Horse News

BLM Wild Horse Slaughter Board to Convene, Today

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Anti-Horse Advisory Board Kicks of Plans to Eliminate Wild Horses and Burros

Banner from America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) with Melissa Ohlsson, Vice President of AWHA as artist

Banner from America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) with Melissa Ohlsson, Vice President of AWHA as artist

Today is the day that we have all been waiting for; the spring installation of the BLM talking heads “advisory” board meeting reading from their scripts, provided by the bullying BLM, and smiling into the camera while they make plans to push our last herds of wild horses and burros into total and complete extinction.  Ain’t it great.

The meeting is being held amidst the swirl of bad press that includes the documented fact that the BLM sold wild horses to slaughter, crawled into bed with Utah politicians and ranchers to illegally remove wild horses from their rightful range and then impotently flex their testosterone in front of an illegal and trespassing Nevada rancher only to wilt and crawl back under their rock just like any half-witted bully would…they just can’t do a damn thing right.

Below is the live video link to the most boring and maddening event you will ever view in your entire life.  Your tax dollars wasted as a rampant and out of control federal agency feigns listening to a bunch of special interest parties who do NOT have any care or concern for the welfare of our last remaining wild horses and burros but instead their own personal agendas be it ranching, hunting or horse slaughter.

I am not there, I will not watch as I am, honestly, just too plain pissed off.

A Congressional investigation into the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program is long overdue.

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86 replies »

  1. I also am so angry, i could spit nails !!!!!! The BLM has all the ear marks of the Gustopo of Nazi Germany, Bundy knows how to handle the BLM got all his cattle back didnt he????????hearts and flowers just dont get, Bundy has proved that to me, Our Horses are through unless we do SOMETHING !!!!!!! I am so completely LIVID………


  2. Catastrophic inevitabilites…the board got stacked again with people with NO prior experience with wild horses and burros. Are they willing to compromise their morals by invoking the Burn’s Amendment?


  3. Getting my barf bag so I can try to watch. Also need to take my B/P med. Liars and new folks who don’t know a damn thing are all that are on the Board.


  4. RT:

    I understand your frustration as to why you won’t be there. I can’t condemn anyone that can’t or won’t show up. It’s a full time job (like the Civil Rights struggle) and depressing to get kicked in the teeth, time after time.

    But I do believe that the wild equines need SOMEBODY there just to be the spur in the side of the killers.

    I understand that advocates haven’t given up, but there just are not any wild equines left to justify this government sanctioned rape and fraud.

    I keep seeing those disgusting and mystifying checkerboard public lands maps and my brain explodes….worse than reading my 1040 and state tax forms.


  5. RT, what good would a Congressional Hearing do anyway, the Justice Dept. & Dept. of Revenue have been cited for contempt for not producing documentation and other things. Congress is stymied about what to do. They’re best option is to throw the Dept. heads in jail which we know won’t happen. Would a WH&B PAC be our next step ? Pressure congress to disband the BLM ? How do we form a cohesive group like a PAC ? All the WH&B groups who represent different regional HMA’s still have to compete for the same Public $ just to survive and there is some duplicity of effort which is not cost effective. I know it’s not really our nature as “wild horse people” to have a command central outside of our “family bands” or regional operatives but it seems like that’s the only language that Washington understands.
    We’ve made ALOT of progress in the Public awareness area and a few of the mainstream media investigative journalists are starting to “get it” and are asking for resources, but we’re hardly keeping up with the momentum of the removals and the Courts are too slow. And, what’s your take on the fallout from Bunkerville ?


    • LM, what about some form of an adoption in place — in the wild, by groups interested in particular herds, who could focus in sharply and have a different level of investment in those particular horses? I have written some in other places about in-situ adoptions, complete with photos (like “adopting” a child in a foreign country) etc.

      I also think some $ could be raised by advocates donating $1.35 a month…just to earn equal attention from livestock grazing interests in the legal system 🙂 I understand it is a token amount but that is, in fact, the point.


      • I love the idea of in situ adoption. It’s so doable BUT the agenda is not about managing horses on the range and it’s not even about $. The BLM doesn’t have to worry about running a cost-effective program. If they did, grazing fees would be higher. They’re under so much pressure to remove the wild horses altogether by the other stakeholders and that is the primary goal of their agenda. Too many conflicts of interest for the BLM to continue to manage the horses. I sent RT a link from another wildlife blog re: how to revamp BLM. Don’t know if he’ll share it or not but he might fwd it to you.


      • LM, I agree with you but one of the BLM talking points is how few adoptions are happening… so it makes sense to answer that with, say, 30,000 adoptions IN SITU, right now. Do you think there are enough people interested (internationally, too) to adopt a horse in place for $1.35 a month? Let’s see…

        30,000 people at $1.35 a month (roughly one person per horse left on the range)

        15,000 people at $2,70 a month

        7,500 people at $5.40 a month

        3.750 people at $10.80 a month

        1,875 people at $21.60 a month

        937.5 people at $43.20 a month

        468.75 people at $86.40 a month

        I think the population of the US is well over 300 million.

        Funds would have to be kept separate somehow, and independently audited.

        Any administrative costs could come from all the $ the BLM would no longer be spending to roundup, process, “adopt” and warehouse wild horses, $12 million alone in helicopter contracts signed this year.

        I’m not a bureaucrat but even symbolically this idea has some strength.


      • I think it is a great idea, but if you only charge the welfare rate of $1.35 / month it doesn’t distinguish it from the subsidized ranching rate. It should be the same fee as for private land grazing $ 20 – $25 / mo which at least puts a real commercial value on it.


      • LM, we would be paying the same rate as anyone else to graze “our” animals on public lands… which in theory at least we already own. Whatever the rate is, it should be the same or less for horses and burros than for domestic livestock since we are already paying the BLM salaries and of course, do not profit from any of it.


      • Hi, I’m still with you on this In-situ adoption plan. The reason we need to market it at the commercial market rate is so it is a self-sustaining (at least attempting), stand alone operation without any govt. money. See, the grazing fees for livestock are determined by a number of variables that don’t apply to wild horses. Besides, we don’t want the wild horses to be regulated like “livestock” And, what about In-situ adoptions at the gather sites so no horses ever go into holding – like what TCF did with the auction in the Pryors ? The horses were bait-trapped in June, photographed & marketed by TCF and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Center up until the auction in Sept. NONE of the horses went to holding – in fact, I adopted two of them. However, as we all know adopting out ALL of the horses BLM removes is not sustainable, and, of course, ideally we want wild horses to be left on the range, but that’s just one example of In-situ adoption. Sadly, I think the big push at this point is just to keep ANY horses on the range at all regardless of whether or not the program can be made commercially viable..


  6. What Did I Say? THIS IS WAR, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR STATISTICS, WELL VERSED LANGUAGE OF THE ACTS AND WHAT THEY PROTECT. YOU FOLKS NEED TO START SCREAMING! No One WINS BY BACKING DOWN, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE WRONG PEOPLE KEEP SCREAMING. I LOVE YOU ALL, BUT RT THIS TAKES DEMENDS, PRESSURE, ACTION, AND AUTHORITATIVE MOVES. I AM BY NATURE, LOUD,.I AM BY NATURE OUTSPOKEN, AND EVEN IF WRONG NEVER BACK DOWN, STAND YOUR GROUND, YOU PEOPLE HAVE TO START DEMANDING. CHARGE FORWARD! THE fact is quite demure fact spewing is over! Quiet patience is over! The Rudeness of proslaughter is callousing and taking over again, and again. Do you know the proslaughter I know? They Hate horses, they abuse to make them do Anything, the horse shoulderz tge blame when trainers cant train. They cloak themselves in words like gentle trainer…the man a few roads over he has gentle trainer on a huge sign, inside when the clients leave the horses heads are tied to upwards to the top of the stall, to drain their blood wear them down and its horrific if they fight back. He laughs at what unknowing clients pay him. When his dont perform or he cant break his own he sells to slaughter….you folks need to get in this fight, we havelived the walker industry with soring, We have witnessed horses hooves coming off, and horses put on a truck to slaughter, horses rode with streams of blood gushing from spurs from hateful spiteful riders, we have been living the travesty, i have in my shop a Real headstall and reins devised to make a horses head stay down and neck rein. I put it on display to shame the person who I used it…..I ripped off a horse literally, its covered in tacks a half inch long that stick Into the head and neck when it refuses to turn! I have to say, proslaughter They push, shove, and knock.people down, and kill horses all the while holding crying babies. You need to Stand up, file A damn Lawsuit And say, Not no, But Hell No! Theres just no time to waste! The lucritive and sneaky slaughter industry is nipping at their heels. I may not be considered an Advocate in definition, But I STAND FOR THE HORSES WHICH.MAKES ME STAND FOR SOMETHING! The killers at our local auction hated when Id show up, cause Id rally peivate owners to bid up, buy em all. When they closed Illinois slaughter plant, I there were so Many Angry people, they were angry because what if they didnt like their horse or it didnt turn out? The lack of proffessionalism. You have new reasons to Fight! The BLM doesnt care about love, compassion and numbers, its Run and unfortunately proslaughter is Hateful of horses and people them. You have to.pause and say, this is more than just exstinction of a horse, they are trying to strangulate animal rights, ag gag everyone and GET RID OF YOU ADVOCATES ALL IN A SWING OF THE AX! Horses gone,.so is your mission! Googling for horses found dead lately, abandonded? Only coming up with killer buyers starving them to death in several states,.only coming ip with a few rescues that have.proslaughter owners in this situation, the proof is out. ,.but I font have to investigate,.our expirience with the truth is far amd wide,.we can go places you are unable to.enter. We have seen things that would make your brow sweat thinking about it that people do to their horses. These Mustangs….they deserve freedom but they wont get if your standing taking pictures, writing emails and sharing apples. The BLM is unresponsive to it…….you need to talk to the President and Vice President, you Need to go Over BLMs head and you Need expert witnesses who live near where the largest wild horse complaints are to explain it. You need to fight back and ignore the individuals. Not recognizing proslaughter by name infuriates them! You need to place the fight on the table for Real! If you hesitate, if you wait, it will be over, and they will kill them all!


    • I know that there are protocols…..but the time for that is quickly ending. We have to fight back, the internet is powerful, but it takes More than Ever to win this.


      • Where to protest ? There are several Wild Horse Rallys scheduled (one in Denver the end of this month I think April 26th ?) Check out The Cloud Foundation website
        But also donating funds to the legal funds of the non-profits that have ongoing Court cases with BLM; currently I know Wild Horse Education (WHE) has several cases ongoing in Nevada. RT – help me out here, don’t know who else has court cases pending ?
        Yeah, I’d love to drop off a ridge and scoop up a band of horses during a roundup with my “fast” Judas horse and gallop them off into the sunset. Ho ka he ! That would be a good day, a good day to die too. !


    • That is the most poignant comment I have seen in a while! Motivational and well said. Thank you for this passionate comment. I wish you were at this meeting in Sacramento. I have thought we could submit comments for consideration at the BLM website but all there is is a livestream and the proslaughter talking heads tripping over themselves!! Fkin bunch of criminals as far as I’m concerned! We need boots on the ground to draw attention to BLM crimes, whether BLM listens or not!


      • I agree that there has to be a way to get people to notice. Signing petitions and calling is great but while we are doing this, horses are dying and the kill buyers and BLM are still making money off the abuse and slaughter of American horses! The Bundys protests and civil disobedience got the job done!


    • Bundy’s supporters did not just sit at home on their computers and write angry letters. The horses need us to get active and raise our voices in such a way as to not be ignored.

      I wish the range war had lasted long enough to draw more attention to the public land issue.


    • Dear Coltswesternshop, I am at the point of put up or shut up, I am so upset with the Murdering BLM …………they are the true cowards in all of this !!!! They back down to Ranchers like the whossys they truly are………………………..


      • State reps,all of them , but I can tell you been there done that, still waiting for answers, went their with a presentation to Ohio State Rep, Sherrod Brown , talk to his assistant for an hour , who promised he would talk to Sherrod Brown still waiting, call every chance i get still waiting for answers……………………… Looks like we can talk till we are blue in the face , these politicians could care less !!!!!


  7. RT, Here’s a piece from one of the wildlife blogs re: what to do with BLM. The Conservationists are the next group we need to educate re the concept of re-introduced Native Species and Reserve Design but need more legit science behind the latter. I try to inject WH&B issues in to the PL discussions, you know, just rattle their cage a little. But they are a hard-core science-based intellectual bunch and they’ll chew you up and spit you out if your resources aren’t iron clad, BUT they do know about the NAS report and are also wondering why BLM supposedly CAN’T follow through on it.

    “All the institutional pieces are mostly(?) in place. The feds should manage their land and states should manage wildlife on federal lands. That is mostly the way it already is, unless there is a Congressional mandate as reflected in well formulated statutes to assert a temporary or permaant federal interest, like the ESA or other protective statute -WHBA, for example.

    By the way, the Wild Horse and Burro Act ought to be significantly rewritten to get the feds out of actively managing them because they have proven for over forty years that they can’t! Things just haven’t improved. I have never thought much of the BLM as an agency (except for some of their work in Alaska, where they act more like the US Forest Service).

    Where I get wrapped around the axle is why BLM continues to remain in the Department of Interior. The Western state ranching interests like it that way, I guess. There would be benefit in putting the lands they manage (land surface matters, anyway) under the Department of Agriculture, and maybe merging the USFS and BLM into a Renewable Resource Agency, where the focus is on stewardship of grass and tree ecosystems. There is wisdom in paring back over time the reliance on public grazing lands, staged over a 15-20 year period, retiring some immediately, then gradually much of what remains, and maybe even buying out some private land that is in marginal ranching.

    I would also like to see a few national parks expanded or enlarged by hands-off buffers even though not actually in a NP, including Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain, so that they represent near complete ecosystems in which migratory ungulates can move seasonally back and forth freely, as can their predators (with some qualification).

    States should continue in their role as the wildlife managers of ALL lands in their respective states including federal lands, except in national parks or work jointly with the feds in other hands-off reserves/refuges, including Indian reservations (some anyway). Congress needs to revisit whether states should manage wildlife in designated wilderness consistent with the Wilderness Act (Yeah, I know I’ll piss somebody off with those statements).

    And, last, just to button things up, Interior still has a lot to do even if it were to relinquish BLM surface land resource management (including habitat and livestock grazing) and duties.

    After abolishing BLM, make an independent oil/gas agency in Interior and have them face off with the newly created federal Renewable Resource Agency folks in areas of surface land/habitat/water conflicts.

    Consolidate and expand LEO duties within the new Renewable Resource Agency (and abolish BLM law enforcement – there are only about 300 of them anyway, spread so thin its a joke). Give the RRA agency LEOs broad powers to enforce all laws, including mineral/mining/oil & gas leasing, as well as whatever occurs on the surface of the land.

    I think it is important to have dedicated law enforcement folks in the field, and reduce administrative inefficiencies. Most natural resource crimes involve theft or destruction of vegetation (merchantable trees) or minerals (valuable or even gravel). I wouldn’t go so far as to say BLM law enforcement is unnecessary, but most of their time is spent on writing up ATV/vehicle violations, vandalism/ marijuana grows or dealing with a few horse/burro matters – mostly theft of the animals they are supposed to reduce in number anyway (is there some irony in that?). Seems to me consolidation with USDA/FS would be a good thing. They already have 3X as many LEOs.

    Click to access FY2012_YearEndReview.pdf

    Did I already say, I didn’t much like the way BLM does business, and it is way too influenced by national and local politics. Gotta break the cycle somehow. When that’s done go to work on the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Districts (used to be called Soil and Water Conservation Districts). There are some conflicts in that relationship, too, and some impact wildlife.”

    Sent from my iPad


    • LM great thoughts.

      I just want to point out that on some recent comment sections there is a person claiming Craig Downer’s recent publication isn’t peer-reviewed science (the gold standard of science publishing). However, I have it from Craig that IS NOT TRUE. His recent work IS peer-reviewed.

      So anyplace anyone sees this drivel please comment and clarify. Craig is a legitimate credentialed independent scientist and his latest piece is peer-reviewed.

      I will link it here:

      Click to access 10.11648.j.ajls.20140201.12.pdf


    • Wow, you haven’t given this much thought. LOL Is there some way for you to get these ideas, which sound incredibly logical, to the President, Vice President and all of the other politicians in Washington who have anything to do with these kinds of decisions? Of course, logical and politicians are not two words that go together well, especially since the politicians have chosen to link themselves to the word money. As a wild horse advocate I’m feeling incredibly sad and defeated by the actions of the BLM (with my tax dollars, no less). Maybe after they kill off all of the wildlife the only thing left for them to kill will be each other. But seriously, these ideas would probably work if you could convince the right politicians that 1) it was somehow their idea, 2) it would be very popular with the general public, aka voters, and 3) it would either save money or make money for the government. Just a thought.


      • Vickie, I wish I could take credit for that piece but it was originally posted by someone else on another blog, someone who’s opinion and knowledge I truly respect. I glean the wildlife conservation blogs for resources and information to try and piece together a strategy for the wild horse situation. That’s why I asked about forming a PAC that hangs out on the steps and in the halls of Congress, But I’m not that politically savvy as to how to go about doing that. Have put it out there to a few people who are, hopefully will get some feedback on that. Frankly, don’t know what else to do THAT’s LEGAL. If we had a standoff at a roundup, I think the BLM might back down but the ranchers might not !!!!


  8. R.T., I totally agree with you, but I would include FWS, NPS, FS, USDA APHIS & WS as well as their NGO partners. The amount of fraud and abuse of power is staggering. The damagemthat these scientificantly credential led, but temperamentally unsuited for authentic scientic work jas pit the health and survival of every living species on the planet at risk. These people andntheir genetically modified pathogens, chemicals amd microbials neednto be separated from their toy before they discover how to suck up all the CO2 out of the atmosphere.


  9. NEEDS MORE COMMENTS,0,407140.story

    The article doesn’t mention that the “overpopulation” seems to be abut 30 horses per HMA… well below genetic viability.

    Same old “starvation” talking point, with a poignant reference to how much better the grass is on the cattle side of the fence without mentioning anything about when they may have moved them over, or if they already ate down the HMA area. No mention, either, of how much more “humane” it is to take a wild animal and round it up and send to slaughter, or worse, to a life in confinement.

    The author/s mention they only see “patches of dirt and sparse vegetation” which describes just about the entire Western US! Chicago authors who have probably never been West before perhaps?


  10. ok listen to live feed and all recommendation they have said they are not saying what they are?? need to clarify what they are . they are just saying recommendation are approved or not approved. are there any advocate there!!!


  11. This morning on Fox News there were reporters talking to some of the people connected to the Bundy ranch and they were gathering up the calves that had been separated from the mother during the round up and you should have heard the gripes about the calves being run with a helicopter. None of them like the way the BLM does their cows but its fine that foals are run to death. I have to laugh about the other ranchers in that part of Nevada actually being run out by the BLM.
    Its fine when its any animal except their blessed cows or sheep. In this video there were a lot of people still there and it looked like tents were set up and cars and trucks were parked everywhere. The Reporter mentioned about people being armed and ready to fight if the BLM didn’t back off.



    Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in search for food

    Princeton University researchers are leading an effort to put to pasture the long-held convention of cattle ranching that wild animals compete with cows for food.

    Both Princeton studies showed that the presence of equines resulted in less dry-grass cover and a more nourishing diet for the cows. Although the study in Science matched cattle with other wildlife — including bovines such as buffalo — Odadi and his co-authors largely attributed the removal of the low-quality grass to zebras.

    What was not expected was just how much the cattle can benefit, Rubenstein said.
    “Scientists had this intuitively pleasing, circumstantial evidence that equines make the landscape more habitable to bovines, but the idea was never tested,” Rubenstein said. “This was the first demonstration that the animals behave accordingly, but also that the performance of the cows as measured by growth is actually enhanced. Previous evidence of the effects we found on the health and development of cattle had been missing.”


    • The Advisory Board, DOI/BLM,. USFS, USDA,USF&WS, etc. all need to read this report. Maybe then they would learn something although some like that Board member who said the wild horses greatest cost was their degradation of public lands are hopeless. Also those who keep saying there is an excess are stupid or liars or both.


    • Thank you for that, I just wish more people knew about it. I don’t think wild horse advocates should be anti-rancher or vice versa. In that case, the BLM wins.


    • Yes, the Allan Savory Institute has been promoting this concept but the criticism is that it is not appropriate for the ecosystems of the Western Sagebrush Steppe where the livestock & wild horses reside. There have been no studies done in the US to support this claim; however, it does “plant a seed” (ha ha) that equids can support the range and beneficially co-exist with other species. Maybe one of the Pilot Projects BLM is requesting should be to test this theory on US soil. We need a study done to generate evidence of the concept of Reserve Design. The bottom line issue though is AUM’s and with the price of beef being at a 30 year high and the export demand so high it kind of trumps science – BLM / Bunkerville didn’t help either.


  13. I am completely disgusted that the BLM and these groups who support our constitutional rights stand up for a man who is a thief. Mr.Bundy owes millions of dollars to the government and grazes his cattle on the American peoples land and our taxes pay for it all. As an American tax payer I have the right to see the wild horses remain on our federally protected land. I’m sure if that would have been a group protesting the round up of our wild horses everyone would have been in jail. Maybe that’s what needs to happen to get Americans attention! I’m completely disgusted!


  14. Genetic Markers? The Carter Reservoir Wild Horses had genetic markers. Sources have reported that the Carter Reservoir Wild Horses are no more. They all died due to strangles after they were captured and removed from their Legal Herd Management Area

    Blade’s Story: A Carter Reservoir Mustang by Jean Bilodeaux

    Blade is gone. Thousands of Blade‟s herd mates nationwide are gone. Wild horse herds are being zeroed out. At one time the carrier pigeons blackened our nation‟s skies, buffalo filled the American plains. Will Blade and his herd mates join the growing list of vanishing species of our historic past, valued too late, sacrificed in the name of “progress?”
    This concludes a four part series touching on and exploring a very complex problem facing the wild horses near Cedarville and in the United States. No matter how you feel on the subject, I want you to remember one tough little mustang.
    He wasn‟t 7, he was only 5.
    He had a family.
    He wasn‟t bothering anyone.
    His name was Blade.
    It was May 6, 2007 when we first saw him, while finishing an afternoon horseback ride on the public lands east of Cedarville. Several bands of mustangs were ranging in this part of
    the BLM’s 23,000+ acre Carter Reservoir Wild horse herd management area. Colts cavorting with their peers, mares munching on the dried grasses, while the lead mare and stallion kept,Part 1
    Part 1

    Click to access 01-30-10-blade-2.pdf

    Part 2

    Click to access 02-08-10-blade-part-2a.pdf

    Part 3

    Click to access blade-part-3.pdf

    Part 4

    Click to access blade-4a.pdf


    • Louie, you break my heart several times a day, sometimes I wonder why I keep checking in here.

      I have to wonder about horses dying from strangles alone, in my experience (which includes some nasty encounters with strangles at various barns) it is not fatal but if antibiotics are given post-exposure you can create fatal complications. The article mentions they could have been given some vaccine post exposure, which makes me wonder what really happened there, even more so that so many horses died. I suspect there is more to this story. More we will never know it seems.


      • IcySpots, the captured Mustangs might have contracted strangles after they were transferred to holding pens. Being wild, the stress of capture and captivity would have undoubtedly made them vulnerable, Who knows whether they were even given any veterinary care?
        The only way we could possibly learn more would be to contact the writer of that article, Jean Bilodeaux. I think she still writes for the Modoc newspaper. She does have a facebook page.


      • Icy Spots, this is another report on AMERICAN HERDS that might explain why the Carter Reservoir Mustangs contracted strangles. The link is too long to post here.

        JACKSON MT. WILD HORSES (excerpts)

        Though BLM admitted to most of the Jackson Mountains wild horses having snotty noses and respiratory illness when they arrived at Palomino Valley, what BLM definitely was not admitting too is, respiratory complications are one of the known detrimental effects of driving wild horses by helicopter.

        Wild horses have a history of often developing respiratory complications due to being driven for miles when they have not been conditioned for such endurance runs and by being forced to inhale large amounts of dust throughout the ordeal.

        In the Animal Welfare Institute’s publication, “Managing For Extinction” regarding the
        management practices and abuses occurring in BLMs Wild Horse and Burro Program, they reported, “In the fall of 2006, the Palomino Valley, NV and Litchfield, CA holding facilities suffered from outbreaks of strangles, a highly infectious and serious respiratory disease.

        During the past two years, practically every BLM facility has experienced similar disease outbreaks, leading to the confirmed deaths of scores of animals…..”

        As for what happened to those involved in the Jackson Mountains tragedy?

        Dr. Boyd Spratling was recently re-appointed to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board
        as BLM’s Advisor on Veterinarian Medicine to serve another three-year term. (25)

        Nevada State Director Ron Wenker was promoted and is currently serving as BLM’s Acting National Director.

        Nevada Wild Horse & Burro Lead Susie Stokke and National Wild Horse & Burro Lead Dean Bolstad continue to serve in their respective positions.

        Cattoor Livestock Roundups, Inc., the gather contractor and crew that drove the Jackson Mountains wild horses, continues to receive multi-million dollar contracts to remove wild horses and burros from public lands, as they have done for BLM and other government agencies for over thirty years.

        Though what happened to the Jackson Mountains wild horses and the months leading up to their deaths was one of the worst cases of wild horse “mismanagement” ever documented, not a single animal welfare group or humane advocacy organization expressed interest in legally challenging BLM’s actions or demanded accountability for what was done.

        In fact, while the controversy regarding U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s proposal for the Sheldon wild horses was reaching a crescendo in June and BLM was discovering 700 extra wild horses in the Jackson Mountains, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was receiving over a $1.7 million dollar grant to implement fertility control studies and as the Jackson Mountains wild horses were dying in September, HSUS was focused on submitting their partnership proposals to
        BLM to find suitable Herd Management Areas to initiate the studies.

        As for BLM’s Winnemucca WH&B Specialist, Heidi Hopkins, it is unclear if BLM merely hung her out to dry for what was ultimately the Wild Horse and Burro Program’s more experienced supervisors responsibility or if BLM merely cut a deal to buy loyalty and continue the cover ups.

        According to Quarter Horse News, Heidi Hopkins left BLM after the Jackson Mountains round up to
        “take a position with Humane Society of the United States in its quest to find reliable
        immunocontraceptives for wild horses.”


      • Louie , many thanks for all the information you share with us such as the hiring of Heidi Hopkins by HSUS. When she was employed by BLM she was over a HMA where wild horses were found without water. Then when BLM and HSUS rounded up wild horses to unnecessarily test PZP I think she was in charge and several horses were killed.


      • Louie, tons of info as usual. I understand how strangles is acquired and have been through the treatment with many horses in my life, sadly. My point was that it is rarely fatal… so something else has to be the explanation for why so many wild horses evidently died from this usually non-fatal disease. It may be they are more susceptible, but since so many argue that a lot of the “wild” horses are released domestics that argument doesn’t wash, they would have been exposed already in most cases.
        That leaves me wondering why what is essentially horse strep throat was given as the reason for death in so many horses. If this happened in a private barn there would be all sorts of alarms going off, and probably horses being confiscated.


  15. now talking about adding the nfs/wildlifes services what is an aml? well they want intigrate this into the program now talking about aim a new program about veggatation cows and horses
    now want to know about the percentage of people and how they feel about the horses and general population feeling calling in with their oppinions


  16. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
    Wild Horses are NOT overpopulated.

    Five years have past since this article was written. There are now more corporate-owned energy projects and mining projects (many are multi-national) on public lands, and even fewer Wild Horses.
    What’s Left?

    As the united call to stop BLMs unchecked assault on the American mustang & burro continues to gain momentum, with over 180 organizations and celebrities now supporting a moratorium to halt any further removals until key issues can be resolved, here’s one more reason to demand a “cease and desist” until a full scale investigation can be conducted on the Wild Horse & Burro Program to determine what’s really left out on the range.

    Since 2001, BLM has reported removing over 80,000 wild horses and burros at an average of 10,000 animals per year. Despite these aggressive efforts, they continue to report little to no impact has been made on reining in their “excess” populations, a nebulous term BLM continues to define and an even more elusive goal they never seem able to achieve.

    Using the same methods BLM uses to manage the Wild Horse & Burro Program, an alternative population emerged that concluded, as of February 28, 2008, BLM had already removed between 11,000 to 14,000 more animals than necessary to achieve their national population goals.

    Still, the round ups continued….

    Today, American Herds presents the updated numbers of what may be all that’s really left of America’s free-roaming herds as of September 30, 2009, now hovering between 22,000 to 26,000 less than BLM continues to publicly report.

    Until Congress demands an independent count of the populations BLM has been reporting, both on and off the range, the evidence continues to mount that “What’s Left?” has reached critical levels of concern.

    △ ▽


    • Probably only 15-18,000 left still free now and all that Advisory Board can plan is fertility control that is NOT needed. It just makes me sick . It seems to me that if NAS said the removals are causing the 15-20% birth increase than the simple thing to do would just be stop the F—ing removals. I guess that makes too much , good , ole, common horse sense, and it has already been proven by Karen Sussman’s studies and Craig Downer that the herds will stabilize their populations when left alone.Band stallion won’t allow fillies to be bred until they’re 4 years old when the families are not disrupted. Fertility control will only speed up the extinction of our wild horses but even some advocates are supporting it. Most herds are already not sustainable and genetically viable. I can’t see any compromising on this.


    • Ok Louie , then lets DEMAND and get on and bombard Congress to have an independent count on what they have in holding ,(i think Graig downer has already been asked and accepted) and what is left on the Range……. It has been established that the BLM are nothing more then blatant liars, greedy murders and last but not least tax payer money wasters …………………….. if Bundy can get his stinkin cows back, I WANT MY MUSTANGS ON THE RANGE WHERE THEY BELONG!!!!


    • Louie, I am writing a paper and would like to cite the Bauer article but can’t find its original publication source. Do you have any such information? I can only find it linked on various blogs, some which claim it’s there but it’s buried so deep I can’t find it. Was it published originally in a magazine or ?


  17. I missed Craig Downer’s comment and apparently others – DID get to hear happy little Joanie tho! There were some GREAT comments towards the end. I hope its possible to see this later on – so I can hear some of the other commenters.


    • We don’t show up at roundups with a bunch of gun carrying lawbreakers . If we did we’d be put in jail. Just look at that membership list of wild horse and burro haters.


  18. How about the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management group. Check out their website. This is their list of supporting associations :

    American Farm Bureau Federation
    Masters of Foxhounds Association
    Mule Deer Foundation
    National Association of Conservation Districts
    National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
    National Rifle Association
    National Wildlife Refuge Association
    Public Lands Council
    Public Lands Foundation
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    Safari Club International
    Society for Range Management
    The Wildlife Society


    • Thanks, Louie! I checked that site several times but didn’t notice it was up under the banner, not in the lists of articles. I’m still not sure that was the original publication of that article but will run with it for now.


  19. Tell your thoughts to these adisory board members but know that they will not listen if you are rude or threatening and they will only read emails but not attachments and honestly I think Tim Harvey wil be the ONLY one who WILL read them but give it a try anyway.

    National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Member List
    (Updated April 11, 2014)

    Ms. June Sewing
    Executive Director
    National Mustang Association
    P.O. Box 1367
    Cedar City, Utah 84720
    Public Interest

    Mr. Fred T. Woehl, Jr.
    2151 Watkins Road
    Harrison, Arkansas 72601
    Term expires: 04/03/2017
    Humane Advocacy

    Mr. Timothy J. Harvey
    56 Beebe River Road
    Campton, New Hampshire 03223
    Term expires: 03/11/2016
    Natural Resources Management

    Dr. Robert E. Cope, DVM
    1606 Main Street
    Salmon, Idaho 83467
    Veterinary Medicine

    Dr. Boyd Spratling
    Starr Valley Route
    P.O. Box 27
    Deeth, Nevada 89823
    Term expires: 01/27/2015
    Public Interest

    Ms. Callie Hendrickson
    P.O. Box 837
    Meeker, Colorado 81641
    Term expires: 01/27/2015
    Wild Horse and Burro Research

    Dr. Sue M. McDonnell, Ph. D.
    1814 Lenape Unionville Road
    West Chester, Pennsylvania 19382
    Livestock Management

    Mr. John Falen
    Whole Ranch Road
    P.O. Box 132
    Orovada, Nevada 89425
    Term expires: 03/11/2016
    Wildlife Management

    Mr. Rick E. Danvir
    4251 Donegal
    Casper, Wyoming 82609
    Term expires: 03/11/2016


  20. Thought you would be interested to know that per today’s meeting, Mr. John Falen ad no knowledge of the genetic studies by Dr. Gus Cothran and had never heard of the Win-Equs. Got to give him credit for at least admitting it but wouldn’t you think that he could have done a little self-educating before he applied for the position oon the board? And how many others never heard of this and are ignorant of the standard procedures of the BLM???


    • They have an agenda….never mind who knows what! If they were really interested in the facts and the welfare of our wild horses, they would have been returned to the land from which they were removed. With the millions of acres in the West, surely they could designate an area for their protection and freedom This is more than sad, it’s a disgrace! For all of you looking for justice and saving our equines, we must speak out now!


  21. according to reliable sources, the BLM is going to do another attack on Bundys Ranch,another tactic of War !!!!!!


  22. “Wild horses are not saddle horses in waiting. They do not belong in our backyards, corrals or show rings. They belong in the wild where they can be free and separate from humans.”
    B.A. Clarke


    • We are forced to to save them, rescue them from the claws of would be slaughterers so they do end up saddle horses , how sad is that ???????? The Mustangs belong to the land , and the air FREE is the way it should be , they belong to the land also and the Balance , FREE IS THE WAY !!!!!!


  23. Shepherd-ing The Future

    “He is Alan Shepherd”

    They brought him in from Wyoming, where he oversaw BLM’s second largest wild horse operation in the West.

    He was on the Team Conference Calls between July and September of 2008, after BLM announced they might euthanize tens of thousands of horses as he and others plotted “what to do”, which was finalized in the Draft Alternative Management Options Report (October 2008), so graphicly summarized by this recent Animal Law Coalition article by Laura Allen in, “BLMs Final Solution for the Wild Horses & Burros” and Equine Welfare Alliance’s, “BLM Slaughter Conspiracy” by Valerie James Patton and John Holland.

    As I read what Mr. Shepherd was outlining, I wanted to ask him how he knows the current population in Nevada is 21,000 wild horses and burros or that 31 HMAs are above AML (165%), when part of the outlined strategy is to “increase accuracy of populations”.

    Or why BLM believes they need to reduce reproduction rates when they are having trouble figuring out how many horses are really on the range to begin with.

    But since Alan arrived in Nevada, he hasn’t responded to a single question I’ve posed or email sent. As a result, I’d also like to ask Mr. Shepherd what “develop a public participation and outreach strategy” means, but since he doesn’t respond to my current efforts of “public participation”, it doesn’t look like the chances are very high I’ll get an answer on this question either. Maybe this is a precursor to BLMs new vision for public involvement…


    • Can’t they get any real vet assistants for this? I’m sick of or animals and wildlife being relegated to the bottom of the barrel and just about anyone being allowed to handle and care for them. Everything has to be turned into some kind of benefit for humans. Cripes!


  24. I know this is a longshot, and have tried the route of contacting politicians, etc., but here is a copy of the email that I sent today to the Ford Motor Company. The 2015 Mustang represents 50 years in production of this car, and they are celebrating it’s birthday. I thought that maybe some corporate sponsorship for the American icon namesake of one of their bestselling cars might help the cause. Feel free to use this letter in part or in whole to contact Ford Motor Company.

    Given that the Ford Mustang is one of Ford Motor Company’s most popular cars, and is getting ready to celebrate it’s 50th Birthday, wouldn’t it be a huge public relations event if Ford Motor Company were to support the fight to save the namesake of this vehicle, namely the wild Mustangs on the range in the West. The timing for such support is at a critical stage as the wild Mustangs fight against losing their freedom and being rounded up and sold to slaughter. As a loyal Ford owner, and growing up with the last name of Ford, I would love for this compnay to put itself in the forefront of the fight to save this American icon. To many Americans the sight of these beautiful creatures running free across the plains symbolizes the freedoms that this great country has fought so hard to preserve. And what a public relations and advertising coup this support could produce. I can picture the new 2015 Mustang driving across the plains with a herd of wild Mustangs running alongside. What a great commercial! But this can never happen if these majestic animals are removed from their rightful home on the range and sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Please consider joining the fight to save the American Mustang before it is too late. Thank You!

    Feel free to change or personalize this letter, but let’s try to get some corporate sponsorship to help save our American Mustangs.


  25. “The Wild Horse Problem”

    Robert C. Bauer, B.S. in Biology
    A biologist’s response to the BLM’s wild horse “problem”

    In spite of the BLM’s assertions, that it is striving to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance, its methods and the manner in which they are being carried out, are anything but natural, nor do they bring about any balance. Indeed, it is by these very methods, that the BLM uses, that the wild horses and burros, along with other aspects on the range are being thrown out of balance. Nature, through its own mechanisms, has been maintaining what the BLM have termed, a thriving natural ecological balance, for thousands of years, without the artificial methods of mankind. Indeed, it is mankind’s incessant belief that he must manage nature, which has thrown nature continually and consistently out of balance. This makes the wild horse and burro program of the BLM completely unnecessary. This program, however, is the very avenue by which the wild horses and burros will be raped from their legally designated lands, and nature destroyed.

    In conclusion, the wild horses and burros are a vital component to ecological balance out on the range lands of the west, the benefits of which are innumerable as opposed to cattle. The numbers of these beautiful animals must be dictated, however, by nature itself and not man, through its own mechanisms. Only in this manner will wild horse numbers be in balance with all other forms of wildlife, including those of the predators of the wild horses. The wild horses are just this, wild, and in the wild, no matter how harsh or how mild the conditions may be, is where their beauty and their benefits exist and can be experienced. The range lands that were once filled with vast numbers of wild horses, and other forms of wildlife, are now quickly dying due to the artificial efforts of our government. The rangelands, however, can easily sustain not only the wild horses and burros existing out there now, but also every one of those in holding facilities, which now number well over 40,000.

    The truth is that every one of those wild horses and burros in holding facilities, if released back to the areas from which they were taken, along with those in the wild, would help bring the balance back to the rangelands, a balance that is so very vital!!


  26. Wild Burros
    Critically Endangered

    While this may seem a little boring to those of us who merely love wild burros, its vital to understand the critical crisis wild asses face throughout the world today as all of the species cited above have been in some way listed as either Vulnerable, Threatened, Critically Endangered or possibly Extinct.

    While the BLM has been “managing” wild burro herds for over three decades, almost no studies have been compiled on wild burros in general or of their individual herds – they are just “lumped in” with wild horses on every level.

    What limited historical data and studies has been done regarding wild burros has primarily been compiled by those interested in promoting big game species such as bighorn sheep who flourish in similar habitats as our own wild asses.

    Needless to say, these “authoritative opinions” always finds wild burros a great threat to any species and habitat; no matter how many centuries wild burro herds have been documented in the area, totally naturalized and co-existing in harmony within those ecosystems.

    In July 2000, Patricia Moehlman, Chairwoman of the Species Survival Commission and Equid Specialist for the World Conservation Union appealed to BLM to initiate more studies of our American wild asses in efforts to obtain relevant information for critically endangered asses throughout the world.

    However, the BLM had just released their “Strategy to Achieve and Manage Wild Burros at Appropriate Management Levels” in June of 2000, which authorized wild burro populations to be slashed nationally by at least 66%, despite their “federally protected status” – Dr. Moehlmans appeal for help was ignored. (1)

    While studies on wild asses stated their reproduction rate was only 4% in good years, the BLM has applied their “wild horse reproduction rate” of 20% per year (also in serious question) to wild burros as well.


    • Heres the Thing , all here know that it is not an easy thing for a horse to have or bring a foal to term, and that is under the watch ful eye of the owner , now out in the wild >>/?????a much harder task for sure ….. especially being given PZP Right there the BLM figures are questionable at the least , the BLM rantings are all Lies !!!! to fit their own needs , i dont believe one word that comes out of their lieing mouths…………………………


  27. There is no united front with the horse advocates, everyone has thier own agenda and want to take the limelight, that was proven to me last year my some so called horse advocacy groups, souned like a bunch of old hackling women with nothing to do with thier time so they decided to form a group and sound like a bunch of crazies just have want to cause a fuss instead of being united together for the same cause the horses not bragging rights. RT you do a great job, too bad they don’t follow your example. As far as Bundy is concerned he did have a united front. The idiot that he is. Too bad horse advocates can’t do the same!!! Just saying!!


    • Yes, Nancy I have to agree in part with you. I view horse people generally as being kind of tribal, like wild horse bands, so Central Government doesn’t seem natural – it must be a freedom thing. Anyway, yes too, there are always ego’s involved but I’ve been in since 2008 and have not experienced that it is something that holds back a united front. I do know that all of the non-profits have to compete for the same Public $ to survive but I don’t see them in competition with each other. I’ve seen all of the WH&B “heavies” at the same gatherings – very supportive, congenial, and powerful group of people. We’ve been discussing a need for a United Front but how to do that is the ? I’ve suggested forming a PAC that is based in DC, camps out on the Capitol steps and hounds Congress but haven’t the slightest clue as to how to to that ! Need to research that but need HELP!


  28. I tried post an answer to IceSpots several times, but the post never showed up. Strangles can be fatal when not diagnosed in time, and it questionable as to whether the Jackson Mountain Wild Horses got any veterinary care at all. The Jackson Mountain Report raises questions that lead to more questions and we want answers.

    This is another study that you might want to read.


    Click to access Stress%20of%20Captivity-Bruce-Nock.pdf




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