Horse News

BLM to Remove Up to 50 Wild Horses Due to Alleged Drought

By on Jul 08, 2012 in Focus

“The condition of these unique horses and the range is paramount to advocates.”

A judge has given permission for federal authorities to remove 40 to 50 horses from a  historic wild horse herd in a drought-hit area of Colorado.

The Cloud Foundation, which contends the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to eliminate the herd for decades, said it was relieved the judge had permitted only partial removal of the horses.

The bureau, responsible for the wild horse herds in the US, has been delivering water to two groups of horses on Texas Mountain in the West Douglas Herd Area, south of Rangely, for several weeks.

It instead sought to remove the horses, saying that continuing to carry in water was unsustainable.

On July 3,  in a telephone meeting with the Federal Court, the bureau got the go-ahead to remove only a portion of the wild horses in the West Douglas Herd on Colorado’s Western Slope. Judge Collyer limited the removals to only 40 to 50 horses.

“We’re relieved that Judge Collyer allowed only a partial removal of a herd the BLM has been trying to eliminate for decades, ” Cloud Foundation executive director Ginger Kathrens said.

“But we’re disappointed that 40 to 50 wild horses will lose their freedom and their families while our Nation is celebrating its independence and freedom.”

Veterinarian Don Moore, who grew up in Rangley and has watched the wild horses in the area for over 50 years, said: “The West Douglas wild horses have endured many droughts in the past. If a drought was going to kill these horses, it would have done so a long time ago.”

He added: ““The condition of these unique horses and the range is paramount to advocates. We’re concerned for their safety and wellbeing during capture and transportation, especially during extremely hot weather.”

Kathrens said the bureau had closed the Texas Mountain area, “so how can advocates monitor the operation and verify that the horses are being treated humanely?”

“Simply saying all is well and the horses are being treated humanely doesn’t fly anymore after the hundreds of horses, including little foals, have died from what BLM characterizes as ‘non-gather related’ injuries.”

Wild horse advocates are continuing with court action to preserve the West Douglas Herd.

In addition to the Cloud Foundation, plaintiffs include Colorado Wild Horse & Burro Coalition, Habitat for Horses, Front Range Equine Rescue, and Don and Toni Moore with the Wild Horse Freedom Federation jointly funding the litigation.

“The West Douglas horses, like all our wild horses, belong to the American public,” Kathrens says. “And Americans should speak up for them now, before these symbols of freedom are gone forever, living on only in history books and romantic memoirs of the ‘good ole days’.”

The roundup is slated to begin on July 10th, 2012.

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16 replies »

    • How could it Possibly be: “harder, more difficult, complicated, or UNsustainable” for these Nimwits–
      to HAUL (even 5-10) tanker truckfuls, (-obviously “over-kill”, but blm seems 2 “prefer” that) of plain WATER, every Day….attach a hose; let Water DRAIN into a few troughs/natural cachments/(whatever) ««–»» than to “stampede; maim; “process”; sort, load; haul away; “short-term” hold (or) train; reload; haul to various “adoptions”; FEED, WATER, Care for; eventually reload & haul remaining to “LTH”….of an *Entire Horse HERD* ?!? ….(or) even of *40-50 Horses??? \¤_¤”/ really?????….I mean, I’m n0 “horse/burro EX*PERT” –but I’d likely ~figure Out~ to buy Lotsa Jugs o’Water, b4 I dismantled my whole House —& moved it to another state’s River- in a Temporary *drought!?? (just thinkin’)


  1. The Sheriff is voted in by the PEOPLE:!-quot

    Wyoming sheriffs put Feds in their place.

    From: James W. von Brunn
    Here’s one the mainstream media isn’t going to tell you: County sheriffs in Wyoming are demanding that federal agents actually abide by the Constitution, or face arrest. Even better, a U.S. District Court agreed according to the Keene Free Press:

    The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.

    Guess what? The District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs. In fact, they stated,Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official.” Go back and re-read this quote. The court confirms and asserts that “the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal official.” And you thought the 10th Amendment was dead and buried – not in Wyoming, not yet.Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis comments:

    “If a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody.” “I am reacting in response to the actions of federal employees who have attempted to deprive citizens of my county of their privacy, their liberty, and their property without regard to constitutional safeguards. I hope that more sheriffs all across America will join us in protecting their citizens from the illegal activities of the IRS, EPA, BATF,FBI, or any other federal agency that is operating outside the confines of constitutional law. Employees of the IRS and the EPA are no longer welcome in Bighorn County unless they intend to operate in conformance to constitutional law.”The implications are huge:


    This Is Not A Democracy
    Although to be quite candid, BLM District Manager Jim Sparks may have already answered most of these questions when he made a statement at a public hearing in Billings, Mt. in September of 2008. When asked why further gatherings were being planned despite the fact that copious amounts of objective information had been supplied that refuted any immediate need for further gatherings in addition to a vast majority of public comments that opposed such action, he stated and I quote:
    “This is not a Democracy”
    This is a direct quote from the BLM!!!!!

    1. So, does this statement represent how the BLM thinks? It certainly would explain volumes as to how the BLM manages the Wild Horse and Burro Program, with callous disregard for the spirit and intent of the law, catering to special interests, and capricious decisions that led to the current crisis in the program.


  3. Removing even a portion of these historic horses, is a CRIME!!!! From reading the other comments, it appears that even the Sheriffs’ are fed up with the blm & the Feds!!! Has anyone contacted a company or individual, who has access to a helicopter, to monitor the “roundup?” Join forces , continue to fight this and other roundups . Throughout all of these event, where are the Governors of these states????


    • It is a crime yes.. but it could be worse. they could have been allowed to remove the whole herd completely.. so in this case I say “Count your blessings”


    • I suggested a few days ago to contact the local TV stations and tell them what is being done and ask if they wanted to use their own or another stations news helicopter to report on this. According to Louie Cocroft talk to the local sheriff and see what he/she says about helping to stop this, one of them just might agree.


  4. A normal size water truck that you see going down the road or on construction sites holds 4,000 gallons (perhaps a little less when hauled on bumpy roads). 4,000 gallons of water would be enough for about 266 horses. So (round numbers) these 50 horses could survive with about one water truck load every five days. The cost would mainly be the mileage/time to and from the site which would include the driver, truck and water. The BLM received more than $112 billion in 2010 for use of our public lands.

    Of course there is more to the water story … like who DOES own the water rights in that area and have any water sources been diverted or turned off or horses excluded from the sources?


  5. Correction:
    The $412, 200 figure at the base was a repeat. Charts don’t transfer well. It is best to pull up the link and view the entire chart, as well as navigate the site.


  6. Understand… that there are huge economic and political forces joined together and aligned against the federally protected American mustang. In this case, “federally protected”, means nothing ! Cost means nothing to these entities since congress provides the funding add to that, the money that flows from oil/cattle interests. Mainstream media will not provide any coverage, if it does it will only be a blip on the screen.


  7. Are there any cattle? How many are they removing? If none, they cannot remove any wild horses! Supply the horses with hay and water!


  8. If these animals are to be considered as “native fauna”, and people want to treat them as other native wild animals treated, then just do it. This means letting mother nature take her course. If the “wild” horses run out of water, then they will either find a water source, or they will die off, and only the strongest will survive. This is as it is in nature; survival of the fittest insures only the best and strongest survive to propagate. It is no different than elk herds which are being ravaged by wolves. Only the strongest and smartest elk will survive. Predation and drought (alleged) will cut elk herds down to the proper size, or if nature decides, will eliminate them entirely. Horses, elk, deer, all wild ungulates should be treated the same. If humans have to haul water for any one of these species in order for them to survive, then they are no longer truly wild animals. Period. No water—no horses—no deer—if they can’t make it on their own, they don’t belong in that environment.


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