Protestors claim BLM Wild Horse policies are wrong because cattle ranchers are favored

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Wild Horse advocates gathered outside of the student center building at Central Wyoming College to protest the Bureau of Land Management’s treatment of and plans for Wild Horses across the West. Simone Netherlands, representing Respect 4 Horses, said she attends every BLM Advisory Board meeting on Wild Horses held twice a year around the region.

“There is no overpopulation of wild horses, we’ve gone from over two million wild horses to just 30,000 in the wild,” she said. “but they complain that they’re overrun with wild horses.”

In prepared remarks delivered at noon, Netherlands said, “we now have over 50,000 wild horses and burros stuffed in holding facilities. Broken wild horses, without their families, some in feedlot like conditions, with no protection from the elements.” She also said the current horses in the wild have less than 26 million-acres in which they are allowed to live while cattle are allowed on 160-million acres.

Netherlands said the BLM is advancing policies that are directly opposed to their mission. “Their mandate is to protect wild horses, not do pest control for cattle ranchers. I’t’s not fair to wild horses, and it’s because they don’t make anybody any money,” she said. She said wild horses “are only allocated 18 percent of the forage in wild horse management areas while cattle get the rest.”

Marjorie Farabee, with the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, said the BLM is also collecting the older horses, “breaking up families and losing the knowledge of the herd, like where to find water and shade in the desert. Older horses are the Encyclopedia Britannica of the herds and they keep the stallions from breeding when conditions are not good. They’re upsetting the balance.”

“Every wild horse we have today is a survivor of two centuries of persecution by ranchers and our government,” Netherlands said. “It’s a very sad and scary state of affairs, that just like the rainforest of the Amazon, our own government is exploiting and using up our public lands for the benefit of profit driven businesses. It’s time someone steps up and fixes this very very broken program. It is unsustainable, unscientific, inhumane and a despicable waste of our taxpayer dollars.”

In a related move, Governor Matt Mead Monday urged the BLM “to take immediate action” and “remove excess horses from its herd management areas” in Wyoming. See that story by clicking here.

 

Marjorie Farabee and Simone Netherlands were two of the protesters at the BLM Wild Horse Advisory Board meeting today at CWC. (Ernie Over photo)

Marjorie Farabee and Simone Netherlands were two of the protesters at the BLM Wild Horse Advisory Board meeting today at CWC. (Ernie Over photo)

106 Comments

  1. Brent Wilkes

    They are not wild horses they are feral horses and natural wild animals like elk, deer, antelope and bison as well as livestock should come first. I don't have any problem with feral horses being eradicated!

  2. Mary Lemley

    Livestock should come last since they were brought here by man. You also forgot the wolves

  3. Jodi M.

    The cost of round ups and holding pens to tax payers protecting private interest groups with the million dollar round ups is so un justified and unnecessary. If you don't care about the mustangs common sense would dictate that you stand up against reckless spending of tax payer money. Corporations dictating how money is spent will be the end of our free world…. Stand up leave the mustangs on the range and stop wasting money protection special interests incomes.

  4. Debbie Tracy

    Thank you all for being there to speak for the Wild Horses!!! What a raw deal they have had over the years!! I pray actually that BLM has NO claims to the horses, leave it to folks who will help the horses & the land !!! They are indeed an actual intricate part of the Eco-System!!!!

  5. Diana Kline

    These are wild horses. Modern horse originated in North America and then they spread throughout the rest of the world.

  6. Mark Stratmoen

    Get the science straight if you want your save the horse movement to be taken seriously… The only true 'wild' horse exists only in Asia/Russia, and all those in North America are properly called feral horses – wild horses in North America went extinct 10,000 to 7,500 years ago, and the ecology changed since then. While it is indeed a magnificent thing to view them in the wild, the damage to the ecology if left unchecked is well documented, and the effect of the competition on actual wild life can be devastating. They are an introduced animal by man, not wild life. I would agree that management could be better, but management is necessary, as the ecosystem can only support so many grazers, and the modern introduced horse has no natural predators in the West. To say we should get rid of the cattle is unrealistic unless you expect the public to eat horse instead (I am sure that would go over well); to use pseudo-science to justify a cause just makes that cause absurd. Letting the horse go unchecked and unmanaged would be as bad as the effect of feral house cats on the bird population, or introduced rabbits in Australia – they are not an intricate part of the ecosystem. People found out in the 1880s and 1890s what happens if cattle are not managed properly, and learned (at least in Wyoming) generally sustainable management – not perfect, but getting better. The current system for horses is not working well in some areas and needs to be better, but unchecked populations of grazers will out pace the carrying capacity of the environment and result in mass die-offs from starvation, whatever animal you choose – if that is your idea of kindness, you need to find a new cause.

  7. Carl M. Niswonger

    Netherlands complains of no protection from the elements for the captured wild horses. Doesn't she know that the wild horses don't have shelters in the wild. I guess the BLM needs to build shelters for the wild horses that are still free. I suspect that will be the next complaint from this entitled little girl who needs a cause.

  8. Karen Macpherson

    @ Mark. So your telling me the cattlemen are raising "native" to No America? Lol and they're ok to graze? I could go on but it's pointless

  9. Karen Macpherson

    Was sposed to say native to no America cattle :)

  10. Storm Dancer

    elk, deer, bison and moose are not native to the North American continent

    http://allthecreatures.org/animals/deer-bison-elk-and-moose-are-not-native-to-north-america.html

    Feral in Latin means Wild …. before you try to teach a subject you know nothing about try opening up your eyes and mind and learn what science has discovered within the past 10+ yrs

    http://westerndigs.org/700000-year-old-horse-found-in-yukon-permafrost-yields-oldest-dna-ever-decoded/

    As opposed to the opinion of many, the wild horses and burros are native species of the United States and Canada. Fossilized evidence in many places, point to the fact that the wild horses were here, not only well before the Spanish arrival, but at the time of their arrival. In addition, there is much evidence that the African zebra, wild asses, etc, all originated here, and migrated to other points of the world. In addition, they have filled an absolutely necessary niche in ecological balance.

    "E. caballus is genetically equivalent to E. lambei, but no evidence exists for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except North America. Domestication has nothing to do with basic biology – although deniers continually bring this up. "The key element in describing an animal as a native species is where it originated; and whether it co-evolved with their habitat.” Equines did both. The species originated in North America, fossils and DNA evidence prove this and it is also indigenous to the ecosystem of the North American Continent. People and agencies, e.g., BLM and USFWS deny the native status of equines, because they no longer have any economic value to them.

    http://www.beringia.com/research/horse.html

    "All branches of the horse family (Equidae) share an ancient evolutionary origin and long-standing duration in North America, having evolved here for ca. 60-million years ago. Few other mammalian families can lay as much claim to native status and belonging on this continent. Two other extant families in the Order Perissodactyla are the tapir and the rhinoceros families, and both are similarly rooted in North America"

    "The horse family has branched out to all continents except Australia (prior to the arrival of whites) and Antarctica. These animals have contributed positively to our planetary communities, and they continue
    to do so in many ways and on many levels today

    http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ajls.20140201.12.pdf

  11. Storm Dancer

    in the wild, horses use what ever the landscape and nature provides as shelters, brush, trees, crevices, outcroppings and stream beds to name a few .. in holding pens they have no wind breaks at all, no place to get out of the glaring sun .. wild horses in Nevada have been photographed, seeking refuge from the hot summer sun under roadway over passes

  12. Diana Kline

    Wild horses have trees and other natural shelter, Carl. What really irks me are all the requirements to adopt a wild horse, which are completely different than the facilities that the BLM holds our wild horses in prior to adoption.

  13. Amanda Watkins-Nicholoff

    I may have read this wrong or missed it…but where is the balanced news coverage? With an entire room filled with BLM folks you couldn't get one official to explain the department's side of the story? I do not profess any knowledge about this controversy and I would love to hear both sides of this before I form an opinion. Stop assuming that everyone has been following this important issue from day one! News reporting 101 folks. I will be sure to print this story out and use it as an example of lopsided reporting at its worst. People are accusing BLM of being inhumane…I would think that responsible reporting would make it a priority to get a comment about these charges. I am a huge animal rights advocate and I would have liked to have heard from BLM concerning these charges and this rally.

  14. Brent Wilkes

    Call them what you will "mustangs", "wild horses" or "feral horses" it is all the same thing, they are not native and so how did they become what they are today? They either escaped or were turned loose for whatever reason, no one ever made a plan to start a wild horse/mustang species as they already were their own species of domestic horses example Paints, Arabian, quarter horse or thoroughbred for example . If it comes down to it the wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone were not the native species and should be removed. If Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein can kill off all of the elk and deer on Santa Rosa island because they were not native they will remove the feral horses. The BLM manages grazing of livestock and makes money from them, feral horses only cost them money from management to feeding to roundups etc. I did not agree with the eradication of the deer and elk but it happened. I do however agree with the removal of the feral horses and wolves. My opinion, that's just how I see it!

  15. Jodi M.

    Cattle/sheep out number the horses on the rage 7:1 so the real damage to tax payer land is create with welfare ranching on public land…. If there is a true concern for the land/ecosystem then the cattle/sheep would be removed from public land before the horses. This is a private interest vs public interest challenge not having anything to do really with native horses or not… Public olin has ben measured many times and the favor is always to leave the horses and remove the private interest grazers. Since the tax payer is funding it, the situation should swing to the majority not the $$$ so much of our country is dictated by the powerful $$ to the destruction of the entire planet not just the range land… Where are all the natural predators to keep grazers in check? cattle/sheep interests killed them off gone are the predators, man is the number one predator, greed over common sense and planetary well being….

  16. Jodi M.

    Wild horses have access to natural shelters from the elements like trees and hills. Holding pens are start treeless manure infested pens full of disease and flushed millions of dollars that could be saved by setting them free, removing the for profit grazers and returning the natural predators. BLM has screwed the very land it was suppose to protect…

  17. Jodi M.

    You need to ask to see the reality of that money you say the BLM makes on grazing leases….. non existent $$$

  18. Jodi M.

    Amanda, it is a fact that the mustangs are out numbered 7:1 on the range to sheep and cattle, thus the so called range damage would be done mostly but the largest inhabitant. Second the round up and holding pens are inhumane, no way around that fact.Couple the fact that it is inhumane with the fact that it costs the American tax payer 70 million per year…. It would make more sense to remove the for profit grazers (only the sheep cattle owners profit) from the land, return the horses and the natural predators and pocket the 70 million per year, the grazing leases are a net loss after costs to the tax payer and with the round ups being a huge cost it is a lose lose situation perpetrated by the BLM. commons sense is not so common but special interest favoritism is status quo in our government. Just the facts….

  19. Karen Macpherson

    @ Carl – regarding shelter, not her are not man made shelters in the wild. But there is terrain, trees, gullies, and non windy sides of mountains. That is a natural environment the horses take advantage of. The BLM has them on flat ground with no break from the wind rain or snow. There are no "natural" shelters in a man made flat corral. If you can't see the difference between those two pictures, well, I feel sorry for the next generation

  20. Karen Macpherson

    #there are not

  21. Karen Macpherson

    Lol are the cattle native? Get your facts straight. They outnumber the horses .. By a long shot. And tell me why the welfare ranchers get such a "discount" price on leasing land to graze? It's not theirs by "right" to destroy with their wasteful beef

  22. Tama Derr Eller

    Carl, anytime any animal is locked up behind a fence, the common sense thing and the right thing to do is provide food, water and shelter as they can no longer fend for their own! Really!! No common sense man!

  23. Brent Wilkes

    There is a source of income from livestock, if they don't profit that's not my fault better than losing money on mustangs. Cattle and sheep are raised for their meat, mustangs are not, BLM has rounded up and broke horses and sold them but didn't make any profit with all the expenses even by having the honor farm break them. Feral horses seem to be more prone to inbreeding and the demand isn't there for them for most practical purposes. With Cannery's being few and far between and closed up there was no where for domestic horses to go other than being turned out or shot and dumped in the landfill. I just think we can manage the animals that are native or have uses other than viewing. I'd rather see all the horses removed and natural buffalo be present.

  24. Diana Kline

    We do not want an eco-sanctuary where our horses are sterile!

  25. Cary Cheshire

    The wild horses the infest the desert here in Wyoming are most assuredly not native. They do untold damage to the environment.

  26. Michael Smith

    I would like to see Farabee and Netherlands cite their sources. No doubt what goes over their head is the fact that at one time horses ran wild on the plains just as the Buffalo did but today most all rangeland if fenced in in many ways and what Netherland misses to is that according to the Wyoming Game and Fish biologists over grazing can and has ruined and kill the habitat which can take 75 to 100 years to recover and a horse herd can recover in about 3 years. It is time we quit glorifying the Majestic wild horse herds which because of inbreeding with domestic mares are no longer true mustangs. My last wild horse as gaited just like a Tennessee Walker go figure.

  27. Jodi M.

    I can't begin to reach your closed mind, I stand firm in very evident facts. Return the natural predators and the range will be balanced as long as cattle/sheep are there the ranchers will destroy predators and the range balance will be lost. The problem on the range ultimately is man's interference.

  28. Jodi M.

    When the cattle/sheep out-number the range 7:1 it is clear that the range damage is coming from the largest inhabitant(not horses).This is not about horses being native or not really is is about wasteful spending and mismanagement of resources by the BLM. If you want true balance on the range stop using it as a grocery store for ranchers and return the natural predators, then stop spending 70 million a year rounding up horses and placing them in holding pens. Leave horses on the range with natural predators and let ranchers place their herds on private land. problem solved, money saved and private interests returned to private land.

  29. Jodi M.

    There are far more cattle/sheep on the range land, return the natural predators and remove the private interest ranchers and the range will balance out. Man's interference has destroyed the range not the horses.

  30. Michael Smith

    Jodi M. cattle and sheep are managed and removed in huge numbers each fall to be sent to slaughter. Another thing cattle and sheep men are great stewards of the land Duh one would have to be rather dense between the ears if you think that the cattle and sheep producers would allow their herds to ruin the land that provides the feed for their animals. That would be fiscal suicide. I personally know several families who have grazed on public lands for more than one generation and they continually go out of their way to improve the range land as it adds to their bottom line. This is an issue that needs to be examined by the facts and not the emotions of the heart.

  31. Cary Cheshire

    Like it or not, Man is part of the equation. With that comes the responsibility to manage the wildlife. Cattle and sheep will remain, that is a fact unless you can convince people to pay $25 for a hamburger. ( not likely).

  32. Jodi M.

    Michael Smith not emotional at all, when profit is made the facts are skewed to propagate the profit. Fact. just because something always was in no way justifies its continuation, when we know better we do better. raising animals for food is an extreme detriment to the planet, thousands of gallons of water to produce one pound of beef,(http://www.earthsave.org/environment.htm) that is not sustainable and the ranchers cry foul for horses on the range…. get a serious grip on reality with the natural resource consumption in the ranching industry. Horses are the least of the worries in the resources department

  33. Jan Lear

    If ranchers want to raise big herds let them buy property to support them just like ordinary horse owners do. Leave wild animals wild and on open ranges. I'm sick of hearing about 'the ranchers this" the "government that." Favoritism is unfair.

  34. Jodi M.

    The $25 per burger would be the very best thing that could happen to the planet and the humans… so I agree sheep n cattle on private land…..

  35. Carla McNeelan Tillman

    Rock Springs grazing association is who filed the original lawsuit. So if any of them are on the board they need to step down. Don't by Wyoming beef.

  36. Brent Wilkes

    Facts based on a desperation of a species invented and a closed mind yourself. There are plenty of coyotes, eagles and mountain lions out there. They have little to no effect on horses. Facts are they are not a species and in my opinion don't belong. Yep I'm hard headed and won't budge and I have plenty of good information too. Man is here and you are one of them so maybe we should all move out of some animals habitat but oh where will we go that that won't happen to some other animal or ecosystem.

  37. Carla McNeelan Tillman

    Cattle do more damage. Plus rancher should pay more than $1.35 per coe/calf unit to use federal land.

  38. Carla McNeelan Tillman

    Remember the ranchers pay a whopping $1.35 per cow/calf unit. We are not infested with wild horses here in Wyoming….send remember most natural predators were hunted out by the request of the ranchers.

  39. Carl M. Niswonger

    I've been all over the Red Desert and I am here to tell you that "Natural Shelters" in the Red Desert are about as scarce as chickens teeth. Those Feral horses are as tough as they can be because they have to survive in the harshest conditions without much protection. You ain't sellin' me no bill
    of goods!!

  40. Jodi M.

    Brent how may coyote and eagle take down any grazers? Antiquated thinking models rooted in severely unsubstantiated information do not make for a good defense. The world depends on forward thinking and change to survive, ranching is old school, bad for the planet and the people, only when the water is dried up feeding the millions of animals raised for food will we recognize the need for a plant based existence. How about we not wait till we are a dry planet, change now.

  41. Jan Lear

    No one said get rid of the cattle – but the ranchers want to claim all the BLM land for their stupid cows. Horses have existed on US soil longer than you or I have and yes, were probably put there by the Indians. But to round them up, stuff them into vans, crowd them into holding lots or worse, send them to slaughter which I am against horses as human food – there HAS to be a better way.

  42. Diana Dailey

    The BLM is out of control, and ranchers need to remember that the wild horse is the foundation of horses today and are a large part of history. Let them be, let them roam free as they always have, they were here before cattle.

  43. Andi Harmon

    Please understand the facts. The horses are on private and public land; it's in a checkerboard fashion. 1 square mile public, 1 square mile private. In some cases, removing the horses from private lands means they leave completely as it was that land owner — the rancher or the grazing co-op — that was providing the water. They own the water rights.

  44. Andi Harmon

    The BLM is mandated by law to remove the horses. The ranchers are finally fed up with the anti-BLM group who says "let them all run free" when they have no clue what the situation is and what that means for the horses and the land.

  45. Brent Wilkes

    I guess vegetation doesn't take water, we use much more water raising crops than we do feeding livestock. Yes livestock eat crops but billions of humans eat more crops and animals don't waste water bathing everyday. Your water comment just blows me away on how naive you really are about life. People who don't eat meat or wear fur but wear leather shoes, belts and have leather purses don't get it. If we were dependent on a plant based existence it would take as much water as it does to water livestock. I can no longer have this battle of wits with an unarmed person, its not fun picking on the mentally challenged. By the way ask the elk in Yellowstone how much they appreciate the reintroduction of wolves.

  46. Lisa Benton

    Carl really? Once the BLM roundup the wild horses & burros & put them in short term holding "pen" like a freaking cattleyard. The horses need shelters so they can get out of the elements like rain, heat, & snow! Please don't be ignorant with a comment like that… We the people have had enough of the bull crap from people like you…

  47. Kayleene LeClair

    Brent, I feel your pain. Oh my goodness, these gals are clueless. Stay out of Wyoming I say instead of coming in here telling us how to do things that they have no idea about. Ignorance is all it is. I am ignorant about things I have no idea about. Isn't there a greater cause somewhere for them to invest their time in? I would think so.

  48. Sherri Dodson

    I think that the Ranchers should be charged the going rate for grazing rights and that would take care of both problems at one time. As the Ranchers would no longer want to graze on public land and the BLM would have more grazing for the Horses problem solved.

  49. Sherri Dodson

    So back to basic Ranching and open range law if you don't want Horses or cows on your property fence them out.

  50. Marta Terry

    You are full of it. No body's buying that anymore. Ranchers don't rule the taxpayer funded Wild Horse Preserves. The public is joining in the outcry!! Greedy people fuel other greedy people to obtain their will. Money is the name of the game. No point in conversing with people or politicians with your cruel mindset. They don't even present half truths – they don't even hear you. They only see the money. Shame on you, the ranchers, and everyone else that spills the blood of these horses, and all other equine. They belong to the taxpayers.

  51. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    I just wrote a letter to BLM: here it isIt seems to me that there should be some kind of amicably solution to the Wild Mustangs. The public wants you to keep them wild and free, the ranchers want them off the land. What ever happened to sharing, how did we get to this point? I was discussing this today with a lady that had grown fond of several of the horses that she had been photographing. It seems that all life as we know it, changed dramatically over the last 10 years, how or why no-one really knows. I said it was because of Greed, the want to have more, but when is more enough? Do we have to totally decimates a race of horses that have stood for a wonderful and unescapable part of us..the want to be free, the part that we no longer feel is an approachable probability. Wars, famine, floods, hurricanes, ,tornados, the unpredictable way of our world has been tumbling down on all of us. I believe that the Nation needs these Mustangs now more than ever before, its something to hang onto, something to believe in, something we all desperately need. In removing all of the horses from the west, all of the amazing sites of a free horse standing on a hill with its family, its mane blowing in the wind, as it bucks up and rears and Neighs out, and runs away. The pure freedom..we no longer have, this ability to, JUST BE.
    I don't know about you, but I believe we as a nation, all of us, just cant remove ever last one..come on, There has to be an area that a few thousand could run free. Don't take away this valuable asset of our history. If you need to make money, run some tours past these horses, make it an event. Are the public lands not for the public too? To be able to admire a strong, vivacious stallion, or a mare and her foul, a group of horses standing together. Its ever man, women and child's dream to see such a beautiful sight and a feeling of freedom. Have you ever had a sight of something that just took you back a bit..something so profound, that it just made you stop. This is how the Americans feel about these horses.
    What more can I say, what words will make a difference? Please, stop and let a few remain.

  52. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    Wolves are in jeopardy also, along with Elephants,lions, tigers, rhinos…and the list goes on.

  53. Melissa Ohlsson

    Mark Stratmoen, you spout the same old fashioned, totally false BS that cattlemen and welfare ranchers have claimed for decades. Unfortunately for you and your misinformed pals, it's been proven by numerous scientific entities that wild horses ARE native to North America, there's no "psuedo- science" about it! The invasive species in this equation is imported cattle. The National Academy of Science report determined this in 2012. To be more specific, it's the cheap to buy, cheap to own, "scrub cattle" (so named because they can exist on just scrub brush, if necessary) that deplete resources for other wildlife and do the most damage to riparian areas.
    This type of cattle is not grazing on public lands to provide Americans with table beef. Beef cattle are raised in feedlots where conditions are strictly controlled and drugs can be utilized to enhance profits. Welfare ranchers are parasites that have been taking advantage of our tax system for over 60 years, largely by perpetuating the myth that wild horses are eating their cows out of house and home.

    To further your education, this is how it works: A man buys 100 head of scrub cattle, applies for a Federal Grazing Permit and receives government subsidy money to graze their cows on public land. The Federal Grazing Program charges them $1.35 a month for a cow/calf pair, (which is actually 2 for the price of one and works out to $135 per month) so, at the end of the fiscal year, (and IF they actually pay their bill… think Clive Bundy) they have paid the government a whopping total of $1,620. In the western states, ranchers who participate in the program receive annual average cash payments ranging from $4,000 in New Mexico, up to $11,000 in Oregon, plus varying amounts of free corn feed. However you do the math, that's a pretty profit for doing NOTHING. But wait, there's more… Some of the cattle were pregnant, so now the rancher has even more cattle. He sells some off to be used for dog food and leather products and makes even more profit. These rip-off artists need to get real jobs instead of being allowed to legally work the system and live off our hard earned tax dollars!

    Isn't it about time to update your outdated, biased views and bring your opinions into the 21st century?

  54. Jodi M.

    And just what do you feed the livestock/? Oh wait for it……The crops, so the water for crops plus the water cattle/sheep drink plus the water to process them…… Way too much water for sustainable food. it's an argument you can't win….. facts do not lie, the planet needs us to fur to alternative food sources before it is too late….. Sorry it's is difficult for you to understand it really is basic mathematics….

  55. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    we are all sick of it, sick of the way they are treating the so called problem, that only they think exists.

  56. Marta Terry

    Check out Brent Wilkes occupation……tells a story in itself. Current agriculture could easily support the population in the US. There is just too much money to be made by "traders" on the world market. Someone is pushing for more cattle, more cattle, more cattle. Follow the money.

  57. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    yep

  58. Jodi M.

    Andi Harmon so you are proposing that ranchers continue to graze public land for $1.35 per head when private rates are closer to $5. per head, and we continue to kill of natural predators to protect these grazing rights,then keep rounding up the horses placing them in holding pens costing millions….. how does that serve the greater good? it serves the ranchers….. If the cost of doing business is $5 per head and that would raise the cost of meat as food, then so be it, but to continue with what we are doing that is not working is called insanity. This is about fiscal responsibility and accountability not about the "poor horses" it's way way bigger that animal rights… Wake up… this planet has a finite source of water on in… if we continue to populate at the rate we are going, and continue to produce meat to keep up with population growth….. see where i am going… none of it is sustainable… time for big big change or keep our heads in the sand and do what we have always done and ignore the facts of supply (finite resources) and demand …..

  59. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    try standing in 100 degrees with no shelter ,like tree or a mountain side , see how you survive.

  60. Margaret Spiegel Mitchell

    are you truly a native? we are all from different places…thats not the point here..the point is these horse have ben living there without mans intervention for many years, there are not a lot of coyotes, wolves,mountain lions, you are poorly informed, read up my dear.

  61. Melissa Ohlsson

    Your opinion regarding wild horses is based on wrong information, period.
    Here's the truth about the money:
    In the western states, ranchers who participate in the federal grazing program receive annual average cash payments ranging from $4,000 in New Mexico to $11,000 in Oregon. In 1981, grazing revenues for the federal government were $24.9 million. Costs of range management and payments to local governments in lieu of property taxes totaled $58.5 million.

    Federal subsidies benefit 22,350 livestock operators (2.3% of the operators in the contiguous 48 states) who collectively produce about 2% of the US beef supply. The 4,600 sheep producers with federal permits represent 4% of US producers.

    Read it yourself: http://home.windstream.net/bsundquist1/og5.html#A6

  62. Marta Terry

    Andi Harmon, Don't you make enough money from cheap grazing leases to build a fence??? Sounds like a no brainer to me. BLM priorities are skewed and bought off by grazing groups. Their first priority should be to heed the welfare of all living species including equine on government preserves. The taxpayers are making their voices heard!! The wild should be maintained for the wild. NOT Ranchers.

  63. Jodi M.

    Margaret Spiegel Mitchell check out the numbers of the predators that existed say 50 years ago and then research how many predators are killed each year by BLM and Forest Service each year… The numbers are way down, I never said there were no predators I did state that they are killed off of public land to protect ranchers….read clearly then comment please.

  64. Sherri Dodson

    no Jodi M. I mean that they pay the going rate of $18.00 per cow calf pair like the small ranchers pay

  65. Melissa Ohlsson

    You want sources? Will The National Academy of Science report be acceptable to you? You can read it here: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13511

    You and Mark Stratmoen are old farts that refuse to accept modern scientific conclusions. Pull your head out of your ass and try to live the rest of your life in today's updated world. Many of your old-school beliefs have been proven wrong!

  66. Sherri Dodson

    And just for the record I don't think the BLM should be rounding up wild Horses or killing off the predators

  67. Marta Terry

    OH MY Brent Wilkes. Once the wild horses are "eradicated" you will move on to the buffalo, who are also victims of roundups. Really – will you then be satisfied? Looks like you like to hunt. Which is everybody's right. But not at the expense of loosing a part of our National Heritage, the wild horse. This country was settled with these horses, donkeys and mules. Railroads built, mining, and settlers continued to move to settle the west. Native or not they have paid their dues. Honor and protection is what the deserve!

  68. Jodi M.

    Sherri Dodson Great, agree 100% it boils down to economics and rancher paying fair rate or moving to private land… horses left alone to save 70 million plus a year and lions n bears left to thin the herds of deer elk n horses, zero tax payer cost.

  69. Joy Neverla

    How long is wyomings governor left in office? I guess he is in office because of the cattle ranchers?

  70. Jodi M.

    Ok this will debate forever, facts remain the current system in costly and not sustainable and change must occur.

  71. Cindy Steele

    Thank you for being there for the Wild Horses.

  72. Margaret Lewis

    @Andi Harmon wish you'd driven through I 80 at the end of July and again 2 weeks later. You'd find out there is a cattle rancher who is allowing to graze his cattle outside hois contract.

    Someone else on hwy 93 headed north is also allowing his cattle to graze outside their contract.

    On I 80 east of Battle Mountain there is a big plot of land that is VERY green. Green in a drought restricted area tells me someone is overusing their share of water.

  73. Jenifer Haley

    Unlike lions, tigers, rhinos, and wolves, there is no "scientific" argument that feral horses are part of the native North American ecosystem. They are no more wild than feral cats. Have any of you fed even two horses through the winter? They are the least efficient of any range land species. I think it is cool and romantic to see wild horses also, but they must be managed. BLM's mandate is to manage for multiple use – which includes native wildlife, range cattle and sheep (anyone buy grass-fed beef or lamb?), and to maintain wild horse and burro herds at their populations existent in 1971. Consider Sheldon NWR in Nevada – wild horse populations far exceed the levels at which they began to be managed with an eye toward preservation: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rEtijg9Zriw/TB074cqhKEI/AAAAAAAACIo/U60Cnc00pHw/s1600/Sheldon+WH%23+Graph_1979-2007.jpg

  74. Michael Smith

    Cite your source show your science please. Did you take a course in range management can you cite a zoological paper that supports you claim that the mustang AKA wild horse is an "intricate part of the ecosystem"? Or is your claim based on an emotional opinion based for the most part on anecdotal evidence?

  75. Marla Armstrong

    If the ranchers buy their own land if they want more room instead of using our taxes so they can get richer

  76. Bobbi Wendt

    To everyone of you who are involved in the amazing work. Thank you. You are all heroes.

  77. Marta Terry

    Cary Cheshire, you have an interesting occupation…….

  78. Shelly Humphrey

    Cary I understand you're a rancher but if the wild horses, which is what they are, do so much damage….why is it only NOW? Why haven't they totally destroyed the ecosystem since they've been here for hundreds of years?

  79. Michael Smith

    At least we don't call those with whom we disagree names

  80. Michael Smith

    At least we don't call those with whom we disagree names but perhaps having to deral with all those "dudes and dudetts" that come to Las Vegas makes you not only cranky but an authority on Wyoming lands

  81. Sue Carter

    it is moronic for anyone to blame range degradation on one species numbered at 40,000 and ignore the other species numbering in the millions. Absolutely imbecilic.
    Its a non-starter for an intelligent conversation.

  82. Lucy Powers

    Michael Smith , please go to The Cloud Foundation Board Members cite and click on Craig Downer for some facts, and many stats are on TCF cite as well as the one done by the National Academy of Sciences for the BLM presented last year.

  83. Lucy Powers

    Mark, this plea for humane treatment of our wild horses and burros and other wildlife is age old. The roots are in the morals and conscience of each person.

  84. Lucy Powers

    Jodi M. (you go Jodi!)

  85. Debbie Specht

    Charge ranchers more to graze their animals on the Lands that have been designated for the horses! Ranchers will stop their bitching if it will affect their pockets! They do not pay enough to even sustain the Mustangs that are in holding pens. Those Horses should be rereleased back onto the grazing areas they were removed from, it makes no sense to hold them when they would require less workers/money if they were back on the range!

  86. Monika Courtney

    Read Craig Downer's book "The wild Horse Conspiracy". Dismissing horse supporters as "horsie softies" has long been the tool of the wild horse enemies to deter from the truth, which is covered up by special interests and cattle muscle monopolizing the soul of the BLM and its tactics. It is the government who refuses to use science but propaganda to dupe the public. Self serving agendas are the core of this management, not the horses. They are scape goated and unjustly evicted. Craig is a scientist and ecologist. He studied the range for decades.

  87. Monika Courtney

    Michael Smith Are you a cattle boy too ? United Horsemen, primarily cattle ranchers and excess breeders, pushed the reopening of slaughter houses in the USA and slaughter of their claim of unwanted horses…the old, the sick…
    We all knew they wanted young, fleshy horses for profit and a place to dump those who were excess pleasure horses. Now the United Horsemen aka Cattlemen and Spratling have teamed up to pursue the slaughter of our wild horses. The depravity of Spratling is appalling. He worms his way onto the Board for a second term and moves to the Chairman of the Board bringing with him four other Board members who are also cattle affiliated promoting harvesting, removing, and slaughtering in addition to sterilizing. Like they lied about domestic horses, they are lying about wild horses. Spratling needs to be exposed, along with Hendrickson, Falen, Cope and Danvir and they need to be ousted until they no longer have any credibility and go away.
    The public as possible need to become aware of what the BLM and these ill-chosen Board members are doing and they need to be ousted out. They have no business supposedly advising on the welfare of the wild horses and burros when, in fact, they are really advising on behalf of the cattle ranchers.
    There is no excess and if the BLM reduces the herds to low AML as
    proposed by this evil group 131 or the 165 herds will be unsustainable and will likely become deformed and die out.

  88. Monika Courtney

    Michael Smith AND THE PROPAGANDA AWARD OF THE YEAR GOES TO…
    1) WHO? A select group of public lands cattle ranchers, pleasure seeking hunters, profit motivated Indian tribes, and more…
    2) They call themselves “United Horsemen” and the “National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition.” Yet there is not a single equine group among them except for the quarter horse groups who want to breed the ‘best of show’ and have an easy, but profitable way to dump the rest.
    3) Their agenda is to sterilize and to remove and slaughter or harvest and slaughter the wild horses and burros on our public lands. Equally their agenda is to slaughter domestic horses.
    4) They have made a mockery of the mandate for diversity on our National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board now prevailing as the majority of the Board with 5 out of 9 of them having cattle ranching interests. They are Boyd Spratling, Callie Hendrickson, John Falen, Robert Cope, and Rick Danvir. They are a scam and a sham on our Advisory Board promoting the idea of what is best for the cattle and the hunted but pretending to talk to what is best for the wild horses and burros.
    5) They want to dismiss wild horse and burro advocates saying they just exude “emotions.” On the other hand, they maintain they, the ranchers, hunters, tribal leaders and more speak reason and WOW! Science. Yet they produce no scientific methods or studies.
    6) They parade out pictures of dying horses supposedly on the range. Yet they provide no GPS locations for the horses and no timing of events.
    7) They maintain the wild horses and burros are “overpopulated” on our public lands.
    a) Yet they have no validated means by which all the wild horses and burros have been counted on our public lands. Even the employees of the Wild Horse and Burro Program say they are trying to work with the USGS to accomplish a more informed count.
    b) They estimate 40,000 or “PULL IT OUT OF YOUR HAT” 100,000. Let’s see: 40,000 horses and burros, 245 M acres the BLM currently manages…That would be 1 horse/burro per 6,125 acres. OVERPOPULATED?
    c) But wait, wild horses and burros are only allowed on 31.6 M acres of our BLM managed lands. So that would mean 1 horse/burro per 790 acres. Again, OVERPOPULATED?
    d) Estimated is there are 40,000 wild horses/burros versus 720,000- 2.9 M sheep/cattle on BLM managed lands or 40,000 wild horses/burros versus 120,000-480,000 livestock on BLM-WHB (wild horse and burro) managed areas. WHO IS OVERPOPULATED?
    e) Then estimated is there are 20 M deer, 1M elk, 700,000 pronghorns, and 70,000 big horns on Federal, state, and private lands. AGAIN, WHO IS OVERPOPULATED IF YOU WANT TO PLAY THAT GAME?

    8) The ranchers, hunters, tribal leaders solution to this propagated idea of overpopulation is genocide, and how to accomplish this idea without inciting the public’s outrage. The methods of genocide they are pushing include the following:
    a) Sterilize the horses…vasectomies or geldings for the stallions and ovariectomies for the mares…
    b) Gather and remove the horses and burros in the 166 BLM HMAs (Herd Managed Areas) down to low AML (the non-scientifically established appropriate management levels). Gus Cothran, the retained geneticist for the BLM has made different statements at different times. From time to time he has said a very minimum of 150-200 horses or burros is needed in a herd to maintain diversity and viability, to prevent inbreeding and anomalies, and to obviate the death of the herd. Of the total 165 herds, 105 herds have low AMLs of less than 100, 26 have low AMLs of 100-150, 14 have low AMLs of 150-200, and 14 have low AMLs of over 200. So according to Cothran, if the 165 herds are brought down to low AML, 131 of the herds out of 165 will, in time, become unhealthy and unsustainable and only 28 will remain intact and healthy.
    c) The WHB Program will tell you the HMAs are clustered together with horses/burros moving among them so that the low AMLs are higher if viewed as clusters. However, the program has no scientific studies to verify this thinking.
    d) The WHB program will also tell you Gus Cothran said,’ just import horses/burros from other herds, and the horses/burros will be just fine.’ However, the horses are supposed to be where found to maintain their genetic uniqueness, not moved around.
    e) Of course, bringing down the HMAs to low AML will result in aggressive gathering, removing and corralling which will be costly. Temporary corralling doesn’t keep up with adoptions. The taxpayer is already paying $80 M for the WHB program with a majority of this amount invested in corralling the horses. That’s an outrageous amount of dollars insists Callie Henrickson, member of the Advisory Board, and just can’t be.. Then Callie and the public land cattle ranchers
    -3-
    don’t talk about the $ 120 M and much more the government is investing in subsidizing the public land cattle ranchers.
    f) The answer to avoidance of this high cost of corralling the horses/burros is slaughter. Of course, an alternative idea is the ranchers can harvest wild horses and slaughter them for a profit. After all, profit is down for cattle consumption in the United States as more and more people are moving away from a meat based diet and wild horses may provide a good supplemental cash crop.
    9) So sterilization, harvesting for slaughter, or just removing down to the low AMLs and slaughtering is the answer to the fabricated idea of “overpopulation, “and presents as genocide. Following the ranchers and hunters then will have more public land to do as they wish, and the ranchers may even increase their profits with harvesting and slaughtering. It is not just the wild horses and burros that are in jeopardy on our public lands today because of the ranchers and hunters, but it is also the bison, the wolves, and the carnivores such as the coyotes, the lions, the bears, and more.
    10) Building a case and executing a devious plan against a minority and the voiceless so that the profit and killer motivated can gain more is unconscionable.
    a) It is time to honor our living cultural and historical treasures.
    b) It is time to put our resources into providing for adequate space, forage, water, and appropriate, sustainable healthy numbers of horses and burros on our public lands.
    c) It is time to push back on the special interest cattle ranchers and hunters who are pillaging our public lands and are destroying the animals who call this place home. It is time to re-devote our public lands to the American public with a multiple use mission.
    d) It is time to get rid of the Spratlings, the Henricksons, the Falens, the Copes and the Danvirs, and to put biologists, geneticists, equine veterinarians, and equine behaviorists on the Advisory Board who can advise in the best interests of the wild horses and burros, not in the best interests of cattle and herbivores who the hunters want for the kill.
    e) It is time to move now before this genocide of our wild horse and burros is complete.
    The wild horses are a part of our American evolution and a part of our living cultural and historical heritage. Americans want them on our public lands for our grandchildrento appreciate. It is important for them to remain on our public lands and to overcome the lying, narcissism, and greed of the ranchers and hunters who seek to destroy them for their own self invested interest.
    Bonnie Kohleriter, Former scientist focused on teaching and applying scientific methodology and owner of three, three year old Mustangs brought directly from the Tonopah, Nevada, area at 5 months.
    bkohlerite@yahoo.com
    August 22, 2014

  89. Monika Courtney

    Brent: The term "feral" is a myth introduced by special interests.They are a native wildlife species, entitled to endangered species designation.They are more native than bison, deer, elk. Only Pronghorns could claim to be "more native." Without wild horses of America there would be no horses in the world,no zebras in Africa, no Onagers in Middle East,no Kulan in India or Exmoor ponies in England. They compliment their ecosystems. http://www.livescience.com/animals/080724-nhm-wild-horses.html
    Mustangs are native to this continent. "Feral" is a myth introduced by "special interests" scape goating them for decades. Enough evidence is present to prove mustangs are a re-introduced native wildlife species to North America.
    http://www.mustangs4us.com/WildlifeStatement.pdf

  90. Monika Courtney

    With a huge number of people that show extreme concern for the highly fiscally and morally irresponsible mismanagement of BLM, amongst them many celebrities, scientists, wildlife ecologist/experts on the topic, people ought to get a grip of the truth – our stance on this is more than being “mystical” or emotional… we will expose this rogue agency that has successfully deceived this nation for decades, scapegoated wild horses with their myths and fabricated lies of excess horses and "range deterioration" and starvation…, proven a huge deficiency in their program without correcting their fundamental problems within, evidently not resolving their many failings in a transparent manner as their continuous assaults prove again. Their current highly criticized stockpiling and misuse of tax-dollars, their use of outdated methodology, therefore unable to determine accurate numbers of horses the range can support, their excess waste on tax funds (more than 2/3 goes to manage holding facilities) of horses that should not have been gathered in the first place, their lies about "achieving ecological balance", their SYSTEMATIC removal of entire herds of horses from public lands where they belong by law in order to benefit private livestock interests and pipeline corporations (the facts are well known and documented), at a cost of more than $21 million to taxpayers in 2007 alone, the fact they took over 19 million acres of their federally protected habitat away since passage of the 1971 WFRHB act,the BLM has yet to adequately justify this loss of range. Continuing to carry out round ups under the current management regime whilst they have more horses than they can reasonably afford to care for or adopt , is irresponsible fiscal management and shows the ignorance and agenda of blindly continuing "management" practice.
    It is a fact that the wild horse is a reintroduced native species. The progenitor of the horse was a little three-toed animal the size of a fox, scientists now call Eohippus,that lived perhaps two million yrs. ago in the forests of what is now North America. It adapted over millions of years, evolving into a creature that eventually became a means of transportation and a tool of war. Although the horses' ancestors originated in North America, domestication first occurred amongst nomadic tribes an ocean away, after wild horses migrated across land bridges to Asia and Europe. Harsh winters in England and northern latitudes influenced their size and conformation. If there were any domesticated horses in North America at that time, they mysteriously vanished from the land at the close of the Pleistocene era about eleven thousand yrs. ago. No one knows what did it. Stone age hunters might have been a factor.Christopher Columbus brought back horses to the America's. But it was the later Spanish and Portuguese ships that imported them to be used in military conquests and exploitation for gold. But, the horse originated in North America millions of yrs. ago.

  91. Monika Courtney

    Brent: Since you seek attention, I'll give it to you. It's not about agreeing. It's about accepting the truth and being honest. BLM needs to be dissolved. They are dictated by cattle barons, and are in bed with politicians and corporations. Under the table dealings have led to illegal horse slaughter. Recently, the discovery of covert meetings, held secretly, to discuss the destruction and disposal of horses in long-term holding pens shocked the nation. Check http://www.reinfree.org.A 68 page document outlines the methods of systematic death and disposal of wild horses and burros. So it's not just horses are the victims of lies, manipulation and betrayal. It's ultimately US, the people too. Our lands are being auctioned off to cattle grazing and foreign companies for fossil fuel drilling and it is greed that rules. The lies of BLM are being exposed. This is much deeper than a love affair for horses. It is a call to duty to every American, to stand up for freedom, fight lies and corruption and buying into the myth of a rogue agency gone amok. Finding achievable proposals and solutions geared to the preservation of this true legacy of the American West has to be our priority, to protect them in their original habitat, where they rightfully belong – lies must stop and illegal activities must be exposes. We know they have done plenty –http://americanherds.blogspot.com/ This is a call to duty for every freedom-loving American with some pride and spirit left to acknowledge there is an urgent need to revise the failings of Congress and BLM which led to this mess.
    Preservation in the wild western range would save millions of tax-dollars. There are alternatives to removal such as sex ratio adjustment, resource development, Greater commitment to contraception options, replenishment of depleted herds, introduction of stallion herds and Congress to assert it’s authority over water found on federal public lands. Congress needs to enact legislative changes now. Stock-piling is not a sustainable practice, and ethically wrong. The agency refuses to remove cattle – yet increases them to a ratio of 200 cattle to 1 horse. Preservation in the West, curbing ecotourism and making cruel helicopter round ups and corralling a thing of the past would also not need enormous subsidies as the public land’s livestock industry does. We must protect these icons of our heritage. That is what America is all about. To remember how much these noble animals have done for humanity and they should be protected as integral components of the public lands ecosystem, their evolutionary cradle. Establishment of true sanctuaries in which livestock permittees should be phased out and natural predators such as puma should be allowed to fulfill their age old ecological role. Water rights in the West not monopolized by ranchers but overseen by a neutral board. It is a true shame the travesty that is taking place now as I type – In the Land of the FREE who have lost their pride what this country used to stand for: Pride to protect our heritage and legacy – our freedom which includes not just the mustangs and burros on our public lands, but all of us.
    This from the 1971 WFRHB Act:
    (To require the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands)

  92. Monika Courtney

    Why don't you focus on better cattle management ? Not more, but better, and fair. They destroy the range, and the eco-system. They bring a buck, so they can stay. The horses don't, so they must go. There are alternatives on the table, but BLM does not want to hear them. They do not want science, unless it's created by their own biased sources. The Board is made up of 5 cattle barons. How is that going to benefit the horses' interest ? Get a clue and read up. You are biased, and uneducated at best. But then again, most folks in WY, a state that lures tourists to come visit with a magnificent ad of wild horses running… when there is none left – it just shows the mentality of your ilk, use them to propagate for tourism, but evict them nonetheless. Shame on you. http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/features/109-fossils.shtml CA. boy unearth horse fossil
    A startling discovery by a young Californian boy has helped fill a key gap in the evolution of the horse. Gavin Sutter, aged eight, from Auburn, found the prehistoric bones of a horse dating back 15 million years.

  93. Monika Courtney

    Carl: Your stance is alarming. Wild horses seek protection from elements, not in shelters as they can roam, but in riparian areas, brush or rock formations. They seek trees. Your twisted view reflects the arrogance with which BLM operates. Netherlands is no little girl, she is a beautiful woman who knows her stuff. Does that intimidate you ? She speaks truth you speak stupid. The way the corralled horses must languish in holding is anti-American and cruel. It has nothing to do with us, but with animal cruelty inflicted by a regime that is immune to any consequences. The horses suffer, a fact that is cleverly dismissed by people like you who refuse not to be morally corrupt. Animals welfare standards within BLM are lacking acceptable levels, on all fronts. Minimalist attitudes run the show. Government does not care about being humane. It is a stone-age mentality which reeks in a nation that flew to the moon. Shame on you.

  94. Monika Courtney

    On shelter and heat: Horses lack one basic mechanism for lowering blood temperature. They cannot breathe thru the mouth, are unable to pant like dogs, thus cannot use respiratory system for cooling. Horses sweat to cool, yet if humidity is more than 75%, heat stress can result, such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke or sunstroke. Exposed to direct sunlight without shade, young horses are especially susceptible. Body temperature can increase to 106-110 F., sweating stops, the skin dries. Prolonged exposure to high temp's also results in dilation of surface blood vessels. Circulatory collapse, delirium and convulsions may occur, and death.
    Treatments for such conditions: water spraying to cool, move to shady / well-ventilated area. Ice packs on head. Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, chlorine). Ideally, overheating should not occur. Prevention is easy, provide shade, sprinklers/misters. Provide fresh water. Horses drink 1 gallon per lb of dry feed consumed at 100F. http://animalscience.uconn.edu/extension/documents/heatstress.doc

    "Foals, particularly those under 30 days of age, are very susceptible to overheating because their heat regulatory system has not fully developed. They may get overheated from too much physical activity in hot, humid weather."
    http://vetmed.illinois.edu/petcolumns/petcols_article_page.php?OLDPETCOLID=298
    I would like to believe that Board member for WH & B research, Dr. Sue McDonnell, co-author of "The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of its Behavior" would not refute that provision of shade / adequate shelter to corralled equines in high heat is humane and thus a basic need for any animal held in captivity – reflecting standards of NV statute 574.120. Failure to provide proper food and water to impounded animal; penalty.
    1. A person who has impounded or confined any animal shall not refuse or neglect to supply to the animal during its confinement a sufficient supply of good and wholesome air, food, shelter and water. http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cruelty/nv_cruel.htm

    The canopies at Ridgecrest, CA, are ideal. I am very willing to start a national fundraiser to help BLM make this a reality, as I offered last year to BLM leadership already.
    Weather prognosis is already announcing triple digits in south west regions. Since PVC's original outdated design lacks innovative protection from scoring heat, the public and the horses at PVC would really appreciate BLM to address this urgent issue, as heat patterns have clearly changed. I provided this info furnished by the Western Climate Center at the workshop. Triple digit days with record heat are more common and on the rise.
    Shelter is a basic need for animals in captivity like food and water. Holding facilities must meet the same standards as potential adopters. The animals at PVC and short-term holding should not suffer unnecessarily, but thrive in their preparation for adoption.
    I still have all pertinent info re such systems, as submitted to Joan Guilfoyle and Dr. Carolyn Stull last year at the workshop with my package of recommendations for shade by several prominent equine vets, fact sheets heat stress in horses, climate data, and photos of wild horses seeking shade on the range (all is available upon request).

  95. Monika Courtney

    From: Tcourt5096 <tcourt5096@
    To: blm_wo_wild_horse <blm_wo_wild_horse@blm.gov>; <STOP_HORSE_CRUELTY@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, Jun 14, 2013 6:02 pm Subject: Re: BLM's Response to Question about PVC Shelter

    Debbie,
    You are right, horses do well in open environments, when their "nutritional needs" are met. What a kind way of putting it this time. Problem is, your pens are not an open environment. They are prisons, where horses do not play and run, but stand around with broken spirits and families gone. They have no choice but to dwell and you do make it sound like a Disney World for horses. Except Disney would put up shelters, sprinklers and adequate feeding stations, where even the little horses can get food.

    Out on the range BLM does not care one bit about social hierarchy. During round ups, BLM brutally scatters bands, separates foals, breaks up families. A high metal roof is in no way a hazard to influence the social hierarchy as you so nicely put it. The irony of BLM's double standards to dole out fancy terms to make the general public believe you care is almost amusing, yet maddening. Since your concern for injuries is not prevalent in operations away from the public eye, the line about shelters potentially causing injuries is laughable. BLM comes across as if the non-existence of shelters is due to concern and for prevention of injuries when in fact it is nothing but being cheap, saving a buck and letting horses suffer. Your hay is partially covered, some of it is moldy or lays on the ground, being peed and pooped on, which should be a concern for your book of policies.

    Your "open corrals" have not been able to prevent the repeated serious outbreak of strangles. We may never know all that has befallen these poor horses under your disease-control tactics. We only know it's a bunch of BS and your reply a sorry state of affairs.
    With local animal husbandry standards meeting the minimum and bare needs of horses in Nevada, shade is a big part thereof. Would you not remove these bands from their home habitat, but restore them in the wild as many people in the public suggest, we would not have this conversation. BLM's large holding prisons are a result of your mismanagement and failure to adequately allow wild horses to live on their range – sadly, cattle competition has taken care of that, as we all know. This is yet another important, sad chapter in your book of failed BLM policies.
    It appears BLM adoption policy is a national standard that reflects high expectations to potential adopters. Yet in reality, you do in no way represent that policy, especially since most holding pens out West are exposed to extreme climatic conditions, such as the forecast of 97F. for next week at Palomino Valley.
    BLM practices in reality contradict all points you brought up. So if Tom Gorey or another PR specialist did compose this reply; possibly not on location but in some nice air-conditioned office out of the hellish heat in Nevada; it may be beneficial for him/her to take a fieldtrip to NV and reconsider your "policy". And Debbie, I do not believe for one minute that you appreciate the public's offer for help. No, it seems the opposite always, we are a nuisance in BLM's eyes, once again pointing out a huge shortcoming on your part, because again it's not anywhere near promised reform, transparency and improvement.
    No highly installed metal shade roof would in any way impact the large number of animals negatively. The lack of any shelter from the "sunlight" as you so gently put it… is nothing but cruel, a bare dirt box designed on minimalist attitude, not on concern for the welfare of these horses. You know Debbie, there are many horse folks out there who just don't buy the reasons anymore you come up with.
    I and hundreds of others who yesterday expressed concern and outrage at the lack of any shelter in your hellish pens expect you not only to monitor this issue… as every summer is the same repetitious heat hell and winters the same cold freezing ice pit – but we expect the BLM to provide adequate shelter in form of a highly installed metal roof on one side of the pens, facing the open corrals to simply offer shade, and the hay to be fed in hay racks, not on ground where disease spreads in pee and poop, no matter how much you want us to believe the sun and wind dries out the pesky germs and bacteria.
    This is going viral as the public is dismayed over your current and highly questionable shelter policy. Just as the program needs overhaul, current policies need change, to deliver reform and higher standards for the animals, that reflect 21st century values. Yours are far from it and while they sound good in your adoption policy book they are not followed upon, but dismissed with excuses.

    No horse, in large groups or alone, thrives and stays healthy in heat of near 100F or higher. They suffer and you don't even give them the very basic choice to go stand under some high roof or tree – after the already traumatic experience of being ripped from their home range. Improvements can come in small doses, it's just a matter of where the priorities are.

    We are asking for shelter that provides shade. There are experts available besides the public. BLM needs to treat our horses more humanely, and that is not happening as long as high fences obstruct views, or simple measures such as highly installed metal roofs are blown off as inappropriate. It's not rocket science. I suggest you do a test roof in one of your facilities. Then you observe the horses and you will witness them migrating into shade. It can be done. No zoo, in which animals are kept locked up in "open pens" would withstand a huge public outcry, if they would not provide adequate shelter from the elements. Why should BLM be different ? It boils down to animal welfare, and BLM has a long way to go.
    In the meantime, we certainly hope you give this issue some serious time and consideration. With the budget as I have seen it last fall in Salt Lake, this is very possible. If one roof poses an issue for more congregating of horses, then you install two roofs, one on each side.
    After taking the home, the families and the freedom, you cannot possibly make us believe the horses are happy in this state of misery ? What choice do they really have ? With that said, no, I don't think we understand your reasons for your policy. They are far fetched and make no sense. Hopefully we and the media will see a change here soon for the sake of our horses and your constant promises of reform. Keep us posted.

  96. Monika Courtney

    America's wild horses are victims of a rogue agency catering to cattle and special interests. The current fiasco is a result of biased minds. The agency operates by duping the concerned public, promising a Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program and improved Standards of Procedures since years… yet fail to deliver. No protection from elements in holding pits – is cruel. The wild horse haters refute the facts and needs of equines against all logic. The most renowned US equine experts and vets have provided recommendation for severe weather protocol for holding to BLM – yet they are ignored. When foals bake to death and horses collapse from heat stress, it's time to consider more than stuffing the corpses into a dumpster. It's time to establish a humane standard reflecting 21st century values. Every wild horse seeks shade, on the range and in holding if permitted. My mustangs stood under a tree today, because they could.
    The perilous minimalist attitude and dismissal of the horses' needs in an already barren dirt pit is shameful to a nation that claims to be the Best, Biggest and whatever arrogant term comes to mind. How America treats its wild horses is a shameful chapter in history. The mismanagement of a fiscally irresponsible regime is another. WE do not want our wild horses gone. We will not cave in to those dominating the landscape and playing politics.

  97. Monika Courtney

    A bit info for those making fun of the shelter issue…
    Wild horses, burros and astray horses within the state of NV that have been removed from their natural habitat and placed in holding facilities, fenced areas, corrals, livestock pens or are confined in any enclosed area that restricts free movement of said animals shall be provided sufficient shade for protection from direct sun and heat which can cause compromise of health, such as metabolic malfunction at 104F, organ failure at 105F which can result in circulatory collapse or death. Heat stress in horses occurs in hot desert terrains posing serious health risks to equines that have no access to cooling or shade. Sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke are results thereof, mandating the provision of adequate shade and cooling of ground with sprinklers or misters, and possibly fans to increase air circulation. Periods in which the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory put foals, especially the very young, at risk. Foals, particularly those under 30 days of age, are very susceptible to overheating or mortality, as their tiny bodies cannot handle extreme stressors such as high heat because their heat regulatory system has not fully developed yet. Exposed to direct sunlight without shade or if horses have long hair coats, they have poor thermo-regulating ability.
    For proper feeding management, feeding of poorly digestible feed shall be avoided as the production of heat to digest such feed can seriously affect horses prone to stress. Every horse shall have access to salts in form of salt blocks, containing electrolytes and trace minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and calcium, which are lost in sweat. Increased water consumption to offset water loss from sweating along with sufficient provision of minerals, being present in appropriate amounts for biochemical reactions to proceed in an orderly manner (wild horses in their natural habitat find salt deposits in soil areas licking the ground to get the minerals), is essential for proper physiological actions in the equine body. Depletion of electrolytes interferes with muscle contraction, function of nervous tissue; results are medical conditions such as poor tissue perfusion, metabolic alkalosis, and inefficient transport of oxygen and energy substrates, thumps, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal stasis, kidney impairment and poor recoveries.
    Fresh, clean water at the proper temperature must be provided at all times. Horses will drink more water when it is maintained at 45F – 65F, thus kept in an insulated and/or shaded container should insure adequate intake during hot weather. Changing water daily and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule will keep it fresh, thus keeps the horse drinking. Proper hydration will insure an adequate amount of water in the horse’s body to maintain normal sweating rates to maintain normal body temperature to protect the immune system and prevent metabolic problems and respiratory distress.
    Prevention of excess protein is crucial. To avoid additional break down of protein for energy production, called deamination (generation of more metabolic heat compared to regular digestion and absorption of dietary protein) good quality grass or mixed hay such as timothy/alfalfa or orchard grass/alfalfa with an intermediate protein level must be provided. Extra heat in form of excess protein increases a horse’s total heat load, thus forcing it to burn even more calories to increase breathing and sweating rates, and to drink more water to rid its body of extra heat and nitrogen. The dietary crude protein level should be between 10% and 12% to avoid excessive dietary protein.

    The prevention of overheating and health risks thereof for horses in federal holding facilities and corrals must be taken very serious and conform to the standards of domesticated horses, mandated to the protection of shelter, food and water, basic animals’ needs. Included must be the consideration of harsh winter elements such as ice winds, snow blizzards and brutal cold, from which free ranging wild equines seek shelter. Their sturdy and adaptive make up can handle some of these extremes, yet if weather conditions become severe, they mandate protection to all equines in winter prone holding facilities with established severe weather protocols being put in place. No equine shall suffer in prolonged winter conditions that affect its wellbeing, without access to adequate shelter, especially the very young foals.
    Furthermore, knowledge and recognition of signs of overheating and its treatment must be current. Preventative measures keep a horse well, but should it develop heat stress or a mild stroke, appearing overly tired, stressed, breathing heavy, sometimes panicky – staff on site shall monitor all horses during extreme weather. If first signs of heat stress occur, affected animal shall be hosed down with cool water and a veterinarian called. Babies (as they cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adult horses) on the ground need to be monitored for any signs of heat related illness as it can be a slow and insidious process.

    Wild horses in their natural habitat are well adapted to handling fluctuations in vitamin and mineral contents of feeds, since various regions and seasons affect availability of some of the necessary micronutrients. Dry grass in winter is devoid in carotene (from which the horse manufactures vitamin A), but this vitamin is stored in the liver for long periods until green grass appears next spring.
    Since horses store and conserve vitamins and minerals (and create B vitamins in the hindgut), the wild horses have plenty of energy roaming prairies, traveling to water and sprint away from predators. Foals grow up healthy and fit on grass and mother’s milk. They might get thin during winter, but grow up sound. Wild horses in the wild, their natural habitat – are not facing the structural problems which plague the formerly wild equines now corralled in holding pens.
    The proper provision to meet all basic needs, including sufficient shelter from extreme elements, which they naturally seek and find in the wild, must be established for all horses corralled in holding facilities. Quality veterinarian care and regular monitoring shall be part thereof. These provisions must be put in place as soon as possible, as increased heat patterns (data furnished by NCDC to me last summer) pose additional health risks due to lack of above mentioned standards. No delay shall occur as to ensure that all horses subjected to federal imprisonment and lack of free movement in their natural habitat are safe from all elements and thus of unnecessary suffering.
    M.C. 2014

  98. Monika Courtney

    My input for the Board is to move forth by giving the public more roles to partake in shaping reform within the program.
    Stop the in transparent PR acts and apply true engagement with the public, not just pretentious replies in the face of public outcry or national criticism.
    The double standards are what is hampering progress, when people work hard to give input, come prepared but in truth are not welcomed to really leave ideas or make a difference. What a waste of resources that could be put to make real progress – if instead of manipulation (as ever), common sense would be applied!
    I am personally dismayed at the constant schemes to pacify the public. This is affecting all fronts in your program:

    Round ups, census, inhumane treatment of corralled horses, true disclosure of fatalities/reasons thereof, care-taking or lack thereof, public relations, prioritizing of horses' welfare on range or in holding or lack thereof, adoption efforts on national level or lack thereof, effective advertising or lack thereof, spending disclosure of holding costs or lack thereof, continuous carry out of biased, special interests agendas and accommodation thereof, and most of all:

    The obvious neglect in performing what was assigned to perform: protecting wild horses and burros, which is expected by the tax payers and thus to be done in a humane, sensible way, which is for the horses' best interest. To continue round ups while pretending to care and work "with the public" is the same broken way, which is not left behind, as Ms. Guilfoyle so vehemently announced in Reno, but it is continued with the same shameful schemes to deceive and pacify the American public. Promises of "increased comfort" have been issued to the public since forever, the shade issue before summer in May 2014, and again, last week. Emails available.

    While your meetings of predisposed talk continue, so does the deterioration and mistreatment of our herds. Not due to drought and nature's cull. But due to your lack of clearly reforming a program that has caused this mess and much grieve to Americans who have lost all trust and respect as none of the promises are delivered while you procrastinate the real issues at hand to improve professionally and ethically just.

    There are many qualified folks available, from the advocacy to professional sources such as independent vets, with whom you could build a truly impressive new direction to shape reform for wild horses and burros. The constant rapports with the cattle industry and money muscle of special interests who get special VIP to our public lands is the disease of BLM having led to the current disgraceful situation.

    The public is tired of the clever PR speeches, staged acts and betrayal to the horses. They suffer under current management – start involving the public by taking volunteerism that partakes in bringing improvement by really engaging and seeking input and help – since this source offers experts on all fronts, whilst current operations carried out by your staff are so very questionable and concerning. Instead of training more PR skills to pacify the increasingly concerned and outraged public, allocate these funds to reform as promised.

    Causing the wild equines to suffer is not an acceptable standard, but it is what is going on, due to your horrific round ups which must stop, and the horrific neglect in holding. To make holding a less haunting place by improving internal standards to the basic care-taking with an external and independent source to ensure quality control is a must. With so many animals penned in prison like confinement, there are many people who would assist; who care for these horses and would like to be part of their lives. It is up to you to allow this, and to remember these are America's horses. Stop the excuses of "safety" and other notions to keep the public out and at bay, while your staff neglects horses' needs – allow team work and cooperative efforts to bring improvement without applying dumb reasons to hinder progressive effect.

    Holding as it is now is a reflection of unacceptable standards in all aspects. Lack of care, space, provision of basic needs such as plentiful cold water, electrolytes in all pens, shade/shelter from elements, neglect of hooves and health issues of horses are not 21st values that are to be expected from this country. Holding must be improved asap, staff re-trained to deliver top quality care, possess compassion and respect, and make holding a better place to work, whilst improving adoptions. This can be done with a better marketing approach, a national ad campaign and foremost by BLM TRULY engaging with the public on all fronts to bring reform.

    These horses are not your agency's horses to dispose of and abuse. Yet that is what this agency has done and is doing as I type. The long harbored plans of euthanasia (speak slaughter) and the secretive, lucrative side dealings with other agencies and Indian Tribes by selling horses without analyzing, identifying and safeguarding the very animals so shamelessly taken to carry out such auctions and trading, must stop once and for all. (Recent Fallon scandal).

    It is your responsibility to oversee the welfare and protection of all wild horses and burros, and put an end to illegal side activities and cruel conduct, whether it involves your contractors, notorious kill buyers (Fallon) or internal affairs.

    Stop the procrastination and get to work to reflect innovation by applying humane management for our wild equines on the range that is not of final and die out philosophy but to of ensuring a future for our grand-kids that involves wild horses and burros in the wild, not just terminal destruction and a history book of shame. Quit marginalizing the public and our input. Create Federal guidelines to oversee and ensure welfare to horses as currently there are none. Deliver your Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program as it is overdue since yesteryear.

    Move forth by demonstrating a "can-do" attitude applying real science in accurate census and sensible solutions on the range benefiting wild horses and burros, develop initiatives and strategies now to reach these goals. We are waiting, still.

  99. Monika Courtney

    My input for the Board is to move forth by giving the public more roles to partake in shaping reform within the program.
    Stop the in transparent PR acts and apply true engagement with the public, not just pretentious replies in the face of public outcry or national criticism.
    The double standards are what is hampering progress, when people work hard to give input, come prepared but in truth are not welcomed to really leave ideas or make a difference. What a waste of resources that could be put to make real progress – if instead of manipulation (as ever), common sense would be applied!
    I am personally dismayed at the constant schemes to pacify the public. This is affecting all fronts in your program:

    Round ups, census, inhumane treatment of corralled horses, true disclosure of fatalities/reasons thereof, care-taking or lack thereof, public relations, prioritizing of horses' welfare on range or in holding or lack thereof, adoption efforts on national level or lack thereof, effective advertising or lack thereof, spending disclosure of holding costs or lack thereof, continuous carry out of biased, special interests agendas and accommodation thereof, and most of all:

    The obvious neglect in performing what was assigned to perform: protecting wild horses and burros, which is expected by the tax payers and thus to be done in a humane, sensible way, which is for the horses' best interest. To continue round ups while pretending to care and work "with the public" is the same broken way, which is not left behind, as Ms. Guilfoyle so vehemently announced in Reno, but it is continued with the same shameful schemes to deceive and pacify the American public. Promises of "increased comfort" have been issued to the public since forever, the shade issue before summer in May 2014, and again, last week. Emails available.

    While your meetings of predisposed talk continue, so does the deterioration and mistreatment of our herds. Not due to drought and nature's cull. But due to your lack of clearly reforming a program that has caused this mess and much grieve to Americans who have lost all trust and respect as none of the promises are delivered while you procrastinate the real issues at hand to improve professionally and ethically just.

    There are many qualified folks available, from the advocacy to professional sources such as independent vets, with whom you could build a truly impressive new direction to shape reform for wild horses and burros. The constant rapports with the cattle industry and money muscle of special interests who get special VIP to our public lands is the disease of BLM having led to the current disgraceful situation.

    The public is tired of the clever PR speeches, staged acts and betrayal to the horses. They suffer under current management – start involving the public by taking volunteerism that partakes in bringing improvement by really engaging and seeking input and help – since this source offers experts on all fronts, whilst current operations carried out by your staff are so very questionable and concerning. Instead of training more PR skills to pacify the increasingly concerned and outraged public, allocate these funds to reform as promised.

    Causing the wild equines to suffer is not an acceptable standard, but it is what is going on, due to your horrific round ups which must stop, and the horrific neglect in holding. To make holding a less haunting place by improving internal standards to the basic care-taking with an external and independent source to ensure quality control is a must. With so many animals penned in prison like confinement, there are many people who would assist; who care for these horses and would like to be part of their lives. It is up to you to allow this, and to remember these are America's horses. Stop the excuses of "safety" and other notions to keep the public out and at bay, while your staff neglects horses' needs – allow team work and cooperative efforts to bring improvement without applying dumb reasons to hinder progressive effect.

    Holding as it is now is a reflection of unacceptable standards in all aspects. Lack of care, space, provision of basic needs such as plentiful cold water, electrolytes in all pens, shade/shelter from elements, neglect of hooves and health issues of horses are not 21st values that are to be expected from this country. Holding must be improved asap, staff re-trained to deliver top quality care, possess compassion and respect, and make holding a better place to work, whilst improving adoptions. This can be done with a better marketing approach, a national ad campaign and foremost by BLM TRULY engaging with the public on all fronts to bring reform.

    These horses are not your agency's horses to dispose of and abuse. Yet that is what this agency has done and is doing as I type. The long harbored plans of euthanasia (speak slaughter) and the secretive, lucrative side dealings with other agencies and Indian Tribes by selling horses without analyzing, identifying and safeguarding the very animals so shamelessly taken to carry out such auctions and trading, must stop once and for all. (Recent Fallon scandal).

    It is your responsibility to oversee the welfare and protection of all wild horses and burros, and put an end to illegal side activities and cruel conduct, whether it involves your contractors, notorious kill buyers (Fallon) or internal affairs.

    Stop the procrastination and get to work to reflect innovation by applying humane management for our wild equines on the range that is not of final and die out philosophy but to of ensuring a future for our grand-kids that involves wild horses and burros in the wild, not just terminal destruction and a history book of shame. Quit marginalizing the public and our input. Create Federal guidelines to oversee and ensure welfare to horses as currently there are none. Deliver your Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program as it is overdue since yesteryear.

    Move forth by demonstrating a "can-do" attitude applying real science in accurate census and sensible solutions on the range benefiting wild horses and burros, develop initiatives and strategies now to reach these goals. We are waiting, still.

  100. Monika Courtney

    Michael Smith check out Craig's new updated and improved 2014 edition of The Wild Horse Conspiracy. It is available both as an eBook and an in print book. You can order this directly from me via my webpage or on amazon, that has a special reduced promotional price now. If enough people would carefully read my book and take its message to heart, there would be a great transformation and reform in humanity's relationship with the horses and burros, and many other naturally related species with whom they belong — a new way of life that involves learning to share the land and freedom and how to live harmoniously with these wonderful presences in a wild-horse/burro- containing ecosystem. Check out the major points and improvements in my book below.
    New edition of The Wild Horse Conspiracy by Craig Downer is now available
    We are happy to announce that the new edition of The Wild Horse Conspiracy is now available. A brief outline of the new updates in the book include the following: •Brings the book up to date on current status quo of wild horses and burros in America and reform efforts including bills before Congress.
    •Provides a more thorough index and references.
    •Elaborates on why the horses and burros belong in the wild and in North America, including their evolutionary origins and long-standing presence here and provides further source references to substantiate this. Also further expands on the ecological contributions of the wild horses and burros that can be applied both in major ecosystems in North America and other continents around the world.
    •Includes some additional passages throughout the book that speak for the horses and burros and their rightful land and freedom.
    •Contains many descriptions of the unique herds and herd areas (BLM) and territories (US Forest Service).
    •Accurately distinguishes between the benign ecological niche of the wild horse/burro and that of the many ruminant grazers such as deer, bison and explains how the former actually complements the latter.
    •Presents new and covered-up evidence for a continuous presence of horses in North America and refutes the non-native, destructive exotic, merely "feral" escapee myth.
    •Explains how the horses and burros, as all equids, have a very important role to play in countering Global Warming and catastrophic fires.
    •Contains improved photographs and figures that vividly convey the magnificence and harmony of the wild horses and burros.
    The Wild Horse Conspiracy is available in print or as an eBook.
    Where to order:
    Amazon.com
    Barnes and Noble.com
    Createspace.com
    Or follow the linkin http://www.thewildhorseconspiracy.org
    Consider:
    Make a tax-deductible contribution to the Wild Horse and Burro Fund so that we can continue conducting research, education and outreach.
    Sign up to receive our Action Alerts and find out what else you can do.
    Purchase a copy of The Wild Horse Conspiracy by wildlife ecologist Craig C. Downer and get your library to order it and local bookstore to stock it, also these to do a speaking and book signing event with the author. Craig's email is ccdowner@aol.com

  101. Diana Kline

    There is scientific reasoning, Jenifer. Horses are native to North America. Modern horse originated here and then spread throughout the rest of the world. A horse fossil has been found in Colorado and another in Wyoming, both dating to around 700 years ago, proving that they were always here and never died out.

  102. Diana Kline

    Jodi M. The large predators are alive and well in Missouri and Kansas.

  103. Sue Randall Shukis

    Michael Smith-Appaloosa horses go back to prehistoric times and many of them are gaited. It's called the Indian Shuffle.

  104. Diana Kline

    Sue Carter in April the BLM said there were 22,000 wild horses left on the range.

  105. Diana Kline

    Only 2+% of our nation's beef supply comes from public lands ranchers. I haven't eaten beef for over a year due to this 2+%, their lies and the damage they have been doing to our wild horses and burros.

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