Horse News

Are North America’s Wild Horses Native?

paper written by Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. and Patricia M. Fazio, Ph.D.

“The non-native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science, but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking…

Wild Outer Mongolian Takhi - photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Primitive Outer Mongolian Takhi – photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Are wild horses truly “wild,” as an indigenous species in North America, or are they “feral” weeds – barnyard escapees, far removed genetically from their prehistoric ancestors? The question at hand is, therefore, whether or not modern horses, Equus caballus, should be considered native wildlife.

The genus Equus, which includes modern horses, zebras, and asses, is the only surviving genus in a once diverse family of horses that included 27 genera. The precise date of origin for the genus Equus is unknown, but evidence documents the dispersal of Equus from North America to Eurasia approximately 2 to 3 million years ago and a possible origin at about 3.4 to 3.9 million years ago. Following this original emigration, several extinctions occurred in North America, with additional migrations to Asia (presumably across the Bering Land Bridge), and return migrations back to North America, over time. The last North American extinction occurred between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago.¹

Had it not been for previous westward migration, over the land bridge, into northwestern Russia (Siberia) and Asia, the horse would have faced complete extinction. However, Equus survived and spread to all continents of the globe, except Australia and Antarctica.

In 1493, on Columbus’s second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. caballus, were brought back to North America, first in the Virgin Islands, and, in 1519, they were reintroduced on the continent, in modern-day Mexico, from where they radiated throughout the American Great Plains, after escape from their owners.²

Critics of the idea that the North American wild horse is a native animal, using only paleontological data, assert that the species, E. caballus (or the caballoid horse), which was introduced in 1519, was a different species from that which disappeared 13,000 to 11,000 years before.

Herein lies the crux of the debate.

However, the relatively new (27-year-old) field of molecular biology, using mitochondrial-DNA analysis, has recently found that the modern or caballine horse, E. caballus, is genetically equivalent to E. lambei, a horse, according to fossil records, that represented the most recent Equus species in North America prior to extinction. Not only is E. caballus genetically equivalent to E. lambei, but no evidence exists for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except North America.³

According to the work of Uppsala University researcher Ann Forsten, of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, the date of origin, based on mutation rates for mitochondrial-DNA, for E. caballus, is set at about 1.7 million years ago in North America. Now the debate becomes one of whether the older paleontological fossil data or the modern molecular biology data more accurately provide a picture of horse evolution. The older taxonomic methodologies looked at physical form for classifying animals and plants, relying on visual observations of physical characteristics. While earlier taxonomists tried to deal with the subjectivity of choosing characters they felt would adequately describe, and thus group, genera and species, these observations were lacking in precision.

Reclassifications are now taking place, based on the power and objectivity of molecular biology. If one considers primate evolution, for example, the molecular biologists have provided us with a completely different evolutionary pathway for humans, and they have described entirely different relationships with other primates. None of this would have been possible prior to the methodologies now available through mitochondrial-DNA analysis.

Carles Vila, also of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has corroborated Forsten’s work. Vila et al have shown that the origin of domestic horse lineages was extremely widespread, over time and geography, and supports the existence of the caballoid horse in North American before its disappearance.4

Finally, the work of Hofreiter et al,5; examining the genetics of the so-called E. lambei from the permafrost of Alaska, found that the variation was within that of modern horses, which translates into E. lambei actually being E. caballus, genetically. The molecular biology evidence is incontrovertible and indisputable…(CONTINUED) at

51 replies »

  1. One can only breathe a sigh of relief that the evidence is being vetted. I have read other authors who believe that there is evidence that the horse did not go extinct in North America ever. And it has been pointed out that Columbus’ ships were very tiny and would not support the confinement of even one breeding pair and enough hay to last the trip so that is likely pure speculation. Also, I have heard of several fossils that are dated since the extinction event but personally cannot verify the species. What a great way to make a living!


    • This report was first published in 2006…that is how long the truth has been out there along with the additional findings that you stated in your reply. It is important that we keep this information out in front of the public as a counter move against the propaganda spewed by the BLM and their grazing bedfellows.


    • The size of Nina 50′ long, Pinta 45′ and Santa Maria, 80′, 120 crew, supplies and live animals couldn’t possibly hold horses for 3 months voyage with bad sanitation on all three. Then Columbus supposedly established horse breeding in Hispaniola and Cuba with other waves of explorers bringing horses. This really needs to be documented. No doubt wild horses have Spanish traits along with ancient markings that occur only in our wild horses, not in the Spanish. There are many equine bones from various places that need to be dated. Scientists/groups should focus on that rather than repeating rubbish. No doubt you know that Dr. Ross McPhee of the Amer Natural History Museum changed the date of America’s equine extinction to 7500 – 10,000 yrs BP because of equine DNA found in Alaska. Hoping the equine bones will be dated before BLM disposes of all our living wild horses that they do with blistering speed.


      • Yes, the voyage(s) of Columbus are very well documented. The ships that arrived on his first voyage were very much different than the much larger ships sailed under his command during the second voyage in 1493. 17 ships in total sailed with over 1,000 men.

        Quote from, Latin America History:
        “The second voyage was to be a large scale colonization and exploration project. Columbus was given 17 ships and over 1,000 men. Included on this voyage, for the first time, were European domesticated animals such as pigs, cattle and (16) horses Columbus’ orders were to expand the settlement on Hispaniola, convert the natives to Christianity, establish a trading post and continue his explorations in search of China or Japan. The fleet set sail on October 13th, 1493 and made excellent time, first sighting land on November 3rd.”

        It’s pretty much common knowledge that Columbus re-introduced the horse after a long absence and changed the lives of everyone they came in contact with for the next 600+ years. We should be totally ashamed of ourselves as human beings for how we treat horses and the way we have done so in the past. As a modern civilization, we owe them everything.

        Where would we be without the horse??!!??


      • The horses from the boats were tough, they had to be to cross the sea. Oh what a sight they had to ave been. Proud, brave, intelligent, kind. We owe everything to the horse – everything.

        Our history books of the future will tell of this fight to protect the last of the wildlife.


      • Hopiman, you write much truth. My research brought to light that Columbus never set foot in what we call America and his second voyage was essentially a disaster. It is highly unlikely any of his horses survived at all since there are abundant sources of information indicating the Spaniards mostly starved out on arrival. Most brought their own mounts as well and would surely rather eat them than lose them.

        Another factor is that the sea voyage was very hard on horses. Typically about half died, and in times of trouble some were tossed overboard alive. The Horse Latitudes bear this name as a reminder of those times.

        So Columbus MIGHT have landed with 8 horses, surely mostly male horses, not mares, so even a generous allowance for 4 mares would never produce the source for America’s reported millions of wild horses on the Pacific NW coast long before the Spaniards themselves ever reached what we call California.


  2. Can this evidence be used as legal proof the horses are a native species? It certainly sounds like it can, based on the given scientific evidence and the fact that both “key elements” to establish them as such have been satisfied. Although there would certainly be opposition from BLM and the welfare ranchers as this is a real game changer to have the wild horses and burros reclassified as native, can it be done, and has it been previously attempted? Surely it would not be up to a (biased, IMO) court judge, but lie with the scientific powers that be? And how does one get the process started? If I’m on the wrong track, someone please enlighten/correct me.


  3. I have shared this out. The debate is over in my mind and has been for a long time. I have also read old journals of eye witness accounts of explorers coming upon unexpected herds of horses and stories of trading llong before the Conquistadors, but just the science of the DNA similarity is unrefutably the ONLY evidence that cannot be washed out the derogatory cowspeak of the livestock industry. I can hear that long drawn out stubborn bawl of the livestockers. History is our friend in this battle. I only hope the destruction of the wildlife will not have been accomplished before the tides turn.


    • I agree – but as I said in my comment to the article – to those narrow minded souls who stake their living on their beliefs that the wild horses & burros are FERAL – I also hear the BAWL. Certainly proves to me between this 2006 article & the one in the Aspen Times (geri-above) the truth is in the science! Now to educate everyone…


      • I agree with you as well Maggie. Journals and manuscripts and stories passed on were our history at one time, but the fakers and liars have eroded some of that reliance, tarnishing our trust in the word. I love reading the actual documentsI am speaking in concert with you all who are helping to protect our wildlife. But for science, we would be like leaves in the wind, at the mercy of whoever wants whatever they want.


  4. Abstract: Since the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, debate has raged over whether horses and burros are restored North American natives. Fossil, genetic and archaeological evidence supports these species as native.

    The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America.
    Craig C. Downer.
    “American Journal of Life Sciences”.
    Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

    You can read the article here:

    Click to access 10.11648.j.ajls.20140201.12.pdf

    “American Journal of Life Sciences” is a peer-reviewed journal dealing with all aspects of research on life sciences.
    Q. What is “peer-reviewed”?
    A. A process by which a scholarly work is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted.


  5. Until they interview Prehistiric man science is isnt exact. But in my opinion if no one person actually owns an animal its wild and according to All known written data we are Not to own Certain species because they return to wild behaviors inevitably. So to split hairs on tigers vs horses being wild is insanity. Because one is MORE inclined to quicker digression to wild behavior makes no difference. Tigers are carnivorous and therefore the digression is More Obvious while horses are more passified because they are NOT carnivorous has science thinking one is more wild than the other. There is no basis in fact for this. Horses that roam for generations have the capacity to tame and learn. The fact they learn to submit to humans shows higher intelligence on cooperation and tolerance making them as hardy and still as wild as their predators only smart enough to change to evolve.



    By Ross MacPhee, PhD, Curator – Division
    of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

    It needs to be more widely understood that the horse’s status as a native North American species is beyond serious question.


    • Thanks for posting this Louie.

      When I first became aware of the research Dr. MacPhee had done in regards to the origin of the North American Mustang, I forwarded a copy of his article to the BLM.They responded by saying: ” as new research comes to light, they will act accordingly” Once again, they have proven themselves wrong as nothing has changed.
      The usual song and dance…once again.


  7. This “non-native, feral/exotic” argument is often used as a means of getting away from the central issue…
    Our Wild Horses and Burros are FEDERALLY PROTECTED…PERIOD.
    That argument is a mute point, but there is something good that has resulted from it.
    It has made everyone dig deeper in order to get to the truth.
    As R.T. says, we just have to keep repeating it over and over and over.


  8. There is little question now that the debate over whether our wild horses are native or not has now been ended as a scientific issue. That leaves next the claim by corporate profiteers that wild horses – or any species- for that matter- is without economic value compared to livestock and without inherent value because it isn’t to be weighed in the butcher’s scales before assessing its value. Wild horses do have economic value to states who advertise them in their tourist brochures- and yet then betray them to those now rounding them up in Wyoming and Nevada to lead lives as zoo animals at best, slaughter at worst. More importantly, wild horses have inherent value to themselves, just as human beings do, because of their desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They have value to Americans because they are a symbol of Nature and freedom independent from human corporate control. And this is the real reason corporations intent on destroying Nature want them to vanish from the American West. They don’t like Americans to be reminded that our original loyalty is to the natural world, not the artificial and contrived world of Profit.


  9. It is going to take a Global united front to stop the total destruction of things that cannot be replaced. We have to start somewhere. I don’t know whether this organization can help, but there are many others.
    You do, however, have to proceed with caution and be certain that any organization is and remains true to its cause.


    About IFAW
    Founded in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it’s dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. We also advocate saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as our campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts

    Our vision: Our vision is a world where animals are respected and protected.

    Our promise: We promise supporters and policy makers effective animal protection solutions delivered with intelligence, compassion and integrity.

    Our belief: IFAW believes in the intrinsic value of animals and that we have a responsibility to protect them from suffering and unnecessary exploitation.

    Our work: We rescue and care for individual animals and deliver effective solutions for the long-term protection of animal populations and habitats.
    We promote addressing animal welfare concerns in policy, legislation and society.

    Our approach: We are international, with local expertise and leadership in all of our field offices. Through strong international coordination, we leverage regional campaigns and projects to achieve global influence and impact.

    Our work connects animal welfare and conservation, demonstrating that healthy populations, naturally sustaining habitats and the welfare of individual animals are intertwined.
    We use our hands-on projects on the ground to inform and influence policy


  10. Science has always had it’s basis firmly in ‘on-going’, with new discoveries written in sand because scientists know, somewhere down the pike, another discovery will put the previous one on it’s ear.

    So many species that ‘died out’ mysteriously 11 – 13,000 years ago still have representative species existing now, in bear, wolf, prong horn and elk, just to name a few. If they survived, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that ‘equus’ somehow managed to, as well.

    Unless or until science can finally solve the reasons surrounding the die off, I refuse to believe ‘equus’ vanished out of North America entirely. It might be disingenuous on my part, but there is new evidence found of ‘equus’ being here as little as 800 years ago, well before the European invasion. The fact that present day wild horses and burros thrive in sparse and hostile environments indicates having adapted to those environments over a long course – and many generations.

    Drs. Kirkpatrick and Fazio present relatable data, logical and fully informed. Their reports, while not necessarily unbiased as they support the ‘horse as a native’ train of thought, also reflect each new discovery, rather than supporting the single-minded theory of complete extinction during a particular time-frame.

    Try running that theory past the Agency That Be. Even on their information page, they declare extinction as a definitive, and Columbus as responsible for introducing our current wild equine species back into the New World.

    It’s probably less expensive than updating the web site to reflect current events (insert sarcasm icon here…).


  11. I have done extensive research on this topic and am hoping one day to publish what I found which supports perpetual nativity on this continent. The evidence takes many forms but once you start digging you will keep finding more, and a preponderance of evidence points towards a more complex truth that Native Americans had Native American horses here before the Spaniards arrived. What few initial horses they brought did not survive but as later waves of Conquistadores came they did bring more but the majority remained on the island of Hispaniola to form a breeding colony. (there was an embargo on exporting horses which lasted nearly 50 years in Spain).

    For the population numbers to be anywhere near the realm of reality the very few Spanish horses that a.) survived and b.) escaped and survived, joined the Native herds already here.

    It’s a fascinating subject with much compelling evidence.

    But on another note here is a link to a study on grazing in Wyoming’s Red Desert, dated 1983. At that time Wild Horses were called just that by ranchers. The term “feral” must have been put into service at a later date and for questionable intentions.

    Also this is interesting; describing how Bison survived the Megafaunal extinctions right up until historic times. Bison and Wild Horses are both obligate grassland herbivores, making it a stretch to imagine one would completely disappear and the other multiply into vast millions pre-colonization.


  12. One more paragraph from the Paleoecological link above (by Dr. J. Wayne Burkhardt)
    Pg. 31
    Horses and burros have a longer tenure claim in North America than several of our “native fauna” such as bighorn sheep or bison which are both Asian immigrants. It is remarkable that public land management policy has been to remove horses and burros from several National Parks
    and some cases other public lands. They are considered feral or exotic species that are encroaching on so called “native” wildlife habitat. Such management policies are much at odds with the known fossil record. “… in strictly genealogical terms, it is clear that certain supposedly “alien” mammals have a valid prior claim to
    the continent. At higher taxonomic levels some of the “natives” are considerably less American then certain foreigners” (Martin 1970) .


    • And need I add, that the modern cow, the Holstein, was imported by a British dude who came to visit saw all this open land and ordered a couple thousand of the dull witted animals to be shipped to Wyoming, Montana or somewhere (can’t remember which state). This was a bit after 1880, not much because the sheep were already here, brought by the Portugese and French who settled the west coast (being sailors they came by sea) and then moved inland. The sheep were on the range by the gajillions. No fences yet.

      Anyway, this guy brings over the British cow and the first winter – they all went belly up. So he brought in some more, there were problems. Darned things kust died or were killed. They couldn’t protect themselves, and couldn’t run and didn’t really know when it got cold until it was too late.

      The long horn had been for ages but it took a brave soul to handle them.

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      • Jan, Holsteins are milk cows, and originally from Germany. Are you thinking of Herefords instead? They are beef cattle, and from England. We still have gazillions of them in our beef herds today. Regardless, none of them are native to this continent. The Longhorn and Corriente are also not natives, their origins are Spanish.


      • Herefords. My brain is fried that late at night. I sat there thinking Holstein, no not Holstein and hereford did not come. So Holstein it was. Thank you for correcting – I need that. 🙂
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      • Right, they are not native but had the ability to thrive in the landscape of the West. They were able to hold up on the long drives to feedlots. The hereford could not – so the meat industry invested in rail.
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    • Worth pondering how it could be reasonable to think all horses went extinct when their grassland partner ungulates (Bison) did not, and horses on the other side of the Bering Strait who encountered the Ice Age there survived.

      Also worth considering the ecological map just prior to the Spaniard’s introduction of cattle on this continent. Native American populations who had been hunting/gathering for millennia were rapidly dying off coast to coast due to exposure to European diseases. Introducing cattle, a non-native species into a suddenly unbalanced ecosystem opened up a niche for cattle to invade which was then amplified by newly arrived human management intent on mining the free grass on the Open Range. Green Gold made many people wealthy (and their descendants).


      • A few weeks ago, I looked up a map of Ice Age North America, when the Bering Land Bridge still existed.
        It was almost the furthest north point, beyond present day Canada. Yet the land south was still heavily forested, temperate woodland. The glaciers didn’t completely encompass North America, but mostly the Mid-West and East.
        So why would Ice Age ‘equus’ head further North, when there was still viable food sources and moderate temperatures to the South?
        I think there may have been a significant die-off of equids, like other species of Megafauna, but not a complete eradication. We see so many wild horses and burros with the primitive dorsal and leg striping, a nod perhaps to a divergence that caused the myriad zebra species, but we’ve been ‘trained’ to believe it’s inherent only to Spanish descendants – and not a breed that begat them.
        Somewhere in the remnants of California’s ancient vanished woodlands or Nevada’s temperate, semi-desert lurks the remains of a 5,000 year old equid. At least, I’d like to think so.


    Noted Humanitarian Dr, Ann Marini Catches BLM in Lies With Photo Evidence
    October 8, 2014

    Dear Mr. Lucero,
    Several years ago, I requested information about the rationale and sound science regarding the Calico wild horse round-up. I sent this letter to my Senator, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Senator Mikulski, in turn, sent my letter to Bob Abbey, the director of the Wild Horse and Burro program at the BLM at the time. Mr. Abbey sent me a letter stating that the reason for the round-up was because the wild horses were starving and emaciated. Unbeknownst to Mr. Abbey, I had a friend who was in close proximity to the short-term holding facility for this round-up. He took many photos of the wild horses from that cruel round-up where many horses died; two foals who were captured on video and couldn’t walk because their hooves were in the process of sloughing off also died from the helicopter-induced stampede over long distances of treacherous volcanic rock. I had all of the photos processed and blown up to 8.5 x 11 so all of the horses (about 100 in total) could be clearly seen. All of the horses were healthy and none were emaciated or starving.

    Just a short summary about my background. I received my Ph.D. degree in Medical Biochemistry from Georgetown University and received my M.D. from the same institution. I am a physician-scientist and have been conducting scientific research since the late 70’s. I do know the basic principles of sound science and I certainly know the difference between lies and the truth. To get at the truth of course, the reporter would have to do a serious investigation into the BLM propaganda and the newspaper would have to commit some serious resources to discover the truth.

    The fact is that the BLM doesn’t know how many wild horses there are on public land and because they don’t know the true number of wild horses on public land, there is no way for them to conclude that there are “excess” wild horses which is one criteria for possible round-up.

    A serious effort of acquiring a broad factual knowledge base (background and current information) would lead one to question the integrity and real intent of the Wild Horse and Burro Program at the BLM. This is an important point because the BLM will do anything and everything to dupe all of us silly Americans who don’t know anything about horses or science.

    If the New York Times believes everything they read and/or obtain from the BLM about the wild horse and burro program, the paper will be hopelessly duped. The facts are that horses are emotional animals and helicopters terrorize them and induce a huge stress response. The fact is that the BLM has consistently REMOVED public land over the years that you and I as taxpapers provide to the wild horses and burros that has amounted to over 19 million acres. There was never any explanation from the BLM. The land just disappeared from the original map where wild horses were allowed to roam free. The fact is that Congress designated that public land was given to wild horses and burros wherever wild horses were found. The BLM is continuing to remove public land, land that all Americans pay to allow the wild horses to live on with their families. The fact is that there are 100 cows to 1 wild horse despite the fact that it is only a privilege for welfare ranchers to graze their cattle on public land. So, why is it that the BLM leases public land to ranchers to graze 1 million cows but whatever number of wild horses (I seriously doubt 40,000 as there are more in long-term holding than free on the range) that are roaming free on public land is too many (Remember, Congress passed the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 which allowed wild horses and burros to roam free on public land and live out their lives with their families)? The fact is that the National Academy of Sciences report urged the BLM to conduct a formal and accurate count of the wild horses on public land. Has the BLM made the effort to accurately count the number of wild horses on public land? The fact is that the National Academy of Sciences indicated in their report that when you remove horses from a parcel of land, there are fewer horses and the horses will reproduce at a higher rate. Has the BLM used this sound science to manage the wild horses? No, it is business as usual….round them up and eradicate them off the face of the Earth.

    Let’s remember that there are 248 million acres of public land. Surely, the BLM can think “outside the box” and manage these icons of American heritage and freedom on public land, land that was designed to them by an act of Congress.

    Select publications (out of 70):

    Hu Z, Yu D, Almeida-Suhett C, Tu K, Marini A, Eiden L, Braga M, Zhu J, Li Z. 2012 Expression of miRNAs and Their Cooperative Regulation of The Pathophysiology in Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS One 7(6):e39357
    Pan H, Hu X-z, Jacobowitz DM, Chen C, McDonough J, Van Shura K, Lyman M, Marini AM. 2012 Alpha-linolenic acid is a potent neuroprotective agent against soman-induced neuropathology. Neurotoxicology, 33:1219-1229.
    Lilja AM, Luo Y, Yu Q-s, Röjdner J, Li Y, Marini AM, Marutle A, Nordberg A, Greig NH. 2013 Neurotrophic and neuroprotective actions of (-)- and (+)-phenserine, candidate drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. PLoS One, 8(1):e54887.
    Martinez-Llordella M, Esensten JH, Bailey-Bucktrout SL, Lipsky RH, Marini A, Chen J, Mughal M, Mattson MP, Taub DD, Bluestone JA. 2013 CD28-inducible transcription factor DEC1 is required for efficient autoreactive CD4+ T cell response. J Experimental Med 210:1603-1619.
    Almeida-Suhett CP, Zheng L, Marini AM, Braga MFM, Eiden LE. 2014 Temporal course of changes in gene expression suggests a cytokine-related mechanism for long-term hippocampal alteration after controlled cortical impact. J Neurotrauma, 31(7):683-690.
    Almeida-Suhett CP, Prager E, Pidoplichko V, Figueiredo T, Marini AM, Li Z, Eiden L, Braga MFM. 2014 Reduced Gabaergic inhibition in the Basolateral Amygdala and the development of anxiety-like behavior after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS One, 9(7):e102627
    Chen J, Pan H, Chen C, Wu W, Iskandar K, He J, Piermartiri T, Jacobowitz DM, Yu Q-S, McDonough JF, Greig NH, Marini AM. (-)-Phenserine attenuates soman-induced neuropathology. PLoS One, 9(6):e99818.

    Kind regards,
    Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.


    • Yes, excellent, Louie. May I just remind you that in 2014, politicians actually stand in front of the TV cameras and tell us that there is no such thing as global warming. I just paid $25.65 a bale for grass hay brought to California from Oregon because of the severe drought. Now what would make the corrupted tell the truth about anything. Nothing, IMHO, except money, power, or influence certainly not science.


  14. The Actual Argument should Not be about Invasive horses but the Extraordinary Numbers of cattle that have Never truly been Restricted causing Invasive dangers to the Land. We All know Corporations wanting to use the Land and Environmental Issues being caused are Invasive and Having Ranchers Roaming around collecting herds every year is Invasive. The fact they connotate the horses as evasive was introduced in writing in the early 1900’s in order to brain wash college students to their idea. However a book I found from 1902 classifies the large rotating and moving herds of cattle were DRIVING away Natural wildlife and grounding the terrain into dust. The invasive cattle brought illnesses unknown to Natural Wildlife and destroyed much of it with the cattle brining illness the other creatures had little or no immunity to. So they were INVASIVE from the firsr cattle herds on these lands. The horses were acknowledgef as roaming free through the vast terrain a mixture of spotted and patchy colored horses running amongst the solid bays…sorrels…blacks…and chestnuts. The horses were known to always exist in the western states acknowledged the book says by tribes who make assertions the horses were there before the existing stories they were brought by light skinned settlers. (sorry..just qoting the text)


  15. Not a moment too soon
    From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)


    Network for Pro Bono “Legal Protection of Science” and Web Law Center
    Posted on Oct 09, 2014

    A new program providing legal information, counseling and, when needed, formal representation to embattled scientists at no cost to them was unveiled today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This Alliance for Legal Protection of Science (ALPS) will also field a national network of volunteer attorneys from a variety of specialties to help PEER staff counsel provide pro bono legal assistance to besieged scientists.

    When public scientists’ research has economic or political significance, their findings and careers are sometimes put under pressure or attack from industries or interest groups, such as fossil-fuel extractors, chemical and other manufacturers, as well as the law firms and “think tanks” they finance. Individual researchers are often ill-equipped to counter well-funded harassment campaigns. ALPS will organize legal and other resources to protect both targeted scientists and their work products.
    The effort features a new web center for public agency and university scientists to schedule legal sessions and to access user-friendly on-point information about their rights and options on topics such as

    How to cope with voluminous “weaponized” public records requests intended to launch intrusive and disruptive fishing expeditions. The site also breaks down each state public record law;

    Avenues to escape being dragged into lawsuits and for handling invasive litigation discovery; and

    The right to publish without official approval as well as limits on “official information.”

    ALPS is an outgrowth of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, a PEER effort to defray legal fees of scientists under industry-funded legal attack; one beneficiary has been Professor Michael Mann, the climate scientist known for the “hockey stick” graph showing the sharp increase in global temperatures over the past 50 years. The ALPS program, however, is not limited to climate science and aims to be preventive and proactive, rather than reacting to litigation once it has arisen.

    “Our main objective is to help scientists do their work while helping them avoid entanglement in the legal system,” said ALPS Project Director Kyla Bennett, a scientist and an attorney formerly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, noting that many of the pressures facing public scientists are applied by interests seeking to control the information and thus the outcomes of major decisions. “This is an effort to shield both science and scientists from political manipulation.”
    The new PEER web center marshals information about emerging developments, such as federal scientific integrity policies, peer review and data quality requirements as well as the expanding role of scientific professional societies. In addition, it analyzes conflicts between transparency and confidentiality in research settings.

    “Like a volcanic island rising from the seabed, a new body of science law is fitfully evolving,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that new rules confer legal status on technical works and those who create them. “In a government setting, the law often treated science as subject to the dictates of political appointees but that is changing.”


    • Wow. This all reminds me those futuristic movies about future governments holding scientists hostage to desperate policies putting money and power into a few hands.

      This morning’s news in Sacramento, news of fracking waste being pumped into fresh water aquifers and spoiling the water will wake some up to listen.

      The push to save our world and our animals is now a fistfight.
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  16. I agree that:
    The 16 horses, while it might seem like alot, does not make a herd! However the numbers that were given, do not specify that it was the total among the 27 ships. My impression was that, it was only Columbus’s ship that had the 16 and because of his privilege as expedition leader etc. his ship would have been unloaded first, so his horses would have been first off and the ones that history remembers the best. As you say, they would have likely had others belonging to crew members and other crown horses. The Spanish are well known for keeping accurate sail records, so I’m sure the numbers are available in one Spain’s Nautical Museum’s/archives. The big push with the return of the horse came with the conquistadors and the resulting influx of settlers and then from there, to Native Americans. As for horses being there pre-Cortez, isolated sightings…maybe. Native American accounts also may be misinterpreted by the definition of “always or forever” when asked how long they have had the horse in their culture.

    Thanks for commenting my post, I’ve been posting here for about 2 years, not so much lately now. It’s the first time, someone has acknowledged me.
    If it sounds like I’m whining…I am. lol!


    Hopiman, you write much truth. My research brought to light that Columbus never set foot in what we call America and his second voyage was essentially a disaster. It is highly unlikely any of his horses survived at all since there are abundant sources of information indicating the Spaniards mostly starved out on arrival. Most brought their own mounts as well and would surely rather eat them than lose them.

    Another factor is that the sea voyage was very hard on horses. Typically about half died, and in times of trouble some were tossed overboard alive. The Horse Latitudes bear this name as a reminder of those times.

    So Columbus MIGHT have landed with 8 horses, surely mostly male horses, not mares, so even a generous allowance for 4 mares would never produce the source for America’s reported millions of wild horses on the Pacific NW coast long before the Spaniards themselves ever reached what we call California.


    • Hopiman, Please do keep posting and commenting. People don’t always comment or acknowledge, but they ARE reading. Things are moving so fast that we don’t always take the time that we should for simple courtesies.
      Thank you for adding to our knowledge.


    • Hopiman, please keep commenting here. Many people read these comments, even though they don’t always take the time to comment themselves.


    • Do not allow anyone to silence you including yourself. It takes many to solve a problem and we do have problems or I should say OUR beloved horses have problems. If we all lived in NY city, we could meet up at some designated spot and turn out hundreds even thousands, but we are scattered all over the least populated areas because we are horse guardians, so we must create, think, commiserate, and solve via the virtual meetings on the internet. We need you.


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