Horse News

Cloud Foundation Demands BLM Call Off Massive Winter Mustang Roundup

Press Release direct from The Cloud Foundation

Plan to roundup over 2,000 American Mustangs on Delaware- sized range, where thousands of livestock graze, contested

Reno, NV (January 10, 2011)—The Cloud Foundation opposes spending millions of taxpayer dollars to wipe out America’s wild horses. Currently the BLM plans to roundup and remove up to 2,228 alleged “excess” wild horses from the 1.3 million acre Antelope Complex in northeastern Nevada. The Foundation asks that all roundups halt until the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) completes their study and new Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) are set to prevent the American wild horses and burros from being managed to extinction. This dead of winter roundup is scheduled to begin January 20, 2011 and last for 40 days.

The Antelope mustangs’ range (to be managed principally for them in balance with other wildlife) is larger than the entire state of Delaware at 1.3 million acres, but is allocated for grazing by a monthly average of more than 7,700 head of privately-owned livestock. At the same time BLM has set the allowable level for wild horses in the Antelope Complex at only 407 animals.

“The Cloud Foundation is calling for an evaluation and reallocation of forage rights for wild horses in burros in the Antelope Valley Complex and beyond,” explains Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens.

In 2007 BLM conducted a deadly winter roundup in the Antelope Complex, removing 847 mustangs and leading to scenes like those depicted in a series of disturbing photographs (posted online here).

Should this action go forward, the herd will be left with a predominately male sex ratio. More than 200 mares will be given the experimental infertility drug, PZP-22 that should be applied only in late winter or early spring according to experts. Drugs and sex-ratio manipulation will lead to unknown levels of social disruption among once-stable wild horse family bands as mares continually cycle with an unknown number giving birth at the wrong time of the year.

A new and relatively inexperienced roundup crew, Sun J, will conduct the roundup as contracted by the BLM. The roundup is estimated to cost at least $4.5 million and leave only one wild horse per 3,100 acres.

It is time to re-slice this pie and give wild horses their fair share of our public rangelands,” states Kathrens. “In Antelope and beyond they are given only a pitiful sliver.”

“Lack of forage is not the issue. Looking at the Antelope Complex you see allotments where 3,500 sheep are allowed to graze—but only 6 horses are allowed to live on the land,” explains Kathrens. “On another allotment where more than 450 cattle graze year round, only 40 wild horses are permitted. The bias favoring welfare livestock is shocking. BLM needs to put this and all other roundups on hold to develop sustainable policy before wild horses are managed to extinction.”

The Foundation and more than 200 other organizations and celebrities began a unified call for a moratorium on all roundups more than a year ago. In July 2010, 54 members of Congress sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar requesting a moratorium on roundups alongside a National Academy of Sciences report.  Massive winter roundups such as the one planned for the Antelope Complex will leave dozens of American mustangs dead. Last year the winter Calico Roundup in Northern Nevada more than 112 died and at least 40 mares suffered late-term induced abortions from the stress of the roundup. At least two foals’ hooves literally separated from their feet, suffering an excruciating pain prior to their deaths.

BLM repeatedly blames wild horses for range damage while allowing exorbitant numbers of livestock to graze in wild horse and burro management areas. Nationwide, “welfare livestock” are estimated to do up to a billion dollars of damage to public lands annually. Again and again, healthy wild horses are removed to allow for public lands grazing leases that do not even recover their grazing program administrative costs, running in the red by at least $123 million annually. Nearly 40,000 wild horses and burros are currently held in captivity by the US government while less than half that remain in the wild on their rightful rangelands.

“Our wild horses and burros are a valuable asset to our public lands ecosystems,” explains Kathens. “They are clearly not starving, destroying their habitat or in need of ‘rescue’. It is time for the BLM to take a time out and sit down with the public to re-establish how American treasures are to be managed.”

Links of interest:

Photos from winter 2007 Antelope Roundup

New CNN series on roundups

The Cloud Foundation’s Comments to BLM re: Antelope Gather Env. Assessment

Roundup Schedule:

Wild horses die and foal born in frigid roundup

Video shows colt pushed by helicopter in roundup

Antelope Complex Gather Environmental Assessment

54 Members of Congress protest BLM management

Stampede to Oblivion: An Award Winning Investigative Report from CBS Las Vegas:

Independent Report to Defund Roundups:

American Herds – “What’s Left?”

Wild Earth Guardians report on public lands grazing

Congress Sends Letter for Wild Herds to Secretary Salazar:

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit.  America’s Disappearing Wild Horses – A History:

Short link to this release:

Past Cloud Foundation releases:

51 replies »

  1. Do we not have anyone on our side in Congress anymore? Where are those who signed the petition last year? There got to be some of those 57 left.Why are we not getting people like Willie, and Sheryl Crow to go out there and stand in front of the copters or the pens? Where has everyone who cared about these animals gone?


  2. OMG !!!! The BLM needs to be stopped now !!!! What the hell is wrong with them hell bent they are !!!!!! Please everyone mass mailings to everyone lets stop the BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


  3. The entire operation BLM is running to remove wild horses and burros and to keep the public from seeing or documenting what they do when they interact with our wild ones
    has become a barely reported war within our borders. Thanks Laura Leigh for having the strength and commitment to be in the field this winter.

    Stop the violence now, BLM…. mar


    • Please don’t forget Elyse Gardner for her continuing vigilance on documenting these horrific round ups……she has been in the field watching more horror than most of us could bear to watch…


  4. The Presidential Commission has stated that all involved in the Gulf Disaster need REFORM and have NOT done enough to date. Remember, BLM is the counterpart to MMS (whatever their acronym is now) and NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would say that means that the entire leadership at DOI needs replacement NOW. The coporate culture of special interest. graft and incompetence has not changed.

    I’d say it’s time for the President and leadership of Congress to say….”time to go fellas.” Why does this organization keep getting a pass? ….because it’s the special interest, natural resource sucking machine of both parties.

    Salazar, Gorey, Abbey, et al NEED TO GO! NOW! That should be our focus, to include the waste, fraud and abuse at that Department. BTW…everyone here realizes these creeps all qualify for retirements, right????



  5. Ken Salazar should have to resign for his brutal treatment toward horses in the round ups ! These horses have an American Right to run free ! This is American’s hard working tax money being used to be cruel to AMERICAN MUSTANGS ! We should have a say !!! I so HOPE Karma comes through and these filthy rotten people get what they soooo deserve !


  6. Please Cloud Foundation can you call a stop sooner than 10 days before the round ups? It seems to me these press releases are exercises in futility. Perhaps you could file an injunction instead? Sorry, just very discouraging to read them when they seemingly have no impact whatsoever.


  7. Look at the numbers…even the corrupt and incompetent numbers that DOI/USDA puts out. This is neither financially, environmentally justified….it’s nuts.



    • Wonder how Western Watersheds is winning their cases? Seems we could learn something from them. I hope we do before it’s too late.


      • Western Watersheds has LOTS of $$ to pay Advocates of the West to litigate for them. Remember the settlement they got got from El Paso Corp. over the Ruby Pipeline.


      • Sorry Golde but you apparently did not read the legal agreement..Those funds are in a trust..specifically first of all for purchasing lands& allotments ect that border the pipeline for protecting habitat and riparian areas-WWP had 1,000 members and a 1 million dollar budget from contributions..much of the work done is PRO-BONO and volunteer by amazing people …..any funds left over from the settlement-can only be used to purchase public lands that need protecting..No money went directly into the hands of WWP..WWP is the best friend the wild horses ever had on public lands!!!


    • P.S. That’s what’s in the injunction—there is not scientific reason for the round up and irreparable harm will come to the horses.


  8. While I applaud the effort by TCF, the BLM is just going to ignore it and we are going to have another Calico on our hands. Especially since Sun J is so horrible at rounding up horses (my opinion). What else can we do? Judge Hicks will let this whole year of more roundups go by before he ever decides to rule on Laura’s case, and when he does finally rule, it will probably be against us. Usually is. What can we do? Lyn makes a good point above; where are our elected officials? The celebrities? It’s our eleventh hour and time is running out for our mustangs and burros.


    • It is time to take a different tack….of course the BLM will continue to do whatever they want. Where the change can come is by getting involved in the resource management plan process which allocates land and resources. Decisions made there determines the numbers of wild horses and cattle and forage allocation. BLM field offices conduct these planning processes every 10 yrs (or so). We need to get a foot in the door there. This is where public participation and chances for change are most effective. Litigation in most cases, at best, only temporarily stops an action. The BLM will then re analyze their decision to meet NEPA requirements , and proceed with the original action.


  9. This is the garbage S Wallis is sending out I am not a member ????????????
    Join Our Mailing List
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  10. I repeat my question. Where are the celebs? There must be advocates who know how to get in touch with them. I’m not a glutton for punishment. I’m sick of reading these things, and crying until I’m sick. And making phone calls and sending emails that make no difference. I’m sick of all the video and pictures that nobody sees but us. When are we going to stand up like the man on the CNN report and say “over my dead body”? BLM is intimidating because we allow ourselves to be intimidated. I hope if they ever plan to round up the Pryor Mt. herd I find out about it in time to be there. And in time for us to get something organized. I do so sincerely thank everyone for what they are doing. I hope I don’t offend anyone and that you can hear my heart.


    • Dear Ellen, I hear what you are saying as all of us do, We are all trying are very best to get heard and stop this tragedy………….. Everyday more and more are trying !!!! I also have cried for them, but it never helps them when i do , Are concerted unified efforts will prevail its just taking so long, meanwhile our Mustangs suffer … This is what hurts, if only we could make them stop…………………………


    • Stay MAD and stay fired up and determined..It took Annie 20+ years to get the wild horses protected with a law..BLM has spent the last 40 years trying to circumvent that law..we are gathering strength, we are gathering evidence and research..despite all the obstructions BLM has thrown in our path..This is a long road..and we will get there in the end if we do not lose heart!!!!


  11. For too many years thousands of us have written letters, made phone calls, sent emails and faxes to everyone ranging from the president, senators and representatives, various head bureaucrats in the Interior, the BLM, and their field offices that control the areas where these inexcusable atrocities are conducted. At significant personal expense and sacrifice many dedicated people have filmed and posted video recordings on You Tube and elsewhere. Obviously those who could put a stop to all this with a word or signature do not care in the slightest about what the American people (and many others all over the world) want and believe is right. Plus that we cry on our collective shoulders, often literally, over the suffering we see and learn of on web sites such as this, all to no avail. About the only effect our actions seem to have is eliciting more insincere and deceptive lip service from those who are orchestrating and conducting this massive theft and literal destruction of these living symbols of our heritage.
    It is not so much that Americans do not care about the fate of the wild horses, it is that they do not know what is happening and that is greatly the fault of most of the media for ignoring the steady flood of information submitted to them and for failing to send teams of their intrepid “reporters” to put their dainty little feet on the ground at the scenes of mayhem and demand access. Yes I said DEMAND! Then report in prime time on the back-pedaling and obfuscations of the BLM and contractors as they either try to justify the secrecy of their operations when there could be no valid justification if they were doing something acceptable to the public conscience, or film them as they force the reporters away from any place they could observe and film, just as they often do to private citizens. What will it take to finally get their attention and get these disgusting, immoral programs stopped? Your gentle hearts would probably prefer not to know what I think about that.


  12. We all knew that this wasn’t going to be easy–never is, but none of us are going away and more are coming into this battle. We just Keep On and Keep On and Keep On.


  13. Again, I ask, how is Western Watersheds winning their cases? I think we need to look at their strategy and what they are suing for.


      • But you have to have a winning case. How are they doing it? It is not just because they have money, they are suing on some grounds that cannot be refuted.


      • What is needed is a Judge who respects America and it allegiance to The Wild Mustangs and has Pride in making a fair and just decision………………….I want to know who they are ???? I have not seen or heard any Fair and Just decision yet !!!!! They need to uphold the Law s of America……….take pride in America and for which it stands………………………… If they are unable to do that !!!!! Then i say Step Down and Let someone who does…………….


  14. Let’s select a date this week–say Thursday Jan 13 — to call the White House 202 456 1111, use the contact form, post to B.Obama’s facebook page, post to the WH Live Wall. I will do each of these options 3 times on that day. Then next week….. do it again. I saw the recent photos on TCF (?) or Elyse’s site– the trail the horses left in the snow as they were “gathered” and put hot and steaming onto trailers–and disappeared into the BLM black hole. It is discouraging– but don’t stop now! The horses need our voices more than ever. Obama had his vacation–let’s put him to work for our cause!


  15. This makes me furious, frustrated, sad and helpless.
    Our only hope is that more and more people learn about just what’s going on to our beloved icons.
    Don’t give up calling, writing, emailing and those that are near, make it your Duty to join the cause. This is WAR and We’re all that they have!


  16. Here is one GLARING point that jumps off of the page–at least to this reader:

    Finally, Alternative Three—the so-called “No Action” Alternative—would have
    issued permits with identical terms to the prior permits. (A.R. 1904.) “There would be
    no changes to the mandatory terms and conditions, other terms and conditions, grazing
    seasons, or kind of livestock” from the expiring permits. (A.R. 1904.) Under the “No
    Action” Alternative, the grazing levels would be nearly identical to the Proposed Action,
    but one permittee would be authorized to graze sheep instead of cattle.2 (A.R. 1905.)


  17. To take on a federal government with the corruption level like the US government, is no lick. We have done just about all we can and still do. I posted current links on Mark Udall’s fb page every week. He ignores them just like the rest of the head honchos who are afraid to step out of line of the corruption and ignorance conveyor belt. This country has taken such a disgusting turn and when another tragedy goes down such as in Arizona, all the finger pointing and blaming games to capitalize on political views and agendas almost erupt overnight. Yet, a national tragedy silently goes on, since years and it’s well hidden and conceiled. I am disgusted with what America has become and the arrogance and rigid minds that are in charge, egos who care nothing but about their own agendas.
    I guess we must continue to protest as that helped set the stage for some media coverage. Obama is a man of no trace, a ghost – and his ignorance in this is no surprise. This country is ruined and the all American pride has gone to hell because there is nothing to be proud of. It is just a pity that it is the innocents who pay the price in the profit driven hidden agendas of a rogue leadership who laughs and spends their transparency allocated budgets on how to twist the next public relation gig. Since co-operative partnerships and our input is not wanted, we have no other option than to keep exposing the dirt. Thank you Elyse and Laura for doing that.
    Abbey and Gorey, you had plenty of chances to change your tune. Seeking solutions and alternatives true to the mustangs’ designated protection is not your song. So we must keep up the pressure, write, share, post, blog, protest and be seen / heard as the politicians live up to what they really are – paid clowns who have lost integrity on all fronts and create an America of shame and ruin.


    • Sadly, I must say Amen to both your posts above with one exception and that is there still is something to be proud of in America. That ‘something’ is folks like yourself and so many others who are doing all they are able to keep speaking up for the remnants of OUR wild herds that cannot speak for themselves. We must not give up! Thank you.


  18. THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw. This Generation sacrificed EVERYTHING for our country. We owe so much to them. It is our duty and our obligation to see to it that their sacrifices were not in vain.


  19. Posted this again just now on Udall’s facebook page. Maybe find your Senators and do the same. The more the merrier. We must keep this in the public eye – befriend them and then you can post on their walls.
    With BLM we could call the pope or E.T. – all litigation and calls for a moratorium has not brought results… so keep up what you can do, post and network and share the info, of which the main stream is kept in the dark so much. Education is key, as even some in office are in the dark – but hey, in America all is possible, right ?
    Monika Courtney Beautiful. Now to think that most wild horses in our state and other western states are disappearing, mismanaged into extinction under the rogue BLM propaganda of “range management” when 1000’s of cattle replace the scarce numbers of wild mstangs… it is disturbing !
    They are a re-introduced native wildlife species and federally protected, yet over 20 million acres of their habitat have gone to gasoline and hamburger and the cruel atrocities continue, funded with our tax moneys. The round ups are no benign affair, the horrors of helicopters touching horses while stampeding them are filmed by humane observers, whom the BLM tries to keep away – One viewer’s words:

    “GOOD GOD !!”
    Just imagine, the serenity of such photos, and no more wild horses, on whose back this country was built – America the Beautiful ???


  20. CNN really needs to do a big commentary on this. If anyone knows how to get it, I think it would really make a difference. I sent an email to Mr. Sanchez when he was there. Somebody there must give a da__n about our horses. All we have to do is try to find that someone. Can anyone get to Anderson Cooper? How about the Cloud Foundation and Ginger attempting to contact him? It would be worth a try. I’m positive it will take one big push and it will be all out in the open and there will be lots of heads rolling down the washington steps of government.


    • Dear Lynn Jones I agree totally , we need to get the info of this Round up to start Jan 20 th out to the Public we need all the help we can get to stop this Round up, they only way to get info to the Public is through the MEDIA, at all costs we need to do this now, time is running out !!!!!!! LETS GIVE THIS A BIG TRY !!!!


  21. It really is time to re-start the barrage of calls, e-mail and snail mail. But we must also hit the appropriations committees. heck, save the country millions. If they won’t listen to anything else, maybe they will listen to that.


  22. Dear R.T. is there a way to do this get the information to CNN about the unnecessary round up due to start Jan 20th , we need everyone to know and to help stop this !!!! We need Media to present this to the American Public !!! Time is short we need this now ???? Thank You


  23. to Louie Yes Thursday Jan. 13 “swamp day” . For the horses!
    to Monika Yes Take on the government–why not? are you pleased and satisfied with what they are doing to our horses? No Will you be happy with yourself if we quit? No. Will we win? be heard? I don’t know. Will I stop? Hell NO! Stay the course for Laura and all the others that are driving/watching/writing to keep us informed— and who are telling the truth. Have more coffee. Stay angry,focused, and productive.


  24. Jon Marvel of WWP knows the task we face, his advice is to get more funding to hire more attorneys to focus more on BLM legal violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) because the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act does not provide sufficient legal hooks to give you much in the way of relief. Yes it is a difficult task to undertake, and a strategic approach for raising such funds must be found to do so.
    WWP co-signed the letter to Abbey:
    January 11, 2011
    Mr. Bob Abbey, Director
    Bureau of Land Management
    1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
    Washington DC 20240
    Dear Mr. Abbey,
    We the undersigned organizations urge the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to
    postpone the Antelope Complex gather, which will permanently remove 1,917-2,278
    wild horses from the 1.3 million-acre range in northeastern Nevada, beginning in
    January 2011.
    It is our understanding that the non-profit Saving America’s Mustangs, which recently purchased two ranches within and adjacent to the Antelope Complex, has offered to provide short and long-term holding for all of the wild horses scheduled for removal in the Antelope gather. This offer would save taxpayers money by averting the costs associated with shipping horses thousands of miles to long-term holding facilities in the Midwest. It also provides savings in direct holding costs, both short-term and over the life of the horses, since some could potentially be returned to the range as Saving America’s Mustangs’ plan to build an eco-sanctuary in the area proceeds.
    In light of the above, we specifically request that BLM take the following actions:
    • Postpone the Antelope gather until Fall to coincide with optimal conditions for a
    safe capture operation and Saving America’s Mustangs’ ability to receive the
    • Place all horses gathered in the Antelope operation in holding facilities
    constructed on the Mrs. Pickens’ private lands within and adjacent to the
    Antelope Complex instead of transferring them to long-term holding facilities in
    the Midwest.
    Any concerns about water shortages should be eased by the fact that livestock grazing
    in the area has been reduced. In fact, there has been no livestock grazing on the
    allotments associated with Mrs. Pickens’ ranches since June 2010.
    BLM’s plan to proceed with a late-January gather in the Antelope Complex makes no fiscal or operational sense. Antelope horses will be captured during treacherous winter conditions and shipped thousands of miles to the Midwest, instead of being gathered at a safer time of year and held on adjacent private lands that will eventually become part of larger wild horse eco-sanctuary.
    Everyone from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, to the Government Accountability Office, to the U.S. Congress has pointed to the need for BLM to seek alternatives to costly off-the-range holding of wild horses. Mrs. Pickens proposal offers the BLM the opportunity to initiate such alternatives sooner, rather than later. Implementing this alternative holding model now will not only benefit the Antelope horses, but will also save taxpayers significant funds while boosting the rural economy in the Elko, Nevada area.
    Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to a prompt reply.
    Matt Bershadker, Senior VP Anti Cruelty
    ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
    Stephanie Boyles,
    Wildlife Scientist, Wildlife and Habitat Protection
    The Humane Society of the United States
    Jon Marvel, Executive Director
    Western Watersheds Project
    Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director
    The Cloud Foundation
    Anand Ramanathan, BVSc, MS, Executive Director
    In Defense of Animals
    Neda DeMayo, CEO
    Return to Freedom
    Jill Starr, Founder and President
    Lifesavers Wild horse Rescue
    Karen Sussman, Director
    International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros
    Patricia M. Fazio, Ph.D.
    Patricia Fazio, Ph.D., Director
    Wyoming Wild Horse Coalition
    Suzanne Roy, Campaign Director
    American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign


  25. The Attorney Generals office holds the real power over any investigation over the.mis- managementby BLM..This is where we can present all our evidence across all the HMAs-we can show their mismanagement of the lands and mis appropriation of the lands are in fact allowing BLM to falsely claim there are too many horses..Instead of having to go after each HMA to litigate the same mispractices and lies being told..we can have them all investigated at one time under a federal investigation..all the evidence that we are currently holding that cannot be presented..can be..statistics, figures, data, individual lawsuits can be looked at as evidence-in total as the whole wild horse program under the direction of the BLM can be examined by the justice system..supenas and indictments could be handed down..and then open up congressional investigations to the waste of taxpayer the BLM is the only government agency to be getting increases to their budget..this is the first place to call for cuts due to mismanagement and waste.


  26. Sandra, great suggestion, how can this be done ? Are you a legal expert or know any who might pursue such an endeavor ? There has been and is plenty of litigation still going on – but Jon’s points made sense – please let us know.


  27. I would like to see the Cloud Foundation add to their side the extreme damage the helicoptor “ROTOR WASH” does to the land. BLM contractors fly very low across the lands during round-ups. It is a FACT (faa and many military docs) the rotor wash vortex is in excess of 100MPH winds.

    I believe the helicoptor contractors know the helicoptor vortex is like a hurricane and use the vortex to slam the wild horses and blast them with rocks and sand.

    In addition the helicoptor rotor wash WILL crush down soft snow, crush down and smash soft brush and saplings, thus KILLING all small wildlife in their paths.

    In my opinion besides smashing/blasting the wild horses with 100MPH rocks and sand…the low flying helicoptors are destroying much wildlife in every place they fly low.

    There are many publications showing if a person stands in the rotor vortex of a helicoptor they will be knocked down and even blown away.

    surely the wildlife experts of all wildlife on public lands should be very, very concerned at the extreme damage the helicoptors do to ALL wildlife and plants. The helicoptors fly for hours and hours very low leaving behind a wild path of death and ruined land.


  28. God is not deaf nor is He blind, He hears the agony of these horses. We cannot allow a few hard-hearted bureaucrats to walk our nation away from the values and virtues that God demands of His children. In the words of Jesus:

    “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” These horses belong to God and they will receive His justice if we fail to provide protection and kindness to them and to the species that share the breath and energy of The Lord.


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