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:

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:

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

Wild horses of Wildwood:


25 thoughts on “Tobacco science scapegoats wild horses for livestock damage in the West

  1. Vickery Eckhoff used the Bureau of Land Management’s own data to uncover the following: “There are 10.6 times as many livestock as wild horses grazing public range lands in Utah’s Iron and Beaver Counties.”

    Now how could this be, when the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro act states:

    “b) “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;

    c) “range” means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;

    d) “herd” means one or more stallions and his mares; and”

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Full Definition of PRINCIPAL

    : most important, consequential, or influential : chief
    : of, relating to, or constituting principal or a principal(see 2principal)
    See Usage Discussion at principle
    — prin·ci·pal·ly adverb

  2. I am so tired of repeating that the wild horses belong to the American people, as do the lands on which they graze. The sheep and cattle do not belong to the American people, but to special interest groups who have no right to be there. Horses are not animals to be slaughtered. Let the American horses roam free. Get rid of the sheep and cattle and protect the wild horses.

  3. This is a fantastic compilation of proof that wild horses are not damaging public lands, but are actually promoting a healthy ecosystem. The sad fact is that welfare ranchers are just now getting a taste of what it’s like to be cast aside to make room for green energy, most notably Tesla which has plans in the works for their gigafactory in Reno NV:

    With convenient lithium deposits in Nevada and Wyoming:

  4. Please read the article. It shows just how outright lies about our mustangsAre enabling them to be rounded up inhumanely, penned up withoutProtection from the elements, and taken to slaughter houses and how many are trampled and maimed by overloading is downright unbelievable till they get there.
    The ranchers need to realize that these horses gave their all to settle the west. They were caught and sold to the army and those not used were killed. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for what happened to them then because of our terror tactics to fight the indigenous people’s.
    Now because of lies within the BLM and siding with large big money ranchers we are doing this again.
    Our mustangs are inhumanely being destroyed because of greed.
    The lies that there is no room for them is sad. This article must be read and heard. If we do not care today we will only have stories and pictures of these iconic horses.
    They are the true icons of freedom as they run wild and free. Please call our President at 202 456 1111
    Leave a message of your concerns and feelings about this. Also to Sally Jewel at 202 208 3100. We must all get together and flood the lines. Remember to keep calm and write down in short what you want to say. No matter what read this article and update your knowledge first. Thank
    You and blessings.

  5. Stop using wild horses as your scapegoat for everything!!! Its time to come clean with the truth. We the People, the 80% against this rubbish already know the truth. The horses are not tearing up public lands…..#justice4mustangs

  6. Horses teach us, as humans, a lot. Owning and bonding with a horse, well, is for those of us that have done so, find not only a bond between us, but something that surpasses the heart – we discover their soul — and ours as well.

    To those who do not experience horses at this level, we step back and see very obviously, from those who do not own horses, the lack of knowledge and the lack of empathy given to horses — as if the horse can be placed categorically into the phrase “livestock”; others who perceive them as livestock and commercial entities see nothing, but look at them as one would look at a car or a truck – no soul, no heart. . .

    Anne has written and corrected the obvious misinformation within this article that Dave Philipps has produced. Yes, the article is a travesty of misinformation as well as misleading, and for many justifiable reasons. Mr. Philipps writing and research throughout its entirety is, no other explanation or term, wrong. Anne’s response far more ethical, far more informative, and far more acceptable as newsworthy, to include well referenced from good science and good research – in contrast with the lack of integrity and ethics that Mr. Philipps has displayed.

    I could go and on about the inaccurate material, but it brings to mind a good point. Motivation! Clearly those Mr. Philipps spoke with about the article, Welfare Ranchers, remain well motivated for more subsidies from taxpayers, more land within the possible future, and more wealth to purchase another plane, another new truck, more cattle to sell to Japan and China at taxpayer expense, and just more of everything – all at the American taxpayer expense – and an ethical assimilation Mr. Philipps is either to ignorant or too arrogant, to actually perceive. . . Most often in Journalism this is referred to as a lack of discipline to understand the subject in its entirety before writing about it and publishing the writing.

    Good journalism reflects both sides of the issue, in truth and fact. Apparently, the conservative publication the article within, the Editor and fact-checkers, did not check the facts, the references, the motivation equation, and simply skipped over the other side or other perspective of the story. To bad. We can consider yet another news source as bogus, and one day will probably collapse just as the others have done – History very prevalent within this truism.

  7. When you look at the land base and allocation of forage in comparison you see just how small the wild horse issue really is. Over 250 million acres of public land are managed for livestock grazing, while the BLM has 26.9 million acres managed for wild horses and burros in comparison. You therefore have wild horses on about 11% of BLM land. But even with equids being allocated approximately 11% of the land, the BLM still allocates most of the forage resources to privately owned livestock; management areas may consist of the equivalent of 1,000 cows and 100 horses, and when the horse population reaches 125, the BLM says the horses are overpopulating. The horses are seen as competitors for a resource that has been overgrazed for more than a century by cattle. Obviously, what we really have is an overpopulation of cattle and sheep on our public lands, not horses.

  8. we are never going to raise above the bull ****ers because they just keep the lies going and are doing a good job of shoving down our throats . this agency has teamed with the ranchers to continue the crap and to deliver the horses into prisons that will ultimately lead elswhere . now as i’m sure everyone has heard about the ebola virus that is in dallas right now , there have been theories that the elite want to depopulate the world ,we have a muslam in the w/h that is against everything good about us and our land . what better way of keeping us distracted from the going ons of our government then to keep us ingaged with this crap with the blm . i feel that we will never see the end of the harm that this prez. will do to us. from my e-mails many of my contacts have disappeared . i have commented any times on the blm and government stories run by the yahoo news as to what the truth is about what is going on with round-ups ,the cost and the terror that is brought upon these animals . the goverment is taking every right we have and this nation is going to he** in a handbasket under this regime . i also feel like the u.n. is more or less running our government or we would have gotten more help from our representatives than we have . it is no secret that this prez. has a problem with perry so it comes as no surprise that an outbreak started here as well as his court problems . dirty harry reid is up to his eyeballs in the things going on in the intrior dept. and congress is making it easier for the blm to lease to oil and gas exploration , having a green light to lease their little hearts away . all of this is coming together from all the papers reports like the d.c.clothesline ,infowars and many other theroist. the greed is the part that gets to me the most and killing of the innocents .( horses, wolves, people ) all of it just wrong.

  9. —–Original Message—–
    From: Tcourt5096 To: TCourt5096
    Sent: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 4:20 am
    Subject: US Land Gobbling: NY Times Article by Dave Philipps
    Dear Dave,
    Since your name has gone national your biased, fork tongue speak stance must be exposed. In reporting on the race of land grabbing maggots you seem to have excluded the real culprits: The U.S. Department of the Interior and the BLM are working with local communities, state regulators, industry, and other federal agencies in building a clean energy future by providing sites for environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands. Renewable energy projects on BLM-managed lands include wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass projects and the siting of transmission facilities needed to deliver this power to the consumer.

    Where is your coverage of the New Energy for America ? Where is your coverage on Solar Solyndra ? Where is your analysis of “all must go” to make room for green/solar/wind ? “All “means the total monopolizing of our Western lands by $ multi-million government business relations – controlling water, ridding tortoises, wildlife, and of course wild horses and burros, the prime scape goat and black sheep of the renewable energy project head honchos. You are buying into this; yet fail to document the deeper gist ? Where is your report on how hugely outnumbering livestock grazing (the illegitimate political child) has left irreparable damage to our public lands ?

    How about telling your audience some details on the Dry Lake Valley North SEZ ? The Silver King HMA, where BLM planned to remove 88% of horses to offset the loss of up to 5.4 % of the HMA to solar energy developments within the SEZ ? How about telling the Reid solar thriller?
    Imposing certain terms to intensify a campaign solely aimed to discredit latest scientific findings or scape goating mustangs has ever been the tool of wild horse enemies. In your writings you fail to mention who really gobbles up the land. It is the multi-million $ corporations who are after the Western states for the “New Energy Frontier” – speak solar, wind, geothermal, transmission lines and stations… did you miss this in your bout on land grabbers? Mustangs are the constant target for blame… by those refuting science and transparency to serve their agendas. Furthermore, to refute the existing evidence of wild horses’ native status as “feral” reflects a pitiful status quo of misinformation. Ross MacPhee, Ph.D. from the American Museum of National History has been kind enough to allow this reprint of his response to Ms. Simon of WSJ, and it is one of the best explanations regarding the wild horse’s evolution.

    Please find the updated version of the Kirkpatrick/Fazio piece at the following link:
    The reintroduced, native wild horses of America enhance the eco-system. The public domain was declared as their protected home with the 1971 Act passed by Congress. In the competition of multiple use the wild horse enemies cleverly dismiss scientific evidence, historic facts and disseminate a myth that is false to mustangs’ authentic status, origin and current census. The good ol’boys’ creativity in this quest is testimony to their archaic, self-serving stance. With massive PR gigs the BLM tries to convince of a problem that does not exist (They ought to still justify the loss of over 20 million acres of federally protected habitat for mustangs, since 1971, when WFRHBA was passed).

    It should be your duty to explore truth and factual evidence. As rational minds rest their case on the latest independent scientific findings to contribute to the education library about the important historic presence of wild horses in Northern America, some paying mouths and all those reflecting otherwise ought to get a clue on the jaundiced views which are a product of pro hunting, special interests/gov’t biz $$$ and greed driven personal agendas. There are no excess horses, only excess lies. Deception and manipulation of the American public. Betrayal and cruelty to the horses. The fact that your shady findings omit the truth to accuracy of census and who really grabs the West… leaves a sour taste. Why don’t you suggest counting horses with drones ? It would shock the nation to see how few wild horses and burros are left, despite the inflated sagas by your sources. The BLM even wants to send wild burros to Guatemala now. Who pays this ludicrous idea – sending our wild equines protected by law, yet pushed off the ethically sane radar to unknown foreign shores?

    May your audience not fall for the propaganda and misinformation you spread. I am looking forward to reading your next article which should focus on the new destructive Energy Frontier of the United States and how it impacts the West, our future – by manifesting the losses besides the gains we have yet to see – as they are carried out secretly and covert. What once sounded so intriguing with hope and promises…renewable energy… has become a national GOBBLE $$$ agenda that runs on shams and greed. Instead of finding a voice in support for our wild horses (such as Reserve Design) to co-exist in this wide huge West… you join the deception train of those wanting them gone. Shame on you.
    Monika Courtney

  10. If Phillips was striving for some kind of journalistic balance, he missed the mark entirely.
    It’s one thing to present both sides of an issue; we – wild equine advocates – can recognize that, in our devotion to the animals we speak for, there are myriad interests outside of the ones we try to represent, that not all BLM agents are devious, that there might actually be occasions when a removal is the only option left to keep these animals alive.
    Phillips either lost or ignored an opportunity to present a valid issue – that of Public lands ranchers who conveniently forget that land isn’t ‘their’ property, and they graze it, in theory at least, at the pleasure of the BLM. Or the land’s ability to sustain their livestock.
    This drought is wide-spread, it’s effects felt by the Public in the rising costs of produce and other goods. Reason would dictate that you would adapt to a diminished resource (like the rest of consumers), not continue to operate at full capacity. Blaming the horses because you can’t grow forage with hot air, and now have to provide your own hay and take the loss (and I’d like to know – how much of a loss is that, really) is utterly foolish. Lease holders had the option of cutting back when it would have made a difference, but instead…
    The cost of wild equines in holding affects all the tax-paying Public, but somehow we manage to avoid bringing up ‘slaughter’ as a solution. And how would this action put more grass on a range with no water? The Bureau chose it’s path – by removing massive amounts of wild equines without a critical scientific basis. It’s their responsibility to provide for those animals. We offered solutions and assistance in bringing those solutions to bear, and we were refused.
    Phillip’s article is disappointing on so many levels, but not surprising. Few legitimate journalists are willing to take on both the inequities of BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program or the failure of it’s Grazing Program in an unbiased manner. Phillips, obviously, isn’t one of them.

  11. Dave Philipps writes an anti-wild horse story with pro-slaughter undertones

    I could not locate a means to comment on this New York Times article within their website.

    Dear New York Times,

    Dave Phillips writing is unchallenging and elementary. Equine advocates everywhere will find that it takes little effort to untangle Mr. Phillips simplistic article. This loose journalism is void of both verified fact or photo to back up the claims. The surprising addition of a photo of Mark Wintch standing in the middle of a green and flowering field only stands to prove Mr. Phillips has a heretical style of reporting. The article regurgitates falsehoods circulating the mass media in attempt to set up the final phase of wild horse and burro extinction along with other species of wildlife and natural habitat. #1. “50,000 in federal holding pens”. Please substantiate this number. a. answer why large numbers of federally gathered, BLM branded wild horses and burros are secretly captured or captured with no public oversight, are kept on private land for silent slippage to auctions, sold to kill buyers and shipped across American borders. Granted not all the wild horses are branded, some of the horses at slaughter even have their brands skinned on the live animals hide prior to transport and not all equines survive the truck or plane ride to slaughter facilities. B. how is it that the BLM is capturing wild burros which are expected to be soon sold to Guatemala as beast of burden. C. who retains the revenue from sales of A and B. D. All of these scenarios clearly violate the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act signed into law by President Nixon and still in force today (even the BLM’s website states the enforcement of the Act). The only offset is the poorly written 2004 Burns amendment signed into public law by President Obama . E. align the BLM’s acceptance of a blind-eye equine slaughter philosophy into the worldwide human food chain despite the fact that the USDA has been purposely denied funding to inspect horse meat for human consumption. Tip: Research the pending lawsuits against big food chain corporations and subsequent tidal wave of revenue losses during the last year to connect all the dots. #2. It was the BLM’s decision to capture and long term hold (definition being abstract rather than absolute to BLM executives) wild horses in pens at the greatest expense to the American taxpayers out of the all the options presented by the scientific community hired by the BLM agency to study herd area management. #3. “BLM out of money and resources”. A. Thoroughly review the BLM’s 2014 passed budget by congress. Quote from the DOI – “The 2014 BLM budget request is. $1.2 billion, an increase of $32.6 million over the 2012 enacted level and 5.9% increase over the 2013 enacted level”. B. the journalist concocted this un-researched remark after attendance at the very recent and costly zeroing out of an estimated 900 wild horses from the Checkerboard HMA in Wyoming, at the request of the Rock Springs Grazing Association and corporations building experimental solar energy panel structures. The long time helicopter round up contractor Troy & Sue Cattoor (since 1975) earned $300,000 alone for their service this time. The BLM must divulge expenditures per Freedom of Information Act. An interesting fact is that the Cattoors are specifically a cattle and horse ranch corporation with wild horse roundup operations being a subsidiary. #4. “Not a blade of grass” A. No mention of the weather conditions cause & effect on his land, the ranchers ill-fitting land management style (especially the lack of beaver wildlife to shore up water resources and necessary soil nutrients as the beaver was purposely trapped into extinction {see the PBS Nature special story}). B. No mention of the number of head of cattle or sheep recently rotated OFF the NON specified amount of acreage he is bemoaning. C. No mention of DNR, Forestry Department or nature science studies concluding that wild horses and burros are transient herd creatures that graze short periods on each parcel of land and take long treks in search of viable water in their home territories. If the devoid of forage claim by the rancher were true he would not have counted even one head of horse the prior night within the confines of his entire acreage. The horses would have moved on quickly at this time of year seeking sugar and protein rich grass for the last gain of body fat storage before winter. #5. “rare sighting of wild horses in boyhood”. Mathematical error used to base claim of unchecked breeding of horses in the wild for decades since Mark’s birth. Approximate age of ability to commitment of boyhood accumulated memory would be from 6 to12 years old or 1982 – 1988. To then counting 60 head of horses on 9/39/2014 does not constitute an excessive amount of wild horses which are causing degradation of land profound enough to starve existing cattle. However, if Mark is only 38 years old then I am a monkey’s aunt Matilda by the looks of Marks photo. #6. “While some ranchers and politicians have pushed to slaughter the horses in storage to free up money and space to continue roundups, Professor Garrott said the idea had proved so controversial that the Bureau of Land Management and Congress had repeatedly refused.” This unfounded lie has its birth in the pits of the proverbial follow the flow of the blood and the money trail to the Mexican, Canadian and Asian equine slaughter house hells themselves. See point number 1. #7. What location and what date is the Michael Friberg photo montage “Where The Wild Horses Run” from and how do the photos support Utah ranchers’ claims? #8. The Retro Report video “No Home On The Range” inserted was produced by the New York Times on June 17, 2013. A. This is a deceptive way to align old reporting of the facts with current events. One fact that does remain true is that the 1971 law to protect the public land designation for provision of homes for the wild horses, all wildlife habitat and protection of the public park system continues to be undermined. B. Listen to Ginger Kathrens who speaks from 5:12 to 5:54. Private livestock belongs on only the land the rancher’s privately own. Millions of head of livestock are illegally degrading and over grazing on public land without the public’s approval. C. experimental energy production, crude oil transport, mineral mining and big game hunting venue evidence has been uncovered for the honest explanation of why the wild horses, burros and other endangered wildlife are being “managed” into extinction from America’s public landscape.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Lisa J.W.

  12. Public lands are just that ‘public’. Ranchers do NOT own them. They act as if they do and BLM seems to cater to their every whim. Bundy was not a fluke.

  13. For morgansinkc; the Multiple Use did not come into being until 3 years after the WFRH&B Act.

  14. My challenge to all of you is to stop the roundups and make BLM drop the WH&B Program and give it over to a Citizen Science Program. We Desperately NEED a 10 year Moratorium. We need professional folks eager to preserve and protect our wild horses and to be the ones who actually do so. The only way to discover the best management practices is to study the animals and find them. The horses are the center of this crisis and we must never forget that. Otherwise this crisis goes down hill to the bottom and because too many people continue to want personal solutions or solutions created to mislead others, we have no chance for dialogue and good people with knowledge and experience are ignored. We are losing our wild horses and burros. Alliances with BLM are just making it easier to remove more animals and continue to deny them their protections under their own law.

    Stand our ground. Hooves forward.

  15. No more “Private Profit from Public Lands!

    Plain and simple. Grazing, hunting, mining, FRACKING, and any other profit-making interests do not give a damn about horses or wildlife or people. It is all about profit. No more. No less.
    This coveting of public land for private profit has been here for decades – the BLM wasn’t corrupted over night. The souls of the horses are pure (yes, they have souls) and those who sell them into torture and death loose their souls for that betrayal, so I guess we must save them all horses and coveters/takers by taking back our public lands.

    No more “Private Profit from Public Lands!”

    No more Wild Horse round ups. No more penned Wild Horses. No more cattle- stacking on Wild Horse lands. No more leases. No more refusals to pay fees on existing leases. No more mining, FRACKING, or manufacturing (Tesla? I am so disappointed.)

    No more “Private Profit from Public Lands!”

  16. Dave Phillips has been placed well and has taken from the wild horse advocacy information and trust and then betrayed all. He is connected through many such as Madeleine Pickens, Laura Leigh Schmidt, Deb Coffey and Ginger Kathrens. This man who betrayed us all was trusted with information that could have been used to create a National Push to stop removing and killing and our wild horses. Instead everything went where it always goes, behind the scenes, and there it became a worm that did damage for 2 years.

    Is it not amazing how fast Dave Phillips rose in the tricky world of Corporate Journalism?

    There are lessons to be learned here. Will anyone perceive them let alone come to realize we must actually fight back at BLM/DOI/Obama? We live in a treacherous time and wildlife and wild lands are at stake around the world. The choice I see people making is to do nothing unless it will give them more back.

    Advocates who avoid the challenge and hope of a 10 Year Moratorium are being made to think the horses do not belong on their own lands with plentiful water and resources for Wildlife. They belong to us. Give in to the Salazar Plan for all wild horses to be on sanctuaries (was it not 2015?) seems to be popular path; follow BLM; give in and maye you too will be rewarded?

    Anti-Slaughter will rage on and hopefully win, once and for all, but our wild ones have been sold out and will continue to be removed from their legal lands. This is a recipe for disaster. How can anyone with a sanctuary guarantee wild ones ongoing freedom and natural behavior? They cannot. We may lose our premier National parks to the frackers just like we are losing our wild horses and burros. Only by remaining on their large HAs can our wild horses, our partners in history and play, be protected and preserved and managed to LIVE!.

    10 Year Moratorium. Just imagine the fun we can have actually saving our wild horses and their integral public lands; study them and learn things we never imagined, see things we are privileged to see. Stop the Roundups and removals.

    Stop standing there! DO SOMETHING!

  17. Sounds like someone is being paid to work for the other side or is a member of the pro-slaughter of innocent animals that are protected, there is no failure in management at all, what is being done by these round ups is sick, illegal, inhumane and down right barbaric, in this day and age you should be ashamed of yourself for writing such rubbish, the people who do this, back this and support these acts against innocent animals are nothing more than cowards.

  18. The Times requested letters specifying the erroneous information sighted in Dave Philipps’ article…That has already been done by other posters,.. eloquently, scientifically and factually. …The one interesting fact that emerged from the propaganda and misstatements Dave Philipps put forward in what appears to be an effort to hurt the wild horses, is this quote from the welfare cattleman…..Why isn’t this (one piece of truth) also a big deal?….What Mr. Wintch is saying in reality, ..they feed their crop of beef all but free on government land, and save the hay crop on their own land for additional income….This multiplied by every welfare rancher,…they feed their beef crop for free and then sell the hay. … The following statement from Mr. Wintch should be a nail in their coffin. ….”Last fall, the Bureau of Land Management sent a letter to Mr. Wintch and a dozen other ranchers in the region, saying that wild horses were increasing and that with no money for roundups, the ranchers should voluntarily cut their herds by half.

    So this spring, Mr. Wintch sold a third of his cattle and let the rest out in his hayfields, where, he said, they will eat about $150,000 in winter hay.

    “We can’t last out here if this continues,” Mr. Wintch said. (end quote)

    That would be like a truck driver, the government buys all the fuel, and the driver/owner keeps all the income?…..A bakery,… the government buys the flour….etc,etc….. This multiplied by how many welfare ranchers, and how many thousands of acres?…public land (feeds the beef crop) ..Private land (grows the hay crop).
    Ranchers who are not receiving government subsidized land are required to only own as many cows as they can afford to feed on their land. Why are the landowning cattlemen not up in arms about this inequality when the cattle go to market? Feeding the cows costs money, land costs money to own…
    These welfare cattlemen now have the audacity to “ride” into Washington D.C. to complain and demand more? All business owners should, on this premise, demand Washington D.C. pay the overhead on our businesses, while we keep all income. .. Fortunately we are not all as selfish, greedy, narcissistic and unpatriotic.

    Cheryl W. Bowe

  19. We get so many comments that are spammers that this box is overloaded. Please give me the link so I can find the comment you’d like me to delete. Send it to us via email Thanks for your help to save the mustangs!


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