Horse News

Wild Horse Groups File Preemptive “Motion for Stay” to Stop Possible Back-Door BLM Roundup

Courtesy of  Wild Horse Freedom Federation  (Press Release)

BLM Allegedly Attempts to Build False Emergency to Avoid Court and Eradicate Wild Horse Herd

A West Douglas Family Band ~ photo by Toni Moore

Washington D.C., (WHFF) – On June 22nd, 2012 Wild Horse Advocacy groups filed an “Emergency Motion for Stay of Threatened Emergency Gather” against Director of the Department of the Interior (DoI) Ken Salazar and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in an attempt to “head off” what is believed to be an artificial emergency generated by the BLM in an effort to eradicate Colorado’s West Douglas Wild Horse Herd and by-pass on-going litigation to prevent the agency from doing same.

Plaintiffs Colorado Wild Horse & Burro Coalition, Front Range Equine Rescue, Habitat for Horses, Cloud Foundation, Don and Toni Moore, supported by Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), have spent years locked in a legal battle to prevent the BLM from furthering their long standing goal of removing the entire North West Colorado wild horse herd from their native public land. The organizations collectively allege that they have credible evidence to dispute the BLM’s assertion that a drought emergency exists in the area and the horses must be removed for their own safety.

Last week the BLM issued not one but two separate warnings to the court that the horses were in distress but the Wild Horse advocacy groups decry these claims after an intensive on-site investigation and survey of the area in question.

In his declaration to the court, local resident and plaintiff Dr. Don Moore states,

“…in areas where the horses are found there is plenty of fresh water flowing. Some of it flows underground but comes up above ground in “seeps,” which are areas where water bubbles up from freshwater springs beneath the ground and which wild horses regularly find, access, and drink from. We saw many seeps in the past week with a length and a depth sufficient to support the horses. There is, based on my knowledge and experience of this area and these horses, ample fresh water even though an untrained eye might not appreciate the available water in the area.

He further states:

“I observed fresh feces from the wild horses and determined that the horses were not dehydrated, based on the size and consistency of the samples observed. Visually the horses exhibited no signs of dehydration, which could include thin body condition or emaciation.”

Lauryn Wachs, of the Cloud Foundation, also traveled to the area where the BLM claims there is no water for the horses and said,

“In the past week in the West Douglas Herd Area I observed horses accessing natural water from “seeps” where fresh water was flowing.  It was also clear there was ample water for the horses as I observed four horses who were wet, obviously from rolling in mud, a sure sign of available water.”

R.T. Fitch, volunteer president of WHFF one of the funding organizations added,

“This is an old Mustanger trick used by the BLM to circumvent the courts and accomplish what they have always wanted to do, wipe out this entire herd.” Fitch continued, “Once again it appears that the BLM is using backroom tactics in an effort to serve their special cattle grazing interests who have joined them in this fight.  Private cattle stay, public wild horses go; it’s nothing short of insanity.”

The battle over the West Douglas herd is nearly two decades old, and only through the efforts of concerned citizens and organizations have the horses been saved from the BLM’s desire to remove them all from their homelands.  In 2009, concerned citizens and organizations won the first case in the United States against BLM’s practices of eliminating wild horse herds when Judge Collyer set aside BLM’s 2008 roundup plans.  In 2010 advocates again sued the BLM and the BLM withdrew its plans to decimate the herd. Likewise, in 2011 the BLM was held at bay by the advocacy groups.

Click (HERE) to visit WHFF and view court documents

32 replies »

  1. Another atrocity where the BLM is trying to “manage for extinction” when it is supposed to be protecting and preserving our wild horses and burros. How much longer is this corruption going to last ? Why hasn’t Congress held an investigation ? What about the U.S.Justice Dept. ?


  2. Lies, Corruption, and death reek from the BLM, the powers that be must be aware,?????? Yes Head them off at the Pass…………………………


  3. This is great news – well done!
    This type of observation and documentation needs to be done on all HMAs often but especially now with BLMs excellerated removals using drought and over-grazed range as their excuse. We don’t have to be scientists to observe and record what we see so when planning our summer get aways, plan on this if you can.
    Take a notebook and pen and write down the beginning mileage and the ending mileage and estimated visual distance and number/description/location of wild horses or burros you see (if any … and HOPE you do!) and take photos of all animals (including livestock) and the range conditions/forage and the fences and the water sources and the hoofprints/scat at the water sources.
    I have seen livestock on grazing allotements after they were supposed to be removed. I have seen water basins with NO sign of horse/burro scat near it – but with lots of cattle poo all over and right down into the basin. More than once I have seen wild horses go to and drink at a water source and then leave the area – whereas I have seen and photographed livestock at water sources laying all around the water.
    Be prepared when you go with lots of water and supplies and let someone know where you are going and your expected return … just in case.
    Just my thoughts………




    • Whacking wild equines knows no political party affiliation; there are good and bad Republicans and Democrats in this struggle. This is a battle between good and evil, greed and selflessness.


      • Oh Denise you are so very SPOT ON !!!!!!!! PURE GREED and EVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!! No other explanation………………………………………………


  5. These lawsuits are VERY expensive. Legal fees come out of individual pockets.
    WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION is a great place to make a donation and help make a real difference. BLM is using OUR Tax Money for these court battles,


    • Yes, Louie! BLM is holding all the cards but their resources are not unlimited. If they didn’t have so many lawsuits to fight, would they use that money to make a better program for the WHB? I do not think so.

      The only cards the average person has is to contacting our elected officials. Does anybody know how effective petitions are? How are they received by addressees?

      If we have the money and are willing and/or able to part with it, we can support lawsuits. However, my guess is that the majority of wild horse and burro advocates have more ability to contact their elected officials than to provide monetary support to lawsuits or much monetary support to individuals in the field.


  6. I was wondering if the current wildfire situation is affecting any of the HMAs in the Western States, especially the West and East Douglas herds. Does anyone know? I can’t find a fire map with the appropriate overlays.

    I have a reason for asking and hope someone can answer the question.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Denise, As of today, there are no fires in the West Douglas Herd Area or the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Managment Area.


  7. Good job..Having proffessionals like doctor Moore investigating and giving a statement is so valuable..we..can make the same investigation and our findings are just considered bias opinion..alot harder for BLM and the courts to discount their findings


  8. Louie, please call, fax, email, tweet your representative and Doc Hastings and make this point. They are now referring to the Government Litigation Savings Act as the Taxpayers Litigation Savings Bill. This bill was written by a fifth generation public lands rancher married to a forth generation public lands rancher. In addition to having fed at the public trough for generations, she has made a living from suing the government, a right she would like to see denied to anyone without direct, personal, financial standing in litigation. The second hearing tying this bill to the Endangered Species Act was Tuesday. She is not a member of Congress, but she is a former member of the Interior Department Her father-in-law just succeeded in getting the grazing time period for permits extended from 10 to 20 years without an increase in fee. Still paying $1.35 per cow calf pair, too.

    The only way this went under our radar was because their lobbyist was able to keep us busy with other tasks,


  9. This Brutal Lawbraking Mismanagement, the BLM, their Evil, their NAZIS ways of doings, they have to be stopped, they have to be wiped out, unles they change to the way, they are supposed to be, “the Stewards”, meaning: to protect all what is important to the American People. In this case the Wild Horses. But instead, they have shown, only their GREED, and no mercy. They have been braking Laws, with their Lies, etc.etc. Congress HAS to listen to the OUTCRY of America,, of the PEOPLE of America. The Wild Horses belong to this country, they belong to the People.They belong to the land , given to them . They take care of them selfs, and should be left alone., The Judges, the Court, CONGRESS, They are the ones, WE, and the Horses are counting on. They have to go against EVIL, they have to make the RIGHT, Compasionate and above all CIVILIZED DECISION. We have the voice for the Voiceless, in this case, for the Wild Horses from America. The WORLD is WATCHING!!! ps. I want to thank all the Organizations, their people, who are fighting against the Evil. We all have to believe and KNOW, ” the GOOD will WIN over the Evil.”.


  10. disgusting that you have to keep fighting what should be a settled issue. they just figure as long as they keep pressing they can bankrupt the advocacy groups. sort of like the insurance companies that deny and deny claims hoping that you will just go away. unfortunately many do due to the high cost of fighting those endless pockets. thank you for staying on top of them RT


    • Thanks for sharing, Arlene. I signed, commented and shared, as well. Isn’t it sad that taxpayers have to pay for this mismanagement, our horses are suffering, while the majority of the American people want them protected. This has been an ongoing nightmare for these beautiful and peaceful creatures and I can’t thank those enough, who have given so much and continue to do so, in fighting for their right to roam free.


      • Dear Jean, Thank You for signing I am hoping everyone will sign……………………..and read Knowledge is everything in this battle to save our Mustangs !!


  11. At issue is not what political party is the majority or the president, but the employees at the BLM and their ingrained bias toward ranchers and their ingrained distaste for the wild horse and burro Act. Without a through cleaning of the department and strong leadership for the department we will forever be fighting these issues. Court cases help as it FORCES a change in policy, at least until they think they have found a loophole. Congressional intervention is the fastest way for change, but that is always stymied by the deep pockets of the lobbyists for the other side and our lack of lobby funding and a PAC. Politically they are stronger because they have these powerful tools and we are sadly lacking in them. One would hope that being right and having the support of the public would be enough, but it isn’t. We simply MUST become politically savvy and fight fire with fire if we are ever going to gain the protections that these animals deserve and were promised.


  12. THANK YOU, Christie! Is this the bill?
    H.R. 1996: Government Litigation Savings Act
    112th Congress, 2011–2012
    To amend titles 5 and 28, United States Code, with respect to the award of fees and other expenses in cases brought against agencies of the United States, to require the Administrative Conference of the United States to compile, and make publically available, certain data relating to the Equal Access to Justice Act, and for other purposes.
    Rep. Cynthia Lummis [R-WY0]
    Reported by Committee


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.