Horse News

Wyoming Newspaper: BLM’s response to Cloud Foundation’s Press Release and the poll


The link below has the BLM’s response to the Cloud Foundation Press Release regarding removing wild horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and the Divide Basin Herd Management areas.   In part, it states “The BLM is honoring its obligations to private land owners and the law.”  

We can all easily see the BLM has been, and continues to be, in bed with the cattle and sheep activists, but since when has the BLM followed the law?  The BLM  certainly hasn’t followed the Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971. 

No honor there.

There’s a poll asking:  should wild horses be removed from the checkerboard?

Notice that most of the “yes” responses are anonymous.


43 replies »

  1. If the blm is promising to Honor the Law , then that means they will be returning our Mustangs back to the Open ranges where they belong !!!! How dare they they say they will Honor the Law , they have never honored the law ,Arrest these Law Breakers!!!!!! and lairs…………………………….


    • It takes money for lawsuits. That’s why it’s so important for people to share these articles all over the internet, so that more people realize what is happening to the wild horses.


  2. Does anyone know if Montana and Wyoming are fence out states. Nevada is as is New Mexico. What about Oregon?

    If we are to follow the law, those who do not want wildlife on their property must fence them out.

    If they leave the gates open, it is their problem. If they close the gates behind the animals, that is an illegal capture.

    When are WE going to demand the law be followed. The honoring the law is good, but don’t be sheep – there is law that is being ignored in this private land debacle.


  3. Half the land on the checkerboard is theirs, and half of it is mine and everyone else’s. They want the mustangs off their land? Then I want their cattle off mine!


  4. This is in violation of the LAW

    LEGAL DECLARATION filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager, Lloyd Eidenhauer

    In a declaration filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager Lloyd Eisenhauer
    Katherine A. Meyer
    Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal
    1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
    Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20009

    (202) 588-5206
    Timothy Kingston
    408 West 23rd Street, Suite 1
    Cheyenne, WY 82001-3519
    (WY Bar No. 6-2720)

    (307) 638-8885
    Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenors


    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF

    Ken Salazar, et al.,


    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

    I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in
    Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas.

    I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background,
    served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I
    enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to
    assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award
    from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I
    became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.

    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in
    the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt
    Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or
    later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the
    private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the
    years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with
    BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has
    generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by
    responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement
    patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound
    biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild
    horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses.

    Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited
    livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage.
    This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently
    zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also
    concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely be devastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement
    between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is
    inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has
    implemented on public lands.

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
    and correct.

    Lloyd Eisenhauer


    • THANKS, Louie! I had forgotten about this/ Was it entered as testimony in the lawsuit? If so, did the judge give it any credibility? Seems to me Mr. Eisenhauer has more standing and hands-on expertise than anyone else.


    • Louie, this was entered as testimony before the consent decree was awarded last year, correct? What we are seeing right now is phase two of the enactment of that legal decree. In order to alter any of the looming events and schedules that decree must be legally challenged, though from what I read last year the judgment was contingent also on the same people hearing any further hearings on this issue.

      It seems there is no justice in Wyoming and the system has been stacked against wild horses and the public. My unanswered question still is why the “fence out” laws have been overlooked and/or entirely circumvented here. At a minimum the BLM could take some of the million$ used for the lawsuit and roundup contracts and put it into fencing domestic livestock OUT of the public lands in Wyoming.


  5. Re: “Fence Out” state of Nevada
    Last year in mid-Nevada there was a complaint by a private land owner about wild burros getting into his alfalfa fields. BLM documented it and yes, wild burros (apparently from the nearby Hickison BLM/USFS wild burro herd area) were getting into the fields even though the fields were fenced and BLM authorized Cattoor to trap the burros. Before the burros could be trapped, they “disappeared”. A few thoughts on this …
    1) Not long before this rancher’s complaint, a local man (with the same last name as the local ranch) was arrested for shooting six wild burros. Although he admitted to shooting six wild burros an apparent “agreement” was made and the man plead guilty to shooting only one burro and he got probation and some community service.
    2) The Hickison wild burro herd area is heavily grazed by welfare ranchers leaving little forage for the legal burros.
    3) The Hickison wild burro herd area is surrounded by large private ranches and alfalfa fields that have obviously used a lot of the water and therefore lowered the water table on the herd area.
    4) The Hickison wild burro herd area was/is being explored (drilled) by one of the world’s largest mining companies.
    5) The law states that The BLM is under a “ministerial duty” to RETURN the wild horses and burros to their legally authorized public land.

    This is just one more example of how BLM follows the law and protects our wild horses and burros. Follow the money to see the truth.


  6. “[T] he creation of a grazing district or the issuance of a permit pursuant to the provisions of [Subchapter I of the Taylor Grazing Act] shall NOT create any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the [public] lands.” 43 U.S.C. § 315b (1976).

    One of the management considerations in § 1333 requires wild horse control to achieve and maintain a “thriving natural ecological balance” on the public lands. Congress desired this phrase to operate within two broader public rangeland statutes: the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA). FLPMA and PRIA serve to rejuvenate degenerating range conditions through a comprehensive system of “multiple uses” and “sustained yield.” Within such a unified structure, all public land policies should blend to produce ecological balance among all uses.

    Leasing arrangements do not alter the public ownership of the range, so wild horse management on federal sections should conform to the purposes pervasive throughout the Act, as well as to PRIA and FLPMA’s “multiple use-sustained yield” concepts.

    Section 1334 makes no distinction between the checkerboard lands and other lands. Certainly, the checkerboard lands are not uncommon in the West…. Presumably, Congress was aware of the problems with the checkerboard lands by at least 1978 … if not when the Wild Horses Act became law in 1971. Nevertheless, at the time Congress amended the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse Act in October of 1978, it made no amendment of Section 1334 to consider the problems of the checkerboard lands. Therefore, this matter is within the province of Congress and not the district court. According to this interpretation, it would be inappropriate to apply § 1334 to public property within the checkerboard lands, absent congressional modification of the Act.

    Within the context of statutes aspiring to balance multiple uses and attain maximum productivity from all environmental amenities, a decision which so obviously favors one particular value over another reduces the goals of FLPMA, PRIA and the Wild Horses Act to mere “lip-service.”


  7. Linda and IcySpots, this might give you a more complete answer to your question.
    Joining the intervenors in their opposition to the proposed settlement was Lloyd Eisenhauer, a former BLM manager in the Rock Springs and Rawlins areas. With regard to the proposed elimination of wild horses from the Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin HMAs, Eisenhauer stated:

    Last week, final motions in the case were filed, and U.S. District Court of Wyoming Chief Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal is expected to issue a ruling soon. Additional information about the lawsuit is available here


    • Louie, thanks, but this just confirms that the testimony was heard and the judgement was rendered in favor of the RSGA last year… without reference to the Fence Out laws of Wyoming. How and why is this law being circumvented?


  8. I don’t think Sandra will mind my reposting her comments.

    sandra longley
    November 27, 2012

    The original lawsuit between the BLM-the grazing assoc and the state of WYO was in place for 10 ended last year and needed to be renewed or renegotiated..BLM by failing to pursue a renewal, violated Public Trust, and did not perform the duties entrusted to them by the american people and congress in the 71 law…That alone should be grounds to sue and win..a seperate suit should be brought against the grazing assoc..demanding they cease and desist all grazing on public lands within those areas where they are demanding horses be removed from..with out the combination of private, state lands and public one has enough to run stock on..that alone should make them more responsive to leave the wild horses alone…Also, the state of WYO commerce/tourism dept has been running national adds promoting wild horses in WYO for tourism..get the chamber of commerce on our them in WYO and let them know,,photographers and tourists come to wyo and spend dollars and promote wyo with their one goes to wyo to see the extraction industries, pipelines and cattle..In researching the last EA on Adobe Town..I discovered an article about the discovery of prehistoric wild horse remains under a remote rim..will try to find that article in my files and post it..We really have to stop this..The Adobes have DNA tested for a high percentage of spanish genes..The Adobe, red desert wild horses came to the attention of the american public in the late 40s and 50s, with the capture of desert dust the palamino stallion his photo was on the cover of Life Magazine and True west, a documentary film was made that was up for an academy award..this is a very historically relevent herd to wild horse history and the best historical documentation exists of this particular herd…check out my FB page –Free Grey Beard_ to see the documentary film and photos from the Early history of the Adobe wild horses

    sandra longley
    November 27, 2012

    in the last roundup in 2010..every mare that was released was PZP’d. BLM needs to be reminded, they operate to serve the interests of the american people and to obey the law in regards to wild horses..Everyone needs to make their voice heard on this ..They are not some 3rd world banana republic operating above and beyond the laws and will of the American People


    • That just might be what we need , Thank You! Louie c and Sandra Longely !!! DONATIONS Send where ???? Time is Crucial !!!!!



    Straying Wild Horses and the Range Landowner:

    In 1971 Congress passed Public Law 92-195, the Wild Free-Roaming
    Horses and -Burros Act,’ to preserve a vanishing symbol of American
    pioneer heritage.’ Before this statute was enacted, wild horses and burross
    were in danger of extinction.4 Today the success of the Act has prompted
    much controversy as to whether wild horses overpopulate the public
    rangelands6 in the Western United States.6 Private landowners adjacent to
    federal regions often complain that wild horses “stray” onto their parcels
    and consume their forage and water.7 While owners have the right to use
    and enjoy their property free from incursions,8 Congress intended protection
    of a living emblem of the Nation’s spirit to be of paramount


    WHY, then, are there fences ANYWHERE on Public Lands?

    This is the link to the Rock Springs Grazing Association complaint.

    # 28
    Federal law, cost and practical impediments preclude fencing the individual sections within the Wyoming Checkerboard. FEDERAL LAW EXPRESSLY PROHIBITS FENCING OF THE PUBLIC LANDS and fencing individual private land sections would also fence the public lands.


    • I think there’s a lot of problems we have with how our ‘public lands’ are being handled. What a crock to be told, ‘these lands belong to you’.


    • Louie, thanks for this but I don’t buy the reasoning. Private property is fenced all over the US where it conjoins public lands… and there are abundant ways to fence while allowing wldlife to pass through to where they are allowed. Fences don’t have to be edge to edge of a given property, for one example. The “practical impediments” are a false argument as well, since those grazing the public lands are mining grass for essentially no cost to themselves already, but at great cost to the public. Costs of fencing OUT would have to be borne by the private landowners as the law declares. If it costs too much to be profitable they will have to revisit their business plans.

      My point here is the violation of this law (as it seems has happened) would nullify the consent decree, despite the convoluted logic written above as item #28 in the complaint. The folks who happily purchased those checkerboard lands surely knew of the law, and the costs of putting up their own fences. Complaining about it now and using that as an excuse to exterminate legally protected wildlife doesn’t engender much sympathy, especially as it concerns for-profit businesses. Anyone with a lawyer on their team should investigate this ruling ASAP.


  11. The Last Open Range

    Each style of fencing presents a different degree of difficulty for wildlife. Generally, the taller the fence is, or the lessclearance there is below the bottom strand, the more difficult it is for wildlife to cross. The number of strands of wire, the spacing between the strands, the spacing of posts, the amount of sag in the wires, the style of
    barb, and the size of mesh rectangles, are only some of the characteristics that
    make a difference.

    But even the most modern fence can still confuse and stress wildlife, according to a 2002 study from the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Researchers videotaped more than 500 incidents of wildlife reacting to high-tensile electric fences, which are designed to contain livestock while allowing wildlife to pass.

    Even though migrating elk are capable of leaping over a 52-inch-tall, four-wire fence, the reseachers found the elk paced nervously back and forth as they sized it up, had a “general attitude of … uneasiness and apprehension,” and they often
    left hair and skin on the fences as they crossed. Sometimes, they “flipped
    180 degrees and landed on their backs when tripped up by the top wire.”

    Even fences put up to protect riparian areas are death traps to grouse, he says, because grouse predators, like kestrels, merlins and even eagles, will perch on the fence posts and hunt. Also, grouse, like antelope, sometimes fail to see a wire fence and slam into it at full speed, suffering injury or death.


    • Louie, thanks for posting this, too. If (as this article asserts) any kind of fencing stresses wildlife, this should be taken into account when permitting grazing leases. If the livestock cannot be fenced into private lands adjacent to public lands, then they will have to merge with the “thriving ecological balance” required on the public lands, and vice versa. My understanding though, is that private property owners have a right (and in some states a duty) to fence wildlife out of their property regardless of the costs or consequences.


  12. What I am getting at here is a valid legal question which could invalidate the consent decree… but I am not a lawyer. If this law is being abrogated there is reason to appeal the decision and perhaps stay the pursuit of further removals of protected wildlife on public lands.


    • Louie, HOW? Can we get any lawyers or organizations to file for a “stay of execution” based on this legal question? Without a legal action halting the roundups the WY horses will be removed no matter how many people show up to witness and protest, since the verdict was decided last year. Those doing the work on the ground are only following orders and fulfilling contracts already awarded.


  13. IcySpots, perhaps a good place to start would be to contact the Cloud Foundation,
    which is based in Colorado.
    Also, it seems that the law firm that took on the original lawsuit should take it the rest of the way.
    Lawsuits do cost $ and we have to all stand ready to help with costs.


  14. Thanks Louie. I think $ sent to contest the consent decree would be far more effective than attending meetings to protest decisions already taken, and which cannot thus be halted without legal intervention.



    THIS ROUNDUP IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW! according to a former Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas. PLEASE NOTE: THIS TESTIMONY WAS GIVEN UNDER OATH!


  16. Annie, I can’t take credit for Lloyd Eisenhower’s testimony. Primo researcher Louie C posted it here. I copied it and added research of my own. Made it a public note at your request, so it would be easy to share on Facebook.


  17. Thank you, Linda, for your gracious, but undeserved compliment.
    I’ve learned just as much from you and everyone else that brings forth information to the rest of us here.


    • Louie, I’m constantly amazed at the wealth of information we’ve all complied and distributed, just to be put down or ignored.


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