Horse News

30 wild horses from Cold Creek have now been “euthanized”

The current murder count is now up to 30.  Then the BLM plans to send the survivors to the holding facility at Axtell, Utah (which is flat like a feedlot with no trees and where there is no shelter) for what is expected to be an extremely harsh winter.  The BLM would rather just spend money to completely remove/kill wild horses than to distribute some food and water before the winter snow.  One has to wonder if the water being used for all the solar development has caused more man-made “drought” conditions by using water from shared aquifers and dropping the water table, making less water and forage available for wild horses and wildlife.   Shame on the BLM!  –  Debbie


cold_creek_emergency.Par.12448.File.533.300.1  BLM photo

236 Cold Creek wild horses rounded up, 30 euthanized

By Mauricio Marin |, Tim Zeitlow

Thirty horses have been euthanized since the Bureau of Land Management started rounding up wild horses about two weeks ago.

So far, the BLM has captured 236 horses. Officials believe the  animals will die if they’re left to fend for themselves.

The wild horses are from Cold Creek, an area northwest of Las Vegas. Cold Creek is about 6,000 feet above sea level and very dry because it gets little rain. There is not much vegetation for wild horses to eat.

BLM says they’re doing everything they can to protect the horses and some Cold Creek residents are making sure they keep their word.

Over the years, people in the Cold Creek area have looked forward to seeing the wild horses.

BLM crews have rounded up horses they say are malnourished.

“The horses  are just getting hungrier and skinnier,” said Carmen Rhoda, a concerned resident.

She agrees drought conditions have left little food for the horses to eat, but she wants to make sure the BLM only takes horses that need help.

“We’re gathering the horses that might look like they may be in need,” said Jason Lutterman, BLM. “We’re not removing  all the horses in the area.”

BLM officials say 30 horses out of about 230 that have been rounded up were extremely thin and weak so they had to be euthanized.

Rhoda calls the situation heartbreaking.

“They are suffering from malnutrition that affects their internal organs,” she said. “Their kidney’s, heart and everything so I understand maybe they had to put down 28 of them.”

Rhea Little who also lives in Cold Creek feels the BLM could have taken proactive measures to stabilize the population.

“My feeling is if they would have implemented birth control four years ago, the majority of the horses taken today wouldn’t have been born,” Little said.

Now the BLM is looking into ways to keep this from happening again.

“We’re exploring the options in the future of implanting some kind of program or some way to keep the population in balance with what the land can support,” said Lutterman.

Since the roundup, there’s a lot fewer horses near Cold Creek.

Rhoda applauds the BLM for being more humane and using a bait and trap method so the animals wouldn’t get spooked.

“They’re very gentle with them. I have to commend the BLM that in this instance they’ve done a good job,” she said.

The horse advocates have asked the inspector general at the Department of the Interior to investigate this specific gather because of the number of horses the BLM put down.

The BLM has not confirmed whether the roundup is complete.

Once the horses are healthy enough, the BLM will put them up for adoption.

25 replies »

  1. I got a letter from Debbie Collins the other day defending BLM’s position that the horses they put down were a 1.5 or lower on the Henneke scale. Whether true or not there are so many folks out there who have the skill and knowledge on how to refeed and nurse starving horses.

    BLM should’ve contacted Palomino Armstrong. Palomino is terrific at this refeeding and nursing thing. I believe currently she is up to her eyeballs but I’m certain she has knowledgable other people that can help.

    Poor prognosis or not…I’ve seen cases that would make you cringe. Honeybandit was literally covered in bites. Baby Girl had a hole in the side of her head between her eye and ear. The infection missed her brain by a millimeter. Betsy Rose spent two months in a sling. And I know they’re other cases. These are three that I know of in my own little corner.

    One thing that disturbs me is this baiting the horses to shoot them afterwards. Seems like a pretty traitorous thing to do. It’s really like befriending someone just to set them up. It’s ugly. It’s evil. And it’s wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Margaret, you have hit on something that most troubles me here. If the horses were removed (by baiting or roundup or whatever means) only to be shot, it seems obvious they spent their last days in a state of confusion, chaos, and fear. Better to have let them die on the range or provide more food there for them and let them make up their own minds.
      This pattern is repeating all over the BLM and USFS planned roundups, it seems. Horses determined to be “old” or “crippled” will be killed.. AFTER putting them through the massive stress of the roundup and dislocation.

      I read this today in another context (refugees) but it seems fitting here:

      “What does faith have to say at a time like this?
      Where do we hear the voice of God?

      Before rushing to any answer, let us sit with the ache, the breaking, and the broken.
      Let us sit with those who suffer, and remember that God is with the long-suffering.

      God does not merely come to the broken-hearted.
      God is already with them.

      The question as always, is not where is God,
      but rather where is humanity?

      Where are we?
      Where am I?
      What are we doing?”

      ~ Omid Safi

      Liked by 2 people

  2. They never put them up for adoption though! How they can continue to lie is unbelievable! I know there are employees that do care and they are just doing their job and I give them that. But how can you get up every morning and go to work for such a corrupt entity and live with yourself?


  3. George Knapp…from his facebook page and reposted…everywhere

    George Knapp

    One of the best known, most iconic of the wild horse herds left in Nevada is going to be rounded up tomorrow. The Cold Creek herd, which has been featured in many of our news stories over the last 20 years, is targeted as part of what BLM calls an “emergency gather”. They plan to grab 200 mustangs and toss them into government holding pens, where they will languish for the rest of their lives.
    Historically the Cold Creek horses have been in great shape since there is so much …
    “Did they just make the decision today, or did they know days or weeks ago and decide to announce it with as little advanced notice as possible so the horse-loving public could not mobilize?”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Solar instead of wild horses?
    Well, “lookie” here. I looks like there is a massive solar energy farm going in right where those starving wild horses are being removed from? A little west of Indian Springs on the map. And to assist with this wild horse and public land grab, the BLM is re-writing the RMP to suit the desires of daddy big bucks?

    Click to access LV-RMP_Poster_Renewable_Energy.pdf

    Solar is great but not on our fragile public wild lands at the expense of our wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If they are looking at our Draft RMP Revision, the maps show various alternatives at Indian Springs as “Avoidance/Variance”. That means it would take additional studies/approvals to authorize a solar development here.

    Hope that helps.

    Gayle Marrs-Smith
    Field Manager
    Las Vegas Field Office
    Bureau of Land Management
    4701 N Torrey Pines Drive
    Las Vegas, NV 89130


  6. Another heartbreaking story, like so many others that could have been prevented. It’s so wrong and sad that there’s such disrespect for these magnificent creatures. The continuous inhumane treatment of our wild horses is totally unnecessary. With proper management, knowledge and assistance from animal welfare organizations and the public, many of the roundups could have been avoided.


  7. There’s something else worth noting in the RMP.
    There may not be any connection to the Cold Creek (Wheeler Pass HMA) Wild Horses, but…still worth noting, as this does concern Public Lands
    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.

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
    Quincy Bahr,
    Booz Allen Hamilton Project Manager (2009–2011) Project Management

    Russel Franklin,
    Booz Allen Hamilton Biologist (2010–2013) Wildlife, T&E Species

    Jared Gunnerson,
    Booz Allen Hamilton Assistant Manager /Project Manager (2009–2013) Project Management

    Michael Sumner,
    Booz Allen Hamilton Assistant Project Manager (2011–2013) Project Management, Recreation

    Caitlin Willoughby,
    Booz Allen Hamilton GIS Specialist (2009–2013) Maps and related Databases


  9. Can someone give us any background on any changes and/or combining of HMAs in the last ten years for the Wheeler Pass (Cold Creek) HMA?

    The reason I ask is that per BLM, the wild horse population jumped from 40 wild horses in 2009 to 242 wild horses in 2010 – a 505% increase in one year?!

    Also of note is that this HMA used to have burros and a burro AML until just a few years ago and since then NO burros. What is that story?


    • BURROS

      When The Dust Finally Settled…..
      December 21, 2007

      Gold Butte HMA
      BLM Las Vegas Field Office

      “As has been too common these days, a wildfire swept through Gold Butte burning almost 50% of the HMA and as a result, in March 2006 BLM told the public it was necessary to remove 132 burros to prevent their own starvation and further degradation of rangeland resources”

      On July 8th, 2006, the BLM Las Vegas Field Office issued their standard press release in the Las Vegas Review Journal announcing their intentions to remove about 1,100 wild horses and burros in the Southern Nevada area. Though the announcement was small, it turned out BLM had big plans.

      With the public focused on the removals of the wild horses and burros in the Spring Mountain Complex to the west of Las Vegas, which eventually blossomed into a failed lawsuit that attempted to protest and challenge BLMs “management” of our herds, plans for the Lake Mead removals were quietly being drawn with little public scrutiny.

      The July press release didn’t even bother to mention what kind of animals were going to be removed only citing, “about sixty animals west of Lake Mead”, which by the fall grew to 186 and when spring 2007 rolled around and the dust finally settled, a total of 216 were removed with the “animals in question” turning out to be more Lake Mead wild burros.

      Why more? Because the BLM had already removed 132 wild burros in March of 2006 in the Gold Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) just a few months before the July press release announced they would be removing them again.

      The Gold Butte HMA is the last remaining “legal area” in the Lake Mead Complex out of the initial 659k acres of habitat set aside for their preservation, with BLM determining only 178k acres is still “appropriate” and anything more than 98 burros causes rangeland deterioration and disrupts the thriving ecological balance.

      As has been too common these days, a wildfire swept through Gold Butte burning almost 50% of the HMA and as a result, in March 2006 BLM told the public it was necessary to remove 132 burros to prevent their own starvation and further degradation of rangeland resources.

      They also told us they left only 36…..

      Needless to say, the new July announcement caused public concern about BLMs plans to “remove 60 animals west of Lake Mead” as this was their total reported population! Would this be an “unofficial” wipe out of the last remaining Lake Mead wild burros?

      However, the Gold Butte HMA followed a recent and disturbing trend in BLMs population reports; as with the Adobe Town, Salt Wells, Divided Basin, and White Mountain HMAs in Wyoming and the recent Jackson Mountain, Antelope and Antelope Valley HMAs in Nevada, hundreds of wild ones became mysteriously present, which apparently BLM had no idea were out on the range despite their “in depth monitoring of rangeland resources” that authorizes these removals.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. we’ll probably never know the whole truth, it seems that’s how it always ends up, more questions than answers. In the mean time we lose more & more, absolutely frustrating & heartbreaking.


  11. It is blm’s job to monitor the horses and do something prior to their getting into this shape. There is no excuse for that. It’s just, once again, dereliction of duty. They were told back in June that there was a problem. Where were they then?

    Liked by 2 people

    • How is it that too many of these “emergency” roundups are pushed through with NO regard to EAs etc – yet in this instance, the BLM was aware months ago (?) and yet waited until the horses were absolute skeletons! The pictures are no different than some of the domestic horses rescued from starvation. Its taken over 2 years for this so-called bureau to come to a decision on contraceptive darting and the decision apparently wont come until 2016! Way Way too late for these animals.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. It sickens me that these wild horses put their trust in us humans to “help” them and basically walked into a death trap under the guise of emergency help and intervention — ultimately resulting in senseless death and an obvious decimation of the valley herds. Would love to hear how many are left after the second round, but it is obvious the total population count was greatly skewed from the very beginning. It saddens me to the core knowing the last memory that those beautiful horses had was of a human holding a gun to their heads. Many many people would have gathered to intervene and help those that were killed, just as they will to those that remain, now in crowded pens. This is not over for many of us who care about the horses, you can count on that. They should have been helped a long time ago – that is what management is about.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heber Wild Horses shared a post.
    September 9
    Cold Creek, cold hard facts…
    Please read through the description below the photos to see what really happened as opposed to what the BLM said they were going to do….

    Melissa Ohlsson added 4 new photos.
    September 8 at 10:08pm • Edited •
    By Melissa Ohlsson

    NOTE: So, I got a call from BLM’s Karla Norris this afternoon. She was all nice and cordial… to let me know that during a flyover of Cold Creek this week,
    they saw more horses and were going to get them (but I was SO angry that I don’t remember WHEN!) I asked her if she was calling to tell me more lies about what would happen to those horses, too? That’s when she started back-peddling, changing her story and acting like I had misunderstood what she told me in our phone call the Friday before the, “gather” and also what the BLM rep, Shayne had told me! (the rest is probably best not to post)
    LIE #1) We are going to gather up to 200 horses from Cold Creek, starting tomorrow morning. We are specifically taking the 70 we counted starving by the road. We’re not interested in removing healthy horses.
    WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: They removed 202 horses total. 132 were perfectly healthy horses.
    LIE # 2) All of the horses will be taken to the Olive Ranch facility by Blue Diamond where they will be evaluated and fattened-up before being shipped to the holding facility in Utah.
    WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: 43 were shipped out on Monday. 41 were shipped Wednesday. 49 were shipped Thursday and the last 37 shipped out on Friday. The remaining horses were euthanized even though I was told that… LIE # 3) There are no plans to euthanize any of the horses.
    LIE # 4) Since the horses are already used to humans, when they are healthy again we want them ALL to have a chance to be adopted.
    WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: 28 horses were euthanized between Wednesday and Friday. (NO chance for adoption)
    LIE # 5 on Tuesday) So far, we’ve trapped 113 horses. We have the 70 worst cases… the ones that we identified as having a 2 body score. We will try to get the mare and foal that are still out there tomorrow morning. It doesn’t look like we’ll get more than 130 so if we can’t catch the mare and foal, we will leave them out there and we’ll be done.
    WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: Gather operations continued until Wednesday, 09/02. with a total of 202 wild horses removed, whether the horses needed help, or not.
    I am comparing what I was told personally, to the BLM’s Gather Report.
    (To ensure my post gather report can be shared, the link to the BLM’s Gather Report page will be in a separate post immediately following this)
    I will NEVER trust anything the BLM says again! My BAD for giving these lying SOB’s the benefit of the doubt. May the 28 euthanized wild horses Rest in Peace… they never had a chance.

    Melissa Ohlsson
    Vice President
    America’s Wild Horse Advocates/Spring Mountain Alliance
    Las Vegas, NV.

    Liked by 1 person

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