Horse Health

Newbie BLM Advisory Board Member Attempts Justification of Wild Horse & Burro Murder Recommendation

Reply from and Facebook post by BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member Ben Masters

“Wet behind the ears, eager to make a name for himself and an ego the size of Texas newly appointed BLM Advisory Board member Ben Masters gives a weak and misguided explanation on why he would just LOVE to see the blood of 45,000 wild horses and burros spilled.  The father of the most inhumane concept in modern human history falls flat but welcomes comments on his idiotic attempt to make a name for himself at the expense of tens of thousands of innocent equine souls.

Important to remember:

  1. This is only a recommendation from a corrupt group of appointed special interest individuals whose intent is known to all.  They are an embarrassment to the American Way and fly in the face of Federal checks and balance systems.
  2. Do not confuse the name of Ben Masters with several really great people out there…it is not their fault that this dark lord was given the same first name as they.” ~ R.T.

The State of Wild Horses & Burros – September, 2016 WH&B Advisory Board Meeting

"Come here 45,000 ponies, we have a big surprise for you!", BLM Advisory Board

“Come here 45,000 ponies, we have a big surprise for you!”, BLM Advisory Board

The current situation with BLM Wild Horses, Burros, and the habitat they and wildlife depend on is an emergency. Yesterday we finished the Advisory Board Meeting in which I am the volunteer sitting in the Wildlife Management chair. The meeting was intense and the incredibly difficult recommendation to the BLM was made “To follow the stipulations of the Wild Horse and Burro Act by offering all suitable animals in long and short term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.” Here is how this recommendation came to be.

For those of you unfamiliar with the “plight” of the mustangs, here it is in a nutshell…
The Ancestors of Wild Horses evolved in North America but went extinct in the Great Pleistocene Extinction over 10,000 years ago. Fortunately, they migrated across the Bering Strait prior to extinction where they were eventually domesticated, breeds developed, artificial selection occurred, and horses were ultimately brought back to the Americas during European Expansion. Horses escaped, were set free to breed, and multiplied in a “Wild” or “Feral” state for hundreds of years. As the West was settled, these Wild Horses, often called mustangs, were rounded up to the point that Velma Johnson, AKA Wild Horse Annie, pushed for legislation to protect the remaining Wild Horses. This culminated in the Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 that protected the 15,000 or so Horses and Burros remaining in the American West. Today Wild Horses and burros are managed on about 32 million acres of land in about 179 Herd Management Areas (HMAs).
Under protection, the Wild Horses and Burro populations grew about 15-20% annually and threatened overgrazing on the rangelands that they shared with wildlife and in some cases livestock. So the BLM, the government agency in charge of managing the Wild Horses, created Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) which is the number of horses that each Herd Management Area (HMA) can supposedly sustain in a thriving ecological balance with wildlife and in some areas livestock. Currently, the total Appropriate Management Level nationwide for Wild Horses and Burros is 26,715.
The Appropriate Management Level on the range is 26,715 but the current population is about 75,000 horses, nearly 3X the AML. I’m getting that number from censuses (conducted in the manner recommended by the Academy of Sciences) on March 1, 2016, which was 67,000 plus the additional number of foals that have been born since then. The BLM is supposed to gather excess horses to prevent overgrazing but they can’t because they’ve already gathered and are boarding 45,000 Wild Horses and Burros in holding pens. The BLM is spending $50 Million annually (2/3 of its Wild Horse and Burro budget) on hay and pasture bill for the horses in holding. This expense has eaten into funds that could be used for on-range management or adoption incentives. The BLM doesn’t have enough money to conduct enough gathers to control populations on the range and they don’t have a place to put them even if they did gather them.
So why can’t we just leave the horses alone? The reason is simple. Overpopulated grazers (whether horses, cattle, sheep, elk, or deer) will and can overgraze the land that they depend on. In the delicate Western desert ecosystems that our Wild Horses and Burros depend on, overgrazing can lead to devastating effects that can last far beyond my lifetime. Right now we are witnessing an ecological disaster on tens of millions of acres of our beloved Western Landscapes. It is affecting reptiles, mammals, birds, invertebrates, migrating species, amphibians, threatened and endangered species, plant communities, soil health, and even water availability. I have seen it firsthand.
During this Advisory Board Meeting, we took a field trip to the Antelope Valley HMA Complex. The Complex is East of Elko, NV and is 1.3 Million Acres of High Desert that gets about 5 inches of precipitation a year, mainly as snow. It is a very delicate ecosystem that can take decades, if ever, to recover if it is overgrazed. The Appropriate Management Level for the Antelope Valley HMA Complex is 278-464 horses. The current population is 3,360 horses, over 700% of the Appropriate Management Level.
On the way to the Antelope HMA Complex, we saw about 100 horses drinking from a pond next to the road. Bruce, our tour guide, explained that the main water sources for all 3,360 horses were on private land. That means that the water for all these horses is dependent on private landowners who could very easily and legally fence out the horses. In this particular case, the private landowner was a mining company that bought the ranch for the water rights for future mining activity. This shocked me. It seems extremely risky to me to depend on the water generosity of private landowners or businesses that own the surface and water rights…(Click HERE to continue reading and to comment directly to Darth Vader on his Facebook post)

26 replies »

  1. Why are these anals Deemed unadoptable? The BLMs Pro Horse Slaughter Plant Unwanted Horses Plan? I’m sick of this. Stand in their way! Chain ourselves to the horses something. Wild Horse Annie wouldn’t let this happen!!!!!! This is Not a talking point….this IS a physical action time. We have to Literally Stand Against this. Flood Congress with calls. Don’t hold back now. This is teetering to the insanity side. They gotby with Tom Davis so they will push anything now.


  2. Your description of Ben “For Murder” Masters hits the nail on the head, R.T. His explanation is nothing but BLM BS. He has sold his soul and is deleting the GOOD comments from his Facebook.


    Talk by Michael Blake, Dances With Wolves author/filmmaker, at Stop-the-Roundups press conference preceding a national meeting of the federal Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board


    • Excellent video. God, what a mess. BLM, F&W, Forest Service, they all seem to counteract one another. Look what went on out in WA with the Profanity Peak pack as well. Thanks for posting!


  4. Apparently, Ben Masters has removed many comments from his facebook. Here is one piece of information that was provided to him but he ignored:

    “Counting Burros”
    Q: When does 175 minus 80 equal 635?
    A: When BLM does the math.

    Wild Burro Gather Feb. 19, 2010
    Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in northwestern Arizona
    The BLM chart shows:
    Estimated pre-gather population of 175
    Number of animals (burros) gathered of 84
    Number of animals (burros) removed of 80
    Number of animals (burros) that died, non gather related of 2
    Estimated post-gather population of 635
    The BLM numbers are seriously flawed.
    See official BLM chart at the following link:

    Click to access Completed%20FY%2010%20Gathers.pdf


  5. Ben is either extremely ignorant on the issue of wild horses and burros or he is just one more in a long string of corrupt BLM shills. My guess is he’s both ignorant and corrupt.

    In some email correspondence between us, he said, “I’d rather watch the horses die swiftly than the way the way they die when they run out of food and water”. Is he so ignorant as to think sending horses to slaughter is a “swift” death? Of course they are playing down the fact that they will first sell as many as they can, without limitation, to kill buyers. The horses that are not headed for Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses will be “euthanized”. Either way, the horses will die and Ben will go home.

    So I asked Ben if he was going to witness the BLM killing the horses. I said, “You know you should. You should watch and see and take your family along with you, mom, dad, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Let them all watch the innocent lives being destroyed in the name of greed.” In fact, I asked him three times before he finally said, “Yes, I will be there for some of the euthanasia so that I will never forget the importance of managing for future consequences. None of us took this recommendation lightly and I certainly don’t want to see it happen.”

    My reply was: “When you go and watch the horses die Ben, with as horrific as it will be…maybe not for you but certainly for the horses, you should document what you are witnessing in video. As they go for their last walk to their deaths, as they draw their last breath and their eyes glaze over, document it. Post it. Let America and the world see what kind of society we are. And since many will be sold to kill buyers, please go on some of the trucks to Mexico and Canada and bear witness to their last ride and the slaughter of these magnificent animals. The young and the old, the beautiful and the not so beautiful, none of them deserve what is going to happen to them…none of them.”

    He never replied back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rusty, I think all who voted for this should be required to witness ALL related killings, on video, for they and the American public to see and share forever. Forget shipping off to slaughter with clean hands, if they choose to do this, they should do it all in the open on American soil, and in the full view of the media and the American people. Watching a few fall and then driving away is not enough. They need to fully own their decisions, to the literal last drop.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I meant to say those who made this recommendation and those who would implement their dirty work should be required to witness this in person, and all this be on live video for the American public to document. Their airfare etc. can be paid for from the millions of dollars that will no longer be required by the BLM for keeping warehoused horses alive.


    • Rusty, what Ben said here is also troubling. Why should it matter what he prefers to see as horses die? They belong to all of us, not just to him, and by law were to be managed as free-living wild animals. I don’t see any language in the 1971 law indicating horses should not be allowed to die naturally on the range, but there is language to prevent removals for the purpose of killing them. This plan, if enacted, is precisely that, with the only difference being an expensive extended incarceration before they are killed (only a few will escape through adoptions).

      If Ben prefers to see them die quickly en masse, at the hands of their managers, I can say I prefer our managers to keep them managed as naturally as possible on the range. Death is a natural process and the horses know this.

      Death caused by poor management indicates a need for management regime change, not the need to kill off all evidence of their mistakes, then continue to round up even more animals to meet the same eventual fate. This broken system is spinning out of control, time for someone to hit the STOP button!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The following letter appeared in “Life” magazine on July 25, 1938.

    “Sirs: With indignation and sorrow I viewed your pictures of the aerial cowboy who rounds up wild horses by airplane. I wonder if this man does not know that without man’s best friend, the horse, this great west of ours could never have been pioneered the way it was. In time to come mayhap some man will take his small son up to a glass case and say, ‘Son, that was once known as the Western pony.’

    Our government should take shame for allowing an insensible machine to so terribly frighten beautiful, innocent colts.”
    Harry M. Ralston

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I especially loved Simone’s comment. It was factual and non-reactory. She was firm but not hateful. I totally agree with her. His vote was the most shocking in my opinion. Very disappointed by what he did. Hopefully, he will heed her advice in the future, especially this comment of hers: “Just don’t look at the situation and despair and go to the last thing you want to do, not even as a scare tactic for Congress to wake up.”

    Also, if you aren’t seeing your comments, click on “View previous comments” (you might have to do this several times depending on how long ago you posted yours).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I told him to go crawl back under whatever rock he crawled out from under. There is simply no justification one can use to explain WHY BLM must be allowed to kill all the horses. BLM brought this on themselves with endless roundups that didn’t need to happen. With AML’s that have no justification for how and why they got there.

    Ben even told this weekend that if my wild turkeys started encroaching…yes he’d vote to kill them too. He seems VERY bloodthirsty. Kinda like the Walrus.


    • Some interesting connections between the producer of Master’s film “Unbranded”, Fin & Fur Films LLC and managers of other companies:

      Companies for Fin & Fur Films, LLC

      Fin & Fur Films, LLC lists three other companies as an officer in their company. It is not uncommon for one company to hold a position in another company.

      Prosper Mineral Brokers Ll

      Other companies at the same address

      Prosper Mineral Brokers LLC
      Teergas Resources Corp.
      Mst Land Services, LLC
      Wagner Oil Company

      Zooming randomly in one of the governing persons, Dan Hughes, we can see a lot of energy and ranch management companies:

      Maverick American Natural Gas, LLC Chairman
      The Texas Order of Saint Hubertus President
      Hughes-Kelton-Hughes, LLC Governing Person
      Medco Ranch Management, LLC Manager
      Linear Energy Holdings LLC Manager
      Linear Energy Management LLC Manager
      Wilco Ranch Management, LLC Manager
      Dan A. Hughes Company (Sfr) LLC Manager



      • I was curious about one of the supporting organizations on your list, Daniel.
        The International Order of St. Hubertus is a worldwide all-male organization of hunters.


      • Now that’s really interesting (quite a weird name for a hunter association). Seems to give proof that Ben is in the hands of the extractive and trophy hunter industries. Not surprising, I have to say.


  9. I happened upon this poem a while back. It was used in first-year college composition classes as an example of complex use of metaphor.
    It seems rather appropriate right now

    Poetry Friday:

    i once knew a man who had wild horses killed.
    when he told about it
    the words came galloping out of his mouth
    and shook themselves and headed off in
    every damn direction. his tongue
    was wild and wide and spinning when he talked
    and the people he looked at closed their eyes
    and tore the skins off their backs as they walked away
    and stopped eating meat.
    there was no holding him once he got started;
    he had had wild horses killed one time and
    they rode him to his grave.

    by lucille clifton.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How could any American choose to have wild animals slaughtered, Who gives them the right to make a decision about the wild mustangs who belongs to the American people. Why is anyone listening to them? Who elected or appointed these scum bags into this position? Just another reason to hate this government and what it stands for.


  11. «”Right now we are witnessing an ecological disaster on tens of millions of acres of our beloved Western Landscapes. It is affecting reptiles, mammals, birds, invertebrates, migrating species, amphibians, threatened and endangered species, plant communities, soil health, and even water availability. I have seen it firsthand.”»

    Yet nobody at either BLM or the advisory board, less so Ben, has the guts to put on the table a closure of some ranges to privately owned cattle or closing some mining operations, particularly when 45% of legally established habitats have been zeroed out since 1971 and horses replaced with cows, and in the remaining 55% around 80% of AUMs are reserved for subsidized, privately-owned cattle grazing way below market value.

    Let’s do a small thought experiment:

    According to BLM there are 70,000 horses in total (not 75,000 as Ben said), of which 45,000 are holding. That leaves roughly 25,000 horses in the wild. If the Appropriate Management Level in the range is 26,715, what’s the problem? That’s some 1,715 horses below AML!!! Turns out they actually have a deficit of horses!

    Moreover If the problem are the horses in the wild, as Ben suggests, why are they targeting those 45,000 in holding instead of going after some 2,000 excess in the wild, like Australia did? Wouldn’t, according to Ben’s logic, make more sense to kill directly those “excess” in the wild rather than wipping out the entire population in holding?

    Why it has to be those in holding and why it needs to be through sale for slaughter instead of say, gunning down populations in the wild (I don’t support this, this is just a thought experiment)? But more relevantly, why do they always count the population in holding facilites as if they were in the wild, impacting ecosystems and consuming AUMs? Theoretically, these horses in holding are in dusty cattle feedlots, they are no longer in the open ranges eating the grass that seems to belong to the cattle ranchers, therefore they cannot be counted as real population. Ben also seems oblivious to the facgt

    Couldn’t it be that the actual goal is to allow certain individuals to make a buck by both funneling those in holding to slaughter and grant juicy contracts to roundup contractors like the Catoors to capture those in the wild and then repeat this cycle again and again?

    I wouldn’t be surprised an inch if the actual response to these questions is something along the line of… “well, since they are going to die anyways, why not make a buck? That’s some good meat that is going to be wasted. We can rake in at least $300 a head off these ponies”

    That’s the standard response of Sue Wallis and her cult of horse slaughter worshipers, and personally I already had enough of that bologna.

    But the funniest part of this whole affair is that, despite his cries about ecological disaster, once the dust of the roundup settles in, it turns the horses are simply replaced with cows and range is given little or no rest from grazing. I have yet to see any consistent, significant closures of ranges to cattle grazing enforced (and when they are closed, the cows are quickly put back illegally without legal consequences for the infractors).

    Too much ado and phony concerns about the environment IMHO when this problem could be easily fixed in no time by raising the price of public lands grazing permits to market levels and removing the beef import quotas from the US tariff schedule (yup, there might a shortage of meat -which I wholeheartedly doubt- but the government is FORCING you to buy from RGSA, Masters and all these guys instead of buying it from somewhere else if that’s your choice). Aren’t we supposed to be in the land of “free market”? Or is it that this free market thing applies only to the commoners and taxpayers and not to the cattle barons? Think about it.


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