Horse News

More than 1,700 wild horses removed from Nevada-Utah ranges


Authorities (contractors) have completed the removal of 1,716 “excess” wild horses in Nevada and Utah, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Reno’s Palomino Valley Wild Horse Facility ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM gathered the horses from herd management areas in Lincoln County in Nevada and Iron and Beaver counties in Utah. The roundup, which began Jan. 16, ended on Tuesday, according to a BLM release.

“The purpose of the gather was to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management and prevent further degradation of public lands,” the federal agency said.

Of the gathered horses, 28 females were given fertility treatments and released along with 19 males back into the wild.

The bulk of the horses were moved to the Palomino Valley Center Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Reno, the release said. The BLM said the horses will be adopted, sold or placed in “long-term pastures.”

20 replies »

  1. OMG, What will happen to these wonderful animals? Why were they removed and why aren’t the people protesting this atrocity? Are they going to end up on a dinner plate???? Murdered in a horrific way??? How Shameful of you at the BLM and our Government!!!!! Just Horrible.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 24 were killed !!! Again our wild horses were blamed for degradation of the land which was a damn lie. Cattle caused the over-grazing as always. Wild horses do not over-graze as they wander if not fenced in. They are symbiotic to ecosystems and their droppings help re-seed the range. Also their is no over-population. The low AML’s are destroying genetic viability and natural selection that are necessary for healthy self-sustaining herds.
    Extinction is next and what BLM wants .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The purpose of the gather was to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management…”

    Consider this, folks. These horses were removed at our expense from their DESIGNATED LEGAL AREAS which Congress decades ago decreed as SUITABLE since they were free-roaming in those areas at that time, and long before (accounts differ, but certainly hundreds of years at a minimum). The magic 8 ball method of calculating extinction-level AMLs remains ungrounded in science or ethics, but the stench of profiteering is unavoidable. On other advocates sites there is evidence provided of livestock interests selling water off private and nearby public lands to the waterhog desert city of Las Vegas. Ask yourself if Congress ever intended for the public lands to be desertified for private gain, at public cost and public loss?

    These horses, in their legal areas, were hunted down, captured, some killed, and any survivors who disappear forever into private holding facilties will be branded. Only a few will be adopted, and many of those end up resold and eventually slaughtered. Ask yourself how that squares with both the letter and the intent of the law:

    “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.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish the blm would get it together and protect the horses and burros like they are supposed to be doing .Instead of taking the land for the grazing for ranchers. How do the people or especially the animals benefit from being in put in a holding pen for the rest of their life or worse? Somebody needs to step up and take care of our animals

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The law that requires the BLM/USFS to maintain populations is the 1971 Congressional law. The law must be followed and the law states, “that wild free-roaming wild horses [and burros] are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural ecosystem of the public lands”. Thus, an AML (or zeroing out!) established purely for administrative reasons or imagined to be an advantageous population (or zeroed out populations!) for the BLM/USFS cannot be justified under statute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The law also did NOT declare: “…wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death… EXCEPT BY THE HAND OF THEIR DESIGNATED TAXPAYER FUNDED PROTECTORS.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. EVERY ONE of those captives must be accounted for and documented

    Justice Department Recovers Over $2.8 Billion from False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2018
    “The False Claims Act was originally passed in response to rampant fraud perpetrated against the United States military during the Civil War. Back then, crooked contractors defrauded the Union Army by selling it sick mules, lame horses, sawdust instead of gunpowder, and rotted ships with fresh paint. Unfortunately, what we see today is just a modern version of the same thing — deceptive and fraudulent practices directed at the U.S. government and the American taxpayer,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt. “The Department of Justice has placed a high priority on rooting out and pursuing those who cheat government programs for their own gain. The recoveries announced today are a message that fraud and dishonesty will not be tolerated.”
    Holding Individuals Accountable
    The Department continued its commitment to use the False Claims Act and other civil remedies to deter and redress fraud by individuals as well as corporations.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. From AWHC

    Every horse born on the range, rounded up and removed is making livestock operators A LOT of money. It’s a federal gravy train that’s putting millions in the pockets of cattlemen to round up wild horses with helicopters and store them by the thousands in feedlots.

    Here’s who’s profiting from this broken system.(for starters)

    Helicopter Cowboys

    Rounding up horses with helicopters for the federal government is a lucrative business. At $500-$800 per head, it’s turned a number of Utah and Nevada cattlemen into multi-millionaires. Here’s the line up of BLM’s current helicopter wranglers:

    Cattoor Livestock Roundup, the BLM’s helicopter roundup contractor of choice. In 1975, they began working for the BLM rounding wild horses and burros with helicopters as well as processing and transporting them. As of 2010, they had captured over 150,000 wild horses and burros for the BLM. Today, the number is closer to 200,000. From 2008-2018, the Cattoors have made $20,462,928 through 159 contracts with the BLM.

    Sun J Livestock of Vernal Utah pulled in $7,738,566 via 33 contracts with the BLM between 2008 and 2018.
    Sampson Livestock, headed by a former Cattoor employee, is newer on the scene. Sampson earned $1,682,994 through roundup contracts with BLM between 2012-2018.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. From AWHC

    Here’s whose making money on the short-term holding contracts:

    Broken Arrow Horse & Cattle Company, Indian Lakes Holding Facility, Fallon, NV.
    ​$14,567,961: Total earnings from BLM contracts 2015-2018.

    Simplot Livestock, Bruneau Off-Range Corrals in Idaho.
    $8,182,349: Total earnings from BLM wild horse and burro holding contracts 2015-2018.

    Axtell Off-Range Corrals in Axtell, Utah.
    $10,291,342: Total earnings from BLM wild horse and burro holding contracts 2015-2018.
    In 2017, it cost BLM $1 million more to house roughly 10,000 horses in short term holding than it did to house 34,000 horses in long-term holding pastures, which charge an average of $1.87 per horse per day – far less than the $5 per horse per day in short term pens. Yet, the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found in 2016 that BLM was not maximizing long-term holding space, and instead, storing horses in expensive short-term holding pens for far longer than necessary. The OIG report noted that 15 of the then 27 long-term pastures have “vacancies” of 35 horses or more and that the agency could save $3.7 million by moving nearly 3,000 animals into the cheaper pastures.

    Recent FOIA requests by AWHC for records on the acquisition and disposition of horses at the BLM’s privately-owned holding facilities (Indian Lakes, Bruneau, and Axtell) reveal that horses are staying in these feedlot pens for years. For example, horses captured in the Silver King, Adobe Town and Salt Wells roundups in 2010 are still warehoused at the Bruneau Off-Range Corrals, and there are even some horses who show their capture dates from 2003-2005.

    Liked by 1 person

    BY R.T. FITCH ON MAY 30, 2018

    By Grandma Gregg

    “BLM states biologically and mathematically impossible annual wild horse population rates…”
    Click (HERE) for a complete mathematical analysis of BLM’s fraudulent and deceptive population statistics.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. At least Nixon did something right to protect our innocent wild horses & burros..way back when
    (Until the Burns amendment was signed into law.)
    I agree with everyone’s opinions & comments here!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my gosh, what do we do now to protect them from Trump’s budget increases to eliminate them (with the BLM).. Need input here?


  12. Some Heber History


    Re: Notice of Appeal: Land Management Plan for the Apache-Sitgreaves
    National Forests

    Acknowledged historians for the Heber Wild Horse Territory (the “Territory”) trace the history of the wild horses directly back to the journeys of the Jesuit Priest, Father Eusebio Kino, in his explorations of the area for new mission sites during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. See Jinx Pyle, Narrative of History of Wild Horses on the Mogollon Rim (Aug. 2005), attached hereto as Exhibit 5. Books on the area, including the famous account of the Hashknife Ranch by Stella Hughes, verify the continued existence of the horses on the Rim and of their great value to the ranchers who often caught a few and made them prized ranch horses. See Stella Hughes, Hashknife Cowboy: Recollections of Mack Hughes (1996), attached hereto as Exhibit 6; see also Joan Baeza, Horses of Arizona, 2 Arizona Highways 65 (Feb. 1988), attached hereto as Exhibit 7; Bob Thomas, The Astonishing Double Life of Frontier Rancher Cecil Creswell, 71 Arizona Highways 10 (Oct. 1995), attached hereto as Exhibit 8; The Holbrook Argus, Vol. XII No. 26 (Oct. 1, 1907), attached hereto as Exhibit 9; Will C. Barnes, University of Arizona Bulletin, Vol., VI, No. 1, General Bulletin No. 2 Arizona Place Names (Jan. 1, 1935) (excerpt) (“Bronco Mountain”), (“Dry Lake”), (“Wild Horse Lake”), attached hereto as Exhibit 10. Spanish horse experts, who have visited the area, verify the remarkable resemblance of many of the herds to the Andalusian, the Spanish Barb, and the Spanish Colonial horse, ridden by Spanish soldiers who visited the area with Jesuit priests, explorers and settlers. See Jinx Pyle, Narrative of History of Wild Horses on the Mogollon Rim (Aug. 2005), Exhibit 5. The Plan sets out the roles and contributions of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. In that section of the Plan, the USFS provides an overview of distinct characteristics of the National Forests and the diverse ecosystem within it. It pays respect to various wildlife species ranging from the Springerville pocket mouse to the Mexican gray wolf, yet gives no deference to the wild horses as symbols of the West. See Plan at pp. 11-12. This is a foreshadowing of the minimization throughout the Plan of the Territory and of the wild horses. The USFS has historically concocted reasons to diminish the existence and importance of the wild horses and the Territory. For one, it has made an (erroneous) assumption that the wild horses present in the Territory before the Rodeo-Chediski Fire originated from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation or were abandoned. This assumption is contradicted by local accounts

    Click to access fseprd487591.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heber History

    Local families remember wild horses in the area from the 1930s to the present. See Letter to Zieroth, dated August 25, 2005, attached hereto as Exhibit 11; see also Affidavits of various Heber area residents (conclusively demonstrating the historic presence of the unbranded, unclaimed (wild) horses on public lands associated with the Apache-Sitgreaves Forests for well over 30 years prior to the Rodeo-Chediski fire), attached hereto as Exhibit 12; see also Photographs of horses in the area taken in the fall of 2006 (conclusively showing the lack of any branding), attached hereto as Exhibit 13. Additionally, wild horse behavior expert Mary Ann Simonds has opined that the horses have inhabited the Mogollon Rim where the Territory is located since at least the early 1900s and most likely since 1699. See Mary Ann Simonds, Determination of Whether Horses Inhabiting the USFS Heber Wild Horse Territory are “Wild Free-Roaming Horses”, dated March 5, 2007, at 8, attached hereto as Exhibit 14. Simonds concluded, among other things, that:  At least two or more distinct bands of wild horses exist in the Territory.  One group, with a dominant buckskin stallion, numbered from 15-30 horses.  Another group, with a dominant black/bay stallion, numbered approximately 15- 30 horses.  Field observations from October 2006 support these findings, as fresh manure and hoof prints were observed throughout the area and especially near water sources.

    Simonds recommended that investigations into the behavioral ecology of the wild horses be conducted to develop baseline data and determine the best management practices in order to preserve the wild horses that represent the “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.”

    Click to access fseprd487591.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The exact numbers of our wild horses and burros being or already removed from their rightful ranges are unknown to the public, and it seems intentionally so. It seems obvious the BLM can’t be held accountable for actions they hide from the public they work for. Here’s a reference to perhaps over 1,200 being removed without observation or public reporting:

    “Beginning in fiscal 2019, and ending in fiscal 2020, BLM did the largest bait trap operation they have ever attempted. Targeting 1250 wild horses at the Antelope Complex in NV BLM allowed no observation of activities and shipped wild horses directly into the off public viewing facility Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes). This number is not included in the 2020 totals. … The “roundup year” is now at it’s midway point. BLM has not updated the actual capture/fertility control numbers; by our preliminary count for the first half of the fiscal year BLM has removed 4271. BLM had proposed to treat 130 with fertility control and release. BLM has not updated the actual numbers treated.”


    • You are correct, Icy. The trapping is done without any public observation and I have absolutely no doubt that all those trapped over the years never even made it to a holding facility. No doubt.


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