Stealth mustang roundup in Oregon conducted under emergency loophole

American public outraged wild horses are not relocated on public land

Between August 29 and September 1, a total of 155 horses – 33 foals, 55 mares and 67 studs – were rounded up and removed from public land by the Bureau of Land Management Vale District in Oregon as part of an emergency roundup in the Three Fingers Herd Management Area. Protect Mustangs, a nonprofit preservation organization, wants the family bands to remain intact and be immediately returned to public land. If need be, the organization says the wild horses should be returned to one of the many herd areas that has too few equids.

The wild horses rounded up were transported to the Oregon Adoption and research facility near Burns/Hines, and BLM claims they will be offered for adoption later in the year. Will all the wild horses will be offered for adoption or will some be sold because they are over 10 years old and some used in sterilization experiments at various locations including but not limited to Hines, Oregon?

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The public is encouraged to watchdog and take photos of the American wild horses ripped from their homes who are now at the Hines Corral Facility, anytime Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. FOIAs should be filed to investigate why the BoLM went ahead despite court documents filed by an advocacy group to halt the proposed Three Fingers Roundup based on a faulty environmental assessment. The public has a right to know the truth.

“This gather was safe and successful for the horses,” said BLM Vale District Manager Don Gonzales. “Our overall goal is to maintain a thriving ecological balance of the Three Fingers HMA and surrounding rangelands, and to preserve the health and well-being of the Three Fingers herd.”


The Cherry Road Fire, which started August 21, burned about 90 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture in the Three Fingers HMA, where more than half of the estimated 279 wild horses in the herd live in freedom. Protect Mustangs wants to know the cause of the fire.

The Bureau of Land Management claims the fire damaged the mature seed heads needed to sustain the wild horses through the coming fall and winter months. They claim the remaining 10 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture has limited water resources and forage.

“With the end of their fiscal year approaching and with a roundup in their budget, the Oregon BoLM jumped on an opportunity to stockpile more wild horses in holding who could be at risk of being sold to slaughter in their lifetimes,” says Novak. “Was the public notified of the emergency government roundup so humane observers could attend?’

According to BoLM, each wild horse rounded up had a veterinary assessment upon arrival at the temporary holding corrals. Alleged pre-existing conditions and burn injuries were noted on three animals, and one foal with a severe hernia was euthanized.

Located 25 miles south of Vale, the Three Fingers Herd Management Area (HMA) is bordered on the east by the Owyhee Reservoir, on the south by the Leslie Gulch Road, and on the north by the Owyhee Dam. The herd population is currently estimated at 279 — the BoLM’s Arbitrary Management Level (AML) for the area is only 75-150 wild horses but that is too low for genetic viability of the treasured American herd especially facing climate change.

“America’s wild horses are disappearing in a vicious public land grab,” states Novak. “The public is outraged.”

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.