ALERT: A new Fort McDermitt roundup proposed

Fallon auction

Dear Friends of Wild Horses & Burros,

I want to give you a heads up that another brutal Fort McDermitt roundup is being planned for late summer or early fall 2015 in Nevada. Due to our successful 2013 lawsuit, the United States Forest Service is seeking public comment due March 23, 2015, in accordance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), on the proposal to remove unauthorized tribal horses. Please send in your comments.

Here is their announcement: Here is the the public scoping notice for detailed information: The link to make your comments online is here: Remember comments are due by March 23rd.

How will the Nevada brand inspectors identify unbranded federally protected wild horses who have migrated off the neighboring Little Owyhee herd management area? This is of great concern to the public at large.

Despite many wild horses being rescued in the mad scramble of 2013 too many truckloads went to slaughter. Horse advocates won’t tolerate the kill-buyer parking lot rip-offs any more. Those Facebook ransom pages won’t be supported this time around either. It’s time for the community to come together with advance planning.

We’d like to work with the tribe to ensure the Fort McDermitt horses don’t end up getting slaughtered for human consumption abroad. It would be a tragedy for these nice horses to end up eaten in foreign countries when they can make nice riding ponies and therapy horses. Those who wouldn’t be a good match for working with people could be distributed to Eco-sanctuaries. People around the world want to experience the Old West and native wild horses hold that allure.

The Forest Service is ignoring the ecological benefits of free-roaming horses on public land. Wild horses reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and help reverse desertification. Despite new methods of holistic land management, the feds continue to scapegoat wild horses for range and riparian damage caused mostly by cows and sheep.

We stopped the ongoing brutal roundups at Fort McDermitt from Sept 2013 until now based on the feds’ NEPA violation. Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter sued over the agreement that called for years of cruel roundups. At least now we have advance notice of the proposed roundup. Please contact us via email if you want to help. Our email is

Though the USFS didn’t participate in the Fort McDermitt roundup, the USFS-McDermitt agreement was left on the table. Our lawsuit was about their failure to conduct NEPA. Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter got the illegal agreement scrubbed out on Sept. 3, 2013, after the roundup cases filed by other groups had been lost/dismissed in mid-August. To ensure transparency of future roundups we requested the United States Forest Service conduct NEPA and give notice if they should roundup Fort McDermitt wild horses again. Now they are doing it.

We did not sue the Fallon Auction Yard. That issue is discussed in the pro-slaughter biased article in RANGE magazine here:

In accordance with our settlement agreement, Protect Mustangs received notification of another Fort McDermitt roundup and we are sharing the news with you so you can take action.

Here are some links to source information:

2013: Two different Fort McDermitt lawsuits for two different issues:

September 30,2013 Horsetalk, New Zealand Roundup agreement canned following legal challenge

September 28, 2013 CBS San Francisco Wild Horse Advocates’ Legal Victory Halts Roundups in NorCal Forest

Press Release: Legal win creates public transparency and halts 2-year roundup contract (September 26, 2013):

Protect Mustangs & Citizens Against Equine Slaughter Win Transparency for Public for Forest Service Roundups with Tribes (September 17, 2013)
Termination of roundup agreement (September 3, 2013):

August 24, 2013 Horseback Magazine Dances with Wolves author Michael Blake joins lawsuit to stop ongoing wild horse roundups:

Breaking News: Michael Blake joins lawsuit to stop ongoing wild horse roundups (August 24, 2013):

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and Protect Mustangs file preliminary injunction (August 24, 2013): PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
Horses saved and horses lost at Native American horse auction (August 17, 2013):

Information about Fallon Livestock Auction (August 17, 2013):

Temporary Restraining Order Granted (August 16, 2013):

Judge blocks Nevada auction of unbranded horses in second opinion

Viral article: August 16, 2013 The Associated Press US judge refuses to block NV tribe’s mustang sale

Press Release: Lawsuit filed to save wild horses from alleged slaughter (August 16, 2013):

Official request to terminate roundup agreement, request DNA testing, separate unbranded wild horses, etc. (August 15, 2013):

It’s time to join forces to save the Fort McDermitt free-roaming horses from going to slaughter. Last time we had no advance notice. Today we do. Let’s make the most of it–for the horses!

Many blessings,

Anne Novak
Executive Director


Legal win creates public transparency and halts 2-year roundup contract

Photo James Marvin Phelps / / CC BY-NC

Photo James Marvin Phelps / / CC BY-NC

For immediate release

Legal victory stops illegal USFS Gather Agreement that was sending horses into alleged kill buyers hands

RENO, NV. (September 26, 2013)–Protect Mustangs, the California nonprofit, dedicated to protecting native wild horses and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES), the Oregon nonprofit, won their lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS). The groups fought for public transparency and to halt the government’s two-year roundup agreement.

The United States Forest Service and the Fort McDermitt Tribe signed a Gather Agreement on May 30, 2013, which directed taxpayer dollars and federal personnel to illegally roundup unbranded, wild, free-roaming horses on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest lands and tribal lands until May 31, 2015.

However, as a direct result of the complaint and injunction filed by Protect Mustangs and CAES, the USDA Forest Service terminated the Gather Agreement on September 3, 2013.

The groups specifically requested the court order “the USFS and the BLM to withdraw the Notice and 2013 Horse Gather Agreement until such time as the agency demonstrates to this Court that it has adequately complied with the law.” Instead of litigating the legality of the Gather Agreement, the USFS did exactly what the two groups requested and terminated the Agreement.

“The McDermitt nightmare was the first of what could have been two solid years of heinous roundups authorized by the USFS Gather Agreement,” says Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We are grateful the lawsuit resulted in the Forest Service terminating the agreement because so many horses were ending up in kill-buyers hands. Many were saved by equine welfare groups but sadly a lot of horses ended up allegedly slaughtered.”

“It’s unfortunate the first McDermitt roundup wasn’t stopped before horses were sold at auction, but we’re glad we got rid of the underlying Agreement that made the McDermitt roundups possible and authorized an undisclosed number of similar roundups until May of 2015,” explains Dr.Lester Castro Friedlander, DVM, president of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter.

Academy Award-winner and member of Protect Mustangs, Michael Blake (Dances with Wolves), stated in his declaration that he received “great inspiration watching wild horses roaming free in Nevada”. He believes if they are rounded up, removed, killed or slaughtered he would suffer harm by loosing that inspiration. Blake is pleased the two year roundup agreement was terminated.

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of America’s wild and domestic horses.

Protect Mustangs and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter were represented in this case by Jones Law Firm of Reno, Nevada and Beckett Law Office of Ashland, Oregon.

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Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454,

Jordan Beckett, 541-510-0333.

Photos, interviews and video available upon request

Links of interest™:
PM Protect Mustangs CAES Win 30 Day Notice Forest Service & Ft. McDermitt USDA 17 Sept 2013
PM Protect Mustangs CAES McDermitt Participating Agreement Termination September 3 2013
Academy Award-winner, Michael Blake, joins lawsuit to stop ongoing wild horse roundups (August 24, 2013):
Lawsuit filed to save wild horses from alleged slaughter (August 16, 2013):
U.S. Judge refuses to block NV tribe’s mustang sale, The Associated
Beckett Law Office, P.C.
Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act
Link to this press release: