Horse Health

Live-stream of BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting TODAY in Riverton, Wyoming


The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be live-streamed at

at 8:00 am MST on August 25, 2014

The link to the meeting AGENDA is HERE.

(A link to meeting handouts is attached to the live-stream page, but at the time of this posting, there were no meeting handouts on that link)

Wild horse & burro advocacy groups will be holding a press conference at noon (MST).

Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the removal of wild horses in Wyoming is there and will be speaking at the Press Conference at noon.  Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation is also there.

You can find links to you tube videos, minutes and recommendations of past National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meetings HERE.

56 replies »

  1. I would like to thank the wild horse and burro advocates for all of their hard work to save these American icons. It is time to let the public know that these horses and burros are being eliminated over a period of time by the BLM. I hope the press conference goes well. I appreciate your attendance at the Board meeting today also. It takes courage to face up to the government and the ranchers they are being controlled by. Your passion and dedication have become the voice for the wild horses and burros. Your presence and comments will hopefully be documented in the meeting minutes. Let’s hope the Board will listen to your concerns and be willing to look at your research with open minds and a spirit of cooperation. This has been a long and critical task for advocates to make progress to save the wild horses and burros. Now it is crucial to get the public informed and to gain their support in making successful changes to save these remarkable animals. I am sure the public is not aware that these animals are being removed by the BLM using abusive and cruel techniques, or that many are being sold for slaughter. Again, thank you for attending the Board meeting and for setting up the press conference. I offer you my prayers and support as you strive to keep these animals alive and roaming free.


  2. Evidently this committee is reporting decisions only one hour and fifteen minutes after an hour and a half of public comment. It beggars belief this system or this committee has any credibility. Hope is a cruel mistress.



    Sheldon Wildlife Refuge had an agreement with Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) and the Wild Horses were to REMAIN in the refuge.
    That agreement should be honored.

    Craig Downer worked with Wild Horse Annie. The following is from an interview with Craig:

    “There were studies done by Jo Meeker at University of Nevada proving that they harmoniously exist with the pronghorn antelope. But recently there seems to be a vendetta. Basically we are talking about a war of values here.”

    That’s one thing I remember about my work with Wild Horse Annie. She had established an apparently solid agreement with the Sheldon National Wildlife Reserve, that the horses would be recognized in perpetuity as an integral part of the Sheldon wildlife community.

    Sheldon had a magnificent herd of horses that remained for nearly four decades thanks to her agreement. The officials there used to say, yes, the horses have been here for centuries and people love to see them, and they integrate well with the pronghorn and other wildlife.

    There were studies done by Jo Meeker at University of Nevada proving that they harmoniously exist with the pronghorn antelope. But recently there seems to be a vendetta. Basically we are talking about a war of values here.


    • The presence of oil and gas on the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge may explain why these horses were not included in the original BLM census, which was not done in 1971, but when 1972 or 1973. By this time FWS, IUCN, & TNC were busily trying to figure out how to suddenly turn wild native American horses into exotica (as in the 1957 plant series) in order to remove them. There are reasons to believe that people that initiated the environmental movement were not interested in the greening of the enviro but lining their pockets with green from oil and natural gas. There are people involved with this scam that have profited enormously from both the fossil fuel industries and the green movement. Nothing is as it seems.


    “The Elephant in the Room” not being mentioned.

    Here is the link to the notice posted on the Federal Register

    Fish and Wildlife Service/Department of Interior
    Monday June 9, 2014

    Click to access 2014-13303.pdf

    Non-Federal Oil and Gas Development Within the National Wildlife Refuge System
    Pages 32903 – 32903 [FR DOC # 2014-13303] PDF | Text | More


    “The Elephant in the Room” not being mentioned

    Effects on Resources

    Oil and gas exploration and production activities can cause both direct and indirect effects on refuge resources.

     Leaks and spills of oil, brine, or other contaminants are a key concern. Soils, vegetation, water quality, fish and wildlife, and air quality can all be harmed by the release of contaminants.

     Fish and Wildlife Habitat can be altered, fragmented, or eliminated. Oil and gas activities can disturb and displace wildlife, cause physiological stress, and can even result in wildlife deaths.

     Introduction of invasive species, especially along road and pipeline routes, can alter habitat. Disturbance caused by oil and gas activities can result in fundamental changes in ecological functions and processes, and lead to increased predation of declining species, reduced reproduction, and increased susceptibility to disease.


    • Although horses are native and therefore cannot be alien, invasive pests, when you see the word invasive, you should know that FWS was behind the invention of these terms. Furthermore, FWS is notorious for relying on some of the more dubious expert testimony. Horses would not interfere with the presence of oil or gas drilling.


      • True..but, the wild equines would eventually be indicators of pollution and water contamination and water diversion, as would all locally impacted wildlife.

        In addition, the illegal activities of DOI, USDA, states and private entities view this as a control issue geared toward busting regulatory and legislative requirements limiting free use of ALL lands and gutting the 1971 Act.


  6. TWO WHOLE MINUTES allotted to Public for Comments


    Oh yeah, there’s also a few hours allotted for the public to submit comments to the Board, but they sleep through those so is it really worth mentioning?

    This time around I was actually really excited to listen to the Advisory Board. Why? Because for the first time in goodness knows how long, the BLM had an approved budget. I wanted that budget. I wanted the numbers – all the numbers. GIVE THEM TO ME!!!! (You are all allowed to judge my weirdness. Some people get excited about babies or puppies, I get unreasonably excited about data)

    Tax payers pay $128,500 every 6 months ($257,000 per year) for this Advisory Board. This amounts to $28,555 per person every year.


    • Loved the lady saying the public had two minutes each to speak, and they should “practice up.” Imagine if you sent your kids to a day care center and had their staff (whose paychecks come out of your pocket) address you in such a manner?


      • This is the way it ALWAYS is. Sending in a letter is ALWAYS better. But send it registered–that way they can’t trash it…


  7. I’ve been watching the live stream but can’t do this all day – will this be archived and viewable in total at a later time?


    • I sure would like to know where. All day, and I watched it all day, I tried to figure that out. However, no such announcement took place and there is nothing on the streaming page. What a dog and pony show! They are despicable.


      • Hmm. So we pay a quarter of a million every year for this advisory board but cannot find a public archive of their occasional public meetings?


    Commentary: BLM selling out ranchers to make way for Big Oil?

    It could very well be that the Dept. of the Interior is actually very happy that cattle ranchers and wild horse advocates are pointing fingers at each other. With all the controversy going on, it would be much easier to remove wild horses, reduce the land alloted to cattle – all so Big Oil can do more fracking. Our government makes millions from these permits. And politicians campaign budgets are lined with Big Oil money. Water needed to frack oil from the ground would come from the surrounding region – water used by cattle ranchers and wild horses mind you. And it takes a great deal of water to frack and the full range of environmental concerns are only just now being understood. Do we want to kill off our wild horses, create worse drought conditions– all so Big Oil can make more money? HfH

    By: Sarah Sweetwater


  9. Few herds left in the wild are genetically viable (meaning over 150 adults allowing for herd to sustain itself)

    According to the USGS, $7.7 million could be saved annually through the use of contraceptive measures alone- however the efficacy and humane application of this drug are in question

    Mares must be rounded up to receive contraceptives and then BLM removes hundreds and contracepts all mares released, often with a two-year drug still in the experimental stages.

    little to no monitoring of contracepted mares is done by BLM

    The Humane Society of the US is a major proponent of infertility controls and has 2 test herds (the Sandwash herd in Colorado and the Cedar Mountain herd in Utah).

    The manner in which the current contraceptive Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) used in the mares is NOT administered properly to achieve the desired outcome

    Foals are born out of season creating problems for both the mare and the foal
    abscessing and possible death can result

    increasingly inhumane and questionable drugs are being developed to achieve complete sterility in mares

    invasive external spaying of mares is being developed “oopherectomy” in which the ovaries are removed

    gelding of stallions without anesthesia is ongoing. Geldings (castrated males) stand in pain for weeks as a result.


    • Every time they talk about birth control I burn. There is no overpopulation of horses.

      The HMA we are currently fighting over has about 400,000, yes, 400,000 sheep and cattle, and less than 2,000 wild horses. Do the math. It is worse than we thought. One designated horse to 200 permitted cattle /sheep and the BLM intends to remove almost half of the horses and NONE of the cattle.

      The ranchers that testified really believe that because their families have lived there for a long time, the public land is theirs.

      These are our horses and burros. Why do we not have the right to sue – class action, please.


  10. INTERESTIN information in the LAST paragraph

    (Rachel’s comment in answer to a question from one of her readers):
    Rachel Reeves Photography

    An Open Letter to the BLM Regarding their Consent Decree with the RSGA

    reevesimagery says:

    This particular area is a little different than other herd management areas. In the mid-1800s the government came up with this bass ackwards plan to give the Union Pacific every other square mile of land for 20 miles north and south of railroad. So half of the land these horses/livestock graze on public and the other half is private.You would think that this would balance out since neither side can keep their animals out and they all freely wander between the public and private.

    The RSGA agreed during their first lawsuit against the wild horses in the 1981 to allow a number of wild horses in this region. They are now withdrawing that agreement, saying the BLM hasn’t held up their end of the bargain because the BLM has not removed enough wild horses to keep them satisfied.
    This may not sound unreasonable to the non-wild horse fan *but* there is one other interesting aspect of this.

    Very little of the land in this area is owned by members of the RSGA. Most of it is owned by the ANDARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION.
    So even the private land is land that the RSGA members lease.
    It doesn’t belong to them. They just think that it does.


  11. Oh…for the “good old days” before the Wild Horse and Burro Act.
    NO WONDER there were fewer Wild Horses

    Wild Horses and Burros in the United States

    Treatment of wild horses and burros has improved remarkably over the last fifty years. In the mid-twentieth century, free-ranging horses and burros suffered horribly at the hands of “mustangers” who captured them at will and whim, sometimes using the most brutal of techniques, including aerial pursuit and shooting or crippling key herd members.

    The horses were packed into livestock trucks hurt, bleeding, and exhausted, and shipped to slaughter without stopping for rest or watering (Ryden 1999). Unprotected by law, only the good will of a few ranchers protected these abused animals.

    Public awareness of the plight of the wild horses began to grow in the late 1950s, in large part because of the efforts of Velma Johnston, better known as “Wild Horse Annie,” a Nevada- born rancher who witnessed, documented, and publicized the cruelties of the mustangers.

    First shocked to action after following a blood trail from a truck transporting mustangs to slaughter, Johnston roused the American public, and especially schoolchildren, to demand action from Congress (Ryden 1999).


    • The horses were often roped, thrown, and tied up so they could not get up and laid there trussed and struggling until a day or more later when the truck arrived to take them to slaughter. They were dragged up onto the truck still trussed. Some picture.

      One can only freak if you actually allow yourself to get past the pain for the poor horses and concentrate on the kind of “humans” who did/do these atrocities.

      I saw pictures today of two BLM mares who were locked up in a dark barn and allowed to starve in a pile of manure with dirty water. They were considered condition one and could barely walk. They were so sweet and gentle and awful looking, I cried for nearly an hour. This was in CT and a rescue has them on IVs and careful feeding.

      This was done by a known animal abuser and these mares apparently came from the BLM. Does the BLM check on them? They are supposed to, but they do not. I have adopted from the BLM twice and both times they only contacted me by mail.

      I keep asking, how can these animal haters be like they are? By now, I accept the horrors exist. I no longer need convincing, but cannot understand the perpetrators. Hating them will not make them better, but what will?


  12. On the topic of MONEY/PUBLIC LANDS and Wild Horses and Burros

    At The Root

    Whether you’re passion is wild horses and burros, wildlife or just someone who loves to go hiking around in nature, eventually we all run into the same issue; the degradation of public lands by poorly managed livestock grazing and our government authorizing unsustainable numbers for decades.

    The question becomes why…..

    Why does public lands ranching have such a death grip on our natural resources? How is it that after all these years, little has changed despite overwhelming evidence of the damage? Why, despite all the laws and many, many good dedicated people in the government agencies themselves that have tried to effect change, nothing substantial can be done? Why is it that report after report submitted to Congress clearly outlining the mismanagement and malfeasance of livestock grazing to our resources, including wild horses and burros, is met with indifference as they not only continue to support livestock grazing but will viciously fight for the rights of ranchers time and time again? And how is it possible that just a handful of ranchers who produce less than 3% of America’s beef on public lands continue to wield so much power over our Nation?

    Well, the answer is, they don’t. The banks do, just like everything else these days and it’s the banks that continue to dictate American policy and cause Congress to ask “How high?” when they ask them to jump.



    What In The Wyoming?

    In the fall of 2005, BLMs Wyoming Rock Springs Field Office issued a wild horse removal plan for the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMA).

    BLM claimed that 730 wild horses would be removed(1) but during the roundups 1,197 horses were actually taken, 467 more than originally planned. (2)

    In the 2005 proposal, BLM stated, “At the present time, it can be projected with a high degree of confidence what the population will look like at gather time…” (3)

    And is it any wonder BLM felt they really knew the numbers since the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek wild horses have been rounded up 8 times in the last 8 years. (4)

    The remaining wild horse population after the 2005 removals, based on BLMs “in-depth” and confident authority was projected to be 861. We can only assume that taking 467 more wild horses during the 2005 removal operations was necessary to achieve this goal.

    Flash forward…five month’s later, BLM reports 1,825 wild horses still remain. (5)

    What happened? A new census technique is what happened.

    BLM and USGS have been working on a new way to count wild horses in Wyoming that have produced some amazing results. For 30 years, BLM has been claiming their wild horse counts were within a 15% accuracy rate but now, USGS stated there’s an 800% increase in the Salt Wells wild horse population.

    How do we know? Well, we don’t really and questions to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board about this new method were met with the usual dumbfounded silence only these BLM appointed experts are capable of.

    So far, public questions are only being met with silence while the costs of holding over 30,000 wild horses and burros continue to climb.


  14. More on the topic of Money, Public Lands and WHO brings to the table.
    We thought that Public Lands belonged to EVERYONE…the American Taxpayers

    Hunting for Horses?

    Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, a nationwide association of government workers in natural resources agencies was quoted as saying, “This is political meddling posing as a conservation policy and reads like it was written by a lobbysist”. (1)

    Former big game management plans and introductions have rarely impacted livestock grazing or their allocations on public lands but have often resulted in devastating impacts to wild horse and burro allowable population levels – consider it the newest way wild horses and burros are being “hunted to extinction” in the West.

    Most big game species have already been issued special management designations such as Priority, Special Status, or Sensitive Species categorizations that result in wild horse and burro populations being subordinated to these prime hunting species. Despite their federally protected status, many wild horse and burro herds have been totally zeroed out for exclusive big game use and expansions.

    In 2005, one fund raising event raised over $2.2 million dollars during the auctioning of twenty big horn sheep hunting tags. The highest tag commanded a stunning $199,000 in Arizona and second place went to New Mexico for a cool $177,800 – not the kind of cash the average American citizen can afford to pay for this elitist privilege. (10)

    A study done in 1996 analyzed the economic impacts of hunting and estimated that if the hunting “industry” was measured as a corporation, it would be listed as number thirty-five in the Fortune Five Hundred List with an estimated nationwide economic impact of $61 billion dollars, created household incomes totaling $416.1 billion, roughly equivalent to twenty-five percent of America’s entire military payroll and contributed $1.7 billion in federal income taxes, which equated to almost half of the entire federal budget for commerce (11).

    Those statistics are over ten years old and big game populations have continued to rapidly increase.

    So the next time you are wondering where all the wild horses and burros have gone, check your big game statistics. You will probably find they were introduced and are being managed under the radar, so to speak, through a helpful little technique often employed by government agencies called, “Categorical Exclusions”, which allows our public servants to make back room deals without going through lawful evaluations and presentations to the public. This also re-allocates critical resources such as food and water once reserved for wild horses and burros to big game species instead.


  15. America’s Wild Burros need to remain in AMERICA on their Legally Designated Herd Management Areas

    Oppose BLM’s Ill-Conceived Plan to Ship Burros to Guatemala

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to send 100 federally protected wild burros to Guatemala as “working” animals. The BLM knows that shipping 100 burros will not make a dent in the problem it has created by stockpiling nearly 50,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities. But the agency is looking at this as a “pilot program,” which could open the pipeline for the shipment of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros to foreign lands.

    Working horses, donkeys and mules often suffer from exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition, and abuse as a result of excessive workloads and limited animal health services in developing countries.

    Now is the time to tell Congress and the BLM that this ill-conceived plan must be immediately scrapped. The BLM should not be in the business of shipping our cherished burros (or wild horses) to foreign countries where the welfare and fate of these animals cannot be ensured. Please be sure to share this alert with friends and family — our opposition must be so loud and strong that the BLM cannot ignore us!


  16. Not sure that I’ve been quite this angry and loud about it before. I don’t know RSGA just brought out in the worst in me.

    Okay time for a seque. This is a NICE seque.

    I want you to picture yourself atop a mountain meadow. Most of it has trees surrounding the sides. The only road is some ancient track that really isn’t a road, it just looks like one.

    You’re camping. Dinner was great but there is a wild horse down the “road” from you. You hike down to get a closer view of Baja and his lead mare. You sit quietly on the side on the bank. The horses know you’re there but aren’t alarmed because the rest of the mares and the family baby hasn’t caught up yet.

    Time goes by. Without a watch it could be 5 mins but it might be 30. Who cares? There horses to observe. They’re allowing you to be a part of them for this time. Suddenly from the trees the stallions other mares show up as well as the baby.

    The stallion looks over to you. You have kept your distance respecting his need for space. But the stallion looks over to you and gives you that LOOK. The one that says observation time and picture taking time is over. You quietly stand up, drop your hand and cross it in front of you. You are telling the stallion that you understand and will comply immediately.

    Why is so easy to read horses and comply with their wishes but its so damn difficult to read people?


    • Margaret:

      Ummmm…assume people are devious, dishonest and self interest motivated, but always be polite.

      Assume the worst and work for the best; a few times you will be surprised by the best people can offer, but you will frequently confirm your worst fears.

      Some say that is being a cynic. I call it experience and being prepared.



    “BLM is undertaking a pilot program with the Department of Defense and
    Heifer International”

    In 2012, Heifer International spent more than a million dollars on professional fundraising fees. That figure jumps to more than $22 million when printing, distribution, processing, and other fundraising-related costs are included. According to Heifer International’s most recent 990 public tax form, they spent $22,359,441 on fundraising alone in one year.

    GiveWell charity rating organization deemed in their evaluation of Heifer International that the organization lacked sufficient transparency and priority programming to secure GiveWell recommendations or funding. Quoted from the GiveWell website are concerns about animal gifting in general.

    Former Indian minister for social welfare and animal protection, Maneka Gandhi, stated: “Nothing irritates me more than charities abroad that collect money and purport to give it to women or children or for animals in Asia or Africa. Very little reaches the country or the cause for which it is meant. Most of it goes toward their own ‘infrastructure,’ which means rent, staff, travel and ‘investigation’… This is cynical exploitation of animals and poor people.”


    Perhaps those who have commented on the multitude of BLM Environmental Assessments should send their comments to members of the Wild Horse and Advisory Board.
    It doesn’t appear that BLM has read them.


  19. Unlike other Wildlife species, Wild Horses and/or Burros are RESTRICTED to Herd Management Areas (which have continued to be reduced and zeroed out), and therefore it is NOT possible for them to follow their Natural Migration patterns.
    Also, they are often blocked by FENCES and CATTLE GUARDS on Public Lands.


  20. Today, a news article was circulated about the trial of 17 gang members in China who were arrested for poisoning and killing dogs amounting to 35 tons of dog meat.
    They stole most of these dogs and killed them with poison darts and arrows. How could anything be worse than killing whales or dogs for food? But guess what. These gang members sold that poisoned meat to humans for consumption. All I could think was those who knowingly ate that dog meat got what they deserve. I will not say what I think should happen to the killers, but killing wild horses and burros is just as hard for me; these “humans” are what? Crazy, vicious, sick, demented, freaks, what?


    • Elaine–in an answer to Louie above you stated “hating them will not make it better, what will?”
      Many of us have been here for some time and one thing I have noticed is a lot of different organizations – but not enough working together – sone our wild horses will be gone, and if all the enities that are asking for money would have worked as one, I believed the horses would have been saved..

      The BLM knows we are NOTt a united front—

      some organizations are no better than the BLM – they exploit the roundups and slaughter(our horses) to beg for donations—it’s all about money for them too. Just think if we they all worked as one we would be 100 , 000 ‘ s strong, we could stand as one and it would never have gotten this bad. The only one to suffer ALL OUR WILD HORSES.
      Just my rant for the morning – because I am so damn mad at how this is turning out.


  21. I haven’t been keeping up to date on the WY lawsuit.

    Could someone post a link with the legal info, including court jurisdiction and the judge(s)?

    As with all the lawsuits filed on behalf or against the wild equines, I’d like to know those jurists’ associations, board memberships, speaking engagements…Farm Bureau?….National Cattlemen’s?….Grazing Assoc? yah-duh-yah-duh-with a big DUH!

    Why?…Department of Justice comes down hard on conflict of interest with judges (supposedly).


    • Denise, this is from an earlier comment.

      There needs to be a different judge this time….one from a different state than Wyoming, and preferably from the other side of the Rockies:

      Energy and environmental issues have been Freudenthal’s catalyst for thought. She was a partner in the law firm of Davis & Canon before being nominated to federal judgeship. Perhaps the most notorious tidbit of her career springs from partnerships. Her husband, Governor Dave Freudenthal, nominated her along with two others to President Barack Obama for the position of federal judge for the United States District Court of the District Court Wyoming with the missive that “I thought about that long and hard, and the question really came down to (was) should she be penalized for having married me.”


    • This might be of interest and it definitely applies to our WH&B on OUR Public Lands.
      These Journalist have petitioned the DOJ and ask that all Americans sign on.

      AUGUST 14, 2014
      Freedom of the Press

      James Risen and other journalism advocates spoke at a press conference on freedom of the press and Obama administration efforts to compel New York Times reporter James Risen to disclose a confidential source. Mr. Risen was subpoenaed in 2008 to testify at the trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer accused of leaking information on Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Risen refused to name a source for information about a CIA operation in Iran that appeared in his book, State of War. Journalists and journalism advocacy groups have supported a petition to the Justice Department to cancel the subpoena. National Press Club president Myron Belkind also spoke about the arrest of journalists covering protests in response to the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.


  22. This might be of interest to any who have not yet seen it
    These Journalists have petitioned the DOJ and ask that all Americans sign on.

    AUGUST 14, 2014
    Freedom of the Press
    James Risen and other journalism advocates spoke at a press conference on freedom of the press and Obama administration efforts to compel New York Times reporter James Risen to disclose a confidential source. Mr. Risen was subpoenaed in 2008 to testify at the trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer accused of leaking information on Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Risen refused to name a source for information about a CIA operation in Iran that appeared in his book, State of War. Journalists and journalism advocacy groups have supported a petition to the Justice Department to cancel the subpoena. National Press Club president Myron Belkind also spoke about the arrest of journalists covering protests in response to the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.


  23. THAT was strange. When I posted the previous comment (I tried twice), the “this webpage cannot be accessed” page showed up.
    I see the comment DID post..twice.


  24. Anyone have a link to Dr. Peterson’s slides presented yesterday at the Advisory Board meeting? I would like a closer look at some of the graphs he presented but the links I can find are to older archived meetings.


    • IcySpots, this is something that has been of concern to many of us and we are seeing it in so many areas and HMAs (not just Idaho) where there have been wildfires.

      The biggest threat identified by agencies to Idaho’s sage grouse populations is increased fire frequency caused by conversion to grasslands and increases in invasive annual grasses such as cheatgrass and medusa head.
      For years the BLM in Idaho has intentionally destroyed intact sagebrush and planted the non-native crested wheatgrass in its place. BLM also seeded crested wheatgrass as a very large part of its post-fire “rehabilitation”.

      Fighting a pervasive invader: Crested wheatgrass

      Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is a Russian native that was originally introduced as a good, cheap livestock feed. It thrives in harsh conditions, including drought, and initially, some saw it as an ideal remedy for overgrazed rangeland. But in many places, it has taken over entirely. According to the U.S. Forest Service, over 26 million acres in North America have been planted in crested wheatgrass, almost half of it in the U.S. West. Wide bands of the grass cover rangeland across half the states in the country, where the plant forms a wall-to-wall monoculture, a Western version of an Iowa cornfield. Although livestock producers still find it useful for cattle, it crowds out native plants, growing in tight bunches that don’t leave room for anything else. It also makes for poor winter forage for wildlife.


      • Louie, thanks and well understood from my college courses and extensive other reading. I am specifically interested in Mr. Peterson’s current data and graphs, and the reports he mentioned which will be published soon.


    From ISPMB (International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros

    On July 10th, 2014, Representative, Chris Stewart (UT-R), introduced a bill to the Committee on Natural Resources which could ultimately spell doom for America’s Wild Horses and Burros. The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Bob Bishop (UT-R) and Tom McClintock (CA-R).

    On July 15th, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation and is titled “Wild Horse Oversight Act.” There are 26 members on this committee of which 14 are Republicans and 12 are Democrats.

    To find out if your Representative is on this committee please click here:

    Act now and write your Representative if they are on the Committee and state the following in your own words:

    The Wild Horses and Burros Act (PL 92-195) became a federal law to protect America’s wild horses and burros for all Americans and future generations to enjoy. Left to the state’s control in 1971, we would have no wild horses or burros left in our country. The same holds true for today if states take control of management.

    Please let us remind you that wild horses and burros can ONLY be removed if they are causing damage to their habitat and that can only be proven through monitoring of their habitat by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This means that setting a permanent AML (appropriate management level), as BLM currently does, is arbitrary and capricious. In other words, it is illegal.

    Those people, who have wanted for years to eliminate wild horses, live in the 10 western states in which the wild herds reside. The same states that want to take control of management now.

    In 1974 when the first counts were done on population of wild horses and burros, there were approximately 60,000 animals at which time the law stated that the animals were “fast disappearing from the American scene.” Now we have only half that number existing on public lands.

    What should be required of the BLM is monitoring of the public lands to determine who is causing damage to the lands. Since BLM is comprised of the same culture of people who have advocated for the removal of wild horses and burros, a new independent agency should be developed whose only job would be monitoring public lands with the ultimate goal of restoring the health of the land and who would have the power to remove those animals causing damage.

    Read more about these representatives.
    Chris Stewart (Utah)
    Rob Bishop (Utah)
    Tom McClintock (California)


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