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Wild Horse Advocates Sue BLM Over Alleged Abuse
Wild Horse Advocates Sue BLM Over Alleged Abuse

AIR DATE: December 23, 2011

The Bureau of Land Management recently admitted that there was some abuse of wild mustangs during a horse round up earlier this year.  But, they claim that there was no inhumane treatment of the horses.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is one of several groups suing the BLM. We'll look into these latest allegations and a new lawsuit that challenges the castration of wild horses.

What do you think of the BLM's horse round-ups? Tell us in the comment section below.


Tom Gorey,  BLM
Suzanne Roy, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Madeleine Pickens, wild horse advocate
J.J. Goicoechea, president elect Nevada Cattleman's Association

comments powered by Disqus
It's bizarre that the BLM thinks the wild horse & burro population target is the number supposedly on the range in 1971. I don't think the goal of the Act was to double the population of wild equids but it surely wasn't intended to be the holy grail. But the real reason it's strange is that over the years it has become obvious, even to the GAO, that the original count was wildly inaccurate. In the early decades of the program it was not unusual for them to find twice as many horses as what their count had been. But the BLM does not like to admit to making any mistakes so they downplay this fact as another myth.

The Act needs to be fine tuned to correct for the higher number of horses that the 54M acres had in 1971, which would allow a more realistic AML. Of course the BLM and all the groups they regulate (in theory) would fight that tooth & nail...

MarieBJan 8, 2012 16:49:55 PM
"We will stand up together to protect our hero, The Great American Wild Mustage.

Together we are one."

Barbara Ellen Ries Advocate for The Cloud Foundation, ISPMB & Conquestador Program

Barbara Ellen RiesDec 27, 2011 00:30:29 AM
Follow the money . . . the New Energy Frontier wants to take over the American West for an almost free ride on PUBLIC land all for corporate profit. I'm always wondering why they can't honor wildlife and create a win-win. Meanwhile I would rather have a solar panel on my rooftop than support the "renewables business" who is at the root of decimating America's living treasures . . . American mustangs and burros.
Anne NovakDec 22, 2011 22:49:56 PM
I agree! I wholly support renewable energy but not at the expense of one wild horse or burro.
MarieBJan 8, 2012 16:52:23 PM
It's time to stop the roundups of these magnificent wild horses and start managing with a little more common sense and compassion. It appears to me their managing them into extinction, which is where they want it. More attention and land is given to cattle and sheep, simple as that. The land belongs to the American people, as well as, the wild horses and burros. Where do they have the right to simply remove them, as they see fit?! Horses have served us through out the years and we must protect them now, before their lost forever.
jeanDec 21, 2011 18:03:14 PM
It is a shame, the BLM continues to violate the horse protection act of 1971, even against public outcry. Somehow, they are tied up with the cattlemen lobbyists, and do not care for the wild creatures that make our lands free. If John Denver were here, he so eloquently expressed the beauty and need of wild animals, and nature, so tied up with how we as people become. Either for good or bad.
Joan MuellerDec 21, 2011 14:23:15 PM
Some claim that this whole thing with the wild horses is "controversial," but there shouldn't be any controversy! Wild horses and burros are a precious living national treasure and icon, more-so than the Bald Eagle. These beautiful animals helped create this country with their sweat and blood, just as so many horses have helped humans build nations and win wars for centuries! Unlike cows, horses and burros have proven very beneficial to the environment. They have more than earned their natural right to live and thrive freely on our public (and private) lands! These animals deserve our great respect and admiration, our worship even!!!
JacobDec 21, 2011 13:41:43 PM
I second that Jacob!
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 11:59:04 AM
Some claim that this whole thing with the wild horses is "controversial," but there shouldn't be any controversy! Wild horses and burros are a precious living national treasure and icon, more-so than the Bald Eagle. These beautiful animals helped create this country with their sweat and blood, just as so many horses have helped humans build nations and win wars for centuries! Unlike cows, horses and burros have proven very beneficial to the environment. They have more than earned their natural right to live and thrive freely on our public (and private) lands! These animals deserve our great respect and admiration, our worship even!!!
JacobDec 21, 2011 13:41:38 PM
The only reason my family and I stay in Nevada (after a day in Vegas), is to travel around the more remote ares in search of wild horses. Its beautiful country and we spend days and MONEY at restaurants, motels, gas stations, etc. etc.... all to marvel at these historic treasures called WILD HORSES and BURROS. Wake up Nevada/BLM.
julie perezDec 20, 2011 18:25:26 PM
If the round-ups and slaughters are supposedly about destruction of land, over-population, and interference with cattle then why is the government/BLM so opposed to Madeleine Pickens' efforts to have wild horses currently in short-term holding brought to her own land which she wants to use purely for the wild horses. That seems to be a solution, problem solved, so why not let her do it? Is there something else going on? Something else being gained other than money by exterminating a species? Why not give the wild horses government land as Assateague and Chincoteague have done and/or let Madeleine Pickens' take in the ones she can take?
Alexandra NicoleDec 20, 2011 15:45:22 PM
The land that the Mustangs, and burros inhabit are PUBLIC lands. It does not belong to the cattlemen. It belongs to the tax payers. Since I'm a tax payer I should have a say so about the welfare of the animals that have lived there for centuries. I want them protected. How dare anyone profit from slaughtering our beautiful horses and mustangs.
RobinDec 20, 2011 15:21:39 PM
Who is feral and who is not. The feral don't have a right to the land. Horses originated in N. America, pronghorns originated in Asia, and bighorns along with all other bovids, in Africa and Asia. 10,000 years ago, think about it, none of those here at that time in N America survived the ice age.They migtated or were brought back. Cattle,wild horses and burros, and herbivores need to share the land, and the DOI Fish and Wildlife need to stop using my taxes to kill the carnivores. You humans are to be stewards of the Earth, not savages.
bonnie kohleriterDec 20, 2011 14:13:41 PM
What bothers me is that now the Cattleman's Association is calling for the BLM to send the wild horses in long term holding to slaughter. Talk about upsetting. And you better believe that the BLM is/will consider it if those slaughter houses open near where the wild horses are now being held. Out the back in the dead of night without a word. I wonder why they are rushing to get as many horses as possible rounded up before the next budget comes out. They can't be returned to the wild once captured. The BLM needs to be stopped and it I hope the courts will stop them. We haven't been able to.
LynnILDec 20, 2011 13:00:37 PM
Don't be fooled by the BLM's claim that the horses which are rounded up are taken to an "adoption facility." First of all, it is very difficult to adopt a wild horse unless you have done it before. Secondly, these horses are crammed into holding pens where they can barely turn around, much less get needed exercise. The BLM and Dept. of Agriculture are slaughtering these horses and/or shipping them out of the country for slaughter. These wild horses are one of our national treasures and the belong to the people of America.
Carol PriceDec 20, 2011 12:27:06 PM
Whoa - this topic has almost as many comments as the Moonie Church segment.

Honestly, I don't know which side to believe.

Mostly, I'd say that minimal Federal bucks should be spent on this.

aunty palinDec 20, 2011 11:57:16 AM
It is time for a Congressional investigation of the BLM. They are derelict in their charged duty to protect the wild horses and obviously in collusion with the ranching industry to eliminate ALL horses from our land. They are totally unresponsive to any opinion from the public that requests fair treatment for the horses. Write your Congressman!
Carmen RhodaDec 20, 2011 11:17:28 AM
The government is at fault for funding more money to this program that obviously is not working.The Blm is to protect the wild mustang and burro not drive them into extinction and that is exactly what they are doing.Anyone knows low numbers mean inbreeding, disease, death and the only problem with the food is they keep taking land sanctioned for the horses and burros away from them and leaseing it out to big cattle and oil to where they fence the land off so the horses can't get to the water or food .It's as if the BLM and government officials have a plan to get rid of all the mustangs ,isn't it a coincidence they have allowed slaughter back in our country , now they will be trying to pass a bill to slaughter all long term wild horses and burros which is costing the tax payer millions of dollars per year to round up and care for.And as far as the treatment of the animals if any citizen did what they are doing we would have animal cruelty charges brought against us , at least in the wild they can find trees for shelter these poor animals have to sit in pens in the sweltering heat ,freezing cold and rain,hail, sand storms how is that humane ,it's not at all.
Kelly KingDec 20, 2011 11:14:32 AM
I so agree Kelly! The BLM is ignoring what the people want done with public land and its animals and it's not right. The few remaining vestiges of Americana are disappearing before our very eyes and we are paying for it to happen.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 11:49:27 AM
Nevada recently enacted a law that makes even first time offenders charged with animal abuse to be charged with felonies why aren't any of these people who are viewed committing these horrible acts of violence against these poor helpless animals being charged, tried, convicted and sent to prison?
Mark LovelienDec 20, 2011 10:34:37 AM
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 WeberDec 20, 2011 10:20:05 AM
This whole mess is a fine example of the federal government trying to manage things they have no business managing. The federal protection should be repealed, and the states where the horses actually live should be given free rein (yes, pun intended) to deal with the horses as they see fit. Nevadans should decide how Nevada horses are managed. Not easterners with overblown romantic notions about the West.

As an aside, is there actually any proof that people pay hard-earned money to come here to look at wild horses? I can see paying money to see a giraffe - an odd creature you won't find in, oh, every backyard. Is there any actual data to support the notion that the horses are some sort of economic draw?

KentonDec 20, 2011 10:16:31 AM
Well, if the round-ups persist and the wild horses are killed off, they WILL be an exotic animal. Besides, I think the Assateague and Chincoteague wild ponies help to prove the point that wild horses are indeed an economic draw, all you need do is research that to find the "data" you are looking for. Those wild ponies support tourism in the neighboring town of Berlin as well as right there on the Maryland and Virginia islands.
Alexandra NicoleDec 20, 2011 11:18:39 AM
Yes, Kenton, they do. I have entertained visitors from all over the world. Invariably, what they want to see are WILD HORSES. Not elk, not deer - definitely NOT cattle. These people stay in local motels, buy gasoline and meals - some even rent automobiles - for the opportunity to view the last truly wild horses in the country. It's a very small market, but it is growing. Photography is the outdoor sport of the decade. More people want to take pictures of wildlife, than want to kill animals
Arla M. RugglesDec 20, 2011 11:51:37 AM
This has nothing to do with romantic notions. It's about ending abuse and torture of helpless animals for greed. Your comment just proves that stronger penalties must be enforced against abusers. You think you have a right to kill and torture just because you live in a particular state? Is everyone in Nevada this cruel and ignorant?
RobinDec 20, 2011 15:29:04 PM
Speaking to the claim that gathered horses died because of drought and delay of a lawsuit. There was water on the range, but the contractor had done "pre gather" moving of horses, and those horses were most likely in an area they were not familiar with. The contract company owner admitted there was water but stated "the horses didn't know how to get to the water."

After being driven in to the trap after days in a strange area, with no water, some of the horses over hydrated themselves and died.

Katherine MahanDec 20, 2011 10:12:01 AM
Unchecked grazing of horses, burros, cattle, etc. is damaging to the environment. Regulations placed on federal lands ensure responsible grazing by ranchers. This is accomplished by rounding up their herds & moving them. How does this apply to horses & burros? Populations which would otherwise have few factors to check their numbers (EG: predators, a natural balance with the environment in which they live) should be managed how? Personally, I like horses & burros. Every time I see one out in the wild I love it. But, this does not change the fact that they are basically just invasive species
TravisDec 20, 2011 10:08:49 AM
And Big Horn sheep are not native either, the BLM & Dept of Wildlife are removing wild horses from the Virginia Range, to re-introduce big horn sheep. This is favoring one species over another & only for the hunting dollars.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:13:41 AM
Also, horses don't stand & graze the same place, they are constantly on the move, sometimes 10 to 50 miles a day, they come down in the winters & go up the mountains in the summers. They don't hang at the waterholes until they are depleted like the cattle do.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:17:53 AM
Wild horses and burros are NOT invasive species but rather an asset to the environment; I will respond to your statement with a quote from Mustang Meg, "They move as they graze, clipping the tops of plants rather then pulling them out by the rootballs... and most importantly, reseeding as they go. When the snow or ice are thick, mustangs paw through the snow exposing vegetation beneath... benefitting big game animals of the area as well. "
Alexandra NicoleDec 20, 2011 11:32:45 AM
Darcy. What on earth gives you the idea that Bighorn sheep are not native? Desert Bighorns are most certainly native as are Rocky Mountain bighorns. You may want to at least check wikipedia. As a native animal, they are well adapted to a niche in the environment, not to mention they graze predominantly on terrain that is inaccessible to horses, cattle or domestic sheep. Bighorn #s for ALL of north America is around 70,000: This and That.
TravisDec 20, 2011 11:37:04 AM
Alexandra, what do you call a non-native species in an environment in which they have no substantial predators? As a consequence (Using the number of 2,000,000 given in the broadcast by one of the advocates)has an unchecked explosion of population? Resulting in an altering of the natural ecosystem. I am fairly certain, even by your own description of the horses effect on the environment, if there was the political will, they could be classified an invasive species.
TravisDec 20, 2011 11:45:18 AM
Like I said in another post, I like having the horses around. But lets not forget what they are.
TravisDec 20, 2011 11:46:01 AM
Travis, do you really want to get into a discussion of native and non-native species when you seem to side with cattle which may I remind you were brought over from Europe, they are domesticated non-native animals. And no substantial predators? What do you call mountain lions, bears, wolves, and the like? Horses are prey animals, how can you even make the statement that they have no substantial predators as an argument of horses being invasive with a straight face? Please research your argument a bit further because your facts are faulty at best.
Alexandra NicoleDec 20, 2011 15:10:47 PM
Wolves? Okay...
You sure know a lot about the ecosystem. You would better spend your time protecting the wolves than an invasive species. But you know how much cattlemen love them too.

TravisDec 20, 2011 22:56:19 PM
Mountain lions? Bears? If these predators kept the populations in check, there shouldn't have been 2,000,000 of them. You realize that modern horse precursors went extinct in North America over 10,000 years ago, at the same time Mastodons, giant sloths & Saber tooth cats disappeared from north america. A very different ecosystem. They all went extinct for a reason. They had no place in the developing environment.
TravisDec 20, 2011 23:00:47 PM
You seem to think that if I'm not on your side, I must be on "the other". The media & narrow sighted individuals as yourself see everything as black & white. The cattlemen have cattle, & try to serve their own interests. You like horses & think they're pretty, so come up with any reason you can to back up your stance. I look at the issue objectively & see no reason these animals should be here; here only because we brought them here. Perhaps you should really concern yourself with maintaining a natural, balanced environment instead of protecting a symbol, a bauble to your romanticized vision of the west. Clear the human use & human introduced species & leave the ecosystem as it was before our arrival.
TravisDec 20, 2011 23:04:51 PM
PS: "NOT invasive species but rather an asset to the environment" - please provide a link with scientific back-up for this statement. Not a random quote from "Mustang Meg" (by that name, sure to be an un-biased source for information.) You need science on your side, not sentiment. In other words: Prove it!
TravisDec 20, 2011 23:09:36 PM
Travis, I would encourage you to learn some real facts other than from wikipedia. Here's some material to help you learn about this issue so you can be more informed when you speak in future: "Modern horses, zebras, and asses belong to the genus Equus, the only surviving genus in a once diverse family, the Equidae. Based on fossil records, the genus appears to have originated in North America about 4 million years ago and spread to Eurasia (presumably by crossing the Bering land bridge) 2 to 3 million years ago."
Alexandra NicoleDec 21, 2011 10:27:58 AM
Thanks for the history lesson. What was that supposed to prove? That millions of years ago, equine species evolved in North America in a drastically different climate? No kidding, I do believe I said as much. They went extinct & were reintroduced by humans. They no longer belong. Anymore than any other Pleistocene inhabitant that couldn't cut the transition into the Holocene. What about camels? Elephantidae once lived in NA too. Do these animals still have a place. Why not? Why should horses get an exception?
TravisDec 21, 2011 13:45:39 PM
Ohh, & if you want to link dump. Live Science, Joke.

Horses: This & That

TravisDec 21, 2011 14:09:24 PM
Ohh, & there is evidence showing equine grazing can severely damage native perennials. While you're at it, maybe you could send an email to & see why they do not seem to use horses as one of their focuses. I would be genuinely interested to hear their answer.
TravisDec 21, 2011 14:14:08 PM
That's not much in the way of evidence. And anything, including humans, can damage native perennials. So we should limit humans them to 20% of the available BLM land but really only let them exist on 10%. And for fun we'll say they might starve in a few years so we'll round them up and remove half of them.
MarieBDec 21, 2011 23:26:34 PM
Travis, one wrong man can always find a friend.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 10:26:01 AM
You make a great point there MarieB! Besides, Travis seems to be neglecting the fact that back when the Indians were here living in harmony with the wild horses and buffalo, we had lush fertile plains and grasses as far as the eye could see. It is only when man stepped in and tried to kill off the buffalo and bring in cattle which stand and graze in one place for extended periods in fenced in areas, and began killing off natural predators (the wolf, bear, etc) that we had destruction of land. If there is any overabundance of horse population it could be solved by man not killing of their natural predators. And furthermore, I do not trust the numbers given on the wild horse population anyway because they are already in dispute as far as accuracy. This whole argument is hinged on the numbers of wild horses which are not found to be accurate at this point as there are conflicting numbers being reported by other groups. If you compare the state of the land when wild ones were allowed to be wild with minimal interference by man and the state of the land today, it's not hard to tell where the problem stems from.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 10:35:14 AM
If anyone is to make claims about a surge in wild horse population, I say quit killing the horses natural predators and let nature do its job as it has been since the beginning of time.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 10:38:30 AM
One thing that was not mentioned is that for the last 4 years or more, the BLM states the same number of horses on the land 38,500. But last year alone they removed over 10,000, the year before over 12,000. Just in these two years would only leave around 16,000 left roaming. Now only if every stallion, foal & mare dropped babies on the ground, could they reach that number in four years, not every year.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:07:29 AM
I enjoyed the talk about the roundups but disliked how the BLM sidestepped answering questions posed them, how Madeline Pickens was being shut down when she got too close to making a point.
Mark LovelienDec 20, 2011 10:06:42 AM
To be clear, I do not approve of inhumane treatment of any animals, domestic, feral or wild.

Now, we must also be clear on another point. The "wild" horses & burros (actually more a feral population than wild) are for all intents & purposes an invasive species, introduced to the west by the Spanish & frontier settlers. So if anything, the purported numbers of these animals are damaging to the natural environment, an environment of which they are not a part.

TravisDec 20, 2011 10:02:21 AM
Travis, if they horses are outnumbered 50 to one by cattle, it is plain to see what is doing the range damage. I don't agree it is the horses.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:09:10 AM
Sorry I had to break it up into another post, to quote: (myself, lol) "Regulations placed on federal lands ensure responsible grazing by ranchers. This is accomplished by rounding up their herds & moving them. How does this apply to horses & burros?"
TravisDec 20, 2011 11:50:12 AM
4th paragraph of overview: Dr. MacPhee, a paleontologist, took issue with the BLM's characterization of the horse as a non-native species, stating that scientifically, the idea that horses are an invasive species is utterly wrong. He continued, A native species cannot be considered invasive in its native ecosystem, and stressed the importance of correcting the BLM's mischaracterization of the horse. A native species has a place at the table, he concluded. Once the horse is fixed as a nativeĀ  species, it must be treated as such. You cannot treat a native species as we treat the horses today. Ross MacPhee, Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History
MarieBDec 22, 2011 00:03:06 AM
I do believe they need to be managed, but when I look at BLM estimates I am never able to arrive at the same numbers they do. My question is ...

How do you continually remove horses to low AML, while zeroing out HMA after HMA and still claim year after year that there is the same 33,000 horses on the range??

You should be reintroducing horses to previously zeroed out HMAs instead of creating more zeroed out HMAs. The protection act called for them to remain where they were, and BLM is not following that directive.

Katherine MahanDec 20, 2011 09:58:20 AM
While I understand the romanticism attached to the the idea of Wild Horses in the West I wonder if people would be so concerned for any other invasive species introduced to our Country? Wild Horses compete for scarce resources threatening Elk, Bighorn Sheep,Deer,Pronghorn and other Native Animals in States like Nevada. We are not protecting Cane Toads, Starlings, Pythons, European Wild Boar, and Gypsy Moths. The Wild Horse should not be treated any differently. They are not Wild,nor Native, They are an invasive Feral Animal that is having a negative impact on a very fragile ecosystem.
RobertDec 20, 2011 09:56:16 AM
Please educate yourself. Horses evolved in North America. They are not an invasive species. Bones have been found showing that there may have been some that remained, after the migration across the Bering Straight. Also, their foraging and migrations actually help the environment, Cattle, on the other had, are an invasive species, that decimate the lands. I am tired of welfare ranching, and my tax payer money going to this. Cattle scourge, and cause desertification, of the land.
audrey cDec 20, 2011 10:11:13 AM
Are you joking???? Do you seriously consider wild horses as invasive feral animals? They are wild and they are native...eohippus, either a direct descendent or a cousin of the modern horse was in North America 50 million years ago. The fact that the BLM feels it has ownership of the wild horses and feels it can refuse to follow the protection act is appalling, as are the roundups that clear land so that special interests can be catered to. Public lands belong to the American people, and the wild animals that are on these lands do not belong to the BLM. Just the fact that a law was recently proposed to shut off access to water to these range animals tells you how absurd and twisted the whole mustang control mindset is.
karin worthDec 20, 2011 10:34:11 AM
Robert are you serious ,what do you think they use to get around on when there wasn't cars ?? there certainly isn't anything in the history books about soldiers or anyone back then riding sheep , deer or Elk for transportation.The Wild mustang is an American symbol not a pest.I guess some people don't have a clue how import these animals where and still are !!!
kellyDec 20, 2011 11:23:03 AM
In my area, elk were hunted to extinction and re-introduced. Therefore, the new strain, like bighorns, are NOT native species. Horses, on the other hand, are genetically suited to the terrain they have inhabited for hundreds of years. Meanwhile, deer populations are declining due to over hunting, predation, and the proliferation of ... ELK. Horses don't eat the same vegetations, and are highly compatible with other wildlife. Wherever you find horses, there will also be pronghorn.
Arla M. RugglesDec 20, 2011 11:36:59 AM
Having lived in Elko and several other rural communities in my lifetime, I spent much of my time in the mountains and range areas. I also spent several summers working for the BLM fire crew and both drove near and flew over herds of wild horses. They really aren't the greatest threat to ranching and farming in Nevada.

Since this is really about economics and money why can't a humane solution be found to handling these herds on the open range? The BLM has had offers to care for the Wild Horses by private sources and save the taxpayers a ton of money. As usual the logical solution is the last one to be considered! Only range politics would insist on destroying a species to make room for cattle and sheep.

There's room out there for all. Just in the few years I was out fighting fires, and searching for them I could see that the Wild Horses utilize a fraction of the forage needed for survival.

If you really want to make a case for range domination don't try to pass sleazy legislation like denying water to Wild Horses to push your agenda. That really does make you look more like the horses rump than the head of a legitimate movement.

Jeff DwyerDec 20, 2011 09:44:24 AM
Jeff, this is so true, I document a herd near Vegas, & I find there is no range damage, & year round water as there are no cattle grazing where this herd is & no fences to upset their migratory patterns from summer to winter pasture.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:20:49 AM
Thank you, Jeff! It is so important for people like you and I -- who actually live out here, and know the true conditions of the range, come forward to speak the truth. Having followed certain herds for years, I can attest that there is a lot more damage by cattle - and elk, than horses ever do. There are ways of managing public lands that would accommodate every species currently out there. Too bad they aren't interested in the opinions of those of us who live here and don't raise cattle.
Arla M. RugglesDec 20, 2011 11:28:53 AM
Thank you for your service to wild horses and burros and for your eyewitness account of what conditions are really like out there. God bless you for your support of these animals and their right to live free.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 11:21:56 AM
The BLM uses inhumane practices to "manage"--actually MISMANAGE our wild horses and burros, and they use OUR tax dollars to do it. They run them to exhaustion and sometimes death with helicopters. They separate families. We have seen babies with their hooves falling off, stallions fighting to be with their mares and breaking their necks. They push horses onto private land and then round them up and sell them DIRECTLY to slaughter. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, owns kill pens in USDA feed lots in NM, where wild horses and burros ship over the border to Mexico for slaughter without the public ever knowing.
Lori FoxDec 20, 2011 09:01:47 AM
" Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, owns kill pens in USDA feed lots in NM, where wild horses and burros ship over the border to Mexico for slaughter without the public ever knowing. " Wow...Is this documented? Can it be proven? Sounds like a potential conflict of interest.
Romayne ChamberlainDec 21, 2011 12:58:40 PM
BLM maintains that they must manage the wild horses for (income-earning) multiple uses on public land primarily livestock-ranching, mining, and game-hunting. They are ignoring a prime income earner that keeps third world African parks full even in a worldwide recession and that is future generations of tourists, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers that will pay to see wild horses roaming free in Nevada's iconic western landscapes. Removal of mature stallions,lead mares and stable family herds every 3 years destroys natural herd behavior that tourists want to see. It is time to stablize the herds, use selective contraceptive darting, and encourage ranchers to convert grazing to wild horse conservation leases.
ARLENE GAWNEDec 20, 2011 07:09:16 AM
Yes, indeed! I have visitors from all over the world, in an area that offers little competition to grand landscapes like Grand Canyon and Zion NP's .... my visitors invariably want to see WILD horses in their natural environments. They're not interested in deer or elk - which can be found anywhere - including cities. BLM actually cites the presence of horse trails as "a detriment to the 'wilderness experience'". Excuse me? Trails are commonly used by many species. Why are single hoof trails less attractive than the cloven style??
Arla M. RugglesDec 20, 2011 11:45:50 AM
Please explain why the creation of non-reproducing herds does not qualify as "managing for extinction".
carrol abelDec 20, 2011 03:13:50 AM
That was my next rant Carol, thank you for bringing up that specific point.
Darcy GrizzleDec 20, 2011 10:22:05 AM
The castration EXPERIMENT is the most pressing issue, IMO. Once rung, this bell cannot be unrung. The pointless damage will be irrebersible. Gelding makes NO SENSE. Not even taking into account the serious behavioral changes this would create; this cruel and unjustifiable action will have NO IMPACT on population growth. Mares would simply be bred by other stallions, in a severely diminished gene pool. Having observed Ely BLM's methods for some years, I have no confidence in their ability to be selective about what animals would be cut. From what I have seen, it is all about NUMBERS, and the out-of-control contractor runs the show.
Arla M. RuggledDec 20, 2011 12:17:27 PM
Yes, I don't understand why the method used in Assateague can't be used. I'm not totally sure if it's the Maryland or Virginia side which does it but believe it's the MD side which carefully monitors and controls how many ponies they will allow re-produce but it does the trick, they have controlled their population effectively. Why can't a safe contraceptive be used as it is on Assateague, the model has already proven effective.
Alexandra NicoleDec 22, 2011 11:25:23 AM
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign legal action is about attempting to stop the BLM from gelding the stallions at Pancake and is a just cause but the AWHPC has nothing to do with the ongoing litigation involving Humane Care. That litigation was brought forward by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation with VP Laura Leigh as plaintiff and is ongoing. Such confusion does not help the case and only helps the BLM to further muddy the waters.
R.T. FitchDec 20, 2011 01:40:34 AM
The Humane Action case was brought by Wild Horse Freedom Federation. A TRO was ordered and a hearing is scheduled for Jan in Reno Federal Court.

The AWHPC case is about gelding in Pancake.

Your header is misleading. Please be mindful that this is active Litigation.

Laura LeighDec 19, 2011 23:26:10 PM
The roundups are also a tremendous waste of taxpayer money. An IN THE WILD MANAGEMENT program could and should be implemented:

Costs to Taxpayers: - $75.7 million: FY2011 total cost of BLM's WH&B Program
- $11.4 million: FY2011 cost of roundups, including fertility control
- $48.2 million: FY2011 cost of BLM warehousing WH&B
- $766,164: FY2010 cost of BLM WH&B census & range monitoring (3.3% of budget)
- $144-500 million: FY2011 cost of livestock grazing program
- $13 million: FY2011 cost of predator control program to benefit livestock

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 22:29:46 PM
Agreed! The technology exists. The commitment of the public exists. Advocacy groups have been documenting and photographing wild herds for years. The proliferation of photography has created the capacity to manage most herds at a grassroots level. AND, the internet has produced the capability of networking to cover MOST areas. BLM needs to get off their high horses; stop condescending to those of us who spend more time among the mustangs - non-invasively - than they, or ranchers do. Helicopter roundups are not necessary.
Arla M. RugglesDec 20, 2011 12:25:08 PM
America's 'legally protected' WH&B are not getting a fair share of land, forage & water.

- The AML range of 16,000-26,600 for WH&B is too low & threatens the genetic viability & survival of healthy, self-sustaining herds over the long-term.

- An independent, state-of-the-art census is required.

Compiled by Carla Bowers, 10/26/11, Revised 11/6/11

For NAS/NRC Study Panel of BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program

All numbers above are verifiable

- 38,500: BLM reported total of WH&B population (as of 2/28/11, not validated)
- 26,600: BLM high AML (appropriate management level) for WH&B population
- 16,000-18,000 BLM actual current targeted low AML for WH&B population
- 21,354: WH&B population as of 2/28/11 using BLMs own data & 20% growth model (independent analysis)
- 240,000-480,000: Approximate head of livestock on WH&B management areas
- Up to 3M livestock on BLM lands
- Up to 1.5M livestock on USFS lands
- 20 million mule deer, 1 million elk, 700,000+ pronghorns, 70,000 bighorns (considered a 'species of concern') on Federal, state & private lands

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 22:09:22 PM
The roundups are brutal, unnecessary, and contrary to the very heart of the Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act, which mandates that they be protected.

Last horses taken:

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 22:06:40 PM
Independent contractors like Sun J and the Cattors -- paid by the horse/burro, regardless of abuse -- have become the face of today's BLM. Why have BLM staff shrunk to the periphery of gathers, taking directions instead of giving them?
Terri FarleyDec 19, 2011 21:58:28 PM

We also believe that the future of the herds on public land are at great risk for survival over the long term because of the breakdown in their educational system through the destruction of their social harems.

Finally, we will share our 'model management' program with the BLM. Most of the programs that BLM have are from ISPMB.

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 21:55:47 PM

BLM's removal methods have destroyed the horses social structures which resulted in a severe lack of modeling to younger horses by the older and wiser horses. This has happened by younger and younger stallions taking over the harem bands. The best analogy is that the Harvard professors are no longer in charge of the harems which have given way to younger stallions who are the equivalent of grade school children.

We have the answer as to why the fertility rates have doubled in the past 15 years.

With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest.

We have started another study on our dysfunctional herd that had been nearly eradicated over the past ten years on Sheldon Wildlife Range. Our goal is to find out the best way to manage wild horses who have not had behavior modeling from the older and wiser animals. This is no small feat. However, when we are successful in this area, we will be able to transfer our findings to the public lands herds.

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 21:52:53 PM

It was this herd that created an eye opening experience as to the effect of multiple round ups of horses and the devastating effects on the herd.

We know that there are only two other herds besides our two healthy herds existing on public lands whose band structures have not been disrupted through gathers. They are the Montgomery Pass horses in CA and the Cerbats in AZ. Both herds have sufficient mountain lion predation that their numbers remain stable.

I am asking everyone to support us in our efforts so that we can maintain these herds and continue our studies. There are very few behavioral studies in the U.S. We are the only ones that have ongoing studies now for eleven years. Im sure it is no surprise to you that BLM does not have data or even a solid management program for wild horses and burros in our country.

Our Conservation program has one of the greatest opportunities to save our wild horses on public lands. Our data after Princeton becomes involved will be undisputable. Here is what we are finding:

Because of BLM's lack of knowledge in managing wild horses, they have created a doubling of the fertility rates in 197 herds by their removal methods.

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 21:51:01 PM
Karen A. Sussman
President, ISPMB
As you know, I have been in the wild horse movement for nearly thirty years now. Our organization has accomplished so much in our past 50 years. Our reputation is impeccable, not only with the BLM but with all the wild horse and burro groups and conservation groups in the U.S. Over the years, we have united more humane and wild horse groups than any other organization.

ISPMB has a critical need to maintain our Wild Horse Conservation program. In 1999, ISPMB took a great leap creating a new paradigm in preservation and protection of America's wild horses by creating this conservation program. We are the only organization in the U.S. to manage entire herds of wild horses gaining eleven years of data now.

Princeton University has agreed to collaborate with ISPMB and will be here in June 2010. Our goal is to validate all of ISPMB's extraordinary findings. We were fortunate as our first two herds had not been disrupted, rounded up, etc. in decades of time. These two herds are the most natural behavioral healthy herds in the U.S. Our third herd came in late in the year of 2004. It was this herd that created an eye opening experience as to the eff

Louie C.Dec 19, 2011 21:47:18 PM
The BLM admits to abuse but they say it's not inhumane? Is there any other kind?!?! Broken necks, broken legs, spontaneous abortions, foals run until their little hooves fall off, deaths due to 'respiratory' ailments in the BLM holding pens.....does any of this sound HUMANE to you?
linda boswellDec 19, 2011 20:17:18 PM
I agree. How can abuse be humane? What they do is cruel and uncalled for. These mustangs are suppose to be protected by the BLM. I have yet to see any protection or care whatsoever.
Robin NischanDec 19, 2011 20:45:30 PM
The gate bows, and bows over the alleys have been a problem for a long time. We keep hearing they will be padded, and sometimes they are, but wouldn't a better solution be to require the contractors to provide gates and panels with higher bows? They shouldn't be too hard to find, since they are installed at most Rodeo grounds....
Katherine MahanDec 19, 2011 19:32:53 PM
Why after 40 years since the passing of the Wild Horse Protection Act are the laws being ignored by BLM?
Richard FranklinDec 19, 2011 18:27:27 PM
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