Horse News


Call to Action from  American Wild Horse

BLM Plans to “ZERO OUT” and Destroy Two Unique Wild Horse Herds

Public Comment Deadline: December 7, 2012

Taking its marching orders from Wyoming’s powerful livestock industry, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning the second roundup in less than three years of wild horses living in the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming’s pristine Red Desert region. The 1.5 million-acre public land area is managed as a complex due to wild horse movements between the two HMAs. The roundup is proceeding despite the fact that the Adobe Town HMA is substantially below the low end of the Allowable Management Level (AML) of 610 – 800 horses. Even more disturbing, the BLM intends to remove all wild horses on “private land or checkerboard land within the Rock Springs Office portion of the HMA.” Since the majority of the Salt Wells HMA is “checkerboard” (alternating public and private land parcels), and since the wild horses living there cannot tell the difference between public and private land, this raises the alarming possiblity that the entire HMA will be zeroed out!

This stepped-up roundup plan is the result of a a lawsuit filed last year by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which owns or leases the checkerboard lands for livestock grazing. The legal action — which the Interior Department itself advised ranchers to file — seeks to compel the BLM to remove all wild horses from the public and private lands in the checkerboard area. AWHPC and our coalition partners, The Cloud Foundation and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, have intervened in this lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the government from simply settling the case by agreeing to wipe out all the horses on the 2 million acres that constitute the Wyoming checkerboard. Yet, deciding not to wait for the outcome of this litigation, the BLM is now proposing this potentially devastating roundup.

The BLM allows the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) to graze the annual equivalent of 15,000 cows — or 75,000 sheep — in the alltoments that lie within and around the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek HMAs, while restricting the wild horse population in this vast area no more than 1,165. The RSGA members enjoy the privilege of grazing their livestock on our public lands, as well as the benefits of the taxpayer subsidies that underwrite below-market grazing rates. It’s time for our government to demand that, in return for those privileges, the RSGA members be required to tolerate the presence of America’s cherished wild horses on the public and private lands in this area.

Please submit your comments today during this scoping period for the development of an EA on this unnecessary, cynical and egregious wild horse roundup and removal plan.

If you prefer, you can submit your comments no later than December 7, 2012 via email, fax or U.S. postal mail to:

Jay D’Ewart, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: (307) 352-0329

Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:
(Please include “ATSW Scoping Comment” in the subject line.)

Background Information

Adobe Town HMA

The Adobe Town HMA is located in south-central Wyoming between Interstate 80 and the Colorado/Wyoming border. It encompasses 472,812 acres of which 444,744 are BLM-administered public lands. The topography of the area is varied with everything from colorful eroded desert badlands to wooded buttes and escarpments. In between are extensive rolling to rough uplands interspersed with some desert playa and vegetated dune areas. Limited, sensitive desert riparian areas are important features of the landscape. Winters are long and severe. Annual precipitation ranges from less than seven inches in the desert basins to more than twelve inches at some of the higher elevations. Elevation ranges from 6600 ft to 7800 ft along Kinney Rim, which forms the western boundary of the HMA. Some of the HMA is in the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area. Other features in the area include the Cherokee Trail, the Haystacks, and Powder Rim. The Allowable Management Level for wild horses in this HMA is 610-800, with BLM managing for a target population of 700. The current estimated wild horse population in the Adobe Town HMA is BELOW the low end of the AML at 433 horses.

Salt Wells Creek HMA

The Salt Wells HMA encompasses 1,193,283 acres, of which 724,704 acres are BLM-administered public lands. The majority of the herd management area consists primarily of checkerboard land ownership area created by the Union Pacific Railroad grant in the Northern portion. Consolidated public lands with state school sections and small parcels of private land making up the majority of lands in the southern section of the HMA. Topography within the herd area is generally gently rolling hills. There are several small streams passing through the area, and some high ridges. Elevations range roughly from 6,300 to 7,900 feet. Precipitation ranges 7-10 inches in lower elevations and 15-17 inches at higher elevations, predominately in the form of snow. The area is unfenced other than portions of boundary fence and right-of-way boundaries along I-80.

The AML for this HMA is 251-365 horses. The current population is estimated to be 572 wild horses. A full range of colors is present. This herd has a high number of palominos and sorrels with flaxen manes and tails. Other horses’ colors are bay, brown, black, paint, buckskin, or gray.

Livestock Grazing in the Complex

22 livestock grazing allotments lie partially or wholly within the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas.

The BLM allocates a total of 177,829 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) for livestock grazing in these 22 allotments. This is the annual equivalent of 14,819 cow/calf pairs or 74,095 sheep. Meanwhile the agency allows a MAXIMUM of 1,165 wild horses in these two HMAs.

More information:

2012 Scoping Notice

Photographer Carol Walker’s Blog, “Wild Horses: Only the Complete Destruction of the Red Desert Herds Will Do

The Atlantic, “On Wyoming’s Range, Water is Scarce, but Welfare is Plenty

2010 Adobe Town/Salt Wells Creek Roundup Environmental Assessment

2010 BLM Adobe Town/Salt Wells Creek Gather Reports

Click (HERE) to fill out Auto-Letter at AWHP

24 replies »

  1. This has to be one of the most astounding herds in our nation. For those of us that live far away and can’t travel Carol Walker and others have artfully captured their amazing beauty. I found this definition that somehow to me says it oh so clearly…

    “Beauty- Something which embodies the trait of unmatched aesthetic and inner beauty, regardless of external influences. To be truly beautiful reflects an unparalleled sense of eternity, unchanged by events or situations which may otherwise compromise such a trait.”

    For these creations of God to be treated so un-Godly is loathsome. Now the ‘B’eyond the ‘L’aw ‘M’iscreants want to take more horses than are allowed when they know damn well they have no place to keep them.

    I am over their ignoring and abuse of the law. They need to be held accountable here on earth because I want a piece of them before God gets his hands on them…I’m afraid he might be too nice.


  2. Wyoming leads the country in coal production. Coal from 10 of the largest producing coal mines in the U.S. ships to 35 states and generates nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity. BLM is responsible for leasing federal coal. In 2011, approximately 90 percent of Wyoming’s total coal production came from federal coal leases in the Powder River Basin coal region.
    The BLM Lander Field Office seeks public input on the Gas Hills In-Situ Recovery Uranium Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The project is proposed by Cameco Resources in the Gas Hills Mining District in Fremont and Natrona counties. Public meetings will be announced 15 days in advance through local media and the BLM website. Review the document at COAL, URANIUM, CATTLE, SHEEP = DESTRUCTION OF LAND, WATER, AIR, & WILD HORSES


  3. The original lawsuit between the BLM-the grazing assoc and the state of WYO was in place for 10 ended last year and needed to be renewed or renegotiated..BLM by failing to pursue a renewal, violated Public Trust, and did not perform the duties entrusted to them by the american people and congress in the 71 law…That alone should be grounds to sue and win..a seperate suit should be brought against the grazing assoc..demanding they cease and desist all grazing on public lands within those areas where they are demanding horses be removed from..with out the combination of private, state lands and public one has enough to run stock on..that alone should make them more responsive to leave the wild horses alone…Also, the state of WYO commerce/tourism dept has been running national adds promoting wild horses in WYO for tourism..get the chamber of commerce on our them in WYO and let them know,,photographers and tourists come to wyo and spend dollars and promote wyo with their one goes to wyo to see the extraction industries, pipelines and cattle..In researching the last EA on Adobe Town..I discovered an article about the discovery of prehistoric wild horse remains under a remote rim..will try to find that article in my files and post it..We really have to stop this..The Adobes have DNA tested for a high percentage of spanish genes..The Adobe, red desert wild horses came to the attention of the american public in the late 40s and 50s, with the capture of desert dust the palamino stallion his photo was on the cover of Life Magazine and True west, a documentary film was made that was up for an academy award..this is a very historically relevent herd to wild horse history and the best historical documentation exists of this particular herd…check out my FB page –Free Grey Beard_ to see the documentary film and photos from the Early history of the Adobe wild horses


  4. Also extraction/drilling corps. in Wyo co-operated with wildlife groups to remove fencing so that antelope..who cannot jump fences, could safely do their migrations..They co-operated to gain good PR with the public..this is another alliance we can strike.. Patagonia did a similar agreement and WWP did one with the Ruby Pipeline..circumventing the BLM..learn from others who have been successful


  5. That bit about rounding up the horses on private land reminds me of the children’s book Mustang, Spirit of the West. How the heck do they know if the horses on private land are wild horses? And why would they have the right to go on private land too? Bad enough they take over the public land and steal the wild ones but I can picture them rounding up someone’s pet pony….

    I wish I thought all our protests made a difference.


  6. Please place the option to “Click here to fill out Auto-Letter at AWHP” in the top part of the text and make it more obvious that it is a link to sign. I think you would get more/better response. I almost missed the one provided. I thought the only option was to write my own and send to the addresses given. While this might be the more desireable action since it would be personalized, most people either have limited time or would not make the effort. Thanks for all you do. While I continue to sign and pray, it seems that these plans based on politics and money are already set in place. It would seem that public comments period is just a legal formality to be observed before the destruction begins.


  7. I will gladly send a fax to stop these round up’s. We are losing one of our natural resources at an alarming rate. In the next 5 years we won’t have any wild horses or burro’s left. This is a tragidy that can be stopped. Does any one have a form letter that I can fax along with my name to help stop the blm from rounding up any more horses and burro’s? I don’t want to send a fax and not have all my information correst.


  8. in the last roundup in 2010..every mare that was released was PZP’d. BLM needs to be reminded, they operate to serve the interests of the american people and to obey the law in regards to wild horses..Everyone needs to make their voice heard on this ..They are not some 3rd world banana republic operating above and beyond the laws and will of the American People.


    • How can we take action a form letter we can fax or email to who ever’s in power over these round up’s? Let me know what I and others in other states can do to help and you can count that I’ll do it.


  9. Sent an email – actually I believe I sent one earlier thru one of the wild horse groups.
    This is so frustrating – not to be able to make a dent in the BLM’s “program”.
    sandra longley: I dont “do” Facebook, but would really like to see the documentary film & photos about the Adobe wild horses – is it available anywhere else?


    Oct 25, 1929:
    Cabinet member guilty in Teapot Dome scandal
    During the Teapot Dome scandal, Albert B. Fall, who served as secretary of the interior in President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, is found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. Fall was the first individual to be convicted of a crime committed while a presidential cabinet member.
    As a member of President Harding’s corruption-ridden cabinet in the early 1920s, Hall accepted a $100,000 interest-free “loan” from Edward Doheny of the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, who wanted Fall to grant his firm a valuable oil lease in the Elk Hills naval oil reserve in California. The site, along with the Teapot Dome naval oil reserve in Wyoming, had been previously transferred to the Department of the Interior on the urging of Fall, who evidently realized the personal gains he could achieve by leasing the land to private corporations.
    In October 1923, the Senate Public Lands Committee launched an investigation that revealed not only the $100,000 bribe that Fall received from Doheny but also that Harry Sinclair, president of Mammoth Oil, had given him some $300,000 in government bonds and cash in exchange for use of the Teapot Dome oil reserve in Wyoming.
    In 1927, the oil fields were restored to the U.S. government by a Supreme Court decision. Two years later, Fall was convicted of bribery and sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. Doheny escaped conviction, but Sinclair was imprisoned for contempt of Congress and jury tampering.


    • So to the point, Louie. The DOI has been known to be the most corrupt department in DC just about forever. Every time they kick someone out, the successor is just as bad or worse. Birds of a feather DO stick together.


  11. Are these people f*&+ing nuts or what????? What kind of agency is this? The other thing that desperately needs addressing is Salazar’s connection with Tom Davis.


  12. They should not be taking any wild horses from the plains or desert. Leave our wild horses herds on the land at their homes. You have no legal rights to take them.


  13. The Adobe and Salt Wells Wild Horses have to GO because they are going to sell 96,480 acres to make mineral resources available for disposal and to encourage development of mineral resources in May. In the past many of these properties have brought we the taxpayers a whopping big $2 (TWO) dollars an acre! Yep … two dollars an acre. They make these sales/leases every quarter so this is not new but obviously in order to continue the violent, destructive, and abusive treatment of our land by the big energy corporations … the horses will have to GO. Here are some links … dry (and scary) reading but you will want to look at the maps! Oh yeah … the horses are in the way of their big game hunting too. Money, money money.

    Click to access 01v1EA.pdf

    Click to access v1-0513RSFOog.pdf

    Click to access v1-0513RSFObg.pdf


  14. The federal government and the BLM are destroying our heritage! Preservation is not a priority! Destruction and aggression is clear! I have seen enough brutality to warrant animal abuse charges against a few vile federal employees! And I have a right to get answers and do not appreciate being ignored. Stop the killing and the horrific brutality.


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