Horse News

American Wild Horse Campaign Got It Wrong: Wild Horses Paying The Price

Source: Wild Horse Ranch Productions Opinion by William E. Simpson

American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) spent time and money heaping praises upon Deb Haaland only to later discover they were totally wrong about her agenda.”

The Deptartment of Interior and Bureau of Land Management are engaged in a so-called management plan that is devastating the genetic survival of wild horses, and is made worse via the use of PZP and GonaCon with the support of some non-profits

YREKA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2021 / — In an opinion article printed in the Santa Fe New Mexican on December 17th of 2020, Holly Gann, who is director of government relations for American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), was so busy heaping praises upon Deb Haaland for her supposed support for wild horses, Ms. Gann and AWHC totally missed the reality of Deb Haaland’s agenda.

Having said that, and as a result of that misjudgement by AWHC of Deb Haaland’s intentions, American wild horses are being devastated!

As a part of the praises that AWHC heaped upon Deb Haaland, Ms. Gann penned an Op-Ed article titled:

Haaland’s work on wild horses sets an example1

“I applaud U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland for taking a stand to protect wild horses and supporting efforts in the U.S. House to humanely manage wild horse populations on the range where they belong.”

It seems that AWHC was so caught up in the trend to seat minority entities into government positions, and were so enamored by Ms. Haaland’s native American status and her illusion of supporting wild horses, that AWHC made some really big assumptions that are now soundly proven wrong!

The only applause I am hearing now is by the people who despise wild horses…

On December 17th 2020 I commented on that Op-Ed article by AWHC/Gann in the Santa Fe New Mexican, as follows:

“I disagree with Rep. Haaland’s opinion on wild horse management. It’s not consistent with the best science, nor is it consistent with allowing wildlife, in this case wild horses, to live free and without being harassed by human intervention.

Women seem particularly OK with using contraceptives on wildlife because many women have chosen to use it for themselves. However, *that* does not make it right, morally or ecologically, for use on wildlife. Women who choose to take a chemical have made an informed decision for themselves. They don’t have the authority to make a decision for another sentient being!

I have authored published articles about PZP and other work-arounds being used and proposed for wild horses… here is just one:

The debate is flooded with the conjectures of people who truly know very little about the behavioral ecology of wild horses, beyond maybe seeing some captured wild horses and what they have read from third parties who themselves have scant empirical first-hand experience with free-roaming wild horses in a wilderness setting. Instead, we have lots of imperfect information, and much of that comes from brief field trip observations over a sandwich and a telephoto lens on a camera.

There is better information available, but, we have too many activists whose ‘white noise’ obscures genuine facts and a real solution. And we also have ask; what would wild horse activist orgs do if a real final solution that is best for wild horses was implemented? Would they have to find real jobs, instead of living off the donations of good-hearted donors? Do people here realize that some of the heads of wild horse activist orgs pay themselves like CEO’s of large corporations? Well, they do… just go read their IRS-990 filings… and when you follow the money, sometimes what you find is not what you hoped for… So as we see, a genuine final solution for wild horses is NOT in the best interests of paid activists who make a very good living off the plight of wild horses… and if the truth be told, some of these people wouldn’t want to lose their gravy train, no more so than the cattle industry people…
Wild horses don’t require ‘management’ when there are located in a naturally operating ecosystem.

If the current elimination of wild horses across America under Deb Haaland is what AWHC and Ms. Gann consider ‘protecting wild horses’, I would hate to see Haaland’s idea of not ‘protecting’ them!”

— William E. Simpson II – Naturalist

The posted comments here fail to realize the simple truth: mankind, not the horses, are the problem and mankind have created the problems that have unbalanced our ecosystems, including and especially on and around public lands and HMAs where the trophic cascades have been decimated in favor of livestock production and greed.

People who are interested in learning the truth about what needs to be done for wild horses, should start by reading this article:

And, this article about wild horses living in balance in a forest ecosystem in the mountains on the OR-CA border:

More information about an ecologically and economically sound final solution for wild horses and burros is found here:

Department of Interior (‘DOI’) Director Deb Haaland’s so-called ‘protecting’ wild horses:

Now as the new Director of the DOI, Deb Haaland is behind the orchestration and implementation of the final axe-stroke upon the neck of the very survival of American wild horses!

If the current extermination of wild horses across America under Deb Haaland is what AWHC and Ms. Gann consider ‘protecting wild horses’, I would hate to see Haaland’s idea of not ‘protecting’ them!

This paradigm, where the big gold-plated non-profits arguably spend a lot of time and money kissing-up to politicians in order to keep themselves relevant in the media while trying to influence government management concepts by promoting PZP, which they posit as the path forward for managing wild horses, is one of the reasons why we see so much mismanagement of American wild horses.

I have in the past reached out to Suzanne Roy at AWHC and Neda DeMayo at Return To Freedom, asking them to reconsider their flawed beliefs and positions in regard to wild horses. They seemed unwilling to consider a solution that would truly end the range-war and the plight of American wild horses.

It is my belief that their refusal to support a genuine, naturally sustainable and holistic solution for the plight of American wild horses and burros is in part due to the fact that such a sustainable and cost-effective solution (Wild Horse Fire Brigade2) would end the need for their donation-driven organizations.

The result of such a naturally sustainable solution is that; wild horses would finally get to live naturally, free of human meddling and most importantly ‘wild’ as Nature intended, and the people at the non-profits would then have to go find new jobs.

It also seems that according to law (IRS rules) 501-c-3 non-profits are prohibited from engaging in aggressive lobbying efforts, which requires a 501-c-4 non-profit standing. And given the amount of ‘lobbying’ that we see going-on by 501-c-3 non-profit wild horse activists these days, some may have crossed the line? And that in itself may be worth looking into?

According to the AWHC website: “AWHC is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is tax-deductible. Our tax identification number is 47-4016989.”

From the IRS:

“In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.”

After decades of these large non-profit activist organizations (not sanctuaries) meddling and spending tens of $-millions in donation dollars, we find that today, wild horses are worse-off than ever before! That is the only metric that counts! Good intentions are meaningless when it’s results that are desperately needed.

And the non-profits who support and promote of the use of chemicals to drug wild horses and burros as so-called ‘contraception’ are aiding in an insidious disaster that is being inflicted upon the relatively few remaining wild mares on the public lands by these non-profits in concert with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Read more about how some non-profits are harming American wild horses, arguably in violation of the intent and codification of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Public Law 92-195);


About William E. Simpson II

William E. Simpson II is a naturalist/rancher living among and studying native species American wild horses. He is the author of a new Study about the behavioral ecology of wild horses, two published books and more than 150 published articles on subjects related to wild horses, wildlife, wildfire, and public land (forest) management. He has appeared on NBC NEWS, ABC NEWS, theDoveTV and has been a guest on numerous talk radio shows including the Lars Larson Show, the Bill Meyer Show, and on NPR Jefferson Public Radio.

#WildHorses, #WHFB, #DebHaaland, #AWHC, #PZP

William E Simpson
Wild Horse Ranch Productions
+1 858. 212-5762
email us here

WATCH NOW: Wild Horses are native species keystone herbivores on the North American continent at

6 replies »

  1. This is something that I have mentioned before in reference to this nations wild horses, that indeed they need to live unmanaged and untouched. This is the beauty of their existance and the only way that they can fulfill their niche as a keystone species, towards a thriving natural ecological balance.The use of contraceptives, in light of this is a no go, in as much as it is an attempt to alter,artificially the population growth of these wild equine, as opposed to letting nature dictate something it has been doing for thousands of years. It actually works against the wild horses, behaviorally, physiologically, not to mention adds to the population decrease. THis is along with natural mortality which, according to the national academy of sciences figures are roughly 14%-50% in wild horses up to a year old, and 5%-25% in those that are older. In essence they are accelerating population decline. More so,I have many times considered that fact that these activists that promote the contraception, are really promoting the agenda of the BLM but also believe wholeheartedly that they are making a healthy living off of the donations of others, under the guise of promoting the wild horses, when in truth they are helping to decimate them. Those of us, in other words, who are truly out for the wild horses, that they are able to live unmanaged, unaltered by manmade devices, and untouched, are out to work ourselves out of a job, so to speak, in whatever capacity we operate in. For myself, I receive no donations and whatever capacity I operate in, as a biologist, is purely voluntary. But for those who receive donations, this is truly about working oneself out of a job, or pointing to that end. What are our motives is the big question. Is it about promoting self, our organization, our efforts, or is it about the wild horses and their lives and benefits to the ecosystem. There is certainly alot of work to do, but the welfare of the wild horses, and for that matter all wildlife, and the environment should be first and foremost. In reference to this I wonder if those that have been rescued, will be given the opportunity to be released back to the wild, where they came from to pick up their lives where it was interupted. The wild is never out of the mustang, and I firmly believe they know what to do once back out there, or will be taught by others. They remember!!. While working with Horsepower in Nevada there was a wild mare that was rescued from the BLM pens, and possibly slaughter, from Black Rock East, possible Freedom’s lead mare, but she used to go to the far end of the pen that she was in and stare out at the mountains. Again the wild is never removed from the mustang. They remember, they feel and dream and are very intelligent and just as much they love so intensely. They need to have at least the opportunity to go back, to be a part of what they were. Isn’t this what we are all about. What are our motives?

    Liked by 2 people

    • RC, we are in accord, as usual, but I feel it is important to point out that plenty (if not most) people involved with darting mares are VOLUNTEERS, and they are NOT exclusively FEMALE, nor can it be assumed take birth control themselves! The history of contracepting wildlife started in other species on other continents, and largely dominated by men as I understand it.

      Men disparaging both women and volunteers accomplishes nothing but does raise the animosity between people who are naturally allied and concerned about the fate of our remaining wild horses.

      And though I am not affiliated with any myself, it needs to be pointed out again perhaps that a nonprofit organization MUST still make a profit or it will utterly fail (see how many horse shelters and sanctuaries must constantly beg for simple daily feed needs for some examples). How an organization uses the funds raised is what defines a nonprofit in the eyes of the law.

      So I will make a plea here to stop randomly bashing nonprofits, women, and volunteers. Let’s focus on those actually in charge of the fiasco called our Wild Horse and Burro Program: Congress, The BLM, and to a lesser extent, The USFS. The volunteer groups operate only with their consent regarding darting programs — nobody is out randomly darting mares! It would be great if we had a strong, single voice for advocacy but as we repeatedly must relearn, a house divided against itself… you all know the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. There are alot of pure volunteers that dart the horses, and no reference was made to those even though I don’t agree with darting, and no reference was made toward women either. It is the principle which I was speaking of. Yes also I agree with the fact that a house divided against itself is not good and our voice would be alot stronger if there were no division. Sometimes I wonder if the BLM and others use this against us and would have no doubts if they did. Take care


  3. Speaking of division – I got an email from Mr. Simpson regarding some difference of opinion with John Cox (photo/journalist) whose blog I have read for several years. Not sure what’s going on there but certainly illustrates the whole house divided!


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