Horse News


By Grandma Gregg

“BLM states biologically and mathematically impossible annual wild horse population rates…”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently posted their annual Wild Horse and Burro Herd Statistics and as usual, it is full of false statements. WHY is this so important? Because these are the figures that BLM gives to Congress when requesting funding for wild horse and burro capture and management plans.

BLM states biologically and mathematically impossible annual wild horse population rates and here are just a very few, of many false statement examples that BLM has published:

High Rock Herd Management Area (HMA) a 107% increase in ONE year (a herd of 447 horses produced 479 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – have more than one surviving foal in one year). The previous year, BLM states that this same HMA had an increase of 138% in ONE year (a herd of 188 horses producing 259 successful foals in one year). Therefore, BLM states that this herd population jumped from 188 horses to 926 horses in two years. Biologically impossible.

Black Rock HMA a 418% increase in ONE year (a herd of 88 horses produced 368 successful foals in one year which would require that every single horse – including the stallions! – had more than four surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Shawave Mts. HMA a 260% increase in ONE year (a herd of 231 horses produced 600 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Divide Basin HMA a 237% increase in ONE year (a herd of 199 horses produced 471 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Salt Wells HMA a 522% increase in ONE year (a herd of 117 horses produced 611 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Lava Beds HMA a 775% increase in ONE year (a herd of 40 burros produced 310 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Bull Frog HMA a 184% increase in ONE year (a herd of 237 burros produced 435 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Gold Field HMA a 196% increase in ONE year (a herd of 56 burros produced 110 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

Not only are these false statements misleading to Congress and to the public but the perpetrators (BLM) of these fraudulent population increases are in violation of Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal CRIME laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which prohibits making false or fraudulent statements, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, 18 U.S. Code § 1519. Per the US Department of Justice, the purpose of Section 1001 is to protect the authorized functions of governmental departments and agencies from the perversion which might result from concealment of material facts and from false material representations. Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, violates this federal crime SHALL be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years.

Horses and burros have an approximate eleven-month gestation period but as shown above and in their statistics, BLM continually gives biologically impossible annual herd increases. A recent study of 5,859 wild horses showed that although the average annual birth rate was about 20%, the survival to the age of yearling was only half of those – therefore a maximum herd increase of only 10%. In addition, adult mortality must be factored which therefore reduces the average herd increase to less than 10% annually. The National Academy of Science report cited two chief criticisms of the Wild Horse and Burro Program: unsubstantiated population estimates in herd management areas (HMA), and management decisions that are not based in science (NAS, 2013).  The BLM’s biologically-impossible and scientifically-indefensible population-growth rates constitute dishonest and distorted data, which the BLM uses to mislead Congress and the American people.

WHY is this so important? Because these are the statistics that BLM gives to Congress when requesting funding for wild horse and burro capture and management plans, including the recent report to Congress “Management Options for a Sustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program” which recommends killing (misidentified as “euthanasia”) 10,000 wild horses and burros, massive roundups of 50,000 wild horses and burros currently living legally on our public lands, then sterilizing 80% of the wild horses and burros that remain and removing limitations on sale of these wild horses and burros, which exposes them to a high risk of sale to slaughter. These false statements are a federal crime punishable by prison and a fraudulent action against the American public in addition to being a travesty against our wild horses and burros.

*** Click (HERE) for a complete mathematical analysis of BLM’s fraudulent and deceptive population statistics.


For further details on BLM population estimates, download the complete 2018 HA and HMA Dataset (pdf).

24 replies »

  1. “Divide Basin HMA a 237% increase in ONE year (a herd of 199 horses produced 471 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.

    Salt Wells HMA a 522% increase in ONE year (a herd of 117 horses produced 611 successful surviving foals in one year). Biologically impossible.”

    GG, what year/s does this information pertain to? Both areas have been heavily rounded up in recent years and my understanding was they were or are planned to be depleted to either zero or non-reproducing.

    So the purported massive increase following massive (expensive) roundups in 2014 and in 2017 is indefensible not only on biological, but on political and fiscal grounds. Not to mention moral or ethical “managment” for and at the expense of the taxpayers who own these animals and our public lands.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Remember that the BLM censuses are head counts and that horses move around from place to place. Their location varies with the season, and also varies year to year. They can also be herded by people to make it seem there are a lot more than there actually are. A true census takes into account the above and other factors to get a factual grasp of trends in the population. Too often though in these traditionally negative-to-wild-horses/burros bureaucracies, the objectivity of the officials is clouded and they also count on many people being just too unconcerned and/r unintelligent to ask any questions, overwhelmed as they are often in Congress by a bewildering variety of demands, issues, priorities — and often money and votes is the big monopolizer of their attention — and “games people play” The situation doesn’t have to be this way, however.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Absolutely correct what has been shared here!! The drama continues and the cowflop continues to fly when one asks the question as to how many are actually out there now. If we factor in all of the variables, including these dramatic percentages of so called population growth, then we have to somehow decrease annually by the same percentages to get roughly what are actually is out there population wise. Natural sex ratios are in the neighborhood of 55% female and 45% male, which has been systematically adjusted by the BLM after every roundup. Next, natural mortality rates in the wild are from 14% to 50% just for wild horses within the first year. Older than one year the mortality percentages have been found to range from 5% up to 25%. That means that in any given year, natural mortality for all wild horses is from 19% to 75% depending on conditions. The BLM only factor in the very minimum across the board at 5%. Added to this is the continual use of PZP which accelerates population decline by virtue of the fact that reproduction is decreased but the factors for mortality still remain intact. Also, the weakening of the immune system occurs with continued use of the PZP, which in essence has the effect of increasing mortality percentages. There all sorts of estimates as to what is actually out there in terms of numbers of wild horses, from 26,000 to 70,000, depending on the source. If all of these factors are entered into the ecological equation, plus adjusting for the dramatic population increases declared by the BLM, along with the continued roundups of thousands of wild horses, the numbers have to be , not even in the teens of thousands anymore, and close to extinction. Many site the reasoning that compensatory reproduction occurs after these roundups, Compensatory reproduction does occur, but not to the extent that people think, where sex crazed wild horses ( forgive the dramatics) are breeding like rabbits, and every female foal is dropping a female foal after one year of being in existence, which in turn drops a foal within a year. Nature normally tries to compensate, but always according to the mechanisms of nature, and the carrying capacity of the land, and always slowly until the niche is filled and population numbers in essence stabalizing according to density dependent inhibition. Another set of reasoning is low predator numbers, the thinking of which is used to reinforce the theory of dramatic population increases after roundups, as well as to reinforce the idea of using PZP to help decrease reproduction. It is a well known ecological fact, however that predator populations follow prey population numbers and vice versa. When prey populations increase, predator populations will follow according to the mechanisms of nature, but if predator numbers decrease, density dependent inhibition engages more vigourously. Natures mechanisms don’t operate independently but always in concert.
    So the question arises as to where are the horses coming from that are continually rounded up, if the BLM statistics are so wrong, and they are wrong. There are some theories, but many know, as I do, that there is alot of moving horses around out there, many times as a prequel to a roundup, to give the appearance of overpopulation. This sounds like an off the wall crazed theory, but it is happening, which is another reason why alot of horses in Palamino Valley appear and disappear overnight.
    The bottom line, however, is that if the BLM want appropriations from the government to continue the Wild Horse and Burro Program, and the continued mismanagement along with the roundups, the BLM must not only prove that it is using all of the appropriations from the preceding year, but just as much it must convince the public and the Appropriations Committee along with the Senate and HR that there is overpopulation, regardless of the means that it uses. Thus, the the blown out of proportion stats, the lies about damaging effects of wild horses, lies about physical conditions of wild equine, and the under the table strategy, all to give the appearance of overpopulation.
    The fight goes on but as my mother reminded me from the quotes of two well known figures, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ( Martin Luther King Jr.), and “Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved”. ( Jane Goodall) As is the case of all creatures, domestic or wild, including the wild equine, they are continually speaking. All we have to do is learn to listen. Please forgive any seeming tendencies towards theatrics when I say, the wild horses and burros will continue as the beautiful example of freedom and the wild, as well as the vital component of balance, if and only if nature is allowed to conduct this natural symphonic concerto without the artificial alterations of mankind. They are wild and this is how they have to be preserved, untouched and unmanaged.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Bauer, every single word you just wrote is correct and worthy of being said over and over and over again. I applaud your knowledge and your willingness to share it.
      I hope some of us will copy it and send it to our Senators and Congress and to the media far and wide.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your article and presentation of the population statistics and % errors is a blessing and brilliant and should be sent in to congressional figures along with representatives of the media as well. Thank you for sharing and for all that you do. Perhaps there is a way of compiling and organizing all of this imformation in some manner of report to congress, a report discussing population statistics and incongruity of BLMs numbers, as well as the legal aspects , ecological aspects, and so on of the wild horse issue, in an orderly fashion, and readable fashion so that all the bases in the issue can be clearly understood, along with a petition to shut down the wild horse and burro program. Something with multiple authors, sort of a team effort. Thinking out loud. Just know that issues have been presented to congress on an individual basis, but has the entire spectrum been presented to the Senate and HR as well as the media. Know Craigs book is a wealth of info. also as is your work, and that of others.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve wondered for years about how many horses are being shifted around in a gigantic shell game at public expense, including those rounded up and disappeared the same day in WY late in 2017. Carol Walker documented they weren’t even in the Rock Springs corrals the same day when she went back there to document them, and supposedly they are to be available for adoptions this month but I have heard nothing despite trying to locate a specific horse that was rounded up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agree but think it is no longer possible to keep wild horses wild, in the wild, without some degree of management (as has been the case since 1971). We simply don’t have the large unfenced interconnected habitats they would naturally roam by choice, and the hand of man has already been placed heavily on their existence. “Unmanaged” is a misnomer as even a hands-off approach will still include a bounded area shared with many other public lands users and uses, at least on the public lands. Private sanctuaries are still bounded and still therefore must include some degree of management.


      • Although there are some exceptions, take a look at the below link and you will see that most all of the HMA and HA lands (original legal Wild horse and burro land) overlap and therefore would need no “management” if those lands were all allowed to be grazed by wild horses and burros and other wildlife with perimeter fencing only – i.e. no interior livestock fencing and no fencing between adjoining herd areas.

        For example, look at page ten which clearly shows that the legal herd area lands go from the Oregon border down through NW Nevada with no break.
        Restoring these legal herd area lands, would allow all wild horses and burros to intermingle from New Years HA to Carter, Massacre, Bittner, Nut Mt, Warm Springs, Wall Canyon, High Rock, Black Rock East and West, Fox Hog, Calico and the Granite Range.

        Click to access wildhorse_maps_doc13.pdf

        That was the congressional plan when the 1971 act was written and unanimously approved by Congress – before the years of perversion by the BLM which is due to that agency who by law is to protect the wild equine becoming the captured agency (completely biased and favored toward special “favored” interest groups) that it is today.

        I know you already know this but thought others might be interested too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • GG, I would love to turn back the clock, but doubt it is possible. It would be interesting to overlay a current map showing lands sold off or traded, lands developed for oil and gas or in one HMA, OHV playgrounds, and some which have dried up and lost their water or had it sold off, not to even mention all the endless miles of cross fencing for various other uses, especially livestock grazing.

        I agree it would be far better for our wild ones to have larger contiguous ranges as in the original plan, but it’s pretty clear the BLM/USFS has intentionally and consistently shrunk and fragmented every legal area in the past decades, and continues relentlessly in this policy.

        Maybe it is time to propose an aggregation of legal areas into fewer but much larger ones, with no competition from grazing livestock allowed within those boundaries. This would allow more natural selection pressures and genetic intermixing to occur, which was the intent of the original protections anyways.


  4. THANK YOU Grandma Gregg
    Your report should go to every member of Congress
    I do believe that we are part of much larger coalition

    Draft Congressional Resolution:
    Accrual Accounting for Federal Budgeting and Financial Reporting

    Truth In Government is a public watchdog organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility in government through the promotion of honest budgeting, accounting, financial management and reporting practices by Congress and the Executive Branch.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Just going over WY when they took 2000 horses last fall, their records are showing less than 300 decrease. For the difference between 2014 and 2015 they show only a decrease of around 700 when they also took 2500 during those roundups. . 60 of the HMA showed 19-20% or no count just estimated. Their total came around 50,000 horses. The last article in the NY Times this week stated 83000. … What a mess.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wish I could say I’m surprised. Just think what would happen to any of us if we perpetrated such fraud on the public purse!

      So how do you take out 2,000, have no new foals, and yet only report a net decrease of 700 when the time from fall to spring isn’t long enough to consider any new foals adding to the numbers. Must be WY math?

      I suggest it’s time for Congress to demand an independent fiscal audit of the ENTIRE BLM/USFS wild horse and burro program.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Countries with far less land than the United States have managed to protect their natural habitats and wildlife
    We can learn from them.
    We must.
    There is, undoubtedly, 22 million acres of good habitat that can be returned to our WH&B..for starters.
    On the Range Management coupled with Reserve Design would most closely follow and adhere to the mandates of the Wild Horses & Burros Act.


    Which Countries are the Best and Worst Stewards of the Planet?
    Yale’s Environmental Performance Index has just been released for 2016: Here are the top five and bottom five nations on the list

    Liked by 1 person

    • I DO doubt a significant portion of those 22 million acres are still good habitat due to land use changes and resource transitions (i.e. vegetation alterations — think cheatgrass), some have been sold in the past 40 years, some are filled with oil and gas pads and open pit mines, some are webbed with off-road vehicle trails, some are filled with solar or wind arrays etc. etc. etc.

      Since the BLM/USFS made a determination “not to manage” for wild horses and burros in so many places, what (if any) steps are available legally to reinstate any of them? In other words, was this an irreversible decision or do they also retain the authority to reopen at least some of these areas at will?


      • BLM and USFS have frequently conducted land swaps.
        That could be how some of those Herd Area acres have disappeared?
        Possibly some negotiating for our WH&B could take place right now.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. > Wild Horses Eating Cheatgrass – A Wildfire Mitigation Study
    > I would like the DOI to undertake a study on the relationship between
    > wild horses, invasive grasses like “cheatgrass”, and wildfires,
    > especially in the Western United States. Also, I would like the
    > reports and conclusions of the study to be made available on the DOI website.
    > I have submitted a number of ideas and comments regarding wild horses
    > on our public lands. One of the issues that frequently come up in wild
    > horse discussion groups is the invasive plant commonly called
    > “cheatgrass”. As I understand it, this grass is extremely
    > opportunistic. It grows in the early spring and then dies, providing
    > dried ground fuel that helps spread wildfires.
    > There have been observations that wild horses feed on cheatgrass when
    > it first emerges, before seed heads have a chance to develop and disperse.
    > There have been professional firefighters who consider the absence of
    > wild horses on areas where cheatgrass has taken hold actually
    > increases wildfire danger.
    > I think this type of study could provide important information on
    > mitigating the available fuels that contribute to the dangerous and
    > destructive wildfires that ravage our lands, and might find our wild
    > horses are more than icons of the West. They may be a natural, widely
    > available, and economical fire brigade.
    > highnoonhorsefarm in Mar 2010
    > We have been able to reduce and almost eradicate the cheatgrass in our
    > pasture by grazing the horses(10)and a small herd of goats
    > (9),part-time, in the early spring to keep it from going to seed. They
    > love it when it is green and tender and seem to prefer it so it gives
    > the other grasses a chance to come on. We are in our 5th year of
    > re-habilitating a severely overgrazed dryland pasture. We do not
    > irrigate because there is no water with the land. They graze together and our pasture has never looked better.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We addressed the crimes in our formal ethics complaint filed back on January 24th, with the Office for Congressional Ethics. We really would like to see people calling the OCE and asking them to take that complaint seriously and enforce the laws that were clearly broken by Representative Chris Stewart and others referred to in this complaint. We are calling for the resignations of people who used the lies of BLM to support the agenda of the livestock industry.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This sounds EXACTLY like what the BLM and USFS does with the FALSE statements about wild horse and burro populations and so-called “excess”.

    “When government agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management produce the danger, the propaganda hyping the danger, and the protection against it at a price, that’s racketeering. The definition of a racketeer is someone who creates a threat and then charges for its reduction. Wake up, stand up, do something. When you do something, however small, it makes it a little more difficult for the liars and racketeers to pawn off their propaganda [and] corruption … as real.”


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.