Comments needed against BLM Colorado’s plans to stampede and remove native wild horses

Take Back the Power (© Protect Mustangs with Photo © Cynthia Smalley)

Take Back the Power (© Protect Mustangs with Photo © Cynthia Smalley)

MEEKER, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) White River Field Office is seeking public comments on a proposal to gather alleged excess native wild horses in northwest Colorado. The BLM claims they want to sustain healthy public lands and wild horse populations yet their management levels are too low. Wild horses should have principal but not exclusive use of the land. The BLM’s multiple use manifesto is unfairly pushing wild horses off their native land.

The BLM is proposing to use a helicopter to locate and stampede wild horses toward a set of corrals as well as using water and bait trapping. The roundups could begin as early as September 2015. Up to 167 wild horses could be removed.

The White River Field Office manages the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area to maintain a healthy wild horse herd in balance with other resources and uses such as mining, drilling and livestock grazing. This area currently has an estimated 377 wild horses, but the appropriate management level for that area is too low at only 135 and 235 wild horses. The adjacent West Douglas Herd Area is not managed for wild horses but currently has an estimated population of 365 wild horses. Cruel roundups could occur in either area as well as areas within the White River Field Office outside these boundaries.

The BLM planning documents, evaluating the proposed roundup and removal operations, are available at the White River Field Office at 220 E Market Street and online at

It’s important to send in public comments regarding the BLM’s proposed roundup and removal plans favoring other users by May 5. Written comments can be mailed to the White River Field Office, 220 E. Market Street, Meeker, CO 81641 or submitted via email to General questions can be directed to Melissa Kindall at 970/878-3842.

Before including your address, phone number, email address or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, could be made publicly available at any time. While individuals can request the BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.

Links of interest™

West Douglas Herd Area Preliminary EA

West Douglas unsigned FONSI

BLM claims no significant impact on Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (FONSI)

Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (Determination of NEPA Adequacy)

BLM Colorado White River Office

38 thoughts on “Comments needed against BLM Colorado’s plans to stampede and remove native wild horses

  1. Speak Out for the Voiceless to STOP the Stampede! Demand BLM raise wild horse management levels now! They are not planning on using PZP but you can bet the PZP pushers will want them to. You comments are needed. Thank You for taking action today!

  2. Why do you think these horses need to be rounded up? Leave them alone! When ever someone says they are helping these horse it always hurts them. You are only helping yourselves at their expense.

  3. Please don’t do this again! Why do you keep doing these roundups with helicopters when there is no necessity for it. We need to know the real numbers of horses out there before you remove anymore. Can you show pictures of how many horses are on the range please.

  4. The drug pushers will be all over this one! We need to fight to keep these horses in their rightful home! No roundups, no PZP! We must stop the extinction of wild horses for special interest!

  5. These AMLs are set ridiculously low. Also, we need to expand the number of AMLs. Thank you.

  6. This is beyond irresponsible it’s abuse. It’s not necessary. Horses and burros are beneficial to the land. Stop rounding up our wildlife.

  7. Please leave these wild horses alone. So many have been hurt and killed by the inhumane practices. These horses belong on this land.

  8. February 5, 2015
    White River Field Office, Bureau of Land Management
    220 East Market Street
    Meeker, CO 81641
    Attn: Melissa Kindall
    Re: Proposed wild horse roundup West Douglas Herd Area, public scoping for EA DOI-BLM-00-N05-2015-0023
    Dear Sir/Mame:
    I appreciate this opportunity to review your Environmental Assessment on the proposed roundup of 167 wild horses from the West Douglas Herd Area (WDHA) and adjacent lands. I support Alternative D, the No Action alternative, since all of the other Alternatives (A, B, and C) would overly compromise this special wild horse population and its long-term viability, setting back its natural adaptation to this particular ecosystem, and eliminating it from its rightful legal habitat.
    I object to your dismissal of the proposal to remove or reduce livestock within the WDHA and adjacent lands as being contrary to BLM’s multiple-use mission. This stand adopts a much too narrow definition of multiple use, which should include a nation-wide overview of wild horse numbers and occupied areas. The latter reveals that wild horses actually account for only a very small fraction of public lands and forage allocations when compared with livestock – especially cattle and sheep – owned and harvested by public lands ranchers, who remove them from the land and prevent them from truly becoming an integral part of the public lands ecosystem. Public lands ranchers are allowed to graze their livestock on well over 90% of the public lands while the wild horses are only permitted to occupy less than one tenth this amount – and they should not be further discriminated against on these their legal lands by allocating them only a small portion of the grazing resources, or forage even within these greatly reduced areas. In Section 2 c of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA) of 1971, it clearly states that in the 1971 legal areas where the wild horses and burros occurred, this land shall be “devoted principally” to the welfare of the wild horses and burros, not principally to ranchers, miners, OHVers, hunters, etc. Also under CFR 4710.5 and 4710.6, BLM has the authority to curtail or cancel livestock grazing privileges on public lands in order to ensure thriving, healthy herds of wild horses and burros on their legal lands.
    Of the original 1971 legal wild horse Herd Areas, Colorado BLM has already zeroed out at least 45%, amounting to ca. 30,000 acres or more. There remains only one wild horse per ca. 1,000 acres of original, legal Herd Area land; and in the reduced Herd Management Areas, only one individual horse per ca. 525 acres. This is far below the carrying capacity for the wild horses in these areas. So how can you say this is multiple-use? Rather it is monopolistic use by livestock, oil and gas, and other exploitive interests.
    After reading over your January 2015 document: “Wild Horse Management: Historic and Current Conditions within the West Douglas Herd Area,” I am struck by the omission that the West Douglas is to be largely given over to oil and gas drilling operations and that the rights of the wild horses here, as a substantial part of their 1971 legal area, are to be ignored. This clearly violates the core intent of the WFHBA, as described in Section 2 c of this unanimously passed and very popular act, that represents a quality of life issue for the general public.
    As concerns the wild horses living in areas adjacent to the WDHA, it is not true that these horses must be removed, because Sections 4 and 6 of the WFHBA encourages Cooperative Agreements with private or other government agency landholders that can enable fuller habitat requirements to meet the needs of more truly long-term viable and ecologically well-adapted wild horse populations and, thus, fulfill the true mandate of the law: that they become a respected, naturally integrated component of the public lands ecosystem.
    I clearly see what a tricky ploy is being used to displace the wild horses from their rightful legal lands! This is known as the law of diminishing returns; and, in the case at hand, it involves always reducing the scope, or scale, of lands being considered in order to over-magnify the areas occupied by the wild horses so that an awareness of the greater picture is lost. This then permits wild horse enemies to always blame the wild horses, because they keep shrinking the amount of land that is being considered in order to make it appear that the wild horses are always overpopulating and always to blame! In fact, the real problem is not with the wild horses but with other overbearing and greedy interests who want to monopolize as much of the public lands and their resources, including forage, water, minerals, and space, as they possibly can.
    This unfair over-magnification of the wild horses’ presence and impacts is clearly happening here with the West Douglas Herd Area and it flies in the face of the law! For this reason, I respectfully request that an Environmental Impact Statement be conducted on the proposed WDHA wild horse roundup contained in the above named Environmental Assessment, for it would surely have a devastating effect on this unique and valuable wild horse population. And it is less than honest to claim that by only allowing the wild horses to occupy the East Douglas Creek and Piceance Basin HMA, representing only ca. one-half or less of the original HA and by excluding them from the full Herd Area, BLM would be giving them their prime habitat, since BLM’s judgment of this is based only on an old outdated aerial census which did not take fully into account their seasonal migrations nor the shifting of individual social band home ranges over the course of years.
    In his Master’s of Science thesis, Nevada biologist Steven W. Pellegrini noted a shifting of home ranges by bands by inspecting old peripheral trails and even the defending of territories during certain seasons of the year by individual bands. A natural rest rotation of habitat occurs when wild horses are given adequate space and habitat in which to realize this wholesome behavior, one that is the outgrowth of the many thousands, even millions of years they have lived, evolved, and ecologically adapted on Earth – the majority of which has transpired in North America. (Pellegrini, S.W. 1971. “Home Range, Territoriality, and Movement Patters of Wild Horses in the Wassuk Range of Western Nevada.” Master’s of Science Thesis. University of Nevada-Reno. See also: Jenkins, S.H. & Ashley, M.C. 2003. Wild Horse, Equus caballus and Allies. Ch. 53 In: Wild Mammals of Noth America: Biology, Management and Conservation, 2nd Ed. John Hopkins Univ. Press.)
    Basically I find your determination of excess, or overpopulation, to be based on a clever set up of the wild horses in which they are given no chance to fill their ecological niche in their legal area and to naturally self-stabilize their numbers, once this niche is filled. For this reason, I am presenting another alternative for your consideration, and this is Reserve Design (an important discipline of Conservation Biology).
    Reserve Design allows a wild horse population to fill its niche and then naturally self-stabilize its population when restricted to a limited by adequately sized area that would meet the requirements of a long-term viable population. I have noted in your document that natural barriers exist within the HA such as the Cathedral Bluffs and that with the proper placement of semipermeable barriers the wild horse population could be contained and then allowed to fill its ecological niche. With unperturbed mature bands allowed to carry on over a multi-generational period of time, natural limitation in population growth would take hold. This involves the mature stallions and mares inhibiting the reproduction of younger members of the band – a function that is largely destroyed by major herd reduction via helicopter and other forms of capture that break up the family units and decimate the social order that is so important to the mustangs’ survival in the wild. Also, when a wild horse population fills its niche within a contained area and resources become limiting, the wild horses physiologically respond to limit their reproduction in balance with resources available. This has been observed, but such self-limitation must be given the chance, the space and the time, if it is to be realized, or succeed. The horse is an ecological “climax” species, one capable of self-limitation, a member of the more permanent ecological sere, or more long-lasting stage, of succession. To recognize this and to allow the horses to realize their true place in all of their original, nearly one-half million legal HA acres, including all of the Douglas Creek and Piceance sectors of the original 1971 Herd Area, is both the legal and the correct course of action. As a wildlife ecologist, I would like to work with you to achieve this worthy goal. This would serve as a splendid example throughout the West of how to respectfully treat wild horses on their legal lands by affording a complete viable habitat for a complete and viable wild horse population. And many ecological as well as economic benefits would accrue from this thriving, for respected, wild-horse-containing ecosystem, including soil enrichment, seed dispersal and germination, enrichment of predator-prey and scavenger-scavenged relations, and greater overall diversity of species. Ecotours and photo safaris could also be made into the area to observe the wildhorse and the enhanced ecosystem that is their natural, and in fact, age-old ancestral home.
    Again, I request that a full Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed action to eliminate the West Douglas wild horse herd be done, one that takes a “hard look” (NEPA requirement) at the consequences of this action, including to the wild horse population itself and its long-term integrity and survivability. Their elimination from this area would constitute a major impact on the wild horses and the wild-horse-containing ecosystem here, one that would overly limit and compromise both and that would constitute an abrogation of BLM’s responsibility to adhere to the true and core intent of the WFHBA, true multiple use (FLPMA) and to achieve a true Thriving Natural Ecological Balance, rather than a bogus situation that spuriously claims to be such.
    Anxiously awaiting your reply.
    Sincerely yours,
    Craig C. Downer
    for Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals
    P.O. Box 456
    Minden, NV 89423-0456
    Tel. 775-901-2094

  9. Please end all round-up by BLM. We have 3 wild mustangs and a donkey. We can’t possibly take any more. Leave them on the range where they are.

  10. Horses build America. Fought for, carried, hauled, packed, bled and died for; No excuse for them being treated this way. Where is American pride? Honor?

  11. Why, oh why, must these roundups continue? This is so wrong. Leave the horses alone, they do not have litters, it takes nearly a year for a foal to be born. They are our nations heritage.

  12. Sending comments.
    I am so sick of the level of corruption in the BLM, the United States Secretary of the Interior,, SALLY JEWELL.

  13. I would ask that the BLM round up be cancelled. I find it hard to believe that there is a real reason for this. The horses are peaceful and pose no threat so why not let them remain. We know that the fate of most of them will end up in death if they are rounded up. Just let them be…. Don’t give them their death sentence prematurely.


  15. Please leave our horses alone. We as humans already wiped out most of the free roaming buffalo. Let’s leave some of our wild heritage to generations to come.

  16. All roundups must stop-the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act is being broken.

  17. Leave the mustangs free, we’re here to protect them not destroy them. How selfish are you.

  18. Please cancel the proposed round ups and removals of wild horses. They have the legal right to be on the herd management areas, not the cattle or sheep. Reduce the grazing permits for domestic cattle and sheep. Welfare ranching is not vital to these ranchers survival, only vital to making them rich. Not the American way.

  19. Stop before you stupid land management jerks every horse just like the elephants are being killed. Just because the cattle ranchers have so damn much money to pay off BLM and washington. Killing horses only because you do not think there is enough grass for stupid cattle and you get free grazing because you grease washington’s pockets. Horses were there before cattle.

  20. do these laws stilly or have they been revised?? fed judge said blm is breaking the law. so they went out and murdered and penned even more. enforce these laws or bring them bk. since blm has already been told they ARE breaking the law.these underpopulated horses and burros is a good reason to return them they dont destroy habitat cows and sheep do. horses arent bothering anyone. you must leave them alone NOW!shelter and get vet care to the ones you stole and harmed.fouls are being raped. pzp is nothing more than a dangerous pesticde promoted by hsus very disappointed that you want them disposed of these are our iconic animals that to we the people consider FREEDOM. shame on you. blood so much blood on yr hands…. NRS 504.490  Unlawful acts; penalty.
    1.  Any person, not authorized to do so, who:
    (a) Removes or attempts to remove a wild horse from the public lands;
    (b) Converts a wild horse to private use;
    (c) Harasses a wild horse or, except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, kills a wild horse;
    (d) Uses an aircraft or a motor vehicle to hunt any wild horse;
    (e) Pollutes or causes the pollution of a watering hole on public land to trap, wound, kill or maim a wild horse;
    (f) Makes or causes the remains of a wild horse to be made into any commercial product; or
    (g) Sells a wild horse which strays onto private property,
    Ê is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
    2.  A person who willfully and maliciously kills a wild horse is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
    (Added to NRS by 1985, 1889; A 1999, 2516; 2011, 2480)

  21. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH!!!!! EXTINCTION!!!! We the People of the United States New to Kick You All Out and Take Control!!!!! . It’s Our Horses and Our Land. Leave the horses alone. We all know Wild Horses Are Not Destroying our government land…. SO STOP NOW!!!

  22. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH!!!!! EXTINCTION!!!! We the People of the United States Need to Kick You All Out and Take Control!!!!! . It’s Our Horses and Our Land. Leave the horses alone. We all know Wild Horses Are Not Destroying our land…. SO STOP NOW!!!

  23. leave our wild horses alone.t They
    deserve to roam free!!! Man is always destroying everything, needs to learn to leave things alone!!!!!

  24. Please leave them alone . Freedom is a given right to all , they know only that and are not hurting anything. I would love to someday let my Grandson see these beautiful creatures in person. I have loved horses and owned them my whole life and when they are wild and free its an amazing sight to see. You can see God touching them with every movement . God put them here wild and they should be allowed to live that way. PLEASE PLEASE LET THEM LIVE FREE!!!

  25. Please stop the roundups! Our horses deserve better! They are a living part of our heritage and they deserve our protection.

  26. I am just sickened by the lack of responsibility the BLM has shown in regards to lawful care of our wild horses. The BLM is supposed to protect our wild horses and burrows not violently gather them up to sell off to the highest bidder for slaughter. Please reconsider this practice and find a way to save them for future American generations to view in their natural habit…. not on a foreign dinner table.

  27. What is the matter with you people in Washington? Are you all trying to completely destroy the United States of America,and our way of life as we were at one time? We have lost so much already,the Native lands are gone,some of the most sacred sites they loved.The great love that Americans had for our country and flag are almost nil,now you want to eliminate the heritage completely,BLM is a joke,they have taken Navajo grazing from our summer camps on the mountains,where the animals are taken in the summer time to graze on the fresh good grass,when there is none in the desert. I think the huge salaries should be taken from these high snobs to buy food and vet care for the horses they are trying to round up for slaughter,or put them in the desert and see how they survive.this is another disgrace to our great country,where greed reigns,above logic,and common sense.

  28. Leave the mustangs alone just like the Native Americans the white people kicked them off there land and now they do the same to these beautiful horses for what so the white people can build more homes for the rich more malls more cities for all the idiots coming in from other countries it’s all bull shit ….

  29. BLM is managing our wild horses to extinction. We must protect and speak for the voiceless. Why must wild horses be removed from public lands in favor of cattle/sheep? There is no control over how many sheep graze this particular land, but horses need to be controlled? Try protecting the land for our wildlife who belong there, instead of controlled by ranchers. We as Americans are mad as hell and we aren’t going to allow the genocide of our wild horses.

  30. You do NOT know how SO very lucky you are to have such creatures native to you. Their existence should be encouraged, WITHOUT people harming them !

  31. why do you need comments from US? You are illegal. Your kill buyers have been put in jail. its a crime a fed crime hands off you are killing them all and they need to stay FREE We have been fighting since the 1920 s against this just STOP THE MADNESS ITS GENOCIDE we NEED them. they RESTORE habitat and eat cheet grass cattle are on THEIR land. stop doing this cruel horrific thing to our remaining underpopulated wild horses and burros. fed judge deemed the BLM as lawbreakers !and what you are doing doesnt hold water. Its about money and they deserve extreme respect not to be chased and broken down. just how dare anyone NOT be fined for this The day is coming back to when the law was enforced.ITS SICKENING AND INSANELY cruel. just stop. we will win for the horses with the safe act and you will NOT get anymore of OUR LAND or taxes to kill what we love!

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