Horse News

Where will our wild horses and burros be going now?

by Grandma Gregg


Another BLM internet adoption recently ended… now what?

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

wild burro captured by BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

One-hundred and sixty-one burros were listed on the BLM August internet adoption … and only FOUR even got a bid.  Does this sound like a high adoption demand and high adoption rate?  The BLM stated in their Cibalo-Trigo capture EA there was a “high adoption demand for wild burros, which is supported by a high adoption rate” for burros.  Is there anyone out there that still believes ANYTHING that the BLM says?

37 of the 63 wild horses that were advertised on the internet were adopted and that sounds like 37 got good homes … right?  Well, I can tell you from personal experience as a wild horse adopter that even after our repeated requests to complete the adoption paperwork, nobody from BLM visited or even inquired as to their well-being for almost two years!  The BLM“adoption program” is a complete farce.

In addition to the thousands of wild horses and burros that can be adopted almost any day of the year from short term holding facilities, the BLM has periodic internet adoptions where our wild horses and burros are auctioned off for $125 or more.  Why so many,many, many burros on the recent internet adoptions?  So that our burros can be classified under the 3-strikes rule and sold for $10 each.


Here is why – quote from a current BLM contract:

  1. c) On December 8, 2004 Public Law 108-341; Section 142 amended the 1971 Wild and Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act ( Public Law 92-195) that REQUIRES the BLM to sell excess wild horses and burros which meet the following criteria:
  2. Animals that are 11 years of age and older; or
  3. Animals that have been offered unsuccessfully at three adoptions. [this includes 3-strikes on internet adoptions]

Don’t be fooled, this term “requires” is what they will use to try to get out of any legal tangle regarding selling our wild ones – and thus the bombardment of burros on the internet adoption – 3 strikes and off they go –and this goes for our wild horses too!

The following is from 1997 but the basics had held true for many years and still hold true today as we have seen with many more recent activities – including the “disappearance” of about 1700 of our wild horses and burros by Tom Davis and authorized by BLM’s Sally Spencer.

Tom Pognacnik, [past] director of the BLM’s … Wild Horse and Burro Program, conceded that about 90% of the horses rounded up go to slaughter.  Has a program intended to save wild horses, as a symbol of the American frontier, evolved into a supply system for horse meat?  “I guess that’s one way of looking at it,” Pogacnik said.

By the way, both Sally Spencer and Tom Pogacnik STILL work for BLM.

Is there anyone out there that still believes that the BLM is following the Congressional law to PROTECT our wild horses and burros?Anyone?

References and more information:

“BLM is and has been flooding the wild horse and burro adoption market with burros to get their 3-strikes against them as quickly as possible so they can be sold for $10 each in large amounts.”

41 replies »

  1. Roundup is Beginning of End for Herds.
    By Martha Mendoza
    Associated Press…1-5-97
    (1-5-97) Reno, Nevada–A multimillion-dollar federal program created to save the lives of wild horses is instead channeling them by the thousands to slaughterhouses, where they are chopped into cuts of meat. Among those who might be profiting from the slaughter are employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency that administers the program. These are the conclusions of an Associated Press investigation of the U. S. Wild Horse and Burro Program, which has rounded up 165,000 animals and spent $250 million since it was created by Congress 25 years ago.

    Asked about the AP’s findings, TOM POGANIK, director of the BLM’s $16-million-a-year Wild Horse and Burro Program, conceded that about 90% of the horses rounded up go to slaughter. Has a program intended to save wild horses, as a symbol of the American frontier, evolved into a supply system for horse meat?

    “I guess that’s one way of looking at it,” POGACNIK said. “Recognizing that we can’t leave them out there, well, at some point critters do have to come off the range.”


    Critically Endangered

    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.

    In February 2007, BLM estimated the remaining national burro population was merely 2,874 burros with 369 more wild burros removed since the February estimates.

    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.


  3. For those who have not yet seen these documents.
    Debbie Coffey

    BLM “team” conference calls and Alternate Management Options were obtained by the Freedom of Information Act by The Conquistador Program, a non-profit equine welfare organization in Phoenix, AZ (link below). This article consists of direct quotes of BLM team conference call notes and quotes from the Alternate Management Options.

    At the beginning of the BLM “team” notes: “All correspondence that is generated by this team” will not be “for the public”.

    Don Glenn said:
    “Sally had an e-mail from a person in Canada who wants 10,000 horses that he would slaughter the horses and send them to a third world country. Don is going to send the e-mail.

    Jim said he has a demand for horses going to Denmark, but they are having a problem with getting titled horses.


    • A second one for $25? Sounds like the BLM is just setting these animals up for failure. I know in every one of the articles that I have posted ranchers and BLM (even the older posts) can see no solution but slaughter-leads me to believe that is their future for these animals.
      I agree with others we need a plan of action SOON.


      • Dear Geri, You make absolute sense !!!!!!!without a Super Plan and action on it , our Mustangs are doomed !!!!!!!


  4. They deal in lies, deception and murder, what else is new???????????????? Until there is a vailable plan the lies , deception and murder continue !!!!!!


  5. Look we go back to where my Grandpa started in 1981. Ross Cole flew out to question the Bureau in person about the Wild Horses and he was asked to purchase horses from them in a laundering to slaughter plot. In other words they asked him to purchase For slaughter. Whats interesting is he was Staunch Anti Slauhter and this did NOT bode well with him. A few days later on his return home my Grandpa began phoning and talking to politicians in a single citizen effort to stop this propaganda….rescue to slaughter……the thing way for him he saw it as a numbers game….the bureau just wanted to launder horses for the purpose of other land uses and they selected which would go to slaughter…fit healthy and before a Certain age. Ever wondered why the fantasy that old horses cant survive? Well that was a conclusion the Bureau gave my grandfather about what they would Eventually manipulate into being. The BLM was Rogue amd they ran the agency like such he said in one memoir. He stated his concern for the longterm effects of this travesty. The name of the agency morphed….the people remained the same…..anti horse….sorry but the internet adoption is a RIGGED smokescreen. RIGGED BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE TO LOOK SPECIFICALLY AT THEIR PAGE SPECIFICALLY TO ADOPT ON THAT SPECIFIC 90DAY PERIOD WHILE THE INTERNET IS FLOODED WITH SITES OF HORSES FOR SALE. They KNOW the likelyhood of during school session…during…the winter…..during ….drought… posting these animals they are same as dead. They just have to wait in holding cells until their legal date. Trust me….this was a very well thought out idea. The Bureau doesnt do Anything Unplanned except just let Bundy have his land. As for how to save the horses on the net. The rescuers and sanctuaries that have space need to bid them up and save everybody they can afford to until Hell freezes over and the BLM is stopped! The Agency should extend the adoption online period to 1 year for every horse period. And seeing in person sells more….and some positive campaigning about how great these horses are compared to other breeds couldnt hurt. I mean after all the quarter horses came from Mustang stock no matter how many times they rewrite history on the internet….the truth is still out there.


  6. And Grandma Gtegg —what is the next pile of bovine feces to come our way (for removal excuse)—poor range conditions —well here in CO we have had record rains (so much for global warming) and I’m sure we are not the only state in the mid west to get above average rainfall–just heard on the radio that CO rangeland is in the best condition in years—so waiting to hear poor conditions excuse.—for removals—BLM –Lies – Lies and more Lies.


  7. I don’t believe a damn thing that the BLM says. They are working for the Cattle Industry not protecting these horses and burros as they should be. They disgust me. Interestingly enough they did the same thing to the American Indians. I am surprised that they didn’t find a way to get those indigenous people into the food system. I guess in some ways they did since they took away their land, language and gave them nothing in return. I am surprised that McDonalds and Taco Bell haven’t found a way to aid the Native American to their hamburger.

    Sickened by the whole thing. If the transportation of livestock over
    our borders continues, I suspect there will not be a single wild burro or mustang left except in zoos as endangered species.


  8. blm is funneling wild horses through the LMA (livestock marketing association) to middle of nowhere cattle auction barns. If you try to inquire specifically about “mustangs”, no one will return your call. ask about horses, they might. now they have stepped it up and are selling of “lots” by the truckloads. see scott city corrals in KS. the genocide is accelerating to clear the land for more fracking and to empty the “holding facilities”.


    • Louie – I spent past couple hours watching several of the videos of the 2011 meeting of the “board”, and am so impressed with the people who commented – many of them I had read about or who had commented on this blog – apparently I never got to see that meeting – thanks so much for putting it out there.


  9. OT
    I posted this article yesterday about half way threw a rancher says horses eat to much range grass and without grass his cows won’t have caves—-we’ll isn’t that the same for horses during lean grass they don’t have as many foals? So how are horses over producing—can’t have it both ways.


  10. About 650 of our wild burros are being held at the Axtell, Utah privately owned holding facility – this facility is privately owned by Kerry Despain, who just so happens to be the Bureau of Land Management head of the Gunnison prison Wild Horse and Burro program.

    Gunnison Prison is where many wild horses have died due to “gelding complications” and where prisoners are allowed to “practice” gelding. Gunnison prison facility has been a death camp for many of our wild horses (per FOIAs) and yet Kerry Despain, the head of Gunnison Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro program has our burros on his private property and gets generously paid for it – about $2,500 per day for about 500 burros.
    (per – $1,474,205 in the last two years).

    Question: Did Kerry Despain get the burro holding contract because of his long time Bureau of Land Management connections to Gunnison prison and is this a conflict of interest or preferentialism and if so is this legal?

    Question: Are Gunnison prison inmates allowed to “practice” castrating the wild horses and burros like they do at other Bureau of Land Management Prison Programs?

    Question: If the Gunnison prison wild horse and burro management has such a high death rate how can we expect that person will provide good care for our wild burros on his private land?

    If you look at one news article, it shows the burros on the Despain ranch in a nice pasture … but if you look at google earth you can see that they are actually being held in a feedlot situation – about a mile north of the town of Axtell on the west side of highway 89.

    These wild burros belong to you and me and they already have a home on the range – per the unanimously voted Congressional 1971 Wild Horse Act and where the BLM is required by law to protect them where found on their legal land and protect them from harassment and protect them from capture and protect them from branding and protect them from death.


  11. I tried to adopt during the first internet adoption this summer, where the BLM had the application deadline the Monday morning after the 4th of July weekend. The week before that, of course, people were taking off for vacation. This was extremely poor timing on the BLM’s part for an on-line auction, and I did take the necessary steps to communicate this to the BLM for future improvement.

    Apparently the BLM has one person in charge of approving on-line applications, who is supposed to be retiring. Lets hope she retires sooner rather than later, because they need someone who is motivated to get these horses adopted — someone with good follow through who is detail-oriented, and someone with a sales type of personality.

    I never received my auction number, even after submitting four separate drawings of the facilities. The last three drawings were of facilities of professional trainers. After the auction was over, I never received a follow up to get what other information was needed to process my application for the next auction.

    During the auction, a volunteer group was trying to get the information out on social media about the horses, and we were working harder at this than the BLM was. Supposedly they have hired someone in the capacity of social media, so let’s hope so, and let’s also hope that this person is motivated. BLM never even bothered to re-tweet tweets of the available horses and donkeys! All they had to do was push the RT button. All of the hard work at organizing the horses with photos, hashtags and copy was already done for the BLM by the volunteers.

    The BLM has changed the on-line adoption web site so credit card and social security numbers are supposed to be asked for by the BLM employee ahead of time, which is a better plan than the email I received asking me for this information five minutes prior to the end of the auction.

    To wrap my experience up in a nutshell, if the BLM expects to have any success at on-line adoptions, they need to work at the adoptions a little bit harder, and be a little bit more ambitious, organized and passionate.



    Federally Protected Wild Burros SHOULD be protected on U.S. Military facilities.
    IF they are a nuisance, then they should be RETURNED to their LEGAL Herd Management Areas…..NOT sent to BLM holding facilities or feedlots.

    Sikes Act Anchors DOD’s Conservation Program, Official Says

    By Claudette Roulo
    American Forces Press Service

    At a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on fisheries, wildlife, oceans and insular affairs to discuss proposed bills to reauthorize and amend the Sikes Act, John Conger said the act serves as the cornerstone of the Defense Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Program.

    Because public access to military lands often is restricted, they contain some of the nation’s most significant remaining large tracts of undisturbed natural habitats, he said.

    More than 520 species at risk live on the 28 million acres covered by the act, Conger said. “A surprising number of these species are … found nowhere else in the world,” he noted.


  13. I wonder if anyone has considered calling Erin Brockovich about all of this. I realize it sounds a little farfetched, but she is one hell of an investigator. If she can bring down California’s Pacific Gas and Electric, maybe she’d enjoy sinking her teeth into the BLM. It wouldn’t cost anything to ask her, and she just might say yes.


  14. BLM Arrests Two Citizens During Contested Arizona Wild Burro Stampede
    “A couple of them seized my arms, it seemed like they wanted to break my arms,”

    Two people were arrested during a burro roundup taking place in the Cibola Trigo herd management area, 20 miles outside of Yuma.

    Carl Mrozek spoke to Tucson News Now about the arrest. Mrozek was there to film a documentary

    A video Mrozek shot in 2009 in the California desert raised a public outcry. The video showed a contracted BLM pilot chasing a burro in the desert, causing it to collapse.


    • I would like to take his helicopter and chase him till he drops !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Completely wrong dicision on his part, this is no man he is a demented moron who needs mental help…………………………No human being with any compassion would ever do a horrible thing like this , feel sorry for his family, the shame must be unbearable for them !!!!!!



    “Tom Pognacnik, [past] director of the BLM’s … Wild Horse and Burro Program, conceded that about 90% of the horses rounded up go to slaughter. Has a program intended to save wild horses, as a symbol of the American frontier, evolved into a supply system for horse meat? “I guess that’s one way of looking at it,” Pogacnik said.”


    For Release: October 2, 2008
    Contact: John Dearing 916-978-4622 or Jan Bedrosian 916-978-4616

    Tom Pogacnik Selected as Deputy State Director for Natural Resources Division
    TOM POGACNIK, a twenty-six year career government employee, has been selected as the deputy state director for the natural resources division for the Bureau of Land Management in California.


  16. Wild Horse and Burro Bait-Trapping: Going … Going … Gone
    By Grandma Gregg as posted on the PPJ Gazette

    “The MAXIMUM number of wild horses and burros that may be gathered is actually higher than the number that exists…”

    A MINIMUM of 8,900 Wild Horses and Burros will be bait-trapped on our public land this year. And this is in addition to the thousands that will be rounded up by helicopter….

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has divided the western states into six zones and private contractors bid on and received a contract for one or more zones. Each contractor is required by their agreement to capture a minimum amount of wild horses and/or burros in the zone. The MAXIMUM number of wild horses and burros that may be gathered is actually higher than the number that exists on their federally protected Herd Management Areas. The BLM reported that in the 2012 fiscal year there were only 37,294 wild horses and burros remaining on the range, but they have contracted to remove up to 44,000 from bait-trapping alone. So while the BLM feigns interest in humane care and concern for out Wild Horses and Burros, these BLM contracts continue on their fast-moving “managing for extinction”.


  17. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, NO notification was given to the Public or to those on the Interest Party List

    4 Marietta Wild Burro burros captured
    Capture date – location – method
    6/11/2013 (NV0316) Marietta Helicopter/Rope
    6/11/2013 (NV0316) Marietta Helicopter/Rope
    9/19/2013 (NV0316) Marietta Food Trap
    9/19/2013 (NV0316) Marietta Food Trap


  18. This article and picture were on another website at one time, but are no longer there now.

    California 2005 — Death of a Mojave National Preserve Burro
    By J.& K. Foster
    In June of 2005, a wildfire in the Mojave National Preserve destroyed 70,000 acres and burned out several homes. The National Park Service (NPS) requested and received $84,500.00 in federal funds for burro removal from the burn area. They scheduled a roundup of all burros in the area and, over a period of about ten days in September, helicopters were used to catch 40+ burros, none of which came from the burn area.
    When I got the call that they were holding burros at Kessler Springs Ranch, which had been turned into a Ranger Facility, I called BLM to see why we were not informed they would be gathering burros. It was not a BLM operation, so no one except Park Rangers and wranglers hired by NPS was over-seeing the roundup to make sure animals were safe. The burros that were captured were kept behind locked gates with big NO TRESPASSING SIGNS.
    One day during the roundup, the wranglers located a beautiful large Jack (i.e. a male burro). They began chasing him until they literally ran him to collapse. One of the wranglers said, “Oh he has had a heart attack and died” so he started jumping up and down on the Jack’s abdomen. He would pick his head up by his ears and slam the head into the ground. The burro was exhausted he had no way to fight back. He was not dead when they left him. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth. Chances are when the so-called “cowboy” jumped up and down on the Jack’s abdomen it probably crushed ribs, which punctured lungs. He may have even crushed the skull.
    The wranglers asked a film crew present at the scene if they would use this film against them; the crew said they were no longer filming but cameras kept rolling. They sent me still shots of the Jack over what looks to be a 12-14 hour period. He died a terrible, slow, lonely death. They would have been more humane by shooting him to put an end to his suffering, but they did not even give him that much respect or dignity.


    • Dear louieC I cannot even comment oh this despicable disgudting thiing I a, devastated . OMG that innocent Burro , whom ever did this should rot in hell !!!!!!!


  19. Hi,
    I live in Surprise, Arizona. I’m out of town a ways and I see the wild burros, well I use to see them. They have been disappearing over the last year. The BLM has been gathering. There’s one burro in general that comes to me for pets. He disappeared in Aug around the first and haven’t seen him since. I have made numerous calls to Axtell and Phoenix about this burro. I want to Adopt him and a friend. They absolutely will not give me the time of day. They will not allow me into Axtell to even look. How do they expect to Adopt anything if their not accommodating to people like me. That burro comes when I call him, I’m sick over this but they won’t help me . So sad and frustrating I know if they gave a rat’s butt they’d help me but no!!!! Even offered a donation , nope not interested. I have 2 titled blm mustangs and in Oregon where they came from their completely different at least they care about their animals. They went out of their way to help me. Hello Arizona and Utah get over yourselves and help me find my burro! I’m going to news station next!


  20. We need to keep our hackles up. You can bet this sneaky BLM is up to no good. Why is Sally Spencer still working for them when she sold those 1800 wild horses & burros to Tom Davis for 10.00 a head?
    It’s obvious there are employees in.our BLM making fatal decisions for the WH&B’s.
    POsitons paid for by meat company lobbyists
    Glue factories, pharmaceutical companies.
    Have to commemorate the Cloud Foundation for boldly demanding to observe and film the horrible steralization projects in Hines Oregon.
    Grest job. But the battle goes on as soon as our backs are turned they’re at it again.
    And what is going to happen to all the ones in holding pens? The BLM created this message costing taxpayers thousands for something most are vehemently against.
    Glad to see groups are joining together to form a strong coalition against this horrid horse slaughtering.


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.