Tag Archives: BLM

Renowned Wild Horse Advocate Finally Appointed to BLM Board

Ginger filming Cloud and Family, May 2014 ~ photo by R. T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“It’s a first and a long time in coming.  Internationally acclaimed cinematographer and wild horse advocate Ginger Kathrens has finally been appointed to sit on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board.  Ginger and other advocates have attempted to be a voice for the wild horses and burros in the past but have been inexplicably passed over, but not this round.  The BoD of Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to express their congratulations to Ginger and sincerely hope that her sage advice will be listened to and acted upon by the other members of the board.  Job well done.”
~ R. T. Fitch

The BLM: Failure at Its Finest

Simple Math

$50,000 per Horse
X 100,000 Horses
$5,000,000,000 Taxpayer Dollars

The BLM manages to waste $5 billion in taxpayer money managing the Wild Horse and Burro Program while doing absolutely nothing new to manage the program. How much longer can Members of Congress and the American public sit idly by while the BLM turns its back on those who bring real solutions to the table to help solve the outlandish problems presented by the current management of our Wild Horse and Burro Program?

As you may recall from our recent announcement, unfortunately we will not be able to open our eco-resort, Mustang Monument, this year due to the interference of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other government entities that effectively preclude us from obtaining the necessary permits. On the heels of our announcement, the BLM sent out its own press release containing two very revealing numbers; first it indicated that the current Wild Horse and Burro Program was spending $50,000 per horse for horses kept in holding for their natural lifetime, and second, they currently had 100,000 horses that fell under the umbrella of this financial responsibility. Simple math informs all of us that the BLM will spend $5 billion dollars of taxpayer money supporting a program that by their own admission is a failure.

In recent testimony before a House Committee just last week, the BLM Director, Neil Kornze, advised members of Congress that 60% of the BLM’s budget for wild horse management was being consumed by care for horses in captivity, up from 46% in 2000. This number staggers the mind when you consider that the BLM has been advised for years from experts on all sides of the issue to find more innovative ways to manage wild horses on the range, rather than to continue to gather and stockpile horses in holding pens. In the same hearing, Congressman Calvert, the Subcommittee Chairman, advised Kornze to “keep the agency driving for a solution that allows the BLM to spay and neuter wild horses on a permanent and broader scale,” in the interest of keeping more horses where they are.

As you know, I started our eco-resort with the specific intention of giving these mustangs a place to live free and wild. I went to Washington, D.C. and explained my plan to Senator Harry Reid and Senator Diane Feinstein. Both of them encouraged me to go buy the land and stated if I did, they would support the project. I put my own money up to purchase the land and to improve it so that it could support the mustangs and other wildlife, rather than being dedicated to continuous cattle grazing. Again, I did so only after to speaking to countless elected officials, who assured me that they recognized the benefits, on both the financial and moral side of the equation. I can’t help but ask where they are now.

The ranch I purchased has the ability to keep thousands of mustangs on it, manage them in a way that allows them to remain there instead of being placed in holding pens at $50,000 per horse, and save the BLM and taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. What I have presented is the classic opportunity to leverage private dollars against federal dollars to accomplish a goal everyone states they are seeking in the wild horse and burro management arena, yet I find myself stymied at every turn by the BLM finding ways to delay or outright stop the project. This is because the BLM is NOT truly committed to finding new management solutions to managing wild horses; the only thing they understand is gathering and holding horses in pens. The BLM argues that there are 60,000 wild horses on the range today. That number is not supported by any accurate census modeling and, in fact, totally ignores the fact that there is a natural attrition rate of 20-25% per year. Of course, this attrition rate is reduced significantly when the horses are placed in domestic holding pens, another argument for keeping more horses on the range through creative management solutions.

As a taxpayer and an American, it is time for you to speak. It is time for you to call to account those who waste your money and who seek to destroy the great example that these mustangs represent.

Take action now.

Contact your elected officials and let them know that this waste should not be permitted. Let them know that you support the right of the mustangs to live free as great symbols of America. Take action today by writing to any or all of the names listed below. Ask Senators Reid and Feinstein why they have abandoned support for the Mustang Monument project.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid
Washington DC Office
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3542
Fax: 202-224-7327

California Senator Dianne Feinstein
Washington DC Office
331 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3841
Fax: 202-228-3954

Secretary Jewell, Department of Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: 202-208-3100
Email: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Madeleine Pickens

Saving America’s Mustangs, 2683 Via De La Valle, G 313, Del Mar, CA 92014

Help Save the White Mountain and Little Colorado Wild Horse Herds!

Photo: Ginger Kathrens and Lisa Friday.

Comment on BLM’s Plan to Sterilize Mares! Deadline: Thursday, January 14th

Dear Friends of our Wyoming Wild Horses,
BLM is planning to sterilize the mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area… unless we can stop them. White Mountain is the most visible, most photographed, most approachable wild horse herd in Southern Wyoming with a driving loop and signage to facilitate the viewing experience. The White Mountain Herd is the biggest tourist attraction in the immediate Rock Springs area, and the herd is also within the BLM’s “Appropriate Management Level of 205-300 horses.

Despite all these facts, the BLM proposes to use the White Mountain mustangs in a mare spaying research experiment to be conducted with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The adjacent Little Colorado Herd would serve as the control group.

BLM proposes to conduct helicopter roundups, removing all wild horses over the “Appropriate Management Level” on over 1 million acres of mostly public lands. Currently, BLM estimates 268 wild horses in White Mountain. Little Colorado numbers are estimated to be 330 with an AML of only 69-100 on over 600,000 acres of federally owned land. This amounts to one wild horse allowed for every 6,000 acres!

Once rounded up, approximately 300 horses would be permanently removed. In White Mountain 30-50 mares would be fitted with radio collars and stallions would have tracker tags placed in their tails. One year later the horses would again be rounded up with helicopters and mares would be spayed using surgical techniques as yet unspecified and then tracked to determine changes in behavior/band fidelity/mortality in comparison to the control group in Little Colorado.

The bands would be destroyed in both herds as the stallions will be separated from the mares after capture so the band fidelity and behavior data will be useless. We don’t want to think about the mortality rate as we know horses will be killed during and after the helicopter stampedes and may die as a result of the collaring and subsequent operations.

Politely express your outrage! We suggest the following talking points:

  1. Conduct field research to determine the habits and natural behaviors of the White Mountain-Little Colorado using non-invasive techniques (i.e. ground observations/photographs/GPS recorded locations, etc.)
  2. Conduct behavioral research while field darting with the reversible vaccine PZP. Over 50 mares in these HMAs received PZP-22 in 2011 and will only require a booster shot to render them infertile for 1 to 2 years.
  3. Conduct any removals in the late winter/spring months using bait or water trapping. Do not chase them with helicopters! Keep traps in place for several weeks to recapture for boostering young mares that did not receive PZP-22 and are not dartable (most, if not all, mares in White Mountain can be field darted). Mares in a trap can be darted without touching them.
  4. Do not put collars on mares or tail tracker tags on stallions. This is not necessary in the White Mountain HMA. It will require capture and will result in the shattering of the bands just to put on the collars and tail tags.
  5. Do not operate on the mares. Sterilized wild horses are no longer wild horses!
  6. Raise the AML of 79-100 in Little Colorado to a genetically viable number of 150-200 adult animals. Reduce livestock grazing. There are 6,000 cows with potentially 6,000 calves or 30,000 head of sheep in the two legally designated wild horse herd management areas!
  7. Collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to conduct the above field darting and record-keeping. (Data sheets are already compiled for over 200 of the White Mountain wild horses!)
  8. Save millions of taxpayer dollars and manage the herds on the range, living in freedom with their families.

Send your comments to:
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
Fax: (307) 352-0329

Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:
BLM _WY_ whitemtn _littleco _ hma@blm.gov
(Include “White Mountain & Little Colorado EA Comments” in the subject line.)

Here are the links to the BLM Scoping Letter and Documents.



Please do what you can! This is nothing more than a wild horse extermination plan dressed up as a research project. Time is short – send your comments by day’s end Thursday, January 14. Thanks!

Happy Trails!

The Cloud Foundation

Proposed Removal of over 1700 Wild Horses in Red Desert Complex in Wyoming

2011 roundup in Antelope Hills HMA. Photos by Carol Walker.

Wyoming is on a campaign to wipe out its wild horses.

The BLM is currently accepting public comments on a plan to remove 1700 wild horses from Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex, which includes the following herds: Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Green Mountain, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills.

Initially, when the BLM released their Scoping Document for public comment in February, the proposed action was to treat the mares with a birth control drug, PZP-22, then release them. Now the BLM has changed course and despite the thousands of comments from the public against this action, and requesting bait and water trapping rather than the cruel and inhumane method of using helicopters to chase and drive the horses, has stated that Alternative 2 which includes removing 1700 horses, 45% of all the horses left in Wyoming, and only giving fertility control to 23 mares is now the proposed action.

Alternative 1 is to remove all wild horses outside of HMA boundaries and utilize fertility control on mares to be released back to the HMA. In this alternative, 482 wild horses outside the boundaries of the HMAs would be removed and 713 mares would be treated with PZP fertility control and released along with 607 stallions. This alternative is preferable to the proposed action, but rather than removing the horses outside of the boundaries of the HMA, they should be returned to the HMA.

Read the EA here:

Please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8 to this email address:

Personalized comments work the best, so I am going to give you some items to cover, but please use your own words:

Alternative 1 should be used. Removals of wild horses from their homes must be avoided – there is no place to put them and already 50,000 wild horses filling holding facilities to capacity. Use of PZP fertility control to control the population of these herd areas should be used instead of removal.

Alternative 1 should be modified in one respect – the horses outside the HMAs should be returned to the HMAs rather than being removed.

Three of the five herds have AMLs too low to insure genetic diversity of these horses. Removal of wild horses to the low end of AML in these Herd Management Areas will jeopardize the health of these herds.

Antelope Hills wild horses running from the helicopter
Antelope Hills wild horses running from the helicopter

During the roundup, horses should be kept in their family bands, and they should definitely be kept within the HMAs that they came from. Horses have a complex social and family structure and should not be treated like livestock.

The public should be given 14 days’ notice of start date of the roundups so that interested citizens have adequate time to arrange to observe the roundups.

Land Use Plans should be revised to allow AMLs to be raised for all of these Herd Management Areas, and livestock grazing should be reduced. Wild Horses should be managed as the principle species where they are found, according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

Again, please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8:

and here:

Benjamin Smith, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist
BLM Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. 3rd Street
Rawlins, WY 82301
(307) 328-4200
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov

Jeremie Artery, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist (Acting)
BLM Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, WY 82520
(307) 332-8400
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov


By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Carol Walker is the Director of Field Documentation on the Board of Directors for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, which is dedicated to stopping the roundups and keeping our wild horses wild and free. Carol’s websites are: wildhoofbeats.com and Living Images by Carol Walker.

Defend Wild Horses from the BLM

The wild horses of Water Canyon in Nevada need your help! Please stand up for them and make your voice heard by commenting before the looming June 15 deadline regarding the wild horses in the Water Canyon area of the Antelope Herb Management Area (HMA) of Nevada. Their lives are at stake!

America’s wild horses are continually under threat and their numbers dwindle yearly. Many of us have seen the photos and videos of the helicopters chasing down these majestic horses in order to round them up and gather them into long-term holding pens. This practice is inhumane and terrifying for the horses who are chased until they can barely stand. Countless horses flee in desperate fear, many of whom become severely injured or killed in the horrific process… and all so that the land they need to survive can be used instead for livestock ranchers and the big business that is the meat industry.

As the number of wild horses continues to diminish, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely, Nevada District Office would have the public believe that a “fertility control pilot program” for the horses in the Water Canyon area is of necessity, while the true intent is to remove even more horses from the area in lieu of grazing for sheep.

Under the guise of this program, the BLM’s proposal would only allow 25 wild horses to remain in the area. Those 25 horses would be on the same public lands as Hank Vogler’s “Need More Sheep Company” and his more than 6,000 livestock. The livestock would be left and allowed to graze at embarrassingly low taxpayer-subsidized rates. Unfair? You bet it is!

The BLM and the ranchers would have wild horses eradicated from public lands in favor of sheep and cattle grazing. This grazing is for the sole purpose of fattening up the unfortunate cows and sheep who are then brutally slaughtered and finally consumed. The direct link between cattle and sheep ranching with wild horse roundups is real and will continue until we humans take responsibility for our palates and refuse to financially support the industry. Horse roundups would not be deemed “necessary” if not for sheep and cattle ranchers whose meat businesses bring in the money that allows them to influence policies that are corrupt.

This plan is unacceptable for the wild horses and the public who care for them. The BLM is again outwardly showing preferential treatment for commercial livestock industries while the fate of our wild horses continues to hang in the balance.

Tell the BLM you do not support this program and you want the BLM to discontinue its use of helicopters to capture horses and to only use bait trapping to capture horses or remote darting for application of a humane program using PZP birth control as an alternative to removal, as removal is unacceptable. No additional horses should be removed and relocated to holding facilities where many wild horses languish for years with no hope of adoption.

The BLM must institute the reduction of livestock grazing so that the wild horse population in the area is accommodated equally without removing horses under the guise of a fertility program. American wild horses have just as much right to be on these public lands. Let the BLM know that removing our wild horses in lieu of grazing sheep for the livestock industry is not acceptable!

Thanks to American Wildhorse Preservation Campaign for contributing to this alert.

Click here to read more and to take action.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

Judge Temporarily Blocks Roundup and Forced Drugging of Beloved Nevada Herd

RENO, NV (February 11, 201) — U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks has granted Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundup and permanent removal of 200 wild horses in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) and the roundup of another 132 wild horses so that an estimated 66 mares can be given the drug PZP, an EPA approved pesticide, as a form of birth control. These wild horses belong to the most famous horse herd in NV – the one featured in The Misfits starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe – which helped pave the way for the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971. This herd now faces possible obliteration, despite the Act and advocates are fighting to stop a travesty.

“Today is a milestone for America’s wild horses who have been scapegoated for range damage and forcibly drugged with PZP in experiments for decades,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs based in San Francisco. “They should never live in zoo-like settings on public land. That’s not freedom. Wild horses are a native species who contribute to the ecosystem. They belong here.”

Hicks said that with the proposed Pine Nut roundup, which was slated to begin Feb. 20, 2015, the BLM has failed to satisfy the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other federal laws that are applicable.

“Accordingly, the court finds that the public interest will be best served by enjoining the BLM’s proposed gather, at least until the court has an opportunity to fully consider the merits of plaintiffs’ claims,” Hicks said.

“We are delighted that the Court agreed with Friends of Animals and Protect Mustangs that BLM is obligated to fully evaluate under NEPA each and every proposed round-up,” said Michael Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ (FoA’s) Wildlife Law Program. “In relying upon a stale Environmental Assessment from 2010, BLM has not met its duty to fully inform the public about the impacts associated with its plan to permanently remove more than 200 wild horses from the Pine Nut Range, and to dose dozens of mares with the fertility drug PZP. It is time for BLM to evaluate the harsh reality that PZP has long-term detrimental effects on wild horses.”

“I would say this is a major victory for wild horses and reflects rising concerns about rounding up and drugging wild horses with PZP,” added Jennifer Barnes, staff attorney with FoA’s Wildlife Law Program.

“I’m grateful that the wild herd I’ve been studying for 50 years has received justice in federal court today.” Craig Downer, director of ecology and conservation at Protect Mustangs. “This is an opportunity to prove our case to restore the herds.”

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

Group Files Lawsuit to Stop Pine Nut Wild Horse Roundup

Jan 28, 2015 — By Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazette Journal

A planned roundup of wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains has been put on hold after wild horse advocates filed a lawsuit alleging the plan violates federal law and would subject horses to the damaging effects of a fertility-control drug.

The horse gather, originally planned to begin Saturday in the hills south of Dayton and last up to 10 days, has been put off to late February at the soonest, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Ross said Tuesday.

The decision came after two groups, Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Reno Monday to block a roundup members said violates federal law.

“The BLM abruptly made a decision in December of 2014 to round-up, permanently remove and forcibly administer fertility-control drugs on our wild horses,” said Jenni Barnes, attorney for the Friends of Animals wildlife law program.

“BLM violated the law by excluding the public from this decision making and completely failing to consider its impacts,” Barnes said. “FOA and Protect Mustangs have filed this lawsuit to ensure that BLM does not destroy Nevada’s last remaining wild horses.”

Ross had no comment on the lawsuit. She said the BLM will likely proceed with other wild horse gathers planned near Tonopah and Battle Mountain in the coming weeks and possibly conduct the Pine Nut gather late in February.

A population inventory conducted by BLM last August concluded the wild horse population south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville documented 332 horses, far in excess of the “appropriate management level” of between 119 and 179 animals.

An overpopulation of horses in the area has damaged the range, including valuable sage grouse habitat, and reduced availability of native forage grasses needed to support a healthy horse population, BLM officials said.

“They are considerably over the high end (in population) and have been for two or three years,” John Neill, incident commander for the planned gather, said Monday. “Once animals grow over that upper end, those animals are excess animals and BLM is responsible to remove them.”

The BLM planned to gather the 332 horses, permanently removing about 200. Of the 132 released back to the range, about 66 mares would receive a 22-month treatment of the Porcine Zona Pellucida immunocontraceptive vaccine, or PZP, to prevent future reproduction.

The lawsuit contends the BLM failed to prepare an environmental assessment for the roundup as required as the National Environmental Policy Act and failed to provide adequate public notice of its plans. It also alleges the government has ignored studies indicating the fertility control drug PZP alters horse behavior and “can have significant and lasting effects on the birthing cycle” of wild horses.

“The American Public is outraged (because) elected officials aren’t doing anything to stop cruel roundups and sterilization experiments on our native wild horses,” said Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s disgusting and shameful.”

Developments come after two members of Friends of Animals were escorted by sheriff’s deputies from a BLM meeting at a Minden hotel-casino last week. They were there to protest the BLM’s handling of wild horses during a workshop on a draft long-range management plan for the agency’s Carson City District, which includes the area targeted for the Pine Nut roundup.

Read the article and comment here –> http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/01/27/lawsuit-targets-pine-nut-horse-roundup/22438341/?fb_ref=Default

(Cross-posted for educational purposes only)


Court Grants Wild Horse Advocates Right to Intervene in Wyoming Anti-Mustang Lawsuit

Cheyenne, WY (January 7, 2014) – On Monday, January 5, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, and wild horse photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl to intervene in a State of Wyoming lawsuit against the U.S Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over wild horse management. The lawsuit seeks the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands in Wyoming, a state in which fewer than 2,500 wild horses remain.

“Our clients wanted to intervene in the case to defend wild horses from the pro-ranching special interests and their allies in state government. Our clients’ goal is to prevent the federal government from acceding to their claims that the horses must be removed from the public lands to protect the private livestock that are allowed to graze on the same lands,” said Caitlin Zittkowski, of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal, the Washington-DC based law firm that is representing the groups and individuals intervening in the case.

Last year, the BLM settled a similar legal attack by pro-ranching interests in Wyoming, agreeing to decimate nearly half of the state’s remaining wild horse population. This settlement was then used to justify the blatantly illegal roundup of 1,263 wild horses from three Herd Management Areas in Wyoming last fall, an action that is the subject of active litigation filed by the same organizations and individuals.

Under the current Administration, the BLM has rounded up so many wild horses that the number of mustangs stockpiled in government warehouses (nearly 50,000) now exceeds the number that remain free in the wild (under 40,000).

Statewide, Wyoming’s wild horse population levels are far below the high Appropriate Management Level of 3,722 wild horses, a number established by land use plans throughout the state.

The advocates maintain that the governor’s decision to expend public resources on a lawsuit against the BLM is ironic for a state with so few wild horses remaining, and one that promotes wild horses in tourism videos that tout Wyoming as a state that remains untamed, wild and free.

In Wyoming, wild horse numbers are dwarfed by the number of livestock grazing on public lands at taxpayer expense. Fewer than 2,500 wild horses remain on just 3.2 million acres of public rangeland, while hundreds of thousands of livestock graze 18 million acres of public land in the state. Put another way, wild horses are present in Wyoming on just 2 percent of the BLM land grazed by livestock.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. Cloud is the subject of Foundation founder Ginger Kathrens’ groundbreaking PBS/Nature documentaries.

Return to Freedom (RTF) is a national non-profit dedicated to wild horse preservation through sanctuary, education and conservation, and also operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA. It is also AWHPC’s founding organization.

Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl are renowned wild horse photographers who regularly photograph the wild horses of the Adobe Town, Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek HMAs. Carol Walker is also a board member for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, John Steele, and Lisa Friday are being represented by the public interest Washington D.C. law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.

Real Reasons behind Brutal Roundups Are Unravelling

Oct 14, 2014 — Dear Friends of Wild Horses & Burros,
The public has a right to know the real reasons why America’s wild horses are being terrorized, pushed off public land and end up at risk of going to slaughter for human consumption abroad. Sadly the news in Wyoming doesn’t know what fair reporting means and is not covering the crisis as they should.

We wanted to attend the Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup but public viewing was censored by holding observers often a mile or more from the trap so we decided it was not a wise use of funds. We are grateful other witnesses were present with long lenses. Even so they didn’t catch much due to government censorship. Here is a sample of what BLM roundups look like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF49csCB9qM.

It’s shameful that the energy industry, government employees and our elected officials refuse to find the win-win for wildlife and industry to coexist. Instead they are wiping out America’s wild horses to cash in on their land.

Recently in the Wyoming Checkerboard roundup, the BLM zeroed out most of the wild horses despite international public outcry. The BLM also tried to blame horse advocates for taking more than 400 additional wild horses when the truth is they were allegedly pushed by Governor Mead to take as many as they could find. Read more here: www.ProtectMustangs.org.

Anne Novak
Founder & Executive Director

National Academy Report Finds Serious Fault with BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Management Program

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Washington, DC – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) welcomes a new report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that clearly indicates the need for a major overhaul in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse and burro management program. The report, entitled “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward,” is the culmination of a 2-year independent scientific study by the NAS. AWI contributed input to the committee charged with conducting the study, and many of the report’s recommendations mirror reforms long called for by AWI.

The report faults the BLM for its lack of transparency, and dismisses the unscientific and haphazard ways in which the BLM estimates populations of wild horses and determines carrying capacity on the range. The report lends credence to accusations by AWI and others that the BLM has been ignoring science and grossly mismanaging the wild equines, and further that the BLM pursues policies that favor corporate livestock grazing interests over the interests of the wild horses and burros — in direct contradiction to established federal law: the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

AWI strongly endorses, as it has for years, the NAS recommendation that immunocontraception be used as a principal tool to humanely reduce wild horse and burro population growth rates where and when necessary. The NAS identifies immunocontraception (i.e., Porzine Zona Pellucida and GonaCon) as a technology that is effective and immediately available for use on wild horses and burros. Currently, the BLM relies instead on an endless series of brutal and destabilizing roundups to remove horses it deems in excess of capacity.

“The NAS report should be a wake-up call to the BLM, as it clearly and comprehensively identified substantive flaws in the agency’s management of wild horses and burros,” says D. J. Schubert, AWI’s wildlife biologist. “The BLM must fix these deficiencies in its management program to benefit wild horses and burros and the public by maximizing the management of wild horses and burros on the range, reducing if not eliminating roundups, and improving the transparency and accountability of its management efforts.”

AWI will continue to analyze the NAS report and will work with Congress and the administration to ensure that immediate changes are made to the wild horse and burro management program.

Media Contact:
D. J. Schubert, 609-601-2875, dj@awionline.org

Deputy Director
Government and Legal Affairs

900 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20003
T: (202) 446-2142 ~ F: (202) 446-2131
www.awionline.org ~ www.compassionindex.org
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