Horse News

What must be done…

Compiled by Grandma Gregg

* Issuance of a moratorium of roundups in all situations while the entire Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse & Burro Program undergoes objective and scientific audit and review – i.e. a Congressional Investigation.  The 1971 law clearly states they are not to be captured.

* All biological and physical interference (medical and pharmaceutical procedures such as sterilization and PZP and castration) must be stopped.  The 1971 law clearly states they are not to be harassed.

* Over the past 46 years, tens of thousands of wild horses and burros have been removed from western rangelands based on claims of “excess”.  The BLM has little to no credible data to justify its management actions.  Require absolute accountability and transparency for Congress and the tax-paying public including proof of the BLM’s on the range and off the range census – both current and past. The BLM needs population estimates to determine whether and where excess wild horses and burros exist, and, if there is an excess, how many animals need to be removed from any public rangelands.

Population estimates also guide the BLM in applying fertility control to mares and adjusting herd sex ratios in favor of stallions or geldings to reduce on-the-range births.  “‘Excess’ refers to that number of large herbivores exceeding the number that (a) allows a range ecosystem to exist at some condition approaching its potential productivity, or prevents it from becoming as productive as feasible” (NAS 1982) “Conclusion: The management of wild horses and burros would substantially benefit from improved accuracy in estimating population sizes and trends.

This should be a priority for the BLM and its collaborators, given the importance of accurate population estimates to all aspects of wild horse and burro management.” (NAS 1991) Accurate determination of the annual rate of increase depends on the ability to accurately count wild horses and burros or estimate their population size.  BLM is engaged in management actions that are not based on a credible, accurate count of wild horses and burros; many of its current counts are inaccurate due to deficiencies in its census methodologies.

* An increase in the range of these wild horses and burros back to the areas they roamed in 1971 including all original herd area lands; “where found” when the law was passed.  All estimated 53 million acres (42 million, BLM managed) of original designated Herd Area land is completely suitable for the long term “management” of wild horses and burros although nature is more than qualified to “manage” these wild animals without BLM or any human management.  This legal wild horse and burro land could easily and naturally support about 250,000 wild horses and burros.

* Return all WH&B from long and short term holding back to their legal herd area land for the reason that they were captured and removed from their Congressionally designated lands illegally because the populations statistics used to justify the removals were and are not scientifically supportable and are not scientifically defensible and therefore not credible.

BLM field managers and wild horse and burro specialists must base management decisions on accurate and credible population estimates and refusal to do this makes all BLM’s capture/removal actions illegal.

* Almost every management issue concerning wild horses and burros depends on accurate population estimates.  Reliable, science-based estimates are needed for maintaining everything from herd health to habitat carrying capacity to genetic diversity.  Scientifically supportable and defensible population estimates of wild horse and burro populations are not accomplished by BLM.  Because population estimates drive nearly all management decisions pertaining to wild horses and burros, accuracy is vital.  “The BLM clearly recognizes that its census methodologies may not be providing accurate estimates.” (1991 NAS)

“The accuracy and precision of current wild horse survey methods have not been rigorously tested.” (2013 NAS)  “At present, the accuracy of the majority of BLM’s population estimates is suspect.” The BLM’s aerial and ground surveys are not scientifically supportable and not defensible and therefore not credible. (tools such as Go-Pro on all census flights and photographing/filming of all wild horses and burros found during on the ground censes taking).

Wild Horse Freedom Federation White Paper, “…BLM’s growth estimates and population increases on specific HMAs is biologically impossible and scientifically absurd.  The BLM has reported, on more than one occasion, statistics that would establish a 750 to 1250 percent increase in population over the course of a year.”

* Remove all Appropriate Management Levels (AML) for wild horses and burros on rangelands designated for them and replace it with nature’s true ecological balance of the lands. Allow for ecological balance through acknowledgment of the thousands of years that nature “managed” these lands and incorporate true ecological methods and the removal of private/corporate for-profit domestic livestock.

Achieving justice for our wild horses and burros depends on BLM officials exercising their authority to legally reduce private, usually corporate, domestic livestock grazing in the wild horse and burros’ legal areas, whether on BLM or USFS lands.  Such exercise would be legally covered under 43 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 4710.3-2 and 43 C.F.R 4710.5(a). In particular, 43 C.F.R. 4710.5 clearly states that the Bureau of Land Management can legally reduce livestock grazing in order “to provide habitat for wild horses or burros.”

  • 4710.5 Closure to livestock grazing.
  • If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.

* By law, wild horses and burros are subject to roundups when there are “excess” animals on the range and when the excess animals are preventing achievement of a “thriving natural ecological balance” (TNEB) and/or when they are on private lands outside of existing Herd Management Area (HMA) boundaries.  There are a number of scientific issues that ostensibly contribute to the decision to conduct a roundup.

The BLM considers wild horses and burros to be excess when their population size is above the high Appropriate Management Level (AML) set for the HMA and yet many HMAs and all HAs have already been zeroed out.  When determining excess, the BLM is required, by law, to look beyond mere AML (many of which are outdated or of questionable veracity) and population estimates (which are also often inaccurate) to consider rangeland condition as a litmus test for evaluating whether a TNEB exists.

Yet few BLM roundup analyses contain more than speculative assertions over what impacts are attributable to wild horses and burros, without site-specific evidence that such impacts are real. Consequently, to legitimately determine if an excess exists, the relevant scientific factors must include an accurate population estimate of wild horses and burros.

Let’s face it … the only persons that have worked for 46 plus years for the extinction of wild horses and burros are those with a financial interest.  This has been and continues to be unacceptable, illegal and the American citizens are disgusted at the “sell-out” of our lands and resources by the USFS and the BLM agencies that are responsible to PROTECT them.

Partial References:

“Overview of the Management of Wild Horses and Burros” A report presented to the National Academy of Sciences Committee to Review the Management of Wild Horses and Burros Prepared by: Animal Welfare Institute October 2012

Cornell Law School 43 CFR 4710.5 – Closure to livestock grazing.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation White Paper (page 35)

Report: WILD HORSE POPULATION GROWTH by Gregg, LeBlanc & Johnston


Categories: Horse News

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26 replies »


    “In conclusion, the wild horses and burros are a vital component to ecological balance out on the range lands of the west, the benefits of which are innumerable as opposed to cattle. The numbers of these beautiful animals must be dictated, however, by nature itself and not man, through its own mechanisms. Only in this manner will wild horse numbers be in balance with all other forms of wildlife, including those of the predators of the wild horses. The wild horses are just this, wild, and in the wild, no matter how harsh or how mild the conditions may be, is where their beauty and their benefits exist and can be experienced. The range lands that were once filled with vast numbers of wild horses, and other forms of wildlife, are now quickly dying due to the artificial efforts of our government. The rangelands, however, can easily sustain not only the wild horses and burros existing out there now, but also every one of those in holding facilities, which now number well over 40,000. The truth is that every one of those wild horses and burros in holding facilities, if released back to the areas from which they were taken, along with those in the wild, would help bring the balance back to the rangelands, a balance that is so very vital!!”

    Robert C. Bauer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Millions of Americans treasure these beautiful wild horses and their effects on the range lands. They are part the heart and soul of the American West. And instead of protecting them, they are being chased down by helicopter, driven into pens, and dying one way or another out of sheer stupidity and greed for the land on which they have roamed for generations. How can we find out more about how to stop this? The BLM is out of control. Leaders keep saying call your congressman! HA. My congressmen are on the side of those destroying these irreplaceable beautiful animals. I feel like hundred of thousands of people would march, or write, or sign petitions or lawsuits if they knew it was happening. How can we make a stronger protest for saving the horses from the insane greed by a few that is destroying America?


    Pete Ramey

    “So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Pete Ramey

    “How has the horse world ignored the remarkable lessons the natural horse has to offer us? Only a few people have noticed them and very little time has been spent studying them. Yet the tiny peaks of a few people have revolutionized hoof care, taught us to cure “incurable” disease and advanced the training world by leaps and bounds. What if real scientific study was done? Who knows what we could learn. Do they deworm themselves? Do they seek minerals and medicinal plants? Do they colic? Do they founder? How old do they get? How long are they sound? How are these mares so healthy right after foaling and a harsh winter? What exactly wrecks their bodies so much after only six weeks of domestication? What if a racehorse was raised in this environment? A steeplechaser? A barrel horse? An endurance horse? A hunter? Would it even be fair to the competition? The list of possibilities goes on and on.
    The true wild horse is an endangered species, because true wild horse country is almost gone. We had better learn to treat them as such and get all of the answers we can from them before it’s too late.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Two thoughts.

    One, it is not possible to achieve a thriving “natural ecological balance” when non-native domestic livestock are imposed on an ecosystem.

    Two, it always puzzles me how removals are often based on a “finding of no sigificant impact” (FONSI) by so doing, as this cuts both ways. If removals make no signifcant difference, they are also not accomplishing what the BLM insists is necessary for range health. In other words, they are claiming removals make no difference, but also that they are needed to address catastrophic impacts on the range produced solely by wild horses and burros. These are contradictory and unreconcilable claims.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very good thoughts! The FONSI is sort of a catch 22 finding – if theres no impact either way – then why a removal? A FONSI really is not and hasnt been a reason to remove horses! Seems assinine, doesnt it? But then we are talking about the BLM’s “mindset”.!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Daniel Cordero Fernández
    15 hrs ·
    GAO, Congress supposed investigative arm, has released a new flawed report supporting wild horse slaughter in preparation for the upcoming Senate Appropriations markup session vote.
    The report is totally flawed and full of inconsistencies, created at the sole request of the pro-slaughter lobby to waive it in front of the Senate appropriations committee and justify the slaughter of US horses, domestic and wild. You can read it at
    With this new report, GAO once again sinks to a new bottom and reassures its position as propaganda machine of the anti-animal lobby directed by Forrest Lucas.


    • This report was produced very rapidly so any conclusions it draws should be suspect, and all its data and assumptions carefully and independently reviewed to establish its veracity, if any.

      Contrast this with the nationwide survey the BLM supposedly conducted in the past year, so far without any revelation of what it contained or who it was sent to.

      The BLM reps have indicated this was done but there was so much data involved it would take them years to pull it all together, so the public should not expect to see anything soon, if ever. It may or may not support what the GAO report includes, but both should be completed and compared before any life and death decisions are made on behalf of “managing” America’s horses.


    • Well, certainly no doubt what or who influenced that report!
      Strange that in the case of the reservation “wild” horses:
      “according to a BIA official, grant proposals may be rejected because the partial removal of horses is not considered an effective long-term strategy for controlling free-roaming populations.”
      Isn’t that odd – that’s what all of us have been saying for many many years.
      and here it is right in the GAO report. It must only apply to the BIA horses tho, right? What a load of baloney!


  6. Louie did u send this to the news or anywhere? i sent alot to minden paper the federalist who has many papers. and front pg said wild horses are weeds to be picked out!):


  7. Janet, I have sent to many news outlets, especially to those in the eastern states where there is not so much conflict of interests. Many of those readers don’t even realize that they have Wild Horses & Burros or that they are major property owners. Public Lands and Wildlife belong to ALL of us. So do the vast supply of natural resources that are found there, not the least of which is water.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So we Need to Reach As many People as possible to stop horse and destruction of herds in holding. The concept the BLM has created that the Only solution is mass sales is death without the Bureau technically having sent to slaughter themselves. In other words the horses were collected and are being collected currently to kill. The Bureau wants to portray themselves as the victims and there overcrowding a direct result of a negative program, the result only 2 options mass sales to die without the BLM in the headlines and rejecting slaughter publicly or actually allowing slaughter thus allowing them to peel off theirasks and reveal their true intention from the beginning. To keep compounding the costs of horses in holding over the next decade and not explaining to the public this is actually money paid to employees conducting roundups and helicopters are the most expensive part of the program, without both they save over half the annual budget. They also do not tell the public horses roaming cost nothing to care for. They also do not explain it’s a moochers program when they pay inflated costs for hay, services and hire extra employees that literally just look around and walk away. These nonessential employees are expensive to retain. The facts are completely ignored by most press. The undated numbers and making the public fear wild horses will starve to death is a rouse and the public needs to be aware of this tragic lie. The population of horses isn’t exploding and you’ve outlayed that beautifully here however, we Need more media coverage and more information reaching the publuc. The Wild Horses need All the phone calls they can get. The recent rancher killed a horse just putting shoes on helps to show, even if he’s not charged because of a loophole, that Ranchers no longer have the capacity to understand how wild horses survive and how to handle and train them. The Old days old ways outdated mythology of ranching is over and they just won’t accept it. So in that regard as multitudes of other states deal with horses issiescwith more current techniques, handling, training, feeding, getting we have the EXPIRIENCE along with Real ranchers who choose to keep the wild horses, preserve them and stop this insanity that we know what’s best. It’s time for change and we need to better inform the puic quickly and the White Paper does that however it’s time to correlate not only welfare ranch cattle bit the outdated abusive training of ranchers who are pressing to rid the west of wild horses. It’s time to make sure that these horses wind up in safety and no abuse. No slaughter, no abuse. The BLM requires exposure. I posted the meaning of a word this past week. Kinda like Sesame Street I am explaining how and why these horses are being abused. Yes the BLM is Abusing wild horses. Separating families and destroying natural patterns, vicious roundups and a lot of negative propaganda in the media whichbtirns away adoptions and I have mentioned repeatedly the 3 strikes program is a failure and I haven’t once heard a response from any Advocates about changing tis to 365 days a year. These animals need more options. The reason they are caught and held is because this is abuse by this Agency. It’s time to change everything to win. The horses need not just pur Voices but physically need us. He’ll I’d stand in front payloads to save a house, I did too. I’m not a radical, the home belonged to a friend and it was going be demolished to put up a mall, they ended up building Around it and her mom lived there until she passed as they had hoped. No different than Any Rancher would do. As for that Any Rancher worth their salt should stand in front of Semis trying to haul to slaughter any wild horses. It’s time to save the horses, we keep making phone calls but you need more people making more phone calls. This is it. This is the time they will come the closest to killing our wild horses. Calvary Group is inside the USDA destroying the investigators conducted to stop animal abusers please be aware this fight isn’t fair already they intend to kill these horses. This is time to put away the tissues and handshakes and kind gestures and stand up taller, stronger and fight harder than ever, this is the war we must Win!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi: You mentioned you are now a registered non-profit in all 50 states, This article was written in 2017, last year, HAS ANY of the ‘WHAT SHOULD BE DONE” been pursued. like getting back the original 53 million acre HAs??? BLM eliminating cattle grazing in wild horse area??? In fact, I come across National forest cutting cattle grazing allocation by 1/2,due to riparian damages by cattle, and ranchers sued the Forest Service, and this October, the Forest Service is declaring removal of 1,000 wild horses instead from Devil Garden. So, at least in Devil Garden, Forest service appeared to lost to lock out cattle and instead 1,000 wild horses are blamed and are to be removed. So, is there cattle removal anywhere else???? The RETURN all wild horses (jail bird horses to me from the looks of things at the Delta holding pen in Utah), in holding pens back to the rangeland, has any of that been done??? Can you tell me, all the THINGS YOU SAID NEED TO BE DONE, has any ONE OF THEM BEEN DONE????


    • We are continuing to fight for acres of HMAs to be returned. But the BLM has not done this. We are continuing to fight for privately owned livestock grazing on public lands during droughts to be eliminated, but the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros to numbers lower than needed for minimum genetic viability. We continue to ask our readers to call and write their Congressional representatives.


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