Horse Health

UW, BLM to Begin Controversial and Inhumane Wild Horse Movement Study


“From the destruction of wild horse’s genitals to the installation of dangerous collars the rogue federal agency, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), continues to enlist the aide of America’s institutions of higher learning to be partners in their crimes.” ~ R.T.

It works on cows

“It works on cows, duuuuuhhhh!”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the University of Wyoming are beginning a study to learn more about wild horse seasonal use and movements in the Adobe Town herd management area (HMA).

The study will begin with a bait-trap gather and radio collaring of up to 30 wild mares during February. No wild horses will be removed during this nonhelicopter gather.

UW scientists Derek Scasta and Jeff Beck, both in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, are heading the research. Jake Hennig, a Ph.D. student in the department, also will participate. They will use the information gleaned from the radio collars to learn more about how wild horses interact with their environment. Specifically, the researchers will study migration patterns and herd movements in the HMA. The BLM says it will use the study results to ensure wild horse herds continue to thrive on healthy rangelands.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture has provided $120,000 to start the research. The BLM also has contributed funding.

Bait-trapping involves setting up temporary corrals within the HMA to attract wild horses safely into the corral. When a certain number of horses has entered the pen, the gate to the corral is closed. Once the horses are gathered, trained personnel will load and transport selected mares to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility. After the horses arrive at the facility, staff from the U.S. Geological Survey will place collars with GPS tracking devices on the horses. The horses will then be returned to the HMA.

The 20-30 mares that BLM will select to wear GPS collars will be 5 years old or older. All other wild horses gathered will be immediately released shortly after the selected mares are sorted and held for collaring. All mares will be released at or near the same location where they were gathered. The selected contractors are in the process of identifying trap site locations and will begin the bait-trapping process soon.

Corrals could be set up in stages over a period of days to allow the horses to grow accustomed to the enclosures. About three to five trap sites are required to distribute radio-collared mares throughout the entire HMA. Bait-trapping is an effective method for capturing small numbers of selected horses.

The number of people in the trap area will be limited to key personnel to ensure a successful and safe gather for the horses.

Public viewing opportunities will be limited. Public viewing is always allowed at the wild horse holding facility overlook in Rock Springs, where the mares will be taken to be collared. Public viewing also will be allowed at the release sites of the collared mares. The BLM will keep a list of people who would like to attend the releasing of the collared mares and notify them at least one day before the releases. Media and interested public can view and photograph the mares being released with the GPS collars. To add your name to the list for public viewing, contact BLM Public Affairs Officer Tony Brown at (307) 352-0215.

The BLM’s Rawlins Field Office released the decision record and finding of no significant impact for the Adobe Town HMA Wild Horse Movements and Habitat Selection Research Gather Environmental Assessment Nov. 9, 2016. The decision was to allow enough wild horses to be gathered by bait trapping, so up to 30 selected mares could be outfitted with GPS collars. The BLM will use two separate contractors to conduct the bait-trapping operations.

Click (HERE) to view BLM Press Release

12 replies »

  1. Of course the University of Wyoming will be complicit in this study because their masters in the Wyoming legislature want the horses gone. This sham study will do nothing but give them ammunition to further their agenda to rid public lands in Wyoming of the horses and give coal mining more room to expand.


  2. Mr. Scasta has published “research” on competition between wild horses and livestock grazing which was only a compilation of older studies, FWIW.

    Also worth noting, there are two gigantic transmission line routes approved now which cross most of the HMAs in southern WY. The east-west line is called Gateway West, and another which heads southwest out of Rawlins looks like it may cross part of the Adobe Town HMA. This may be part of the reason for pushing this study.






    • IS – thank you for this information……is there any way that in the above mentioned “non helicopter gather” – anybody sympathetic to the horses can be involved without repercussions? I mean someone to be an eye and ear for the horses? I believe the whole enterprise is just a scam but would like to know from someone’s first hand experience……Coal mining is the dirtiest business – that and fracking – its the 21st century folks – why can’t the UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING come up with a better idea – c’mon folks. Is it just LAZINESS? PS – love to see how the “Public Viewing” list works……anybody know?


      • Rita, I don’t know, other than to suggest contacting the U of WY and Mr. Scasta to see if they would allow any volunteers to document their work. I have seen ads elsewhere looking for field employees to help with similar work in other states.

        Also, to be fair, it’s not clear to me who originated this idea, but typically the BLM hatches the idea then solicits others to do the work through contracts. This one seems to include the BLM, U of WY, the USDA (why – since wild horses are managed under the Dept. of Interior, not the USDA), and for similar studies the USGS was involved relating to the collars.

        If this study is to “ensure wild horse herds continue to thrive on healthy rangelands” they should also be collaring the livestock grazing these areas, as well as documenting any and all other factors affecting rangeland health (like transmission lines, oil and gas drill pads, fracking water leach ponds, methane emissions, drought, soil health, vegetation transitions etc.). Simply tracking horses within their legal areas will accomplish next to nothing, but will pay for a few people’s wages, and allow some professors to produce yet another pointless publication. Follow the money, as usual.


  3. And what are they going to do with that data…destroy it?

    Magic Valley.Com
    Judge orders Idaho to destroy elk and wolf wilderness data
    BOISE – A federal judge has ordered Idaho to destroy all information collected from collars placed on elk and wolves obtained illegally….…Read more


    • I have a better idea! Why not save us all money & the BLM & UW’s time & put this before a federal judge BEFORE starting to bait trap? THEN there would be no illegal information collected and no wild mares trapped & brutalized! What real good is accomplished after the Idaho’s manhandling of the elk AND the ILLEGAL “mistaken” collaring of wolves? Tends to up my blood pressure reading about all the ways OUR wildlife is being abused & slaughtered!


      • Maggie, I could not agree with you more. The wildlife is suffering at the hand of human stupidity. I can’t see what difference it makes where they migrate or what area they live in. By tracking movement, it gives them “vital” information to capture and kill and I for one am darned sick of it. The government does not own the animals, and I don’t believe they own the land either. So why do they think any of us who love to see the wild in their own environment really cares about where they live as long as they are left alone to thrive? The government needs to start asking the public, since the public land belongs to us as taxpayers, if this is what we want. I really don’t care how the elk migrate or to where, and I’m am not interested as to where the wolves build dens and raise their young. The only ones that care about it are the hunters, knowing where to hunt and getting the most and biggest of the bucks and killing of wolves for attaching cattle or sheep because the farmers are stupid enough to make their ranch in the wilderness. There is a reason it’s called wilderness. There’s wild animals in them there hills. My point, the government needs to let nature takes it’s course. It has always kept the numbers manageable until man decided to put his knowledge, or lack there of, where it is not needed.


      • Robyn – great comments – our wild horses & burros NEED people to stick up for them & be vocal about it – I’m wondering if emails actually are getting thru to the people who “matter”! Maybe we all need to write actual letters & MAIL them? An email is easy to delete – a paper comment might just make it a little more difficult to deny. Also – the Sec of Interior? The present one sure hasnt spent one moment looking out for the horses – and the one whos nominated? Boy, he has an agenda from what I’ve read about him – HORSE SLAUGHTER! I think the more mail our supposed representatives get – both Dem & Rep – might force them to re-think this whole issue. After all – back in the late 60s isnt that what happened with the kids in school & Wild Horse Annie? Could be worth a try again… Even better if the wild horse & burro groups actually stopped the back-biting & competition for donations & worked TOGETHER? Its a challenge – but it has been for far too long.


    • Louie, if the information is obtained illegally, then what does the BLM think they are going to accomplish collecting data on the mustang other than the way they travel exclusively for round up and removal??? Isn’t there anything we can do to stop the BLM and get the Sec. of the Interior to see where they are going wrong??They are out to destroy the mustang. The cattle ranchers don’t want them, the oil companies want them off the land so they can drill and the mining companies don’t want them around due to the dynamiting they do. What legal road can we take to stop the BLM from removing the mustang at the rate they are taking? Petitions get ignored, cases get so far and then thrown out, they get sent to the bottom of the stack, and never get heard. How canwe expose the BLM for who they really are?


      • Robyn, in the article that I posted, it was the U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Fish & Game that obtained the data illegally. That was as much of the article that I could copy. You have to pull up the link in order to read the entire article.
        I do see a parallel, as the BLM radio collar study violates the very basic tenet of the Wild Horses & Burro Act


  4. Unfortunately, the BLM is always out to better the cattle ranchers and not the mustang. The whole idea of fitting collars on mustang to see how they migrate is only a ploy to track their movement so they can remove every last one of them.To me this is a plan to see where they go and to plot the map so when they do their next round up, which I guarantee will be soon after the study, they can catch them all and rid the area of mustang so they can lease the land to whom ever bids the highest dollar. They have no regard to the wildlife in the area, as long as the BLM can do as they please in their “management” of the land. All they are managing is the dollars the highest bidder is putting into the BLM individual’s bank accounts. What the Secretary of the Interior doesn’t know the BLM is doing, the more they make.. I think it is high time we, who are for the freedom of the mustang, start making things a little steamy for the BLM. If anyone who cares for the mustang can get an email, a letter, a phone call put in to the Sec. of the Interior and voice our concerns of the BLM over stepping their job description and killing mustang, the better chance we have to put a stop to the BLM’s irrational actions. This is unacceptable. The BLM have been doing away with our mustang and leasing our public land to herds of cattle that destroy the eco system and they will continue until someone gets it across that we are not standing idolly by any longer. They have destroyed enough of our mustang and the buck stops here. If you have a computer and can look it up, look up Wild horse and burro act of 1971 and the amendments and see how ridiculous some of that law is. It gets amended every time the BLM decides they want something changed. They have to much power and it’s time we the people start standing up for our rights and those who do not have a voice…These mustang have survived centuries out in the wild and all of a sudden there is an allotted number on hundreds of thousands of acres just so cattle and sheep can be allowed. Both of those animals eat grass to the ground and with some of the heat indexes in most of those areas, the grass gets burned up and killed off. I think it is up to us as a human race to stop the destruction of the land that was set aside for the mustang and get the tame cattle and sheep off Mustang land…Let their voices be heard through your voice. Stop the BLM from tracking the herds and from removing the herds and get the Secretary of the Interior to understand, we don’t want our herds managed, we want them left to the wild and the BLM put under strict rule not to harass, capture, brand or kill any more of our wild mustang once and for all….I think the possible destruction of the 44,000 of the 67,000 head in government holding pens is more than enough for them to notch into their belts.Let’s stop the BLM permanently…..and Now!


  5. This is outrageous where is the justice

    On Feb 4, 2017 9:09 AM, “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” wrote:

    > R.T. Fitch posted: “Source: “From the destruction of wild horse’s > genitals to the installation of dangerous collars the rogue federal agency, > Bureau of Land Management (BLM), continues to enlist the aide of America’s > institutions of higher learning to be partners i” >


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