Horse News

Money, Ego and the Failure to Save Wild Horses and Burros

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ volunteer president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“There is a foul odor blowing in from the west and it is not the smell of fresh ink!”

Wild Horses in Holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In the past 36 hours there has been a whirlwind of hysteria swirling around an incomplete article on captured American wild horses and burros being sent to slaughter under the watchful eye of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the very agency charged with protecting these national treasures.  David Philipps published said article on what is touted to be an investigative piece on the possibility of a kill buyer purchasing captured wild horses from the BLM and then shipping them off to slaughter but Philipps grievously failed to wait for the story to conclude with final proof and verification of exactly when, how and where the horses actually went.

Philipps’ itchy trigger finger, and that of an alleged wild horse advocate, has resulted in outing an investigation that could have had significant legal merit and long term benefit for the wild equines and all for what?  Easy answer; money, ego, immaturity and the chance to be in the spotlight with the wild horses and burros, once again, being the victims and paying the price.

In the course of preparing his article Philipps had contacted dozens of longtime, legitimate equine advocates for information, background stats and FOIA data, everyone was willing to help but in exchange for those resources Philipps was:

  • made aware that a premature publication of an article, without documented proof of where the horses actually ended up (not just assumptions) would compromise other investigations.
  • told about Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Martha Mendoza, who did gather all the facts in her investigations.
  • advised to have verifiable documentation and to have all his ducks in a row before he “broke” this story.

Didn’t happen!

This is not a game.  It is about the wild horses, burros and the brave people who voluntarily put their lives on the line to investigate the operations of kill buyers like Dennis Chavez.

Dave Philips made phone calls.  He called Tom Davis directly.  He called people in Kinney County, Texas, where the horses “appeared” to be shipped, to ask if anyone had seen a lot of horses on any of the local ranches.  He seemed to lack the foresight (or guidance) to see that this would “tip off” the locals, and make it harder for those in the field to track the movement of the shipments of the wild horses and to observe hauling and the drop off points.

Carelessness like this puts the lives of volunteer investigators in the field at risk and does not encompass the big picture of shutting this blood trade down once and for all.

The end result of what occurred above produced nothing more than a “he said, she said” tale that touches on some verifiable facts (which is good) but in the end misses the entire point as the final facts are not verified.

What will this limited information accomplish?  Will the BLM, which acts with impunity, just continue its shell game by replacing Tom Davis with another hauler?  The BLM’s investigation of Tom Davis seems to be another internal investigation, and we know what happens with those.  Will Sally Spencer be fired?  Will the BLM stop?  What next?

And what of the alleged advocate(s) who immediately jumped upon the coattails of Philipps in an effort to twist a spotlight in their direction.  One such individual went so far as to post the article on their website with an inserted preamble declaring that their “organization” was instrumental in in this “investigation” while closing with another panhandling plea for, once again, money to support an individual and NOT going to help the horses.  Not one other advocate or organization did this.

But the smell of collusion does not stop there; enter Madeline Pickens from stage left within a few hours of the article’s publication she issued an email blast to her fans of the Mustang “Tombstone” project, it appeared as if she almost knew the publication was coming.

Mrs. Pickens stated:

“Please see the article below by Dave Phillips that was just released this afternoon in ProPublica. This establishes that our wild horses are in a state of emergency. This proves beyond a reasonable doubt that we need to move these horses to safer places, as opposed to slaughter. Saving America’s Mustangs has for years now offered and presented an alternative to this slaughter horror show, and yet we continue to wait for the government to sign off on a plan that will provide a whole new direction for the wild horses. There is little doubt there is an another alternative that can save these horses better than what we have presented. The BLM knows it, the American people know it, and we have known this for a longtime. It’s now up to the BLM and the American public to approve this plan and do the right thing and give these horses a safe and secure home like they deserve.   Sincerely,  Madeleine Pickens

It certainly appears as if Mrs. Pickens is eager to have the Saving America’s Mustangs eco-resort plan seen as the only answer to Tom Davis hauling wild horses to who knows where.   Mrs. Picken’s eco-resort plan, based on information given to the public, is to have 900 geldings (a non-reproducing herd) put on her eco-resort, likely resulting in the eradication of 3 Herd Management Areas and the rest of the wild horses on those HMAs that will then be removed and sent to short and long term holding and at risk of going to slaughter.  “Doink”

We have another idea:

What about keeping family bands of wild horses on their OWN legally designated HMAs?

And what about the “alleged” advocate(s) (above) that immediately jumped upon this incomplete “slaughter expose’” bandwagon along with Madeleine?  Aren’t they the same ones who have received gifts of money and goods from Mrs. Pickens?  Are they not tied to her, even now, and under her influence due to their indebtedness?  Would they have a clear, concise, unfettered view of the “big picture”?  Do their operations/organizations and backgrounds stand up to minimal and legal public scrutiny?  The plot thickens and with each layer of the onion you peel it gets uglier and uglier.  Beware; there are those who walk amongst us who are not what you perceive them to be.

That’s enough said about that but please allow me to make it perfectly clear that we have been screaming from the rooftops that this reprehensible slaughter of our national icons has been going on for years and just when it appears that the facts might finally be obtained and the operation legitimately exposed a couple of fringe individuals crawl out of the woodwork screaming “look at me”, beg for money and gut an investigation that could have actually helped and saved the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses.  The more you think about it, the more disgusting it gets.

On both sides, folks, it’s all about the money…and NOT about the wild horses and burros.

<contact R.T. at>

92 replies »

  1. What you say is true and the worst part is that thousands of our wild ones have been and continue to be betrayed by the almighty dollar and the nasty, stinky, greedy steamroller is not done yet!


  2. Wow, good job sticking the knife in the back of your fellow advocates because the story was not done to your liking. I did not see you working on it for 6 months the way I did RT….and you actually do not have all the details. Have you talked to Dave Phillips? Do you have any idea how much research he did or what and how he tried to gather information?
    Laura met Dave (the reporter) at the Stone Cabin roundup and suggested he FOIA the bulk sales receipts, That is how this story about 1700 horses slaughtered broke, that is why the public knows about this at all. Lara and I assisted Dave with information on this story for over 6 months.
    How dare you sit there, do nothing, and then say it was all done wrong for ego, we work for the horses!!!
    It is an outrage that our wild horses were sold into slaughter. Let’s do something about instead of stab others in the back. Let’s repeal the Burns act, and get a full on investigation into this matter, you know, use our time and energy for positive change….instead of this!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Leslie what makes you think this is about you or the other individual that you name? I did not identify anyone so there must be some guilt or other emotion coursing through your veins. So I am not clear as to what your rant is about unless it falls under the category of “if the shoe fits WEAR IT”!

      I am sorry for your confusion.

      And BTW, the lives of several individuals were put at risk due to this release…it is NOT all about YOU or your partner, hence you have proven a point that the big picture is totally off the radar for a few select individuals.


    • Thanks RT. This has been a very sad further parting of the ways as this one-up-man-ship is used to get information and to shine a spotlight upon unproven allegations and a very wild interview with Davis. All this was timed for touting an unfinished investigative article for the publicity and fund raising that your buddy needs, LP and to try to bolster Madeleine’s sagging popularity now that more and more folks understand that she wants to have non breeding herds of single sexed animals to ‘educate the public’ about wild horses. It cannot be done like that. Your buddy is trying to prove she is legitimate when that is something she has no inkling of, claiming facts others have put together is a habit there.

      Once again I see you are the clueless one, LP. Phillips interviewed Davis, not you or you know who. Right? If I am wrong tell me. Then we will know this is even worse that we thought! Davis is a bad guy. He is going down someday but there was more to this than just Davis and the BLM. There are folks who will find out the rest of this and then you will understand what you did and how you are being used. Unschooled amateurs are not the right people to be making decisions alone! about the management or future of our wild horses and burros. You did not spend very much of the 6 months on this because it is not proven and there is just not that much there to take up that kind of time. Your friend approaches everything in this shallow manner. All facts were FOIAd by Phillips also, right? But no proof just like the judges decisions on her lawsuits say. Where are the Facts and proof that would bring this to a real point?

      Actually all this began the day Sally Spencer, who needs to be fired, told Sandra Longley about a reputable repeat buyer who wanted to purchase 240 Adobe Town horses while she was negotiating to buy sale authority Adobe Town captives herself. I told your buddy about this back in the days I helped her. It says so in the article altho I am unnamed. I told her with Sandra’s knowledge. This information came to Sandra and I did not try to trump her by going after this information. But after a year it needed to be acted on and others who had been told about this took it up. And I do not mean you and your friend. This is not a competition or a race. If you spent 6 months helping Phillips then you must be sitting on a lot more information than was in this piece. Is your buddy hoarding information?


      • I am thankful and hope I express my deep gratitude for the voice of reason so eloquently composed by Mar Wargo, advocate extraordinaire, who truly does love the horses and burros. We do have great work ahead of us – do not deny it will take clear heads with a unified vision of solid protection and safety for all free roaming horses and burros. The only way to keep a clear mind is to seek the truth, discern that which is false and make your way to the goal.


      • Janet, don’t you know I am supposed to be “Obscure”!? Thank you for your compliment. In this situation I feel the extraordinary advocates were out there doing their work when this story broke. Unity may come when the ambitious self promoters stop driving a wedge between us.


  3. American public needs to know what is happening. It is such a multifaceted problem. Need to work together to chip away at the errors and stay strong as advocates. We all want the same thing — protect the wild horses and burros (1971 act) and keep them free as family units on public lands and out of the slaughterhouse pipeline. Don’t let the slaughterhouse side win even small bits. Stick together with facts that stick and don’t be afraid to tell the public and the politicians over and over again even if the wording is not always the same. There are many things to correct for the wild ones welfare for the future. This will never end as long as there are wild horses out there that need protection for their survival. Need to fight the big guns that want to eliminate them, not each other. Prayers for all of the advocates to keep up the great work that is currently going on in U.S. and Canada. There is not just one solution to this.


  4. Please, advocates, stick together. I feel the original story had merit. I may be confused. But it seemed there were some solid facts in there. I’m waiting to hear from others.


    • The fact we know this man’s name is good. He needs to be arrested. This has merit. The thing is there are actions being taken carelessly for the sake of ‘getting there first’ and this is what is really sad. Proof is not a shocking interview. It is all conjecture until you take it further and substantiate all Davis said. But it helps, it is a start. We do not know why all of this happened as it did, yet. But we do know it happened and someone owes someone else an apology for jumping the gun and placing good folks in possible harm’s way. We need to respect and shield people who are doing real investigations who put their lives in jeopardy because they believe the information they gather is worth the risk. Just because you have been an influence on what someone else has done it is unseemly to come along and say you deserve the credit for it also.
      This sounds like a search for attention and funding.


      • Hate to say though, it took this article to bring out the fact that “investigations” are going on, but many of us who are not the prominent folks but who are out here rescuing, talking with people, going to kill sales and speaking with kill buyers, ranchers, horse traders, etc and getting information from our enemies by sucking it up and being nice when we don’t want to be nice at all, etc, are out of the loop and have/had NO IDEA that anything is happening regarding exposing the BLM…..yes, maybe this reporter knew that other investigations are going on because he spoke to people regarding those investigations, however, as I suggested in another comment, perhaps those sharing information that is sensitive and confidential should have a signed agreement regarding non-disclosure until they say its O.K. to proceed with a story that contains that info, otherwise, people either let their egos take over, or sometimes they simply didn’t realize they were doing something “wrong”.
        We have over 40 horses at our rescue, as well as a lot of other smaller animals, but since we aren’t a bonafide non-profit (its been a year since we filed), we work 7 days a week to support these animals…….we do it for the animals and our neighbors and friends just think we’re idiots for caring so much, however, the story does give us hope that “something” is going on and makes us work and hang-on that much harder because it does seem like change is coming and the culprits are being exposed……when and if we can afford it, we’re going to put up a billboard on I80 from California over to Reno and another one from the main highway from CA over to Las Vegas that simply says “Don’t Spend Your Money in Nevada Until They STOP Killing Their Wild Horses!” (and thats why I still don’t understand why the equine conference was held in Las Vegas, NV where we have the largest population of BLM wild horses and probably the largest population of State horses as well, instead of in LA or San Fransico, or some other city not in Nevada….I mean I know Las Vegas is fun and entertaining, but there are still other states where you can see wild horses and hold a conference……I wondered why advocates wanted to bring more money into Nevadas coffers…..and I live here, but don’t gamble, don’t go to casino shows, etc) and we’ll have a website address so people can read all about it……you watch what happens when the casinos and other prominent businesses start losing money, those owners will be on the phone to the State AND the BLM and THEY will get the job done in terms of forcing change because they are that powerful, and if the BLM and the State Dept of Ag is screwin’ up their profits, they will get changes made very quickly….maybe some of the bonafide rescues could spend a few bucks on those billboards and changes will happen VERY FAST and without a lot of this secrecy that most of us aren’t privvy to, so we didn’t know it was happening until now.
        It would also be great if people from the big rescues could help us out here when we have to go back to the Fallon, NV kill sale and bid against the sale yard owner shill bidding the prices of those Virginia Range Horses up to outrageous numbers (and I’ve bid at hundreds of auctions and have bid against shill bidders before, however, what happened at this sale was the most outrageous shill bidding I’ve ever experienced in 35 years of going to every level of sales and bidding)…..with a showing of people from the BIG wild horse and domestic horse rescues, that would show we are very serious about our agenda, and that is to STOP horse slaughter once and for all and to have our wild horses and burros primarily managed in the wild and not captured in order for the public and state land to be stolen for the factions own private uses. JMO’s as always……


    • It is important for advocates to stick together providing they are honest and ethical persons working toward the goal of positive change for the wild horses and burros. RT broke the information down very well and as he also stated there are those among us (whose self serving, self promoting actions speak loudly and attempt to undermine the efforts of others) who are not what they appear to be. This hurts the horses and people.

      Until we rid our own ranks in the advocacy of corruption we can never hope to have a transparent and lawful wild horse and burro program or to make any positive changes for the horses and burros we love so deeply.

      It is hard for people with good consciences and moral compasses to fathom that others, who say they have the same goals, would act in an outrightly deceitful manner and would lie gratuitously in order to gain money and notoriety and to wantonly destroy others in the process. This is the cold hard truth and those individuals must be weeded out.

      Mr. Phillips, aided by a glory seeker who told him where he could, in essence “steal” the information from, served no one but himself. The horses will continue to pay with their lives and good honest advocates will continued to be lost. We cannot allow this to happen. Rest assured though that there are honest and ethical advocates who are working together and lines of communication are open.

      Thanks for the OpEd RT, I share your thoughts exactly.


  5. There’s been a foul odor blowing in from the West for far too long, don’t you think?! The lies, corruption and greed won’t stop, but neither can all the horse advocates, who believe so strongly in protecting them. Thanks, RT for the article and as always, keeping up with what’s happening with our wild horses. You are so right, “the more you think about it, the more disgusting it gets”. It’s so very sad … my heart breaks with every roundup and there’s still a lot of questions, unanswered.


  6. Leslie,

    All advocates should be on the same page. That includes Madeline Pickens (Three herd management areas zeroed out? OMG), Dave Phillips and all the rest. Why wasn’t some of the advocates on the ground told about this article BEFORE it was published. It was dirty! and for what?
    The article makes it very difficult.

    It might be possible for Madeline Pickens to Save Wild Mustangs without zeroing out three herd management areas. The way Madeline Pickens plan looks, she will take 900 geldings, and kill three horse management areas and all of America’s treasures.

    The BLM has caused all the overcrowding and now they are sending our National Treasures to slaughter for $10.00 ahead. All of this makes me sick to my stomach.


  7. I thought this was a good article – but after reading RT’s reply – can see that there would be danger for anyone actually in the field doing the investigating.
    I did send an email to SAM a couple weeks ago asking why zero out 3 HMAs so she could have her eco-resort – but no response whatever. Honestly didnt expect one, but for a brief moment felt better actually writing how I felt.
    Of course, afterwards – it felt just like when I write to BLM or the White House. No response…
    Seems the BLM only has one answer to our complaints about the roundups – get rid of a bunch of horses anyway they can. Honestly $10.00 a head? For these beautiful herds of horses that have existed in these herd areas for hundreds of years.
    Actually selling them for $10. after spending $1000. each rounding them up is sort of like charging the welfare ranchers $1.55 for each cow/calf & costing us all thousands of dollars more. I’d say the Dept of Interior just does not have a head for business! Or for much of anything.


    • I am thankful that the general public might finally get some insight into what is actually going on but none of what was reported on will now be able to stand up in court due to the lack of factual evidence. One thing that was brought out that I heartily agree with is that there needs to be a full scale external investigation into the BLM but without the evidence, and with them using a middle man, it is going to be difficult to prove anything.

      These good ole boys aren’t new to this, they have been engaged in this type of activity for decades, but again, we cannot prove that in court even though we know it to be true.


      • Perhaps Congress should be encouraged to schedule a hearing into this inasmuch Congress has denied permission to BLM to slaughter wild horses. I think they would be most interested in the series of events that have been alluded to here. It could be that an external investigation may not do much as those investigating will be vulnerable to control from on high.

        And thank you R.T. – a truly united advocacy would never have broken this story until the parties could be nailed. Unfortunately, it appears fame and fundraising were more important in some “advocacy camps” and that is despicable.


  8. exactly!i love this gyes thinking thankyou mr fitch.they should be asking why dose she want a grant from the blm.for nevada,when her residents in texas.that puzzled me.i agree what you say and glad someone speaks up for the horses and burros.your a vbery smart man.thanks.julea


  9. I do not think anyone is bashing Madeleine Pickens as I think her original idea of ecotourism for wild horses caught in long and short term holding was a fantastic idea. I said WAS.

    The ecotourism is not worth zeroing out three herd mangement areas. What happens to those horses? Did Madeline Pickens let anyone know that her ecotourism would zero out three herd management areas? She has known for a long time and the rest of America found out about it from the BLM. Did she ask for ideas from other advocates to avoid killing off three herd management areas? I don’t think so.

    The BLM has taken somewhere around 25 million acres from the wild horses and the BLM would not have this overcrowding situation if they would give that land back.

    Instead, Madeleine will be enabling the BLM to take more of the horses land, send more horses to killer buyers. So, Madeleine takes 900 horses which she will be paid for and sends another 900 horses to slaughter. I just don’t see the point of what will amount to eco-terroism of our National treasure.

    I also don’t see the point of publishing an article about our National Treasures going to slaughter before the ground work investigation is complete. We would have to be really, really dumb not to know that the BLM is allowing killer buyers to make a lot of personal money (which has no benefit for the American public) by slaughtering our National treasures. Perhaps, did they think maybe advocates were in Mexico and Canada?

    It is so important for all advocates to communicate. I think there is too many Chefs in the kitchen and no one is doing any of the prep work.


  10. If the BLM’s plan includes a “divide and conquer” strategy, Mr. Fitch, you just fell for it! It’s about horses. If there’s personal in-fighting between you and other advocates, may I suggest you do it in private where it doesn’t affect the momentum of the advocacy in general.


    • The momentum of the mainstream movement is very solidified and speaking the truth is the only way that we will be able to effectively move forward without looking over our shoulders.


      • RT….oh…oh oh….I feel for you…the frustration…believe me I know….the BLM loves to see this…the fragmentation of the advocates. Please know, I for one, trust your path. May the force be with you … you ,who are a true representation of the wild ones….geez


  11. Sorry but on one point I agree and on the other we are 180 degrees out.

    Yes, we should all speak with a unified voice and many of us have kept our mouths shut on some very telling internal issues so as not to expose our dirty laundry to the enemy. This has allowed certain individuals to breeze through the advocacy wrecking damage on multiple organizations and harming, hurting and attacking individuals many of which have left the movement due to the misrepresentation and damage to their reputations. So I agree, we should and need to speak as one but we should also not let a few bad apples spoil it for the entire advocacy and perhaps a little pruning is long overdue.

    On the other issue I will politely repeat your very words, “Get YOUR facts straight!”

    Would you please explain to us how forever zeroing out 3 HMAs, removing all of the free roaming wild horses from them, putting them into holding and then replacing the wild horses with a like number of gelded horses is a good thing? Also remember that a herd of geldings teaches no one anything about wild horses as it is not a living breathing herd with band stallions, mares and foals…there is no life, action, family or freedom. Is it a fair swap, of course not.

    The only thing assured, in the Pickens plan, is that the gelded, non-reproducing herd is temporarily sheltered from the possibility of going to slaughter but the free family bands that were eradicated from the then defunct HMAs become at risk. The entire concept is…errrr, inconceivable.


  12. The horses pay as the crap continues…

    Where in-hell is there any trustworthiness?!

    How can advocates stick together when actions are amiss and shadiness witnessed???

    God…..PLEASE, help these horses!!!


  13. R. T. and other advocates,

    The issue is not whether Dave Phillip’s sources of information were accurate or whether he exposed previously unknown facts, but whether in the process of doing his research he unwittingly contacted the people involved in the sale of horses to slaughter directly or people who knew that these horses were going to slaughter. The significance, as it appears to me, is that there is an investigative team in the field documenting the steps along the way, and these investigators were gathing evidence that could have been used in court to prove without question that the BLM has been duplicitous in the sale of horses for slaughter.

    So, in other words, the short term pay-off cost us (or the wild horses) the benefit of documentation that would stand up in court to prove this.

    Now the question is not whether the BLM is aiding and abetting the sale of our wild horses and burros to slaughter or not. The question is how are they doing it. The necessity of holding round-ups on private property, pretty much proves that some of these horses were being held in feed lots, or possibly harvested on the spot.

    While there are multiple good ways to save our mustangs, there are some ways that are far less desirable. As someone who has been a fan of Mrs. Pickens and appreciated her ability to get the plight of the mustangs told, I find myself now feeling a bit like she has sold the horses out. If her only argument for her Mustang Eco-Sanctuary is that it is better for the horses than slaughter, and I do agree with her from the small picture perspective. But if this is the big picture and Mrs. Pickens has been convinced that the best she can do in her lifetime is to provide a retirement home for 900 geldings, then that bodes very poorly for our wild horses and burros and for the West in general.

    Although both Madeleine and Boone have maintained that the wild horse sanctuary is her project and her project alone, as awareness has grown about the water that exists under her property,has been made public and now this agreement with the BLM, no person with critical thinking ability could fail to associate the vast underground water resources there with her husband’s hopes to take advantage of the natural gas resources in the West. Natural gas cannot be tracked without large sources of water; however, water is often contracted separately by companies that frack natural gas. In ten to fifteen years, these gelded horses will be headed for the rainbow bridge and then what?

    I’ve tried to play the devil’s advocate with my own thoughts on this—that perhaps she is hoping that if the current President is not re-elected, the whole system of public lands management will change and then she will be able to turn provide a true sanctuary for wild horse families.


  14. When advocates (and I mean ANY of us…..not one person here specifically is being picked out or anyone NOT on this page either) fight especially in a public format the focus is taken off the horses and instead goes into a spinning funnel of negativity that divides the momentum to HELP wild horses like Moses parting the Red Sea. New advocates are coming on board daily, and when they do if they see experienced advocates fighting it makes it VERY HARD to know who to trust and how to be most effective for the horses. It is also a major turn off and some advocates….both veterans and newbies just begin to fade away and once again the horses lose.

    I do agree that we all MUST be sensitive to any on going investigations and to the people on the ground doing the work to get the facts needed to bring a long standing “we know this is happening” history to light for public scrutiny. This is where communication comes in and if crap still hits the fan so be it.

    In the meantime we need the following:

    ONE: A FOIA report for every long and short term holding facility in the U.S.

    TWO: Citizens to start showing up at short term holding facilities and adoption day. Just hang out, take pics, ask questions, learn and then share what you learned. DOCUMENT. You don’t have to be a hard core advocate to do some good. Just go and learn and share what you learned. The more eyes and ears the better.

    Three: We MUST get the Burns Amendment repealed! This should be our number one goal! The Burns Amendment lets the horses be sold in large numbers and without limitation….even for slaughter and products made from horses.

    In the meantime let’s approach this will all the dignity we can and once again for the horses. They are the ones being chased by helicopter, families ripped apart, shoved into trucks and pens and soft pastures that make their feet like dangerous sponges, adopted out to who knows where, dropped into the abyss of LTH and sometimes….many times off to the kill box to later be eaten in some foreign country. Their DNA defiled by the hands of humans.

    So let’s put the swords away for another day and go save some horses.


    • It would be great to get the Burn’s amendment repealed, but since the person who requested that the Senate Appropriations Chairperson Conrad Burns help out with his Nevada Problem, is currently the Senate President, I would say that the chances of this happening are nil and next to nil. In fact, any legislation to save our wild horses and burros ot to prevent horse slaughter are essentially doomed as long as Senator Reid, the co-author of the Burns amendment determines the legislative calendar for the Senate.

      And, due to new information that were in some columns I read by syndicated columnist, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, Thomas Sowell regarding the President’s anti-colonnial leanings, I fear that there is no hope at all for our horses under this administration. To quickly tie the anti-colonial world view to other ideas we are familiar with, this view opposes such countries such as Franch and Brittain who became powerful by colonizing other countries such as India, Hong Kong, and others. The US also became powerful by colonizing our country running native Americas to the reservations, defeating Mexico, and France, thus conquering all this territory allowing us to become wealthy and powerful. Anti-colonialists believe that the wealthy countries became wealthy by taking from power ones.

      This ties into Agenda 21 which was begun by a number of non-government agencies banding together to convince prosperous nations such as the United States that since we are powerful and industrialized, we are responsible for the damage that CO2 emissions and other pollutants have done to the planet. This is where the original push for cap and trade came from. What it does though is to essentially shut down a lot of production in the developed world because if we do not, we exceed this cap. So the anti-colonial, pro-UN Agenda 21, appears to be a trick to get countries like the US, in the name of climate change, to become less productive. As we become less productive, developing nations are allowed to become more productive. For example, during the Clinton administration, a company was interesting in mining sulphur coal. There is one in the US and one in Indonesia. President Clinton refused to have the US stockpile mined, but he did help someone who made a large donation to his campaign to have rights to the one in Indonesia. So, you see, in this way, Indonesia benefits from jobs, infrastructure, and from the sale of this product. President Clinton is involved in a number of Global Initiatives. Many people are supporting Global Initiatives that made be, in fact, just a way to implement UN Agenda 21.
      Debbie Coffey knows a lot more than I do about this.

      What Congress and the American people decided in 1971 is that the wild horse and burro is a living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West. These horses are the way to freedom, adventure, and throughout history, men on horseback enjoyed an advantage against foot soldiers in battle. So, is it possible that the wild horses that represent freedom to us, represent tyranny to the President. And if, what I have dismissed as irrational fears were to be true and the American people find themselves in need of horses in the day, is it possible the President would want to make sure they are not available.

      If we do indeed have a President who believes at his core that the US does not deserve its success and that we need to give our wealth to other poorer nations, it does not bode well for this country. However, when we get the message that the Obama administration may be pressuring FSIS to hurry through the rule making process for horse meat, or that one of his acts was to return the bust of Winston Churchill Bust from the White House to Brittain because his father believed that Churchill was a colonialist—well, one begins to wonder whether anyone is who you think they are and maybe up is really down and not up or that black is no longer black, but white.

      The President has also gone to the UN when he should have gone to Congress as in the case of our earlier assistance to Lybia. Are we going toward Global Governance—will our public lands be used to help other nations while US citizens are denied rights to use the land? If this administration aspires to Global Governance as opposed to the strengthening of the constitution and the rule of US law? Will our wild horses as well as our domestic horses fare better under the UN or the constitution of the United States?

      We need to think about this because the UN seems to be having more and more influence on the actions of the US. I heard only a short time ago, that the UN is considering accessing a tax on US citizens.


    • Thank you Horseshoe Angel for your comment.
      Infighting among advocates is the worst thing that can happen to the horses.
      Perhaps our frustration at not being heard by our Government is leading us to desperate ends.
      I for one, know the harder I work for the salvation of our Wild Ones the faster the BLM is decimating them. It is indeed hard to stomach the fact that the horses we love are being driven to holding pens and slaughter. So many of us just want to know what we can do to REALLY help. It is impossible to live happy and healthy with this going on with no relief in sight except the condition where there is nothing left to fight for.

      While secret and covert investigations are important, working as a unified group is even more so.
      The “good ole boys” R.T. refers to know better than to let division get the best of them. They are tightly knit and make penetration of their cult of greed and destruction very difficult.

      To all advocates, please remember love and light are the motivators of our desire to protect and preserve our Wild Ones. It is important to practice this motivation among ourselves. In doing so we strengthen each other and the whole cause. This is the one thing I know for sure that will REALLY help. This situation and many others the world over, leach the very light from our planet. Let the truly great advocate emerge as the One who can love and enable their fellow advocate to continue the battle for the innocent. ❤


    • Telling the truth is for the horses and burros. It is my humble opinion that Madeleine is firmly with BLM and that LP’s buddy has no loyalty to the advocacy at all and will continue to grandstand and confuse the new advocates far more than reading here what is really going on and who they should avoid at all costs. I have heard LP’s buddy exclaim dozens of times how she hates the advocates. She hates anyone who stands up to her or questions her or, oddly enough, those who have helped her. And from personal experience I know she hates the truth. She has also said in the same breathe she prefers the BLM to the advocates. But I hear BLM is not very fond of her. They tolerate her because she sues them. This is a tough world. A man’s world of corporate misdeeds and old prejudice. You cannot play on both sides and be trusted. Did you not read RT? People have been betrayed and slandered. We are not doing the slandering or we would be sued by now. We are telling the truth. Someone else is betraying us daily and the advocacy gives her the money to play her games with us, the BLM and in the courts. We will never have a perfect advocacy. We are all imperfect humans. Some of us are walking wounded and some are as twisted as any individual can be. But betrayal of the advocacy cannot be supported as it is self destructive to all. And that is what I see going on; betrayal.

      Three years ago Madeleine announced she would support the Salazar Plan in a press release. What changed? Not much.

      In an attempt to get Madeleine to change her stripes I continually wrote right here how she should be saving family bands and saving the bloodlines from the HMAs under attack. No one else has had the resources to do this but her. Unless, this country decides to wake up and do the saving collectively. Not everyone who loves wild horses is an advocate… just being an American who loves wild horses gives you the option to help them. We need those people. The advocacy has not been enough. But the backbone of emails and phone calls are from the mostly silent and not often online folks out there. They are those Americans. We need more of them. Keep thinking and working beyond the corruption within the advocacy. And do not doubt that we have corruption! We must not let it thrive amongst us. It is destroying our momentum and our heart. In saving the wild ones, truth is a goal.


      • oh goodie well put!i cant wait to read your page n blogs.i love it.your too are correct and a kind soul.thankyou!for putting it out there.peace.julea


  15. I too thought this news was exploited. Well written. Thank you. I keep trying to grasp why we can’t all just get along and work together. It seems a large majority is and has “put away their swords.” But you’re giving me a picture of why certain people and groups and people just can’t fit in.


  16. In my dreams i hear the cries of a people who once road these great creatures a proud people a people at one with Mother Earth.. As greed,money,mining,oil,grazing rights take the land..The cries go unnoticed as they did on December 29,1870 Men,Women and Children Family Unites Slaughtered to pave the way for Greed,Money,Mining,Oil and Grazing Rights..Goverment Agents are again Slaughtering but this time you can hear the cries of those Proud People in every Wild Horse and Burro Murdered a cry of Freedom.Why cant this Country Honor the Laws put into place to Protect these National Treasures?I guess i humor myself with that thought.The Goverment signing a piece of paper saying its a Law ,,a promise,,, their WORD.. How many pieces of paper have been signed by this Goverment only to be honored if its in their Favor not ours or the Wild Horses??? Do you hear the Cries ???


  17. Divide and conquer? What short-sighted non-sense! I would gladly pay to visit an eco-tourism center where i could observe wild horse families in their family bands.

    However, I have bonded for life with a formerly wild horse, and have known other formerly wild horses that ended up in my state. So, there is no draw for me to go to Nevada to see formerly wild horses living as geldings—especially since i have to walk through a couple of pastures with nothing but geldings in them when i take my mares to and from the barn. It makes no sense at all to me, to take the time or expense to see a herd of gelded mustangs.

    Saving our wild, free roaming horses means saving them in their family bands, so they can continue living in the wild. There is so much that these horses have to teach us if we only take time to be still and observe them in their herds.


  18. I’ve researched & written about wild horses for over 20 years, so I was heartened to see this article and glad it outed people by name. I wasn’t part of the article’s backstory. I don’t know what’s been lost. I do know this ugly news has hit the mainstream and alerted the general public to the bloody waste of their tax dollars. Outrage is valuable and so is humiliation. I pray victims will be saved even if the villains aren’t sufficiently punished.


    • Totally agree Terri; they know they are being watched, and yes, while some may get more sneaky about moving the horses to position them for going to slaughter, (and I actually had someone tell me at the Fallon kill sale a month or so ago while I was there trying to buy/rescue a few horses from going to slaughter, that the kill buyers “will just go black market if horse slaughter is banned entirely” Oh really? O.K., they may do that but 1. it will be extremely difficult to make the good living they’re making now and 2. there will be stiff penalties if they get caught unlike where nothing happens now because its not illegal to ship horses out of the country for slaughter), the fact is that anyone messin’ wih BLM horses will have to wonder who is watching them, which of their “friends” are turning on them (and if a cash reward is offered for information leading to someones arrest for violating federal law, or info on collusion, etc, just watch how so-called “friends” will turn on one another; kinda like the old adage “no honor among thieves”), why is that cop following them for so long, whats the unmarked vehicle that’s been behind them for 50 or 100 miles, etc, and for the BLM employees who cut the deals with people like Tom Davis, they’ll be wondering if they’re being set up, they’ll have to worry about not only keeping their jobs, (and I used to think when I began dealing with the BLM 20 years ago adopting horses trying to “do my part and offer support” in the hopes they’d balance capturing some with managing most in the wild…..gave them the benefit of the doubt, but realized they’d failed my test about 12-14 years ago and were continuing to capture no matter how supportive people were with adopting), but also whether they’ll be federally investigated and end up financially ruined with fines, and perhaps be in prison too, etc.
      On the issue of rescue/advocate interaction: I pretty much don’t interact with other advocates/rescues very much at all for the simple reason that they always seem to be arguing and back stabbing one another if a person isn’t saying and doing whatever the other person thinks they should be saying and doing…..shoot, I’ve been in many, many facets of the horse world in a professional capacity for about 40 years, so I don’t take well to people arguing with me about stuff they have little knowledge of and/or have not “been there, done that”…..I instead interact with a lot of wild horse haters and get good insider information on what their plans are….then based on what I find out, I put the info of that interaction out on various forums and let other more prominent people in the rescue world run with it and get the word out…..for instance, we’re going to have A LOT of problems this winter when the cattle ranchers turn their cattle out on a side of a local highway (Alternate Hwy 95 between Fernley and Silver Springs, Nevada) where normally their cattle are not turned out at all on the west side of the highway….the reason there will be trouble? Because they just had State of NV workers string a LONG fenceline that inhibits movement of the wild horses on BLM land (so they won’t be able to “roam” as they are legally mandated to be able to do, and will be stuck in a smaller grazing area) on the side of the highway where normally we only have wild horses, but once the cattle are turned out now that there is a fence to keep them off our 65 mph highway, the assault on the wild horses to capture them will ramp up immediately because of the ranchers hatred for the wild horses and them eating ANY forage, and drinking ANY water, and although the horses will try to get away from the cattle, people, etc, the fences will inhibit their ability to do so. I’ve pointed this out to a few advocates and am hoping they heed the warning that we need to be prepared for the assault on our BLM AND our State horses, (and I actually did make an exception to my not interacting stance for the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund and at their request, I did do the bidding on the horses at the Fallon kill sale 2 times because those folks REALLY have the best interests of the State wild horses at heart and don’t let bullsh*t egos and arguing get in the way of rescuing horses…..any time I can help rescues like these great people, I’m more than happy to do it and I actually saw people from various rescues interacting with other people they normally won’t even speak to…our volunteer efforts with a non-combative rescue really UNITED our local rescues and it was great to see and be a part of). So yes, maybe the story/article could have been a bit more complete, however, I do believe that story will make the wrong doers nervous and they will be making mistakes if they decide to go forward with breaking federal laws because they will prceive everyone is a potential threat to them.
      And about Madeline Pickens “plan”…..I haven’t really been on-board with her project other than to think that her place could be a good place for wild horses who are no longer thriving in the wild (and since the factions have pretty much killed off all the predators of the wild horses, some of these horses die slow, painful deaths where normally nature would take it’s course and they’d be taken out by a predator), for those that the BLM would otherwise just shoot like the club footed colt I adopted from the Stone Cabin capture and trap site adoption at Laura Leighs request (and he’s doing great at my place, is sound, and is a super sweet colt), perhaps horses that have been returned by adoptors, and then I also think that people would enjoy learning by watching the gentling and training of wild horses that are in the adoption program that could be run from Madelines sanctuary…..otherwise, I believe the law should be followed and the wild horses and burros should be primarily managed in the wild. And for NO REASON should those HMA’s be fenced because if that happens, in my experience in Northern Nevada for 20 years and seeing when BLM/public land is fenced, all is lost and the takeover of the land occurs by the greedy factions who wish to use it as their own with we taxpayers footing the bills through subsidies.
      Just a few of my thoughts on a few issues……..


    • Terri, this investigation needed to get to court if anything could stop the disappearance of captive wild mustangs and burros.

      Sadly what many people do not know or understand because they are not well informed about the law, is that the facts and sources must be kept secret until released in court hearings. Humiliation doesn’t affect the people who want the mustangs gone. Not a whit or they would have reined in their efforts a long time ago. Money outweighs that. And public outrage has not helped much either as I know from years of protest, you-tubes and websites.

      We need evidence and we need court rulings that favor the mustangs’ survival. So this premature article has harmed the mustangs terribly. I appreciate your point of view, but FAR TOO MUCH HAS BEEN LOST. Ask a lawyer friend to explain how that is.

      This is not about back-stabbing advocates; each of us means well perhaps but human nature sometimes gets in the way of right action. Honest advocates can take the heat of criticism and learn from it. I hope all advocates do that now so something is wrung out of this mess.

      Once again, I sense that the mustangs are accomplishing at least one thing…teaching us humans how to better improve our methods of helping wild creatures to gain equal standing with greedy humans, whoever they are. May fewer horses die before we learn to act wisely with information.


  19. .RT did the first un-named group that you are annoyed with check in with the second un-named group about this investigation prior to the article or did neither know the others work or names? which raises the question should anyone do any investigating without checking in with known and unknown other investigators advocates ect?? also everyone knows Madeline Pickens big thing is horse Slaughter but i didnt see anywhere that she had anything to do with the investigative report all she did was comment about her thoughts on this obvious direction the horses bought by this man are headed after its release…how does that connect her to financing the report directly or indirectly? i myself had alot to say about the report and i know i financed nothing .. the horses and burros are slipping out the back door and have been for along time i frankly am thrilled to see a little daylight on the subject.


    • Didn’t this answer your question, Deborah?
      “In the course of preparing his article Philipps had contacted dozens of longtime, legitimate equine advocates for information, background stats and FOIA data, everyone was willing to help but in exchange for those resources Philipps was:

      made aware that a premature publication of an article, without documented proof of where the horses actually ended up (not just assumptions) would compromise other investigations.
      told about Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Martha Mendoza, who did gather all the facts in her investigations.
      advised to have verifiable documentation and to have all his ducks in a row before he “broke” this story.

      Didn’t happen!”

      Information and Davis’s name was known to advocates long before Phillips was on the scene. Our ‘Friend’ who self promotes tirelessly and makes false claims on her work daily is out of control.


      I hope you can wrap your mind around this betrayal.

      And our ‘Friend’ tells her followers that we, here, are the haters!! The hate and the lies, betrayal and false claims and slander all come from our ‘Friend’ as none of us are slandering anyone. We do not represent ‘hate’ here! We stand for the wild ones and we have not been playing with the campaign and destroying good people’s hard work.


  20. Well I guess this is the best time to say this. Several months ago I attacked Deb here. It was mean and ugly. Feelings were raw. Nuff said. Deb saw me in July at a rally and we finally got a chance to really talk everything out. Everything’s good now. I feel really good about things with her.

    If this writer had any idea of the damage his story would do being published prematurely it was a really rotten stinky thing to do. I know people want the exclusive but perhaps there would have been a better time to speak up.

    Putting investigators at risk is a horrid thing to do. All that writer had to do was attend the conference and he would have learned why.

    One can make a name for him/her self in a good way or a bad one. I think greed got ahead of someone’s common sense. And it’s the horses who pay the price.

    When RT talks about being on the same page he means “it’s about the horse”. If you put that at the priority of what you do or say then you are on the same page as RT. And I apologize for speaking for RT, people were asking a question and I was giving my understanding of what he means.


  21. Sorry i know i should get with the program and be like everyone else and learn the most important part of horse rescue the ME MYSELF and I thing..Boy its a wonder there’s any horses left Tame or Wild ..


  22. Please let the knowledge that we now have, that over 1700 wild horses were sent into the hands of brutal slaughter, be the fuel for change.
    each and everyone of us needs to push for a full investigation into this tragedy as well as get the “burns act” repealed. The “Burns act allowed this to happen.
    I am focusing on what we can do. let’s move protection of the wild ones forward!!!
    Take action please!


    • Leslie, other investigators, who were getting the WHOLE truth, were working on this and Dave Philipps knew it. As a matter of fact, they shared documents received from Freedom of Information Act requests and information with him that they had – which he then used for a big chunk of HIS article. The reason this story was broken BEFORE it was a “FULL INVESTIGATION” seems to be to help with fundraising for a new lawsuit.

      Now we have an advocate pushing a petition to Congressmen and other agencies that states wild horses are going to slaughter in Mexico. What absolute PROOF is there of this?
      Do you have photos or a COMPLETE PAPERWORK TRAIL that shows these horses went to MEXICO? Or just that they went to southern states and assumptions? If Congressmen act on that carelessly written petition, and it gets thrown in their face, they’ll be less likely to take on this cause.

      Dave wrote a careless and incomplete article.


      • Thanks Deb Coffee. This makes it uglier than I thought. I am very sad to hear this was done. Betray the advocacy and you betray the wild horses and burros. We are one… but those who did this are on the outside trying to manipulate us.


      • Leslie, did you ever see my White House Petition, which included a Congressional investigation of the Burns Amendment as a breech of ethics? I think it got about 70 votes, so it was never even seen on the website (150 were required). Why? The advocate “powers that be” chose not to promote it! It took me less than five minutes to vote for ALL the other White House petitions promoted on blogs and FB pages. I think there were 4 or 5. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Maybe they thought that other advocates couldn’t.


      • Linda, You know the frustration of doing good work and having it passed by… We both do. This has been the atmosphere for three years. It is time to clean house, advocates. There are folks with great insight who should have been heard and given the best chance possible to act. This has not been the case. This must change. The Playing Field we have been on has been too narrow by our own design. Time to broaden it and this will bring more wild horse lovers to this campaign. We need numbers! We need patience and respect. Why is it when people have made educated statements and suggested excellent alternatives that no one here was interested? Ask yourselves why you have not been encouraging your own compatriots!!! Right here! I have to thank the Cloud Foundation and Makendra for the Cloud Blog which brought so many of us together to learn, who are still here, but have not had a fair shake in getting their ideas out and into discussions. I come here and I feel shunned all the time. Why? Look in your hearts and get beyond your prejudice or your apathy and encourage each other. Do it. We need this. It takes compassion and works.

        And complaining about people telling the truth is absurd.


      • Leslie, because the information was foolishly published and then linked with certain advocate groups – the horses and burros lost their chance to be vindicated. Can that be understood? Not easily forgotten or forgiven. And no, do not motivate people saying “get past it.” What we don’t need is more hysteria and more stab in the dark activity carrying on as if we have authority but in reality have, NO substantiated facts. That is also the brain and spine of the problem with the lawsuits on the books right now and that a particular advocate cannot comprehend and continues to trumpet victory. Nothing will happen without the guts to do it honestly. You could clear the air by admitting the depth of the errors with the abuse of this horrible chain of events. If not, and we “all get past it,” what we will have due to this thoughtless reprehensible interference is a “flash in the pan.” Donations will spike. And then this advocate will wait for the next crisis. Reread the story of Chicken Little. So – NO thank you.


  23. I also asked Pickens couple weeks ago if there was any truth to the zeroing out of 3 HMA’s to accomodate her eco-resort. I also did NOT get an answer. Looks to me like Pickens is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The wild horse advocates do need to stick together, but first we have to root out the trojan horses that have secret agendas. I’m afraid Pickens is one of those.


  24. Its a shame that through ego or inexperience this writer wrecked hard work of others, but I can understand the urge to want to take independent action. There are many factors contributing to the loss of our mustangs that aren’t coming to light, and many sources of support for our campaign that aren’t being courted due to the hide-bound egomania and narrow vision of some of those “at the top” of our movement. There’s no openness to new ideas, little mentoring of new recruits to the ranks, and it seems more to me about egos than equines. No wonder to me that there is a fracturing leading to unfortunate happenings like this. It is too much to hope that rather than take wisdom from this, anyone will do some sould searching and take a more proactive approach to saving our horses.


    • Debbie, in particular, RT posts something on this blog almost every day, and there are many good organizations where new recruits in the ranks can go to learn and are welcome to participate – just like all of us did. There is really nobody “at the top” – and despite the words in a couple of comments here (like “infighting” and “backstabbing”) most of us know and respect each other and the work we each do, and have a lot of admiration for each and every advocate who contributes in their own way. Most of us dedicate a lot of time and effort to saving the wild horses and burros, so if you don’t think we already have a proactive approach, please send us some concrete ideas you have. R.T.’s e-mail address is listed above. We care.


    • Debbie, it did not start out this way. We all used to encourage each other and there have been many who have come forth and said some fine things here but without a nod from ‘she who puts herself above us all’ nothing new was developed. This made others follow along and not think for themselves. But what happened was it made many of the most determined of us try to rescue wild horses from the many threatening situations that befall them in the human world. You might say we were forced to do this because there was not enough room for us at the same table with the egos because of this competition for funding which is a real embarrassment. That is not about the horses.


  25. >>Terri, this investigation needed to get to court …Sadly what many people do not know or understand because they are not well informed about the law, is that the facts and sources must be kept secret until released in court hearings. .. a lawyer friend to explain how that is <<

    As a plaintiff against DOI, I got a crash course in the law and wild horses. That case stands as one of my worst failures, and the mustangs of the Calico Mountains deserved far more from all of us. So, you're right, I'm no expert.
    My endorsement of the Philipps article was a mistake and I would've condemned the revelation of secrets that could hurt the horses if the investigation hadn't been sub-rosa. I guess this is one more example of why those who prize wild horses over ego need to communicate.


    • I guess in future, before anyone that knows anything really important discloses it to someone, they will perhaps have to have reporters, or whomever the info is being given to, sign a contract stating that they cannot publish their story until they get a signed release from the party/s they have gotten sensitive information from and/or you could also video record it with all partys authorization that it is being videoed…….I think a lot of us involved with animals and rescue are very trusting (most likely this is because animals tend to be forgiving and trusting too, so it rubs off on us even when we’ve been burned before), but I’ve had to learn through the years to do contracts and get signatures and dates when I do all sorts of things to protect all the parties involved in case it ever ends up in court.


  26. The end result of the Picken’s Plan for our wild horses was always my concern. While it did indeed lead for a cushy life for the chosen few it left the door open for BLM to fill the empty places. I was not a fan prior to realizing that this would involve trashing 3 HMA’s. Certainly MP had to realize this at some point in all her hours and hours of contact with BLM. I feel betrayed by that. The idea that Boone the oil man was hovering in the background also very much disturbed me. I had asked the question of what happens when the original “allotment” dies and had never received an answer either.

    I do not know the full story about the other advocates mentioned here, only what is depicted here. If this indeed true then that is shameful at best and, well I don’t even want to voice the at worst. There has to be integrity on all sides when a major investigation is to break with ALL facts documented. This article just threw away a golden opportunity to perhaps finally get a Congressional investigation and has made tracking the whereabouts of the horses more difficult if not impossible. And what did this get anyone? Why did this have to happen when just a bit more time could have made it the story it should have been?


  27. Mr.Fitch
    Do you know anything about the BLM investigations about mustangs being sent to slaughter in 1993? There is a White Paper that came out in 1997 called “PEER” White paper called Horses to Slaughter Anatomy of a Coverup within the Wild Horse & Burro Program of the Bureau of Land Management. It’s about 30 pages and gives a break down of what was happening at that time. This was put out by The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. I believe this email address is :
    i found this info last year and dug it out of a file I have. What is in this information is identical to what is in the article. When I read the short article it reminded me of the info I already had. In 1993 the director of the BLM was Jim Baca he’s since retired. As the investigation in 1993 continued, I believe Baca was leading it, the more BLM employees were found involved in the selling of mustangs for slaughter. Baca was pushing the investigation. Baca has a website. He was also the mayor of a New Mexico town for a few years. You might try to contact him about all of this to see if he might want to give some insight into what he thinks the BLM is doing.


    • It’s on Vicki Tobin’s web site.

      Barbara, I remember reading this article. I know I may sound a little off the wall to many of you with my discussion about Agenda 21, anti colonialism, and the conversion of public land, but…

      Jim Baca was determined to clean up the BLM. Department of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, under Bruce Babbit killed the prosecution of the BLM employee from going forward on the basis that the practices were so wide spread, that it would be unfair to prosecute only one employee.

      For the record, Al Gore agreed to be President Clinton’s running mate on one condition, and that condition was that Bruce Babbit be appointed Secretary to the Interior. Babbit was from a ranching family, but hated ranchers and was determined to rid public lands of ranchers. I cam across a story of some ranching families who had ranched for generations in the Klamath Basin, and Babbit turned off the water that irrigated their land in order to save two species of fish. Not only were these ranchers ruined, but later (REALLY BUG SURPRISE) the science that said these two species of fish was found to be false.

      Again, for the record, Al Gore has become a billionaire from bying and selling air (cap and trade) on the London Exchange. The US has a similar exchange referred to as the Chicago Climate Exchange. CCX got its start up money when the board of a charitable foundaton our current President sat on sold the forest land it managed for a non-profit foundation. So, in other words our sitting President helped to fund the corporation that manages the selling of CO2 emissions. The original Agenda 21 master mind-Maurice Strong has worked at the CCX. Let’s be clear, the CCX is not a charitable organization. It exists to earn a profit. To be fair, it appears that the President divested himself from the CCX either at its formation or shortly thereafter. Nonetheles, it does appear possible that he may have actually conceived cap and trade which is consistent with the goals of Agenda 21, to force the “have” nations into a method of compensating the “have not” nations.

      Debbie Coffey is the real expert on this, and she may want to point out anything I have said that is inconsistent.

      I point this out because for the sake of perspective. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The Department of Interior has been used as a candy store for the party in power. Durng the Bush years, the Bush DOI made rancher’s needs a priority. Until I read about these ranchers who had their water turned off and their lives destroyed arbitrarily, I have had little patience for ranchers.

      However, I am beginning to think that perhaps given all that Agenda 21 implies, we might consider finding alliances with ranchers who do not consider our wild horses competitors, but co-existors on the land.


  28. Mr.Fitch
    There is a copy of High Country News dated 1994 that described Jim Baca being pushed out by the bosses at the BLM. Its called BLM Chief Jim Baca leaves amidst cheers and boos. His job was given to a long time BLM employee. I found this on google. I think BLM employees are afraid of losing their jobs. I think a congressional investigation is needed.


    • I’ve been saying that for the past 20 years that I’ve been adopting horses and burros and also dealing with the BLM in other ways……the employees figure they better keep their mouths shut or they will be eliminated, although, I did used to hear from a few of the employees “off the record” about how they really felt regarding some captures and/or the BLM’s way of doing things without cause, and what they said was very negative toward the BLM.
      Unfortunately however, while I used to give the employees the benefit of the doubt regarding them staying quiet about things they didn’t agree with because afterall, the decisions are made in D.C. for the most part, and they also wanted to keep their jobs, I have felt for the past 10 or 12 years that employees are selected for their attitude of parroting the BLM “party lines” the difference is that for the past many years, they’re not “just agreeing or talking” but actually believe what they’re saying….it’s called “habituation”, where a person that first experiences something might be shocked, upset, sad, etc about something, but when they see it, experience it, participate in it often enough, they become devoid of any feelings for the thing that used to bother them…….. I think that word pretty much describes most of the employees of the BLM now, from the lowest up to the highest positions, and its no longer just a matter of keeping their jobs…..very sad that the horses and burros have no one in the BLM that will step up, blow the whistle and say “too bad, I’d rather help the horses and burros than live a lie and keep a job”……


      • What you said is ringing loudly in my head …
        “very sad that the horses and burros have no one in the BLM that will step up, blow the whistle and say “too bad, I’d rather help the horses and burros than live a lie”


  29. We are often challenged by advocates for not announcing what we are working. The reason is simple – don’t show your hand until you’re done. If you do, there is a high risk of sabotage and never exposing or completing the work. When you’re dealing with something like BLM horses going to slaughter, exposing the individuals before the investigation is completed will drive them underground and you will never be able to nail them. Investigations are best left to the professionals.

    John Holland and Valerie James-Patton released info on BLM horses going to slaughter with a press release in 2009 and an editorial in 2010 (posted today by RT). The information was researched by Valerie and was based in part on a previously issued PEER report. I only mention this because this issue isn’t new and has been around since the early 90s. The difference is the current investigation may have brought charges.

    Now that the investigation has been exposed, Davis will likely will disappear only to be replaced with another kill buyer that will operate under the radar. The issues with our wild ones and slaughter go hand and hand. As long as slaughter is still available, the assault on our wild ones will never end. Those involved in slaughter are not pillars of the community. They are slick, know the ropes and are expert at navigating around laws and regulations. The BLM is king of double-talk. BLM can honestly say they don’t sell horses to slaughter and they are correct. But they do sell horses to kill buyers that send them to slaughter. It’s all semantics.

    In the end, people remember the news, not who released it. Those that are posturing and more concerned about breaking news to get their name out there instead of the news or only doing it to get money will eventually fall by the way side. We need to stay focused and not waste time getting involved in their shenanigans and get dragged into the holes they’re digging.


    The Government Accountability Project’s mission is to promote corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists.
    GAP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with an operating budget of around $2.5 million. Gifts to GAP are tax-deductible. The vast majority of our funds come from over 10,000 individual donors and foundations such as the Carnegie Foundation, CS Fund, Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Rockefeller Family Fund. Additional support comes from legal fees, settlement awards, and services provided.
    Founded in 1977, GAP is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. Located in Washington, DC, GAP is a nonpartisan, public interest group. In addition to focusing on whistleblower support in our stated program areas, we lead campaigns to enact whistleblower protection laws both domestically and internationally. GAP also conducts an accredited legal clinic for law students, and offers an internship program year-round.


  31. While I agree with RT and many of you that the gun might have been jumped so to speak by printing this article without collecting all the facts beforehand, the point now is that this information is out there before the public. Did someone or someones who proclaim wild horse advocacy involve themselves for profit through donations or such? Probably, so what else is new? I have been a life-long equine advocate, cruelty investigator, and even was certified to conduct compliance checks on adopted mustangs and burros by BLM. I was also made aware of BLM employees selling horses to slaughter in the early 90’s for personal gain by M. Mendoza while heading up a campaign in Texas to ban horse tripping in Mexican rodeos….actually aired video footage on Hard Copy and 20/20 of mustangs being used by the charros in San Antonio. My experience over the past 20+ years has been that the animal rights and animal welfare movements in this country have been and are being consumed by egos, desperate campaigns for donations, back-biting, and finger pointing which has been counterproductive for helping the animals. We need now to push for a full investigation of the BLM and Davis and anyone else who might be involved in the sale and purchase of the wild horses knowing they are bound for slaughter. Some of the facts may be fuzzy but we currently have two presidential campaigns bombarding the airways with ads that are short on facts but out there anyway influencing American voters. Obama has had every opportunity, given the thousands of emails, faxes, calls, etc. that have flooded his and the BLM offices over the past 4 years, to respond and take action to stop the roundups and stockpiling of the mustangs and has done nothing. The fact is the corruption in the 90’s happened when the BLM was under Clinton’s watch. Maybe this info needs to find its way to the Romney campaign and let them wake Obama up on this issue. Ann Romney is a horse owner/enthusiast albeit an elite one who might take up this cause. Of course, problem is we all know how the Republicans are so focused on cutting spending, if elected their first move might be to sell the stockpiled horses off for slaughter, too. In any event, the connection of Ken Salazar, Conrad Burns, and Harry Reid in this issue needs to be made public. and let the chips fall where they may. Such a sad dilemma for the horses and those of us who care about them.


  32. I guess in the end it all comes down to honor or the lack thereof. I was working on some stats for someone and asked if I could release what I had. I was told I could if I really wanted to but they prefer I hold off until I was greenlighted. I held off. Why would I not? How could I possibly know how these stats were ultimately going to be used as they were only one piece of a larger puzzle. I agree with Laura that confidentiality papers would be in order. Sadly the days of the handshake , whether actual or presumed, are long gone.


    • Not really, Morgan. Many of us are still working with people we trust and it would be wonderful to grow that trust back with more of us. But, agreed, for Legal reasons, contracts are a good idea and keep things clear and precise. I think I know how these people were willing to share while in the field. It is different to be out there knowing you can help another. But this action has drawn a new line and we all must regain respect for one another and mean it.


  33. hello yes i care to so glad theres more talking.more thinking.more info about the horses and burros getting out there.all sides.not just one sided.i feel the need to read many forms of info out there,and i do,so im better informed.i love that tails are wagging.i love all the adoptions and supporters or all sides bearing there the flood waters rush in.its awesome to whatch.and read.comment on and from.this morning i feel really good alot of people are making a difference in the horses and mustandgs/burros. there getting out there.there getting adopted .there being saved.thankyou for truly saving the horses and burros from all adopters are awesome!we love you.and the animals do too.thankyou from them to you all.peace!


  34. Will “advocates” threatening those with differing opinions about certain other “advocates” actions PLEASE QUIT!!!


    • I agree Linda. It is a low down attempt to shut down discussion or critical observation. Being accountable does not stop at BLM’s doorstep.


  35. Hate to chang the subject cause this is extremey important, but I hae to go back to Pickens & her eco-resort. She finally gave me an answer (& not a goodone). Her answer to stoppig the wild horse slaughter is to open ec-resorts far & wide totake in all the wild horses that BLM removes from their land. And the frosting on the cake is her followers are falling over themselves adoring her. Can’t these people see what she’s doing? We have a big problem with Pickens & her eco-resorts. Sorry, Linda Horn, but Pickens needs to be outed. She is no friend to wild horses, shes on her own agenda (& her oil tycoon husband) and starting to think it was her plan all along to remove all the horses & start up eco-sanctuaries (zoos) to keep them in. We need to fight her now before she gets any farther.


  36. Every organization needs to assume that every other organization has an investigation underway. Every organization needs to assume that the people being investigated are an organized crime cartel. Every organizations description of the activities it is investigating meets the criteria to classify the subjects as an organized crime syndicate. These cartels have known they were under investigation for decades. Organized crime cartels often kill people, they certainly kill horses. Please do not fight, the cartels laugh all night long when they read blogs about advocates slicing each other up. Please check with each other re: investigations and assume 60 minutes, Federal law and others are also investigating. Please believe these are dangerous people. Please help and not hurt each other. Please take a deep breath…


  37. On Oct. 3, 2012, Tom Gorey, BLM PR spokesperson sent the following e-mail to an advocate:
    To: the advocate (e-mail address removed by me),,,,
    Sent: 10/3/2012 5:51:50 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time
    Subj: Re: Jane: BLM selling horses to kill buyer? (Denver Post)

    “The ProPublica/Denver Post article provides no evidence to support its insinuation that wild horses bought by Mr. Davis ended up in slaughterhouses.
    The BLM will investigate any credible claims that wild horse buyers are not fulfilling their sales agreement, which stipulates that horses are not to be resold or transferred to parties that intend to process the animals into commercial products.”

    If only Dave Philipps had carried out his unvestigation until he had the proof.


    • thanks for posting that onephoenix. And since the investigation is blown there won’t be any evidence until a new investigation can be started from the ground up and there goes a whole lot of time and money and horses.


  38. sorry I am late to this discussion..I have been gone all summer..I was contacted by Phillips by e-mail requesting input on the Adobe Town buyer and my conversations directly with Sally and Lona regarding the buyer and all the adobe sale authority horses..I did not respond to his request becauase I did not have the time to verify his credentials-D Phillips is the only person conducting an investgation who made an attempt to contact me..which I find odd if these other investigations were going on since I am the person who had first hand knowledge and first person converations with Sally and Lona about this repeat ag defferal I am assuming much of the info is second person given..not knowing there were other investigations on going..I was thrilled to find out who this person was and his connection to the Salazars..There was an opportunity at the time of the sale for someone to follow the adobe town SA out of the facility..I contacted my limited contacts in COLO to try and find an advocate who was willing to track semis arriving at Canon cityand an individual who is an important documetarian and filmmaker offered to follow them to their destination and provide one was willing to step usual there were many excuses I am sorry to say


  39. MP knew of the AG defferal buyer, thru my disclosure to the public..she in fact-sent a representitive to Canon audition the SA ADOBE horses for a posistion on her mustang monument..for what ever reason..she chose not to take them..dashing my hopes that the rest could be saved from the buyer..I am more than wiling to testify to congress and or the Attorney General to my first hand conversations with Sally and Lona as well as copies of my correspondence refresh Sallys failing memory


  40. It seems to me..the burden of proof is on the BLM to show where the Adobe town horses went to since sally told me he was buying the horses to provide ag defferals to properties around the southwest, and he would be distributing the horses in small groups to various properties..that he was in fact a “repeat buyer” and above reproach..should mean they could be tracked easily..the adobes are the canary in the gold mine…once proven this is a falsehood and a conspiracy between the BLM and tom davis..and none of these horses can be produced..the house of cards should don’t need to prove they went to slaughter…the fact that the BLM was in collusion with Davis to defraud states of their rightful property a case on its own..wild horses would not fufill ag deferment requrements


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