Horse News

End the Use of Helicopters & “Motorized Vehicles” in Wild Horse & Burro Round-Ups!

Posted on Facebook by Equine Advocates

“The BLM should not be doing any round-ups at all because their population estimates are not scientifically defensible…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
(Click Image for Additional Information)

Here is your opportunity to officially weigh in on the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to round up wild horses and burros on the Public Lands.

Comments can be made in January and February 2018 for wild horse herds specifically targeted for round-ups in Idaho and Montana.

Please know that Equine Advocates is completely opposed to wild horses and burros being rounded up at all! With that said, getting rid of the helicopters and other vehicles which cause terror, suffering and in many documented cases, the needless injuries and deaths of these animals, would be an important step in helping to eliminate some of the cruelty.

Before you email the BLM, you might want to read the details of the riveting 5-year investigation expedited and released by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) in 2017. The information contained in this White Paper is invaluable and provides lots of background information about the corruption and mismanagement of wild horses and burros by the BLM.

Here is the link for the WHFF White Paper Investigation:

“The BLM should not be doing any round-ups at all because their population estimates are not scientifically defensible,” said Debbie Coffey, Vice President of the WHFF and co-author of the White Paper.

There are two sets of dates and times for which to submit your comments regarding herds of horses in Idaho and Montana, respectively. Idaho comes up first comes up on 1/23 so please read the details carefully by clicking (HERE). For those who cannot attend the hearings in person, there is an email address provided at which to make written comments. There is also a phone number for those who have questions about attending the hearings and other inquiries.

Please take the time to respond.
Thank you.

24 replies »

  1. Helicopters should never be used for rounding up wild horses or anything other than criminals. Wild horses and Burros should be left alone and any cattle grazing on Public Lands should be rounded up and returned to the welfare ranchers’ property. The “big bucks” the ranchers pay to BLM and others should be used to help the wild horse families and Burros.
    Why is the BLM trying to zero out the Wild Horses and Burros????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacqueline, those “big bucks” are being paid by taxpayers to prop up the grazing program, which annually goes in the red by around $140 million (sources vary). We also then pay for roundups and removals and warehousing of wild horses to keep them in off their rightful ranges, then pay as well for wildlife services to keep their natural predators in check–also to support livestock interests. All this while public access to the public’s horses is severely restricted and farcical.

      It’s also difficult to argue the use of high-dollar helicopter roundups is legal since the law specifies wild horses and burros are to be managed in the “minimal feasible” level — surely NOT consistent with our current paid “managers” decisions. The accurate inventories also required by law still seem to be mostly creations of modeling software and cannot be independently verified, nor can the BLMs AML calculations. Behind all the smoke and mirrors thousands of wild horses and burros are facing a (also taxpayer funded) firing squad today.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have responded to the Idaho “comment” period. Ridiculous. Why are they asking? After all this time & many many commenting periods – they are unaware of how people feel?? As I said ridiculous…


      • Maggie, as I see this it’s just a requirement they go through the motions and it has nothing whatsoever to do with “caring.” That said, the folks on the ground are not all bad apples; what we have is a corrupted system which has to be fixed from the top down, as in Congress. The only way Congresspeople will grow a spine will be from a grassroots national effort by “we, the people” as happened when the legal protections were first enacted.

        This fall the midterm elections offer a chance to get our wild horses and burros the priority attention they deserve. I challenge everyone reading this to get information and their opinions before their own elected representatives, and those seeking office. We can’t keep paying the fox to tell you the hens are fine! Shame on us all if we can’t change this, and soon.


      • Sorry, Icy – my sarcasm got the better of me! I agree – all of us who care really need to do our diligence in WHO gets elected. We have to finally get some people in office that look at ALL issues, including our wild horses & burros. And these elected officials better start listening!


    From AWHC
    Comments Due by Monday, January 22, 2018

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comment on a Preliminary Environmental Assessment that would zero-out – or eliminate – all the wild horses from the Seaman-White River Herd Areas (HAs) over the next 10 years.
    The Seaman-White River HAs, located southwest of Ely, Nevada in Nye and Lincoln Counties, encompass around 475,100 public acres. The BLM is proposing to roundup and remove approximately 365 wild horses in and outside the HA boundaries purportedly to improve water resources and range health standards. Yet it authorizes private ranchers to graze the annual equivalent of 2,614 cow/calf pairs or 13,073 sheep in the HAs each year!
    Over the past 40 years, the BLM has slowly but steadily eliminated about 25,000 square miles of habitat from wild horses and burros’ use. Originally, Congress designated more than 42 million acres of BLM land for wild horses and burros. Today that number is down to just 26.9 million acres. That means a habitat area equivalent to the size of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey combined has been lost to wild horses and burros over the last four decades!
    Comments may be emailed to Please include “Seaman-White River Herd Areas Wild Horse Gather” in the subject line.
    If you prefer, you can submit your comments directly to the BLM utilizing the contact information below. All comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Monday, January 22, 2018.
    Bureau of Land Management, Ely District Office – Attention: Ruth Thompson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, 702 N. Industrial Way Ely, NV 89301

    Wild Horses In the 2008 Ely District Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) changed the status of the Seaman and White River Herd Management Areas to Herd Areas (HA) and called for the removal of all wild horses from these federally designated wild horse habitat areas.
    Based on 2016 population inventory, the BLM estimates the wild horse population in the Seaman-White River Herd Areas (S-WR HAs) to be 365, which includes 2017 spring foals.

    The Seaman HA has an estimated population of 42 (including the 2017 foal crop) wild horses, and the White River HA has an estimated population of 323 (including the 2017 foal crop) wild horses.
    Approximately 1,372 wild horses have been rounded up and removed from the HAs in the last 25 years.
    The Seaman HA includes large portions of the Black Bluff, Coal Valley, Dry Farm, Forest Moon, Fox Mountain (West Fox Mountain Pasture), Needles, South Coal Valley, Sunnyside (West White River Pasture), Timber Mountain, and West Timber Mountain grazing allotments.
    The White River HA includes large portions of the Cove, Duckwater (Red Mountain Use Area), Hardy Spring, North Cove, and Wells Dee Gee (Wells Station Pasture) grazing allotments.
    The BLM authorizes 31,376 Animal Unit Months (AUM) to livestock within the Seaman-White River HAs. This translates to the annual equivalent of 2,614 cow/calf pairs or 13,073 sheep to graze authorized to graze in this area.
    Based on self-reporting from ranchers with permits to graze livestock on the public lands in Seaman-White River HAs, the BLM asserts that the ten-year average for livestock grazing is 16,602 AUMS — the equivalent of 1,384 cow/calf pairs or 6,918 sheep.
    The season of use for livestock the Seaman-White River HAs includes winter and spring on meaning that cattle and sheep are present on the range during the critical season of new growth – the most damaging time for concentrated and intensive grazing.


    • Louie – the whole idea of “self-reporting” certainly makes it clear which side of the scale the ranchers are on. What other agency allows the “clients” to run the show so imperfectly? Well, probably quite a few now, considering the EPA, & others who have put the fox in the henhouse!


  4. Rounding up Wild Horses & Burros is a disgusting practice made even more disgusting by the use of helicopters!! No motorized vehicles for round ups either!! Horses deserve to be free on “Public Land”!! Livestock owners should be fined and placed in jail for use of public lands and “endangering the wild Life by stealing their food water and living space”!! Horses that have been captured should have proper facilities, food and health care or they should be released immediately!! Our Tax money is funding round ups so that PRIVATE individuals can make more money by allowing their animals to graze on PUBLIC Land!! All farmers ranchers & businesses need to purchase property to support their businesses!! They should never be allowed Public Land at the expense of the Wildlife that has always been there!! That’s like me having 15 kids & living with 20 other relatives and walking into your home taking it over & putting you in a jail in the back yard because I need more space!! Absolute insanity!! Leave the Horses, the Wildlife & the Public Land free!!


  5. Dave Cattoor and others were indicted and did act to aid and assist the helicopter in hunting for purposes of capturing and killing wild unbranded horses running at large on the public land and ranges … It was further part of the conspiracy that defendants did cause said wild, unbranded horses to be sold and shipped to Great Western Meats in Morton, Texas to be slaughtered and processed. (excerpt)

    Since that indictment, the BLM has paid this convicted illegal horse capturer millions and millions of our American tax-payer money to do the same thing that he was convicted of … but now done with the blessing of BLM.
    In the above article is included the link to the indictment of BLM’s “star” wild horse and burro capture contractor, Dave Cattoor. Click on “indicted hubby”.


    • They were fined the terrible sum of $510.00 & a year probation? Wow – that must have been rough on them – but not as much as it was on the horses. Makes you grit your teeth watching them pull in millions (over the years) doing pretty much the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • How did Cattoor escape the laws others must obey, and continue to be allowed access to government contracts?

      “Capturing, harassing or killing wild horses is illegal under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, a year in prison or both.”

      PS it was not easy to find any sources delineating the fines for killing a wild horse. If anyone has the actual legal source and definition please post it here.


      • There were several different articles, and some of the others had comments, but all feel good, none that addressed the reality. Wonder if Idahoans know what is really going on?


  6. This is cruel and inhumane. They are in it for the $. Not for the care and we’ll being of these free magnificent animals.


    Bruce Nock, PhD

    So let me tell you what happens to a wild horse’s physiology when he/she suffers the severe stress, trauma, of being chased by a helicopter and sequestered into captivity.
    Then, I’ll tell you what some of the consequences are. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, as ‘gathers’ are routinely done in the USA, if a wild horse doesn’t die straight off from the immediate devastation and commotion, it compromises him/her physically and mentally, putting him on a path of accelerated deterioration.

    There you are, a wild horse leisurely passing the day on the open rangelands of western United States. Life is good-congenial herd mates, nice weather and enough to eat.
    Suddenly you are startled by movement and strange sounds behind you. All of your senses instantly come alive-your eye sight sharpens and your hearing becomes more acute. You make a flash decision … run!

    But it doesn’t take long for your body to realize it’s going to take a ton of energy to fuel the burst of action needed to outrun that thing in the sky that’s coming after you.

    The intricate physiological events described above are part of what is known as the fight-or-flight reaction—bodily changes that enhance a horse’s chances of surviving a frightening situation by increasing his/her alertness, capacity for physical exertion and ability to withstand injury

    Again, it is no surprise the BLM reported colics associated with the Calico Complex Gather.
    The same can be said for the horses reported to be “Not Adapting to Hay.” Of course not! Let’s be honest. It has nothing at all to do with the hay and probably little to do with the change of diet. It’s about being scared our of their wits and the sympathetic tone shutting down processes related to appetite and digestion.

    But these overt consequences are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Click to access Wild%20Horse%20Stress.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

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