Horse News

Dysfunctional BLM Special Interest “Bored” Meeting Concludes

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Lack of Interest, Qualifications, Concern Permeate Wild Horse Adversary Board

Once again, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) special interest “Advisory Board” meeting is over and the fat lady has sung…won’t divulge her name but she IS on the BLM payroll and the out-of-tune song was something like “Tomorrow” with a few expletives added.

I share a degree of guilt for not being present to personally feel, first hand, the pain and experience the chill as lie after lie was rained down upon the last of our native wild horses and burros but simply viewing it on my computer screen was almost more than one could handle.  It’s not simply emotion that drives my contempt but the burning desire and need to see our federal employees perform their jobs with honor, dignity and grace; but this is not possible when you are caught in so many lies that you cannot even remember what you said last.

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is a hand-picked nucleus of volunteer special interest personalities with obvious and direct ties to cattle, grazing and hunting without one knowledgeable wild equine advocate amongst them.  This club is headed by a chairperson who heads a misty and clouded organization of dubious reputation that is currently under investigation from many different angles.  And it is this team of anti-equid individuals that is tasked with advising the biggest grazing company in the free world, the BLM, on what should be done to help preserve our federally protected wild horses and burros?  Please excuse me while my head totally spins off into oblivion.

Just a few high, opps, low points:

Strategy Briefing by Dean Bolstad;  What can I say; as usual a very poorly constructed PowerPoint presentation with incorrect numbers, outlandish misinterpretation of the law and even Dean lost his place and train of thought on three separate occasions.  (remember, when you tell lies it is difficult to remember what you said last)  A total mess and something that would never, never stand up in the real world.  Slam corporations all you want but if anyone from my staff delivered something so poorly contrived and with such lack of skill in delivery we would be having a very serious discussion as to their future within my team.

Litigation Update by, again, Dean Bolstad;  Perhaps one of the most important issues the Board should be concerned with and it is just glossed over without even a question.  If I were on an advisory board where our company was being sued every which way but lose I would want to know WHAT were the issues and if there was any substantial evidence to lend credence to the suits.  This group of grazers could care less, not a peep.  ‘We do what we do cuz we can do it and da rest of you be damned”, how stupid can you be?  The bulk of said litigation comes to the BLM and the DoI courtesy of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) funded exclusively by concerned American taxpayers.

Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program;  This thing deems a very outspoken, “Give me a friggen break”.  This concept is a direct attempt to dilute and weakly answer the “Humane Care” law suit brought forward by plaintiff Laura Leigh, agent for the WHFF.  The BLM is, now, required to answer the inhumane allegations and is attempting to trump up some sort of “straw man” defense but I don’t think in a million years that a federal judge will fall for it.  To date, I have never seen a more poorly written proposal than what was displayed.  Form and structure alone pulls it out of any contemporary proposal/component model template and it’s context could have been better written by an 8th grader; all the while the term “internal review” is so pervasive it reads like a blinking fairy tale.  I won’t even go into WHO they put in charge of this overt attempt to dilute our “Humane Care” law suit but when you put the person in charge of the contracts over the contractors that are in question and make that same government employee responsible for “Humane Care”…arrrgghhhhhh, is it just me?!?!?

Again, sorry for the lack of coverage on this stage show but we did have our Ginger, Bonnie, Val, Jan, Deniz and Suzanne there giving it their best, my hat is most sincerely tipped to these brave and honorable women.

Tomorrow: Yesterday we made a personal trip out to visit with the Wild Burro Lady, Marjorie Farabee, and her dozens of rescued burros, donkeys, mules and horses…you won’t want to miss it.

26 replies »

  1. R.T., you don’t have to feel guilty for anything. You and Terry have certainly paid your dues….for all of us, actually. Our People who are in the frontlines have done the heavy lifting all along.


  2. It is easy to get discouraged. They keep hoping we will just give up and go away. How many times in history did it look as though all was lost….until the very last?


    • Not Discouraged over here , Eye is always on the Prize Freedom to Roam for the Wild mustangs…………………….No Compromise !!!!Freedom will ring Loud and Clear for Our Mustangs………… I hear it now in the Distance becoming louder with everyday !!!!!


  3. I was under the impression that the horses were rounded up for adoption, not just to be held in secret pens. Is the BLM not allowing these horses to be adopted? Why keep them in over-crowded pens and not provide care? Is it a “possession is 9/10 of the law” thing?


    • They have 50,000 formerly wild horses in captivity. They adopted out ~2000 last year. They do allow them to be adopted. It is not a logical or sustainable program. It is completely out of whack.


    • Climb back up there, on the soapbox that is, as it becomes you Laura.

      We have turned a corner, as an advocacy, and have managed to get the enemy’s attention; with that being said the key points remain:

      1.) Stay focused on the main objectives of our mission.

      2.) Maintain a professional demeanor when in contact with the enemy, sarcasm excluded.

      3.) Work together as a team and ensure that we are NOT fragmented in our efforts, this is huge…egos gotta go!

      So, preach on my sister, it lights me up when you wax philosophical. So I stand at your feet, urge you on and you can trust in the fact that I have your back!


    • Many thanks for your excellent comments as always. Laura.

      BTW some of the lies told at the Bored meeting came from members of the Public Lands Foundation. That organization’s members are mostly retired BLM agents so that explains them saying there is an excess and wanting to use all sorts of birth control such as SpayVac which lasts for 10 years.


  4. If we really want to win the war against evil we must follow the example of Christ , get down on our knees and be persistent in prayer!


  5. I just don’t understand why the BLM has to have written instructions on what Humane Care implies.

    From what we have seen the other contractor who says they mostly walk and trot the horses to the trap is–I don’t know what a good word would be. The current helicopter pilot is in deep cow manure as he should be.

    And why would anyone allow horses no access to feed or water? With the explanation that the horses drank it all. Geez, how difficult is it to refill the water buckets? And you don’t just dump hay in–in one place cause the dominant horse isn’t gonna share. Spread the hay so the horses all have a chance to eat.

    And crowding horses so much that some can’t even find room to stand on their own–I have issues with this. The contractor either needs more pens or he needs to round up less horses per day–and take care of the ones they have.

    As Laura says this isn’t rocket science. It’s just common sense with a little bit of humanity tossed in.

    I couldn’t stomach more than a few minutes. It just seems so pointless to have this advisory bored (intended) when BLM is mandated by law to give a cow manure pie about the horses!


    • Thanks Louie but not really. Still coughing hard enough to crack some ribs and that doesn’t even begin to knock loose the glop in my lungs. And sneezing? some of them are so hard I think I’m sneezing my brains out!

      One thing I’m learning as I get older–I get more exhausted being I’ll than I did in my 20’s…getting old ain’t for sissies!

      Back to bed…


  6. I don’t know how many advocates tried to watch the entire live feed, but I watched the following day and could only handle about 45 minutes.

    That was the saddest collection of incompetents I can remember watching. It was excruciatingly painful to watch and listen to….horrible, just horrible. Congress and their committees on CSPAN can be painful too, but they have an excuse….they were elected.


    • Louie sorry I couldn’t even get by Gene Seidleitz–the guy who said We are the Bureau of Land Management, not the bureau of wild horses or the Bureau of cattle; the Bureau of Land Management.

      And the lady who was saying protection for the wild horses. Didn’t they just get done rounding up Calico???? And there already back!!!!

      Oh wait–they rezoned Calico so they could come in and get their grubby paws on the horses again.

      Still say just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


  7. I guess I am not surprised at their lack of knowledge and the ability to speak.
    The lies just keep coming and it seems that they are faultering on what they are saying. More rhetoric and more bs. Its sad that we are paying the salaries for such incompetent individuals. The job description and requirements for the job do not seem to fit the employees representing the interests of the BLM. Again, I know we are all in for the long haul if it means saving the remaining Wild Horses and Burros. We are now fighting on a couple of fronts from protecting our Wild Horses and Burros from the deathly
    roundups to the passage which would keep slaughterhouses closed forever in this country, to closing the borders so that no more of our horses can be sent to Canada or Mexico. Laura you and the others are so courageous in standing firm and continuing the fight in person. RT as I have said your group is growing by leaps and bounds. I think the the BLM has taken serious notice to your blogs and the comments by its members. Your members now come from all corners of the country which is an advantage. More and More people are seeing what is happening. Every time I go to a horse event or flea market, I bring the piece put out by the Animal Welfare Institue entitled Managing for
    Extinction. Some people are not even aware at what is going on with our Wild
    Horses and Burros because of all the bs put out by the BLM. I tell them if you are as concerned as I am about our Wild Horses and Burros please contact their Legislators and go to the website Wild Horse Freedom Federation.


  8. Thank you, Gail. You remind us of the best thing that the rank and file of the advocates can do. Create more advocates! Each one of us can make a difference by using our influence on the people in our sphere to contact their legislators and be educated on our issues.
    And we can donate as much as possible, and raise money for those like Laura Leigh and her legal team that are on the front line, doing, as someone said, the heavy lifting. I sent my last $25 last week. poor old Real Estate agent. but I will have another closing, and I will send more.
    Also, we can vote for those who express a concern for leaving the public lands for the Wild Ones. Governor Perry just expressed his intentions to, by executive order, open all public lands to drilling as soon as he becomes President. If that isn’t an order of extermination of the horses, burros and some other wildlife, I’ve never heard one. I can be certain that hunting opportunities will be saved for his best buddies.
    Which leads me to saying that I am eager to read RT’s blog tomorrow about Marjorie Farabee’s burro sanctuary. I received her post that the Hunting Organization “Big Horn Sheep” is basically supporting the eradication of all the burros in Big Bend State Park. Being Shot on Sight by Texas Park Rangers. Big Horn Sheep Hunters are big financial supporters of whom.. Perry. Again, it is a” follow the money ” situation and the animals lose.


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