Equine Rescue

If You Starve an Animal to Death, YOU are a CRIMINAL

In my most OUTRAGED opinion by R.T. Fitch

(Warning, if you find the truth offensive or only think with a portion of your brain then do not continue, it will only serve to confuse you)

Oh boy, the ole blood is a boiling as my “Stupid Meter” is pegged at 100% and in the good ole words of Popeye the Sailor, “That’s all I can stands cause I can’t stands no more!!!”  This bloody ISPMB saga is totally out of control.

Courtesy Photo of emaciated horse in a pen at the International Society for the Protection of Wild Horses & Burros near Lantry, S.D.

Courtesy Photo of emaciated horse in a pen at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros near Lantry, S.D.

For nine days I have remained quiet, for nine days I have watched good people work hard to do the right thing and for nine days I have witnessed lemmings follow a self-anointed expert who has conned them into being co-conspirators and accessories in the crime of murder; the abuse and neglect of starving wild horses to death.

In an effort to be fair and considerate I am publishing Karen Sussman’s latest letter and plea for money (below) where she discounts the evidence of her starving horses to death and has the unmitigated gal to wag her crooked, wart covered finger at those who did not and do not support her with a flow of hard earned dollars AND accuses THOSE very same people for the death of the horses; can you believe it, I can’t. The timing is perfect for a horror story just before Halloween, and we even have the evil, wicked, demented witch as a main character.

It’s just THIS simple ladies and gentlemen and it is NOT rocket science:

If you allow only ONE helpless animal to suffer the slow and painful death of starvation while under your care, you are an abusive criminal, hands down, full stop, no doubt about it. DONE DEAL. You can’t explain it away, you can’t sugar coat it, you can’t sweep it under the carpet cause you simply can’t polish a turd and YOU are that TURD.

Right now the important issue is to get feed/food to the horses and burros, God only knows what other horror stories are out there.

Next the ISPMB’s Board needs to step up to the plate, remove Sussman and manage the recovery and proper dispensation of the suffering animals i.e. adoption, transfer to other sanctuaries, etc.

Finally, local law authorities need to bear down on Sussman to the fullest extent of the law as a neglectful abuser and horse killer. She is no different than Meduna and perhaps even worse as she has pranced around for years as one of us while being a horse killer in advocate’s clothing, someone who both people and horses trusted only to find out that she has no heart and most definitely a forever damaged soul.

It is that simple and it should happen immediatly. There are people out there right now attempting to get hay to the horses and they are good folks who will take your money and convert it into what the horses need but shame on those who give to the abuser; the one who has mismanaged donations for years and now has been caught with the blood of wild horses on her hands, again.

It is THAT simple, Karen. Kill one and you are guilty…no one can save you from that shame and no amount of money will ever make that go away. So, how’s that for not remaining silent because in your words, below, silence is NOT a virtue…but in my humble opinion, telling the truth is!!!

If you want to be certain that your money makes a difference please click (HERE) to learn about viable donation options from the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary to the SD Dewey County Auditor’s Office.


Jatara also has a GoFundMe page set up, too…  https://www.gofundme.com/2s6e7j8

Below is the lament of an abuser:

Dear Mindless Lemmings – (I added that, it fit – R.T.)

I know just how deeply you care about the future of wild horses, which is why I am writing you today.  The need for your financial support at this time could not be more urgent!

The plunder of wild horses in America is a true horror story.  I know you know this.  To this day, even with protections afforded by the Wild Horse and Burro Act (1971), the Burns Amendment enacted by Congress (2004) now allows for commercial sales to kill-buyers … and the round-up and slaughter of these magnificent creatures continues

ISPMB now shelters over 600 wild horses at its conservation center in Lantry, South Dakota.  Our historic and unique herds were originally rescued from slaughter nearly 16 years ago and we have studied and preserved the integrity of their bloodlines ever since.

But it now costs ISPMB more than $50,000 a month to feed and care for all of these horses.  It shouldn’t cost this much, but the price of hay has skyrocketed from less than $50 to more than $90/bale, which has created a real financial crisis for ISPMB.

We are now forced to spend more than $10,000/week in hay alone, just to keep our herds strong and healthy … but we currently do not have enough hay to see us through to spring and are truly worried our horses won’t survive the winter without additional financial support

While we continue to solicit donations from everyone we know, many people have chosen to remain silent and have not responded to our urgent call for support.  We rely on contributions from caring people like you to provide for our horses.

How can anyone stand on the sidelines and pray someone else will come to our rescue at a time like this? The stakes are too high.  Surely, our horses will not survive the winter without this support!

It is truly a frightening thought.  We cannot let this happen.

Please come to our rescue today.

The great recession nearly brought our adoption program to a screeching halt.  Thankfully, we are now seeing an uptick of interest and inquiries from individuals seeking to adopt a foal, a family … and entire bands of horses, which will help reduce the size of our herds.  This is an important development and a key aspect to ISPMB’s long term survival.

We are also diligently working to mitigate the need to purchase so much hay in the future.

Our long range plan includes the purchase of a significantly larger ranch property with its own hay producing capacity.

ISPMB has already identified a suitable property that will truly help stabilize our financial operation in the long run.   We plan to launch a capital campaign in the spring to help make this vision a reality and acquire this property.   Its location also holds great promise for the future of ISPMB, providing a potential new source of revenue through increased eco-tourism.

I am sharing all of this with you, because I want you to know we are not simply wringing our hands or praying for a miracle.  We are actively pursuing a solution and truly need your help to avert a serious financial crisis.

Thank you for responding to this urgent call for support.  Please send us your gift today and help save our horses.

With gratitude,

Karen Sussman


P.S.  Silence is not a virtue.  Please encourage family and friends to join you in support of our mission.  Together, we can overcome this short term financial crisis. Thank again for your support.

224 replies »

  1. From my experience your observations are spot on.

    Many of us argued with Karen for years over allowing indiscriminate breeding in such a closed environment. From my recollection Karen kept touting “self-regulation.” The theory might have some application in a totally natural environment where when resources get scarce, horses have to expend greater energy on travel and eat less desirable forage which could impact reproduction. But I have yet to see any evidence that the theory has any application in a closed environment where cut hay is provided for feed… unless, I suppose, one accepts that self-regulation involves the more dominant horses pushing the less dominant horses away from limited feed so the weaker members starve to death as being a form of “self regulation.”

    And don’t get me started with Karen’s attacking the work of the allied groups out here in Nevada regarding the projects we negotiated to employ on-the-range population management efforts in exchange for fewer horse removals.

    There are some important lessons here.

    First, idealistic theories have to be tempered with reality. Not saying that we shouldn’t consider various theories and alternatives to “trap and toss” herd management, but they have to be predictably effective for the specific conditions in which we want to apply them.

    Second, sanctuary type rescues have to have some practical business plan. All kinds of well intended people will rush up and provide money for a dramatic rescue operation and I’m not trying to be condescending when I say this. Drama draws interest. What sanctuaries have to consider is that continuing expenses don’t have the same donor appeal since most donors tend to “triage” their gifts based on what they perceive as the greatest need at the time. It’s not smart to go into these ventures with the belief that you’ll come up with the money somewhere, somehow.

    Third, no credible sanctuary allows uncontrolled breeding, perhaps with the exception of those attempting to preserve some endangered species. There seems to be a fine line between breeding and a hoarding operation unless there is a clear and workable plan to distribute some rare or historic bloodline into manageable populations. Even then the question can arise, what is the real point and how many specimens are really needed?

    Unfortunately these kinds of disasters continue to surface and they can have a measurable adverse impact on the responsible rescues and sanctuaries given that significant funds from a relatively limited donor pool have to be suddenly diverted to the latest crisis that is unfolding.

    I’m not suggesting that a number of well-conceived sanctuaries haven’t been on the ropes from time to time when expected strategies didn’t work out. However most of them adjusted real time in order to keep from sinking and corrected their courses before they started stacking up bodies.

    So while I absolutely encourage everyone who can to assist in this emergency rescue effort, don’t forget the responsible rescues and sanctuaries that need continued support and please, everyone, be sensible and get organized when starting these rescue / sanctuary adventures.

    Liked by 5 people

      • ok WILLIS, i have heard this before…ISPMB is not a rescue, is not a sanctuary but is a conservation program..and that involves breeding..and the differences were well explained by dream catchers..I well know your stand on this however..I was surprised that Karen took the Virginia Range horses that were not an HMA but removed by your dept of agriculture in Nevada, that may have been a mistake, but she has a big heart…..you folks in nevada really need to work on getting some responsible people in government
        whether you approve or not, neither the BLM nor any other organization has ever done studies-only Karen..NAS, knows nothing about social behaviors, certainly Mr PZP knew nothing about behaviors, do you think social structuring and reproduction research has no value for the future of wild horses?


      • I’m sorry to contradict you Sandra, but Assateague has been using PZP for a long time, have great success with it & has none of the reactions that ISPMB has reported. Those reactions were documented in the Sheldon horses that were given vasectomies & hysterectomies, not PZP.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry Sandra but you are soooooo far from the facts.

        You are right concerning ISPMB taking horses that NDA removed from the Virginia Range herd, primarily due to loss of habitat and resources due to suburban development. But as much time. energy and money that I invest year in and year out in preserving this herd on the range, I can’t say that they are some rare breed that sould continue to breed in captivity. In my opinion they do have a historic place on this range that should be protected and that’s where they should continue to flourish.

        But hey, I only live out on this range and have worked for some 25+ years on wild horse issues, studying band behavior, documenting horses that were part of Dr. Thane’s / UNR’s fertility control study, resolving horse-human conflicts (that require a great deal of understanding of behavior) and so on, so what would I know? And I’m CERTAINLY not alone out here having such experiences and learned expertise. There are a lot of people out here that are pretty damn sharp when it comes to wild horses.

        Here’s the bottom line and you and others would do well to take notice.

        1. The Virginia Range program, in spite of interference by persons such as Karen, has been a success. Instead of horse removals being the first management tool, removals are now a last resort. There presently exists various public-private partnerships between the state, NGOs and volunteers that run the whole spectrum from population management to safety projects, to emergency responses to placement of horses that are chronic safety problems or that had to be removed due to injury or illness.

        2. ISPMB appears to be turning into our latest animal disaster which appears to be based on a failed concept.

        #1 is success. #2 is failure. Pretty simple. Don’t try to confuse the two. The people who are successful are the ones who know what they are doing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra, you have said this before…. About it being “conservation” & I ask you how is starving horses in your charge “conservation”? And isn’t the fact so many horses starved to death, many more on the same path & so many with grossly over grown hooves the actual issue here? I’ve seen you show so much compassion for Karen, you defend her relentlessly but what’s lacking from you is any compassion for these innocent horses. Why is that? You point the finger at those actually showing up to help these horses, screaming “pro-slaughter” but yet you appear to comfortably wear the labels “pro-starvation”, “pro-neglect” & “pro-animal cruelty”, again I ask, why is that? Seems to me you are more than willing to allow animals to suffer in the name of “conservation”. In regards to Karen’s studies, what is she actually studying? How to hoard wild horses, how decimate the land with over population on limited land, how an underfunded budget can not sustain the required supplemental feeding to keep the horses alive? Because that’s now the outcome of her work in a nutshell.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. When you find yourself digging a hole… stop digging!

    How can one resolve a “short term financial crisis” by initiating a (multi-year) capital campaign to spend even more money to allow the herds to grow again until they exceed that place’s carrying capacity… necessitating another capital campaign, ad nauseum.

    In this case, ISPMB is digging graves for formerly wild horses in the name of “saving” them. Where are the necropsy reports and why aren’t they being made public? Will we have to file FOIA requests for the truth to come to light?

    Throwing more money at ISPMB to fund a capital campaign won’t be anything but a band-aid with a high likelihood these funds will end up buying hay, not land. I will be surprised if ISPMB doesn’t lose their nonprofit status over this sad scenario.

    Sadly, rescue of the remaining horses from the rescue is the first priority now, followed by an independent investigation, financial audit and comprehensive reorganization of the entity, its mission, its plans, and its personnel. Coming into the teeth of winter needing more than a quarter million dollars in hay is inexcusable. Any private livestock producer would be shut down, foreclosed, and facing criminal charges for similar predictable results––along with owing back taxes on any income they did manage to secure.

    We must condemn a double standard in wild horse management, the very things we condemn the BLM and USFS and kill buyers for have infected the ISPMB.

    We owe Velma, the horses, and the public trust much, much better than this.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. What Karen said about rescuing those horses from slaughter is not true. Paul Iverson the director of Nevada Dept of Agriculture rounded up those horses & sent them to her right off the Virginia Range. I was on the board of directors for the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association (VRWPA). We were the only Wild Horse Advocacy group at that time in the Virginia Range, we were completely against the roundup, to quote Director Iverson “We own all the damn horses, we can do whatever we want”, and they did and still do whatever they want.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Whoa! That’s spot on! I’m thinking about sending the link to the attorneys so they can see this is a big deal regardless of what Karen may or may not be telling them. Hiding the facts just enables people to keep doing all the wrong they have been doing. Just like what’s going on with Trump now. People knew what he was like but they turned their heads.

    On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 6:19 AM, Straight from the Horse’s Heart wrote:

    > R.T. Fitch posted: “In my most OUTRAGED opinion by R.T. Fitch (Warning, if > you find the truth offensive or only think with a portion of your brain > then do not continue, it will only serve to confuse you) Oh boy, the ole > blood is a boiling as my “Stupid Meter” is pegged” >

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The FBI considers animal cruelty a class A felony against society. Somehow, the importance of this classification has become lost to the point of invisibility. The boardmembers have failed to provide oversight to this agency, and are guilty as well. Shame on them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • JD, agreed. 501 c 3 Nonprofits are run by an elected board of directors, ostensibly with term limits, and usually the on site director is a paid staffer, not a board member. It seems like Karen wore all the hats here but this is not exactly legal and doesn’t excuse the inaction of the other board members. The entire board should be removed from office and the entity either dissolved or refocused.

      Most nonprofits have in their articles of incorporation and bylaws the required legal language to enable transfer property and assets to similar other legal nonprofits on dissolution, so ownership of these horses could easily be assigned to one or multiple similar organizations. They could even remain in place under new management, but existing management would be required to step aside.

      Organizing as a nonprofit brings along certain accountability to the public. It is beyond a shame there is no formal statement published from board members, only some limited defensive responses from Karen, and evidently a resignation from one board member who was on site and retains integrity.

      To the other ISPMB board members, why are you hiding? What say you about what is going on? Your silence is damning.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well stated, Icy. IRS rules REQUIRE the residual assets of a dissolved 501(c)(3) to be turned over to one or more similarly qualified entities having a similar purpose. HOWEVER the fly in this ointment involves the ability of any outstanding creditors to stand in line first.

        In the Nevada B Sanctuary “rescue,” we had to pay some $16,000 to get 54 horses out of harm’s way, justified based on claims of debts owed. We strongly suspected some funny business as one of the principals tried to take the money, but Job 1 was to keep these rescued horses, mostly mustangs, from ending up at a sale that they were consigned to. Ironically Nevada B was still soliciting donations on the Internet after they closed up shop, but that stuff was for folks far above my pay grade to sort out.

        Bottom line is that when the risks are clear and present, some of these failing groups will try to leverage their positions with potential rescuers. Not saying that iSPMB is doing such a thing as I’m not there to see one way or another, but the fact that they appear to be screaming for money rather than screaming for help is a disturbing indicator.

        Liked by 1 person

      • WHG, good points. It hadn’t occurred to me that a forced sale of these horses to pay off debts might be in the wind, but of course it is probable. If I was owed thousands of dollars from bad checks I would be trying to find some compensation, too.

        The question then becomes, can these herds be kept together and alive now? And if so, how, and by whom? I don’t think a nonprofit has any options similar to bankruptcy, which were they private they would surely be entertaining. Is dissolution the only answer, and if so, what becomes of these four unique herds and their role in any further research or genetic survival?


      • Icy, and I’m just brainstorming here, but the most sensible solution may be to break the herd into smaller, more manageable numbers that are distributed among reputable sanctuaries that would be willing to take them.

        I haven’t followed any DNA studies on these horses so I’m not going to claim for which ones, or any for that matter, where some sort of preservation breeding program might be justified. But the overarching issue is NOT breed any animals unless you have a sound business plan that can sustain the herd when bad weather, loss of land or other adverse factors appear on the horizon.

        What concerns me most about how this whole business is that in spite of financial and other setbacks, based on what has been reported, ISPMB continued to breed, thereby speeding their approach to this cliff. (If someone knows differently please correct me as I base that opinion on reports, not first hand knowledge.)


        As an animal control officer I investigate animal neglect cases out here, including horses and other livestock. Almost everyone claims some surprise that their animals suddenly became grossly underweight or their hooves were several inches (or more) too long or injuries weren’t treated. But the bottom line always seems to be that these kinds of conditions didn’t happen over night, or over a few weeks, but rather as a result of months or more of neglect and suffering.

        As I said in my first comment, RT hit this nail right on the head and no amount of excuses will change that.


      • WHG, in the realm of brainstorming, what about taking each of the intact four herds (the survivors anyways) and relocating them onto some of the legal horse areas that have been zero’d out by the BLM, then managing them responsibly there using careful genetic analysis and selective culling, as is being done in some HMAs already with good success?

        Random dispersal of the herds would destroy any value in perpetuating Karen’s long studies and sends these innocent horses into yet more hands that have to beg for operating funds. The odds of a repeat of this painful situation are thus pretty high. By most accounts millions of acres of legal horse areas now contain NO wild horses, surely some could provide better opportunities for the ISPMB horses? What if management fees could be covered by donations specific to an individual herd (as is being done now just to provide temporary feed)?


  6. I apparently posted this on an earlier version! Meant it for this one.

    Well, RT – we all owe you big time for coming out & telling it like its! I believe you are in a better position to know the truth of this mess. I am guilty as well as many others, of giving Karen the benefit of the doubt. But at this point – having received a donation request letter myself – any money I am able to donate will go to Return to Freedom, Black Hills, Front Range or The Cloud Foundation & if possible, to the fund for ISPMB (tho not directly). I’m not a big donor – just one of many who try to help in a small way. This whole tragedy just breaks my heart – have had this on my mind constantly since it first was made public. I hope & pray the remainder of the horses are able to go to a better place.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I find it highly offensive that there is a fundraising t-shirt campaign. As if I would wear that logo over my heart. I also found it extremely offensive that the public at large is being blamed for poor management and a fail concept. The failure is not ours to own, it belongs to Karen and her board of directors.

    I would like to see someone other than the BOD disperse these horses. They have already had their chance to make this right over a several year period. Let someone who has not failed these horses to death come in and finish cleaning up this mess.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. One can only wonder at the life history that created this sorry sickened soul.One can only pray that she finds herself in the same circumstances where her fate at the end of her years is placed into the hands of someone as heartless and ignorant as she.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve known Karen for years and I do think she originally went into this whole business for the right reasons. But people sometimes get overly invested in their own view of things and ignore the warnings, much like the captain of the Titanic. At some point we all reach crossroads where sensible people have to recognize that an original strategy is no longer working and in doing so abandon the path of probable destruction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • WHG, it is also common (and perhaps is true here) that the main water carrier attempts to do too much for too long, and burns out or becomes ineffective. This is one reason a board of directors also has responsibilities. I don’t know Karen but don’t doubt her personal commitment over the years. I am looking for more from the board of directors and beyond disappointed they let things get to this point and are now curiously quiet. If Karen was running everything without much oversight, this too is an inexcusable board problem.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I tried to get ppl to step in 3 years ago after 50 babies froze to death in a storm. No shelters, no hoof care, over breeding for years. Where was everyone? I asked KS back then to build earthen burms as windbreaks and she refused to see a need. I used to support them, 10 years ago, but started seeing red flags even then. There are now 2 Fb groups dedicated to the truth, justice & helping the victims. Just search “ISPMB”.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I remember that, Catherine. Unfortunately a lot of things were going on at the time and if memory serves me right, the message from ISPMB was that things were under control, so folks shifted their priorities to other issues. But thanks for trying even though you ended up a “voice in the wilderness.”

      My suspicion is that if ISPMB had been more straightforward with what was going on rather than continually ask for money for hay while at the same time trying to justify breeding, you may have gotten a more substantive response.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I know I got something like 4/5 letters begging money before the you know what hit the fan. I COULDN’t donate. There simply wasn’t any money to do so. And now that some of the truth is out…it makes me sick.

    I had no idea that ISPMB was that insolvent. What was Karen thinking when she did that study…letting all those horses mate? It’d be one thing if she was solvent but to allow this indiscriminate breeding when there was no plan for the day when funding dried up…this is wrong.

    It might be a few weeks but I will try to donate. Thank you for mentioning some safe places to donate too. I want my precious few dollars to benefit the horses the best it can.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My Point from Day ONE of this Horrifying Illustration of Deception and Death. These horses are Dead because of Her. People who did or did NOT donate have nothing to do with the deaths. Shes the overseer. Above all others she Must have known. Throw the BOOK at Her. Why? Because this can Never happen again. We Fight ABUSE and Neglect which means we cant cowtow because shes got excuses. Delegating blame shows NO remorse and clearly shares the Manipulative heights abusers will reach. Dont like my words then dont read them. They will Only bother You if your an abuser past or present. Amen RT! If I could spit Knives my words I prefer to use would be caustic enough to be banned from posting. I will Only pray justice occurs and YES fight for Justice for the horses.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well spoken and right to the quick by Wellhorseguy and RT. Feuding with those who support humane management techniques including fertility control has set the wild equine advocacy movement back years — and now this. Horrific suffering, for no good reason except blind me-first neglect.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ..While the 1971 Wild horse and Burro Act was passed to protect and ensure America’s wildlife Heritage of horses and burros the agencies neglected/abdicated their fiduciary by conversion of hundreds of thousands of a “special status protected species” for commercial purposes, sale, and adoption.
    In an effort to preserve and maintain hundreds of “excess” and non-excess wild horses/burros, nonprofit rescues and sanctuaries were established that depend on donations. All are subject to circumstances beyond their control. The nonprofits and animals are always at risk. The current pipeline issue is a prime example of gov invasion of cultural property rights. This process must cease and America’s Wild Horse Culture managed as such. Sanctuaries must be funded out of the BLM appropriations.

    Click to access 8110.pdf

    See http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/799/799.F2d.1423.82-1485.html Case Law Mountain States v. Hodel
    ” In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife. At the outset, it is important to note that wild horses and burros are no less “wild” animals than are the grizzly bears that roam our national parks and forests. ”
    Are Herd areas relevant to the exemption clause” of the 1976 Federal Land Planning & Management Act. Sec. 302(a) which says; in relevant part,
    “where a tract of the BLM lands has been dedicated to specific uses according to other provisions of law, it shall be managed in accordance with such laws.”
    The Age of Horse Culture: American Indian Horsemanship | Spanish file:///C:/Users/Kathleen/Documents/Horse%20Culture%20%20American%20Indian%20Horsemanship%20_%20Spanish%20Mustangs.htm.
    Investing in cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue: UNESCO world report; UNESCO reference works; 2009 – Investing_in_cultural_diversity.pdf
    http://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/pdf/Investing_in_cultural_diversity.pdf Target 7b: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving,by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    2014 BLM Programmic agreement with State Historic Preservation offices
    BLM Manual on Identifying Cultural Resources.
    Subject: So why have most National Parks refused to manage for wild horse and burros in regards to Biodiversity law and cultural resources?
    The NPS in 1963 changed its wildlife management policies to protect interactive complexes of species when it adopted the “Leopold Report,”named for Aldo ’s son, A.Starker Leopold,chairman of the National Park Service Advisory Board on Wildlife Management.The plan advocated that large national parks be managed as “original ecosystems “(Sessions 1992,93).Where parks were not large enough to encompass entire ecosystems,the report recommended that surrounding areas be managed as peripheral zones with the parks as core areas,similar to a plan for biosphere reserves then being discussed by United Nations agencies.
    Biodiversity law* http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/workingpapers/2004/mwp001-14.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Her reply email yesterday of course stated NO horses died here. Well, I dont know where ” HERE” Is, but I replied to her with a video and asked her if she can see and then asked her what is wrong with her. No reply. Some facts need to be sent to the D. A. for sure. But I am sure he is smart enough to see stupid when he sees it. AND to think she wants or plans to get more land? She needs mental help and told to stay away from all Animals.

    Liked by 2 people

      • RT, since a nonprofit is not legally a person, but an entity, it’s not just Karen who is legally responsible here. She may have called the shots for a non-involved board, but that doesn’t excuse either of them. The entire organization should be prevented from further fundraising and their nonprofit status temporarily suspended while this investigation continues. At a minimum, anyone who donates to ISPMB directly should recognize they may not gain any tax advantages, and worse, ISPMB may end up owing taxes on donated funds if their status is revoked by the IRS.

        Thanks for posting ways to legitimately send assistance to help the horses, not the ISPMB directly.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I have been speaking directly with Karen and she has fully admitted some horses have died, for more than 1 reason..quit listening to the babbling brook of hysteria..be a problem solver-not a problem maker


      • Sandra, I expect I am not alone in the public in thinking it doesn’t pass the smell test for Karen to divulge information to you (but not the public) about what the hell is going on. Even today there is still no mention of any of this on the ISMPB website, though it does still contain a positive article by Colleen Burns from earlier this year, alongside an announcement seeking someone to take what was presumably her job.
        I don’t think it’s hysteria to recognize some horses will die from old age, some from injuries etc. but what Colleen’s photos show is something indicating widespread and actionable mismanagement.
        If ISPMB were, say, a nonprofit public hospital, and someone reported 30 people of all ages dying there, how would you respond? Most hospitals recognize the need to get a public response and face in the media IMMEDIATELY to respond in times of crisis. Karen going underground, along with either a silent or gagged board of directors, is antithetical to the public trust under which they were granted the privilege of nonprofit status. In other words, they are accountable to the public, but are apparently keeping silent except to a few select sympathizers. None of this inspires confidence or hysteria in me, only a great deal of sadness and revulsion.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. This woman should be punished as any animal abuser should be. I can not believe she is asking for money when she clearly does not know how to manage it. I will send a donation to the right party but she will not get a dime from me. I can only imagine what those poor horses went through. It breaks my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am so happy the BLM,and logical solutions-who lobbies for slaughter as a solution, and some members of the wild horse advocacy have kissed and made up, may you have a long and prosperous marriage..LOL..when all the horses have been gelded and spayed, I will have alot more money in my bank account, because I am not donating to or supporting zoos

    Liked by 1 person

  17. now that everyone is done patting themselves on the back..Susan Humphreys is a QH breeder in S dakota who says shes heading there to straighten things out..well then she has the kill buyers on speed dial..hope you will all show up in the dead of winter to bid on horses..have you ever been there in winter? be prepared to get caught in a blizzard..it will be easy for the kill buyers to pick them up, and they are unbranded..say goodbye willis to your virginia range horses whom she saved, cause they are headed to mexico..everyone-have a feel good sunday


    • Sandra, why would Ms. Humphreys have any authority here? Can you please provide a source for your information and suppositions?


      • Sue Humphries was attached to Sue Wallis is in constant contact with United Horsemen and Duquette. She has NO authority. She is Proslaughter has bragged of killing with a gun 5 horses for her employer herself and a friend. She supports annihilation of wild horses entirely and trolls all horse slaughter articles. She is Not needed at the sanctuary. Yes she has kill buyers on speed dial. But its connecting slaughter dots that have been appearing around Sussman for awhile.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I seem to remember seeing many, many pro-slaughter type comments from a Susan Humphreys any time there is an article regarding wild horses & burros. I assume this is the same helpful soul? And SHE is going to “straighten things out”? Doubtful – and scary. And as Icy says why would she have ANY authority????

      Liked by 1 person

      • check out her FB page..it is being shared..I left a comment similar to what I said here..seems to be alot of people who have jumped on the bandwagon setting up pages to ask for donations, some of those I am sure are not legit, dividing up donations to 20 places is not effective or smart..karen needs loads of hay not a bale, and what do you know..after the 2 loads nothing has arrived she is ok but nervous..so those groups need to be incorporated to 1 and get the damn hay there, you may not understand Dakota-its cows lives matter, no one feeds horses that do not have a market value..and I am not going to send serious money so they can fatten them for a kill buyer..so as long as karen is there I am donating to her..if not-I am done


      • I see some slander and libel going on here. Sandra. Truthfully challenged? Susan Humphrey is going to assist the Sheriffs Depart and Veterinarians that will be on site to help with the mess that has been going on for years!

        Any of you are welcome to step up and pitch in. But you probably don’t have to guts to face what is there and admit that Karen and the Society has failed these horses. But feel free to slander someone who is volunteering to help the horses.
        You Must be pro abuse, pro neglect and pro starvation. I pray you don’t own any horses.


    • Regarding the comment made about me.
      I don’t ‘breed” horses, my employer breeds his own ranch horses. I help him with the young ones and do the training, as well as checking and gathering cattle with them.
      I own two horses myself, one of which is a Sale Authority mustang.
      I’m going to the reach at the request of the sheriff and vet. They need experienced help…people who have worked with feral horses, as many of these are. I’m going to do my best to make sure all the horses are sorted, and if need be, euthanized with as little stress as possible. I’m giving up several days of my time and travel expenses will be on my own dime. I’ve already been networking with sanctuaries and rescues…those in GOOD STANDING…to take horses.
      I love horses! They are my life! I’m actively doing something…because of my compassion for them. What are doing except for running your mouth?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan, please have the huevos to document and make public what you find and what you become authorized to do (and by whom), including necropsy results, otherwise you will also betraying the public trust as well as the horses.

        These horses have no voice at all, and are pawns for people from all angles weighing in “on their behalf” without any evident vetting process. A first step would be for a daily report on the ISMPB website with photos, names, and actions published for all to see. Anything less will look like an illegal and unethical coverup under the current circumstances.


      • Susan, are you the same Susan Humphrey who regularly posts elsewhere favoring horse slaughter nationwide?

        If so, I would like you to provide us the list of other qualified horse people who were also asked to come and help in SD. If no others were, it should be made clear why you are the only one capable and selected.

        The number of people who own a few horses (including adopted formerly wild horses), have horse experience, and “love” horses is a very long one. Why were you singled out to come to the “rescue?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • well susan, thank you, but according to what people have been forwarding to me…comments that are now downloaded to my computer you are a supporter of several groups we all know who support the slaughter of wild horses, united horseman and logical solutions and you have made comments there that have been very direct about your support of slaughtering them as opposed to any method of saving them and if you would like to refute this, I will post the comments you made here, I intend to use your own comments to impeach your qualifications to make any decisions regarding wild horses at ISPMB with the appropriate government agencies and the DA s office..

        Liked by 2 people

      • Susan your now trolling this blog? Why? Life to short to shoot all the horses you see. You might let these people know on Disqus you describe yourself as Euthanizing with your own Gun several different peoples horses. You told this to Saving Horses 2. I am fully aware of the feral campaign that UH started to destroy wild terminology. I cannot imagine who would request a death dealer to assess and “save” horses. Second you cannot Love horses if your labeling them and then shipping to slaughter. Period.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes! She is the Very Same troll. Shes a United Horsemen proslaughter member/follower and is part of the horse dealers who slaughter. She also threatened people in regards to a ranching issue. Theres many an article where she unwarranted argues with people.


    • You know what lady how dare you. Someone takes on the horrific task of cleaning up this mess on her own time and dime and you have the gall to throw stones. If you think you can do it better load up and drive out there. Do the same thing she is. Otherwise sit down and be quite


  18. BLM, LOGICAL SOLUTIONS AND HORSE SLAUGHTER PROPONENTS are having a field day with this and for them it’s open season on Wild Horses & Burros AND WH&B Advocates. They have been given plenty of ammunition.

    Take a look at the first picture on United Horsemen Facebook
    United Horsemen shared a post.

    Colleen Marie Burns‎ to Wild Horses, BLM & Logical Solutions
    Dear Fellow Horse Lovers, I was asked to share this post. I’m sorry that my first post in this group is so horrific and heartbreaking. Warning: graphic images.


    • The nice thing about you horse slaughter people..is that you love to shoot your mouth off about putting horse meat on everyone’s table, and seem to take great delight in your descriptions..the more I look into the holes in this whole story, the more I find that leads me to ponder the connections to burns and the people who put her up to this..you and she both appear to be using this “great love of horses” to fool the public and use the situation to bring down ISPMB and their efforts and research to save wild horses…suspicious timing don’t you think?


  19. Vickery Eckhoff Kicked off BLM and Logical Solutions FB

    My response to “Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions” FB page
    I got kicked off the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions FB page after posting James McWilliams’ article on Mustang-Safe beef labeling and sticking around to debate it with the group members there.

    Don’t lament this, folks. It’s their page. They make the rules. And one of the apparent guiding principles is to center every discussion (and solution) around bringing WHB populations down to appropriate management levels (AML). That is their idea of “logical solutions.” But it isn’t mine.

    So I went on over to the BLM’s WHB Program FB page and posted this:
    “Let’s be real.

    AML is all about preserving higher stocking numbers of cattle than wild horses, not about providing ecological balance under multiple uses. Livestock producers keep arguing that getting down to AML and adopting out a few WHB are necessary to reduce overgrazing, preserve public grass and forest land. But they don’t provide proof that it’s horses doing the damage.

    There happens to be extensive proof on the other side: data showing the degree to which private livestock outnumber WHB. How long are those looking to remove more wild horses going to pretend this isn’t relevant, and keep trying to silence those who bring it up?

    Yes, there are fewer livestock on public lands today compared to years past. This is obviously hard on ranchers. Yes, wild horses need to be managed on the range. But the constant drumbeat of “over AML” “adopt out WHB” “use PZP” and “join the WHB advisory board” won’t remove the giant gorilla in the room: the damage is on the livestock side.

    Go look for research to the contrary (you can find a sample here on page 14). What little exists says that, because there’s no historical data on grazing by livestock in HMAs, that pinning damage on wild horses is impossible. Go seek out studies on the negative impact of livestock production, both in the US and globally. A search of Google Scholar turns up thousands of results. Read a sample of these studies (available here on page 13). They minimally mention other species (like wild horses) on the condition of public lands. There’s a reason for that.

    The COP21 climate talks now going on in Paris will continue to escalate the discussion, and livestock production, as the public is becoming increasingly aware, has a carbon footprint to rival transportation’s, and a massive water footprint, to boot.
    If you want to solve the environmental problems that keep getting threaded into the “over AML” argument, you are going to have to confront this preponderance of evidence.

    The public is getting informed, albeit slowly.

    Why not address the issue within the livestock sector honestly instead of kicking the can down the road? And part of that discussion needs to be the cost of public grazing allotments, which cost taxpayers much more than the WHB program. Frankly, both are burdens on taxpayers, but the federal grazing program is the biggest of all. There needs to be honest discussion on that. Who wants to participate?”
    I’m very interested to see who steps forward.

    A note to newcomers: I am a writer and journalist published on Forbes.com, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Alternet, Salon, Laika and the site I run with James McWilliams, The Daily Pitchfork. I used to work for The New York Times, Forbes Inc., Dow Jones and spent some time at The New Yorker and Time Warner. So please do not call me a horse advocate. My only advocacy is to the public and its right to be correctly informed on important policy issues by the media. To this end, I seek out research on the federal grazing program, land use and climate change, as well as data missing from most MSM coverage because it is time-consuming to find and analyze.


    • Someone elsewhere defined AML as “arbitrary management level” which seems appropriate and fundamental to understanding how our policy makers are acting.

      As to ISPMB, I haven’t seen much published other than here and am wondering if any efforts are being made to keep the four herds intact, even if in four separate areas? Dispersing them randomly will end any research value going forward, and diminish the good work that was already accomplished.

      From Ms. Humphrey’s posts it seems there are some efforts underway to relocate or kill horses at the behest of the sheriff’s office, but nothing easily verifiable or understood. While I”m glad Ms. Humphreys has one of those rare jobs in the horse industry that pays well enough to keep her own horses and have the freedom to take unpaid time off, that isn’t the case for most of us.

      Since there is nothing on the ISPMB website even now about what is going on, if anyone has links to current and updated information please post it here.


    • Sounds like the PSA’s need dog crates for safe spaces, Preparation H because of how butthurt they are and pacifiers because they suck.


    • In regards to comments on here about the Logical Solutions page. I am one of the admins of the group page and I will state yet again the group is not “Pro-Slaughter” as the lazy like to label it.
      We don’t discriminate against any stand on the issue. We look at what is possible, effective, and won’t work and then try to look for ways to make the impossible work.
      Logic will tell you that any group who is pro-slaughter would not spend so much time & energy researching & discussing all alternative solutions. The page is public to anyone who cares to read thru the discussions. As a side note, I personally am very offended being labeled “pro-slaughter”.
      As for Vickery Eckhoff, I was the admin that removed her from the group. The reason, the ONLY reason, I removed her was because she personally insulted another member of the group which is against the rules of the page. I repeatedly asked her to please agree to the rules, Vickery point blank wrote she will not agree to the rules. She simply left me no choice but to remove her. Vickery is well aware of this fact as I publicly stated as such & invited her back if she would simply agree to the rules, I also sent her a personal message. She chose not to rejoin & instead chose to put her own spin on it. It’s as simple as that.
      So with that can you please put your focus back on the crimes against these innocent horses at ISPMB under the responsibility of Karen Sussman. They are the victims & Ms. Sussman & the BOD who looked the other way are the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. No one else.


  20. Sorting and Separating the 4 Herds is PRECISELY what is being discussed as you can see in the comments.
    The sheriff’s office is probably wanting to get this wrapped up as quickly as possible. Wild Horse and Burro Research isn’t their job description.
    YEARS of valuable research that could help keep our WH&B on our Public Lands…..GONE

    Dewey County Sheriff’s Office
    We are being contacted by people and groups that would like to donate for the care of the ISPMB horses.
    I will post that information when it becomes available


    • Louie, it was published here the Sheriff did not cite ISPMB on their first site visit, so evidently thought no crime had been committed then, which means ISPMB would still be in charge of operations. If sorting/selling/moving/killing horses is going on, this seems to be under the radar. WHY IS THE ENTIRE ISPMB SILENT? Who is in charge now and WTH is happening? As written previously, this is not a private business, but a federal charity operating under a nonprofit mandate with a public trust privilege. Keeping the facts hidden is inexcusable.

      It seems only a few “insiders” have any hard facts. I agree it would be a tragedy to disperse the intact herds, if donations are being collected to feed them one would assume this would mean feed them on site, not fatten them up for sale to any and all buyers, one by one. A moratorium on removals or sales should be enforced until any charges are filed and a clearer picture emerges of what is going on. To toss out all those years of research would be tragic, and killing off horses in the consideration that the work is “done” makes them no better than disposable lab rats.


  21. IcySpots, I don’t think there’s been any time to keep up the ISPMB website. I don’t know how much help Karen has. I don’t know whether she has any help at all. Running a sanctuary is hard work and South Dakota winters are brutal. To find reliable and experienced help isn’t easy in any sector. I doubt that sanctuaries are any different.


      • So how do you know herds are being sorted, sold, euthanized etc. as some are claiming. There is no such information on the ISPMB site or the Sheriff’s site. While I completely understand about having no or little staff (and has been reported, Karen was facing legal charges this week), I still condemn the ISPMB board of directors for their utter silence here. I hope the IRS Is paying attention. This sort of silence in the face of a massive problem gives all nonprofits a black eye and is inexcusable in the computer age.


    • It has now been posted on the sheriff’s website for dewey county..If Karen can find some financial backing, this can all be cleared up, otherwise the horses will be auctioned off..Humphrey is still shooting her mouth off…I would like people to start using their head..this could be the evidence slaughter proponents need to back support for slaughter houses to reopen in the US..650 horses and many rescues closing their doors..one of the biggest and longest here in Ore..joan steelhammers folded because of egos on the board..we had many in this wealthy community I live in..only a couple of very small ones left..Joans took in the warms springs indian horses to save them from slaughter buyers..there will be no more support net to keep horses from slaughter here..Oregon adopts alot of wild horses


      • Thanks, Sandra. It wasn’t there when I looked yesterday.

        Here’s the (somewhat sparse) information and the link again:

        “The hearing was held on the Stipulation with ISPMB and the voluntary impoundment of the horses. The judge signed the order and Dewey and Ziebach Counties are now responsible for the feeding and care of the horses. The plan is for the SD State Vet to inspect the horses on Thursday and, if needed, a sort will be completed on Friday to separate off the special needs horses for special care.

        ISPMB will have until the 21st of October to present a plan for the long-term care of the horses. Then a financial plan by the 11th of November. If this plan receives the approval of the State Vet and the States Attorneys of Dewey and Ziebach Counties, then ISPMB will take the horses back. If that does not happen, then the counties will take control of the horses and will be responsible for the horses after that time.
        If anyone is donating hay to ISPMB, we are asking that they notify the Dewey or Ziebach County Sheriff’s Office prior to the delivery so they can be advised of the present situation at the ranch.”


        The ISPMB adoption link on their home page has not been updated since 2013, it seems.


      • Karen has had some posts go up on FB with some beautiful healthy horses for adoption, one a gelding-yes she does geld, called red elk from the white sands herd, karen told me her web master was creating a new website but had quit do to not getting along with Burns who had taken over..her person came back after burns left..Sure would be nice if all the critical NM advocates could find a place for the white sands herd as Karen saved them ALL from starvation when they were in NM ..I lived there for a year when they were starving and no water in government care..As a matter of fact it would be nice if those advocates in all the states where she saved herds would step up Now-when they didn’t before..and take them to private facilities and fund raise for them…to see all these horses go to kill buyers and to mexico would be the last straw for me


  22. At this time there are no charges filed against Karen….got that? she voluntarily surrendered the care of the horses to the sheriff, she is still there thank god and has been given the opportunity to present a plan and proof that she has financiung to feed the horses..dewey county will take over for 30 days..so people can either bitch for 30 days or try to help develop a plan with financing..or the horses will be auctioned off..plain and simple..hysterically people need to take a drink or get some meds


    • Sandra, auctioning hundreds of horses in ND just before Thanksgiving would seem to be a nightmare scenario for the horses. However, propping up a nonprofit whose officers remain completely silent in the face of this crisis is not something I can get behind. Hopefully they will show some accountability to the public before asking for what is likely to be many hundreds of thousands of dollars (the Sheriff’s blurb did not define “long-term”). They need to strengthen their board and come clean about what is going on before expecting any sort of massive public bailout. What a hot mess.


    • The Herd Areas in New Mexico that have been ZEROED OUT should be given back. There’s plenty of room there and they shouldn’t have been removed in the first place…THAT’S where the outrage should be directed.



      Last Gather



      Click to access 2016_HAHMA_Stats_0316_for%20web.pdf


      • My brother lives in NM, retired Air Force, he told me about flying over white sands & seeing the Wild Horses in the ’70’s or 80’s, can’t recall which. then flying over again & they were suspiciously lying dead within distance of the like they had been shot & all the news said they were starving & had to be removed. He wrote a letter for me when they were rounding them up. Are these those horses?


      • LOL well Louie you really got the maggots out of the weeds,,don’t pay any attention to them they have made so many misstatements here and there and every where..the facts are that you are quoting- the only evidence-burns statement..she said there were 650 horses not karen, and her statement/complaint has proved to be very misleading to the states attorney..the states vet on thurs, did not find hundreds of starving dying horses out of 810 only 1 old catnip stallion was recomended to be put down and 25 horses needing extra care..honey..horses don’t put that kind of weight on in 2 weeks…so your hysteria storm has ended and all your new organizations that have started, such as taking over ISPMB are laughable, you neither have the skills experience or ability to raise 700,000 a year..or to manage a herd of horses.you all have your schemes and scams going but guess what you have a carton of egg on your face..the vets opinion of the dead were that they died due to to age complications and a few foals that failed to thrive..every time you post you change your facts and numbers to try and keep the hysteria going..maybe you should find a better source for your information, other people have been on the ground out there now and we have a different picture than what you and burns painted..adoptions are going on and karen is thrilled that people are showing up to adopt..too bad it had to happen because of this


      • Because law enforcement and State Vets have nothing better to do then falsifying documents? Lady l honestly want to know what you are on? I know of no medication that can make one so delusional.


      • Wow Ms Longley, your comment is just dripping with compassion and careing for those horses. Just kidding. $700,000 a year and she could not afford to feed those horses any better than that? And we have already seen pictures of more than one old stallion starving to death, way more than that. You know Bend is a long way from South Dakota. You must have really good optics if you can see for yourself how ‘good’ those horses look. You did read the whole vet report didn’t you? Or how about the ones before? Or did your dark glasses block your vision?


      • Really Ms Longley? How about this direct quote “Authorities counted 810 wild horses Thursday at the sanctuary near Lantry, about 110 miles northeast of Rapid City. They had previously been led to believe by the sanctuary’s top official that the number of horses was 650.” She had no idea how many horses she had there nor obviously gave a sh#^. Or maybe that was the count she figured on after all the ones in poor shape died off?


    • Sandra, this problem didn’t happen overnight and I don’t see anyone showing up with some magic wand to instantly make it all better.

      All kinds of rescues and sanctuaries get into trouble from time to time but the successful ones adjust their business plans and strategies to deal with looming problems before their trains run completely off the tracks.

      This obsession over wanting to breed and that crackpot “self regulation” theory, coupled with excuse-making rather than dealing with reality, is consistent with behavior that contributes to these kinds of disasters. We’ve seen it more than a few times. At some point the welfare of the animals has to be more important than propagating a questionable bloodline or being blindly committed to a theory.

      Also from investigating similar cases as an ACO, my experience has been that public agencies prefer to avoid taking on the liability of impounding and being responsible for large numbers of animals as they aren’t budgeted for such costs. As a result, ACOs and investigators are encouraged to “look on the bright side” and identify potential “in-place” solutions wherever feasible. We often want to stabilize a situation first, then let the district or city attorney determine what actions may be warranted after the crisis has been managed.

      Bottom line, when investigators publish findings of neglect, such determinations are typically not made carelessly. Please understand that I’m not saying that a finding of neglect always equates to criminal neglect. That determination is for people in much higher pay grades. Just saying that based on investigative reports there clearly is some kind of real problem here, that it didn’t happen overnight, and everyone needs to accept this reality so the focus can shift to solution-finding.


  23. I would like you to realise that susan humphrey will be posting all kinds of BS to support her position that the wild horses ALL need to be removed and slaughtered..not just the ones at Karens but -all on BLM lands..SO-you all need to remember her objective when she posts


    • State Vet’s summary of his report in court yesterday “Ownership does not appear to have the means, money, labor, and facilities to support and manage a population of animals this size,” the report said, “and does not appear to have adequate plans to assure the future of this herd. Based on my findings as outlined in this report, it is my determination that animal neglect is present at this facility.”
      ANIMAL NEGLECT IS PRESENT AT THIS FACILITY…. this from the expert medical professional… Sandra why is it that you keep skimming over this fact? Why are you so hell bent on trying to shift the focus off that? Where’s your compassion for the horses? From my understanding Susan Humphries is going to help under the direction of the State Vet & the authorities. She is actively trying to help the situation, she has no authority of how things will be carried out & will be merely acting on the directives from those who do. You’re scrambling to create an enemy in this situation when the enemy of these horses is the vary person who allowed them to breed beyond her ability to even provide basic care for them, and that person is none other than Karen Sussman. I appreciate this is hard for you to accept as it’s so incongruous to what you want to believe about Karen, but your words are nothing more than desperation peppered with misplaced anger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra that’s the only explanation you have because you are struggling to come to terms with the fact you show absolutely no compassion for these horses but instead show loyalty to the one that is responsible for their suffering. You live in a fantasy world of demigods & nemeses, void of any independent critical thinking. It may be best if you leave the horse advocacy to those who actually care about their welfare, with “advocates” like you, Sussman & the like- horses are sure to suffer… as this situation proves.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Are you suggesting that the South Dakota State Vet is fabricating evidence? Because that would be serious slander on your part. Not to mention desperate looking.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Barbara Wheeler Photography (facebook)

    Many of you have heard by now that there are serious allegations against the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros.

    Over the course of the past two years many Barbara Wheeler Photography followers as well as ISPMB supporters have donated nearly $10,000 to ISPMB through my
    Facebook auctions.
    I want to reassure you all that those funds have gone to feed the horses, as promised in the auctions.
    See More


  25. Our group’s critical care team (Palomino and Matt Armstrong) left earlier this week for SD to help determine which of the more severely weakened horses can be rehabilitated and pitch in for rehab. In many instances the issue isn’t so much whether a horse can recover as it is whether there are sufficient resources (including the ability to spend the kind of time necessary) to provide for a probable successful outcome.

    Just one small piece of this pie but groups large and small are likely going to need to take on whatever they can manage to resolve this matter.


  26. This was sent to me. I had not previously known anything about this organization. From what Sandra posted, one of the members was going to be involved in taking some of the Horses from ISPMB

    Proposal of Ovarian Ligation August 24, 2015
    From: Members of Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions
    To: U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council
    Re: Population Management of wild herds on HMAs

    The members of the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions have spent time considering potential solutions to the ever increasing number of horses and burros needing to be removed from the range held in both Long Term Holding and Short Term Holding. We feel that a two pronged program would both greatly decrease the number of animals needing to maintained in this manner and allow older mares to live out their lives on the range.

    We would like to suggest that ovarian ligation be put into an immediate test program in at least 2 and preferably 3 herds using herds that are widely watched and recorded by regional photographers. Our suggestion would allow for mares that are old enough to have had at least 4-5 foals accessed at gathering and removed to the closest holding facility to do ovarian ligation by a veterinarian who has experience in this procedure. We would suggest that working with the state veterinary school located closest to each facility would be the optimal way to get young vets trained on this procedure and to potentially hire vets specifically for the program from this pool of trained professionals. We realize that standard policy would normally be to spend a number of years doing in pen trials with horses that would be scheduled to go to LTH. We feel that this can be bypassed by using herds that are currently being observed and by training the photographers to record information on these mares that would give accurate information about how they assimilate back into the herds. We would like to suggest that along with the ovarian ligation all fillies 3 and under be given PZP and allowed to be more mature at first foaling.

    To summarize our proposal as accurately as possible, allowing for changes needed by region or herd.

    1. Two to three test herds be chosen that mares will be brought in and those 3 and under be given the correct dosage of PZP for their age and mares that are of an age to have 4-5 foals on the ground have the ovarian ligation procedure done to at the holding
    facility. Those mares that are operated on can be held for an appropriate period for recovery at the facility to document reaction and to ensure proper healing of all incisions before being returned to the area that they were captured. Any foals that are under weaning age should stay with the mare in the holding facility and be release with her. Use a
    small hip brand to designate ovarian ligation for observation purposes.
    2. Any mare that shows a major genetic defect or has thrown multiple foals with genetic disorders should automatically be put into the ovarian ligation program no matter what the age.
    3. Train photographers and volunteers to work with the USGS and Universities to properly document range interaction of both the mares who have been given ovarian ligation and those fillies given PZP. Video and photographic documentation of herd/band interaction would be ideal. It is imperative to have USGS and at least one University involved in both
    documentation and study of the effect of ovarian ligation on herd dynamics and the health and well being of both, mares and foals as well as the local bands that they belong to.
    4. Document the short and long term consequences of ovarian ligation on the mares, i.e. heath, longevity, and acceptance/position within the band. Note if the mares are removed from the bands and act like bachelor stallion bands.
    5. Within 3 years if the results of the test herds are good expand to other BLM managed herds with the goal to cut down on required gathers to once every 6-8 years.
    6. Look into the possibility of darting with PZP every 2 years to expand the time young mares have a chance to mature before starting to foal.
    The goal of this plan is to decrease the rate of population growth on the range.
    In conjunction it would allow these older mares to stay on the range without adding to population growth until their deaths and not have to be gathered and shipped to Long Term Holding Facilities for their senior years. Between the ovarian ligation and using PZP on the fillies the herd’s rate of growth could be reduced by 50% per year. This would substantially help both the range and the cost of gathering and housing the horses and burros while keeping more horses on the range. By hip branding the mares that have had ovarian ligation you would be able to gate cut those mares back onto the range at any subsequent gather and not have to haul them off the range.
    Some of the herds suggested for this procedure are South Steens, Oregon; Sand Wash Basin, Colorado; Twin Peaks, California; and/or BLM HMA around the Reno/Carson area of Nevada. These are herds that have been previously documented and in the case of both Sand Wash Basin and South Steens there is photographic documentation of the herds for 5-7 years that would be available to work within this project.


    Susan Humphrey – Hot Springs, South Dakota
    Kathleen T. Granzow – Genoa City, Wisconsin
    Jamie M. Adkins – Casper, Wyoming
    Sandra Force – Junction City, Oregon
    AJ Sutton- Lawndale,Ca.
    Kari Masoner – Tuson, Arizona
    Ana Andrick – Wellington, Colorado
    Nancy Warrick Kerson – Napa, California
    Thomas P. Brunshilde – Hammond, Wisconsin
    Karen Goodroad – Pleasant Hill, Oregon
    Lea Erwood – Rosedale, IN.
    Kathryn Shirley – Holly Springs, North Carolina
    Margaret Rothauge (Maggie) Creswell, Oregon
    Angela Robey – Witch Well, AZ


    • Bloody hell, do you know how old that letter is & how many times it’s made the rounds. You are pulling at tattered straws my dear.
      This is your defense for someone allowing horses to breed to well over 800 with more on the way & then not feeding them. Interesting. Your demigod failed the horses for real! Her neglect really did kill dozens of horses & put many more thru undeniable suffering in REALITY, not just words on paper for something that never came to fruition. SUSSMAN NEGLECTED HORSES TO THE POINT OF DEATH A SUFFERING. Understand that real time FACT?


      • I’m not defending anyone… I’m appalled at how long those horses had to be starved to get to that point. With no one doing anything about it, just leaving it get worse. I never saw that letter, I thought it was interesting to know whose idea sterilizing was, besides the BLM…I do understand that real time FACT, Thank you!!


  27. They spay dogs and cats all the time, big deal. Do some research. Read something other than donation garbage. This Sussman woman starved hundereds of horses. She neglected by not providing any food, water, hoof or vet care when needed. She is the one that experimented over and over again for years on these horses trying to what – prove that horses will die when you allow them to overbreed and overrun their environment? Kind of a big duh there. That left on their own they will breed themselves out of feed? She is the one that thought it so wonderful to experiment like that on those poor horses. And now some here seem to want to defend a woman that would do that to these poor horses and then turn right around and try to drag another through the mud that is volunteering her own time to actually help them. Some here need to take a good look in the mirror because I don’t know how you can live with yourselves. I don’t care what Ms Humphrey eats nor do I care what anybody decides to eat or not eat as long as it is legal and you don’t force it either way on me. When are the rest of you planning to go and help? If not then have the good sense to not bad mouth someone that is willing to stand up and help.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Gruesome Wild Mare Sterilization Experiments by BLM & Oregon State University Begin Next Month

    Why am I opposed to this sterilization study of wild mares? First of all, our wild horses do not belong in holding corrals, nor should they be experimented upon like lab rats.
    Second, 100 mares in this study are going to be in various stages of pregnancy. The outdated, dangerous and barbaric procedure of ovierectomy via colpotomy will be used by veterinarian Leon Pielstick, and using this method which is NOT used any more because there are much better, safer and more humane methods available.

    The mares in the early stages of pregnancy are likely to absorb their foals, while those in the later stages may abort their foals. Then there is serious risk of infection given that they are doing the procedures at the Hines Short Term Holding Facility which is anything but a sterile environment, and there is risk of evisceration, hemorrhaging, colic and death. Despite extremely compelling letters from respected equine veterinarians against using this procedure, this will go forward.

    Wild mares have never been touched by humans. Even coming close to the fence at the Hines corrals scared these mares. Can you imagine how terrified and panicked these wild mares will be, forced into this squeeze chute, restrained, tranquilized, and being operated upon? Many mares will simply die of fright.

    Another very disturbing aspect of this experimentation is the sterilization of foals. They plan to sterilize fillies over 8 months old – they only have to weigh 250 pounds, and they will do laser ablation. Torture of foals who in the wild would still be nursing their mothers is absolutely outrageous. In the wild, fillies don’t usually leave their families until 1 1/2 years old to or 3 years old, once they reach esterus.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Statement of Dr. Lisa Jacobson DVM from Berthoud, Co.

    As an equine veterinarian I’m in shock that the BLM, veterinarians,
    and Ore. State Univ. are even considering the mare sterilization
    techniques being proposed. These techniques are abusive &
    incredibly negligent. (I have worked with both wild and domestic
    equines for years.)
    -The Colpotomy procedure is so barbaric and risky that I have never
    been behind it–with domestic mares–let alone wild mares.

    -Laproscopic spaying is in no way a procedure to be done in a nonclinical
    environment, with no follow up management (the least being
    pain management) …..how can this even be considered for wild

    -Laser ablation is incredibly negligent, and it is unbelievable that any
    time is even being spent on this. Any veterinarian who is part of this
    ridiculousness should be brought in front of their State Board. This
    kind of behavior is far outside of our oath that we took as

    -As a final note, it greatly saddens me that the BLM & the
    veterinarians involved have so little consideration for the lives and the
    well being of the wild mares–this is an abuse of their stewardship. As
    far as I’m concerned, this is a deadly cocktail of risk factors.

    Click to access JacobsonCommentsSterilization.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Absolutely not a fan of mare sterilization as has been proposed, and it is a valid issue for discussion, but this topic is about continuous uncontrolled breeding in a closed environment and what appears to be starvation that followed.

    Might be a better idea to deal with mare sterilization arguments on a different thread.


  31. It is all very connected as the entire thrust is to keep healthy viable Herds on Public Lands. ISPMB did use fertility control for several years but there is a reason it was discontinued. There are and always have been Horses there that are up for adoption.
    It seems that there are many who are more interested in destroying the organization than in helping. That is disturbing

    June 6, 2015

    Our last two herds received the fertility control drug 2007 until 2011 when we realized that the drug can cause permanent infertility with 5 years of applications….

    We are noting a pattern on our one herd that received 4.5 years of the drug and are now foaling again

    Out of 36 mares, 7 mares have foaled and 6 foals have died


    • Louie C, your fixation on the issue of the spaying of mares proposals, which has not come to pass, is merely a deflection tactic, a sad attempt to take the focus off an actual gross neglect case which actually did cause suffering of many horses & the torturous death of dozens. Karen Sussman was even off in her count of horses in her charge. Count done by the veterinarians on Thursday came to 810, well over Sussman’s maximum number of 650. The count was done AFTER an unknown number of horses were “adopted” out.
      I ask you, where is your compassion for these horses & their suffering?

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I see an organization that has 4 intact Herds and that has, with the help of Princeton, been able to study those Herds for almost 2 decades. I also see that the results of those band behavioral studies hold the key to keeping Wild Herds on Public Lands without roundups, removals or other invasive management programs. From my perspective, it seems that our collective energy should geared towards returning those Herds to their Legal Herd Areas…those 22 plus million acres which have been taken from them. I don’t see that time or energy spent attacking ISPMB or the research that has been done there as positive. I don’t understand how any of that helps. A lot of sanctuaries have folded due to the economy and those that remain are struggling. The Horses are being helped and it’s tragic that help was so long in coming.


    • I’m not going to respond with the emotion of SJ but she’s basically correct.

      In every hoarding case I’ve ever investigated, either as an ACO or a requested investigator, the hoarder claimed some worthwhile underlying goal. Many probably did start out with good intentions.

      That said, all kinds of rescues and sanctuaries get into trouble at one time or another. Not everyone’s business plans take into account potential problems that may be just over the horizon and some business plans simply aren’t realistic. But the responsible organizations take notice of what is developing and change their strategies, not just ask for more money and cross their fingers that help will arrive on time.

      By beef with Karen, and I’ve known her for a long time and at one time supported her efforts, is that instead of taking care of her own business, she and others such as Priscilla Feral started interfering in activities that were painstakingly developed by Nevada advocates. Those activities they attacked produced agreements by the feds and Department of Agriculture to sharply cut back on horse removals.

      We held the line with the state-owned horses and the Virginia Range horses still are only removed if they are recurrent safety hazards (constantly on highways) or for humane reasons (injured, orphaned, etc.) To accomplish such an agreement the non-profits agreed to participate in fertility control, fencing projects to keep horses out of congested areas, range resource activities, emergency responses, and placement of horses that did get removed. A further result has been the DOT building wild horse and wildlife underpasses so animals can move past fenced highways.

      Fertility control isn’t the be-all, end-all to make this project fly, but it’s definitely a significant element that is implemented in balance with other management activities.

      So for my closing comments, we have people attacking the work of advocates whose work actually results in fewer horse removals and healthier horse herds who themselves appear to be responsible for what could be a significant starvation case. Folks can make up their own minds about what makes more sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Psst Mr Louie C – I just saw a letter from Barbar Ries retracting her statement that Princeton University is involved with ISMPB. It says and I quote “Specifically, Princeton University is not at this point involved with ISMPB.”
      There is no ‘study’!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Mr. Louie C, You have got to be kidding us? I hope. I think everybody can now see why those foals died and why mares had trouble conceiving. Starvation. Plain and simple and disgusting – Starvation! Too many horses and stallions in small dirt pastures with no feed is the problem. Come on. Use your head like most everyone else is.

    And Pray tell – why in the world would anyone want to “help” an organization that has done this to these poor horses? A study? My A*^! She was hoarding and worst of all allowing breeding when she knew she could not feed even the ones she had. That is what is really disturbing sir. She was wrong. And some of you are afraid to just admit it. Horses do not self regulate. Unless you count starvation, devastation of the land and cruel and Inhumane conditions on the animals, abortions and foals being born just to starve to death a little later on as self regulation? Open your eyes. Or at least your heart a little for these poor horses. They deserve better than this.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I just do not understand how these same people that screamed bloody murder over research on spaying horses(see Mr Louie C comments above), calling it horrible ‘experiments’, now think it is okey dokey fine for this woman to be experimenting and researching on these same wild horses for years even and killing what – at least 30 that we know of but probably going to be close to hundereds over the years. That have died miserable deaths of starvation and by looking at some pictures even death by mutilation and beyond neglect. That kind of hypicritcal conduct is just beyond any reason at all. Dumbfounding to me. No words can really describe how I feel about that kind of illogical – well thinking is not even a correct word there.


  34. Mr. Louie C, Reserch? What research? Studies? Documented? Down on paper? Come on! She didn’t even have a clue on how many horses she had there. She could not even document the correct number of horses she had. And you want us to believe her so called study? And you mean she has Experimented on these horses? To this result? Starving them to death! To experiment on them to prove what? That they will in fact starve to death when they overbreed themselves and decimate the land around them? Pretty much a big Duh there. Yes! Starving horses will die. They will have trouble reproducing. Common sense is a wonderful thing sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the “Princeton Research”, actually a senior thesis. And even this thesis points out that these poor horses didn’t act like those in the wild, so pretty much de-bunks Sussman’s claim that her “study” on these poor horses has any merit in regards to wild horse herds. It amazes me how people will parrot Sussman’s claim but refuse to look into her claims which actually leave bread crumbs to the fact she’s fabricating most of what she says…



    From an independent research report that verifies that although BLM’s usual 20% annual foaling rate is correct, only about half of the foals live to yearling age – i.e. reproductive age. Therefore, the BLM’s 20% annual increase is false. It is mathematically and biologically impossible.


      • But Louie C…. what is your response to the specific case of gross neglect before you? With out quoting from anything outside of this specific case (which by the way has NOTHING to do with this act of neglect)? What if this wasn’t Karen Sussman, just some ranch that had been allowing their herds to breed beyond their capacity to sustain them only to starve? Curious if you’d have any feelings for the poor horses then? Because you are either so blinded by your demigod Karen you can’t see it or you actually don’t care about horses at all. Regardless, your refusal to even acknowledge the suffering & deaths of these horses is quite disturbing.


      • Amen, the fact is if this had happened on an HMA or a holding facility the same people brushing aside the neglect and abuse in this case, would be losing their minds and forming mobs. That’s crap as far as I am concerned.


  36. Nobody is saying that most of these zeroed out HMAs were justified. As someone who fought to keep the Lahontan herd from being zeroed out, I get that point. However it has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, but rather – in this case – it’s a distraction.


  37. Any time a great amount of horses are subjected to abuse and neglect there should be a loud outcry. I don’t care whose name is attached to the abuse. Or what type of “studies” are supposedly attached to the over crowding, over breeding of horses, or any animal. That people are nastily trying to defend this atrocity, that has been going on for years, is beyond me. How could you throw these horse’s lives away so cheaply? The research is bull crap. For research to be valid there has to be tightly controlled and documented data. Hell, Karen, nor the “researchers” didn’t even know how many horses were out there on this completely inadequate property. How do you do “research” if you don’t even know the basics on your research subjects? That any one could even try to defend yet one more betrayal of these innocent beings is completely beyond my ability to understand. I suppose you all think that the Amish puppy mills is just one big science experiment.


  38. I’ve followed this story from all directions and it reads more like a vendetta.
    I’ve seen accusations and destructive, hateful comments
    I have NOT seen the questions being asked that should be asked in any investigation.
    When did the Horses die?
    Did the investigating veterinarian take blood samples?
    Has the water been tested?…there is uranium mining and there’s fracking water…all of which leaches into the groundwater and aquifers ( Black Hills Sanctuary has a big problem with the uranium mines that are nearby)
    These are serious questions. Why aren’t they being addressed?
    The STATE vet who was on site on Thursday said that of 810 horses on site only 1 MAY need to be put down before winter and that 25 needed special care….out of 810 horses


  39. Louie, valid concern but it’s no vendetta. One of our teams is on the way back with a stock trailer full of skinny horses to rehab. If this blog permitted images I’d post some of them. The problem is that these kinds of events (and they never seem to stop) shift huge burdens onto the responsible groups that come to the rescue. It’s not like we don’t have enough on our plates already.

    Here’s the deal, and I’ve been in this game for over 25 years.

    Over the years a lot of groups can get into trouble. My own group was headed for the ropes back in the day when we took on a bunch of Virginia Range horses in an emergency situation and our placement strategy fell apart. However we all have a responsibility to operate with some kind of a sensible business plan and make adjustments “real time” when it becomes clear that the original plan isn’t working. So while any responsible group can fall on hard times, the animals shouldn’t (and in our and many other cases) didn’t. The animals come before ideology.


    This infatuation with breeding is absurd. There are far too many horses which is why the slaughter trade flourishes. And yes, idealistically a lot of range horses should go back out on available public lands but that would take changes in the law that this current Congress would never consider. So the reality is that we have a glut of horses in private lands and in BLM holding. There are only so many places for these horses to go. And given this overall situation, only an idiot would allow uncontrolled breeding of large numbers of horses in a captive environment.

    There, I’ve said it. It’s the elephant in the room. It’s a burden to us all. Now one of our crews that we could have used in an emergency operation out here over the weekend had to shift its focus from other essential work to go to South Dakota to help out in this mess.

    As long as you’re tossing around terms like “vendetta,” I have to ask, how many of these horses have you gone up and rescued?

    If I seem short fused it’s because we’ve also been busy at wildfires where people have livestock but no way to transport them and many didn’t maintain defensible spaces around their pastures and barns. (So far 22 homes lost, 7 large barns, some 10 other outbuildings, and the animal casualties haven’t been totaled yet.) Once again the rescuers take on other people’s responsibilities.


  40. Mr. Louie C, did you miss the last State vet report stating there is neglect at this place? Did you look at all the pictures? Not just the hand picked ones from ISPMB. Did you look at the extremely long uncared for hooves? Are you going to say those uncared for hooves are from uranium? Backbones and hip bones sticking out? Does your theory explain why some died and some are healthier? Maybe those healthier ones didn’t drink the water? Hundreds of horses crammed into a feedlot area, you know just what all these same people have been complaining about on BLM holding. They have been doing the exact same as BLM and then to continually complain about their conditions in holding. At least in BLM holding they have good food, water, vet and hoof care. And I think even more room and looks like about the same in shelter. The hypocrisy is what is dumbfounding to me.

    Wildhorse guy – thank you for all you and your crew is doing for all the animals. I will be Praying for you and your crew during this wildfire. Stay safe.


      • No Mr. Louie C. I am not BLM, never have been. Not ever been Government employee. Not Pro-slaugher. But do believe in fertility control and I have the common sense to realize that when every other animal on our Public lands are controlled then the horse numbers need to be controlled too and fertility control is still better than where these are at now and better than the way the other wildlife is controlled.


      • SJ, I’m glad to know that you are not pro-slaughter. I don’t understand, however, how you can believe that WH&B are overpopulated or that they need fertility control when left alone in the wild. Not all stallions get to breed. Not all mares have foals. When they do it’s a dangerous time for them. Not all of the foals make it either. There is no comparison to that of a protected sanctuary environment


      • Regarding ISPMB, one herd is already sterile.
        The mares that can’t conceive are kidnapping the foals. How do we know that this isn’t happening on the HMAs?

        From ISPMB Newsletter
        Here is what is happening here at ISPMB. Two herds that received PZP, one for five years and one for four years are still for the most part not giving birth to foals. This is after stopping the drug now for five years.

        The four year course of PZP, nine mares out of 36 mares have conceived with seven losing their foals shortly after they were born. We have five PZP mares that we must watch constantly as they steal foals from mares that are having their first born foals. We have had one Catnip mare that was bitten and had very little hair left that didn’t show a bite wound.

        Although we didn’t witness the takeover of her foal, she was standing near the foal with the “kidnapper.” The mare with bite wounds had a milk bag on her while the kidnapper had none. The foal was already three days old according to staff who were monitoring births. The foal was thin and weak. We also noted that he had burns on his mouth and lips from trying to nurse a dry mare

        Out of seven foals in our foster care, four were the result of kidnappers. For the most part, mares love caring for their foals even into old age. Those that become very old often don’t have foals.


      • Mr. Louie C, the wild horses are over populated. Granted not in every area but pretty much most of them. I have been out there, I have rode a bunch of it and driven even more of it. And before you even ask, no I am neither a rancher and have never had AUM’s(not that either is a bad thing in by book). I have hunted a lot of that country – a lot. The horses are over populated. I have been to places where there is horse tracks in every square foot of ground. And as to your comment of “there is no comparison to that of a protected sanctuary environment” then if you believe that could you please explain how you can be so vehemently defending this fiasco? Her whole reason for allowing these horses to breed freely was for her so called ‘study’. Now you are saying there is no comparison. How are you related to this woman that did all this? Or are you her? No one else can be as totally blind as her.

        And really? To quote from an ISPMB newsletter? I would now, after all her denial that horses there are not starving to death, would not believe her if she said the sky was blue! She has no documentation. No tests done on these horses. Heck she can not even manage to worm or trim way overgrown hooves on these horses. She could not see horses had broken legs, were starving to death or had huge ski’s for hooves and could not walk properly. But now you want us to believe she positively knew why those mares did not foal? I think everyone else can see why they didn’t foal. They were to skinny to conceive. To starved to carry a foal full term. Come on – open your eyes! And don’t insult us by thinking any will believe a word that is in a newsletter or even a so called ‘study’ or so called ‘research’ from a place that thinks it is ok to do this kind of care to these poor horses.


    • Off topic but replying to SJ, Mercifully the winds (which were clocked at 115 MPH across the ridges) were followed by substantial rain. All the grazed down fields got wet enough that the animals left there were OK, a number of them being horses and other livestock that were herded from burning pastures to ones farther away.

      The fire jumped Lake Lahontan but never got far enough east to make a run into the wild horse range. But 22 homes, 7 large barns and 10 other outbuildings were lost. The fire in the heavier timber is still red hot which creates a bizarre contrast given that the area is now under a flash flood watch – but this area is a massive drainage from the mountains and the burned off area won’t retain much water.

      Concerns are that as soon as things dry out, hundreds of smoldering stumps and snags could produce windblown firebrands and the this whole business will start all over.


      • Wow Mr. Wild horse guy. I guess the news channels out State are to busy with this Presidential BS they finally showed some of what is going on in Nevada last night. I spent a couple of years in Nevada, a wonderful and rough place. I guess we can Pray for some good snow for you guys then. That might help a little. Thank you for the update and I will have to try to maybe check some of the Nevada online sites to keep up better on what is happening there. Again – thank you and stay safe.


    • SJ, regarding the uranium mining, Dayton Hyde thinks it’s important and he did more than just check the water:

      Cleanup not necessary at abandoned uranium mines in the project area of the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine, EPA finds

      No cleanup will be required at three abandoned uranium mines near Edgemont after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was unable to document a release of hazardous substances. The EPA announced its decision Monday (April 25). It is based on water and sediment sampling conducted in September 2015 by contractor Weston Solutions Inc.

      The EPA deemed the sampling necessary after a 2014 preliminary assessment. The assessment was requested by the nonprofit Institute of Range and the American Mustang , owner of the BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY.

      But the EPA contractor’s September 2015 sampling of sediment and water downstream from the mines did not detect concentrations of hazardous substances in excess of three times the natural or ‘background’ levels. Therefore, the EPA could not document any occurrence of a ‘release’ such as runoff from the mine pits. In other words, the mine sites may contain hazardous substances, but those substances do not appear to be escaping in amounts that would cause serious human health or ecological effects. (Rapid City Journal Apr. 27, 2016)


  41. From Elaine Nash (Fleet of Angels)
    Those who want to follow this further can go to her website to see the entire post. Elaine also states that anyone who donates $10 to the hay fund can make a negative comment on her website.
    Elaine isn’t accepting donations for her assistance.
    Karen does not take a salary. She is a nurse by profession and pays her own expenses by working at the nearby hospital on the reservation

    Elaine Nash added 3 new photos.

    Please READ THIS ENTIRE POST. I AM NOT AVAILABLE to answer questions about horses, walk you through the adoption process, etc. Messages and emails sent to me asking questions already answered, or available on ISPMB or Fleet of Angels sites will not be responded to.

    I am coordinating this adoption effort at the direct request of State Attorney Aberle, and am in contact with Karen Sussman as needed. I am not being paid, nor accepting donations for my assistance in this mission.

    There are hundreds of horses available for adoption, and unless the Court orders otherwise, those that are not adopted will be put to death. There are horses available in almost every age range, size, and color.
    A large number of the mares are sterile from PZP treatments.
    Upon a full count (810 horses), and close inspection by authorities, most of the horses at the sanctuary have been determined by officials to be in good condition. However, many will need hooves trimmed as soon as possible, 10% are underweight, and some have special needs such as advanced age, blindness, lameness, or are extremely underweight.
    Most of the underweight horses are of the advanced ages of 20-30+ years old.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Horses can be underweight for any number of reasons, especially old Horses. One of the major causes I would guess, is that teeth need to be floated. How do you do that on Horse that hasn’t been handled? Hard enough to do it on gentled, domestic Horses.
    How do you keep feet trimmed..what horseshoer is going to come out and do that on a Wild Herd?
    Who else was going to take 4 Herds that had been jerked out of their natural habitat where they had lived for…how many generation? Put them in South Dakota?
    Those Horses came from the western and southwestern states. High desert can be cold but compared to South Dakota in the winter..it’s a banana belt. That frigid Arctic wind blows straight down from Canada. The saying goes that people in South Dakota go to Wyoming to get warm in the winter.
    It’s amazing that those Horses adapted as well as they did.
    Does the public EVER get to check on the Wild Horses that have been sent to those big ranches in the midwest..the ones that have long-term holding contracts?
    Do their feet get trimmed
    Do they ever get underweight.
    Do they die?
    What about all of those Mares in Kansas that died in the feedlot after having been transferred from the ranch where they were originally sent?
    Where was the outrage then?
    What I DO know is that those people who had long-term holding contracts with BLM got plenty of taxpayer $


    • Mr. Louie C, Why would she take on animals she was not properly able to care for? I have adopted and trained several wild horses. One got injured in the chute when loading at BLM. You know what? I had enough sense to think ahead and was able to get him properly doctored at home. Correct facility, panels, corrals and common sense. If you are going to have 800+ wild horses on your property you think ahead and realize horses are going to get hurt, they are going to need some special care and you take a small portion of that Free $700,000 a year you are getting from the Public donations and Government grants(you know that is Taxpayer $’s too) and set up a place to handle the animals you took the responsibility for. Plain and simple. You ask “Who else is going to take 4 herds”? I would have hoped somebody that was properly capeable of careing for them! Or else just as it is now – they are suffering. You can keep looking but there is absolutely no excuse for what was done to these 800+ horses.

      And yes – the public does get to see the horses in the midwest in LTH. Load up and take the drive and look for yourself. No – I don’t think they trim there feet there but those horses are on vast amount of land and with rocks to wear their hooves down. Not kept on sand and dirt in a few acre feed lot like they were at ISPMB. Ms Sussman should have had enough knowledge about horses to know that keeping horses like she did would bring on problems like this. She should have made provisions for such things. And having an old horse is no excuse to allow it to suffer and starve to death. I have kept several of mine way into their 30’s and I can guarantee you they never looked anything like hers.


      • SJ, the thing is…..nobody else did take those 4 Herds. Chances are they would have either languished in prison/holding facilities or gone to slaughter. WHO know what happens to them after they’re captured?


    • Oh and by the way Mr. Louie C – the horses in the Midwest on Long term holding are not breeding! Big difference there sir. Great big difference. There is absolutely no excuse for ISPMB to be breeding for more horse when she could not care for nor as you have stated – did not have the proper equipment to even trim feet or float teeth. She voluntarily took on the responsibility for these horse and collected money from the Public and the Government to care for them which she did not do.


  43. Louie C., Fair questions and comments. So here are the answers.

    1, Horses can and do get underweight. It’s the owner’s legal responsibility to take steps to keep them from reaching a legal point of neglect, or if it’s unpreventable, humanely euthanize the animals. Starvation in most states is considered criminal animal cruelty. Now that threshold is scalable depending on the age of the horse and other health factors. Nonetheless unthrifty horses should be placed in a separate group and receive feed more appropriate for their needs unless they are unsavable..

    2. Trimming is easy. Reputable sanctuaries use a tilt table or tipping chute. These are wild horses so you really need too acquire the right equipment if you go into these adventures, and then you need to use it.

    Here’s an example. With wild horses they would enter via a chute or alley.

    3. The weather in SD can get extreme. All the more reason to keep the horses in good flesh. This winter will be cruel to the underweights.

    4. The public can make arrangements to visit the long-term holding facilities. They are actually pretty lush overall and the contractors are required to have facilities for vetting, trimming, etc.on hand to get the contracts. I’d rather see horses on natural ranges but the long term holding horses, while getting pretty lazy, seem to be fine. For that matter the mortality rate in LTH is less than for horses on HMAs. I’m hearing that they live on average about 7 years longer in LTH although I have not attempted to verify that figure.

    5. Regarding the mares you speak of, there was outrage alright. I’d describe it as a shitstorm.

    6. Finally, the LTH contractors do make a bit of money. They don’t neglect the horses but the costs help bolster our arguments that horses are better kept on the range except in extreme circumstances.

    But then, we’re drifting off the point of this thread again, aren’t we.


    • No, actually I don’t believe we are drifting off the point. My point is and has been to place the blame where it should go and that’s the agencies and private interests that remove WH&B from their Legal Herd Management Areas.


    • In response to #5 on the list, the storm over ISPMB seems disproportionate compared to the one over Kansas, but it all seems to have been forgotten by most

      75 wild mares died in a very short amount of time at BLM’s emergency short term holding facility in Scott City, Kansas.

      The BLM awarded the contract for an emergency short term holding facility to Phil Jennings, who has the contract for the BLM’s Pauls Valley facility in Oklahoma. Jennings has had contracts with BLM since 2005 for Pauls Valley, and the obligation amounts seemed to be mostly in about the $100,000 to $300,000 range.
      The BLM Scott City, KS emergency short term holding facility contract was signed 6/4/2014, and the obligation amount is $2,030,000. Yep, that’s a jump to over $2 million dollars.

      But Jennings is in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. That’s about a 400 mile drive to Scott City, Kansas. It seems Jennings may have LEASED the feedlot run by Beef Belt, LLC in Scott City, KS. So, in essence, BLM’s contractor hired a subcontractor.
      (Does that seem to make Jennings a very well paid middleman?)

      If a contractor leases a feedlot from what is in essence a subcontractor, then the subcontractor has no direct contract with instructions and obligations to the BLM, does it? Did any BLM personnel give written instructions and obligations to Beef Belt, LLC, which was formed in 10/1/13 (just 9 months prior to getting this windfall of business)? Or.was it only after 70 horses died, that the BLM finally seemed to get concerned or involved, and give instructions about the feed?


      • So, did those responsible for the deaths of those poor mares in Kansas have all of the hateful insults hurled at them?
        Were they investigated by the State veterinarian?
        I doubt that they had all of the necessary equipment to trim feet or float teeth, but they should have when they took on the responsibility.
        They WERE paid plenty by the taxpayers.


      • Louie, a major distinction between the problem at Scott City and at ISPMB is that the BLM has carefully controlled all the information released about Scott City, and as a government agency authorized to managed our wild horses for us holds all the cards. ISPMB is a public charity subject to much greater scrutiny as a result, also according to our legal system.

        In both cases horses died at the hands of their caretakers in tragic, preventable circumstances, and in both cases pertinent information is being withheld from the public. However, the laws pertaining to each entity are different. For example, we were told the federal vet was on site in Scott City within days of the BLM being alerted to horses dying, but though I called, wrote, and checked in for well over a year for the promised “updates” the actual necropsy information has never yet been made public. At ISPMB we have had veterinary reports made public almost immediately which indicate abuse and starvation. Karen hints there are other causes but neither she or her board of directors has provided any evidence to the contrary (barring of course deaths from accidents, old age, or the foal with a prolapsed hernia, though that may have been exacerbated by starvation, we don’t really know).

        In both cases both the horses and the public deserve much better.


  44. The Public can see their Wild Horses or Burros any time they want when they’re left on their Legal Herd Management Areas where they belong. They don’t have to make appointments.


  45. Louie C, you appear to be becoming obsessive. 5 posts in a row?

    First the final analysis regarding Scott County is as follows, and I’m not making excuses for anyone here as it was a bad deal all around. Just keeping it real.

    First the facility was a feed lot, not a sanctuary or long term holding pasture. An LTH contractor backed out on keeping some 1,900 aged horses. They had to be removed by a deadline and they were put at Lankin as a temporary measure.

    The horses that were removed from the LTH contractor and taken to Lankin were aged.

    Shipping is hard on horses, particularly older ones, and compromises their immune systems.

    These horses were used to pasture. Feed lots provide cut hay. Sudden dietary changes are hard on horses and can cause potentially serious digestive issues.

    The horses were used to grazing, not bunker feeding. That created problems.

    The horses were overcrowded, resulting in the more dominant horses taking over the feed.

    The normally expected mortality for a group of horses that size would be around 95 head per year. That number drastically increases with the average age of the herd. The horses in question were near or at 20 years old.

    That said, clearly the chain of events accelerated the mortality curve. The irony here is that while most horses on the range don’t reach the ages of the horses that died at Lankin, most of the Lankin horses would have lived longer had they not been subjected to the stresses of transport to relocation followed by drastic changes in feed and environment, but insteead had remained in LTH.

    What is not clear is whether this move was made necessary due to the actions of the LTH contractor, BLM, or environmental issues such as loss of forage due to climate / weather. Bottom line is given the totality of circumstances, the mortality wasn’t exceptional. That said, and in my opinion, had more consideration been given to the fact that these were aged horses with respect to relocation planning, feed selection, corral density, etc., I would expect that the mortality rate would have not been nearly as concentrated and spread out over a more natural time line.

    This situation has no comparison with ISPMB where the horses weren’t involved in some “emergency” relocation, but rather were under continuous care, custody and control of the same organization.

    With respect to visiting LTH, you do have to make appointments or go on public viewing days. These facilities are private property. My group, our volunteers and I personally also hold horses, burros, etc. for various agencies as a result of various types of emergencies, as do some of the other horse groups in these parts. You’d better not come onto our private properties without permission either.

    Part of the reasoning involves the fact that these are all private properties, and part is that sometimes horses may be quarantined or are recovering from injuries (which is why they are being held) and shouldn’t be disturbed. Sometimes rehab horses are scheduled to be returned to the range and we don’t want them to get too used to humans. Regardless as to the reason, not only do private property owners have the right to control who comes onto their properties, it’s universally considered to be a proper “barn management” practice.


    • WHG, I respectfully have to disagree the mortality at Scott City wasn’t unusual. These horses were being managed by paid professional wild horse managers who surely knew the risks but shipped and treated these horses as livestock, then walked away for about a month as I recall, when the first monthly report (or bill?) reached someone’s desk indicating horses had been dying. Personally I think there were some contaminants in those pens which were a contributing factor but have no proof, only the awareness of common cattle feed additives which are extremely toxic to horses and which could easily have been left in residual amounts in the feed bunks. So I don’t give a pass to either the BLM or ISPMB in the needless deaths of so many horses.


      • Spots, I don’t think we fundamentally disagree, and I’m certainly not playing the apologist for anyone involved in Scott City.

        To understand where I come from, my background is public safety although I also head up a volunteer large animal response crew that spends most times responding to wild horse incidents – two yesterday including a horse truck by a vehicle on US-50. (The equine vehicle accident victim might be savable.) My point is that in order to protect humans or horses, I have learned from decades of experience that the first step is to establish what is happening, then the causal factors, then assign blame. But the biggie here is to identify and address the causal factors and mitigate them to stabilize an active incident and also to warn other would-be rescuers or sanctuaries folks to not repeat these same mistakes.

        More than once I’ve lived the nightmare of a call coming in where a massive number of horses had to be relocated and sheltered almost immediately. The underlying cause (except for Acts of God) is usually bad planning on someone’s part. Nobody got their butts in gear to develop a sensible plan to relocate horses in an orderly and low-stress manner, and/or supervise their adjustment and acclimation to a totally unfamiliar environment. The feed lot people (and I’ll acknowledge that while some are good, some are assholes) aren’t generally prepared for this kind of intake, and as you alluded to, there are specific issues involved in these operations that must be addressed.

        With the 900+ Indian Nation horses that the allied wild horse groups suddenly found themselves responsible for, one of the differences we benefited from was that a competent retired state horse herd manager was available to personally oversee the welfare of the animals on-site. Multiple non-profits took responsibility and shared the financial burden. We literally had an army of volunteers in stock trailers moving the horses in small loads. The horses were kept in groups of about 80 in ten-acre corrals to make it easier to observe how individual members were doing. It was still a struggle but we had a feed lot owner who liked horses and not only gave the groups a whole quarter of his facility, but gave them great liberties in how they used the facility and its resources. Another bit of luck was that this all went down when plenty of hay was on the market so the most optimum feed for former range horses could be obtained.

        My point in all of this is that there are many things to consider and address to make these kinds of operations a success whether it’s an emergency relocation and sheltering until permanent sanctuary can be located or whether it’s an actual sanctuary operation. Someone with good sense and appropriate experience has to be in charge. You need reliable volunteers for a project to be affordable. There have to be adequate financial resources. There has to be some sort of a business plan. There has to be an exit strategy.

        Where we also agree is that neither the folks responsible for Scott City or ISPMB deserve a pass. But what I see as a greater priority is to identify the elements that are common to these kinds of events and try to prevent future occurrences. Aside being terrible for the animals, these debacles often result in huge unnecessary expenditures of human and financial resources to correct, yet we seem to have a new similar human-caused “disaster” every year or so.


    • I didn’t know we were supposed to take turns.

      As to ISPMB, it seems that the attacks are aimed to discredit the research and what….destroy the organization? That’s how it appears. The ultimate goal is to keep WH&B on public lands without roundups, removals or invasive “management”, as was and is the intent of the WH&B Act. If you don’t believe that can be done then there really is no point of further discussion.


      • Again what ‘research’ Mr. Louie C? You just said above that there is no comparison between horses in a sanctuary environment and horses in the wild? And my understanding is that Princeton said the same thing. Anyone with a brian knows that if you lock up horses in a small pen and allow them to breed freely that they will soon over run their environment. Which she has proven they will. At this kind of cost to these poor horses. Congratulations! Starving horses to death was also not the intent of the WH&B Act. Allowing wild horses to decimate the land and starve to death was also not the intent. Along with it being Only wild horses out there was also not the intent. She had no research. Just another crazy cat(horse) lady with a hoarding problem that got in over her head.


  46. Mares are foaling at ISPMB now Mr. Louie C. Winter in SD and mares are foaling and being bred. Of course their foal count will be way less than any other place – even out in the wild. You are definitely straying off subject just to deflect from what is happening now at this so called conservation facility. I call it a horrendous Inhumane death spot for horses and sorry but anybody that tries to say what had happened and what is happening to these horses is OK, well………they really do need to look in the mirror and seriously take a look in their heart. Stop trying to make excuses for this inhumane treatment of these horses.


    • Elaine Nash

      Although there are horses in need of extra care, feed, significant hoof care, worming, etc, the general condition of the horses is not as dire as was first reported. There are no horses at risk of dying due to neglect or starvation at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Post the whole article Mr. Louie C! This is after they have been actually being fed food – real food – for a month.


      • And then, beside the fences, there are the cattle guards and YES they are on the HMAs

        What you are seeing are the remains of a wild horse, discovered by Craig Downer, Terri Farley, and Don Molde on a recent excursion into the Calico Mountains looking for the living remnants of the herds, our remaining wild horse friends of the Calico Mountain herd complex, whoever remains of the living herd after the Bureau of Land Management’s relentless, take-all-prisoners wild horse purge of these starkly beautiful mountains.
        This horse died a miserable, agonizing death trapped in this cattle guard. She stepped onto it, her hoof went through the rails, and she was trapped. She may have broken her leg. Even if she did not, she was trapped and could not escape. She may have been attacked by opportunistic coyotes while caught, or she may have died slowly, but we know she was trapped. And, ultimately, we know her leg was literally sawed off in order to extricate her from the cattle guard, as evidenced by the clean-cut bone visible on her leg. It did not have to be this way.
        This horse’s demise is a predictable, highly possible outcome when you have non-Wildhorse- Annie cattle guards along a path in a Herd Management Area (HMA) undergoing active helicopter roundup operations. The BLM’s choice to abandon the regulation providing for Wildhorse Annie cattle guards directly resulted in this horse’s tragic, terrible death.


      • So you are saying that is ok then that she allowed them to starve to death?Just because they are old? I have kept old horses and none ever looked like these. When they had trouble chewing and their teeth were gone, they were seperated and fed grain and pellets. When that did not keep their weight up – they were humanely put down. Not allowed to suffer as these have.


      • SJ, you can post the entire article if you would like. I’ve landed in the spam box often enough as it is. I’m glad that you took the time to read it.
        I would also be glad if you would read what I said and not post what I did NOT say.
        You are fortunate that your old Horse(s) fared well with your good care. Some do..some don’t..no matter what you do.
        As far as looking in the mirror? I have agonized over each and every roundup. The broken necks, the broken legs, broken spirits…the Foals that can’t keep up and are left behind to die…the blind Mare that was run over the cliff because she was so terrified of the helicopter…the Mare caught in the cattle guard and left to die because of the helicopter. I agonize over the captures and removals that will continue unless we put a stop to them. Any blame that I place is on those who are responsible and profit from them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The rest of the update. Note where it says right there that “the horses that were emaciated”. You know the part you conveniently left off of your post above. Just because you don’t want to see it Mr Louie C – does not mean it didn’t happen. Horses were in fact starved there. Staved to death. Horses right there under her care that had broken legs and suffered with them. And you still want to continually deflect and complain about what the BLM did? Crunch the numbers. Let’s see how it ends up. What is the percentage of loss and injury between the two? How many out of 810 has she crippled and killed? Guess we will find out soon enough.

        Although there are horses in need of extra care, feed, significant hoof care, worming, etc, the general condition of the horses is not as dire as was first reported. There are no horses at risk of dying due to neglect or starvation at this time. The horses that were emaciated have gained a significant amount of weight, and are continuing to be fed very well on the property. HOWEVER- do not take this as good news as a sign that all is well at ISPMB. A large number of horses HAVE TO GO NOW in order to prevent the possibility of their being slaughtered or euthanized at the end of the legal process that’s in motion.
        Adoption interest is being expressed by many, although only a few adoption applications have been submitted. It is important for people to understand that the public (That’s us!) shows a real commitment to adopting horses to get them moved off the property ASAP, as that is very important to the State Attorney and Sheriffs.””


  47. I’d like to suggest here something not really yet addressed. While the ISPMB research may prove useful once published, twenty years or so is perhaps enough to answer the questions their research asked.

    Research investigations usually have a specific hypothesis, beginning and ending points. While I haven’t read much on the ISPMB research findings, if they were university funded they surely had a termination date. In this situation, the brakes should have been applied long ago as the horse population increased and funding decreased while the land resources were finite.

    I hold the ISPMB board of directors responsible for these failures and hope they will redeem at least some of the deaths by publishing credible and useful research.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IcySpots, I believe that Karen, who has worked with BLM in the past, has wanted them to use that Princeton behavioral study as a management model.
      It appears that what is most needed is a good ranch manager to help lighten the load. It doesn’t sound as though she has had much help.

      This is from ISPMB website

      In partnership with the BLM and through the Sentencing Reform Act of 1988, ISPMB helped to enact higher fines for inhumane treatment and violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse And Burro Act in the Federal District of Arizona. Penalties of up to $100,000 per animal, per offense and/or up to one year in jail are unsurpassed as compared with other federal districts or state humane laws.

      In 2009, ISPMB’s eleven years of behavioral observations of its herds has yielded significant information to show that the removal of wild horses by helicopter and separating mares from their harem stallion has led to the destruction of their social systems over time which has resulted in the increase in the horses’ recruitment rates. This finding has significant importance to the future of wild horses on public lands

      In 2010, the ISPMB has completed a model management plan that will be submitted to the BLM. This plan if followed will ensure protection of the herds and will assure the herds survival over the long term.


  48. Not trying to attack anyone’s viewpoints per se, but in an effort to bring some clarity…

    1. It may be that horses at ISPMB have had longer average lifespans than in the wild. I haven’t seen data but Louie’s opinion doesn’t seem implausible. HOWEVER, there is a distinctive legal and moral difference involving responsibilities regarding management of animals in a “wild” environment versus management of animals in a closed artificial or domestic environment. The state has published its opinion, the validity of which may be subject to our various opinions. Nonetheless it is what it is.

    2. In my years of living on the wild horse ranges, being among actual free-roaming herds, and working toward “on the range” management solutions, I have reached some of the same conclusions as Karen regarding the impacts of large-scale helicopter gathers on both compensatory reproduction and social continuity. While I see greater social adaptability than Karen claims, “trap and toss” management does produce detrimental side effects both in herd sociology and from compensatory reproduction (higher reproduction rates following deep gathers.) Just from a population management standpoint it’s counter-intuitive to fixate on population control methods that result in increased reproduction rates.

    3. In my opinion and based on experiences on actual open ranges with actual wild horses, where Karen falls off the turnip truck is her obsession opposing fertility control. And here’s why that obsession is not only a disaster for horses in the wild, but may well have been the foundation for the problems that are being alleged at ISPMB. You can’t have it both ways.

    The western landscape is far from lush and Nevada is the driest state in the Union. Free-roaming horses, by law, are restricted to specific ranges with specific boundaries. Also these ranges, by law, are multiple use lands, not exclusively wild horse ranges.

    The 1971 Act stated that such ranges would be managed primarily for the horses’ welfare in keeping with the multiple use concept and maintaining a thriving ecological balance. In short, horse populations have to be kept in balance with resources with allowances for those resources to also be used by wildlife and other lawful purposes. While I don’t agree with a number of BLM’s management priorities, the herds can’t just be left “wild and free” while locked inside specific boundaries or we’ll have repeats of the Jackson Mountains catastrophe where BLM went out and found horses dying all over.

    So unless you include preventable starvation as an element of the “self-regulation” theory, you have to accept that the theory has limited (but does have some) application in the real world, and it has virtually no application in a closed sanctuary type environment.

    Bottom line, whether on our public lands or at ISPMB, if populations exceed resources, then tragedy will follow. So the argument isn’t whether populations need to be managed. That’s a no-brainer for anyone having an ounce of common sense. The real argument is about what is the most practical and humane methodology for managing populations. That’s where Karen’s strategy seems to fall short.


    • I would agree with the fact that there must be enough resources, but the problem is that the WH&B aren’t getting their fair share of them. I have yet to see proof that they are overpopulated. I do see that more than 22 million acres have been taken from them and often they don’t even have full access to what has been allotted to them. Many of the HMAs are crisscrossed with grazing allotment fences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Want proof Mr. Louie C.? Go out and see for yourself. Ride it like I have. They are over populated! And not just crisscrosses with grazing allotment fences – Private property fences, Drift fences, fences to keep them off the highways, County line fences, Forest Service fences(to keep all livestock out of some Wilderness lands),National and State park fences, National monument fences – just to name a few. Not just ‘grazing allotment fences’. Bottom line, if there is no Winter feed the horses will starve to death. And no mater what, they do deserve better than what Ms Sussman has been doing to these horses.


      • Kick off the GD welfare ranchers that only produce 5% of the nation’s beef/sheep at at an unfair disadvantage to the real world of cattle/sheep raisers. Every one of the cottage industries that support the BLM have raked in the dough. The hay suppliers, the Cattoor’s heli roundups, the private ranches that are paid to let the mustangs graze, etc. Who’s getting ripped off? Every single federal tax payer. For example, it costs over 1.5 million a year to operate the grazing permits program. It should be self supporting by user fees that equate to 1970’s prices at $3.69 per month per cow/calf pair or 5 sheep. Who gets to buy a gallon of gas now a days for fifty cents? Or graze their livestock for $3.69 per month? We don’t need the welfare beef and sheep or all those special interest groups eating up the forage and destroying the environment. Take them off our public lands and let the horses decide where to graze as they have done instinctively for years. Stop trying to control their population by artificial methods which are proven to increase breeding. Stop stealing the best and the most beautiful (and strongest) wild horses and asking the public to pay for their lifetime of care. Stop ripping mustangs from their native lands and family bands. STOP THE FUCKING INSANITY and let them LIVE free from human intervention which after all has produced a superior horse that need not be slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries (see Tom Davis http://www.horsecollaborative.com/the-story-of-tom-davis-the-blm-and-1700-american-wild-horses-who-disappeared/). Stop the bleeding economics that drain our federal reserves via the corrupt and ignorant BLM’s mismanagement of our American icon, the wild horse. Karen Sussman has proven that humans cannot care for the wild horses as well as the wild horses can care for themselves if left to live wild and free as nature intended. And by the way, we need to stop killing off the wolves, coyotes and wildlife that roam public lands too. Quit messing with Mother Nature PERIOD. Here’s an example of how the cottage industries, welfare ranchers and mining, mineral, oil and gas fracking special interest groups, have gotten rich off the current system: https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/03/26/forbes-billionaires-top-us-welfare-ranchers-list/


      • Cattle guards on the HMAs

        What you are seeing are the remains of a wild horse, discovered by Craig Downer, Terri Farley, and Don Molde on a recent excursion into the Calico Mountains looking for the living remnants of the herds, our remaining wild horse friends of the Calico Mountain herd complex, whoever remains of the living herd after the Bureau of Land Management’s relentless, take-all-prisoners wild horse purge of these starkly beautiful mountains.
        This horse died a miserable, agonizing death trapped in this cattle guard. She stepped onto it, her hoof went through the rails, and she was trapped. She may have broken her leg. Even if she did not, she was trapped and could not escape. She may have been attacked by opportunistic coyotes while caught, or she may have died slowly, but we know she was trapped. And, ultimately, we know her leg was literally sawed off in order to extricate her from the cattle guard, as evidenced by the clean-cut bone visible on her leg. It did not have to be this way.
        This horse’s demise is a predictable, highly possible outcome when you have non-Wildhorse- Annie cattle guards along a path in a Herd Management Area (HMA) undergoing active helicopter roundup operations. The BLM’s choice to abandon the regulation providing for Wildhorse Annie cattle guards directly resulted in this horse’s tragic, terrible death.


  49. There is no excuse for letting these innocent wild horses die a slow, cruel, painful death due to starvation. NONE. PERIOD… Glad Karen Sussman is going to jail. And thank goodness for Whistle Blowers…



    I often let my heart lead me to what needs to be said. This video I stumbled on in my inbox today was sent to me earlier this year. The title is Last of the Spanish Mustangs is about wild horses in Arizona especially the Cerbat Wild Horses.
    Karen Sussman’s Gila Bend Wild Horse herd was completely zeroed out by BLM years ago in Arizona and she has fought to keep this herd in tack. She has taken care of them and preserved the integrity of the herd. If we are to help her save them then please watch this video

    We can complain about what others are doing but it is the wild horse lover that gets off the couch and actually saves them.

    I propose that maybe some small family bands from the Gila Bend Herd be put in conservation programs across the country. Let us all work together to continue the history and the Spanish Mustang in America. Those of us in the Wild Horse World respect Karen Sussman and all of us can make mistakes.
    SusanWatt iram@gwtc.net


  51. Ms Sussman has done the Gila herd horses no favors! She has, in my opinion, ruined the herd she has had the responsibility for. They are so interbred there now they are having some serious problems. Again Mr Louie C – who there are you related too? How can you not look at the pictures, videos and documented accounts of people there and and Not see how bad it was for those horses. Not see she did not care for those horses needs? No mater what – there is still no excuse for her doing that to any of those horses in her ‘care’! “Integrity”? That word and anything to do with Ms Sussman should never be used together!


    • SJ
      I’m not related to anyone there but I have followed this organizations work for a very long time.
      We’re not talking about a kill buyer or a fake sanctuary that “rescues” at the front door and sells to slaughter out the back door. If that were the case, I might be just as outraged.
      I’ve already stated where my outrage is directed and that is.at the core of the problem. Those who have profited from the captures and removals of our WH&B from our public lands. Right now those entities are probably enjoying this public display of bashing.
      This is an organization with a good record and a long history. They have run into hard times and are between a rock and a hard place…BIG DIFFERENCE.

      My position is the same as those who are trying to help the Horses.
      I already donated but felt no need to make a negative comment


      For every $10 you donate for HAY for the starving horses, you will be allowed one negative comment on this thread. If you have a lot of negative comments to make, please donate generously. If you have nothing to say, please donate generously, anyway. The horses need feed and medical care, no matter what we think about the situation.


      • And yet she still Bred them Mr louie C. She still kept breeding them. What don’t you understand about that? When horses started looking like these and she still kept breeding them – she lost all respect. It took months for them to get like this. Months of suffering, stretching as far across the fence as they possibly could just to get something – something at all to eat. And she still kept breeding for more!

        You have a big story about One horse caught in a cattle guard with no one around to see or help it. Yes – tragic. Yet you have Ms Sussman with what – looking like about 8-10 horses in her own feedlot that broke a leg/ankle and she left them like that to suffer?! In her own field with her living right there. Really? And you want to defect with a sad story of One horse with no one whatsoever around caught in a cattle guard and tell everyone that her horses right at her house, were suffering with broken legs is OK? She has horses that can hardly walk because of extreme – yes Extreme growth of hooves from lack of care – in her own field with her living there? Yep – that is a”‘good record”. There has been reports of neglect and abuse there for the last 6 years and that is a “good record”? It is ok to allow horses to suffer like that because “they have run into hard times”? That is not an excuse. And she still kept breeding them for more. Yeah – BIG DIFFERENCE sir! No comparison whatsoever. But hey, keep deflecting and trying to rationalize this neglect and abuse.


      • SJ, there are many tragic deaths due to the captures and removals…they go on and on and on. Is one any less tragic than the others? My point is to get at the real problem and that is the fact that they are removed from their Legal Herd Management Areas in the first place in order to appease private/corporate interests. There is and never has been proof that they are either overpopulated or the sole cause of damage to the range. Wild Horse & Burro sanctuaries are a port in a storm. That’s all they can ever be.
        As for the “allowing the Horses to breed”, Karen did use PZP for many years but stopped when she started seeing the negative side effects, One entire Herd is now sterile.
        If you view the current photos of Horses that are up for adoption, you will see that there are geldings.

        Please post the reports of neglect and abuse that you have mentioned.


      • The Catnip Herd (captured and removed from Sheldon Wildlife Refuge)


        Sitting on the edge of the BLM managed lands of some of the wild horse Herd Management Areas that comprise the Calico Complex is the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, also under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior but home to a very different set of rules regarding the management of horses and burros.

        This home on the range where the antelope play calls wild horses and burros feral and sportsman openly lobby Congress to eradicate their populations completely. Click Here to learn more.

        Public awareness of the Sheldon wild horses and burros sky rocketed after American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) released an explicit and shocking undercover pictorial report of a June 2006 round up titled “The Reality of Round Ups: Attempt At A Cover Up”.

        Included were graphic photos of dead foals found littered across the landscape, hog-tied foals, dead and injured horses in the holding pens and a veterinarian report citing the extreme trauma documented to foals as a result of the gather; some of whom survived and some whom did not.

        Questions also exploded around the methods used by long-time BLM contractor Dave Cattoor of Cattoor Livestock Inc., to drive wild horses and burros to the traps and again evoked controversy as to whether helicopter driving could ever be considered humane or safe considering it was outlawed before due to its known detrimental results. (Editor’s Note: Despite criminal charges filed against Dave Cattoor in 1990 for “conspiracy and use of aircraft to capture wild horses and aiding and abetting….”, which led to the “said wild, unbranded horses to be sold and shipped by truck to Great Western Meats in Morton, Texas, to be slaughtered and processed”, BLM has continued to insist he does excellent work for them and excuses AWHPC’s shocking Sheldon report by citing it didn’t happen during a BLM gather…)

        As public awareness grew about the Sheldon wild horses and burros, so did the conflict. Between 2006 and 2008, comments and protests poured into Refuge managers about continuing plans to round up all of the almost 2,000 estimated wild horses and burros. Of additional concern was how the now captured horses were being disposed of as some of the 2006 Sheldon horses were eventually found in Canadian livestock auctions headed for slaughter


      • And those responsible for pushing to REMOVE the Sheldon Wild Horses


        Click to access nhbrmc_factsheet4_nativewildlife-may.16.pdf

        American Farm Bureau Federation •
        American Sheep Industry Association •
        Masters of Foxhounds
        Association Mule Deer Foundation •
        National Association of Conservation Districts •
        National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
        National Rifle Association •
        National Wildlife Refuge Association •
        Public Lands Council •
        Public Lands Foundation
        Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
        • Safari Club International •
        Society for Range Management •
        The Wildlife Society


      • Mr Louie C, Proof has already been posted. You just have to read them. The fact that the Sheriff and County took over feeding for her because she failed to do so should have been enough. The State Vet report that specifically said there was neglect should have been enough for you. The continual pictures of horses and foals with hip bones and ribs sticking out and hoooves with over 8″ of excess growth was enough for me and should have been enough for you. Horses with obvious broken legs and ankles left to heal on their own with no vet care is proof enough for anybody, at least with a heart and even a smidge of horse knowledge. You are grasping at empty straws sir. The proof has been right in front of you, you just refuse to acknowledge it.


      • Oh and having a dozen geldings out of 810+? Yep, that will slow down the reproduction rate. You need to re-read your propaganda from her site. A whole herd is not sterile. No tests, nothing other than she Noticed some that had gotten A fertility(not just PZP) drug did not have foals at their sides, but looking at a lot of those mares and so many studs in one small feed lot with them- common sense will tell you why they did not conceive or produce foals that could live in conditions like that very long. Go look in the death pits for where those foals really are at. The only good news is at least those didn’t suffer as long as a lot of the rest of them.

        And less than 1% at a gather. Can’t wait to see what the final count will be for this place. Bet it will be way more than 1%. But with all the secrecy and shuffling of horses around we will never know the true count will we!


      • SJ, we can continue with this as long as you like. This is as good a place as any and we haven’t even gotten to the Burros yet.
        There are year and years of documented cruelty and abuse that have been perpetrated upon our Wild Horses & Burros and paid for by the taxpaying public.
        You, for some reason, choose to focus you anger on and target an organization that has tried to salvage something.
        I think it’s important to get to the root of the problem and that is GREED. Those animals have been ripped out their natural environments because someone else wanted that land or the resources on it.

        “1991 WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council”
        1. In the 1980s similar collaring “research” was done on wild horses with devastating results including collars being embedded into the wild horses’ flesh and some ultimate deaths caused by this collaring procedure. I provide you here with the report link and some highly relevant excerpts from the report.
        “…the horse grew into the collar material, so that the collar
        became imbedded in the animal’s neck. In other cases, the collar abraded
        the skin under the neck where the radio unit was attached, causing an open
        sore that subsequently became infected.”
        “…animals with collars were found dead. One had a collar imbedded
        in its neck”
        “an additional 21 collared horses (4 with marker collars and 17 with radio collars)… were found dead before August 1988.”
        “The wounds caused by tight collars were unquestionably grim in appearance.”


      • Carrying a bale of hay through a bunch of mustangs is like dangling meat in front of piranhas……

        A dead horse lay alone in the snow. He was a year old, had been pushed out of the herd and not allowed to feed. Life and death in nature can be cruel. We knew that only individuals with hardy traits can withstand the perils of a harsh environment, but that was no salve when we witnessed death or serious injury among wild mustangs……
        She had the young Spanish mustang filly’s head cradled in her lap. Tears filled her eyes. The prospect of the horse’s survival didn’t look good; the two of them were content in each other’s company. The shed was cold. Mares with hoof deformities or medical issues milled around outside the shed’s gate, sniffing and snorting. I scratched a couple and offered some horse treats I’d brought down from the house for Christmas…..
        By morning the filly was dead. Blown snow provided a soft blanket on top of the quilts over her body. One of the mares had managed to pull free the knotted rope that held the shed gate closed. The rascals ate the hay and oats. We had to leave the dead filly in the shed…..
        there had been fights among stallions vying for mares that were in estrus. An older band stallion, Grey Fox, lay out flat, his legs splayed back behind him, neck twisted to the side. Killed by younger rivals now excited to capture his mares……
        Shrieks and snorts, biting and kicks, stallions reared up and fought. One stallion chased a nursing mare. The mare rejected him. The stallion forced her against a post in the pasture. When she evaded, the stallion pushed her onto the post. The mare received a long gash in her chest. The mare’s band stallion was able to chase the rival away and usher the injured mare back into his harem. The wound was deep and wide open. Next morning Grey Fox still lay where he was killed, a dusting of snow around him. We looked for the injured mare. She was limping. The gash in her chest was leaking blood and fluid….

        At ISMPB in small pastures – this not out on the open range with thousands of miles to get away from each other. Kind of sounds like putting fighting dogs into a pit to fight it out. Cruelty. But you just keep defending this kind of ‘care’.


      • The BURROS

        Source: By COURTNEY TANNER as published on The Salt Lake Tribune
        The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 18 wild burros in southeastern Utah – a majority of which died shortly after being corralled in the spring.

        The deaths occurred from April 22 to June 10, according to a BLM news release, amid the more than 225 burros captured from the Sinbad herd near the San Rafael Swell. Fifteen of the deaths happened at the 32-acre private ranch in Axtell, with the other three occurring on the range.

        The deaths occurred from April 22 to June 10, according to a BLM news release, amid the more than 225 burros captured from the Sinbad herd near the San Rafael Swell. Fifteen of the deaths happened at the 32-acre private ranch in Axtell, with the other three occurring on the rang


      • SJ, once again, I repeat my position and I stand by it. None of it would have happened if the Horses had not been captured and removed from their Legal Herd Management Areas. I truly don’t understand how that seems to have been forgotten.
        I don’t blame all ranchers, just those that kick the WH&B off of their Legal Herd Management Areas and then complain about the high cost of keeping them in holding facilities…all the while promoting slaughter. I blame the agencie(s) that do their bidding. The taxpayers get the bill and get the shaft.
        There’s enough blame to go around and it isn’t just ranchers that are responsible.
        As far as I’m concerned the Buck stops at the Top.


  52. By the way, Elaine Nash lives in a tiny apartment in a big East Coast city and keeps sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. She doesn’t own a horse and hasn’t the faintest idea of what we “boots on the ground” horse warriors experience as we rescue and train the “adopted” mustangs that are being run through auctions and are dumped at feedlots/kill pens owned by kill buyers. She has interfered on several occasions when domestic horse breeder/hoarders were to surrender their starved, ill, standing in mud up to their bellies in the Pacific NW. She is a glory hound in heat and anything she says about wild horses especially defending Sussman and her “experiments” should be discarded. If she was so concerned and informed on the activities of the ISMPB why didn’t she step up months ago to fund raise to help feed these mustangs? Because that’s her MO, she jumps on any band wagon having to do with horses that might glean her some notoriety. As usual she has taken a position that supports the cruel, neglectful deaths of horses…


    • How to [Not] Tame a Wild Mustang (excerpts)
      Elaine Nash

      We got a call one cold winter night from the US Forest Service.
      Apparently, they’d heard that I’m a softie for any person or animal in need because the caller wondered if I would mind taking in a thin two-year-old mustang stallion that had been pushed out of his family band by the herd stallion. He was starving. Without the team effort of the herd to assist him, he was unable to paw up enough grass from under the deep snow to sustain him through that especially harsh winter.
      Of course, I said yes.
      The next day, after a harrowing six-hour drive deep into the snowy mountain wilderness of northern New Mexico along the Colorado border, we arrived just before dark at the US Forest Service corrals. We were escorted to the corrals, where we saw a very bedraggled and gangly bay two-year-old colt standing all alone in the large panel enclosure he’d had been driven into earlier by USFS cowboys.
      As I backed our trailer up to the corral, I wondered just what I was getting myself into.
      Although I’d owned and trained horses all my life, I’d never had an actual wild mustang in my care before. I anticipated that just getting this wild horse loaded into our ‘cave on wheels’ might be a real test of my horsemanship skills.
      As I walked past the back of the trailer and eyed the open slot beside the ‘buddy’ horse we’d brought along, I imagined that a space just half the width of a two-horse trailer would probably look awfully small to a horse who’d only known wide open spaces in his life.


  53. Louie, here’s where my living at the junction of three wild horse ranges probably produces a different set of experiences and conclusions from you and some others. Not saying that you are fundamentally wrong. You raise some valid issues and I’m going to drift off the ISPMB topic. Here’s the deal.

    1. Western ranges are diverse landscapes. Arguments on either side start to fall apart when they are based on overly broad claims. In fact the following statements are BOTH true, depending upon which range one is looking at.
    * “Horses have overpopulated the range.”
    * “The range can support more horses than are permitted.”

    The problem here is that oftentimes resource estimates and herd population figures border on being arbitrary. I can argue with reasonable validity, for example, that the Pine Nut Range could easily support twice as many horses as BLM claims. Conversely, I will admit that the Virginia Range herd (just across the river) is overpopulated. That’s the reality of two adjacent pieces of real estate in a state where weather and forage growth conditions on two ranges that are literally in sight of each other can differ drastically.

    2. The real population issue is this. BLM’s approach to population management isn’t so much about how many horses are actually standing on a particular range as it is about herd recruitment. It’s not so much about the current herd levels being “excess,” as it is about all those foals coming along, and in subsequent years their foals, producing a significant “excess.”

    Rounding off to a hypothetical 20% reproduction rate, 500 horses will produce 100 foals per year. Those foals at the age of three will likely start producing 20 foals themselves (although we’ve seen mares successfully deliver live foals at two.) So the numbers tend to trend in the order of 500, 620, 735, 860, and so on. (Again, rounded numbers.)

    Of course there will be annual mortality although most mortality occurs among the older less-fertile horses, so the impact of age-based mortality is not as significant as one might argue.

    After pointing out what could be proved (re. compensatory reproduction following deep gathers) the BLM and the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) agreed to let qualified and EPA certified volunteers operate a sensibly managed PZP fertility control program. Keeping more horses on the range is more natural for the horses and far less costly than trap and toss. So if the exponential nature of recruitment could be addressed, the need to remove “excess” horses would be greatly diminished, resulting in more natural environments for more horses and lower costs.

    Then Karen, Priscilla Feral and a few other idiots who don’t even live out here came charging in, disrupting what the local advocates spent years putting together. Huge props to the NDA for telling those folks to pack up and go home. Unfortunately the BLM blinked and went back to trap and toss, the topper being the suggestion that they simply kill “excess, unwanted horses.” Their rationale typically runs along the lines of, “If he advocates can’t even agree on a management plan, then why should we?”

    3. Public lands ranching. PEOPLE. YOU HAVE TO GET THIS ONE OR WE WON’T HAVE ANY HORSES ON MOST OF THE RANGES. THE RANCHERS LEGALLY OWN AND CONTROL THE WATER. Since 1952, thanks to the McCarran Amendment, it’s the frigging law. The looming threat isn’t the ranchers. The looming threat is that as the ranchers leave, they’re likely to sell their water rights to urban water agencies that will pump the high desert dry. The Southern Nevada Water Authority is already planning an EIGHT FOOT DIAMETER PIPELINE to pull unfathomable amounts of water from the high desert ranges. They just need folks who own water rights, such as the ranchers, to take their money and run.

    Some assessments of these water plans estimate that the amount of water that would be taken could actually lower the physical elevations of some of the ranges. If we’re not careful, they can and will do it. (Look up the Las Vegas Review-Journal and similar credible news stories about the looming water grab.)

    See, the problem here is that during drought cycles (and Nevada is already the driest state in the union,) many of the springs stop running. In many places the only reliable water comes from wells using water legally “owned” by ranchers, mines, etc. Some of these wells are so remote they they operate using diesel pumps, so it’s not just a matter of hooking up to NV Energy and paying a monthly utility bill. So while I often disagree with one decision or another that BLM makes, I also recognize that there are often situations where BLM and other range users – those who control water – have to reach awkward accommodations.

    Here’s an example. The Lahontan HMA has NO WATER. None. Nada. Zip.

    The rancher let his grazing permit expire, shut down his well, and as I recall, sold his water rights to the water district. BLM was going to zero out the herd. They had every right to do that since there was no water and the BLM couldn’t legally acquire water. (And yes, we could argue that BLM should have tried to make a better offer to acquire the water however the state, that legally has to approve such transfers, placed a priority on the water district.) So the negotiated deal was to allow the horses to trespass onto the nearby Lake Lahontan State Recreation Area to get water. BLM agreed to limit the herd size to around 40 head to minimize damage to the SRA, and Nevada State Parks added “wild horse viewing” to “Things to Do and See” in their advertising to attract tourists to the SRA. This deal was pretty much a win-win but BLM is now forced to keep the herd size in check. To achieve that requirement there are two practical choices, PZP or trap and toss. Thanks to clueless folks from back east, we’re back to trap and toss.

    4. Mutiple use. Under the law, BLM is REQUIRED to manage horses in keeping with the multiple use concept of public lands. If you have any doubt, read the Act for yourself. They are also required to manage to maintain a thriving ecological balance. As a result there are a ton of stakeholders who legally have a voice in public lands management and they regularly line up to “protect” their rights.

    5. Use of underutilized lands. Even BLM can see value in relocating horses to underutilized public lands when certain ranges are overgrazed or are in decline due to lack of rainfall. However current law doesn’t permit it so they can’t. That’s simple enough, however this Congress is not in the least bit interested in passing amendments that would provide additional “on the range” options for managing wild horses and burros. One reason (and this one may potentially be more ominous than the water issue) is that there is a move in Congress to sell off our public lands on the cheap to speculators, energy companies, mines, etc. Once our public lands leave public hands, there is NO turning back.

    And what amazes me is the number of people who are (justifiably) screaming about protecting wild horses and burros, yet they are voting for the very people who are on a mission to privatize these very public lands. We HAVE to do better than that.

    (Putting away the soap box for a while. Peace out.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit the nail on the head on all counts Wildhorseguy. Great soapbox. Now let’s see if ANY can comprehend even part of that. Thanks for your truth and insite’s. Plus I feel the BLM numbers could sure be more in good years but less in the bad years. But can not realistically expect BLM to be able to change those numbers Every year as the bad year rolls in. I hope everyone HEARS your words today. Thank you!


    • WHG, excellent and realistic information, thank you. A couple of thoughts which your comments raised for me:

      1. Part of our problem is the BLM/USFS (our paid professional managers) no longer have the faith or trust of anyone paying attention to wild horse and burro management. This is not the fault of advocates, who are responding to perceived crises. Blaming advocates for not being able to agree on a single plan when (as you ably noted) every situation is different, and constantly changing) is pointless. Along those lines, that people are passionate but sometimes working at cross purposes is to me a symptom of the dysfunction we all encounter but feel compelled to address. The argument about use of PZP etc. has fractured wild horse advocates needlessly, since as you wrote, each herd should be considered independently and in some an overpopulation can be agreed on while in others not. The problem is nobody believes the BLM or USFS population estimates or reproduction rates.

      2. This argues yet again for an initiative to place wild horse and burro management responsibilities under the purview of an entirely new entity whose primary mandate is to ensure heatlhy, viable, herds into perpetuity ON THE RANGE. This entity should be given the budgets and data from both the BLM and USFS and include a voting component from the public, and from each state a decision may affect. The trust is broken and in my opinion cannot be fixed; the current management has had over 40 years at the helm and have brought us to this hot mess with very little accountability (see Ken Salazar’s handiwork and rise to power nevertheless).

      3. “Buy and dry” is the sad reality we all face as a result of our own inability to control our own overpopulation. We have plenty of documentation of how water tables drop due to dire range conditions from various causes, to which we now have added our human ingenuity to suck and move water to densely populated areas which otherwise could not support our lifestyles, which is not sustainable (see the words of John Wesley Powell).

      4. The value of public lands to the public is under intense pressure. If we as a society value this hallmark of our vaunted democracy, we must all stand up, speak up, and show up to vote to keep the public interest first and foremost. Multiple use sometimes strikes me as multiple abuse, and since they aren’t making any more land or water, we all must find more responsible ways of being on this shared earth. The alternative is nothing any would want, except perhaps a few who would be rich for a short while. We can and must do better.

      5. Democracy is still an experiment in our young country and we still must fight for what we think that means. Should the few consistently gain at the expense of the many, or the opposite?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wildhorseguy, we do agree that point. The REAL danger that has been lurking in the shadows is the privatization of our public lands. It’s apparent to many WH&B advocates that, to that end, is has been very beneficial to have the ranchers and WH&B lovers pitted against one another. The problem is…the ranchers don’t seem to see that or else they just don’t care.


  54. Icy, your most recent comments resonate very favorably in man levels with my experiences, none the least of which involves the attempts to sell off our public lands at a discount to speculators, energy companies, mines, etc. To that end Louie also points out what I see is the game that is being played in the opposing camp.

    And back to Icy, our strength as wild horse advocates is that we do embrace all sorts of ideas and points of view, usually with the strongest ideas eventually taking hold. It’s a healthy process (well, so long as one camp isn’t trying to undermine another camp.)

    What I was alluding to and perhaps didn’t clearly state is that it’s easy for bureaucrats to use our tendency to embrace a variety of ideas as our not having some coherent strategies and objectives. In effect, our opposition is trying to use our strength against us so we need to be aware of that and be careful.

    Now with all that said, we all have a responsibility to play nicely in the sandbox. The efforts of some eastern advocates to undermine the work of the western advocates was a big no-no. It produced some pretty damaging consequences. And right now RT is somewhat justifiably smacking ISPMB as he should. We need to establish that our standards are higher than what happened there. But we shouldn’t obsess over these things, but rather learn, show the world that we expect accountability, and not repeat mistakes previously made,

    One of the things that in my opinion should be Job-1 involves getting a Nixon-era Congress elected that really cares about the values of the American public. It’s not a Democrat or Republican thing. It’s about taking a little time and figuring out what all of these candidates are really about. This year’s election could be one of the most critical in decades with respect to what our country’s priorities will be. My advice is to use your votes wisely. We only get one shot at this right now, and a great deal can either go wrong or right before we see another general election.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WHG, I have had zero success getting any candidates I could select to divulge any positions they have whatsoever on public lands or anything to do with wild horses despite repeated efforts. When did it become normal for candidates to conceal their thoughts or even philosophies to the voting public? I have told several I will not vote for anyone who does not provide any indication of how they would vote on specific pending legislation. I agree this election is critical, but it doesn’t provide much leeway for critical thought.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Icy, I think what you describe is the new trend among career politicians, that is to run on sound bites crafted by focus groups as to what the public wants to hear rather than go on the record with any meaningful platform. Maybe the answer is to withhold votes from every one of those candidates who are all show and no substance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • WHG, that means I would have to stay home on election day for the first time ever, which won’t help that “one shot” for lasting change you described. Abstaining from voting only reduces the power of democracy, not strengthens it. Surreal times.

        Liked by 1 person

  55. 24 hours of the adoption site up and running and already, by midnight last night have 58 horses,adoptions in the pipeline and more pending as people are approved to the site where all hoses are shown..5 outsiders-us- and Karen, with 2 people on the ground at ISPMB, there are not sick starved and dying horses everywhere..Elaine and the photographers have done extraordinary work in a very short period of time, all of us are doing it for the horses period..you are welcome to join to look at the photos and adopt, but if you are there to interfere with adoptions as you can see here..you will be blocked and comments removed-no exceptions and we have a list of people who are prime suspects..so express your own uninformed opinions here, your guesswork, and suppositions or speculations based on your experience with 810 horses to care for..because the view is always nicer from your couch..I give a sincere heartfelt thanks to those who are continuing to adopt and find good homes qualified to take them.and donate-.Karens mustangs have never known any unkindness or rough handling..we intend to take a few hours off to get a real meal-l change clothes and get a shower..but boy howdy..it has been worth it to get this off the ground and get solutions to problems


    • Wonderful Ms Longley. But nobody said there was “rough handling”. Neglect yes! Obviously or else you would not be dumping them like you are. You and Ms Sussman have continually, just to name a few, kept saying ALL is fine. NONE are starved. Nobody has said All are starved. But the ones in all the pictures being shown are and have been neglected. Plain and simple. Admittance sure would have gone a long way. To deny and lie about it was suspicious. Common sense says you want more adopted – open the site so all can share and get these horses in caring homes. Certainly restrict comments. To do otherwise is again, suspicious. Why do you not want everyone seeing pictures of all the horses? And just for the record – I am not stupid enough to think I can take on 810 horses and keep them All healthy because I have earned my time on my couch. ALL the animals I have in my care are very healthy, well fed and hooves and toenails trimmed. Always. Or I would not have them. Best of luck in finding these poor horses new caring homes. I will keep sending people to the County site to help how they can.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Super news, Sandra, thanks for sharing the information and the effort, and glad to know there is an adoption site up somewhere, and some are finding better futures now with those who can provide them.


  56. What perfect timing! I propose that the BLM, USFS and all government or privately removed wild horses have oversight and government subsidies to operate sanctuaries if they cannot just leave them in their native lands with their family bands. There should be no fund raising required, no lack of money for food, no begging for help. It’s so ironic that the very welfare ranchers that want the horses removed so they can graze cattle for essentially nothing, now are getting paid to care for our wild horses. #KeepWildHorsesWild

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Is there any evidence that Ms. Sussman had backing from Princeton University? Or that Dr. Rubenstein or any Princeton University student conducted field research? I simply wonder if that was another lie by Karen and if it isn’t, what happened to the data collected and why hasn’t it been published (if she didn’t lie).

    It’s a shame that she hoarded (thus abusing) those horses, misused or mismanaged donated money and also abused anyone who dared to question her methods or motives. I think the current and past BOD should be in for a large number of questions and significant criticism.


  58. OK, lots of good comments but we seem to be running all over the map. Not proposing to regulate discussion, but bringing a few things into context based on my experience.

    1. BLM screws up from time to time. It’s a given. They have tens of thousands of horses to manage in diverse landscapes while Congress continues to cut their funding for monitoring and management. There are people in Congress who want this program to fail so the horses can be shoved out of the way and our public lands exploited or sold without any limitation. While we do need to recognize those mistakes made on the ground, we can’t ignore the people “behind the curtain” who are orchestrating this debacle. In fact the manipulators behind the scenes, in my opinion, need to be our primary focal area.

    2. BLM and the USFS are tasked to manage herds to the minimum feasible extent. When people, organizations, whomever accept ownership of animals and they are no longer free-roaming in a natural (wild) environment, then those folks are (and should be) held to a higher standard.

    3. The ISPMB situation didn’t just appear overnight. It is, however, consistent with other crisis situations precipitated by uncontrolled breeding. Out west we call it “hoarding.”

    4. In every neglect / starvation case involving large numbers of horses that I have been tasked to investigate, remove animals, etc., there have been healthy specimens (that the owners ALWAYS point to) in addition to the emaciated and/or dead animals. When grazing animals cannot spread out to find food but rather are fed in confined spaces, the dominant horses get most of the food and the less dominant horses suffer horribly and often die. It is the responsibility for the owners to manage these situations and mitigate the suffering of those animals that cannot compete for limited resources.

    5. If the reports are accurate, ISPMB didn’t even know how many horses they had and their estimate was off (low) by over 100 head. I find that revelation to be astounding.

    6. The BLM does have a process where qualifying programs can receive subsidies for operating true eco-sanctuaries. Unfortunately the approval process is so convoluted that most potential applicants have given up.

    Multiple issues are going on here. While they all warrant action, they aren’t necessarily attached to each other. The ISPMB debacle appears to be being properly addressed. We need to learn from it and not repeat it.

    The public lands ripoff is just beginning. The public lands ranchers, even though a handful are scum, are for the most part a distraction. The effort to privatize public lands along with a companion effort to crash the wild horse and burro program needs to be high on our list of priorities, or all this fuss over what BLM should or shouldn’t be doing will become a moot point. The folks t BLM are merely the errand boys. We need to start looking more closely at the masters.


    • West Douglas Herd Area (This Gather was completed in a HA not HMA)

      Sun J Livestock Inc

      Click to access 2015%20WDHA%20Final%20Gather%20Data%20Report.pdf

      September 20, 2015
      Vet Report:
      During normal operations of the wild horse gather in the Wagner Draw area of the West Douglas HA on September 20, 2015, an approximately 10-12 year old chestnut stud horse with 2 rear socks and white RF pastern, went down in the front compartment of the trailer immediately after loading. The contractor’s crew unloaded the trailer as quickly and smoothly as possible, but by the time we made it into the trailer, the horse was dead.
      There were 2 groups of horses plus 2 adult singles that had been brought in and were loaded according to size with all but 2 of the adults loaded into the front two compartments and 3 foals and a yearling loaded into the back. The loading went very smoothly, but there was some jockeying for position between the groups of adult horses once they were loaded. The loading wings had been untied and pulled away and as the contractor was walking up to pull the trailer away from the trap he checked each compartment and realized that there was a hose sown in the very front. They quickly re-tied the wings and unloaded the young horses into the satellite colt pen. Then they unloaded the older horses back into the trap.
      I had looked into the trailer through the side while they were tying the wings back up and see that the horse that was down did not seem to be able to lift his head, although it looked at that time he was either breathing or doing agonal breaths. As soon as the horses were unloaded the contractor jumped into the trailer and checked the down horse. The horse did not move so I jumped in and checked the horse’s corneal reflex. He did not have one. He also was not breathing and his pupils were fixed. The contractor pulled the trailer to more remote spot and when they were turning the horse to drag him from the trailer I observed that his neck was broken. I made this conclusion based on the way the head moved in relation to the horse’s body as they were turning him. There were only two guys pulling on the rear of the horse and the head was not caught on anything, so the unnatural movement of the head and neck was obvious. After consulting with the gather COR, it was determined a necropsy was unnecessary.


  59. Someone wrote to Dr. Rubenstein and he replied that Karen Sussman conducts NO research and her herd was only observed as part of his protocol. That isn’t collaboration. That was her overstating the case to suit her own purposes.


    Yes, many (if not most) of the problems with BLM has to do with the funding and the laws they have to follow. That is the legislative branch and as always, those who are better-organized and sadly, better-funded tend to have the most say and sway.

    ISPMB fell prey to hoarding. I don’t know at what point it became officially defined as hoarding, but certainly within the past several years.

    ISPMB being off more than 100 head is quite alarming.

    As someone who has old horses and has sometimes tried to keep them going “just a bit longer” there is a difference between an old or sickly horse who isn’t getting better despite LOTS of calories consumed plus veterinary assistance and a horse who can’t get their full rations due to herd dynamics, etc.

    “The effort to privatize public lands along with a companion effort to crash the wild horse and burro program needs to be high on our list of priorities, or all this fuss over what BLM should or shouldn’t be doing will become a moot point. The folks t BLM are merely the errand boys. We need to start looking more closely at the masters.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Thank you for taking the time to explain what you’ve seen, learned and done through the years, wildhorseguy. It’s been very interesting and informative.


  60. Karen Sussman was flat-out lying when she insisted she was conducting research and particularly when she insisted she was collaborating with Princeton University. That simply isn’t true.

    As for the funding of BLM and the rules they have to follow, look to Congress.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. SJ, I get your points and for what it’s worth, I don’t disagree. I assume going in that most people aren’t aware of all of the facts, but then they start to grasp the situation when the facts shake out. I myself have been known to change my initial opinions as I learned more about one thing or another, so I gave Louie C. the benefit of the doubt. Of course not all folks are willing to challenge their own preconceived beliefs with reality.

    Bottom line is that the ISPMB situation is very similar to hoarding cases. Can’t say that it’s exactly the same but when animals are constantly being accumulated (whether through acquisition or uncontrolled breeding,) some of the animals exhibit deficient care, the individual or organization is constantly begging for money, and the individual or organization isn’t even sure of how many animals are in possession, then there clearly is a problem.

    The fact that AFTER the authorities stepped in that the organization is actively distributing animals to other individuals and organizations (including mine – we took some of the “hard cases”) is a positive turn of events. But it shouldn’t be lost that these corrections took place after the SD Department of Agriculture stepped in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish you the best with your new animals. It is nice to know that some have found great new homes. Did you happen to see this post from the Dewey County Sheriff’s page commenting to someone saying about problems with some of the adopted horses? – “I agree. You need to let the states attorney know about the defects. How many cases and some documentation for record so we can try to address this.” Post starts “The hearing was held on……” was the last comment of like 28. Sounds like they are at least going to keep going on this – as they should. I hope you are throughly documenting any problems with yours? I know dumb question.

      Thank you again for all you do for all the critters and for your great instite’s. It reminds me to keep an open mind.


  62. So several of the horses are going to be out of the frying pan (ISPMB) and into the fire (Scarlet’s Legacy Equine Rescue) I see.


    • While I’m going to disclaim up front that I don’t know anything about Scarlet’s Legacy and some of you do, the point I wish to make is that when these situations devolve into some “rush to save the animals,” there is often little ability to be choosy about who gets what. The classic example involves the Dann Sisters’ horses being turned over to Slick Gardner (who eventually did go to jail.)

      This is clearly not our first rodeo and far from the first time the allied groups had to rescue horses from their initial “rescuers.” But unfortunately it is part of our landscape.



      • “In an effort to be fair and considerate I am publishing Karen Sussman’s latest letter and plea for money (below) where she discounts the evidence of her starving horses to death and has the unmitigated gal to wag her crooked, wart covered finger at those who did not and do not support her with a flow of hard earned dollars AND accuses THOSE very same people for the death of the horses; can you believe it, I can’t.”

        Scarlett’s Legacy and its founder (Deanna Tierney) has done exactly this herself and within the past two years. Don’t be surprised if these horses have to be rescued from the rescuer.


        It’s depressing reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  63. The drama gets, well, more dramatic. One of our crews who has been taking some of the poorer horses that were strong enough for a haul to NV just reported that Karen got freight trained and hurt trying to load out horses for someone. I was out in the field at the time so I wasn’t able to get any additional details. Perhaps someone has a more complete report?

    Liked by 1 person

  64. AND the Roundups and Removals continue as the Public sees it’s Wild Horses disappear from their Public Land. So again the taxpayer gets the bill and gets the shaft.

    From AWHPC
    Owyhee Complex Roundup: November 2016

    The BLM is continuing on a collision course with disaster in the costly and cruel roundup of an astounding 1,100 wild horses from the Owyhee Complex in eastern Nevada which began on November 2, 2016. Read the daily reports below.

    Day 12, November 13, 2016
    80 wild horses were rounded up and removed from the range and 39 were shipped to holding.

    Day 11, November 12, 2016
    95 wild horses were rounded up and removed from the range, and 25 were shipped to holding.

    Day 10, November 11, 2016
    8 wild horses were rounded up today, and 83 were shipped to holding.

    Day 9, November 10, 2016
    100 wild horses were rounded up and removed.

    Day 8, November 9, 2016
    49 wild horses lost their freedom today, and there was one death.

    Day 5, November 6, 2016
    114 wild horses were captured

    Day 4, November 5, 2016
    128 wild horses were captured, and a 25-year old mare died overnight at the holding facility due to a displaced intestine.

    Day 3, November 4, 2016
    36 wild horses were captured

    Day 2, November 3, 2016:
    50 wild horses were captured, and there was 1 death. From the BLM: “1 year old bay mare died immediately after injury sustained from coming in contact with a panel.”

    Day 1, November 2, 2016:
    77 wild horses were captured, and there was 1 death. From the BLM: “8-year old black mare was euthanized due to injury and poor prognosis of recovery.”


    • While this is certainly important and a continued fight this is off topic and a distraction. The topic of this thread is the abuse and neglect and death of horses caused by Karen Sussman. This will not distract people from the continued mishandling of the horses under the control of Karen Sussman. Please stay on topic. There are other more appropriate places for this post.


      • Morgan, it is very important, and that’s what I am trying to do…bring us back to the main topic, which is stopping the captures, removals and subsequent loss of Herd Management Areas. There should not even be a need for WH&B sanctuaries in the first place. While everyone has been focusing on South Dakota, BLM has been removing more of our Wild Horses in Nevada.


      • OK, first off, this thread is about ISPMB and Karen Sussman who, according to our crew helping out up there, has sadly taken leave of her senses and is verly likely to end up seriously injured. She reportedly doesn’t keep track of what’s going on although she insists on getting in with the horses during loading. Apart from being a danger to the other volunteers, has gotten herself knocked down a few times in the past several days.

        Secondly, while I certainly am among those who take on BLM when they make decisions based on convenience or political pressure rather than based on range science, the notion that horse herds can just live wild and free and not be managed is as batshit crazy as Karen Sussman’s theories.

        Again, not apologizing for bad decisions on the part of BLM, but folks need to know how things really work out here. The following link is to a report from 2007 ago when BLM didn’t step up and take appropriate management action in the Jackson Mountains but rather just decided to let things work out for themselves. The result made the current ISPMB debacle look like a minor issue by comparison.

        There are clearly lessons to be learned on both sides of this issue.


    • And I guess you conveniently left out the other 10 horses that were saved a slow, long and miserable death from starvation or past injuries? You also managed to leave out the fact that those HMA’s are in fact over 4 times OVER AML. There are in fact, plenty of wild horses left out there. You must think Mr. Louie C that them starving to death is better for them, or should I say better for you just so you can say you saw a wild horse from the comfort of your vehicle. Shame on you.


  65. AND more Wild Horses removed from Public Lands and sent where…to prisons/short or privately owned long term holding facilities so more $ can go into the pockets special interests? 297 “excess”:Horses?
    Release Date: 10/18/16

    Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 , chanefel@blm.gov
    News Release No. ELY 2017-001

    BLM Concludes Pancake Emergency Water Trap Gather
    Ely, Nev. -The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District has concluded the Pancake Emergency Gather. The BLM removed 297 excess wild horses from the Big Sand Spring Valley portion of the Pancake Herd Management Area (HMA), located about 30 miles west of Ely or 80 miles northeast of Tonopah, Nev. The BLM removed the horses due to ongoing drought conditions. Without emergency action, the condition of the horses was expected to deteriorate and potentially result in the death of some of the horses within a few weeks. Hay and water were used to gather the horses.

    A veterinarian was on-call during gather operations, which were conducted by a contractor. Horses removed from the range were transported to the BLM’s Indian Lakes off-range corrals, in Fallon, Nevada, to be prepared for the BLM’s adoption program.

    Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Pancake HMA is 240-493 wild horses. The current population is estimated at 1,800 wild horses, based on a March 2016 population inventory.

    Gather reports are posted on the BLM Ely District website at http://on.doi.gov/1lGnDYC.

    For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at 775-289-1842 or by email at chanefel@blm.gov.


  66. WHO determines the AMLs and a better question might be to ask WHY?

    Ranchers Want Our Public Lands for Their Livestock, and Want the Govt. to Stick It to Wild Horses and Taxpayers

    According to the BLM, appropriate management levels (AMLs) are the “optimal number of horses (or burros) that result in a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands.” It then goes on to say that the optimum number of horses is somewhere below the number that would cause damage.

    That backpedaling goes a long way toward explaining the excessively low AMLs the BLM sets for 179 different HMAs in ten western states.

    Consider the Bible Springs Complex. The BLM has stated that 80-170 horses is AML. The ranchers have fixated on the lower number, and have threatened to start removing horses if the BLM does not step up and get the job done.

    Utah BLM Director Juan Palma has stated that the BLM can only afford to do an emergency round-up of 200 horses now. He says the BLM will round up more horses to achieve AML, but over a 10-year period. The ranchers called that offer a “joke” and threatened to slaughter horses if they’re not removed by July 1.

    This is where wild horse “gathers” start looking very much like the proverbial “bridge to nowhere”—spending money simply to placate political constituents—and not a plan to foster a “thriving, natural ecological balance on the public lands.”

    Says Dr. Allen Rutberg, the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University’s Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine, “Cutting the number of wild horses by 697 to 80 reduces what is now an important, vital part of the range ecosystem to a token, relic herd. And it, of course, increases by another factor of 10 the extent to which livestock already outnumber wild horses on the range.”

    Ah yes, the livestock population. The BLM and the ranchers don’t throw those numbers around; they do their best to keep them under wraps-and for good reason.


  67. OK, let’s sum it up.

    Who sets the AMLs? BLM, in consultation with state fish and wildlife agencies, according to law.

    Why? Because the law requires BLM to maintain a thriving ecological balance.

    Are AMLs realistic? Some are and some aren’t.

    Why are some AMLs unrealistic? Because Congress cut funding for range monitoring which of course opens Pandora’s box for manipulation, which may well be what Congress intended.

    And here’s the bottom line, and I’m not going to waste time arguing about it. After doing this stuff for over 25 years and actually living on the wild horse range, I have learned a few things.

    One primary reason that AMLs are what many of us would consider to be artificially low is due to recruitment of new herd members. 500 horses are going to produce a whole lot more offspring than 50 horses and then the numbers grow exponentially.

    Nevada advocates got BLM and the state to back off AML based reductions in herds where volunteers got EPA certification to dart with PZP. The arguments included maintaining greater genetic diversity (a greater number of mares but each mare would contribute fewer offspring,) keeping a larger number of horses on the range but having a recruitment rate similar to a reduced size herd, and reduced gather, holding, placement, etc. costs for BLM. It was a win-win-win until some batshit crazies from the East Coast took it upon themselves to charge in and undo years of work and negotiations achieved by Western hands-on advocacy groups.

    So now we get to go back to trap and toss herd management and believe me, we’ll never truly win the AML game, mainly because too many advocates don’t understand the difference between AUM (for livestock) and AML (for horses and burros) so they end up skewing the numbers worse than BLM does, so BLM wins.

    So folks, if you really care, I need to find homes for 23 horses that just got pulled off US-50 that BLM doesn’t claim as theirs, so they’re sitting at the state corrals in hopes that someone will take them before, by law, the state has to haul them off to the sale.

    My organization only has room for 3 after loading up with ISPMB horses. So who is willing to actually step up and help out?

    Peace out.


  68. WHG, I truly wish I could help, but I have a few roadblocks, first, I’m disabled(quadreplegic) second I live in MD. I just wanted to thank you for all you do for the Wild Ones & for your comments , reading them I’m learning more & more. Thank you all so much for teaching me.


    • Oh yeah, I also sent a small donation for hay. I received a letter from Ms. Sussman. Not one word of what’s going on, just how much hay costs.


    • Dee, effective WHB advocacy and field work are the products of teamwork. Not everyone lives on the range. Not everyone can take on animals. Not everyone has either the time or ability to do field work. (I can because I’m retired, have a pension I can live on, and mercifully I’m still in decent physical condition… plus it helps that I’m probably a bit nuts.)

      While my interest involves being one of the “worker bees” that tries to solve problems out in the field, we’re all volunteers and we couldn’t do what we manage to do without support from countless people who help spread the word, help with funding, contact elected officials so that they become more interested in working toward solutions, etc.

      We’re clearly trying to eat an elephant here, and no single group or individual has the capacity to do it alone. Plus with the push to “privatize” (sell to speculators) our public lands, it seems we’re now being confronted with elephant breeders. So EVERYONE counts in this business, one way or another and the way things look, we’re going to need to count on each other more than ever.


  69. Jumping in… again.

    Part of our difficulty here is that this issue is so complicated that people having what appear to be opposing points of view could each be right depending on circumstances and context. The one consistency here is that there are dozens of unique circumstances out there. If we’re smart we accept that what may be correctly applied in one circumstance may be totally inapplicable in another. Same goes with opinions. My opinion, for example, is that BLM’s decisions sucked in some circumstances, either by overreacting or under reacting to conditions, while in other circumstances they made good decisions. Same goes for some of the advocates.

    This is not a black or white issue, but dozens of shades of gray, and from my experience we gain more traction when we advocate based on that understanding and let the opposition put themselves in the black or white trap. But to be effective we have to exercise some reasonable care that our arguments actually fit the specific circumstances that we are challenging.

    I once got former BLM Director Bob Abbey to publicly agree with me that BLM’s trap and toss obsession was not sustainable. (Of course he used a more PC term.) But the advocates kept undermining their own efforts for solutions because their positions were so spread all over the map. I attribute part of that problem to people who don’t experience these ranges year-round jumping to snapshot conclusions and assuming that those conclusions, that could be valid in some instances, are somehow universal.

    We seem to be failing in educating our own advocacy base with respect to the real issues. If our positions aren’t backed up by reality, we’ll continue to be dismissed and the special interests will continue advancing their agendas. And to me the sad part about this whole business is that much, if not most of the time, the facts are on our side. We just need to stick to those facts and recognize where various facts are actually applicable.

    On a different track, mention was made of horses at the prisons. Here’s a Youtube presentation of what goes on there based on Trooper, now our county’s lead range rescue horse.


    • If only horse people were as well-organized and politically active as ranchers are (in the main), perhaps the policy would be less schizophrenic. As it is, we know how much cattle is worth because we can see the price per pound. Right now, horses aren’t worth much – even as meat. Yet horse owners and even breeders run the spectrum financially.

      Liked by 1 person

  70. The problem here is CONFLICT OF INTERESTS and far too many who make a living, one way or another, from capture and removal operations.

    Rare Horses Released In Spain As Part Of ‘Rewilding’ Effort
    January 09, 2014

    For the first time in two millennia, wild horses are once again galloping free in western Spain, countering what happened when the Romans moved there and domesticated the animals.

    “Our idea is to just let them manage the ecosystem themselves. It’s a wild horse. So it’s in its DNA to roam free in the wild,” said Diego Benito, a forestry engineer who lives and works at the reserve.

    “Of course it is endangered – close to extinction – and we’re conservationists,” he added. “So if one of them gets ill, we could call the veterinarian. That’s not the idea in the future – we’ll treat them like wild horses. But for now they could use a little care.”

    “We’ve lost most of the big predators in Europe


  71. Operators such as Cattoors, Sun-J, etc. are but grains of sand in the overall scheme of things.

    The real underlying issue is that these are multiple use lands that in spite of standing laws, often are not managed according to the priorities established by those laws. Then we have the conundrum that Congress cuts funding to allow the public lands to be properly managed and the courts will use the old principle that if a government agency can’t afford to do something, it cannot be blamed for not doing it.

    The trend I see is that this whole business is being manipulated so as to fail so as to justify selling off our public lands to profiteers. And so long as we keep fixating on minutiae and tissue issues instead of looking at the big picture, we’re basically letting them do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Houston we have a problem here!!! Mustangs BLM branded in kill pens. The horse slaughter business is alive and well and very profitable. Just look at this mustang on a kill pen. Breaks your heart doesn’t it? Why should the public have to adopt any wild horse and pay for a lifetime of care? Isn’t the best place for a wild horse in the wild? Yes it is, as far away from greedy humans as possible. #KeepWildHorsesWild https://www.facebook.com/bastroplouisianakillpen/videos/1662744460696772/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wildhorseperilousp THANK YOU…the mustangers have just moved over and into the government so now taxpayers get to pick up the tab for their operations. That undoubtedly helps boost their profit margins.

      Liked by 1 person

    A National Injustice: The Federal Government’s Systematic Removal and Eradication of an American Icon
    Bruce Wagman & Lisa McCurdy


    The BLM has made many decisions over the past three decades that are highly questionable given the statutory framework. Perhaps one of the most drastic is its seriatim “zeroing out” of herd areas in which the BLM eliminates all horses from an area. The agency purports to do that pursuant to its broad management authority, but “zeroing out” is in direct conflict with its mandate. The BLM is required to consider the horses in their herd areas “as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands. By removing all of the horses from the herd area the agency is categorically in conflict with this mandate. No agency interpretation of this plain language can justify how “considering” horses in a herd area can mean eliminating them. If horses are presumptively important (“integral”) to the land, clearly the intention of the agency itself was to keep at least some of them on the land.


  74. I just came across this, researching the history of the four mustangs I adopted from ISPMB. Just last week, ISPMB’s Facebook page showed a picture that they implied was recent and commenters noted how “well” the horses looked. I checked, and that photo was taken almost four years ago. Naturally, I mentioned that, and was subsequently blocked from the page.


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