Horse News

Wild Horses: December is the Cruellest Month for Salt Wells Creek Part Two

Part 2 by Carol Walker of Wild Hoofbeats and Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photography by Carol Walker, soundtrack from Opus Moon “and they run” available on iTunes, produced by R.T. Fitch

On Wednesday morning last week I was in Rock Springs, waiting to hear if the weather was better and it had stopped snowing, and I heard that we were on for the release of the mares.  These are mares rounded up and removed from Salt Wells Creek.  Only 40 mares will be released, all treated with the birth control drug PZP, and only 39 stallions were released.  668 wild horses were rounded up, and most of them are at the Rock Springs Short Term Holding facility.

I followed the BLM out to where the mares had been held for the past 3 days in pens, and saw the two horse trailers pull out, heading through the Adobe Town Herd Area. I saw the snow crusted forms of the mares in the trailers, and could see their wide eyes.  They had no idea what was going to happen to them….(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story at Wild Hoofbeats and to comment

17 replies »

  1. This has been posted before, but it bears repeating.

    OUR Tax Dollars at work … amp;page=2
    Transaction # 41 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL14PD00019 / 0
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management
    Description: ADOBE TOWN/ SALT WELLS HORSE GATHER FY14 IGF::OT:: … (More)
    Signed Date:
    Obligation Amount:

    Transaction # 42 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL10PD04052 / 0
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management
    Signed Date:
    Obligation Amount:


  2. “Chronic/pre-existing death”?
    The Foal was TRAMPLED DURING AND DUE TO the BLM roundup.
    Accute/Sudden deaths: 1 – Sorrel filly two-month-old stepped on at trap site causing broken left hind leg.

    Chronic/Pre-exisitng deaths: 1 – Two-year-old grey mare with severe, pre-existing right hind limb and hoof deformities due to a previous poorly healed fracture of the ankle.

    Chronic/Pre-exisitng deaths: 1 – Grey yearling mare that had a pre-existing angular deformation of the right front leg and hoof.


  3. These Federally Protected Wild Horses should NEVER have been captured or removed from their Legal Herd Management Area…PERIOD.
    They need to be returned to the range, where they so rightfully belong.

    Also objecting to the consent decree was Lloyd Eisenhauer, a former BLM manager in the Rock Springs and Rawlins areas. Eisenhauer submitted a declaration for the intervenors stating the following with regard to the BLM’s plans to zero out the Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells herds:
    “The BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971 . . .
    [B]ecause the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is NO authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.”
    Eisenhauer also called the BLM’s plan to convert the White Mountain wild horse population to non-reproducing a “slow motion zeroing out of this HMA” that is “inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has implemented on public lands.”


  4. BLM Winter Cruel Round ups, Part 2 – Cruel and Insane: (1) Released 39 mares and 40 stallions (stallions will fight endlessly over the few girls). (2) Release site is 30 to 50 miles away from their native lands although the same site in 2010 where 100’s of mustangs lost their freedom from round ups, (3) The temperatures are freezing – why round up in winter??? (4) The mares have had their sons and daughters torn away from them (5) their family bands have been destroyed, they are released with strange horses (6) thousands of cattle are seen grazing on neighbouring public lands… Sad, sick, twisted waste of federal tax money that benefits only the BLM contractors – they get a million dollars, the cattle ranchers get practically free subsidized ($1.35 a month per cow/calf pair or 5 sheep is still the pittance rate they pay that hasn’t changed in 20 years but costs the BLM $1.5 million a year to administer the grazing rights program which is totally separate costs for the Wild Horse & Burro Progam’s $80 million dollar tax bill.


  5. Question – what happens to the foals that get loaded up by themselves on a trailer & taken away from the trap sites? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any foals in the STH or LTH that weren’t small enough to stay with their mothers. What does the BLM do with them? I’ve been wondering this for awhile – haven’t ever seen anything written about it. Does anyone know?


  6. Seems they can’t have a round up with out some one getting hurt or killed or have to be killed, and they do it the worst weather with out ay thought to the horses safety or well being, these monsters have to be stopped. We pay for all ofit we should ave more say in It.
    Bless the ones who are free, I hope they can find food and shelter to make it in a new place.


  7. From AMERICAN HERDS/Cindy MacDonald

    This Is Not A Democracy
    Comments to the BLM Wild Horse Advisory Board

    I have respectfully submitted a series of questions in addition to my public comments on the situation to be addressed at the November 17, 2008 meeting. These are questions that directly relate to the discussion, and as a part owner of America’s federal lands, I would like addressed.

    Although to be quite candid, BLM District Manager Jim Sparks may have already answered most of these questions when he made a statement at a public hearing in Billings, Mt. in September of 2008. When asked why further gatherings were being planned despite the fact that copious amounts of objective information had been supplied that refuted any immediate need for further gatherings in addition to a vast majority of public comments that opposed such action, he stated and I quote:

    “This is not a Democracy”
    This is a direct quote from the BLM!!!!!

    So, does this statement represent how the BLM thinks? It certainly would explain volumes as to how the BLM manages the Wild Horse and Burro Program, with callous disregard for the spirit and intent of the law, catering to special interests, and capricious decisions that led to the current crisis in the program.


  8. More roundups coming in Wyoming in 2014. The Great Divide HMA is slated for more… I just found this info while searching the BLM site for any information on the number and age of horses penned in Rock Springs. I found no information and none of their public photos show any dates. Still wondering about the Thanksgiving roundup foals who seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

    Anyway, here’s the info on Great Divide, they are accepting comments for 30 days beginning on Dec. 10, 2013, so time is short.

    For more information, please visit or contact Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0331.


  9. I suppose this will surprise no one but me… here are two separate BLM websites I pulled up just now concerning the Great Divide HMA.

    This one (dated 1-13-11) says:
    “The AML for this HMA is 500 horses. … We invite you to view wild horses; however, it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Please allow them to live a free and unmolested life.

    And this one (dated 12-10-13) says:
    “The HMA has an appropriate management level (AML) of 415-600 wild horses as identified in the 1997 Green River Resource Management Plan. Population surveys conducted in May found approximately 439 wild horses. Wild horse populations will increase about 15 percent yearly based on previous fertility control; the current population is estimated at 504 and predicted to be 579 in summer 2014.

    The BLM proposes to remove approximately 164 wild horses from the HMA. All wild horses on private lands in the checkerboard would be removed in conformance with the 2013 court ordered Consent Decree; some wild horses may be relocated north of the checkerboard. Excess wild horses in the remainder of the HMA would be removed to meet the low AML of 415. The proposed operation would possibly include fertility control.”

    [It seems the AMLs are a bit variable, as are the population counts and estimated reproduction rates. When did the AML change from 500 to 415? And if the AML is 415-600, this herd will not approach 600 in 2014, but might the following year. So why are they being rounded up in 2014?]


    “Public participation is a key component of the EA process. The public is encouraged to identify specific issues, concerns, ideas or mitigation to help ensure the best possible analysis. Written substantive comments may be emailed only to with “Divide Basin Scoping Comments” in the subject line; or mailed or delivered to the BLM Rock Springs Field Office, Attn: Jay D’Ewart, 280 Highway 191 N., Rock Springs WY 82901. Comments will be accepted until Jan. 10, 2014.”


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