BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse & burro holding facility looks like a ghost town

We tried to bring good cheer over the holidays, but unfortunately, we need to keep you informed as we try to keep pace with the BLM’s accelerated shuffling, during bad weather, of our wild horses and burros.  After hearing from multiple sources that BLM’s Palomino Valley facility (in Sparks, Nevada) looked like a ghost town, author Terri Farley went there on Dec. 30, 2015.   Below are just a few of the photographs she took.  We’ll keep you updated as we find out more facts, but here is the firsthand account from Terri Farley’s facebook page:

“Where have all the horses and burros gone?  These images are from today’s visit to Palomino Valley Wild Horse facility.  Many corrals are empty. Most held fewer than 10 mustangs or burros. Wrangler on the scene said there were 1200 horses there.  When I was dubious, he suggested I check with a second BLM source.  I did & was told 1,134 horses were there on Dec. 22.  I am waiting for an update on where horses have shipped and why. I’ll post a complete blog when I have answers — or at least more information.”

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43 comments on “BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse & burro holding facility looks like a ghost town

  1. Sold? for meat? just for money? why are we the people not listened to when it comes to the wild ones? If those horses were shipped to Mexico to be murdered, what can we do? Money talks, the ranchers have it, the BLM could care less about the horses and burros. It is just heartbreaking and so frustrating to leave the horses to those people, people who don’t care..

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    • They shouldn’t be able to do so; it is illegal. And the 2016 FY appropriations bill has provisions banning BLM from using funds to destroy healthy horses and facilitate their slaughter into commercial products. So it would be two-times illegal.

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      • Yep, a total “what the eyes don’t see the heart doesn’t grieve” approach to policy. And even if they are catched red-handed they will deny it, issue several years later a bogus investigation report in which they say there was no wrongdoing and that everthing was an oversight…so no prosecution. Makes me ill.

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  2. I have been to P/V many times and always do an estimate (such as 50 in this corral and 200 in this corral etc. to come up with a total) of the number of WH&B. From these current pics, it certainly looks almost empty. Where are they???

    A few years ago a BLM official from the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Reno Nevada Office said, horses cannot be purchased from BLM long term holding facilities except in “large” amounts.

    We now see “large” amounts missing … so did they sell hundreds from LTH and then replenished the LTH facilities with the P/V horses or did they just sell “large” amounts straight from Palomino Valley?

    Also, in past years I have seen hundreds of wild horses with NO neck tags at P/V – very suspicious.

    BLM’s PR person, D.Collins is conveniently out of the office for another week.

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  3. So where did the horses go? They should have to tell us…..how could they go from there? Who took them? Do they keep records like they should ? n This is Bull Shit.

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  4. The BLM are known to ship the wild horses out by night so as not to raise suspicion. One day they will be there, and the next morning large numbers will be gone…. mostly likely slaughter…to Mexico or Canada. This is the BLM and the deceit involved

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    • Robert, take a look at the photo of pen 15, many tire tracks in the snow which look like dually trailer patterns, and certainly not tractor tires at least. I’m not familiar with the layout there but it looks like they curve over along the loading chute area. Can’t be that they were tracks from feeding, since there are no horses there, or fresh signs of them or any hay, just multiple visits of big rigs into and out of pen 15.

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  5. saw this under a post in a group…I know nothing more…

    Jeanne Brummet commented this:
    UPDATE!! Talked to Suzanne Roy on the phone a little while ago. She thinks these horses may have gone to a new LTH ranch in Idaho. The question is WHY? WHY are they clearing space?

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  6. Monika Courtney said she called Debbie Collins on her cell phone and that Debbie Collins says “they are there” and Monika asked for photographic proof and made a big stink and is waiting for Debbie to call her back. Monika also told Debbie that “this [story] is exploding [among advocates] and will be a PR nightmare for BLM.”

    So, IF Suzanne Roy is correct and the horses were sent to a new LTH somewhere in Idaho…why is Debbie Collins saying the horses are still at Palomino Valley? Is she out of the loop [hard to believe] or HIDING the fact that they were moved elsewhere? If she is HIDING that information from the public …WHY?

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  7. Friends of wild horses: I am so happy to see concern for the wild horses. Can you please encourage people around you to read posts to the end with all pertinent details? I am a journalist by training and i stick with the facts. Some folks are making connections between my work & other stories. I’ll take the blame for getting all writerish & making an allusion to “where have all the flowers gone..” but there were horses in the photos. On purpose. The wild horse pens at Palomino Valley are not ALL empty. Facts have been promised to me by next week. For now, my blog tells you all that I know http://terrifarley.blogspot.com/2015/12/where-have-all-horses-gone-and-why.html Horse hugs & Happy New Year. I will be back out to check on the wild ones soon. Grandma Gregg, want to join me? With a notebook?

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  8. Does anyone know someone within driving distance of the holding pens in Bruno, Idaho, Pauls Valley, Elk Creek or Carson City that would be willing to take a look in the pens? At least it would give a person some idea if any horses were taken there.

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    • Barbara, my hunch is that these are the new long term sanctuaries the BLM was soliciting requests for in the past year. If some were awarded, it makes sense horses might be shipped there, but most (if not all) are surely private facilities, so I would be surprised if there was any public access at all, other than by whim. Only the folks who have them, and their families and friends will have knowledge or access to our wild horses, and our funds to make it all pay off for them.

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  9. Icy Spots,
    The soliciting the BLM has been doing the past year I suspect may be a cover to make it appear that they have so many horses they need more ranches to board them to cover their asses because most of the horses they have sold for slaughter for the past 20 years. If they allowed horses to be sold off to basically a killer buyer because they wouldn’t be able to account for 50,000 horses they claim they have if they were hauled into court forced to give the names of the boarding ranches. I believe the taxpayer dollars they want give to them is to make it appear that they have the 50,000 when in fact the only horses they actually have are the few thousand that they have rounded up the past few years like I said before the rest of them are long gone. I know nobody wants to hear this but after I read the Peer White paper and the new Investigative Report of Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Buyer dated Web: Oct 23, 2015 twenty years later that is what I think. The guy that is buying the horses is for all intents purposes a killer buyer.

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    • Entirely possible and probable. Point being, we don’t know where our horses are and they don’t want us to, but are still collecting millions of dollars from us to “manage” them.

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      • My experience living in a country with widespread, systemic, widely-known corruption for the last 200 years is that, wherever there is an economic incentive for fraud and wrongdoing, there will be plenty of folks -usually with ties in the government- willing to profit from that. It is point proven that the most corrupt governments in the world are the most secretive in their operations. So I have to agree this might be a trace of the long-suspected “wild horse BLM payola”…

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      • Daniel, given your experience, what do you see as realistic and possible solutions? In the overall federal budget $40 million is small change, but significant enough to keep some few corrupt folks very happy with the availability of funds without any significant double blind accounting in place. In this system an “overpopulation” theory will keep the cash flowing despite any physical evidence to support it. Once the horses are gone or entirely non-reproducing, what will be their next “cash cow?”

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      • Well, I think that, in ther unlightened self-interest, they are neither aware nor care about the fact that their cash cow will eventually disappear, perhaps sooner than what they imagine. And some of them have bought their own propaganda and rancid ideas so much that wouldn’t have a problem with that. They just want immediate profit, immediate returns. And once all the horses are gone I guess they imagine they will be running more cows, unware that someday, perhaps not so far from today, that land that feed their beef cattle will turn into a Martian landscape.

        But again, they simply chose to live ignorant of these facts. Whatever happens to the generations to come is not their problem; whatever happens to anything besides their pockets is not their problem. They just want money now so they can fund their lifestyles before they die. That kind of mindset is part of what I usually refer to as “mundo viejuno”.

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  10. thought they could not round up and sell any longer? what is the big deal to leave them alone … it is a MONEY MAKING deal for the people that round them up and ship them out whether it is for food or just selling them off and I feel it is more for SLAUGHTER!!! leave them alone!

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  11. With all my heart I’m trusting that the wild horses are okay. Another scenario that might be considered is the fact that the BLM move them around quite a bit. Back in 2009/2010 Calico Mts roundup while documenting the Granite Range HMA we noticed that the BLM had recycled horses already rounded up, The BLM had claimed that the population had grown to something like 3055 in 4 years from I believe 575, in the 5 HMA.s, This is virtually impossible. Many of us realized that the BLM move them around a lot and so to speak recycle horses back to areas that the BLM are about to roundup to make it appear that the horses are out there in the numbers that it is saying. The BLM will take them from wherever it has them stored so to speak. Sounds crazy but economically it is sound business for the BLM and is another lie that helps to assure continued appropriations from congress.. Its all a big lie that the BLM is pushing and the Wild Horse and Burro Program needs to be abolished. Nevertheless I hope I am wrong about this case

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    • You’re right, Bob! The BLM could do this “conveniently” for an aerial census to boost their bogus claims of an “overpopulation.”

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    • Robert, do you think the Wild Horse and Burro Program should be abolished, or given instead to an agency whose sole purpose is their protection and humane management? I think removing their care from both the BLM and USFS by creating an entirely new agency formed with their welfare and sustainability in mind would be much better than abolishing what few protections they now supposedly were given.

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      • The wild horses and burros can be protected without management. Mankind has constant had the view it must jump in an alter according to fixed statistics. Nature is not static but dynamic continually adjusting itself through feedback loops from the microscopic to the major organisms. Nature knows how to manage itself . Our responsibility is to make sure man made restrictions are off nature so that she can regulate herself. We don’t need to add or take away or limit on anyway. As long as we can keep our hands off nature is okay .We can learn from nature however and protect her . This is where removal of the Wild Horse and Burro program comes in, something designed to alter and take away from the wild horses for greed and prejudice , truly a conspiracy against our wild ones. This principle of leaving our hands off so to speak applies to all forms of our wild ones. This is how nature keeps herself regulated . It is mankinds constant endeavor to manage nature that has constantly and continually thrown nature out of balance. Sounds hard but it is the truth

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      • Robert, you are right about the interference of man. Playing God with nature is destroying it and us along with it.

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      • Robert, I understand your main point about letting Nature be natural, but disagree that the Wild Horse and Burro Act was “designed to alter and take away from the wild horses for greed and prejudice” as the law was clearly written and intended with quite opposite philosophies and practices in mind. While it has of course been subverted, in essence it remains the only hope these innocent creatures have.

        If we followed your suggestion of NO management, we would revert more or less immediately to pre-1971 conditions, with more people and less room for wild horses and burros to survive, not to mention the ever-constant boiling pot called State’s Rights which might protect them in some but would surely extinguish them forever in others. And how would “no management” interface with predator controls which we know are artificially reduced to protect livestock but also which remove natural selection pressures from wild horses and burros?

        There is no realistic prospect of a “no management” option as I see it, especially on fewer and fewer fenced acres and reproducing herds creating a manufactured crisis leading to more removals etc. Management even by doing nothing is still a management decision.

        So what would you envision as a realistic, achievable option to the current BLM management? If we could fire them and start over today, what do you suggest would work to support both the wild horses and burros and the public?

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  12. I want accountability and transparency. Where are the horses? When were they moved? Why were they moved? I want to see documentation and photos. The BLM needs to be held accountable for every horse, young and old that it has removed from the public lands in the last 20 years. Where is every horse? How many have gone to slaughter? Who is being punished for breaking the law? The BLM makes me sick.

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    • Its a shame this kind of natural grazing couldnt be put into effect here! Can you imagine the static & bs from our “welfare ranchers”? The thought that many species of grazers allowed to live together without multitudes of livestock! would blow their minds. That said – boy, what a wonderful way to bring back lands that have been devastated by too much farming & livestock.

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  13. Our Wild Horses & Burros need to be Protected
    It is the Public Lands that need to be Managed…not Pillaged.
    What options does that leave?
    Government agencies have not, so far, been able or willing to do the job.
    BLM, the Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife…even the National Park Service…all have caved to private and corporate interests.
    The Courts have failed miserably
    Judges have not shown the Integrity or the Courage to enforce the Law
    It’s going to take a group of people with Bulldog tenacity to protect what is left of our Public Land and Wildlife.
    We need a Think Tank
    Taxpayer money must be used for the Public Interests

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  14. I was just out at PVC today Sunday Jan 3 at about 12;30pm. There was one corral empty the one closest to the office all the other pens had horses in them from 50 to 150 horses in each.

    I don’t know where this came out that there were no horses.

    I am not sticking up for the BLM, what they are doing to our wild horses is disgusting. But the horses are there a good 1500 to 1800 horses. There was plenty of hay even though it was on the ground instead of the green stands in each pen. Didn’t see any shelters for them which the BLM promised they were to install from the Reno Public Workshop that was arranged because of the channel 2 KTVN local news interview I had with John Potter which got the ball rolling and the public awareness of the conditions out there.

    I do not trust anything the BLM says in regards to caring for these beautiful creatures but they did look good and there was plenty of food.

    They need to be set FREE plain and simple. But there are ways to go about things to not put them on the defensive, that does not help the situation for the horses. Seek to understand before being understood. That might be the thing these wild horses need is peaceable inquiries and not finger pointing to get some good done for them.

    Thank you,

    Nancy M Leake

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    • Thanks Nancy. Did you took any pictures? Did you notice any recent tire marks? That would be great to figure out what is going on by comparing them.

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    • What we need are live cameras, the ultimate form of “peaceable inquiry” for the public, who own these animals and pay the salaries of those we placed in charge of their care.

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