Vale OR BLM Postpones Wild Horse Stampede

Source: The Argus Observer

“Yesterday we commented that a helicopter stampede would be conducted in Oregon to kidnap more “fresh” mares for the BLM to brutally experiment on at their Hines Holding Facility; the torture was scheduled to begin next week on the 26th.  But it now appears that the horses will have a few more weeks to live in freedom,with their families and the mares with their ovaries.  The ridicules madness has been postponed until the end of next month.  The unedited article is listed below.” ~ R.T.

“…the appropriate management level for the area is 75–150 wild horses…(non-viable herd)”

8 month old fillies at BLM's Hines, Oregon holding facility...waiting for the "experiment"
8 month old fillies at BLM’s Hines, Oregon holding facility…waiting for the “experiment”

VALE — The Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District is postponing a planned gather of wild horses in the Three Fingers Herd Management Area.

The gather was expected to start July 26, but that has been postponed to a tentative date of Aug. 23.

The objective of the gather is to capture 100 wild horses from the Three Fingers management area and return 50 horses — 25 studs and 25 mares — to the range to re-establish an appropriate management level following the gather. The herd population is currently estimated at 202; the appropriate management level for the area is 75–150 wild horses.

The Three Fingers management area is approximately 25 miles south of Vale. It is bordered on the west by the Owyhee Reservoir, on the south by the Leslie Gulch Road, and on the north by the Owyhee Dam.

Extended drought conditions in the region and a horse population exceeding the management level have resulted in horses from the Three Fingers herd grazing well outside their area in search of water and forage. This grazing has extended into areas affected by the 2015 Soda Fire which burned nearly 280,000 acres in Oregon and Idaho. Grazing in these areas is especially destructive as the fire rehabilitation efforts are vulnerable to activity of any kind in the affected area.

Protecting these fire rehabilitation areas is necessary to prevent the spread of exotic annual weed species, which can potentially convert a burned area to a weed-dominated community. Additionally, heavy grazing by horses from the Three Fingers herd outside their management area jeopardizes the health of surrounding rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitat, as well as the health and well-being of the Three Fingers herd.

Horses that are removed from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines. The public can visit and view the horses once they arrive at the facility any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The horses gathered during this effort will be made available for adoption later this year.

The Vale District BLM will host public viewing days near the capture site as horses are gathered and sorted. Viewing may be scheduled on short notice but can accommodate a maximum of fifteen people each day.

Those interested in viewing can contact Larry Moore at or (541) 473-6218 for more information. Viewing opportunities and gather reports will be shared at:


  1. Does this paragraph mean those captured for experimentation will also be viewable while undergoing this “research” and then be available for adoption afterwards, if they survive? I thought part of the “purpose” of this “research” was to return the poor creatures that survived and then monitor any behavioral changes. This statement would indicate otherwise:

    “Horses that are removed from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines. The public can visit and view the horses once they arrive at the facility any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The horses gathered during this effort will be made available for adoption later this year.”


    • IcySpots – no, the horses vivisected at the Hines facility will never be released. They will be introduced to stallions in BLM holding four weeks after surgery and bred to see if the surgery was successful. THAT is the ‘behavior’ BLM is seeking. It is disgusting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand that but the BLM itself is the source of the language I copied, which indicates something else.

        Also, it has to be said, four weeks is not sufficient time for any female horse to heal from this much trauma and allow a stallion to mount her. There is no “research” needed to comprehend she won’t be cycling normally no matter what so soon after such an invasive procedure. It’s difficult enough to settle domestic mares when you optimize all conditions and timing, and is common knowledge. Further, there are likely to be additional injuries to the mares from unfamiliar studs, and injuries to the studs from unwilling mares.

        The use of the term “research” to shield this barbarism is inexcusable and an affront to science. Worse, those perpetrating this already know this, too.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is very strange. If they are ‘available for adoption’ which is directly in opposition to the spirit and original intent of the ‘Wild and Free-Roaming’ Horses and Burros Act (and chipped away at by amendment) – then why do they need to be brutally sterilized, if not to return the to the range? We all know the intent is to remove all of them from the range permanently. I am sick to death of rich ranchers and their behavior, and I don’t want my tax money funding their spurious activities and claims! We want our wild horses and burros on the range where they belong! How did this country come to be run by cattle ranchers anyway? The American public needs to step up too – as long as we keep breeding a population of beef eaters without restraint, other creatures will suffer including going extinct. I have never been so happy that I gave up beef – take the plunge if you are so inclined, it isn’t as hard to give up as you might think, and not a major sacrifice at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Timber Oligarchs Transform Into Beef Barons in Harney County and the Oregon High Desert

    PROFILE OF A HARNEY COUNTY RANCH OWNING FAMILY: 6000 Cattle Impacting 750,000 Acres, 100 Race Horses

    An Oregon Public Broadcasting story on taxpayer subsidies to cattlemen included a Harney County ranch manager griping about federal government over-reach.
    OPB reported:
    “Harney County locals may not like the militants’ tactics, but the prospect of more local control over public lands continues to have appeal. Ranchers say their tension with government is born from rules and restrictions driven by “radical environmental groups,” and the frustration of dealing with a plodding bureaucracy that drives up costs and undermines their economic security.

    “This is our life. This is our livelihood. We’re good stewards of the land,” said Berry Anderson, manager of Treetop Ranches, south of Burns. “It’s frustrating that people who don’t even have a dog in the game can take it away from us.”
    The Treetop Ranch Owner Family

    Just who are these embattled ranchers, reeling from the heavy-handed tactics and oh-so-restrictive grazing policies of the BLM ?
    Fancy “Treetop Ranch” signs have sprung up on huge spreads across eastern Oregon and portions of Idaho in recent years. Larry and Marianne Williams control Treetop Ranches, and their cattle herds impact a vast area of crucial sage-grouse habitat across eastern Oregon and portions of Idaho.
    They are very wealthy people. The Williams family made millions in timber. Then went into public lands welfare ranching and raising race horses. The Simmental beef article describes:

    “Mr. Williams had sold his company, Idaho Timber, and shifted into the cattle business primarily in Idaho and Oregon. He also maintains a very successful thorough-bred horse-racing program near Parma, Idaho. In 2012, William’s Horse Racing Nation’s “Rousing Sermon” finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby”.
    “Mr. Williams put the Oregon operation together over the last 10 years. It consists of six different ranches, totaling 750,000 acres. The ranches are not adjacent
    to each other, stretching about 150 miles long and 100 miles wide with other ranches interspersed among our properties,” Anderson said”.
    The article continues:
    “We run about 6,000 cows and 1,000 replacement heifers each year. We’ve had a serious drought in recent years, so we’re cutting back our numbers a bit. It takes about 125 acres to run a cow in this rough, lava rock country,” he continued. “Our headquarters is very remote, about 50 miles southeast of Burns (population: 5,000), which is where we do most of our shopping. The nearest larger city is Boise, which is 180 miles to the northeast.”

    Yes, three quarters of a million acres – largely BLM public land plus large state and private holdings. Treetop controls ranches near Burns, at Oregon Canyon north of Mcdermitt, and across the “big empty” sagebrush sea of the region. Vast BLM grazing permits including crucial sage-grouse habitats and wilderness study areas are under the hooves of this operation.

    A Hundred Race Horse Crop
    Treetop also raises race horses, based in Parma, Idaho.
    “For the last 13 years, Kiser has managed the horses owned by Larry and Marianne Williams. Kiser lives and works at the ranch and is in charge of about 100 horses”.
    See also
    There is no information on the fate of horses bred for racing that do not “make the cut”, a matter of increasing concern to animal welfare advocates opposed to horse slaughter.

    Treatment Subsidies, Too?

    Treetop shows up in Burns area agency meeting records as involved in NRCS projects. Woody vegetation is often killed in these taxpayer-subsidized projects to produce grass (cattle forage), with under the guise of helping sage-grouse.
    The Williams’ operation is only one of a large number of immensely subsidized wealthy public lands welfare ranchers that are increasingly common in Harney County, Malheur County and the rest of the West. Rich ranchers now wield immense power over western public lands. Ammon Bundy is not only defending their god-given right to reap immense profits from the public domain – unshackled by repressive BLM regulations – he wants to hand Our land over to these folks.

    The Roaring Springs Ranch and its Ranch Manager Stacy Davies have been featured in many stories glorifying the benevolence of cattle grazing in the Oregon High Desert. It is a common practice for ranch managers to proselytize for the wealthy ranch owner and the beef industry. They put a pretty face on public lands welfare ranching. Davies ardently promotes “grass fed beef” and subsidized taxpayer-funded clear cutting of western juniper, and other federal handouts.
    Timber Magnate Controls Roaring Springs

    The Roaring Springs Ranch was purchased in 1992 by the Sanders family, timber mill barons from west of the Cascades. The ranch webpage shows this family still holding the ranch.

    “Roaring Springs Ranch was purchased in 1992 by the Bob and Jane Sanders and Rob and Carla Sanders families. They have operated the ranch as a cow/calf-stocker operation, which sustains more than 6,200 head cow/calves, 150 horses, and harvests 2,500 acres of meadow hay and 1,200 acres of alfalfa. Roaring Springs Ranch’s operations utilize a total of 1,011,792 acres of diverse lands, including 249,798 deeded acres, 735,359 acres lease from the Bureau of Land Management, 22,000 acres of private leases, and 4,640 leased from the State of Oregon”.
    “The Sanders family – owners of a half-dozen sawmills on the west side of the Cascades and survivors of the spotted owl wars – signed a conservation agreement with the federal government that could preclude an endangered-species listing.”…
    “While the family bought Roaring Springs primarily as a recreational retreat, the ranch still has to pay its own way, and the agreement formalizes a management strategy with government oversight, Sanders said”.

    The timber mogul’s vacation retreat Ranch has been “paying its own way” — by sucking in large government subsidies over the years – on top of the near-free public lands grazing fees.
    Projects related to perpetuating high levels of grazing have been subsidized by the federal government and other agencies – first under the guise of watersheds and redband trout protections in the 1990s, and now it appears sage-grouse.
    In 2007, the Seattle Times reported on taxpayer welfare and Roaring Springs allowing grazing on Malheur Refuge:

    “The government will spend about $300,000 over the next five years on such things as fencing to control cattle and fish passage improvements. Roaring Springs will contribute labor, equipment and supplies worth about $50,000. The nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will allow Roaring Springs some grazing space to take pressure off the recovering creeks”.
    Flash forward to today’s bottomless pit of sage-grouse slush funds. The Capital Press, an Ag weekly, reports on one such tax dollar infusion:
    “SDA chief Tom Vilsack has announced a $211 million boost to the Sage Grouse Initiative. Oregon ranchers say greater sage grouse collaboration with federal agencies is paying off”.

    Roaring Springs Manager Davies touts the federal government shoveling immense subsidies to destroy woody vegetation into the hands of public lands welfare ranchers – under the guise of sage-grouse habitat projects. So does the president-elect of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, stating “funding and expertise from NRCS has proven to be a “fantastic partnership …

    “The ranchers out here, I think they get it,” Sharp said. “It’s good business judgment, it’s their best protection.”

    Yes, indeed. What rancher doesn’t love the federal government doling out forage projects paid for by various agency sage-grouse slush funds unlimited dollars? The funds are used to clear trees (and sage, too, often as collateral damage), to increase cattle forage grasses, to build even more fences lethal to grouse, or to purchase conservation easements that don’t limit grazing. Cheatgrass, medusahead and other weeds increasingly spring up in the wake of these projects. So agencies conduct taxpayer-subsidized herbicide campaigns. Juniper killing on BLM public lands is a massive subsidy from federal fire, sage-grouse project, or other funds. One of the multi-agency groups associated with these projects is called, fittingly, Sagecon.


  3. Re: Three Fingers Wild Horses
    Here is how the game is played (only one example) and why the wild horses suffer the consequences.
    #1 The Three Finger legal Herd Area (HA) is 92,681 acres legally designated for wild horses.
    #2 The Three Fingers herd management area (HMA) is only 71,486 acres which tells us that BLM gave away 21,195 acres of land that was designated for wild horses.
    #3 The two major domestic welfare livestock allotments on the Three Fingers HA are the “Board Corrals” and the “Three Fingers” allotments.
    #4 About 1/4 of the Board Corrals allotment is on the Three Fingers HA and that allotment has 4,182 AUMs (animal Unit Months) given to welfare ranchers. This would be enough AUMs for approximately 349 wild horses (and 1/4 would be about 87 wild horses.
    #5 About 1/2 of the Three Fingers allotment is on the Three Fingers HA and that allotment has 9,981 AUMs given to the welfare ranchers. This would be enough AUMs for approximately 832 wild horses (and half would be about 416 wild horses).
    #6 So if the welfare livestock were removed from these legal wild horse public lands – the land would be able to support about 503 wild horses on their legally designated land.
    # 6 One of the major (there are more) domestic livestock permittees on the Three Fingers wild horse herd area land is Mark MacKenzie.
    #7 Mark MacKenzie (in addition to his cheap grazing on public land) received $146,738.32 in federal subsidies between 1995-2014.
    #8 In addition to Mark MacKenzie, the Mackenzie Ranch received $1,250,944 in federal subsidies between 1995-2014.

    And they wonder why we call them “welfare ranchers”? HA!
    The welfare ranchers need to get their livestock OFF of all congressionally designated wild horse and burro lands.
    And why would wild horses stray off their legal lands – as the Three Fingers capture announcement states? Because the livestock have abused the wild horse habitat and its resources.
    “What can be done to address the problems associated with public lands livestock grazing? There is a simple answer: end it. Get the cows and sheep off, let the wild creatures reclaim their native habitat, and send the ranchers a bill for the cost of restoration.”


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