Horse News

Wyoming Wild Horse Herds in Jeopardy

BLM announces meetings on massive removals of Wyoming wild horses

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (Sept. 6, 2013) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced public meetings to be held in Rock Springs (Sept. 11) and Rawlins, WY (Sept. 12) to discuss removing all wild horses from the private and public lands of the Wyoming checkerboard.

“Press releases issued by the BLM have been confusing to say the least,” says Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation.  Press releases dated August 16th and 27th state that BLM agreed to remove all wild horses from the Rock Spring Grazing Association’s (RSGA) private lands. However, the Federal Register Announcement clearly states the scoping notice is to consider the environmental effects of revising the Resource Management Plans (RMP’s) for the Rock Springs and Rawlins Field offices by considering managing the Salt Wells Creek (572 horses), the Great Divide Basin (439 horses) herds for zero wild horses, changing the Adobe Town (433 horses) herd’s Appropriate Management Level (AML) to 225 horses, and managing the White Mountain (205 horses) herd as a non-reproducing herd: eliminating 46% of the wild horses in Wyoming.

 Under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BLM must consider:

·         Environmental impacts;

·         Any adverse environmental impacts should the proposal be implemented;

·         The reasonable alternatives;

·         The relationship between local short-term uses of man’s environment enhancement of long-term productivity;

·         Irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources involved in the proposed action should it be implemented.

The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act mandates, “The Secretary shall manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands.

“The removal of horses from three herd’s and the sterilization of horses in White Mountain will cause irreversible damage to the ongoing survival of wild horse herds in southern Wyoming, will adversely impact tourism, and will reduce the value of public lands by the loss of these symbols of freedom,” explains Kathrens. “This action violates the Wild Horse & Burro Act. If the BLM removes these horses, it not only violates the multiple use mandate for public lands but it would be managing the lands for the benefit of the Rock Springs Grazing Association, for monetary gain, instead of according to the original intent of Congress in creating the Act.”

Scoping meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions with BLM specialists and view maps and posters detailing the RMP revision process. Written comments may be submitted until Sept. 27.

“It is our hope that there will be enough public outcry against this outrageous atrocity, that the BLM will consider a more positive approach involving on-the-range management as opposed to massive removals,” states Kathrens.

Meeting Location and times:

Sept. 11, 4-7 PM                                                        Sept. 12, 4-7 PM

RockSprings, WY                                                      Rawlins, WY

Rock Springs Field Office                                         Rawlins Field Office

280 Highway 191 N.                                                  1300 N. Third St.

Rock Springs, WY                                                      Rawlins, WY

For those unable to attend the meetings submit comments:

Email comments to

(please include “Wild Horse Scoping” in the subject line),

Fax (307) 352-0329

Mail: Bureau of Land Management

Rock Springs Field Office

Wild Horse Scoping

280 Highway 191 North

Rock Springs, WY 82901.

25 replies »

  1. The plan is to strip the west of wild horses. The cattleman’s assoc. developed the BLM to do just what they wanted. Welfare for the ranchers is robust in the west. But they feel they are entitled to this because they are humans and the feral horses are not. Sally Jewells’ silence tells me that it will be business as usual. Salazar taught her well.


    • Sally Salazar? Shall she show no shame? No backbone or morals? A woman should have more integrity than being a cattleman’s and a corporate puppet! Sally, the shenanigans are anything but that!!! Stop the Roundups NOW !!!!!!!!!


  2. The mandate for management is multiple use and SUSTAINED yield. These proposals seek to serve clean the slate for the convenience and expedient response to land owners. The fact there is such a dire concern makes me think there is a serious problem of range rejuvenation and ranchers are avoiding accountability. I wonder what a desertification specialist would have to say?
    Kathleen Hayden has posted in a number of places a suit filed over this VERY same piece(s) of land. Mountain States Legal Foundation v Clark (DOI, Bird (BLM) 740 Fnd 792. BLM was sued for mismanagement and damages foR loss of forage on “private” land. That means public certainly in trouble as well. BLM has failed to manage fro the gitgo. I do not believe they are allowed to conduct a clean slate roundup until they bring the cattle and sheep AMLs down to the level of those assigned to horses and burros and other wildlife. They cannot discriminate between one “multi use” and another.

    These horses at Rock Springs have wandered the land since 1909. And actually belong before the Act to the ranchers.

    Craig Downer and others are certainly qualified to state what effect taking horses and burros off the range will have ecologically.


    • BLM is garbage, their one sided, so be that NO MORE TAX DOLLARS TO YOU. Because of ALL the killing of horses and receiving top dollar for them at the slaughter, instead of doing what 1971 Wild horse and burro act, IT IS THE LAW, They need to be policed or fired. Chappell did this to the mustangs and when he could not get people to eat horse, he created Ken L Ration. There is NO need to harm them. Cattlemen are selfish. God is watching .All that is involved in this dirty deed will get their just reward. Wake up Sally. Salazar is NOT your friend. . At lest be a real women and get a back bone……


  3. Maybe they don’t understand English…

    present participle: thriving
    1. (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.
    “the new baby thrived”

    Do they think what they are doing to the wild ones allows them to “thrive”? If so they have no business working for We the People. The press conference earlier this week with Rep. Raul Grijalva is shining a great big spot light on their messy malicious management practices. Of course you all realized there was a very important missing person…Sally Jewell. She was off in the Marshall Islands enjoying a luau. Spending our tax money on airfare when the meeting she had could have easily been done via Skype.

    Such a disappointment!


  4. Shame on Sally Jewell for not speaking out against the roundups. It’s obvious what their intentions are, but clearly very concerning and quite frankly confusing, if they’re allowed to proceed with actions that would violate the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Our wild free roaming horses should remain wild and free, where they have roamed the lands for centuries.


  5. I would like to know why my comments are not coming up? I have commented on two different posts and they were not shown….any idea what the problem could be? Thanks. Jean



    This bill, authored by Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17), would protect American jobs and American energy production by limiting the Obama Administration’s ability to impose duplicative regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. The Committee also approved an
    amendment offered by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) to protect tribal nations from being forced to follow federal hydraulic fracturing regulations on their lands.

    WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2013 – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act by a bipartisan vote of 23-15. This bill, authored by Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17), would protect American jobs and American energy production by limiting the Obama Administration’s ability to impose duplicative regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. The Committee also approved an amendment offered by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) to protect tribal nations from being forced to follow federal hydraulic fracturing regulations on their lands.
    Specifically, this bipartisan legislation would prohibit the Interior Department from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has regulations and recognizes states’ authority to regulate this type of activity. For the past 60 years, states have safely and successfully regulated the process of hydraulic fracturing. To date, there has not been one instance of groundwater contamination – as the numerous officials with the Obama Administration have admitted. Even with successful state regulation, the Department of the Interior this year announced proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, which will cost jobs and decrease energy production by adding costly and burdensome layers of red tape.
    “There are vast differences in geology that have to be addressed as we produce energy across America and H.R. 2728 will protect the state-driven, bottom up approach to oil and gas regulations. This legislation is about bolstering manufacturing jobs, reaching our nation’s goal of energy security and empowering local self-government while placing a check on the growth of out-of-control, top down federal government. I am appreciative of the Chairman’s leadership and proud that this bipartisan bill passed through the Natural Resources Committee. I will continue to work with the Committee to bring it before the whole House,” said Rep Bill Flores (TX-17).
    “Yesterday, President Obama said that America needs to develop more of its natural gas resources to reduce energy costs and create jobs. This legislation would make sure that happens by protecting states’ rights to regulate hydraulic fracturing and prohibiting the federal government from imposing bureaucratic rules and regulations that will only hurt American jobs and stand in the way of American energy production. We all want American energy production to be the safest in the world and this bill does not prevent the federal government from implementing baseline standards in states where none exist. It simply prevents the federal government from wasting time and resources imposing duplicative regulations,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.


  7. Just keep following that money trail.

    AUGUST 7
    Cabinet secretaries to visit Wind River Reservation in Wyoming WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2013

    Two Cabinet secretaries will visit the Wind River Reservation tomorrow during their trip to Wyoming.

    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are speaking at the 4th annual Wyoming Native American Education Conference at Central Wyoming College in Riverton at 1pm. Riverton is a border town to the reservation.

    Media Advisory: Secretary Jewell, Education Secretary Duncan to Visit Wyoming, Spotlight Education, Tribal Issues (DOI 8/7)

    AUGUST 8

    NPR: EPA set to allow fracking waste on Wind River Reservation
    THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013

    The Environmental Protection Agency is closing the comment period on permits that would allow companies to dump fracking waste on the Wind River Reservation, Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe:
    The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.

    An discovered that the EPA was allowing oil companies to send so much of this contaminated water onto dry land that it was creating raging streams. At the time, there was a controversy within the agency over whether to keep allowing this practice, according to documents NPR obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    On Friday, the EPA will close the public comment period on for several oil fields on the reservations. The proposed permits include some additional restrictions, but would allow companies to continue releasing the water.


    • Louie et al,

      Part of the drive to open up Western lands to energy development is that public lands are owned by the government and therefore, the government can choose which privately owned companies can profit from the natural resources that belong to our country and can thus charge a de facto carbon tax. Part of the push to shut down Appalachian coal but not Western states coal production, is that in Appalachian, all land is privately owned and the government cannot forces private land owners to pay a carbon tax. They can, however, charge fees or tax for things for private land owners.

      The removal of our wild horses and burros is in part to keep us from seeing who is using our public land to profit. There are two very large deposits of coal, natural gas, precious metals, and rare Earth Elements: one is in Appalachia and the other is in the West. All these campaigns against Appalachian coal are intended to force energy production to the West, not for moral or eithical reasons, but to ensure that politicians have a steady source of income to wage their multimillion dollar campaigs.

      Our wild horses and burros were classified as non-native, invasive, aliens to usurop the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act—and that is why Sally Jewel is in her job. She was on a board of directors for an international group that included one of the biggest donors to current democrats in Congress who just happens to own a company in several Western states that make up the original habitat of wild horses.



    Toxic Well Flowback Pumped for Consumption by Wildlife and Livestock
    Posted on Jul 09, 2013
    Washington, DC — Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to public comments filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) fluids, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.
    EPA has just posted proposed new water discharge permits for the nearly dozen oil fields on or abutting the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming (EPA has Clean Water Act jurisdiction on tribal lands). Besides not even listing the array of toxic chemicals being discharged, the proposed permits have monitoring requirements so weak that water can be tested long after fracking events or maintenance flushing. In addition, the permits lack any provisions to protect the health of wildlife or livestock.
    “Under the less than watchful eye of EPA, fracking flowback is dumped into rivers, lakes and reservoirs,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that in both the current and the new proposed permits EPA ignores its own rules requiring that it list “the type and quantity of wastes, fluids, or pollutants which are proposed to be or are being treated, stored, disposed of, injected, emitted, or discharged.” “Gushers of putrid, grayish water encrusted with chemical crystals flood through Wind River into nearby streams.”
    Surface disposal of water produced by oil and gas drilling is forbidden in the Eastern U.S. but allowed in the arid West for purposes of “agricultural or wildlife propagation,” in the words of the governing federal regulation. Thus, the “produced water,” as it is called, must be “of good enough quality to be used for wildlife or livestock watering or other agricultural uses.”
    In the last decade, fracking fluids often consisting of powerfully toxic chemicals have been included in this surface discharge. The exact mixture used by individual operators is treated as a trade secret. But one recent analysis identified 632 chemicals now used in shale-gas production. More than 75% of them affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; 40-50% impact the kidneys and the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; 37% act on the hormone system; and 25% are linked with cancer or mutations.
    “Amid all the controversy on this topic, there is one point of agreement: drinking fracking fluids is not a good idea,” added Ruch, pointing to cases where cattle drinking creek water contaminated with fracking fluids died or failed to produce calves the following year. “The more than 30-year old ‘produced water’ exception was intended for naturally occurring fluids and muds from within the geologic formations, not this new generation of powerful chemicals introduced downhole.”
    PEER is asking the EPA to rewrite the permits to regulate all the chemicals being discharged and to determine whether the produced water is potable for wildlife and livestock. The public comments period on the proposed Wind Reservation permits closes on July 26, 2013.


  9. Wonder if this meeting should be rescheduled so that people that want to attend the national meeting in Arlington could attend this meeting as well. This appears to be an intentional scheduling conflict.



    Requesting a 50 million dollar fund for Wyoming’s wild horses to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range


    Bureau of Land Management
    Attn: Mark Ames
    Rawlins Field Office
    P.O. Box 2407 (1300 North Third Street)
    Rawlins, WY 82301-2407
    RE: Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project)

    Dear Mr. Ames,
    We are against this massive fracking Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project) and ask you to stop this project before it ruins the environment and endangers America’s native wild horses in Wyoming.
    The drilling proposed will not only displace native wild horses but also threaten the wild herds with environmental dangers/disease.

    If you choose to go forward with this during the environmentally risky CD-C Project then we ask that you do the following:
    1.) We request you take immediate action to ensure native wild horses will live in their native habitat and not be rounded up for permanent removal.
    2.) We request you prohibit drilling in native wild horse habitat.
    3.) We ask that you work with the energy companies involved including BP American Production to create a 50 million dollar “Protect Wyoming Mustangs Fund” to mitigate the impacts to native wild horse habitat, air quality and water sources from the proposed

    Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project.

    4.) We request you never grant NEPA waivers for any aspect of this project. Wild horses and other wildlife, the environment and air quality must be protected.

    America’s wild horses are a native species and must be protected as such.
    Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio, in the revised January 2010 edition of Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife states:
    The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

    The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.

    Please respond directly to me with regards to our requests.

    Thank you for your kind assistance to urgent this matter.
    Anne Novak


  11. This is an archived radio show from August 2012:

    TS Radio: Wyoming activists filing IBLA vs. BLM

    Jerry Tillett joins us again to dicuss the filing of an IBLA against the Bureau of Land (mis)Management. While the courts fiddle, our wild horse herds are being unlawfully obliterated.

    Jerry will also speak about the malfeasance of public officials and agencies and the cooperation of the courts to cover up or dismiss the acts against the public committed by public officials.


  12. I have been reading about the situation with the mustangs for a long time. It seems to me (and this is just my theory) that the BLM and other entities have an agenda. One that does not include American citizens. There are some entrances to National Parks that are closed to the public. No matter what is said or done, the buisness with BLM goes on. Something very serious is taking place behind our backs and it leaves me very concerned. I believe it is more than oil or ranchers. If the ranchers think the the BLM is on their side, I think that by the time they figure it out, it will be too late.


    • Many ranchers in my state of Colorado are not BLM friendly and this is true all over the West. I did not know park entrances have been closed? This would affect tourism in a very negative way unless this information was to get to people. Park entrances can be very far apart and even approached from different states. There has been an exchange of words with Obama’s administration. There is pressure to frack in National Parks. I have signed petitions for both parks and to stop fracking on public lands. This petition is important to the wild horses and burros and all advocates need to sign it.


  13. The BLM should be done away with. They are not doing what was intended when the organization was started. Ranchers should not be afforded the rights to do away with horses that have been here long before them. If they don’t have enough grass for their cattle then cut down on their herd. The wild horses are part of nature here and should be left alone. BLM is in the ranchers pocket to make money and let the ranchers do what they please.


  14. A simple fact, they won’t be happy till ALL the horses are gone. We just have to keep fighting to save Our Wild Horses!!


  15. The govt will stop at nothing to ruin everything they can! But I don’t understand the ignorance of blaming the ranching community for BLM, every time one of you dumbasses eat a cheese burger you can thank a cattleman, people who want to blame agriculture in general are to stupid to have a say, sound like Obama supporters, you people need to wise up, you’ll be the ones standing in line for govt cheese….. Except it will be imported, we’ll see what you have to say then!


    • Red, something less than 4% of all beef is raised on public lands, but their presence (usually in numbers at least 50 to one, cattle to horses) are a primary reason for the expulsion of wild horses and burros from their legally designated lands, which include forage and water allotments. The BLM has a long history of eliminating predators, fencing off watering holes, and bringing in domestic livestock right after removing horses to save the land from “overgrazing.” It’s not all ranchers involved here, but there surely is a strong connection which results in taxpayers paying six ways from Sunday to protect a few private rancher’s businesses. And then we don’t even get a discount on beef at the grocery store! Many of us are not anti agriculture at all, just anti welfare agriculture which we pay for, then pay to removed and warehouse horses, pay to remove predators to protect livestock, pay to try to rehab the degraded land (especially riparian areas), pay for massive wildfires as cheatgrass follows the cattle, and pay at the grocery to line the pockets of those whose “businesses” we have subsidized all the way through.

      I don’t think any of these facts constitute calling anyone a “dumbass” unless you mean those who perpetuate this unsustainable situation.


  16. I have to agree with all of you that help to protect our Native Wild Mustangs. Sadly, the goverment is in peril, it’s not about the People’s Voice, it’s who pay’s who. The oil companies and ranchers that have say here in the The great west. Our goverment is filled with financial addicts that have no time to connect into something other than dollars. They are disconnected. To do this, you’d have to be!


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