Horse News

Breaking News: BLM to Sterilize Wild Horse Herds in WY

Press Release from the Cloud Foundation

Public outraged at government decision to sterilize free-roaming wild horses in Wyoming

Roundups would put sterile herd back on range to die out

WASHINGTON (June 16, 2011) – The Cloud Foundation opposes the BLM’s “Record of Decision” released this Tuesday to wipe out two wild horse herds in southern Wyoming. It includes a massive round up and removal of most horses in the area, but it also implements the spaying of mares and the gelding of all stallions to be returned to the White Mountain and Little Colorado herd management areas.

“It’s a shocking and disgraceful decision,” states Ginger Kathrens, executive director of The Cloud Foundation, a non-profit wild horse advocacy group, “It is the most invasive, most dangerous, and the most permanently destructive decision they could have made. If this does not clearly demonstrate the BLM agenda of managing America’s wild horses to extinction, I don’t know what does.”

The American public is shocked to learn of BLM’s new decision to now roundup almost 1,000 native wild horses and only release 320 sterilized animals back onto their legally designated range of over 1 million acres. Meanwhile thousands of head of privately owned livestock reside on the very same acreage. The BLM decision would make these two wild horse herds unable to reproduce. Any hope for their continuation as a herd would require the expensive and invasive techniques of capturing and transporting wild horses from other herds and releasing them into the White Mountain and Little Colorado areas.

Sterilizing wild horses in the field is dangerous and has had been tested in only a few cases. The experimental surgical procedure was tested on wild mares in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Nevada with at least a 10% mortality rate, and recovery taking at least a month.

“BLM’s approval to spay wild mares living on public land lacks any humane consideration for the animal,” states Donald Moore, DVM, of Fruita, Colorado. “This is a very invasive procedure and most veterinarians are reluctant, at best, to even recommend it.” Dr. Moore further questions the ability of the BLM to conduct such a dangerous endeavor, “It is not feasible to perform this surgery in the field. Even if this ill-advised surgery were to be performed BLM is not equipped to house and handle the mares in a manner that meets an acceptable level of care required for their recovery.”

Even BLM-lead vet, Dr. Al Kane USDA-APHIS, expressed his concerns over this sort of protocol, “It’s a lot more complicated and the potential for complications and side effects is much greater,” he reported to the BLM Advisory Board at their meeting in Phoenix in March. “And a lot of it has to do with the practicality of doing it on a large scale, particularly in the field. The potential effects on herd behavior or individual mare behavior are an issue… It’s never been done in wild horses on a large scale.”

Concerns run high regarding this surprising BLM decision and the timing of the roundup, scheduled to begin in July when most foals are still quite small.

“At the end of May I saw very few foals and many heavily pregnant mares,” says Carol Walker, equine photographer and wild horse advocate, who just recently visited the herd, “There is no possible way the BLM can convince me that there will not still be many heavily pregnant mares and many 1-month old or younger foals at the time of the roundup.”

“Not just the timing of this action, but the drastic nature of surgical sterilization makes this decision particularly abhorrent, “ says Kathrens. “Congress should be outraged at the blatant mockery BLM is making of the Wild Horse and Burro Act. When will they step in to rescue these animals from a rogue agency bent on destroying them?”

“The American public is outraged at BLM’s choice to sterilize America’s living legends despite other sustainable alternatives to manage healthy herds,” explains Anne Novak, spokeswoman for The Cloud Foundation. “Is Congress going to allow this disgrace to occur? We did not elect Senators and Representatives to allow this sort of animal cruelty to take place in our name.”

26 replies »



  2. Advocates’ Homework Assignment: Read the essay “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.


  3. I just called The White House. 202 456 1111. I said I voted for Obama in the last election, but won’t vote for him in the next one if he allows Salazar to implement this decision. And I won’t. Any President who would allow this to happen would creep me out; I don’t care who it is.




      • Awesome Idea if everyone here and their friends and their friends friends did this maybe this would move the Obama into speaking up for the Wild ones, lets all do it and see…………………………………. This is a great challange lets all do it………………………..


      • I will let you all in on a little secret.

        I have no preference for any political side and vote exclusively on the issues and we, now, have before us a very clear and serious political issue. Do you all know why I include the “Obama Administration” in every single headline reflecting BLM or DoI issues, likewise I enter it into the key words?

        Because somewhere out there is a team of re-election nerds scouring the internet and reading each and every web entry that mentions the incumbent President’s name and it is my hope and dream that one of these little political geeks will sit up and say, “Hey, these people are beginning to get pretty upset about this wild horse thing and maybe it could have a detrimental impact upon my boss’s re-election, perhaps I should alert my supervisor.” THAT is why I beat on it so badly because if there was EVER a time to get a President’s attention on an issue it is during the reelection phase and this failed administration is going to need every bit of positive press it can get to survive until another term.

        Rob is right, call each and every day…set your alarm on it, make it known that he is NOT going to get your vote until he does something about this runaway, rogue, illigale agency.

        You all made a difference the other day, besides what Sue Walrus says, so keep the re-dial button busy and continue to change the future and potential history of our country. In reality, this is some pretty damn exciting stuff.


      • The only way the horses stand a chance,I f the decent human beings cannot not rid USA of the BLM then a campaign against Obama is required,he is hungry to be re-elected.


  4. I am so IRATE…this is so dangerous. If you read the piece even the vet has doubts about
    conducting this procedure in the field. I just got off the phone with my Senators and my
    Representatives office in Washington, D.C. It appears that the BLM once again is hell bent
    on doing what they want by speeding things up..Like I told them IT IS A WASTE OF MY
    TAX DOLLARS and certainly the death of many of the horses…Do we all have to take a’
    flight to DC and harrass these bastards..You have some stupid guy doing what ever on
    the internet and he is asked to resign, but you have those in charge of our national
    heritage that constantly threatens their very existance. And he is not fired for all the
    inhumane treatment, torture and death. I read one of the other posts where
    Bob Abbey attended the Summit of the horse along with some of his other cronies. I would
    certainly see this as a conflict of interest, not mention the fact that some of these meetings
    are held without the public being invited. As far as I’m concerned that certainly violates
    the Open Meetings Act as this involves a national resource that belongs to all of us. I am
    saying a prayer that somewhere somehow legal proceedings can begin that will stop
    all this madness. This nightmare must be exposed for what it is..


  5. People….the blm is doing this to get back at us!!! If they castrate all the boys, THEY DON’T FRIGGEN NEED TO SPAY THE MARES! They say they’re going to “spay” the mares when in truth, they are going to make damn sure there won’t even be any births. They are just going to give them abortions to make sure. So they SAY they’re going to “spay” them. The DOI and Salazar and Abbey’s offices need to be swanked with mad advocates..screaming and yelling about this. We could truly stop this if enough of us show up meaning business. Fat chance of THAT happening, right? Yeah, the cops would be called, but so what? Nothing else we do gets the mainstream medias attention. This probably would, tho. There are THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF US ADVOCATES —WHERE THE HELL ARE WE???


  6. A key point at this time in history (when land that was supposed to be theirs and other wildlife’s has been taken away from them) due to energy and other agenda is: that Native PZP was never intended to be used to wipe any animal population out. It’s intent is to control a population. With the herd numbers we had until mass roundups the last few years, if BLM would have used it more responsibly three decades ago, they could have achieved close to -0- population growth in still diversified herds and they could have run free more undisturbed for long after we and our descendants are gone. The horses and burros could have been spared from all of this suffering. Instead, yet again BLM, the puppet for government has exemplified TOTAL mismnagment on every level.


  7. If this is allowed to happen then BLM will be able to use resident herds on their own range in place of Long Term Holding. They will die out at home, in other words. This policy must be stopped. It may become the new method to take the horses off their lands.

    The 1971 Act says nothing about creating and maintaining non reproducing herds. This is a move so far away from the ’71 Act that it has no grounds to be put in action.

    Two places that we know of have experimented with ‘field operations;’ Sheldon Wildlife Refuge and HMAs in Oregon. Spaying mares in the field was supposedly carried out by Sheldon last year. We need the information on all of these ‘operations’ NOW. I will put up an email address today.

    We are looking for people with ‘standing’ in SW Wyoming. There will be a petition created that will ask signers to print the petition and sign it with printed name beneath. We want whatever we do to be above board and legal and to count. We have 28 days to do an appeal. The roundup is slated to begin approximately on August 17th. Everyone who is able to research these things, independently and accurately, is welcome on board. WE question the legality of having non reproducing horses on their HMAs and the actual action of operations in the field to render wild free roaming horses sterile. Apparently PZP is not good enough and may wear off. This is a permanent solution and it will kill off the horses in one generation. It is, I am sure you all agree; OUTRAGEOUS!!

    A few of us are just putting this together and we will be back to say more today.


  8. This is “a line in the sand” we must not let the BLM cross! If allowed, it will become the “new normal” in their so-called “management strategy”.

    We are about to ask a lot of people to do a lot of things in a very short period of time. If you’ve ever had any philosophical differences, or been personally crossways with other advocates, PLEASE PUT THAT ASIDE FOR NOW. The only way we can hope to stop this deadly action is by working together … without reservations!!!


    • The Decision of Record was signed June 13th by Lance C. Porter, Rock Springs BLM District Manager. That means we had 30 days from Tuesday June 13 to July 13th to create an appeal based upon the information all of you can help put together. If someone wants to spearhead this group please come out and say so. We are trying to get some background information and talk to people with BLM suits. Please help stop this… There will be a Care 2 petition for this tomorrow sometime. We not only want you to sign this but to print the petition out and mail it with your signature to BLM. Make it count. There were thousands of letters from you and they made no difference. This is a court action we want to take. We have the money to file this but we have no lawyer yet. We must file within 27 days. Please print yourselves copies of the 1971 Act and see how it says these horses are to be protected. This action by BLM is the opposite of protection. It is destruction. Please help the horses.


  9. If this were not something that I care so much about, I’d be bemused that the BLM is so worried about the wild horse’s adaptive intelligence that they don’t want to risk leaving a possibly reproducing male or female on the range. Imagine. It’s absurd on its face. They are going to slaughter these horses. Maybe someone has a contract for x number of horses and he doesn’t want to risk failing “inspection” because of hormonal injections.

    It is bad enough that these people have tried to manipulate the law and deceive the American public. It is all the lies and malevolent intentions behind the first lie. You never know where one lie ends and another begins.


  10. And Divide Basin is next. We have very little time to stop this, but if it is not stopped, it will be the end of the Wyoming wild horses. But I wouldn’t blame cattle in this case R.T. Back in April I was driving home from White Mountain when the radio announced Obama and Salazar were going to devote 1.8 million acres to natural gas extraction in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. I had a premonition then they would start to zero out herds with no explanation, and I fear that is what is really going on here.


    • I think this is about energy from oil shale as well as natural gas, not just on these two HMAs, but on other HMAs sitting atop the Green River Formation That includes EVERY HMA in Southwest and South Central Wyoming!

      “The western US deposits of the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, are among the richest oil shale deposits in the world [and contains 1.5 trillion barrels].”

      As “15handklepto” said, Obama recently instructed Salazar to release 1.8 million acres in Colorado, WYOMING, and Utah for new permits, when the companies aren’t developing a large percentage of the permits they already have. They’re just stittng on them, waiting for prices to rise so it will be economically feasible to drill! This is a BIG argument environmentalists are using in an attempt to stop or slow permitting and save our public lands.

      Wild horses are inconvenient, dangerous and expensive for energy companies, because they often have to put up fences along access roads and installations to protect their drivers from collisions and their equipment from damage. And heaven forbid the drivers might have to slow down!

      It takes THREE barrels of water for ONE barrel of oil extracted from shale, and the effluent is polluted! Another argument being used by environmentalists.

      IMO, the BLM will keep just enough non-reproducing wild horses on these HMAs to satisfy the low AML. The threat was made that, if they exceed that number, HMAs may be eliminated.

      As you know, there are currently efforts underway to stop this MADNESS before it takes hold here and across the entire West. Please support them in any and every way you can … and PASS THE WORD!


  11. I am so outraged that if I write what I really want to say…I’d get banned for life.

    Leave to say, this is what happens when you give a **TTHOLE 12 million extra, on top of 60 mill plus to a Jerk*** organization that couldn’t do the right thing if God was standing in front of them. And doesn’t include all the trash and rape they do in their other “areas of concentration”.

    Sorry, but they have become OBSCENE!


    • Trish, You took the words right out of my mouth!! Well said, it is really too bad we can’t spay & geld the entire BLM, & their contractors!! Make sure we do it like they do, with no pain-killers, see how they “like” it!! This craziness is completely OUT of control, & it will NEVER stop, unless WE can figure out a way to take over, take all the wild equines back, away from them, & put them out of the wild horse & burro “business”, which they had no business being in, in the first place! I’ve said it before, but it’s either WE take control & DO something about this right NOW, or, wild horses & burros WILL become extinct in the wild. There is no “in-between”, or other option left. We have the choice, can we do it?? The only way to “fix” stupid, is to get rid of the problem, the BLM.


  12. On the BLMS PLanned round up day , We should fill the SKIES with Helicopters diverting all the BLM s Hired ASSASSINS Helicopters………………….. We Must Stop this round up !!!!


  13. Yes , please everyone please call and tell OBAMA, ALL HIS EXPECTATIONS OF RE ELECTION WILL BE BASED ON , if he does not stop the BLM and Salazars plan for the round ups in July , he can forget about ever being re elected for President…………I called 30 times yesterday with this message…………………202-456-1111


  14. I wondered what else (beyond the “usual suspects”) could be contributing to the deterioration/destruction of public lands, leading to this increasingly rapid removal of thousands of our wild ones. So rapid that unnatural, sterilized herds are now among the alternatives (I think that’s been included before, but eliminated from further study).

    Kevin Walker recently chronicled the destruction of our public lands from Reagan through Clinton, Cheney/Bush, and now Obama.
    “Will President Obama Finally Protect America’s Last Remnants of Wilderness?”

    He mentions off-road vehicles several times, so I went hunting and found:
    “The Ecological Effects of Off-Road Vehicles”

    NUMEROUS impacts the BLM attributes solely to the wild ones can also be directly attributed to off-roading. Have they ever done a comparative study? Has any WH & BP EA even MENTIONED off-roading (including ranchers managing cattle!) MIGHT contribute to degradation/destruction blamed on wild horses and burros? If so, please let me know.

    So who are the actual “bad actors” in this scenario? The wild ones play a role, but how much of a role? There are plenty of “cumulative impacts” as well, including off-roading.

    Makes you go, “Hmmmm …”.


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