Horse News

Callie Hendrickson: “Pro-slaughter” Appointee to BLM Wild Horse Board Draws Protests

By Alan Prendergast of the Denver Westword

Active Anti-Horse Activist Selected by Obama’s DOI Secretary Ken Salazar

"Cull Callie, NOW"

The appointment of Callie Hendrickson to a board that helps shape the federal government’s wild horse management plan has touched off a frenzy of petitions and protests by horse advocacy groups. They say the Grand Junction woman is a defender of ranching interests who’s endorsed commercial slaughter of “excess horses” on public lands.

The Department of the Interior was barraged with phone calls and e-mails after it was announced that Hendrickson would be appointed as one of two “general public” representatives on the Bureau of Land Management‘s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Hendrickson is executive director of the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts and a horse owner herself. But she’s better known to wild horse activists as a champion of grazing rights. The districts she represents intervened in a contentious lawsuit over wild horse roundups in Colorado, supporting the BLM’s efforts to “zero out” the West Douglas herd, a small but hardy group of mustangs located south of Rangely.

The board, which is supposed to provide a wide range of citizen and stakeholder input, has specific seats designated for veterinarians, livestock management, natural resources and so on. That Hendrickson was appointed to represent the public at large alarms groups such as the Colorado Springs-based Cloud Foundation, which has criticized the move as stacking the board in favor of ranchers, who view wild horses as competition for public grazing land.

Hendrickson has maintained that the horse herds are far more overpopulated than official BLM counts suggest. At the same time, she’s denounced the “waste” involved in the agency’s roundups and failed adoption program, which has left 45,000 horses and burros in short-term holding facilities and privately contracted pastures, operated at taxpayer expense. “We’ve got a wreck,” she said in a recent radio interview. “We’ve got too many horses on the range and 45,000 in holding areas, costing taxpayers over $35 million a year. That’s unsustainable.”

On the Wild Horse Range Coalition blog, Hendrickson has expressed frustration that the prior board has refused “to consider the elephant in the room and discuss lethal control of the horses.” She has also called for “welfare horses” to be made available for sale “without limitation” to the highest bidder. Since the adoption program can only handle a small fraction of the horses BLM is removing from the range every year, that presumably means turning them into horsemeat and glue.

Critics of BLM’s program insist that the horses are not overpopulated and starving and that the roundups have decimated viable herds. When the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed, 339 herds were identified as under its protection; only 179 of those herds remain today, and their total permitted range has dwindled from 53 million acres to 31.6 million acres.

More from our News archive: “Video: Wild horse roundups featuring burros being ‘hotshotted’ are kinder, gentler?

19 replies »

  1. UNBELIEVABLE! She calls captive wild horses “WELFARE HORSES” suggesting “lethal control” for them, and unrestricted sale to the highest bidder. What about “WELFARE RANCHERS” getting their grazing rights for $1.35/ AUM? Krikey, sell them to the highest bidder without any restrictions too!!

    H-ll, who would buy a welfare rancher? Maybe we could get them cheap and just turn them out
    on empty HMAs, for buzzard food. Buzzards probably wouldn’t touch them tho.


  2. This woman does not represent the general public. She represents a tiny fraction of the American people who think they alone have sole authority over what happens to our horses. The general public overwhelmingly supports wild horses as a an icon of our land and the general public does not support horse slaughter. I am so tired of these marginal ranchers, (who’s beef represents such a tiny portion of the beef production in the US) making demands to remove any and all wildlife they deem unsuitable for their own profit making enterprises. We now have more wild and free roaming cattle than wild horses, and we now stockpile them in feedlots where the cattle belong. Ship the cattle to the midwest. The cattle are what belong in fenced private pastures and feedlots, not wild horses. This woman has complete and utter disdain for wild horses, which she calls feral just to make sure her pals know what she thinks of them, and that in no way represents the views of the American people. Give her the boot.


  3. What part of 80% of American people oppose Horse Slaughter??????? dont they understand…. What part of the Great American Mustang belongs to Americas People who pay to Protect and Preserve them, do they also not understand, Horses are an absolute Treasure. that we WANT to be free on our ranges , they are a Glorious Part of American History, for which I respect and admire, the Mustangs represent TRUE FREEDOM and thats all they need to do, for me , they are reminders of the struggle to build the west, their continuing services given with trust to us they show to me everything that is beautiful here and will continue to grace us with their presence. Everything should be done for their welfare , we are their caretakers , we need to oust whomever or whatever disturbs this natural allegiance………………….. We Pay for their PROTECTION and I want My MONEYS worth of it for them. The BLM is a millstone around everyone of us, therefore they need to either do what we pay them to do, or the BLM should go……………………….


  4. that hendrickson must be a blithering idiot! not enough range for the wild horses? are you kidding me ? there are literally millions of acres and a least 1000acres PER horse! hendrickson is a dumb-$#@!@#$ get that person out or it will be disatrous for our wild horses and burros. i shudder to think of the landscape as far as the eye can see swarming with cattle, ruining the land, a desolate HELL without the beautiful wild horses living on it.


  5. Just one more glaring example of the arrogance of BLM and their minions of destruction. Callie represents BUSINESSES that can feed off the carcasses of horses. She does not represent the typical American that has an appreciation and love of the horse. Does not represent those Americans who see the wildness of the horses and burros as representative of their own spirit, their “Americaness”. Under a fair system she would never have been considered yet alone chosen. But that’s under a fair system. Nothing about BLM is fair nor above board.

    In an aside, Rob Pliskin your comments slay me!!! good one!!


  6. Let’s see. We pay $125 million dollars for range refurbishment for the damage the feral, invasive cattle do every year.

    We pay 75 to 80 million to feed wild horses.

    We pay ______ to administer a predator control program that exists for their benefit>

    Cattle ranchers pay $5.00 to raise a calf that will likely sell for $1,000 to $1,200, and they are whining that they might have to pay $7.00 or $8.00 to make almost $1,000 to $1,200 profit???

    Public lands ranchers have an entire federal agency devoted to removing and housing wild horses and burros as well as processing their permits. If the BLM actually does anything else, let’s see the evidence. We know they don’t do environmental assessments or environmental impact statements which should be their ongoing business, so they will have accurate information to issue permits. But that would only be the case if the BLM intended to use any other measure than politics to manage the land. Despite words to the contrary, there is no evidence to the contrary.

    Now the ranchers want us to slaughter our wild and domestic horses. This is itself is reprehensible, but it will cost taxpayers six million dollars at the very least. Why would we do this when we know that 80% of horse meat (or more) is badly contaminated with the residues of multiple banned substances. Just because the USDA has no efficient and effective method to test for these banned substances in horse meat does not meat this meat should be harvested. We know it is there.

    And if this is not bad enough, they also developed and have tried to sell legislation that would greatly restrict the ability of ordinary citizens to sue the government when the government does not follow the law, just to protect themselves from WWP and suits by wild horse advocates.

    Does their arrogance know no bounds?

    The American people have supported these ranchers as they built their personal wealth. They do No other group has been able to build wealth and power by living on the public troth, so before we cut social security, medicare, and medicaid, there is one very expensive entitlement that needs to go.


  7. The appointment of Callie Hendrickson as a represenitive of the “general public ” to a board that helps shape the federal government’s wild horse management plan , by Obama’s DOI Secretary Ken Salazar ,doth add yet another , coat of “Brown on Nose” …


  8. They already filled the livestock position. This woman took the place for a general public and she in no way is representative of the general public. Either the BLM label her appointment as Livestock representative #2 or remove her.


  9. So on this nine person BLM board –for the protection and management of the wild horses and burros– who is going to speak FOR the horses? I challenge Salazar–or whomever– to send me the name(s) of that person(s). I need to contact that person to see if he/she will meet with any of the advocates/read & bring to the board any of the 10 recommendations for saving the herds and the land. That’s a straight-up challenge,sir.


  10. Absolutely NO to appoint Callie Hendrickson we need a person who cares about the horses in that positiion.


  11. When the 80% who want the wild horses to remain on (and be returned to) the public land boycott beef, Callie will be automatically culled. Problem solved.


  12. The few remaining wild herds are below genetic viability. The captive should be released, BLM should revoke livestock permits on legal HA’s. OVER POPULATION IS A LIE – MUSTANGS ARE ENDANGERED SPECIES – BURRO ARE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED.


  13. Get Callie Hendrickson out of this office NOW!!!! She should not have this position at all. How did she get it is beyond me. It must be the money trail. It is about the money made from blood of the Wild Horses and Burros that have been lining the killers pockets. What about the laws that are suppose to protect the Wild Horses and Burros? The Wild Horses and Burros are suppose to represent our country for their true American Spirit. Not to end of on some foreign dinner plate. This makes me sick.


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