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Wild Horses
Wild Horses

AIR DATE: August 17, 2010

The Bureau of Land Management is continuing its round-up of wild horses in Nevada and other western states. Various animal rights groups have sued to stop the round-up because of the deaths and injuries. Other critics insist the round-up is designed to open up more range land for ranchers and not to protect the horses. We discuss the issue with wild horse advocate Madeleine Pickens, KLAS I-Team Reporter George Knapp and a representative of the BLM.

Madeleine Pickens, wild horse advocate
George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter KLAS I-Team
Tom Gorey, Sr Public Affairs Specialist, BLM

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Stop evading the issue. If ranchers and big money weren't using all the land for their greed there would be more than enough resources for the wild horses. If they are dieing it is because cattle is grazing all the land and the BLM and ranchers are restricting their water supply. Give them the room to roam that is due them and they will control their own populations naturally.

As far as the BLM's treatment of these horses not being inhumane!!! You are not human if you think this is true, or you are avoiding answering this question truthfully. But, the BLM avoiding the truth isn't exactly new, is it?

Tina WintersDec 20, 2011 10:12:40 AM
The blm spent 50 million on Wild horses in 2009 and that is expected to jump to 85 million by 2012. I would say this is a problem considering they serve no relevant purpose other than to appease people who are misinformed and do not understand whats all really going on. Wild horses should be protected but they should also be managed wisely. Also these wild horse are NOT native to North America. Cattle on the other hand serve a purpose.. its called FOOD.the U.S population is over 300 million and the average American eats 67 lbs of beef in a year. There is a definite need for cattle. Stop being over sensitive and realize that we are civilized but we also must survive. I love horses they are an amazing animal and also can be useful. However realize a group of wild horses can double in 4 years if not managed, so letting them run free is not going to help the problem.
AnnSep 28, 2010 19:00:46 PM
nonononononono No please to anymore roundups for only cattle to drink water, that is so mean fence off areas and say no water for wild horses how could people agree with letting cattle drink that hang around but horses move on....$$$$$$$$ hungry people that is what it is..........Can't let money control BLM horses need freedom.............
Patty TohidiAug 12, 2010 17:09:37 PM
1.Tom Gorey dodged the issue of increased livestock grazing on Herd Management Areas because that's his job. He NEVER ONCE referred to livestock outnumbering horses on their own protected HMAs from 10-25 times!

2.It is a FACT that on the Calico "Complex" of HMAs as well as other HMAs livestock numbers INCREASED after horses were removed. WHY?

2. Re: the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 -- Livestock grazing was curtailed because it was out of control!! 70,000,000 cattle on western lands!! It NEEDED to be reduced!! Gorey used "40% reduction" -- which leaves 48,000,000 -- that's million!!

3. Gorey on APPROPRIATE MANAGEMENT LEVEL: AML is arbitrarily set by BLM. IT IS BLM's secret weapon and Gorey NEVER explains it. Example AMLs are 6% for horses on their own HMAs!! The rest -- 94% -- goes to livestock and other species. THIS IS THE TRUTH THAT BLM IS HIDING FROM AMERICANS.

4. How do I know? I have B.S. in Ag and am a 12 year BLM wild horse and burro volunteer. And I can't go on without raising my voice.


Rob PliskinAug 12, 2010 06:37:45 AM
BLM uses voodoo science to determine Nevada's millions of acres of open range lands can sustain only 26,000 horses.

Some "expert" from back east came here and saw no green grass, so they said horses can't survive. Our wild horse have survived on our natural range grasses for millions of years. They have always been healthy. They move over the land with the seasons like the Indians did. BLM cannot produce any photos of starving herds. There are photos of poisoned or shot wild horses.

BLM says that their duty is to protect the land. They are protecting the land for thousands upon thousands of cattle who are thriving on these natural grasses and water holes.

BLM doesn't want wild horses on our public lands. They are proud to say that they "have zeroed out" the wild horse in certain areas. They rent the land for pennies an acre to cattlemen. Is there money under the table going to BLM officials or to elected officials?

Beverly NortonAug 11, 2010 21:06:08 PM
Cattle have a use... its called food
AnnSep 28, 2010 18:30:56 PM
The BLM is out to decimate our wild horse populations and not only here in Nevada but throughout the West. If one just takes a look at the BLM's gather program, the numbers just don't add up. As an example, one can find a round-up in Colorado to 0 out the herd. Colorado is not the only state - this is going on all over the West. Wild horses were here long before the BLM and perhaps rounding-up the BLM makes more sense.
Connie BradyAug 11, 2010 20:51:15 PM
I resent this woman calling indian americans, ingins. Thats racist and this is not John Wayne country
davidAug 11, 2010 20:48:44 PM
We should get rid of the horses and the cattle, returning the land to it's native state. They don't belong here. They are an invasive species. If you really want to save money, kill the horses and use them for pet food.
IvanAug 11, 2010 20:45:33 PM
Actually Ivan, horses predate our own species in North America by millions of years... Humans wiped them off the continent once, perhaps we don't need to be so eager to do it again...
Eric WrightAug 16, 2010 16:41:36 PM
There was recently a large area of southern Nevada that was "zeroed out" for wild horses south of Caliente. I spent the bulk of the year prior to their capture hiking with and photographing over half of the horses in the area... The BLM, at various levels, repeatedly claimed the horses were taken primarily because "they were all starving".... I personally have photos of over half of the horses that were taken, WITHOUT EXCEPTION they were among the healthiest horses I have ever seen anywhere! I'm utterly disgusted by the BLM's utter lies and total disregard for federal law in this area!
Eric WrightAug 11, 2010 20:41:49 PM
After listening to the show tonight it seems clear the antagonism towards the BLM is directed due to a personal agenda for a sanctuary. I would like to know who's funding the sanctuary, and what their plans are for future population control when the horse market doesn't demand the animals already provided by the BLM???
Brant JonesAug 11, 2010 20:34:26 PM
we never did get an answer from the BLM to the trenchent question as to why the wild horses, cougars, coyotes, eagles , bobcats and wolves continue tp get removed from our public lands and yet the cows remain. you guys never pressed the BLM on this during them whole program... is jounalism dead at SON? theses guys at the blm are there to take care of the extractive industries and ranchers first and corporate backed recreation hunting and orvs...second; wildlife and wilderness are merely nuisances to be palliated and blown off. unfortunately, SON fell right into their paradigm...wild horses are wild animals that should not be reduced to living in private enclaves because the land that is theirs is given over to private uses.
dave hamiltonAug 11, 2010 17:46:01 PM
So we keep rounding up the Mustangs and keep them in holding facilities where only a few get adopted out. Meanwhile they keep reproducing in the we'll have more and more Mustangs. How is that helping anything or anyone? And that's been going on for years and years and it's not working!! Why do we keep doing it this way instead of coming up with a better solution? Maybe birth control? Is it possible to geld some of the stallions and let them live out their lives?

Something needs to change and the BLM needs to let someone else in and not hog the issue.

These horses do not deserve the treatment they get by being rounded up with helicopters....come on...!!! Makes me sick to know this is going on.

SabineAug 11, 2010 10:19:52 AM
Cattle, sheep, and oil rigs are not native species. So why are they getting the priority?
Alicia StandridgeAug 11, 2010 10:05:10 AM
These wild horses are not indigenous to North America and have not been roaming the west for thousands of years. The original horses in North America died out over 10,000 years ago. These "wild" are actually feral animals from what was brought by settlers from Europe and Asia. Please, everybody, be educated about a subject before commenting about it. I wish there had been an actual ecologist or scientist on the panel today.
Roger RennelsAug 11, 2010 09:59:47 AM
Has the Judge, who allowed this inhumane roundup to continue, ever ridden in one of the helicopters as they chase the scared, defenseless, pregnant Mustangs running to their death trying to protect themselves and their unborn?
Shannon DaigleAug 11, 2010 09:57:44 AM
$1000,000 per day to feed those horses in holding!
Linda Aug 11, 2010 09:49:49 AM
TOM: The BLM want to build a fence through the horse range of the pryor mountains. WHY? For what do they need there a 2mile long fence in the middle of this area? And why is it not possible to lease land from the tribes there for leaving the horses alone in the, for example, Indian reservation? That would be good for the tribe and for the horses!

I was there in September in the pryor mountains. The horses are healthy and in a good shape, so a the land!

Pilu - GermanyAug 11, 2010 09:49:10 AM
Madeleine just nailed it! The adoption program is a great PR program but not a solution. Having 35,000+ horses in holding and adopting out 3500 last year is abysmal. Even if adoption rate doubles this year, it's obviously not the answer. How can the BLM say that they are protecting the land, when I go to some ranges and there are mineral companies as far as the eye can see--decimating the land. That is not protecting the land.
LindaAug 11, 2010 09:47:56 AM
35,000 horses in holding? How much does that cost? Why are we spending this money when they can take care of themselves? And just exactly how many of these horses eventually get sold to slaughter? A natural life in the wild is prefered over murder in a slaughter house!
afroditi katsikisAug 11, 2010 09:47:55 AM
I have a few comments.

1. Wild horses are native to this continent (Kirkpatrick and Fazio, 2008) and should be treated as a cherished wildlife species. It has been proven using molecular biology that the horses that are here today are direct descendants of the horses that evolved in North America 11,000 to 13,000 years ago.

2. To have a positive growth rate as the BLM claims they must effectively reproduce, which requires good nutrition. If these horses were starving they would NOT reproduce.

3. Horses are NOT doing better in lush green pastures. Horses kept on lush green pastures all over the country are suffering form unnecessary bouts of laminitis, colic, and metabolic syndrome.

These horses should be protected!!

Sincerely, Angie Sellitto

Angela SellittoAug 11, 2010 09:42:26 AM
RE why do cows get left on the range and horses are rounded up? Cattle are rounded up and are not allowed on allotments all yr long. How much money does BLM receive from cattle AUMs and have those cost gone up for ranchers and there fore the number of cattle grazing has gone down as costs go up? Horses should be managed to keep the range in good condition. Overpopulation 0f any protected razing animals (some cattle ranchers have learned this the hard way) will degrade the natural environment and wipe out habitat for all kinds of animals. The programs to manage are what needs improvement. -former rancher in Eureka Co- Marion
marion HoekengaAug 11, 2010 09:41:46 AM
Would Tom Gorey put his life in the BLM's hands, would he be happy to be treated like the BLM treats the Mustang??????
Wendy HeathAug 11, 2010 09:41:32 AM
I had a conversation with a rancher in KS last week, where there are large long-term pastures for the BLM horses. He remarked that these horses are on pristine blue stem prairie grass--but the ranchers who house these horses are required to buy specific hay to feed them. It seems that the tail is wagging the dog here--the wild horse roundups exist to support the helicopter pilots, the feedlot owners, the hay producers--not for the concern for the wild horses.
LindaAug 11, 2010 09:39:25 AM
Why did the BLM stop allowing public comment to be sent in via email, phone, or fax? Doesn't this hinder the publics ability to comment on the use of public funds & lands?
Alicia StandridgeAug 11, 2010 09:31:57 AM
With all the public money spent on these round-ups, why not have an appropriate veterinarian visit the herds yearly and circulate birth control products as needed to prevent an overpopulation of any herd. Surely this would cost less than the continued expense of maintaining the lives of these wild horses in captivity. Wild horses will never be happy in a corral - look at the pictures posted all over the web!
afroditi katsikisAug 11, 2010 09:30:32 AM
Why are we basing the removal of herds on the adoption rates rather than independent studies by real animal scientists?
Alicia StandridgeAug 11, 2010 09:29:50 AM
The problem is the BLM and its attempt to manage nature. One of the reasons that there might be horse over-population on Federal lands could be that the Federal government has eliminated predators such as wolves and coyotes.

Drought is a normal condition and animals die. What the BLM is doing is to kill the horses through mismanagement that nature might have killed anyway. Why does the Bureau of Land Mismanagement have to do anything? Just to look busy?

Knapp is right the reason they are doing this is to clear the land for ranchers. Ironically when the ranchers move their cattle on these lands the cattle are starved and look really bad until the ranchers move the cattle to feed lots to fatten them.

Which is more cruel letting nature take its course or letting ranchers move their cattle onto Federal lands to be abused by them?

I've seen this happen in Utah south of St George. Anyone driving to Kelly Point will see cattle that are on starvation diet. They are doing this for the ranchers. Why aren't they bothered by this cruelty?

Andreas CharestAug 11, 2010 09:29:09 AM
USGS reported that reproduction rate is not 20% but 15% and less. This BLM quote"the public won't stand for letting horses die" has been heard that old line too long. Elk die, bears die, deer die. Mother Nature is real. The public is smarter than you think and understand the issues. Don't gather in the severe summer and winter weather--fall gathers are the answer. BLM doesn't know how many are on the range. They stopped the Calico roundup when they ran out of horses--didn't have a clue how many were out there.
Linda Aug 11, 2010 09:27:46 AM
Germany / Düsseldorf is listen!! Unbelievable!!!
PiluAug 11, 2010 09:20:35 AM
Wild horse removals have not improved range conditions for several reasons. 1st, wild horses are outnumbered on rangelands by domestic livestock, 2nd, wild horse behavior patterns make the horses somewhat less damaging than cattle to especially vulnerable range areas, 3rd, wild horses are being removed in areas not damaged by overgrazing & 4th BLM has either not reduced or increased livestock grazing in areas where they have removed the wild horses. The BLM cannot provide rangeland proof of wild horse damage not can they provide accurate accounting of population of wild horses.
DarcyAug 11, 2010 09:13:00 AM
Running the American Mustang off their own land where they have survived untouched for hundreds of years is very much like when white man ran the Native American from their home lands, it is wrong and greedy and totally senseless.
wendy heathAug 11, 2010 09:03:16 AM
There is nothing more indengious to the original old west than our precious wild mustangs. They bother no one. Why aren't we feeding them and providing them with water access? Hunting them down for profit under the guise of protecting them all for the appeasement of the self interest of ranchers and their power lobby interests. For shame Nevada.
Grace AAug 10, 2010 16:08:36 PM
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