Horse News

The Cloud Foundation Denounces BLM Wild Horse Research Plans

Press release issued by The Cloud Foundation

BLM sterilization studies spell doom for remaining wild horses on public lands

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, (July 8, 2015) – “The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement of plans for managing wild horses on public lands is not only disturbing but highlights their commitment to managing wild horses to extinction,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF).

Four of the seven proposals being researched at taxpayer expense include permanent sterilization of stallions and/or mares. While the BLM claims they are committed to developing new tools that allow us to manage this program sustainably and for the benefit of the animals and the land,” and “for the enjoyment of generations to come,” their proposed solutions are contrary to that goal.  Permanent sterilization of wild horses on the range would continue to undermine the already threatened genetic viability of our remaining herds.  Under current plans, BLM would manage 78% of herds at a level below that required to ensure genetic viability (150-200 adult horses.)

Permanent sterilization is inconsistent with the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act which requires managing for sustainable herds. Permanent sterilization is counter to that mandate and would damage the social band structure that has allowed wild horses in North America to thrive.

Earlier this year representatives from several wild horse and rangeland preservation organizations met in Washington, D.C. with BLM Director Neill Kornze, and BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning, Mike Tupper, to discuss possible solutions to BLM’s ongoing dilemma regarding management of wild horses and burros.  The proposals presented included strategies for increasing the number of mares vaccinated with PZP to a level that will begin to impact population growth rates, and measures to authorize and encourage voluntary livestock grazing permit retirement in Herd Management Areas.  The groups also recommended repatriation of wild horses in BLM holding facilities to Herd Areas that have been zeroed-out. These proposed solutions would provide an immediate savings to the BLM.

Mike Tupper promised to respond to TCF and the other organizations regarding the proposals but has failed to do so.  “Advocates are more than willing to work with the BLM for sustainable management of wild horses on the range,” stated Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF. “Thus far the Washington, DC BLM is unwilling to consider creative options that would benefit both wild horse herds and the American taxpayer. “

Safe and effective birth control for wild horses has been available for years but BLM has chosen to use it on only a token number of mares,” continued Kathrens. “The Pryor Wild Horse Herd in Montana, the McCullough Peaks Herd in Wyoming, the Little Book Cliffs and Spring Creek Herds in Colorado are managed using PZP, a reversible remotely delivered vaccine. All these herds are nearly to the point of achieving a balance between reproduction and natural mortality.”

“Unlike the national BLM offices, these local field offices are working successfully with the public to create a situation where future wild horse removals are unnecessary,” concluded Kathrens. “Stonewalling of advocates and the American public by the National BLM office is counter-productive to successful management of wild horses on our public lands.  I fear that their actions would lead to the extinction of the North American wild horse.”

21 replies »

    • Honestly, Arlene – I think TCF has always been on the right side. Think about all the good that Ginger’s work has done. All that publicity about Cloud & his herd – most people have never heard of the other wild horses – only Cloud. And Ginger & TCF is responsible for that. I wish every herd could be put in the public eye like that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I every Wild Horse & Burro Advocate wrote/called their Senator/Representative asking for “help with a Federal Agency” ie the BLM – something might finally happen. So please everyone- do this. I am askinf my Senator Barbara Mikulski for help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been sending her e-mails & calling also, ever since the zeroing out in Wyoming. Just the standard e-mail back, I don’t know, I really like her, but she’s retiring which will be a big loss for MD.


    June 6th, 2015

    Now more than ever, we need your help as our organization strives to save the last of our wild horses and burros on public lands. They are facing the greatest threat of our lifetime – the extermination and permanent sterilization of these American icons by the very agency mandated by law to protect them, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    I want to be very clear that there is NO OVERPOPULATION of wild horses and burros in our country. We only have half the number we had in 1971 when ISPMB and our first president, Wild Horse Annie, were instrumental in getting federal legislation passed to protect these last living symbols of the American West. At that time, Congress declared that they were “fast disappearing from the American scene.” There is no need to suppress their numbers any further when 70% of the herds have less than viable populations.

    Over the past fifteen years, ISPMB has saved four wild horse herds from eradication. Three of those four herds no longer reside on public lands but only exist here at the ISPMB’s ranch where they are free from roundups and living happily in families never to be torn apart again.

    During these years, ISPMB’s studies focused on the causative factors that create stable and unstable population growth while committed to understanding the intricate social structures of the family bands.

    Our first two herds have given us invaluable data showing that stable family bands, free from disruptions of roundups, produce a very SLOW growth in these herds (8-10% compared to BLM’s 20%).

    Our last two herds received the fertility control drug from 2007 until 2011 when we realized that the drug can cause permanent infertility with five years of application, although the literature states seven years.

    We are noting a pattern on our one herd that received 4.5 years of the drug and are now foaling again. Out of 36 mares, 7 mares have foaled and 6 foals have died. With this pattern developing, we are very concerned about the cause of death and with good reason. We are sending our foals to a recognized university to their pathology department to determine the cause of death. Our younger mares in this herd that did not receive the drug are foaling and their foals are vibrant and healthy. All conditions remain the same for mares who had the drug and those who did not. These deaths are not normal.

    Your donation will be used for veterinary bills and pathology costs.
    Your funding will help us hire a full-time vet to perform autopsies and send samples to the University who is doing our pathology reports.
    Your funding will also feed our horses.
    With 6 million livestock, 4 million wildlife and only 30,000 wild horses and burros left on public lands, we must STOP BLM’s latest policy of making America’s wild horses and burros infertile and we must STOP the BLM from continually making them scapegoats for long standing misuse and abuse of our public lands from overgrazing by livestock. We must not only save our wild horses and burros but we must demand that the BLM be effective stewards of our public lands.
    Thank you for your continued support. The future of all wild horses and burros in our country are depending upon our studies and your generosity.

    Together we can succeed.

    With much appreciation,

    Karen A. Sussman
    President, ISPMB




    PO BOX 55
    Lantry, SD 57636-0055
    Phone 605-964-6866
    Mobile 605-430-2088


    • I agree, Louie – we cant afford all this bickering. There could be so much more done if all caring people actually worked together. The BLM & pro-slaughter people must love to see all this disagreement.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been telling you for years now this regime has no interest in keeping wild horses safe and productive . I have also been a regular reporter of commercials of preminan but they still can’t seem to stem the flow of these ads . it just makes me so angry to find out that all of the e-mails , letters, and phone calls to people that support breeding programs that send horses to slaughter . almost everyone of the rep.’s from texas is on that list of aqha campaign donations . I feel like such a fool for believing in “we the people”. on my facebook page I posted a story about dirty harry reid and obama taking a trip to Nevada . the land being held by bundy that the blm tried to take by force ( I don’t know how to post stories here to be seen here ) which dirty harry wants . he got Obama to designate the land to be a park featuring an artist . all may be against bundy because he runs cattle and ( may )owe money . but I applaud him because he fought back against their overreaching actions.

    I’m angry because the blm knows that all our pleading for help from our rep.’s does us no good and falls on deaf ears . it doesn’t matter if you write a nicely constructed letter just dripping with respect or a really nasty letter that gets you to the same end– nowhere. so , it still leaves us sitting in the same place . where’s willy , Robert redford and all the star’s that could be helping . what do they know , that we aren’t getting . but yet we keep fighting but to what end ? and while I’m bitching — it has been what 3 ,4, years that we have been fighting for simple shelter for these horses kept in storage facilities ? and yet we keep going , but now the choices are getting smaller and smaller . it also does us no good what so ever to dig up dirt on these official assholes because they just laugh at us . come on , we need hope get some these icons saved we need to stock pile some stallions and mares for the future.

    on an ending note I’m not to sure Obama plans to leave office . just be careful of this jade helm thing they are doing it just does not sound kosher . too, i’ve heard from many sources that foreigner’s are also on our soil along with united nations will be in these games (?) . I just do not trust this regime !!!!!


  4. Agree that horses have to be restored at much higher levels and back into their emptied out but still legal Herd Areas, but don’t agree with PZP that will undermine the wild horses’ long term fitness and survival. The emphasis on sterilization is horrendous. We need some new blood and truly caring individuals in the positions of authority not the same-old tire out bunch of hypocrits!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How about all new management taking over the BLM, people who are devoted to saving our most precious resources, people who know what they are doing, people who will make our wild animals and the future of all wild animals their priority in protecting these lands. .What about all the cattle roaming millions of acres, making millions for the big ranchers and cattle barons? Why does big money have to take priority over just about everything natural and beautiful in our world?


  6. These are just a few excerpts from an older article…it’s well worth reading
    For those that enjoy math….crunch the numbers

    THE FUDGE FACTOR (excerpts)

    On July 9, 2010, the BLM issued a press release announcing the results a massive aerial census called the Tri-State Survey. It’s purpose was to count wild horse populations over a two million acre area utilizing a new census method being developed by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in partnership with BLM over the last several years.

    To summarize my current understanding of BLMs newest incorporation of this decades long peer-reviewed method they have recently begun waving around to try and explain the unexplainable with respect to their historical crazy population estimates is – it’s really just a very complicated computer modeling program the average Joe hasn’t got a chance of sorting out. We are just going to have to take their word for it. Swell….

    The other thing that the “average Joe” can also deduce from the newly adjusted numbers is, the computer modeling determined only a 98 horse difference between what was directly counted in the raw data and adding estimations for wild horses that were missed by the observers in the plane. This equates to only a 2.3% difference between the direct counts and the added estimates, at least during this particular survey.

    While I will save questions for the accuracy of the raw count data for the Tri-State area for a later date, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the BLMs unofficial “fudge factor” that is being slipped into this new, highly touted, state-of-the-art, “more-valid-population-estimate-than-ever-before” public relations campaign phony baloney.

    So, I tried to see if there were any way to make BLMs numbers work with real world math and big surprise, no matter what I tried, it just didn’t fly!

    Then I tried adding a 20% reproduction rate to the original raw count of 1,137 wild horses because next spring will cause populations to go up – but the 20% reproduction rate couldn’t even come close. Okay, how about a 25% reproduction rate? Still not even in the ballpark. The fact of the matter is, the only way BLMs numbers would “jive” is by adding a 52% reproduction rate to the wild horses found in the Tri-State Survey. And don’t forget, BLMs estimate includes foals and weanlings that aren’t even capable of reproducing yet!

    The methods BLM is now touting as bringing “more valid” population estimates to the Wild Horse and Burro Program resulted in merely a 2.3% adjustment by USGS and Program MARK. But by the time BLM got a hold of them, populations moved into the realm of pure fantasy.


  7. For the past few months I’ve defended BLM, PZP and TCF. I’ve tried repeatedly to express my views on Native PZP and the difference between BLM MT and other directors.

    I applaud Jim Sparks and his willingness to try something new. I leave to the reader to view the documents as they pertain to the Pryors.


    There is simply no way, NO FREAKING WAY this is even remotely defensible. Sterilization is management to extinction. I thought we had gotten past these but apparently not. I am so beyond furious. There are no words.

    This isn’t any part acceptable reasonable or anything else. There is no room for talk when BLM has it in mind to cause the extinction of the horse. And we thought poachers were bad? This is equally as bad if not worse than poaching because BLM makes what they do “legal”.

    We took a few steps forward and now we backslid.

    Really angry Margaret…



    Wild horse sterilization plan “disgraceful”

    “The experimental surgical procedure was tested on wild mares in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Nevada with a 10 per cent mortality rate and recovery taking at least a month,” the (Cloud) foundation said.

    Veterinarian Donald Moore, of Fruita, Colorado, said: “BLM’s approval to spay wild mares living on public land lacks any humane consideration for the animal.
    “This is a very invasive procedure and most veterinarians are reluctant, at best, to even recommend it.”


  9. Appropriate Management Level (AML) is set very low in every Herd Management Area (HMA) ….

    The Bureau of Land Management is managing all of our wild herds into extinction, through the use of roundup, birth control, fencing out, taking of their land and abuse of “multiple use”…..

    To say horses are “over AML” and must be removed is a term used frequently by BLM….Look up the acres in each HMA that this “AML” applies to. Look up how many cattle and sheep are allowed to graze in that area….Every HMA must be represented and defended now….

    Under an Act of Congress in 1971, THE WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971(PUBLIC LAW 92-195) the horses were given land and protections…..Much of that land has been taken from them for other uses.

    The Act provided for the horses and burros to be represented within the Bureau of Land Management by a board charged to PROTECT them.

    § 1337. Joint advisory board; appointment; membership; functions; qualifications ; reimbursement limitations

    The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture are authorized and directed to appoint a joint advisory board of not more than nine members to advise them on any matter relating to wild free-roaming horses and burros and their management and PROTECTION. They shall select as advisers persons who are not employees of the Federal or State Governments and whom they deem to have special knowledge about PROTECTION of horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resources management. Members of the board shall not receive reimbursement except for travel and other expenditures necessary in connection with their services.

    If you attend or watch these Board meetings, you will see nothing in the way of protection for these herds….
    Cattlemen and Oil interest people are appointed to represent the wild herds….the goal being to take their public lands for cattle and oil.

    The system and the intent of the Act has been compromised, and is failing our wild herds.


  10. BLM Solicits Sterilization of Wild Horses

    by Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
    Oct 30 2013

    The BLM, with Dean Bolstad as the Program Office Point of Contact (POC), continues to waste tax dollars on experimentation on wild horses & burros, which is a clear violation of the Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971. The BLM is NOT protecting wild horses when it uses them for experimentation (under the guise of “research”).

    This is going to be done ON THE RANGE. They will trap the wild horses & burros and do the experimentation IN THE FIELD. The BLM is creating NON-REPRODUCING HERDS, which leads to EXTINCTION. Most wild horse & burro herds are ALREADY NON-VIABLE

    The BLM is using the word “RESEARCH” as a coverup. Notice the solicitation below is open-ended (there are no time or number limitations). So how many wild horses and burros, and what herds, will be subjected as part of this experimentation? It could be all of them.


    Gubmint Cheese (excerpts)

    The NCA’s Monthly Message also showcases Past President Boyd Spratling, currently masquerading as a Representative of Veterinary Medicine on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Dr. Spratling (or is it Past President Spratling?) has been busy providing testimony on wild horses in the Interim Public Lands Committee and recently met with Senator Ensign to discuss wild horses and the “El Paso/WWP” situation. (It would seem Senator Ensign is incapable of recognizing a conflict of interest situation even if it is sitting on his lap….)

    This is the same Boyd Spratling who refused to address, much less develop, humane handling guidelines for helicopter rounds ups back in 2007 and who stated the deaths of almost 200 wild horses from the Jackson Mountain were the results of “The very people that claim to care the most about those horses were actually the ones driving the death nail in their coffin”.

    This same ex-President Spratling also developed the current BLM approved on-the-range stallion castration policy, refused to participate in repeated requests regarding review of BLM management plans and AML decisions for our wild herds, ignored evidence indicating BLMs on the range wild horse and burro population data is in error and failed to address critical issues found within new census techniques now being used to substantiate biologically impossible populations.


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