Gayle Hunt (Pres.) of Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition on efforts to preserve the wild horses in the Big Summit HMA in the Ochoco National Forest (Wed., 7/12/17)


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, July 12, 2017

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

(Photo: Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition)

Our guest today is Gayle Hunt, President & Founder of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition (COWHC), established as a non-profit organization in 2002.
The Ochoco National Forest is seeking comments on a proposal to revise the
Ochoco Wild and Free Roaming Herd Management Plan, and sent a Scoping Letter to the public that is vague and doesn’t state the proposed Appropriate Management Level (AML), the number of wild horses and burros that will be allowed to remain on this HMA. (The current AML is 55-65 wild horses – not allowing a high enough number to be viable ).
We’re asking YOU help save these horses and send in comments to the Forest Service requesting the AML be set at a viable herd number.  In order to have a viable herd number, the Forest Service needs to set an AML of a minimum of 150-200 horses, including 50 breeding age adults.  Also, please ask for a genetically sustainable herd. The Forest Service is doing genetic augmentation, so ask them to provide the public with all research and documentation for genetic augmentation, since their management decisions have included this.
On this show you’ll learn more about how COWHC is currently trying to preserve the current 130 or so wild horses currently on the Big Summit HMA, about 30 miles east of Prineville, Oregon. Check out the COWHC facebook page HERE for the latest updates. COWHC is boots on the ground and provides one of the most accurate herd inventories in the nation, annually bringing a cadre of about 80 volunteers to count these wild horses on their turf. They also work on on-the-ground improvements like water developments, forage improvements, fence removal and other projects.
Public comments for this plan for Big Summit wild horses are due by July 21, 2017 and can be submitted by email
to with “East Pershing Complex Gather” in the subject line.

Questions and written comments should be directed to: Samantha Gooch, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, BLM Humboldt River Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445.

You can also submit a comment electronically at
Commenters should be aware before including their address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in their comment, that their entire comment – including identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While they can ask BLM in their comment to withhold personal identifying information from public review, BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.  Anonymity is not allowed for submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses.
This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us:, or call 320-281-0585


1/8/17 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on BLM’s dangerous Radio Collar Study on the Adobe Town wild horses in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

2/15/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and donkey advocate David Duncan (Donkey Rescue World), talk about the killing of the world’s donkeys for ejiao. Listen HERE.

3/8/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, on the ejiao issue in Australia. Listen HERE.

4/12/17 – Dawn Vincent, Head of Communications for The Donkey Sanctuary UK, and Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. In January 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) issued a report titled “Under the Skin,” about the global demand for donkey skins used to produce a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao. Listen HERE.

5/24/17 – ELAINE NASH, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, and Palomino Armstrong, founder of CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, on the logistics of the rescue of the ISPMB horses and about the many wild horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/14/27 – Nancy Turner, Pres. of This Old Horse, a Minnesota nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses, and Elaine Nash, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization offering crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, talk about the ISPMB horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/21/17 – Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, on contamination of U.S. waters in perpetuity, caused by mining. Bonnie is co-author of the report Polluting the Future: How mining companies are polluting our nation’s waters in perpetuity. Listen HERE.

6/28/17 – Neda DeMayo, Founder and President, and Cory Golden, Advocacy & Communications Director, of Return to Freedom, on the need for ALL of us to urge Congress to stand against a presidential budget proposal that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of horses. Listen HERE.

7/8/17 – Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Exec. Dir. of The Cloud Foundation, John Holland, Pres. of Equine Welfare Alliance, Katlin Kraska, Equine Lobbyist for ASPCA, Cory Golden, Advocacy Coordinator for Return to Freedom, and R.T. Fitch, Pres. of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on how to help save wild horses & burros from eminent danger of slaughter as outlined in the 2018 Budget. Listen HERE.

Ochoco National Forest Revamping Wild Horse Plan

By Dylan J. Darling / The Bulletin /

Current Big Summit herd guidelines have been in place since 1975

OchocoHorsesThe Ochoco National Forest is set to revise a 40-year-old management plan for a wild horse herd near Prineville and is looking for help from the public in the revision.

“We are basically going to redo the plan,” Tory Kurtz, rangeland management specialist for the national forest, said Tuesday.

Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971, and four years later, in 1975, the Ochoco National Forest established a 27,300-acre management area for the Big Summit herd of wild horses. The act protects wild horses in designated areas, which include the more than 42-square-mile Big Summit management area. The management plan for the Big Summit herd, also known as the Ochoco Mustangs, has not been updated since 1975.

Revising the plan is not related to the planned roundup of wild horses east of Lakeview in south-central Oregon. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management began preparations Monday for the roundup of more than 1,000 wild horses in the Beatys Butte herd, drawing criticism from wild horse advocacy groups.

The Big Summit herd is the only wild horse herd in Oregon and Washington solely managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The BLM manages most herds in Oregon.

In the middle of the Ochoco National Forest, just west of Big Summit Prairie, the Big Summit herd management area is predominantly wooded.

Each June, the national forest teams up with volunteers to count the wild horses. The count is conducted on foot or horseback because of the terrain.

This past June, the count showed about 150 wild horses, Kurtz said. While horses in the herd have been captured or adopted in the past, she said that hasn’t occurred since 2010 in part because of the aging management plan. The revised plan probably would detail how to conduct captures and adoptions.

In October 2013, six horses from the herd were found shot, five were dead and one was so badly wounded it was euthanized , all near Big Summit Prairie. The case remains open, according to Ochoco National Forest and Forest Service law enforcement officials.

National forest officials are inviting the public to join a stakeholder group, convened by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, to develop plan recommendations. Starting in December, the group is set to meet monthly for at least two years, according to the national forest. Overhauling the plan is expected to take up to three years.

The current plan is outdated and does not address modern issues about wild horses, said Gayle Hunt, president of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition. She is glad the plan is set for an update.

“It’s way overdue,” she said. Established in 2002, the nonprofit aids in the management of wild horses in Central Oregon, particularly the Big Summit herd. Hunt said Ochoco National Forest officials have worked well with people advocating for wild horses.

Issues likely to be tackled in the revised plan include wild horse birth control and adoption programs, both aimed at keeping herd size in check. Kurtz said the current plan does not have a target number for the herd.

What will be in the new plan depends on the direction taken by the stakeholder group.

“We don’t really have anything set in stone,” Kurtz said.

Wild Horse Killings Unsolved

By Dylan J. Darling / The Bulletin

Six horses were found shot in Ochoco National Forest last fall

Nearly five months after a half-dozen wild horses were found shot along a road in the Ochoco National Forest, who killed the controversial animals and why remains unknown.

No one has stepped forward with a tip solid enough to lead to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters, despite a reward of nearly $10,000.

“We are still desperate for information,” Patrol Capt. Dan Smith of the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday. Smith is the top law enforcement officer for the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests.

The horses were all members of a group of wild horses known as the Big Summit Wild Horse Herd. Three were found shot — two dead and one severely wounded — on Oct. 12 along Forest Road 22 near the junction with Forest Road 500, east of Prineville. The injured horse was euthanized. On Oct. 18, three more horses shot dead were found nearby by a Forest Service law enforcement officer investigating the first case. Smith has said the six horses probably were all shot at the same time.

Protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, it is illegal to harm, harass or kill wild horses.

TipsWild horses elicit strong emotions from people on opposing sides of the debate in the West about federal management of the animal. Whether anger about the animals was a factor in the shootings, though, remains a mystery.

“I would say that I think it was a deliberate act,” said Gayle Hunt, president of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition in Prineville. “It was not random.”

The wild horse shooting wasn’t the first in recent years in the Ochoco. In March 2011, six wild horses, four adults and two younger animals, were found shot dead. That case also remains unsolved. The shooting scenes from 2011 and last fall are about 10 or 15 miles from each other.

Hunt said she thinks the 2011 shooting was not a random act either, with both shootings possibly done by people who hate the horses. People opposed to wild horses on public lands include some elk hunters and ranchers, she said.

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, Redmond-based Mustangs to the Rescue, the Humane Society of the United States and individual contributors are offering a combined reward of $9,200 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters of the horses…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at The Bulletin

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Reward Offered in Shooting Deaths of Central Oregon Wild Horses

Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, The U.S Forest Service, Crook County Sheriff

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting this month of six wild horses in the Big Prairie Summit region of the Ochoco National Forest in Crook County, Ore.

600_wild_horses_090819The Case: The U.S. Forest Service gives the following account:  On or about Oct. 13, hunters discovered two wild horses who had been shot and killed in the Big Prairie Summit region in the eastern portion of the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon. They also found a third horse, a juvenile, badly injured from gunshot wounds. The third horse was euthanized. On Oct. 18, Forest Service investigators combed the scene and found three more horses shot and killed.

The HSUS reward offer of $5,000 is in addition to $2,000 being offered by the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, a nonprofit group established to protect and preserve the wild horses of central Oregon.

The shooting deaths of six wild horses in the spring of 2011 remain unsolved, despite an outstanding $4,000 reward offer.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Wild horses roaming free on our public lands are a national treasure to be cherished and protected,” said Scott Beckstead, senior Oregon state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Shooting these majestic creatures is not only an act of depraved cruelty, but also a serious criminal offense. We applaud the U.S. Forest Service and the Crook County Sheriff for taking these crimes seriously, and for their dedication in working to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The Investigators: The U.S. Forest Service and Crook County Sheriff are investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Capt. Dan Smith, U.S. Forest Service, (541)383-5798; or the Crook County Sheriff’s Office, (541)447-6398.

Resources: The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, go to

Oregon Wild Horse Shootings Probed

Source: By Pat Raia as published on The Horse

“It was a very difficult scene…”

600_wild_horses_090819Federal authorities in Oregon are investigating the deaths of three wild horses in a case eerily similar to shootings in 2011 that also claimed the lives of several wild horses.

Capt. Dan Smith of the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations said that on Oct. 13, federal officers responded to a call. about two injured horses discovered in the Ochoco National Forest near Pineville, Ore., in Crook County. Once on the scene, officers found a third injured horse, Smith said. The horses—two adults and one juvenile horse—had been shot, he said.

“It was a very difficult scene,” Smith said. “One horse was found mortally injured and officers had to put it down at the scene.”

The deaths were similar to the March 2011 deaths of three other wild horses, Smith said.

In that case Crook County Sheriff’s Department personnel discovered three wild horses dead in the Ochoco Forest. A joint investigation by the Forest Service, the County Sheriff’s Department, and the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division revealed that the two stallions and a pregnant mare had sustained gunshot wounds. A yearling accompanying the mare was unhurt.

Smith said that all the incidents took place on National Forest Service land that is home to wild horse herds. He said the area in which the horses were found is frequented by both woodcutters and hunters.

“Hopefully somebody saw something,” he said.

Smith declined to speculate on why the shooter might have been in that part of the National Forest.

In meantime, Smith said U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations welcome tips from anyone relative to the case.

“We’ve trying to find out who is doing this and any little bit of information is important to us,” Smith said.

Tipsters with information about the case should call 541/383-5798. Callers must indicate whether or not they wish to remain anonymous.

Three Wild Horses Shot Dead in Oregon; Foal Orphaned

Story by Kim Tobin and Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

Human Cruelty Knows No Bounds

CLICK image to view video and comment

PRINEVILLE, Ore. — Authorities said Thursday they are looking for tips from the public in hopes of finding whoever shot and killed three wild horses east of Prineville – one of which was pregnant and accompanied by her year-old foal, which was found unhurt.

Crook County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Bottoms made the grisly discovery around 2 p.m. Monday while on patrol in the Ochoco National Forest about 18 miles east of Prineville, said Det Sgt. Travis Jurgens.

“It was definitely an intentional shooting of the three horses,” said Jurgens. “We have undetermined number of rounds that were fired at this point.”

Bottoms found the dead horse along a spur road off Forest Road 150 in the Douthit Creek drainage, near the Ochoco Ranger Station, Jurgens said. Further investigation led to the two others, for a total of two stallions and a mare.

The mare appears to have been pregnant and had a foal about 1 years old with her at the time, nudging her, trying to get her back on her feet when the deputy arrived, Jurgens said. The foal was unhurt but left abandoned by the mare’s death.“It was determined that all three horses had been shot and killed with a firearm for no apparent reason,” Jurgens said, adding that Bottoms was able to obtain evidence by having come upon the “fairly recent” shooting scene.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (541) 447-6398 or contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

As a member of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, Krista Lee hung posters around Prineville, asking for the public’s help in finding whoever shot the horses..

“I think that it’s just very shocking,” said Lee. “There are so many people that love and care about these horses — it’s like having someone come into your own home and kill a family member.”

What makes Lee even angrier is that this is not the first time an attack like this has happened. Since 2002, Lee said there have been similar attacks in the area.

“Anywhere from one to three horses being killed per time,” said Lee. “And they’re still doing it.”

Lee said she and members of the coalition are working hard to get the word out to the public, in hope of finding whoever is responsible for hurting the innocent animals.

“If there’s a horse you want to ride to Hell and back on, these are the horses you want to do it with,” said Lee. “So to remove them or harm them is beyond possible thinking.”

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition also was offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot and mutilated the horses.