Tag Archives: BLM

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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Official Wild Horse Report Comes Out on Wednesday; We Need Your Help TODAY

Dear Supporters & Friends,
We have asked you to voice your opinions over the last several years in support of America’s wild horses. This time marks a pinnacle in how the Wild Horse & Burro Program is going to move forward. If you haven’t taken action with us before, please let today be the time you do.

On Wednesday, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is going to release its report on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. The new Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, has said that she’s waiting for this report to decide how the program should be handled going forward.

The BLM has paid for this report and it’s been clear from all sides waiting to read it that it will formulate the direction of every aspect of how our horses are managed from here on out. We hope that it is a positive step forward for our wild ones. We are uniting together, as always, against slaughter and against federal roundups. Please join us and voice your own opinions before it’s too late.

Madeleine Pickens & the Saving America’s Mustangs’ Foundation


Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
c/o Secretary Sally Jewell
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Phone: (202) 208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov
Office of Communications: 202-208-3752

You can also tweet Secretary Sally Jewell on Twitter:
(please use #SAVEAMERICASMUSTANGS when tweeting)

Saving America’s Mustangs
2683 Via De La Valle G313
Del Mar, CA 92014

Check out the new Mustang Monument website:

Take Action to Preserve Wyoming’s Wild Horses!

Wild horses in Adobe Town. Photo by Carol Walker

BLM is planning another destructive roundup of Wyoming’s wild horses. This time the agency has set its sights on the Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds in the southwestern section of the state — some of the largest remaining in the West.

In addition, BLM plans to sell oil and gas development leases within the herd areas without any analysis as to how it will impact the wild horses.

For the second time in three years these two herds would be forced to endure a helicopter stampede. The reason? Livestock. The Rock Springs Grazing Association (RGSA) leases the private and public portions of the checkerboard lands (1 square mile public, 1 square mile private) along the I-80 corridor. RSGA filed a lawsuit last year demanding removal of all the wild horses in the checkerboard lands. This would result in wiping out the vast majority of Wyoming’s wild horses, including many Adobe Town horses and nearly all of the Salt Wells bands.

Continue reading Take Action to Preserve Wyoming’s Wild Horses!

International Equine Conference Press Event to Be Held at UNLV Campus

September 14, 2012 – Chicago (EWA) – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Respect4Horses are holding a press conference that will feature sponsors and presenters from the International Equine Conference (IEC). The press conference will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) campus in the Stan Fulton Bldg. on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 A.M.

Current issues surrounding the BLM roundups of our wild horses and burros and horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States and its social and environmental impacts will be discussed at the press conference. The general public as well as students and faculty of the university are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served at the press conference.

The conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 & 23, 2012, at the UNLV campus Stan Fulton Bldg. Current initiatives, legislative issues and progress addressing the care and futures of domestic and wild horses and burros in this country will be covered by an impressive and diverse panel of experts.

Continue reading International Equine Conference Press Event to Be Held at UNLV Campus

BLM Selects Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Preserve Proposal

Photo Courtesy of Jo Danehy

Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are elated to share the announcement from the Bureau of Land management that they are prepared to move forward with the wild horse eco-sanctuary that I have proposed in Elko County, Nevada. I want to personally thank the thousands upon thousands of supporters of Saving America’s Mustangs that have weighed in with their support over the past few years and for sticking with us through throughout this journey. We could not have done it without each of you.

I also want to thank the BLM and the multitude of their great staff that have worked diligently on this project over the past few years. Their support and the many hours they put into that effort is sincerely appreciated. While we may not have always agreed on every fine point during our early work, I think we always knew we were breaking new ground and moving in the direction of new horizons where the care and management of the Nation’s wild horses are concerned. Nothing of this magnitude is ever accomplished without a difference of opinion and our ability to persevere and work together is essential to the success of this project. And it is important to point out that there is so much hard work left to do and maintaining a good working relationship will ultimately determine how successful we are in moving forward and setting the stage for future successes.

Continue reading BLM Selects Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Preserve Proposal

Nevada’s Wild Horses Need Your Help

Comments Needed for the Desatoya Herd & Other News

Wild horses of Nevada

Dear Wild Horse & Burro Defenders;
Please help the Desatoya Wild Horse herd in central Nevada by commenting on the helicopter stampede and removal plan in which the vast majority of wild horse families would lose their freedom later this year. As many as 500 horses could be removed from their legally designated Wild Horse Herd Management Area of over 160,000 acres. BLM is only allowing for 127-180 wild horses, while permitting the year round grazing of 600 head of privately owned livestock.

Instead of preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for just the wild horse removal, BLM has included this wild horse action as part of a habitat restoration project EA. The “restoration” plan calls for the cutting of pinyon, juniper and sagebrush to improve the habitat for threatened populations of sage grouse. Yes, that’s right — destroying sagebrush habitat to help struggling sage grouse populations. It is easy to conclude that the “restoration” might also create more grazing land for welfare cattle. Livestock damage is the major cause of declining sage grouse populations throughout the West.

Continue reading Nevada’s Wild Horses Need Your Help