How will #fracking affect Elko County?

  • Larry Hyslop/Correspondent Elko Daily Free Press

cross-posted for educational purposes

Let me start by saying I have no answer to the above question. If Noble Energy does indeed develop wells using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, what will that mean to Elko County residents?

Noble Energy has held informative meetings and told us everything will be fine, that fracking will be good for the county. They said there is not a single proven case of fracking chemicals contaminating drinking water aquifers, and other problems either will not occur here or have been overblown.

However, it is difficult to accept these facts with so many other states having problems. What worries me most is we will not know the problems we face until operations are well underway and it is too late to change things.

A quick Internet search using “fracking problems” followed by various state names brought up long lists of articles, including these below.

• NBC News reported fracking wastewater appears to be linked to earthquakes in an Ohio town that has not seen past quakes. The state has ordered an indefinite moratorium on fracking within three miles of the earthquake epicenters. Not only am I alarmed at the thought of fracking causing seismic activity, but Elko lies in an area of high seismic activity. In 2008, if fracking operations had been in place near Wells, what would have happened because of that earthquake?

• The Washington Post reported Pennsylvania drilling for natural gas caused “significant damage” to drinking-water aquifers. The Texas Tribune reported that due to the recent drought, oil and gas companies may run short of needed water for operations in South Texas.

• Time magazine reported the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that 14 of the country’s most active hydraulic fracturing companies used 866 million gallons of fracking chemicals between 2005 and 2009. This does not include water, which makes up 99 percent of the fluid injected into wells.

• The Herald-Standard newspaper reported Williston, N.D. has a large methamphetamine drug problem brought in by a gang selling drugs among the oil workers.

• Governing the States and Localities website reports North Dakota roads, designed for farm-to-market travel, are not holding up under the big trucks accessing rigs and wells. On the Jiggs Highway, what effect will heavy truck traffic have on this small highway?

So help me out. Help me find an answer by telling me what you think. Will fracking be good or bad for Elko County? Are the possible problems overblown? If you believe fracking will cause problems, which ones do you worry about the most? Email me at and put “fracking” in the subject line.

In two weeks I will report the results. I will not be able to quote your complete comments, but will report the consensus of responses.

# # #

(6) comments


The USGS says all industrial uses of water, including mining, use about 20 billion gallons per day. According to Mr. Hyslop the top 14 (IOW most all) companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing operations use (derived from the quoted 866 million gallons per 5 years x 100 to one water ratio) about 50 million gallons of water per day – 1/400 of industrial usage. When the same math is done for the 270 billion per day for all water usage in the US it’s 2/10,000. I’m not real worried.


Before someone points out the obvious, Mr. Hyslop did not make this assertion, the article he quoted did.


Search the Net for anything + problems and you will get thousands of hits leading to articles that, unsurprisingly, detail problems. Which of these are worth consideration then becomes the issue. Since the level of bizarre claims by people looking for and, again unsurprisingly, finding “problems” seems to runs around a 100% it’s naive to give most the time of day. Try Googling “obama birth certificate” or “truth 911” for a taste of what I mean. The examples you site aren’t much better.


As an example of how misleading a search for problems can be, a full reading of The Washington Post story referenced shows one guy at the USEPA issued a report about methane in water in Penn. – a report that not only contradicts the final report that settled this matter by his own EPA but one that details gas in water that occurs naturally in that area anyway, is completely non-toxic in water anyway and has also long ago been ruled inconsequential by the Penn. State EPA.


You need to do the research yourself
What is the Halliburton loop hole
What is horizontal drilling
What is in fracking fluid
How much water does it take to drill a well
Why is regulations on private land wells different than public land
How far back from the well is the water tested
How long do fracking jobs last
finally why did a family in Aruba Texas recently awarded 3 million dollars in a fracking poisoning case


A family in Aruba Texas just was awarded 3 million for poisoning them. Headwated for the Humbolt river is the Mary’s River Valley. Ground water always follows surface water. Good luck with that North Texas!

Are Wild Horses at Risk Again? BLM Seeks Public Input on Public Lands Nominated for 2016 Oil and Gas #Fracking Exploration and Development

It’s time to connect the dots about what’s really going on in eastern Nevada

PM WC11 Lucky 11 Map

Your comments are needed!

Pancake and Triple B wild horse HMAs are affected for this round of oil and gas leasing. What other HMAs are next?

From a BLM press release:

Ely – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is asking the public to provide input on potential issues associated with oil and gas leasing on 41 parcels of public land, totaling 82,121 acres, in White Pine County, Nevada. Leased parcels may later include exploration and development. The BLM is analyzing the parcels to identify potential impacts in an environmental assessment (EA), in accordance with the Oil & Gas Leasing Reform mandated in 2010. The deadline to provide input is Friday, June 3, 2016.

The input received will assist in the preparation of a preliminary EA that the BLM will make available for public review and comment in late June 2016. A Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale is scheduled on Dec. 13, 2016.

Scoping information and other documents can be found at Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, 702 N. Industrial Way, Ely, Nevada 89301 Attn: 2016 Oil & Gas Lease Sale or fax them to (775) 289-1910, Attn: 2016 Oil & Gas Lease Sale. Email comments will not be accepted.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, contact Leslie Riley at the BLM Ely District Office at (775) 289-1860

[End of BLM press release]

PM Helicopter Mustang Roundup

Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

Official request to end GonaCon™ Experiment and others

The War on Wild Horses

The War on Wild Horses

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Official request to stop experiments on Water Canyon wild
horses and others
From: <>
Date: Thu, January 28, 2016 6:30 pm
To:,, “Tom Gorey” <>,,,

Dear Sirs,

The public is outraged that the small Water Canyon herd is being harassed and ruined for an experiment with GonaCon™–paid for with tax dollars. American wild horses are an indigenous species aka “returned-native” as well as being a national treasure. The public loves them.

Protections given to America’s free roaming wild horses and burros–according to the law–must be enforced.

The federally protected Water Canyon herd was underpopulated–with less than 60 wild horses of various ages on the herd management area (HMA). The herd is located on the western side of the vast Antelope Complex in northeastern Nevada, north of Ely.

This herd is already threatened with low genetic viability because the population is so small. American wild horses are not overpopulated on public land and are not “pests”. They should never be experimented on with an EPA restricted-use pesticide, or anything else.

PZP, another EPA restricted-use pesticide, was originally proposed by Nevada RAC member Jeanne Nations for a Water Canyon Pilot Program.

Now, according to your website, Ms. Nations is the Project Coordinator (volunteer) of the GonaCon™ Experiment. How did her previous PZP proposal flip into the GonaCon™ Experiment? Was the public allowed to comment on the proposed GonaCon™ Experiment?

Protect Mustangs is against forcibly drugging wild mares with risky pesticides, used for birth control, such as GonaCon™ (sterilant) or PZP (made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries) because they eventually sterilize the mares, ruin natural selection, negatively effect the herd’s immune system, cause abnormal herd behavior, etc.

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) overpopulation claims are fraudulent and any action taken based on fraudulent information is wrongful. There are no “excess” wild horses on public land today. Read more about that here: There are too many herd management areas that currently have no wild horses on them.

Commercial livestock often outnumbers wild horses on public land at more than 50 to 1. Native wild horses must no longer be the scapegoat for range damage.

53 Water Canyon wild horses were trapped last fall for this controversial experiment. Public observation was discouraged. 15 mares were harassed and forcibly drugged with GonaCon™. Then 15 mares along with 7 studs were returned to the Water Canyon federal herd management area (HMA).

Evidently one Water Canyon wild horse has already died during the experiment. Please provide information and photos/video documenting the Water Canyon wild horse who died as a result of this experiment. Have any other wild horses died since then? Will you be killing wild horses as part of the GonaCon Experiment?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has broken up family bands, branded, harassed and permanently removed half of the small herd to forcibly drug and experiment on 15 wild mares with GonaCon™. The BLM has also harassed and endangered wild horses with radio collars who were returned to the range for the experiment. This is outrageous and all paid for with American tax dollars.

Ultimately the BLM plans on spending $11.5 million tax dollars on various experiments on wild horses over the next 5 years. The various experiments are listed here:


The Water Canyon and other wild horses available for adoption are “wanted” but BLM’s adoption publicity, marketing and interface with the public is failing. If adoption rates are falling in the last decade it’s because BLM is removing more wild horses than they can adopt and doing a poor job at customer service with adopters. BLM’s failing adoption program does not justify experiments of any sort on wild horses and burros. Your adoption program needs an overhaul and the first thing you need to do is fix your rotten customer service.

Protect Mustangs and our members are very interested in the Water Canyon wild horses. We have visited the 11 orphans at the Palomino Valley Center (PVC), outside Reno, several times per week since December 18, 2015. Our members are shocked the weanlings and yearlings each have one strike against them after the failed trap-site adoption on December 5th.

We are is committed to ensuring the 11 Water Canyon orphans (#WC11) will not receive a 2nd or 3rd strike. The 3rd strike would strip away their federal protections according to the Burns Amendment of the Free Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Protection Act (1971). Legally this would allow the BLM to euthanize the youngsters or engage in unlimited sales to kill buyers for slaughter.

We have been regularly evaluating the youngsters, documenting their situation, publicizing the need for them to find good homes in pairs–to get them out of the pen at PVC with no shade or shelter while helping adopters navigate the BLM red tape and BLM’s slow adoption communications.

Did you realize the public wants to adopt the Water Canyon wild horses because they know about them now and like them? As of this writing, all but 2 orphans at PVC have been adopted.

According to an August 2015 BLM news release, “The BLM plans to remove 30-40 excess wild horses and offer them to the public for adoption through its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program.” Where are all the other Water Canyon wild horses who have been permanently removed from their home? How many have been adopted as of today?

Are the other Water Canyon pregnant mares, studs and colts at the Broken Arrow facility in Fallon, Nevada–which is closed to the public? If so we officially request you immediately open the facility for public observation and to promote adoption.

Members of Protect Mustangs would like to view the Water Canyon wild horses, take photographs and video of the wild horses to promote them for adoption. One of our videos had more than 24,000 views in a few days which sparked a huge interest in adopting the Water Canyon wild horses.

The American public wants to adopt and/or purchase the remaining Water Canyon wild horses removed from public land–including the pregnant mares. Those over 10 can be purchased outright through the BLM’s sale program.

The public is outraged the BLM is experimenting on America’s icons of freedom and symbols pioneering spirit of the West.

Protect Mustangs wants to ensure no other wild horses will be used for any kind of experimentation. America’s wild horses are naturally fertile for the species to survive through natural selection. Using federally protected wild horses as lab animals for population control experiments is cruel and unusual treatment and must stop now.

We officially request you cease the Water Canyon GonaCon™ Experiment and all the other experiments listed here now.

Federally protected wild horses and burros are to be protected from harassment according to the law. You can read the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 here:

Anne Novak

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
Tel./Text: 415.531.8454

Read about native wild horses:

In the news:
Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program

Public observation of gather, etc was discouraged:
12/16/15 Adopt a Water Canyon Foal Press Release

Release Date: 12/16/15
Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 ,
News Release No. ELY 2016-006

BLM Offers Public Unique Opportunity to Adopt Water Canyon Wild Horses

ELY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is offering the public the opportunity to adopt a foal gathered from the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope Herd Management Area in eastern Nevada. Nine weanlings and two yearlings are being held together at the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley, north of Reno, Nev.
The horses are available for walk-up adoption from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays. All of the horses have received vaccinations and their bloodwork is completed. Brand inspections will be performed and health certificates issued on all adopted horses.
Pictures of the horses are available online on the BLM’s Flickr album “Water Canyon Foals Available for Adoption” at Applications are available for download (.pdf) at
For more information, contact Jeremy Wilhelm, BLM public contact person, at (775) 475-2222.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Ely District Office 702 North Industrial Way Ely, NV 89301

Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program:

USDA-Developed Vaccine for Wild Horses and Burros Gains EPA Registration (Feb 13, 2013):

GonaCon™ the EPA restricted use pesticide information sheet:

GonaCon™, PZP and SpayVac® have all previously been used in experiments and should not be used because America’s wild horses are underpopulated–especially the Water Canyon herd. Here is some scientific data. The experiments were called for based on an overpopulation myth:

Context. Contraception is increasingly used as a management technique to reduce fertility in wildlife populations; however, the feasibility of contraceptive formulations has been limited until recently because they have required multiple treatments to achieve prolonged infertility.

Aims. We tested the efficacy and evaluated potential side effects of two contraceptive formulations, a porcine zona pellucida (PZP) formulation, SpayVac® and a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) formulation GonaCon-B!, in a population of free-roaming feral horses (Equus caballus). Both formulations were developed to provide several years of infertility with one injection.

GonaCon™ experiment is already going on at Theodore Rossevelt National Park so no need for a Water Canyon experiment:

Scandal Unfolds: Rare Water Canyon foals are up for adoption before the Gonacon™ experiment wrecks havoc in the herd

We are updating this page so check back for more information as the scandal unfolds. Updates are being posted towards the bottom.

Save the young victims of the cruel experiment!

Wild foals captured from the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope Herd Management Area in eastern Nevada are up for adoption. They are the victims of a roundup to EXPERIMENT on wild horses with GONACON™. Nine weanlings and two yearlings are being held together at the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley, north of Reno, Nevada. They need to be saved now and hopefully in pairs because this is so painful for them to have lost their families!

The wild horses are available for walk-up adoption from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays. All of the horses have received vaccinations and their bloodwork is completed. Brand inspections will be performed and health certificates issued on all adopted horses.

Applications are available for download (.pdf) at

For more information, contact Jeremy Wilhelm, BLM public contact person, at (775) 475-2222.

The GONACON™ EXPERIMENT is being humane-washed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and their partners. They are perpetrating the overpopulation myth when in truth America’s wild horses are underpopulated. In their experiment they are releasing only a fraction.

Alleged wild horse advocate, Jeannie Nations, is the Project Coordinator (unpaid volunteer) of the experiment. Nations was also proposing PZP experiments as a BLM RAC member in October 2014 as you see here:

Nations says, “I wanted to mention also, that we did a quick online petition for about 6 days with American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign regarding this same proposal and we had over 19,000 people from all around the country and the world in favor of doing this pilot program.This just goes to show how badly people want a positive change in wild horse management!

Do people realize what they are signing and supporting when they sign petitions put out by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign? Are they reading the whole document or just reading the first paragraph and clicking quickly to add their name?

Why did the BLM take the Spin Dr.’s push for fertility control and turn it into an EXPERIMENT with GONACON™?  It’s a slippery slope when “advocates” partner up with BLM for fertility control . . . American herds are becoming nonviable and will be wiped out.

GONCACON™ is an immunocontraceptive that Big Pharma calls a “vaccine“. Yet fertility is not a disease so calling it a vaccine doesn’t make sense. It is registered with the EPA as a restricted use pesticide. 

GONACON™ like PZP is an EPA  restricted use pesticide (see photo below). The BLM and their supporters are experimenting on America’s wild horses because the Feds see them as PESTS and want to dispose of them slowly . . . They hope the public won’t realize what’s happening.

Now it’s clear that some alleged “wild horse advocates” pushing fertility control, like PZP and GONACON™, are helping BLM not wild horses.

See who is involved in this experiment and know what exactly they are doing:

Update 5:27 pm PST: Why is the BLM’s Project Coordinator (volunteer) of the GONACON™ EXPERIMENT and BLM RAC member now raising money for her alleged Angels Acres Rescue to adopt the “Lucky 11” as she calls them? Yes she is calling the victims of this horrible GONACON™ EXPERIMENT and roundup “Lucky”.

PM Nations Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 5.27.38 PM


Ask yourself if this:

Why didn’t the well funded wild horse preservation groups fight in court to stop the Water Canyon roundup?  

Was this just another opportunity to get more donor data by sending out an online petition but do nothing to stop the roundup?

Is it because they are in with BLM, want more names on their email lists to push for fertility control?

Follow the money . . .


PM Water Canyon Foal 2 2015


Photos from BLM taken by the experiment’s project coordinator (volunteer) Jeannie Nations in public domain

Elko Daily News reports on the GONACON™ EXPERIMENT:

November 08, 2015 5:45 am • LARRY HYSLOP
A research project north of Ely will look at maintaining a stable wild horse population using a contraceptive. The goal is to treat mares with Gonacon, a commercial contraceptive, and then watch them over several years to make sure the project mares do not produce foals.

Jeanne Nations is a volunteer project coordinator who lives in the area, frequently visits the horses and knows most by sight. She will handle the on-site adoptions and help Ben Noyes, in charge of the project, and the Wild Horse Specialist in the BLM Ely District Office. Jeanne said if this research is successful, she hopes it could help other areas provide a more humane way to keep wild horse populations under control.

The Northeastern Nevada Resource Advisory Council recently visited the project site, after submitting a letter to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program supporting Jeanne’s project.

The research site is north of Ely, on a narrow strip of public land 12-15 miles long between U.S. Highway 93 and the Schell Creek Range. A fairly isolated group of 66 wild horses currently live in this part of the Antelope Herd Management Area, which has 803 wild horses with an Appropriate Management Level of 324. The nearest other wild horses to this project area are over the mountains to the east.

Trapping has begun and Ben has gathered 35 horses so far. All the rest of the area horses will be trapped this fall. Ben feels he can capture all the area horses using water and bait trapping but will use other techniques if needed.

While the last few members of the Council were visiting the trap site, seven horses came into the trap to eat hay and drink water, showing they are quite comfortable with the trap.

About 30 horses will be part of the project, with the rest removed from the area. It is hoped on-site adoptions will take most of the removed horses but any remaining will be taken to holding areas. People interested in adoption can email Jeanne at

The project horses kept on the site will consist of 15 stallions and 15 mares, having an assortment of ages. After capture, mares will be treated with Gonacon and freeze branded. DNA samples will be collected from all horses. The problem then is the mares must receive a booster 30 days later, so all mares and some of the stallions will be kept in holding pens.
After the 30 days, the horses will be released back into their home range. Ben feels the horses should have no problem re-habituating to their open range after a month of daily hay and abundant water.

Ben and Jeanne will keep an eye on the mares and watch them for pregnancies. The mares will need to be gathered again in two years to receive another booster.

There is a good chance the project mares are now pregnant and will produce foals the first year. However, these treatments should keep the mares from becoming pregnant again during the length of the project. After the project ends, it is hoped the mares will then become pregnant. Other horses may cross the mountains to join this group but they will not throw off the research since only the branded mares will be watched.

Links of interest:

Read Jack Ferm’s The BLM wild horse roundup continues: follow the money for a good overview of the situation:

and his piece Why is the BLM killing wild horses?


Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

#TAKEACTION Comments are needed to save wild horses and due by Monday June 15th

PM BLM Nevada Roundup

The BLM’s HORRIBLE project goal is to maintain a population of only native 25-30 wild horses within the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope HMA. The current estimated population is only 66 wild horses.

Under the proposal, the BLM would capture the horses through bait and water trapping or by helicopter roundup, and treat and release only 25-30 wild horses back into the project area. Mares selected for release would be treated with PZP-22, a time-release pesticide for birth control (made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries) with an expected efficacy of about two years, despite the fact that it sterilizes after multiple use. The mares would be re-treated every 20-24 months and monitored to determine treatment effectiveness.

Despite the current low population, BLM trumps up allegations of “excess wild horses” to justify a waste of tax dollars and permanently remove traumatized herd members by offering them to the public through a trap site adoption.

You can read the proposal documents here:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Schell Field Office is soliciting public comment on the Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA). The Preliminary EA (DOI-BLM-NV-L020-2015-0014) was made available for review and comment on Friday, May 15, 2015. The 30-day comment period concludes Monday, June 15, 2015.

Comments will be accepted for 30 days until June 15, 2015. Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301, Attn: Paul E. Podborny, Schell Field Manager, or fax them to Podborny at (775) 289-1910. Comments may also be submitted electronically at or comment throught the NEPA Register. Email comments sent to any other email address will not be considered.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.

The EA analyzes a proposal to conduct a pilot project to gather, and treat and release, as well as remove excess wild horses from inside the Water Canyon area, located within the Antelope Herd Management Area (HMA), about 60 miles north of Ely, Nevada.

Press Release: Protests to stop roundups and sales to kill buyers

(Photo © Cat Kindsfather, all rights reserved)

For immediate release

Call for peaceful protests to stop the roundups and stop the BLM from selling federally protected wild horses to kill-buyers

American public outraged at cruel ‘management’

WASHINGTON (October 6, 2012)–Protect Mustangs announced on Facebook Friday their call for nationwide protests to stop the roundups and stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from selling federally protected indigenous wild horses to kill buyers.

“We are calling for peaceful protests as well as candlelight vigils so no more wild horses will die from roundups, be tortured by the helicopters or sold to kill buyers for delicacy meat abroad,” states Anne Novak, executive director for California based Protect Mustangs “The public is outraged.”

Last week ProPublica exposed the BLM selling at least 1,700 federally protected wild horses to known pro-slaughter buyer, Tom Davis, and the public is furious. The BLM is charged with managing and protecting wild horses–not selling them for $10 a head to a pro-slaughter middle man to reduce the numbers in holding due to years of fiscally irresponsible roundups.

“Members of the public who are active in their communities must let their friends, family and neighbors know they can contact Congress if they don’t like their tax dollars used to fund cruel roundups,” says Tami Hottes, Protect Mustangs’ outreach coordinator for the Midwest and South. “People are upset to learn about the BLM selling all those historic wild horses to a guy like Tom Davis. It’s disgusting.”

This week the Antelope roundup, in northeastern Nevada, started under the pretense of saving the wild horses from a drought stricken area.

“We are concerned the BLM is jumping on the drought opportunity to zero out herds for industrialization of public land–especially massive energy projects that could pollute the water,” explains Novak. “Our indigenous wild horses are environmental barometers. If they die from drinking the water then that’s a red flag something is poisoning the water out there.”

Novak continues,”If there is a real problem on the range then bring them aid in the field–don’t round them up and warehouse them at taxpayer expense. It won’t cost much to bring them hay and water for a few months to get them through a difficult time.”

In watching videos from the roundup it should be pointed out that these wild horses were actually in excellent shape and there is no sign they have been suffering from lack of water or forage this summer. They are efficient browsers.

Even though the BLM announced last spring they would bait trap, they are not keeping their word to the American public. The BLM continues with cruel helicopter roundups.

The contractor has been criticized in the past for deadly incidents that could have been prevented. Despite objections from advocates and members of the public, the BLM continues to hire the contractor.

At the Antelope roundup advocates from The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) recorded videos showing healthy horses stampeded into traps, foals terrorized by choppers and a terrified stallion jumping out of the capture corral breaking his leg and running away. He was then euthanized by the BLM.

During the roundup wild horses were traumatized with whips and a wild mare broke her neck and died in transport.

If these historic wild horses had not been rounded up surely they would be alive with their families roaming in the West.

Outraged members of the public are calling BLM officials requesting the roundups stop. Officials downplay the cruelty and trauma, claiming these were rare incidents and touting that roundups, also known as “gathers”, only have a 1% death rate.

“We disagree with their whittled down death rate,” states Novak. “For years we have caught the BLM avoiding the correct death count and misleading Congress about the true number of horses painfully dying in roundups. During winter 2010 more than 180 wild horses died or were euthanized as a result of the roundup but the BLM tried to rewrite the numbers.”

The federal agency, funded by Congress to manage wild horses and burros, attributes the gross majority of roundup deaths to pre-existing conditions when they are obviously roundup related. If the horses weren’t rounded up they surely would not have died at that time.

The BLM often kills indigenous wild horses for being “old” and claims it was a pre-existing condition. They also kill baby horses claiming they have leg deformities. The foals can’t tolerate being stampeded for many miles on their undeveloped baby feet and legs and suffer severe injuries and are euthanized. BLM resists taking responsibility for their heinous actions.

At roundups since 2009, advocates as well as members of the press and public have been pushed back from the trap site and the holding corrals. It appears the BLM wants to hide the cruel roundups and injured animals from public view.

“The Wild Horse and Burro Program avoids transparency because of their disgusting secrets,” states Novak. “The public has a right to know what’s happening at roundups and afterwards. The public wants to know how many federally protected wild horses have been sold to the slaughter middle men since 2005.”

In 2004, a stealth rider known as the Burns amendment was attached to the Congressional Appropriations Bill to allow unlimited sales of captive wild horses over the age of ten or those who have been presented at adoption venues (live or Internet) three times–even pregnant mares and one-year-olds called yearlings.

The recent ProPublica article, written by Dave Phillips, highlights a corrupt program and interviews a pro-slaughter middle man. According to ProPublica, ‘Tom Davis buys 100s of mustangs at a time, sight unseen, for $10 a head. BLM has sold him more than 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009.

“Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt,” he says.

“. . . but BLM’s Sally Spencer said it would be unfair for BLM to look more closely at him based on the volume of his purchases. “It’s no good to just stir up rumors,” she said.’

In 1997 Associated Press investigative journalist, Martha Mendoza, uncovered BLM’s internal corruption wherein adopted wild horses were quickly being sold to slaughter even by BLM employees who adopted them.

‘A multimillion-dollar federal program created to save the lives of wild horses instead is channeling them by the thousands to slaughterhouses where they are chopped into cuts of meat.

Among those profiting from the slaughter are employees of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that administers the program.’

Mendoza’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) research and the story she exposed, forced the adoption program to change their protocol and only give title to the mustangs after one year to prevent the wild horses from being sold into the slaughter pipeline.

Today the BLM sends America’s living treasures to slaughter by selling them to the middle men who sell them to slaughter. Protect Mustangs asks Congress for a freeze on roundups, a freeze on sales and a full investigation into the ‘sale authority program’ since 2005.

The roundups ramped up in 2009 with the stimulus package push for the New Energy Frontier on public land and a new mandate to wipe out the wild herds of the West known as The Salazar Plan.

Despite nationwide protests in 2009-10 against the Secretary of the Interior’s plan, the majority of wild horses and burros were ripped from their family bands, taken off their land and the stallions were sterilized. President Obama ignored public outcry and Congress eventually fell for the BLM pleas for funding to ‘help the wild horses’.

In 2010, 54 members of Congress joined Congressman Raul Grijalva requesting a moratorium on roundups and a National Academy of Science (NAS) investigation into the broken program. Somehow the BLM has taken charge of the NAS investigation now called a “study” and is feeding the NAS the information instead of the Academy conducting independent research.

Today more than 52,000 wild horses and burros are living in captivity–mostly in the Midwest as specified in the Salazar Plan. Last year the controversial Wild Horse and Burro Program cost the American taxpayer 78 million dollars. Next year the cost will increase.

Protect Mustangs requests that Congress work with advocates to find a way to return wild horses to their wild lands in the West–to create biodiversity on the range–a win-win for wild horses, livestock, landowners, tourism and energy development on the New Energy Frontier. Their presence also helps greatly to reduce wildfires.

“Shrinking the numbers of wild horses left on public land today could be dangerous,” explains Kerry Becklund, director of outreach for Protect Mustangs. “Giving already small herds fertility control will ruin genetic viability and could create inbreeding.”

The BLM’s reproduction rates don’t account much for mortality within the herd. Often foals don’t live to be two years old but the BLM spin on population has them multiplying like rabbits.

Studies show predators such as mountain lions and coyotes reduce the wild horse foal population. Last summer several young foals were killed by coyotes at a BLM holding facility near Sparks, Nevada. Even so, the BLM hides the truth about predators reducing the population and continues to repeat they have no natural predators despite the fact they do.

“Show me a real independent headcount before we talk about fertility control,”says Novak. “There aren’t enough wild horses left on the range any more. The truth is that the BLM will continue to roundup wild horses to treat them with fertility control. Roundups have been deadly so far. Roundups are NOT the answer. Biodiversity is the answer.”

Novak continues, “More than 52,000 indigenous wild horses have been captured and are warehoused in government holding. Selling ‘excess’ wild horses to kill-buyers is a heinous act and must stop now as well as the gluttony of roundups”

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Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454,

Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913,

Links of interest:

AP reports & Protect Mustangs speaks out against the roundups: 3,500 Wild horses going to loose their freedom starting October 1st Federal roundup of wild horses burros starts today

ProPublica reports: All the missing horses: What happened to the wild horses Tom Davis bought from the government

Brutal report for day 1 of Nevada’s Antelope roundup. Two horses die. AWHPC video.

Day 3 of Antelope roundup. Foals are terrorized by the helicopter and chased too long on their tender hooves. AWHPC video.

Buffalo News (January 5, 1997) US effort to save wild horses leads thousands to slaughter as workers profit by Martha Mendoza

The Burns amendment

Huffington Post (October 17, 2009) Ken Salazar’s wild horse plan fuels accusations that he’s in the pocket of ranchers by Martin Griffith

News 4 KRNV Reno BLM selling to kill buyer?

Oct 5th Facebook announcement~Call to Stop the Roundups:

Protect Mustangs on the web