Did you join the group requesting Nazi-like sterilization experiments on pregnant wild mares?

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

See the list of sterilization activists who are asking for sterilization experiments on wild mares below

A group of Pro-Experiment activists on a Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) support Facebook page called Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1446611602254365/) , have asked the BoLM to experiment on wild horses. They wrote a letter calling for the Oregon sterilization experiments. They also asked for PZP to be used on the more tame herds. Pro-Experiment activists in their group signed it. Pro-Slaughter activists signed it too.

If you have “joined” their group–just to watch what this treacherous group of Pro-Slaughter, Pro-Experiment, Pro-Livestock, Pro-Pesticide PZP activists, BoLM employees and supporters, etc. are up to–know that they count all their group members as people supporting their agenda for sterilization experiments on wild pregnant mares in Oregon and elsewhere.

Recently one of their admins boasted, “We have 2,000 members . . . “.

We were very shocked to see The Cloud Foundation board member, Linda Gresham Hanick, vocal in the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions group but since this group not only pushes for sterilization experiments on pregnant mares but also pushes for Pesticide PZP–like the Cloud Foundation who calls and partners with BLM for Pesticide PZP–we understand why their board member might be there. (http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf)

Hanick seems to have been also a vocal member of a group Facebook shut down for Harassment and Hate Speech targeting our volunteer executive director, Anne Novak who created the Forum on PZP for Wild Horses & Burros on Federal Land (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumPZPWildHorsesBurros) educating thousands of people on Pesticide PZP. Novak is against experimenting on wild horses, against horse slaughter and a strong advocate for wild horse freedom often quoted in the news.

I Hate Group Reviewed by FB and Closed screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.29.26 AM

Many of the signors of the Ovarian Ligation and PZP letter were active members of a public group Facebook shut down for Harassment and Hate Speech targeting Anne Novak. Keep in mind Novak and other members of the Alliance for Wild Horses and Burros have been speaking out against the experiments since they announced them.

We have evidence of members of the Hate Group engaging in stalking, harassment, hate speech, etc. plotting to interfere with Anne Novak’s work, Protect Mustangs‘ mission as we as the mission of The American Wild Horse Institute, care of the wild horses rescued back from the slaughterhouse known as the Wyoming 14™ (WY14™) plus others and evidence of their plot to smear Novak’s good reputation and more.

Below are the names of the members of Logical Solutions who signed the letter calling for sterilization experiments on pregnant mares:

Proposal of Ovarian Ligation
By Sandee Force on Monday, August 24, 2015

From: Members of Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions

To: U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council

Re: Population Management of wild herds on HMAs

The members of the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions have spent time considering potential solutions to the ever increasing number of horses and burros needing to be removed from the range held in both Long Term Holding and Short Term Holding. We feel that a two pronged program would both greatly decrease the number of animals needing to maintained in this manner and allow older mares to live out their lives on the range.

We would like to suggest that ovarian ligation be put into an immediate test program in at least 2 and preferably 3 herds using herds that are widely watched and recorded by regional photographers. Our suggestion would allow for mares that are old enough to have had at least 4-5 foals accessed at gathering and removed to the closest holding facility to do ovarian ligation by a veterinarian who has experience in this procedure. We would suggest that working with the state veterinary school located closest to each facility would be the optimal way to get young vets trained on this procedure and to potentially hire vets specifically for the program from this pool of trained professionals.We realize that standard policy would normally be to spend a number of years doing in pen trials with horses that would be scheduled to go to LTH. We feel that this can be bypassed by using herds that are currently being observed and by training the photographers to record information on these mares that would give accurate information about how they assimilate back into the herds. We would like to suggest that along with the ovarian ligation all fillies 3 and under be given PZP and allowed to be more mature at first foaling.

To summarize our proposal as accurately as possible, allowing for changes needed by region or herd.

1. Two to three test herds be chosen that mares will be brought in and those 3 and under be given the correct dosage of PZP for their age and mares that are of an age to have 4-5 foals on the ground have the ovarian ligation procedure done to at the holding
facility. Those mares that are operated on can be held for an appropriate period for recovery at the facility to document reaction and to ensure proper healing of all incisions before being returned to the area that they were captured. Any foals that are under weaning age should stay with the mare in the holding facility and be release with her. Use a
small hip brand to designate ovarian ligation for observation purposes.

2. Any mare that shows a major genetic defect or has thrown multiple foals with genetic disorders should automatically be put into the ovarian ligation program no matter what the age.

3. Train photographers and volunteers to work with the USGS and Universities to properly document range interaction of both the mares who have been given ovarian ligation and those fillies given PZP. Video and photographic documentation of herd/band interaction would be ideal. It is imperative to have USGS and at least one University involved in both
documentation and study of the effect of ovarian ligation on herd dynamics and the health and well being of both, mares and foals as well as the local bands that they belong to.

4. Document the short and long term consequences of ovarian ligation on the mares, i.e. heath, longevity, and acceptance/position within the band. Note if the mares are removed from the bands and act like bachelor stallion bands.

5. Within 3 years if the results of the test herds are good expand to other BLM managed herds with the goal to cut down on required gathers to once every 6-8 years.

6. Look into the possibility of darting with PZP every 2 years to expand the time young mares have a chance to mature before starting to foal.

The goal of this plan is to decrease the rate of population growth on the range.
In conjunction it would allow these older mares to stay on the range without adding to population growth until their deaths and not have to be gathered and shipped to Long Term Holding Facilities for their senior years. Between the ovarian ligation and using PZP on the fillies the herd’s rate of growth could be reduced by 50% per year. This would substantially help both the range and the cost of gathering and housing the horses and burros while keeping more horses on the range. By hip branding the mares that have had ovarian ligation you would be able to gate cut those mares back onto the range at any subsequent gather and not have to haul them off the range.

Some of the herds suggested for this procedure are South Steens, Oregon; Sand Wash Basin, Colorado; Twin Peaks, California; and/or BLM HMA around the Reno/Carson area of Nevada. These are herds that have been previously documented and in the case of both Sand Wash Basin and South Steens there is photographic documentation of the herds for 5-7 years that would be available to work within this project.


Sandra Force – Junction City, Oregon
AJ Sutton- Lawndale,Ca.
Kari Masoner – Tuson, Arizona
Ana Andrick – Wellington, Colorado
Nancy Warrick Kerson – Napa, California
Kathleen T. Granzow – Genoa City, Wisconsin
Thomas P. Brunshilde – Hammond, Wisconsin
Karen Goodroad – Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Lea Erwood – Rosedale, IN.
Kathryn Shirley – Holly Springs, North Carolina
Margaret Rothauge (Maggie) Creswell, Oregon
Angela Robey – Witch Well, AZ
Tom Hool – Casper, Wyoming
Debbra Dotson Christensen – Coquille, Oregon
Stephanie Jones – Eugene, Oregon
Jamie M. Adkins – Casper, Wyoming
Lisa Sink-Sheridan, Oregon
Beverly Shaffer – Burns, Oregon
Ramona Bishop – Burns, Oregon
Shyla Creasey – Oregon
Stacey Harnew –
Andi Harmon – Burns, Oregon
Keelyn Fawcett – Salem, OR
Kimberly Omnes
Mark Omnes
Angela “Angel” Rakestraw – Dinwiddie, Va
Jennifer Gregton – Midvale, Idaho
Iris Benson – Corvallis, Oregon
Karen Landis – Centralia, WA
Candy Nichols – Poolville, TX
Christina Picchi
Bree Alsman – Sandy, Oregon
JoAnna Lamb – Boardman, Oregon
Tracey Westbury – Bellingham, Washington
Cathy Smith – Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Rhonda Chayer – Barton, Vermont
Debbie Jackson – Ellensburg, Washington
Jes Sothern – Oregon
Rex Moore – Denton, Texas
Rose Howe – Monument, Oregon
Kerry O’Brien – Van Nuys, CA.
Susan Clogson – Woodinville, Washington
Nancy Willard – Eugene, Oregon
Loretta M. Jones – Redmond, Oregon
Jennie Kreutzer – Arlington, Washington
Monica Shifflet – New Haven, PA
Crystal Cooke – Clovis, New Mexico
Christie Brown – Daphne, Alabama
Pat Garcia – Burnet, Texas
Carrie Marie Fuesler – Brownsville, Oregon
Jackie Mousseau – Clinton Township MI
Betty Forman
Kathy Tellechea – Lexington, OR
Jim Bishop – Hines, Oregon
Angela Huston – St Louis, Missouri
Mike Huston – St Louis, Missouri
Kay Hamilton – Phoenix, OR
Richelle Wilson – Hillsboro, OR
Suzanne Ganazzi – Point Reyes Station, California
Tina Smith – Sommers, Conn
Andrea Walker – Fort Worth, Texas
Jeni Adler Snyder, Oklahoma
Ash Michael – Madison, South Dakota
Ashley Lawler
Brigid Piccaro – Acton, California
Kathryn Meyer – Orion, MI
Nancy Kohl – Surprise, Arizona
Jeni Adler – Snyder, Oklahoma
Kate Bogel – Howell, New Jersey
Lara Mogensen – Ellensburg, Washington
Carol Davis – Selma, Oregon
Susan Humphrey – Hot Springs, South Dakota
Gini Everts – Eugene, Oregon 

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

The Role of Livestock in Sage Grouse Decline



By, George Wuerthner Grazing, Livestoc

Cross-posted from: http://bit.ly/2ad8Hni for educational purposes

The Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is the largest grouse in North America. The grouse is found in sagebrush steppe from Alberta to New Mexico and throughout the Great Basin region of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.  The sage grouse is extirpated from much of its former range and is no longer found in British Columbia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

Habitat loss, combined with habitat degradation has led to its decline from a previous estimated population of 16 million to the present 250,000-500,000 across its remaining vast geographical range.  Because many of the remaining populations are small and fragmented, the bird’s population continues to decline due to random stochastic events like local winter storms that might cause an isolated group to wink out and perhaps as a consequence of genetic issues related to inbreeding depression.  The bird is currently under petition for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The decline of the sage grouse is symptomatic of the overall decline of the ecological health of the sage brush steppe with which it is intricately entwined. In parts of the bird’s range, much of the sagebrush habitat in eastern Washington, northern Montana, and parts of Northwest Oregon has been converted to wheat and other agricultural croplands.

In parts of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Utah oil and gas development has led to significant habitat fragmentation of the sage brush steppe and thus declines in sage grouse.

In small areas, habitat has also been lost to urban and rural development, wind farms, power line corridors, and other factors.


But the common denominator in the bird’s decline across its entire geographical range is livestock production.

With the exception of the habitat acreage lost to agricultural production, these other factors have only recently become an issue for sage grouse survival. Sage grouse numbers have been falling for decades, long before some of these other factors like oil and gas development, power lines, wind farms, subdivisions, and so forth were an issue across much of its habitat, however, livestock have been degrading sage grouse habitat for a century or more.

Livestock affect sage grouse at every step of their life history.


Sage grouse lack a muscular gizzard so can’t eat seeds. They must consume soft foods. Although sage grouse depend on sage brush, they also do consume forbs (flowers) insects and perhaps even grasses at certain seasons. In summer months forbs can make up to 40% of the adult diet. Since cattle also eat these same plants, in many areas, cattle are consuming the food that might otherwise sustain sage grouse. In drought years (when competition between cattle and grouse is more intense) sometimes grouse will simply forgo breeding in low nutrition years. By contrast, hens in good nutritional shape will produce more eggs, and healthier chicks. So the mere presence of cattle and sheep grazing sage grouse habitat is literally taking food out of the mouth of sage grouse.

Sage grouse require good grass/forb cover under or near sage brush as hiding cover for nesting habitat to avoid predators. Grazing removes a lot of that cover, making hens vulnerable to predation from coyotes, ravens, and even ground squirrels. In Idaho they are poisoning ravens to “boost” sage grouse numbers–instead of leaving more grass behind to give sage grouse sufficient cover. If the grass cover is good, the hens are less vulnerable to predators.


Another impact of grazing on nesting success has to do with micro-climate. Males do not help raise the young or guard the eggs, thus the female must leave periodically to feed. During this time, it’s critical for the nest and eggs to have enough cover to moderate the nest environment. Temperatures either too hot or too cold can be disastrous to the eggs. Again livestock grazing often reduces this critical cover component.

Unlike some other “chicken like” birds say pheasant, sage grouse tend to have fewer eggs. They are a long-lived bird, but they can’t sustain high nest losses year after year.


After the chicks hatch, they feed mostly on insects and forbs in wet meadows and riparian areas. Forbs constitute up to 50% of their diet for the first 11 weeks. Insects are also important and may be as much as 75% of their diet in the first couple of weeks.

Unfortunately the activity that has destroyed more riparian habitat and wet meadows than any other is livestock grazing. Cattle trample the soils reducing the infiltration of water reducing the physical extent of wet meadows. They break down stream banks creating down cutting of stream channels which then causes the water table to fall, again reducing the extent of wet meadows or riparian vegetation.  Livestock trample springs, and/or ranchers often “develop” springs to water stock, in either case limiting their output which is the source for summer flows in many streams, again reducing the riparian influence.

Livestock are naturally attracted to wet meadows and riparian areas and preferentially graze these areas because high soil moisture increases overall plant production and palatablity. Yet the vegetation in these wet meadows and riparian area  is critical as hiding cover for chicks so they are not eaten by predators.

This effect of plant cover loss is amplified in drought years to the detriment of grouse. Since lower precipitation means less grass production and cover, chicks are already more vulnerable to predators. But in drought years, wet meadows are especially attractive to cattle which often graze them down to billiard table lawns with no cover for chicks or adult hens.

Yet another way that livestock production has impacted sage grouse is the loss of the best habitat to livestock production. Sage grouse do best on flat to slightly sloping terrain with some streams or wetlands close by. Of course, throughout the West, this is exactly the habitat that has been converted into private ranchlands. Native wet meadows and riparian areas have been destroyed and particularly the low elevation terrain has been converted to alfalfa fields and other exotic grasses. Overall across its vast geographical range this loss of this critical habitat element has reduced sage grouse numbers just as the conversion to wheat fields has negatively impacted the bird.


Sage grouse are vulnerable to habitat disturbance. Sage grouse are weak fliers. They prefer to walk. When there is anything like seeding projects or hay fields, or even a road, it can fragment habitat and make sage grouse either abandon habitat or avoid those areas, even if good habitat may exist beyond the barrier.

One of the linear barriers to sage grouse movement as well as habitat loss throughout sage grouse habit range is fences. A surprising number of sage grouse just fly into fences.  A number of studies have documented significant mortality from fences, particularly among young grouse.

Fences also provide perches for avian predators (i.e. golden eagles, hawks, ravens, etc.) that survey the surrounding terrain for sage grouse. Because sage grouse recognize that perches are a predator trap, some studies have shown that grouse avoid fences for up to a half mile on either side of the fence. That means for every mile of fence out there, you are losing a mile wide patch of habitat. Multiply this by all the livestock fences in the West, and you start to understand what a big impact fencing has upon grouse.

Why are there fences all over the open spaces of the West? One reason–livestock.

Of course sage grouse get their name because they eat sage brush most of the year. Without sage brush they starve. Plus sage brush provides cover from predators and thermal cover in winter when there is cold weather. This is particularly important in winter when “wind chill” can greatly increase metabolic demands. Grouse will even burrow into the snow under the branches of sage brush in cold weather. Thus they are sage brush obligates.


One of the biggest negative impacts on sage brush has been livestock management practices on sage brush itself. In many parts of the West federal agencies like the BLM, FS, etc. have and/or are either spraying herbicides and/or burning it to eliminate sage brush to produce more grasses for livestock to eat. Millions of acres have been impacted. This is less common today than in the past because of the potential listing of sage grouse, but one cannot underestimate how much damage has been done to the grouse over the years by sage brush elimination programs. Unfortunately it still occurs. Sage brush burning proposals designed to increase livestock forage in occupied sage grouse habitat are being implemented across western states.

There are also seeding programs that have had the same effect. The notorious Vale Project in eastern Oregon eliminated millions of acres of sage brush to plant crested wheatgrass, an exotic grass from Russia, that has little value for wildlife, but is grazed by cows. Again why was this done? To increase forage for livestock on the public lands.


One of the threats to sage grouse are range fires burning through sage brush. Wildfires are a natural occurrence and natural process in sage brush habitat, however, over the past few decades, the fire frequency has been greatly accelerated due to the widespread establishment of cheatgrass in the sage brush steppe. Cheatgrass is highly flammable.

Cheatgrass doesn’t magically appear and it has a difficult time invading healthy sage brush habitat.

However when sage brush steppe is degraded by livestock grazing, it reduces the competitive ability of the native grasses to complete with cheatgrass. Cattle prefer to graze on the native grasses (hence the name cheatgrass because in the old days ranchers felt “cheated” when cheatgrass replaced the natives). So while the native grasses are grazed and must recover from grazing, the cows largely ignore the cheatgrass.

The second factor in the spread of cheatgrass related to cows has to do with biocrusts. Biocrusts grow on the soil surface in-between the native grasses and sage brush. These soil crusts do several things including reduce soil erosion. But they also prevent the seeds of cheatgrass from getting into the soil. Cheatgrass as an annual plant has small seeds, and if the seed doesn’t get roots into the soil quickly they die. Native grasses have large seeds, and have enough energy to get roots through the crusts. Also since native grasses are long lived–up to 150 years–they only have to get a few seeds into the soil once a century to replace themselves.

By far the worst thing that cattle do is trample the biocrust. And it’s important to note that the entire Great Basin  did not have large herds of grazing animals like bison in historic times. The plant communities are therefore not adapted to trampling and heavy hooves tearing up the soil.

Worse for range recovery most native grasses require a decade without any grazing at all to begin to recover from a fire, but due to the pressure from ranchers, most rangelands seldom get more than 1-2 years rest before cattle are moved back on to them. This greatly reduces the recovery and favors cheatgrass again.


Another way that livestock has impacted sage grouse has to do with water troughs. In many of the drier parts of the West, ranchers have put out stock tanks to provide water. Stock tanks are good breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus which kills sage grouse. In some populations, as much as 29% of the birds have died from the infection.


As sage grouse populations decrease, the negative effects of inbreeding regression sets in further eroding the viability of the species. So it may not seem like a big deal if a few breeding leks disappear or there remain some “strongholds” with grouse, keep in mind that grouse are a tournament species, meaning that a relatively few males do the bulk of all breeding. This significantly reduces the genetic diversity in small populations, making them further likely to wink out.

States and Wildlife Agencies are engaged in these so-called “Sage Grouse Working Groups” to avoid listing under the ESA.   But, those groups ignore livestock impacts and management that would leave sufficient cover of grasses and forbs in riparian areas and meadows during the summer brood rearing season.  Further, these groups are channels for Federal tax dollars to provide more vegetation treatments, more seedings, more range water developments, fences and infrastructure while not addressing the basic problem, overstocking and poor to no direct control over livestock.

Does the Bureau of Land Management want to shoot wild horses with pesticides or sterilize them from helicopters now?

Pm PZP Darts


Speak out against motorized vehicles (helicopters, etc.) to roundup, dart underpopulated wild horses and burros as well as transporting them away from their homes forever!


Who says BLM won’t sterilize wild horses from helicopters?

BLM Spin Doctors put this out:

Battle Mountain, NV.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing on the use of motorized vehicles including aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.  The hearing will be held on Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. at the Bureau of Land Management Battle Mountain Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820.

An annual public hearing is required to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.  The BLM proposes to use a helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to conduct population surveys on herd management areas (HMAs) and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada.  Also proposed is using a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros on HMAs and complexes throughout the state during the coming year.  The actual number of areas where gathers or population surveys will be conducted will depend on a number of factors including funding. The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

We hope some real advocates will show up at the hearing to tell them wild horses are underpopulated and should be left free from harassment, period.

If you cannot attend the hearing, written comments must be mailed to the BLM Battle Mountain District Office, Attention: Shawna Richardson, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, Nevada 89820 and Email to: bmfoweb@blm.gov and be received by August 8, 2016 to be considered. Be sure to copy your senators and representative on your comments.

Keep in mind Shawna Richardson is an active member of the pro-livestock Facebook “Solutions” group pushing sterilization of America’s wild horses. Beware: Her buddies in wild horse advocacy will say she’s just trying to help the wild horses with the “tools in the toolbox”. That’s how the traitors hide the “Final Solution” for wild horses and burros.


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

Underpopulation, sterilization, pesticides and Pandora’s box

Watch the Pro-Cattle, Pro-Sterilization, Pro-Slaughter Activists Push to Wipe Out America’s Wild Horses and Burros in the House Committee on Natural Resources

When advocates stop fighting for wild horses and burros to remain really free in large numbers on public land put aside by Congress for their principal but not exclusive use, then we have a problem.
When advocates go along with BLM’s overpopulation myth and their agenda for “fertility control” we have a problem.
When the advocacy is divided over forced drugging wild mares with Pesticide PZP, as defined by the EPA, we have a problem.
Now wild horse haters and special interest groups are gaining ground in Washington with YOUR elected officials! Are YOUR senators and congress people representing your voice in government or are they representing Dirty Money?
Never underestimate the Pandora’s Box known as PZP and other methods used to manage underpopulated wild horses to EXTINCTION.
American wild horses & burros have the right to be an essential part of the thriving natural ecological system on public lands!
Contact your elected officials today! Senators are in office until July 1: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ ASK that they stop the assault on wild horses and PROTECT them!
PUBLIC comment allowed for 10 Business days after the Natural Resources meeting, which is July 7, 2016.  EMAIL: the Clerk: aniela.butler@mail.house.gov

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

BLM Fakes Population Growth to Wipe Out America’s Wild Horses

The feds’ mustang population “data” is a fraud 

By Marybeth Devlin

While pretending to rely on the assumption that herds grow 20% a year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posts numbers up to 8 times higher than that to justify roundups, which are pre-scheduled on a rotation-basis, seeming to target particular herds. For instance, the Agency recently claimed that the famous Kiger herd in Oregon grew from 21 horses to 156 horses in just four years — an increase of 643%, which equates to a yearly average increase of 160%, which is 8 times higher than the 20% BLM supposedly uses. [1] Such growth is biologically impossible. Kiger is not an isolated example, although it is the worst found so far. Here are some other phony figures on population-growth recently claimed by BLM to make it appear that gathers were necessary:

Blawn Wash (UT)
297.4 % increase in 3 years, averaging 99.1 % per year

Fish Creek (NV)
80% increase in one year

Green Mountain (WY)
281% increase in four years, averaging 70.3% per year

Stewart Creek (WY)
311% increase in four years, averaging 77.8% per year
But herd-growth is unlikely to reach even 20 percent a year. It is important to understand that the birth-rate is not the same as–and should not be equated to–the population growth-rate. Here’s why: Horses die. An independent study reviewed BLM roundup-records for a representative sample of four herd management areas composed of 5,859 wild horses (Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston, 2014). While the researchers found an overall birth-rate of just under 20 percent, they also found that half of foals perish in their first year of life. Thus, the effective foal-to-yearling survival-rate is just 10 percent. Further, adult wild horses also perish. They succumb to illness, injury, and predation. Their death-rate must be taken into consideration as well. But BLM ignores mortality–foal and adult–in its population-estimates. Given the 50% foal mortality-rate, and the 5% or higher average annual death-rate of adult wild horses, herd-growth could not increase 20% a year, and a herd-population could not double in 4 years–refuting yet another BLM myth.

Stealthily inserting bogus birth-rates into the data, wrongly conflating birth-rates with population growth-rates, and failing to factor in mortality-rates–that is how BLM creates the false impression of a population-explosion. But “cooking the books” is not the only way BLM falsifies the population-picture. Another ruse BLM employs is restricting maximum herd-size below minimum-viable population (MVP) size. Then, whenever a herd is made to appear–via fictitious figures–to exceed the arbitrary management level, BLM screams “excess!” and declares an immediate need for mass-removals and sterilizations. It should be noted that more than 70 percent of the herds are “managed” below MVP.

BLM also fails to consider another factor limiting herd-growth–stochastic events–which are random catastrophes such as wildfires or contagious diseases that suddenly wipe out mass-numbers of herd-members. Stochastic events can result in no-growth or even negative growth.

Now BLM is distributing grant-money to universities and researchers to study more ways of dealing with the phantom overpopulation. All manner of sicko experiments are being carried out on the wild horses, such as treating them with endocrine disruptors and sterilizing them surgically. Why? Because BLM is a corrupt agency. It invented this counterfeit crisis to create a sense of urgency, which will pressure Congress to give the Agency extra money to “solve” a non-existent problem.

TAKE ACTION: Sign and share by email the Petition to Stop the Wild Horse and Burro Roundups and Slaughter here: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-amp-burro-roundups

Contact your elected officials to make them aware of BLM’s fraudulent population claims to get funding for wild horse roundups and warehousing at great taxpayer expense: http://www.contactingthecongress.org

Click “Like” https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs for updates and alerts

Visit www.ProtectMustangs.org for more information and click on the donate button help fight the injustice! You can make a difference.

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

(Photo by BLM. Roundup paid for with your tax dollars.)

[1] Using simple division to calculate the average increase is how most people would “do the math”–dividing the percentage increase (643%) by the number of years (4). Expressing the average that way is readily understandable. However, another way of calculating it is what is called the “compound annual growth rate” (CAGR). Per that method, herd-growth can be likened to compound interest that you earn on a savings account; except of course that horses do die, which complicates the computations. But for now, let’s assume that horses never die, because that’s the assumption that BLM makes.

Using the free, online CAGR tool linked below, you would enter Kiger’s beginning population–21–and its alleged ending population–156–and the number of years that had passed–4. Then press the “Calculate CAGR” button, and the tool will compute the compound annual growth rate. For the Kiger herd, the CAGR is 65%, which is “only” 3.25 times higher–instead of 8 times higher–than 20%.

Here is the tool to compute CAGR:


Here are the other herds cited and their CAGRs. Fish Creek stays the same because its growth is just for one year.

Blawn Wash (UT)
38 = Population-estimate 2012
151 = Population-estimate 2014, including new foals

297.4 % = Percentage increase in three years
99.1 % = Simple average annual growth-rate
58.4 % = Compound annual growth-rate (CAGR)

Fish Creek (NV)
256 = Population-estimate 2013
461 = Population-estimate 2014, before foaling season (January)
80.1% = Percentage increase in one year

Green Mountain (WY)
258 = Population-estimate post-gather at the end of 2011
982 = Population-estimate in 2015 — including that year’s foals*

281.0 % = Percentage increase in four years
70.3 % = Simple average annual growth-rate
39.7 % = Compound annual growth-rate (CAGR)

Stewart Creek
124 = Population-estimate post-gather at the end of 2011
509 = Population-estimate in 2015 — including that year’s foals*

311.0 % = Percentage increase in four years
77.8 % = Simple average annual growth-rate
42.3 % = Compound annual growth-rate (CAGR)
* BLM’s population-modeling criteria said foals were not included in the AML. Evidently, they were.

Further Insight into Calculating Population-Growth

At the link below, you will find a discussion posted by the University of Oregon, providing a comparison between the simple average and the compound annual growth-rate methodologies for calculating annual percentage population-growth.

As will be readily apparent, the simple average approach is “straight-line” and … simple. Forgive yet another pun, but the average person can easily understand it and “do the math.”

The compound annual method, on the other hand, is extraordinarily complicated to compute, which is why the online tool is almost a necessity.

What is important is that both are legitimate ways of describing the data.


It should be kept in mind that population-growth estimates must consider births and deaths, not just births. That’s one reason why the Gregg et al. study was so important — it established, per BLM’s own documentation, a slightly-less than 20-percent birth-rate and a 50-percent foal mortality-rate. So, a wild-horse herd growth-rate of, for example, 65%, would have to mean a birth-rate that was much higher than 65% to offset foal deaths (50%) and adult deaths (5%).


Complaint to the Office of the Inspector General regarding BLM killing 28 wild horses near Las Vegas


To the Office of the Inspector General at the United States Department of Interior

Dear Sirs,

We officially request a full investigation into the management of wild horses and land use planning 6 years before the roundup, the roundup itself, feeding, veterinary care and killing of the 28 Cold Creek wild horses who had become skinny.

  • Why didn’t the BLM help these federally protected wild horses get the forage they needed earlier?
  • Why didn’t the BLM move the native wild horses up to areas with more forage?
  • What happened to their forage?
  • What about the livestock grazing permits? (see attached)
  • What organizations were pushing for BLM to use PZP, a controversial EPA restricted use pesticide for “birth control”–made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries–that sterilizes after multiple use? http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf
  • Are the wild horses getting pushed out and killed as part of the New Energy Frontier–to put massive solar farms on fragile desert land and therefore impacting wildlife? https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/lup/2900/49868/54310/LV-RMP_Poster_Renewable_Energy.pdf
  • Why aren’t the Cold Creek wild horses getting their fair share of the land that is for their principal but not exclusive use according to the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Protection Act?
  • Why is the agency appointed “appropriate management level” (AML) for wild horses so low when a genetically viable herd needs more members?
  • Why is the BLM limiting access to the public to bare witness to this cruel roundup?
  • Was euthanasia chosen for convenience and the bottom line, pure and simple?
  • Did they look at the feed and labor involved vs adoptability and take the cheap and easy way out?

Rescues and members of the public would have helped bring the Cold Creek wild horses back to health if manpower was an issue. Adoption would have been simple once they healed because people know about them and cherish them.

Tourists from around the world, visiting Las Vegas, love the wild horses of the American West.

The BLM continues to roundup more beloved Cold Creek wild horses and we pray they will not kill any more but nurse them back to health.

The public is outraged.

We thank you for investigating into the wrongdoings surrounding the management, roundup and killing of 28 Cold Creek wild horses, provide transparency and shine the light of truth.

Anne Novak


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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs
In the news: https://newsle.com/AnneNovak

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

Why does France TV 2 report mostly from the side of BLM and pro-slaughter advocates?


PM Photo Wild Horses ©AdventureJournalist

The overpopulation myth is dangerous

Recently France TV 2 came to the American West to report on the “problems” caused by the “overpopulation” of wild horses. Someone either fed them the story or they did a little research on Google about American mustangs and found the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) authoritative spin, vast website and their new America’s Mustang campaign to get their overpopulation message out, couched with pretty pictures and enticing video footage of huge herds running, helicopter roundups, etc. making news reporting easy. What foreign journalists would think the BLM is lying about wild horses chasing cows away from water sources when they have so much “factual” material out there to back up their position that there are too many wild horses?

France TV 2 reports:

From: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/video-les-chevaux-sauvages-se-reproduisent-trop-vite-un-probleme-pour-l-ouest-americain_949025.html

Synopsis Translation:

Wild horses reproduce too fast, a problem for the American West

The United States prohibits mustang slaughter but the same authorities want to limit their number to 25,000 although there are already 50,000 on the land

Mustangs are no longer welcome in the American West. Federal authorities ring the alarm for the overpopulation of wild horses on the land. There will be 150,000 in five years if nothing is done to stop their expansion. A bigger problem than the horses reproducing quickly and devouring everything on their path, according to the administration, is what is creating conflicts with certain ranchers.

2,000 horses were removed in 2015, an insufficient number

The Unites States prohibits slaughtering mustangs, but the same authorities want to limit their number to 25,000 but 50,000 mustangs are on the land. The ranchers who share the land with the wild horses won’t tolerate limited access to water sources in areas invaded by wild horses. The mustangs chase off their livestock.

In total, 2,000 chevaux were gathered in 2015, an insufficient number to reach the fixed objective, but the animal defenders call the process barbaric. Different methods have been launched without results, and that’s pushing the federal authorities to propose an award of one and a half million dollars to find a long lasting solution for the wild horse problem.

BLM’s spin dominates news report

Sadly the myths reported as truth in the France TV 2 news report were not countered effectively and the good counter points ended up in the trash. The journalists interviewed BLM staff on the range. They met with ranchers who push the overpopulation myth and are pro-slaughter–including Callie Hendricksen. They interviewed Carol Walker, photographer,  legal plaintiff and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at a watering hole with a lot of mustangs. The journalists reported on training at a prison program with failed adoptions being the undertone. France TV 2 seems to have heard from all sides of the issue to be fair but who were their handlers? Was it Callie Hendrickson or BLM’s staff over at their America’s Mustang campaign? The news editor crafted the story from the materials shot in the field resulting in the BLM and pro-slaughter viewpoint out in front. The whole story focused on the alleged overpopulation of wild horses in a country that prohibits slaughter with the feds offering $1.5 million to whoever find the lasting solution for population control. Sounds like the BLM pitched this story to push their heinous agenda.

The French report shows the advocacy where we are losing the battle. . . We are split. . .  A portion of the advocacy is supporting the overpopulation myth and offering solutions to the false problem. Are there really too many native wild horses left in the wild?

Overpopulation must exist to justify radical zero growth fertility control measures such as PZP, castration, field spaying and slaughter

When wild horse groups support BLM’s overpopulation myth–with advocates pushing PZP as the “solution” to the “problem”–the overpopulation myth gets stronger and is eventually seen as truth. Reporting on myths as truth is a tactic used to sway public opinion–the second largest super power according to the President of the United States.

If we don’t all stand up to disprove the overpopulation myth then slaughter, sterilization and cruel roundups will be the end result.

PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries, is used for slow extermination because science proves it sterilizes after multiple use while the general public doesn’t notice. It’s a way to manage them to extinction, period. Proponents of the one foal only policy are jeopardizing survival of the species. What happens when the mare is sterilized through PZP applications and her “one foal” dies in the wild?

BLM has no accurate head counts of wild horses. The National Academy of Sciences stated in their 2013 report that there is “no evidence” of overpopulation, period.

Time to stand together

It’s time for all advocates to come together to protect wild horses. Together we are a mighty force for the wild ones.

I challenge all group leaders and advocates to put aside personal differences, break their contracts with BLM and agree to fight together to protect America’s wild horses for once and for all. Together we can do this.

Many blessings,



Anne Novak

Executive Director




Links of interest™:

France TV reports on the overpopulation problem: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/video-les-chevaux-sauvages-se-reproduisent-trop-vite-un-probleme-pour-l-ouest-americain_949025.html

U.S. looking for ideas to help manage wild-horse overpopulation (Washington Post): http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-looking-for-ideas-to-help-manage-wild-horse-overpopulation/2014/01/26/8cae7c96-84f2-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html?wprss=rss_national

Outrage over secret documents planning to kill or slaughter 50,000 native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=777

Petition to Defund and Stop Wild Horse Roundups: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups

The Atlantic reports on Callie Hendrickson’s contentious appointment to represent the public on the Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board in 2012: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/the-lasso-tightens-around-americas-wild-horses/252948/

Callie Hendrickson: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Callie-Hendrickson/277533708

EPA pesticide fact sheet on PZP: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

Rounding up wild horses to put cattle on the land

Eye witness reports:

“This video was taken at the BLM Antelope Complex “Gather” south of Wells, NV on 24-Feb-2011. We had just come from observing the BLM Contract capture 6 Wild Horse about 4 miles away. They said that there are too many Wild Horses on this range land. The range can’t support the estimated 2000+ Wild Horses. Yet as we left the capture there are 100s maybe a 1000 pregnant cattle just arriving onto the range. Hmmmm, does that make sense?”

Tobacco science scapegoats wild horses for livestock damage in the West

Dave Philipps writes an anti-wild horse story with pro-slaughter undertones–ignoring the fact that livestock grazing is destroying public land

By Anne Novak, Founder of Protect Mustangs

In his New York Times piece, As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up, Philipps writes,

“There are now twice as many wild horses in the West as federal land managers say the land can sustain. The program that manages them has broken down, and unchecked populations pose a threat to delicate public land, as well as the ranches that rely on it.”

Why is Philipps ignoring the 2013 National Academy of Sciences’ statement that there is “no evidence of overpopulation”?

Philipps also avoids the fact that commercial livestock outnumbers wild horses more than 50 to I on public land.

If left unchecked, horse populations could decimate grass and water on public lands, he said, potentially leading to starvation among horse herds and other native species, as well as lawsuits from ranchers and wildlife groups.

Why is the Pulitzer Prize-winner spreading myths that America’s wild horses are not native by writing this?

Wild horses today are the descendants of stray American Indian ponies and cavalry mounts, as well as more recent ranch stock. Roaming a patchwork of parched rangeland roughly the size of Alabama, they have been protected by federal law since 1971 from capture or hunting. Since then, the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees most of the herds, has said that keeping the population around 26,000 would ensure the long-term health of the horses and the land.

Surely this investigative journalist learned that wild horses are indigenous.

Below are some excerpts from scientific papers on wild horses as native or ‘returned-native’ species:

In 2010, Jay Kirkpatrick and Patricia Fazio explained the following in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife:

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.

Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock‐gone‐loose” appellation.

In June 2014 the American Journal of Life Science published The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, by Craig Downer who writes,

“Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native. Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, semi-nomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems.”

Read the extensive paper here: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Other truths were ignored also. . . For example, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has produced factual reports proving livestock is causing extensive range damage. Philipps fails to mention this damage in his article. Here are some examples of PEER’s excellent information:

Data Backs BLM Manager’s Allotment Cuts in Face of “Cowboy Express” Protest

Washington, DC (September 25, 2014)— A U.S. Bureau of Land Management District Manager from Nevada targeted by angry Nevada ranchers was more than justified in removing cattle from drought-stricken public rangeland, according to data released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Tomorrow, protesting ranchers start a “Cowboy Express” ride to Washington demanding removal of BLM Battle Mountain District Manager Douglas Furtado as an “abusive federal employee” even as conservation groups urge that Furtado be commended not condemned for his actions.

In July, Battle Mountain District Manager Furtado ordered livestock removed from parched range on the sprawling 332,000-acre Argenta allotment in northern Nevada after conditions fell below thresholds that ranchers and BLM had previously agreed would trigger removal. The ranchers contend that Furtado’s actions were arbitrary but an analysis of Geographic Information Systems and BLM data reveal range in terrible ecological shape:

  • Nearly every Battle Mountain allotment evaluated failed range health standards for wildlife and water quality, largely due to livestock grazing;
  • Half of the Argenta Allotment, and roughly 30% of the Battle Mountain District is habitat for sage grouse, a species being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. BLM has been directed to protect the species’ habitat but 90% of assessed sage grouse habitat was in Battle Mountain allotments failing standards due to livestock; and
  • Fence line contrasts visible in satellite imagery show that public lands in the checkerboarded allotment are far more heavily grazed than private lands, suggesting that ranchers are more protective of their own lands than they are of publicly-owned range.

Read the full article here.

Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects

Washington, DC (September 16, 2014)— The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros, according to an appraisal by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the BLM’s approach to range management targets scattered wild horses and burros while ignoring far more numerous cattle.

The agency’s assessment is part of a 2013 report on factors influencing conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have declined as much as 90% across the West and which is under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. That report concludes that twice the area of sage grouse habitat is negatively impacted by wild horses and burros than the area negatively impacted by livestock. A PEER appraisal of the methodology found –

  • BLM calculates the “area of influence” of wild horses and burros on sage grouse habitat based merely on their presence within Herd Management Areas in sage grouse habitat, while it considers livestock impact to have occurred only when livestock grazing allotments fail the agency’s Land Health Status (LHS) standard for wildlife;
  • If the agency used the same approach for calculating the area of influence of livestock within BLM grazing allotments on sage grouse habitat as it did for wild horses and burros, the area of influence for livestock would be roughly 14 times that given in the report and more than six times that of wild horses and burros; and
  • Within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.

“At BLM apparently not all hooves are created equal,” said PEER’s Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the LHS evaluations cover more than 20,000 grazing allotments and examine whether a grazing allotment meets the agency’s standards for rangeland health with respect to several vegetation and habitat conditions. “This helps explain why wild horses are regularly removed from the range but livestock numbers are rarely reduced.”

Read the full article here.

33 million Acres of BLM Grazing Allotments Fail Basic Rangeland Health Standards

Washington, DC (May 14, 2012)— A new federal assessment of rangelands in the West finds a disturbingly large portion fails to meet range health standards principally due to commercial livestock operations, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In the last decade as more land has been assessed, estimates of damaged lands have doubled in the 13-state Western area where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts major livestock leasing.

The “Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring and Evaluation Report for Fiscal Year 2011” covers BLM allotments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The report totals BLM acreage failing to meet rangeland health standards in measures such as water quality, watershed functionality and wildlife habitat:

  • Almost 40% of BLM allotments surveyed since 1998 have failed to meet the agency’s own required land health standards with impairment of more than 33 million acres, an area exceeding the State of Alabama in size, attributed to livestock grazing;
  • Overall, 30% of BLM’s allotment area surveyed to date suffers from significant livestock-induced damage, suggesting that once the remaining allotments have been surveyed, the total impaired area could well be larger than the entire State of Washington; and
  • While factors such as drought, fire, invasion by non-native plants, and sprawl are important, livestock grazing is identified by BLM experts as the primary cause (nearly 80%) of BLM lands not meeting health standards.

“Livestock’s huge toll inflicted on our public lands is a hidden subsidy which industry is never asked to repay,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the percentage of impairment in lands assessed remains fairly consistent over the past decade. “The more we learn about actual conditions, the longer is the ecological casualty list.”

Read the full article here.

Scientists Told to Not Consider Grazing Due to Fear of Lawsuits and Data Gaps

Washington, DC — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is carrying out an ambitious plan to map ecological trends throughout the Western U.S. but has directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a possible factor in changing landscapes, according to a scientific integrity complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The complaint describes how one of the biggest scientific studies ever undertaken by BLM was fatally skewed from its inception by political pressure.

Funded with up to $40 million of stimulus funds, BLM is conducting Rapid Ecoregional Assessments in each of the six main regions (such as the Colorado Plateau and the Northern Great Plains) covering the vast sagebrush West. A key task was choosing the “change agents” (such as fire or invasive species) which would be studied. Yet when the scientific teams were assembled at an August 2010 workshop, BLM managers informed them that grazing would not be studied due to anxiety from “stakeholders,” fear of litigation and, most perplexing of all, lack of available data on grazing impacts.

Exclusion of grazing was met with protests from the scientists. Livestock grazing is permitted on two-thirds of all BLM lands, with 21,000 grazing allotments covering 157 million acres across the West. As one participating scientist said, as quoted in workshop minutes:

“We will be laughed out of the room if we don’t use grazing. If you have the other range of disturbances, you have to include grazing.”

Read the full piece here.

Why hasn’t Phillips used PEER’s information to report fairly or is he only chomping on what the Cattlemen’s lobby feed him?

The Times article also pushes the wild horse overpopulation myth to fool people into believing there is a problem. For example, In northeastern Nevada only 1,338 wild horses are allowed on 1.8 million acres of public land designated for their primary but not exclusive use. Hardly overpopulated.

Holistic range management options aren’t discussed but the massive slaughter of captive wild horses is brought up like a ticking time bomb. The truth is, there are more wild horses in government holding than living in freedom on the range. Those left on the range have a red flag birthrate. The herds fear extinction and mother nature doesn’t want them to die off. If the Bureau of Land Management didn’t take so many off the range, birthrates would be normal and herds would self-stabilize. Princeton University working with the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros has learned in a 14 year study that wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds.

In the UK, wildlife managers are using wild horses to heal the land and restore biodiversity. Holisitic management can work on America’s public lands if people would take the time to learn a new system but it seems they are just too lazy. . . Lazy, like the journalist who doesn’t do basic research for his article.

Has someone done a “follow the money” on Dave Philipps to see what’s really spurring him on? Now that’s an article I would find informative.


Links of interest™:

Dave Philipps’ spin piece in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/us/as-wild-horses-overrun-the-west-ranchers-fear-land-will-be-gobbled-up.html?_r=0

Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio. Revised January 2010. Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings. 8 pages.

Craig C. Downer, The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

National Academy of Sciences: Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Princeton University and ISPMB: Wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds  http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

Wild horses of Wildwood: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL912AA41C7AEC3E22


Nevada ranchers suffer from self-deluded drought denial


Data Backs BLM Manager’s Allotment Cuts in Face of “Cowboy Express” Protest

Washington, DC — A U.S. Bureau of Land Management District Manager from Nevada targeted by angry Nevada ranchers was more than justified in removing cattle from drought-stricken public rangeland, according to data released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Tomorrow, protesting ranchers start a “Cowboy Express” ride to Washington demanding removal of BLM Battle Mountain District Manager Douglas Furtado as an “abusive federal employee” even as conservation groups urge that Furtado be commended not condemned for his actions.

Like much of the West, Nevada has been in the grips of persistent drought, with nearly 90% of the state under “severe to exceptional” drought for three consecutive years. This, in turn, causes greater conflict over dwindling water and forage. Not surprisingly, Nevada has also become Ground Zero for rising tensions on range management as illustrated by this spring’s armed standoff with renegade rancher Cliven Bundy who has been illegally grazing his cattle in southern Nevada for more than a decade.

“We all know about climate deniers, but this is the first we’ve heard of drought deniers,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, pointing out that much of Furtado’s Battle Mountain District has been among the hardest hit by drought in Nevada. “If we are to believe the ranchers, an extreme, multiyear, regionwide drought has magically spared only their allotments.”

In July, Battle Mountain District Manager Furtado ordered livestock removed from parched range on the sprawling 332,000-acre Argenta allotment in northern Nevada after conditions fell below thresholds that ranchers and BLM had previously agreed would trigger removal. The ranchers contend that Furtado’s actions were arbitrary but an analysis of Geographic Information Systems and BLM data reveal range in terrible ecological shape:

Nearly every Battle Mountain allotment evaluated failed range health standards for wildlife and water quality, largely due to livestock grazing;

Half of the Argenta Allotment, and roughly 30% of the Battle Mountain District is habitat for sage grouse, a species being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. BLM has been directed to protect the species’ habitat but 90% of assessed sage grouse habitat was in Battle Mountain allotments failing standards due to livestock; and
Fence line contrasts visible in satellite imagery show that public lands in the checkerboarded allotment are far more heavily grazed than private lands, suggesting that ranchers are more protective of their own lands than they are of publicly-owned range.

“Doug Furtado should be praised, not pilloried, for doing his job,” Stade added, noting a letter of support sent today from PEER and Western Watersheds Project urging that BLM as an agency to do more to stand up for its employees when they attempt to protect public resources. “The Cowboy Express is actually a cynical attempt to use iconic imagery to mask selfish abuse of public lands. If ranchers will not be responsible stewards then conscientious land managers have to make hard decisions, as Doug Furtado has done.”

Western Watersheds Project intervened in the Argenta case when ranchers initially refused to remove their cattle despite their previous agreement. Even after an order from an Interior Department administrative law judge affirmed the BLM’s authority to remove the livestock, as many as 100 cattle remain on the Argenta allotment to this day.

“The rancher resistance to drought protections in Battle Mountain is aimed at preventing effective protection of public lands and sage-grouse habitats across the West,” said Katie Fite, Western Watersheds Project’s Biodiversity Director. “It is meant to intimidate other federal agency managers so that they turn a blind eye to habitat degradation.”

The records for all roughly 20,000 BLM allotments across the West, many of which show similar overgrazed conditions, will be displayed next month in a new PEER website documenting longstanding and serious ecological impacts caused by ongoing livestock overgrazing.


See the data on Range Conditions in the Battle Mountain District

Read letter in support of Doug Furtado

View the denial of the permittees’ appeal of BLM’s decision

Look at heavy hoof-print of commercial grazing in the West

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