Horse News

Advocate Alert: Devil’s Garden Wild Horses – Is This What It Sounds Like?

Guest Commentary by Grandma Greg

USFS will KILL all horses over the age of 10?

devilsgarden4If I understand correctly, no wild horses captured in the USFS Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory over the age of ten will get out alive? If so, this is a GIGANTIC change in procedure by our government agencies to dispose of (kill) all wild horses that they capture over the age of ten (sale authority).

The most important and frightening question is:

Is this the plan for ALL wild horses and burros over the age of ten captured by our government agencies in the future?

This is horrendous.

After reading the Devil’s Garden wild horse roundup decision (Modoc National Forest – NE corner of California) I emailed their office with questions about their decision.  Below are the questions in italics and the USFS official response to the questions, received from Kimberly Anderson of the USFS that strongly implies that all wild horses above the age of ten captured on or near the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory will be disposed of (killed).

More information:  Per the USFS data, there are approximately 132 wild horses over the age of nine on this WHT – i.e. subject to their disposal/euthanasia plan and a total of about 788 wild horses scheduled to be removed.  This capture is scheduled to start immediately.

I hope with all my heart that my interpretation is wrong … but I am afraid that you and I see the writing on the wall.  Read below, contact their office and decide for yourself.

From: “Anderson, Kimberly H -FS” <>
Cc: “Anderson, Kimberly H -FS” <>; “” <>

Hi  – here are the responses to your questions that I asked out lead expert to prepare.   Kimberly

“I read on page two of the FONSI “Disposition of older animals that are gathered will be consistent with law, regulations and policy.”

Please explain to me:

1) what age is considered “old animals” 

Animals that are over 10 are generally regarded as older animals.

2) what the process will be used (on the range or at trap sites or other)

Disposition of older animals will be as stated above, consistent with law regulations and policy.  This may include, but would not be limited to, turning them back out to the range, adoption, placement in long-term facilities, or euthanization. 

3) what method will be used (gun shot or lethal dose or other)

Should animals be euthanized, the manner of euthanasia would  be in the most humane manner possible.  In a field setting, they may be euthanized through the use of  firearms or drugs administered by  a veterinarian.  In a holding facility setting, euthanasia would generally occur through the use of drugs administered by a veterinarian.  

4) how the carcasses will be disposed of  

Carcasses would be disposed of in accordance with state law.  When possible animal remains would be picked up by a rendering company.  In a field type situation, animals carcasses would be disposed of away from roads, water sources and drainages.  Under no circumstances would carcasses be sold.

5) who will determine the “old” age of these animals and any other relevant information regarding this decision. 

As is always the case, the  ages of animals would be determined by USFS or BLM personnel, or veterinarians assigned to a gather or holding facility.

Kimberly H. Anderson
Forest Supervisor
Modoc National Forest
800 West 12th Street
Alturas, CA 96101
Voice: 530-233-8700
Fax: 530-233-8719
Cell: 530-708-0065

95 replies »

    • what are the rendering company’s going to do with them? do they have to sign anything as to what they do with them?
      I had a beautiful yellow tiger cat. he lived to be over 18…….my horse, did I have one, would be just as important as my cat. I would want him to live as long as he was comfortable. what is the matter with these people, that they put so little importance on the life of an animal, just because they have no voice.
      I am very involved in keeping the gray wolf in the areas they are now, they can be “trophy” or “big game” hunted now. it’s sickening. please be these critter”s voice, or they will be on to the next, and the next, and the next.if we don’t, our world will consist of malls, blacktop, dead seas, and no ice cap…..take a minute…..where will you be?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Diane, all of us on this particular blog are animal lovers, defenders, advocates and, when possible, rescuers. We may focus on horses here, but we bleed for the wolves and all other species that the government delights in raffling off or dooming to extinction. We all know we are the voice of the animals. The big problem is–few listen to us outside of this choir. We turn ourselves inside out to make the government hear us, and it turns around and does despitable things against animals just the same, as in the march to slaughter of mustangs in NM while the shutdown was occurring. Anyone who can make the government listen might very well be the Second Coming, because right now the only sounds our government hears is the sound of money. Our new Secy of the Interior Jewell is callously cruel to animals because she was hired to finish the job of erasing all wild horses and burros from government lands so that the cattle and sheep ranchers, the lobbyists and the drillers and frackers can have their way with the land and generate profit. We are all disgusted at this situation, but no one has figured a way to change it. Take a look at Harry Reid. He is the one who instigated the slaughter and capture of wild horses and burros in his home state years ago…he advocates the abolishment of the wild ones. And he is still in office. Worse, he is majority leader in the Senate. With rot like this continuing to exist, it’s hard to figure out what to do next to help our wild ones…


    • A horse recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 51, that is right, fifty-one years old. Ten years of age may be old at the race track, but not in the natural rhythm of life. Ten years of age is much too young for bureaucrats to end a horse’s life. Time to end federal agency authority and responsibility over our wild horses.


    • I do not trust the US Forest Service! They have been blatantly as well as surreptitiously extremely anti wild horse and burro, as I document in my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy. There is so much that is simply out of sight and out of mind with them re: the wh & b’s We must keep our eye on them. For years many in the Modoc NF have been trying to zero out Devils’s Garden, and I had to vociferously protest this several years ago. I describe this


  1. to Say This Is Disgusting Is An Understatement. All The Petitions In The World Will Not Stop Them. All The Nice Talk Won’t Stop Them. If We Could Get People To Steal Them And Hide Them It Probably Would Be The Only Way To Save Them. These Sorry Excuses For Humanity Are Hell Bent On Destroying Any And All Wild Horses In This Country.


    • I agree absolutely Terri!!!! We HAVE to do more…I think people are willing to do whatever it takes, but what??????? We have become so used to things going basically the way we want them to go that when our government turns on us we are clueless how to handle it….and I’M clueless too….we need to do SOMETHING but WHAT??? SUGGESTIONS????? ANYONE????


    • 20 in horse years isn’t old either….and they don’t have the right to do this. The American people are saying NO and they don’t give a crap what we say. Does this sound like the America we grew up in???????


    • Yup. A perfect example of this is Terri Farley’s mare Ghost Dancer. When BLM picked her up, they said “she” was a stallion. So into the stallion pen she went. And there “he” stayed for several weeks. Meanwhile Terri had fallen for this “stallion”. This was at Fallon when it was open on the weekends for tours.

      All of a sudden Terri’s Medicine Hat “stallion” disappeared. No one knew a thing. Suddenly a few weeks later Terri’s Medicine Hat “stallion” suddenly became a “mare”! As best I can tell someone looked under her and said stallion. Don’t know if she wet when she came in. But I guess when they went to “geld” Terri’s Medicine Hat stallion they figured it out.

      So Ghost Dancer was found alive and well. And Terri determined that she would adopt Dancer. Terri was also able to locate a young mare that came from the same range, that came in the same day. We like to think perhaps they might be mother and daughter. That’s how Sage came into this picture.

      Dancer was “aged”. Sale authority. That meant when Terri paid for her–Dancer’s papers were given to Terri on the spot. No waiting a year. Next thing that happened was Terri had a vet check Dancer and she was under 10! BLM sold a horse under 10 as sale authority!

      This story has a very happy ending. Dancer and Sage live at Wild Horse Sanctuary not too far from where they lived on the range. Recently Sage was spotted after disappearing for a couple of years. I had been there the day Sage was released and Terri didn’t have her camera with her. I became her photographer. It was from the pictures that I took that folks took note of her, compared the pictures and realized they have seen Sage numerous times not realizing it. How glad I am my tiny role in this made it possible for Terri to know that her girls are just fine!

      They live on a 5000 acre ranch. WHS feeds a them twice a day. The horses have a choice to come in and munch on the hay or stay out in the wild. Sage has chosen to stay out. I guess her time with man just re-enforced the idea that she wants nothing to do with us. And that’s okay. That’s why Terri chose WHS to allow her mares a sanctuary where they could just be horses.

      Dancer I noticed is smaller–maybe 14 hands. But she is built like a mack truck! Compact. Her conformation is incredible. Everything fits together perfectly. God didn’t make a mistake with her. I wonder how something so perfectly put together can be “managed” so horrendously, without care and compassion. How did all those genes come together? Breeders breed for that. They spend hours looking for the perfect mare and stallion. And money. Lots and lots of money. But Dancer didn’t cost anyone anything.

      Sage is with an illusive stallion so she isn’t spotted too often. She’s about 5/6 now I guess. She was interested in me and my camera but way to shy to come over. Dancer was interested too when we met. Now I’m glad they didn’t come over because I want them to stay free. The less we handle them the better able they are to manage on the range. Dancer gave Sage a lot of courage when they were first turned out. Sage stayed with Dancer–almost glued to her hip that first morning. I don’t know what happened after I left. How Sage and Dancer split up. Did they go with their respective stallions willingly?

      For me its enough to know that they are safe in a sanctuary. Where they won’t be bothered by government ever again.


  2. This is the type of situation where ALL wild horse advocates must get on the bus. We must get a plan to stop this outrageous operation. A call to action must get out and we must get this out to the public. We have so many horrible things going on with this Adm but we must keep an eye of this. The USFS is worse then the BLM since their horses are not covered by the law. I don’t understand why not, wild horses are wild horses, but we must come together and stop this.
    I’m really getting fed up. Millions of privately owned cattle are taking over the land and the American Wild Horses an Burros are being removed. How is this allowed?


    • FYI- Our wild horses and burros on USFS managed public land come under the same 1971 WH&B Act as those on BLM managed land.


  3. OMG!!!!!!! I cannot believe my Eyes am I really reading this completely totally asinine thing, are these people really that STUPID????????? Lynette is right I also have had enough of this totally asinine crap !!!!!!!! When do we FIX STUPID ???????? Or do we send the people with the straight jackets for these MORONS??????? OMG I cant even imagine an educated person deciding to kill all Mustangs over 10 !!!!!!! OMG !!! WE simply cannot let this happen !!!!!


  4. OMG !!! I cant believe what my eyes are reading, These people are really in need of Physiological help !!!!! Lynette you are right !!!!! We truely cannot sit by and let this happen !!!!!!


  5. A couple of thoughts on this horrifying news.

    First, it seems killing these horses is only one of many possible actions they could take. How can we know (and when) those decisions will be made?

    Next, in classical horsemanship a horse is not considered fully matured until age 10. With good care most horses (even in BLM holding pens) can be expected to live to 25 or 30 anymore.

    Then, it is my understanding it is against the law (at least here in Colorado) to chemically euthanize a horse and then do anything but bury it. The drugs persist so cannot be allowed into the environment or any food supply. How can taking horse carcasses to a rendering plant avoid putting toxins into whatever food products are then created? This means the horses will most likely have to be shot and left.

    For whatever reason wild horses are being literally targeted as the root cause of many environmental ills, when they are but a fractional part of a larger picture which overlooks much we humans have done, and continue to do, to our shared environment. They are too few to be the cause of the scale of impact they are blamed for. We must all focus harder on science and better solutions, and our own complicity in all this destruction. Does anyone think if we exterminated all the wild horses and burros our public lands would be much improved?

    These public lands belong to us and are managed by people who supposedly work for us, but are influenced by others. We need to hold them accountable to the highest levels by whatever legal means we can.

    I’m remembering the human chains around the Rocky Flats nuclear device plant west of Denver, which went on for years before seeing results. We may need to rally a physical presence when such events as are reported here are discovered. Most of us are too far away to get there but surely there are some ways to get local protests in the news? How about an ad campaign which features horsemeat on the Presidential plate? How about Sally Jewell standing over a dead trophy horse? How about our own people holding our public employees responsible for their actions in a court of law? How about a full page ad in the New York Times about what is happening in the west? How about getting your local churches to take a stand against this horse holocaust? How about getting more science into the perceived “invasive” label on our NATIVE SPECIES, the horse. How about imagining how all life has value and is not disposable at every human whim.

    Let’s get off the blogs where we all preach to the choir, and get after your local media and representatives to cover this issue more in depth and more often. Hold your elected official’s feet to the fire, and show up at hearings and meetings. If we fail, our world will become emptier and emptier of all but people. Whatever your views, this is not the world we inherited nor is it one we should be proud to leave those who follow us. Our culture of targeting, killing and destruction has deep roots but must be roundly challenged. All of life now depends on it. Get busy!


  6. So the reward for being a healthy animal and successfully living in the wild will be–more murder from our government. Horribly sad; horribly cruel. Must be stopped. Time to chain ourselves to gates and resist…if not the holding pens, the BLM/Interior Bldg in DC


    • Debra, you are very brave. I have 7 horses which includes 5 rescued mustangs and can’t leave them and risk going to jail but I’d sure like too. If you do be prepared for pepper spray to your face, etc. Good luck.


      • You mean to tell me it gets that rough when you protest?
        So sorry for all of you, can’t leave here have my animals to care for , but I am their in every other way with you all .


      • Yes, Daryl, it can get that rough and rougher. The protesters against the Iraq war when Bush was in Louisville some years ago were pushed back by the riot police using billy clubs. The police horses refused to push the protesters who had just crossed a street. A few got arrested and one man’s leg was broken when he was knocked down..
        Recently some did a sit-in at the KY Capitol against mountain top removal but nothing was done to them . Wendell Berry was with them.
        So maybe it just depends on where and who all is involved and what they do.


    • Steve,
      The Update of the 1997 IPPC went into force on October 2, 2005. This would make the eradication of wild horses and burros legal through international law. Make no mistake. Remember the article that appeared in Horseback Magazine regarding the Butns Amendment. It was Senator Reid, the great humanitarian himself, who approached Senator Burns with his undefined Nevada problem on the even of the Senate vote for the 2005 omnibus appropropriations bill. This was not coincidence.

      Senator Reid drafted the means to “eradicate” wild horses through making it legal to slaughter them. In In 2012, the American Veterinary Medical Association re-worked their statement on horse-slaughter and euthanasia. In addition to horse-slaughter and euthanasia, the AVMA added population control. Their comment was that each of these life ending procedures is different, is done for different outcomes, and done with different methods. They announced that they currently have a working groups on this.

      President Barrack Obama is choosing to carry out this repeal of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act that was engineered by President Bill Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore, and Vice-President Gore’s Harvard credentialed in-my-back-pocket-any-time-I-need-him professor that he has supported with a combination of his own money and taxpayer funds since 1997.

      The FS, FWS, and NPS are IUCN partners, so all these decades they have been managing our wild horses, they have partners with the IUCN, Sierra Club, Wildlife Society, Audubon Association and others to destroy the wild horses and burros of the United States. They have been partners to the deceit and fraud.

      The very idea that the North American horse and burro are non-native, invasies is such scientific fraud that it begs the imagination. But Vice-President Al Gore and President Clinton were so impressed with Al’s science dude that they put him in charge of several national scientific councils and boards–which is exactly why there is so much anti-science going on in our federal agencies.


  7. I’m not even sure how the arbitrary age of 10 came about. But the “older” horses give the younger ones the wisdom of the ages–to know where to go for food and water in drought conditions and in cold weather.

    In my own studies of WWII I see a lot of correlation between how our government callously treats the horses, rounds them up without a care and then imprisons those horses. A few get out. But most go to long term holding (and short term holding is just a front for long term holding). Anyone willing to buy a truckload of these wild horses without a chance to see who or what they are getting can buy one. Sure seems a recipe for disaster if you can’t see what you are getting in advance.

    Sheldon is one of the worst for hiding activities. Never knew tullie fog could be man made but it is. Tullie fog is that fog that is so thick you can’t even see the front end of your car when driving. It is so NOT fun to drive in that. I’ve driven it once–and that was one time too many.

    Sally Jewell sold out to the highest bidder.

    Washington becomes worse by the day. WE THE PEOPLE don’t have the incredibly deep pockets that Big AG, Oil, Gas, and ranching have. And ranchers are gonna be next on the hit list. I don’t have the answers but I do know the way we’re headed in this country is no better than Hitler. This time the victims are the horses. We didn’t learn it the first time. So here we go again. It makes me sick to my stomach.


    • I so agree with you. I rarely use this word, but our government has been engaged in an equine holocaust for years and the lust for profit has accelerated in recent years. Our govt has no ethics, no decency–it has become an obscene killer in so many ways. I love my country and served it as a military officer, but I hate my government. I am NOT a tea party crazy, nor would I ever be one. I am a concerned citizen who deeply mourns these animals and the loss of truth and morals in our government.


      • And I thank you for your service. When you sign on the dotted line the commander in chief becomes your boss. He/She says jump and you do so.


  8. Grandma Gregg–every remedy we come up with hinges upon our convincing our legislators to correct or change a bad law. Legislators, with a miniscule number of exceptions, could care less! Our government ignores us regarding animal welfare at every turn. Look at our Congress–disarray, escalating wars, spite, selfishness–it cannot be reasoned with ever since the Tea Party parked itself like a boil on the butt of the Republican Party. How do you reason with government when doors are closed in our faces routinely?


  9. This is horrendous, to think some one will put an animal down because it is 10 years old or older. What is next you are over 50 and time to say good bye. This is about another stupid idea, and a way to get the horses off of their land. You say BLM will tell the age? These people don’t know how to take care of horses period.
    This government stinks from the up to the down part of it , and in between too, sick SOB’s.


    • This is why I say our government didn’t learn from Hitler. The horses are held in long term holding (concentration camps). Their crime? Being born. They are misaged. Inproperly gelded. A paralytic drug and that’s it. No after care. The has a video that shows how its done domestically. You have to trot the horse TWICE a day for 20 mins for a week. This helps get everything moving and will help reduce swelling. If the horse needs pain meds its offered.

      My understanding is that a cryptorchid stud is destroyed because of infertility and how difficult it is to correctly geld them. This is a congenital issue. But not a good reason to destroy the animal. He could be a GREAT lieutenant for a band stallion if BLM would allow mountain lions back into HMA’s.

      I just read Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. It was a terrific read. Her experiences were horrid. She was released from Ravensbruck a week before all the women in age group were gassed. It was a clerical error she later found out. I won’t tell you too much except to read this incredible book. It’s scary, sickening, horrible, you learn so much about people who tried to help Jews. You learn about how utterly cruel and sick people can get–because of a madman. But as awful as her experiences are–please read this if you get a chance.

      Another one is Life in A Jar–The Irena Sendler story. This incredible story is true. In 1999 a high school student was in a class–History Day Project. Her instructor had an old article about Irena Sendler. It was just a few paragraphs long. This woman saved some 2500 kids and babies from the Warsaw Ghetto. The kids thought it was a misprint. But…this incredible story just keeps getting better. A definite read! The kids had the wonderful experience of being able travel to Poland and meeting Irena.

      Irena was a Catholic Social Worker. She had a small network, and her work was INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS.

      Jews were sent to their deaths for no reason. We see our government killing perfectly healthy horses because of “pre-existing” conditions. Those conditions didn’t bother those horses on the range. Some became successful band stallions and successful broodmares. Perfectly able to maintain themselves in the wild. But for whatever reason someone decided that they aren’t fit enough to live.

      I don’t know if its enough to appeal the Burn’s Amendment. We’d still have ranchers and others who will go out hunting mustangs. We really need folks who can and will investigate when mustangs are killed. And we need those perps brought to justice.

      Common sense tells me we shouldn’t need to pass a law prohibiting the sale and transport of horses for slaughter. But we are becoming a country that says–if it isn’t against the law–it’s legal. So we need to be governed by laws. There is no common sense or self control. Because of a few we need to pass the SAFE Act.


  10. Did a quick check of FOIA data for the 2011 Triple-B WH&B capture and the 2010 Twin Peaks WH&B capture and using that data if they had used the on-range “disposal” procedure (of all over the age of ten) that the USFS is stating above, 153 Triple-B wild horses would have been “disposed of” at the time of capture and 326 Twin Peaks wild horses and burros would have been “disposed of” at the time of capture. Now, multiply that times the many many roundups in the past years.

    Although there are many parts and pieces to the big picture … when it comes to our WH&B, we must fight the blatant LIE that there is an excess of wild horses and burros on their legally designated land because there is NOT.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. it is long past reasoning with these people they truely think they are God Like !!!!!! But if determined they are quite the opposite, these people need to be dealt with , i personally are finished with hearing their lies and watching them cold heartedly, murdering the awesome Mustangs who have more rights to be on the Range then the BLM does, this is the time to take that collective stand we have been claiming for years to take for our mustangs !!!! there comes a time when the blm needs to be called out and made accountable for lies, murdering our Mustangs and that time is now !!!!! We need to claim our Mustangs and get them returned to the range where they belong , talking about it does not make it happen………………………………………. Where there is the will there is an answer !!!!!and a way !!! Now lets stop talking about it and find the ways and means !!!!!!! Doing nothing is as bad as what the BLM is doing !!!!!!!!


  12. Keep in mind that the BLM was caught selling Mustangs for slaughter in the 90s. I think the Forest Service was also doing it. Unless someone actually sees them kill the horses you won’t know what happened to them. I think the Forest service will be working with BLM to funnel the horses secretly to their kill buyer friends so they can make a few bucks for themselves at the horses expense.


    • Without doubt the BLM and Forest Service and Fish & Wildlife, etc., are feasting on graft. I’m sure the Indian tribes get money from lobbyists and special interests, and I for one cannot blame them because we ruined that society’s life in so many ways. I am reading a novel called Behind the Beautiful Forevers that describes life in a terrible Mumbai slum. People there have to pay for everything they get…they pay off doctors and police and vendors and officials and neighbors. Anything needed requires paying a bribe—anything. Maybe that’s what we are going toward, since our government has been doing this for at least 50 years.


  13. Arlene (and everyone) YES! I spend hours every day trying to come up with solutions. As you have all done, I’ve written and signed and whined with no evident results. It almost seems like every day there is a new crisis which sends rescues and whatever dollars and energies they have scrambling to protect horses… which are already protected! It is hard not to consider an intentional manipulation of these events which drain all money and energy from those paying attention. We pay for the BLM “management,” we pay to subsidize domestic grazing, we pay to remove wild horses and burros, we pay to subsidize oil and gas leases, we pay to cleanup the aftereffects of all these subsidies, and then we pay for the few rescues we can support. And, needless to say, we don’t see a discount at the gas pump or grocery stores, and then are restricted even from seeing “our” horses who are captured.

    What’s wrong here? Why can’t we, say, have a checkoff on our income tax form that designates we want X dollars of our taxes earmarked to properly care for these horses IN THE WILD? Like those brave souls in WWII we each need to figure out what we can do from where we are in our lives, and do it.

    Why can’t we adopt a horse IN THE WILD, for example? I’d gladly do that, for $1.35 a month for a mare and foal, for example, just to have an equal voice in supporting species I want to see thrive on our public lands. We shouldn’t even have to do this, but perhaps this is a possible way to identify and “adopt” individual horses and be able to monitor their lives more conscientiously.

    Or why can’t we pressure our legislators to remove the WHBs from the “care” of the BLM, for another example? Midterms next fall may be our best chance to effect change. The President and “Silent Sal” will not be running but many others will. Let’s not forget Wild Horse Annie managed to get the law passed by a unanimous vote of Congress. Can we do as much with our much better tools these days?

    The one significant difference here is these horses belong to us, and are supposedly protected. One of my goals is to get action in every single state in the USA demanding change before the midterm elections next fall.


    • As of right now I think you are doing a good thing coming up with some good ideas, we should not have to do this at all, after all they are our wild horses, we do pay for them…..I would like to keep in touch with you, find out what you come up with and help in the process of it. But the government closes the door on us most of the time, after all the work we do to get things working.


      • Daryl, I agree with you, however, the horses have no voice and they belong to us, and they are dying. The people demanded they be protected in 1971 and that law was passed by UNANIMOUS ACT OF CONGRESS due to public outrage. We can do this again, and we must. It’s clear nobody else but “we, the people” can help them at all. They are few and are being targeted for reasons I cannot find plausible.

        Consider that one abbatoir in Chicago boasted on the radio a few weeks ago they had processed 16,000 cattle in ONE WEEK. If you accept the low figures for our remaining wild horses and burros, that means they could be completely gone in one week, from one slaughterhouse. Taking even the highest presumed population of around 40,000, they could be “processed” in under three weeks. How can so few be bothering much of anything???

        What is very clear is our lack of information and effective action is enabling the eradication of innocent, valued and “protected” wild horses and burros. Their blood is on all our hands if we do nothing.

        I encourage you, and everyone reading this, to put some honest thought in each day about how we can effect positive change. Hand wringing and anger accomplish nothing… remember Gandhi said “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” The wild horses and burros do not have the luxury of allowing us time for this. We have to do better, and soon. I try to come up with one new idea every day. Not all are good but all are something different than the completely devastating situation we (and they) are stuck with now.


    • This is filled with helpful ideas that I thank you for. If we do have an adoption program, I presume you mean to leave the horses on the range, which the govt is trimming weekly. How can we be sure they will be safe? Where do we send the money–to the government? I won’t send a dime to the government because I don’t trust it. If this project can be taken on and run by trustworthy advocates, I would help network the concept. I also love the idea of earmarking our income tax payments for the horses. Alas, that means we have to rely on the government to do that, and again, I trust not. Every way we turn, we are stymied by our government, and the government shows no mercy to animals of any type. It would be great to throw out the dreck in next year’s congressional elections, but unless the Tea Party continues to ravage the nation and the Republican Party, the chances of changing the balance in congress are slim, IMHO.


      • Barbara and Daryl (and others I hope!) this idea of adopting in situ I think could work. Here’s as far as I have thought it out, if anyone else can do better PLEASE DO!

        1.) Modify the current adoption program to allow IN SITU adoptions for folks interested in that.
        2.) Horses would have to be individually identified, using photos for uniquely marked horses, and maybe RFID chips for solid horses. I despise the atrocious BLM brands and would find it hard to support branding. Which by the terms of the 1971 law is illegal anyway. Photos could be easily updated using drone technology or even annual photos from the adopter or others who can photograph individual horses.
        3.) RFID chips could potentially be implanted by the same methods used to contraceptive dart horses, or maybe horses would have to be bait trapped ONE TIME to enable implanting using a chute.
        4.) Chips can be read from approx. 40 feet away as I understand it. I’m assuming this could be farther with better technology, and again the use of drones could be used to identify horses from the air… I don’t think an unmanned drone would frighten horses as helicopter does.
        5.) The funds would have to be placed into a separate “pot” which would be used to ensure the adopted horses were alive and roaming in their designated territories.
        6.) This idea could connect live horses with live people who care about individuals and would watchdog them. I can envision entire websites, for example, with photos and comments updated as possible.
        7.) Ecotourism would be another benefit. If you had adopted a horse or two, wouldn’t you want to go see “your” horses, and take your friends along, maybe even international visitors?
        8,) The BLM/USFS folks would also benefit by being involved in keeping horses healthy and alive rather than the no-win jobs they have now.
        9.) Populations could be much more accurately monitored if we had people individually invested this way. We still have no accurate numbers… so the population is somewhere between 15,000 and 40,000. Imagine if 20,000 people would spend $1.35 a month to keep horses identified and in place, we would all have much better information and the veil of secrecy would be shredded forever. Maybe a horse family could be “passed down” through a human family over time, as well.
        10,) Horse deaths could also be verified relatively quickly from whatever means.
        11.) Funds could/would/should be entirely separate and traceable, but some would have to be spent on keeping track (new private industry jobs perhaps?) and also paying for drone or other timely photography. Photography would of necessity also show habitat changes and presence or absence of other users of public lands (oil and gas, domestic livestock, ATVs etc). We have the technology to do this.

        Please anyone, take this and run with it if you can. I think it has merit and might create a win-win-win for us, our horses, and those we now pay to “manage” them.


      • I will be happy to run with it and share it with those who might support it. I don’t know who you are, and you would be an important team mate should this go forward and be implemented. Thank you.


    • Wow! what an idea, right? I do wonder how they “get away” with this without the gas, oil & mining corporations horning in? That was a wonderful couple of articles and certainly says our wild horses are NOT feral & invasive!!!! Perhaps some of the people involved in rewilding Europe could be convinced to start something here.
      Of course it would be a battle considering how this country is run. Oddly I just watched a 60 minutes segment on Detroit and the amount of unused land there!
      I realize its a whole different ballgame here – but re-wilding is a great idea, isn’t it?


  14. What is needed is a third party in DC with some decent politicians that will pay attention to what the people want. You begin to wonder too just why crooks like McCain is voted back in year after year. Crooks like Reid is voted back in as well. This is the very reason we the people are trampled into the dust by inept and greedy politicians that answer only to lobbyists.


    • Money = elections now. Only the rich can run. No law governs how much you can spend on electing a person, and the rightist Supreme Court made it easier for campaigns to collect millions with impunity. Money is the reason a third party of significance can never survive in this country. The big givers want clout for their bucks, and a third party cannot deliver that as well as the two major parties. I wish I was wrong about this because I, too, see a dire need for a new party, but the mechanics of elections in the USA are such that they will stomp out a third party. Look what the Republicans have done–gerrymandered in so many states because they are in control of Congress–to make it much harder for Democrats to win any race there. They also have stopped evening and weekend and prior in-person voting. With illegal antics like that happening right under our noses, a third party would not survive. Sad.


      • Please allow me to add that the Tea Party is a third party–a boil on the butt of the GOP that should cut itself off from that party and allow it to return to normalcy. The Tea Party has ruined the GOP and is ruining the country by mercillessly dividing it. My guess is this upstart group will not leave the GOP because it needs money, and money doesn’t really go to third parties. We need a healthy, viable two-party system in this country, and the Tea Party should be prosecuted for almost murdering the Grand Old Party, a party we all desperately need for balance in our nation.


    • I have 5 horses- 1 is 25, 1 is 23, 1 is 19, 1 is 10 , the last one is 8 years old, none of them are ready to be put down for any reason, minor pains only. These people are crazy nuts wanting to kill a horse 10 years old and older.


  15. Not surprised by their stupidity. Thank God my 22 year old and 20 year old are happily protected on my property. I can’t even talk about how pained I am by the answers to these questions. Damn them.


  16. They are NOT STUPID. This is a deliberate plan to get rid of more wild horses. Yes, Steve, the Burns amendment needs to go. Already wild horses over 10 ? and those not adopted after 3 tries ? are going to slaughter. Just think we can buy a truck load for $10 each or get paid thousands by the USFS to take them . No wonder mustangs with BLM brands are at the kill auctions. The only place they’ll be soon is at real sanctuaries and the rest will be extinct which has been planned for years.



    Survey Reveals Strong Doubts on Management Competence, Integrity and Policies
    Posted on Sep 25, 2013

    Washington, DC — U.S. Forest Service employees do not think very highly of their agency’s leadership, according to survey results released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Most Forest Service professionals lack basic respect for top managers, even doubting their honesty.
    These startling results are found in a document called “Forest Service FEVS [Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey] Analysis and Recommendations” dated March 28, 2013 but circulated recently inside the agency. Compiled by a consulting company named CI International, it summarizes agency-wide survey results, including a breakdown of survey responses from each Forest Service division.
    The survey found that overwhelming majorities of employee respondents like what they do, believe it is important and feel there is mutual respect with their immediate supervisors. Those positive perspectives are reversed, however, with respect to views expressed about Forest Service leadership:

    “Senior leaders are not well respected (only 37%). An overwhelming majority of employees do not agree with their policies and practices (only 29%)”;

    “Just over half of employees agree agency is accomplishing its mission (55%) and is a good place to work (57%)” ; and
    Leadership is unable to generate “high-levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce (only 30%) or as standards of honesty and integrity (only 45%).”

    “This is one of the most resounding workforce votes of no confidence I have ever seen,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this latest poll is consistent with employees ranking the Forest Service 254th out of 292 federal agency components in the 2012 Best Places to Work survey. “These survey results suggest that if the Forest Service was a country it would be ripe for an Arab Spring.”

    By far, the most negative scores were registered by the Law Enforcement & Investigations division. A 2011 management review found that habitually troubled Forest Service law enforcement “is a broken system from top to bottom.” One indication of the level of dysfunction is that earlier this year top LE&I managers received hefty raises amidst sequester-induced cutbacks.

    “By retaining a widely disrespected and despised law enforcement leadership, the Forest Service is, in essence, giving its professional staff the middle finger,” added Ruch. “In order to begin winning back their employees, the Forest Service needs to lop off management deadwood, starting with law enforcement.”


  18. In response to Geri’s statements above, yes–this is a gruesome stain on our nation, perhaps the third original sin (sorry to use a religious analogy but it seems to fit here) on our flag. First, what we did to the Indians. Second, what we did during slavery. Third–the greed-inspired war against our native horses, wolves, so many others. We–all of us here–see the stains on the flag. Others don’t. When a station like PBS, which many people automatically trust and believe what is broadcast from it, airs a segment on wild horses in New Mexico and gives lots of time to the seedy and lowlife guy who is begging to open a horse slaughterhouse there as a “service to his country”–well, when PBS broadcasts that, without rebuttal from one of us, we are in trouble because the public knows from nothing and swallows segments like that whole, without questioning them. Thank heaven we are getting together to rebut that story…


    • Barbara, this reminds me of my take on this model, which fits both the way we engaged Native Americans here and now our Native American species:

      (in order)






      • So right on target, those four demonic steps used on the Indians now being used on our horses and burros. Icy, I take my hat off to you! You must be a teacher, yes? Anyway, I am spreading your concepts far and wide and hope to share feedback with you! Thanks!


      • Barbara, for some reason I cannot reply to your comments below. Thank you for your kind words, but no, I am not a teacher. At present I’m a college student (returned after a long absence) but hoping to go to even higher education. My primary focus for the past year has been the plight of our wild horses.

        I’ve been a horse professional a large part of my life but to my everlasting shame I thought our wild horses were protected and thriving until I started digging deeper a year ago. I do not envy the folks on the ground implementing these unworkable policies; they are as trapped in the bureaucracy as we are. We have to find other ways of being and thinking, and soon, if any meaningful change is to occur.

        My goal now is to try to bring a systemic shift to our thinking and our methods regarding our public lands and the native species which live there, which include our wild horses and burros. The more I research this the more I discover that my earlier education (along with most of the rest of the world) was gravely simplistic and only partly based on evidence.


    • The PBS is becoming the propaganda channel for Washington and lobbyist. The more people they can get to believe this, the easier it is “take control of the people.”


      • Debra, I also believe and know that PBS is always chasing funds to do its work. And budget cutting in Washington and in state capitols usually cut funds for culture and education first, yes? So after 70 years of begging, PBS may just be weary and taking money and having to pay a price. That’s my own theory–I could be right or I could be wrong.


    The Story of Conrad Burns and Wild Horses
    Andrew Cohen

    Brungardt starts with the story of “Wild Horse Annie” (a horse-saving crusader named Velma Johnson) and the landmark 1971 federal legislation that he says “banned the inhumane treatment of wild horses and put safeguards into place so they couldn’t be sold for slaughter.” Then Brungardt reports, the law was “gutted” in December 2004 when Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) inserted a “one-page rider into a 3,300 page budget-appropriations bill on the eve of the bill’s congressional deadline.” The rider removed federal protection for wild horses. When some of Sen. Burns’s colleagues found out about the rider, Brungardt reports, they were “outraged.” Didn’t matter. President Bush, Brungardt reports, signed off on the rider while the Administration altered Bureau of Land Management rules to undercut even further wild-horse protection.


    “BURNS: Well, [Sen.] Harry Reid came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana”
    An Interview with Former Sen. Conrad Burns
    by Steven Long, HORSEBACK MAGAZINEHorseback (reprinted with permission)

    In the world of equine welfare there may be no person subject to derision than former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns. An ardent supporter of horses as a commodity to be sold for whatever reason their owner deems profitable, the former auctioneer lost his seat in the U.S. Senate to a farmer, Jon Tester, after passage of the BURNS AMENDMENT. THE LAW WAS PASSED IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT after it was attached to an appropriations bill nobody had read. For the first time, in an exclusive interview with HORSEBACK MAGAZINE, Burns how revocation of the law came about.

    BURNS: Well, [Sen.] Harry Reid came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana.

    HORSEBACK: So what happened then?

    BURNS: So he and I, up in his office, got together and we crafted that amendment because they’ve really got that problem of over grazing down there. That’s how that came about.

    HORSEBACK: It was actually Reid’s idea, huh?

    BURNS: Yeah, well it was his problem. I just helped him solve it, that’s all.

    HORSEBACK: Well, you did a pretty good job of it.


  20. His Nevada problem was that half of the wild horse population in the country lived in Nevada, the very place large deposits of black gold would have been known to oil industry insiders (like VP Gore and his Senator father). The 1997 UPPC Update was entering into force in October of 2005. Senator Reid had been called upon by the Gorey Clintons’ administration to help them find a way to eradicate wild horses as non-native, alien, invasive pests (of plants).

    I don’t think God is amused, and He has shown it throughout the West. Wild fires, floods, drought, early snows, scorching weatherl. . .He is not happy. He created the Horse and the Horse evolved with the continent in the greatest numbers right where Mr. The Inconvenient Lies has so carefullly laid the groundwork for their eradication.


  21. My horse lived to 33.5 years. I have known Mustangs in captivity to live even longer. Perhaps there should be 10 year limit on anyone working for the USFS, BLM, etc., just short of any retirement benefits. At least you would live.


  22. Great article, GG. You’ve got a marvelous eye for spotting, shall we say, less-than-ethical policy.

    According to the last ‘Holding Facility’ report issued by BLM that outlined specific ages of wild horses and burros in captivity (September 28, 2012),
    Short Term held 1,645 wild horses and burros aged 5 – 10 years.
    Long Term Pastures: 14,409

    Short Term’s horses and burros over the age of 11 totaled 468.
    Long Term Pastures: 18,103

    So it escapes me how the Forest Service, a ‘sister’ agency to the BLM, can quantify only 10 years as being the beginnings of old age when BLM has a completely different criteria. Hell, BLM even PZP’s mares in their 20’s (this assumes those mares might actually get released back into their homes). What Grandma Gregg’s article seems to indicate is another hare-brained, law-breakin’, run-right-over-the-Public idea hatched up by an Interior agency in order to kill off wild horses: If the Nazis over at Fish and Wildlife at Sheldon can get away with what they do to rid themselves of equines you can’t get a hunting license for, why not just make up some sh*t to facilitate euthanizing ‘old’ horses?

    Finally, and because this l’il pot of ours can ALWAYS use a little extra stirring, an observation (based on BLM numbers, of course):
    In September, 2012, the total for In Holding was published at 47,861.
    In August, 2013, the total In Holding is 49,071 – a difference of only 1,210 animals.
    Long Term Pastures saw an increase of just 255 animals over the course of an entire year.

    There is NOTHING that comes out of those agencies responsible for handling wild equines that can be believed. And no one in charge of those agencies seems willing to stop it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. If we only had some money then we could get a group together that can get dirt on these Political members and play hardball. Then all this bullshit would come to a stop Im sure.


  24. Sometimes I think the only way left to us to fight the government is to chain ourselves to fences and buildings on the range and in Washington–but how many can afford to leave their families, their jobs–how many can afford the cost of such travel? The world today is consumed with the burgeoning wars in the Middle East, the debt ceiling, the nonsense of the shutdown…will they turn their attention to the plight of our national treasures? Our groups constantly say that 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter. Great–but where are they? Can they help us fight this? The way I see it is that we either resort to something very dramatic like a chain-in or pickets or marches–or we continue to mourn these babies who, innocently, were sacrificed for money. We’ve done all the petitions, the letter-writing, the phone calls, the begging, the presentation of solidly correct facts–and after years and years of doing this, we still face the menace that is our government. Any ideas out there? There’s little time left before we lose them all…


    • Barbara, I struggle as you do to find ways forward. It’s clear “we the people” are being marginalized by those who work for us, making solid information and access nearly impossible. But in that anonymity horses disappear and die. It seems to me they need to be known as individuals (as The Cloud Foundation and others have so valiantly taught us). If we own these innocent creatures and have demanded their protection in the past (which is why we have the 1971 law) we must demand transparent accountability today. The anonymity also marginalizes them and makes them disposable.

      One of my ideas is to find a website which will host a page or two until Nov. 2014. I envision a USA map where states can be colored in as we see in Presidential elections. However, what I want to inspire is at least one Town Hall Meeting IN EVERY STATE IN THE UNION which asks our citizens what they want the role of wild horses and burros to be in America. Good, bad, or indifferent, we need to have this national conversation. What I envision would include some short video clips, some links to BLM info and other information which contradicts theirs, and links to each individual state’s congresspeople, Sally Jewell (aka “Silent Sal”) and President Obama.

      My goal would be to get every state committed to hold one meeting and send their opinions on these matters to our elected representatives all in, maybe, September of next year, to make them aware there is a public concern coast to coast about what is going on. The goal isn’t sheer numbers, as in another petition which would be ignored, but rather to have folks in every state make their voices heard about what future (if any) they see for our wild horses on our public lands. If more than one meeting per state could be held, terrific! I would show an editable number on each state to show how many hosts have committed to such a meeting.

      Questions could include things like:
      – are you aware of what the current situation is and how your tax dollars are used?
      – what do you think of when you imagine a “free-roaming” wild horse or burro?
      – would you travel to visit wild horses living captive in pens?
      – do you think wild horses in the wild have any value to you or your descendants?
      – is the current BLM/USFS management acceptable to you?
      – are you concerned about horse slaughter at all?
      – would you be willing to adopt a horse “in situ” (in place) or designate some of your tax dollars (or the subsidies given to domestic grazing leases) to provide equal status on the public lands for wild horses and burros?
      – do you think wild horses and burros are native species or invasive?
      – do you think cattle and sheep are native species?
      – do you think the BLM/USFS has had enough time (over 40 years) to prove their “management” is working or not working?
      – do you see any conflict of interest in their assigned responsibilities?
      – do you think oversight should be reassigned to a different agency or perhaps contracted to a private company whose sole responsibility is to the American public?
      – what picture comes to mind when speaking of public lands and multiple use? How does that square with the reality on the ground?

      Anyway, you get the idea. My goal would not be to hand someone a boilerplate to sign, but rather to try to get an honest, nationwide pulse of what people are thinking (or not) about our wild horses and burros. It may well be our country would not miss them, but I doubt this is the case.

      Anyone got a website that could host this? I have three states committed already. For this to work, we’d only need 50 people to step up to host a meeting and get a national discussion going… and even better for folks who have conflicting views or no knowledge to chime in. We need everyone to help us find a sustainable way forward.


      • Great idea! And a lot more attention getting than the petitions we have all be signing – plus the value of educating more & more people about our wild horses & burros and whats really happening to them.


  25. I think the blm shoots to many horses after they are rounded up and moves a lot of the “10+” yr old horses (who are healthy and strong) to rodeos 😦 used up and sent to slaughter anyway.

    I wish there was a group who would take every skinny horse, every horse the blm now shoots at round-up. The BLM should be forced to microchip every horse they have contact with. It’s to easy for the corrupt BLM employees to move wild horses to rodeos and slaughter. microchip id would save a lot of horses.


    • Every Horse needs to be micro chip to a data base it is the only way to keep them accounted for , no guess work involved !!!!!!!!!! Every piece of human garbage wont have chance to be underhanded with the Horses !!!!!!!


  26. I left a message for Kimberly Anderson at the Forest Service on Saturday. She called back today and left a msg. She stated that there was no intention of killing any horses.


    • If the Forest Service doesn’t do it, BLM or Fish and Game will…it’s a lethal triumvirate, no matter what they call themselves. Donna, did you look at Icy’s suggestion above? What do you think of it–we are trying so hard to come up with a new approach as time is quickly running out!!!!


  27. This is nothing NEW we have all known for years what their Plan is , the thing is How do we stop them???????????/ We need to devise how to STOP THEM !!!!!!


  28. Dear Daryl I do know that they dont count Foals , I also know they do not have counting ability , so any figures they give out on anything are wrong anyway !!!!!!!!


    • Arlene it is so sad that we have government figures that let them get away with this kind of stuff, if you are born and live 5 min. you are counted as a person, if you are still born it is counted as that, and other is miscarriage, they don’t even do that. this is so bad, they are not accountable for any thing they do . Are they ?


      • Daryl !!!!!The saddest blow of all is they are removing and destroying the most beautiful innocent ,giving animal on the Planet……. And we cant let them do it , we just cant allow it !!!!!!!! We must stop them no matter what it takes !!!!!!!!


      • I have been in love with horses since I saw my first live one at the age of 2, I cry some times when I see what they are doing to these beautiful quiet creatures, who do not bother any one, only help the land as they pass over it to go the next place.
        I am with you , we can’t let them do this to the horses and the burros, I have called Kimberly H, Anderson several times they have a very short tape it cuts you off in the middle of talking. We need to keep the heat on the white house, let them know we are not going to shut up and take this . Arlene we need to do some thing. Aome one has to listen some where .


      • Dear Daryl, i share your passion for the horses mine started at age 5, Daryl I have been here for 20 years I have seen this only deteriorate leaps and bounds, with no relief for the horses whatsoever, i have cried an ocean of tears for the horse mustangs and burros, I love each and everyone of them………The Mustangs have been given an unjust scenario by the BLM, filled with lies, corruption and pure Greed,,,,,,,,I see only one thing to help Lord knows we have tried everything , and that is a concerted effort by every American together United with the Best interests of the Mustangs , !!!!!!We must STAND together United !!!!!!


  29. ALERT TO ALL! I have just learned that ideas of civil disobedience cannot be discussed on any public forum without negative ramifications from the law for both speaker and blog administrator. Therefore, I rescind my statement about fences. We have to continue to do what we can lawfully, despite our sadness about our wild ones.


    • I truly understand…too bad they are so afraid of the truth that they have to stoop to spying on good people who want to save precious animals…


      • Yes it is too bad but that is how it is !!!!!! We must find protection for the Mustangs and it must be soon !!!!!!


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