Horse Health

BLM & some “nuisance” ranchers deceive American taxpayers

by Debbie Coffey,  V.P. and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation     Copyright 2014               All Rights Reserved.

On October, 16, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management Ely District in Nevada issued a news release announcing that in early November, it would begin a roundup to remove “approximately 120 excess wild horses from in and around the Triple B and Silver King Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in eastern Nevada.” And “The helicopter gathers are necessary to prevent further damage to private property and provide for public and animal safety.” 

For one thing, per BLM’s website, “Nevada is an open range state.  It is the responsibility of the private land owner to build a legal fence to keep livestock off private land.” 

Let’s take a closer look at what this news release did and didn’t say.

Silver King HMA

The BLM stated this:  “The District will remove up to 50 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King HMA.  The horses to be gathered are located about 120 miles south of Ely.  They are a safety concern on U.S. Highway 93 and are damaging private property, resulting in property owner complaints.  AML for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses.  The current population is 452 wild horses.”

The BLM omitted informing the public of the excessive numbers of livestock in the Silver King HMA, which is shown in the chart below.

The information on the 2 graphs below was taken directly from information on BLM’s Rangeland Administration System database.

Silver King

 Triple B HMA

The BLM stated this: “The District will remove about 70 excess wild horses from the Triple B HMA, located about 30 miles northwest of Ely, that are damaging private property, and harassing and breeding domestic stock resulting in landowner complaints.  Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Triple B HMA is 215-250 wild horses.  The current population is 1,311 wild horses.”

Again, the BLM omitted informing the public of the number of livestock on this federally protected HMA for wild horses.

Triple B



The BLM seems to act in collusion with ranchers when it actively advises ranchers to send letters of complaint to them to remove “nuisance” wild horses from private property.

At a Modoc-Washoe BLM Experimental Stewardship Program committee meeting in northern California, ranchers were told to use the “Coleman property request” as a “template” for everyone else’s “problem.” (The “problem” was supposed wild horses on private property).

In a Nevada Society of Rangeland Management newsletter, it states: “I requested a response from BLM due to the Section’s concerns with WH&B.  I received this from Alan Shepherd, Nevada WH&B State Program Lead / Joan Guilfoyle, BLM Division Chief for WH&B Program, dated May 5, 2014…
How will the potential gathers be prioritized?
• BLM has tasked a small group of managers and field staff to prioritize any potential removals within the program based on court orders, private property concerns, and public health and safety concerns. This team will also be considering concerns from the on-going drought across the West that
has led to declining animal and rangeland conditions.” 

It states in the Code of Federal Regulations,“§4720.2-1   Removal of strayed animals from private lands

Upon written request from the private landowner to any representative of the Bureau of Land Management, the authorized officer shall remove stray wild horses and burros from private lands as soon as practicable…The request shall indicate the numbers of wild horses or burros, the date(s) the animals were on the land, legal description of the private land, and any special conditions that should be considered in the gathering plan.”

Note that this regulation only authorizes the BLM to remove wild horses from private lands, NOT to then remove the wild horses from an HMA forever.

In Fallini v. Hodelthe court ruled that §4 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act does not impose a duty on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prevent wild horses from straying onto private lands.   The court rules that §4 of the Act does not impose a ministerial duty on BLM to prevent wild horses from straying onto private lands. The plain language of the section creates no express duty and the court finds no implied duty. Congress clearly anticipated in §4 the possibility of wild horses straying onto private land, but it rejected the use of intensive management techniques.”

Since removing “nuisance” horses that are on private property is now becoming so widely talked about, and since the BLM is facilitating this, it now seems that this is an “intensive management technique.”

Even if the BLM removes wild horses from a private property, on what does the BLM assume it has authorization to completely remove those wild horses from the HMA?

When the BLM cites a “need” to roundup wild horses because they wandered onto private property, or are somehow a danger to the public, or because of drought, the BLM is grasping at straws for reasons to roundup wild horses and remove them to cater to their Most Special Interest.

A November 2012 PEER report concluded that “The biggest and most ambitious scientific undertaking in the history of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is languishing after it was revealed the agency directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a possible factor in changing landscapes.”

And “the agency’s own records show that the primary cause (nearly 80%) for BLM lands not meeting range health standards is damage from livestock, far eclipsing drought, fire, invasion by non-native plants or sprawl – the factors BLM now calls ‘overarching.’”

And just last month, another PEER report pointed out: “The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros…”   And, “within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.”

The BLM determined that such a low number of wild horses be allowed on these Herd Management Areas in the 2008 Ely District Resource Management Plan (RMP).

However, 88 grazing allotments (3,247,411 acres) were not even evaluated “for meeting standards of rangeland health” when the BLM Ely District issued its Resource Management Plan in 2008 (Appendix E, Table E-2).

Out of the 88 Ely District grazing allotments that weren’t evaluated for meeting standards of rangeland health, 4 grazing allotments were in the Silver King HMA (Highland Peak, Pioche, Rattlesnake, and Ely Springs) and 1 grazing allotment was in the Triple B HMA (Maverick Springs).

And where is the proof (GPS, time and date stamped photos) that the wild horses were actually on private property?  (And frankly, some ranchers could even drive the wild horses onto their property as an excuse to have them removed from public lands permanently.)

Is there REAL PROOF that wild horses actually did any of the damage the ranchers are claiming they did?  Or are these complaints convenient assumptions?  For instance, how would the ranchers know it was a wild horse that broke a sprinkler instead of a domestic horse or a cow?

Did all of the ranchers include the required legal land descriptions (township and range numbers) in their letters of complaint?  Is the BLM only removing wild horses that were actually on the private property, or all the wild horses in the area?  How long were the wild horses on the private property?  An hour?

Apparently, it’s okay with the BLM if livestock are on roads and a danger to the public.  And while ranchers complain that wild “nuisance” horses wander onto their private land, the ranchers feel an entitlement to let their excessive numbers of privately owned livestock create a nuisance on and damage to PUBLIC lands.  And it’s all on your dime.

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat  ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


The BLM did an Ely District Public Safety and Nuisance Gather Environmental Assessment

BLM gave this roundup a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).


52 replies »

  1. Right, and when private owned livestock damages private property, the private property owners are told – too bad, put up a barbed-wire fence at your expense to keep the animals out of your property. And when a driver collides with a private owned cow on a highway and kills the cow and totals his car, he has to pay the rancher for the value of the cow (actually I think it’s double the value of the cow) and his totaled vehicle is between him and his insurance company. Arizona: Open Range


  2. I don’t know what the answer is. People want the oil that formed from the peat in the plants the horses ate for millions of years, and they will do anything to get it, even if it means destroying our country and the world with it.


  3. “The District will remove about 70 excess wild horses from the Triple B…
    that are damaging private property, and harassing and breeding domestic stock resulting in landowner complaints.”

    Is it barely possible that since the last roundup of the Triple B, the district no longer has any reason to remove them – or room to put them – so landowners have now come up with this line of crap?

    Is it possible these animals are thirsty, and going to the only water sources they can find – on private land?

    Initially this year, there was supposed to be around 2,000 animals removed, in emergency and ‘nuisance’ situations, and of course that Bull Sh*t that was the Wyoming fiasco. We have bait trapping – unobserved by the Public – and apparently the only way to discover it is by FOIA. (Yet, oddly, the numbers In Holding have DROPPED in the past few months). And few of these removals follow documentation or Public comment periods.

    We musta done something right if the only way they can take them now is undercover or at the behest of the powers that matter.


  4. Good points all. I received the newsletter/magazine from the Humane Society of the United States which did two articles on the Wild horses and Burros situation. I was appauled with the lack of information. It barely mentioned the number or the type of livestock damaging the range areas, but promoted the use of contraception use. I responded by email and asked them to get their information/research in order. If you are going to publish an article let’s get all the facts on the table. No mention was made of the deaths of any of the horses including the babies. All of you are right. It is a bunch of bs because unless there is physical, its simply not true. I will not support Dick Durbin any longer from Illinois who is running again after 32 years in the Senate because I feel he has done little to protect our equine friends. It will be interesting to see the response from HSUS. The greed in this country is overwhelming. Again, thank you for your comments and research because this gives those of us not living in the area amo for our emails and letters to our Legislators and other avenues of the media. Grandma Gregg’s last letter about the Burros was great. She should think about putting it on U Tube and I’m sure that would generate an even bigger response from the public.


  5. When the BLM is thought of , the thoughts are always GREEDFILLED< LIES< DECEIT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>and served food that they are alergic to…………… They are out of control pure EVIL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


  6. Shared. Too fed up with wildlife being decimated by people exploiting the natural habitat. The too much money is never enough mentality needs to go away.


  7. Bada BING! Good job.

    Now, excuse my cuss words, what the hell are the “advocate” groups – wild horse education, our own advisory member and american wild horse preservation doing jumping on the bandwagon of facilitating roundups, handling onsite adoptions and processing with the PZP and release game for Triple B and Silver King (remember the lone foal standing in the road as BLM drove away from the last SK roundup?).

    I think true colors are showing here. Who are in this for the horses and who are in it for the spotlight and the income stream.

    By the way, just news this morning of a foal born on the Pryors just this week. You will recall BLM PZP’d last contact.


  8. Reblogged this on cindymendoza47 and commented:
    and we thought they couldn’t get any sneakyier . that joan gargoyle is a real bitch ,about 80%of that agency should be elimated but with dirty harry reid appointing the same mind set people the wild horses don’t stand a chance at a fair shot . and i’m so glad the are addressing the shelter situation finally how udderly human of them azzholes .


    • Dee, BCP is a valid control method but any supposed overpopulation should be verified first, otherwise it essentially results reduced genetic vigor, and in an extreme, extinction. Population numbers are rarely accurate and it seems many are based on computer models, not accurate live counts. With so many herds completely gone forever now, and so many of those left with perilously few numbers, BCP should be used only when and where the numbers allow it. It is NOT a blanket solution for all the herds.


    • Hundreds, thousands of mares bearing the PZP (some multiple brands) have been helicopter rounded up and languish in holding. One infamous mare was found just before slaughtering on a farm in Florida with not only the PZP brand on her butt but the bit U for LTH holding.

      PZP is an income stream PERIOD. And dangerous. 40 pig uteruses are used to create one dose! Late foals, such as the last 4 being born in the Pryors in early winter.


      • Jan, can you provide links to the info on the branded horses sent to slaughter? I can find only a few references online.

        Also I cannot seem to find many photos of wild horses in the same photos as domestic cattle or sheep, as one would suspect if there was so much rampant competition on the range.

        Have to add here, too, in the sake of clear communication, the year in question should be on the graphs provided, and it should be pointed out that the BLM officially calculates a single thousand pound cow as 1 Animal Unit Month (AUM), a horse as 1.25 AUMs, and 5 sheep as 1 AUM. So it is natural to see sheep numbers around 4 times higher than horses, as shown on the graphs.

        I’m not promoting or defending these values, just pointing out this is the official formula used. It would be clearer if these were shown on the graphs.


      • A cow AUM is a cow and calf pair. The sheep are 4 to an AUM.

        The slaughter farms are the illegal farms in Florida. R Cuoto found the mare, starved and next up. She bore a U on her neck brand and a PZP brand on her butt.

        As for photos of horses and cows, I am sure there are plenty you can find. The competition isn’t physicality as much as it is the time on grazing, the intensity and the failure of the grazers to leave eough plant debris, stubble and nitrogen green for the wild life to live. Every deer, antelope, elk need the nitrogen enriched greeen of early winter growth to pack on weight for the winter. If the range is heavily grazed through November or even October or September – the availability of plants to regrow is impinged and the wildlife suffer or move on.

        The ranchers feel that stunting forage isn’t a consequence they should worry about. But fact is, many don’t know much more than what it takes to get their cattlle and sheep to market. They don’t see any other animal out there. The “on all year round” mantra is ridiculous.

        Horses (H) are on all year (100 Hx12=1200)
        X3 cattle (C) are on for 8-10 months (300Cx8=2400, since C is actually cow/calf combo, you could double but wont)
        X10 sheep (S) are on for 6 months (1000Sx6=6000).

        So just using a basic math problem, the horses are using 1200 per year. The cattle are using the same as 1200 horses and then some. The sheep are also using the same as the horses and then some. It could be said that for every year of use by H – C and S are using a multiplied figure of 8400 to their 1200, so in my mind that is 8 years of use and that is done every year.

        Of course that is made up, but most people hear the on all year and back ff, thinking of yeah, that there is the difference. Its not.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • Icy spots, the data is current, but we will add the dates to the graphs. These graphs just show numbers of animals, not AUMS, so that people who don’t know anything about this issue can get a grasp of what is happening on public lands.

        If you’d like to do graphs on the AUMs, that would be a great volunteer project for you. Please contact Paula Todd King at and she can get you started on this.


      • Hey Jan, are the sheep AUMs different for some reason in Nevada? They are 5 as I was taught and as is the standard definition. The Cow/calf pair is valid up til the calf is 6 months old and is figured as 1 AUM. Interestingly, this was set when cattle were generally the smaller, leaner 1,000 lb. or less Corriente type, not the massive European Angus and Herefords which can easily reach 1300-1500 lbs. on good grass.

        Good to point out the usage and affects on forage during timing of grazing by all, too. The graphs simply show numbers, which isn’t really the whole story since you have to take into account who is eating what, and when, and for how long. Where I live cattle aren’t left on for 10 months (more like 5-6) but I am not familiar with how things are run in Nevada.

        And no, I didn’t find many photos of all these species together though I have been searching, which is why I asked.


      • I’ve seen quite a few but they are not as prevalent on BLM pages as the wild horses and burros are making it seem the whb are alne most of the time.

        As for time on, if the HMA is “productive” – the cattle can be on from Feb to Nov. I’ve read enough EAs to generalize and I was using a worst case scenario of time on. However, when you look at an allotment that has cows and sheep on various pastures of an HMA, time on is multiplied due to use.

        So when you see a few months for cows but at double the number of triple of horses – there is an underlying reservation of use moving the whb out of the “principally managed for” category. Debbie has shown the numbers here and they are quite valid for time on.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • Deb, if I could clone myself I would be happy to take on more volunteer projects, but since there are paid pros all around doing this work, the most I can do is try to keep up for now.


      • I’ve never been paid one penny for anything I do for the wild horses and have also spent a lot of my own money. There are many other people who volunteer countless hours.


  9. right on jan i have been telling since january of the evils that was coming from this regime and no body has listened to what i was telling them, and i hate that what is ,is going on . in the 1st month of this year in the d.c.clothesline obozo stated he was going to make america the largest and richest nation in the world of oil and gas production . with a statement like that it will it war on the basic rights of our wild horses. we saw what was done on the bundy ranch thing ,the blm even had payed mercinaries behind them even snipers . it was the chinese solar farm behind that land grab with dirty harry reid . did he get punished .. no. our public land is for sale to the highest bidder since the beginning of the year .in one article i read the chinese admiredthe big cattle ranches and the places for solar farming and what is wyoming doing with the land that has become free wind farming and oil and gas leases. and since congress has paved the way to make it easier to lease the land , they don’t give damn about us and our horses. don’t get me wrong i’m still here for the long haul but what i am saying is it will be an up hill battle from here on out!


  10. I’m wondering if there is any data on numbers of cattle creating hazards on the highways? It’s true horses roam more but cattle are slower moving targets on dark, unfenced highways and by sheer numbers surely represent more of a threat to automobile traffic.


  11. Another issue to consider is that it is NOT just public land the cattle are grazing on at the taxpayers expense, and cattle in fact do roam, and sometimes even stampede, through peoples private property, creating havoc, and sometimes getting domestic livestock on that private property to run through fences, get injured, and sometimes even killed….they are also a safety hazard far more than wild horses because those cattle are BIG, they are pretty much wild, and they can mow people down very easily when they get spooked and start to rampage in a panic on a property……I know how much damage our big pet steer could do if he got out at night, and he would butt HEAVY feeders, hay stacks, etc and send stuff flying….. a family member also had cattle grazing on Open Range run through her property one night and she had 2 horses go through and over pipe corral panels they normally didn’t challenge……

    All that being said however, where we live in the Nevada desert, it is a “fence-out” area because we have federal and state Open Range around us, so anyone that complains about the cattle damaging their property, eating their livestock or horses feed, etc will be told “YOU have to fence them out”, and THAT is also how it is supposed to be with wild horses too……..the law needs to be enforced equally, not selectively, and that is what the tax paying public should demand……….


  12. The BLM states, “… it should be noted that under the 1971 Act, horses and burros may not be re-located to other public lands where they were not found roaming when the law was passed.” Not arguing with that but what they conveniently don’t address is the fact that per the law, wild horses and burros that might stray off the Herd Management Areas (HMA) CAN be returned to their legal Herd Areas (HA). The wild horses and burros WERE found roaming on the HA land in 1971 when the law was written. In 1971, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres of Herd Area land.

    I clearly addressed this in my public comment (below) letter to the Ely BLM regarding this upcoming removal and they completely ignored this reality. I guess my legitimate and relevant comment made them too uncomfortable to even respond? Perhaps the arrow struck too deep?

    The EA has omitted and must include the alternative of reestablishing the original Herd Areas (HA) legal wild horse area acreage (now used for private/corporate financial gain by privately owned domestic livestock ranchers and others) as per the law: Wild horses and burros are to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971.” It is the law of the United States of America and any policy or regulation or memorandum of understanding or environmental assessment or Record of Decision or Finding of No Significance that BLM or other governmental agency writes or proposes or agrees to or takes action on that does not come under the umbrella of the law is therefore illegal.



    An analysis of the Wild Horses Act and the relevant case law will demonstrate that the prevailing method used to eliminate the “straying problem”-extensive governmental removal of horses from public and private lands-COUNTERMANDS the protective purposes of the Act and of related public lands statutes.
    While the constitutional basis for § 1334′s regulation of conduct on private lands remains an open issue, several persuasive theories suggest that Congress was EMPOWERED TO EXTEND FEDERAL CONTROL BEYOND PUBLIC BOUNDRIES.
    Section 1334 of the Wild Horses Act provides landowners an inexpensive and convenient method of removing straying horses from their private property.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It is also a known fact that when the BLM leases land in existing non-zeroed-out HMA’s to usually corporate owned large mining operations, the wild horses, in order to escape contact with humans, move out of their HMA’s either in to other ones, or off the HMA’s entirely.
      THEN the BLM will say here are “too many” wild horses in an HMA and will do a capture and/or will capture horses that are not in any HMA’s because they moved off of them to escape humans and any contact with them.

      That tactic has been used and has been happening for years and years, so perhaps submissions for federal land leases that are ‘pending’ should be scrutinized by the public, and an addendum should be attached that any HMA that has horses in it that is also going to be leased for use by private business industry must be returned to their HMA if they leave it, or relocated to another HMA, but they are NOT to be captured and removed from freedom, and are required to be managed on their rightful, lawful, and native land.


      • So who are these little ‘ol Cattle Ranchers?
        According to the BLM, Barrick Cortez Inc.’s ( A huge International Gold Mining Corp. who had GHW Bush on their Board) grazing permits cover 728,570 acres and 19,185 animal unit months in Nevada, while the permits of Newmont Mining-affiliated operators, ELLC Grazing Membership LLC and Elko Land and Livestock Co. cover 946,126 acres and 17,405 annual unit months in the state. They rank among the top grazing permit holders in Nevada, BLM officials said.
        You read that right … Grazing Permits!



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


  15. Notice that the captured “nuisance Wild Horses” were already incarcerated at Palomino Valley on July 29, A DAY BEFORE the comment period had concluded.
    Is this not a VIOLATION of the Law?

    In Case of Emergency: Shuffle Wild Horses

    On Sunday JUNE 29, 2014
    I drove by BLM’s Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center. It was closed to the public, but that’s not why it looked deserted.
    This morning I called Jeb Beck, temporary director of the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption center was that I saw so few horses.
    I was told that although A FEW NEW HORSES –“NUISANCE” horses baited trapped in ELY

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is soliciting public comment on the Ely District Public Safety and Nuisance Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA).

    The comment period concludes JULY 30


    Click to access Ely_District_Public_Safety_and_Hwy_Nusiance_Preliminary_EA.pdf


  16. Another piece of the puzzle BLM does not want you to know are the numbers being trapped and removed without public observation. I asked them in the public comment but they conveniently ignored this highly relevant information (per FOIA):

    Why were the recently trapped and removed wild horses from these HMAs not disclosed to the public within the EA? This information is highly relevant to the current proposal. The wild horses that I refer to include but are not limited to the following:
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADAAEB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADADBB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADBDBL
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AEADIB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AEAEHG
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AEAEIG
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1CADEHB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1CECEHF
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1DDDEIB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAAAE
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAAHB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAABEH
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ABAABB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ADAAHB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ADACBB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AEACBB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1DEEEIB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1EADEBB
    8/4/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HM1AEEAHC
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Rope HF1ADAEBC
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAAAAB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAAABE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAABAE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAABBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAADBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1AAAEHE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ABAAHF
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADADBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADADFB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1ADCDFB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1BABABB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HF1CDADHE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAAAC
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAABB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAABEB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAACBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAACHB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAADHE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAEBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAEEE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ACAABB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ACAAHE
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ADAAFB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1ADABBB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AEEAIG
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1BDADHB
    8/5/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1EEEEIE
    8/6/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAAAAB
    8/6/2013 (NV0105) Maverick-Medicine Water Trap HG1AAACFE

    PS Sorry for the length but wanted people to see the the truth.


  17. One example but not the only example, of Ely Nevada welfare ranching is Henry C Vogler who states, “Old time mustangers kept the numbers down. They caught and trained the good ones and sold the others for dog food.” And why would he like that idea? Is it because a large portion of one of his welfare ranching grazing allotments is in the Antelope Herd Management Area where he is permitted thousands of AUMs – that are legally authorized for the wild horses?

    And yet we the tax-payer paid Henry C Vogler $1,447,896 between the years 2000-2012 for livestock subsidies. And we the tax-payer have paid H C and Cheryl Vogler $71,715.

    Henry C Vogler also stated “If I have to manage my animals, then somebody needs to manage theirs [wild horses], too.” I agree that Henry C Vogler needs to manage his animals but he needs to manage them on his land – not on MY land! If this or any ranch owner cannot manage his own livestock sufficiently enough on his own land to provide the $$$ he wants, then isn’t that proof enough that he is an incompetent ranch manager and he deserves the results of his deficient management?

    BLM is not in the cattle and sheep business and is not authorized to be promoting private for-profit ranchers. Until BLM goes beyond using the Wild Horses and Burros as a scapegoat for range overuse and admits it is the destruction and abuse by the private domestic livestock, then the true problem will not be corrected. Wild horse and burro “straying” is a symptom and not the true problem.

    Click to access sp09-vintage_hank.pdf



  18. Icy – hope this helps. Good question and a quick internet search gives us this:
    It depends on the size but the average weight for a “mustang” is 800-900 pounds.
    Depending on breed but sheep ewes typically weigh between 99 and 220 lbs, and rams between 99 and 353 lbs.
    Today the average cow in the U.S. weighs 1350 pounds. (
    (and don’t forget that BLM counts a cow/calf pair as one)

    Now multiply that times a thousand livestock versus 1000 wild horses and it DOES make a BIG difference.
    If 1000 pounds is equal to one AUM then (using the higher numbers on the list above):

    1000 Mustangs would be = 900 AUMs (and burros even less).
    1000 ewe sheep would be (times 5 head per BLM) = 1,100 AUMs (plus more for rams).
    1000 cattle would be = 1,350 AUMs (plus the calves – so more with calves).

    So (if I did that right?), the livestock ranchers are stealing us blind and AGAIN the wild horses and burros get the shaft.


    • GG, great info but the official AUM for 1 horse is 1.25, a cow/calf pair of 1,000 lbs. is 1 (includes the calf up to age 6 months), and 5 sheep = 1 AUM. The standards were set in earlier times; cattle are much larger now than at that time. The official policy seems to be that horses (being less efficient digesters) require more forage than cattle per animal. Now, I’m with you, the wild horses are typically smaller and wiry, 800-900 lbs. while the cattle have gotten much larger (as you pointed out) but the AUM calculations have not changed. I don’t know much about the relative size of sheep in the past 80 years since the Taylor Grazing Act was made law.

      It’s also clear that wild horses will naturally travel far more miles a day than cattle if they aren’t fenced in unnaturally, so their impact would be lessened. However, as we have seen, the trend is to reduce their allowed acreages steadily, and even with the same number of animals, reducing their allowed acreages will of course create more impact and more competition for forage, which is magnified in times of drought. Professional Management 101…


      • Herefords were the cow which started this mess. But the size has been increased with the use of selective breeding and antibiotic use, I suppose. The fact is they don’t move fast, they are heavy, they ruin the wildlands and fart methane. The “beef” industry has really not done any of us a favor. The sheep on the other hand have killed off most of the bighorn through transmission of disease, can clear cut a pasture in weeks, tend to be put out in thousands and have also ruined the wildlands.

        There is nothing that bothers me out in the wildlands until I come up on some stupid cow, licking its boogers and drpping piles of molten manure on our public land. I’ve only seen the residue of sheep pasturing and it was obvious they had been left on too long. How did I know, millions of pellets everywhere. Wool stuck on bare sticks that used to be bushes. No plant residue or thatch.

        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  19. Icy-
    “An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.”

    If you have a source for the horse AUMs being 1.25 – please share it.

    The point of my previous comment was: Why should a 800-900 lb. wild horse be charged the same AUMs as a 1350 lb cow? And why should a 800-900 lb. wild horse be charged the same as a 5 sheep averaging a weight of 1,100 lbs.?


    • GG, interesting the BLM source is different than what is being taught in Universities and Extension offices. Here’s a few links, there are many others:

      Click to access AUM%20TABLE.pdf ·

      Click to access 1-30_acres.pdf

      Click to access aum.pdf

      Table 2 is taken from the NRCS National Range and Pasture Handbook. It provides animal unit equivalents for different animals. Again, there appears to be inconsistency over the animal unit for cows and calves. Table 2 and their definition define an animal unit as a cow and calf, but their forage allocation does not include the calf.

      Table 2. NRCS Animal Unit Equivalents

      Kind of Animal
      Animal Unit Equivalent
      Cow with calf 1.00
      Mature bull 1.35
      Mature Horse 1.25
      Mature sheep 0.2
      Lamb, 1 year old 0.15
      Mature mule deer 0.2
      Mature elk 0.6
      Mature antelope 0.2
      Mature bighorn sheep 0.2


      • Thank you very much for the links and how very interesting that what they are teaching in AG classes now is not what is happening in the real world of BLM and public land ranchers. Why should a 900 pound wild horse be equivalent to a 1350 pound cow? You and I know there are variables to any theory due to specific situations but as a generalization that skewed idea makes no sense at all to anyone but the welfare ranchers and their buddies in the agency.
        Just follow the money to find the truth.
        Thanks again and I can only assume (and hope) that next time this subject comes up in one of your classes that the roof will have a hard time staying connected to the building?


      • GG, I have been questioning many things (including this) but didn’t realize the definitions were so variable, they are presented as cast in concrete. Good for all of us to know this isn’t necessarily so!


  20. As for WHEN (length of time) that domestic livestock are on any given public land grazing allotment, it varies widely and this can be verified on the BLM RAS website. It can be for only a month or it can be year round such as the Currie allotment on the Maverick-Medicine HMA that permits cattle from 3/1 to 2/28 of each year … thus year-round.


    • Oh, there has apparently been quite a few incidences of fence cutting that separates federal public land from sate public and private land, an it I allowing federally protected wild horses to leave federal/public land and go onto state/public land, private land, and also cross the highways where many horses are migrating across as they have done dating back before those ribbons of asphalt we call highways were even there, and if they were there, they were certainly NOT as populated as they are now, and the speed limits were OT 65 mph+. The result has been horses getting hit several times a month, and that is even in broad daylight as what occurred this morning again over near Dayton, Nevada, with gallons and gallons of blood on the highway……..its like the highway of death around here, and at what point does the major responsibility lie WITH the operator of whatever vehicle they are driving? Horses are just like little children regarding the danger of vehicles rocketing down highways which basically means the horses do NOT understand the danger at al. So even though there are flashing signs to warn “Caution: wild horses”, unless people take responsibility for themselves being the operator of the vehicle they are driving, its usually horses they are hitting now, but could just as easily be the bicyclists traversing our state alongside the highways, or the trekkers on foot hiking alongside the highways every day that we see that could get mowed down and killed because operators of vehicles aren’t always paying attention as they should.

      This fence cutting is also allowing federally protected wild horses to co-mingle with state/Virginia Range Horses, and no sooner do volunteers get the federal horses back onto the federal/public land and repair the fences, more fences are cut, and the federal horses are off the federal/public lad again. And as more and more horses get hit, it ramps up the captures of the state wild horses who are not protected, and unless the rescues that have cooperative agreements with the state can find adopters for the horses, they will be sent to the kill sales and will most likely go to slaughter……ad this would include federal wild horses who escaped off federal land through a cut fence.

      It will be VERY interesting to see if the fence cutting continues once the cattle re turned out again because although when a co gets hit on the highway the motorist that hit them can be required to pay for the dead cow since we’re an open range state and motorists are supposed to be paying extra attention regarding livestock crossing the highways, and sometimes even lying down on the asphalt to catch the warmth of the highway if it has snowed and the highway has been plowed ranchers I’m sure would prefer to have their cows alive rather than be paid for a dead cow.

      And regarding wild horses who are branded going to slaughter; the numbers could be much higher because I believe I read something a few years back whereby non-ranch brands on horses at sales do not need to by law be acknowledged and/or recorded anywhere, and other than checking to make sure a horse with a federal or state brand is not legally Titled to someone where they have the right to sell the orse anywhere they want, even I its a livestock/kill sale, it does not have to be acknowledged anywhere, so more wild horses could be being shipped to commercial slaughter than people realize.


  21. Around our area of Northern Nevada cattle are turned out on public/federal/BLM land on November 1st, and then rounded-up by May 30th. The AUM fee is $1.35, and that is for a cow, or cow/calf pair with the calf being 6 months old or younger to be counted with it’s mother.


  22. I’m new to all this info regarding wild horses, and the Bureau of Land Management facilitating the removal of wild horses due to farmers claiming nuisance. The quote you put in this article that states, “Nevada is an open range state. It is the responsibility of the private land owner to build a legal fence to keep livestock off private land.” made me click on the link, to read more about it.

    One thing I got out of it, which I plan on reading more about, is that it relates to livestock, not wild horses. I read further, where people are only entitled to damages if livestock trespass, if there is a legal fence. if they have right to claim wild horses with in that same rule, then, I’ve got to ask, what do they do with livestock that trespass?? They don’t remove them like they are planning on doing to the wild horses right? They just make the owner pay a fine ETC, so the BLM, should just have to pay, not remove them.
    So does that mean the BLM is taking it upon themselves, claiming to be responsible “owners” of these wild horses, and basically calling them livestock? It’s a different criteria! I can’t wait to read more!
    Thanks for posting this. I will be looking at the BLM website to see how the rules correlate or disassociate from wild to livestock.


    • penniespen – keep on researching & posting – the more people who are made aware of what’s happening to our wild horses & burros, the better! Seems more & more “new” people commenting here – which is great!

      Liked by 1 person

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