BLM Rejects Offer of Wind Protection for Corralled Wyoming Mustangs

Agency denies need for same protection it requires of all mustang adopters

BLM captives without shelter ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM captives without shelter ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In late January Lisa Friday and Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) met with BLM District Manager, Mark Storzer, in Rock Springs, Wyoming to discuss ways to protect the over 600 horses held captive in the 30-year-old corral facility. Harsh westerly winds regularly blast the corrals and the BLM has tried to deal with the problem in the past by putting up plywood on the corral panels, but few of the wooden windbreaks remain.

“At the meeting, we discussed what might work for windbreaks and Mr. Storzer indicated that plywood is too heavy and the wind could topple the entire fence,” states Kathrens, Executive Director of the Colorado-based wild horse advocacy organization. “A week after our meeting with Mr. Storzer, we were excited to find a state-of-the-art lightweight product that is easy to install. I contacted Mr. Storzer and Joan Guilfoyle, Chief of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in DC, to let them know what we had found and that we were willing to purchase the material and have it installed at no cost to the agency.”

“But BLM chose to look a gift horse in the mouth,” states Friday, a TCF Board Member and wild horse adopter. “Via email, Mr. Storzer reversed course and told us ‘This facility has been in operation for many years and there has not been a need to install or construct wind breaks.’

During the same time period, Kathrens informed the American Humane Association (AHA) of the situation. They communicated with BLM, asking to help with the corral windbreak project and received a conflicting letter from the DC office of BLM in which Ed Roberson, Assistant Director of Resources and Planning stated that “Animals held at the facility receive… protection from the harsh winds through both man-made and natural windbreaks…”

Mr. Storzer explained in his email why there is no need for wind protection for the mustangs saying  “On the range, within these herd management areas, the weather conditions are cold with few natural wind breaks due to the desert terrain.”

Carol Walker, noted wild horse photographer, author, and Board Member for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, disagrees with Mr. Storzer’s statement. Walker has photographed horses in the area for years and states “I was just in the area two weeks ago prior to the big snow storm that came in, and I watched several bands of horses move to sheltered, protected areas that had little to no wind because of high cliffs. This area, which has many rock formations, mesas, and cliffs has an abundance of shelter for wild horses. These horses have the freedom to get out of the worst of the storm unlike their extremely unlucky brethren who are trapped in pens with no windbreak and no alternative but to huddle together in the freezing cold, snow, and wind. This is not humane treatment. This is abusive.”

Justin Scally, National Director for Humane Intervention at American Humane Association in Washington, D.C. said, “American Humane Association remains deeply concerned about the welfare of hundreds of beautiful horses after hearing reports that they are being warehoused without basic and/or adequate sources of shelter. These animals are now dependent on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for their protection and while we applaud their requirement that potential adopters provide basic shelter for any horse someone adopts – they must be held to the same minimum standard.”

“How hypocritical to require shelter for adopted animals but those kept captive for years are provided none,” adds Friday. “The BLM’s denial of help seems short-sighted if their main concern is for these poor horses that can no longer find shelter as they would in the wild.”

“In many states, confining horses in conditions like this is illegal!” stated Timothy J. Harvey, Humane Advocate, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. “The fact that these windbreaks would be installed at NO cost to the BLM is in direct line with recommendations the Advisory Board has made in the past regarding accepting volunteers’ help both financially and with volunteer labor efforts. I do not understand why the BLM would turn down this offer.”

Adopters of any wild horse must provide proof of shelter before they can obtain an animal. Specific instructions state, “You must provide shelter from weather and temperature extremes for your adopted wild horse or burro. Shelters must be a two-sided structure with a roof, well-drained, adequately ventilated, and accessible to the animal(s). The two sides need to block the prevailing winds and need to protect the major part of the bodies of the horse or burro.”

Ed Roberson publicly asks for help in managing wild horses, yet continues to refuse help to care for those animals the BLM is supposed to be caring for.

Kathrens first contacted Mr. Roberson and Ms. Guilfoyle over a month ago regarding wind protection for the Rock Springs horses. To date Mr. Roberson has not responded to Ms. Kathrens. Ms. Guilfoyle only responded after she received a draft of the Press Release on Feb. 27, 2014 from Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF.  Ms. Guilfoyle indicated she did not have time to review the “draft docs” by today. “We are unclear which ‘draft docs’ she is referring to besides the press release itself,” commented King. “Ms. Guilfoyle suggested we proceed with the press release.”

“In the meantime, a foal has recently been born in the corrals, the first of likely numerous wild horse babies,” Kathrens concludes.  “This little one and the other little ones to come deserve protection. (Please see attached photo)  I remain hopeful that something positive can be accomplished to help the captive mustangs.”

Links:

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/12/14/eyewitness-report-wild-horses-december-is-the-cruellest-month-for-salt-wells-creek-part-1/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/12/16/wild-horses-december-is-the-cruellest-month-for-salt-wells-creek-part-two/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/12/18/carol-walker-with-jane-velez-mitchell/

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/01/08/cnn-captured-wild-horses-in-extreme-weather/

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

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44 comments on “BLM Rejects Offer of Wind Protection for Corralled Wyoming Mustangs

    • If you can’t provide protection for this horses turn them loose and let them be free so they can protect themselves from the harsh winter. This is such abuse that I don’t understand why the law hasn’t stepped in before now. These people should have to suffer the same way.

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    • The BLM like most government agencies is full of pompous asses that can’t see the forest for the trees. These wild horses definitely know how to come in out of the rain not to mention the wind, snow and cold. They cannot fend for themselves while in captivity and the BLM is unwilling or not intelligent enough to help them. Turn them loose.

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    • Here is what I will write my congress reps and senator….Why isn’t the holding facility held to the same standards as adopters? Plain and simple.

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  1. I don’t understand: Why would you brag that a P.O.S. holding facility has been ‘in use for many years’, intimating that this level of ‘care’ is acceptable?

    Regardless of natural terrain, free-roaming wild equines can move away from the worst of a storm or conditions on the range; they stick together as a family unit to protect each other and in captivity, that cohesion is taken from them.

    You’d think there might be an evolution of care standards over the course of time, particularly when whining about the continuing increases of costs for caring for these animals. Makes you wonder – what that money is ACTUALLY spent on.

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  2. One more expample that our government agencies are placing themselves above the law that they require the masses to follow. Look at your history lessons to see where this type of behavior leads. Citizens must demand that the people that govern them must go with the will of the people they have been hired or elected to represent them. Their is no reason to be cruel to any living creature just because you believe you are better than they are or are above the request of those “under” you.

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  3. WHAT!!!!! How cruel; cold hearted..That jerk, has his head………………..Make him and his staff, live in the subzero weather!!!!! Karma will bite him!!!!! Time for a phone/e-mail campaign to any legislator who might assist.. This makes me furious!!

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  4. Heres the thing , the money obviously is not spent on the Mustangs, the answer to why they did not except help with windbreakers is because they simply do Not care if the Mustangs freeze, in fact they wish they would, these are beautiful Horses and they have no damn right not on my damn dime !!!…………………they have taken everything from the Mustangs that they need to survive and quite frankly I have had enough of the BLM , I am sick of them treating the Mustangs so badly, the Mustangs are as American as I am if not more, therefore they need to either take care of them as the National Treasures they are or damn it return them to their Land ,!!!!!!(I apologize for all the Damns, but they certainly apply)

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  5. Why is it that government agencies require us to meet certain standards that they themselves either do not or will not comply with! Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor, but if you count each horse borro and colt, that sure seems like a lot of counts make them accountable!!!

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    • It is yet another American Holocaust. Where’s PETA, the ASPCA & the HSUS??? The BLM obviously doesn’t know what they are doing! No kindness or compassion or intelligence is being used!

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      • PETA and the HSUS don’t care any more about animal welfare than the BLM does. HSUS is a political organization that does not run animal shelters of any kind. PETA has been repeatedly caught taking people’s pets, killing them, and throwing them in dumpsters. I wouldn’t want them anywhere near a horse.

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      • Ariel:
        You are incorrect re: HSUS and any form of sheltering…they do support Black Beauty Ranch (last I checked) and believe they significantly support a facility in the Pacific Northwest.

        Enough? Certainly not. But they are basically a lobbying organization that does significant rescue in natural disasters. They are also involved in birth control for wild equines (not to my satisfaction, but…).

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  6. From AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN
    BLM IGNORES TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PUBLIC COMMENTS; GALLOPS AHEAD WITH WYOMING WILD HORSE WIPEOUT
    Posted on January 13, 2014

    Rock Springs, WY (January 13, 2014)…. As of Friday’s deadline, more than 12,000 citizens had submitted comments opposing the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) plan to conduct a wild horse roundup in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) this summer.

    Over the past 13 months, the BLM”s Rock Springs Field Office has received over 40,000 comments from American citizens opposing the agency’s plan to wipe out wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard, a two million-acre swath of public and private land in the southern part of the state. The Divide Basin roundup is a part of the massive wipeout plan.

    “The BLM is blatantly ignoring tens of thousands of public comments while galloping ahead with its plan to destroy nearly half of Wyoming’s remaining wild horse populations,” said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition of more than 60 organizations. “The public overwhelmingly supports wild horse protection. But, the BLM is taking its marching orders from the Rock Springs Grazing Association, a special interest group whose members view mustangs as competition for cheap, tax-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands.”

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  7. The Rock Springs Grazing Association are just the front men for the extraction industry. BLM land is mandated for “multiple use” and drilling/mining is one of those uses. They don’t want to tell the public what they really intend for the land.

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  8. They are breaking Federal and State laws by 1) holding the wild life captive and 2) not providing proper shelter from the elements for the animals. So, should we band together and go set them free, go build shelter for them?

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  9. Is there a legal basis for a citizen’s class action suit against the BLM for this and other egregious acts? Since “we, the people” own these horses and these folks supposedly work for us, and have spent the past forty years creating the cluster f**k we are all swimming in today, is there some recourse we can seek through the courts? Any lawyers out there?

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  10. If it was my blog, I wouldn’t care about cursing but because it’s not mine and you guys post a lot of political things I will refrain. They are F**** jerks….this is so ridiculous and pretty much expected when you think of government, OLD FASHIONED, Out of date and REACTIVE instead of PROactive…and I feel I have the right to say this having been a government employee at a one long extended period of my life that I now considered a wasted time period. How many times in our existence must we prove to ourselves that thinking we know better than nature is wrong and that we don’t usually spend enough time in observation to make an accurate depiction of how wild animals deal with the situations like our elements? I don’t see how these people represent us and what we think unless the majority agrees with this and to be quite blunt, how could anyone? Common sense tells you this isn’t natural how could anyone in their right mind say it is natural to let them suffer the weather without shelter when they have oh, I donno bushes, trees and valleys to protect themselves? PURE stupidity which will cost more lives!

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  11. Just a reminder….taxpayer $ spent to capture and remove America’s FEDERALLY PROTECTED Wild Horses from their LEGAL Herd Management Area.

    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/12/01/a-personal-thanksgiving-greetingthreat-from-a-blm-wild-horse-helicopter-stampede-contractor/

    A Personal Thanksgiving Greeting/Threat from a BLM Wild Horse Helicopter Stampede Contractor

    “RIGHT NOW, TODAY the Cattoors are having THEIR way with YOUR wild horses at the Adobe Town helicopter stampede with NO PUBLIC OBSERVATION…”

    http://usaspending.gov/search?form_fields=%7B%22search_term%22%3A%22cattoor%22%7D&sort_by=dollars&per_page=25&page=2

    Transaction # 41 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL14PD00019 / 0
    Recipient: CATTOOR LIVESTOCK ROUNDUP INC
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management

    Product/Service: F019: NATURAL RESOURCES/CONSERVATION- OTHER WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

    Description: ADOBE TOWN/ SALT WELLS HORSE GATHER FY14 IGF::OT:: … (More)

    Signed Date:
    11-20-2013
    Obligation Amount:
    $256,280

    Transaction # 42 (Delivery Order)
    IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: INL10PC00593 / INL10PD04052 / 0
    Recipient: CATTOOR LIVESTOCK ROUNDUP INC
    475 S 200 W, NEPHI, Utah
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management

    Product/Service: F016: WILDHORSE/BURRO CONTROL SERVICES

    Description: ADOBE TOWN/SALT WELLS WILD HORSE GATHER
    Signed Date:
    08-30-2010
    Obligation Amount:
    $250,000

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  12. The Corral of Tears. Not a big suprise to me, just disgust at the BLM’s agenda to kill them off in many different ways. Freezing, Boiling Heat, and Manipulation of Land Use and Water for Big Money.

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  13. I think you folks are wasting your time pestering the BLM about this problem. Granted they are in possession of the horses, but it is the ranchers grazing cattle on these public lands that complained so heartily regarding the problem of wild horses impacting their god given rights to use federal lands after they have paid money for the grazing rights. If there are suits to be filed, perhaps they need to be filed against both the ranchers grazing cattle AND the BLM.

    Seeing that history is repeating itself, in the historical record, it was the early pioneers who complained to the government about the Indians degrading the lands that they had purchased from the government and demanded that the government do something about the Indian problem. Thus the genocide of the American Indian was formulated in much the same way that the federally protected wild Mustangs are now being wiped off the face of the lands that they are entitled to run free on.

    The ranchers leasing these lands should as a consequence of using these lands also lend financial support to preserve all aspects of what is on the land, and not to seek to remove everything they can get away with, for a small fee.

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    • As I have tried to point out….BLM land is designated “multiple use” and grazing is only a small part of the problem. If you look further you will see how many drilling leases have been sold in the Salt Wells/Adobe Town HMAs. Mining is one of the uses allowed. Of course once the drilling starts, all other uses disappear.

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  14. Just so many opportunities to solve this problem that DOI refuses to choose. They treat wild equines like so much diseased cattle. Look how many cattle died in the recent snow storms in the mid west….let them die…don’t even have to have livestock insurance. Stupid management…stupid, stupid, stupid and so much waste.

    These holding facilities could have easily made huge embankments in crescent shapes for starters.

    They (DOI/USDA) don’t want to involve advocates…no foot in the door.

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    • You just nailed it with this They (DOI/USDA) don’t want to involve advocates…no foot in the door.they dont want us anywhere near the Mustangs…………….

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  15. We as advocates are always going to fight for our wild horses freedom. We will never stop until our wild horses and burros are free. We have to help them, yes we understand they need shelter and this so important to understand. The BLM has to be realistic about our horses. What a shame the BLM does not connect with the advocates. There will be a time we will connect because of the welfare and being helpful to help our wild ones out of this huge mess. The horses and burros need us to help them.

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  16. The BLM is beyond hypocritical! It’s the law to provide food, water and adequate shelter for your horse yet after taking our wild horses from their own land, where they naturally had all three, the BLM denies them adequate water and they are without any type of shelter; and this is legal?! Apparently within the confines and direction of our US government it is! The BLM’s wild horse management needs to be reined in and corralled! They are a waste of our tax payers money… my money! And a complete failure!

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  17. Department of the Interior is like FEMA, they are above the law. This is why this situation is so hard to regulate, control and change.

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  18. Bureau of Land Management please let them build the shelter for the wild horses. You are being stubborn to a fault!!! Don’t you know how bad this makes you look????? I will be waiting to hear that you have changed your minds. Shelter the horses!! It’s freezing out there!! It’s windy out there!!!! The world is watching!!!

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    • Dear Jill, here is the extremely sad reality, why would the BLM let us or themselves build shelters, when there objective is death for all the Mustangs????isnt this already clear that the BLM doesnt want our help nor will they give it to the Mustangs, ????????? that is why we must find a way to rid the scurge Agency !!!!!!and made them accountable for all the suffering of our National Treasures…………. GET THE SAFE ACT PASSED !!!!!!! for this moment concenstrate on this , until we figure out what we can do to stop all round ups and RETURN TO FREEDOM Our Illustrious National Treasures !!!!!

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      • Thank you for your response. Been fighting for S.A.F.E. Act ever since I first came on fb. I try to publicize every way I can. I know BLM doesn’t care if the poor horses and helpless burros and foals freeze to death. I know they don’t want people taking pictures or videos of what they are doing to those animals. Just so mad about it I’m trying to tell anyone out there so they can be aware of the indifference and hard core cruelty and reality of it all. I’d actually like to make every single one of them connected with the BLM and all THEIR families and relatives out there where horses are with no shelter from the freezing temperatures and wind and see how long they’d let them suffer before they’d give in and let that shelter be built. But I know it’ll take something major for them to get off those comfy office chairs and actually DO SOMETHING!!! Something that everybody could actually praise them for doing!!!! Let’s hear it from them NOW!!!!! BUILD THE SHELTER!!! BUILD THE SHELTER!!!!BUILD THE SHELTER!!!! BUILT IT NOW!!!!!!

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      • Okay…..How’s this? BLM LET THE SHELTER BE BUILT. GIVE THEM FOOD AND WATER. LEAVE ONE DOUBLE GATE OPEN TO FREEDOM AT ALL TIMES. LET THE ANIMALS DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO SHELTER OR GET THE H*** OUT. WAIT ONE DAY. TAKE PICTURES OF WHO DID STAY. POST PICS ON FB.

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  19. This is a Shame ! They say they are protecting them ? They are killing them ! — The laws that we are to obey they will not do ! They need better shelter or TURN THEM LOOSE YOU IDIOTS !

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  20. What a shame, especially since the BLM doesn’t have to pay a dime, or use any of the taxpayers’ money. It just underscores that horse welfare isn’t on the country’s agenda, just circumventing the Horses and Burros act by taking a convenient hands- off approach to let them starve and die. This should be pursued in the courts.

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  21. Life sentence for just being horses. No trial ,probation or parole, it’s like a death sentence. I say ~ Why? Yes we will expect you to be accountable for your actions. What are you holding these horses let them go home at no cost to gov.

    Like

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