Carol Walker’s report on The Checkerboard Roundup Day 7 – Great Divide Basin


The Checkerboard Roundup Day 7 – Great Divide Basin

by Carol J. Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A gorgeous black stallion who will be rounded up in the coming days

A gorgeous black stallion who will be rounded up in the coming days

The Checkerboard Roundup 2017 is taking place right now and is expected to take 4-6 weeks. The BLM is removing 1560 adult horses and we don’t know how many foals from three wild horse areas: Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin. The total area of these three herds is 2.4 million acres.

The family does not go into the trap

The family does not go into the trap


This morning I drove out following the BLM and as we arrived at Bitter Creek Road, the fog moved in. We sat in our cars because it was bitterly cold and then we followed the contractor Cattoors and the BLM up to the trap site. We slipped and slid on the muddy mess the road had become and I worried if it rained we might get stuck trying to get out. When we arrived within view of the trap, we learned that the ideal spot to watch and photograph was on private land. Serena Baker, Public Information Officer insisted that they call John Hay the President of the Rock Springs Grazing Association and ask permission to have access to his land for observation. To my surprise and delight her agreed to let us be there. As we set up our cameras it began to rain. We covered ourselves and our cameras, and about half an hour later it began to clear. We heard the helicopter and he had a large group of horses.

The black stallion charges the helicopter

The black stallion charges the helicopter

He runs away

He runs away

As they got closer I saw a black stallion in front. As they approached the trap, they veered off. The helicopter came back, and the black stallion charged at it! He was so spirited. The Bay roan stallion behind him followed him. The group went over the hill, and then as they came down, he charged again! Then the whole group after one more attempt ran off, fast. The helicopter went to refuel and they added more jute to the wings of the trap. It was clear oto me that these horses have been rounded up too many times and they were not having it.

The bay stallion watches

The bay stallion watches

The bay stallion runs to the trailer

The bay stallion runs to the trailer

As another group came in a bay stallion broke away and watched he horses go into the trap. I wondered where his family was. Soon he was calling to the horses in the pen behind the trap. That answered my question. He ran around behind the trap, and we could see him watching the pen. We watched him, and when half his family was loaded onto a semi and drove out, he watched it and called to his mares. Then he would go around and call to his family members in the pens.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM Issues Draft Environmental Assessment on Massive WY Wild Horse Removal

Unedited BLM Press Release

“More propaganda and ‘Fake’ statistics utilized by the BLM to destroy the wild horse herds of Wyoming!” ~ R.T.

Past BLM Wyoming Stampede ~ Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo.Today the Bureau of Land Management released its draft environmental assessment for a proposed wild horse gather in southwest Wyoming and is seeking public input. The proposed gather will reduce wild horse populations in the Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas to their low Appropriate Management Levels in order to maintain healthy wild horses on healthy, productive rangelands.

Currently, public lands are home to 73,000 wild horses and burros across the west. This amounts to nearly triple the 26,715 population target that was established by the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended. The extensive overpopulation of wild horses and burros routinely results in their starvation and death from lack of water.

In the three HMAs affected by the proposed gather, the current, overall population of 2,836 wild horses exceeds the cumulative AML of 1,560 animals by about 80 percent. The proposed gather would remove 513 of the 1,123 wild horses present in the Adobe Town HMA, 725 of the 976 in the Salt Wells Creek HMA and 322 of the 737 in the Great Divide Basin HMA. The proposed gather would also allow the BLM to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree of Rock Springs Grazing Association v. Salazar.

The release of the draft environmental assessment launches a 30-day public review of the proposed action. Public input is valuable early in the process and will enable the BLM to develop a well-informed analysis.

Written comments should be received by August 10, 2017. All comments submitted via email should be sent to with “2017 AML Gather EA” included in the subject line. Alternatively, comments may be hand-delivered or mailed to:

BLM Rock Springs Field Office
2017 AML Gather
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, WY 82901

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, please contact the BLM at 307-352-0256.

A copy of the project map and additional details can be found at:

Please Comment to Protect Wyoming’s Wild Horses from the Devastating 2017 Checkerboard Roundup


Adobe Town Family

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Please Comment by April 4, 2017 on the Checkerboard 2017 Roundup

The BLM was unable to roundup wild horses from Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Great Divide Basin in 2016 because we won a lawsuit that prohibits the BLM from managing the wild horses in the Checkerboard using only Section 4 of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which allows them to remove wild horses from private lands.  Because the Checkerboard includes public lands, it is illegal to manage them as if they were privately owned by the ranchers demanding these roundups.  In order to legally roundup wild horses from the Checkerboard, the BLM must prove that the numbers are above Appropriate Management Level, or AML.  Now, they are not even conducting a census to prove this, instead they are “projecting” that the horses are over the high end of AML.

Roundups cause the destruction of hundreds of wild horse families, as well as injuries and death to the horses as they are chased by helicopters and flee in terror into traps.  These captured wild horses are chased into trailers and taken away from the only home they have ever had to end up spending the rest of their days languishing in holding corrals with no shelter.  Only a lucky few are adopted by members of the public and these do not always mean good homes – the return rate back to the BLM for adopted or purchased wild horses is over 50%.  Many many of these horses will end up at slaughter in Mexico.  There is no good reason to roundup and remove these horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin.

I have been following and observing and photographing the wild horses in these three herd management areas for the last 13 years. These horses are uniquely suited to this sometime harsh high desert environment.  They are the last three largest herds in Wyoming, and they deserve to be preserved on our public lands.  Although the Checkerboard presents challenges to BLM management because of its pattern of public alternating with private lands, that is no reason to cave into petty demands from the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which is made up from less than 25 members.  These wild horses are valuable to us, the American public, and so every effort must be made to preserve them here where they were found at the time the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed.  These horses were here long before the Grazing Association, and now what needs to happen is land swaps to consolidate blocks of public land that the horses can continue to roam upon.  Managing the wild horses on the range, on our public lands where they can continue to roam free and making these necessary land swaps happen is what the BLM needs to be working on, not perpetuating this every 3 year pattern of roundup, removal, then warehouse our wild horses.  The Field Manager of the Rock Springs BLM Field Office has been quoted as saying: “For all intents and purposes, we consider the Checkerboard private.”  But it is NOT private.  In fact, over half of the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas are public land, that belongs to us, the citizens of the United States of America, not the Rock Springs Grazing Association.

Great Divide Basin Family

This time, the BLM wants to remove 1029 wild horses: 584 removed from Salt Wells Creek, 210 removed from Adobe Town, and 235 removed from Great Divide Basin.

They are not even calculating their numbers from an actual aerial census – they are making these numbers up.  Every year, the BLM conducts and aerial census in late April, but now they are just “projecting” the numbers.

Read the rest of this article and find out how YOU can comment HERE.