Eyewitness Report: Wild Horses – December is the Cruellest Month for Salt Wells Creek Part 1

Report from Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation as published on her blog Wild Hoofbeats
Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF)

Two weeks ago, noted photographer Carol Walker traveled to Wyoming on behalf of WHFF to witness for the wild horses as they were stampeded to capture by the BLM’s helicopter contractor.  Unfortunately the stampede concluded over the Thanksgiving weekend when the public was banned from observing but Carol did have the opportunity to view the conditions at short term holding and the release of PZPed mares.  Carol’s photos, shown in slideshow format exclusively, here, at SFTHH and later on her Facebook page, created quite a stir within the advocacy and around the world.  So much so that Carol will be interviewed sometime next week on CNN so stay tuned for details.

Here at WHFF and SFTHH we shared Carol’s daily field reports and photos but now that she has made it home to a warm abode she has published her thoughts and descriptions of the photos that she snapped on her personal website, Wild Hoofbeats.com.  We share only the opening paragraphs, here, in hopes that you will jump over to her site to view the photos, read her detailed report and comment with your thoughts.

Again, we want to thank Carol for making the trip, suffering the sub-temps and sharing her observation with this readership as the days ticked by…thanks Carol and to the Cloud Foundation advocates who were present earlier in the week at the roundup!  Keep the faith my friends.” ~ R.T.


photography by Carol Walker, soundtrack from Opus Moon’s Wild Horse Anthology “Let Them Be Wild And Free” available on iTunes, produced by R.T. Fitch

Carol: A week before Thanksgiving I received a press release from the BLM Rock Springs office that stated that the Adobe Town /Salt Wells Creek Roundup was going to begin tomorrow.  I had been calling and emailing the Rock Springs office of the BLM every two weeks since the Decision Record was issued for this roundup in August, asking when they were planning to start. I was given no warning. I was certain that this was occurring at all this year was due to pressure from the Rock Springs Grazing Association who has been demanding that all wild horses be removed from private lands on the checkerboard area of the Salt Wells Creek Herd Area and the Adobe Town Herd Area.

I was told that public observation opportunities could be limited due to private land on the checkerboard, and to get there soon if I was to observe.  I could not get there at the beginning, but I was there for the end.

They removed 668 wild horses from Salt Wells Creek, a huge herd area with over 1 million acres.  Only 39 stallions and 40 mares were returned to the area, and 3 horses died.


The horses were not rounded up on Thanksgiving, but they were the Saturday after, with no public observation allowed.  The contractor, the Cattoors, were trying to finish this up before an arctic cold front entered Wyoming…(CONTINUED)

Please click (HERE) to read the rest of story and view more photographs

Wild Horses – December is the Cruellest Month for Salt Wells Creek Part 1

Click (HERE) to read Carol’s live report on Short Term Holding

Click (HERE) to read Carol’s live report on the release of the mares

15 comments on “Eyewitness Report: Wild Horses – December is the Cruellest Month for Salt Wells Creek Part 1

  1. The Cloud Foundation would like to apologize for an omission on our Dec. 10 Press Release, “BLM’s Warehousing Wild Horses without Adequate Wind Breaks of Shelter,” (http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/news-events-and-media/press-releases) We failed to mention that our good friends, RT and Terry Fitch, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, provided funding for Carol Walker’s trip to the Salt Walls-Adobe Town roundup, where she recorded events with her moving photos telling the story of the removal and loss of these horses. Carol has long served on the WHFF advisory board and was recently appointed to their Board of Directors. Thank you R.T., Terry, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation for your ongoing commitment to our wild ones.


  2. Many of us have seen wild horses in the wild and also have seen wild horses in the BLM corrals and with the exception of still eating and breathing … there are almost no similarities … their true wild lives are gone forever. So sad and so wrong.
    Thank you Carol Walker and R.T. and Terry Fitch.


  3. Send Christmas Cards to the Secretary of Interior with this message.

    by Michael Leunig


    They’re privatising things we own together. They’re flogging off the people’s common ground.

    And though we’re still connected by the weather They say that sharing things is now unsound.

    They’re lonelifying all the public spaces. They’re rationalising swags and billabongs.

    They’re awfulising nature’s lovely places, Dismantling the dreaming and the songs.

    Their macho fear of flabby soft sensations Makes them pine for all things hard and lean.

    They talk of foreign market penetrations And throbbing private sectors. It’s obscene.

    They’re basically unloving types of creatures With demons lurking underneath their beds.

    You’ll notice that a necktie always features To keep their hearts quite separate from their heads.

    So if they steal away the people’s treasure. And bring the jolly swagman to his knees.

    They can’t remove the simple common pleasure Of loathing public bastards such as these.


  4. THANK YOU Carol for being there and for enduring through such harsh physical and emotional conditions. THANK YOU R.T. and Terry for ALL that you do to help make this a better world for Horses and Burros.


  5. Hardly any people have registered an opinion on S 258 here:


    This needs organizations speaking up as well as people, since this bill is headed to the full Senate now…. and would reduce oversight on BLM grazing leases, as well as DOUBLE THE TERM OF THE LEASES from 10 to 20 years. If you care about wild horses and burros it is incumbent on you to weigh in, and let your elected officials know about it. Some of these leases may not be reviewed for up to 50 years (according to some sources I’ve read) if this law passes. Even in 20 we may have no viable herds left, so please get your voices (and your organizations) to speak up ASAP.


  6. If she does appear on CNN and tells the public what is happening with the mustangs it might stir up a lot of people. I don’t know if any of you saw the film Black Fish that was on CNN about 2 weeks ago about what happens to the Orca whales that are used to make money at the theme parks in Florida but it was seen around the world. From what a number of trainers said about how these intelligent mammals are treated there is a movement now to shut the parks down and return the Orca’s back to the areas where many of the older whales were taken from. Most of them came from waters around Washington state in the 60’s and 70″s. This state government stopped these people from trapping them and moving them. They were run out of the state and told never to go near any of the Orca’s again. There is several pods of these whales that live around Orcas Island that could be related to the older whales in the parks. If they could be brought back up here I think some of their relatives would recognize them even after all these years.


  7. http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/25981
    Congressional Directory Available to Activists
    December 12, 2013

    WASHINGTON, (AWI) – The Animal Welfare Institute’s Congressional directory for the 113th US Congress is still available. This small, color booklet provides information on how to contact every Member of Congress, as well as House and Senate committees and relevant government officials. It is a valuable and convenient tool to have when helping us contact Members of Congress on important animal protection measures.

    Each booklet costs only $8 (includes S&H). To get your own copy, please click here http://awionline.org/store/catalog/animal-welfare-publications/general-literature/113th-congressional-directory
    to order online or send a check or money order to:
    Animal Welfare Institute
    Attn: Congressional Directory Order
    900 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.
    Washington, D.C. 20003

    I will send you a FREE copy of this directory if you promise to sign up for AWI’s eAlerts, send emails to your legislators through AWI’s Compassion Index and share this email and link on Facebook with as many folks as you know! If you do that, just reply to this email and be sure to include your mailing address in the body!
    Also, be sure to visit AWI’s Compassion Index (www.compassionindex.org) to see how your legislator stands on important animal protection measures currently before Congress


  8. Reblogged this on Paula Todd King and commented:
    Rock Springs short term holding. Do you see wind breaks or shelters in this video? In the wild horses can easily find shelter in the trees, in gullies. Not in these holding facilities.


  9. Cruel, insane and definitely corrupt government and all of it’s contractors that making money off of ripping apart the lives of these wild horses. 50,000 in holding all ready, what the hell for??? The NAS report clearly told the BLM to back off on the roundups.


  10. I love Carol Walkers work and to the point. The only missing element is a symbol or logo meaning, a horse prison. Many people have no concept this is a prison. I love the black and white pic. Prisons is very a black and white format rather than color. Here is a suggestion for prison symbol over lapped with a horse. This is a suggestion only. Who am a student of social worker W H&B advocate. I will also share this with Carol Walker.

    Picture only or razor wire, two hand of a person in a cell and a horse. Divide the issues in sub categorizes. This should be called W H & B prison or incarceration,through a symbol.This needs to become the poster for these Icons.

    We should supply a rating system to info people who don’t have time ( to read all issues) Suggest 1-5. This is a five.

    Carol Walker work is amazing and she always improves. Please note this is only a suggestion.


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