Horse News

Update on Wild Horses and Burros in Jeopardy

An open letter by Ginger Kathrens

“Interior Sec. and Utah Congressman present fictional account of wild horses..”

Dear Friends;

I just got back from a trip to the Pryors and to the Red Desert Complex of south central Wyoming. The horses all look so fabulous and the Red Desert is horse heaven with abundant forage and so much room to roam. Maybe that is why the Congressional Public Resource Sub-Committee hearing today threw me for a loop! Here is that section of the hearing with Chris Stewart of Utah questioning and commenting to Secretary Zinke.

Secretary of the Interior testifies before Congressional Sub-Committee June 8, 2017. The Secretary is being questioned by Congressman Stewart of Utah. 5 minute clip.

This Congressional conversation bears no resemblance to what I am seeing first hand on our ranges. After I left the Pryors, I visited four Herd Management areas in Wyoming called the Red Desert Complex, areas scheduled for devastating roundups this fall. BLM proposes to remove over 2,000 wild horses.

They would leave less than1 horse per 1,000 acres in the 750,000 acre Red Desert Complex! Congressman Stewart contends that wild horses are devastating western rangelands and starving to death. Here’s what is devastating rangelands. I happened on this site while looking for wild horses in the Stewart Creek HMA. When I turned off the dirt road onto a two track the acrid smell of cow manure hit me like a slap in the face. Then I saw the cattle and the land around the pond. The area was devastated, not by horses, but cattle

The Secretary spoke of birth control methods that do not work. This too is completely inaccurate. PZP works in all the herds that use it but I can count those herds on the fingers of both hands. And Congressman Stewart chimed in that the cost was thousands of dollars (for a dose). The Secretary agreed.

I feel like I am living in an alternative reality. PZP is $27 a dose and PZP-22 is a couple hundred dollars a dose—but thousands?! Where do these gentlemen get their information?

It is critically important that you make your voices heard. The American public is the only thing standing between the death and destruction of our herds on the range and in holding. Please keep calling the White House and your Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators and telling them that you want your wild horses to live in freedom on the range. (Right; wild horse family-Green Mtn. HMA)

WHITE HOUSE: Call the President– 202-456-1111. (not weekends)




1. Leave your name (spell it), and the town where you live.

2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.<

3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.

4. You will probably get a Voicemail—but that’s ok. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses  and burros.


8 replies »

  1. Who are the 2 men talking ? How can the truth be gotten to D.C. when these lies are being told ? That dead, white horse was the one with a broken leg that was being rounded up by BLM if I remember correctly. I’ve seen that pic before.


  2. Ginger. You’ve got the photos. Make copies for zinke and take the photos to him. Tell him your story ..what you saw. Otherwise he’s just going to continue to listen to these lying ass senators and you’re going to lose your photo opportunities. You’ve got the evidence. Use it.


  3. Ginger, Great retort with your fresh look at the Red Desert herds. Here’s part of comments I submitted:

    I recommend and support NO ACTION regarding the BLM’s proposal that would remove 80 percent of the estimated wild horse population of 2620 in the Red Desert Complex of Wyoming, leaving a fragmented, threatened herd total of about 524 horses.  This is absurd and unacceptable by any humane standard.

    The proposed action is predicated on a BLM census.  To the best of my knowledge, non exists, at least none that has been shared with the public.  I am aware that in Wyoming, the BLM often conducts its wild horse “counts” based on flyovers with leaders of livestock organizations whose stated purpose is to eradicate wild horses from the range.  This is not valid..

    The EA fails to analyze the human impacts of the proposed action.  Wild horses draw tourists and interested viewers from around the US and the world.  This activity benefits local communities, among them the most distressed rural areas.  Wild horse viewing is promoted in the official Wyoming guide and in many county tourist brochures.  Why damage this beneficial economic activity by decimating and harming the famous Red Desert wild horse herds?

    The EA does not analyze impacts on the wild horse herds of the proposed action. Reducing herd numbers to the ridiculously low AML will make the wild horses in the Complex, many of which trace their lines to the Spanish colonial horses, more vulnerable to inbreeding and genetically caused diseases such as blindness. Running the horses over and over by helicopter in the heat of summer over harsh terrain will kill or harm many foals and older mustangs. How can this be justified when alternatives are readily available?

    The EA fails to set forth the costs to taxpayers including payments to contractors for helicopter roundups, payments to veterinarians for wounded horses, disposal of carcasses for horses killed by helicopter roundups, and long-term costs of maintaining wild horses removed from their designated ranges. Why is there no cost comparison of bait trapping vs. helicopter roundup?

    To be accurate, the EA must take into account that any wild horses removed from their homes this year are being placed at high risk of being sold without restriction and very likely slaughtered if the Administration budget proposal is accepted by Congress.

    While claiming the need to prevent range degradation, the EA contains no analysis of the differentiated impacts by herd area of livestock grazing vs. wild horse grazing vs. other activities such as oil and gas drilling, mining, off-road sports vehicles, etc.

    To be credible, the EA needs to include the following data:

    — Recent genetic testing of the herds with dates and results;

    — Annual census information for 2015-2017 including actual counts, how they were carried out and with whom, and projected population estimates and details about the data upon which these estimates are based;

    — Livestock grazing numbers for each HMA, including active AUM allocations for each of the past five years;

    — Information on rangeland impacts for each HMA distinguishing the effects of livestock activity vs. wild horse activity, and source and dates of said monitoring data;

    — Analysis of proposed action on captured wild horses, including expected injury and mortality rates during and after the gather as well as in holding pens, and what happens to captured horses that are deemed unacceptable;

    — Full costs of proposed action including payments to contractors and veterinarians, transportation to other BLM sites for adoption events, and long-term maintenance costs of removed horses in holding; and cost comparison as well as impact comparison of proposed roundup techniques vs. bait trapping.

    It is unacceptable that the BLM continues to scapegoat wild horses for alleged ecological impacts with no apparent evidence and without any reference to the rangeland impacts of cattle and sheep, mining, oil and gas drilling and other incursions such as road-building and off-road use for recreational purposes.  Poor rangeland management that allows livestock overgrazing is a well-known and key factor in deterioration of public grazing lands: “BLM frequently used the lack of detailed carrying capacity and range monitoring data to explain why it has not taken action to reduce widely recognized overgrazing by domestic livestock.” (GAO-1990 RCED-90-110). The BLM needs to own up to these facts.

    The public wants reform, not repeating the same tried-and-failed formula of fuzzy estimates, helicopter roundups, herd breakup, costly warehousing and backdoor slaughter.  These failed solutions are in conflict with the will of the American people.  It is time to support humane management and foster cooperation with local partners to monitor herds, improve rangeland conditions and implement consistent programs of fertility control.  The BLM needs to to carry out its legal mandate to protect, value and promote wild horse herds.  The humane management model is working in Colorado and in other HMAs throughout the West.  We stand ready to support such an approach in this vital herd complex.

    Charlotte Roe

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I expect the BLM might be right about their claim that PZP costs “thousands” per dose. Since this is the government we are talking about, the actual dose costs $27 but it costs thousands for these paid professional horse managers to actually get one dose into one horse. Remember the $642 toilet seat, among other follies wasting taxpayers dollars?

    It would seem logical to suggest a living, breathing, free-roaming wild horse is worth more than a single nut (see below).

    “Remember when we found out that the government paid $640 each for plastic toilet seats for military airplanes? Now that was something I could feel that I personally paid for. I pay a good deal more than $640 in taxes every year, and I probably paid for several of those toilet seats. That is a concrete contribution that I can be proud of.

    A handy book for any taxpayer is “The Pentagon Catalog” (Workman), which describes and shows diagrams of numerous pieces of military hardware that authors Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard describe as “ordinary products at extraordinary prices.”

    They claim that their firm, Pentagon Products, can supply any of these items to anyone at the prices our military paid for them, and they boast, “We will not be oversold.”

    Anyone who buys this paperback for $4.95 gets a $2,043 nut free.

    The nut is glued to the inside of the back cover, in the upper right hand corner, and fits in a hole in the pages, so it goes through to the front.

    This nut, which is described as “a plain round nut,” was made by McDonnell Douglas for the Navy at $2,043 each.”


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