BLM Boss: Wild Horse Program Facing Future $1B Budget Crisis


PM Helicopter Mustang Roundup


RENO, Nev. — May 12, 2016, 1:21 PM ET

The head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it’s time to admit his agency has a $1 billion problem.

BLM Director Neil Kornze says the administration can’t afford to wage an increasingly uphill battle to protect the ecological health of federal rangeland across the West while at the same time properly managing tens of thousands of wild horses and caring for tens of thousands more rounded up in government corals.

Kornze told The Associated Press the agency may not have done as good of a job as it could have in recent years to underscore the environmental and budgetary crisis looming in its wild horse and burro program.

His experts estimate $1 billion will be needed to care for the 46,000 wild horses and burros currently in U.S. holding facilities over their lifetime. That doesn’t include the cost of future efforts to shrink the population of the record-67,000 now roaming public lands in 10 western states.

“We’re trying to make an effort to be real clear about the challenges because they are significant,” Korzne said late Tuesday.

“We need partners coming to the table, whether it’s states or counties or others,” he said”

The 67,000 horses and burros on the range is a 15 percent increase from last year, and more than double the population that was estimated when President Nixon signed the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act into law in 1971. The landmark legislation allows for removals but also grants the animals unique federal protection and requires they be treated humanely during and after their capture.

Korzne said his agency’s horse budget has doubled since 2009 — from $40 million to more than $80 million currently — but “the trajectory of the population has just gone up and up.” Left unchecked, the population naturally doubles every four years.

“It’s a double bind,” Korzne said. “There’s a very real impact on the range when the herds are overpopulated, but it costs us $50,000 per horse if the horse lives out its whole life in holding.”

Kornze said one of the growing problems is a dramatic drop in the private adoptions of gathered mustangs over the past decade from about 8,000 a year to 2,500 or fewer.

Critics fear BLM is exaggerating the numbers to build support for past proposals by livestock interests to slaughter the oldest mustangs that have been placed in long-term holding with little chance of being adopted.

“The BLM’s numbers are inflated estimates to fear-monger elected officials into supporting a breakdown of the 1971 law,” said Anne Novak, executive director of the California-based Protect Mustangs.

Korzne insisted the agency has no intention of allowing the slaughter of federal horses. But he said it’s considering spaying, neutering or otherwise sterilizing some animals that are on the range — something just as distasteful to most horse protection groups who argue the real answer lies in dramatic cutbacks in government-subsidized livestock grazing.

“Wild horses are present on just 12 percent of federal rangelands, which they share with livestock, and their habitat has shrunk by over 40 percent the last four decades,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “The feds consider 67,000 wild horses and burros to be overpopulated, yet there are only 70,000 big horn sheep remaining in the West and they are highly endangered.”

Shared for educational purposes from:

Seen in the Washington Post and going viral

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

Protect Mustangs comments against spaying wild mares in Wyoming

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: IMPORTANT White Mountain & Little Colorado EA Comments
From: <>
Date: Thu, January 14, 2016 4:02 pm

BLM Rock Springs Field Office
WMLC Scoping Comment
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, WY 82901

Email to:
Fax: (307) 352-0329

January 14, 2016

Dear Public Servants at the BLM:

We represent thousands of supporters who love America’s wild horses in Wyoming and request you halt your plans to spay wild mares for the following reasons and others:

1.)  We object to using tax dollars to experiment on, forcibly drug with PZP, SpayVac® or Gonacon™ and / or sterilize America’s wild horses on the White Mountain herd management area located in Wyoming ( or elsewhere.

2.)  We do not want federally protected wild horses to be used for research experiments using radio collars, devices in tails and spaying America’s federally protected wild mares. Research and Sterilization is a form of harassing wild horses. This is heinous and cruel. The public is outraged and they are calling for nationwide protests to bring awareness to this wrongful act against American wild horses.

3.)  Wild horses found in the White Mountain and Little Colorado HMA’s are not “excess” according to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. For example, there is only 1 wild horse per 6,000 acres in White Mountain. The BLM fraudulently inflates population growth (see: and never performs a real headcount.

4.)  We support natural selection and we are against fertility control especially before reintroducing the natural balance of predation because America’s wild horses deserve to live on public land set aside principally but not exclusively for their use according to the law. Allowing more than 50 to 1 units of livestock to wild horses is unfair and goes against the 1971 wild horse protection act. We request you follow the law and give America’s wild horses and burros back all the public land you have taken from them since 1971.

5.)  Fertility control, such as spaying and/or PZP, will destroy the beloved White Mountain herd’s genetic viability, wreck havoc on their behavior and social structure–so therefore we are against it.

6.)  PZP sterilizes after multiple use and we do not want these wild horses sterilized by way of PZP either

7.)  Spaying to sterilize a wild mare can cause complications, infections and death. Even petMD advises against it. Below is an except from their article:
Why You Don’t Spay When the Animal Eats Hay
by Dr. Anna O’Brien

“Spaying a mare is a more complicated medical procedure than gelding, involving entering the abdominal cavity. Although there is more than one way to spay a mare, each resulting in the removal of the ovaries, the procedure tends to be painful and there can be scary complications, such as bleeding from the ovarian artery, which can be difficult to control.

More recently, many veterinarians elect to spay mares using laproscopic methods, which means using small incisions and inserting small cameras on the ends of lasers to view the ovaries and remove them. . .

. . . Then comes the question of population control, since I feel this is the strongest argument to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Although there is the problem of unwanted horses in the United States, you simply don’t have the hoards of stray horses roaming the streets as you do cats and dogs. Rare is the kid who comes in saying, “Mommy, look what followed me home. Can we keep this horse?” ‘


8.)  BLM has been inflating wild horse population estimates to justify removals and appears to be fleecing the American taxpayer. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) is a biased number favoring the livestock industry and does not represent the true carrying capacity for wild horses on public land. AML needs to be updated and management needs to be revamped to utilize the wild herds to reverse desertification. They are an asset.

9.)  Where is the accurate and detailed headcount to justify BLM’s claims of excess? Where are the videos and/or facial recognition photographs cataloguing each individual wild horse in the herd management areas to ensure no double counting occurs?

10.)  Tourists come to Wyoming from around the world to see the wild horses at White Mountain. They are easily accessible and inspiring. Experimenting on this herd or any other herd is wrongful, cruel and against the majority of the public’s wishes. Any claims you may eventually produce stating that you have not received thousands of hands off comments is a direct result of your poorly publicized proposal on a national and international level.

11.)  In 2011, we sent one of our founding board members to Wyoming to study the White Mountain wild horses because we are interested in this treasured and accessible herd. Here is a slide-show on YouTube of the White Mountain Herd before the 2011 roundup:

12.)  We want to be able to come to Wyoming to see, photograph, study and film the White Mountain and Little Colorado wild horse herds with foals exhibiting natural behaviors–without radio collars and other devices–and definitely not sterilized.

13.)  We are also against radio collars because they are dangerous for wild horses for various reasons including but not limited to hooves getting stuck in collars causing injury or death, EMF related sickness, stress inflicted on federally protected wild horses which lowers their immune system and makes them more susceptible to disease, etc. The public will hold BLM accountable for any injuries or deaths related to radio collars or any other assault on the bodies of America’s wild horses during experimentation that is being white-washed as “research” or “studies”.

14.)  I am making a documentary on wild horses and want to film the White Mountain and Little Colorado wild horses exhibiting authentic natural behavior. My documentary might end up being a series so I want to be able to come back to the White Mountain and Little Colorado herds to film them years later and document how the foals have grown up and joined their own family bands with foals of their own, etc. The public likes these sort of nature films.

PM Checkerboard ROundup Sept 20 2014

15.)  The proposed roundups for your proposed spay research / experiment would contribute to global warming with all the motorized vehicles used. The environmental cost is too great for this proposed research. The Bureau of Land Management must take actions to reduce global warming–not contribute to it.

16.)  America’s wild horses are a native species having been returned to their native lands–if they ever all died out in the ice age. Fossil findings are pushing back the die out date. Now the theory of wild horses going extinct is being questioned. These are exciting times.

17.)  Wild horses contribute to the ecosystem, heal the land and reverse desertification. They must not be sterilized. America’s wild horses are a resource who must be protected in genetically viable numbers to ensure survival–especially with environmental challenges ahead of them.

18.)  The public is outraged about the BLM’s proposal to research and experiment on the White Mountain herd using Little Colorado as a control group. It’s clear the American taxpayers don’t want their tax-dollars to be used for cruel roundups destroying family bands, engaging in experimentation, sterilization and birth control assaulting their right to freedom. More than 20,000 people have signed our petition against the roundups and more are signing every day. (

We officially ask you to immediately stop your proposal to spay the White Mountain herd which you allege is research. Americans and citizens of the world do not want iconic wild horses of the West to be used as laboratory test animals.

Anne Novak

.Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs

Read about native wild horses:

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