMA what Right has that rancher got to prevent the resident horses from reaching good water sources (or forage for that matter) they have had traditionally or that BLM has put in?? The rancher is there as the interloper not the horses. mar


  27. It is well-documented, with photos, that the wild horses are deprived of water by the BLM. Due to deliberate fencing (& brutal barbed wire) and not filling the wild horse metal water basins. Seems the BLM “forgets” to turn the water spigot.


  28. It is counter productive to waste precious time trying to convince someone who already has their own agenda and mind sets on the Wild Mustangs………….. I wouldnt bother trying to do so……………


  29. No time for ignorant ravings……………..Unless documented proof , waste someone else s time.. We have no time to waste here…………..


    • Arlene, This is a good post for people to see just how close opinions can be and also how far apart… This is good. It helps others learn and it shows we are not raving, blind and ignorant! mar


      • Dear Mar, These two just keep going on and on , they are the type that will think the way they do , no matter what info we provide to them , and after a point at which this is evident we will not change there minds , therefore it is futile to even try !!! Just tell them to read the facts !!!! Everyone here is needed on track to the HUGE Mismanagement being used to assault our Wild Mustangs, we must lose no time achieving this before it is to late ………….. I cant help but think they are planted here to do what they are doing , creating a diversion , to stop our progress…………. Sorry , it has happened here a lot lately , threw a red flag up for me…………..


      • The good would be in the field and with real things happening that may have a more
        thorough view taken by ranchers or by us. There are instances where ranch people have come forward and told advocates things they would not have known any other way. Not all ranchers are fond of BLM either. BLM has more enemies than us and much older ones, I assure you! mar


  30. One of the main purposes of this blog is to set the record straight. There is no intent to blame ranchers. There is information that is crucial and should be known, as much of the story has not been told. It is important that people who read this blog understand all of the history that has led to this point in time. There is every reason for the Wild Horse advocates and the ranchers to work together.


  31. You assume (and with good reason) that wild Horse Advocates disparage ALL stockmen, probably because we rarely praise those who we feel don’t take more than their fair share.
    But the facts remain – decisions made, data gathered, environmental assessments are consistently authored with the destruction of wild horses as the end result.
    One EA will state there are too many; another will specify a lack of suitable habitat. Still others cite 4 and 6 year old wildfire damage or a lack of water where there is plenty, yet fail to state the access is denied by fencing. There are myriad and endless reasons for destroying these animals but never any compelling reasons NOT to. And NO public commentary in opposition of an EA has ever affected the course of one. Removals are calculated to leave the absolute bare minimum allowed by the amended Wild Horse and Burro Act.
    There is plenty of demonizing on all sides but who ultimately are the beneficiaries of the Bureau’s largesse?


    • And if her experience in college is like mine was, most of the professors tote the industry, Fed and state party lines when it comes to agri-business.

      And, any one want to venture to guess where the vast majority of career employment in natural resources’s, environmental management lay (lie?)?????

      That’s right, government agenicies….not alot of free thinkers floatin’ around those offices.


  32. Would love to see Mar’ s answer to Ray in the newspaper also !!!! This is the kind of stuff victory and freedom for the Mustangs is made of Bravo Mar……………


  33. All written here today would be great front page News in every paper in America !!! I can see it all now !!! Creating Awareness of the most helpful kind !!!!!


    • Ray, this was nice until you pulled that. We are not comparable with Al Quida… BLM kills and kills and lies and whines and misleads. We are not doing that. And how do you expect American Women, from all walks of life, to respond to their government destroying a protected animal and stealing their land??

      We are not PETA and we are not even HSUS. We are your neighbors and maybe even friends or family who are not going to get cornered by you in a discussion where it escalates to implications like terrorism.

      I could delve deeper with empathy but maybe it is time to go feed the animals! mar


  34. See Mar I told you !!! I just knew he was a waste of your valuable time !!!!! But didnt think he would show you his true colors so soon…………….


    • Arlene… we got some info up and what can I say…. it was not a waste. There were people reading who learned something. I hope. It is basic Wild Horse 101 and we have new people come by and read all the time.. Remember, there are more readers than commentors. mar


      • Sorry Mar , I just viewed them to be time wasters, sorry one track mind over here, if you did help them and get through to them I am Happy !!!!!!


    I read thru the Willis report you posted and what scared the heck out of me was the Commissions letter on the water rights. They refuse to acknowledge wild horses as domestic or wildlife. The only two entities that have a beneficial right to the Nevada water!!!!!
    I know I have read similar postings before, but is this a new push to get rid of our Mustangs. The Commission tells the BLM to get them off the public land.


      • Maybe Willis misunderstood what was said, or maybe it was “expunged” from the report. In Farmington, every public meeting is recorded, and the minutes are transcribed from the tapes (which often results in “selective editing” and some pretty angry people, including me!).

        Unless Rosemary Harris (for the young ones – Richard Nixon’s “assistant” in the infamous taping incident) has risen from her grave, tapes of that meeting should be available, at least to Nevada residents.

        I provided my own tapes and recorded under the watchful eye of someone who didn’t want me there in the first place, but it IS doable if you follow procedures and don’t take “No” for an answer. If there’s a problem, go up the “chain of command”.


    • Without exception, every state’s Animal Cruelty statutes contain language simlar to or the same as Nevada. “‘Animal’ does not include the human race, but includes every other living creature.”

      I copied this from the following website:

      It’s also on the state’s website (PDF) if someone wants to get picky.


      Title 50. Animals. Chapter 574. Cruelty to Animals: Prevention and Penalties. Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

      Statute Details
      Printable Version
      Citation: NV ST 574.010 – 510

      Citation: N. R. S. 574.010 – 510

      Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/10

      Summary: This comprehensive section comprises the Nevada anti-cruelty statutes. The section first empowers private prevention of cruelty to animals societies and outlines their powers and responsibilities, including the power to arrest. Under this section, “animal” does not include the human race, but includes every other living creature. Animal cruelty, as described in Section 574.100, prohibits the overdriving, overloading, torture, cruel beating or unjustifiable injuring, maiming, mutilation or killing of an animal, ***as well as the deprivation of necessary sustenance, food or drink.*** (my asterisks) The first offense under this section is a misdemeanor with enhancement to a felony for a third or subsequent convictions.

      So, unless the State of Nevada wants to go to war with itself, the commission better figure out what wild horses ARE or ARE NOT pretty darn fast!


      • The only possible way they might try to get around this is to classify wild horses as “livestock”. In many agricultural states, including Nevada, “livestock” is pretty much exempt from animal cruelty statues, but that would still require classification.


      • I do not think Willis misunderstood. He quoted just what you said, G.G.,and linked the article to the 8 page letter of the Feral Horse Commision (Committee?) I read all 5 pages, three were blank.
        I think Nevada feels the horses are some sort of FERAL creature, not livestock or wildlife. This is what had me so upset.
        Guess we don’t get to comment for the Feb. 5th meeting?


    • I don’t care if they deny the existence of santa claus in Nevada..maybe they call hookers ‘feral wives’..the fact is this is a Supreme Court decision decided in Kleppe vs NM..the supreme court looked at the ;language of the 71 law and interpreted it to mean..unamiously..that congress meant the Wild Horses to be considered as “wildlife”…protected wildlife…someone needed to stick this document under their nose at this meeting as apparently-that is where their eyes are located


  36. A very important subject keeps coming up: water for the wild ones.

    Click to access 661.pdf

    It is my understanding of this, that in 94 the Espil Sheep ranch who has large (welfare ranching) grazing rights (plus dollar subsidies – cash) on Twin Peaks/Eagle Lake (then and now) requested water rights exclusively for cattle and sheep and although BLM fought this … Espil won and got 12 month water rights to the 4 wells although BLM owned the land and Espil only had grazing rights. The clincher is that (see page 6) IN ORDER FOR THE WILD ONES TO BE ABLE TO USE THE WATER … A SPECIAL PERMIT WOULD HAVE TO BE FILED (no mention if it was or not). Another example of the horses getting the shaft. It does not say if these wells would be fenced off to wild horses but you can probably guess they were, as we have seen so many times.
    another example of … “follow the money”…


    • Almost all wildlife gets the shaft when it comes to water. Since water is such a scarce resource, it is highly disputed. It is allocated to users, and even the fish are hardly considered.


      • Yes… and you want to learn how to “make things right” by educating yourself? More power to you! But don’t just agree with me that there is a problem. YOU are our hope for the future generations … for your children and your grandchildren. YOU must open your mind not only to the problem but also to the solution. This will not be easy and may even force you to jump outside your normal thought pattern… but IF you are willing to think and learn then you can do it! Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into a canyon of thoughts by anyone. Teach yourself. Look at history and how it repeats itself … the Native Americans and the bison and the wolves were told the same lies as we are telling the horses today. We told them “trust us” … it is for your own good.
        Example: If you want to learn what is really going on … look at the history and the lack of SCIENTIFIC census reports for the wild ones. Real “management” cannot be done without true census of the population. How can you “manage” if you don’t know how many animals you are managing on how many acres with how much water and with how many competing browsers (livestock or wild life)? You cannot! If you look for this information, I am positive you will find that this census information is lacking. BLM “estimates” horses and the census they do take are not scientifically viable – which means cannot be reproduced or proven There is a LOT more to this subject … but I think you will get the idea … do NOT believe the “sugary” story that you read from the BLM or any other governmental entity. If it sounds too good to be true … then assure yourself that it is NOT true and you must find the truth yourself and then go about coming up with a solution. We need you “young people” … but we need you to think about the history and the present and the future… we need you to THINK.
        (PS I also have a child working on her masters on this subject … so I speak to you with a positive frame of mind and hope you will open your research to broaden your mind)


      • Thank you. I do read and educate myself — I read any bit of literature about horses I can get my hands on. As per a comment somewhere above, I am going to do a comparison over winter break of barrier island/salt marsh feral horses and Great Basin horses. Should make for some interesting reading!

        What is your child’s focus of study for his/her thesis? I don’t have to write my proposal until next quarter, but right now my thesis will be looking into herd dynamics/behavior with the application of PZP, gelding, and skewed sex ratios. This was suggested to me by the Oregon BLM at Burns since it was the most commented on and research is needed in this area. Would love to know what else people are looking into 🙂


  37. From PPJ GAZETTE:

    Chinese government money is buying one of U.S.A.’s biggest mines
    December 7, 2010 by ppjg

    Debbie Coffey Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved


    This small group of our farmers and ranchers didn’t sell out for money offered. They’re standing strong. They use words like “community” and “our future” when talking about this issue. If you’d like to support them:

    Attend a meeting on Dec. 9 and 10, 2010 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Nevada Dept. of Water Resources, 901 S. Stewart Street, room #2002, Carson City, NV 89701

    “It’s ironic that this mining deal involves the words hope and liberty, because what this really represents is that we are losing both for our country. You can see it on the faces of the farmers and ranchers at this meeting.”


  38. Comments re: PZP Use in the Pryor Mountains of Montana
    September 2, 2010
    The Cloud Foundation’s Comments to BLM’s proposed 5 year extension to infertility drug use in Cloud’s herd. The drug is currently causing social unrest and disruption to the fundamental social order of the family bands in this unique and historic wild horse herd: Pryors PZP use Scoping Comments (+ exhibit 1: Immunocontraception decreases group fidelity in a feral horse population during the non-breeding season C.M.V. Nunez et al. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 117 (2009) 74–838182.


    • Who did this research? Was it done for the Cloud Foundation, or independently? If it was done independent, I’d love to see it. What’s the title? I can probably find it just with that in-text citation, but the title might help. Thanks. ~Jessie


      • Arlene, I found it via the journal article and did a brief background study of the author. Am looking forward to reading her work (I found another article she did too)! Although my thought at an initial glance is: if this PZP has effects that are bad enough on herd dynamics, what are we going to do??? I guess time will tell as new methods come out.

        Ray, wow — what an article! Robin makes a whole lot of sense to me. Everything she said has been an echo of my own thoughts at one time or another, from slaughter to Pickens to fighting about wild horses when there are more important matters. Thanks for posting the link. I only had time to do a quick read, but look forward to sitting down an digging in a little more.

        It’s too bad the vast majority of people do not see the reality of the wild horse dilemma and chalk up anything they do not want to hear to BLM and rancher lies and deception. The truth is that wild horses are not in danger of “extinction” by BLM management, but by their own potential to overpopulate if left to their own devices.

        I would love to hear more from you


      • Whoops! I’m sorry, Louie Cocroft, not Arlene! I hate how the post is so far down after the comment so you have to search to review it! *turns bright red* So sorry!


      • If it was done independantly, I would love to see it.”

        Ah there goes a door closed to open mindedness. You HAVE to read Both sides. That is why we spend time on so many sources including the BLM’s.


      • Sorry it seems that way. For the purpose of my study, I am not trying to understand or hear both sides as much as just getting the straight facts. I need peer reviewed, published data that is not completed by BLM or places like the Cloud Foundation. But what she gave me will work as it is someone through Princeton University. Haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but look forward to!


      • Jessie, I read your web site with much interest. I can see you are really trying to understand. But let me say some of the authors you quoted Tim Findley whom I like, Eric Beever, were not peer reviewed.
        An example of view point —
        Findley did an article on the Fellini family ranchers. Really well written, but the Fellini’s bought 2,000 acres of land for their ranch, but occupied 625,000 acres in actuality. They disliked the horses running there. Well it was horse land. They worked it and improved it, but it WASN’T their land to begin with.


      • Thank you for looking!

        No. Tim Findley is not peer reviewed. I was using his article from the Range Magazine to set the current issues stage. It was a good article and I liked it as it gave insights to both sides of the wild horse debate.

        Eric Beever, however IS peer reviewed. His articles are published in scientific journals: Journal of Arid Environments, Ecological Applications, and Wildlife Society Bulletin. He’s a credible source for learning about wild horses in the larger ecosystem.

        Anyway, though. Thank you for checking out my research. I’m always looking for peer-reviewed literature for further research, and ideas!


      • Eric Beever, however IS peer reviewed. His articles are published in scientific journals”
        Jessie does your research have a way of checking if the particular articles ARE peer reviewed” Eric Beever is indeed a well published scholar, but one article you quoted (or used) was from Plant Ecoloogy that does print accepted articles that are not peer reviewed along with their peer reviewed ones. I find the research highly interesting, but also being far from a student now, find it hard to untangle “peer reviewed.”


      • Hm. I do not know. But after reading all of his work on horses (almost all, just found a new one that has not been published about sage grouse I’d like to read), I like his work and appreciate his detail to methods/objectivity. He’s one of the few scientists who have looked at disturbances caused by horses at a landscape level. Hopefully there will be more studies in the future, as it is needed to confirm Beever’s work since it stands alone for the most part.

        Oh, one way to make sure it’s a credible source is to check in Google Scholar how many times it has been cited and by who…that’s one way I check, however.

        I might have to check with my professors when the next quarter starts to ask how to check my sources further.

        Thank you!


  39. A wonderful source of information would be Karen Sussman, president of

    Karen A. Sussman
    President, ISPMB
    Saving America’s Wild Horses and Burros since 1960

    We have the answer as to why the fertility rates have doubled in the past 15 years.
    With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest.
    We have started another study on our dysfunctional herd that had been nearly eradicated over the past ten years on Sheldon Wildlife Range. Our goal is to find out the best way to manage wild horses who have not had behavior modeling from the older and wiser animals. This is no small feat. However, when we are successful in this area, we will be able to transfer our findings to the public lands herds.
    We also believe that the future of the herds on public land are at great risk for survival over the long term because of the breakdown in their educational system through the destruction of their social harems.
    Finally, we will share our “model management” program with the BLM. Most of the programs that BLM have are from ISPMB.
    We believe our Conservation model has the greatest advantage now to save wild horses on public lands, more so than any other means currently in place from law suits to public protests. We believe that if we can work together, we can truly solve the wild horse dilemma once and for all.


    • Wow Louie , this is great news …………. I am truly inspired…………. I know we can do this ……………………. Knowing that you got something good to go on here ……………..


    • “With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest.”

      What does this mean? Best interests? What will happen in 4-8 years down the road when the land can’t support them? How do you want the horses managed so it is in their “Best interests?”

      Honestly, I would love to know what you think is a better way to manage the horses… to know your thoughts on this…


      • Karen Sussman Uses 1 year PZP dart method on one or two of the herds she has. She must as the horses have only so much room. They have hay for winter because the Dakotas have severe weather and there is not enough forage. Her example will help us create and maintain wild horse sanctuaries with reproduction and still have a management tool. BLM is not the future for wild horses.

        PZP-22 is experimental and BLM is going all out with it from now on. It will sterilize some of the fillies if given to them under 2 years. It will sterilize others if given too large a dose and it will sterilize the rest if they are given this drug again as the first application wears off. And they will do it. IMHO this needs to be stopped. We have already lost 20 million acres and over 100 herds. How can the wild horses become over populated if they cannot reproduce? BLM is not attempting any selection criteria at all.

        BLM is attempting with the new program to pzp all the mares in some herds and remove all the young. Because of possible pressure for hunting big horn sheep and the presence of uranium the Pryor horses’ future looks to be threatened. They will pzpz over 50 mares there next roundup. That is all the adult mares. mar


  40. Karen Sussman would be the best source for information. She has had the unique opportunity to study, compare and observe 3 separate herds for 11 years. Princeton University was to be involved with this study, as well. There is much more information than can be stated here. The best route would be to contact Karen at ISPMB.


  41. You know, first…ya’ gotta believe the wild mustangs and burros reproduce 100% from the start to double in 4 years (wherever the hell that scientific formula came from with peer reviewed and published).

    It is a common belief among people that have dedicated a vast portion of their time and concern to the wild equine situation that their are less than 10k left in the wild.

    Where in the freaking hell is the science that says wild equines (especially in 2010) are raping and destroying the land?????? Where is it!?!?

    Seriously, this just gets more stupid every week.


    • Recent studies by Erik A Beever and others have shown that if horse populations increase, they will have impact on the land. Recent studies also confirm that growth rates are very high at an average of 20%. For the most part, the BLM has been able to keep horses from overpopulating and preventing the “raping” and “destroying” of the land. They keep cattle from degrading rangelands by permits allocated each year and by removing horses. You can find my sources of information at one of my posts has a list of citations if you are interested.

      Based on census, which is tricky trying to count horses while in the air, estimates are around 33,000 on rangelands.


      • Thank you, jessie.

        I’m sure others here would appreciate links, especially as the one you posted for the blog doesn’t link.

        And those references have peer reviewed, publish studies and data reports?

        In closing, reread the “Stop Cash Flow…” later in this blog and check your math. Check your math of course means, if you are willing to accept that information from the get go. These people have busted their butts at expense and no personal monetary gain….don’t think we can say that about domestic livestock entities (small or large).


      • jessie…thanks for the blog link that works.

        For those of us that would like to move quickly with regard to facts, could you please post a few of those “thesis” links…especially in the sense of fair play, 1st Amendment and just basically getting an oppossing audiences’s posted opinions somewhere?

        Not all, just a few a time….educate the ill-informed on this blog.

        Thank you in advance and I’ll visit your site.


      • Jessie, you can not take the BLM at their word. There is a good deal of information of their web site that is nothing more than faux science. A way of managing land that domestic farmers who graze both cattle and horses is by a system of pasture rotation. One year horses graze the pasture; the next year cattle graze the pasture. Because they do not eat the same forage, the pastures have a chance to repair themselves.

        I know that you are in school and doing your “book work”, but what you will get out in the field and begin making your own observations, you may begin to realize that text books and research are often limited. It is absolutely critical to ask the right questions when you prepare to do any research; otherwise, your research is basically meaningless. After selecting your questions, you have to choose your research method. What do you really want to find out? Do you want to prove that horses degrade the range or do you want to see which grazing animals degrade the range? After you do determne which animals degrade the range, are you going to differentiate what kind of damage each animal does and find a means to measure that damage? Are you going to look at which animals contribute to restoring the range, and then study what observable behaviors these animals have that assist range repair.

        Research is important—critically important. But as others have alluded to here, not all research is created equally. Failure to ask the right questions and or apply the right kind of instruments to log and measure your results will not yield useful information. I have a master’s in education, so I had to take classes in reserach, methods, data, statistical analysis, etc. When I adopted my first horse, I took a series of classes taught by the experts from this state’s agricultural department, veterinarians, trainers, farriers, and lots of different experts. When I went to the BLM’s web site last spring after reading about all the round-ups, I was totally appalled at the misinformation and misleading information—text, pictures, and videos on their web site.

        It is insulting that anyone who works at this agency believes that they can fool the American people with there propaganda. I am not the brightest bulb in the room, but I am incessantly curious about those things which I am curious about, and as a teacher, I studied flawed reasoning, so I could help my students think more clearly.

        There is so much to learn and you are heading in the right direction because you know that need to learn. However, you miht want to ask yourself some questions starting with how the BLM arrives at herd growth projections. They say that the horses double in number every four years. Really? What proportion of males to females would have to be present? How many foals would have to be born? What is the mortality rate of herds on average? What would the mortality rate have to be in order for the herd to double every four years? What happens if one one foal survives in a particular year? What happens in a very cold year if 179 of 250 horses die? These things have happened in the Pryors in the last 20 years?

        Accept nothing on face value. Question everything. Some of the most important things I ever learned was when my reserach led me in directions that totally defied what I expected to find.

        Good luck.


  42. Lisa LeBlanc
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 12:17:02

    Lisa, I had failed to respond to your good comment earlier. I agree there are ranchers looking for more than their fair share but a quick read through this forum demonstrates a willingness by horse advocate to claim all traditional livestock areas for horses, supporting the complete eradication of the cattle industry. I think a lot of the aggressive attitude toward horses by ranchers is in self defence of that assault. The ranch Pickens bought is a good example. Sorensens sold that place because they could no longer compete with a reoccuring overpopulation of horses.

    Removals are indeed calculated to leave the minimum number of horses allotted to that HMA, to leave more just invites having to gather again sooner.

    “There is plenty of demonizing on all sides but who ultimately are the beneficiaries of the Bureau’s largesse?”

    Hopefully all of us, we hired these professionals to manage our public lands, I propose we let them do so without furthur interferance by any group, including ranchers.


    • Two problems with this comment, Ray:

      “Removals are indeed calculated to leave the minimum number of horses allotted to that HMA, to leave more just invites having to gather again sooner.”

      I’d ask,

      (1) and the reduction of acreage (over 19 million acres) is what? There just ain’t no more wild equines there at all, but we still got domestic livestock; and,

      (2) this is important….and where is the published science that generates the reports the “minimum” number of wild equines? It certainly can’t be the lame crap DOI puts out? They are still working off counts ect more than 20 years old.

      But thank you for the opportunity to reply. I hope others join in.


      • (Hope this makes it in the right reply spot)


        Anyone truly informed on the wild equine situation here in the US knows that they have had their acreage via subtrefuge, wangling and BS reduced by over 19 million acres since the 1971 Act.

        If you are saying that everything is Gospel Truth from BLM, or Jessie then I got some very special real estate for sale for you.

        Repeat… the scientific, peer reviewed reports on the problem of wild equines in the West is exactly where?

        BTW…appreciate your posts, but I’m starting to have problems with your ability to

        (1) look outside of the “meat” box; and,

        (2) citing scientific papers (don’t waste your time, Ray….there are very few….especially from the BLM whackers being in business for 35* years); and

        (3) pushin’ the cattle are good, don’t do anything bad myth there Ray. (educated in Animal Science with a production option…I know the garbage and lies that are peddled…they are not redemeers…they are self serving users at a profit [if they are even that smart])


    • Ray, Unfortunately the number of horses they are leaving in a herd are not genetically viable. Several biologists have written saying that anything under, I think, 180 is not good. Eighty is ridiculous.
      And it looks as if they PZPed all the released mares and stuck to that ridiculous
      60/40 ratio.
      If you would like to see the degradation of grazing land look at site.
      There are many pictures of what has happened. I had never seen that before.
      I wonder what proportion of our meat comes from the so called ‘welfare cattle’


      • OMG! “Jugheaded”?????? That is pure beefmania speak with a touch of BLM mixed in as “excuse making” as condoned abuse (and your outrage at the rounduos is blogged where?). And the science of this is WHERE???????

        I keep asking you, science, science, science and I get nada.

        Certain chapters of Sierra and Audubon are walking on shakey ground when they focus on 10k wild equines (that’s right, Ray….they are almost dead, gone and the majority are sterilized and in concentration camps), what about the wolves, raparian areas (from cattle/sheep) and the water problems from corporate ag, municipalities, mining from your perspectitive is what????? Because all you are trying to unscientifically justify is the removal of a pittenece of wild equines and the math just don’t work.


      • I’ve been up in arms about genetic viablity and inbreeding since I read Dr. Cothran’s recommendation of 200 head as the optimum herd size. I don’t know exactly how many HMA AMLs are below or REDICULOUSLY below that number, so I’ll just say lots upon lots upon lots.

        Well, I guess I don’t need to worry about inbreeding any more. PZP TO THE RESCUE!!! If almost ALL wild mares are treated over the next couple of years (I think the goal is population growth = adoption rate by 2013?), there won’t be inbreeding, because there won’t be successful BREEDING. Problem solved, case closed.

        But wait! The few fertile mares left will be bred, and about half should have filly foals. HUMANS know there are other wild horses out there, but WHO’S GOING TO TELL THE HORSES?

        How do we whisper in the ear of the isolated stallion with one fertile mare that he shouldn’t breed his daughter … and her daughter … and her daughter or he’ll end up with funny lookin’ kids? He won’t know and he WON’T CARE, because his instinct is to HAVE kids! The “begats” will “begat” – inbreeding be damned – species survival full steam ahead!

        So maybe we’ll have less inbreeding, maybe more. The one thing I DO know is we’ll have 26,000 (plus or minus a couple???) exhausted, frustrated horses trying their best to fulfill their natural instincts while the BLM tells us everything’s okay.

        Every day Ma Nature is kicking human’s square in the behind and we don’t even feel it. Someday she’ll kick us over a cliff and we’ll deserve it!


    • Gosh Ray..would you be one of those professionals?? You missed the ad we had up a few months ago from the BLM website..looking for new hires that “met the criteria of no “special skills or experience required” we got quite a hoot out of that Ray..I had no idea they were trying to fill you posistion..


    • Ray – as a beef-eatin’ carnivorous member of the US Public, the cessation of cattle ranching is NOT my priority.
      My grandparents raised cattle all over Northern Nevada back in the way back. On their own land, and without a leg up from anyone. It wasn’t their way.
      They wintered their mares with the Mustangs, for the foals they produced, but never considered them competitors. Or damned the predators they shared their home with. Losses were (at that time, anyway) considered a part of doing business. They had ranch hands and dogs to protect the herd. They actively participated in the raising of their animals & kept diligent records of them. They were working ranchers.
      I see comparatively small ranches up and down Pyramid Highway & scattered everywhere, herds of 50 or 100 grazing on fields with homes and outbuildings on that same land, and these are the ranchers I support – the small scale hands-on ranchers who work so hard for their living – who seem to function quite well without a ‘bailout’.
      What I object to is wild equines, severely restricted to particular areas – their Herd Management areas – and half that HMA is parceled-out grazing allotments. Cattle are allowed to graze during the peak of growth season & snow melt is running through creeks and filling ponds but when growth diminishes and the land looks like a bomb hit it, it’s the marauding swarms of Wild Horses that shoulder the blame.
      I hired none of the people who make these decisions; they were appointed by the guys who were appointed. Theoretically, they work for me, but I think that, from the Great Tower of We Know Better, they may have forgotten that. And there are monstrous inequities in those decisions.
      I can’t sit back and watch that without puttin’ up a fight.


  43. Or that they reproduce like half-breeding rabbits (in years)….their land has been drastically reduced and now they are a peril in the immediate future? Nothing wipesout a watering hole/spring faster than unattended domestic livestock. And stop telling me domestic livestockers are the “caretakers”.


    Livestock, deforestation, water problems and development are whacking rural/open space faster than the wild equines can reproduce and survive with a ton of help from the Feds and states. On one hand the whackers say wild equines have to be removed because they have no natural predators. Really? How about stop killing coyotes, mountain lions and wolves for starters? Geez, the stupid just never stops when supporting the antiquated meatman model.

    Show me the science.


    • Sorry Denise, I am going to say ranchers are the caretakers. Their survival depends on the health of these public lands. Ranchers developed the water, springs at risk of being made a mudhole are dug up and piped to a trough. Wells are drilled and pumped, grass is planted, by ranches. Sorensen alone drilled or maintained around 25 wells at a cost of around half a million in todays dollars.

      BTW horses will wallow out a spring as much or more than cattle, elk will made a mudbath out of one.

      Wolves are not indiginious to Nevada, coyotes are to small to tackle a horse, lions will eat the young or feeble but do little to control herds….obviously. Mustangers were effective but that tool was taken away in 1971. Most of the preditor control that I am aware of locally is done for the benefit of wildlife, deer, sheep etc. I am unaware of any preditor control for cattle….here.


      • Water is a problem in the West….doesn’t give someone total control because in the end, it affects EVERYTHING.

        But I’ll leave you with this…no Sir….ranchers aren’t the stewards; they are GUESTS.

        Not every rancher, farmer, miner, casino, homeowner does what is right for the survivability of that scratch of grass. Many do what is economically advantages to themselves and has the quickest payout.

        I’m sick and tired of the Ag industry telling me how great they are, all the time on a high government, export dole.

        You know Ray…there are just NOT that many wild equines left and those bottom feeders thinking you are feeding the world (at a high export price[btw…how’s S. Korea working for you?]) and the expense of wiping out specific species is just uneducated at best and cruel, sick at worst.


      • Ray,
        I’ve been on a few farms with both cattle and horses as well as ponds and streams, and there is no way that I am going to accept your allegations that horses use water in the same manner that cattle do. No way. I have seen cattle lie in a pond for hours covered in huge algae scum. I have never seen the same behavior of horses who seem to get their drinks and go on—even in the heat of summer. There is just no comparison to the way both species hang out at the water hole.

        Each species may drink a spring dry. In which case I suggest, that the professionals at the BLM drill into the aquifer to refease the water. The BLM seems to be granting mining permits without much difficulty. Mines need water. If miners can find the water to remove elements from the ground, the “professionals” at the BLM should be able to figure out how to dig wells for water.

        I am not anti-rancher. I am anti-dishonest, self-serving, untrained government officials trying to do a job they obviously do not understand how to do. If these burrow and wild horse specialists understood the psychology of horses as flight animals, they could find much more humane ways to effectively trap them and humanely cull and treat a few mares with PZP. Terrorizing and traumatizine wild horses with helicopters, ropes, whips, and plastic bags on sticks is totally unnecessary. Physical force is not necessary, but there are a bunch of cowboy wannabe’s running this program like no one has learned anything since the early 1800’s. It doesn’t take a bunch of cowboys to round-up wild horses; it just takes people who understand how a horse thinks. Bait and trap would work fine. Horses that manage to escape being treated cruelly by humans are going to have a much better chance at a good life if they are chosen for adoption.


    • There are 3 people new to this site that obviously could care less about what happens to the Wild Mustangs, why are we engaging them????? I believe they are just trying to slow down our progress we are obviously getting to close for their comfort, am I the only one who clearly see this ??????


      • Arelene:

        Simply put, to document the myth, lack of facts and distortion/shifting of topic that has always been the plight of equines, wild or domestics.

        Frankly…I appreciate the opportunity.


  44. The BLM was originally THE GRAZING SERVICE prior to 1940. The Department of the Interior in D. C. is where the power resides. Citizens have had not choice as to the hiring of District Managers or Field Managers. Even the Secretary of the Interior is APPOINTED by the President.


    • Louie…interesting, but don’t you think the title based on the results of the future and what is now the present should be (been)….”Grazing Service for Humans”?


  45. Jessie,
    There are many people here who are giving you some good information to read (special thanks to Louie … I am reading and learning too). May I suggest that you take your research a step further and start to make yourself look for what (BLM etc.) is NOT saying or admitting to and NOT proving and NOT doing per the law and NOT doing that is in their own handbook and what they prefer NOT to talk about. If you honestly do this, you will see that BLM is not managing, it is MIS-managing. If you do not see this, then you are not looking deep enough or you just prefer to live in a dream world – your choice. Here is just one little example of many:
    Here is one thing that the scientific community and BLM is almost in agreement with: that in order to eliminate inbreeding and thus genetic defects such as cataract blindness, dwarfism, parrot-mouth, or club-foot deformities a wild horse herd population must be equal or above 150-200 animals (100-120 adult breeding individuals). [see BLM Handbook]. BLM Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-062 which states: “Background: Most wild horse herds that have been sampled exhibit moderate levels of genetic heterozygosity. Based on this analysis, approximately 12.5% of the herds tested have heterozygosity levels … below the assumed critical level of .310. Approximately 15% of the herds tested are within just 2% heterozygosity (.330) of the critical level. A population that is maintained at less than 100-120 adult animals may begin to lose variation fairly quickly. The herds that are just above the critical threshold level could drop very quickly.”
    My Comment: Are you aware that this critical level has already begun in our wild horse herds – see recent BLM Montezuma and Paymaster Wild Horse roundup which had four out of the first 54 horses gathered showing club-foot deformities plus more as the roundup continued plus BLM reported some of the horses were euthanized due to this genetic deformity. This is a frighteningly high percentage of an inbreeding abnormality and to make things worse the post gather population goal was only 26 total horses which will obviously cause more inbreeding deformities. Now tell me, who is it that made that unscientific decision to put 26 total horses back to make the total population? I would like to see that person’s educational and/or experience credentials! This not only is an irrational decision but goes completely against the BLM’s own regulations! I can tell you where the wild horse genetic “bank” is. It is sterilized and/or locked up in Oklahoma and Kansas LTHF. Where is common sense?
    If you are still listening to me, then may I also make one other suggestion for your studies. Study what you have in your own backyard. I believe you said you lived in Oregon and that your father had a Kiger Mustang? Please consider researching everything you can find on that herd. Look at it’s history, it’s present chalenges and it’s posibilities for healthy survival in the future for your grandchildren to see. Read and compare “facts” with “fiction” in the BLM historic census reports (or lack of). Go out and study one or more family bands of that herd and take photos and notes on them and get to know all about them. Enjoy them grazing and playing but also go to the roundups and watch the babies and the old animals and the pregnant mares run for miles at a gallop by the helicopter, watch the young and old fall behind during the roundup and be pushed sometimes to the point of death, watch the mares abort and then watch the families be torn apart from each other and listen to the foals cry and see their hooves fall off … and then think back about their good days on the range as nature intended. If you truly do this, you will never be able turn away from helping the wild horses again.


    • Thank you for such a well-thought out response, Grandma Gregg

      First, I have done a fair bit of research. Five years worth. Based on my interpretation of the literature on free-roaming horses, I do not believe the BLM is “mis-managing.” This is not a dream world I live in, not when I see thin starving/dehydrated horses, dead horses, dried up water holes, and little forage. I have seen these things via pictures taken by photographers who do not alter images and from aerial photography.

      As for management areas where horses are returned at a level below what is genetically viable, I do not know. But I figure if the herd is going to be so small as “24” then maybe the BLM should have just eliminated the herd. If the amount of forage could only sustain that small amount, the horses should not be there. When they decide the appropriate management levels, they do it based on multiple use of the area. They take into account wildlife, recreation, grazing permits, and the horses. Some areas are spread thin and often cattle permits are not allowed, leaving the horses to find slim pickings.

      I see the common sense in LTH because that is 37,000 horses not starving on the range. They are in a way sacrificed for the betterment of the rest of the herd. There simply is more often than not, not enough forage and water available to go around especially as the summer transitions into winter.

      I actually live in eastern Washington state. I had initially hoped to do my research on the Yakama Nation where 12,000 feral horses roam. Sustainably, they can only support 2500. Now that is an overpopulation and inbred mess. Since they already have a member studying them, I switched to a topic I am more familiar with on BLM lands. I will have to drive 6 hours to see Oregon HMAs but am planning to be down there this field season for my research. But it was my dad’s Kiger stallion that first piqued my interest about horses in the wild.

      I do not plan on turning away from helping the horses. This has been a passionate area of interest for 5 years and I do not see it changing in the near future. I have even considered going on for my PhD just because I love studying them so much, and there is still so much research needed!

      I have to say that I have benefited greatly from this site. Articles provided to me were not ones that popped out on Google Scholar, or through my school’s library. I hope I can continue to learn from people here. We may agree and butt heads about BLM management, but we all want to see the free-roaming horses in healthy herds in a diverse and healthy ecosystem.


      • You actually believe BLM is not Mismanaging and you actually believe they make decisions based on multiple use! Glad I have learned the truth and am trying to stop it. Now I know you are either naive or you have come from ranch culture and can’t see the forest for the trees! You have not heard anything here… what a shame. mar


      • The land the blm has pushed the horses into is to small for ‘real research’.

        It would be great if anyone could ‘research’ why the lands were once pristine with millions of wild horses and now the lands are not pristine. why?

        Was that you who once posted vids from the contractors helicoptors? The remarks you make are somehow familar. It would be interesting to have research about road founder in the wild horses or the damage the rotorwash causes to desert lands and small wildlife.


    • That is an interesting idea. I know they introduced some Kiger stock to the Pryors but I think that was because so many ranch stock was released in the 60s (?) that they pulled them and replaced them with the Kigers.

      I suppose the issue with relocating stallions is after the effort of singling out a few and relocating them, there’s no assurance they are going to be able to get to any mares to breed? If there was a real problem with inbreeding, I think this might be a solution though.


      • You actually believe BLM is not Mismanaging and you actually believe they make decisions based on multiple use!”

        I remember back in the 50’s when I attended the University of Chicago. My professors had me convinced that the Russians were our FRIENDS. It is very hard to go against what is preached at school or from a government agency.


      • Ray..hope you two will live happily ever after in a land far away..and the 2 of you can work on exterminating..puff the magic dragon


  46. I propose The Society for the Feral Cat and demand through court action (if need be) the return of ancestral lands once swarming with millions of the noble feline!

    These land which were once a paradise filled with rats and pizza crusts where cats ran free are slowly being ruined, taken over by slobber mouth dogs and greedy waste management companies whos only drive is wreaking stinking profit.

    I hate dogs!

    Our sharp eyed bluehaired crack investigative team has recorded proof of city funded animal control bastards whacking a defenceless and hungry feline while the poor things was cleaning out a bird feeder of stupid crested welfare warblers.

    Pooping on the ground those noisy birds were!

    We call on all of you to help stop this madness, Protest the Calico roundup. Return to the wild ones land once theirs to live in peace with nature, stop breaking up family units with golf clubs. End this horrible injustice!

    Take Back the Alleys!!!


    • Thank you for putting your science and facts in front of all here and documented (with links and peer reviewed reports) toward the fight to preserve indiginous species in the US

      With the grace of God you will be allowed to continue to post and prove our repeated points.

      Good post Grandma Greg.


    • Hey Ray, someone told me you got your big boy pants on and csame back over must have got back on the sauce 24-7…sorry to hear about that..perhaps if you have ANY family that still cares about you or friends..they will intervene on your behalf..WE don’t happen to be in that if you were a feral cat i would make the effort to save you..but quite frankly Ray..we don’t give a dang about you…can i put it any plainer for your muffin head???


      • Amen !! Sandra Longley. Time wasting People have no place here !!!!! I quite frankly wont even talk to them 3…………………….. I would direct to read all on their own…………………….. They are of no use here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont know what they need but dont waste our time, we have important business here .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would tell them to self educate themselves…………………………..


      • Ray the only thing you are too close to is your own reflection in the mirror and the bottom of a bottle..and in case I didn’t make myself clear..I don’t care about your ramblings.


  47. Hey, Ray….loved the “bluehaired” reference….speaks volumes but better yet, don’t screw with a certain age group….just ask Congress. Thanks for the flare.


    • I think so, Louie. I have been reading all. Its a merry-go-round and cat ‘n mouse game, Ray…& most likely Jesse, are playing here. Not really “hearing” and being objective. When we point and counter-point, we have the back-up information. We are very well-informed, both sides. Research/scientific papers linked here, but to no avail…I doubt read by the “other side.” All well and good to “talk” and debate, but it appears this is only a real-good-ole time for Ray et al… I have seen this happen on horse advocacy sites so many, too many times. Called “trolls”… Fine to have a dialogue, but at a certain point, it is time to end the game.


      • Thank You Ronnie I been thinking the same for a week already , big time waster with nothing else to do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  48. Ok. I tried to post. Maybe it works this time. I do NOT know Ray Fields. I dont’ care to know Ray Fields. Not after the I am holier than thou emails I received and the timewasting and condescending bickering of a man who seems pent up with frustration and anger at the world.


  49. From:
    To: TCourt5096
    Sent: 12/8/2010 7:57:32 A.M. Mountain Standard Time
    Subj: RE: Mr. Ray Fields
    Again you don’t know who your talking to by this email, now your showing your stupidity. I don’t save domestic horses, we only do wild horses and burros.
    Don’t send me any of your dumb email. I do have work to do for wild horses, let me know when you save a few thousand and put them in homes and get the blm to confirm it as they have on me.
    You new people crack me up, ya’ll are the mainstream terrorist, you’re a post turtle. Always clogging up the system to keep real wild horse work from being done, get a life.


  50. I tried also … no luck. I believe that with all that is at stake – both the animals themselves and the large amount of tax payer money being spent and in this day and age of computer technology, that it should be very easy to have an accurate data base.


  51. I apologize for my post showing up twice. I was apparently having a glitch last night because it didn’t post, and then I tried again this morning and it still did not post. Now they are both up!

    Technology sometimes….


  52. Jessie, I wish you would at least refer to our wild horses as mustangs if you don’t use the proper term of wild horses. They are not feral–look the meaning of the word up. Feral is a derogatory term used by those against wild horses.They are a re-introduced , native wildlife species which has been proven by DNA tests amd paleontological studies. Equus callabus originated on the American continent and crossed the Bering Strait into Europe where it developed into differend breeds. You can read the scientific papers by Pat Fazio, PhD and others. Bones and remains have been found that dated back millions of years.


    • Does it really matter what they are called? Mustang is just the Spanish derivative of “feral livestock.” Yes, horses were re-introduced but that does not make them native in my book. Too much time and evolution of the ecosystem has occurred in the 10,000 to 14,000 years they were absent from the landscape. There was a reason the horses went extinct when they lived here before – the climate changed and became much drier. What they have returned to did not evolve with them and their grazing pressures. (Cattle also have this problem, they graze in landscapes not sustainable for their grazing pressures. I am reading The Western Range Revisited. Good book so far about livestock grazing.) But this native/not native debate is pointless and won’t change anything.

      The horses that were brought back have been domestic horses turned loose by ranchers, farmers, miners, and Indians over the centuries. Domestic animals turned loose to roam on their own are called feral animals. I have to use this word in my work since it is more scientifically correct. I am sorry if this offends you. I use all terms for the horses interchangeably: free-roaming, feral, wild.

      However, the term for them does not make much difference in this on-going wild horse debate of management, etc.



  53. To Student Jessie-
    Please go to HH article 12/15 “Independent Report”. Go to “Click Here to Download Report”. Please open your mind and read and read and then re-read this report. If you truely want to learn the truth … it is written in this report.



    Please open this link to read more:

    “The Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation recently thinned their horse herds. There will be a few hundred more reservation Mustangs going through the Fallon Livestock Exchange on December 18th.

    “Today, (Tuesday, December 14th) Jill Starr of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue met with a Paiute representative who agreed NOT TO SEND ABOUT 130 FOALS AND YEARLINGS TO THIS SALE BUT INSTEAD GIVE THEM TO LIFESAVERS.

    “Lifesavers has recently taken in about 100 Paiute horses on top of the Pilot Valley, Winecup and Blossom horses that they took in earlier this year, so the rescue of these foals is dependent on the participation of allied groups and individual volunteers who could each take a few horses to gentle and place with adopters. As is currently envisioned the horses would be made available free of charge, and the groups or volunteers could charge adoption fees to recover their feed expenses.

    “The Paiutes have given Lifesavers A WEEK to work this out. They have withdrawn the weanlings and foals from the 18th sale, but if Lifesavers can’t put together a consortium of allies to tackle this project the horses will go into the next sale scheduled two weeks later.

    “Groups and individuals willing to participate can accept the weanlings and yearlings in stages. Lifesavers just needs to have reasonable commitments now and have them disbursed from their Fallon holding corrals by late spring. It is envisioned that some groups or individuals would need to accept, gentle and place smaller numbers, taking in additional horses after the first ones get placed.

    “The alternative to this plan is the kill buyers, so we need to get something going. LIFESAVERS MUST HAVE COMMITMENTS BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK!”

    Again, if someone could post this to the Alex Brown blog, it might help save these young ones.


Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

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