Horse News

Americans Want Aid Sent to Pregnant Wild Horses and Babies—Not to Stampede Them

Privately owned livestock allowed to remain on the range while wild horses risk death in helicopter roundup

BLM’s documented cruel Helicopter Stampede contractor “Sun J” tormenting native wild horses during last year’s Antelope Complex disaster ~ photo by Terry Fitch

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2012)—Protect Mustangs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), scores of equine advocacy groups and the American public oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Jackson Mountain roundup, in northwestern Nevada famous for Burning Man, set to begin tomorrow. The advocacy organizations and members of the public are reaching out to elected officals nationwide to come to the aid of America’s wild horses and burros. The BLM has chosen to endanger heavily pregnant mares and tiny foals by stampeding them in a terrifying helicopter roundup. Protect Mustangs asked BLM to continue trucking out water and other aid as needed for the indigenous wild horses. Their request was refused. Trucking aid to them is cheaper than a cruel million dollar roundup paid for by the American taxpayer. Originally the wild horse removal was planned for after foaling season in July but BLM claims the indigenous horses are at risk because of drought conditions even though rain is forecast and private livestock is allowed to remain grazing on the range.

“We need our elected officials to intervene at this point,” says Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We asked the BLM to continue bringing them water but they refused to wait until foaling season is over. Now the BLM will round them up and jeopardize their ability to peacefully birth their babies.”

“Wouldn’t it make more fiscal sense to remove the privately owned welfare cattle from the public land?” added R.T. Fitch, volunteer president of WHFF, “This is just another clear cut case of the BLM thumbing it’s nose at the public, putting the native wild horses at risk and all because they believe that ‘they can'”.

In March 2012, Joan Guilfoyle, BLM wild horse and burro division chief, announced to the world they would use a new method to capture mustangs—bait trapping. Now the government agency is demonstrating their double speak and lack of human care for America’s wild horses. The roundups, funded by Congress, continue.

“The BLM obviously doesn’t care about the welfare of pregnant mares and tiny foals,” states Novak. “Stampeding them will cause spontaneous abortions and newborn foals won’t be able to keep up. Will they be separated from their mamas and left out there to die?”

Protect Mustangs is calling on Americans to contact their senators and representatives because theses wild horses belong to all Americans. Members of the public are encouraged to ask their elected officials intervene–to stop the Jackson Mountain foaling season roundup and bring America’s indigenous horses aid if needed.

The preservation group also suggests voicing concerns to Nevada’s Congressman Joe Heck 202-225-3252 (fax 202-225-3252) and Senator Dean Heller 202-224-6244 (fax 202-224-6244).

“The BLM is using the drought as an excuse to clear out wild horses while risking their death,” explains Novak. “They are leaving livestock on the same allegedly drought afflicted land to graze, so BLM’s actions don’t make any sense. It just shows how the government agency wants to dispose of America’s icons.”

30 replies »

    • Anne Novak, of Protect Mustangs, is an experienced advocate and former board member of the Cloud Foundation. She needs our help to get to the Jackson Mountain Roundup which began today in NW Nevada. She communicates with politicians, BLM and many well known and famous wild horse lovers. For the sake of the wild ones we need as many people in the field as we can get. Anne needs to get out there for a few days. Please, let’s help her.

      Anne Novak, 415-531-8454
      Get Anne into the field!


  1. The following are excerpts from Debbie Coffey’s letter to BLM. Take a look at the energy projects. These projects use huge amounts of water. Are they going to be halted because of drought conditions?

    by Debbie Coffey ~ (Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation) published in PPJ Gazette

    RE: Public comment/Jackson Mountain wild horse gather

    This Hycroft Expansion Project will use an additional 5,895 acres of PUBLIC LAND, with 2,172 acres of “new disturbance.” ON PUBLIC LAND, it seems this one project has 85 acres of roads, 176 acres including an open pit, 451 acres for heap leach pads, and 451 acres for waste rock facilities. Wild horses leave some hoofprints and eat some forage.

    Your district also has the Coeur Rochester Mine Expansion Project. In August 2010, the EPA sent a letter to Bob Edwards of the BLM, stating that the EPA was concerned about this 7th Amendment to the Plan of Operation (POO) since 1986 and that no Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) were conducted regarding the Plan of Operation OR its amendments. The EPA stated it had concerns about the proposed project’s “potential direct and cumulative impacts on water and air quality.”

    Your office also gave a FONSI to Newmont Mining’s Sandman Exploration Project, in the EA, it states this project will cause 500 acres of disturbance, and “none of the drilling products to be used under the Proposed Action contain hazardous substances and all are approved for well drilling and would therefore, not contaminate ground water aquifers or surface waters. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for common drill additives are included in the Plan.”


  2. If there was ever a time for protection of Biblical proportions to be reenacted, it is here and now, in the Jackson Mountain roundup.

    May the spirit of Elisha (see II Kings 6) descend upon our beautiful wild horses … encircle them with a ring of fire protecting them from harm … temporarily blind the contractors to prevent them from seeing and stampeding the horses … capture the wrongdoers and feed them with mercy and kindness, causing them to freely relinquish their corrupt ways.

    One of the most memorable lines in that story is verse 16, in which Elisha reassures his frightened servant (Gehazi), who believes they are vastly outnumbered by the Syrian army: “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

    And one of the most forgiving moments is when the King of Israel asks the prophet if the enemy soldiers should be killed, and Elisha replies (v. 22, 23): “Thou shalt not smite them: … set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.”

    So the bands of the BLM came no more into the land of Nevada, of Wyoming, of Colorado, or of any other state where wild horses and burros are allowed, by divine right and by federal law, to roam free forever.

    If I believe such protection is at hand, then I need to reach the place in my heart where I can honestly answer yes to these questions:

    Is not the same good, all-loving creator governing the world today?

    Is not the mighty power of our good God equal to what it was in Elisha’s day?

    Is this not a call to have the same wholehearted trust in God’s goodness that the prophet displayed in that story of old?

    Is not the universal law of divine Love more reliable than any lesser law, presence and power?

    May we defenders of the wild ones have the spiritual courage to bathe the equines’ enemies in the meek, merciful, and mighty love of God — a love that rights all wrongs, forgives and redeems the past, preserves the innocence of all our heavenly Parent’s children.

    And preserves the liberty and lives of all the horses and burros our Parent has placed in our care.


  3. I contacted both Georgia senators. Hope it helps, but I don’t have any faith in our government anymore. Sad for the horses and sad for the American people. BLM is an out of control organization.


  4. This is beginning to make me wonder if our public lands still belong to the public? Its almost like some other country now owns these lands and wants the wild horses taken off! Who knows what our government does anymore? Who can trust any of them? There is a reason why they are doing this! We will never know until the horses are gone and the new project shows up. There are so many secret deals going on within our government behind closed doors that we will never know the truth anymore. Something tells me that there is much more behind the BLMs removal of these horses other than their so called “managing them”! I just wish there was more that we could do to stop this madness, but other than calling, faxing and writing our reps, theres not much more we can do. Obviously they are not going to listen to the people! Years and years we have all been fighting for our wild horses, and it all falls on deaf ears! Obviously, they have other plans for our public lands and they are not going to let anyone interfere with those plans! We need to get the truth about this somehow!


    • Judith, Don’t sound defeated! There are many things we are not doing because we do not have enough volunteers and money. Find some money and it will help do many things. Get volunteers and you have people in touch with more reps and news sources. Get more money and you have more people in the field doing more investigations beyond just roundup observation. Get more volunteers and you have a virtual office working to find and write grants and working in the communities near HMAs. Get more people to volunteer and you will have more pressure on the corporations that inhabit the HMAs of our removed wild ones. Get more volunteers and you can do some simple studies in the field. Get more money and volunteers because we need desperately need a census so we need more money…. Get more advocates together to write new legislation or strengthen the old. More people and more money would mean someone lobbying for us in DC.

      The emails, letters, faxes are the backbone of this campaign and need to be continued. But we need to be contacting corporations with gazillion complaints and requests for funding to offset what their corporate presence has done on wild horse and burro land. Compensation or help to move horses to other safe places on their own lands would be preferable to removals.

      Do not think that the roundups are all that is going on, altho’ they are We need more people there but we need more help with all the above


      • Because Anne Novak has been able to be on several talk radio shows and has been on TV News and news article in just the last couple weeks I have found her Protect Mustangs to be very strong and well led. She is prepared to go head to head with all our opposition; politicians and BLM and others. Stopping the roundups is the goal and we need your involvement to do this right and cover all our bases.

        Hit Protect Mustangs in Red at the top of this article and go see her web site. Help us!! We have a huge job to do!!!




    • I just read on Laura Leighs FB entry that all the requests from her, and the advocates backing her, regarding all the safer ways to handle the gathering of horses that is about to take place in Nevada was met with a total negative responses from the BLM. It is quite obvious that this gov. agency does not care nor even listen to what the people of this country are asking. It just seems to be a waste of energy and time to try to accomplish things in this manner with them.


      • Jerry, All the information that Ginger presented had science behind it and professional assessments and they were ignored. These were the alternatives with real backing from a very wide advocate and professional base. Real substantive alternatives, you could say- were ignored. That is a significant bow to the advocacy.


  6. I also sent a message to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney; told him what was happening and that if he truly wants to keep the American heritage as it should be (what his campaign is about), he should get involved in this (even though he doesn’t have decision powers). Further told him that if ihe would raise this issue in his campaign, he surely would get some supporters out of the thousands that are trying to help the mustang. Worth a shot to get it out to a lot of people who aren’t aware of what is going on.


    • Mitt Romney said he wasn’t sure what our public lands were even for and that he supports letting states decide if they want to privatize them. So, good luck with Mr. 1%.


  7. Any witness @ roundup call Deputy. Casanada at the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department 775-623-6429 or the main switchboard at 6419. He needs a statement of a witness to press charges of Animal Cruelty as defined by NRS 574.100 (NV state statute). Overdriving animal is violation, helicopter stampede is overdriving.
    Keith Dane HSUS 202-452-1100 x3076 why aren’t you filing injunction or pressing charges of animal cruelty?????????????


  8. More BS & LIES from the BLM!! If the cattle are being allowed to graze & have access to water, there is no reason or excuse the wild horses couldn’t be left alone as well, & allowed equal access to the water!! I’m really ticked off, annoyed as hell, & pissed off that the BLM actually thinks people are STUPID enough to believe them! These wild horses have been taken care of by Mother Nature for hundreds of years & more! Nature knows what to do & how to take care of things. Humans need to leave these precious wild horses & burros ALONE!! We’ve got your number, BLM, you better watch your backs!!


  9. This is the reply from my email!!!
    I’m sure anyone who wrote got the same response, right?

    My name is Kaitlin Godbey and I am responding to your letter on behalf of Winnemucca District Manager, Gene Seidlitz.
    Thank you for your email regarding the Jackson Mountains emergency wild horse gather. Drought conditions in the area, combined with the overpopulation of wild horses, is adversely impacting the public rangelands and compromising the health of the animals. On June 7, Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz issued a Decision Record for an environmental assessment for the Jackson Mountains wild horse gather. Due to the emergency nature of the gather, the decision was issued in full force and effect and the gather will start June 8.
    We will gather 630 excess wild horses because of the drought conditions in the wild horse herd management area, which is about 60 miles northwest of Winnemucca, Nev., in Humboldt and Pershing counties. The estimated population is 930 wild horses, which includes the 2012 foal crop. The Appropriate Management Level for the Jackson Mountains HMA is 130 to 217 wild horses.
    While we have been hauling water to horse troughs in the southern portion of the Jackson Mountains herd management area since last month to augment the water availability, there is still not enough water or forage to adequately sustain the amount of animals in this area. There has been minimal to no green up occurring on this year’s forage. The wild horses in the southern end of the HMA are foraging on last year’s cheatgrass and shrubs, which is not meeting their nutritional needs, and their body condition is declining. The body condition score of wild horses in the HMA overall is between a 2 (very thin) and 4 (moderately thin). We have been using automated wildlife cameras to document and assess animal condition and made frequent field visits to closely monitor them. Based on our monitoring, this gather is necessary for the health of the horses. We need to remove the horses from the range now before their condition worsens.
    It is BLM policy not to conduct wild horse gathers during the foaling season, which is typically from March through June. Due to the emergency situation, this gather will occur during the typical foaling season. The BLM is concerned that waiting until July 1 could ultimately result in high foal mortality and more animal suffering. Because there are likely to be pregnant mares and younger foals during this gather, the BLM will take precautions to reduce the risk of heat stress and distances we move the animals. The contractor is setting up additional pens at the sorting/short-term holding corrals, to ease pairing of mares and foals. By gathering the animals now, we can transition pregnant mares and young foals to adequate feed while their bodies are still capable of recovering from a poor state of health, which will increase their chance of survival.
    We care about these animals and we take seriously our responsibility to manage healthy herds of wild horses on the public lands. We are working closely with the contractor to ensure we are conducting the gather in the best way possible.
    Please consider coming out to the gather to see the conditions for yourself. Call us at (775) 623-1541 to make a reservation. For more information:


    Kaitlin Godbey

    Kaitlin Godbey

    Social Media Specialist

    BLM Nevada State Office

    775.861.6471 |


  10. I did get a response from Kaitlin Godbey the Social Media Specialist at BLM Nevada!
    I imagine everyone who sent emails heard from her. All about the drought conditions
    and how much the BLM cares for the horses. AND I should “come out & see the
    gather. I’m sure that would be an eye-opener.
    I hope any witnesses that are there are able to contact the Humboldt Co.Sheriffs office
    & press some charges (per Lisa Norman).


  11. KEEP calling, faxing and go to the top…Department of the Interior, Nevada Senators, BLM Nevada State Director. Get the news to news stations, reporters, facebook. Elections are coming up. DON’T let up.


  12. The range does NOT get into this bad shape overnight and the BLM’s only answer has been to remove horses. This is a prime example of BLM’s politically driven (not scientifically based) MIS-management of YOUR public lands.

    Heavily grazed land is not evidence that Wild Horses are the cause – and the photo captions (see BLM environmental assessment) even admit that the area shown is annually and HEAVILY grazed by livestock. To take it a step further, it shows (PURPOSELY?) that the livestock grazed the forage far below health and the Wild Horses, which rely on this area for winter grazing were left with a devastated range to try to survive on. The photos that were supplied only prove the fact that this portion of the range was highly over grazed by livestock last year and because of that it had a difficult time rejuvenating for the winter usage of the wild horses. In other words these photos show bad range management of livestock and absolutely no proof that Wild Horses over grazed this area. ONLY 4.5% – 7.5% percent of usage [AUMS] are designated for Wild Horses verses 92.5% – 95.5% range usage for livestock.

    (sorry for saying this twice … but it needs to be said a billion times)


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