Horse News

Evidence mounts: BLM population estimates are flat out WRONG!

The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros (ISPMB), has just completed a 15 year observation and study of four wild horse herds, and the data indicates that the White Sands herd did not double in size until the 14th year.  (The Bureau of Land Management claims herd size doubles every 4 years.)  Also, the Gila herd grew at an average rate of 10% per year, not the 20% or more that the BLM claims.

Karen Sussman, President of International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros, stated these facts in a letter to Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior (with a copy to Neil Kornze, BLM Director and Joan Guilfoyle, BLM’a Wild Horse and Burro Program Division Chief).

Sussman also concluded that “BLM’s management of wild horses is actually increasing fertility rates due to heavy-handed disruption and destruction of the social structures from frequent roundups.”

You can (and should) read the entire letter HERE.

Sussman will post any response she receives on the website for ISPMB.

The evidence continues to mount that BLM’s population modeling estimates are incorrect.  The ISPMB study corroborates evidence in the April 2014 “Report:  Wild Horse Population Growth.”

In 2013, the National Academy of Science issued findings and cited two chief criticisms of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program: unsubstantiated populations estimates in herd management areas (HMA), and management decisions that are not based on science.

The BLM continues to give false information to the public, and this false information is then repeated by BLM Advisory Councils, ranchers and the media.  Over and over again.

The Wyoming Office of Tourism has gone so far as to state that in good years, wild horse herds can increase by 40%.





22 replies »

  1. Government agency’s such as the BLM is arrogant and reluctant to believe actual fact’s that are produced outside their sphere of understanding.
    Thus their ability to understand that information is mirrored by their continued denile of the current fact’s. produced by experts in their field who have more education from one member’s than the field office staff in OK. or Washington D.C.
    The question remains will they listen to the fact’s presented and make changes based on that information to which now everyone has.
    Compliance on the part of an agency who’s sole purpose is to protect but has failed and has taken side’s to suite an easier approach in managing the horses which didn’t need managing at all, on the contrary its the rancher’s who continue to bully, and not pay their rent on allotted land for use of grazing but not ruin who need managing and enforcement.
    The weakness of this agency presents itself in a form of jello like performance that cater’s to the same old crew of friend’s/rancher’s and leaving the few that due pay feeling belittled and appear irresponsible.
    The manufactured fact’s that BLM used to justify round up’s was based the assumption that horses are like rabbit’s. Fact’s of science say’s and facts back this statement up,( horses are selective with who they breed with and are NOT induced ovulaters ) as the report’s suggest.
    Every Veterinary college in the United states will tell you that, But conveying that fact to an arrogant agency head and its management is like getting blood from a stone.
    To Sally Jewel:
    Kenny Salazar set you up to fail. Wake and smell the poop, Their so much their hun you will need a shovel to get it cleaned up. Oh and Thank you for your attention.


    • It is obvious that the blm and ranchers only want to see the extinction of the mustangs. Do they not realize that these horse numbers compared to cattle numbers are insignificant. If I understand correctly there are over 12 million cattle but only a few thousand horses and Burros are nearly extinct now. Somebody must be able to stop the slaughter and disruption of the heards. Ranchers should downsize cattle numbers as they are obviously having a negative impact on forage and water. It looks to me that the blm and people in government are in the pockets of the ranchers. The truth must be told to the public. This is a fight for freedom before it’s too late. I live in Scotland, UK, fighting for animal welfare rights here. Good luck in your fight. The horses need you.


  2. How can the BLM keep lying like this , when this clearly involves the Lifes of such extremely IMPORTANT Mustangs, these people need to be made accountable, and is there really a Sally Jewel?????? Mother nature will continue to have a remedy for the Horses they try to destroy, and who suffers the mustangs !!!!! The BLM must be STOPPED………. PLEASE THE SAFE ACT <MUST BE PASSED < IT IS STALLED< WE MUST CONTACT EVERY REP IN EVERY STATE !!!!!


  3. I am so thankful Karen Sussman is still in the game.

    I have delighted myself by analyzing the reports issued by BLM on the Massacre Lake herd. What is revealed is a distinctive attempt to confuse and obliterate understanding of the data presented. And I hate to say this – but I will – their decisions are contradicted by their own data.

    I had to wonder if anyone involved in preparing the decisions have any goal in mind but to lie to the public to hide the destruction of the grasslands. To shut down the public grazing allotments (which is indicated at every turn is absolutely necessary) would end TRILLIONS of dolllars spent trying to make silk purses out of pigs’ ears (sorry pigs) in saying there is grazing for domestics over and above what the wildlife need. There isn’t. Blaming the horses is a delaying tactic to avoid “suspension due to nonuse.”. If there is no grass, there is no use. If they can keep putting horses out there, they can blame the horses and use taxpayer monies for whatever reason. One sentence in the Massacre Lakes EA haunts me.

    On the most fertile pasture, the Juniper Pasture, BLM said – “even before cattle are moved into the Juniper Pasture, the 35 horses (high AML) would likely consume a high percentage of the available meadow before the cattlle enter the pasture.” Wow. The permittee wants to move his 450 cattle on 7/1 to 8/23. There are 25,210 acres. Why put 450 cattle onto a pasture after 35 horses have eaten the available forage? You wouldn’t. But it sounds good that 35 horses would eat anough grass that 450 cattle (cow calve pairs) would be standing around with their tongues up their noses for 53 days. Sure.

    That’s what they get paid the big bucks for.

    Burros, you will notice, are not rebounding as horses seem to after captures. That’s probably because ranchers don’t breed burros like “rabbits.”.


    • The BLM assume’s the horses breed like rabbit’s which is not the case. One mare can carry 1 foal and only 1 foal for 11 to 12 month’s depending on condition of her and the environment around her. She can’t carry litter’s of little foal’s like their so-called report suggests. Rabbit’s when they mate will produce an egg. each mating produce’s and egg or egg’s. this is call induced ovulation. That is what rabbit do to reproduce. The BLM has believed that horses breed like rabbit’s. No possible at all and every veterinary professional will tell you the same.


      • Sorry, that was a rhetorical joke meant towards the idiotic BLM plethora of lies on horses. We are very well aware of the rate at which animals reproduce. I just had a moment, thought I would talk on the level of the BLM…..slow and dumbed down!


  4. The sobering reality is that cattle grazing in the U.S. is already taking a tremendous toll on the environment. Even with almost all U.S. beef cattle spending much of their lives in feedlots, seventy percent of the land area of the American West is currently used for grazing livestock. More than two-thirds of the entire land area of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho is used for rangeland. In the American West, virtually every place that can be grazed, is grazed. The results aren’t pretty. As one environmental author put it, “Cattle grazing in the West has polluted more water, eroded more topsoil, killed more fish, displaced more wildlife, and destroyed more vegetation than any other land use.”

    Western rangelands have been devastated under the impact of the current system, in which cattle typically spend only six months or so on the range, and the rest of their lives in feedlots. To bring cows to market weight on rangeland alone would require each animal to spend not six months foraging, but several years, greatly multiplying the damage to western ecosystems.

    The USDA’s taxpayer-funded Animal Damage Control (ADC) program was established in 1931 for a single purpose—to eradicate, suppress, and control wildlife considered to be detrimental to the western livestock industry. The program has not been popular with its opponents.

    From The Truth About Grassfed Beef by John Robbins


  5. Try and imagine what it would take to for this agency to perform long-term field observation and study as a regular course of herd area management; why bother when old, outdated and cliché-ridden rhetoric is so readily available?
    Most Environmental Assessments are authored after specific steps are taken in assessing range conditions – that are written to produce a foregone conclusion.
    (“We need to do such-n-such; find evidence that supports it.”)
    Yet, we have ordinary observers and citizen scientists out in the field – at their own expense – who regularly find conflicting evidence in wild horse and burro population counts, range and water resource conditions, the presence and consequence of predators.
    In conjunction with reports like that of ISPMB and others, we have provided a lot of contrary and site-specific evidence which proves that BLM data is often duplicated or the result of last-minute observations instead of studied methodology. Rather than step up and attempt to dispute independent research findings, The Interior Department and BLM choose to ignore them. And the myths and misinformation surrounding wild horses and burros continue, unaddressed.
    Just once, I’d like to hear a real explanation as to WHY these agencies refuse to accept any findings other than their own and refuse to accept there are other, infinitely better ways to ‘manage’ wild equines on their ranges that don’t perpetuate the stereotype.


  6. These federal agencies are run from the top down. The “top” has long since been bought and paid for. Until THAT changes, nothing else will.
    We are pushing from the bottom up….not unlike an Earthquake.


  7. “The big system can be pretty overwhelming. We know that we can’t beat them by competing with them. What we can do is build small systems where we live and work that serve our needs as we define us and not as they ‘re defined for us. The big boys in their shining armor are up there on castle walls hurling their thunderbolts. We’re the ants patiently carrying sand a grain at a time from under the castle wall. We work from the bottom up. The knights up there don’t see the ants and don’t know what we’re doing. They’ll figure it out only when the wall begins to fall. It takes time and quiet persistence.
    Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time”

    Utah Phillips


  8. I believe that the government Wants to get rid of horses and burros. Because, whatever they have planned for America, they don’t want us to have access to soo many horses and burros! They want us unable to get around easliy. To be able to hide from them. Native Americans and anyone with common sense will know what I’m talking about!


    • Yes, that’s what they did to the native Americans when they were trying to force them top these desert Reservations. it dammed near destroyed the Indians when they slaughtered their horses. I remember reading about this is the appaloosa history. Of course you have the English version of history that fails miserably to mention the atrocities committed on the native Americans..think about it..


      • Believe me, I know all about the atrocities to the Native Americans. I was just trying to be short and to the point!


  9. At the rate the welfare ranchers are going – we may be headed for another dust bowl like what happened back in the 30s! Continuous cattle grazing does more harm than any herd of horses – if the horses are allowed to move freely!


    • True but the BLM is run by what? These stood cattle ranchers and they keep what,.just a handful of horses that they lie shout their numbers to continue to receive monies from taxes on so they can continue to do as they damned well please…..and continue to blame the horses for what their cattle are destroying. More lies and deceit…don’t bother to give them the benefit of the doubt…they don’t deserve it.


  10. Honestly, DOI/BLM and USDA/DOF know they are crooks. Why send the letter to them?

    Why isn’t a copy of the GAO or was NSF, report to every committee chair and minority chair in Congress that has oversight of wild equines and public lands and DEMAND they stop this, ask for a corrective action plan and suspend all round ups and HMA reductions until change is implemented at both Departments along with the 15 year study?

    Send one to the wiener staffer at the White House for this issue area too.

    But no, let’s repeal the ACA one more time (50 plus attempts) and have another Benghazi investigation (9? or 10?). Jerks! (Congress, not advocates)


  11. The BLM has a derogatory attitude towards horses because the lions share of them are cattlemen themselves. They categorically believe the demise of the wild horses will bring forth more land to use in times of drought. The fact is the cattle are most destructive species of ruminating animals on the planet, they are the Single Largest Herd Animal and they known for staying until the FEED is Gone. The simplest equasion for them is to see to it the horses which in their mind are not of any value are Completely destroyed to make up some of the money they feel they have lost. The AQHA has always been behind the demise of the Mustang, with an anger towards any horse that gets its feed bill paid by the government and sold for less than the lowest priced Quarter horse they assume these animals foolishly have driven down the lions share of the profits. The horses have nothing to do with the reasoning of the AQHA or the BLM its their own personal take on the situation. They rape the wild horses and then set the cattle up for reaping the stockpiles of money. So lets write this how it really plays out shall we? Take for instance the BLM (just for the sake of a graph and no fact in numbers, this is purely simple example) the government gives the wild horse program a total of 100 million per year…then you have all the horses that they feed and care for say lets use a made up BLM number shall we?? 1 million horses each year. So IF the BLM wipes out the herds due to stress on the budget and stress on the BLM and worries from the Welfare ranchers….they reduce the horses down to say their ideal of say 25 horses…..(no, that’s a realistic BLM estimate of what they want.) and then that FREES up the REST of the BUDGET, Where oh Where does the REST of the Budget go? Well, IF you ask ME I think that money will be sucked out of the Wild Horse Funds for Inflated hay costs and (extorted) from the horses meanwhile they will claim Rampant herds that don’t Exist needing 2 Million dollar helicopters to spot while they occasionally round up non-wild horses. Now bear in mind there are actually people who want WANT to raise their private stock on these same lands, but they are Horse Breeders, they don’t want their precious bred stock they can only verify by DNA and tags to breed with HEAVEN forbid a WILD Government horse…..Peshaw! They wont stand for that~!!!!!! But really where do you see the rest of the allotted monies going after they are done killing off the wild horses? There’s the money trail we really need to saddle up and ride.


  12. Lies more lies all the time. What a lie this was big a one , a 10 year difference of time for the horses to double In herd size . They need to go…the BLM that is . We need a group for the horses To manage them, care for them and Protect them. These idiots can’t even count right.


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