Agency claims limiting sales and not killing wild horses has caused problem

PM Star Creek #1483 Fish Creek 3-Strike Sale

BLM officials stated that operating contrary to implemented legislation by limiting sales and not destroying horses has contributed to an unmanageable number of horses.


From the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Interior:

Report Date:

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Office of Inspector General completed an investigation into Tom Davis, a Colorado rancher and livestock hauler, after receiving allegations that Davis purchased approximately 1,700 horses from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B) between 2008 and 2012 and wrongfully sent the horses to slaughter.

BLM established WH&B to protect, manage, and control the wild horse population. Since establishment of the program, Congress passed several laws that provided for protection and management of these animals, including adoption and sales authority. In 2005, BLM implemented a policy that placed limitations on the amount of horses sold and required buyers to provide good homes and humane care to prevent the horses from being sent to slaughter.

During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses he purchased from BLM went to slaughter, but he denied that he transported the horses directly to slaughter. He explained that prior to purchasing horses from WH&B, he made arrangements with buyers—whose names he would not disclose—who transported the horses to Mexico. Davis said WH&B employees asked him several times if he was selling the horses to slaughter. He reassured WH&B that he was not selling them to slaughter and reported on his applications that the horses were going to good homes. Davis also admitted that he knew he was not supposed to sell the horses to anyone that would take them to a slaughterhouse.

In addition, we found that BLM implemented and followed policy that contradicted legislation, by not destroying horses to maintain an ecological balance, and the 2004 Burns Amendment, by placing limitations on horse sales. BLM officials stated that operating contrary to implemented legislation by limiting sales and not destroying horses has contributed to an unmanageable number of horses.

We referred this investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office, which declined civil and criminal prosecution.

Here is the report released for the public: PM Tom Davis WildHorseBuyer Public

What does the other OIG report contain that they are keeping from the public?

They are taking no responsibility for former Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, rounding up too many wild horses and burros.

PM Nellie Diamond #0484 PVC 3-Strikes

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

Who are the traitors in wild horse advocacy?

Who is exploiting wild horses now? 

CLUE: FOIA the contracts, the agreements and their emails with BLM

Do you realize who has betrayed America’s wild horses? Do you know who is who? Do you know who are the BLM supporters and partners now? Do you know who is pretending to work for “solutions” but is really working for the livestock industry? Do you know who is making back-room deals pushing pesticides for birth control, experiments and slaughter on underpopulated wild horses and burros?

Do you know who is really for the wild horses and burros now?

Vickery Eckhoff responds to “Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions” FB page


December 4, 2015
Vickery Eckhoff

I got kicked off the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions FB page after posting James McWilliams’ article on Mustang-Safe beef labeling and sticking around to debate it with the group members there. Don’t lament this, folks. It’s their page. They make the rules. And one of the apparent guiding principles is to center every discussion (and solution) around bringing WHB populations down to appropriate management levels (AML). That is their idea of “logical solutions.” But it isn’t mine.

So I went on over to the BLM’s WHB Program FB page and posted this:


“Let’s be real.

AML is all about preserving higher stocking numbers of cattle than wild horses, not about providing ecological balance under multiple uses. Livestock producers keep arguing that getting down to AML and adopting out a few WHB are necessary to reduce overgrazing, preserve public grass and forest land. But they don’t provide proof that it’s horses doing the damage.

There happens to be extensive proof on the other side: data showing the degree to which private livestock outnumber WHB. How long are those looking to remove more wild horses going to pretend this isn’t relevant, and keep trying to silence those who bring it up?

Yes, there are fewer livestock on public lands today compared to years past. This is obviously hard on ranchers. Yes, wild horses need to be managed on the range. But the constant drumbeat of “over AML” “adopt out WHB” “use PZP” and “join the WHB advisory board” won’t remove the giant gorilla in the room: the damage is on the livestock side.

Go look for research to the contrary (you can find a sample here on page 14). What little exists says that, because there’s no historical data on grazing by livestock in HMAs, that pinning damage on wild horses is impossible. Go seek out studies on the negative impact of livestock production, both in the US and globally. A search of Google Scholar turns up thousands of results. Read a sample of these studies (available here on page 13). They minimally mention other species (like wild horses) on the condition of public lands. There’s a reason for that.

The COP21 climate talks now going on in Paris will continue to escalate the discussion, and livestock production, as the public is becoming increasingly aware, has a carbon footprint to rival transportation’s, and a massive water footprint, to boot.

If you want to solve the environmental problems that keep getting threaded into the “over AML” argument, you are going to have to confront this preponderance of evidence.

The public is getting informed, albeit slowly.

Why not address the issue within the livestock sector honestly instead of kicking the can down the road? And part of that discussion needs to be the cost of public grazing allotments, which cost taxpayers much more than the WHB program. Frankly, both are burdens on taxpayers, but the federal grazing program is the biggest of all. There needs to be honest discussion on that. Who wants to participate?”


I’m very interested to see who steps forward.

A note to newcomers: I am a writer and journalist published on, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Alternet, Salon, Laika and the site I run with James McWilliams, The Daily Pitchfork. I used to work for The New York Times, Forbes Inc., Dow Jones and spent some time at The New Yorker and Time Warner. So please do not call me a horse advocate. My only advocacy is to the public and its right to be correctly informed on important policy issues by the media. To this end, I seek out research on the federal grazing program, land use and climate change, as well as data missing from most MSM coverage because it is time-consuming to find and analyze.

reprinted for educational purposes from: