Horse News

Pickens Wild Horse Plan: Betrayed?

Commentary by Bonnie Kohleriter

 Mustang Monument or Mustang Tombstone; Your Comments Needed

3 HMAs destroyed, wild horses gone forever ~ photo of Antelope Complex taken by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Three sanctuaries for our nation’s wild horses in Elko District NE Nevada, known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs), are soon likely to be zeroed out. The Mustangs in the Spruce Pequop, Goshute, and Antelope Valley HMAs, numbering 434 at their upper management level, will be rounded up and removed. Gone will be their legal lands and legal homes. Gone will be their family bands that have supported and protected them. Gone will be the stallions as producers and protectors, the mares as nurturers, leaders and educators, and the foals as learners. Fractured and separated, all will go to different pens, to barren feedlot corrals, and the stallions will be gelded.

In exchange, the champion of “Saving America’s Mustangs”, Madeleine Pickens will replace these Mustangs with some 500 gelded, all same sex, horses that have come from corrals marked as “excess” horses. It’s almost an even exchange, 425 true Mustangs for 500 gelded all same sex horses. Madeleine Pickens’ Foundation, SAM, will manage these gelded horses while the BLM continues to be the owners of them.  You and I, the taxpayer, will get to help our government and the foundation of a billionaire. The taxpayer will help 1) by paying taxes to maintain these horses year after year, and the taxpayer will help 2) by paying taxes to erect a fence around the public’s 508,000 acres that will house these proposed geldings. The 508,000 acres are permitted for use by Pickens because she purchased 14,000 acres next to them. But you see, it is these very fences, intersecting the three HMAs, disallowing the wild, reproducing horses in them full accessibility to their space, forage, and water, that will cause the demise of them in Spruce Pequop, Goshute, and Antelope Valley.

We now have an opportunity to comment on Madeleine Pickens’ Foundation’s proposal regarding the housing of the geldings, the fencing, and the outcome of the Mustangs whose lives, as they know it, hang in the balance. The committee to evaluate this proposal wants specific suggestions for consideration or any and all information that would help provide for a thorough and accurate analysis of this proposal. I would hope horse advocates could give well thought-out suggestions to the committee so that both the three HMA groups of horses can remain on the range and the gelded horses can be within Madeleine’s allotment. Please provide your data in a “Scoping Comment Letter” by September 19, 2012. These comments will be used to develop an EIS or Environmental Impact Statement. This Statement will encompass alternative possibilities to which the public can comment again sometime around July, 2013.. Please submit specific ideas to the following:

Bureau of Land Management
Elko District
Attn: Eco Sanctuary Comments
3900 E Idaho Street
Elko, Nevada  89801
E-mail: or FAX: 775-753-0385

Time permitting, read the public scoping brief to more fully understand the proposal. Go to; clique on Proposed Northeast Nevada Wild Horse Sanctuary Project Page; clique on Public Scoping Brief. For more information you can also contact the Project Lead: Terry Dobis at 775-753-0290.


On April, 23-24 at the Advisory Board Meeting, Dean Bolstad,  Deputy Division Chief for the BLM WHB Program,  said two eco sanctuaries were in the works, one in WY soon to open and one in NV, Madeleine Picken’s Foundation known as SAM or Saving America’s Mustangs.  He said both would have non-reproducing herds. Two advisory board members questioned whether there could be a small reproducing herd in Madeleine’s Sanctuary, as those kinds of horses are the real Mustangs and those kinds of horses could be used for research purposes. Dean said “No”, but perhaps a reproducing herd could be a part of a different eco-sanctuary in the future. Is this already a done deal?

Then on August, 30th, 2012, at a scoping meeting in Reno, Zach Reichold, the National BLM State Lead,  was asked whose idea it was to have a non-reproducing herd.  He said it was his and Dean Bolstad’s idea.  The idea is to trade out cattle AUMs for horse AUMs as Madeleine has 14,000 acres of private land and 508,000 acres of public land that has been designated as a cattle allotment.  The trade out would not be 1 for 1 as horses supposedly digest differently than cows, but as much as 1 for 1.8.  909 cattle are allowed on this acreage now so 909/1.8 or 505 horses would be allowed for 12 months on the 508,000 acres.  It is interesting that, for over 40 years, the BLM has used 1 AUM for both cattle and horses, but now that is changed.

Brian Fuell, the Field Manager for Elko, who was also at the scoping meeting, said the fences around Madeleine’ allotment are not contiguous now.  They are not in places where the cows would be unlikely to go but where the horses could go. If gelded horses instead of cattle are put in this allotment, then the allotment needs to be fenced in its entirety so the horses can’t leave. That would result in the HMA horses having their HMA lands dissected. Suggested was that the fences be placed  around the HMAs where the HMA land butts against the allotment land, but Brian Fuell countered with three comments.  That kind of fencing would carve up the allotment not making it easy for the proposed gelded horses to move easily. (Why not was my thought? The cattle do it now and there would be even less horses.) Secondly he said, the fencing would not allow the horses to move from HMA to HMA as they do now. (They are not supposed to move from HMA to HMA as they can be rounded up and removed if caught out of their HMA was my thought). Lastly, he said the forage is good in the HMAs but the water is sparse particularly in Spruce and Goshute. Madeleine has wells she has developed on her allotment which are right on the other side of the HMAs if the fencing were put where the HMAs are adjacent to the allotment.  (So why can’t she place the fencing so that some of the wells can be used by the proposed gelded horses and some by the HMA horses. She has the right by law to have Mustangs on her property She is into “Saving America’s Mustangs” both gelded and still on the range was my thought).

It is interesting to note the hunters, recreationists, and miners will not be affected by this proposal.  The mule deer, the elk, the pronghorns and the variety of birds also won’t be affected.  The fences would be designed so as not to impede their movement.  Only the wild horses, the Mustangs , would be affected.

Now Madeleine Pickens has a proposal but the public can’t see the proposal until a final decision is made on the proposal by the Project Committee from Elko and Amy Leuders, the State Director for the BLM in Nevada, who will make the final decision.. Yet the public is supposed to comment on the proposal in a scoping letter due September 18, 2012. I get the idea the public is supposed to comment because the law says that is the way the process should be done, but in reality, it doesn’t matter what the public says. It will be the way the National BLM Chiefs, the Elko Directors, and Madeleine Pickens want it to be. It will be a place to put gelded horses who have been in corrals and have been removed from other range areas; and  it will be a place where wild horses who are there now,  will be rounded up and removed from their range to corrals. (Makes sense)

The problem is what to do with the 3 HMAs that intersect her public property of 508,000 acres where proposed geldings will be.  The BLM is talking of “restructuring” those HMAs. 1) Spruce Pequop, with an AML of 48-80 horses, is 94% within her public property in the north end of her

allotment.  If she fences that property within her public property for her geldings, then the 48-80 truly wild horses can’t sustain themselves on the remaining 6% of property outside her public property. 2) Goshute, with an AML of 74-123 horses, is 27% within her public property on the east side of her allotment. Here her fencing runs down the HMA from the north to the south. 2/3 of the land of this HMA, left after fencing, could not support an AML of 74-123.

3) Finally Antelope Valley with an AML of 130-231 is 14% within her public property in the south end of her allotment.  If she fences that property separating her public property from the other BLM lands, the fencing will dissect the west side of the Antelope Valley from the east side.  Brian Fuell, the Field Manager for the Elko District, says Madeleine has no water in her area of the Antelope Valley HMA proposed to be sectioned off, but Debbie Coffey, an advocate into researching water rights, questions that idea.  Fuell also suggests the Antelope Valley HMA can be attached to the Maverick Medicine HMA on the west side and to the Antelope HMA on the east side to then do away with the Antelope Valley HMA. Maverick Medicine has little water according to the WHB Specialist, Bruce Thompson. The question is, is it even legal to place non-reproducing animals in their legal HMAs that are meant for wild, free-roaming, natural, reproducing herds?

The survival of Herd Managed Areas( HMAs) with viable herds appears to be at a critical point.  Once at 339 HMAs, these areas are now down to 165 where horses and/or burros exist managed by the BLM.  In the 165 HMAs are 182 herds as some HMAs have both horses and burros. Dr. Gus Cothran, is the geneticist retained by the BLM to evaluate the genetic health of the herds. He states a minimum of 100+ breeding age adults are needed to maintain diversity and the continued viability of a herd. In a recent analysis of Cothran’s work from 2000 to 2011, only 53 herds out of 182, were identified as requiring low allowable numbers above 100 (AMLs) and, in fact, having numbers above 100.  Out of the 53 only 11 were burro herds. To bolster the continuance of the other herds Dr. Cothran suggests in fluxing horses from other herds.  The 1971 law says the horses are to be “where found,” yet this practice appears to be widespread within the BLM and questionably illegal.

The Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-195) #1334 states “Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a private landowner from maintaining wild free-roaming horses or burros on his private lands, or lands leased from the Government, if he does so in a manner that protects them from harassment, and if the animals were not willfully removed or enticed from the public lands.” It appears by law not only do the wild, free roaming horses have a right to their HMAs but also to Madeleine’s private and allotted lands if she allows them access.

Wild horses are not horses in isolation.  They are individuals within a social matrix for survival and for insuring their future beyond themselves through reproduction…stallions as producers and protectors, mares as producers too as well as nurturers, leaders, and educators, and foals as learners.  To accomplish these tasks in the wild they form bands with a stallion, a few mares, and foals in one kind of band(s), and bachelor stallions in another kind of band(s), waiting to challenge the stallion with the mares.  Gelded horses don’t have that kind of social matrix. They move in small or large groups with concerns only for their food.

Madeleine’s eco-sanctuary with gelded horses won’t show the true nature of Mustangs as wild, free-roaming animals.  They likely will be herded from area to area to preserve the forage much like livestock are managed. Madeleine’s eco-sanctuary will be a place to put geldings that have been removed from their legal lands. As such she may well be encouraging the BLM to remove even more Mustangs from the wild. Madeleine’s eco-sanctuary or foundation will be equivalent to long term holding wherein animals are kept in same sex groups and are rotated from pasture to pasture; and the foundation will be paid some, as yet undisclosed, amount of taxpayer’s money to house the horses. However, is this even legal to do using the public lands and not her private lands, as all the other holding facilities are required to do? This eco- sanctuary is advertised as SAM or Saving Americas Mustangs but is it really? Three true sanctuaries or HMAs for true Mustangs will be threatened toward extinction as she builds her publically paid for fences.  These fences will deny these Mustangs their legal space, forage, and water for the future forcing them to have to be removed from their HMAs.  It is hoped the public will speak up loud and clear.  These HMAs have to be preserved as they are, or be enhanced in any decision that is made concerning Madeleine’s eco sanctuary promoting “Saving America’s Mustangs.” Wouldn’t it be amazing to go to her area to view both Mustangs preserved in their natural habitat on their rightful and legal HMAs as well as to see horses rescued from corrals.

44 replies »

  1. Do we agree with Madeline Pickens Plan ???? I believe this is not an answer right from the beginning, the BLM wanted all the wild ones she would be given, all be non producing, may i ask what is the sense of this???????? Our Wild Ones are to be FREE TO ROAM and be producing, anything other then this is an Betrayal to The Mustangs original Plan from the people of United States, These Horses are essential to all Wildlife and to us !!!! Ecologically Perfect in everyway, I do not want compromise on this , Our Mustangs are to be FREE to Roam , with a minimal of birth control only when needed……………………………. The BLM plan, all Wildlife will perish and so we will we !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. I believe her heart is in he right place, however, I cannot agree with this plan. If you are only offering sanctuary to geldings, it is the same a long term holding facilities. Then to top it off by removing viable, reproducing herds is wrong on so many levels. If this is the plan, I will not support her.


  3. In order to really save the Mustangs, they must be allowed to bred and roam and remain in their family bands. I don’t know what is in her heart or head, but once again man is trying to regulate nature. Just as the buffalo herds were removed from the plains during the occupation of the West, the BLM is removing the horses in a systematic removal to accomodate the new government emphasis on producing energy inside the US. Time and time again, we have heard about the ability of the US to become less dependent on foreign oil due to the natural gas within our country. I believe their agenda is to produce this natural gas by offering up our public lands to development. Much as the Nantucket Sound on Cape Cod will soon be the home of nearly 300 wind turbines offshore within siight of both Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard and that the population of Cape Cod does not want, will permanently scar what is one of the most beautiful areas in the country, and has been shown to increase the cost of electricity 10 times the current rates, I believe the current administration is pushing to get this done. When M. Pickens responded to my email asking her about the absense of reproducing mustangs, she replied that as in other “adoptions” of pets, they require them to be spayed and neutered. Unfortunately, taking this approach to wild Mustangs will ultimately justify the BLM’s plan and the wild and natural Mustangs will disappear.


  4. When nobody did anything to save the horses and nobody provided a place for them to be free and to be safe, Madeleine was the ONLY person who provided land and offered a home for the horses. I have fought for years that the BLM sacrificed thousands of horses selling them by carting them around the country for sales that resulted in the horses being grabbed cheap by many cruel and abusive buyers who provided no legitimate care for the horses, and most of them died and some were sold to slaughter. I don’t want our magnificent wild horses to be further tortured, to be in small pens in the sun, to be subjected to operations and medications that have sickened or caused the death of some of them. I want to see the horses running free where they are SAFE from the ignorant and uncivilized treatment by the BLM. If the horses are blocked from that, where then will they go? Unless someone has an alternate safe place on many acres for a well deserved happy life for these horses, Pickens is the ONLY person who has done something to protect these horses from further abuse and from going eventually to slaughter. At least Pickens has been courageous, has spent a fortune to buy land where these horses can have the life they deserve. I would like to see ALL the wild horses in a permanent safe place where BLM would LEAVE THEM ALONE, and also the burros. It seems BLM focuses on destroying the horses since I guess they have to do something to earn the money that we, as taxpayers, provide for their salaries. Yet they have listened to NOTHING that we the American people want.


  5. Heck no wonder the BLM finally agreed to Pickens plan ,they get to wipe out three HMA’s and get Pickens off their back in one swift move. I really feel that Pickens will have betrayed the real wild horses and the advocates if she allows these HMA’s to be wiped out.


  6. I’m really SICK of listening to all this from the BLM. I’m discouraged and disappointed. Seems nothing horse lovers do makes a difference, so why bother?

    When Pickens originally proposed her plan, she was going to have wild horses, family herds intact, reproducing horses, on her land. I know because I was “in” on her plan from the beginning. Now the BLM has contorted her original plans. I suspect what she is doing is now better than our mustangs living in OK in too small corrals, family herds being separated.

    Too depressing……


  7. I guess I haven’t been paying attention – I thought SAM was going to provide an safe haven for the mustangs (male and female) with some semblance of their wild life in protected acreage! Now I’m hearing just geldings? If the stallions are gelded, why can’t the mares run with them too? And to geld all the stallions, PLUS sterilize the mares….they are ending the mustangs lineage forever! And our tax money is going to pay her for this? Ridiculous!!


  8. Bonnie,

    Many, many thanks for this article. You have presented a series of facts and details about the Pickens Plan that have heretofore been unknown.

    I am not certain whether it would be a violation of NEPA, the Administrative Procedures Act, or the Information Quality Act, but to ask the public to comment on a plan that that the public has not seen when it is required by law that the public know what the plan sounds illegal to me.

    Madeleine Pickens has done so much to call attention to the plight of our mustangs that I wish I could throw my whole hearted support behind whatever plan she has come up with.

    You make an excellent point that what makes the wild horses so special is their social structure. It is the interactions of the individual members of the family bands, the interdependence of each family band within a herd, their complex and largely silent language, that will draw people to an eco-tourism center. Before I read this, I had been looking forward to visiting Madeleine’s ecotourism center.

    However, my horses are boarded at a large horse farm just 15 miles from my house. I can visit the farm 24/7 2 days a week. Depending on the time of day, I can walk out to catch one of my horses and be among 25 same sex mares, and then walk my mare through two more pastures filled with nothing but geldings. If I have the time, any day of the week for no additional fee, I can walk among the horses or sit on a hill and watch.

    As for nature, just a few evenings ago on my way through the pasture, I spooked a family of four white tailed deer sleeping in the tall grass, and a few minutes later, a coyote darted out of the woods skimming the edge of area where the horses were grazing. The horses knew he was there, but I didn’t until I saw him. If I want to see a herd of horses running, I can turn out my little horse who loves her ability to get the whole gang to take off at the first hint of cool air.

    In short, there is nothing that a same sex herd offers the horse person that he or she cannot find much closer to home. In non-breeding domestic horses, males are gelded because it makes them much easier to handle. What makes the stallion is the wild such a fascinating fixture is related to his being able to be the father and protector of the herd. Gelding, depending on the age at which the male is gelded, largely removes the complex interplay of body chemistry with environmental stimulants that make a wild stallion what he is.

    Our goal is to preserve wild, free roaming horses in the areas that they were found in according to the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act (PL 92-195, USC 16, 1331). Our goal is not to assist the government’s abuse of power, failure to follow our laws, over-reach, and failure to put competent individuals in positions for which they have decision making ability. What they are doing is converting wild horses into domestic horses, and letting them live out their lives in the wild in order to avoid to operate illegally under the radar; thus, hoping to avoid public outcry and call more attention to their industrialization of the West.

    It appears that we Americans who have been able to find solace in the wild and have found inspiration and a sense of peace in companionship with nature filled with the presence of wild horses are on the verge of losing our freedom as well.

    Bonnie, you and Debbie Coffey have done a good job of helping us to see the line the BLM and DOI have drawn in the sand. I just hope we all realize that this battle is not just about the wild horses and burros losing their freedom. What is at stake here in this wild horse-burro environmental microcosm is that we, the people, are on the verge of losing our long, taken for granted, freedom as well.

    We need to get the best team of environmental lawyers we can find and sue the socks off these people. Imagine the suit, the Citizens of the United States vs. Kenneth Salazar and_____________.


    • Amen, and we have just such a legal staff that has studied and knows your bullet points, (we are ready) the problem always boils down to money. So a Billionaire a 100K is a drop in the bucket, to the rest of us it is a major part of a retirement nest egg.

      We need unification and some entity with deep pockets to join us in shutting down the Wild Horse and Burro Harvesting machine.


      • The quote that stands out from Katia’s trailer is the comment that this started out to be about horses, but it has become now more about ethics.

        I will email you privately some information I recently received that might help us deal with at least part of one of these issues.


      • I have to say R. T. and Hoofhugs you are right on – if the American public does not pay attention to what is going on – the tragic situation and plight of our Wild Horses and Burro’s are just a snapshot of the loss of voice and democratic freedom that this country was built on.


      • 2nd your amen, RT! If we could recruit ‘new’ monies, celebrities or billionaires who care if America looses our wild horses & burros. Working DC doesn’t seem to change a thing other than the return to slaughter …


      • Yes, but why are folks caving on MP’s becoming a BLM contractor? Why are you all disregarding where LAWS are made? In congress, not in court. Why have we not worked to strike down the Burn’s Amendment yet?

        Madeleine has a big heart and when there are animals at risk she has come forward. I just hope that if it is true ‘her hands are tied’ and she had to accept this on BLM terms, of course, that she can reassess and see there is another direction she can go and she would have much more support for it. Help us develop what is needed to bridge this mismanagement to new and better management methods and wild ones still on their range and the re-establishment of some of the zeroed out HMAs.

        But, you know? We should be doing this ourselves and inviting her to join us!!


  9. In a related but separate subject without the intent to politicize the energy issue, work is underway to make much smaller, more efficient solar energy batteries. It could be that when we study the environmental costs of all the types of energy currently available to us, wind, solar, geothermal, hydrothermal, coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear, improvements in nuclear energy systems, safety, that nuclear could be the least environmentally damaging and one of the safest. The problem is, of course, as it is with all the others, the waste. However, our military has built nuclear power plants in Afghanistan and maintained them. Along the way, they have discovered more effective methods of containing the waste.

    We all need to be aware of what types of contaminants are getting into our water. While we know how to purify water from some contaminants, there is no technology out there yet that can protect us from others. And based on publicly available information, we cannot count on government employees at the BLM to make human or any other living creature’s health a priority.

    I do not know what kind of people issue mining permits with FONSI’s when they know good and well, that they are allowing the drinking water of local communities to be contaminated.


    • Nuclear safe? Think Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Think of how it’s impossible to store spent fuel rods the length of time needed (1000 years). France has leakage all the time, and they’re 70% in nukes. Afghanistan’s topography is totally different from ours and their population density is about the same but most in the rural areas. It’s true however that they don’t have much water. So contaminating that is not much concern.


  10. This is just so hard to witness. It is heartbreaking.

    It’s like sending loved ones on a train of hope where you know the train will crash and then get a railside seat, at your own cost to view the trainwreck.

    WTH happened to the 1971 Act? It can’t just be the Burns Amendment…it can’t be. Something more hideous is going on.

    Ms Pickens has become a or should it be, “THE” Great Disappointment?

    I don’t find fault with trying to save wild equines that have been maimed, sterilized and traumatized to live with some level of freedom and dignity after adoption failure (don’t get me started on the adoption sham). But I don’t think she should be picking up garbage…DOI/USDA GARBAGE! The equines aren’t the garbage…..the policies of removal, maiming and sterilization by 3d reich sponsored animal terrorist called DOI/USDA (and the States) are.

    Dear God…what has this world become.


  11. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.


  12. Thank you Bonnie. You brought more valuable research and information to the table.
    Why could this proposed sanctuary NOT have reproducing Herds? What a PERFECT opportunity for a pilot program. We have repeatedly called for ON THE RANGE mangement. What better time and place?
    It seems that there would be enough room for ALL of them…including the captured prisoners that are in the Equine concentration camps.

    The following are excerpts from a letter from Karen Sussman, president of ISPMB..Internation Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros Wild Horse Annie was its first president.
    As you know, I have been in the wild horse movement for nearly thirty years now. Our organization has accomplished so much in our past 50 years. Our reputation is impeccable, not only with the BLM but with all the wild horse and burro groups and conservation groups in the U.S. Over the years, we have united more humane and wild horse groups than any other organization.

    ISPMB has a critical need to maintain our Wild Horse Conservation program. In 1999, ISPMB took a great leap creating a new paradigm in preservation and protection of America’s wild horses by creating this conservation program. We are the only organization in the U.S. to manage entire herds of wild horses gaining eleven years of data now.

    Because of BLM’s lack of knowledge in managing wild horses, they have created a doubling of the fertility rates in 197 herds by their removal methods.

    BLM’s removal methods have destroyed the horses’ social structures which resulted in a severe lack of modeling to younger horses by the older and wiser horses. This has happened by younger and younger stallions taking over the harem bands. The best analogy is that the Harvard professors are no longer in charge of the harems which have given way to younger stallions who are the equivalent of grade school children
    We have the answer as to why the fertility rates have doubled in the past 15 years.
    With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest.

    We have started another study on our dysfunctional herd that had been nearly eradicated over the past ten years on Sheldon Wildlife Range. Our goal is to find out the best way to manage wild horses who have not had behavior modeling from the older and wiser animals. This is no small feat. However, when we are successful in this area, we will be able to transfer our findings to the public lands herds.

    We also believe that the future of the herds on public land are at great risk for survival over the long term because of the breakdown in their educational system through the destruction of their social harems.

    Finally, we will share our “model management” program with the BLM. Most of the programs that BLM have are from ISPMB.

    We believe our Conservation model has the greatest advantage now to save wild horses on public lands, more so than any other means currently in place from law suits to public protests. We believe that if we can work together, we can truly solve the wild horse dilemma once and for all.


  13. “saved” … in gelded captivity. For a few years until we all forget and they can just get rid of them as obsolete assets. Really a case of Orwellian ‘newspeak’ where “save” means “destroy.” There is no reasonable expectation that Pickens is naive or ignorant. The bigger question is to dig deeper and discover who or what conglomerate is vying for the vacated lands. This whole things smells of an old western script where the bad guy banker/business owner tricks people out of “worthless range land” only to find oil or gold or water in massive underground caches.

    Spread the word that this is a sham. Let’s see if we can find out the REAL reasons behind it. It’s just too bad a plan for it to be altruism. There’s something we’re missing.


  14. The “fight to save our Wild Mustangs, as free roaming,” Cannot be defeated!!! One had thought that Madeleine had good intentions. Good folks on this blog, with excellent knowledge of the situation. To place these spirited horses in holding pens, etc., is a national disgrace. Are there not any Congressmen/Senators, in the Western States, who will assist in this fight!!


  15. I’ll have to read all the comments a bit later, but I wonder why there was no loud outcry much earlier. I asked about the very same thing over two years ago that Ms. Pickens will have non-reproducing herds on her eco-sanctuary. The reply was that these horses are from the BLM. But I never would have thought that plans would go this far. Yes, wild horses will be completely wiped out in Nevada. Is it too late for them? What can be done?


    • There may not have been a loud outcry sooner because the scoping period is just beginning, and it’s like swatting flies over a cow pattie trying to keep up with everything the BLM is doing. Also, some advocates may taken gifts, money or donations from Madeleine. Just as embedded reporters can’t be objective, what about advocates who take money?


  16. Warriors – I unfortunately did not send you the Final Final version of Bonnie’s paper yesterday. Please excuse & find it attached here. The critical paragraph that was added to page 3 follows:

    The Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-195) #1334 states “Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a private landowner from maintaining wild free-roaming horses or burros on his private lands, or lands leased from the Government, if he does so in a manner that protects them from harassment, and if the animals were not willfully removed or enticed from the public lands.” It appears by law not only do the wild, free roaming horses have a right to their HMAs but also to Madeleine’s private and allotted lands if she allows them access.

    Carla B


  17. When I first heard about Madeleine’s plan for the horses – I’m almost certain the impression I had was that they would be true herds – stallions & mares. Im wondering if the only way she could GET any horses from the BLM was a non-reproducing herd. I know it wont be the “real” thing. But just think what it will mean to the horses who have been in short or long term holding. They already lost their freedom, their families – stallions gelded – mares treated(altho why if there are no stallions).
    To be brought to a place where they can be as free as they will ever be rather than shut in pens for the rest of their lives or disappeared to slaughter.
    Its so wrong to wipe out the herd management areas to do this. Certainly seems like there could be a better way – but then the BLM really doesnt want a better way.
    Karen Sussman & Dayton Hyde are doing a lot for the wild horses – but at the rate the BLM is going they are going to be the only ones left.


  18. As I am reading th article and the comments my brain is whirling around with the question: “That wasn’t the original plan. Was it?” I really believed that Madeleine cared about the Mustangs and their future. I don’t remember the part about displacing other Mustangs with a herd of gelded horse who will eventually die out. I mean, as Bill Clinton recently pointed out, all it takes is Arithmatic. How many Mustangs will be there in pax. 30 years without Mustang gonads and semen. Now the plan looks ugly. It’s like a stay of execution in a very pretty environment. Yeah, I get a kink in my heart strings when I consider getting those Mustangs out of those little corrals; but at what cost? Then again is it all just a Catch 22 with the ultimate goal of extinction. Well folks, this really sucks because I was just starting to believe in Maddy’s dream. Gullible, heart sick me.


  19. Well… who would’ve thought? The perfect set up so that many public comments will be thrown out as “beyond the scope of this analysis”. Heinous. Shameful. Disheartening.


  20. wow lots of opinions in the middle.theres 3 sides to every story,the truth.a lie.and whats between.i am for whats inbetween..i think someone changes her mind of late.alot lately.and why is no one else trying to get the area ….i can only imagine a non debating,sincere,quiet place for those horses andburros to roam.inside or outside the alotments.fences are made to keep people in or out.whichever way you see this theres many sides to this story.but all over blm is doing alot more than people see ,or realize.there all over even in other countrys.theve funded alot more sanctuaries then be told andknown.and they are doing for both ideas.and the same time.there has to be a middle man.and where is that??i think some indian tribes should also have say.since thereare alot of indian natives in all areas they even ask there opinion.i think they should.if so many people agree to disagree then they will never agree whats right.for the hourses and burros.not us we the people….its there will be many yearsaftrwards when were all gone again matter what is said and done.its no ones land.but the horses,and indians from many moons ago.what right do we have to let people control what never should of been controllled in the first for both sides.sortof.i still see theres a happy medium somewhere.look outside the box itwill come to you.peace.akachshire


  21. According to MPicken’s latest email she mentions being the only one to step-up and do something positive for our wild horses. She also mentions 12,000 in lth, what happened to the other 25,000 or so? Since NV has the largest population of wild ones and plans to eliminate them, what are we to do? We must act! but just what do we do? Gov Sandual doesn’t care, seems the state of NV only thinks one way; $$$

    Helpless in PA I can only blog, email, fax, & make telephone calls Maybe that’s the answer before NV becomes another WY and our wild horses are forever removed from they’re rightful homeland


    • Dear Pam York, I am in Ohio and feel as you do, there is only phone calls letters calling the Presidents comment line which I am so familiar with ………. If we went there we would only be arrested, and thrown in jail………..Our hands are tied ?????? We must rest on the Capable hands of Mr Fitch and his entourage , and offer Gods speed , they know what they are doing ……………………..


  22. What do these people have against our horses? It seems certain people are determined to destroy the most beautiful animals God put on this earth. Give them their freedom to form their families and keep them intact in the way only they know!


  23. I live in Nevada, and tonights news has BLM “rounding up ” burros to keep them safe…I hate the BLM and I hate what they (our government are doing) to OUR precious wild horses, letter writting and calling has not made a dent in the anti horse people in government, BLM and our local politicians. My heart breaks, “we manage our resources to oblivion” in the name of protecting them?? I think to be free, to live and to die free, is better than captured/held/and forgotten, alone. We are certainly a sad group of people. I vote, I will vote every one in office out, dont really think thats the answer either…thanks for loving our horses freedom as I do.


  24. This has just inferratted me to no end! We need these WILD HORSES KEPT IN THEIR LEGAL HMA’S!
    I once thought SAM was going to be a good place also BUT now I’m not so sure!


  25. The HMA’s have to stay. We, the people, need require and demand that the wild mustang continue to be part of our American Heritage. Madeline…you need to reconsider your decisions and goals. I applaud you for what you have done for our wild horses, but I think you need to rethink this! Don’t let the BLM smoosh you into something that really is not the right thing for the horses. Think about it! Is this really what you want to do? I don’t think it is about the money….you have plenty; and I hope it’s not about the water rights; as valuable as they are. Let your decision come from your heart….where it all started!


  26. Capitalism is totally dependant on energy and growth to survive. Some people that lived in tents and rode camels thought it could be stopped by blowing up two towers and before them people that lived in tents and moved with the buffalo. No we will see the demise of everything in the pursuit of energy and growth, the shareholders will not be denied. In the end energy will be depleted and we the advocates of American Mustangs the first energy source can say we told you so.


  27. She brought more attention to herself than anything and if you do not know her you do not know why she is called a scammer. Learn the facts. They are out there. A compulsive liar is not someone who has presented the truth to us at any point in time. I am all for unification and people working together and it is the only thing I care about happening for the wild ones’ sake. She is scrambling to have people help her now but she had others before and she burned them all and you act as if this acceptable. Do you like supporting her and her gaming son and ‘her’ horses, too? Why has she not ever come clean and declared where all our money is and what it went for? I hear the excuse she is not a book keeper. But she had people all along and even now who would have kept the books and made her legit but she wanted the money and glory and you keep giving it to her and she has NO SCIENCE and her lawsuits were not won for lack of facts as she is continually told by the judges in both cases. Haven’t you read the decisions?

    You are calling me and those right here, liars. We are not the liars. Your drama queen is the liar.
    We are divided because of her since 2010 now. Great work. You do not see your own error in understanding what she does because you are hooked on the Confidence Game she plays.


  28. I have to admit – I seem to have lost track of this. What was the outcome? And, I’m disappointed – I had made the mistake of thinking SAM was for the better of the horses. Had I not been reading and trying to catch up on Carol Walkers blog – Wild Hoofbeats, i wouldn’t have caught this. Thanks to you folks and Carol Walker/Wild Hoofbeats for pointing out the truth behind this,


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