Horse Slaughter

Agenda for this week’s Wild Horse & Burro Killers’ Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah

(Be sure to also read our Hall of Shame below the Agenda.)


     Utah Gov. Gary Herbert – In May, 2016, Herbert was criticized for unethical campaign fund-raising activity. In a tape that was made without his knowledge, as Herbert was trying to get donors to contribute his campaign finance money, Herbert said that he would go anywhere and do whatever it takes. “I’m available. I’m available Jones!” he was heard saying on the tape. Although he did say that there would be no quid pro quo he also said to the lobbyists in attendance that even if he did not agree with them that he would make them happy. (KUTV 2 News)

    Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, shown here giving BLM’s false information to Congress.  Zinke will be at the Summit to support the killing (and sterilizations) of over 46,000 wild horses and burros.

     Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah has lied to Congress by implying there was a 41% increase in wild horse & burro population in only 5 months, and by showing a photo of one thin horse, and claiming that a majority of the wild horse population on the range were starving or dying from dehydration.  Stewart was CEO of the Shipley Group, which consults government agencies on navigating through government regulations in the energy sector.  Among the bills Chris Stewart co-sponsored was H.R.334, the Keystone For a Secure Tomorrow Act.  This bill supported the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Chris Stewart’s brother, Tim, is a lobbyist for American Capitol Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm.  American Capitol Group has lobbied for fossil fuel interests like the Western Energy Alliance, a group mainly comprised of fracking and oil companies.  Tim Stewart lobbies for EnergyNorthAmerica, a company he co-founded to lobby for the Fossil Fuel Industry.  Read more about Chris Stewart’s family ties HERE.

     Keith Norris – Is both the Chair of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition AND the Director of Wildlife Policy & Programs for The Wildlife Society.  Read the testimony that Norris gave to the House Natural Resources Committee in June, 2016 HERE.

     Rick Danvir – Formerly the wildlife manager at Deseret Western Ranches.  (The Deseret Land & Livestock Ranch, DLL, consists of 200,000 acres owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.)  Danvir is now a private consultant (Basin Wildlife Consulting) leading the Wildlife and Range Programs for the Western Landowners Alliance.  The Board of Directors for Western Landowners Alliance includes Mike Phillips, a Montana State Senator, who also represents Ted Turner’s 2 million acres across fifteen ranches in the US and South America (1.2 million of those are in Montana and New Mexico).

Danvir’s Board and other affiliations include the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee, the Utah Wildlife Board, the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit Association, the Utah Foundation for Quality Resource Management, The Wildlife Society, the Society for Range Management, the Quivira Coalition, and the Center for Holistic Resource Management.


30 replies »

  1. Certainly appears to be one more pro-slaughter “summit”! And the Wildlife Society isnt pro-wildlife its pro-slaughter! What happened to presenting both sides? Oh, right, this is the BLM we’re talking about.


    • Having read Chris Stewart’s background – his statement that “if it raises a question, dont do it”? Really. And none of this push to eradicate wild horses “raises a question”???

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What influence will the outcome of this smooze fest have on a federal program specifically put in place by all Americans? This is obviously a gathering of special interests, none of which I have an interest in. Let them spend their money. They cannot override the will of the American people. Do I sense a quaking in fear?


  3. Ok what action do we need to take here. There is so much going on that our Wild Horses and Burros have taken a back seat! We must get the new slaughter legislation out of committee. This is the only way we can protect our Wild Horses and Burros!


  4. Pretty clear their goals and strategies are already determined, and the BLM and USFS seem not to be invited, though wild horse and burro management is solely their responsibility as mandated by Congress. Nothing here about “thriving natural ecological balance” either, only the stated goal of “full” implementation of the Act, which sounds like a dog whistle.

    At least they are admitting the importance of “framing the issues” while not including any informed or interested public input, though the public are the largest stakeholders in managing wild horses and burros on our public lands.

    Also nothing on the schedule about livestock and related impacts and interactions. Curious in such a rancher-friendly agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Should the white paper go to:

    “Terry Messmer, Director is involved with the Summit The Berryman Institute is a national organization based in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University . It is named after Jack H. Berryman to honor his distinguished career in wildlife management. The Berryman Institute is dedicated to improving human-wildlife relationships and resolving human-wildlife conflicts through teaching, research, and extension.

    We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Human-Wildlife Interactions (HWI) manuscript submission and review portal. We have partnered with Digital Commons and Utah State University libraries to provide our readers and authors the very best in publication support and service. We encourage all who have conducted research or have unique management cases studies that will enhance the management of human-wildlife interactions, wildlife damage management, and contemporary wildlife management to submit their work for publication consideration.

    As of December 1, 2016, I have assumed the duties of HWI Editor-in-Chief. Ms. Rosanna Vail will continue as Managing Editor, and Ms. Rae Ann Hart is our new Financial, Account, and Advertising Manager. With your continued support, we hope to build on the HWI legacy that Dr. Michael Conover has entrusted us. Because of Dr. Conover¹s work, HWI was assigned an impact factor in 2013 (1.16) that put us in the second-highest quartile for all ecology journals and second-highest quartile for all nature and landscape journals. To build on this legacy, we have completed our transformation to an open access journal with global distribution. To address the needs of some of our readers who still desire hardcopies, we will still offer an annual subscription to cover the costs of printing and mailing. As we move forward, we also are investigating increasing the number of issues published annually to ensure timely publication. We have expedited the review process; we have also recruited additional Associate Editors and reviewers.

    Again we thank you for your past support and look forward to working with you to create the world’s premier journal for the wildlife manager. Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, or concerns with me at


    Terry A. Messmer, Director”


  6. They have only one agenda … the r_pe of mother nature for the sake of their almighty dollar and anyone or anything that gets in their way is in grave danger.


  7. Assaulted from all sides by the insane and quick moving powers hellbent on destroying all of nature, the public is hardly equipped or empowered to prevent these evil men from slaughtering our horses. Seems to me only direct action and getting help from our Native Americans could raise the publics eire.In this hostile environment horse lovers must confront it head-on .


  8. Utah State University hosts wild horse summit, but excludes key advocates and the public
    While organizers say privacy needed at Salt Lake City event to protect participants and promote dialogue, horse proponents assert event pushes ’pro-slaughter’ agenda.

    Messmer denied state money is being used for the summit, whose costs are covered by registration fees. However, most of the presenters draw a government paycheck and the science teams hail from public universities.
    Speakers include
    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert;
    Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Aurelia Skipwith;
    Nevada State Veterinarian J. J. Goicoechea;
    members of Utah and Nevada’s congressional delegations;
    Utah Rep. Chris Stewart’s chief of staff, Brian Steed;
    John Ruhs, the BLM’ s Nevada state director;
    and Utah Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Mike Styler


      • I think thats true – they leave the on-going arguments on there & having been drawn in before – the anti people really dont want to hear facts – just keep aggravation going. They dont want to hear anyone’s opinion, either even when you try to be polite about it!


      • Don’t know Paul Huntsman? His ownership of The Salt Lake Tribune may change that
        By Matt Canham | The Salt Lake Tribune
        Published June 1, 2016

        The man poised to own The Salt Lake Tribune, and therefore chart its editorial and business direction, is described by family, friends and colleagues as unassuming and reserved, the kind of guy who will say something thoughtful but only if you approach him first.

        Paul Huntsman is 46, a Republican and a devout Mormon who has operated largely within his family’s business and philanthropic empire for the past 15 years, occasionally acting as a surrogate at public functions for his famous father, Jon Huntsman Sr.

        But Paul Huntsman wants to make this much clear:
        His billionaire father isn’t buying The Tribune nor is the Huntsman family. He is.


  9. Along with each of us contacting our congressional reps/senators, do you as advocacy groups contact any key elected officials, letting them know of your/our urgent concerns and this closed ‘summit’? Don’t understand how the DOI/BLM hasn’t been investigated after all these years of wasting our tax $$ with abusive roundups and storing the horses until they deteriorate. I’m sad and angry and feel helpless.


  10. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

    Sole Focus on Commodities Threatens Natural Heritage, 44-Year Veteran Warns

    Vernal, Utah – The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has lost sight of its mission in a quest to maximize fossil energy and other resource exploitation on public wild lands, according to the retirement message sent by a career natural resource specialist and posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The sobering message depicts cascading natural system failures due to unchecked oil and gas drilling and related cumulative damage to public lands and waters.
    Stan Olmstead started his career in natural resource management inside public agencies 44 years ago, with stints in the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. For the past 20 years he has been a Natural Resource Specialist and an Environmental Scientist in BLM’s Vernal Field Office in eastern Utah, near the Colorado border. On September 28th, his final day of federal service, he sent a memo entitled “Last Formal Comment” to all BLM employees throughout Utah.
    In this memo, he decried a singular “focus on commodities and economics as opposed to environmental health.” He elaborated by writing “At the Vernal Office little concern has been shown to care for sensitive species … We promote energy development without stop and continue to measure natural resources by dollar value…” Olmstead offered these pointed examples:
    • BLM fails to protect sensitive wildlife and as a result “lost the mountain plover; the only known population in Utah… Little effort to prevent this loss was implemented.” He called this dereliction “a serious mission departure.”
    • “Plugging and abandonment of well sites have not been a priority. Numerous oil & gas wells have not produced for more than 15 years and yet these sites remain un-reclaimed.”
    • Cumulative impacts from oil and gas drilling. For example, “we disturb large percentages of our [grazing] allotments located in oil & gas fields and AUMs [Animal Unit Months] remain the same. If you lose 30% of the forage in a specific allotment it is logical to reduce the AUMs by 30%.”


  11. We have heard the comments of Mr. Olmstead, Mr. Baer(?) and others who were employed at the BLM, some transferred because of their comments, some retired after years of attempting to make a difference. I do wish any of the former employees could come together & “make a noise”! I’m sure there are many more than we are aware of.


      • Sadly, it seems anyone who is gainfully (?) employed there is afraid of losing their job or being transferred like the whistleblower on a previous blog. I have to believe there ARE a few who dont believe the current crap. So we just keep chugging along, right?


  12. This is such a bias description of the wild horses and wild burros and filled with negatively skewed interpretations all convenient to a disgustingly anti-wild-horse/burro agenda. I didn’t see any mention of Reserve Design in this discussion — which is what should be done along with restoring the herds to viable levels and reducing the livestock, etc.


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