BLM to Sterilize Idaho’s Saylor Creek Wild Horses


Saylor Creek wild horses (photo: BLM)

Drastic Plan threatens future of all wild horse herds in the West

The Cloud Foundation issued a Press Release warning that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), long criticized for its inhumane helicopter roundups, massive, indiscriminant removals, and warehousing of America’s wild horses and burros, announced their intent to sterilize the Saylor Creek wild horse herd in Idaho.  The BLM’s Jarbridge Resource Management Plan would “treat all wild horses surgically or chemically to eliminate reproduction capability.”

 “This chilling decision, if allowed to stand, will set a deadly precedent for all our wild horse and burro herds in the West,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF).  “Sterilizing a herd is the opposite of the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act (WFRHBA) and the BLM’s long repeated mantra, ‘Healthy herds on healthy rangelands.’  How can a sterilized wildlife population be considered healthy?”

The Cloud Foundation argues that the plan violates both the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the WFRHBA:

  • Violates NEPA because it fails to analyze an alternative that restores access to the Snake River as a water source for wild horses
  • Violates NEPA because it fails to adequately analyze the impacts of managing a non-reproducing herd in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA)
  • Does not analyze the impacts to: the “wild” and “free roaming” nature of wild horses and other behavioral dynamics; the physical health of mares; genetic diversity; and rangeland health.
  • Violates the WFRHBA by proposing to manage a non-reproducing herd in the Saylor Creek HMA.

“The BLM has run rough-shod over the wild horse and burros for over 40 years, zeroing out almost half the herds that were identified for protection in the WFRHBA,” adds Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF.  “Now they want to turn the Saylor Creek Herd area into a ‘sanctuary,’ more accurately described as a dumping ground for other sterilized mustangs in holding.”

In 1971, 339 herds were identified for protection after the passage of the WFRHB Act.  Only 179 herds remain.  The vast majority of the remaining herds are managed at non-viable levels of under 150-200 adult animals.  83% of forage in the 179 wild horse and burro herd areas is allocated to privately-owned livestock that cost taxpayers over $120 million a year for administration of a flawed and range damaging program.

“This is just the beginning of the end for wild horse families in the wild if we don’t say ‘no’ as loudly and collectively as we can,” concludes Kathrens.


The Cloud Foundation: Say No to Sterilizatio

Record of Decision, Jarbridge Resource Management Plan

Feds Plan Wild Horse Sanctuary in Southwestern Idaho



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  2. In the BLM RMP revision it says, “The majority of the planning area will be available for livestock grazing (1,411,000 acres).” I am appalled that my land is being managed as if it were a private livestock feedlot rather than the common heritage of all Americans.

    Wild horses and burros are legally DESIGNATED on the Herd Management Area (HMA) and livestock are only PERMITTED. Definition of the word “designated” is to “set aside for” or “assign” or “authorize”. Definition of “permit” is to “allow” or “let” or “tolerate”. The Wild Horse and Burro lands and resources are set aside for, and assigned and authorized for, the use of wild horses and burros whereas the livestock is only allowed and tolerated and let to use the public range resources.

    What are the legal and humane and moral and viable options for these wild horses? A major and positive step would be the removal of all domestic livestock from each of the HMAs and all of the HA lands – all legally designated wild horse and burros lands – known as Herd Areas. This would necessitate the re-establishment of the original legal herd area acreage and the halting of any captures/removals and contraception and sterilization of the herds along with the acceptance of predators and termination of predator hunting within the herd areas – in other words following the 1971 law and the laws of nature. This is a simple and environmentally responsive and cost effective and legal and natural way to develop a “thriving ecological balance” on these public lands.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From FSEEE (Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics)
    Holding BLM Accountable

    What has us seething is the Bureau of Land Management, for which a more apt moniker may be the “Bureau of Livestock and Mining.
    It’s time to remind the BLM that it works for the American people and not the special interests that have been granted free reign to despoil our public lands for their private profit.

    As we have done for the Forest Service for the past 25 years, FSEEE is now doing for our other public lands agencies by advocating for sustainable land management and enforcing our nation’s bedrock environmental laws.

    We know that we can be a part of the solution, so FSEEE is launching an audit of the BLM’s permitting program. We will shed light on the ongoing favoritism that allows private ranching and mining interests to exploit our natural heritage. It is time that all our public lands are ethically managed to serve the interests of the American people who own these precious spaces.



    BLM has been charged with managing wild horse herds and have dealt with “excess” horses through a capture program. BLM also manages ranching on public lands, giving permits to ranchers for grazing. Because ranchers have found our public lands to be good grazing for their cattle, wild horses may lose the fight for resources as wild horses are replaced by cattle. If the mustang is to remain an icon of the American west, running wild and free, they urgently need our protection in the form of habitat conservation.


  5. Soda Fire Recovery, the First Test of New Sage-grouse Amendments, Already a Failure.
    October 14, 2015

    BLM Plans to Turn Landscape into a Cattle Forage Zone.

    The highly vaunted, but meaningless, land management plans to save sage grouse are being put to the test with the recovery plan for the Soda Fire which burned 225,953 acres along highway 95 on the Oregon/Idaho border in August. Instead of focussing on reestablishing native vegetation, the recovery plan released last Friday calls for replanting 25% of the burned area with non-native Siberian wheatgrass, crested wheatgrass, alfalfa, and forage kochia. Ostensibly, these species are considered “desirable” non-native species but, once they are planted, they pretty much dominate the landscape for years into the future and increase the fire frequency over native grasses. The so-called “native” grasses that will be planted are cultivars that were selectively bred to be better livestock forage and don’t resemble their wild cousins.


  6. Why is TCF helping the BLM. They write these scathing reports and yet approve removals and arm themselves with dart guns. We know what BLM’s ultimate goal is. We need to get away from these donation based groups and rally our individual states where our politicians will get the the message, where our vote counts. That’s what I have done and it is starting to pay off. We do not ask for donations. We are educating and uniting our fellow Illinoisans in the war over wild horses. We are definitely not deemed as “assets” of the BLM. Try this with your own states, obviously these donation groups are not accomplishing anything and some are actually promoting PZP and other BLM wipeout plans.


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