Horse News

BLM Proposes to Burn Cloud’s Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

“Review and Comments Needed”

The  Billings MT office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has indicated that approximately 6,000 acres in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range would be selectively burned by the BLM over several years to allegedly lesson the danger of a large fire under a proposed plan outlined in an environmental assessment.

The document is open to public comment through Oct. 24.

Treatments would include varying degrees of pre-treatment, prescribed fire, and post-treatment activities. Prescribed fires would likely occur between June and November depending on conditions.

The public can review the PMWHR Preliminary Prescribed Fire EA at the Billings Field Office website at Comments can be emailed to or mailed to the Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101.

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 identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.

For more information about the EA, call BLM Billings field manager Jim Sparks at (406) 896-5241.

51 replies »

  1. Prescribed burns often get out of control so why is this really being done? Ginger didn’t know about this until I showed her my letter and it will be interesting to see her comments about it. Just look at what happened at Twin Peaks. It seems this would be burning forage the horses will need for the following winter. Why can’t nature just be left alone? Every time man plays God things just get messed up.


  2. sounds like another excuse for BLM to declare another roundup because now there is not enough forage for horses and cattle, then maybe some drilling now that the ground is burnt and not a lot of animals in the way?


  3. First question comes to mind is has anyone accessed this land to REALLY see if this is necessary??????? Or is this the BLMS way of getting rid of the Mustangs , yeah burn their foliage so they have nothing to eat all Winter !!! Bunch of Monsters ………!!!!!! They just love messing with Cloud and his herd dont they !!!!! I think an independent Agency should be appointed to go there and see if it is necessary !!!!!


  4. I think that the BLM needs to take care of the wild horses and burros that they have captured and leave the other wild horses and burros alone ! They need to remove the cattle and sheep from the wild horses range and leave the fires to Mother Nature !


  5. I think that there should be written proof as to why this would be necessary. It sounds like the horses might be in danger, also what about the grazing? How many total acres make up the Pryor Mountain wild horse range? I am interested to see what Ginger Kathrens has to say.


  6. One good thing might come out of this. That stupid fence they put up to keep the horses off the Forestry Service land might burn down. We can hope right?


    • ahha!!! Quick, everyone wear black and good running shoes and let’s go to the holdings and set them free…like a movie where everything is scary and then has a happy ending…I will buzz you when the govt. is operating again …
      no, really we really must get to the core reason for this right away.
      I pray it is not retaliation to TCF, etc.


  7. Seems like another excuse to me..
    This is NOT GOOD!
    Very concerned about “Cloud” his band and the entire herd that lives there.


  8. This sounds like if they can’t haul them out, their gunna burn them out!!! I can’t believe these animals have been running wild for centuries with no boundaries and now they are being extracted like prisoners. God would someone bring light to the governments eyes!!!!


  9. Not only check for mining permits, y’all better check for contracts, leases also etc. They don’t always need to burn either, they could sell off the a certain amount of the lumber to have it cleared and made safe. Then they could use the money made from the sale of lumber to put into the mustang upkeep. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure simple common sense problems out. That is unless they really have other motives!!!!


  10. BLM is desperate now they will do anything to get all the horses off the land and the cattle sheep on… 2006 one of my informers told me they over heard BLM saying all horses must go. ALL Equine. We will not allow get busy with this they will set the fires.


  11. I agree, an independent company should do an assessment. And can the Cloud herd by relocated safely by an advocate group, and moved back after they restore the grazing lands. After all, if they are doing it because the horses are in danger, they must care enough to do the necessary replanting for the horses to have forage after the burn right? And what plans do they have for safe, and SHELTERED land for the Cloud herd in the meantime. Surely we will not take them out of the wild because we feel we need to interfere by burning down their home?!?!?!

    BLM is nothing but a joke, mediator between big business and the rest of Americans who want our wild left wild! There is no sense trying to get them to explain things factually because where there is no REAL evidence they will make some up for you.

    The only true way to stop the slaughter of our horses is to fight to have the BLM disbanded. Take back our country, stop paying agencies that fight what the majority wants, with the majorities tax dollars!!


  12. What’s wrong with this picture? Our Cloud Foundation board member Ecologist Craig Downer will tell you that continual removal of horses from this area has contributed over time to the build up of lower ladder fuels on the range. If wild horse AMLs were raised, their grazing habits would reduce those fuels, and if left alone, the population would stabilize in its niche. Imagine that…. Then of course, mountain lions conserved on the range also stabilize wild horse populations. All of this leads to lower cost, less intervention, and healthier range, with roundups curtailed. Imagine that….. Instead, BLM lets mountain lions be hunted out, plans fires, and rounds up horses…Kill it, burn it, or run it out… Unfortunately, we don’t have to imagine that. The BLM is doing it every day.


    • Every above answer is so right on~I cannot tell you how many controled burns here in Colorado end up as out of control forest fires~as many know we have had record rains and flooding hear in Colorado many displaced people and animals and lots of property damage, and lots of fracking well damage, the last time we had record rain and/or record snow we found out months later that they had seeded clouds-just wondering-sometimes just to coincidental.


    • Exactly what I was thinking. If it is TRUE that there is danger of a larger fire why not put some of the mustangs in holding facilities back on the range to graze off the excess growth? Oh, wait that is too simple of a solution and too cost effective! I find it hard to believe that the supposed increased risk of fire is the only reason for a controlled burn. Greed is working in the background here folks.


  13. With wild horses present on the range, a lot of the old growth would not be present.

    Our wild horses and burros are being managed as an invasive species through international treaty trumping the 1971 Act. In other words, they have no protections.

    The way to fix this is to increase the wild horses here. This is such bad science.

    The scientist who created the fraud of the non-native, invasive, alien, exotic, species is a member of the PNAS and he probably helped half the academy get their positions. This is why everything the BLM does conflicts with common sense and the science that appears is peer reviewed, juried journals of highly educated scientist. A Harvard degree in science means you can create theories, but you couldn’t find your way from the penthouse to the outhouse with a road map, gps, and a yellow brick road.


  14. I think the BLM should just let nature take it’s course. They are just trying to find some way to spend more money and to justify to congress/senate that there is a reason to have the BLM. Get rid of the BLM! That would cure the whole problem.


  15. This makes me SICK. I’ve been to the Pryor Mountain Horse Range and seen Cloud, his family, and all of the other beautiful bands. They cannot afford to lose 6,000 acres. The BLM is disgusting. I agree with another poster, this eill be an excuse for another Pryor Mountain BLM roundup in no time.


  16. How does the government shutdowns affect all BLM scheduled actions ? Roundups & care of the ones in BLM holding pens included?


  17. If what the BLM has proposed involves anything that concerns the wild horses , You can count on it being to the disadvantage and demise of the horses. As for burning, When humans play God, you can be sure disaster isn’t far behind.
    This year alone , The BLM has shown its’ true colors as where it stands on wild horses. I am sure someone somewhere is waiting to stuff their pockets with gold.


  18. Different agency, different year…but in the end, what does it matter when public opinion is opposed and taxpayer money is used? The damage is done.
    Badly Burned? Effects of an Escaped Prescribed Burn on Social
    Acceptability of Wildland Fuels Treatments

    In September 2003 a prescribed burn on the Uinta National Forest escaped, costing nearly $3 million to extinguish while choking Utah cities with smoke for a week.

    One potential influence on judgments about the acceptability of prescribed fire as a fuels management tool is adverse publicity surrounding burns that go beyond the original prescription.
    The Cerro Grande fire near Los Alamos in 2000 is perhaps the best-known event of this kind. A more recent example occurred in the Uinta National Forest not far from Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. On Sept. 23, 2003, fire managers lost control of a prescribed burn intended to treat 600 acres of Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) woodland, resulting in a 7,828-acre wildfire that sent smoke into parts of the Wasatch Front metropolitan area for a week. Coming at the end of a
    busy wildfire season, near a rapidly growing metropolitan area where air quality is a major concern, the incident drew intense criticism from local government officials and the news media, as exemplified by this Salt Lake Tribune editorial on Sept. 30, 2003:

    “When smoke from a fire intentionally set by the U.S. Forest Service is stinging
    your eyes and clogging your lungs, you don’t want to hear the Forest Service
    insisting that it did everything right. You want to hear an apology. … In the fifth
    year of a drought, the West’s forests are exceptionally dry. Utahns have been
    ordered not to start campfires and not to smoke in the tinder-dry mountains. So it
    seems reasonable to ask why the Forest Service would think this a good time for a
    prescribed burn.”

    Studies of public perceptions of natural resource management often find that segments of the public are entirely unaware of the issues, no matter how controversial, but that was not true in this case: 98% of Wasatch County respondents and 95% of those in both the longitudinal and metropolitan samples had heard about Cascade II. Moreover, most respondents indicated that the
    fire had influenced how they feel about the use of prescribed fire (Table 1). Nearly half said that the incident had made them feel more negative about the use of prescribed fire, and a majority – including 85% of respondents from Wasatch County – said it made them more skeptical about the ability of land managers to effectively use prescribed fire as a tool.


  19. If this doesnt show how really stupid this all is , first they remove horses because they say they are starving , then they have to do a burn because theres to much foliage???????/ They remove the natural Mustangs who are natures balance , stress them out to the Max, ruin their families OMG this is one big group of MORONS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..


  20. Just leave the horses on the land…. They graze and leave the roots…. This makes for a natural barrier for wildfires…
    Put cows and sheep on the land and you’re begging for trouble…..


  21. What is so hard to understand here Leave natures Natural Balance ALONE, let them the Mustangs Keep the Natural Balance it comes natural to them !!!!!!!!!


  22. Just think for a moment all they have to is PUT THE MUSTANGS BACK , Let them take care of the Foliage,the Mustangs know exactly how to keep the balance!!!!!!! the Mustangs are smarter then the BLM< and it wont cost a penny !!!!!!!!




    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 18, 2013) – Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Senator Tom Udall will announce a federal, local and private collaboration to reduce the risks of wildfire to America’s water supply on Friday, July 19 in Ft. Collins, CO. Representatives from the Cloud Foundation (TCF) will attend the meeting to bring attention to the benefits of wild horses and burros on ranges in reducing the risk of fires while improving water resources.

    ”The increased ability of soils to retain water in equid-occupied ecosystems proves of crucial importance in restoring water sources in mountains and in elevating water tables in valleys, particularly in desert areas,” states wildlife ecologist, Craig Downer, TCF board member and author of Wild Horse Conspiracy. “Along with the major elimination of dry, flammable vegetation by equids, a healthier watershed works to reduce and prevent catastrophic fires.”

    Removal of wild horses and burros from the range has resulted in major fires in more than one instance. At the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in California and Nevada, major fires occurred two years after the removal of large numbers of wild horses, and in Spring Range and Red Rock areas of Nevada, over thirty thousand acres were burned in a series of fires after the BLM almost entirely eliminated the wild horses from their herd areas.

    The Cloud Foundation has long advocated for on the range management of wild horses and burros instead of costly and unsustainable roundups. Currently fewer than 30,000 wild horse and burros range on public lands, while over 50,000 are in holding facilities. By following the National Academy of Science recommendations to manage horses and burros on the range, the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service have the opportunity to not only reduce taxpayer burdens but help reduce the ongoing risks of fires.


  24. Email (nice) sent to Billings BLM. Even if it doesn’t have any effect, at least they know we’re watching! If anyone else would like to send them a nice email, works better than the other one. In Mt, controlled burns are not always controlled and we have enough “natural” fires to take care of most everything….but our breathing! If the need has been to remove the Mustangs from that area in the past, for forage preservation….why burn it???? The permit suggestion is more likely and that will not sit well with anyone.


  25. My first question is how are they going to protect the horses? How are they going to protect the mountain from sparks and ashes? No matter how well intentioned people are fire has a tendency to get out of control super fast.

    And how will they make certain fire doesn’t go underground? This happened in Jackson several years ago when they had that big fire. You could be on a trail, step and not realize until too late that your in big trouble. Fire sits underground, you step into it and that’s big trouble. That kind of stuff can go on for months undetected.

    It’s for certain that fire will scare ALL the horses out of their minds. With that stoopid fence blocking the horses onto BLM lands–they can’t escape into the Forest if the range went crazy.

    Mostly I’m against this because of the danger of fire. There has to be another alternative with less danger element.

    By the way who’s minding BLM now that everyone’s been sent home????


  26. Such a “great idea” occured during the Clinton administration for some park, out in the West and the fire went out of control burning homes. Let nature play its course, that was the final decision. Blm, another waist of taxpayers money!


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