Horse News

BLM Sells Land to Water Guzzlers During Drought

By Debbie Coffey   ~ Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation        Copyright 2013     All Rights Reserved.

From 2002-2012 (ten years) the BLM Ely District in Nevada leased 3,952,231 acres for oil & gas exploration and development.  Think about it.  Almost 4 million acres in only one BLM District in Nevada.  This isn’t counting the acres leased in other BLM districts in Nevada, or in other states.

Fracking requires enormous quantities of water.  Estimates put water usage at between 3 and 5 million gallons per fracking of a single well, and each well can be fracked several times.

A recent Elko Daily Free Press article titled “Drought causes BLM to reduce grazing, other targeted actions,” stated that “In Nevada, about 60 percent of the state has been in severe or extreme drought since January.”

The article continued with “‘Since last fall and winter, we have been working with grazers across the West in anticipation of tough conditions related to drought,’ said Neil Kornze, BLM principal deputy director…’

‘As drought conditions continue, wild horses, livestock, and wildlife that rely on rangeland forage and water will face extremely challenging conditions that may leave them in very poor condition.  We are taking action to address these situations as quickly and as effectively as we can, but our options are increasingly limited by conditions on the land,’ he added.”

Apparently, the BLM’s options don’t include any thought of curtailing the lease/sale of public lands for oil & gas exploration and development or for mining, which use a lot of water.

On June 28, 2013, the BLM Ely District office issued a Preliminary Environmental Assessment for their upcoming December 2013 Oil and Gas Lease Sale, which is offering 399,873 acres of public lands in their district.

Then, only a few days later, around July 1 or 2, the Ely district started hauling water out to the Seaman Herd Area for wild horses there, because the seeps were low and there wasn’t enough water for the horses.  Rosemary Thomas, the Ely District Manager, said that although the stallions and dry mares seemed to be doing okay, the wet mares and foals weren’t doing well.

She said Ben Noyes, the Ely District Wild Horse & Burro Specialist, has been putting water in troughs and tubs (but the horses won’t drink out of them) and even rigged a hose and buried it out of sight, to refill the seeps.  Ben has been spending days and even nights out there with infrared binoculars to see if the wild horses are drinking.  A USDA APHIS veterinarian just went out there to check the body condition of the horses.  But the BLM may have to do an emergency helicopter roundup.

Now, knowing this, and knowing that the BLM has been aware of drought conditions since last January, let’s look at a rough map of a small area of the land that was put up for an oil & gas lease/sale on June 28, within and around the Seaman Herd Area:


Now let’s look at a rough map that also includes the 2011 and 2012 oil & gas lease sales around the Seaman Herd Area:


If there is a drought, and there isn’t enough water, why would the BLM sale lease land for a use that could use a lot of water? (If you were down to your last $2, would you run out and buy a yacht?)

Here’s how that 399,873 acres (being sold out from under the public) breaks down:

Newark Valley – 6,175 acres
N. Railroad Valley – 710 acres
Garden Valley – 158,924 acres
White River Valley – 107,581 acres
Jakes Valley – 12,159 acres
Maverick – 21,401 acres
Butte Valley – 2,184 acres
Steptoe Valley – 72,681 acres
Antelope Valley – 18,058 acres

While Nevada BLM districts have been hauling water to wild horses, it’s important to look at the “multiple uses” that are the real water guzzlers, that are allowed to continue without limitation.

The BLM’s mismanagement of the public lands seems to not only be adding to the drought crisis, but to be causing much of it, which will affect not only wild horses, but wildlife, livestock and irrigation.

Send your comments on the proposed lease sale by July 29, 2013 to the Ely District Office, by email at

The Environmental Assessment for the upcoming Dec. 2013 oil & gas lease sale:

Other Sources:
2012 oil & gas lease sale:

2011 oil & gas lease sale:

19 replies »

  1. WOW ! Thanks a million for this info, Debbie. No wonder our wild horses are being removed. Just read where water from fracking in PA killed over 100 cattle. It was a PEER report. Animals actually like the taste of the chemicals used in the water for fracking.


  2. I wrote an email immediately:

    Dear Sirs,

    This is my email letter to them:

    Dear Sirs,

    It appears that the water crisis is being worsened by a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

    That is, living beings, in the form of vegetation, wildlife and livestock, are dying due to lack of water while you are selling leases to energy extraction companies which use and destroy obscene amounts of water for their processes.

    As a citizen and co-owner of public lands I insist that this skewed form of management be amended by prioritizing to preserve the vitality of these areas, and then if possible find sources of revenue which do not destroy them.

    Yours truly,
    Margo Nielsen


  3. Seems your comments on how they are using the non-drinking of water to necessitate having another helicopter roundup hit the nail right on the head. Evil vile lazy people who are using our tax dollars to KILL OUR WILD HORSES. CONTEMPTABLE


  4. So here is where the BLM are plain lying: the horses won’t drink from the troughs? That is ABSURD and I bet if I could figure out where they are putting out these troughs and take my own video showing access to the troughs, it would also show them drinking from the troughs too.

    Unfortunately however, the “uninformed, naïve general public” will believe their bullsh*t lies and will think the captures are necessary to “protect” the horses from dying from thirst and lack of forage too.

    We NEED billboards on the way into tourist areas like Reno (near where I live), Las Vegas, and tourist locations across the country that “the uninformed, naïve general public” will see as they are driving and will visit the websites listed and read the truth regarding our federal and state wild horses and burros and their eradication, and also read about the lawless, criminal industry of horse slaughter.

    The general public ARE the majority folks, and we HAVE to figure out a way to rally them to our side through education and them seeing the rackets that are being run with OUR wild horses and burros being captured and ultimately slated for slaughter I’m sure, and also domestic horses, mules, and burros being sent to slaughter by the cheaters who have an entirely FREE disposal system in place, and have NO MOTIVATION to stop capturing the wild ones, and breeding, wrecking, and just plain disposing of horses for free they don’t want for whatever reason..


  5. How can anyone believe anything this Organization says????

    Really in the heat Wild Horses aren’t drinking the water??? PLEASEEEEEE!!!! Lies and more lies….


  6. ONE standard size water truck could supply these ~50 horses with enough water for about a week. They could remain in their home range “where found” as Congressional law requires. A horse drinks about 10-15 gallons of water a day so for the horses in the Seaman Herd Area that would equal only about 3,500 gal. or so per week. And provide several dispersed troughs so all horses can have access.

    Do any of us think that the hundreds and hundreds of sheep and cattle that are grazed in that area mostly during the prime forage months have anything to do with the horses not looking very healthy? One grazing allotment is permitted to “Blue Diamond Oil Co.” … makes me wonder. Does something smell fishy to you?

    I say leave them alone on their legal land and spend a few dollars taking them out some water for the next few months – after all this is their water and their land and our water and our land. The BLM made $112 BILLION from our public lands in 2010 … and they can’t even take a water truck out to the horses on their legal herd areas every week? Hogwash!


  7. LUDICRIS…BLM thinks we are all idiots…it’s down-right insulting. Any animal behaveourist will tell you that an animal that is in need of water…..CAN AND WILL drink from anything…..buckets, barrels, troughs!! HELL will be standing room only folks…so reserve your seats now!!


  8. I am sending an email to the first address posted and sharing this nasty bit of information on fB where alot of my horse friends frequent. Will keep posting ad naseaum on the facebook site.


  9. Ms Coffey hits another homerun!

    You need to give this info to the guy that did Gasland and Gasland ll.

    This (land theft for mining/extraction) is going to kill this country, us/US and the trolls that profit from it will buy a rancho anywhere that they aren’t fracking!


  10. At the U.S.D.A.’s web site, there is a page for Invasive Species Law of the United States. This listing states that the 1992 UN Convention for Biological Diversity, Article 8 “in situ conservation” (h) went into effect June 4, 1993, the day President Clinton signed this treaty. In September 1993, the OTA published a Report on Honrmful, Non-Ingidenous Species of the United States. This is the document that subsequent documents are based on. This document has no author attribution, but the author of the article is so proud of this article despite the fact that he committed scientific fraud when he wrote it by using fraudulent science as a source. Anyone working as a contractor for our government writing policy should be able to tell the difference between scientific opinion and scientific truth. It is rather basic. This is the hard to find official listing that was once at APHIS but has moved around.

    Database: Invasive Mammals Bibliography

    Host: Massey University and University of Waikato
Scope: Provides scientific information on the world’s invasive mammals. Contains bibliographic databases of published research, including some abstracts, on five such species of mammal:
    horses (Equus caballus), possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), stoats, short-tailed weasels or ermines (Mustela erminea), common or least weasels (Mustela nivalis), long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata).

    Under the Natiinal Invasive Species Plan created through Executive Order 13112, often referred to as the Alien Species Act, but the statutory authority for the President to creat the EO comes from an international law never ratified by Congress. We didn’t get to vote on this because the administration knew we would never accept this, so they limited the decision makers to President Clinton’s appointed cabinet members and a 30 member citizen advisory committee. On that citizen advisory committee is the scientist who created many of layers of fraud to make the non-native, invasive, feral, exotic, pest, non-indigenous, harmful “trample native plants” “disturb the soil” and a complicated never tested theory that invasive species have an advantage over native species because native species can’t protect themselves.

    Here we have a Harvard educated American citizen whose career overlapped with Vice President Al Gore’s for three years—who spent a number of years writing articles, creating journals, publishing, and editing journals, or order for him to place the idea in the public domain often enough that other researchers might pick it up. The level of scientific quality could be classified as never tested opinion. Yet, for some mysterious reason Vice-President Al Gore puts this fellow Harvard credentialed scientist in a position about the same time it looks like all of his hard work might actually work the way he planned it. A few years later, after it didn’t, this same Harvard credentialed scientist, who publicly credits himself for this, persuaded Presdient Clinton to creation the Alien Species Act February 3, 1999. President Clinton created the National Invasive Species Council to develop the national plan, but these were cabinet level positions he had appointed to office. The 30 member stakeholder citizen advisory council, the ACNISC that under the Act would have appointed by DOI Secretary Bruce Babbit appointed, the creator of the plan to eradicate two species who evolved here in North America from give-toed, cat-sized, browsing animals into todays horse.

    This Harvard credentialed scientist’s theory was that native ecosystems should be occupied by native plants and animals for the protection of the ecosystem. Catch your breath on that one. What kind of scientist would choose to separate the horse and burro from North American where they evolved in almost every ecosystem on the continent, and then recklessly proclaim they were non-native and thus a threat to natives, when it is unlikely that there many if any specis that have co-evolved longer anywhere in the world than the horse has in North America.

    In the PNAS December 29, 2009 (Haile) Supplementary Information to the article that identified the ancient North American horse DNA match to Equus caballus at a 98% to 100% probability, the burro, donkey, and Plains zebra are also genetically identified though the were not targets of the study. This was a big study and this should be a very big deal!!!! Instead, the Harvard credentialed scientist Al Gore and then President Clinton elevated for his exemplary contribution to the eradication of the Native American Horse, was listed in a long list of scientists who had reviewed articles for them during the 2009 Volume year. Wonder if the position President Clinton put him gave him a little advance notice when the research that could discredit him and the whole scummy team would be published.

    I wonder if was a coincidence that Al Gore’s Harvard credentialed scientist who was in position to know when the research started might have forewarned the funding source for the eradication for wild horses and burros, which just happened to be the World Bank from 1996-2006 and the Bank of the Netherlands until 2009 when the Global Invasive Species Programme. I wonder whether a London based London Exchange based billionaire polluted air salesman would have any business to do with the World Bank in London? Or maybe the Bank of the Netherlands?

    Why wild horses and burros? These are the only species who have been here from the beginning until now. They are the only species I can think of that managed to adapt physiologically, migrate, or become extinct. Of all the species most like us, the horse is the one that should be the most referred. If that power grid goes off tomorrow, or there is some other national disaster, our horses and burros could go to work in short shrift and help rescue people, transport goods, take the injurred to hospitals, hall food and water to people. Everyone who knows horses knows that when treated kindly and with respect they will do almost anything for us, but Mr. Gorey Global Governance thinks that he was encowned with more inalienable rights than the rest of us. Even though he could barely pass a science class, he wants us to trust him with the environment of every piece of land on Earth. Never to worthy. His Harvard educated Harvard credentialed scientist for environmental excellence will be ever at his side as the wildfiires with the old, dry sticky grass wild horses used to eat for millinea creates kindling for wildfire, desertification of the West increases, drought increases, and we cannot figure out why in the world when they are millions of cattle doing much more damage to the range than the 3 o4 horses, the 3 or 4 horses are the villain. We know it isn’t science. It’s science fiction. And this is the Clinton-Gore sustainability plan.

    It may not have been out of the goodness of his heart that President Clinton crated the Government Paperwork Reduction Act that essentially told federal employes they didn’t have to keep records of many types of accounting we expect to find but can’t like how much of our tax dollars the government is paying our during law suits. Heck, these federal land management agencies get sued all the time and often its about bad science. Who’d a thought?


  11. By the way, the hyperlink from APHIS to the two New Zealand Universities has not worked since I found it in February. But I did manage to go around it to get at the original text at Massey University. The same text was in a box, but under it were the words “For New Zealand only.” So per the National Invasives Spencies Management Plan, APHIS is charged with the authority and responsibility for listing all non-native, invasive, alien species. Not only are our horses fraudulently listed in the first place, the link doesn’t work, so you have to use Boolean language to get around it which not everyone understands how to do. Then you find out after all that work, that this list isn’t for the United States. That is the aras where it was when I found it, and since someone who works for U.S.D.A. told me that horses were not native when I knew that they were, I began looking here.


  12. Deb,

    This is a great article. I wasn’t trying to hijack your story, but to add critical insight about the fact that these lands are being a manage inconsistent with science because they are being through artificial non-natural devices by business men posing as scientists who have been given and even remain in extradinary positions of influence in our government. Al Gore’s chosen one spent his first three years at Harvard as a math major, so he excels in mathematical calculations, not evidence based science. The scary thing if you just think about removing a mammal from a place where it has existed for millions of years is that these people do not seem to know or care how much harm they can do to the planet by attempting to alter systems that nature and God obviously put into place for them to exist and thrive where He and she put them.

    The dynamic is not the little guy versus corporate American. It is the citizens of the United states and Congress whose voices have been replaced by hand-picked soldiers for the cause. There is no debate on the floor in Congress. No Congessional hearing to examine the bogus claims. Just people who share the same self-interest. Congress and the American people no longer matter. We need to end this corrupt system.


  13. I saw on a video where the horses in confinement were not really drinking out of the tubs of water either and I wondered if it is because the water is getting so hot so quickly in these record temps that it is uncomfortable for them to drink? The solution would be larger tubs with monitoring to make sure the water temp stays cool enough to drink or shade but of course we all know that is not happening.


    • Where is the video showing the captive wild horses not drinking?
      The reason I’m asking is because I have a lot of captive wild horses I’ve adopted and also rescued from bad situations and I have never had even one of them not drink water from various containers in varying temperatures.
      And if the horses at Palomino Valley weren’t drinking enough water, that combined with no shelters would kill a lot of them in short order.
      As I’ve been saying, I don’t think they need shelters (and I live out where it looks like we had a nuclear bomb dropped on us and we’re the survivors…..THAT is how barren it is out here) as long as they have plenty of available water. So since there has only been 2 or 3 horses that have died at Palomino Valley and none of us even know if they died from the sun/heat alone, the sun/heat with another condition, or not from the sun/heat at all, if the captive wild horses were not drinking enough water, then we really would be seeing a lot of horse lying out in the corrals dead. JMO from living out in Hell’s Hole or Little Iraq (as my mom used to call it…lol) and also having and knowing a lot about wild horses and burros and also captive wild horses and burros.




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