Horse News


Story by Grandma Gregg

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management announced its Rangeland Stewardship Awards for 2016 and gave the awards to welfare ranchers. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year.

The Rangeland Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Mori Ranch in Tuscarora, Nevada

USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $464,477 from 1995 through 2014


USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $140,486 from 1995 through 2014

The Sage-Grouse Habitat Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Drewsey Ranch in Burns, Oregon

USDA subsidy information for Drewsey Field Ranch Company

Drewsey Field Ranch Company received payments totaling $243,900 from 1995 through 2014

10 replies »

  1. Is anyone surprised? This corruption has been going on so long like a fatal disease. They also run cattle on private land not fenced in. My friend and I went to look at her property in Arizona near Tucson, AZ. She couldn’t believe the number of unmarked cattle running all over her property. Where do they get off doing this? All I know is it has to stop! One can only hope after this election that something can be done because nothing sure hasn’t been done for a very long time. But the difference her is that Americans and Horse Advocates have had enough and our Voices are getting stronger! And soon we will not be ignored! Fire the BLM from top down and some in the AG Dept. Grants given to unworthy people, health certificates signed by Kill buyers for horses crossing the borders just rubber stamped by the USDA. We certainly have our work cut out for us.


  2. It’s the Bundyesque mindset that pervades certain (but not all) rural backwaters here in Nevada. They’ll bitch all day about government handouts, then run to the mailbox for their checks.

    It’s not so much that public lands are being utilized. Over 80% of Nevada’s land is owned by the feds so it’s going to get used. So it’s more about fair market value. These guys are always going on about how we have to have a free market. So where is the free market when the competition that all those private lands ranchers face are being subsidized by their own tax dollars. Or in the words of one NM rancher, “I’m paying taxes so all these other guys can undercut my prices.”

    One justification for cheap fees is that high desert ranges can’t support the same stocking level as more lush regions. That’s true. However where that argument FAILS is that grazing fees are based on AUMs (animal unit months.) So they aren’t paying for using so many acres of land land, they’re paying for consuming the available forage. Therefore if a 10,000 acre permit could provide, say, 120 AUMs, the fees paid would be the same as for a more lush 5,000 acre range having 120 AUMs.

    My point is that yes, the high desert is pretty sparsely vegetated as compared with some private lands. However the permitees are only paying for grazeable vegetation. If I want to compare it with more lush private lands, it’s just spread out over a wider area. Bottom line, if you’re consuming public resources, pay the fair market value of what you are consuming.

    Hope that made sense. Haven’t had my coffee yet.


  3. Well-Well
    There is a radio show host here who always is saying this and I think it may apply

    “A famous man once told me if you don’t have a seat at the table, you are going to find yourself on the menu.”


  4. Article from COUNTERPUNCH

    Wild Horses Sold to ‘Kill Buyer’ by BLM Contractor (excerpts)

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, but the Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch (“Farms”) in Perkins, Oklahoma.

    The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short-term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long-term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses will spend the rest of their lives.

    Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for such a long-term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.

    Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.

    Another important detail stands out. In looking at over three years of Local Ownership Inspection Certificates of horses by Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Spur Livestock, this sale of 70 horses seems to be the largest sale of horses.
    Looking at the fact that Spur Livestock claimed itself to be the “owner” of the wild horses on this South Dakota State Brand Board Local Ownership Inspection Certificate, did Spur Livestock claim to own the wild horses that the BLM warehouses on this property? Or were these horses the wild horses that Jim Reeves bought from the BLM?

    BLM Sales records obtained through a Freedom in Information Act (FOIA) request indicate Jim Reeves bought 72 wild horses (2 truckloads) from the BLM about one and two months before he sold the 34 BLM wild horses with BLM freezebrands and 36 branded horses directly to Joe Simon.

    In a telephone conversation with Jim Reeves, when asked about the 72 horses he bought as pack animals, he said “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.” He also said, “I can’t talk about this,” and “That’s BLM business.”


  5. How does the public know what happens to them after they’re sent to long term facilities? I hear that you can make an appointment to see them (IF the owner allows it), but the Public can no longer see them on our Public Lands.

    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?


    • The Public can see its Wild Horses & Burros at anytime when they’re left on Public Lands where they belong:

      BLM Announces Media Tour of Two Long-Term Wild Horse Holding Pastures in Midwest

      Release Date: 10/27/10
      Tom Gorey , 202-912-7420
      Debbie Collins , 405-790-1056

      The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it is hosting an all-day tour for credentialed media of two long-term holding pastures in the Midwest. The tour will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at wild horse holding ranches in Pawhuska and Foraker, Oklahoma, both located within two hours of Tulsa.

      BLM staff will meet credentialed media at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Airport, 7728 E. Virgin Court, Tulsa, Oklahoma (phone number: 918-838-1444). It will take about an hour and a half to drive from the hotel to the first of two long-term pastures. BLM staff will escort media representatives to the ranches; ranch owners have declined to be interviewed.


  6. STRESS? That’s all it is for these captives from the time they hear the helicopter.
    This was in an article on

    Horse deaths blamed mostly on stress
    By Steven Tendo Special to The News
    Aug 21, 2014

    “There were basically three principle causes: one is that these animals are older; anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Because of that, they didn’t endure the stress of the move quite well. When they arrived here, the environment was very different because they had to learn how to feed from the bunks. Some of the less dominant horses succumbed to the stress,” McGuire said.


    • It was reported necropsies were conducted when the federal vet arrived, but this information has never been published to my knowledge.

      Blaming the slow trickle of deaths on age and stress is not a valid argument; these horses were under the care of our paid, professional wild horse managers. Does anyone believe if the horses were known to be this fragile they should have been shipped and warehoused the way they were?

      If they weren’t fragile but vibrant and healthy on arrival, one has to look at other causes of the gradually increasing death count in Scott City. The federal vet was reported to have euthanized quite a few on arrival, deeming them too far gone to survive… from care at the hands of their paid professional managers.

      Any paid professional horse managers worth their salt would understand and anticipate the risks and mitigate them from the start, not wait for a death report 30 days later. The stress was predictable, the deaths were not. The story was buried, with only a few hand selected media invited on site for a tour one day, and nothing was ever published by them after that I could find.

      At a minimum, if this management choice did kill horses needlessly, such practices should be banned going forward as they have proven to have fatal consequences.


  7. Now the only thing missing in this whole award thing is a properly formatted ceremony to make sure tax dollars are put to good use:

    This award is the BIGGEST farce I ever saw!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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