Horse News

Wild Horses: Wyoming’s Governor Seeks Complete Annihilation of His State’s Wild Horses

By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation


Wild Mares In Salt Wells Creek rounded up in December 13, given birth control released, then rounded up again and removed two months ago

It was not enough for Wyoming Governor Matt Mead that 1263 wild horses were removed from Wyoming’s Checkerboard lands just two months ago. Right after the roundup was completed, he complained that in another few years there would have to be another roundup, and also whined about the public not being on his side. Well now Wyoming has filed suit against the BLM claiming there are too many wild horses in Wyoming, even though after the recent roundups, according to the BLM’s own figures, the current wild horse population of Wyoming is only 2508, which is far below the state’s Appropriate Management Level for wild horses. Press release from Mead’s office:

Family of wild horses in Adobe Town 1 week before being rounded up and sent to Rock Springs corrrals

It was not enough for Mead that the BLM spent $535,000 of our taxpayer money two months ago rounding up wild horses in the Checkerboard to appease the Rock Springs Grazing Association.

Somehow Mead has also conveniently forgotten that two of the BLM’s Field Offices in Wyoming are very successfully using birth control to manage wild horse populations – the McCullough Peaks Herd managed by the Cody BLM Office and the Red Desert Complex, managed by the Lander BLM Office. But Mead has no interest in controlling populations of wild horses using birth control – he just wants them gone entirely.

Mead seems good at completely ignoring facts when it suits him – this is my favorite:

“Herds will continue to exponentially grow beyond what the BLM determined is ecologically appropriate for each herd management area (HMA). These herds have population growth rates that range from as low as 25% to as high as 58% each year.”

In order to attain a 58% population growth per year, the stallions would have to become pregnant and bear foals.

Older mares in Canon City - many have freeze brands - they were treated with birth control but removed anyway

If Mead wants the BLM to remove all the wild horses removed from Wyoming, there is a problem. Currently, there are over 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities, and most of them are bursting at the seams. There wasn’t even room for all the wild horses rounded up from Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Great Divide Basin in the Rock Springs and Canon City corrals, so they had to send 100 youngsters to a burro facility in Utah. Perhaps Governor Mead would like the wild horses to be gunned down by helicopter like they do in Australia.

Older wild stallions now at Canon City

Governor Mead’s plan for Wyoming will leave a special interest wasteland devoid of wild horses, with drilling pad after drilling pad and public lands grazed down to the dirt by livestock. What he fails to understand is that these are NOT Wyoming’s wild horses NOR do these public lands belong to Wyoming – the wild horses and the public land belong to all of us, the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America.

Small family of wild horses in Salt Wells Creek a week before being removed

42 replies »

  1. I wish she would publish the photo of he foal left behind at the last capture. The foal lonely and afraid on landscape completely devoid of forage. Heavy earth movers had been there and there was nothng but smooth sand and Divots from the tracks of the earthmovers.


  2. Now is the time to create a petition and have it sent to the thousands of people who will sign and send to the Governor and the Legislators in Washington. Perhaps these states feel that they are not part of the US. Wyoming is only one if the 50 states. Why do they think tourist visit Wyoming? It certainly is not to see the devasted rangelands void of all the Wild horses or miles of oil wells. This guy sounds like a rogue governor who just does what ever he wants. If all goes well none of our equine friends will be leaving the US. Where is the picture of the poor foal located? I would like to get it to my Legislators? Again, thank you for keeping us abreast of all that is going on.


  3. I live in Wyoming and it is apparent that Mead doesn’t give a hang about what the citizens want…unless of course that citizen is very wealthy. I have sent countless emails and made many calls to his office concerning the wild horses and my comments and requests fall on deaf ears. He TRULY does not care about the welfare of the wild horses.


    • that is why more people need to be involved in politics. The rich continue to buy the policies and the policies makers that they want and will serve their agenda. Look at the Koch brothers and the sham they are putting on.


  4. Is Mead getting kickbacks ? He needs to be investigated IMO.
    What happened to the foal ? Was it rescued or left to die?
    Thanks, Debbie, for another excellent article.


  5. “We,” cannot allow the bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry, Governor, to get by with this!!! Definitely, he only cares about his own hide. The Wild Horses/burrows, belong to the American Citizens; not the emperor of Wyoming.!!


  6. The Governor of Wyoming just doesnt know when to just be quiet , everytime he opens his mouth he looks even dummer, this guy needs to thrown out of office !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if for nothing else , The State of Wyoming s people are expressing that the Mustangs should stay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


  7. The gentleman who wrote this article says it all, “And here we have these out – of – control states with the mentality that says wild horses should be wiped out. There’s no other way to read what’s going on here.”


  8. and as this gentleman states in his article , “and here we have these out – of – control States with a mentality that says wild horses should be wiped out. There is no other way to read what’s going on here.”


  9. and as this gentleman’s article states, “and here we have these out – of- control States with the mentality that says wild horses should be wiped out. There’s no other way to read what’s going on here.


  10. FYI
    Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s 2014 State of the State Speech started off with this tribute to a known pro-slaughter horse-hater, “I begin this morning by remembering Sue Wallis. Sue served in the Legislature as a Representative from Campbell County since 2007. She died on January 28th. Sue was a poet. Her eloquence was evident in her writing and in debating on this floor, in my office, and around the state. She was a wonderful person and we miss her. I ask for a moment of silence in Sue’s memory.”


  11. FYI
    Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s 2014 State of the State Speech started off with this tribute to a known pro-slaughter horse-hater:

    “I begin this morning by remembering Sue Wallis. Sue served in the Legislature as a Representative from Campbell County since 2007. She died on January 28th. Sue was a poet. Her eloquence was evident in her writing and in debating on this floor, in my office, and around the state. She was a wonderful person and we miss her. I ask for a moment of silence in Sue’s memory.”


  12. CASH incentives for BLM Field Offices to promote more Gas/Oil drilling … sounds like a DIRTY plan to me and kind of like the old days of illegal payola? Definition of payola is bribery of an influential person in exchange for the promotion of a product or service.

    “From 2016 through 2020, the bill would allocate fifteen percent of the fee revenue to the [BLM[ FIELD OFFICE issuing the APD [Application for Permit to Drill] …”

    Quote from: Wyoming Environmental Compliance and Public Land News – August 2014


  13. I had to get a barf bag after I read what Mead said about Slaughter Sue.
    As for democracy we live in a plutocracy now and we’ve been sold out to the highest corporate bidders.


    • “But it’s not just about the birds …. The Wilderness Society described the bird as “a feathery harbinger of the health of public lands across the West.”


  14. Why are they not auctioning off or fostering some of these to the public? Keep in mind these would have to be folks with good reputations, as there are several that will abuse or slaughter them for meat. Canada would be glad to take a bunch if they made it easier/ relax the laws for boarder crossing of these animals. I would be happy to take some in.


  15. Victory for Wild Bison in Montana!
    14 April 2014
    Posted by: Steve Forrest

    In a decision that the uninitiated would argue is a painful exercise in stating the obvious, a Montana court last week determined that the wild bison of Yellowstone, an animal that has roamed the continent for millennia, are indeed wild animals. Wild bison have been a fixture of the North American landscape for at least 300,000 years, numbering 20-30 million strong, yet were driven to the brink of extinction in the late 1800s by overhunting and purposeful eradication to subjugate tribes who depended on them. This makes wild bison proof of what reckless human disregard can bring upon our fellow creatures, and of the fact that to many humans, creatures should be permitted to survive only if they conform to our notion of order and efficiency.

    What brought us to the point of needing the courts to declare wildlife as wild? We would never have reached this sad point except for the livestock interests in the Montana legislature who have been aggressively trying to legislate wild bison out of existence for the past six years. At the heart of this battle is a fundamental question: is there room in the world today for the still wild? Or will our wildlife be forced into smaller and smaller boxes in which they eventually are stripped of the roles they play in natural systems? Given the importance of this decision, the anti-wild and anti-bison forces will almost certainly be back in the Montana legislature next January, trying to confine wild bison, but for now the door remains open to recover bison as part of our natural heritage in Montana.


  16. The BLM needs to remember that the land and horses belong to the people of this country. The BLM was NOT set up for grazing Land for cows. The horses are part of our wildlife to be enjoyed by the public. The horses are part of our history and many have been there before the states were even created. Cows are much much more destructive to the land then horses. This is all about lobbyist and money. The BLM needs to do their job correctly


  17. If the livestock industry proposed, for the first time ever, to graze livestock on our public lands today, under current law, it would not be allowed.


      • Not sure how to explain it … but if there had never been livestock grazing allowed on public lands and the private/corporate livestock industry all of a sudden wanted to start grazing on our public lands what would the public say? This book can explain it FAR better than I.
        Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West


  18. The people of Wyoming are expressing their complete displeasure in what this Matt Mead is wanting to do , they are saying they want the mustangs,Then people of WYOMING STOP this idiot !! STAND FIRM and tell him to stop , if he doesnt , he works for your wants not his, kick him the hell Out of office………… and stop electing these dirt bags !!!!!!!!!!!!


    • If the people want their wild horses returned, the BLM must be told. Those are our horses and we alll want them returned. The recall should be the judges who in concert with the ranching, hunting and whoever else joined in conspired to destroy our heritage for their profit. Recall the judges. File citizen complaints ( with the Office of the Inspector General) against the federal judges. Call them. Find out who enforces common sense in our government workers. Call the sheriffs in the counties and fnd out what their role is. Tell them no one represents you but you. Use the investigations done by Debbie and others for facts when citing real examples. Stop allowing the fundraiser queens to distract you with their “fight” with the governments (state and federal). Years of watching and donating took us NOWHERE. Use your God given right to demand the work of the government be done the way it has to be done.

      The wild horses and burros are protected by an Act passed UNANIMOUSLY. – the first time ever! Do not depend on the politicians, they work with us not independently. Its time to get down and dirty. This government is OUR arm – NOT their pocketbook.


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