Horse News

Bumbled BLM Chopper Meeting Gets Bad Press and Crashes in Poll

“The News as We See It” by R.T. Fitch ~ President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Federal Grazing Agency Bullied Through Meeting but Extended Comment Period

BLM Contract Chopper Cruelty ~ photo by Terry Fitch

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) covert holiday weekend announcement of a planned public hearing on the use of controversial helicopters during much contested wild horse stampedes, to take place only hours later, drew the nation’s ire and resulted in the federal grazing agency conducting the sparsely attended meeting on May 29th  while extending the period for comment until June 12th.

The Nevada branch of the BLM, where the bulk of America’s few remaining wild horses and burros reside, claims to “welcome” comments from the public as part of it’s statewide hearing on the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in it’s failed management of wild horse and burro operations.

The instructions for sending in comments are quite specific so, if interested, attention to detail is a must; particularly when BLM’s inability to accurately count and/or listen to comments is taken into consideration.

The issue is the use of helicopters to terrorize and stampede federally protected wild horses and burros from their rightful public lands and then to use semi-trucks, trailers and pickups to haul them off to parts unknown where the BLM is gearing up to allow all of them to be sold off for slaughter.

If you would care to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves mail or fax to:

Carson City District Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
Attn: WHB Motorized Hearing
FAX: 775-885-6147

Email:, Attn: WHB Motorized

And here is a nice touch, in an effort to make you feel safe, warm and fuzzy the Wild Horse Harvesting Machine INSISTS that you include your physical address, phone number, email or other personal identifying information with your comment.  Nice touch, eh?

But the destructors of our National Icons are not finished, yet…they have one more twist, or threat, that they want to throw in and this is a direct quote:

“Please be aware your entire comment–including your personal identifying information–may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request we withhold your personal information from public view, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.”

You just gotta love it.

If you would also like to vote in an online poll on the cruelty of the BLM swing by Reno’s NBC News 4 website to take part in their poll, click (HERE)…at the time of this writing 67% were against the usage of helicopters to torment, terrorize and ultimately undo the wild equines of our public lands.

27 replies »

  1. 2 more weeks for comments when it is supposed to be 30 DAYS. When is Congress ever going to investigate this corrupt agency ?


  2. I agree Barbara, the BLM is corrupted , and needs to be held accountable for their crimes against the Wild Mustangs !!!! I just commented on news4 !!!!!


  3. I will fire off my letter once I leave the blog. I called yesterday when I read the meeting was scheduled without the 30 days notice. It sure sounds like a violation of the Open Meetings Act. I also made my comment known on the local news channel. Thank you so much RT for getting in the trenches and forwarding this information to us. As I have said before, your blog is growing which has brought this fight to so many of us who care deeply about the horses and burros. I agree with Barbara, just how long does the greed and corruption have to continue before they are
    finally held accountable? I believe that those involved are desparate because the welfare ranchers and the gravy train could be ending. The American people are speaking loud and clear that they want accountablity for the horses and burros. We cannot allow our tax dollars to be used so recklessly. We must demand that they be accountable for the inhumane treatment and death of each and every horse or burro. We must demand where the horses and burros are going once they leave federal lands and where they are. Expecting and receiving nothing less.


    • The greed and corruption never ends, it only grows stronger. They will not stop until the very last one is removed from their legal domain while special interests exploit and destroy our PUBLIC lands using our tax dollars and laughing all the way to the bank. And I ask again, where is the department of justice? Are they getting pay off too?


  4. Ironic how the killers won’t respond to FOIAs or journalists’ interview requests in a timely fashion (or at all), but they are going to release wild equine advocates’ personal info from the advocates comments collected during the comment period?

    I’d call that a threat and in violation of federal law.

    This is a buying time game folks. They want them all GONE and in holding so they can kill them at last. Delay, warehouse, complain about the costs and in the end…..wipe them off the face of the earth.

    I’d say that is in violation of their mission statement, but not Burns’ lethal amendment (which was in violation of the 1971 Act from it’s inception, passage and implementation in the first freaking place).

    The worst of human character and ethics. They are cretins….and all on our dime.


    • Hooray Bravo Denise , these people are the most unethical and corrupt people ALL ON OUR DIME and and the Magnificent Horses Lives……………


  5. I will be writing. I just went to the website where you can vote and the vote against aircraft and motorized vehicles is 75.5 AGAINST BOTH. Please go to it and vote. More important, please write or email comments to BLM on this matter, they have given 2 weeks, please DO IT TODAY.


  6. NBCNEWS 4 vote is 76% against now ……….Everyone get them letters written and vote send emails to alll……………………………….


  7. the corruption of the BLM and the greed shown by them is disgusting…The American public is becoming more and more aware everyday…of how our tax dollars are being robbed and the cruelty involved when it comes to OUR mustangs and these roundups…..when will say enough is enough….and DEMAND a change?


  8. This abominable behavior by BLM toward helpless horses has been going on for years. They have auctioned them off in many states to inappropriate homes where people had no idea of taking proper care of them, and BLM did not care. They did not do their job, nor any other job, properly. Those horses were obtained by uncivilized and ignorant people who abused and starved the horses. The horses died or were sold to slaughter. I have the utmost contempt for BLM and for ALL those who tolerate their atrocious behaviour, including Salazar, another failure who has no compassion for animals and who, in my opinion, panders to cattlemen.

    For me, I can neither bear nor tolerate another uncivilized and cruel round up of horses who belong to Americans and who are our heritage. This behavior by the Bureau of Land Management is a blight on this country and makes us look third world.


    • I share your indignation…..I hope you chewed out your Federal Representative and two Senators….with a courtesy copy to your local paper, local/state/county reps.


  9. 😮 Do they think we are afraid of them? Is that why the comment about giving personal details and how it may be made public? What do they think they are going to do with that? Scare us away by landing a helicopter on our roofs? We aren’t ashamed of our beliefs. We have facts to back us up!


    • It is not about the killers being afraid of the advocates… is about them controlling EVERYTHING and a White House and Congress that is willing to abdicate the welfare of our wild and domestic equines to the perpetrators.

      Congress with the complicity of the WH in these trying times is supporting the rape of our lands, resources and wildlife…..actually, they also allow the restriction of voting, VA medical care of our veterans and food safety.

      A big ugly pile of cruelty. Senator Burns…good luck in the afterlife.


  10. 78% against, come on people get over to NBCNEWS 4 and vote, i want to send that vote and the article to the BLM to all the OHIO NEWS PEOPLE


  11. My husband and I have been saying it since back probably at least 1995 (before the Internet for most of us); first they will over-turn the protection act, (happened in 2006), THEN they will convince the naive and uninformed taxpayers that “so much of your tax dollars are going to support horses that used to be wild and are not happy in dry lots/long term holding, so they would be happier if they were humanely euthanized”.
    Its a slippery slope, and that’s why I always say to other advocates that complain about wild horses in long term holding dry lots being miserable because they aren’t wild anymore; put on the brakes folks, because “yes” we’d ALL like them to still be free, but that won’t happen and they are where they are for right now, so that rhetoric is playing right into the BLM’s and the opposition factions trap which is “they need to be “euthanized” (slaughtered as we all know they mean) because they are sad because they aren’t free, and also because the taxpayers shouldn’t have to spend millions upon millions to keep sad and miserable horses alive”. We can’t have it every way we want it, so sure, the wild horses would most certainly rather be free, but here’s the deal; horses live in the moment (wish I could do that) and whenever I go over to the adoption center at Palomino Valley, those horses are NOT unhappy and pining away for their freedom. Do some still gaze off into the distance and wish for freedom? Sure, some do, but many of the others just go about the business of forming and living their new hierarchy in dry lot holding. Probably 98% of the thousands of horses I’ve seen over the years look content, they have feed,they don’t have to walk miles and miles for water, they are in herd groups, etc. Even when there were reports of the facility in the midwest where the horses were standing in mud (!) I thought “gosh, I hope no one comes to my place and sees horses standing in mud during a wet winter” because thats what we get around here sometimes; some serious mud if it rains/snows for several days or weeks.
    In a perfect world all horses that want to be are free and wild, the ones that don’t want to roam and graze for food and walk miles for water would be in pristine pastures with water always available and a nice warm barn to be brought into if the weather gets nasty. However, this is not that perfect world, and the naive, uninformed public hears from so many people, including wild horse advocates, saying “oh, those poor horses, they should be free and now they live in dry lots probably for the rest of their lives” and all the public thinks is “they should be released through “humane euthanasia” from their misery rather then be tortured living that way”; problem is that it isn’t humane euthanasia, its either a bullet to the brain and/or slaughter-period, end of story.
    We need to unite and realize that everything we say is scrutinized and can be twisted and turned and used as ammunition against us and the wild horses and burros. We also need to be more realistic in the fact that most of the horses and burros already captured will never be wild again, so now we must work toward keeping them alive wherever they are. Speaking negatively about the holding facilites and the wild horses being unhappy does not help them, it only adds “fuel to the fire” that is the BLM’s and the evil factions propaganda machine when they point to what some of us say that “see, even the advocates say the horses are unhappy, so we need to “euthanize” them”.
    What the uniformed public needs to hear is that this is a very long term plan that is heading toward fruition for the factions that want the horses and burros gone and then can take over our public land entirely (and I see it getting worse and worse here in Northern Nevada already with new fences strung around public land overnight and no ranch gates in sight for miles). If we all instead can accept the fact that some horses will never be wild again, some will actually live the rest of their lives in dry lots, some may not do well in captivity and may not thrive and will be “put down” or be found dead, some may stand in some mud from time to time, they won’t always have shelters (and bad enough that now that is a requirement in order to adopt a Mustang (you have to have a sturdy shelter) and although none of the adoption facilities have shelters, and also most of my Mustangs that I adopt and many who have been domestic for several years now, will not use the shelters even in bad weather and prefer a wind break with no roof), since this requirement for adoptors, many, many people do not now adopt because they can afford the fencing but NOT the shelter—thank you-NOT- to some of the advocates who pushed this into being a requirement because you didn’t help the cause in terms of adoptions and Mustangs getting good homes just for the sake of a shelter which many will not use), etc, etc, that at least however the horses are ALIVE–and quit giving the BLM and the factions that are determined to take over our Open Range as their very own more ammunition to use against us, then the uninformed public who might still think our government would never lie to them is in fact selling them “a bill of goods” that hurts our public range, the environment, the wild animals who inhabit it, etc, and benefits very few–and certainly does not benefit them in the least.
    We need to present a united front to those in the public that don’t truly know what is going on and let them know that the wild horses who were captured are NOT unhappy, miserable, sad, etc, they have formed new herd groups, they live their lives wherever they are, and they DON’T need to be “euthanized” (KILLED/SLAUGHTERED). Instead, what the public NEEDS to know is that their tax dollars going to pay for the wild horses that were captured and who are now living in long term holding wherever that may be deserve to be taken care of for the rest of their lives, and their tax dollars instead should NOT be spent supporting corporate welfare ranching interests in their PRIVATE business endeavors, their money should not be spent on poisoning, burning, shooting, trapping, etc any and all of the predators to cattle and sheep, or those animals that compete for the forage and water with the sheep and cattle on the Open Range, they should not be forced to support the mining interests on public land who pollute the water sources, erode and damage the land, use explosives, etc, they shouldn’t have to pay to support the hunting industry of people who pay large sums of money to buy their hunting tags and then go out and kill animals in terrible ways, they shouldn’t have to have their tax dollars go to support private land sales of public land to corporate business interests leaving less public range for the wild horses, mountain lions, coyotes, bears, racoons, etc to roam on, and on and on. THAT’S what the public needs to know in terms of what is a total waste and scam/racket of where their tax dollars are going.
    Put that way, I believe the uninformed, naive public would instead be outraged, and would run those private business interest factions that have been stealing the publics money for decades “out of town on a rail” and then that would bring the gravy train these factions have been riding for years to a grinding halt–pronto! The majority of the public has no problem with their tax dollars going to support the formerly wild horses and burros in long term holding for the rest of their lives–however, if they are convinced by the blm and also quotes from actual wild horse advocates that the horses are “miserable”, “sad”, “unhappy”, “neglected”, etc, then in their minds those horses need to be “humanely euthanized” (and we all know that means slaughtered, but most of the public doesn’t know that) so they don’t have to be tormented any longer.
    At this point, those captured horses are for the most part destined to be in captivity, thats just the way it is. Its our job as advocates to make sure those horses don’t start disappearing from wherever they are, and instead are well taken care of captive/domestic horses for the rest of their lives. For the horses still in the wild, its obvious to all of us what our job is: to keep them FREE and managed in the WILD. Our job is also to expose the REAL issue of where tax payer dollars are being mis-spent; the money is going to the factions who are determined to take over the public land, run their private business interests, and have all of us still pay for it. These factions need to be told “no more money for you, and if you can’t manage your business at a profit without massive amounts of money from we tax payers, then “bye bye” and just like the rest of us private citizens running our own business, you need to be out of business if you can’t turn a profit without help. The wild horses and burros in the wild and the wild horses and burros in captivity are two seperate issues (in my mind anyway), so we should try and unite on our stance that “no, the wild horses in captivity are not miserable, so they don’t need to be “euthanized”, and “the wild horses and burros still in the wild are not starving, they are not ruining the environment, they are NOT breeding like rabbits (unlike the mass production breeders breeding programs where they use mares for embryo transplant foals so that a stallion can have many more mares impregnated with his sperm and the eggs from another mare who doesn’t carry her own foal!) or having litters like cats, they are not running amouk and taking over whole towns and cities (like what cattle do when they come through a property located near open rangeland–been there, done that, and believe me, its no fun because of how destructive cattle are), and on and on. If the factions whom are the issue are gotten under control and like wayward children are finally told “no, go out and get a real job because we’re done supporting your butts”, then and only then will we finally see some “balance on the Open Range”–we do however need to unite and we need to turn the uninformed public into our educated allies and partners on turning this potential tragic defeat into an astounding triumph for our wild horses and burros. Off my soapbox now and sorry about “preaching to the choir” for many of you.


  12. I would also try the Senate and House Interior Appropriations Committees for all the good it might do or perhaps it would be most helpful to write our own Congress persons and ask them to express objections on our behalf.

    We can’t vote other states’ Congress persons out, but we can vote our own out.

    Not only is the agency corrupt to the core, it is arrogant and it gives U. S. citizens that do not live in Nevada the metaphorical bird at every turn. This absolutely cannot continue.


  13. Starlight Sanctuary,
    You have made some good points. I do not agree with all of them, but I do agree that we must get these ranching parasites off public land.

    I suggest we write, fax, call Congressman Ryan who is Chairman of the House Budget committee and let him know that the American public is aware on one very large entitlement group that, unlike the elderly, the very poor, or the disabled is being supported by each and every one of us. It makes me ill that my tax dollars are going to enrich members of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Public Lands Council, who are, by the way, part of the meat industry not the horse industry.

    However, until and unless we get Senator Reid removed as President of the Senate, the public lands blood suckers with not be weaned. He is as much their agent as the BLM.


  14. When will the American people see we are being screwed by the beef industry and the government. They capture the wild horses (BLM salaries paid for with tax dollars). Cattle ranchers help with round up (paid for with tax dollars). Cattle ranchers contracted to haul wild horses to encloser in trucks (paid for with tax dollars). Wild horse are warehoused and fed (paid for with tax dollars). Meen while the cattle ranchers have transported their cattle to the PUBLIC LAND to graze them for free. Then we can buy the beef that we have fed. And who is going to get the money for all of the wild horses that will be slaughtered as soon as we turn our backs. Not the tax payers for sure- not that we wouldn’t choke on that blood money. The wild horses and the american public are being screwed.


  15. The American public must understand that our Wild Horses and Burros are NOT overpopulated. Their Legally disignated lands have been taken from them. WHERE has that land gone?
    21,354 WH&B population as of 2/28/11…using BLM’s own calculations
    The Numbers

    – 21,354: WH&B population as of 2/28/11 using BLM’s own data & 20% growth model (independent analysis)
    – 22.2 million: Number of acres WH&B have lost since 1971
    – Compiled by Carla Bowers, 10/26/11, Revised 11/6/11
    – For NAS/NRC Study Panel of BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program
    – All numbers above are verifiable
    – Conclusions

    – – America’s “legally protected” WH&B are not getting a fair share of land, forage & water.
    – – The AML range of 16,000-26,600 for WH&B is too low & threatens the genetic viability & survival of healthy, self-sustaining herds over the long-term.
    – – An independent, state-of-the-art census is required


    The BLM’s big “fire sale” of our land
    March 8, 2011 by ppjg
    Debbie Coffey (c)copyright 2011
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is selling YOUR land right out from under you. Concurrently, the BLM is blitzing the media with PR spin to justify removing all of our publicly owned wild horses off of our public lands. If you want to see what has really been happening to our wild horses at recent roundups, go to
    Do you know how many acres of your public lands are being sold off in each state? This is a policy being pushed by your President, your Congress, Ken Salazar (Secretary of the Dept. of the Interior) and Bob Abbey (BLM Director). Your state and local governments have their hands out to receive part of the profits. Your “public agencies” (like the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management) are actually corporations and their priority is to make money.


  17. Last summer about 12 of us traveled to Rock Springs, WY for their “Helicopter Public Hearing.” All who spoke were asked to supply name and address. We did, and when it was all over, one of our group spoke up and said that advocate addresses should be stricken, as the ranchers who spoke did not submit that information. After sputtering and hemming and hawing, wild horse and burro specialist Jay d’Ewart determined that he needed to get the ranchers’ addresses before everyone left. It was an interesting evening. That will occur again this year on June 21. You all come, now!


  18. I agree with “the starlight sanctuary” – chances are that bemoaning the lives of the horses in long term holding just might provide the BLM the push they need! The horses are being fed, watered & have some kind of family herd situation – maybe not exactly like when they were “home”, but its better than being sent to slaughter. Pretty bad when we (public) have NO say in what is done by the BLM.
    We all need to put efforts into keeping the wild ones free & giving them a place to be free.
    So many great comments – keep them coming!


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