The Force of the Horse

BLM Boss Bob Abbey Plays Congress

Guest OpEd by Bonnie Kohleriter

The Head Wild Horse Harasser Speaks with Forked Tongue

Bob Abbey, the Director of the BLM, claims his primary job is promoting the wild horse and burro program and securing funds for the program.  But do his omissions and deceptions of the program deserve the Americans’ tax dollars?  The wild horse and burro program was to protect our wild horses and burros on the range as our symbols of freedom.  It was not to tear them away from their lands, families, bands and to commit them as prisoners to flat, barren corrals.

Bob Abbey plays Congress in 2011 to get his funds for next year

Head Wild Horse Molester

Bob Abbey uses the OIG and its report.  He states the OIG says 38,365 horses are on the range with a 20% yearly foal rate giving you 238,000 horses by 2020.  The OIG concludes, with this information, gathers are necessary.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the OIG lifted the number 38,365 from  national statistics which the local Wild Horse and Burro Specialists will tell you are inflated.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the OIG’s own numbers used shows  a 12% foal rate per year, not the 20%.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the OIG  did not address fertility control treatment done correctly versus gathering as an alternative to gathering.

 Bob Abbey plays Congress to get his funds for next year

Bob Abbey uses four independent observers “Equine Specialists” and their report.

He states the independent observers say gathers are humane.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the observers did not speak to the  untold damage done to the horses left on the range as a result of the gathers.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the observers had 18 recommendations to improve the gathers.

What Bob Abbey does not tell the Congress is the independent observers saw only 2 and a part of a gather out of 50 + gathers.

 Bob Abbey plays Congress in 2011 to get his funds for next year

Bob Abbey promotes fertility control treatment as the reason to gather and/or as the way to reduce gathers.  He calls it his “catch, treat, and release” program.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the fertility control treatment program is a ruse to continue gathers and removals.

This is but one example of many the same: Augusta, January 31,2011, horses gathered for the primary purpose of “catch, treat, and release.”…275 to be gathered…all to be returned…118 to be vaccinated with PZP 22.  REALITY! 244 gathered, 103 removed or 42%, 58 given PZP …Removal or fertility control treatment and released? I ask you.

Another example: Antelope, February, 2011, horses gathered not for the primary purpose of catch, treat, and release, but are to be treated and released to slow population growth…Fly-over count states 2705 are on the range.  A summary based on 2009 National Statistics and the 2010 foal-death rate number states 1379.  2705 versus 1379.  Prepared environmental assessment (EA) that says wants to gather2299, remove 2278, and PZP 214.  REALITY! 1399 are gathered, 1379 removed, and 21 of 31 are given PZP and released to the range. Were 2705 ever on the range or were closer to 1379 on the range.  Remember 1399 were gathered.  Fertility control treatment …21?  I ask you.

Over and over the pattern is the same, exaggerated numbers from fly-overs, compared to previous statistics, far less than expected gathered and removed,  token PZP given to horses, not the 60% of the herd’s mares suggested by Dr. Kirkpatrick and the HSUS to retain the horses on the range.  Look ahead to the upcoming gathers with the same continued pattern in Little Colorado, White Mountain, Triple B, Maverick-Medicine.

Bob Abbey plays Congress to get his funds for next year

Bob Abbey tells Congress he plans to reduce the annual number of wild horses  removed from the range for the next two years from 10,000 to 7,600 giving them the idea more horses will be left on range.

Bob Abbey tells Congress he plans to increase the number of mares treated with fertility control from 500 to 2000.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is his numbers to gather are dwindling drastically so that he is even illegally gathering below the lower AMLs  or appropriate management levels.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is he is planning to spay mares and geld stallions and to return them to the range as non-reproducing herds resulting in the extinction of the wild horse on the range.

Bob Abbey plays Congress to get his funds for next year

Bob Abbey tells Congress “It is important to reaffirm throughout the agency  the BLM’s fundamental commitment to transparency in all facets of the wild horse and burro program.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is the largest holding corral allows visitors only once a year even though it is by contract to open up weekly.

What Bob Abbey does not tell Congress is he doesn’t open most long-term pastures for horses for viewing even to a select group of people such as personnel from the OIG.

Bob Abbey claims his primary job is promoting the wild horse and burro program and securing funds for the program.  But do his omissions and deceptive presentations and the in fact, activities of the program deserve the American’s tax dollars.  The wild horse and burro program was to manage and protect our wild horses and burros on the range as a component of our national heritage,and as a symbol of our freedom. It was not to tear them away from their lands, their families, and their bands and to commit them to a life as prisoners in barren, unsheltered corrals.


19 replies »

  1. Liar, liar…pants on fire!

    I always taught that not telling the WHOLE truth was the same as telling a flat out lie. I’d love to see this guy get nailed for perjury someday.


  2. Thank you for another great article. This is tho only place I need to read to find the best information.


  3. RT – how do we go about getting this information IN FRONT OF CONGRESS?! If it’s available for you to read and know about, why don’t we have someone (YOU?! LOL) speak in front of Congress and challenge Bob Abbey’s report of numbers – and somehow get those men and women to recognize when someone is blowing smoke up their butts?! I was listening to NPR this morning and the report was that the “animal rights groups were unable to prove that the gathers by the BLM are illegal,” and that’s why the judge lifted the TRO! We need to be in front of the Congress just like Abbey was – how do we make that happen?


    • Your right, I don’t understand why we are not heard in front of Congress. If the BLM asks for comments on stuff why doesn’t Congress? They don’t seem to hear us now so why can’t we stand in front of them and tell the side for the wild horses. Maybe then they would think we were serious. But it would have to be in a place where they could not run away like they do when we go to their offices for a Lobbying Day. They just become YES men when we do that and as we leave they laugh at us.

      And we have to get more people to participate. We had a wild Horse Rally in Chicago and only 10 people showed up. How hard is it to go to a rally? It took 2 hours. I would go to a round up but it is well over 1700 miles one way. Besides I don’t know if I could hold myself back. Can’t say much more here but you all feel the same way I do. We need to do more. I NEED TO DO MORE! I don’t want to tell my Grandchildren that the wild horses all went away under my watch. I want them to feel the joy of watching them run across the range with mane and tails flying. What a site to behold!


  4. In their own web site the BLM states that they do not count the cows on the range, why not? If you are spending the money on a fly over to count Horses why not Cows at the same time. All you people in the US should be making a fuss about this. Get congress asking this question of Bob abbey and the BLM.
    If they had a count it might turn out that there are too many cows out on the range, this would be something to hit back at the BLM with, most likely why they dont count. GO on ASK THE QUESTION now.


  5. Sent this article to my Republican House Rep. and suggested this is a good place to cut the budget. Lets see if he gets the message.


  6. “Bob Abbey, the Director of the BLM, claims his primary job is promoting the wild horse and burro program and securing funds for the program.” Well, that may be his view of his primary job as overseer the WH & BP, but remember, Mr. Abbey is wearing two opposing hats. And the BLM Director’s hat is and will always be the one on top!

    The WH & BP needs its own Director. Allowing Abbey to continue running a program that removes and reduces the wild ones in OVERWHELMING favor of other public land uses is a blatent conflict of interest.


    • The wildlife issue needs to be taken away from DOI…much like Native American Affairs. Where to go and how to do it are another matter.

      DOI is in the meat, resource and energy business….not wildlife or water caretakers. Their “multi-use”, poured in concrete authority does not treat natural resources, to include wildlife (and that ain’t cattle and sheep) equitably. They are unable to give equal consideration.


  7. Can anyone direct me to the citation wherein Abbey calls the wild equines “rats with hooves” or something like that?


  8. Great article Bonnie. Lynn I am in the Chicago area and I do not remember reading any article or posting regarding a protest in Chicago. Please trust me if one were scheduled again, we would have a lot more than 10 people. Where was this held? Normally, as you know there is always an article in one of the local magazines. I don’t know who organized it, but it would sure be worth it to schedule another one. You can also picket the Congressional offices and it is always news worthy here by Channel 2, 5, 9 and maybe 7. I called my Legislators again yesterday and read them the riot act so to speak. I am always very polite and get to the point. I think the lobby days are great, but sometimes there are too many people doing the same thing. The problem is that most of them lie through their teeth, telling you that they are concerned. Then when it is time to vote on the issue, they may change their vote. The only thing I can say is that the 2012 elections are right around the corner. If these legislators consistantly vote against their constitutents wishes, its TIME FOR THEM TO GO! I have heard our beautiful horses referred to as “Desert
    Rats”. This comment was made by the one of the commissioners from Clark county Nevada. As I said to one of my Legislators yesterday, this whole thing is SHAMEFUL. I think with the establishment of this new organization, it might have more pull as there are many voices of concern here. I have thought about flying to Washington and making sure I have an appointment with my Legislator. You can ask for a meeting and in most cases it is granted. It is a real black eye for the American people when we look at the corruption and greed here. As I have said, this is like a cancer that has run rampid for so long its hard to eradicate it. Rt, I believe that you have a very good following and some very dedicated people. Thank you for keeping us up to date and educated as information unfolds. My emails keeping flying and my telephone to my Legislators never seems to stop. And it wont as long as our horses and burros suffer prosecution….


  9. First: Lynn, You can forget your Rep doing anything to interfere with the “commerce” that is and will continue to be carried on the HMAs. The funding is just a drop in the bucket that allows them to rape the land and the wild horses on it.
    Second: As I see it, in this instance, Greed is the bottom line here…the “very wealthy welfare ranchers” are Greedy, the Oil and Mining Companies are Greedy, the people who warehouse the horses in LTH are Greedy. Just think..they get paid $475/horse. well, if they let a number of horses go out the back door to slaughter, they still get paid for the horse, and no one ever checks.. at least no one who cares.
    Greed is the bottom line in everything.. It is what got the whole country into this mess. and it isn’t the ones of us that care about people and animals and the land. It is the top of the food chain..that are Greedy. They want more and more, and the horses to them are the “DESERT RATS” that stand in their way.
    And I believe that if they can kill them all, they will. If they ignore the pleas of Madeline Pickens (wealthy in her own right), then you can be sure that they (the Greedy ones that control the BLM) have 1000 X as much money behind them.(KOCH brothers, et al ). I am so frustrated that I find violence flashing through my mind, and I’ve never even fired a gun.
    Ok.. I wrote my own blog…maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow. I am open to suggestions…Concrete suggestions. And by the way, calling my Representative, the Honorable Joe Barton is a waste of AIR. He apologized to BP because the Gulf Shore expected them to clean up their MESS.


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