Horse News

BLM Set to Wage War on Wyoming’s Wild Horses, AGAIN!

Sources: Multiple

“Using poor science and bad numbers the BLM continues to ensure that the wild horses of Wyoming will have no families, freedom or future.  Unedited, propaganda article posted below. (Herds do not double in size every four years – Fake News)” ~ R.T.

Adobe Town ~ photo by Carol Walker

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo.  — The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to remove about 1,000 wild horses from three herd management areas, including Adobe Town, in southwest Wyoming in order to meet population level objectives.

Kimberlee Foster, field manager for the Rock Springs BLM field office, said there are too many horses on the land, and rules require them to remove horses when they are above management levels.

Foster said the gathered horses will go to the Rock Springs Holding Facility where they will be put up for adoption.

The BLM plans to remove 210 horses from Adobe Town, 584 from Salt Wells Creek and 235 from Great Divide Basin.

There are many reasons the BLM must carefully maintain certain population ranges for wild horses in Wyoming. For one, there are no natural predators for horses in the state and equines can be prodigious breeders.

“Typically a herd management area can double in size every four or five years,” Foster told the Rawlins Daily Times ( ).

If wild horse populations become too large, the natural forage on the land won’t be able to support them.

Herd management is based around the usage of the land, Foster said, as well as the amount of available forage for the animals. Additionally, the BLM has agreed to act to reduce herd sizes should population levels reach a certain point.

The BLM is accepting public comment until April 4 on its horse roundup plan.

21 replies »

  1. I don’t know why they bother to lie. The liar in chief had signed off on the endangered species act. They’ve pretty much lost their protection. To say they have no natural predators is also a lie. Anybody who had seen the cloud sequencer about this stallions life had seen the one year where no foals survived due to predation by natural predators ( in this case was the mountain lion). To say lie they’ve been saying that these horses have no natural predators is foolish.. They have two main ones..the mountain lion and the BLM (aka ranchers). So shut up with that lie.. We may be stupid but not that stupid.. Pzp (if used) is very effective although not necessary because of the bottom end of the AML which is what they are keeping these horses at. there is no such birth rate of 200% .. As for these ranchers..their base for sales is shot in the ass. Because the agent Orange had decided to lock America up.. What are they high to do with 97% of their cattle?? Not only that but their elected king of orangeness wants mining and fracking so he and his buddies can make more money off his dirty oil from public (?) lands..Ain’t that right BLM?? Ranchers are in fir a rude awakening. This country as a whole is dead thanks to greed and ignorance..


  2. Is this part of the checkerboard lands? What 1200 horses a couple years ago wasn’t enough? Learn to share resources people!


    • Yes, all three HMAs overlap the Checkerboard, some by about half.

      Also LUDICROUS to assert there are no natural predators — in all of WYOMING!?!

      I personally know there are plenty of Mtn. Lions just south of the WY CO border with two of these HMAs. Not to overlook lightning, either, which took out a whole herd of Elk in one moment some years ago.

      Also not explained – how they will manage NOT to roundup the collared mares they just released for a two year study. Or will they round them up and then haul them yet again to an unfamiliar area (with fewer horses) to see what “natural” grazing and migrating patterns they exhibit, especially in areas shared with grazing livestock?

      This is a thinly disguised attempt to circumvent what was declared illegal last year, as it continues to be based on the RSGA requests for removals (AML estimations have to take into account the pressure from livestock grazing and other uses on public lands).


  3. I’ve read things about wild horse populations sizes SUPPOSEDLY doubling every four years, but I don’t recall anyone saying that they double every FIVE years. I would like to know where the writer got that information from. Also, did he add the mortality rate into the equation? In one herd outside of Wyoming, the population growth rate is about 20% but the death rate is about 10%. You have to take into consideration BOTH factors.


  4. Has nobody yet learned that the highest possible costs are guaranteed by helicopter roundups, removals, and warehouseing wild horses for life? This is a non-starter, manufactured to add even more pressure to slaughter those caught for the only crime of being born in the USA.

    We know on-range contraception works and costs less, yet the BLM provides only a fraction of funding for this compared to the most extreme and most costly approaches they can invent, including the massive losses we all pay for in the subsidized grazing program.

    Why do they remain hypnotized by this failed policy? We can and must do better for our horses and our people, who want to see wild horses, in the wild, on the range (without collars!). Last night I happened on a photographer’s website from the East Coast who is taking others on a wild horse photo workshop this fall for $400 per person (nothing but guiding and photo tips included). The BLM values each horse placed in a sanctuary at $800/year, so only two people for one weekend’s photography will cover that cost for a year! How on earth do the millions of dollars paid for roundups/removals/warehousing ever be fiscally responsible? In this era of agency-wide budget cuts there can be no justfication for this when less expensive and more effective strategies are known and available.

    Nobody should support this manufactured crisis which props up only a lucky few at the largest possible cost to the rest of us. It is not and has not proven to be a sustainable answer for anyone, least of all taxpayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Typically a herd management area can double in size every four or five years” – Really? From what I’ve read & seen -the HMAs seem to SHRINK in size much more often. Apparently, no one edits these “statements”?
    Not a shocker – we all know theres very little actual knowledge or research in BLM’s stories. And yet, they continue to do as they please & ignore science or any little gem of common sense. If there is a cut to their budget – well we cant afford to keep all these wild horses in holding! Never a thought to the millions that we, as taxpayers are shelling out so that these livestock CORPORATIONS can continue to overgraze & devastate OUR public lands, while users of grazing allotments receive subsidies & use the allotments (public land) as collateral for loans.
    Sorry for preaching to the choir here – but the press never seems to find this information, or I guess its not important enough – only twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The last of Wyoming’s Wild Horses?
    All removed from Public Lands for the profits of private/corporate interests?

    America’s Vanishing Wild Horses


  7. I am opposed to the removal or harm to these wild herds and the past removal of their natural predators!! God created them all…they were on this land before the BLM or cattle!! GOD HAD THE PERFECT DESIGN AND THE BLM HAS ONLY DESTROYED AND TAMPERED WITH IT!! They should be protected and preserved as well as their land!! Cattle should not be allowed to use or compete for their land!! Their natural predators should be protected and reintroduced not eradicated for the betterment of the cattle ranchers!! Removing our country’s wild horses and GODS beautiful creations is a crime!! And goes against the values and interests of the AMERICAN people whom these horses belong!! BLM HAS DONE HARM AND DESTROYED OUR WILD HERDS OF HORSES and should not be allowed to manage public lands or our wildlife!! They are robbing American people using tax dollars while working only for the benefit of cattle ranchers!!


  8. You should sign in their comments that they cannot double in size that frequently because they will have to consider the stallion is a male and he will father male offspring, offspring that cannot reproduce as of yet the following season for breeding wont guarantee the foals conception or arrival. Second you need to point out a Natural Enemy is the BLM and The Ranchers that bellyache. Its a well known fact that poaching occurs and we all know many horses do not survive helicopters. In 2011 the BLM said in an article they have wolves as Natural Predators, now they claim to have None. That was their Own press release statement. Im sick of their double talk.


  9. The government has to have their nose into everything. Please leave these poor animals alone. They are the original horse. True horse. Most of the ones now a days, can’t compete.


  10. [is it just my computer or did the font settings change here? Different style and much darker — at least easier to read now!]

    Would you like a little science with that fiction? From two NAS meetings in 2012 (the date of the fourth meeting isn’t provided in the summary):

    Eyewitness Report on Fourth and Final Public Meeting of NAS Wild Horse and Burro Review Committee

    The National Academy of Sciences Wild Horse and Burro Review Committee met publicly for the fourth and final time on May 14, at the NAS headquarters in Washington, DC. Highlights included presentations on mountain lion research documenting predation on wild horses in much higher numbers than expected and wild ass studies that indicate the animals (from whom U.S. burros are descended) naturally regulate their population numbers in accordance with water availability. …

    Dr. Jim Nichols of the U.S. Geological Survey spoke about decision-making processes and adaptive management for natural resources. Dr. Nichols said that adaptive management offers the opportunity to “learn and use what you learn in future decision-making….If we learn, we can apply what we learn to subsequent decisions, so we can make better and better decisions….We learn so we can do a better job in the future.

    The concept of adaptive management appears to be lost on the BLM, an agency that fails to learn from the mistakes of the past as it continues the unsustainable cycle of wild horse roundups and removals, with no end in sight. …

    Mountain Lion Predation on Wild Horses Significant

    Alyson Andreason from the University of Nevada Reno presented the findings of her research into mountain lions and their rate of predation on wild horses. Ms. Andreason has documented much higher levels of predation on wild horses – primarily foals – than had previously been believed. Ms. Andreason has studied mountain lions in the Carson Range, Virginia Range and the Pine Nut Mountains. Her team collared 32 lions between January 2009 and 2012, including 22 adults and 10 kittens (expandable collars). They found that the lions consumed “more horses than we would have expected.” In the Virginia Range, mountain lions killed four times more horses than deer. Most of the horses killed (84 percent) were less than 12 months of age.

    Ms. Andreason’s excellent research is upending the prevailing notion, perpetuated by ranchers and the BLM, that wild horses have no natural predators, and therefore, the only way to manage them is to round them up and remove them. Mountain lions are hunted throughout the West, as well as removed (killed) by the USDA at the request of ranchers. If they were protected instead of persecuted, mountain lions could clearly play a role in regulating some wild horse populations.

    On March 19 – 20, 2012, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Wild Horse and Burro Review Committee met in Irvine, CA to continue its scientific evaluation of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) program. While most of the committee’s discussions occurred in closed session, on Monday, March 19 from 3:00 – 6:30 p.m., the committee opened its meeting to the public.

    During this time, three official speakers, and approximately a dozen members of the public, addressed the 16-member review panel.

    Dr. Michael Wolfe of Utah State University discussed his research on mountain lion predation and presented interesting evidence that mountain lions can and do prey on wild horse foals and can be a factor in population management. Specific conditions, such as terrain, seasonal availability of other prey species (outside of wild horse foaling season), and predator eradication programs are determining factors on the impact predators have on horse populations. Dr. Wolfe presented an example of mountain lion predation significantly affecting foal survival in the Pryor Mountains until hunters killed four mountain lions in the area (see slide below).

    Dr. Wolfe highlighted so-called “societal” concerns (i.e. hunters) about increased mountain lion populations reducing big horn sheep numbers, which big game hunters want to keep plentiful so they can hunt and kill them as trophy animals.

    Dr. Allen Rutberg of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine spoke to the panel about the BLM’s consistent failure to apply science to management strategies and to follow up once management approaches — such as sex ratio skewing — are implemented. The result is that the BLM has no idea whether various strategies will work before they are implemented program wide, and what their affects are once implemented. A glaring example is the BLM’s claim that it still does not know whether PZP is effective in controlling wild horse populations, despite the fact that PZP has been used by the agency since the 1990’s.

    Dr. J.E. de Steiguer, a natural resource economist, professor at the University of Arizona and author of Wild Horses of the West: History and Politics of America’s Mustangs, highlighted the strength of public support for wild horses and burros, both today and historically, and the role that societal concerns should play in the development of wild horse and burro management policy.

    Dr. de Steiguer noted that societal concerns are not reflected in the BLM’s wild horse and burro Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) or in resource allocations the agency makes within Herd Management Areas (HMAs). He also highlighted the fact that the BLM is not following federal law or its own handbook in establishing AMLs and making roundup/removal decisions.

    Other experts addressing the panel during the public comment period included:

    Dr. Anne Perkins, an anthrozoologist and director of the Human-Animal Bond program at Carroll College in Montana. Dr. Perkins talked about her experience living with and studying three wild horse herds. Dr. Perkins told the panel that wild horses must be managed as a wildlife species, and that natural selection — not breeding for desirable characteristics like color or conformation — should be allowed to play its role in maintaining the health of wild horse herds. Dr. Chad Hansen, an ecologist with the John Muir Project and a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the BLM’s Twin Peaks roundup, spoke to the panel about the need to understand the impact of predator-eradication programs on wild horse populations. He also addressed the BLM’s lack of transparency and the difficulty he has faced in getting the agency to provide documents on which Environmental Assessments (EAs) for roundup and removal decisions are based. He relayed one instant in which he finally obtained documents related to a wild horse roundup EA, and found that while the EA concluded that wild horses were primarily responsible for riparian damage on the range, the source documents pointed to livestock as the primary culprit.


    • How sad that we – laypersons(!) – are aware of most of the above findings. But it sure is very apparent that no one at the BLM either reads or comprehends this kind of information! I wonder – did ANYONE at that agency ever actually read the NAS report? Doubtful, isnt it?


    • This WY Mule Deer Initiative Mgmt. Plan points to “significant” predation on Mule Deer by Mountain Lions and Coyotes in southern WY, however it also found while predator control increased fawn survival it had “minimal” effects on the overall population over time (pg. 21).

      Two points relevant to wild horses: first, Mountain Lions (a natural and primary predator of horses in general) exist and hunt in WY, and that controlling the predators had little impact on the prey populations. Second, and not surprising, quality and availability of habitat and increased ATV traffic were significantly related to Mule Deer declines.

      I can vouch from first hand experience that Coyotes will prey on foals sometimes much larger than themselves, so are also not credibly overlooked as existing natural predators of wild horse foals.

      Click to access SMMDI_MGMTPLAN.pdf


  11. They are collaring Mule Deer in this area now, too, with almost the exact language used for collaring wild horse mares:

    LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife officials are outfitting a mule deer herd in southern Wyoming with GPS collars to learn more about how the animals move throughout the year.

    The study of the Sheep Mountain Mule Deer Herd is part of a long-term effort to bolster the herd, which occupies an area west of Laramie from the Colorado border north to Hanna.

    The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and collared 60 does over the last several weeks.

    Biologist Lee Knox says wildlife managers are looking to identify the herd’s migration routes, winter ranges and fawning grounds over the next two years. They also want to determine if any herd members cross the border into Colorado.

    In 2014, the herd was estimated to have about 5,600 members.

    Read More: Wyoming Tracking Mule Deer Movements |

    Click to access SMMDI_MGMTPLAN.pdf



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