Please attend BLM’s public hearing 5/29 in Carson City ~ Email comments and say “NO” to helicopter roundups

Roundup helicopter chases fearful wild horses and Old Gold (Photo © Cat Kindsfather, all rights reserved,)

The public hearing regarding using helicopters and motorized vehicles for wild horse and burro roundups as well as management is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29, from 10-11 a.m., at the BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, in Carson City.

Comment if you can’t make it

With Monday a holiday, we suggest you send your comments, against the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles at roundups, to us at and we will get them to the hearing.

Be sure to mention you are against the BLM using helicopter and motorized vehicles (except in emergency situations) because they tally up: who is for helicopters and other motorized vehicles (truck & trailers) and who is against helicopters and other motorized vehicles at roundups as well as for monitoring and management in Nevada for this fiscal year.

Let them know the use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles at roundups is inhumane & cruel, causes extreme stress, lameness and even death–euthanized by BLM–after being stampeded and injured, is against the spirit of the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act to stampede them with an aircraft, pollutes and causes global warming, ruins the terrain and crushes native and endangered plants on the range, terrorizes other wildlife causing extreme stress for them also, etc.

Mention that using aircrafts for monitoring and for accurate head counts on the range would be acceptable as long as they don’t harass the wild horses and burros or other wildlife and use algae-based fuel to reduce the environmental impacts.

You can also tell them that trucking in water and food in a drought emergency would be a valid exception to use motorized vehicles with regards to wild horse and burro management.

Thank you for taking the action you can to help save wild horses and burros.

We just found out about the hearing from a BLM press release discovered May 25th online via The Mesquite News Why didn’t the BLM notify the public in a correct manner? Why didn’t they send us a press release despite our requests for press releases and updates regarding wild horses and burros? Why is this scheduled the morning after a three day holiday weekend?

BLM press release printed in the Mesquite News:

BLM Public Hearing Set on Management of Wild Horses and Burros

Posting Date: 05/21/2012
Press Release

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses or burros on public lands in Nevada. The hearing is scheduled Tuesday, May 29, from 10-11 a.m., at the BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, in Carson City, Nev.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive information and public comment on the use of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to inventory wild horse or burro populations and the use of helicopters to gather and remove excess animals. The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

Before helicopters or motorized vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required in order to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The BLM proposes to use a helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to estimate population numbers and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada.

Also proposed is using a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros on gathers and complexes throughout the state during the coming year. The actual number of areas where gathers will be conducted or inventoried will depend on a number of factors including funding.

For more information, contact John Axtell at (775) 885-6000.

original BLM press release:

15 thoughts on “Please attend BLM’s public hearing 5/29 in Carson City ~ Email comments and say “NO” to helicopter roundups

  1. Stop using motorized vehicles & aircraft’s on BLM wild horses & burros gatherings now.

  2. To whom it may concern,

    I’m not sure when the change to section 9 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, hereafter referred to as ‘The Act’, or who it was that bent Congress’ collective ears to believe that helicopters do not terrorize wild horses and burros. But in fact they do. The wild animals have survival instincts thousands of years old that tell them that big thing coming at them out of the sky is going to eat them.

    Can you spell Pterodactyl ?

    The Act clearly states it is against the law to cause undue stress to any of the wild horses or burros but you can see in the pictures the horrified looks that tell me that horse is scared out of it’s mind. This has caused multiple cases of injuries and even deaths that go unreported because of your deceptive categorizing of such events i.e. pre-existing condition, old, old injury…anything to avoid the public being made aware of your malicious treatment of our wild horses and burrows. Section 8 of The Act reads:

    Sec. 8.
    (a) Any person who—
    (1) willfully removes or attempts to remove a wild free-roaming horse or burro from the public lands, without authority from the Secretary, or
    (2) converts a wild free-roaming horse or burro to private use, without authority from the Secretary, or
    (3) maliciously causes the death or harassment of any wild free-roaming horse or burro, or
    (4) processes or permits to be processed into commercial products the remains of a wild free-roaming horse or burro, or
    (5) sells, directly or indirectly, a wild free-roaming horse or burro maintained on private or leased land pursuant to section 4 of this Act, or the remains thereof, or
    (6) willfully violates a regulation issued pursuant to this Act, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Any person so charged with such violation by the Secretary may be tried and sentenced by any United States commissioner or magistrate designated for that purpose by the court by which he was appointed, in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as provided for in section 3401, title 18, United States Code.
    (b) Any employee designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture shall have power, without warrant, to arrest any person committing in the presence of such employee a violation of this Act or any regulation made pursuant thereto, and to take such person immediately for examination or trail before an officer or court of competent jurisdiction, and shall have power to execute any warrant or other process issued by an officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this Act or regulations made pursuant thereto. Any judge of a court established under the laws of the United States, or any United States magistrate may, within his respective jurisdiction, upon proper oath or affirmation showing probable cause, issue warrants in all such cases.

    Take a very close look at item 3. Of course you’re going to deny this but the videos and pictures prove different. It is malicious to chase a foal till it’s hooves are worn to nubs and then dies in the dirt in severe pain. We’ve seen it on film. Do not deny it.

    As to The Act’s allowing for the use of helicopters, that was clearly added in later by someone who never laid eyes on one of your roundups. Who in their right mind could possibly think that a large whirring machine in the sky swooping down at them is not going to scare the hell out of a wild animal? Let’s not be…how did the federal judge put it…”Studiously Ignorant”. Classic example!

    Not to mention prior to the use of such machinery public hearings must be held. It’s amazing with all the connections of the pro-wild horse advocacy groups that no one heard about this until the very last minute prior to a 3 day Federal holiday. When and where exactly did you call for this public hearing? Did it just slip your mind?

    Sec. 9. In administering this Act, the Secretary may use or contract for the use of helicopters or, for the purpose of transporting captured animals, motor vehicles. Such use shall be undertaken only after a public hearing and under the direct supervision of the Secretary or of a duly authorized official or employee of the Department. The provisions of subsection (a) of the Act of September 8, 1959 (73 Stat. 470; 18 U.S.C. 47(a)) shall not be applicable to such use. Such use shall be in accordance with humane procedures prescribed by the Secretary.

    I watch video of meetings and interviews of your employees and they all smile and say “we have the best interest of the horses in mind” yet their actions are totally different. How could it be in their best interest to be taken from their home range, have their family split up and then processed for either release (seldom), retain, or sell to slaughter…hmmm sounds like the kind of thing that went on back in the late 30’s and early 40’s in Europe. Sounds similar to something that happened in this country that divided it North and South.

    God put those horses on the North American continent twice so I can only think it’s what he really wants. I don’t think he intended them to be treated this way. To live in the camps, or in chains, or behind fences…same thing. No coming or going as you please. Rounded up whether at gun point or chased to near death by something so maniacal you can’t help but run…same thing.

    Oh well, I know all of you will read through these or at least glance through them. None of you will take them seriously because you are the all powerful OZ. The ones of you who do read them will read them with the hair on their back bristling because who are we to call you out. Who are we to be brazen enough to tell you that you don’t know what you’re doing. One NAS panel and a Federal Judge have said it as well. You ignore what doesn’t suit your agenda and that my fellow American’s makes it MALICIOUS INTENT!

    Steve Stapp

    A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves-strong, powerful, beautiful-and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.

  3. I’am 100% against the BLM using helicopter and motorized vehicles (except in emergency situations) at roundups as well as for monitoring and management in Nevada for this fiscal year.

    The use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles at roundups is inhumane & cruel, causes extreme stress, lameness and even death–euthanized by BLM–after being stampeded and injured, is against the spirit of the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act to stampede them with an aircraft, pollutes and causes global warming, ruins the terrain and crushes native and endangered plants on the range, terrorizes other wildlife causing extreme stress for them also, etc.

  4. STOP useing motorized vehicles & aircraft’s to roundup the Wild Horses!! LEAVE them Where they should be ……..On Public lands Wild & FREE!! Leave the Wild Horses ALONE!! They have been here & roaming here for about 1.5 Millions of years ! & didn’t disappear until as recently as 7,600 years ago!! The Wild Horses have a right to live on there home lands ! On Public lands! The Wild Horses are Sacred to the Native American Tribes!

  5. Dear BLM,
    I’m urging you to NOT use HELICOPTERS or MOTORIZED VEHICLES during roundups but in the case of emergency, which our wild horses are not in at the moment. I want to urge you to change your policies to include the feeding and watering of our wild horses so they may remain on their AML’s.
    BLM’s helicopters and motorized vehicles cause extreme suffering and deaths, too many to warrant their use.
    Marilyn J. Wilson

    Nevada resident

  6. Dear BLM,

    Like many Americans, I am not convinced that the scheduled round-ups are necessary. Please use independent means to count the remaining horses on the range before preceding with any round-ups. I am adamantly opposed to further removal of any wild horses from American ranges.

    These round-ups are expensive and a waste of precious taxpayer dollars.

    Please stop the use of helicopters during round-ups. The horses are terrified from the experience of being driven from over head by the loud aircraft.

    The use of any motorized vehicles violates the original 1971 Law protecting this magnificent animals.

    Please stop the roundups.

  7. The manner in which the Bureau of Land Management releases information concerned any care, roundups, deaths, injuries, holding sites, abuse, and removal of foals is unacceptable. The Bureau of Land Management’s use of helicopters (of which I know that 4 helicopters to be used in roundups were included in a meeting with the public) costs more that the actual care and maintenance of wild horses would cost if permanently left alone. The GAO reports all show that the Bureau of Land Management has falsified reports regarding the number of horses on public land, the number of horses at holding sites, and even has a number of horses in holding sites that are kept secret from the public, the galloping speed at which these horses are ran each round up, their fear and stress is beyond the probability scope of safety for these wild horses. The foals are separated and permanently removed for the Bureau of Land Management to sell. The foals that manage to make it to the holding pens are still separated; stressed, lame or permanently injured. All of these foals and horses that are permanently injured have to be put down; or, as the Bureau of Land Management is ran as a slaughter facility, these horses are sold for slaughter. This agency has broken federal law pertaining to the abuse of animals, has become an independent ran agency outside of the governing body of the people of the United States who have repeatedly requested for independent investigation into the Bureau of Land Management, Secretary of State’s office and all parties who have been hired under any government contracts or have received subsidy payments to care for these wild horses. The unfounded claims of the Bureau of Land Management that the wild horses are over populated is unfounded when independent studies are conducted using methods that at exact and scientific. The Bureau of Land Management uses a software program projecting the possibilities of how many horses populate the area and how many foals are born each year. Regardless of the laws set forth, unless there is a complete high quality standard set forth for the Bureau of Land Management to care for the land and the wild animals there on public lands, these operations will continue to be done with poor care and operational standards. With each operation of care to any wild animal, the Bureau of Land Management has repeatedly refused to enlist people who can do the job with quality and make the public lands operation comply with the standards that Americans expect. There are several instances, and we Americans are getting tired of telling you how you can do this better when this is your job to know. If you don’t know then you should not have the job in the first places. Doing a bad job is grounds for the American people to demand that people be removed from their positions as it directly effects our standard and quality of life. The use of proper techniques on the grass lands is not hard to do. We have found many ways that are proven to restore any lands, and it costs less that what BLM is doing now. The horses need water and feed/hay during the summer months and BLM with it’s bragged about surplus has to provide this without delay. Waiting and then forcing these wild horses to be killed during roundups and slaughter sales is not your job. Your job is to protect these wild horses. The horses that were removed could easily and safely be returned to the public lands. There is over 1 million acres of public lands that could be used and BLM has falsified documents to be able to become a slaughter house industry. Your ability to continue to run this agency is inadequate and your entire agency, including the Department of Interior, should be restaffed with professionals and experts who care about quality and expertise of their job. You have wasted money for slaughter, and then bragged about a surplus. You are not a private industry, which you are running this agency as one. It is despicable character and dishonorable; misuse of federal funds, and falsifying federal documents. Nothing can justify using a helicopter to roundup horses, especially foals, just to take them to the slaughter house as their eventual destination, which is entirely cruel and inhumane treatment and the misuse of a federal agency to perform your own private inclinations and business efforts.

  8. Stop using HELICOPTERS, and stop doing costly needless round ups, our wild mustangs are our icons and only living legends…………..Who deserve to be Honored with the Freedom we PROMISED to them……………………

  9. Dear Nevada BLM,
    The heat, the cold, the chase, and the terror with which our wild mustangs and burros are round-up is shameful. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have watched as horses are chased by helicopters over dozens of miles in snow and in heat. I have watched them corralled in 20 x 20 pens scared for their lives, being hit with prods and whips; their breath still steaming from the exhaustion. The helicopter again goes out for more and again brings in barely week old foals who can no longer walk because the run and the chase left their hooves behind. I have seen the stallion lose their mares and foals ripped away from their families while running for their lives. I have seen the helicopter go out again and again bringing fear and death to the pens, only to have those that do survive live in prison for the the rest of their lives. These helicopter are not rounding up the sheep or the cattle that watch as the horses run by, but rounding up American heritage. Please stop using helicopters for I have seen the terror up close and still hear the screams from each and every horse when losing its freedom.

  10. (emailed to ProtectMustangs on Monday, May 28th at 4:55 p.m. CDT — FINAL DRAFT)

    Bureau of Land Management
    Carson City District Office
    5665 Morgan Mill Road
    Carson City, Nevada

    Dear Sirs and Madams:

    Thank you for your attention in the matter of the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles for wild horse and burro roundups and for management of America’s wild and free-roaming horses on public lands.

    I am against helicopter roundups.

    You have a very active adoption program where young horses, from foals up, are promoted as useable mounts or potentially useable mounts to the American Public by your agency.

    As I have not yet received a response to my request for using the copyrighted materials found in his book, I will paraphrase Brent Kelley, DVM’s words found in his 2002 book, The Horse Doctor Is In. He makes a cogent observation on Page 146, in his Chapter, “Lameness.” That observation is that equine bones evolved in the wild, and the usual demands on a horse’s legs and feet are for the purposes of drifting sporadically from place to place, brief bouts of play, and short sprints to evade predators. He goes on to say that bones can be modeled, with careful conditioning over time to carry weight or run distances.

    In The Complete Horse Care Manual, 2011 Edition, written by Colin Vogel, a veterinary surgeon who specializes in horse care, Dr. Vogel states that equids did not evolve for uninterrupted movement over long distances. The subject is discussed on Page 22, in the section titled “Gaits and Movement.” The observation Dr. Vogel makes is that most of their time is spent grazing (in the wild). When they go from place to place, they stop frequently, and travel only for periods of up to 5 to 10 minutes before stopping, and for only at a walk or trot. Again, as Dr. Brent Kelley also points out, Dr. Vogel states that even in fear, after a few short moments the wild equid will either be free of a predator or will be its lunch. He states unequivocally that the likelihood of a wild horse running over long distances is about zero.

    Back to Dr. Kelley, I think a key point he makes is that it is only since the 1980’s or so that veterinary science has learned the importance of slow, careful and patient conditioning in the realizable goal of building bone in a horse. He calls this process, “modeling.” He says the bone remodels to fit the stresses placed on it. Likewise it has been learned, so he says, that the bone will “demodel” (his term) after a period of time. The horse is then relegated again to the status of a “raw beginner” and conditioning of the bone must begin all over again. Dr. Kelley stresses the necessity of time and patience in building up bone in a horse to withstand the unnatural demands of competition.

    It is well known among horsemen that the horse can be a very fragile package. As little as a kick from another horse can set in motion a lameness that may only become apparent years later, as I understand it.

    The stresses you are putting on wild horses and burros during all the fast-paced helicopter roundups over considerable distances — on the legs, joints, feet, ligaments and tendons alone will most certainly create more of a likelihood than ANY OTHER TYPE OF TRAPPING that these animals will come up short in the the soundness department, immediately, or over time.

    The American public deserves a better product, not a ticking timebomb. You have placed a lot of eggs in your Mustang Adoption Program basket for a long time. Yet, if we “read the label” we can see we may be buying “damaged goods” — all because of the long-distance helicopter roundups over rough ground, in winter and summer, and the uncertainty of lameness issues materializing in the years to follow after adoption, as a result of this trauma.

    Let’s take helicopter roundups out of the “Ingredients” on the label of this “Made in America” product!

    These aerial roundups should never have started. There is certainly no good reason for them to continue.


    Janet Ferguson

  11. Please stop this cruel atrocity! How dare the BLM treat this country’s treasured horses in such a manner.
    Where is the compassion in the government officials that I have elected?

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