Pickens Moving Forward With Wild Horse Eco-Resort

Source: By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter – bio | email of KLAS TV

“The BLM spends more than $70 million per year to round up horses that most likely don’t need to be gathered…”

“George Knapp has always been a friend to the wild horses and in this story reports on the Pickens Eco-Resort.  No commentary, here, but it does appear that Pickens has not made any plans with the BLM, yet…so we thank the ‘Knappster’ for his report and recommend that comments be made at KLAS.  Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.


LAS VEGAS — Thousands of travel agents and executives from all over the world are in Las Vegas this week for the International Pow Wow trade show, in which the industry learns about new and exciting travel destinations.

One of the hottest attractions unveiled this year is a Nevada-based eco-sanctuary created to celebrate one of the most iconic images of the American West — the wild horse.

For the past six years or so, the I-Team has chronicled the efforts of Madeleine Pickens to build a one-of-a-kind sanctuary for wild horses, a place where visitors could see mustangs in their natural environment, learn about the horses and their place in American history.

Her opponents, including the Bureau of Land Management, have made Pickens jump through every imaginable hoop, but she’s forged ahead. Her mustang monument is now ready to accept visitors, and at the Pow Wow show, people from all over the world were lining up to hear more.

The cowgirls working booth 1609 at the Pow Wow show haven’t exactly had to lasso passers-bys. Their joint has been jumping. A travel agent from Sweden, like so many of her counterparts from all over the globe, was mesmerized by video images of wild horses stampeding across the Nevada range.

“We’ve been inundated and swamped with people from all over the world,” Pickens said. “China, Canada, England, Sweden.”

A businesswoman and philanthropist, Pickens has spent six years and close to $14 million on her dream project, the Mustang Monument, a high-class eco-sanctuary in Elko County that is already home to 600 wild horses, saved by Pickens from a trip to the slaughterhouse.

Pickens, a horse lover, had the idea that one way to save the dwindling herds of wild horses roaming Nevada public lands is to turn them into a tourist attraction, so she bought two sprawling cattle ranches encompassing more than half a million acres of private and public land, and has transformed the properties into a self-sustaining, first-class boutique attraction where guests would have the option of staying in plush teepees and have every chance to admire an enduring symbol of the Old West, the wild horses, in the same lands where the first horses on the planet evolved.

At the massive Pow Wow travel gathering, Pickens’ pitch to travel agents proved to be a big hit. Last year, Pickens was part of a tourism delegation to China. The Chinese, it turns out, are fascinated by the American West, especially the mustangs.

At the travel show, travel agents from Asia, Europe, and South America promised to book tours starting next year, an economic shot in the arm for Nevada, and a potential solution to one of the most screwed-up programs in all of government.

The BLM spends more than $70 million per year to round up horses that most likely don’t need to be gathered, and then store them in subsidized corrals for the rest of their lives where the public never sees them. Pickens told the BLM years ago she would buy enough range to handle all of the 30,000 horses held by the government.

The BLM has yet to allow her even a single horse for the eco-sanctuary and has thrown up every imaginable roadblock to the sanctuary plan, while the roundups continue unabated.

“Instead of shipping them out to another state, why not let them stay in Nevada?” Pickens said. “I’ve shown them the money. It all goes into my foundation. So they must see I’m sincere. There’s nothing in it for me except for emptying my pocketbook every night.”

Mustang Monument is having its soft opening this summer but will be ready for waves of foreign visitors next year. The BLM, which has supposedly managed the lands around her eco-sanctuary for decades, says it can’t approve the release of any wild horses on public lands until it completes a two-year study, assuming it doesn’t find a reason to kill the plan outright.

Pickens said she is moving forward with or without the BLM’s permission, using the mustangs she bought on land she owns.

Click (HERE) to visit and comment at KLAS


  1. One can only question, “Why BLM are you unwilling to allow this marvelous woman to help the horses you are paid to protect, but rather treat with distain, cruelty, and lack of conscience?” Perhaps I should direct the question to you, Ms. Jewell – of course, you are new on the job, but I doubt that you are unaware.

    And I wonder, Ms. Pickens, if us poor peons will be allowed to view these horses from some vantage point or do we have to pay to stay?


    • Wild horses already have sanctuaries where they live in the wild and exhibit natural behaviors. They are called HMAs on our public lands. The public does not have to pay to see them. The horses are not sterilized and are in family groups/family bands! Natural selection ensures the continuation of the best possible features of the specific genetics of the wild horses according to the location of the HMA. Some horses are descendants of Spanish mustangs, Calvary stock and draft horse types depending on which HMA on public lands they are born and live on. I am for taking the 50,000 of wild horses out of long term holding and giving them an expansive wild range to exist on. But not at the expense of wild horses that already live on some of the land Madeline Pickens wants to use for her sanctuary. Horses at her sanctuary will be or already are sterilized so that continuation of the species and Natural selection will not occur. Wild horse behavior will also be altered since stallions will be gelded and no more foals will be Born. The public will not receive accurate wild horse herd and band behavior because of this no reproducing herd status. No thank you.


      • Madeleine Pickens is not allowing the horses she has to live as though wild? She is careful it seems to keep that knowledge to herself. I had no idea. No Stallions? No foals? Wow!


      • Absolutely CJ Lenard !!!!!!!!! Will she have them dressed in Clown suits?????? Sorry this is not my idea for the Mustangs , it is Pure and Simple FREEDOM !!!!! Sorry have nothing for Pickens !! because she shows nothing for the Mustangs only profit for herself !!!!!Put my darn Mustangs back where they belong !!!ON THE RANGE !!!!!!


      • CJ Leonard, well said. I supported her efforts in the beginning, before we heard the ugly truth. Nothing in it for her? That’s bs and she knows it. Maybe if she was honest about it, if she hadn’t sunk to having captive, sterilized horses that now just stand around waiting for hay, and if she publicly called her resort exactly that – a resort for wealthy foreigners who don’t know any better.


      • AGREE!
        “Wild horses already have sanctuaries where they live in the wild and exhibit natural behaviors. They are called HMAs on our public lands”.


      • you are right CJ, but the BLM is not listening to the voice of reason… only the voice of the special interest groups!


      • Simply put–Pickens amusement park will be nothing more than exploitation of our wild horses for dollars. Meanwhile Ms. Pickens has shown no concern for the horses that would be removed from the zeroed out HMAs due to her pigheadedness and lack of ability to see the consequences of her actions. No one has yet answered the question of what will happen when the gelded horses all die. Does MP send cowboys out to go “mustanging”?


      • LOL – no she wouldnt have to Morgan. Her plan is to be fed shipments of mustangs over the years. She wanted a a few decades of contracting with BLM. So she is not woried about roundups continuing, it just means there will always be a supply for her amusement park/zoo.


    • Pickens is NO FRIEND to wild horses and her eco-resort is a slap in the face to wild horses. The resort will only contain NON-reproducing horses (can you say extinction?) and the worst part is this gives to BLM an excuse to remove ALL wild horses from 3 HMA’s to accomodate Pickens’ resort. Is this really what you want for our beloved wild horses?


      • I love that she rescued, and in a perfect world she would never have had to, but until we stop the round ups, is this not preferable to “storage”? and I worry that “storage” will become another word for feed lot as they turn mustangs into meat as the BLM looks for a solution to the overcrowding situation occurring now! so I am on the fence with this one!


      • I know I don’t want extinction as the last result, and this is what will happen if Picken’s plan and others like hers are allowed to happen. Not the mention, do you not care about the 3 HMA’s who will become DEVOID of all wild horses because of Pickens’ eco-resort? Sacrificing horses in 3 HMA’s to help Pickens & her eco-resort…..don’t think those wild horses in those 3 HMAs like the idea very much either. She’s saving a few now….but at what cost?


      • Pickens is not saving any wild horses She is only making room for more in blm holding.
        Most of the land used for her resort Is public land with only 14000. Acres.deeded to her.
        Her scam will actually displace horses on current HMA s
        Foundations have executive staffs which draw a salary and the money from the foundation is largely tax deductible donations.
        The real issue is what happens to the horses in the wild and the legal protection they should have on Horse Management. Areas


  2. Although there is a lot of controversy about M. Pickens & her eco-sanctuary, she will bring an awareness of wild horses to many people, the influential too. Hopefully she will give education on the plight of the wild horses & BLMismanagement. But if not, the visitors will have wild horses in their minds when coming across news of the brutality, slaughter by the BLM. Of course, I hoped M. Pickens would have followed through with her initial plans to save & present the wild horses as more of a “cause” & not a ^^price $$$ catering-to-the-wealthy vacations…similar to African safari’s, living in tents with luxury amenities.


    • I agree with you Ronnie, well said………..A lot of controversy is Correct!…..She really duped a lot of us when she first rescued the Wild Mustangs…..Many people thought Wow a Saint. Not so it’s all about making money, and Fame.


      • We are all about the horses and she better not forget it !!!!!!! Our Mustangs are not her money clowns they are living breathing Icons , to which America owes their complete Freedom to !!!! This is the only outcome FREEDOM !!!


      • There are several things MP could have done for the wild horses with even just a modicum of money. The wild horses need full time lobbyists for their freedom to counteract the Cattlemen’s Assoc and the extraction, energy regimes. This would have been money better spent.


  3. I thought the 600 “wild” horses were from over breeding on an Indian Reservation and not actual mustangs. There is one mustang there though, I helped to take and release her on Picken’s land. Hope you are doing well Rena.


  4. With all due respect for the reporter it is common knowledge that Pickens plan is not representative of what true wild mustangs are on their range. Without true herd behavior (stallions) you still just have ex-wild horses in a pen.


  5. Just a small fraction of the alleged 14 million dollars spent to warehouse non-reproducing and abnormal herds of horses would have stopped the BLM dead in their tracks via litigation as to how the BLM is breaking the law, BUT instead MP is going to erect Teepees, have hay wagon rides and misinform international visitors as to the TRUE plight of American wild horses and burros…someone has a very skewed sense of priorities, BIG TIME!


      • M. Pickens deals with the the Horse’s Ass portion of the problem (what to do with the horses after being rounded up) while we deal with the head of the horse (stop the roundups and manage them on their rightful land). So in a nutshell, M. Pickens is a horse’s ass, in more ways than one!


      • Double BRAVO , RT I am so happy we all see right through her intentions , too bad she cant do the right thing,………………. Our Mustangs belong Wild and Free and unaltered anything else is unacceptable !!!!!


      • Right on R.T…….and Arlene….this is a sad example of Wild Mustangs and America West on her so called eco-sanctuary that lacks reality………..Glitz, Glamor, Expensive Teepee’s…High designer names like Ralph Lauren furnishings….,,REALLY???…… That has nothing to do with being a true cowboy or cowgirl and Wild Mustangs……

        This is just sad!!


    • That is so true R.T….if she would of spent that amount to save them from the BLM roundups and holding them forever would no longer exist…………..There is so much she could of done to really impact their continued lives and existence in America.

      We see what Madeleine is all about!


    • With all due respect, YES the BLM is breaking the law and I Hate what they do….absolutely HATE it. Bringing awareness to the public is what this is all about though. SO many people are aware, BUT without being able to see what all is happening to aid in the extinction of the mustangs by the BLM, it will continue. Yes, the sanctuary will cost probably more than most of us can afford and I may be wrong, but what MP is doing, is raising awareness to people from all over the world, that can DO something about it. People with money, means, passion and time to get something done. The money she makes from the sanctuary will be going towards her foundation, and the upkeep of Mustang Monument. NOT in her pocket. She offered to BUY 30,000 PLUS horses from the BLM and they thumbed their noses at her. They would rather these PROUD, BEAUTIFUL creatures that God has entrusted to us, die in holding pens IN SHAME….instead of running proudly on land entrusted to them….PROMISED TO THEM BY OUR LAWMAKERS, and is being slowly stolen from them. We can’t do it alone, and I believe that MP raising awareness, might just be what is needed. I say, let’s see what she can do to help. SOMETHING has to be done, and the progress now is not fast enough to save these beauties.


      • with all due respect stormyg7, MP has been in this game since the birth of Mustang Makeover at the demise of the Nevada Wild Horse Trust. She used the first horses through that program for purposes of PR and supposedly shows them off as the fat pasture pets they have become in her hands representative of the wild horses still on the range. She has had so many opportunities and certainly has to the money and contacts (look at the Board members) to pull enough favors in to turn the attack on the mustangs around long before this time but certainly, NOW. Add her heretofore husband, Mr. Pickens, and you have all the global influence you could want. This teepee land has nothing whatsoever to do with preserving the mustangs for education purposes or she would simply allow the horses that live on the HMAs which encompass her grazing leases to remain there.

        Because she owns the private land attached to these grazing leases, she has the power to allow those horses to remain as they are RIGHT NOW! There is no purpose for zeroing out those HMAs and moving deballed stallions to that property.

        Someone here said it – showboating. Take a look at recent photos of the horses she so-called rescued. Go out and talk to people who live out there. Please take off the rose colored glasses.


      • Thank you for some common sense…..there are lots of people who need to take off their rose-colored glasses when it comes to Pickens.


      • Remember, when Madeline got involved the BLM was at that time threatening to euthanize 30,000 + horses. That’s what triggered MY interest in advocating for the wild horses. The Eco-sanctuary is Madeline’s way of helping the horses just like any of the other sanctuaries. She doesn’t need to “put money in her pocket,” and it will stimulate international awareness and the tourist niche she is marketing to surely isn’t your average everyday tourist. I’m sure there will be some savvy, educated, inquiring minds who will grasp the bigger picture. I think the reason BLM declined to sell her more horses and is holding out on her grazing allotments for two years is because they’ve been anticipating that slaughter would be an option. Come on guys, you know what the real story is – they want to create a high grade, grass fed, horsemeat product to market overseas. And, that’s why they haven’t pushed the PZP. DUH !!!!!!


      • Really Lyn – MP got involved when EMM came into being. Her husband was the spearhead to fight slaughter back in those days. Mustang Monument not an eco-sanctuary. Why is she fencing HMAs? Why is she allowing wild horses to be zeroed off those HMAs? Why is she demanding payment for each neutered BLM horse to place his hoof on possibly his own land? I really liked the “red herring” touch though. But back to the point, MP is not the savior nor does she have the plan.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  6. If Pickens was allowed to buy all the Mustangs being held by the BLM, would be a disaster for Americans who love and cherish them………

    They belong on their own lands in a natural state as Wild Mustangs and need to be treated as such.
    Not symbols of generating wealth and tourism at the hands of “Madeleine Pickens”..

    This tourism will affect their natural habitat, no longer “wild” now “domesticated”.


  7. hell ya you gyes are right!100%..her tpees that cost 1000-2000$ a night to stay in.i too was fooled a few years back by madeline.no saint there!money hungry grub.she may act and speak well on tv and radio.but same speech.cant pull the wool over eyes lady! these people know their stuff!right on peoples!those horses belong to no one but gods green earth!and those that take care rescue and feed them not use and abuse them for profit.


  8. She picked the right name for her so call sanctuary Mustang Monument because in 20 years there will not be one of them left there ???????>?


  9. Got to love the video news commentary – talk about truth in reporting – wonder if they are all putting in for transfers ?

    “One of the most screwed up programs in all of the federal government”


    • The method for saving the Mustangs has always been pure and simple , Put them Back where they belong!!!!! Leave them alone , with only intervention to help them, The BLM has created the hugest costly mess out of this ………. Can it be fixed , hell yes , put them back right now !!!!!!!


      • Ditto, ditto, and double ditto

        What a simple concept, release the 50k +/- Mustangs in holding back to their land and leave all the Mustangs the frack alone !

        ….and duh BLM – 70 million saved …and duh MP – 14 million saved…and duh tourists

        ~ not rocket surgery ~ stupid humans


  10. Ms Picken”s has created the envy of the great Buffalo Bill himself. He took his Wild West Show around the globe at great expense. He fed, clothed and housed his actors/employees. Transported horses and buffalo across the Atlantic all in the name of entertainment and education giving the people of the world a small glimpse (albeit an exaggerated one) of the life and times of the Old West. It was a money making proposition but expensive to operate i.e. Barnum & Bailey. Col. William F. Cody’s vast fortune dried up to less than $100,000.00 prior to dying from kidney failure. The year before his death a military review board had even taken away his Medal of Honor earned during the Great Indian Wars. In June 1989, the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Records restored the medal to this recipient some 73 years later. 72 years after his death.

    Now Madeline has now created a venue where people pay big dollars to come to her. To see a “monument”. Just what are they paying to see? Should the BLM give her the horses originally discussed they’ll see 900 geldings grazing. Pasture Ponies. They won’t see Sitting Bull, or Annie Oakley, or the Rough Riders. They’ll see docile examples of what used to be spirited mustangs slowly moving over the terrain that used to be their home. Now a piece of paper says this land belongs to Ms. Pickens when in fact it belongs to the nation and the world. An honored place where these magnificent creations of the Almighty used to freely roam without being accosted by man.

    This is showmanship at it’s worst.


    • I’m sorry, but she PURCHASED 2 HUGE ranches to build this on. Almost a half a MILLION ACRES! This was NOT government land. Do your homework!


      • Stormyg57 …..Most of us have been following the Mustangs w MP a long time…….you need to do your homework and get a real clue……your sort of out there……


      • Stormy
        Yes, Madeleine bought two adjacent ranches. That’s her property no question. That’s about 18,000 acres. The rest is called “grazing rights”. Same contract that ranchers use. That land is PUBLIC LAND.

        The other problem as I see it is this. When this sanctuary was first being bantyed about there was no mention of zeroing out Triple B (the 3 HMA’s that make up Triple B and are mostly inside of Madeleine’s sanctuary). There was no mention of gelding everything in sight.

        Even Bob Abbey at one point said what a wonderful thing this is. 3 weeks later the sanctuary was off the table with no warning to anyone. Then it came out the studs would be gelded and Triple B would be zeroed out. I mean honestly how much sense does that make? Spending boatloads of money rounding up horses so they can live where?

        That’s just the beginning of fiscal irresponsibility on BLM’s part. And all its done since has been to go downhill.


      • I seemed from the beginning that MP was getting in over her head, intellectually, although maybe not financially. The entire time I’ve been involved in this issue, MP has marched to the beat of her own drum and BLM’s. I stopped following her because the private sanctuary concept doesn’t interest me, it does not solve the long term problems, and it is not cost effective or sustainable. Thank you all for the particulars and insight into this story. I didn’t realize zeroing out Triple B was part of the deal. I feel that MP got hoodwinked by BLM and we could all see it happening. I can only hope for a best case scenario for the well being of the people and horses involved in this venture.


  11. . http://wildhorsepreservation.org/media/feds-sign-6m-helicopter-contract-wild-horse-and-burro


    Posted on April 2, 2013 at 4:2 PM
    By Jeryl Bier, The Weekly Standard

    As the sequester bore down on Washington, the dire warnings from the Obama administration gave the impression that wild horses couldn’t drag another dime out of the treasury for a whole host of vital government services. Aircraft carrier refueling, the Head Start program, and White House tours were among the high profile victims.
    However, as it turned out, wild horses, with a little help from burros, managed to drag $6,000,000 out of the taxpayers’ wallets for Helicopter Flight Services two weeks after the sequester went into effect. The same government website that posted the contracts for Vice President Biden’s London and Paris hotel costs and Paris limo costs has the details:
    Related documents show that the purpose of the contract is to provide on call helicopter flight services to support transportation of personnel and/or cargo in support of natural resource missions along with other administrative and related activities as directed by the Government in support of the “Wild Horse and Burro” (WHB).
    When asked for clarification on the contract, Joshua Carter of the Interior Department replied via email:
    The contract awarded to Skyhawk Helicopter Services is an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity type contract, which means that while the Government knows they will need these services at some point over the course of the next year, we don’t know exactly when we’ll need them nor do we know exactly how much of the service. Actual services will be ordered via the issuance of task orders for specific amounts and timeframe. The $6M figure is the contract ceiling meaning that the total of all orders issued over the life of the contract will not exceed $6M. So while the contract is considered a $6M contract, the likelihood of the actual workload reaching that amount is minimal.
    According to a Bureau of Land Management budget document, a total of $76,758,000 was included for the National Wild Horse and Burro Program in the Fiscal Year 2012 continuing resolution passed by Congress and signed by the president.
    Days after the sequester took effect, a two-day Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting was held at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Hotel in Oklahoma and included discussions on population growth suppression, ecotourism, and herd area repopulation.
    Originally Posted By The Weekly Standard


  12. wildhorseperilousp says:

    June 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM (Edit)

    Yep, even though the Nation’s budget is trillions in debt, politics scrounges up billions more. Here’s a link to watch group on federal spending specifially set on Wildhorse & Burro program. Note which districts get the allocations and contact those to make a stop to this horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars and corrupt politicians and agencies raping the public and our wild ones. http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?psc_sub=F016&detail=-1&sum_expand=PC


  13. The only thing these tourIsts will care about, being as they WILL be rich and expect accommodations, is where the toilet is, how much warm running water and what’s to eat. And of course, photo opportunities.

    MP is a wolf in sheep’s skin. Her rescue of the 600 (or 900) comprised of her writing the check. The horses released have been photographed on her property skinny and starving. Foals have been found shot.

    There is no cute way to describe this woman and the enterprise she brags about in taking over a generations old working cattle ranch and ruining its hay fields and self seeding pastures. the actual property available for the tourists has reportedly been reduced to the slight acreage where the tourists will be free to roam, the rest of the access to the land will be “guided”). She goes on to neglect to inform the american people that she will go onto fencing of the borders of our public land (attached as leasholds to her private propety) and eradication of all wild horses presently gifted right to 3 HMAs in Nevada. BLM must stand firm on zeroing out of the HMAs and force her to conduct business on her own personal property.

    I am holding out hope that BLM has not favored her with a go ahead on her use of the public land. She has graveled the driveway for trudging thousands. There is no redeeming value to me., even if a slight consciousness may be raised in foreign tourists (who cares?). Once they go home, the chances of them understanding the issues after being fed pablum of the “Mustang Monument” is scare.

    Our open lands are exquisite because they are remote and unspoiled and populated by beings able to survive on them. That is what attracts these tourists. Not funky, “authentic” teepees complete with room service catering to foreign tourists viewing thousands of horses of the same without their cajones.


  14. The MP signed on with the BLM , she signed with them to castrate every Stallion Mustang , so from day one it was WRONG !!!!!!!! When she agreed and signed , i knew it was a money making scam for her interests ! not the Mustangs interests !!!!!!!


  15. The Mustangs are our Treasures of the Past Present and Future !!!!! and all of this is about the Horses , not MP s Bank Roll…………………….. or how she is going to cash in on them……………………..I cannot speak for everyone but i will speak for them in their interests…………….. Just like RT recently said !!! Its all about the Horses and dont forget it !!!!!!


  16. Further, I think the negative comments are counter-productive to the big picture issue of the wild horses. MP is not changing or making policy, or influencing how BLM does business, in fact, I think they’ve used her and laughed wholeheartedly behind her back – she is just providing a sanctuary for horses in holding or headed to holding. Anyway, see my initial comment to this post, above.


    • Sorry if my comments appear negative. They are truthful. Sometimes that darned breeze of fresh air does tend to blow up and reveal the little man behind the curtain. In this case, that would be MP and her Mustang Monument. Its not okay to take the horses and burros off theor land, ts not okay to fence public land for private enterprise and its not okay to tell people how wonderfully you care for the horses all the while hidiong starving horses on your property.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • I guess I don’t know the gorey details of the deal. Is she responsible for the removal of burros and horses ? Is the range that is adjacent to her ranch, the Monument, formerly an HMA that was taken away from wild horses? Is she fencing private property or Public ? If so, chances are they’re probably going to let her run horses as long as there are cows on it. In some cases, ranchers do run other “livestock” (horses) on their grazing allotments. Personally,I don’t care what she does or how she spends her money as long as it gets a few more horses out of long term holding before they get shipped in the the middle of the night across the border. Like I said, she’s not influencing policy or BLM’s agenda. I don’t think anyone ever expected her to jump on the collective bandwagon.


    • Lyn……..Being a commenter on any blog you must realize were not on here to agree and make everyone happy!!…. This is about the Wild Horse’s and their well being….. everyone has an opinion….good, bad or negative….that’s life……..


  17. She claim’s her pocketbook gets drained every night yet she has produced a ‘for profit’ venue supposedly to let the world see the wild horses when in fact they will not. They will see horses alright, semi-domesticated horses, on the land that was once their’s before the white man came. It’s smoke and mirrors and for $1400.00 a night I think I’d rather see the real thing. She’s become the modern day Wild West Show. Only she’s figured out how to bring the public to her rather than taking the show on the road.


    • One thing I see in this is the possibility of using Madeliene’s publicity to get people to hire local guides and actually see the real thing and for much less money but with an authentic experience. I do see our own ability to create eco-tours to wild horses as a complete reality and a lot more fun than Madeleine’s present high priced offering.


  18. The BLM wants to sell to known kill buyers and ship the horses to SD a state that does not recognize the freeze brand used by the BLM. Sent to SD is a quick trip to the slaughter house with no paper proof to show where the horses go. The only reason the BLM will not deal with Mrs. Pickens is because they fear she will show them how to use birth control and other proven herd management to control herd size that and she is not greasing their hands under the table. Hey we should all be able to buy a mustang for 10 bucks and have the BLM ship them to Mrs. Pickens. I mean if they do it for one person they should do it for everyone after all it is our tax dollars right?


    • Yes speaking of buying a Mustang ………..I just received an application for one….I cannot believe
      the hoops they make you jump through??


  19. Madeleine always wanted our help. But she approved the Salazar Plan in 2009. Her shortsighted dream was to protect horses from the Long Term Holding demise. But she is no different pursuing a LTH contact.

    Madeleine, You should have joined us. You could have had your park for people and you could have family bands and the real lives of wild horses to show people. If you do not want the real thing then I sincerely hope you never get a contract with BLM or any of our wild horses. If you wished to, you could save the 800 Sheldon Wild horses that will need help. You could add to your Adobe Town Salt wells bloodlines. You could help be part of the solution to these removals rather than part of the demise of mustang families and herds.

    You would impress the people of this country far more if you joined them to help wild horses, but not by joining BLM the miscreant. Then you are part of the problem.


  20. I feel cheated somehow. I know back at the beginning Madeleine was seen in a great eye. Her plan was stable. But then ranchers got in the way. And bureaucrats.

    What was an Eco-Sanctuary is now a super expensive Preserve that most of us can’t afford even a portion of a day’s stay.

    I wanted a safe place to stay on my journey’s through NV. I still do but at the financial expense of all my vacation funds? Sorry my family comes before you. I was really hoping that she would have reasonable accommodations for folks like me who are traveling, who would rather spend money at the Sanctuary knowing it would benefit the horses but not this.

    As I understood it Triple B (the three encompassing HMA’s)–the horses there would become a part of Madeleine’s herd. There was no talk of gelding everything in sight. I mean now we get right back to the nuts and bolts of what is wrong with the BLM.

    When BLM is done gelding in sight–who will be left to reproduce for the next generations? I mean I’d like for my nieces and nephew kids to be able to see wild horses someday if they chose to go traveling. But that will still be sometime down the road.

    I think part of the problem is Madeleine made a business decision but didn’t look to see if her main supporters could financially afford this. I don’t know about others but I certainly don’t need all those extras that money affords. I am perfectly capable of turning down my own bed, getting a glass of ice water. I don’t need fancy showers and all of that.


    • Was PZP not an option ? I thought MP was only getting horses from ST & LT holding. Dont they geld all the captured stallions anyway before sending them to LT ?


  21. Lyn McCormick says:
    June 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM
    I seemed from the beginning that MP was getting in over her head, intellectually, although maybe not financially. The entire time I’ve been involved in this issue, MP has marched to the beat of her own drum and BLM’s. I stopped following her because the private sanctuary concept doesn’t interest me, it does not solve the long term problems, and it is not cost effective or sustainable. Thank you all for the particulars and insight into this story. I didn’t realize zeroing out Triple B was part of the deal. I feel that MP got hoodwinked by BLM and we could all see it happening. I can only hope for a best case scenario for the well being of the people and horses involved in this venture.


  22. I restrained from commenting when this was posted.

    After some time, the energy spent here would seem to be better spent on EFFECTIVE change of the wild equine issue.

    Is MP solving the problems? NO. Did she get the BLM to allow the wild equines on her property with leases? YEP!….(btw, that is a BIG DEAL for the big extraction and grazing HOGS).

    Could she have sent this money to litigation efforts? Yes….but do we know that she has not sent money?

    Do these equines, mutilated and traumatized by BLM have some decent quality of living? YES!

    Pickens ain’t the wild equines problem. The same argument could be applied to those noble advocates that bail equines from the auction/feedlot Hades. There are some advocates that maintain, bail one…..the KB/auctioneer gets 2 more for the bail money.

    Walk in their shoes and “pony” up the cash.

    MP’s equines DIDN’T GO TO SLAUGHTER! Give her some credit for that.


      • Would RT say it was wrong to help these equines and chip away at the “cattle and extraction only” BLM paradigm? No….but I understand that she is cleaning up the “rear end” of the BLM/USFS equicide problem. That is why I referenced auction/kill lot bailouts as an example of parity. I understand RT’s point.

        Again, could the money be better spent on litigation? Probably….but I don’t know that MP hasn’t given money to pro-wild equine litigators…and there are more than WHFF.


    • I agree 100% Denise. It may not be the cure-all for the entire situation, but the horses are still ALIVE and living out their lives FREE!! Or as free as they can possibly be! Living with the dignity they deserve and have a right to! Thank you for seeing that! There is no easy answer, but bickering and calling names isn’t solving anything! Many of the mustangs in the holding pens might not be able to adapt back to the wild because they’ve been held prisoner for so long. I believe MP’s offer to BUY these horses, would save them from a life within pens. NO freedom there. Ideally, yes, the intact stallions creating family units would be wonderful. But it’s all history now because they’ve been gelded. THEY STILL DESERVE TO BE FREE and a half a million acres sounds like HEAVEN compared to holding pens! I’m sorry, but I have to applaud her for trying to acquire them and give them SOME kind of life besides holding pens OR worse case scenario, SLAUGHTER! I might be looking at this through rose colored glasses, but I would like to believe that her heart was in the right place.


      • Believe what ypou want Stormy. The reality of MP’s deal with BLM is a lose-lose for the horses. As long as she has people willing to believe in Oz, she’ll blithfully ignore the fact there re starving horses on her own land. At least the horses in LTH live on grass year long and are actually better cared for. And how do you excuse the zeroing out of 3 HMAs. What about the fencin of PUBLIC land to carry out her enteprise? Rose colored glasses have been taken off. Now we’re just in denial.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • And may I add that MP has never offered to buy the mustangs from BLM. She is expecting a per day fee for each horse and wants a total of some 10,000 over a period of 40 years. Don’t fool youiself, this is strictly a harsh business deal with the American people and the horses paying the bill.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • janwindsong:

        But the horses won’t be dead or in those h*llpits called LTH.

        And the cash cow called OK LTH (Drummond’s…aka “Pioneer Woman” FoodTV show) gets a gazillion stepin’ and fetchin’ for the BLM.

        Stopping round ups is the perfect solution, but until that happens, what about the mutilated survivors? It’s a H*LLUVA lot better ending than what that murderous cretin Davis has succeeded at.

        How is being alive at MP’s silly resort a “lose-lose” situation for the wild equine transferred there?


      • Denise: I’ve pretty much detailed what the scene is at MP’s place. The “pastures” at MP’s place are barren. The “pastures” at LTH are grassy, rocky and no fencing except perimeter. I’m not saying LTH is so wonderful. But don’t feed the public pablum to profit yourself (meaning MP). She is not OZ, she is the little man behind the curtain. Look for earlier posts I have made, detailing what her foundation pays so handspmely to hide.

        She has NEVER been sincere. She married into horses and money. When he died, she married into international connections, oil and water. Her husband, T Boone Pickens was forefront in shutting down slaughter, not MP. She came into this at the time the last of the money (of the endowed Nevada Wild Horst Trust) was disbersed to initiate the Mustang Makeover (she received the money on behalf of it). She oversaw the last few millions used to move the office to Texas (it was in NV), and the rest went to salaries and a few events. The money had been being used to fight mismanagement of the wild horses and burros. That activity on behalf of the horses ended with the formation of Mustang Makeover (which many see as a sibling of BLM). Do you see where we are going with this? She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

        If people do not pay attention to the details, that is where the greedy and gluttouny reside. We are having a problem here after reading all these posts (and extrapolating the same line of understanding to the general public) of 1) knowing The historic events of MP’s involvement, 2) knowing the basic and specific terms of the various deals MP has tried to make with BLM, 3) knowing the layout of her ranch and her leaseholds, 4) knowing the right and control ranchers have with respect to the wild horses and burros that live on HMAs located on those leaseholds, 5) knowing the true nature of her ability to manage a ranch (a working self sustaining ranch), 6) understanding MP’s and her foundation’s willful choice to ignore or understand our position that the hporses are to remain on their land, managed and happy and lastly, 7) understanding and accepting that MP will never do anything for the wild horses and burros unless it means she will gain popularity.

        I see here people posting who are willing to sacrifice our own ability to stand firm on organizations using the wild horses, just to preserve her standing in the fight to protect them. Brother! You do all know the saying “One bad apple spoils the rest.” Don’t hide her flagrant abuse of the horses because you want to maintain an image of solidarity. There are plenty of sanctuaries doing the work she says she does, only they are really doing it. They could use some of the money she is throwing around on her PR. Please!

        Also, the 3 HMAs proposed to be zeroed out are Spruce-Pequop, Goshute (location of headwaters for new pipeline to Las Vegas) and Antelope Valley.

        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • Thank you Janwindsong……..
        Learning from people like you and our poster R.T. and many others who are well informed commenters about our Wild Mustangs………….. helps all of us know the right facts, not just opinions….everybody’s got one…………..


      • Wow, Denise, brilliantly said. You’ve definitely done your homework. More of us should do that. I wish MP was more transparent, it makes you wonder how much more she’s hiding.


  23. Ditto Denise. I can’t believe I got sucked in to this discussion, but like you I feel MP deserves some credit.

    One of the things I’ve always liked about the wild horse advocacy, particularly the leading non-profit organizations and the horse rescue organizations is that they never publicly criticize or malign each other. I suspect MP has made some personal sacrifices (money can solve alot of issues but not everything) to put this project together and it looks like she’s going to see it through. I wish her success and happiness in this endeavor.

    Who knows, maybe Clark Griswold and his family will show up !


  24. Janwindsong,

    I hadn’t heard about MP’s gain of income from the BLM for having these Mustangs?….Unbelievable..
    and they are starving while gaining income for having them?????


  25. This could be SUCH a golden opportunity for a base camp for scientific studies of Wild Horse Herds…what few remain. Mar has been pressing for that for years, and she is right. We need the science (GENUINE science) brought into this:


    Besides genetic viability, a healthy herd also has to be behaviorally functional. Karen Sussman, executive director and president of The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (whose first president was Wild Horse Annie), has spent the past 12 years studying herd dynamics and behavior. At her conservation center in South Dakota, Sussman has studied three intact herds, totaling more than 300 mustangs.

    Sussman has been in the unique position to observe the behavior of herds with vastly different histories. Two of the herds, the White Sands Herd and the Gila Herd, were rarely rounded up; her other two herds, the Catnip and the Virginia Range, were repeatedly rounded up. Sussman explains, “This has given me a wonderful baseline of healthy behavioral standards for wild horses and the opportunity [to] compare the behavior of healthy social herds with herds whose family bands have been disrupted by roundups and thrown into chaos every few years.”

    She admits to being shocked by the differences in behavior. The herds that were rounded up frequently did not form strong family bands with good mentorship to teach acceptable social behavior and respect. A mustang family band is an intimately connected group of horses that have bonded together for protection and companionship; the core members of the band, the lead stallion and the mare, normally stay together for life.

    “What I observed,” Sussman says, “were mares just eight months to a year old, coming into their first cycle, and they were being bred by young rogue stallions. I would see breeding at one, two, three years of age. This increased the fertility rates in these herds. The mothers were immature, with no role models; they simply walked away from their foals when they were just two or three months old, sometimes even at birth.”

    “In a healthy herd,” Sussman continues, “the mares don’t leave the harem and have their first foal until they are four or five. They never abandon their babies. And stallions stay in the band they were born in for several years. Stallions in behaviorally healthy herds don’t become harem leaders until they are 8 to 10 years old.”

    “Roundups destroy the family culture of wild horses, leading to dysfunctional behavior,” Sussman concludes. “This is why indiscriminate helicopter roundups are so destructive to both healthy herds and a healthy range. We have to protect the integrity of the family band. That’s the heart and soul of mustang culture.”


    • That is a solid, reasonable vision Louie C! And thank you for reminding us of Mar’s consistent encouragement to set up scientific bases to provide the information needed to actually manage the animals. Ms Sussman will be considered one of our heroines years from now, if not now, for the studies she has conducted. She has been able to influence some of what BLM does because she has proven the needs of the horses. And you, Ms C, with your unending contribution to the education of us all – thank you.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  26. International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros joins forces with Princeton University to Study Equine Behaviors

    Celebrating more than 50 years of wild horse and burro education and conservation, ISPMB continues its vision and mission as an international leader. Joining with Princeton University’s Dan Rubenstein, PhD, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the research will begin this June to identify the “functional” social behaviors in wild horse society.

    ISPMB manages a conservation center in South Dakota where 4 distinct wild horse herds live undisturbed. “One of the main reasons we have kept the groups isolated is so we can study various herd cultures,” says ISPMB President Karen Sussman. “Even though the herds have been living in the same habitat for 12 years, the groups have maintained their individual cultures, so we are eager to understand as much as possible about the social behavior of wild horses and how they may affect management.”

    Dr. Rubenstein is well known for his global work on behavior and decision making in wild equids, particularly with zebra sociality. Investigating how animals “network” and what determines “leaders” in animal society will translate well into the ISPMB studies.

    Joined by Dr. Cassandra Nunez, PhD, currently a research scholar at Virginia Tech and past wild equid researcher at Princeton, Dr. Nunez has been involved in previous wild and feral horse studies in the US.

    Princeton student, Lydia Anderson will be in the field for about 10 weeks this summer working on her senior thesis and identifying critical factors in wild horse networks. “I am so incredibly excited to be able to live in the field and study wild horses”, comment Lydia. ” I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, loving nature, so this will be a wonderful opportunity to experience both horses and nature.”

    ISPMB Research Director, Mary Ann Simonds, MA Whole Horse and Equestrian Science Institute has been studying social behaviors, leadership and cognition in wild horses since her undergraduate work the early 1970s at the University of Wyoming. “I am thrilled to have such a great team of folks dedicated to assisting with this project. Being able to identify sustainable behaviors and how leadership takes place in functional herds will help us identify why the herds have maintained their various cultures and hopefully give insight into management strategies.”


    • Great article to read Louie C…….Thank you love it……….It just puts me more inline with my goals and dreams to adopt a couple Mustangs in the near future………

      A lot of good information given.


  27. We have all come together in what you might call a “crash course” here. There is SO much to learn and we have to digest and sort through a great deal of information at a very rapid pace. Thank Goodness we have such dedicated people who have refused to accept the status quo.


    • Here’s some pictures and info on the fire here in Colorado in the Black Forest.
      Many horses rescued along with dogs, cats, pigs, goats, etc.

      Very heartwarming how many people rescued many animals..


      “Front Range Animal Rescue” donated $20,000 for hay to the hundreds of horses and others animals so desperately needed it.
      Twisted Trail Ranch in Castlerock
      Blackforest Animal Sanctuary


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