Take Action: Save 6 wild horse herds BLM wants to wipe out!

PM Craig Downer by Rona Aguilar

Wild horse expert sounds alarm

As the new Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs and a concerned Carson Valley resident, I attended the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Carson City District Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)” meeting at the Spark’s Nugget hotel casino on Tuesday, January 13, from 5 to 7 pm.

I spoke with several BLM officials including John Axtell, the Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for this district, and Leon Thomas, Field Manager for the Sierra Front Field Office. I voiced my concerns that stakeholders who previously gave much input for increased numbers and resources in regard to wild horses were being ignored in the Draft Resource Management Plan.

I heard the overview explanation of the document by Colleen Sievers, RMP Project Lead, and instructions for reviewing it. I had given earlier input during the 2012 Scoping meetings in Carson City, along with many other pro-wild horse stakeholders.

It’s important to note there are two new wilderness designations that have just been passed by Congress for this area: Pine Forest and Wovoka Wilderness Areas.

Wild horses need you more than ever to stand up for them and here’s why:

There are five alternatives presented in the RMP document, one of which is No Action, or status quo, that will include improvements for Sage Grouse survival, but little else. Another is for maximizing resource exploitation that would be disaster for many natural values upon which the long term survival of life depends. Another (Alternative C) is for maximizing conservation of nature, and another is for bringing a so-called balance of these (Alternative E). This is the preferred alternative although it does not allocate enough land, water and forage for native wild horses who are needed to reduce wildfires, restore balance to the ecosystem, and reverse desertification on public land.

The Conservation Alternative would greatly reduce livestock grazing and expand wilderness designations but pro-wild horse stakeholders and native wild horses themselves appear to have been ignored. Wild horses should be regarded as native restorers of these natural ecosystems, but in the BLM’s Draft RMP there are serious errors which imply that they are non-native invasive pests with no value to the ecosystem. This, of course, is false.

In my preliminary view, and pending a more thorough analysis of this document, it’s  outrageous to see that federal officials appear to have completely neglected the wishes of stakeholders favoring wild horses. They unfairly sided with wild horse enemies to zero out herd management areas (HMAs). The BLM’s preferred alternative are plans to zero out six wild horse “herd management areas,” (HMA’s) rendering them “herd areas.” This is a twisting of language by which the original designation of a “herd area” as an area for wild populations of wild horses/burros in perpetuity, now according to BLM means an area where the wild horses/burros have been eliminated, or “zeroed out.”

John Axtell told me that there was not enough forage or water in these areas and that their numbers were too low. However, he conveniently failed to mention how cattle and sheep have been given the great majority of forage allocations in these same areas, or how the BLM has intentionally failed to exercise the wild horses and burros’ Implied Federal Water Rights that come with any major federal act of Congress in order to secure their basic survival requirements.

The areas that the BLM appears to be planning to zero out in the preferred alternative includes some HMA’s north of Reno such as Granite Peak and Flannigan that have been assigned truly ridiculous, low appropriate management levels (AML)—plus or minus 20 or so horses.

The minimum number for a genetically viable herd is 2,500 wild horses, according to the IUCN Species Survival Commission Equid Specialist Group and these levels are even a far cry from the suspect 150 individuals that BLM documents often cite as being genetically viable for a population.

BLM also wants to eliminate the historic Wassuk wild horse herd in the Wassuk HMA just north of Mt. Grant–where Axtell told me about 125 wild horses still survive.

Axtell claimed there was not enough forage for the horses here. I can’t believe this. I have repeatedly visited this wonderful spirited herd of Spanish-type mustangs and over many decades.

Nevadan biologist and teacher Steven Pelligrini studied the Wassuk herd for his Master’s Degree in biology at the University of Nevada-Reno. His thesis was presented to the public and to the Congress in support of the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, when he went to testify together with Wild Horse Annie and his professor Dr. John Pontrelli of UNR.

The Carson City BLM’s RMP is targeting our wild horses for removal yet it is mandated to protect them. There exists large-scale public support for them both among the local public, nationally and internationally.

We must stand up and fight for the Wassuk wild horses and for the other venerable wild horse herds that are being dishonestly used as scapegoats for abuses attributable to uncaring people.

I noticed that at the meeting leaders of the Toiyabe Sierra Club and long time wild horse enemies, were present, and engaged with the BLM wild horse specialists and other officials. It appears they have been working to undermine the wild horse presence on public lands for many years, and I am very disturbed about this.

In the “Toiyabe Trails” publication that goes out to many thousands as a free quarterly publication, their President, Tina Nappe seems to be given carte blanche to badmouth wild horses, while those who used to be afforded the opportunity to reply, such as myself, no longer are given this basic right, even in the form of a short letter to the editor.

In spite of the horrible news in the RMP, I was urged to make a strong statement concerning my reasons against the proposed “zeroings out”. These would include how the wild horses are not getting fair grazing allocations compared to livestock in their legal areas, failure to develop or fend for watering sources for the animals and illegal fencing prohibiting their “free-roaming” lifestyle, an inherent part of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Protect Mustangs is calling all wild horse supporters to speak out strongly in an informed and intelligent manner, for the wild horses and burros of the Carson City BLM District. This RMP/EIS revision will govern land use policy for the next 15-20 years and we must not allow it to be a death sentence for the wild horses and burros, which it largely appears to be.

This is the public’s chance to improve the treatment of the wild horses and burros, and we cannot allow another act of subterfuge.

The proposal can be viewed online at http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT and more information can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field.html

Here are some talking points:

1.) Both horse and burro evolution originate and have immense multi-million year duration in North America.

2.) As post-gastric digesters, different from ruminant digesters, the equids truly restore balance to the North American ecosystem. There is a lopsided preponderance of ruminants today, encouraged by established rancher, hunter, and other linked interests.

3.) Natural predators must not continue to be persecuted and eliminated, such as puma and wolf, natural predators of the wild equids.

4.) PZP and other tamperings with basic biology and social structure of wild horses and burros is contrary to the “minimum feasible” management tenet of the WFHBA as stated in Section 3 a. See my 19 points of law on pages xi to xiii of The Wild Horse Conspiracy. See sections on PZP  in the Index as well

5.) Also look up “Pine Nut wild horse herd area” in the Index of my book for more specific information http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983

To be most effective, please make your own personal analysis of the pertinent sections of this document about which you are knowledgeable and/or concerned, especially the wild horses and burros. You can submit your comments electronically by email to:  BLM_NV_CCDO_RMP@blm.gov  or by US mail to: BLM Carson City District, Attn: CCD RMP, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701.

Send a copy of your comments to your two senators and your representative asking them to intervene.

The deadline for these comments is March 27th, 2015. Questions can be addressed to Colleen Sievers, Carson City District RMP Project Lead. Tel. 775-885-6000

Examples of what BLM consider to be substantive and nonsubstantive comments can be found at  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/nepa/webguide/document_pages/6_9_2_1__examples.html 

Thank you for standing up for the wild ones!

Craig C. Downer
Wildlife Ecologist
Director of Ecology and Conservation at Protect Mustangs
Author of The Wild Horse Conspiracy http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Horse-Conspiracy-Craig-Downer/dp/1461068983
and The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America (American Journal of Life Science) http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses. Join us at www.ProtectMustangs.org


40 thoughts on “Take Action: Save 6 wild horse herds BLM wants to wipe out!

  1. Wild horses and burros are allegedly protected under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, but they are not, and their rights and freedom are being dissimated by our government, the BLM, the Department of Interior and vest-interests groups ie: Ranchers. And by dissimated, I mean rounded up, taken off the land and eventually sold to kill-buyers transporting them across the borders to Mexico and Canada for slaughter and human consumption overseas, where horse meat is STILL consumed. Disgusting! Equids contribute to our ecosystem, but none of this seems to matter to the ugly powers that are in control. Please stand up for our wild horses and burros and write, call, sign petitions that go to government officials who can change this atrocity. We MUST be there voice or sadly, another beautiful, peaceful species, the wild horses, will be wiped off the planet, gone forever. They existed thousands of years before humans walked the earth and it is not our right or in the interest of “stewardship” to continue to wipe out our wild horses and all the animals…NO ONE has that right. It is our right and responsibility to preserve and protect our wild ones and all living creatures on Planet Earth…please stand together.

  2. Please just leave them all alone and get better mangamant of the wild horses and burrow not sending them to Mexico and Canada for slaughter were they are abused tortured then killed in the most barbaric way ever skined alive in pain in distress this is cruelty and against the law you are bringing shame on America im uk and I aa many more carnt believe this is how yous treat your animals it is so shamefull please stop it now before there is none lef


  4. I reside in colorado and have traveled all over from california to montana, and it appears to me that there is more than enough land that could support the wild horses along with other species including the wolf and mountain lion. Out near where I live, there are cattle ranchers who have there horses and cattle in the same pastures… I will be posting pictures of them soon.. I also believe that if 12 states adopt aproximatly 5k mustangs and start Sanctuaries, which would generate a positive revenue for those states, as people would choose vacation too. As a taxpayer, I was unaware until recently that my tax dollars were being used to fund this outrageous removal of our wild mustangs… Furthermore, I do have horses myself and I am appalled at the severity of neglect and abuse that is happening to these wild horses, ie: the roundups, fencing off of the water supply, the lack of shelter and the refusal of shelters, and worst of all, the ones that are shipped to slaughter… Please note that the public is becoming more aware of what is happening with the wild horses and other wildlife as well as the lands… As stated above, I will be posting pictures of cattle and horses co-habiting….

  5. Thank you for this information. Now is the time to get the word out to the world. The eradication of our beloved wild ones has begun. Support is needed, contacting anyone and everyone we can should be the goal. Wake up people it’s time to buck up and get a little tougher before all is left are cattle and sheep on public land where horses and burros should have been.

  6. Why are the horses not being protected by the govt. as I understand they have
    use of public lands, Leave them alone there part of the heritage of the American
    people. Is so disgusting to see what is being done to them, and for what???
    Greed. Needs to be stopped immediately and leave the horses alone to live
    out their lives in peace.

  7. I can not understand why wild horses are considered to be by our govt, BlM,and Dept of Interior the bad guys in this country at all. Where would we be if it had not been for the wild horses. The cavalry used them extensively to fight against our NativeAmerican Indians which still as a white woman( whose heritage goes back to the 1600’s) sickens me in the 1st place. The govt does anything it deems necessary(even if it is not) regardless of scientific knowledge to the contrary. These horses have been here long before this was called America. Why after delivering our mail by pony express with such capability in rough terrain can this so easily be forgotten?
    The big ranchers of today would never have made it without these icons of the American West. They settled American west for these ranchers
    I am not amazed that you can not
    See the mistakes you have made in the past and realize their true value. We WHO LOVE THE WILD HORSES HAVE STUDIED AND KNOW THEIR VALUE are dismayed.
    They are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. Is greed more important than our lives.
    The mustangs by law are still protected. President Nixon knew their importance.
    I believe that we have a falling apart in America because you are ignorant of the value of our wild horses and other wildlife. I see no reason other than greed for what you are doing.
    I am proud to be anti PZP. We use pesticides for everything. This is another death sentence not only to the horses but our earth.
    These animals did nothing to anybody in Washington DC, the ranchers are ruining our land. The BLM seems to enjoy killing and slaughtering. No wonder our children have so many problems.

  8. I feel as though we are fully aware of what the BLM is doing to our precious wildhorses. There comes a time now when we have to get up and make a stand for them. I see only one way to do that and that’s to all join together as one and make ourselves heard. We have got to get the Burns Act repealed if we are ever TO TRULY HELP THE WILD ONES! I think we have wasted a lot of time in fighting and that has to stop. I think sometimes we get caught up in trying to one up each other and none of this helps the horses and burros. The big groups I ask to read their mission statements because I bet everyone states the protection of wild horses and burros is your top priority. The troops down here at the bottom of the chain need your united support, we can’t do it without you. Everyone who has a love for these animals lets get that Burns Act repealed its our best shot at saving them.

  9. I am deeply saddened by this report. We must send our letters not only to BLM _ NV – CCDO _ RMP but also to our own congressmen and state representatives. Pro wild horse people clearly have no voice or are even acknowledged in the meetings. Our horses are native and must be protected as well as their predators which are native as well. We need to try to get news outlets to report this atrocity. I believe that if people knew what was happening, more would jump on board. Of all of the folks I talk to in my area, most have no idea that the government is destroying our wild mustangs. As for the PZP pushing mustangers, they will have a lot of explaining to do to all of the folks that donated to their organizations when the horses are all gone.

  10. Thank you so much for your rational, intelligent report. I will do everything I can. And will read carefully the information you have provided as well as the BLM reports.

  11. greed is fueling the removal of wild horses and burros from public lands greed and stupidity STOP! protect our native treasures fire the people running the blm
    and put someone with a brain in their place

  12. America if you all only knew just how truly amazing Wild Horses are, you would all be protecting them! I suffered a work injury, my right shoulder arm, I became handicapped, I suffered for many months, my daughter dressed me, went to therapy everyday, nothing seemed to help. I had lost all hope, in extreme pain constantly, thought my life was over but it was not! I found the Wild Horses and they changed all that right away, completely healed, they gave me my life back!! I have since then spent many years with them, protecting them with my photography and art. Tragically they are now being destroyed, nearing extinction, a beautiful species being brutally wiped out! Wild Horses are definitely Native to the lands, Equids, healers of the lands and people. They prevent forest fires, here to help us, protect us!! They should never be tortured with helicopters, ripped away from their rightful homes and families. Our Wild Horses are being abused, Wild Mares dropping their baby foals their foals from being chased by the BLM Helicopters, they are being illegally transported for slaughterer. These are the most incredible species, they are loving, compassionate, caring, intelligent, beautiful souls..Please America let’s save them, they must be allowed to live on this earth in peace with their families, let them run free, they are healers…Please! Please!
    America please stand up for the most amazing Native Species, “Wild Horses!!”

  13. The fundamental problem underlying BLM’s systematic campaign to manage the majority of our wild horses & burros to extinction is their insistence that wild equines are recent feral escapees and strays from captivity rather than returned native species which have inhabited North America continuously for millions of years, albeit with minor gaps in some regions. This stems from historic, system-wide myopia and denial on this key point throughout the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture, egged on by livestock special interests and also by misguided environmentalists as represented by the Sierra Club.

    The long term solution is the official recognition of wild equines in general and wild horses in particular, as native species deserving of all the respect and protection as any other native species from the snail darter to the Grizzly Bear. Until that happens, BLM will continue to disregard the core principles of the Wild Horse & Burro Act, NEPA and every other pertinent statute, just as the same agencies and many more havetrampled the legal rights of freed slaves from the post-Civil War era to the present day, despite grudging concessions along the way.

    It is critical that we who understand the native species status of wild horses, view the BLM with our eyes wide open. They represent the status quo, the livestock industry, the oil, gas & mining industries, as they were mandated to when they were created. As long as wild horses are not recognized as a native species, like bison & bears arei, they will continue to be villified, scapegoated & victimized -with minimal, if any, legal protection in federal courts, or from federal agencies,least of all from the Bureau of Livestock & Mining (BLM) which has been given carte blanche to eradicate them, over time, in the name of Resource Management. This is an existential battle in which wild horses are widely regarded as undocumented immigrants rather than as the original native species that they are.

  14. thank you Craig Downer and Protect Mustangs for notifying us to the BLM’s next machination for zeroing out a wild horse herd you may be certain that I will be spreading the word to contact the BLM and others to protest their continuing attempt to drive our wild horses into extinction in order to cater to corporate greed.

  15. Slaughter should be Illegal
    Horse slaughter should be illegal because horses are one of the most loving animals in the world. The population of horses increases due to breeders who always breed horses. Awesome horses are sent to slaughter everyday. Horse slaughter has been banned in the US before but somehow horses from the US still manage to get slaughtered everyday. Something that could change how a horse dies needs to happen soon. This needs to stop because horses are just like dogs, cats, and other pets. They are loving and perfect for a person that likes riding or is disabled. There are so many reasons as to why horse slaughter is bad.
    An awful way for a horses life to end is by being slaughtered. The ordeal starts at slaughter auctions. There conditions are sickening:
    “The environment is very tumultuous, which causes lots of stress for the horses, some which may be already hurt. Many think that the horses to be sold are old and sick, but that is not true. Many young and healthy horses are regularly sold at auction. After the auctions, the horses are transported, sometimes thousands of miles, in overcrowded trailers. The horses are not given food, water or rest. Many are hurt or killed during the ride. The terrified, traumatized horses that haven’t been severely hurt or killed are then forced into the a chute that leads them to the “knock box”. At this point they are supposed to be unconscious but many are not. Many horses are still alive at the time their throats are slit” (Equine).
    Horse slaughter is the worst way for a horse to die. When they are at an unusual place they get nervous. Auction houses and slaughter plants stress them and they can be stressed out for many days up until their death. This is an inhumane way to kill a beautiful animal that can make a difference in a persons life.
    Horses have to have enough room in a trailer so they can keep their head up and not fall. For example, “While some state laws prohibit the transport of horses on double decker trailers (designed for shorter-necked species such as cattle and pigs), current Federal regulations allow horses to be transported on these trucks to any destination except directly to a slaughter plant. On these trailers, horses are forced into a stooped, unnatural position, unable to maintain their balance” (Saved). Photo Evidence of horses in double decker trailers show that horses get to the final destination dead or injured, and injuries can be severe head and back injuries. Long distance travel without food, water, or rest is a recipe for disaster. Kill buyers don’t care if the horses are injured during transport as it’s just “the cost of doing business.” Horses who are pregnant, or injured are often hauled for more than 24 hours at a time. Double decker trailers are very unsafe to horses because they can’t move around to stretch. Even though they are headed to a slaughterhouse they should still be comfortable standing in a trailer for days and not be injured on the ride down. Many horse owners who travel for endurance riding or whatever they do say “Stop at least once every four hours to give your horse’s legs and muscles a rest. If your horse is tied, untie him and let him drop his head to the ground (but don’t take him from the trailer), and offer him plenty of fresh water and hay” (Tips). This shows that horses have to stretch their legs and muscles and eat and drink water to stay healthy during transport. This is important because when they can’t stretch their muscles they can get injured and that stresses them out. Something major needs to take place to stop transporting horses in double decker trailers.
    Horse slaughter is a huge concern to horse people in the world. USDA states that 1% of the domestic equine populations was sent to Canada and Mexico in 2008” (unwanted).This shows that 150,000 horses were sent to slaughter in 2008. This is important because horses are the most caring animals. In some ways they understand humans through the most subtle eye movements. According to the USDA Economic Research Service’s Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States (FATUS) Export Aggregations, nearly 150,000 horses were exported to Canada and Mexico in 2008. In 1997, slightly more than 1% of the domestic equine population was sent to slaughter (approximately 72,000 horses). In comparison, according to the 1998 NAHMS Report, 1.3% of horses aged 6 months to 20 years (approximately 80,500 horses) on all premises surveyed either died or were euthanized in 1997, while 11.1% of horses 20 years of age and older (approximately 55,000 horses) on all premises surveyed either died or were euthanized in the same year” (Unwanted). Horse slaughter decreased between 1997 and 2007. Even though it did slightly decrease, 55,000 horses is still a lot. This number should be decreased a whole lot more. This will hopefully happen with the law changes.
    Is being slaughtered the way you would want to die or have your animals die? Every law that is passed needs to take everything in an animals life into consideration. Horse auction houses should be illegal because it means torture for horses. “It is really unfortunate that Congress authorized spending to support something that the majority of Americans oppose,” Pringle said. “Polls show that 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter” (Stop). The HSUS Equine Protection Specialist Valerie Pringle agrees with horse loving americans. People who are fighting to stop it need someone of importance to back them up and help them prove it’s not good and to stop it. The White house has done nothing to prevent it from happening again:
    “In November they approved (and President Barack Obama signed) an agricultural spending bill that authorizes federal funding for horse slaughterhouse inspections by the USDA, for the first time in many years. If federal inspections are funded, slaughterhouses could begin operating again in the U.S. Fortunately, in June 2012, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., to block funding for the slaughterhouse inspection”(Stop).
    This is important because over half of the population will fight till the end. This shows that President Obama doesn’t care about horses and these new laws mean that even more horse meat could end up in our food supply. Horses sent to Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption is relabeled and sent back to the US for us to unknowingly eat. President Obama’s new laws allow horses to be slaughtered in the US for humans to eat. I know that over half of the U.S. population love horses and follow stories online about horses that were at an auction house get adopted by a loving person. Most people will fight till the end to help stop horse slaughter. This is not the only big problem that has not really been dealt with yet.
    If you have an animal where it would be injured during transport, starved and dehydrated and under duress for days, would you be ok with it? For example, “The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1094/S. 541, will permanently keep horse slaughter plants out of the U.S. and end the export of horses abroad for slaughter” (Horse). Congress will not do anything to stop horse slaughter unless somebody starts trying to get it stopped. This is important because it shouldn’t take all horse lover’s to get slaughterhouses closed for ever. There are well over 10 petitions trying to get people to sign to stop horse slaughter. They are doing this hoping to get Congress to ban kill buyers and full horse trailers from crossing the border into Mexico or Canada. Luckily, there are some happy endings in the horse world.
    When you rescue a horse, it is a happy ending for the horse and the owner. Some people try to save horses from kill buyers at auctions. For example, “Diebel advocates to end horse slaughter and started a nonprofit organization, Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, in Pennsylvania. Her group has helped save and find loving homes for some 600 horses since Mattie came into her life in 2003” (The). Horses need the opportunity to be saved and adopted into a forever home. All horses need second chances. If you can’t afford to take care of a horse you shouldn’t get one in the first place but if you do, do not take it to a horse auction or sell to a kill buyer. “According to numbers obtained from the California Livestock and Identification Bureau, since horse slaughter was banned in California horse theft has dropped by over 34%” (Horse). This shows that people in California don’t want to steal as many horses because there is no slaughter house in California and it would cost a heck of a lot more to ship it to Mexico or Canada. This is important because horses are not meant to be stolen. They are meant to be companion animals that are loved and cared for.
    People rescue horses to give them a second or even third chance at a life. “I have always known that I wanted to rescue as there are so many good animals that needs homes…I would NEVER give a breeder money. I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat” (Kelly). This shows that, some people feel horrible about animals that end up in terrible conditions. More people should consider what these horses go through. We need more people like Tiffany to help stand up and stop horse slaughter for good.
    As a result, horse slaughter happens due to over breeding. In order to get this stop for good we need to get Congress to agree with us and take our side. Americans have tried starting petitions for people to sign. They all have so many signatures. Horse slaughter has got to stop one way or another.

  16. Hey There Everyone.
    My name is Meghan Dixon. I have Autism and some other disabilities and horses saved my life! Now I dedicate my life just to save them. These horses belong in the wild. They need to be wild and free as they are meant to be.
    For centuries horses have been used for a lot of things. Like pulling wagons, ranch work, helping gather cattle, the pony express, transportation. Horses are what built America! The horse fought with our soldiers as they carried them to war, they are our forgotten veterans. Without horses we would not be here. Horses have done everything for us and that started with the American wild horse! They earned their freedom!
    Not just counting all of that of what horses have done. They have done A LOT more! Horses are used as therapy for many different types of people who need a helping hand. Horses helped me over come Autism, Bipolar, Mental Illness, Abuse from bullying and school, Suicide, Depression, Anxiety. I even had some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the things that happened in my past and from school! Guess what… The horse has helped me over come all of that! They cure my depression, anxiety, mental illness, They even helped me over come the struggles and addictions to self harm! They have helped me over come a lot of other things.
    Also growing up I had to deal with watching my Dad struggle with a alcohol addiction and had to witness family wars and conflicts and had to see my Dad suffer from his addictions. I even almost lost my brother in a car wreck then had to watch my brother suffer and there has just been a lot that the horse has helped me with! I then started to drink when I was a teen because of all the things I went through. I was even able to over come that with the horse. I made it! My Dad is clean and sober now and no longer suffers and the horse is what carried me through that! Horses even carried me and walked with me through the times when I had nobody to go to for help and comfort. I tried to kill myself and with the help from the horse I survived suicide and defeated depression! The horse has taught me how to accept my past and if I had to go through it all again I would just because of the horse! I get so much love, joy, peace and happiness around them.
    I was not able to go to high school so this is coming from someone who is disabled and only got a 8th grade education! I am asking you to PLEASE let our wild horses run free and PLEASE do not round up and take these horses! Say “NO” to PZP also!!
    I have dedicated my whole life just to save horses because they helped save me! The horses set me free so now it is time for me to set them free! I am begging you PLEASE do not round up my horses! That’s right they belong to me and the American people. They are loved in the hearts of the beautiful people! We want these horses to run free.
    Because of the horse I am able to speak out and fight for what is right. I got to meet the Wild Mustang horses and they even helped me! Seeing these horses run free in their natural habitat and with their family gave me a strong motivation for life and gave me the courage to trust again. Horses have been the ones to teach me when all those teachers labeled me as “un teachable” The horse was teaching me! Horses taught me how to love, learn, trust, live, to live my life to the fullest, to live in the moment, how to be happy and free, They taught me to love and accept myself when I hated myself, They taught me how to cope and deal with things, They taught me how to over come and how to over come obstacles no matter what may stand in my way! Even the wild horses. They are a symbol of hope and freedom and a lot of other good positive things. Horses taught me how to be so positive and I learned from the horse! Horses also saved my soul! When I look in to the eyes of a horse I can see and feel the healing hands of God! I got to look in to the eyes of the wild horses and I could see God reaching out to me from the wild horses! Horses made me a strong fighter and a warrior!
    Horses are even a symbol of loyalty. Here is a poem I wrote about the American Wild Mustang I was loved in the hearts of the beautiful people. I was their symbol of hope, And freedom. I was also a symbol of Power, Grace, Beauty, Nobility, Strength, But most of all when people seen me running free, It gave them a strong motivation for life. Some say that we earned our freedom, We even fought with our soldiers as we carried them to war, I even helped build America. As I am a big part of history…. I am the American Wild Mustang!
    The American Wild Mustang is the icon of American. A icon that is LOVED! PLEASE let them run free!
    I will do all I can to fight and to save these horses and I will save them no matter what may stand in my way. We owe to our American wild horses! PLEASE do not let this happen!

  17. Greatly appreciate all your vociferous support for reforming the RMP of the Carson City BLM District. This is the public’s chance to be heard and to effect much needed changes on the wild horses and burros behalf. Thanks so much for following through on this in your clear -seeing and diligent way.

  18. Horse roundups and slaughter are inhumane and must be stopped. There are better ways to control horse populations. Horses are injured and killed in helicopter roundups, foals have been abandoned and left behind often to die or be trampled to death in trucks. We all know of the horrors in horse slaughter houses. It must end. This is not humane!

  19. Having only read your article — and thank you — is it not possible to sue the BLM for violating established law: “BLM has intentionally failed to exercise the wild horses and burros’ Implied Federal Water Rights that come with any major federal act of Congress in order to secure their basic survival requirements”? I’m not well-versed in this area, but I do know the VA was been hit with several class-action lawsuits to enforce them to follow their own procedures or laws.

    I know litigation is costly and time consuming, but such action may be the only thing that ties up the BLM (our government) and at least postpones their ill-fated plans.

  20. “I think Americans are in the midst of an identity crisis. What do we stand for? How does the world view us? What are the values that connect us?
    We do not eat horses and we do not condone enabling other countries to do so. It is my 5 horses who have been keeping me up at night, for their kin are under assault both wild and domestic. I’ve been to round-ups, visited government holding pens, seen footage of slaughter plants, and have heard about the kilbuyers outbidding at auctions for the lucrative flesh of healthy horses. These are the horses who have fought our wars, plowed our fields, delivered our mail, instructed our children, have been our beloved companions. They’ve thrilled us with their speed, and grace and heart, living symbols of the America we hold dear. WHY ARE WE DESTROYING THE HORSE WE RODE IN ON? I have a dear friend, who when her children are about to do something wrong, simply says, “No, that is not who we are.”
    Make no mistake, there is no humane way to slaughter a horse. Due to their flight instinct, they are not easily stunned. After suffering repeated blows and remain conscious during dismemberment.. If you have any doubt about this, just watch 30 seconds of a slaughter video. My niece has been around horses since she was born and considers them to be her best friends. She wants to be part of Government in Action on behalf of these magnificent creatures. Let government in action be three words…. Not two.
    ”This is not who we are.” Wendy Malick (Actress)

  21. There is little doubt that the government has no regard for the original Wild Horse and Burro Act which was passed unanimously in Congress. The government is now working to remove wild horses and burros from federal lands in total disregard and contempt for the will of the American people. New law is needed to restore the original intent of the Wild Horse and Burro Act as the amendments and administrative interpretations and actions of the past 33 years have zeroed out many herds and herd areas and reduced others to marginal genetic viability. All of this in spite of the fact that wild horses are native to America, that the horse originated in America before spreading to and populating other continents of the earth. The government must be stopped in any further removal of wild horses and burros from their home ranges.

  22. Put the wild horses back on the open range where they belong. Oil companies and cattle ranchers do not have a right to this land, IT WAS PUT ASIDE FOR THE WILD HORSES a long time ago and they deserve to live on THEIR LAND not anyone else. I am hoping that very soon the BLM will be taken out of the picture as far as wild horses or any-other wildlife is concerned, they have proven their uselessness overwhelmingly in NOT PROTECTING THE ANIMALS AND LAND. I hope I am able to see those whose judgement brought to this point put in PRISON for their betrayal of all wildlife and lands they were asked to PROTECT.

  23. What is being done is simple, its illegal and needs to be stopped, these people are hiding what they are really doing and what they are doing is in the name of greed and power, its disgusting. Horses are needed and are part of the landscape whats being done here is nothing less than a mass genocide committed by cruel, uneducated heartless morons and it has to stop, the people defending horses should have the right to be in compounds, to talk at meetings and the WORLD deserves to know the truth. Its up to us to stand up and push this fight.

  24. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I am so grateful to Protect Mustangs and to Friends of Animals for having the guts to take on the corrupted BLM and the Welfare Ranchers who had the audacity to “moo” at FofA during the PUBLIC BLM meeting. I will be donating to both organizations as often and as much as I can and I will not ever again donate to any “environmental” organization that supports the use of PZP, and apparently there are several. Although it is only recently that the dangers and risks involved with giving PZP to OUR wild mares have surfaced, I have been adamantly against any form of birth control on our Wild Horses, mares or stallions, because OUR Wild Horses and Burros are extremely underpopulated – not overpopulated. It is simple math. Several decades ago there were two million Wild Horses and Burros on our public lands. When the 1971 legislation was unanimously passed, it was done because the killers, both ranchers and dog food companies, had reduced their numbers to 25,000. Today, our horse advocates who are on the ranges estimate that there are only 15,000 WH&Bs left on the range. Yes, it is simple math and add that to the disclosure of the pesticide content of PZP, the BLM is blatantly and without transparency in the process of killing off all of OUR precious Wild Horses and Burros. I reiterate. We are a growing movement who now has an active leadership in these two organizations which I will do my utmost to support and I strongly urge you to do the same.

  25. NO MORE BLM!!!! We must all protect Gods beautiful Wild Horses!!! The BLM Genocide is tragically unfolding right here before our eyes and hearts..The cruelty that is being done by the BLM to our Wild Horses is breaking our countries hearts to pieces. WE MUST RIGHT NOW PROTECT OUR WILD HORSES FROM THE MOST CRUEL AND DEADLY BLM, LETS GO, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, PROTECT OUR GREAT NATIVE WILD HORSES FOR THEY ARE THE TRUE SYMBOLS OF OUR COUNTRY, HERITAGE & FREEDOM!!!!
    The Freedom Bell is ringing, lets GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FIGHT ON!!! TINA WOOTEN

  26. Wild horses should remain wild! Stop catering to the cattle ranchers!

  27. You can NOT save the wild horses by destroying them.
    The fight for our wild horse must go on with NO ROUND UP, NO SLAUGHTER OF ANY HORSES, NO DRUGS.
    Solution remains the same. Get the damn cattle off our public lands and leave the wild horse alone to run free & wild. We are NOT GOD, so stop playing god.

  28. Craig thank you for your information on the plans to destroy yet more herds. And thank you for the link to how BLM considers substantive vs non-substantive comments. I will be spending time this weekend writing up my comments and getting them in prior to the deadline. DEADline–in this instance a very appropriate word.

  29. PEOPLE!! Please READ the report and comment THERE. Your comments on fb, here and elsewhere are wasted (unless you have read the document and want to share the comments you made to the BLM to help others craft their own comments). IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE HORSES, take the time to read the proposed plan – at LEAST the parts that discuss the plans for the horses. Then reference the section you want to comment on and make your comments TO THE BLM in the link on the site to comment, OR gather all your comments in one place, then email them to the email address on the plan – that is, if you CARE about what happens to the horses. Seriously. This IS serious. I commented on the last 2 plans that also propose to zero out the herds, It is heartbreaking, and this is THE ONLY TIME AND ONLY WAY most of us can have an impact.

  30. BLM, your job is to protect these Wild Mustangs and manage them on their Lands. They should not be crowded off of their lands with Welfare Ranchers Cattle and Sheep, and they should not be traumatized by being herded with Helicopter roundups who cause them to run frightened and scared resulting in them having to be euthanized from injuries or broken legs sustained in such Round-ups. These are Americas Mustangs, and they are pretty well able to take care of themselves without interference from man, unless in times of severe drought. Please allow these symbols of American Freedom to be exactly what they are, Proud and Free! Thank you.

  31. Pro-wild horse stakeholders and native wild horses themselves appear to have been ignored. Wild horses should be regarded as native restorers of these natural ecosystems, but in the BLM’s Draft RMP there are serious errors which imply that they are non-native invasive pests with no value to the ecosystem. This is false.

    Federal officials appear to have completely neglected the wishes of stakeholders favoring wild horses. They have sided with wild horse enemies to zero out herd management areas (HMAs). The BLM appears to prefer wiping out six wild horse “herd management areas,” (HMA’s) rendering them “herd areas.” This is a twisting of language.

    Cattle and sheep have been given the great majority of forage allocations in these areas. The BLM has intentionally failed to utilize the wild horses and burros’ Implied Federal Water Rights that come with any major federal act of Congress in order to secure their basic survival requirements.

    The areas that the BLM appears to be planning to zero out in the preferred alternative includes some HMA’s north of Reno such as Granite Peak and Flannigan that have been assigned truly ridiculous, low appropriate management levels (AML)—plus or minus 20 or so horses.

    The minimum number for a genetically viable herd is 2,500 wild horses, according to the IUCN Species Survival Commission Equid Specialist Group and these levels are far apart from the 150 individuals that BLM documents often cite as being genetically viable for a population.

    SB235 is a bad bill that must not be supported.

  32. recently a horse friend said what is being said here: If these people have any range scientists and ecologists then they should know by now what is being done around the world on high plateaus and plains and deserts to restore overgrazed lands with the oldest method there; wild herd grazing. More animals keep restoration going as it should, not fewer animals. These people are doing everything backwards and they show a combination of quasi scientific understanding mixed with politics. That is what BLM is and that won’t fly anymore. I think this has been proven! There is even a show on pbs now that explains why culling is destroying and allowing them to live free works wonders. Including elephants that a man used to cull, he found it was backward thinking, so he now reminds us that we are doing the wrong thing with animals everywhere…and here our animal ark animals were poisoned..they found the reason a tiger and wolf died. They were fed pzp’d horsemeat! I full intend to find out where they purchased that! Animal Ark reno,nv very sad what a waste.

  33. I oppose any legislation that does not protect wild horses from capture and imprisonment. Horses should left to roam freely. I do not believe the BLM has the right solutions as the only solution is to not cower to ranchers and just protect the wild horses. This is the only solution. It is what Americans want and it is time the BLM listens to America.


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