Horse News

BLM Backs Down On Removing Horses From Pryor Mountain

Source: The Cloud Foundation

Temporary Retraining Order prevents September 2 Trapping and Removal

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Susan P. Watters, United States District Judge, has ruled in favor of Ginger Kathrens and the Cloud Foundation in their efforts to protect the small Pryor Mountain mustang herd from capture and removal stating, “Plaintiffs’ application for TRO is GRANTED. Defendants are hereby ENJOINED from conducting the wild horse gather set for September 2, 2018, pending a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction.”

“We won,” stated a jubilant Ginger Kathrens, who brought the herd to international prominence with her documentaries about Cloud, a charismatic palomino stallion she documented from the day he was born. “I hope that the TRO and what we believe will be a permanent decision later next month, will ensure a lasting future for this unique Spanish herd.”

In her ruling Judge Waters acknowledged that BLM fell short in managing for both rare genetics and the unusual colors.

The Pryor Mustangs are descended of Crow Indian horses (the range borders reservation lands) and before that, the horses of the Conquistadors. Genetic and color experts have concluded that this is a rare Spanish Colonial herd. Their range is located on the Montana/Wyoming border east of Yellowstone National Park. Kathrens, who began her journey with wild horses in 1994, was ridiculed in the Government’s brief for repeated efforts to protect the Pryor Herd, stated. “I hope this is a turning point for America’s beleaguered wild horse herds that have been so cruelly treated and that the BLM will finally adopt humane methods of management that take into account the essential need for family structures and the basic right to live in freedom as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended.”

In her decision to grant the TRO Judge Watters states: “BLM argues that one removal action will not result in the permanent loss of genetic diversity of the Pryor Herd. … This conclusion is contrary to the evidence before the court. Extinction of a bloodline or phenotype is, by its nature, loss of genetic diversity. And extinction, meaning forever, is certainly a long duration. This court finds that Plaintiffs have established a likelihood of irreparable harm absent a TRO.”

“We could not have brought this suit without a high level of confidence in our donors.” Kathrens continued. “Cloud fans are loyal to wild horses and understand that maintaining the family structure and genetic strength are the essentials to living wild. This one’s for you Cloud!”

“2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, the first nationally designated area established to provide a home for free roaming horses. What a grand way to celebrate!,” Ginger Kathrens concludes.

The hearing in Billings, MT is set for September, 28 at 9:30.

The Cloud Foundation is being represented in the lawsuit by Katherine A. Meyer, of the Washington DC public interest firm, Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Eubanks.

10 replies »

  1. Its really too bad that ALL HMAs havent had the publicity & the eye of the public! If only the rest of the herds were that fortunate. Ginger & her organization have certainly made obvious what needs to be done. Bring the public into the “roundup” arena. Make them aware that there are “Clouds” in ALL of these herds. Shes done miracles in bringing these particular horses into all of our awareness. THAT has done more to save them than anything else – to see them as individuals with families. And yet this herd still is far enough away from civilization that they are able to stay wild as they should be.
    And for sure, a judge who sees the truth when a lawsuit is necessary.
    Reading the decision makes it so obvious that the BLM still feels they can just say it & its so! Just like the attitude that they can do what they want to OUR wild horses.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Got a reply from my comment on the AVMA article

    Good morning Maggie,

    Thank you for taking the time to send your feedback on my article “Exploding population of wild horses, burros strains BLM” and point out the error about the acreage.

    We have since corrected for leaving off the world “millions”

    The story was meant to provide an update on the BLM’s handling of its Wild Horse and Burro program via a presentation by Alan Shepherd at the AVMA Convention 2018. I also sat in on a presentation by Dr. Albert J. Kane, who is an advisor to the WHB program, and talked about the at times poor welfare of the horses and the many factors. He also addressed the difficulties of darting mares and the complications from spaying the mares as well as the fact that the BLM is looking into other contraceptive methods, but did not elaborate. I chose not to write about that portion for lack of time and ability to follow up.
    Malinda Larkin
    Senior News Editor | Publications Division
    American Veterinary Medical Association
    o: 847-285-6644 |

    THIS WAS MY REPLY!! Hopefully it made sense!

    re: JAVMA article on BLM wild horses and burros
    Maggie Frazier
    Malinda Larkin (
    Well, appreciate your reply but the word “millions” was not the biggest error in this article! Perhaps instead of accepting the word of the BLM & its current employees, who do not actually have a real count of wild horses now on our public lands, you might take the time to research the other side of the question! Yes the BLM management of OUR (US taxpayers) wild horses & burros does not & has not worked as it should. But sadly, thats not the fault of the animals themselves. Frankly, the only people complaining about the “difficulties” of darting with contraceptives are employees & advisers of the BLM.

    Using PZP is not the biggest problem. Nor are the “complications from SPAYING wild mares part of the difficulties! For crying out loud – this is the AVMA you are writing about – an organization that is far more aware of the seriousness of spaying any mare – domestic or wild! The idea that this type of “complication” would even be put forth boggles the mind. You might also research what most real veterinarians have to say about using this surgery on a wild animal!!!!!

    The fact that most, if not all, of the herds who, at this moment, are still in HMAs & have not been rounded up & zeroed out, are way below genetic viability is more of a concern. The fact that so many Herd Management Areas have been subject to complete removal of wild horses is more of a concern. The fact that somehow, some way – most, if not all, of the horses rounded up, are not only fit & healthy – but living well – even with the millions of livestock grazing in EVERY HMA!

    Another suggestion would be to read the current conclusion from a lawsuit brought by the Cloud Foundation. Both Ginger Kathren’s AND the judges decision. You might pick up on the level of study & research done on this particular herd.

    I am really disappointed in the lack of research done on this article!

    Maggie Frazier

    Liked by 3 people

    • Many Thanks, Maggie, for pointing out the facts. I wrote the AVMA on their site where it said contact but received no reply. Sadly the Board makes the decisions and the vets are not consulted. I know mine would never have wanted that article printed or Alan Shepherd and Kane at their convention. Looks like no wild horse advocate was invited to give the truth. So where is a rebuttal ?


      • An organization for veterinarians & vets are not consulted! Well, there have been a few other questions regarding the AVMA, as I remember! You may hear back – it took several days before I did.


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