Horse News

BLM Ely District to also “zero out” all wild horses on the Caliente Herd Area Complex

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
 ACTION ALERT!  Public comments are due Jan. 5, 2018.
In the BLM’s rush to drive wild horses to extinction, the BLM plans to remove ALL wild horses from the Caliente Herd Area Complex.  The BLM claims that the Caliente Herd Area Complex has an estimated population of 1,744 wild horses (including the 2017 foal crop).
The Caliente Herd Complex Area consists of nine herd areas; Applewhite, Blue Nose Peak, Clover Creek, Clover Mountains, Delamar Mountains, Little Mountain, Meadow Valley Mountains, Miller Flat, and Mormon Mountains.
The 30-day public comment period concludes Jan. 5, 2018.

Please be sure to mail or email your written comments to:

Bureau of Land Management Ely District Office
Attention: Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
702 N. Industrial Way
Ely, NV 89301

Comments can also be submitted electronically at

E-mail messages should include “Caliente Herd Area Complex Wild Horse Gather” in the subject line.

You can read the Environmental Assessment HERE.
In this EA, the BLM again refuses to consider reducing livestock grazing on public lands in the Caliente Herd Area Complex.  On pages 40-41 of this Environmental Assessment, the BLM lists the 26 livestock grazing allotments on the Caliente Herd Area Complex.  Keep in mind that the BLM counts a cow/calf pair as only one animal, so the numbers of cattle below will likely be doubled.
  • allowing Delamar Valley Cattle (owned by the Mormon church) to graze 773 privately owned cattle for 12 months of each year on 100% public land on the Oak Springs allotment and 464 privately owned cattle  for 12 months of each year on 100% public land on the Delamar allotment. (1,237 privately owned cattle year round, and if it’s a cow/calf pair, this would be 2,474 cows)
  • allowing the Newby Cattle Co. of St. George, Utah to graze 481 privately owned cattle for 6 months per year on 100% public land on the White Rock allotment and 464 privately owned cattle and 5 horses for 6 months of each year on 100% public lands on the Garden Spring allotment and another 327 privately owned cattle for 4 months of each year on 100% public lands on the Sheep Flat allotment. (945 cattle for 6 months each year, and 327 for 4 months each year, and if it’s a cow/calf pair, this would be 1,890 cattle for 6 months out of the year, and 654 cattle for 4 months of each year).  Here is the 2012 EA the BLM did for these grazing allotments, and there was no mention of a lack of forage or water.  Ken Newby is name noted above the address for Newby Cattle Company.
  • allowing 232 privately owned cattle to graze for 6 months each year on the Henrie Complex allotment.
  • allowing 214 privately owned cattle to graze for 6 months each year on the Cottonwood allotment.
  • allowing 120 privately owned cattle to graze for 12 months each year on the Lower Riggs allotment.
  • allowing 118 privately owned cattle to graze for 5 months each year on the Pennsylvania allotment.

(All data above is from the BLM’s Rangeland Administration System)

Just two of the allotments listed above graze 1,357 privately owned cattle 12 months each year on the Caliente Herd Area Complex (2,714 cattle, if it’s a cow/calf pair) .  This means the number of cattle on only two grazing allotments outnumber the number of wild horses all year long.  From just the six allotments listed above, 3,193 cattle (6,386 cattle, if it’s a cow/calf pair) far outnumber the 1,744 wild horses for at least four months each year.  And, there are twenty other grazing allotments on the Caliente Herd Area Complex.
Again, the BLM admits they have failed to maintain a “thriving natural ecological balance” by claiming there is a need to remove all wild horses (an entire species) from this area due to a lack of “forage, water, cover, space, and reproductive viability.”
On page 7, how did the BLM determine that “trampling damage” was caused by wild horses, as opposed to livestock?
The BLM again cites language allowing the management of “0” wild horses in the 2008 Record of Decision on the Ely District BLM Resource Management Plan, signed by Ron Wenker (who was then BLM’s Nevada State Director but is a convicted pedophile and is currently serving 3 life terms in prison) and John Ruhs, who was the Ely District Manager at that time (and who is now the BLM’s Nevada State Director).   The BLM reverted Herd Management Areas to the Caliente Herd Area Complex.
The BLM is again “tiering” this EA to other older land use plans.
If you haven’t already read about the BLM Ely District office zeroing out other Herd Areas, read more HERE.

16 replies »

  1. So it appears there is a concerted effort right NOW to round up and zero out as many HAs or HMAs as possible! And none of it written about in the mainstream press or media! This is so frustrating – I do write to my Congress people – and they both seem to back most animal welfare, BUT when its about the BLM? Then the replies refer to the huge horse herds!!!
    Sent the white papers that were here – but nothing.
    I realize there are many other important issues (ie, N.Korea, taxes etc) but it seems by the time anyone actually pays attention – it will be too late for the horses & burros.


    • Maggie, We’re also frustrated and saddened that the mainstream media either doesn’t cover the plight of the wild horses & burros or just regurgitates misinformation. But we’ll continue our efforts to make the truth available to the public. Vickery Eckhoff of The Daily Pitchfork has also spent many hours trying to educate and provide resources to journalists.


      • I know Vickery has done great work for our wild horses & domestic ones. It just seems like pushing a boulder up a hill – for years & years!
        I did send another email to both Senators today – regarding the most recent threats to the horses. Just wish there was some kind of acknowledgement!
        Thanks for the reply – it does help knowing I’m now alone in the boat!!!!! Actually, at this point – the “boat” is pretty overloaded!


    • How is this legal. The Wild horse and Burro act of 1971, even with the additions states that . It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.. If they are considered an integral part of the natural system, they cannot remove the entire herd, by doing so disrupt the natural state in which the land depends upon the mustang to balance…. Isn’t there any law that can be raised up to question the integrity of the government, the BLM and the intentions thereof??? Something has to be done to stop them from removing and zeroing out herds that have the right to be there and have made these areas their homelands.


    • we have alot of support from congress against the mustangs being rounded up and we will fight to stop this. Notifying Congress and the senate is the best first step to let them know we do not want any more of our mustang removed. There are too many wild horses in holding pens waiting to be sent to slaughter as soon as they vote on it and change the laws to allow slaughter. Once that door is opened, the mustang of America will all be rounded up and killed and we can all thank ZINKE, secretary of the interior, and Trump for his greed. He wants to sell off our land to the oil riggers, miners, and industries that will destroy our lands and monuments as we know it. Once the mustang are gone there will be no getting them back. We all need to raise our voices high and let the republicans know we will not allow this to happen and if they try it will be the end of the republican party for centuries to come.


  2. Under stockmen’s relentless pressure to eliminate livestock
    competitors, BLM has spent well over $100 million in
    federal taxes on its Wild Horse and Burro program since
    the late 1970s. While thousands of horses and burros already
    languish in federal corrals awaiting adoption, BLM
    reported that it appropriated $14,735,000 in 1988 to capture,
    hold, and make available for adoption an additional
    8500 animals. In 1980 BLM reported that it “expended an
    average of $100,000 per year to fund” research projects at 6
    Western colleges and universities to explore methods to
    reduce free-roaming horse populations and their competition
    with livestock. The Forest Service says it captured and
    made available for adoption 156 horses and burros in 1987,
    though it doesn’t state in its fiscal report how much it spent
    doing so. In sum, about $12-$15 million annually is spent by
    the agencies to remove free-roaming horses from public
    land, mostly to placate the ranching establishment.

    BLM’s Wild Horse Distribution Center in Burns, Oregon.

    Click to access Chapter%207%20pp368-371%20and%20373-421.pdf


  3. As detailed elsewhere, federal wildlife programs are largely
    at the mercy of the ranching industry. In 1987 the Forest
    Service spent $42.6 million on its Wildlife and Fish Habitat
    Management program. Funds were used to “treat” 124,138
    acres with prescribed burning, herbicides, mechanical
    devices, and seedings; to plant trees and bushes; to develop
    water sources; to fence livestock from riparian areas; to
    build instream structures; and so on. Most of these projects
    benefited ranching, while many were necessitated by ranching.
    Likewise, BLM spent about $17 million in 1987 on its
    Wildlife Habitat Management program for “58 fence
    modifications, 611 instream structures, 124 new water
    facilities, 40,995 acres of prescribed burns, 242 water facility
    improvements, 148 miles of fences [mainly to exclude livestock],
    16 spawning bed stabilization projects, 81 streambank
    stabilization projects, 314 acres of chainings, 2773
    acres of seedings,” and other developments.

    Click to access Chapter%207%20pp368-371%20and%20373-421.pdf



    On Saturday Lance Gilman, principal and director of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, the industrial park home to projects by Tesla, Google, Switch and other major companies, joined the horse advocates in opposition.

    “This is one of the last bastions of true wild horse environment,” said Kris Thompson, project manager for the industrial center. “To wipe it out I think would be a mistake.”

    Thompson estimated there are as many as 1,000 Virginia Range horses on the property of the industrial center at any given time.

    Thompson said leaders of companies that have built in the area, including Tesla’s Elon Musk, have specifically described the horses as a positive presence that distinguish Northern Nevada from other potential locations for businesses.

    “They are emblematic of the fact we are not San Francisco or Chicago,” Thompson said.”


  5. FS and BLM expended roughly $10 million on law enforcement
    in 1987. Because the 22,000 ranchers spread evenly
    across Western federal land exert such powerful control and
    so heavily impact this land, special agents and law enforcement
    rangers from these agencies ( and state police and
    county sheriffs) spend much time settling conflicts between
    ranchers and other public lands users. Disputes over
    trespass, access, and use are especially numerous, and
    threats and assaults by stockmen and their hired help are
    common. Officials also must investigate and process those
    accused of harming livestock, interfering with ranching
    operations, and tampering with range developments. Further,
    the extensive webwork of ranching roads has introduced
    much of the illegal activity, such as the looting of
    archaeological sites, that occurs on public land. In sum,
    public lands ranching probably adds more than a million
    dollars annually to BLM and Forest Service law enforcement

    Click to access Chapter%207%20pp368-371%20and%20373-421.pdf


  6. Still have to wade through this in total, but this jumps out at me:

    “Again, the BLM admits they have failed to maintain a ‘thriving natural ecological balance” by claiming there is a need to remove all wild horses (an entire species) from this area due to a lack of “forage, water, cover, space, and reproductive viability.'”

    How the HE** can they claim all horses must be removed due to overpopulation, then in the same document insist they “lack” “reproductive viability” ??? Even government math can’t rectify these two claims. Indeed, if the horses “lacked” reproductive viability, they would naturally die off fairly soon so by law the “minimal” feasible management would be to LEAVE THEM ALONE!


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