Horse Health

Opinion: BLM Wild Horse & Burro Facility Needs Shade

Source: By Monika Courtney as published at This Is

“The ghostly broken spirits trapped onto 160 acres of hell are prisoners…”

#8318 in pen 1, “to be trimmed.” Image courtesy of Monika Courtney.

Was the quick organizing of a BLM workshop in Reno a courteous act or another PR stunt – pulling a hand brake on bad publicity pertaining to animal cruelty at Palomino Valley government holding facility?

I fear it is the latter.

The workshop’s structure defined biased control, a la Delphi style. Time restraints and biased input by “experts” recruited by BLM, rendering opinions rather than integral advice on current lack of shelter in higher climatic heat trends… reflected disregard for horses and us.

Despite Joan Guilfoyle’s (Division Chief) welcome gospel of “engaging with public”, most left with a sense of non-accomplishment.

You may see a shade going up over the sick pen, the sole objective of PhD, UC Davis recruits insisting on lack of shade studies on wild horses, therefore forfeiting the benefits thereof to the confined, suffering equines in their care. They even claimed shade increases insects, when the contrary is pointed out by reputable equine veterinarian experts.

These vet recommendations, shelter/heat stress /nutritional info, NWS weather charts, photos of wild horses in shade on the range were submitted. Common sense of roof structures as they have over hay stacks but none for horses does not exist. It is dispelled with biased scholar magic geared to halt public pressure of increasingly concerned tax payers. Moreover, sequester excuses garnish the agenda. While monies are allocated to continued “emergency” round ups to stockpile more horses, non-existing “shade research on wild horses” is discussed to deter from the goal.

The neglect is real. 7 inch long curled duck feet hooves of limping horses in the “trim” pen (just when?), foals baking, the suffering and inhumanity are a disturbing whopper to digest. Anyone in doubt, take a trip to PVC.

"Why", the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Why”, the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The ghostly broken spirits trapped onto 160 acres of hell are prisoners of a self-serving agency, demonizing them since decades. With a self-inflicted crisis, the budget pie is off the rocker as tax funds go to round ups, holding, and administrative overhead. Little to none is given to welfare or more sensible on the range management.

The one size fits all quick fix scriptures of BLM, evicting more horses as I type, causes unspeakable suffering. Yet, BLM creates horse mills resembling feedlots, with absence of modernity and wellbeing to animals, which would label any private person a sadist.

The saddest chapter in this book of misery is that those in charge are outlandishly detached. Federal guidelines to holding do not currently exist– but agony and suffering. Policy handbooks with strict quality care to be implemented are needed now. Life on the range, as the 1971 Act intended, with mustangs’ contribution to the balance of the eco-system where they also help prevent wildfires, seems to be a science BLM is not willing to consider.

Surely, life in the wild is more humane than the equine concentration camps and death pens. Thinking of the pleading horses I met at Palomino Valley… I think they would agree.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at This is Reno

9 replies »

  1. Letter sent to BLM:
    You have been asked over and over to do provide shelter for Palomino
    Valley and Broken Arrow and Litchfield and other Wild Horse and Wild Burro
    holding facilities and you have ignored it.
    The Wild Horses and Wild Burros at the BLM facilities are forced to try
    to endure an “oven-like” existence in the corrals during the summer and
    blizzard conditions in the winter without any shelter from weather. Horses and burros in the wild have the opportunity to move under trees and into canyons for protection from the
    elements – the key word here being MOVE.
    I have seen this with my own eyes.
    The Wild Horses and Wild Burros trapped in BLM corrals need shelter now.

    This comes DIRECTLY from the BLM requirements for
    Wild Horses and Burros:
    What facilities must I have to adopt a wild horse or burro?
    You MUST provide shelter
    from inclement weather and temperature extremes for your adopted wild horse or
    burro. Shelters must be a two-sided
    structure with a roof, well-drained, adequately ventilated, and
    accessible to the animal(s). The two sides need to block the prevailing
    winds and need to protect the major part of the bodies of the horse or


  2. Perhaps we need “sensitivity” training for government employees (and sub-contractors) at the Bureau of Land Management. I have been following this issue for several years, yet I continue to see the same pattern. Insensitivity to advocates, ignoring scientific studies, and the cruelty they impart to the animals that their very existence relies on (how ironic). I live on the east coast, and have worked in government agencies on and off for many years. I know that we were required to attend Diversity training, Workplace Violence seminars, Sensitivity training classes, etc. in order to keep our jobs. It still is a mandatory requirement in all government agencies.

    But I can see that the occupational organizational culture called “Code of the West” or better known as “cowboy/girl” mentality is absolutely a serious threat to all concern, but especially very dangerous to our Wild One’s. This mentality uses brute force rather than brains to work through the issues at hand. Using harsh tactics to push through agendas, completely disregarding common sense advice by knowledgeable parties through scientific facts and/or advocates, is totally ignored. When this agency is questioned about their tactics, they revert to the outdated mode of thinking reminiscent of Roosevelt’s “Speak softly and carry a big stick” rhetoric. We are a more enlightened society now, and most if not all government agencies work through issues taking into account all advice, from all parties concerned and will use some of that information to work through the issue at hand. But not this agency. They refuse to compromise. Their attitude is either “Our way or the highway” and that is the real root cause of so much dissention.

    The Wild One’s lives do matter, to a great many people, professional or not, who love their spirit and have nothing but their well being and health as the impetus to get these conditions changed for them. The contentious and very violent reaction to the animals from this agency is the very reason we are so very adamant that their blatant disregard of their well being must change and very soon. If not, more animals will die in these unnecessary roundups, and the pressure on the agency to change will only increase as more and more people become aware of these unconscionable actions by a government agency who is paid with and by our tax payer dollars.


  3. Are they going to wait until that horse with the ski feet to reach a point of no return? Trim their feet, get them in tiptop shape and release them already! Let nature take its’ course.


  4. We have to get to the core of the problem. HOW have the millions of acres of LEGAL Wild Horse and Burro Herd Area and Herd Management Area disappeared? WHO has benefitted from the removal of America’s Wild Horses and Burros from Public Lands? Certainly not the American taxpaying public. These FEDERALLY PROTECTED Wild Horses and Burros should NOT have been captured and removed in the first place and should NOT be in these holding facilities.

    Excerpts from AMERICAN HERDS:

    88 Million Acres?

    Since BLM announced they have captured so many wild horses and burros from public lands they can no longer afford to feed them and are looking into mass genocide or slaughter to solve the financial dilemma, the public has been asking in earnest; why has 19 million acres of habitat been zeroed out for wild horse and burro use and why can’t those now on death row be returned to their legally designated territories instead of killing them?

    While BLM has stated they are now looking into this option to see if there are any areas they can be returned too, this is not the first time this has been brought up. Yet when BLM has responded to this question before, they cite the reasons they were zeroed out in the first place haven’t changed (checkerboard, endangered species, etc.) so there is probably little hope of re-establishing herds and habitat in most, if not all of these now zeroed out areas (at least by trying to go through BLM!).

    Recently, I have again asked BLM and USGS to address where are they getting “…88 million acres of public lands” from? Obviously, if USGS is reporting the accurate acreage versus BLM, we are looking at a loss of over 53 million acres since wild horses and burros became “protected”, not 19 million acres as currently believed.


  5. More from AMERICAN HERDS (excerpts)

    What’s Left?

    As the united call to stop BLMs unchecked assault on the American mustang & burro continues to gain momentum, with over 180 organizations and celebrities now supporting a moratorium to halt any further removals until key issues can be resolved, here’s one more reason to demand a “cease and desist” until a full scale investigation can be conducted on the Wild Horse & Burro Program to determine what’s really left out on the range.

    Until Congress demands an independent count of the populations BLM has been reporting, both on and off the range, the evidence continues to mount that “What’s Left?” has reached critical levels of concern.



    The Mustang Conspiracy: British Petroleum and The Ruby Pipeline
    PART 2

    In Part two of our hard hitting ATSNews Special Report: “SEX, DRUGS, MUSTANGS, CORRUPTION and BP TOO”, ATSnews’ Mark Allin (AKA: Springer) and 17 time Emmy Award Winner, KLAS 8 News Now (Las Vegas, NV) Investigative Reporter, George Knapp discuss the unbelievable corruption, sex and drug parties and payola schemes that transpired between the MMS and several Big Oil Companies. The Inspector General of the U.S. investigated the “Culture of Substance Abuse and Corruption” that ran rampant through the Denver Office of the MMS and several big oil companies from 2002 through 2006. The U.S. Taxpayer was bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars, the environment was utterly neglected, the affected areas populations were at great risk (and still are), all for the betterment of a handful of Big Oil Companies’ bottom lines.

    You may be surprised to learn that revenues generated by Royalties paid to the U.S. Government, in return for exploiting the oil reserves under public lands, is the second only to TAXES in total gross income for the U.S. Government. That’s a double edged statement. On the one hand, it becomes obvious why government is so happy to allow things like “self regulation” to companies like BP, in spite of their abysmal record. On the other hand, it begs the questions “Why do these appointed (NOT elected) officials sell these royalties for only pennies on the dollar compared to their fair market value? Why do they totally disregard the laws of the land and allow these companies to do whatever they want to increase profits and control costs by avoiding, or totally ignoring, health, environment and safety regulations?”


    Because our public servants are, literally, IN BED with these companies.
    Finally, part two also discusses the alleged, “real reason” for the very recent Mustang round ups off the horse’s legal land. The 675 mile long Ruby Natural Gas Pipeline that runs right through the Calico Herd’s protected lands. After hearing about this pipeline, ATSNews’ Mark Allin started doing some good old fashioned investigative reporting of his own to see just who was behind this pipeline, who would benefit from it most. What he discovered is disturbing but not surprising. The same Corporate Raiders who have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars, created environmental disasters all over the U.S. (and many other parts of the world) because they just turn their nose up at safety regulations, best practices, and common sense are ALL involved with the Ruby Pipeline.

    The same bunch of villains who have plundered our public lands for decades, destroyed lives through their negligence and horrid lack of concern for anything but huge profits are now destroying yet another piece of Americana, the Wild Mustangs of the Great Southwest. Watch part two and find out who these corporate thugs are and hear Mark’s plea to the ATS Community to help us expose the rest of this story!



    Comments due by Aug 19

    Release Date: 07/05/13


    Mark Mackiewicz

    , 435-636-3616

    BLM Seeks Comments on Draft Supplemental EIS for the Ruby Pipeline Project
    Reno, Nev.— The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) for the Ruby Pipeline Project. The Draft SEIS has a limited scope that includes updated information on the historical extent of sagebrush steppe habitat, and present and reasonably foreseeable future actions that could impact sagebrush steppe habitat. The Draft SEIS also contains an updated cumulative effects analysis based on this information, including indirect impacts on sagebrush steppe obligate species. The BLM’s decision whether to reissue the ROW Grant and require additional mitigation will be based on this analysis.

    The Draft SEIS is in response to a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision that found the Ruby Pipeline Final Environmental Impact Statement did not provide sufficient quantified or detailed data about the cumulative loss of sagebrush steppe vegetation and habitat. The pipeline has been constructed and is currently operational. It includes an approximately 678-mile long, 42-inch diameter interstate natural gas pipeline that crosses 368 miles of federal land beginning near Opal, Wyoming, extends through northern Utah and northern Nevada, and terminates near Malin, Oregon.

    The comment period begins July 5 and ends August 19. Written comments received during this 45-day period will be considered during the development of a final SEIS. The Draft SEIS may be viewed at:

    Copies of the Draft SEIS are also available for review at the following locations:

    • BLM Kemmerer Field Office, 312 Hwy 189 N, Kemmerer, WY, 83101;
    • BLM Salt Lake Field Office, 2370 South 2300 West, Salt Lake City, UT, 84119;
    • BLM Elko District Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV, 89801;
    • BLM Winnemucca District Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd, Winnemucca, NV, 89445;
    • BLM Lakeview District Office, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR, 97630;
    • BLM Klamath Falls Resource Area Office, 2795 Anderson Ave., Ste. 25, Klamath Falls, OR, 97603;
    • BLM Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville, CA, 96104
    • Additional locations where hard copies of the Draft SEIS can be viewed can be found on the project website or by contacting the project manager.

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised, that your entire comment– including your personal information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Comments should be mailed to Ruby SEIS, c/o Bureau of Land Management Price Field Office, 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah 84501; emailed to, or through the BLM Ruby website:

    For further information, contact Mark Mackiewicz, PMP, Project Manager at (435) 636-3616, Bureau of Land Management Price Field Office, 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah 84501; email


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.