BLM extends Cold Creek roundup after killing 28 emaciated horses

Same old story.  Local advocates aren’t seeing the number of wild horses that the BLM claims are out there.  This just keeps getting worse by the day.   –  Debbie

SOURCE:  Las Vegas Review-Journal


A young foal travels with its herd near the community of Cold Creek on Friday, July 24, 2015. (David Becker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Less than a week after 28 emaciated wild horses were rounded up and put down, Bureau of Land Management officials announced plans to collect more animals they say are at risk of starvation in the mountains outside Las Vegas.

Karla Norris, assistant manager for the BLM’s Southern Nevada district, said the agency spotted 57 more horses “in really poor shape” during a helicopter survey Tuesday morning in the Spring Mountains about 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

She said the horses were “so lethargic” they didn’t even move when the helicopter flew overhead.

The BLM will attempt to capture the animals and nurse them back to health starting Wednesday morning by setting up a corral and baiting it with hay and water.

The agency just concluded an emergency roundup on Sept. 2 that netted 201 horses from the area around the tiny community of Cold Creek. Twenty-eight of those horses — 22 mares and six studs — were later euthanized due to “poor prognosis for recovery or improvement,” according to a BLM report.

The decision was made by a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, who examined the once-wild horses at the BLM-owned Oliver Ranch, along state Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon.

“We really did try to save them,” Norris said.

Now she fears there could be as many as 150 more horses still out on the range “that are just as bad as the ones we gathered.”

“We had no idea we had that many,” Norris said.

The BLM launched the initial roundup Aug. 29 near Cold Creek after officials said drought and overpopulation had left some animals at risk of starvation.

In May, the bureau counted about 470 adult horses in 102,000 acres around Cold Creek, roughly 400 more than the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the area.

According to the BLM, the 28 horses that were destroyed were in poor to very thin condition, with scores of 1.5 or less on a standardized, 9-point system widely used to determine equine health.

BLM officials said the entire herd was showing signs of starvation.

Most of the horses gathered during the roundup had a body condition score of 2, defined as emaciated, with only slight tissue coverage and vertebrae, ribs, shoulder, neck and other bones visible. None of the animals were scored above 3, which is considered thin. The ideal score for a healthy horse is between 4 and 6.

According to BLM reports, 170 of the surviving horses have been transported to a privately owned contract holding facility in Axtell, Utah, to be fattened up and cared for.

Three foals deemed too small for transport are being fostered in the Las Vegas area, Norris said.

The horses gathered from the Cold Creek area eventually will be transferred to a BLM facility where they will be offered for adoption or purchase.

Those that do not find homes will live out their lives at off-range holding pastures in the Midwest that are now home to tens of thousands of once-wild horses.

The government’s actions have drawn criticism from wild horse advocates.

Read the rest of the story HERE.


  1. This debacle never should have occurred in this area. See for the alternative that was always available.
    The BLM and USFS have been sitting for two years on an EA to permit certified volunteers to dart most mares with reversible PZP. Over and over they extended the decision date on roundup versus humane treatment on the range, until decision date is likely mid 2016, three years after they began the management analysis. And three more generations of foals were conceived or born, dragging down the condition of the mares and the range! If the public ran their businesses the way BLM runs their business, we would all be bankrupt. And that is the adjective to describe BLM’s management policy. BANKRUPT.
    Sadly, their bankruptcy bankrupts our nation’s unique resource, wild horses on public land for the public to enjoy generation after generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How much of the Cold Creek wild horse and burro herd area land is controlled or influenced by the USFS – if any? The reason I ask is that at last weeks BLM meeting, the USFS rep made their plans for the wild horses and burros under their “protection” will all be sold first-come-first-serve without any restrictions and any not adopted would be sold/killed and all old or injured would be immediately disposed of and on and on. Look at the flow chart within the link.

      More info:
      As it says in the flow chart, all WH considered old or lame will immediately be euthanized when captured. Also all 3-strikes WH will be sold or euthanized immediately after the third strike – NO short or long term holding.


    • Arlene, thanks you to you and the many other local advocates, including our dear friend Garnet Pasquale, who fought so hard for years to try to save these wild horses.


  2. 2007

    The photographs in Photo Gallery 2 were taken on our last trip to the Wheeler Pass HMA and the Spring Mountains Recreation Area to visit the COLD CREEK BAND.
    had discovered from a local the BLM had just finished a Gather, as they call it, about three weeks earlier. I had an idea the remaining horses were going to be very hard to locate.

    Photo Gallery 2 Group 1
    Photo Gallery 2 Group 2


    • Louie, looking at these pictures certainly shows the lack of fear of humans these horses have! I looked at the 2007 and 2009 pics. These horses obviously have a lot of human contact! ARE people feeding them? Even then, these horses don’t look to have much meat on their bones. But not skinny. Seems like there should be a reason (or reasons) why so many now are walking skeletons. The pictures taken of the cold creek horses recently resemble some of these cruelty investigations we have all been seeing – of horses penned up & starving. I did notice in some pics where the horses were standing next to fencing – were they prevented from moving on to other grazing land? I cant imagine how horrible the Spring Mountain Alliance must feel – having to hang by their fingernails waiting for the BLM to DECIDE something and being unable to do anything for the horses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Herd Area/Herd Management Area Statistics sites seem to all be down…
    Service Unavailable

    The requested service is temporarily unavailable. It is either overloaded or under maintenance. Please try later.


  4. I’m curious why there are no photos published by the BLM documenting how starved each horse killed was. It would only seem to justify their decisions, one by one, to show us the proof of need. If these actions were justified they should be more than willing to show the public every horse whose life was taken for “humane” reasons. Without such evidence it is only logical to assume these animals were just randomly executed. The BLM owes us a fair explanation, with valid documentation, if they expect to have any public support. I am willing to review the evidence with an open mind. Is there anyone out there with clean hands who can show us the truth?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The list of preparers for the Las Vegas/Parhump RMP (Resource Management Plan)includes BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON

    The Las Vegas/Pahrump RMP/EIS was prepared by an interdisciplinary team of specialists from the Las Vegas and Pahrump field offices and the Southern Nevada District Office. Technical review and support were provided by the Nevada State Office. List of Preparers lists the names of individuals involved in preparing this document.

    Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden

    Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia, has shot into the news recently over two of its former employees: Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has just revealed the extent of US global spying on electronic data of ordinary citizens around the world, and James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.


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