Horse News

BLM trumps up an “emergency” as an excuse and removes more wild horses

3 horses died.  The BLM said 2 horses were “euthanized due to pre-existing conditions with a hopeless prognosis for recovery” (even though the horses were able to run far while being chased by a helicopter).  Click HERE for the link to the BLM page for the roundup.  The BLM continues on the path to wild horse & burro extinction…


The BLM corral at Axtell, Utah, where the recently rounded up wild horses will be imprisoned.  The property is owned and operated by Kerry Despain and his family. (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) 

SOURCE:  The Ely Times

BLM concludes Eagle-Caliente complex emergency wild horse gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District has concluded the Eagle-Caliente Complex Emergency Wild Horse Gather. The BLM gathered 122 wild horses from public and private lands adjacent to U.S. Highway 93 and State Route 322 in and outside the Caliente Herd Areas (HA) Complex, and Eagle and Silver King Herd Management Areas (HMA) in eastern Nevada. The BLM removed 120 wild horses. Two wild horses were euthanized due to pre-existing conditions with a hopeless prognosis for recovery.

The District removed 39 wild horses from alongside U.S. Highway 93 at Oak Spring Summit west of Caliente, 48 wild horses from alongside U.S. Highway 93 and State Route 322 between Pioche and Eagle Valley, and 35 wild horses from alongside U.S. Highway 93 north of Pioche.

Wild horses removed from the range were transported to the Axtell Contract Off-range Corrals, in Axtell, Utah, to be prepared for the BLM’s adoption program. Un-adopted wild horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any wild horses to slaughter.

The Eagle-Caliente Complex Emergency Wild Horse Gather began on Monday, Feb. 8, and concluded on Sunday, Feb. 14. An Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinarian was on site daily through the gather to evaluate animal conditions and provide recommendations to the on-site BLM wild horse and burro specialist for care and treatment.

Additional gather information is available on the district website at

For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at (775) 289-1842 or

12 replies »

  1. This information should be available and provided to the Public before ANY Wild Horse capture or removals.
    WHERE is it?

    H-4700-1 WILD HORSES AND BURROS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK (Public) BLM Handbook – 31 – Rel. -116 07/07/2010 To achieve these objectives, monitoring efforts should focus on the following:
    • Evaluate current year’s forage production and water flows.
    • Evaluate/measure use, map patterns of use and monitor seasonal distribution/movement.

    Data collection to accomplish the above could include:
    1. Photographs and Field Inspection Notes. Document observations on current year’s growing conditions (average, below average or above average precipitation and soil moisture); plant phenology (are plants maturing earlier or later than normal); and forage production and water flows (average, below normal, above normal). When taking photographs, label each photograph with the date and the location to facilitate re-photographing the area in the future.

    2. Use Mapping. Map utilization of current year’s growth. Where possible, document forage utilization by WH&B in rest pastures or prior to livestock use. Where separation of use by type of animal is not possible, map total utilization at the end of the season. Use the information collected to identify and establish key areas, determine distribution, and seasonal use areas. If mapping utilization of the HMA on an annual basis isn’t possible, focus monitoring on measuring utilization at key areas used by WH&B within the HMA on an annual and continuing basis.

    3. Utilization. Estimate the proportion of annual forage production used by herbivores (WH&B, domestic livestock, wildlife, and insects).

    4. Residual Vegetation or Stubble Height, Woody Species Use or Streambank Alteration. Measuring stubble height, use on woody species, and the degree of streambank utilization occurring annually (especially in rest pastures or prior to livestock use) may also be helpful in documenting resource impacts associated with WH&B use.

    5. Grazing Use Records. Summarize the actual grazing use (animal unit months of forage) by livestock, WH&B, and wildlife by unit or pasture for the year.

    6. Weather Data. Document information on temperature, precipitation, and growing conditions.

    7. Animal Condition. Using the Henneke Body Condition Scoring (BCS) system, document the number of animals seen, where they were observed, and their BCS class. Document average group size (e.g., animals are concentrating in large groups or scattered, small groups, evidence of lameness, or other possible animal health concerns). This information may be used to assist in the evaluation of TNEB within the HMA.

    When collected,


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  2. The numerous ways (NEPA or no NEPA) they are chomping away at our wild horses and burros from every angle and using every excuse – legitimate or not (mostly NOT) – must be making the big BLM blow-hearts in the Washington DC office very proud and I imagine they have been lining up for their bonuses because of their inventive ways of stealing our wild ones and our lands while most Americans don’t even have any idea what is going on. They should all be ASHAMED!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Article excerpts from MOTHERBOARD…the Public is NOT pleased…as it realizes that its Wild Horses & Burros and Public Lands are disappearing.

    They would like us to think that the BLM’s mission involves keeping good folk like the Bundys from blindly tearing shit up like true Americans.

    The truth is closer to the opposite of this. While providing recreation opporitunities and protecting open-space is part of its mission, the BLM is of any federal land agency the most concerned with facilitating exploitation: mining, drilling, grazing. The BLM lands surrounding my old home in southwest Colorado (by Cortez at the Utah border), for example, even have the additional status of being a “national monument”-sort of like a national park but without the same protections-and yet you’d have a hard time throwing a stone without it clanking against a pipeline or piece of machinery. (The target there is mostly carbon dioxide, which is indeed a thing drilled for.)

    Across the border in Utah, it just gets worse with the open-pit nightmare of the Lisbon Valley Mine. This occurs on BLM land:

    In California, BLM land hosts 595 different oil leases, responsible for 15,800,000 billions of production annually. About 500,000 barrels a day. The federal government, the landowner (you), gets about 12 percent in royalties from oil and gas sales, a rate that hasn’t be updated since 1920.

    Nowadays the BLM takes in around $12 million annually in revenue while spending some $80 million in a role that amounts to being a public caretaker of resources exploited by private entities (ranchers, miners, drillers).


  4. ELY
    BLM “Drought” Plans Get Rid of Wild Horses & Livestock
    Debbie Coffey Copyright 2013
    Below are my comments on the Ely District Drought Management Environmental Assessment.

    Dear Mindy Seal, Amy Lueders and Rosemary Thomas,

    I urge NO ACTION, with the exception of temporary water hauls to wild horses.
    “1.2 Purpose and Need for Action:
    The purpose of the action is to provide rapid response to drought conditions on the Ely District by adjusting management of wild horses, livestock and other authorized uses.”

    This EA ONLY addresses management of wild horses and livestock, but NOT any other “authorized uses.” What does the Ely District Drought Management Plan do to adjust any other uses other than wild horses and livestock in your District? How can you have a District Drought Management Environmental Assessment when ONLY 2 uses out of the many multiple uses in your district are considered?
    What about mining? What about oil and gas exploration and development? What about solar? What about geothermal? Aren’t these all “authorized uses” within the Ely District?

    The BLM has promised transparency, so the public needs to be informed of the acre feet annually (afa) used by each other use in each hydrographic basin within the Ely District. These are other factors that should have been included this EA, but were completely omitted.

    Any EA for drought management should include ALL of the uses in your district that use water. If this information is not included in a Drought Management EA, then your office is perpetrating fraud on the American public.
    As you should know, mining, oil and gas development, and some types of solar use a lot of water and can drop the water table. In some instances, the BLM has minimized the impact of the use of water by mining operations by not requiring 1’ and 5’ water drawdown maps for the EAs of mines.
    page 17 (Wild Horse Removal)
    While drought is seasonal, the BLM plans to PERMANENTLY remove wild horses. The BLM plans to only temporarily remove livestock, but to permanently remove wild horses. BLM should do water hauls to avoid removing any wild horses. Rounding up wild horses is much more expensive.
    Page 18 (Removal of animals to a point below the low AML)
    This will endanger the viability and eliminate part of the thriving ecological balance. How about not having the upcoming Dec. 10, 2013 oil and gas lease sale in your District? How about having active mines or oil and gas leases cut back on production during severe droughts?
    Page 20 (Supplemental Feeding of Wild Horses)
    “Supplemental Feeding of wild horses on rangelands during times of drought would adversely affect areas on or near the location that feed is being supplied.”
    What about adverse affects in many areas in the Ely District during times of drought by other uses? What about all the acres adversely affected by oil and gas development, especially within or near Herd management Areas? If the BLM is so concerned about the drought, shouldn’t you cancel the upcoming December 10, 2013 oil and gas lease sale?
    The BLM, while getting rid of wild horses and livestock, is going full speed ahead with plans to expand the Pan Mine Project and Barrick’s Bald Mountain Mine.
    Won’t there be any adversely affected areas during future droughts from the planned Pan Mine Project, which expands the original 2011 exploration plan disturbance area from 100 acres to approximately 3,140 acres? This one project will:
    The expansion of the boundary is a result of constructing, operating, closing, and reclaiming the following:
    • Two main open pits: the North Pan Pit and the South Pan Pit;
    • Four satellite pits: the Black Stallion, North Syncline, Syncline, and South Syncline pits;
    • Crushing facilities and associated stockpiles;
    • Two waste rock disposal areas;
    • Heap leach pad, conveyors, processing facilities, and ponds;
    • Water supply wells and delivery/storage system;
    • Haul and secondary roads;
    • Additional exploration within the Plan area;
    • Ancillary facilities including: power supply; stormwater controls; reagent, fuel, and
    explosives storage; buildings including administration, laboratory, security, warehouse,
    core shed, and parking; potable water supply and septic systems; maintenance shop;
    ready line; light vehicle wash; communications facilities; helicopter pad; plant growth
    medium and woody debris stockpiles; Class III – waivered landfill; area for petroleum
    contaminated soils; monitoring wells; borrow areas; fencing; and yards.
    This use has much more potential for adverse areas and covers much more area than the small areas where you might temporarily feed some wild horses.
    The BLM said of the Pan Mine Project: “The BLM’s Purpose for the Proposed Action is to authorize a legitimate use of public lands, which would allow Midway to construct and operate a gold mine.”
    Does the BLM Ely District office consider mining a “legitimate use” of public lands, but wild horses and burros an “illegitimate use” of public lands?
    The BLM has stated about Oil and gas leases “Water Resources and Water Rights are not
    issues for lease sales, since no ground disturbing activities are associated with the sales per se.”
    PER SE? (So, the BLM only looks at the actual lease sales, but can’t imagine the next step, which is development? Is the BLM incapable of foresight in its management of public lands?)
    “Any concerns that arise during development of parcels subsequent to lease sales would be handled through design features, mitigation measures, and/or project stipulations.”
    OR NOT. Has anyone in the Ely District office read about fracking? If not, here are a few links:
    How Rural America Got Fracked
    Fracking Our Food Supply
    Fracking Damage Cases and Industry Secrecy
    Pages 50-52
    Since this EA addresses Socio-Economic Values, please consider this:
    Resource Curse: Why the Economic Boom That Fracking Promises Will Be a Bust For Most People (Hard Times, USA)
    Page 67
    There are no GPS coordinates or dates the photos were taken for the photos. This is unscientific.
    Page 70
    There are no GPS coordinates for these photos. This is unscientific.
    Pages 70-71
    “Wild horses also cause damage through excessive trailing and hoof action, which causes destruction of vegetation and increases erosion and trampling of riparian areas; thereby causing bank shear, contaminating water quality and affecting riparian function.”
    I’m glad the Ely District office brought up contaminating water quality as a concern, since your office is forging ahead with plans to expand Bald Mountain Mine. What about all the arsenic and mercury contamination of surface water that has already been caused by that mine?
    BLM stated “In general, established background water quality levels are good with the exception of arsenic, which exceeds the 0.05 mg/l Nevada water quality standard.”
    Are you just going to allow this mine to cause more contamination to water? I wrote an article about this mine and the water contamination. Here is a link:
    Also, since your office is concerned about water contamination, please read these articles:
    New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years
    Fracking Wastewater Can Be Highly Radioactive
    Finally, since the BLM brings up destruction of vegetation, increased erosion and the trampling of riparian areas, have you ever looked at satellite photos of the areas of the mines? You should go to google earth and type in Ruth, Nevada. Just south of the town, it looks like there is a mining project that seems to be about 30 miles wide! Bet that kicked up a little dust.
    Also, you can look here (you can even type Bald Mountain Mine in the search box and look at it):
    Has your office seen any photos of oil fields? Look at this:
    Talk about the trampling of riparian areas! This destruction to rangelands is no comparison to some trailing and hoof action caused by some wild horses. Don’t you feel kind of silly for even mentioning “trailing and hoof action” now? (If not, you should.)
    And, last but by no means least, don’t forget about the water grabs that are going on!
    Page 78 Fertility Control
    BLM should not be considering fertility control on non-viable herds.
    Map 1.2 Ecoregions on the Ely District
    Please cite the U.S. LAW that authorizes “Ecoregions” (not just DOI policy or regulations).
    In conclusion, you might want to google the name of your state + BLM to see if your state BLM is making similar “drought” plans. Look at your state’s BLM page and the BLM district office maps to see which district includes your city (even big cities like Los Angeles are part of a BLM District), and keep an eye out for what is being planned in your state and in your district, because public lands are being robbed blind.


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