Horse Health

BLM to Begin Utah Frisco Wild Horse Removal and Sordid Research Project

Unedited article from by BLM’s Lisa Reid

“Dangerous Tracking Collars to be Installed on Wild Horses”

Wild Horse CollarCEDAR CITY, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management Cedar City Field Office will soon be gathering and removing excess wild horses from within and outside the Frisco Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) in western Utah.

The BLM will gather approximately 150 and remove 90 excess wild horses from the Frisco HMA to achieve a research population of an estimated 100 animals on the HMA. Some horses will be fitted with tracking devices and returned to the range as part of a research project. This will provide data on free-roaming horse locations and movement to help the BLM improve understanding of herd behavior.

Helicopter drive-trapping operations are scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 6. Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.

The BLM will conduct escorted public tours to gather observation sites. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline, (801) 539-4050.

Those interested in participating should meet at the KB Express Convenience Store/Subway at 238 South Main in Milford, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. Please note that no public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low flying helicopters and should avoid recreational use of drones near the Frisco Mountain area. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

Gather updates and information will be posted at:

Anyone interested can get updates on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #CongerFriscoGather.

Animals removed from the range will be made available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for on off-range pastures, where they retain their protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Details on the EA and the gather can be found on the BLM’s planning documents website: . More information on the population control research project is available from the BLM’s Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100.

To learn more about the wild horse and burro program or to obtain an adoption application, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at: .

For additional information on participating in public observation days, contact Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist, at (435)743-3128 or Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Lisa Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

12 replies »

  1. So here we go again – with BLM’s “research” projects! Apparently they didnt learn enough (or anything) from the last one – such as – putting collars on YOUNG horses who were still growing means the collars became too small! And oh yeah, how many horses died that time? But I’m sure – in the BLM’s infinite (and it is infinite)
    wisdom they will be on top of things this time!


  2. They can’t learn, it looks like. 😦 The fact that the BLM sees these poor animals as so expendable that they can’t even change a freaking collar to accommodate growth should not be tolerated. I see that it is back to business as usual on Jan 1 for them. No rest for the wicked!


    (excerpt from my public comment letter to BLM)
    The Bureau of Land Management is planning to round up wild horses from the Frisco and Conger Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Utah to conduct a “research” study that will capture 275 horses, remove 200, and geld approximately 37 stallions from the Conger HMA, release them back into the herd, and then study how this major disruption effects individuals and herd dynamics. The Frisco HMA will have 250 horses rounded up and 175 removed. The study, which also involves radio collaring mares and gluing tracking tags into stallions’ tails, will last for 10 years.
    Once again, the BLM is proposing to study the “natural behaviors” of wild horses after removing over 40% of their populations via traumatic helicopter roundups that will severely disrupt and destroy the integrity of the animals’ tightly knit social structures. Stallions in the Conger herd will be rounded up by helicopters and lose their bands not once, but twice, in two years. No valid data on the “natural” behaviors of these traumatized and highly manipulated stallions can possibly be obtained in this manner.


  4. In the 1980s similar “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. The research team only attributed two deaths to collar-related problems but many other animals with collars were found dead. One had a collar embedded in its neck. Another animal was found dead 12 days after she had been darted. The causes of both of these deaths were classified as “other.” At least twenty-one additional collared horses (4 with marker collars and 17 with radio collars) were found dead before August 1988. Even the BLM admitted there is no doubt that some of the collared animals suffered large and painful wounds.

    “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”


    • WTH? Anyone opposing the slaughter of horses and burros will then be investigated as a terrorist? “U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan will introduce seven bills to start the 115th Congress on Tuesday, ranging in subjects from searching social media to find potential terrorism ties to banning the killing of horses for meat.”
      Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.


      • That statement meant the Range of bills hes presenting. Not itended to say terrorists to antislaughter its ties to terrorism period then on to the Safeguard Americas Food and Export Act. The author wrote the statement incorrectly.


  5. Hhmmm I wanna put a tracking Collar on the BLM to see if it really is safe. I mean shouldnt we research this method?



    Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 14:51:24 +0000
    Reply-To: Sarah King
    Sender: “Ecological Society of America: grants, jobs, news”

    From: Sarah King
    Subject: Wild horse and burro field technicians needed
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”Windows-1252″

    > Field technicians needed for work on wild horse and burro ecology, March-September, 2017
    > The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Colorado State University (CSU) are conducting scientific research to assist the BLM in management of free-roaming wild horses and burros on public lands. The research projects are led by Dr. Kate Schoenecker (USGS/CSU) and Dr. Sarah King (CSU). We are seeking field technicians for help with projects involving radio telemetry and behavioral observations of wild horses and burros in remote sites in Utah and Arizona. These positions provide a great opportunity to learn and polish wildlife monitoring techniques and assist with research on wild horses and burros. More information about our research projects can be found at
    > Description:
    > Field work in 2017 will be part of a five-year study examining the demography and behavioral ecology of wild horses and burros in three different Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Utah and one in Arizona. The successful applicants will use radio telemetry to locate wild horses or burros to determine demographic parameters, and/or to conduct behavioral observations. Positions available will focus on behavior and demography of either wild horses or wild burros. There is potential for exemplary field technicians to continue work as graduate students at CSU, pending successful admittance to the university.
    > Field work will be rigorous, requiring extended hiking across all terrains in remote areas, frequently off-trail on high slopes. Work will be conducted under variable weather conditions at elevations above 6,000 feet, with the potential for both extreme heat and temperatures below freezing. Independence and a tenacious work ethic are essential. Behavioral observations require a great deal of patience and ability to spend many hours watching animals simply graze or rest. The positions are located in remote field sites, necessitating excellent teamwork and flexibility, good communication skills, and a positive attitude. Housing will be provided at the field sites, and will consist of shared trailers, or tents. No internet service is available in the housing, and cell service is patchy in most locations.
    > We have openings for up to 6 field technicians that can commit for the entire field season: mid-March through September 2017. There may be some ability to truncate the season, so please state your availability in your application, as well as your desire to work with wild horses versus wild burros if you have a preference.
    > Field technicians will be employed by Colorado State University at a salary of $14/hr. This is an hourly position based on a 40-hour work week, although due to the nature of field work longer work hours may be incurred. No over time compensation is provided, and the positions are not eligible for paid sick leave, or paid vacation.
    > Duties and responsibilities (depending on position):
    > Locating radio-collared or radio-tagged individual animals using radio telemetry.
    > Collecting demographic data, recording data, and entering it in to a database.
    > Collection of behavioral data, recording data, and entering it in to a database.
    > Maintaining databases and proofing data that has been entered.
    > Participation in related field research projects as needed (this may entail travelling to a different herd area).
    > Skills needed:
    > • Familiarity with use of GPS and/or map and compass.
    > • Maintaining and safeguarding personally assigned and project equipment.
    > • Assisting in routine maintenance of housing.
    > • Ability to drive 4WD vehicles across varied and rugged terrain.
    > • Completion of necessary CSU or USGS safety courses and certifications.
    > • Excellent communication skills required to remain in contact with remote supervisor during protracted fieldwork.
    > Minimum qualifications:
    > • One year of laboratory or field research, or any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.
    > • A state driver’s license valid during period of employment (any US state).
    > • Ability to hike in backcountry covering 4-5 miles each day while carrying a 35lb pack.
    > Preferred qualifications (in addition to above):
    > • Bachelors degree in wildlife science, biology or related discipline.
    > • Experience with radio telemetry in field conditions.
    > • Experience with behavioral observations of mammals under natural conditions.
    > • Understanding of animal behavior and ecology.
    > • Ability to manage and maintain a computer database.
    > To apply send both a letter of interest and resume with contact information for two references to Sarah King at [log in to unmask] Clearly state how your experience qualifies you for this position, and your availability.
    > Deadline for receipt of applications is January 22, 2017.


    • The collar I saw on mid sized horse looked awkward & unnatural like it was going to cause irritation or rub & horse didnt even appear fully grown!!! Not HUMANE looking at all!!! Barbaric& UNNECESSARY!!! Put up poles where trees lack w/ motion control censors to record any “study info needed” on herds. QUIT the BS & using Nazi tactics to CONTINUE STEALING THEM only to torture starve separate from THEIR FAMILIES (leaving mamas& foals heartbroken & stressed)💔 all to make sure our land’s become Barron & our MUSTANGS are KILLED OFF???? SHAME ON THEM I see thru this EVIL VILE Ruse & IT SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED FOR ONE MORE DAY! Stop the CRUEL roundups!!!!! BLM has LIED to KILL ENUF ALREADY!! NOT ONE MORE pleeeeease we are begging you to have compassion & stop once& for all PLEZ PLEZ PLEZ


  7. America’s Wild Horses Continue to Lose Habitat to Special Interest Groups
    By Sonia Luokkala / Earth Island Journal

    “I believe that my investigation was obstructed all along by persons within the BLM because they did not want to be embarrassed,” the prosecutor, Mrs. Alia Ludlum, wrote in a memo that year, a copy of which, along with thousands of other grand jury documents, was obtained by the Associated Press. “I think there is a terrible problem with the program and with government agents placing themselves above the law,” Ludlum wrote.
    According to Baca during the investigation, Bruce Babbitt, then Secretary of the Interior, told him to back off. Baca left office the same year.
    “The wild horse and burro program has always been answerable to only the livestock industry and their political power over Western Senators and Congressmen. All of the administrations bow to that power, ” Baca says.
    According to Baca, in failing to understand the importance of western public lands, administrations continue sacrificing them for special interests. “They don’t see any gain to their political careers by rocking the boat.”
    Baca believes the horse numbers should be controlled, but they should not be on a slow course to extinction. “Every horse not on the range means another cow and calf that will be. BLM has always been a step child to the whims of the oil, gas, coal, mining and livestock industries
    Baca believes the idea of special sanctuaries on the range is promising. “The wild horses should be allowed to exist for future generations to appreciate. A wild horse crammed into a corral is nothing more than a life sentence to misery.”

    Liked by 1 person


    Some years ago, Ellen Cathryn Nash wrote an insightful report for our website called:
    Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends
    10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands

    Nash subsequently issued this information as a Press Release in March 2005 which we posted on Tuesday’s Horse.
    Some of the names Nash listed as “Rolex Ranchers” are:
    Ted Turner
    Baron Hilton
    Mary Hewlett-Jaffey
    JR Simplot
    Hunt Oil Company of Dallas

    Nash’s reports also states:
    “The Public Lands Ranching Organization reports that the federal grazing program operates at a loss, costing taxpayers at least $500,000,000 annually. This figure includes direct program costs and millions of dollars spent on emergency feed, drought and flood relief, and predator control to support or mitigate damage from public lands grazing.”
    Vickery Eckhoff recently completed an excellent in depth series on the same topic:
    Exposing America’s Billionaire Welfare Ranchers
    America’s .01 percent like the Kochs and the Hiltons are collecting massive subsidies from the federal government.
    It is riveting reading. In her email announcement regarding the work Eckhoff states:
    “Nearly a year ago, following Forbes response to my writing about Cliven Bundy and the federal grazing program, I was approached by AlterNet with a proposition.
    “There had been some speculation that my Forbes departure had been spurred by Steve Forbes having grazing leases or that people with influence at Forbes did and that my exposing the federal grazing program was not to their liking. Would I be interested in writing a piece on rich welfare ranchers?
    “The idea of exploring that topic was attractive, even though I knew it would be challenging, so I agreed.
    “Today, almost a year later, I’m proud to publish “Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List” on AlterNet and also the Daily Pitchfork.”

    Liked by 1 person

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