Horse News

BLM Releases Decision Record plan to wipe out the Red Desert Complex after they destroy the Checkerboard

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM has announced it will be removing 2200 wild horses from the Red Desert Complex, starting in October 2017.  This would be after the Checkerboard Roundup, where the BLM is planning to remove 1560 wild horses starting in September.  This means 3760 wild horses will be removed from their homes and from their families, and this is over half the wild horses remaining in Wyoming.

This is insane.  Right now, Congress is considering the 2018 Budget which now includes language that will allow the killing of the 46,000 wild horses in short and long term holding as well as thousands more on the range.

Adding 3760 more horses makes absolutely no sense.  There is nowhere to even put this number of horses in short term holding unless the BLM has already begun shipping wild horses in holding to slaughter.

Rounding up and removing these horses is a death sentence to them if this budget passes without an amendment to protect the horses.

In the Red Desert Complex, the 5 herds will all be reduced to numbers below the 150-200 adults needed to maintain genetic viability. Stewart Creek will be at 150, Lost Creek at 60, Antelope Hills at 60 Crooks Mountain at 65 and Green Mountain will be left at the closest to the number needed, at 170.

The rationale is that the horses travel back and forth between areas so they consider the Complex as a whole at 480 wild horses.  But I dispute this.  There may be some mixing of the members of herds at the boundaries, but these are vast areas and horses tend to be territorial – they cannot guarantee that the horses will mix sufficiently to maintain genetic viability.  There is data provided on each herd’s genetic viability but most of this is very old data, not from the most recent roundup in 2011 and 2012.

Then they plan to use PZP-22 on all mares over 1 year old that are released back into the area.

This is a recipe for destroying these unique herds, not preserving them.

The BLM is making the worst possible decisions for the wild horses under their care, as they have been for decades.

Be sure to read Carol Walker’s blog, Wild Hoofbeats.

30 replies »

  1. Disgusting…the agency is using the Trump administration support of corporate interests over public interests. And moving quickly to eradicate wild horses in case the Trump agenda is weakened in 2018 congressional elections. This is not my American values!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Red Desert will become an industrial sacrifice zone. States other than Wyoming would recommend naming this area a National Monument. But this is the kind of leadership in WY. The lives of our wild horses are in jeopardy. Call your Reps.

    Liked by 1 person


        The goal of the Wild Spayed Filly Futurity is to showcase the significance and abilities of these resilient, tough and beautiful horses. It will also demonstrate their trainability and hopefully encourage more people to consider a horse from our American rangelands. A second and very important goal of the program is to help find economical, safe solutions in controlling the numbers of horses on American rangelands which will allow people to appreciate them in a healthy, balanced environment in the wild.


        Protect The Harvest has been a steady advocate for the multiple use of Federal Lands. The extreme over population of the wild horses nationally has decimated wildlife, rangelands and water sources. Over a twenty year period, there have been many attempts to control herd populations by using the birth control drug, PZP. Unfortunately, this method has been proven ineffective, costly, and unsafe when administered.

        Even with application of the birth control drug, mares continue to cycle. They are bred monthly by multiple stallions and never settle. Herds have to be gathered and captured annually to administer the drugs, proving to be very costly and ineffective.

        The spaying procedure costs less than ONE dose of PZP and is only performed once in a mare’s lifetime. After the spay procedure, mares can be returned to the wild. Once spayed, a mare can safely roam the landscape, possessing all her mare behaviors, as if she was in foal.


        Protect The Harvest thanks the Burns Oregon Wild Horse and Burro program for supporting our efforts and working with us to present this unique opportunity benefiting horses of the American West.

        For information about other horses available at the Burns facility, follow the link below:

        Link to Burns Oregon Wild Horse and Burro Program


  3. WHO stands to profit from the removal of OUR Wild Horses from OUR Public Lands?


    CHEYENNE, Wyo.

    The Bureau of Land Management will offer 45 parcels totaling 72,843.75 acres in the High Desert District at its December quarterly oil and gas lease sale. The BLM will hold the lease sale online via

    Bidding will begin at 8:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2017. The BLM will offer three parcels in Laramie County, seven parcels in Sweetwater County, four parcels in Uinta County, and 31 parcels in Lincoln County.

    The lease sale’s environmental assessments, lists and maps of the parcels, and the attached stipulations are online at

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The BLM’s big “fire sale” of our land
    Debbie Coffey

    Wyoming, as it turns out, is going gung ho on oil and gas “leasing.” The BLM calls giving the use of our public lands to extractive industries for as little as $2 an acre a “lease sale.” These are 10 year leases and they can be renewed. Oil and gas companies can ask for certain parcels of public property to be leased.

    However, unless you’ve ever heard of an oil pipeline being ripped out after it was installed, I’d call this a “permanent” use of our public lands. An oil or gas (or mining) company will extract all of the oil/gas/ore. They often contaminate water, land and air. They use a LOT of our water from aquifers in their extracting process.

    The oil and gas companies pay a 12.5% royalty to the Dept. of Interior’s Minerals Management Service on the amount or value of oil or gas removed or sold from each lease. BUT THE OIL AND GAS COMPANIES DON’T PAY ANYTHING FOR ALL OF THE WATER FROM OUR AQUIFERS, WHICH IS IRREPLACEABLE AND INVALUABLE.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And I forgot to mention, the Radio Collar Study in Adobe Town being conducted by the University of Wyoming that they started last year was originally going to be done in the Red Desert Complex – now that would have been some useful information they could have gathered regarding movement of the horses as it relates to mixing of the herds and genetic viability issues. Of course I never would advocate or condone putting radio collars on mares which is dangerous practice but at least there would have been useful for managing the horses information gathered. Instead they are using the radio collar study in Adobe Town as a way to “prove” that they cannot keep wild horses off of private lands in the Checkerboard as a justification to remove them. Their answers to comments in the Checkerboard Roundup EA from people wondering if doing the roundup will disrupt the study was that it will just provide “more movement data.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is helicopter terrorism also counted as “movement data” by the BLM? Recall the 1971 Act mandates they “shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death…” By doing all these the BLM is clearly violating not only the will of the American people, but the letter and intent of federal law.



      Billboards End Cleveland Clinic’s Live Dog Lag

      Cleveland Clinic Ends Involvement in Live Dog Training Lab
      Billboard Campaign from Doctors Group Coincides with Decision

      CLEVELAND-Cleveland Clinic announced today that it will end its involvement with a program that used live dogs for emergency medicine resident training and took place at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The announcement came immediately following a billboard campaign from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine-a national nonprofit of 12,000 physicians.

      The Physicians Committee planned to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Aug. 24, but will no longer do so. The Animal Welfare Act’s (AWA) implementing regulations “require that a principal investigator-including course instructors-consider alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to any animal used for research purposes.” The complaint cited violations of the AWA and inadequate oversight of the training protocol by the university’s animal care and use committee.


      • Congress Quietly Passes New Rule Allowing House Members To Hide Records From Ethics Probes

        Politicians can now shield expenditures from investigations.
        By Mary Papenfuss

        Just when you thought ethics standards couldn’t get much worse on Capitol Hill… It’s emerged that the House GOP quietly changed a rule last week to allow members to keep their records hidden from ethics or criminal investigations.

        The tweak allows politicians to conceal any information members produce – even suspicious expenditures and budgets – if the Office of Congressional Ethics or the Department of Justice investigates them for criminal activity, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

        Under the new regulation, a lawmaker being investigated for misuse of taxpayer funds, for example, might now assert the privilege to withhold spending records from law enforcement authorities. Had that measure existed earlier, certain accounts might not have been accessible for corruption investigations that resulted in charges against members of Congress.


  6. Online Auctions to “End the Circus”

    The focus on preventing the leasing of public lands for fracking gained national headlines in 2008 when activist Tim DeChristopher successfully bid on 22,000 acres of oil and gas land in Utah. DeChristopher, who served two years in prison, did not intend to pay but won the bid in order to disrupt the auction and call attention to the leasing program. That pricing regime allows private corporations to pay deeply discounted rates — as little as $1.50 per acre — for drilling rights.

    In 2009, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General released a report calling on the bureau to do a study on “which auction process is best suited for oil and gas leases” in order to prevent the next Tim DeChristopher, whose action landed an explicit mention in the report’s introduction. An email exchange from the day before the Lakewood Holiday Inn action shows both a Lakewood police officer and BLM officer on high alert about the possibility of another DeChristopher-type action taking place. Among the choices laid out in the report as a possible new bidding method was online bidding.

    Just days after the Lakewood protest, Kathleen Sgamma — a lobbyist for industry-funded group Western Energy Alliance — advocated for online bidding as a means to “end the circus.” In a May 18 email, BLM Office of Law Enforcement Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Mannino thanked Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta for his department’s help and conveyed that public auctions could soon become a thing of the past.

    Congress has followed suit. On June 24, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., and Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., introduced Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act (H.R. 5577), which calls for online bidding for oil and gas contained in waters controlled by the federal government. On July 6, the U.S. House

    Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on the bill and it has since passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee.
    While the oil and gas industry has come out in support of online bidding, and one contractor in particular named EnergyNet stands to profit from such an arrangement, several environmental groups issued a statement decrying the shift toward online bidding. EnergyNet, whose CEO testified at the June 24 congressional hearing, will oversee a September 20 BLM auction originally scheduled to unfold in Washington, D.C.


  7. How about a “NOT MY BLM” campaign? The 1971 protections resulted from a grassroots citizen campaign that resulted in Congress taking unanimous action. The amendments since (and the ones proposed now) are NOT coming from a citizen campaign but from private interests who seek to gain from killing the horses that belong to ALL Americans. The BLM does the bidding of Congress, so we must make Congress aware that the majority of people in this country do not want to kill wild horses or burros, nor do we want to eat horsemeat from any source.

    There are 325 million part owners of our wild ones, and perhaps 50,000 total private interests manipulating this destruction. The failure is on us if we do not wake others up and get the majority thinking, talking, and acting, and soon.

    BLM staff are appointed, not elected, so “we, the people” have no voice in their selection though we do pay their wages.



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