Horse News

Father of BLM Wild Horse Murder Plot invited to Speak at Alleged Wild Horse Sanctuary Fundraiser

In my most OUTRAGED Opinion ~ R.T. Fitch

“Lets Kill All Dem Dare Ponies In Da Corrals…DUH!”

Plotting to kill wild horses and burros - now a featured speaker at Wild Horse Sanctuary?

Plotting to kill wild horses and burros – now a featured speaker at Wild Horse Sanctuary?

Regrettably, it has been brought to my attention that the ‘Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary‘ is holding a fundraiser, this weekend, where they have invited BLM Wild Horse & Burro newbie Advisory Board member, Ben Masters to be their guest and honored speaker for the event.  You remember ole horse killing Ben who spearheaded the recommendation to the BLM to murder tens of thousands of captured wild horses and burros in holding so that they could make room for more wild equines illegally ripped from their rightful range?  That’s the guy…he’s a real wiener, I mean winner.

And now this alleged Mustang Sanctuary is inviting him to speak at their fund raiser; is it just me or has something become seriously unhinged, here?  I am aware that this group is already in bed with the BLM and works with them in helping to decimate the dwindling wild horse population in Colorado but this is a step too far.  Perhaps a little show of outrage is due here.

“Join us in celebrating our 5th year with our annual fundraising event with special guest Ben Masters! Enjoy an evening of artisan cocktails, featuring Cocktailpunk Bitters, bourbon tastings by Mobb Mountain Distillers, delicious food by Farm+Smoke and My Mom’s Pie, live bluegrass music by the Ginny Mules and a new short film by Ben Masters. Then, attend a special screening of ‘Unbranded’ with a Q&A session with Ben Masters himself.”


There has been too much collusion with the enemy, as of late, and perhaps it’s time for a little house cleaning within the advocacy and the culling of our own herd…this is an outright disgrace.

These people are truly insane!

Check out ole Ben’s BS, here:

The one good thing that he did was manage to piss off an entire nation, I guess that makes him some sort of twisted celebrity, huh?

58 replies »

    • I just want to say I appreciate everyone who takes the time to post their comments and share their knowledge of the dire situation our wild ones are in . I’m learning and take to heart what you share . Something has to be done to save those in the holding facilities and to preserve those on the range ! It is very complicated and overwhelming . I know there are thousands of people who want to help but don’t know where to begin or what to do , please help us with a clear step by step plan . Thank you all .

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well hold on to you hair not only your hats Folks we are in for a ride one can only see an extremely bad trip and I don’t mean a vacation!! We seriously need to come together in state groups to form one large coalition for all US horses both domestic and wild, burros and other equines. It could be a very very long road ahead. Be ready for protests on a dimes notice.
    I fear for their lives and only a miracle of a Presidential order may stop the slaughter pipeline. Send something to President Obama begging him and VP Biden to do something. I will beg for their lives. Catherine.Cortez Mantos is the newly elected Senator in Nevada. We need to stay in contact with her. Several calls were made for her during this election cycle. We need to stay in contact with some of these strong “Nasty” women elected to House and Senate seats. Let’s all pray to God for a miracle!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks, RT, for pointing out this situation. I (like many) have a few concerns here.

    I’m concerned that Masters’ appearance at this event could be used by some as a means of legitimizing his position, or at least suggesting that it is acceptable to the mainstream WHB camp. While neither could be farther from the truth, the truth doesn’t seem to matter any more.

    I’m concerned given that BLM’s marching orders ultimately come from the Administration and Congress and that Master’s position will resonate with those folks who will be in charge next year and gain some traction, particularly if it appears that he is accepted by some of the WHB mainstream.

    I’m concerned that WHB advocates could fixate on Masters, clearly a concern that needs addressing, but not to the point that we fail to address range and population issues. While I often disagree with BLM’s conclusions and numbers, we have to recognize that since the horses are confined within specifically imposed boundaries, legally and ecologically there needs to be some balance between grazing pressure and available resources. The trend over recent years is to reduce funding for monitoring and actual data collection and base management decision more on high tech guesswork. If the incoming administration and Congress truly have no interest in the environment and ecology, land management decisions may very likely be simply based on the demands of permitees and leaseholders, not science or even the law.

    My point in expressing these comments is that legitimate WHB groups need to stand fast and not legitimize proponents any of these anti-horse ideals. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work with agencies on legitimate issues. When the warring parties finally agreed to work together on Nevada’s Virginia Range, horse removals in this herd of about 2,500 became limited to a handful of legitimate safety issues rather than the department’s general policy. Thus I make a second point in that we as advocates need to be smart enough to carry both carrots and sticks, work to see that both are effective, and use them wisely.

    Liked by 3 people

    • WHG, good points as always. My thought here is to remember that Ben Masters is only on an advisory board, with no teeth, so it is wrong to give him more authority than is real. As I understand it, at least some of the board cycles off each year (not sure of the terms) so that further limits any perceived authority. What he does have is high media presence and youth, and a concern about range health as well as horses, things I don’t see as negatives. His thoughts about horses in holding were shared by most (all?) the advisory board but they aren’t taking as much heat for whatever reason.

      That he is willing to explore alternatives is to me a good thing, as is the truth the advisory board has no teeth.

      We do still have a monstrous man-made problem in horses pulled off the range and now warehoused. I ask everyone reading this to think harder about their prospects after this week’s election, and think even harder about better solutions. They are now in great peril and repatriation efforts are likely to be scoffed at. We need better answers, everyone try to bring some to light, and soon!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I posted just as Gail was posting her comment so I missed it. Otherwise I would have added (as I am adding now) that Obama and Biden, clearly anti-slaughter, could issue such an executive order. However the weakness in executive orders is that the successor presidents can simply nullify them with subsequent orders. Not saying it’s not a good idea to appeal to Obama and Biden as such an order would be a powerful statement. Just understand the limitations involved.

    I voted for Masto to try to achieve a balance in Congress but don’t count on her either. A few years back we ran a sting on a certain high level state employee who was trying to extort favors from a horse advocate, threatening to kill orphan foals if she didn’t comply. We had it on tape. This evidence was backed up by a whistle blower state employee who got on tape his being ordered by this same high ranking official to “pop (a foal) in the head and throw it in the landfill” as retribution.

    Masto’s office first slow walked the case. Then they claimed that they lost the file. Then we produced another copy of the recordings. Then they said they needed the original digital recorder to have proof of an unaltered original. Then it apparently disappeared whereupon the case “dissolved” due to lack of evidence. Shortly after the whistleblower found out that his position was being eliminated and he was shown the door.

    Another case involved the state employee who replaced the whistleblower being caught making a secret and illegal run to haul Virginia Range horses to Ole Olsen, a kill buyer in the Elko area. Another whistle blower provided this tip who was smart enough to remain anonymous. The trip was not only verified but the employee (who later quit in disgust) acknowledged the trip and indicated that he was told to make the haul under false pretenses. Masto’s office said that they couldn’t pursue the case because the department involved “lost” all their records related to the activity so they didn’t have anything to proceed on.

    I could go on but I think you get the picture.

    Again, not saying don’t try but don’t expect and real action.

    Liked by 2 people

    • She owes Democrats big time. Money was donated to her campaign as well as calls made on her behalf. I would not hesitate to make some calls. Politics works.both ways. This is why I stay closely connected to all my Legislators both federal and state. Tammy Ductworth was also just recently elected to the Senate from my state of Illinois. A good person. But getting back to the executive order, we did have some support from some Republicans. And a protest for state.capitals is being discussed by Slaughter Coalition. So watch for that. But don’t give up on Catherine just yet. She claims she is her own person. If not s call on the carpet is needed. Remember the people of Nevada got her there with the help of a lot of friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gail, I’m absolutely NOT challenging your position with respect to Masto. I’m just pointing out some relevant history. She now has a safe job for 6 years and may need to be convinced that it’s in her best interest to consider the concerns of her constituents. Nonetheless I thoroughly urge folks to follow your advice and that we give our best efforts in this regard.

        My suggestion is to never fail to point out that about 40% of Nevada’s economy is based on the tourism, gaming and hospitality sector. Marketing experts have indicated that Nevada’s wild horses are an embedded part of Nevada’s tourism “brand.” With Indian gaming legal in many states, Nevada can’t rely on casinos alone to draw visitors, however ecotourists often do spend money doing other things when they visit Nevada.

        A critical message from tourism consultants was that wild horses weren’t so much what all of the tourists wanted to come out and actually see, but the horses were a tangible element in Nevada’s old west mystique that influenced many tourist destination decisions in a highly competitive market. (When we last checked, wild horse related items were the biggest sellers in the gift shop at the State Legislature, and the wild horse design beat a couple of artistically superior designs for Nevada’s state quarter.)

        Conversely when the state considered passing a law that would have deemed watering “feral livestock” as a non-beneficial use (which brings up the whole nightmare of archaic Nevada water laws) the public reacted. Then after one legislator shot off his mouth and said that “we don’t care what people from other states think,” the following month gaming revenues as reported by UNLV dropped some $152 million for the month. The Legislature quickly shelved the water bill.

        These are the kinds of issues that could resonate with Senator-elect Masto, but we need to focus on clean, clear, messaging that is stripped-down to main points that don’t get lost in a bunch of babble.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A friend of mine gets the Western Horseman magazine – gives me some once in a while – apparently Ben Masters writes many articles for the mag! Used to enjoy reading them, but my “position” has changed somewhat!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I think they started drinking the bourbon. Ben Masters claims to be mustang advocate but really???? We don’t want or need to adopt ANY wild horses EVER! They are winding up dumped in kill pens in ever increasing numbers. If you only pay $125 for a horse and then don’t invest or know how to train, yep, you just sell them for $125 to the KB who then makes a few bucks off of their slaughter. We must #KeepWildHorsesWild. Here’s a BM interview about his vote to slaughter all the wild horses in BLM hell holding facilities. Overpopulation of horses? He’s been drinking way too much Bourbon…

    Liked by 3 people

    • I belong to the BLM Mustang Rescue on FB and the killbuyers are making big bucks because they buy the horse for cheap and mark it up on the average 5x what they paid so then the rescue has fundraisers to get these horses to a rescue. They started this in 2015. So the KBers aren’t making a few bucks they are making alot. In a twisted way this organization is helping the KB to exist. Its a real conundrum. Also from the many comments I do believe people who are dropping off their mustangs at auctions believe they can’t go to slaughter which is not the case at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. At the risk of being redundant, more than ever we need to carefully identify “friend or foe,” and in doing so be careful about people who may appear to be friends who aren’t, and conversely people who are actually on our side but are constrained by their respective agencies. While there certainly are valid reasons to complain about lover level decisions, we have to remember that the marching orders all originate in D.C.

    I have grave concerns about the orders that may be forthcoming along with apparent disinterest in any positions taken by “we the People,” given that the game is now in control of well-to-do special interests. I sure hope I’m wrong but I fear we’re in for a really “dark” time.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I didn’t originally intend to produce a string of comments but since this one of my greatest areas of interest and experience, please forgive me.

    The adoption program isn’t the problem. The flipping of horses to the kill buyers is the product of Conrad Burns’ stealth rider back around 2005. An adopter is required to prove proper maintenance and care of his/her horse for at least one year prior to receiving title which takes the flip incentive out of the equation. However 3-strikes and older horses are no longer protected and that’s the root of the kill buyer problem.

    That’s not to say that no adopted horses end up at the sale yard. Once they become private property (after a year) they are, after all, private property. However in reality adopted horses are statistically less likely to end up at these sales as pedigreed horses.

    That said, Perilous raises a very valid point about adopters being prepared. BLM has to a great degree defunded education for prospective adopters and, in my opinion, too many people who don’t have realistic expectations as to what adopting a wild horse entails go out and adopt on emotion, and then struggle. The irony here is that when we (as mentor / advocates) conducted a survey of adopters whom we were in contact with, those who had a good first time adoption experience on average adopted 3.4 horses / burros per family unit over the 5-year period surveyed from BLM or some other agency’s horse / burro adoption program. That’s huge brand loyalty. But that kind of success for both adopters and animals comes from relevant educational outreach, opportunities for skills development, and mentoring support for adopters that get “stuck” somewhere during the gentling process.

    The interesting part about horses, and wild horses in particular, is that they are highly socially driven and also socially adaptable. When provided the proper environments they flourish both physically and emotionally, seek out their adopters for companionship, and actually enjoy getting out and doing work as evidenced by their behavioral responses and enthusiasm.

    On the flip side of that equation, lack of adopter knowledge can contribute to poor socialization and poor environments. Ergo there is validity to both points of view on this subject.

    The overarching problem is that horse herds cannot exceed the resources available in a legally restricted environment and we’re not going to see this Congress or upcoming administration extending the boundaries where horses are allowed to roam. So unless we want to have conditions as experienced in the recent ISPMB debacle replicated across the west, there will have to be some means applied to keep horse herds at rational levels. (Not saying I agree with BLM’s calculations in many cases. Just saying there are limits.)

    We use mustangs and only mustangs for mounted rescue. Most of our mounted calls are not for people but to locate, and when necessary, recover seriously injured free-roaming horses, and in most of those horse cases, they involve orphaned or seriously injured foals.

    These horses, based on their behavior and attitudes, not our projections, tend to enjoy this work. But we make sure to give them a fair deal and serve their needs as they serve ours. Here’s a peek at this situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WHG, I agree with what you wrote (copied below), and suggest everyone take a look at the GEMS program a bit more realistically. From what I know, the Sand Wash HMA is now something over 600 horses with an AML of about half that per BLM. This area is also shared with permit sheep grazing in winter. The plan in place is to bait trap 50 young animals and get some basic handling on them at GEMS through trained staff, then adopt these out. Check out all the numbers for yourselves, but this seems to me a reasonable approach to managing (at least to some degree) a population which is in a finite space, in a semi arid area. I am actually encouraged to see Ben Masters speaking at GEMS since this indicates he is open to looking at different approaches to what any thinking person understands is clearly an unsustainable system, no matter which way you look at it. The Sand Wash has an active citizen team providing boots on the ground pretty much year round called SWAT (Sand Wash Advocates Team) that works cooperatively with GEMS for the off-range training and adoptions. The BLM has to process the horses in between to brand etc. but these horses are destined from day one to go to GEMS. This model offers some hope of better systems moving forward, and is far preferable to roundups, mass killing, resource overshooting, panicked horses and panicked people. On-range management is the best thing for the horses, but in a fenced area we are obliged to manage somehow. The GEMS model offers one way forward. My main concern at this time is the BLM is not simply bait trapping, but cutting off water holes to congregate dispersed bands in the Sand Wash, which is a recipe for fighting. Most of that HMA is accessible by vehicle so setting up multiple bait traps would seem a more humane approach that would also ensure not taking a high percentage of young animals from only a few bands.

      Especially now, we need to find ways to work together and bring new survival strategies to the table. Horses are going to die in every circumstance we see today, but we can minimize trauma and maximize viability through better plans to keep the highest number of wild horses wild and on the range. I see the SWAT/GEMS model as one such promising collaborative effort.

      I am not affiliated with any of these organizations but have visited the Sand Wash HMA, Colorado’s largest and probably most accessible HMA.

      “The overarching problem is that horse herds cannot exceed the resources available in a legally restricted environment and we’re not going to see this Congress or upcoming administration extending the boundaries where horses are allowed to roam. So unless we want to have conditions as experienced in the recent ISPMB debacle replicated across the west, there will have to be some means applied to keep horse herds at rational levels.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s a lie, a scam, a fraud the BLM AML’s. Kick off the GD welfare ranchers and let the horses be free. Look at Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains, these are OUR public lands not the ranchers, mining, mineral, oil and gas frackers that make millions and destroy the wild habitat set aside for wild life. Craig Downer wrote this in 2013 and it’s the way wild horses should be, wild and free from human intervention.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Perilous P, I agree the AMLs are suspect, always have, and need to be scrupulously reviewed but this has never been a priority, and now even less. Our public lands are going to be on the block before long and DJT has announced he intends to double our economic growth especially through expanding extractive industries.

        What should be and what is reality are far apart today, sadly. Those who don’t see a profit value in keeping wild horses wild will empty our lands of them forever if they can. We need to work smarter here, and soon. The gauntlet has been thrown down.

        Liked by 1 person

      • FYI – regarding Sand Wash HMA
        In recent years, BLM has used population increases such as 42% in one year and 92% increase in ONE year for Sand Wash HMA.
        BEWARE of BLM bogus population figures.
        It is common for BLM to publish annual wild horse and burro statistics that state a population increase of OVER 100% in one year but I have even seen a few that are over 1000% increase in ONE year.

        Liked by 2 people

      • GG, agree about the faulty numbers, but the Sand Wash has a local citizen group paying a lot of attention to those horses, including a FB page, naming rights for first photos posted of each year’s foals etc. so this HMA has more attention than many.

        On another note, it was documented by the brand inspector that folks were dumping domestic horses in there during the recession, so that could easily enough skew the numbers, especially if some were mares. Irresponsible people can be found everywhere it seems!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am aware of the Sand Wash HMA group and their watchful eyes are very valuable for many reasons, similar to the Pryor wild horse herd. ALL wild horses and burros should have independent watchful groups of citizens.
        On the other hand, the last time I looked at it, on the Sand Wash HMA, the domestic livestock animal unit months (AML) totals 19,758 versus the AML total for wild horses (using the maximum BLM appropriate management level of 362 wild horses) of only 4,344. Using basic mathematics, it is obvious by their AUM authorization that the domestic livestock have the most significant impact.
        The Taylor Grazing Act provides that the Secretary “is authorized, in his discretion, to classify any lands within a grazing district, which are . . . more valuable or suitable for any other use” than grazing, including use by wild horses or burros. As made clear by the Wild Horse and Burro Act’s implementing regulations, the BLM “may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock . . . if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury.” 43 C.F.R. § 4710.5(a)
        I am not saying that you and I can correct these problems overnight but we must be aware that it is the entire BLM/USFS “management” that is the problem. I am appalled that my land is being managed as if it were a private livestock feedlot and garbage dump and personal bank account for private and corporation entities rather than the common heritage of all Americans … and then our wild horses are being dumped into filthy cattle feedlots (like Scott City and Bruneau) … on their way to slaughter.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree IcySpots, the partnership between BLM/SWAT/GEMS is a way forward to better management practices. There is more than one path to advocacy, and in my opinion anyone willing to devote their time, energy, talents, or money in a responsible way to the cause should not be criticized for doing so. This partnership gives advocates a voice in how things are done from the ground up. We are not seeing helicopter gathers we are not seeing 300 horses removed at once and sent to long term holding. We are seeing bait gathers, PZP darting, and advocates helping to decide which animals need to remain for bio diversity or because they have a low chance for adoption. GEMS is providing an outlet for the animals that do get removed to be trained and given a better chance when adopted. I of course would prefer to see on range management and adjustments made to AML’s but with where we are right now they are doing what can be done to give the horses that are removed the best chance of a positive out come. I was surprised to see that Ben Masters was speaking at the GEMS event, I was disappointed in his recommendation, I considered him and Ginger Katherines (who voted against the recommendation) to be the two on the board to advocate for wild horses. I took the time to read his comments and while I still strongly disagree and think it was irresponsible to make that recommendation I think he was coming from a place of the heart – I too despair at the thought of a wild horse being separated from it’s heard, its land and sent to live in a stockyard. Unlike Ben I see hope and a chance for something better for that animal. I think that he wrote them off instead, looking at it as if they are already lost, and what can we do to save the rest and prevent range degradation – maybe I am naive. I would see his speaking at the event as an opportunity to have a respectful conversation and make recommendations to solve the issue of horses forever stuck in long term holding, rather than looking at as GEMS invited a traitor to speak at their event. Particularly with this new administration it is going to be more important than ever to find ways to work together and build relationships with BLM and others we may not always agree with to come up with out of the box ways to save the lives of our wild ones. I fear for what will become of them and our public lands under Trump.

        Liked by 2 people

      • GG, good points all. I can offer that in the Sand Wash (the HMA closest to me) the horses are there year-round but the livestock are not, the sheep winter there and are out by the end of March or April (not sure which) and have not in recent years been stocked at their highest allowed levels. So nothing is so black and white as any of us would wish. It’s also worth recalling that this HMA isn’t far from Carpenter Ranch, the home of Farrington Carpenter, author of the Taylor Grazing Act, and that this area was pretty much ground zero for the range wars between cattle and sheepmen. It’s also immediately south of the state line from the WY Checkerboard. I know folks who still claim all the horses in the Sand Wash were ranch stock turned loose, too.

        Regardless, we have to deal with multiple use mandates and neither sheep nor horses should be allowed to overshoot the resource base. In my view, the sheep can go elsewhere and are allowed by privilege, not by right, though the wild horses are only allowed in a few remaining legal areas so their survival should take precedence. Overall, the HMA acreages represent only a small fraction of the total lands on which grazing permits for livestock are allowed.


  8. Im going to finally say it outright. In 2006 after tons of research the reality hit that a NEW DISTURBING trend in rescues/sanctuaries coupling with slaughter had formed. Prior to this a plan Duquette had was to pay a fee donation from horse slaughtet for the rescues to use to fatten horses to die be adopted. Daves personal agenda was a ride or dine at his place (horse meat of course). The rescues in Illinois would ACTUALLY send overstock that couldnt find homes to slaughter….Thats where they coined the term Option. Slaughter option would relieve “rescues” which is sick manipulative distorted and sick. Sorta like a killer buyer in agreement with rescues who create contracts to guarantee the killer buyer gets First option to buy back so called unwanted adopted horses. These trade secrets have interconnected rescues with slaughter a tit for a tat. Proslaughter wants to remove rescuers that are legit and increase profits for slaughter rescues. In fact many people didnt allow rescuers to visit their stables in the 90s because of direct ties to horse slaughter. Its a very complex game of smoke and mirrors. Susan Humphries is bragging that she knows forst hand about Sussmans issues……raises my question level to astronomical.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Saw her “comments” lots of times on various article’s written about WH. ALWAYS pro-slaughter! Somehow, her “firsthand” knowledge of ISPMB’s problems doesnt bring up my comfort level!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yeah Ole SlaughterHouse Sue and DumbAss Dave Duquette tried to make a go of starting a Belgian owned/foreign corporation in Hermiston, Oregon but the citizens of that fine city, put a screeching halt to that! And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the old, sick and injured horses that are sent to slaughter. And if that was so, hope all those horse meat eating suckers die from the toxicity:

        Liked by 1 person

    • So I’m seeing corruption to the extreme. So a rescue network on Facebook like the BLM mustang rescue network could be making big bucks as well from people’s soft hearts and these horses are going to “rescues” that will eventually ship directly to slaughter after they are fattened up? I have never donated money because there is no real way to find out who these people are but they have rescued every mustang that they know about and the horses bail is usually between $300-$700.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had that game played in Fallon a few years back when the state dumped a couple hundred horses over a few sales. The advocates were actually bidding against the auction yard owner (legal in Nevada.) After paying several times the fair price, the advocates let the owner eat a few horses at inflated prices, but because he bought them at more than what he could get for them, they were able to negotiate a sale to recover them. That put a temporary stop to that business, however there is a constant game where shills for auction yards (or even owners in some cases) try to figure out the rescue groups’ limits – knowing that the groups’ donors expect them to not leave horses behind – and they’ll push the prices up as far as they can. As a result the rescue groups do inflate the “floor prices” for some otherwise slaughter-bound horses.

        This is separate from the issue of phony rescue groups who are in league will the bunchers and kill buyers.

        Only something like the SAFE act is going to put an end to all this crap, and don’t expect that to pass any more unless it includes tax more breaks for billionaires.


      • Kamalgandt: do you or does anyone reading this have any good source for identifying the percentage of BLM/USFS wild horses slaughtered annually as compared to the overall total (including domestic horses, which I think is around 180,000 annually?).


    • I’ve been to ISPBM. I’ve seen the abuse and neglect with my own eyes. I have been AGAINST any of those horses going to slaughter and belong to a group of people trying to generate funding to buy the horses if need be to have them euthanized so they won’t ever have to leave that hell-hole. I have always been ANTI-neglect and ANTI-abuse. Those horses have been neglected and lived in an abusive situation for years! Get off you high horse and make a trip out there…bring your trailer!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We all need to consider what slim survival prospects ALL our wild horses now in holding face come next January under a Trump administration. He is on record favoring selling off public lands so it would seem a fantasy to think he would support keeping the captive wild horses alive in most circumstances (unless someone is profiting from their keep or sale).

    Keeping those still in the wild protected may be their only shot at survival. I expect their legal areas to become even fewer and thus more important. If wild horse tourism is a draw, then I encourage EVERYONE to bring that up and promote it wherever possible. In a for-profit administration only business interests will be heard. So far, advocates are NOT it… but could be. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will help anyone put together a realistic business plan for free or nearly so.

    Please put on your thinking caps and help place a realistic dollar value on something we know is priceless but which will have to stand on all four legs in a for-profit universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Willis,
    569.008. “Feral livestock” defined
    “Feral livestock” means any formerly domesticated livestock or progeny of domesticated livestock which have become wild and are running at large upon public or private lands in the State of Nevada, and which have no physical signs of domestication. The term does NOT include horses or burros that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 to 1340, inclusive, and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any other federal statute or regulation.

    Click to access nevada.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, since that definition surely clashes with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, especially on public lands. I presume federal law supersedes state law here, so how would someone in NV know if an unmarked horse on public lands was “feral” or “wild” in legal terms?

      § 2b. “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;

      Liked by 1 person

      • Try reading it again … the law is stating that there are such terms as “feral” but that does NOT pertain to wild horses and burros that come under the WH&B act.

        Liked by 1 person

      • GG, I did read that. My question goes back to then how any unmarked horses were then legally removed from public lands in NV, it seems some sources indicate they were protected and others, not. I get it about different jurisdictions etc. but it still seems the federal law should rule, and the horses should not have been removed from areas they roamed in 1970, including Sheldon and the Virginia Range.

        Liked by 1 person

    • In their 2010 revision of Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife, Kirkpatrick and Fazio point out that the label feral is a human construct. It means little as far as the species itself.


  11. Ben Masters was provided this information but chose to ignore it and then removed it from his facebook although it is the truth.

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

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

    See this for yourself on the official BLM chart at the following link:

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

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Grandma, I’m not only well of the NRS as I enforce them when I’m dragged back to work as an ACO. I have also spent hours in the state library researching the committee hearing minutes to be able to prove their intent in order to ground my arguments during a serious dispute a few years back with the Dept. of Ag.

    So here’s where the feral horse business came in, just so everyone understands the legal use of some of these terms.

    Originally all free-roaming horses in Nevada that weren’t branded or didn’t belong to an agency of the federal government were defined as “estray livestock.” In 2003 NRS 569.008, “Feral livestock defined,” was added to the NRS at the request of the NV Department of Agriculture. The reason was that privately owned livestock that had gotten loose and were roaming at large had to be publicly advertised so owners could check the legal ads to see if their strays had been picked up and to take steps to reclaim them. There were also other conditions that applied with respect to the disposition of estray livestock.

    Horses (and livestock such as pigs) that had no physical signs of domestication were subsequently defined as feral, and a different (albeit somewhat similar) set of regulations applied when they were picked up. So free-roaming horses in Nevada are estray if someone actually owns them, wild if they are part of recognized federal herds, and feral if they don’t fall into those two categories – as are the some 2,500 horses that roam the Virginia Range.

    Switching gears to BLM herd figures, a lot of them are guesswork. With our local herds the advocates and BLM would at times work together to try to get a better handle on numbers, including photodocumenting bands so that those conducting “pocket counts” didn’t end up counting the same bands twice, etc. The key phrase here is “better handle” since even then the numbers wouldn’t be spot on, but they were fairly accurate. To make a long story short, these efforts, including volunteer provided resource management and fertility control, resulted in a reduction in the numbers of horses that were removed and a placement strategy for those that were, much the same as the Sand Wash and other joint projects.

    Finally I need to bring up the rancher issue as this is where our camp’s arguments are blown out of the water as being batshit crazy. First of all, the law requires public lands to be managed for multiple use and that premise is also recited in the WHB Act. Grazing is an established legal use. We’re not going to change that and if anything, our public lands are going to be exploited more than ever.

    But here’s the more serious issue, and it’s real, and if you don’t believe it go visit the Owens Valley.

    Thanks to the 1952 McCarran Amendment, the Federal Government gave up all control water, even on federal lands, except for certain navigable and interstate waterways. The states control the water and in states such as Nevada, the water has been appropriated to various users, a lot of them ranchers, who now legally own the water rights. I’ll use the Lahontan herd as an example because some folks will argue about this water business but these are inarguable facts. Perhaps an example will make things more clear.

    The rancher who had the grazing permit for the Lahontan allotment wasn’t making any money so he quit. He shut down his well and sold his water rights to the local municipal water company. Ergo Lahontan went dry and BLM was going to have to pull the herd.

    Fortunately in this case Nevada State Parks controlled the nearby lake and recreation area and the advocates pointed out that “wild horse viewing” was one of the listed attractions in their advertising. So State Parks agreed that the horses could water there so long as they didn’t cause excessive damage to the recreation area, and a maximum herd count of 40 was agreed upon. (These horses do commingle with Pine Nut and Virginia Range horses so there wasn’t the usual genetic diversity problem.)

    Now the Southern Nevada Water Authority has plans to build an 8-foot diameter pipeline that will run to the north. Their plans are to buy up water rights from the ranchers if they can be run off (or enticed with inflated offers) and pretty much pump the mid state and eastern ranges dry. When the water goes the horses are going to go because if they disrupt native wildlife in competition for scarce surface water, the Nevada Department of Wildlife is already prepared to pull the “thriving ecological balance” trigger.

    So whether we like it or not, the ranchers are in many cases a necessary part of the landscape and yes, BLM does bend over for the ranchers, but if you look behind the scenes it’s often to get some “off the books” accommodations from the ranchers, such as running their wells to provide water for horses.

    Not saying it’s the optimum way to do things. Just saying what is. Google this stuff and you can see for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WHG, where does the federal language in the WHB protection act fit here, which indicates in their legal areas they are to be given principal but not exclusive rights to resources, including access to water, as part of their natural place in a thriving ecological balance? How can/could the water rights ever be legally sold without violating this law, and presumably others since “buy and dry” wipes out a lot of other species and vegetation as well? Grazing permits were clearly never intended to be private property rights and have always been revokable, so how could as critical a resource as water be legally sold off?

      From the WHB Act:

      “range” means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good points. Have been wondering for some time how the heck the ranchers own all the water rights to millions of acres of public lands. Corruption dating way back to the time before Wild Horse Annie started bringing some public awareness to the way wild horses were routinely victimized.


      • In most of the western states, water isn’t really ever owned, just the right to use it for “beneficial use” after which the majority is returned to the ecosystem to recirculate. I wonder how the “buy and dry” schemes can be legal, but evidently somehow someone has found a way, without paying the real costs of their actions. In Colorado at least, there are now legal ways to allow ag operations to lease water they don’t use each year to allow that water to support fisheries as a “beneficial use” where in former times they had to use all their allocated rights or risk losing them.

        Maybe we need a broader vision of “beneficial use” in the West, one that is not strictly anthropocentric and which supports a wide number of economic interests. Tourism in my state brings in more dollars than the ski industry, for example. Nobody will want to visit a place with no water, no vegetation and no wildlife. They will just pass through as quickly as possible to the next gleaming city on the far horizon.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. From Western Watersheds today regarding the fate of our public lands, including the prospect of C. Lummis as the Secretary of the DOI, surely a fatal blow for wild horses throughout the West but especially in Wyoming:

    November 10, 2016 Online Messenger #341
    Dear Friends,

    Tuesday’s election results were incredibly disheartening for all of us at Western Watersheds Project. These are dark days for public lands and environmental conservation, with Donald Trump set to assume the presidency of the United States.

    President-elect Trump will have the power to assign political appointees to oversee all of the of the federal agencies who manage western public lands on behalf of all Americans, oversee the recovery of rare and imperiled wildlife and plants, as well as agencies established to prevent pollution and environmental destruction of clean air and clean water. We call upon President-elect Trump to eschew the impulse to appoint anti-environmental politicians or corporate shills to top posts in his administration.

    The fact that Mr. Trump has advanced Republican Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to his short list of candidates for Secretary of Interior indicates a hostile stance toward public lands and responsible land stewardship. Rep. Lummis has been an entrenched opponent of conservation throughout her tenure in the House, even voting against the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, a bill supported by both Republican Senators from Wyoming as the dying wish of Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY). Rep. Lummis’ anti-environmental voting record has been both consistent and extreme throughout her tenure in the House of Representatives.

    There are rough times ahead for western public lands, and we will all need to pull together to defend the sacred beauty of our western public lands, and continue to press forward for better environmental stewardship. We’ve been here before: Western Watersheds Project charged ahead through eight long years of the Bush administration, and achieved some amazing victories, like blocking the proposed Bush grazing regulations and overturning the efforts of political hacks to find the sage grouse “not warranted” for Endangered Species Act protections, victories that helped prevent the wholesale destruction of western public lands.

    Western public lands belong to all Americans, and are treasured for their beauty, wildness, and diversity. We are concerned that assaults against our bedrock environmental safeguards will amplify during the coming four years, and it will be more important than ever to have vigilant environmental watchdogs like Western Watersheds Project, willing to take strong stands against unlawful abuses of our public lands, waters, and wildlife.

    Conservation should not be a partisan issue. The cost of reversing progress on curbing carbon emissions and addressing climate change would be catastrophic – in dollars, lives, property, and irreversible ecological damage. All Americans have an ownership stake in our millions of acres of public lands. Private uses of public lands must only occur where they are sustainable, fostering the health of the land and supporting thriving populations of native wildlife, which also belong to the public and are managed in trust for the public good. America’s legacy and inheritance of public lands, waters, and wildlife must be carefully managed for the long-term health of the land and its wildlife, not sacrificed for the short-term corporate profits of an elite few. The mantle of responsibility for environmental stewardship that now passes to President-elect Trump must not be taken lightly.

    During the years to come, environmental watchdogs must stand ready to defend our western public lands and the wildlife that live there from the depredations of corporate raiders and anti-environmental politicians. Western Watersheds is not afraid to enforce our federal environmental laws through litigation, and we are gearing up to stand strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read this, too, Icy. Scary, huh? To be honest, I dont see any possibility for someone non-republican and also, non-use up the public land ASAP mindset to become Secretary of the Interior in the future administration. Every environmental organization website that I subscribe to is worried to death – well as we all are. This sure would be a good time to “come together”!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nobody is doubting that there are other terms for livestock in Nevada, including “estray” and “feral” but wild horses and burros on their legal lands (HMA/HA) are NOT “feral” by law in the state of Nevada. I repeat: 569.008. “Feral livestock” defined
    “Feral livestock” means any formerly domesticated livestock or progeny of domesticated livestock which have become wild and are running at large upon public or private lands in the State of Nevada, and which have no physical signs of domestication. The term does NOT include horses or burros that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 to 1340, inclusive, and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any other federal statute or regulation.

    Click to access nevada.pdf

    I am completely aware of the personal hard work that many people have put into doing independent and scientifically supportable wild horse and burro documentation and it is to be highly appreciated. I am also completely aware of the BLM non-credible population increase figures that BLM posts annually and that are illegal (prison & fines) per Title 18 of the United States Code regarding falsification of legal documents. Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial Title18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations Current through Pub. L. 114-38. For the aerial flight census, for example, BLM purposely does not use Go-Pro or similar video cameras because it would give the public absolute proof of their false annual population increases. If you doubt me then I suggest you look for yourself at the annual wild horse and burro populations that again and again show increases in ONE year of more than 100%… immaculate conception? Wild horses consistently having surviving triplets? Stallions having foals? Or is it fraud?

    As for the domestic livestock on public lands, the law does require public lands to be managed for multiple use BUT the law also states, that public lands livestock grazing is a privilege not a right, while protection of wild horses is mandated by federal law. The Taylor Grazing Act provides that the Secretary “is authorized, in his discretion, to classify any lands within a grazing district, which are . . . more valuable or suitable for any other use” than grazing, including use by wild horses or burros. As made clear by the Wild Horse and Burro Act’s implementing regulations, the BLM “may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock . . . if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury.” 43 C.F.R. § 4710.5(a)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grandma, I’m not sure why we’re debating this definition. Maybe I missed someone’s post but I don’t recall anyone claiming that NRS 569.008 “Feral Livestock” applies to BLM / USFS horses.

      Also PLEASE don’t waste everyone’s time on (18 U.S.C. § 1001.) While there may well be some moral issue here, it’s a dead end legally. Everyone knows that the figures are estimates and unless someone can prove intentional falsification – a huge element to overcome, nothing is going to happen except a diversion of attention from achievable objectives.

      And so long as you’re producing snippets of Public Law 92-195, here is the complete Act. Specific provisions need to be viewed in the total context of the Act as it is full of conditions. Plus there have been subsequent laws that have provided some constraints on the provisions of the Act.

      Also I’m starting to get bullshit toxic. I know a couple of the pilots who contract to fly aerial counts of horses as well as domestic livestock. There is no benefit for them to inflate census figures as it discredits their professional standing. However BLM at times plugs in certain assumptions based on the amount of cover, etc. on how many horses might not have been counted. Not claiming that their assumptions are accurate. Just saying that excessive inflations are more likely to occur on the ground.

      And I have to say one other thing, and I probably shouldn’t because someone is likely to be a jerkoff and run with it, but it’s not been uncommon for BLM to lowball post gather numbers to justify stopping a gather where conditions make gathering difficult, may be too hard on horses, etc. It doesn’t pay for BLM to put on the record that they cut a gather short because it was too hard on the horses, so the usual MO is to “mark down” the population estimate to justify a shutdown. You guys keep harping on these the numbers and you’ll out the people trying to do right on the line and the gather numbers will go back up.

      Sorry to rant but it’s been a long day. I’ve been in this game for over 25 years and while I don’t claim to know it all, I have a pretty good read on which dogs don’t hunt and I’m still (along with a bunch of other advocates) really pissed off over people from outside the area who know just enough about this issue to wade in and screw up the work that the locals have done to reduce horse removals. To that end Priscilla Feral tops the list of ignorant, interfering jerkoffs.

      Bottom line, this situation is only going to get worse. It is a free country and people can do whatever they want, but if we want to quit taking three steps back after taking two steps forward in this issue, we have to quit thinking in terms of how we want things to be and deal with how things are. From there we can develop realistic goals and strategies. ‘Cause I have to tell you, every time the advocacy camp puts forward an argument that can be shot down, the other side is keeping score and sooner or later they use it against us.

      We need to poke the other side so they are the ones who go on the record making verifiably false statements and we’re in a position to shoot them down. But if we aren’t careful, this all just becomes a liars’ contest and the winners of those are usually the ones with the most money.

      Not saying that the arguments I’m criticizing don’t have moral value. They do. But we’ve reached a point where morals don’t really count. If we want to prevail, more than ever we have to think and act in strategic terms.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Rumor has it that Palin is on the short list for DOI head. In any world but this, I would not even consider believing it–my entire being shudders at the thought of her in control of our public lands. In any case, I think that building good working relationships with our good legislators is the best shot, but another thing to consider is the fact that we are going to have a president with an enormous ego, and although he won as a Republican, his opinions are all over the board. If someone is good at it, that ego (and Palin’s) could be a help. If someone could convince either of them that it is their mission to buck the establishment and save the romantic wild horse, it might work. I am not good at that sort of thing…just a thought. Self-centered people with hungry egos are ripe for manipulation. It may seem dirty but for our wild ones, it is not anywhere near as dirty as what is being done to them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • At any rate this is a disaster! The son of Satan has made it clear drilling for oil, fracking and other destruction of our environment is main on his agenda. Gee, since she could see Russia from her back yard maybe she’ll entertain Mr. Putin, the leader of Russia!! This is a million times worse than Salazar could ever be. In my opinion if we DO NOT unite from every part of this country and get ready to defend all equines we are in very very bad shape. This is going to be a bull ride with no end in sight and the final blow will be when we are trampled to death. Again, as many have talked about is a state by state bsn on horse and equine slaughter including the transport out of the US. Some states have laws on the books already which shortens the list. If they were rationale thinking people I would say its a possibility. But both are loose cannons and would self destruct at any time. We must demand our Senators and Representatives now account for every Wild horse and burro taken off our public lands. We.cannot wait. Very bad news. Just when you think it couldnt get sny worse!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Good points but my sense is that Palin’s ego would be best fed by an image taken for an NRA poster of her standing over a dead horse with a rifle pointed up in the air. Don’t think that the old “horses are wildlife and should be managed through hunting” argument isn’t starting to circulate.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And so the battle rages on…

    We call upon President-elect Trump to eschew the impulse to appoint anti-environmental politicians or corporate shills to top posts in his administration.

    The fact that Mr. Trump has advanced Republican Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) ) to his short list of candidates for Secretary of Interior indicates a hostile stance toward public lands and responsible land stewardship.

    Lash Out at the Darkness and Fight Like Hell
    We’re warriors. It’s what we do. We know what we’re up against

    Liked by 1 person

  17. And for their next act…what’s his name Black will perform another of his anti mustang poetry cowboy style.. God this has gone beyond comprehension… Oh maybe add your republican prez to the mix with his host of allies like forest Lucas, bloody Mary Fallon and that lot… Should be a real crowd pleaser..Arrrrrgh…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Needed then and Needed now…AN INDEPENDENT CENSUS

    Census Slashes BLM Wild-Horse Count
    Story copied from “Keith Rogers Articles 1990-94”
    Save Our Wild Horses, (no longer online)

    By Keith Rogers
    Rundate: 10/14/92

    `We’re going to wake up one day and the horses are going to be gone,’ says aerial spotter Tim Wilson.
    There are 70 percent fewer wild horses roaming U.S. public lands than the Bureau of Land Management has reported, according to an aerial census released by the Public Lands Resource Council, an independent research group.
    The total size of Nevada’s herds, which comprise the majority of wild horses and burros in the United States, now stands at 8,231 instead of the 33,434 figure that the federal bureau reported in its most recent survey, completed in September 1991.
    “We’re going to wake up one day and the horses are going to be gone,” said Tim Wilson, of Reno, who served as a spotter on one of seven planes the council hired to conduct the survey between Aug. 19 and Oct. 6. The result were released Monday.
    Wilson, who said he observed one-third of the wild horse herd areas in Nevada, said the bureau has probably overblown actual herd-size estimates to convince lawmakers to appropriate more money for running the wild horse program.
    State Bureau of Land Management Director Billy Templeton discounted the council’s census, saying it was based on observations from fixed-wing aircraft, not helicopters which can “slow down, get lower and allow you to see better.”
    “We stand by the figures we have now,” Templeton said, adding that he welcomed a
    congressional investigation the council is seeking of the Department of Interior concerning wild horse population discrepancies.
    Templeton said he still believes the wild horse population in Nevada, which the federal government estimates is 33,000 out of 50,000 nationwide, needs to be reduced by 14,000 to bring the herd into “an appropriate management level.”
    The Nevada herds graze on 16.2 million acres. Nationwide, the wild horse and burro ranges consist of 42.7 million acres.
    The Western drought, now in its sixth year, is taking its toll on wild horses, which compete with cattle for water from springs that are primarily maintained by ranchers, who pay fees so their cattle can graze on public lands, according Templeton.

    Dr. Richard McClellan, a spokesman for the Public Lands Resource Council, said in a prepared statement that the
    difference between the council’s census figure and the bureau’s “can only be explained by ineptness, mismanagement and collusion at the highest levels between large ranching interests, the BLM and Nevada politicians.”
    “Somebody is lying about the numbers of wild horses in America,” according to McClellan,
    whose statement goes on to say, “The group saw evidence of private fencing on the range (and) blocking off water sources to all animals but cattle.”
    “There was also hundreds of horse remains, not all of them explainable from the drought,” the council’s statement says.
    Wilson defended the council’s use of fixed-wing aircraft to conduct the census because airplanes can follow grid patterns more carefully than helicopters, eliminating double counts attributable to the roaming nature of herds. Airplanes also stay well above the horses and do not panic them, he said.
    Wilson said one flight over a herd area near Reno, where the bureau estimates there are 414 wild horses only turned up 29, a figure that other pilots in the area confirmed.

    “There just not out there,” he said. “We’re not missing 1,000 from certain herd areas. There are no trees, and there is no brush, except for sage brush, just rocks. If they were there we would have seen them.”

    Liked by 1 person


    Symanski’s article, which attempts to legitimize “some” wild horse and burro advocates as elements of the environmental fringe, was based on his research of the independent census of America’s herds back in the mid-90’s conducted by the Public Lands Resource Council (PLRC) and Dances with Wolves writer Michael Blake.

    The PLRC adamantly maintained that the number of wild horses on public lands was significantly less than what the BLM was reporting and Mr. Blake used their results and a significant portion of his own money to take BLM to court for what he felt was gross mismanagement and malfeasance.

    Presiding over the case was U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Judge Royce Lambreth, a conservative Reagan appointee from Texas who ruled in favor of the BLM but went on to stir some controversy of his own after he was assigned a case handling an Indian trust fund in 1996.

    Based on what he learned in the Indian trust fund case, Judge Lambreth began repeatedly blasting the Department of the Interior and then BLM Director Kathleen Clark.

    He issued a legal opinion in July 2005 that accused the US government of racism and went on to describe the Department of the Interior as, “… a dinosaur- the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago.” (1)

    A panel of judges ruled Texas homeboy Judge Lambreth had “gone too far” and had “lost his objectivity” and consequently voted to remove him from the case in July of 2006.

    And that’s how easy it is.

    Whether you’re a famous Hollywood writer, a Federal Court Judge, or just a group of wild horse advocates that bear witness to what officials are doing, it’s all too easy for the “experts” on the government payroll to declare those that oppose them as merely a “fringe element” that has no credibility or worse still, a perverse “threat” to a taxpayer extorted system they too often believe they own.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Short and not so sweet! We the people do not exist! Money and power do exist! And the horses are caught in the middle and will probably be extinct in the not so far future!!


  21. Louie C raises a very chilling and relevant point. It’s one of the reasons I harp and harp and harp about our side double checking facts before we bring out our arguments. I’ve seen it time and again when the advocates start getting some cred and traction on an issue, the crazy cat people shove their way in with all kinds of easily dismissable exaggerations and outright BS. Such events provide excuses for those bureaucrats who really don’t want to accept our position blow us all off.

    I recall a few years back we were at a meeting at the BLM State Office in Reno and we were making some headway in the discussion regarding real grazing pressure issues, hard counts versus projections, etc. and the BLM staffers were showing some signs of agreeing with us. Then one of the batshit crazies made a power point presentation that drifted all over the map. When her “closer” was a picture that all of us in the room knew was a fake, the ranchers had a field day ripping us all to shreds and we came away with a total loss.

    Not saying that the other side is not often at fault, but sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. What I keep trying to get people to understand is when the facts are on our side, we HAVE to stick to the facts. We can be right 99% of the time but that 1% when we’re not can and will be used against us.

    My other point is that we have to accept reality. Reality is that all the facts aren’t in our favor, but in my experience a preponderance of the facts are. So we’re best off accepting things for what they are and sticking to verifiable talking points if for no other reason that the other side often consists of better liars than we are. Ergo we’re not likely to win a liar’s contest.

    We don’t have to look any farther than the PZP debacle to see how emotionally driven people from the Fact Free Zone can undermine a calculated effort to reduce wild horse removals. Conversely the clear-headed and focused advocates in Nevada got the state to spend over $3 million for horse underpasses to prevent some significant horse removals when new highway construction divided grazing areas from year-round water sources.

    If anyone is interested in the story about the advocates, stakeholders and public agencies developing the wild horse underpasses, here’s a link.


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