Horse Health

Letter to BLM’s Chief of Wild Horse & Burro Program & BLM’s failure to manage our wild herds on federal public lands

We are publicly posting this letter that Grandma Gregg sent to Joan Guilfoyle, Neil Kornze, Ed Roberson and Sally Spencer:

Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief
Division of Wild Horses and Burros
20 M Street, S.E.
Washington, DC

I strongly oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to send 100 federally protected wild burros—at taxpayer expense—to Guatemala, where they would become working animals.  Once outside the U.S., the fates of the burros would be unknown – forever.

This idea flies in the face of the BLM’s legal mandate to care for and protect these cultural treasures here on U.S. soil.  It is not only cruel and a waste of resources—it also fails to address the ugly reality that led to this misguided schemethe BLM’s wholesale failure to manage our wild herds on federal public lands.

As for BLM’s Guatemala proposal:

First off,the Guatemalans will slaughter some (and eventually all) and I doubt they will give anyconcern about their slaughter methods but it won’t be humane.

Second, the burros are wild and although eventually could become pack animals with humane training and care, the typical and historically forceful methods to train equine that most people use in this and other countries is inhumane.


(photo: *

Third, I can tell you that nobody is ever going to check on the welfare of these burros – ever.  As a BLM adopter of two wild horses, BLM never checked on them until finally after two years; and then only because I pestered them about getting my ownership papers. In addition, they never checked on the wild stallion I bought – never. If anyone thinks that anyone is going to check on those in Guatemala … think again.  And even IF someone tried … how could they find a hundred burros that had been dispersed throughout the country?  They could not.

Fourth, by agreeing that it is acceptable to send our wild burros to another country we are setting a precedent that allows these American wild icons to be disposed of to another country and that is an unscrupulous precedent – if not illegal.  They are to be protected per the United States Congress.

Fifth, our burros do not belong to BLM or the government – they belong to the people of America and BLM has no right to sell our burros overseas to an unknown future.  They are not a livestock commodity.

Sixth, the most important issue is to again articulate to our government (BLM) that there are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land that was (per law) given to them principally for their protection.  To agree to anything less than what is really true and legal and correct is a betrayal to the wild horses and burros and the American people who own these wild equine.

With about 50,000 wild horses and burros stockpiled in BLM holding facilities, clearly the BLM’s wild equine program needs a complete overhaul.  Rather than continuing to round up and remove horses and burros to holding facilities while instituting no legitimate on-range management plan, the BLM must first realize and admit that there are no “excess” wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated legal land.

The recent National Academy of Science (NAS) report on the Wild Horse and Burro Program determined that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has no evidence of excess wild horses and burros; because the BLM has failed to use scientifically sound methods to estimate the populations (NAS, 2013).

The NAS cited two chief criticisms of the Wild Horse and Burro Program: unsubstantiated population estimates in herd management areas (HMA), and management decisions that are not based in science (NAS, 2013).  Shipping our protected equines off to other countries is the very opposite of proper management.


* The photo above may not have been taken in Guatemala, but illustrates the point of how equines are mistreated in other countries.


28 replies »

  1. Grandma Greg is so articulate and knowledgeable I love her persistance i hope the brain dead government employees listen. Ant other solution is unthinkable. The deaf vears had almost persuaded me to quit. Not now.


  2. Incredibly succinct and persuasive letter. Thank you, I admire you so much! Now Im going to attempt my own letter based on your example.


  3. I totally agree. I think I spoke to something similar this several years. It was something to the effect what would BLM do when there was no more room. That BLM was hoarding animals.

    I think disposing of animals by sending them out of country if a horrible idea. BLM has NO RIGHT to sale, adopt out or in any way get rid of our wild equines. This comes back to something Joan Guilfoyle said last spring when she said BLM wouldn’t work with advocates that sued every week.

    What are we suppose to do when BLM won’t listen?

    There has to be a way for everyone to come together to work for the betterment of all wild equines whether in captivity or in the wild.

    I’m not crazy about PZP but by far it’s better than any alternative I can think of. So I strongly back all attempts at CTR. And something to think about…what about when you catch wild horse mares. Is there a way to feed them treats individually that contains PZP. So that catching them becomes something fun cause they’ll get the equivalent of a Snickers bar! Just make sure you don’t let the studs have those treats.


  4. Thank you Grandma Gregg for an excellent letter. I too, am going to forward this information to our illustrious President and my Legislators. Sorry Guys if I am so blunt, but where do these people get the Kahunas to do these unthinkable things. I am totally appalled! Thank God all the Advocates living in the West pass this on to us. Thank you RT for keeping us abreast of all this. How dare them after all the letters emails calls and protests. I am speechless! The petition site is an excellent idea as the petition for signatures go out to thousands of people. Keep up the good work as always and may God bless all of you! I am in total shock…


  5. I would like to let all the Advocates know and Grandma Gregg, I just sent this information off to be sent to the saddle clubs I belong to. Sometimes the new technology is very beneficial.


  6. More from AMERICAN HERDS


    American Herds is devoting the month of December to the American Wild Burro, a species in significant decline whose populations under “federal protection” have continued to plummet to near Endangered Species status.

    While much of the public’s attention has been centered around their love and passion for the preservation of the American wild horse, our wild burros have often been forgotten and treated as little more than an after thought.

    Advocates would be wise to realize that wild burros, their stories, their treatment, and their decimated habitats and herds potentially hold the key to saving what’s left of our wild horses-nothing better illustrates the cumulative impact of what managed extinction looks like under the auspices of federal protection than the American Wild Burro.

    For many that have had a wild burro touch their heart, their life has been transformed by their magical presence and the passionate devotion that these special beings have inspired has caused their advocates more heartbreak and tears than can be imagined as they have had to bear witness to these precious and unique herds being systematically destroyed.

    In effort to honor those that have been irrevocably lost, to increase awareness of what little herds still remain and to those few individuals who have chosen the lonely path of trying to preserve and protect them, American Herds presents Decemburro as tribute – in rememburroance and in love.


    • Louie, thank you for sharing research from the American Herds blog. To newer advocates, this library of excellent research is important, so please spend some time reading the articles.


  7. This idea is totally unacceptable to any animal lover. It would be totally inhumane to contemplate doing this, and I agree to the fact that the BLM has no right to do this.


  8. Thank you for writing this very important letter! We need to get a petition up to really get their attention. We also need a major news channel, NBC, CBS, ABC or anyone to get this out to the general public! This can not go on any longer. We need to take back our country and our wild horses and burros. Hold them accountable for all the mistreatment of these animals…. etc etc etc. I could write a book, but those who have read other articles pertaining to this topic know the same old, sad story. BLM seems to be untouchable. We NEED to change that!!! –frustrated beyond words.


  9. BTW
    A week has passed and although I asked for a receipt (as well as response) for my letter and have received not even an acknowledgment that it was received – shall we suppose it went immediately into the shredder?


    • Dear GG.The BLM are pompous know it all People(need not mention murderers and greedful idiots), clearly they got your AWESOME letter, the truth hurts GG and they cannot stomach it !!!!!!


  10. You give ’em a proper tongue lashing, Grandma Greg. Good points! Also it must cost a fortune to ship animals to a foreign country. Does the government think we are blind/stupid just because they are so obtuse?


  11. As of right now there is ongoing investigation against the BLM. It’s been reported that BLM sold over 1,200+ mustangs to a man ( whom they have sold mustangs to before!) That in turn sold those very same mustangs for slaughter! This is not the first time BLM or its employees have done this. These mustangs are on public land with taxes being paid for by us! BLM is supposed to take care of these mustangs/burrows/donkeys but they don’t and it’s been documented. Animal activists are constantly battling for the animal’s care and welfare. They are even blocked from BLM’S round outs of the mustangs, the holding pens, ect. Bottom line BLM is not doing the right thing and they are in the cattle ranchers pockets! Sign every petition you can for the mustangs /burrows/donkeys. BLM should NOT be sending these animals over there, thesee animals should be protected and allowed to stay on their own land. I’m sorry but these foreign countries don’t even take care of their own children, people least of all animals. If one donkey goes down and can’t get up, it is beaten and if it still can’t get up it’s either killed for slaughter ~ even thought it’s skin and bones, or left for dead and another poor donkey is brought in to face the same destiny. It is a vicious circle that never ends. It has to stop these animals have no rights and no future. WE ARE THEIR VOICE!!!!!


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