Horse News

Are Wild Horses Native to North America? Duhhhhhhh

reprinted from Greenspace and multiple sources

Main Stream Media is Finally Catching On

BLM's documented cruel Helicopter Stampede contractor "Sun J" tormenting native wild horses during this year's Antelope Compex disaster ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Animal welfare groups are pressing a case in federal court maintaining that wild horses roamed the West about 1.5 million years ago and didn’t disappear until as recently as 7,600 years ago. More important, they say, a growing stockpile of DNA evidence shows conclusively that today’s horses are genetically linked to those ancient ancestors.

The new way of thinking, if accepted, could affect hundreds millions of acres in the West where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management divides livestock grazing allotments based partly on the belief that the horses are no more native to those lands than are the cattle brought to North America centuries ago.

American history textbooks teach that the wild horses roaming Western plains were first brought by European explorers and settlers. But that theory is being challenged at archaeological digs and university labs as horse protection advocates battle the U.S. government over roundups of thousands of mustangs they say have not only a legal right but a native claim to the rangeland.

Rachel Fazio, a lawyer for Defense of Animals and other plaintiffs, told a 9th Circuit appellate panel in San Francisco earlier this year that the horses are “an integral part of the environment,” adding, “as much as the BLM would like to see them as not, they are actually a native species. They are tied to this land. There would not be a horse but for North America. Every single evolutionary iteration of the horse is found here and only here.”

The lawsuit cites researchers who say that the concept is widely accepted by most of the scientific community, although not by the BLM. “It’s significant because BLM treats the wild horses like they are an invasive species that is not supposed to be out there,” Fazio said in a recent interview.

A reversal of that long-held belief could have the effect of moving the native horses to the front of the line when divvying up precious water and forage in the arid West.

BLM maintains that the horse advocates are perpetuating a myth. And many ranchers claim it’s part of a ploy to push livestock off public lands.

“There are plenty of horses out in the Nevada desert,” said Tom Collins, a Clark County commissioner who has a ranch outside Las Vegas. “Most of these folks, maybe their father slapped them or their mother didn’t love them, so now they are in love with these wild horses that aren’t really wild,” he said.

BLM devotes “Myth No. 11” on its website to the “false claim” that wild horses are native to the United States. “American wild horses are descended from domestic horses, some of some of which were brought over by European explorers in the late 15th and 16th centuries, plus others that were imported from Europe and were released or escaped captivity in modern times,” it says.

“The disappearance of the horse from the Western Hemisphere for 10,000 years supports the position that today’s wild horses cannot be considered ‘native’ in any meaningful historical sense,” BLM explains. It acknowledges that the horses have adapted successfully to the Western range, but says that biologically they did not evolve on the North American continent.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of federal land in 12 western states with about 30 million acres currently designated as horse management areas in 10 of those states. Of the roughly 33,000 horses that currently roam BLM land, roughly half are in Nevada, with the remainder in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

The BLM maintains that’s about 12,000 more than the rangeland can sustain and plans to roundup most of those. The agency removed 9,715 horse and 540 burros from the range in the 2010 fiscal year. In addition to animals on the range, the BLM currently has 41,700 wild horses and burros in short-term corrals in the West (about 13,100) and long-term pastures in the Midwest (about 28,600).

28 replies »

  1. And most of the horses (any male over 1 year) in long term holding have been sterilized. BLM must stop. Science and law will stop them as it is evident the agency is not ruled by compassion.


  2. The sources quoted rely heavily on the propaganda and outright misinformation provided by the BLM, and are no more credible than the original liars.


  3. I’m liking Yuri Kuchinsky’s work ( on just how native the horse is. Since science is declaring that Equus callabus is genetically the same as the remains of the most recent horse remains found on American soil from about 10,000 years ago, this makes today’s wild horses about as native as re-introduced wolf species in Yellow Stone National Park. And people consider them ‘native’ don’t they? And what about the pre-Columbian horse remains from Wisconsin? I think this move is probably the best win the wild horse can get. To be legally recognized as wild life will make all the difference in the world. Our government can make this decision. After all, ketchup is a vegetable and corporations are people aren’t they?


    • Certainly wolves are a reintroduced species for Yellowstone. But once they wander outside of that zone, they become a nuisance to be hunted down. Pretty sick rationalizing to me.

      My point is, whether the powers that be decide to recognize the science behind the North American Mustang, they will still find a way to eradicate them in favor of domestic livestock (which are certainly NOT native) and extraction interests.

      After all, there is a protection order from the Congress and President called the 1971 Act. DOI, USDA and states still find ways to negate it and massacre mustangs and burros. Go figure!?!


  4. I think the entire government body needs a long history lesson! I’ ll start with who was here before cattle ranchers? The salughtetd Indians, who also were roundedup and shipped off to die. Course those are the ones that survived the original attacks. So what’s next for our beloved horse?


  5. Some theorise that horses may have remained in America continuously for 4 million years. There is mention of it in the Book of Mormon and in American Indian Culture and tradition. Recently a Great Mammoth was found in the mud of a swamp in Dutchess County NY. Since horses are native to North America who can prove the thread wasn’t continuous. Stories abound when Henry Hudson explored the river bearing his name the forest was so dense one could not penetrate it. “A squirrel could travel from New York to the Mississippi on the tops of the trees.” I think it’s just as valid that horses were always here as not, and I give horses the benefit of the doubt.


      • The BLM is just spewing out more BS to try to find any and every reason to continue to roundup and kill our horses. They are so full of CRAP, lies, and more lies…. its all about money with them… The more I find out about the deception our government throws out to the American people the more it sickens me. Our country only cares about one thing, and that is a global economy and money. Hell they don’t even care about most of us, so everyone is gonna have to put up a huge fight for these wonderful animals. I just hope the killing stops and soon. I think the BLM should be completely be either eradicated or have a whole new group of people running it.


  6. Horses never did go extinct in the wilds of North America..Only the BLM and Canadian Goverment are making sure that they are going to be..Do your math.. History claims..The Spanish lost horses..OK ..How many?? I would think maybe a couple thousand?? And how many would have been studs?? Or even mares?? Now times them as your base herds.. In where?? Mexico?? Times them as reproducing in the wild at ??? @ Maybe 30% foal survival per year..Then figure this.. Where did they lose these horses ?? Rite.. Scatttered all over the south one or two at a time..SO ??? Where did millions of these horses come from ?? NO WHERE ..They were here to begin with..Canada had thousands of TURNED LOOSE ESCAPEES..Every thing I seen or read about our pioneers is very solid evidence that the only horse that was lost was thru someone stealing it or broke a leg..Even today.. Your horse is loose,even the “can’t catch me guy” is going how far from home ?? Goverments created this fantastic story and most people believed it or didn’t give a dam about wild horses, so annilation was easy..History has notes of the early explorers stating ..Horse THOUSANDS in herds with the buffalo..WHY cause that was their home and native land for thousands of years..Spanish blood DNA ..NO WAY..It’s Spanish horses with NORTH AMERICAN DNA..I’m a Dum Butt Canuk. Yep Yep..And I even got this figured out.. What’s so hard for the history books to be wrote correctly TO BEGIN WITH.. EH ??


    • I agree Jim, they were always here, to supply the armies to fight in all our wars, shipped off to fight in WW1, and slaughtered by the millions to feed our dogs. We once had the most oil, 500 intact mountain tops in Appalachia, clean air and water and yes Indians. No I think history is manufactured to suit our need to think of ourselves as a great people but greed has striped us of all that is really great. Something grazed the Great Planes to cause the soil to be the “bread basket of the world” besides buffalo, and if horses were eaten to extinction why not the buffalo too?


      • Exactly my point..They were descimated…By disease, I think..Man wasn’t smart enough or greedy enough in them times to slaughter them to extinction..Disease would have wiped out lots, but not totally; thats why they rebounded so well in the 17-1800’s.. then nearly wiped out again to control the natives..The original herds that survived this, stayed in areas untouched by man.. TILL the BLM came along..The ones we HAD in Alberta, Canada that were on the prairies were slaughtered for grass or trapped; for horses in them days were hard to come by.. The ones who survived this were in the mountain foothills; always were..TILL the loggers came along in the early parts of the 1900’s. Some of these were trapped for work and the first world war..but most survived ..Till the rancher came along; after the loggers were done and tru logging, cleaned out vast areas that grew good cheap grass..First recorded count of our wild horse was 1965..We had an estimated 26000.. Today, maybe 400, last stats that the Natural Resources released..Still hunting them and shipping most to slaughter..Gotta clean them out for cow grass ..ya know..Cherous the pictures we have today as our grandchildren will only be able to know what they looked like by going thru the history books..And the horse advocates in that year of history will say WHY ??


  7. It is good to see this is finally being presented in court because archeologists have known for a long time that the horse originated in this hemisphere. I can remember reading about some of their discoveries when I was a kid and that was a long time ago. It seems highly doubtful they went extinct here then magically appeared elsewhere. Jim T. and Frank M. make some good points about that.
    The real problem here is not whether the scientific proof exists because it does. The problem is the self-interest and greed of those who prefer to eliminate the wild horses so they can run their cattle or dig their mines wherever they want to. The thoroughly corrupt little tin gods running the DOI and the BLM are in the pockets of ranching and mining interests and Salazar IS a rancher. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Seems like it to me. Added to that we have the decades of deliberate lies and deceptions by the BLM regarding populations, reproduction rates and range carrying capacity that many believe because they don’t care enough to learn the truth. Then there are the likes of Tom Collins, Clark County Commissioner, whose remarks quoted in the article are a direct, intentional and personal insult to every one of us that cares about the well being of these incredible NATIVES of this land that was so violently stolen from the Nations that were here long before the Spanish or any one else from across the pond found their way here. The BLM and their partners in crime will continue to find ways to circumvent the laws regarding OUR wild horses unless congress finally wakes up to what is really happening instead of taking the lies of the BLM at face value. All equine management on public lands must be taken away from the corruption of the BLM or the truly wild herds will soon disappear completely from the horizon.


    • GOOD LORD!!!! What a pile of CRAP!!!!!

      The arrogance, hubris and flat out LIES are jaw dropping. Everyone should go read that DOI/BLM pile of human manure.

      The good news is the human manure “fact” pile they are featuring on their website is a direct result of the advocates getting through to somebody out there; or they wouldn’t bother to address it.

      Great news is that we ARE getting to them.


  8. This statement caught my eye and pretty much sums up the “science” that has been used to remove America’s Wild Herds from the Western Range.

    “There are plenty of horses out in the Nevada desert,” said Tom Collins, a Clark County commissioner who has a ranch outside Las Vegas. “Most of these folks, maybe their father slapped them or their mother didn’t love them, so now they are in love with these wild horses that aren’t really wild,” he said.


    • Quite the sage, isn’t he? (sarcastic tone)

      His comment is directed for so-called tree-hugger, touchy-feelee with a slap directed at anyone who doesn’t believe as he does and has moved into the 21st century.

      Oh…and we are all card carrying PETAs with a vegan, anti-agriculture agenda!

      I hope Geo. Knapp gets some I-Team traction with Mr. Collins. I suspect this is not Mr. Collins’ first documented “stoopid”.


  9. Here is a link to the USFS own FAQs about Wild Horse and Burros:

    Here’s my favorite part!
    “Equus species are part of North America ‘s natural ecology, as they evolved on this continent along with the grasslands. Fossil history clearly documents that equids developed in North America.”

    So… the BLM says horses are not native, but the USFS says they are??? Who is more educated when it comes to wildlife?


  10. From the Cloud archives…these Horses have that dorsal stripe and marking.
    Blade’s Story: A Carter Reservoir Mustang by Jean Bilodeaux
    February 25, 2010
    It was May 6, 2007 when we first saw him, while finishing an afternoon horseback ride on the public lands east of Cedarville. Several bands of mustangs were ranging in this part of
    the BLM’s 23,000+ acre Carter Reservoir Wild horse herd management area. Colts cavorting with their peers, mares munching on the dried grasses, while the lead mare and stallion kept
    watch for danger was a sight to watch. It was a comforting sight to see these “families” of buckskins, bays, blacks and paints existing so well in this high desert wilderness.
    Riding back to our trailer he was spotted, an unusual movement on the hillside in front of us that didn’t quite fit in. Mingling with a group of five cows was a slightly taller, browner
    shape, watching us. Studying the shape, we could see he was a young bay stallion. He appeared to be about two years old, probably run off from his parent herd by the alpha stallion….
    This amazing story by Jean Bilodeaux of one wild horse stallion is continued here: Part 1, Part 2 Part 3, Part 4 with photos by Darice Massey and Jean Bilodeaux


  11. I hope everyone takes the time to go to the MSNBC-Morning Joe segment featuring Carole King. This is a big deal because many politicos watch the early morning show, especially Washington, DC. And she got many things right!

    I didn’t even know she was involved in this issue….ignorant me.


  12. Hmmmmmmmmmm, it sure doesn’t look like they do their homework. History
    tells the story. In fact for those living in Illinois, there is a great exhibit on the horse
    at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. I haven’t been their yet, but everyone says its great. I can’t wait to go and get the real FACTS. Have any of these people graduated from high school or better taken any college courses? I guess the prerequisite to the high paying BLM jobs is stupidity. If one goes back in history we all know horses existed long before we took over the ranges and made them national parks. I guess they don’t read their history books regarding the establishment of the natural parks and ranges. We are now seeing them for what
    they really are…you certainly would think that they should have some education
    when they are in charge of caring for one our most precious national resources.
    Their true colors and uneducated metality are certainly shining through…Come on
    keep talking…


  13. The following is an interesting discussion. I don’t have time to comment right now, but others might.

    No matter how much we may wish it, this issue won’t be settled by love for wild horses or citing their iconic status. It will totally rely on scientific proof, and the willingness of Congress to consider and accept that proof. Congress includes few, if any, scientists or members with intellectual curiosity about science, and many who rely on contributions from well-funded interests who’ll move heaven and earth to oppose this reclassification.

    And reclassifying wild horses as wildlife may/will put them under state management, like other wildlife. Case in point: wolves. Now ranchers in several states can pretty much kill them at will for destroying livestock or threatening humans.They do have to keep enough around so they’re not put back on the Endangered Species List.

    So would Mustangs as wildlife be a good or bad thing?


  14. I think before we all get behind reclassifying them as anything – we might discuss overturning the Burns amendment, overturning the amendment taking away the protection of The Act with transfer of title and then talk about putting all wild horses and burros under the authority of its own Agency. I don’t know the intricacies of hierarchies of funding in government. If anyone does know how funding would be appropriated solely for the care of national symbols, I would love to hear it. I do not think they should EVER be placed in State control.


  15. And, what school did the employees of the BLM, or, our entire government for that matter, go to, & FLUNK out of!!?? This is a “no-brainer”, you don’t need to be a scientist, or even have a college degree, to KNOW that ALL equines first evolved on the North American continent. Ask ANY archeologist, biologist, or paleontologist. This is just more evidence, or proof, of the complete STUPIDITY of our American government. They won’t, or, can’t admit that maybe, just maybe, they made a mistake, & don’t know everything, & that they’re WRONG about our wild horses!! They wouldn’t admit it if their lives depended on it!! So, now they will continue on their one-way path of death & destruction of these wild, beautiful, NATIVE, iconic, noble creatures that so many have grown to love & cherish, respect & admire, until they are once again, gone from the wild, destroyed by mankind, who tries to play God, but fails miserably, with every breathe humanity takes, another life is snuffed out!!


    • Dear Valarie, you are so right if they had half of a brain between them all they would realize the Importance of Our wild Mustangs, they can only think money and greed, they believe they can pull this off on us, they have another thing coming if they believe this……………. We must stop them !!!!!


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