2 special needs wild horses escape death at roundup

Day 2 of Devil's Garden Roundup courtesy Devils Garden Wild Horses FB Page

Day 2 of Devil’s Garden Roundup courtesy Devils Garden Wild Horses FB Page

Protect Mustangs will help find homes for 2 wild horses who would have been killed at Modoc Forest roundup

ALTURAS, Ca.(September 27, 2016)–Last week Anne Novak, founder and director of Protect Mustangs reached out to U.S. Forest Service staff with an offer to help find homes for any wild horses rounded up with pre-existing conditions–who would be killed–not offered a chance at adoption. Tonight Novak received the first call from Forest Service staff.

“It’s always bothered me that after wild horses heal from injuries and survive in the wild, they are chased by helicopters, rounded up and killed upon capture because they don’t seem like they would get adopted,” says Novak. “Some people don’t want a riding horse. Some people want to save a life.”

So far, two wild horses from the roundup have pre-existing conditions. One is believed to be pigeon toed due to a broken foot that healed in the wild. The other mustang’s condition is unknown at this time.

“They need to go to loving homes to become pets–not riding partners–or go to sanctuaries,” explains Novak. “They have survived in the wild and that’s a harsh life. They deserve our compassion after the roundup and they deserve to live.”

After the mustang protectors make an assessment of the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, a sanctuary might be a more suitable forever home. It’s too early to tell.

These two California wild horses from Modoc County will join their herd-mates at the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield holding Corrals near Susanville. There they will be prepared for adoption with the others.

Adoption applications are here: Protect-Mustangs-BLM-facility-adoption-app

    • Cost to adopt is $125.
    • Adoptions by appointment only, call (530) 254-6575.
    • Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The facilities are closed on federal holidays. Please call for current information.
    • Information is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-545-4256.
    • Completed adoption applications can be sent to Videll Retterath by e-mail vrettera@blm.gov or fax (530)252-6762.
    • The Corrals are located 21 miles east of Susanville , CA on US Highway 395.
    • Adopters receive title to wild horses after one year

Protect Mustangs will post photos as soon as we get them. Tax-deductible Gas donations are always needed to help us help the wild ones.


Photo by the US Forest Service

Members of the public with questions about the BLM’s requirements for adoption, questions about the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, who want to help network homes for wild horses who would be killed for pre-existing conditions, need trainer referrals, or want some tips on how to build an inexpensive shelter are invited to email the mustang protectors at Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

“I pray we can change the trend of killing special needs wild horses at roundups,” says Novak. ‘Someone’s going to fall in love with them. After all they’re still American mustangs.”

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org

Day 2 Devil’s Garden Roundup Update


Wild horses at Litchfield Corrals near Susanville © Anne Novak

September 27, 2016

The second day of the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse roundup resulted in approximately 48 wild horses captured from private land where owners requested their removal. They were then transported safely to Willow Creek Ranch temporary holding facility. This makes a total of 94 wild horses removed from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in 2 days. The Forest Service is removing 200-240 and putting some back after giving the mares pesticide PZP. Are the planning on skewing the sex ratios too?

After the wild horses were counted and sorted by age and sex, members of the public were allowed to view the wild horses from a closer vantage point. Observers saw light and dark grays, red roans, bay roans, sorrels and blacks.

The roundup from private and tribal lands will continue tomorrow morning and through the rest of the week.

The Modoc National Forest is seeking commitments for adoption of wild horses older than five years of age. Wild horses ages six and older will be held at the temporary holding facility at Willow Creek Ranch for public viewing and commitment for adoption. Public viewing of wild horses rounded up is available from 3-5 p.m. at Willow Creek Ranch approximately 20 miles north from Hwy 299 on Crowder Flat Road (Forest Road 73).

Older wild horses with adoption commitments and all horses ages five and younger will be transported to the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro facility and adopted through their normal process.

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org

Indigenous people called area the “Smiles of the Gods” but settlers named it Devil’s Garden

Ponderosa Pines in spring on Devil's Garden.

Where the wild ones live

The Devil’s Garden lies in the heart of the Modoc Plateau, according to the Forest Service. The Modoc Plateau is a mile-high expansive prehistoric lava flow, with areas of sparse vegetation, rough broken lava rock, juniper trees, and sagebrush flats in a semi-arid region covering about a half-million acres. The plateau is thought to have been formed approximately 25 million years ago. The name Devil’s Garden was given to the area when the first European settlers traveled to this region in the 1800’s. In contrast, the Native people called the area, “The Smiles of Gods”.

While it’s dry most of the year, in the early spring the Garden often looks like the “land of lakes,” as all of the water holes fill. In the spring, after the snow melt, the rocky Devil’s Garden produces a veritable carpet of wild pink pansies, pink and red owl clover, yellow primroses and pink shooting stars. Purple lupine, yellow mules ear and the shiny green leaves of manzanita complete the rainbow of color that lasts well into the summer.  The farther north you travel, the Garden’s dryness gives way to conifer forests and is home to some of the biggest mule deer in the area.

Ducks on the water of Beeler Reservoir with treelined shore in the background aThe Devil’s Garden lies directly under the Pacific Flyway. During their migration from Alaska and Canada to Mexico, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl use the wetlands as rest stops. Several of the reservoirs on the district are stocked by the California Dept of Fish and Game with bass or trout. The Garden is also shared by Rocky Mountain elk, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse, turkeys, coyotes and wild horses.

A herd of mares and foals graze the dry, late summer grass.

The Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory is well known across the US for the wild horses it produces. Historically, horses have run on the plateau for more than 140 years. Many of the early horses escaped from settlers or were released when their usefulness as domestic animals ended. In later years, like many areas throughout the west, local area ranchers released their domestic horses out to graze, and then gathered them as they were needed. Not all were ever captured. Learn more about Devil’s Garden wild horses at http://bit.ly/2aGcCsu.

With the passage of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act (PL 92-195), private horse roundups ended. In 1974, as an initial step toward management, the Forest Service inventoried the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse population for the first time. The Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory Management Plan, completed in 2013, set an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of a maximum of 402 total horses.

Four of the five developed campgrounds on the Devil’s Garden charge no fees for camping, day use or boat launching. Even so, these facilities rarely fill to capacity and are considered the perfect getaway by the few who venture there.

Information provided by the Forest Service.

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org

ALERT: A new Fort McDermitt roundup proposed

Fallon auction

Dear Friends of Wild Horses & Burros,

I want to give you a heads up that another brutal Fort McDermitt roundup is being planned for late summer or early fall 2015 in Nevada. Due to our successful 2013 lawsuit, the United States Forest Service is seeking public comment due March 23, 2015, in accordance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), on the proposal to remove unauthorized tribal horses. Please send in your comments.

Here is their announcement: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3830223 Here is the the public scoping notice for detailed information: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44432 The link to make your comments online is here: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=44432 Remember comments are due by March 23rd.

How will the Nevada brand inspectors identify unbranded federally protected wild horses who have migrated off the neighboring Little Owyhee herd management area? This is of great concern to the public at large.

Despite many wild horses being rescued in the mad scramble of 2013 too many truckloads went to slaughter. Horse advocates won’t tolerate the kill-buyer parking lot rip-offs any more. Those Facebook ransom pages won’t be supported this time around either. It’s time for the community to come together with advance planning.

We’d like to work with the tribe to ensure the Fort McDermitt horses don’t end up getting slaughtered for human consumption abroad. It would be a tragedy for these nice horses to end up eaten in foreign countries when they can make nice riding ponies and therapy horses. Those who wouldn’t be a good match for working with people could be distributed to Eco-sanctuaries. People around the world want to experience the Old West and native wild horses hold that allure.

The Forest Service is ignoring the ecological benefits of free-roaming horses on public land. Wild horses reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and help reverse desertification. Despite new methods of holistic land management, the feds continue to scapegoat wild horses for range and riparian damage caused mostly by cows and sheep.

We stopped the ongoing brutal roundups at Fort McDermitt from Sept 2013 until now based on the feds’ NEPA violation. Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter sued over the agreement that called for years of cruel roundups. At least now we have advance notice of the proposed roundup. Please contact us via email if you want to help. Our email is Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

Though the USFS didn’t participate in the Fort McDermitt roundup, the USFS-McDermitt agreement was left on the table. Our lawsuit was about their failure to conduct NEPA. Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter got the illegal agreement scrubbed out on Sept. 3, 2013, after the roundup cases filed by other groups had been lost/dismissed in mid-August. To ensure transparency of future roundups we requested the United States Forest Service conduct NEPA and give notice if they should roundup Fort McDermitt wild horses again. Now they are doing it.

We did not sue the Fallon Auction Yard. That issue is discussed in the pro-slaughter biased article in RANGE magazine here: http://www.rangemagazine.com/features/spring-14/range-sp14-horse_hoarders.pdf

In accordance with our settlement agreement, Protect Mustangs received notification of another Fort McDermitt roundup and we are sharing the news with you so you can take action.

Here are some links to source information:

2013: Two different Fort McDermitt lawsuits for two different issues: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5242

September 30,2013 Horsetalk, New Zealand Roundup agreement canned following legal challenge http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/09/30/roundup-agreement-canned-following-legal-challenge/#axzz2gPxqlhX1

September 28, 2013 CBS San Francisco Wild Horse Advocates’ Legal Victory Halts Roundups in NorCal Forest http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/09/28/wild-horse-advocates-legal-victory-halts-roundups-in-norcal-forest/#.UkhzyrcAdyU.twitter

Press Release: Legal win creates public transparency and halts 2-year roundup contract (September 26, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5185

Protect Mustangs & Citizens Against Equine Slaughter Win Transparency for Public for Forest Service Roundups with Tribes (September 17, 2013)
Termination of roundup agreement (September 3, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PM-Protect-Mustangs-CAES-McDermitt-Participating-Agreement-Termination-September-3-2013.pdf

August 24, 2013 Horseback Magazine Dances with Wolves author Michael Blake joins lawsuit to stop ongoing wild horse roundups: http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/24124

Breaking News: Michael Blake joins lawsuit to stop ongoing wild horse roundups (August 24, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5060

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and Protect Mustangs file preliminary injunction (August 24, 2013): PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
Horses saved and horses lost at Native American horse auction (August 17, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5023

Information about Fallon Livestock Auction (August 17, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4999

Temporary Restraining Order Granted (August 16, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4990

Judge blocks Nevada auction of unbranded horses in second opinion http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/judge-blocks-nevada-auction-unbranded-horses-second-opinion

Viral article: August 16, 2013 The Associated Press US judge refuses to block NV tribe’s mustang sale http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23879138/us-judge-refuses-block-nv-tribes-mustang-sale

Press Release: Lawsuit filed to save wild horses from alleged slaughter (August 16, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=5001

Official request to terminate roundup agreement, request DNA testing, separate unbranded wild horses, etc. (August 15, 2013): http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4969

It’s time to join forces to save the Fort McDermitt free-roaming horses from going to slaughter. Last time we had no advance notice. Today we do. Let’s make the most of it–for the horses!

Many blessings,

Anne Novak
Executive Director


We need #Help4Horses going to alleged slaughter auction Saturday August 17th in Nevada

Protect native wild horses! © Protect Mustangs.org

Protect native wild horses! © Protect Mustangs.org

Dear Friends,

This may be the first time that protected mustangs are being auctioned off for slaughter en masse and publicly with the tacit approval & cooperation of federal officials.

Today Protect Mustangs filed a lawsuit with Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and are seeking an order immediately halting the actions of the USFS that authorized the roundup of potentially hundreds of wild horses. We named the USDA Forest Service and the BLM in the complaint. Our case focuses on violations of WFRH&B Act and NEPA. It’s not over.

Disposing of native wild horses by sending them to an alleged slaughter auction is wrong, Wild horses are an integral part of the ecosystem and belong to the American people. They don’t belong on a dinner plate in a foreign country.

471 horses are going up for sale tomorrow. 150 mare and foal pairs will be sold at the alleged slaughter auction. This is horrible. We need a miracle at this point.

We have only tonight and early Saturday morning to find a way to save these horses. All the horses need to be saved from the slaughter buyers.

If any rescues, ranches or horse people can come to Fallon, Nevada (about one hour east from Reno) Saturday with their trailers to rescue wild horses and reservation horses from probable slaughter and if they need information please have them contact Protect Mustangs by calling 415-531-8454 or Citizens Against Equine Slaughter at 570-637-3000. Coggins and health certificates are needed to enter some states from Nevada.

Many blessings,


Official Request to stop federally protected wild horses from being sold to probable slaughter

Photo James Marvin Phelps / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo James Marvin Phelps / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

August 15, 2013

By Electronic Mail


Sally Jewell, Secretary of Interior

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street, N.W.

Washington DC 20240

Tel: 202-208-3100



Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy Director

BLM Washington Office

1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665

Washington DC 20240

Phone: 202-208-3801

Fax: 202-208-5242



Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief

Division of Wild Horses and Burros

20 M Street, S.E.

Washington, DC 20003

Tel: 202-912-7260



Amy Leuders, Nevada State Director

Bureau of Land Management

Nevada State Office

1340 Financial Blvd

Reno, NV 89502

Tel: 775-861-6400



Jill Silvey, District Manager

Bureau of Land Management

Elko District Office

3900 E. Idaho Street

Elko, NV 89801

Tel: 775-753-0200




Gene Seidlitz, District Manager

Bureau of Land Management

Winnemucca District Office

5100 East Winnemucca Blvd.

Winnemucca, NV 89445

Tel: 775-623-1500




Jeff Ulrich, District Ranger

U.S. Forest Service

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

1200 East Winnemucca Blvd.

Winnemucca, NV 89445



Tom Tidwell, Chief

U.S. Forest Service

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20250-0003



Official Request to prevent federally protected wild horses from being sold to probable slaughter

We request for the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service ensure that no federally protected wild horses are removed from the range and transported to auction anywhere, nor sold to anyone, nor used nor held by anyone, nor claimed by anyone, in connection with the Service’s June 14, 2013 Notice of Intent to Impound Unauthorized Livestock in cooperation with the Fort McDermitt Paiute Tribal Council.(http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5427742.pdf)

In addition we request opportunities for daily public observation be provided at all trap sites, holding facilities, sites of use, auction houses and shipping centers, etc.

We require you inform us of the casualties (moralities & injuries) in this roundup.

Now with hundreds of wild horses at the Fallon Livestock Auction yard awaiting sale this Saturday August 17th we request DNA testing be performed immediately on all unbranded wild horses as well as you provide immediate public observation at the livestock auction facility for members of our group and other members of the public to document with photos and video the situation.

We request you pull from the auction–where alleged kill-buyers purchase horses for slaughter for human consumption abroad–all unbranded or branded federally protected wild horses who could have been living on BLM or Forest Service land yet were pushed by helicopter or other motorized vehicle or by cowboy to be trapped on federal land or elsewhere.

You are required by law to protect the American wild horses–please do so immediately.

We await your response, via email, to our urgent and official request.



Anne Novak


Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

San Francisco Bay Area



As seen on the news and in print

Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562 

Protect Mustangs on Facebook

Protect Mustangs on Twitter

Protect Mustangs on YouTube

Protect Mustangs in the News

Donate to help Protect Mustangs


Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.