Horse News

BLM Horse Boss Suffers From Foot in Mouth at Oklahoma Gathering

Source: Steven Long of Horseback Magazine

“Wild Horse Annie” endorsed helicopter roundups, REALLY?

Joan GuilfoyleHOUSTON, (Horseback) – Federal Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Division Chief Joan Guilfoyle faced a crowded room in Oklahoma City Monday. It was filled with a largely polite but angry crowd of wild horse advocates who had come to see the occasional meeting of BLM’s advisory board. They were not disappointed as Guilfoyle stood before them and with a straight face told the group she was going to set the record straight regarding remarks she had heard earlier during the public’s brief statement period.

The proceedings were carried live on an Internet feed. The board meeting will again be carried live today.

Three organizations, hosted a noon press conference which played to a packed house.

The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is largely window dressing, holding infrequent meetings to rubber stamp the bureaucratic actions of the BLM. Members of the public gave the largely powerless and ceremonial  board a piece of their minds as they called the chiefs heads on the carpet for being a large government agency gone rogue.

As BLM has been increasingly caught selling wild horses to killer buyers, Guilfoyle looked at the assemblage with a straight face and said, slaughter “is not our policy and it never will be.”

The wild horse population has been decimated by wholesale removal from Herd Management Areas and replaced by millions of head of cattle. Yet the director did not condemn the removal of the animals that many Americans view as a national treasure.

“It’s not reasonable that any animal have dominant use of any land,” she said, despite millions of head of beef cattle replacing wild horses at a breakneck rate.

Guilfoyle addressed the investigation of alleged killer buyer Tom Davis and the 1,700 missing horses that were sold to him, punting to the agency’s office Office of the Inspector General. “If you have questions, call the OIG, we’re out of it.”

Despite the frequent use of the word feral to describe BLM horses, Guilfoyle denied that any horses are called by that name.

Captured BLM horses are held at taxpayer expense in vast pastures leased for millions from favored landowners. Guilfoyle criticized the practice.

“I don’t think long term holding is good either, although they have rich grass.”

At the close of her remarks, the Guilfoyle addressed the frequent BLM helicopter stampedes where animals are often injured and young foals are run for miles attempting to keep up with their frightened mothers. Many die.

“Wild Horse Annie agreed that helicopters were the best way to gather,” she said. “Those animals were brought in calmly.”

The final remark was too much to bear for members of the audience who could contain themselves no longer. Guilfoyle closed her brief remarks amid shouts from the audience.

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40 replies »

  1. If she thinks that it is a safe way to round up the wild horses and burros by helicopters she should have a helicopter chase her for a few miles. I think that she would go down and quit. Something that the wild horses and burros are not allowed to do !


    • Because money and greed rule majority, and oil and cows to the 20 percent are so important we have to rape the native horse from its land (much like we did the native americans..) for gold, oil and cattle and more farmland.. Crazy eh?


  2. Guilfoyle surely knows that the 1971 WFRH&B Act mandated that wild horses be the prominent species on their HMA’s instead of hundreds of cattle that have taken them over.
    2-4 millions of cattle now over-graze our western public lands.


  3. Helicopter are very loud and frightening to the horses. I don’t see Wild Horse Annie endorsing the wild horse roundups this way. If they had any real cowboys at the BLM they would be rounding up the wild horses on horse back.


    • lets see.. you’re a wild mare with a foal. you’ve never seen anything like that in your life and base instinct is “HOFUG IT’S GONNA EAT ME!” runs! scrambles! trips over it’s own feet in turning to gtfouta there! >_> in the meantine your foal is lucky enough to keep up if not exhausted to death or killed from fright!


  4. For all of the good people fighting for the wild horses and burros, Go get em! I only wish I could be there with you fighting for what is right and just. There is always strength in numbers even against government agencies. The will of the people will prevail.


    • We the people probably won’t prevail……because there are too many sheeple. Dear God I hope you are right. We’ve called, we’ve written, we’ve marched, we’ve faxed, we’ve called and still not much to stop the evil empire we call our government. Now what.?


  5. How dare she quote any words that Wild Horse Annie said, she has no business, Unlike Guilfoyle, Wild Horse Annie had a passion and love for the Mustangs !!!!!! and had fought her whole life for the Mustangs Freedom to Roam…………


  6. Will someone please define “presently” in LEGAL terminology as it relates to the Act? Does it mean in 1971 or the day before yesterday?


  7. Joan Guilfoyle is just a mouthpiece for the BLM. Her remarks are no different from the remarks she made at the 2011 conference in Alexandria, Va. She was new at her job then, but the same old rhetoric continues. Problem is, the BLM does not have to change the way it operates, because the oversight is non-existent. We will overcome this obstacle known as the BLM.


  8. Nothing more than a comedian with a really bad act. Sad that politicians and their hired puppets have so little respect for the American people and their intelligence.


  9. Is this the new person that replaces salizar? If so I thought she was going to be different, saving the burro’s and horses. Why didn’t obama appoint the man we all wanted, sorry can’t recall his name. What’s the future now for these poor animals?


  10. Let’s chase Annie for a few miles by helecopter! see how she is at the end of the day. scraped, bruised, possibly a limb broken.. lets make her kid run beside her too. see how her kid makes out. oh yes.. alone and possibly dead within hours of not days. =/


  11. Joan can say whatever- the fact remains there are hours of video footage of helicopter roundups..where does she suppse that came from..a movie set? It came from public lands against publics horses and its only the tip of the iceberg, because that is all they allow to be filmed..Wild horses will not quit running until near death or complete exhaustion


  12. Comment from HORSEBACK.

    Alan J. Kania on March 5, 2013 at 12:30 am
    I worked with Wild Horse Annie for the last seven years of her life and I can categorically tell Ms. Guilfoyle that Annie NEVER supported helicopter roundups. Annie’s perspective on BLM roundups is described in my book, “Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and Her Fight to Save the Mustang” published last September by University of Nevada Press. Maybe Ms. Guilfoyle should read it



    Author Alan J. Kania worked closely with Johnston for seven years, and his biography provides unique insight into Wild Horse Annie’s life and her efforts to save the West’s wild horse and burro herds.

    Alan J. Kania has been a journalist for over 50 years, writing extensively for newspapers and magazines. He also serves his third term as a member of the board of directors of the Denver Press club, the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. He also serves on the founding board of directors of the American chapter of the International Communications Forum, a London-based mass communications organization. He is co- director and American representative of the Southern Africa Media Alliance. He also has taught journalism disciplines at Denver University and at Metropolitan State College in Denver.


  14. I did listen to that part of the meeting and honestly was glad that i was not there because i would have been thrown out. I couldn’t contain myself. Thank you for streaming the speeches by the advocates. These crooks have to be stopped, disbanded. That’s my final comment. Can you imagine the lies that Obama must be hearing from these pathological liars? I believe that the truth had been withheld from his office including the petitions. Thank you for all you have done during this rally.


  15. Here’s the 1975 letter from Wild Horse Annie to the Cattoors that Guilfoyle might’ve been referencing yesterday Velma (WHAnnie) already had misgivings about helicopters before her death. I didn’t watch round-ups until the ’90’s and they were “leisurely” compared with today’s stampedes. We can’t let Guilfoyle coast on forty-year-old information. And if she won’t get out of the round-up rut, let’s have her switch independent contractors to an HOURLY WAGE instead of per horse.


    • I’d prefer stopping sole source contracting in addition to your suggestions, Terri.

      Sole source/Non-competitive bid contracts have been skyrocketing for the last 2 decades; that is a very dangerous and expedited contracting process that lacks many serious oversight, auditing and enforcement criteria. It is also subject to “good ole boy” cronyism.


      • Absolutely, Denise — competitive bids have proven to be better on all levels. And (segue to related topic) though I’m still not convinced birth control is needed, Guilfoyle is wrong about horses having to be captured to administer it. Darting by blow-gun works, is far less stressful for mustangs, and less expensive in manpower and equipment. It does involve some knowledge of animals, but then BLM has loads of staffers with the “wild horse specialist” title.


    • I noticed Velma refrenced the BLM was handling it well due to water trapping..and in the begining she refrenced her praise by the fact she received “good reports” she also refrenced the fact “all grazing being restricted..and that would be livestock grazing…the fact is it most likely was overgrazing by stock that cause the problem..
      In relation to that- Ginger praised the Catoors in her speech, I realise that she did so in respect to the worse job done by Sun J…but that could b taken out of context…we all remember the first Calico roundup, and I personally remember the first of the 2 Owyhee roundups, a criminal case for sure should have been brought with all the evidence that was available of wrong doing, with foals staggering and dying as well as adults from heat exhaustion before they ever got to the corrals..No one better ever sing the praises of Catoors in my presence


  16. Jeannie Jacobs Parisi
    Was anyone able to address Joan G about her statement about Wild Horse Annie and the use of helicopters????==============
    During the 1950s in Nevada, Velma B. Johnston, later known as Wild Horse Annie, became aware of the ruthless and indiscriminate manner in which wild horses were being rounded up from the rangelands. Ranchers, hunters and “mustangers” played a major role in harvesting wild horses for commercial purposes.

    Wild Horse Annie lead a grassroots campaign, involving mostly school children, that outraged the public and ultimately got them fully engaged in the issue. Newspapers published articles about the exploitation of wild horses and burros and as noted in a July 15, 1959, Associated Press article, “Seldom has an issue touched such a responsive chord.”

    In January 1959, Nevada Congressman Walter Baring introduced a bill prohibiting the use of motorized vehicles to hunt wild horses and burros on all public lands. The House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill which became known as the “Wild Horse Annie Act.” The bill became Public Law 86-234 on Sept. 8, 1959; however, it did not include Annie’s recommendation that Congress initiate a program to protect, manage and control wild horses and burros. Public interest and concern continued to mount, and with it came the realization that federal management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros was essential. This would result in enactment of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act.
    Wild Horse Annie Act – Public Law 86-234

    Use of aircraft or motor vehicles to hunt certain wild horses or burros; pollution of watering holes

    (a) Whoever uses an aircraft or a motor vehicle to hunt, for the purpose of capturing or killing, any wild unbranded horse, mare, colt, or burro running at large on any of the public land or ranges shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    (b) Whoever pollutes or causes the pollution of any watering hole on any of the public land or ranges for the purpose of trapping, killing, wounding, or maiming any of the animals referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    (c) As used in subsection (a) of this section—

    (1) The term “aircraft” means any contrivance used for flight in the air; and
    (2) The term “motor vehicle” includes an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motorcycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle designed for running on land.
    Public Law 94-579, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act dated Oct. 21, 1976, amended the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 to allow the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to use or contract for the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles to manage wild horses and burros o
    Unlike · · Unfollow Post · about an hour ago
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    Mar Wargo In the 90s briefly we stopped it. That was the last time. Now even the buffalo are hazed by helicopters. It could be fought again but they look at this as providing jobs and it is hard to say you want the people involved out of work. That is why they have built up so many jobs in Yellowstone around hazing the buffalo.In low population areas of the West having work is hard to come by seasonal jobs are it.
    43 minutes ago · Like · 1

    Mar Wargo We have fought this bill here and in Alaska to stop the killing of bears and wolves from the air. It should be fought again as they have recently used it on wolves in the lower 48. It is considered ‘unsportsmanlike’ .
    38 minutes ago · Like · 1


  17. There isn’t much I can say, everyone has basically said what needs to be said, Everyone has the same feelings. DO AWAY WITH BLM. They sell out our land,which is not theirs, they put thee ok to kill the wild life, like the wolf. The frosting on the cake is the the mismanagement of our wild horses and burros. Selling, stampeding, killing them, then they lie and get away with it. When we as taxpayer, good caring citizens obey the law and do the proper thing and we get the bunt of their law making( to their liking) crap. Putting it nicely.


    Public outrage gets creative
    SAN FRANCISCO (December 20, 2012)–Citizens around the word are outraged at the BLM’s cruelty towards America’s native wild horses. The alleged federally protected mustangs are being rounded up and removed by the thousands only to be stockpiled in the Midwest at taxpayer expense. Some end up in the slaughter pipeline. During the current Owyhee roundup wild horse advocates documented mustangs being CHASED BY A HELICOPTER THROUGH BARBED WIRE FENCING. Protect Mustangs wants the roundups to stop and for the government to use the wild herds in Holistic Rangeland Management instead to reverse desertification on public land.
    Artist Michelle Guillot says she was inspired by the horrific scenes of wild horses being driven through barbed wire at the Owyhee Roundup in Nevada.
    “I was so appalled that I had to do something!” states Guillot. “How can the government hire helicopter contractors to push mustangs into barbed wire?”


  19. We need to insist that BLM STOP talking roundups and START talking GENETIC VIABILITY and HEALTHY HERDS….THAT’S the discussion that we need to have.


    The remaining herds represent highly fragmented populations that in many cases cannot interchange genetically. Fences erected to rotate cattle and sheep from one “pasture” to another keeps herds away from healthy inter-breeding. Combine this with BLM’s policy of removing younger animals, leaving predominately horses and burros older than 5 years of age and in many cases leaving only those older than 9 years of age, and it becomes clear that the BLM is setting our “national heritage species” (PL 92-195) up for inbreeding, winter kill, failure to reproduce, low vitality, population fragmentation and eventual extinction in the wild.

    It seems ironic that our public servants charged under the law to protect wild horses and burros have in fact so perverted the law, as attested to in the General Accounting Office’s Wild Horse Report to Congress of 1990 on the administration of the Act.

    The public spends over $100 billion each year to simply enjoy wildlife including wild horses and burros and the wilderness ecosystems to which they are integral. They seek peace and quiet in a natural environment. They find these places and wild horses and burros who live there to be healing. And many people just want to know that wild horses and burros still enjoy their free life, whether they ever see them in the flesh or not.


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