Horse News

Wild horses: Are they being managed to extinction?

by as published on HorseTalk

a report by Wild Horse Freedom Federation suggested that figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now boarded in private pastures did not appear to add up.”

Photo by Carol Walker

What will we do when the wild horses are no more? And what impact might that have on all the interdependent species and ecosystems, as well as domestic horses breeds?

That is a question that must be addressed if wild horses continue to be removed from the ranges essentially based upon how they look. Some wild horses who may appear ‘ugly’ on the outside to some, but may carry key genes that could be critical to the long-term survival of the equine species.

Science does not have all the answers today, and any such meddling by humans may result in a genetic bottleneck.

As far as preserving the very best wild horses, no man can do the same job that is accomplished by the continuous process of natural selection inside a natural ecosystem. There are hundreds of stressors that affect wild horses in the true wilderness that strengthen their genetic lines and none of those involves people who think they know which horses are the best…(CONTINUED)


23 replies »

  1. It does not ‘force’ us to rethink anything. (Who writes this stuff?)

    What a convoluted mess. In order to be domesticated, the horses had to be wild. Just because some were domesticated, doesn’t mean all were – so they were/are still wild!

    Every new ‘study’ that comes down the pike isn’t gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is Not a theory, this Is fact. The science fringe peer reviews are out to destroy wild horses Online. The wild horse articles for the past ten years degraded their legitimacy, RANCHERS claim all types of facts and then their science buddies who are Prohorse slaughter Antiwild horse called them invasive, deplorable, and feral. SO when you rebut their articles their comebacks are always can you prove they are WILD not feral? Show us links, then when any science links are provided they are disabled nearly immediately. Then they progressively changed WILD to feral then throw in a few no DNA to prove it sentences and walls there’s no WILD Horses anywhere in the world. The science community has been trying to Eliminate the horses for years and it’s the fringe science they use to promote their demise by claims of feral. The base for this is to make all your data on the WILD Horses useless. They want to destroy the WILD HORSE and Burro Protections Act and after it’s removal they All die. That goes for tribal WILD and burros as well as preserved need Preswalkskis. If you haven’t noticed this trend in data declining toward the horses demise online and including International WILD HORSE Protections you may want to find experts who can bring new evidence along with older supporting data immediately to light. Their intent is to Destroy all wild horses here and abroad and remove the appeal to own WILD Horses via adoptions. This is a Very seriously real Danger. Please take This as serious as it is. Then unfortunately we have advocates who believe the new false data is real and they support the propaganda as science believing the horses protections will remain and they wont. This has been ongoing for years. Your biggest problem now is Why they are altering science online yet so much data that originally was proven true is Not even being debated. Please understand this isn’t a theory it’s reLity. Illinois suffered at the hands of ever changing horse Industry liars and we could see right through them because you see the facts and their false science doesn’t show up until right now? Their attempts to link horses in various countries to each other is ludocris given the origin story of the Arabian horses which is longest pedigrees history ever listed. Yet their dating and DNA is supposed uproot the actual facts while “tests” that have no actual legitimacy. They cannot prove those horses and horses on a separate continent were ever 1 before the other. The facts are this horses were in this country longer than cattle, CATTLE have been here Only 1000 years. The horses were here before settlers moved out west. AQHA changed mist of its,records to say unknown in the originating pedigrees of the original registered stock. Those horses had plenty of unknown WILD Horses in them. The other color breeds started from the same stock that roamed freely. The feral stories were created as WILD Horses were caught and trained and branded. The branded horses were turned loose or went feral but those story tellers forget their were actually WILD but branded and instead of being feral they were tamed WILD Horses that reverted back to the wild. Many people ignored the fact the military branded their horses, and that most horses they confiscated from huge farms had farm and ranch brands. This debunks their feral horse mythology. As WILD HORSE Annie got involved, the horses were being SLAUGHTERED and many of those horses were branded. They were at first getting rid of feral horses which is where they created this story today, Annie saw unbranded horses being hauled, List in his day noticed the branded horses first as well, but he became even more enraged when the unbranded WILD Horses were being shipped by railroad cars in the night under cover of darkness. The fact is….the branded horses were ordered killed by the Government and unbranded were being stolen from their free roaming areas. Then as WILD HORSE Annie became really involved it’s when she noticed they were more brutally violent with terrified WILD horses. The science they are presenting now is supposed to appear real but remember Lucas and Duquette are trying to buy they way in to reopen horse slaughter and no trick will be left undone. They do not want adoptions they just want a handful of adoptions because no one makes money off the adoptions in the kill buyer scheme. Now I’ve been observing and talking with slaughterhouses for decades and this is right up their alley. Extinction, earns them cash. They want that last Big payday. SO changing science is worth millions to the killer buyers so don’t ignore what I’m saying. The fact is, your just getting to where the real Smoke and Mirrors will take effect and mark my words if we don’t scientifically rebut it immediately they will pull off the biggest kill of Wild horses in the World. They will do anything for millions of dollars, trust me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Besides their argument is really towards the Originating horse not the Origin of Wild Horses. WILD animals can be anywhere but their origins can be complex and have a specific spot, yet this fight over WILD Horses horses is Not about their origin as science tries to proclaim but whether the horses are truly wild. Yes. They are truly wild. The theory horses originated from. 1 horse is unbelievable as it takes 2 to procreate. Here’s a thought. Josh’s Ark had 2 of every animal if you believe the Story of Noah. The best 2 of every species to procreate with came to boarx, we have no idea how far those 2 animals traveled to get to the ark but they arrived. We do not know if they were local or World wide less yet we do not know if they were pairs already or if the 2 random animals joined up for the trek. Science cannot prove or disprove either theory, they can surmise but not prove. WILD Horses of today are the argument Not the Orginal Only WILD horse. That theory of only 1 true WILD HORSE will get all other horses killed. Just something to ponder.


      • Who is the source of the “one horse” origin information you shared? Also, what is “Josh’s Ark?” You have a lot of information to share but it is often very difficult to read through your long, unedited and unreferenced posts, unfortunately. I appreciate your efforts but expect this works against your effectiveness.


    • Lots to wade through, but cattle have NOT been on this continent for 1,000 years, its only around half that. Coronado brought some in 1540, others came later and between the deaths on the voyage, providing human food, and cattle facing a full suite of natural predators on this continent, it was some time before they multiplied substantially. For the same reasons, it is probable the first few Spanish horses on this continent (mostly or all stallions) could not have produced the various reported “millions” of animals seen by early explorers, and in places where the Spanish had not penetrated and never did. What makes biological sense is the Spanish horses were the returned natives that found intact wild herds and joined them.

      When I read this things I am reminded of how many people proudly claim to be “natives” of various states, and in CO pay for “pioneer” license plates on their vehicles. It is a badge of honor. And yet, unless their ancestors were indigenous peoples here, they too are “introduced” species who quickly adapted and are considered natives.

      So why do people earn “native” status but horses, who the fossil record clearly indicates originated here, were dispersed (some but probably not all), and who have shared this continent with human beings for ~40,000 years (the date keeps changing, and further back, with new discoveries), are somehow not? Any horse alive on this continent has a stronger claim to nativity than any white person can, even now.

      And yet, the vilification.

      “Feral” is the new “N” word, with all that implies.

      Liked by 2 people

      • First I train while I’m typing. I work as most of us do for a living. My work is done on the back of a horse. I don’t krlust sell tack. SO forgive my phones alternate word use. The word was Noah s Ark. Of course, most people will assume this right off. It’s called an error. Second, I type like I talk. Last, the 1 horse origin is Not a source link, it’s a conversation I had with an Archeological expert and a Scientist from Spain. The issues they brought up in their conversation are the mindset of 1 horse that’s truly WILD which is where All horses derived from hence everything else they term feral. Both men indicate that it’s not one horse that’s solely WILD but that WILD is a state of being, mode of survival without human interference or interruption. Can’t give you a link to a telephone call. Majority of my horse related information occurs in person, over the phone, or via resources in print Not from any other source. 1 CATTLE registry States it’s cattle arrived 900 years ago. Now in my honest opinion instead of links online everywhere I am willing to lay down in front semihaulers who want to shuttle WILD Horses to kill plants if need be. Or we All just keep digging until we win and stop this. As for my posts having run-on sentences and are often unreadable as you politely stated, I again am retraining horses that otherwise people say are dangerous and the only option is the plant. I refuse to let them be killed when my skills are needed to retrain and compel the horses and their owners to continue a safely trained journey alive and well. As I write I am loading a feisty mare who kicked her owner in the jaw because of her fear of trailers. She now loads without a single issue. I’ll continue my work and I will still stand in front of the semis bound for slaughter when the time comes for the safety of our wild horses.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Colt, I appreciate your efforts and hope you can reciprocate. But when information you provide can’t be substantiated in the least it can go no further than simple gossip would. You would help the horses more if you can help us take your arguments to a larger, far more critical and often much less interested audience.


      • Below you told me to go to a much less interested audience. Would that be the political audience as I have spoken to A lot of politicians. When in 2005 onward none of your names were found in the arguments that were ongoing. I don’t exist and live in the online world. Links have altered and disabled, just like the GAO report was falsified, and population numbers overinflated. It seems you have taken a personal issue with me, I rightly do Not care. The issue is that I originally contacted groups and organizations and politicians who had decided oh well the plants won in 2011 with that backdoor legislation. My signing wasn’t always Colts Western Shop I used my name as well as my fiancee name. I decided we needed to press forward. My families been in politics, military and horses for generations. My grandfather earned his fortune in oil, he decided that he needed to go back to his trots and became a horseshoer, he rescued animals from as far away as France, he rescued a pit pony, aged racers and pavers and never asked for a donation or advertised. He was a 1 man wonder. We’ve fought for laws, legislation, brought reinforcements in as needed and if you want to keep working on links that’s fine. Out here in the day to day world we are talking and finding much more information than online will ever give. You can insult if you wish, however, we have even called PETS out on it’s backing horse slaughter when every one else just badmouthed. Either you want these horses saved or your not. Seems to me, your not willing to look further to find the truth than the convience of a few links. As for the truth. As for your opinions, that so cannot help you with, I can say that the attitude has to improve overall to stop horse slaughter. Period. SO with that said, you can keep linking away and I’ll keep talking to everyone I need to. Besides the internet wars are happening while horses are dying. Keep horses alive and killing off the internet wars is a better plan. As for proof, I’m not the one reading evidence made up by Prohorse slaughter. Am I?


      • Wow, Colt, I just found your evidently angry post, which drastically misinterpreted mine. My point was I can’t take information further if it can’t be substantiated, and do work in areas and among people where you do not, and many who have zero knowledge about horses at all but are voters.

        It would help the entire advocacy if we all sharpen up our actions, otherwise we are simply handing ammunition to the enemies of all equines.

        I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear, or doesn’t suit you, but it is the truth as I see it.


    Science’s Worst Enemy: Corporate Funding
    Research universities, too, are rapidly privatizing. Both public and private institutions now receive a shrinking portion of their overall funding from government sources. They are looking instead to private industry and other commercial activities to enhance their funding. Last summer, an investigation by the San Jose Mercury News found that one-third of Stanford University’s medical school administrators and department heads now have reported financial conflicts of interest related to their own research. These included stock options, consulting fees, and patents.
    Is all this truly harmful to science? Some experts argue that corporate support is actually beneficial because it provides enhanced funding for R&D, speeds the transfer of new knowledge to industry, and boosts economic growth. “It isn’t enough to create new knowledge,” says Richard Zare, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University. “You need to transfer that knowledge for the betterment of society. That’s why I don’t want to set up this conflict of interest problem to such a heightened level of hysteria whereby you can’t get universities cooperating with industry.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Science’s Worst Enemy: Corporate Funding

    More than half the scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who responded to a survey conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2005 agreed that “commercial interests have inappropriately induced the reversal or withdrawal of scientific conclusions or decisions through political intervention.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • More about $cience

      Grouse Down (excerpts)
      by KATIE FITE
      AUGUST 9, 2017

      The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced “surveys showed significantly fewer sage-grouse in all four hunting zones … sage-grouse population counts have decreased between 47 percent and 62 percent in the four hunt zones over the last five years”. Culprits identified were drought, fire, and a hard winter.

      Yet just two years ago Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was crowing over a booming conservation success, her findings that none of the birds deserved listing under the Endangered Species Act. The separate “Not Warranted” findings for both groups of grouse were heralded as the fruit of “epic collaboration”. Interior even produced a Happy Dance video celebrating this feat. The findings were the culmination of a prolonged barrage of agency, energy and cattlemen media releases and news articles plastered across the West touting the great things being done to save the “chicken-sized bird”.

      Interior intended to fix its vulnerability to environmental lawsuits. It embarked on a process to amend BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans, which often lacked grouse-specific management guidance. Plan regulatory weaknesses had been identified in a 2010 Warranted but Precluded finding by Ken Salazar, Jewell’s predecessor. Back then Interior said: Yes, the birds qualify for listing as a Threatened species. But alas, we have a long list of other species in more trouble that need to be dealt with first, and no funding to work on a listing

      At the same time the Plan amendment process was playing out, frenzied activity was taking place in the hinterlands. Legions of land-grant school grad students and technicians radio-transmittered grouse, followed them around, and religiously avoided documenting grazing damage to the land. Wildlife Services snuffed out predators and poisoned ravens in the area of several studies. Birds were “translocated” typically from ungrazed Hart or Sheldon Refuges or thereabouts, to central Washington, Clear Lake, and other areas to keep populations on life support, and stave off range contraction. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service concocted vegetation models to justify massive deforestation of pinyon-juniper, sage thinning, and more seedings of sagebrush habitat with exotic wheatgrasses. Funds were shoveled to welfare ranchers for innumerable projects on private lands. Details were shielded from public disclosure by a secrecy provision in the Farm Bill. I asked an Idaho NRCS head whether the agency had funded a horribly located new fence (grouse fly in dim light, collide with fences, and die). The reply was “I can only tell you if we have not funded it”. New fences were justified by claims of better grazing.

      Liked by 1 person

        Landscape Birds and Triage Zoos (more excerpts)

        Sage-grouse require relative solitude. They may move over vast areas of the landscape over the course of a year to fulfill seasonal needs. Hard winters drive them into areas seldom used. Large fires can sear holes in what remains of a tattered landscape in a single summer. Not considering all occupied habitat as vital has been a doomed path from the start. The groundwork for triage as an operative rule in grouse conservation had been laid years ago, and elevated by SALZAZAR. He embraced what was called the Core habitat model that oozed out of the Wyoming oil fields as the sage was being torn apart by energy development. It was evangelized across the West by Bob Budd and then-Governor Freudenthal,
        and promoted by the Audubon Society and others.
        Supporting research papers were dutifully produced, with circles drawn around leks and lek clusters, and calculations made. Birds lucky enough to live where there was a higher percentage of the population were proclaimed worthy of more protection.

        WAFWA (Western Game agencies group) lumped large and small populations together in “Zones”, masking populations about to blink out.
        Many states set up stakeholder groups dominated by hand-picked ranchers, industry representatives, and politicians. They were spoon fed elements of new state level plans that were used to exert pressure to bend and weaken the federal Plan amendment process.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Something to pay attention to, as the first Director is being hired now.

    Salazar Center for North American Conservation

    Thanks to the vision of former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and support from a significant gift from Bohemian Foundation, Colorado State University is establishing the Salazar Center for North American Conservation.

    The Salazar Center, named for the former U.S. Senator and Attorney General for Colorado, will be housed in CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). The Salazar Center seeks to build a bridge between science and policy that will inform conservation decisions for years to come.

    Lifetime of service

    Salazar, a native Coloradan and passionate public servant with a long and impactful history of service on conservation issues, has been working with CSU officials for nearly a year to lay the groundwork for the Salazar Center. He envisions CSU scientists working with conservation leaders in the private and public sectors from across North America coming together to discuss key issues, develop new approaches and evaluate policy options.

    Recognizing that conservation is not simply an issue of land use, the center will draw on expertise from a variety of disciplines across the university. The center embodies CSU’s commitment to research that ensures the utility of scientific knowledge for the stakeholders that seek to implement it at local, state, national, and international levels.

    “The preservation of our treasured landscapes requires the collaborative effort of our best scientists with our most devoted policymakers,” Salazar said. “Never before have evidence-based conservation practices been more crucial to protecting our resources and the people who depend on them. I am proud to partner with CSU to create a community dedicated to stewarding those limited natural resources.”

    The center’s mission includes four planned activities: A Conservation Leadership Academy, specialized workshops and conferences, immersive fellowship opportunities, and cutting-edge communication tools.

    Salazar endorsed a founding gift of $500,000 to get the project off the ground. In addition, the $1 million gift from the Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation will sustain the center’s early projects. CSU hopes to raise $40 million to sustain the center for the foreseeable future.

    CSU President and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said the Salazar Center perfectly melds with the university’s land-grant mission.

    “Throughout his life and career, Ken Salazar has exemplified the spirit of service, reasoned leadership, and commitment to the public good that are at the heart of CSU’s land-grant mission,” said Frank. “The Salazar Center sustains this great legacy by creating a space for innovation, forward-thinking and collaboration around the most pressing environmental questions of our age. We are deeply grateful to both Ken and Bohemian Foundation for their extraordinary vision and support.”
    Sustainability matters at CSU

    CSU is a fitting home for the Salazar Center. The university has earned consecutive STARS Platinum ratings for sustainability, and in 2015 named CSU the most sustainable university in the country. CSU is also home to some of the world’s leaders in conservation biology who are housed in various colleges across campus.

    SoGES, established by CSU in 2008, is directed by biologist and professor Diana Wall, world-renowned researcher focused on Antarctic ecology, climate change and biodiversity. It promotes and supports sustainability-based research and teaching across all of CSU’s eight colleges.

    Eighty percent of incoming CSU students identify sustainability as an area of interest for study. More than 300 students currently take classes through SoGES while working toward a minor in global environmental sustainability.

    “We are very excited about the Salazar Center,” said Wall. “Improving conservation practices is one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the coming century.”
    Bohemian Foundation adds support

    Bohemian Foundation is a longtime supporter of CSU, the Fort Collins community and the global community. Part of the foundation’s mission is supporting programs that address public health and/or economic stability while employing technologies that encourage clean and sustainable energy practices, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and more sustainable livelihoods.

    “The establishment of the Salazar Center is an appropriate tribute to a man who has contributed so much to advancing conservation policy and public awareness,” said Joe Zimlich, board member of Bohemian Foundation. “CSU has long been a leader in conservation research, and the Salazar Center will enable a new level of collaboration among scientists and policymakers. Bohemian Foundation’s gift is an investment in our collective future and in the future of our precious natural resources.”

    The Salazar Center soon will launch a search for its first director. Once a director is in place, SoGES plans to launch Salazar Center operations in 2018.


  6. Report: Colorado’s Ken Salazar was hired by Anadarko after Firestone explosion
    Kelsey Ray
    May 23, 2017
    Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar identified himself as a lawyer for oil and gas giant Anadarko immediately following a fatal home explosion in Firestone last month, International Business Times and MapLight are reporting.
    Investigators say an improperly abandoned flowline attached to an Anadarko well caused the blast.
    Salazar, also a former Democratic U.S. Senator who weighed a 2018 bid for governor but decided against it, spoke with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s top attorney, Jackie Melmed, about the explosion, according to an email IBT and MapLight obtained. That email is dated April 26, the same day Hickenlooper’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Frederick-Firestone Fire Department linked the explosion to an Anadarko well nearby.

    Liked by 1 person


    Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
    JUNE 22, 2017

    After five months of doing nothing of value, although spending millions in the furtherance thereof, the Colorado legislature closed up shop last month. The people should demand a refund for nonperformance, but instead they will have to ante up more money to pay legislators and other top state and county officials. The wages of nothingness are great
    On fracking, long the biggest and most rancorous issue in the state, nothing was done to polish that rotten apple. Two small bills were introduced. Both were defeated. One would have required the mapping of all oil and gas lines in the state. Anadarko, the state’s largest fossil fuel producer, used its well-heeled powers of persuasion on some willing Republican legislators, and defeated this extremely modest bill in the waning days of the session.

    Several days after defeat of the pipeline inventory bill, in the town of Firestone, at 6312 Twilight Avenue, a house exploded killing a young man and his wife’s brother, a licensed plumber. They had been repairing a hot water heater in the basement

    The industry, though muffled in its response, suggested plumber error. Almost immediately the local fire department pinned the explosion on a subterranean natural gas leak seeping into the house. Shortly thereafter the leak was discovered to be coming from a small service line at a well owned by Anadarko, the same bunch that had squelched the legislation to inventory all pipelines only days earlier.

    No explanation has ever been given as to why Anadarko didn’t notice that it was losing gas production from an open valve that bled into the small pipe that had been severed underground next to the home at 6312 Twilight Lane.

    Grandstanding, Anadarko sprang into action, calling for “an abundance of caution,” it voluntarily shut down 3000 wells. But all is not what it seems. The wells closed down are all low producers, and in combination are responsible for an estimated 3 to 5 percent of Anadarko’s annual production in the state

    The immediate hiring of KEN SALAZAR, the former Democratic senator from Colorado and Obama’s Secretary of Interior, as their lawyer was part of their abundance-of-caution campaign, however.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. From COUNTERPUNCH (more excerpts)

    On the Ground in Northeast California

    A road trip through what’s left of the sagebrush country in northeast
    California would set off alarm bells in any person who cared to look. The handwriting has long been on the wall. In a visit to Clear Lake country nearly a decade ago, three of us combed the ground, looking for Cheeto-like grouse scat. We found only a couple of scats on the best Modoc Forest habitat, but lots of expanding weeds and crested wheatgrass seeded for cow food. Since then, more cow projects have been built and countless junipers destroyed, creating hotter, drier, weedier sites.

    In 2017, California asked Nevada for 20 wild-trapped grouse for three years for translocation, as Clear Lake’s “population growth” had stopped. The growth was the result of many past bird releases between 2005 and 2014, when numbers on the only extant lek increased from 5 strutting males to 30, then remained “stable” when the infusions of birds stopped. There used to be 45 leks around Clear Lake and Devil’s Garden, and now there’s only one.

    Near Alturas, medusahead and weeds rule – choking sage understories, and thriving in the livestock trampled soils beneath western junipers. No matter how many trees agencies kill, or how much largesse gets handed to ranchers, all is lost. In Likely Tablelands and Big Valley, the birds are down to zero. The Buffalo-Skedaddle country to the south comprises the largest block of habitat. The 2012 Rush fire burned 313,000 acres in California. After the fire, persistent cow trespass on closed areas was documented by wild horse advocates. Soon, livestock were officially turned out again to eat up the expensive rehab. The Pah Rah-Virginia population (nearly all in Nevada) has long been declining from fire, weeds, and housing sprawl. Chronic grazing disturbance insures the weeds choke more habitat, move into higher elevations, and rehabs fail. BLM’s response has been to kill more junipers, though fires have already taken out many of the trees and at least one new fire burned 10,570 acres of sage-grouse habitat started by sparks from contractors doing juniper removal. Despite the dire straits the northeastern California birds were obviously already in, not a single acre made the cut to be considered Focal Habitat in Jewell’s Plan amendments.

    Liked by 1 person

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