Horse News

Conspiring Against Wild Horses

After reading an article from the Ely Times in Nevada (below), it seems that rancher Mike Stremler, who has been a mountain lion bounty hunter and the Chairman of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioner’s Feral Horse Committee is at it again.

Stremler wants the BLM to pay ranchers with water rights $2 a day for the water each wild horse drinks.  (Isn’t $2 more than the BLM charges ranchers to graze each of their private cows on public lands?)

Read about Mike Stremler and his Jersey Valley Cattle Company HERE.

At BLM’s Resource Advisory Council meetings, ranchers are pushing the loophole that allows the BLM to round up wild horses off of private property.  (It kind of makes you wonder if some horses might be driven onto private property just so they can be removed, doesn’t it?)

If you want to know who is saying what, learn about BLM’s Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) HERE, and then call the local BLM office and ask: 1) to be added to the INTERESTED PARTY list for all RAC and RAC subcommittee meetings and 2) to have a teleconference line set up at all RAC and RAC subcommittee meetings so that you and other members of the public can listen and comment during the public comment period.  –  Debbie Coffey

SOURCE: The Ely Times

Ranchers should charge BLM for thirsty horses

By Thomas Mitchell

AUSTIN — One of the biggest problems facing Nevada ranchers all across the central swath of the state from the California to Utah borders is an overabundance of feral horses drinking water and eating forage rightfully set aside for cattle and sheep, but the bigger problem is the utter indifference of the Bureau of Land Management to this burgeoning problem.

For years the BLM rounded up mustangs and attempted to adopt them out, warehousing the unadoptable ones at Palomino Valley near Reno.  It has reached the point that more than 60 percent of the BLM’s $70 million annual budget for managing wild horses and burros is consumed by warehousing them in corrals.  The BLM claims it doesn’t have the budget to round up any more horses.

Ranchers attending a packed meeting at the Austin Community Center a couple of weeks ago heard an audacious suggestion that might bring the problem to a head.

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 states: “If wild free-roaming horses or burros stray from public lands onto privately owned land, the owners of such land may inform the nearest Federal marshal or agent of the Secretary (of the Interior), who shall arrange to have the animals removed.”

Mike Stremler emphasized to fellow ranchers in Austin that the language is “shall arrange to have the animals removed.”  He said officials of Iron County, Utah, sent him a copy of an agreement the county has made with the BLM under which horses that wonder onto private land can be “water trapped,” or basically when the mustangs go into a fenced area to get at a private water source, the land owner can simply close the gate behind them.  If the BLM doesn’t come and get the horses, the landowner could conceivably have them hauled to Palomino Valley and handed over.

Stremler described the plight of one rancher who was told by BLM that he could not turn out cattle on his allotment because it was overrun with 300 to 500 excess feral horses in the third year of a drought.  He said the local sheriff is threatening to ship the horses to Palomino Valley. “Now, if all the counties did this and we flooded Palomino Valley with horses that sends a message back to Washington, D.C., that if you don’t deal with these issues we’re going to deal with them,” he said.

“In Pershing County I’ve been exhausting these administrative remedies,” Stremler said. “We got a preliminary order out or communication that says there is no available water for any other users, which means the wild horses have no water rights.  When there was a fire I charged the BLM 5 cents a gallon to use my water coming off of public land.  They paid it.  That set a precedent that they are willing to pay for the water if they need it.  One of the things we need to do as ranchers is set them up, if they’re going to use your water, send them a bill.  And when the horses need to use your water, we can start sending them a bill.”

He noted that, if a rancher charged the BLM 10 cents a gallon for water, a wild horse could consume 20 gallons a day or $2 a day apiece for 1,000 head of wild horses.  In 300 days the bill would be $600,000.  Failure to pay would be a taking of private property under the Fifth Amendment.

“Iron County is leading,” the rancher said. “Iron County sent out a letter telling BLM if you’ve got money to gather (Bunkerville rancher Cliven) Bundy’s cattle, you’ve got money to gather these horses or we’re going to.  That forced them into an agreement.”

But it is not just a matter of following the letter of the law.

Sparks Assemblyman Ira Hansen told the ranchers they need to cultivate positive public opinion about grazing and how it is beneficial to the land and wildlife. He noted there are 2.7 million people in Nevada and most live in Clark County, far from the open range.

Pershing County District Attorney Jim Shirley said there is a need to educate the public.

“Welfare ranchers is what they call you,” he said. “Once one of you goes down its like dominoes,” adding that ranchers need to form an entity to advocate for ranching just like any other special interest group.  He said people need to be told how grazing reduces wildfire and the development of water resources creates an oasis in the desert.

Thomas Mitchell is a longtime Nevada newspaper columnist. You may share your views with him by emailing

36 replies »

  1. Issues; Oh, boy, do I got issues…
    1) ” …eating forage rightfully set aside for cattle and sheep…”
    Grazing allotments, or leases, are a PRIVELEGE not a RIGHT. Just as licensed driving or spouting off when you don’t have the sense God gave a racquetball, this is not an inheritance passed down through 30 generations. It is grant, a gift.
    2) “When there was a fire I charged the BLM 5 cents a gallon to use my water coming off of public land. They paid it. That set a precedent that they are willing to pay for the water if they need it.”
    So basically, if the BLM hadn’t paid for your water, you would have allowed the ranges to burn? Yes, indeedy – what an EXCEPTIONAL use of human DNA.
    3) “…if you’ve got money to gather (Bunkerville rancher Cliven) Bundy’s cattle, you’ve got money to gather these horses…”
    It’s not even the same program, Asshat. Grazing and livestock issues are handled by a completely different branch; why is this concept so hard to grasp?
    4) “Welfare ranchers is what they call you…”
    Well what else WOULD you call it? $1.35 PER MONTH for a cow/calf pair, bull or 5 sheep, water and range improvements PAID for by the very guys you seek to screw, whining and sniveling when you can’t graze 1,000 head on 30,000 acres of sand and weeds cuz your stock done ate all the good stuff last year, every predator for 200 miles around dead and skint just in case they MIGHT eat stock you can’t even be bothered to watch over? How in the corn-blue Hell is that even considered ‘ranching’?
    It amazes me that private ranchers put up with and endorse with this crap…
    Tell you what: You charge the BLM for wild horses and burros eating and drinking on Public lands – lands that don’t belong to you exclusively – and those grazing fees? We’ll UP YOURS.


      • YES YES YES!! I totally agree. If they want the government to pay for water, then let them fight their own fires. It’s their livestock and ranches that will burn… no skin off my ass… lol As for grazing fees… double them and make for each cow and calf as well as bulls. Let them pay through the nose. Hell, they only supply a measly 3% of the meat for AMERICA… the rest goes overseas…. F em if they can’t take a joke.


  2. I thought one of the selling points of grazing was that, by creating an ‘oasis’ in the desert, it provides water for wildlife also? This just isn’t sustainable in the future, as our human population continues to grow, and the number of livestock continues to grow along with it. Not to mention any kind of agriculture, as our major aquifers are severely depleted already, whether by climate change, natural drought cycles, or some combination of both.


  3. According to Websters dictionary definition of Feral of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal. are Horses either of these ????????? of course NOT!!!!! This word is used way to often in reference to Mustangs and it DOES NOT Apply……………………They are WILD Mustangs ………… The Ranchers and all who call them Feral need to get it right !!!!!!!


    • It could very well be that these so-called stwards of the land, have been abandonoing their overbreeding ranch horses to the public land, too lazy to care for them, they have set them loose. The mythcal irresponsible owner the pro-slaughter complains about who set their horses loose is actually the pro-slaughter rancher! Look at the stats, the wild horse populations were steady for many years, natural deaths and predation, then when BLM says they started their census (how did they count them before?), the numbers starting shooting up (1990’s). Another interesting trend is watching what happened when the slaughterhouses closed down – the numbers raise dramaticallly.


  4. Get domestic grazing animals off the wild public lands. Not tomorrow. NOW. It should be obvious to anyone that overgrazing has desertified the land. I’d like to know, and am deeply concerned, about the wellbeing of other grazing wildlife. Where are the elk, mule deer, anteloe, bghorn sheep finding feed? The public land grazer have wrn out their welcome. The unjustified attacks on the horses and burros is nauseating, if only for the duplicit nature of the agency and the people who feel they control the decisions.

    Sure, $2 a day. Stop all producer subsidies, raise the grazing to a per day fee, charge for all wells drawing water from public sources, make ranchers pay for wood they are harvesting for heat and building supplies, stop the low cost tax payer funded farm and ranch loans, terminiate the farm loss tax write offs for feed, veterinary expenses, subsidiezed hay farms (yep, ranchers get subsidiezed hay). There is more, MUCH more. Ranchers get a sweet deal, all paid for by tax payer funding through alll the different attendant agencies, including wildlife services to pay bounties for murdering mountain lions.


    • Thank you for mentioning and calling attention to the subsidies. These ranchers who get their costs subsidized now want to find compensation for the only amenity left that they put back into the system. The water they want to charge the BLM for does not belong to them.It is well drilled water that is a natural resource. They don’t even have to foot the entire bill for the drilling. So now they want to chargeback for natural resources. I put forward that we as taxpayers demand fair market value for grazing rights- let’s see how they like those prices!


  5. Wait a minute. The horses are the ones with the right to be on Federal Lands. Ranchers are just free-loading. What is this insanity?


    • You are ever so right Nancy. they can take their freeloading crap and Get off the Mustangs paid for Land…………………………


  6. Are these guys f$&@inh serious? The grazing of cattle creates an oasis in the desert ? Unbelievable ! I also was dumb founded at the comment that they have the right to graze their cattle on public lands. Wrong it is a privilege granted by the government. I also like how the rancher charged the BLM to use his water to fight a fire! That sure was patriotic of him. I bet if the fire had burned down his house he would not only have eagerly accepted government aid, he probably have sued them as well for not protecting his house. The BLM has no qualms about denying wild horse advocates access to view the gathers and ignores the voice of the people, but instantly caves in when armed thugs supposedly representing all true patriots show up to challenge them. If horse advocates tried that they would throw them in jail. The BLM will forever lose any authority they may currently have over our range lands if they cave into these moochers of government subsidies. To me the solution is real simple, if the ranchers start charging the BLM for water the horses may or may not drink then the Feds simply raise the grazing fees. It will be poker game to see who folds first. I am betting it will be the ranchers. The BLM will also need to enforce the law that was set up to protect the wild horses and burros which if they had been doing none of this mess would happened. The article states that there are 2.1 million people in Nevada who need to be shown what great guys these leeches are. Well there are quite a few more folks around the country who see them as otherwise. It is time to mobilize our numbers to defeat this situation lest it set a precedence for the future. By the way has anyone seen or heard from Sally Jewell? Does she even exist? Or was she just a mirage?


  7. Stop eating American Beef !!!! I had some of the best tasting organic, grass fed beef from Uruguay….in my local super mkt !!!! Or just go vegan,poultry, fish….supply and demand folks !!! Cattle Ranchers want to get nasty, well…..


  8. Mike Stremler are you going to issue debt cards to each horse so that when they need a drink of water…they just swipe the card. Your an ASS !!! If you want your cattle to graze…here’s a thought.. Graze them on YOUR land not federal land…leave that to the mustangs. You have no right to be cruel to these BEAUTIFUL horses and burros.
    The walk you take in your next life with be one of a sinner.. Good luck with that.


  9. Leave the horses in peace. Let them and the other wildlife live in harmony with greedy rancher’s cattle. Greed and arrogance comes out of your mouths every time you open them…Mike Stremler and the other ranchers show just how much they resemble walking morons.


  10. Mr. Strelmer and Ranches..not everyone is a Idiot. Come on now don’t you think that your riddle can be figured out by the BLM. You sure stand tall in your saddle ranchers but what are you riding, not steers. Let the wild horses have their land. Mr. Streimer, you are on the land that is legally meant for the wild horses. As a convenience for you, you call these horses “feral horses” so they are not under the category of “wild horses”. Gee you guys are really smart.


  11. This is horse shit for sure$2.00 a day and a cow eats and drinks for $1.35 for a month and they don’t pay the bill for years and no one goes and tries to get the money…..People need to think about this and do some thing about it the BLM is really out of whack . Again the are trying to steel more money from we the people the tax payers. We who foot the bill. Wake up America.


  12. This guy wants to SELL the water from the grazing allotments that he LEASES? I may be mistaken but wasn’t the water there before he leased the land? I guess since the grazing allotment is his by right – any water there is his to sell????
    I’m with Lisa L. – if this doesn’t boggle your mind – nothing will.


    • AND charging the BLM for water to fight a fire and THEY PAID IT???????? What kind of morons are working there – oh right its the BLM>


  13. Give back the 5 million plus acres to the Mustangs it belongs to them , and get those stinkin cattle off the Mustangs Land !!!!!!


  14. We have to realize that this war against wild horses and wild horse advocates versus the ranchers is part of the IUCN’s Global Invasive Species Programme’s propaganda program to get all grazing species that draw humans to them removed from public lands. Although this is attributed to the UN’s environmental program, we need to realize that the actors in the part of this that includes wild horses and burros, as well as livestock, are US citizens that think they are smart enough to outwit the American people. The UN piece of this was a mechanism to make policies that Congress would not pass, scientifically literate Presidents would not agree to include in an EO, to get put into law after other mechnaisms had failed. Even with the veil of the UN, the piece that was so important to the Clinton-Gore administration, Article 8 (h) did not get included in international law until the 1997 Update of the IPPC. The Senate ratified this treaty in 2000, and the law did not go into effect until 2005, over 30 years after FWS, TNC, and the IUCN began trying to get a draft of the exotic species exclusion written into the FLMPA.

    RAC was implemented as part of this scheme to circumvent elected officials at the county, state, and federal level. They make our decisions for us and we have no voice in who they are.


  15. Mustang Radio Program
    HOUSTON, (Equine Welfare Alliance)John Holland, the president of the Equine Welfare Alliance, will be a guest on the popular “Mustang Matters” radio program Wednesday, May 21. The show starts at 11:00 am Pacific time, and will consist of two one half hour segments that will air consecutively but on different markets. It will be hosted by Lacy Dalton and Eddie Floyd who will discuss the issues involved in protecting both our wild and domestic horses with John. Call in participants will be given a chance to ask questions of John and the work of the Equine Welfare Alliance. Both shows are directed to different audiences and air both on line at and on Fox radio news.


  16. I would personally like to go over to those “bully,boy” sorry ass ranchers and beat some decency into them 15 lb. “Judge, jury and executioner” walking cane. As old as I am, there isnt a slob of a rancher.I cant take on. I may not win, but by God, that.person will be.sorry they ever crossed with me!


  17. Never lose sight of Freedom for Our Mustangs , this is our Issue our only issue !!!!!! Ranchers I could care less about them ,……………………………………….After our Mustangs get their freedom back I will address them……………………….


  18. All Possitive energy should be Directed Soley to gettingTHE SAFE ACT passed!!!!!! PLEASE GET WITH YOUR STATE REPS< URGE THEM TO CO SPONSER THE SAFE ACT < THEN REPORT THEIR REACTION TO WHETHER THEY WILL SIGN TO CO SPONSOR here …………………………WE need to know who they are , so we can vote accordingly


  19. What can we do about the BLM? We are citizens and they work for us, at least in theory!. We should be able to fire the idiots and get some less corrupted individuals in there to do what is necessary!


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