Visit our In the News section to get an overview of the issue: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218
Concern mounts over hidden death count
We learned today that the BLM’s public affairs officer (think public relations expert) eventually responded, on April 18th, to our inquiries from April 12, 2013, wherein we requested to know the number of dead wild horses at the Nevada short-term facility since January 1st.
The Acting Facility Manager refused to give us a simple death count. He told us we must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to know the number of dead wild horses at the facility from January 1, 2013 to April 12, 2013 . This appeared to be a blatant lack of government transparency.
We saw the public affairs’ officer’s email for the first time this afternoon. It was unopened and was lost amongst emails. We don’t understand why the BLM did not respond back to our last email to let us know they had eventually answered our question. Emails can go unseen unlike certified letters.
We are very concerned the BLM facilities are not keeping an accurate death count related to roundups and holding facilities. The BLM admits they are not including the unbranded foals, aborted fetuses, animals born dead nor dead newborns in their count. One must ask, “How many are really dying in holding facilities after roundups?
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Information you requested regarding deaths at PVC
From: “Emmons, Heather” <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, April 18, 2013 3:58 pm
Cc: James Beck <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. As Acting Facility Manager at the Palomino Valley Center (PVC), Jeb sought advice on your question as to what constituted a FOIA request and was originally told that it met those qualifications. Upon further evaluation, we realized it does not and apologize for the miscommunication. Jeb is off for the next couple of days, and we wanted to get back to you as soon as possible, so I am writing to you on his behalf.
To answer your question: How many horses have died at the facility since Jan 1, 2013? According to the Wild Horse and Burro Program System, the number of horses that have died at PVC from Jan. 1, 2013 through April 1, 2013, is 37. This number does not include stillbirths (aborted fetuses, animals born dead and newborn animals found dead) and young foals that died before they were freeze marked. Foals are freeze marked when they are weaned. This varies with the size and condition of the foals and the mares, but usually occurs sometime between three and six months of age.
Additionally, the National Wild Horse and Burro Program is currently reviewing its reporting procedures for modification.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, or my colleague Debbie Collins at the National Call Center:
Heather Emmons: 775-861-6594 or email@example.com
Debbie Collins: 1-866-468-7826 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release:
More than 40 international protests today to stop the roundups and stop horse slaughter
OAKLAND, Ca. (April 27, 2013)–Protect Mustangs™, the Bay Area-based native wild horse conservation group, is holding protests today in Oakland and Rock Springs, Wyoming to save indigenous wild horses from roundups, abuse, slaughter and pass the SAFE Act. The Oakland rally is held outside the Rockridge BART station from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The Rock Springs rally is held at 70 Gateway Blvd at 2 p.m. The group wants all the wild horses in government funded holding to be returned to the range to help reduce wildfires. More than 40 international protests, spearheaded by Nevada’s Patty Bumgarner on Facebook, are being held to save the horses. Protect Mustangs™ requests Congress stop the cruelty, the slaughter and save taxpayer dollars–especially during the Sequester.
“We are united across the country to say no to slaughter, roundups and cruel overectomies in the field,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs™. “We want our wild horses to be protected. Did you know America’s wild horses are indigenous? Are you aware that CalTrans found ancient horse fossils while digging the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel?”
The horse, E. caballus, originated in America over a million years ago and returned with the Conquistadors if it ever went extinct in the first place. With history written by the Inquisition, one must read between the lines. It was heresy for Old World animals, such as the horse, to have originated in the heathen Americas.
Novak points out,”Recent DNA testing proves our iconic wild horses are the same species as E. caballus–the original horse.”
Esteemed scientists Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio explained the following in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010). The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings:
‘The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about ‘breeds,’ but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about ‘species.’
The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.’
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received $78 million last year to run the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Two-thirds of the expenses went towards caring for the equids in captivity. Despite the federal budget crisis, the program received a $2 million increase in funding for their 2014 fiscal budget–including $6 million for the helicopter contractor.
California’s Senator Feinstein chairs Energy and Water subcommittee as well as rules on Interior issues within the Committee on Appropriations. The Committee gives taxpayer dollars to fiscally irresponsible and cruel wild horse and burro roundups despite public outcry.
Roundups and removals are linked to mining and toxic fracking in the West. It appears native horses are being removed to fast track the extractive industry’s use of public land for private profit yet the public and the environment are hit with the costs.
Native wild horses will soon be zeroed out from Wyoming’s “checkerboard” public-private land–allegedly in preparation for the largest natural gas field in the country. The conservation group has requested a $50 million fund be created to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range.
“Tourists love to come to Wyoming to see our wild horses,” states Melissa Maser, outreach coordinator for Protect Mustangs™ in Wyoming and Texas. “We’d like to see native wild horses protected for future generations.”
Advocates are documenting wild horses being removed throughout the West as healthy and with fewer foals. The starving and overpopulation myths from BLM spin doctors are fabricated to sway Congress to fund roundups and removals.
“We’d like to find a win-win for wild horses in the West,” explains Novak. “Native horses will help reduce wildfires that cost insurance companies billions of dollars annually and contribute to global warming. We have requested the BLM put a freeze on roundups and return the 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in holding to public land. This will take the burden off the taxpayer and help to reduce wildfires.”
Protect Mustangs™ is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their 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.
# # #
Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@Protect Mustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews available upon request
Links of interest:
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, February 10, 2013: Wild-horse advocates split over interior nominee http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020332496_apnvwildhorses1stldwritethru.html
US property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion says report: http://www.artemis.bm/blog/2012/09/17/u-s-property-exposed-to-wildfire-valued-at-136-billion-says-report/
KQED Horse fossil found in Caldecott Tunnel: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/05/26/new-fossils-from-the-caldecott-tunnel/
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, March 24, 2013: Budget axe nicks BLM wild-horse adoption center http://www.denverpost.com/colorado/ci_22862206
Horseback Magazine: Sequester prompts call for wild horses and burros to be returned to the wild http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/21568
Horseback Magazine, March 8, 2013: Protect Mustangs calls for fund for Wyoming wild horses http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/20979
Horseback Magazine: Group takes umbridge at use of the word “feral” http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19392
Ruby pipeline and wild horse roundups? http://www.8newsnow.com/story/12769788/i-team-bp-connected-to-wild-horse-roundups
BLM’s 2014 Budget: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/april/04_10_2013.html
Why are the wild horses being removed? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCWWgOugF2U
Wyoming Tourism’s video of wild horses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tRZkBXkbyY
Protect Mustangs™: www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs™ on Facebook
Protect Mustangs™ on Twitter
Protect Mustangs™ on YouTube
Protect Mustangs™ in the News
Information on native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
Protect Mustangs’ Advisory Board member offers holistic management based on Reserve Design as opposed immunocontraceptives approved by the EPA as pesticides
April 15, 2013
Mr. James M Sparks, Billings Field Manager
BLM, Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101-4669
Re: 4700 (MT010.JB): Scoping Notice for Increased Use of Fertility Control on Wild Horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range
Dear Mr. Sparks and To Whom It May Concern:
Montana BLM has zeroed out six of its seven original wild horse Herd Areas. The only one that still has any wild horses left is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge, which was established prior to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA). In fact, Montana BLM has decided to zero out 82% of the original legal acreages that should have been set aside “principally” for the wild horses in the wild. This is a greater percentage of zeroing out than any other Western state. New Mexico comes closest at 77%. Given this initial injustice, it would seem that in the remaining area still home to wild horses, they would be treated much more fairly and given the resources and the Appropriate Management Levels (AML) that would assure their long-term viability. But such has clearly not been the case in the Pryors, where the AML range of 90 to 120 falls far short of the 2,500 individuals that is recommended for long-term viability in the wild by the IUCN SSC Equid Specialist Group (1992).
So I take this opportunity to thank you for sending me this scoping notice. I have reviewed this and wish to oppose the intensified use of PZP on the Pryor Mountain wild horses. They have been assigned an AML that is non-viable; and the further tampering with and inhibition of their reproduction would make them even more non-viable, especially in view of their long-term future survival, as well as their ecological adaptation to the Pryor Mountain ecosystem.
As a wildlife ecologist who appreciates these animals for the returned North American natives they are, I am particularly concerned that BLM’s repeated semi-sterilization of mares (often resulting in permanent sterilization of the mares) will cause serious social disruption. The logic is this: those mares who fail to achieve pregnancy quickly become disaffected with their band stallions and go off with other stallions in their futile attempts to achieve pregnancy. Similarly the stallions become desperate in their repeated futile attempts to impregnate the mares. This leads to widespread discontent and disruption, both within and between the wild horse bands composing the Pryor Mountain – as any – herd. This results in the serious neglect by adults of their duties to educate the younger members of their bands who are not as inhibited in their breeding as before. These immature individuals attempt to breed prematurely when the social units are in disarray. If intact they would be learning the very important lessons for survival in the demanding Pryor Mountain ecosystem, with its harsh winters, etc. As the effect of PZP wanes and some mares come back into a fertile condition, many give birth out of the normal Spring and early Summer birthing season, even in the late Fall or Winter when cold and storms cause them to greatly suffer and even die, along with their offspring. This is totally opposite the true intent of the WFHBA!
The intensified PZP approach to reducing reproduction in the Pryor Mountain wild horse herd is not the correct policy to adopt. It does not adhere to the core intent of the WFHBA. It is a major step toward domesticating these wild horses and seriously compromises their true wildness and natural adaptiveness. What I am offering in place of this “quick fix drug” approach to preserving, protecting, and managing this cherished herd (and all herds should be cherished) is a major and widely employed branch of the science of wildlife conservation known as Reserve Design. If properly and conscientiously applied, this would: (a) obviate the need to drug the Pryor Mountain mustangs by creating a naturally self-stabilizing horse population that would truly become “an integral part of the natural system of public lands” (preamble of WFHBA); and (b) “achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “at the minimum feasible level” of interference by man. Both of these mandates come directly from Section 3 a of the WFHBA and should be adhered to by authorities of the BLM and USFS, the two agencies charged with fulfilling the act.
To accomplish these goals, you should:
(1) Incorporate the Pryor Mountain’s natural barriers such as the steep cliffs along the eastern side of the refuge that lead down to the Bighorn River. These will limit the expansion of the herd. Where necessary they could be complemented by artificial semi-permeable barriers.
(2) Restore natural horse predators such as the puma and wolf whose effect upon the wild horses would accord with natural selection and produce a more fit and well-adapted population in the Pryor Mountains. It has been a mistake to have puma hunting season reopened in the Pryors, and this should be rescinded in collaboration with Montana’s wildlife department.
(3) Avail yourself of options provided by Section 4 and 6 of the WFHAB in order to secure truly long-term-viable habitat for a truly long-term-viable wild horse population that is not subject to inbreeding and decline. Section 4 allows private landowners whose properties lie adjacent to the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge to maintain wild, free-roaming horses on their private lands or on land leased from the government provided they protect them from harassment and have not willfully removed or enticed them from public lands. This is an outstanding opportunity for the public to help in preserving and protecting the wild horse herds at healthy population levels, i.e. to complement federal Herd Areas (BLM) and Territories (USFS). Section 6 of the WFHBA authorizes cooperative agreement with landowners and state and local governments to better accomplish the goals of the WFHBA. This allows for providing complete and unimpeded habitat for long-term viable wild horse populations. BLM should invoke Section 6 to establish cooperative agreements with both the National Parks Service (USDI, same as BLM) re: McCullough Peak national monument (which I believe already has such an agreement) and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Custer National Forest (USDA) in order to expand available habitat for the Pryor mustangs. As concerns the Custer National Forest, the USFS officials should not be allowed to get away with the fence they have erected and that restricts the wild horses’ traditional access to summer grazing meadows. This is on the west side of East Pryor Mountain and consists of a two-mile long buck and pole fence. This area was occupied by the wild horses in 1971 and should be a recognized legal area for them, as was documented by Dr. Ron Hall who did his study of the Pryor Mountain wild horses. It is also a prime public viewing area with great scenic visits, as I recall from my visit there in June of 2003. By erecting this fence, Custer National Forest officials defied their mandate to protect and preserve wild horses under the WFHAB; this is subject of an ongoing legal suit. BLM officials must insist this fence be taken down!
(4) Once a complete viable habitat is secured with adequate forage, water, minerals, shelter, wintering and summering habitat components, etc., the Pryor Mountain wild horses should be allowed to fill their ecological niche here and to naturally self-stabilize. This they will do as ecological climax species, as species belonging to the mature ecological sere, if only given the time and the space and the requisite non-interference by man. Thus, the socially and ecologically disruptive roundups will come to a halt; and the wild horses will harmonize with all the unique and fascinating animal and plant community that is found here. Given the opportunity, the wild horses will enhance the Pryor Mountain ecosystem and people will come to appreciate the virtue of a wild-horse-containing ecosystem.
(5) Semi-permeable fences could be constructed along the refuge’s peripheries but only where necessary. Buffer zones around the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge should be established in order to contain the wild horses and keep them out of harm’s way. Within this buffer zone, mild forms of adverse conditioning techniques could be employed to keep the horses within their refuge. Win-win cooperative agreements with local people whereby they benefit from the wild horses as through giving paid eco-tours, providing lodging and meals, participating in monitoring and protection of the horses, etc., should be stressed. These positive opportunities should be expanded in order to make Reserve Design a success.
I go into greater detail as to how Reserve Design can be successfully applied in my recently published book: The Wild Horse Conspiracy, where I also describe the Pryor Mountain situation. I hope that you can get a copy and read it with an open mind. Look under Reserve Design in the Index. Let me know if you want a copy.
Hoping you will give serious consideration to the points here raised. Anxiously awaiting your response.
Craig C. Downer
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423
Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studies both the wild horses of the West and the endagered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes. He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books. His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German. Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight. Downer is an Advisory Board member for Protect Mustangs, a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997). Downer’s current book, “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” points directly to the root cause of the disappearance of America’s wild horses. The book is on sale at Amazon
Next it goes to the full Senate for a vote.
We voiced our concerns in January 2013 that the Wild Horse Resolution (SJR 1) does not call wild horses natives or even return-natives. We requested that SJR 1 describe wild horses as natives to honor their legitimate place in the ecosystem. We were told the writers of SJR 1 chose not to call wild horses natives for the resolution.
We would like to know how the Wild Horse Resolution SJR 1 was amended and have reached out to get the information.
Congratulations Senator Mark Manendo on your hard work for the horses!
“Follow your heart. Adopt a pair of mustangs. Gentle them with love.” ~Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs
Both wild yearlings, Blondie and Tibet, had 2-Strikes from failed Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adoptions. Protect Mustangs stepped in to prevent a 3rd Strike and save them from sale ($10 each by the truckload) and probable slaughter.
Blondie is the soon to be 2 year old palomino filly from California’s Fox Hog herd.
Tibet is the 18 months old gelding with a blaze from the Continental Divide in Wyoming.
Blondie arrived untamed from the Litchfield BLM Holding Corral in December 2012 and Tibet arrived from the Wyoming Corral in February 2013 thanks to our village of supporters.
Now both wild horses are gentled. They have been exposed to cars, trucks, helicopters, people riding horses, kids, dogs, cats, kids on scooters, tarps and more. They can be haltered, pick up their feet and be lead. This is their second turnout in the main arena at the training facility. Anne Novak has donated their training.
Protect Mustangs is an all volunteer organization and are very grateful for your help. Please donate towards board and care for the wild horse Ambassadors. Protect Mustangs is also raising money for a used truck and trailer to facilitate adoptions by bringing wild horses down from the BLM corrals near Reno and Susanville, once the mustangs have been adopted. The organization will use the truck and trailer for community outreach and education work as well. Please help by donating here: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=701
No treats were used during this training session.
All images © Anne Novak for Protect Mustangs.org, all rights reserved.
for immediate release
Historic burros will die off if drug causes sterility
WASHINGTON (February 15, 2013)–Americans are outraged to learn the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a second pesticide. for native wild horses when extreme roundups since 2009 have removed the majority of wild horses from public land. Today more thank 50,000 are stockpiled in government holding facilities. In 2012 the EPA approved ZonaSta-H for wild horses and burros under their pesticide program. This week the EPA approved GonaCon™ a long term infertility drug that has sometimes allegedly sterilized wild horses after one application. So few heritage burros remain that giving them harsh fertility control could wipe them out completely.
“Pesticides must not be used on native species and current science proves wild horses are natives,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The mustangers are working at the BLM these days–hiding behind inflated population guesstimates and feral beliefs. Meanwhile they are selling truckloads of native wild horses to alleged kill buyers like Tom Davis who bought at least 1,700.”
In Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010) J.F.Kirkpatrick Ph.D., and Patricia M. Fazio Ph.D. wrote:
The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”
The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.
As a native species, wild horses create biodiversity and help heal the land. Predators exist and more can be introduced as needed while herds self-regulate. Today it’s difficult to find the herds. The BLM has rounded up the majority of the wild horses and burros in all ten western states–far more than they can adopt out.
Protect Mustangs, the native wild horse preservation group, calls for the EPA to immediately retract their approval of “pesticides” for native wild horses. They have requested that all the wild horses in government holding be returned to the Herd Management Areas designated for them under the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. The horse originated in America. Wild horses are indigenous and must also be protected according to The Act.
Despite the government’s overpopulation spin, witnesses on the range have observed a shocking decline in wild horse and burro population since 2008.
Carl Mrozeck, journalist and independent filmmaker making Saving Ass in America, chuckled at the BLM’s inflated estimates of burros. “Personally, I’d be shocked if there were even close to the more recent optimistic number of 2,000.”
For years, the BLM has refused advocates’ requests to perform accurate independent census. “Population myths should not drive policy, merit Congressional funding nor justify passing risky infertility vaccines approved as pesticides,” adds Novak.
PEER reported that livestock has ruined the range yet the BLM refuses to address the issue. The BLM always tries to scapegoat the wild horses for typical cattle damage. Cows outnumber wild horses at least 50 to 1 on the range.
Despite public outcry, the BLM has already removed the majority of indigenous mustangs and historic burros from millions of acres of public land. The BLM is removing the wild horses and burros to minimize environmental studies and mitigation in order to fast track toxic drilling projects on public land. The BLM confesses to making tons of money off the extractive industry as stated in the bottom of their press release: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/february/NR_02_01_2013.html
Protect Mustangs asks the BLM to acknowledge wild horses are a native species in order to manage them correctly.
# # #
Anne Novak, 415-531-8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews are available upon request.
Links of interest:
Daryl Hannah and Michael Blake speak out about wild horses, burros and toxic drilling: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3866
PEER reports: BLM ducks complaint about suppressing livestock damage: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3367
Native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
Saving Ass in America https://www.facebook.com/SavingAssInAmerica
EPA approves GonaCon™: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3851
EPA calls iconic wild horses “pests” http://protectmustangs.org/?p=1204
USFA APHIS Press release: USDA-Developed Vaccine for Wild Horses and Burros Gains EPA Registration: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/02/horse_vaccine_approval.shtml
Wild Horse & Burro Advocates Demand Congressional Investigation
For Immediate release:
WASHINGTON (January 24, 2013)–Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) released evidence exposing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse long-term holding contractor selling wild horses to an alleged “kill buyer”. The BLM appears to be trafficking wild horses to slaughter through holding facilites. Debbie Coffey, volunteer director of Wild Horse Affairs at WHFF, uncovered evidence of the contractor selling at least 34 federally protected wild horses. In short and long-term holding, indigenous wild horses retain their wild status and protections but it appears some are being sold to slaughter.
“This evidence shows that the BLM is not protecting our wild horses and is allowing alleged kill buyers to purchase them,” explains R.T. Fitch, volunteer president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, “The public wants Congress to enforce the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act that they unanimously signed into law in 1971. A Congressional Investigation needs to happen now.”
WHFF joins with Protect Mustangs to call for a freeze on roundups, access to document all holding facilities as needed as well as an immediate Congressional investigation into the BLM and their contractors allegedly selling America’s iconic wild horses into the slaughter pipeline.
“It’s time for a deep investigation–done by an entity outside the BLM–to bust these crimes against the American mustang and champion the public who were deceived by officials in charge of protecting our icons of freedom,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The public is outraged. Protests are being planned as a result of the evidence.”
Coffey, with the assistance of Animal’s Angels, researched and released Wednesday an in-depth article on the activities of a BLM contractor selling 34 BLM wild horses to a kill buyer, while under contract with the BLM and being paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars, to care for iconic wild mustangs on its pastures. Evidence was obtained through South Dakota Brand Board Inspection records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Information from government and public records show that Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock. They have a contract with the BLM for a wild horse long-term holding pasture on private land within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This U.S. taxpayer funded facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.
WHFF received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms–owned by alleged kill buyer Joe Simon.
In a telephone conversation with Jim Reeves, Coffey reports that when asked about 72 horses he bought as alleged pack animals, Reeves said “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.” He added “I can’t talk about this” and “That’s BLM business.”
When asked about all the wild horses who disappear from their short-term holding facilities after the roundups, BLM officials inform the public and the media that they will be well taken care of on “grassland pastures”.
“The BLM leads the public to believe that captured wild horses are living out their lives grazing peacefully on long-term holding pastures, and claims they do not sell wild horses to slaughter, but at least one contracted middleman did sell BLM wild horses to an alleged kill buyer and the horses very likely met a horrific fate at a slaughterhouse,” explains Coffey. “We want a freeze on roundups, immediate access to document all long-term holding facilities as needed and a Congressional investigation into all aspects of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.”
Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with Federal 501c3 status and registered as a legal non-profit in all 50 states of the Union. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.
Protect Mustangs is a California-based preservation group whose mission is to educate the public about the American wild horse, protect and research wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.
R.T. Fitch, Volunteer President WHFF, 800-974-3684, email@example.com
Debbie Coffey, Director Wild Horse Affairs WHFF, 800-974-3684, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Novak, Executive Director Protect Mustangs, 415-531-8454, email@example.com
Photos and interviews granted upon request
Links of interest:
Debbie Coffey publishes her research on PPJ Gazette (sources noted): http://ppjg.me/2013/01/22/wild-horses-sold-to-kill-buyer-by-blm-contractor/
Native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
Wild Horse Freedom Federation: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/
Protect Mustangs: http://protectmustangs.org
Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved.
While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch (“Farms”) in Perkins, Oklahoma.
To give you a little background, the BLM uses lame excuses to remove wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas while letting other “uses” take over. For instance, BLM claims wild horses cause “degradation” to the range, but then allow oil and gas drilling (and fracking) on the same land. The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses spend the rest of their lives.
Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for a long term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.
Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.
Animals Angels has written about kill buyer Joe Simon (scroll down to the 2nd article “What is the Price Tag for Suffering”) here It is important to note that state brand boards do not “recognize” BLM freezemarks
(which BLM puts on the left side of wild horses’ necks after they are captured) as official “BRANDS,” so the state brand board inspectors may completely ignore the BLM freezemarks and instead, note that wild horses have “NO BRAND.”
It is also important to note that if someone BUYS a wild horse from the BLM, they can then put their own brand on the horse, and state brand board inspectors may then note only the new brand in their records (since it is “recognized”) and NOT the BLM freezemark (which they don’t “recognize”) which would identify a horse was a wild horse on public records. State brand inspectors can omit any traces of wild horses on their official records.
On the Spur Livestock 11/8/2008 sale (besides the fact that 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” were sold), the words “Freeze brand” are written under the brand symbol for the other 36 horses in this sale (a total of 70 horses). The words “Freeze Brand” aren’t written under this brand symbol on any other Local Ownership Inspection Certificates, or under any other brand symbols.
Another important detail stands out. In looking at over 3 years of Local Ownership Inspection Certificates of horses by Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Spur Livestock, this sale of 70 horses seems to be the largest sale of horses.
Looking at the fact that Spur Livestock claimed itself to be the “Owner” of the wild horses on this South Dakota State Brand Board Local Ownership Inspection Certificate, did Spur Livestock claim to own the wild horses that the BLM warehouses on this property? Or were these horses the wild horses that Jim Reeves BOUGHT from the BLM?
BLM Sales records obtained through a Freedom in Information Act (FOIA) request indicate Jim Reeves bought 72 wild horses (2 truckloads) from the BLM about one and two months before he sold the 34 BLM wild horses with BLM freezebrands and 36 branded horses directly to Joe Simon.
On 9/9/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 geldings, ages 11-13, from the Canon City Maintenance Facility (prison) in Colorado.
On 9/23/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 mares, ages 11-12, from the BLM’s Palomino Valley BLM holding facility in Nevada.
Jim Reeves already had wild horses on his property, including younger horses, and he could easily have arranged to buy 72 of those wild horses. So why would he buy 72 wild horses from Nevada and Colorado and pay shipping costs (or make the BLM pay shipping costs with your tax dollars) to have them shipped out to South Dakota?
On the Sales Questions Document (application) form for Spur Livestock, a handwritten note at the bottom of page 1 claims: “Horses will be used as pack animals.”
How easy do you think it would be to train 11-13 year old wild geldings (castrated stallions) to be pack animals? If he was so knowledgeable about wild horse behavior, why wouldn’t he have bought younger horses that would’ve been easier to train?
In a telephone conversation with Jim Reeves, when asked about the 72 horses he bought as pack animals, he said “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.” He said “I can’t talk about this” and “That’s BLM business.”
While the information below may not involve any wild horses, it seems to show that Jim Reeves, Lyle Anderson and Spur Livestock have sold horses directly to slaughter buyers more than once. (However, keep in mind that BLM freezemarks can be noted as “NO BRAND” and a new brand may be added and recognized as the ONLY brand, so the public has no absolute proof that these horses were NOT wild horses, either.)
In reviewing other South Dakota Brand Board records of Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson, horses sold included:
12/4/08 – 48 “No brand” horses were sold by Jim Reeves, and 2 “No Brand” horses by other Reeves family members, to Rusty Williams in George West, Texas. (not a known kill buyer)
2/25/09 – 31 branded horses belonging to Jim Reeves and other Reeves family members were sold directly to slaughterhouse Canadian Premium Meats, Lacombe, AB, Canada.
11/18/09 – 9 “no brand” horses and 3 horses Jim got only 6 days before (on 11/12/09) from Jess Starr of Dupree, SD, were sold to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.
11/18/09 – Jim Reeves sent 19 horses, including horses owned by Reeves family members, 3 branded horses Spur Livestock got from Vernon Starr of Dupree, SD only about 10 days before, 3 branded horses Jim Reeves got from Larry Long only 17 days before, and 6 horses from Jeff Hunt (Jim Reeves got 3 of these horses on 10/3/09) to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.
7/17/12 – Lyle Anderson sent 2 horses, (1″No Brand” horse and a palomino mare noted “Brand no registered. Horse comes from No Brand Area.” to an unknown buyer (the buyer line was left blank) in Pueblo, CO.
Canon City Prison – a BLM “Maintenance Facility”
Oddly, in reviewing FOIA documents of “Animals Shipped” out of the Canon City (Prison) Maintenance facility, and comparing these to FOIA documents on BLM sales, in September, 2008, when Jim Reeves bought the 36 wild horses, records from Canon City Correctional Facility indicate that no horses were shipped out in September, 2008, and only 1 horse the following month (October, 2008), and only 33 horses the month after that (November, 2008). So did the 36 horses that Jim Reeves bought from the BLM at this facility just walk past a SWAT team and out a back door?
This was not the only discrepancy in Canon City Maintenance Facility records. Tom Davis bought 120 horses in January, 2009, and Harry Vold bought 36 horses that same month (120+36 = 156), but Canon City records indicate only 4 horses were shipped out in January, 2009.
Anthony Nafe bought 33 horses in February, 2009, but Canon City records indicate only 1 horse was shipped out in February, 2009.
Tom Davis (only one of many this month) bought 111 horses in March, 2009, but Canon City records indicate only 77 horses were shipped out in March, 2009.
This goes on and on and on…the numbers don’t add up. I hope the person who’s counting the wild horses isn’t the same person who’s counting the prisoners.
My call to Mr. Fran Ackley (Program Lead for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in Colorado) for clarification on this issue was not returned.
So what, exactly, is “BLM business?”
Question #17 on Jim Reeves’ BLM sales question document was “Do you intend to resell these animals? An X was typed in the YES box.
Right off the bat, the person in the BLM sales office should’ve wondered who the horses would be sold to, and for what purpose, really.
It was odd that although all of the answers were typed, there were handwritten notes at the bottom of the page indicating the horses were to be used as pack animals. It seemed like an afterthought. Did Jim Reeves write this? Or did a BLM employee write this? The document wasn’t signed, either. The BLM seems to keep very sloppy legal documents.
On the Bills of Sales for the horses Jim Reeves bought, above the line that indicates Authorized Officer, the words “Virtual Migration Person” was typed in. Who was this?
It is also unusual that the BLM’s contract with Spur Livestock (NAC070071) was dated 4/9/2007 and signed by BLM’s contracting officer, but this was almost 2 months BEFORE the Environmental Assessment (EA) was issued (July, 2007). Usually, EAs have to be completed to determine whether or not a federal undertaking would significantly affect the environment, before a project can go forward. Did the BLM jump the gun and skirt NEPA requirements?
The base year (2007) of the Spur Livestock 5 year contract with the BLM was for $506,250. Looking at fedspending.org, it seems Spur Livestock has made $2,952,210
(Links to Spur Livestock contracts are included at the end of article.)
- Jim Reeves also received $198,604 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.
- Reeves is a member of the West Central Cattlemen’s Association in South Dakota.
- Reeves’ wife, Janna, is the office manager for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, and
- Janna’s sister, Jodi Hickman, is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.
- In 2010, horse slaughterhouse pusher Sue Wallis’ now defunct United Organizations of the Horse claimed that the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association made a “financial contribution” to the pro-horse slaughter cause.
- Jim and Janna Reeves, along with Jodi Hickman, are principals in the 3J Cattle Company.
- Jim Reeves’ brother is Tom Reeves, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Saddle “Bronc” rider.
- Jim Reeve’s partner in Spur Livestock, Lyle Anderson, has had a string of business ventures which the South Dakota Secretary of State now lists as “inactive.”
- Anderson also owns Anderson Construction, LLC, which is listed in the Secretary of State records as “Delinquent.”
- Lyle Anderson is also listed as the owner of Anderson Ranches Partnership.
- Lyle Anderson received $260,110 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.
In August, 2012, Reeves and Anderson appealed a decline of their application for the U.S. Small Business Administration Business Development Program.
While the BLM cons the public into believing that the captured wild horses live out their lives on long term holding pastures, it seems that the BLM knowingly allows middlemen to cover their tracks in a pipeline of wild horses going to slaughter.
What the BLM consistently seems to “maintain” is fraud against the American taxpayer in its Environmental Assessments, a long history of inhumane handling of wild horses, lack of oversight and accountability, a waste of tax dollars, and lies to both the public and Congress, so every aspect of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program needs to be investigated in a long overdue Congressional Investigation.
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs022/1101655399670/archive/1110611139942.html(Scroll down to 2nd article: “What is the Price Tag for Suffering?”)
SPUR Livestock contracts
http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+LivestockHYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”sortp=rHYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”detail=3HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”datype=THYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”reptype=rHYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”database=fpdsHYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”fiscal_year=HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”&HYPERLINK “http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?company_name=Spur+Livestock&sortp=r&detail=3&datype=T&reptype=r&database=fpds&fiscal_year=&submit=GO”submit=GO
Cross-posted from the PPJ Gazette http://ppjg.me/2013/01/22/wild-horses-sold-to-kill-buyer-by-blm-contractor/