Tag Archives: Bureau of Land Management

Comment on Long-Term Management Plan for Wild Horses in Nevada’s Pancake Complex

Please take quick action below to participate in the Bureau of Land Management’s long-term Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) for the Pancake Complex, which spans more than 1 million acres or 1,680 square miles in eastern Nevada. The Complex is home to an estimated 1,400 wild horses and includes three Herd Management Areas and one Forest Service Wild Horse Territory. To break that down, that’s over one square mile for every horse! Despite the current small population in such a large area, the government wants to reduce the population to just 361 to 638 horses. Sadly, the BLM has resurrected the failed and ill-conceived idea of castrating 138 of the stallions in this EA.

Getting public comments on the record is important — otherwise BLM can claim we support this grotesque mismanagement. Please join The Cloud Foundation in calling for fair and humane management that preserves natural “wild” behaviors, family units, and freedom, and perhaps most importantly, gives wild horses and burros their fair share.

As Nelson Mandella said: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” As long as we never give up, we will succeed and get our precious wild horses and burros the fair and humane treatment they deserve!

Please click here and take one minute to submit your comments by July 18.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Honor the Spirit of America: Call for Freedom by Opposing Massive Extermination of Wild Horses in WY

The Bureau of Land Management is asking for public input on its Massive Extermination Plan for the wild horses in southern Wyoming. This is a direct assault – to permanently get rid of, or zero out, all wild horses to accommodate the Rock Springs Grazing Association’s private livestock on our public lands. HMAs affected include Salt Wells Creek, Divide Basin, and the northern portion of Adobe Town.

We are not willing to accept, on any terms, this MASSIVE ROUNDUP.

Please take the time to sign our petition today.

Please share this message with your friends, family, and on social media. We must show BLM that Americans – from all walks of life and across all political aisles – want Wyoming’s Wild Horses protected.

This Extermination Plan must be stopped. Without your help these magnificent animals are doomed.

Comments are due July 8th. Click here to take action — sign the petition and access EA documents and other information.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Wyoming’s Wild Horses Are under Attack: Stop BLM’s Wild Horse Extermination Plan

As we start a fresh new year, BLM Wyoming is finalizing its disastrous plan to further destroy wild horse herds in the southern portion of the state. 10 years in the making, this plan includes eliminating all wild horses in the Salt Wells Creek and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and sterilizing all horses in the White Mountain HMA.

In October of 2021, The Cloud Foundation released a national opinion poll, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll. The poll found that more than 2 in 3 Americans (69%) oppose removing all wild horses from 1.5 million acres of public lands in southern Wyoming to accommodate the oil/gas and livestock industries.  Yet sadly, in 2024, BLM’s goal to destroy wild herds to accommodate commercial livestock interests continues.

How do they get away with this? It’s disgusting that commercial interests seem to continually prevail over the will of the people. The biased and inhumane treatment of our wild herds is unforgivable. But we are more fortunate than most people in the world — we have our voice. We know that when Americans act en masse, government will listen.

So, here is OUR call to action: show up and speak up! Will you join us?

Please take a moment to join The Cloud Foundation in opposing this ill-conceived plan by signing our petition. Then, please share this alert with friends and family.

Thank you for ALL that you do — because together we will make a difference!

The deadline for public comments: January 17, 2024

For those who would like to submit your own comments, you may do so by visiting the BLM Rock Springs RMP Revision Eplanning page and selecting the “participate now” button. If needed, you may use the talking points included in the above petition for ideas to help craft your personal comments.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

BLM Proposes Massive Burro Roundup + New Cattle Grazing

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a MASSIVE roundup of burros in Arizona’s Three River Complex, which includes the Alamo, Big Sandy, and Havasu Herd Management Areas (HMAs). BLM plans to round up 1,794 of the estimated 2,259 burros living in the area, leaving behind just 465 burros. Livestock grazing in the Big Sandy HMA is equivalent to 1,000 year-round cows; BLM only allows 139 burros to live in that same area.

America’s wild burros face a genetic crisis due to BLM’s mismanagement of these hardy little animals. The agency keeps most burro populations so small that inbreeding is inevitable.

BLM plans this massive burro roundup while at the same time the agency proposes ADDING COWS to graze in the same area! After nearly 30 years of no livestock grazing in the Alamo HMA, BLM wants to add cows despite claiming the HMA is over-grazed. This is CRAZY.

BLM’s unscientific “Appropriate” Management Level (AML) is a rigged system where any animal over BLM’s arbitrary quota is considered “overpopulation.” The only way to address this is to reduce livestock grazing and increase the number of burros allowed on the range.

Please take action NOW by signing our two petitions here and here, which call on BLM to ditch the massive roundup and reject the proposal to add new livestock grazing in the Alamo HMA.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Idaho’s Few Remaining Wild Horses Are under Attack

A curious Sands Basin HMA stallion watches our friends from Save Our Wild Horses.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho (Owyhee Field Office) plans to reduce wild horse numbers in the Black Mountain, Hardtrigger, and Sands Basin Herd Management Areas to low numbers of just 30 horses in the Black Mountain HMA, 33 horses in the Sands Basin HMA, and 66 horses in the Hardtrigger HMA.

This disastrous plan creates a scenario in which inbreeding among the wild horses is inevitable — daughters with fathers, brothers with sisters, and mothers with sons. This effectively destroys their ability to survive. Inbreeding results in an increase of the offspring being affected by recessive traits such as blindness, deafness, a breakdown of natural immunities, and physical deformities.

BLM’s response is to bring in a few horses from other HMAs to address genetic problems. The practice of introducing new horses diminishes the unique qualities present in these herds — for better or for worse — and speaks to BLM creating a problem (lack of genetic viability) that they will have to continuously – and retroactively – fix.

BLM also plans to use Gonacon as fertility control on mares returned to the range. Studies show that Gonacon is likely permanent after just two applications. It effectively destroys the ovaries and therefore natural hormone production that drives natural, wild behaviors.

WE CANNOT GIVE UP ON THESE HORSES.  Fighting for needed change is the least we can do for these precious animals. Will you please join us?

Please take a stand today — it takes less than a minute to submit your comments to BLM to state your opposition to this ill-conceived proposal.

TIPS on How to Comment: We have provided talking points for you to use. You can leave them as written if you like. However, we encourage you to edit the suggested comments to reflect your unique thoughts and perspectives.

If you would like to research this Environmental Assessment a bit further, you may find it (and supporting documents) here: EplanningUi (blm.gov).

For a LIVE tutorial — Join our friends with Save Our Wild Horses on Thursday, June 8th, at 7 pm EST.

They will have a 1-hour, 2-part Zoom:

Part 1 – Journalist Vickery Eckhoff presents: Speaking Truth to Power: The Media, BLM, & You

Part 2 addresses how to submit Public Comments on the Owyhee Field Office Herd Management’s proposed plan for the Idaho wild horse herds.

To register for this Zoom meeting, please email Heather Hellyer (Save Our Wild Horses) at kaya97524@yahoo.com.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Help Preserve the Pryor Wild Horses

Red Wolf and his mother, Feldspar, graze near the top of the PMWHR.

Comments are due on the Pryor Wild Horse Environmental Assessment (EA) on April 28th. If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to protect the Pryor Mustangs. Feel free to invite friends to do the same.

To comment, just click here. It will take you to the comments page where you may customize any of the suggested comments before submitting.

Speak up now to preserve the well-balanced Pryor range management that has existed for decades. In this EA, BLM wants to take a cookie-cutter approach that would disregard the unique qualities of this special herd. Also, among the proposed alternative plans:

  • genetics may no longer be a criterion for management actions
  • the already low AML may be further reduced
  • alternate fertility controls never before used in the Pryors — that destroy the natural wild behaviors — may be used on our beloved herd

You may reference the EA documents here: EplanningUi (blm.gov).

Please let the Bureau of Land Management know how much this herd means to all of us. Submit your comments on the proposed management plan that will govern the future of these horses for years to come.

We thank you for caring about these magnificent animals and for your support in keeping them WILD and FREE — you are sincerely appreciated.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Urge BLM to Preserve ALL Wild Horses in Clan Alpine HMA

The Bureau of Land Management rounded up a record number of wild horses and burros in 2022 — more than 20,000 precious animals. This is happening thanks to Congress giving record-breaking increased funding for roundups and fertility control methods that destroy who these horses really are and their natural behaviors. Sadly, the agency is hellbent on removing another 20,000 this year too.

We KNOW how frustrating and heartbreaking this is. It’s infuriating our government caters to a small special interest group – public land ranchers – for the management of OUR public lands. It’s shameful that our government refuses to use science to manage our country’s resources and instead continues the good ol’ boy status quo.

But giving up is not an option. We CAN change things — but only if we persist in our efforts. Most social change comes far too slowly; those brave souls who continue the fight and refuse to accept defeat are the ones who prevail in the end.

Your voice makes a difference.  Please submit your comments directly to the BLM.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Urge BLM to Preserve ALL Wild Horses in McCullough Peaks HMA

“Wild Pinto Family at the Waterhole” by Carol Walker, Living Images Photography.

The McCullough Peaks wild horses are a beloved herd. Given the herd’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park, they amaze and charm both locals and visitors from around the world.

Local volunteers have worked tirelessly for more than 12 years to implement a successful PZP program to manage the population growth of the herd. The program has been a complete success with just 2% population growth each year. Sadly, the BLM now wants to remove the majority of horses from the current population of just 179 horses to the Arbitrary Management Level (AML) of just 70-140 horses.

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to remove over 100 horses and begin use of controversial fertility control such as GonaCon. BLM, of course, ignores the livestock grazing in the wild horse habitat and refuses to consider repatriating wild horses to the zeroed-out portion of the Herd Area.

Please take a minute to speak up for these magnificent horses.  Tell the BLM the following (in your own words):

  • I support the PZP program that has successfully managed the herd for the last 12 years.
  • I strongly oppose the removal of any wild horses now living in the HMA; these horses deserve to live and die wild and are valued by locals and tourists alike.
  • The successful partnership between volunteers and BLM to manage the McCullough Peaks Herd through darting has been a model for other HMAs.
  • BLM must amend planning documents to increase the Arbitrary Management Level to be in line with science. Nationally respected equine geneticist Dr. E. Gus Cothran has long stated that a breeding herd of 150-200 horses is the minimum herd size necessary to prevent inbreeding. Removing horses will jeopardize the long-term genetic health of the herd and will force related horses to inbreed.
  • Utilize BLM authority (43 C.F.R. 4710) to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing in order to accommodate the wild horses.
  • These horses must be managed to preserve natural behaviors using only safe and proven fertility control such as PZP. I oppose the BLM’s proposal to use other fertility controls such as GonaCon, IUDs, surgical sterilization, and other fertility control methods which are documented to destroy ovaries (or testes) and natural hormone production which is necessary for natural “wild” behaviors.
  • These horses are a great tourism draw. The public enjoys observing their natural wild behaviors, including seeing stallions protect their families, watching lead mares direct herd dynamics, and experiencing the entire repertoire of natural “wild” horse behaviors.

Your voice makes a difference.  Please submit your comments directly to the BLM by clicking here (and selecting the Participate Now option).

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

This Video Explains How Wild Horses Can Save Lives and Millions in Taxes from Waste

Wild Horse Fire Brigade is a 501-c-3 nonprofit public benefit corporation. Your donations are made more effective by the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization, so every dollar donated goes towards advancing our mission, saving wild horses, strategies and plans to effectively and naturally save and conserve American wild horses for generations to come.

At the most basic level, we use powerful multimedia, photos, films, documentaries, and even a new music video to carry the important message that American wild horses are critical to the very survival of Americans, our forests, wildlife, watershed, and fisheries, and help to sequester carbon compounds via their evolutionary mutualisms with all North American flora and fauna.

This new 1-mnute video powerfully portrays what is at stake as a result of the gross mismanagement of wild horses at the hands of the Bureau of Land Management.  This undeniable and costly mismanagement adversely impacts ALL Americans everywhere. Please share this video with email lists and on social media.

Consider supporting our work and mission to naturally save American wild horses via our plan titled the ‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’, a.k.a. Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Wild Horse Fire Brigade Lawsuit Halts BLM Wild Horse Roundup in Oregon

A herd of wild horses seen in an alpine riparian area of a wilderness area. Documented evidence proves wild horses have been using this riparian area and spring for centuries without any ill effects. Photo: William E. Simpson II.

YREKA, CA, US, December 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Wednesday, October 5th, 2022, Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court in Washington D.C. (Case 1:22-cv-03006) against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, on behalf of its client Wild Horse Fire Brigade (WHFB), a California-based all-volunteer 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.

That lawsuit brought a temporary halt to the roundup of wild horses from private property within and adjacent to the Pokegama Herd Management Area in southern Oregon while the Department of Justice evaluated the lawsuit, which alleged that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to follow the law and its own guidance before initiating the roundup.

The intention of the lawsuit was also to prevent the loss of wild horses and to compel BLM to conduct legally required studies regarding the horses.

“The BLM has a history of cutting corners and ignoring their legal obligations in a rush to get rid of wild horses in the west,” Professor Michael Harris, director of the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Vermont Law and Graduate School said. “Horses are native to the west and are an important aspect of the ecosystem. We need to work to increase their numbers to ensure healthy, stable herds.”

The recent doctoral dissertation by Yvette ‘Running Horse’ Collin provides evidence that strongly suggests wild horses have been living in the region of Southwestern Oregon since at least the year 1580, when Sir Francis Drake documented observations of wild horses living among the local indigenous peoples of Southwestern Oregon during his voyage and exploration of the west coast of America in 1580.

Dr. Collin’s dissertation , titled ‘The relationship between the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the horse: deconstructing a Eurocentric myth,’ can be read in its entirety at the following URL:

https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/7592

In early December, Wild Horse Fire Brigade and its legal team at Vermont Law learned that a wild mare was ‘acutely injured’ during a renewed roundup activity by the BLM during the time the DOJ agreed to halt the roundup while considering the legal action by Vermont Law. Tragically and needlessly, that wild mare died.

On December 7th, 2022, Wild Horse Fire Brigade issued a Press Release condemning the BLM’s actions and the death of a protected American wild horse, as a result of the continuation of the alleged illegal roundup.

“That wild mare died tragically and needlessly as a result of an illegal and ill-conceived roundup authorized by Mr. Todd Forbes at the BLM’s Lakeview Oregon office,” said Deb Ferns, President, Wild Horse Fire Brigade, who went on to say that “wild horse advocates should contact Mr. Forbes directly and offer their own concerns as well.”

(Todd Forbes – Oregon BLM Lakeview District Manager. Ph. 541-947-6100 / email: tforbes@blm.gov)

The removal of wild horses from the area around Pokegama is reckless and disregards the health, safety and welfare of people living in the region, given the excessive grass and brush wildfire fuels that were formerly managed by hundreds of wild horses that have lived in this area on the Oregon-California border for the past 440 years.

Now it seems that the BLM was desperate to somehow defend and explain the questionable and needless death of the wild mare to the Federal Court in Washington D.C. that is handling the pending lawsuit.

On December 20, 2022, the BLM filed a Declaration in the Washington D.C. Federal Court (Case No. 1 :22-cv-3006) by the BLM agent involved in the death of the wild mare, a Mr. Blair J. Street, who claims the title of ‘District Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District in southcentral Oregon.’

Among the statements made in the Declaration by Mr. Street, he also stated the following:

“We spent hours attempting to load the remaining mare and stud into the truck. Eventually, I unhooked the horse trailer from my truck, and we left the horses overnight to see if they would go into the trailer themselves. I have used this tactic on other gathers to coax the horses into the trailer with a small bucket of water.

It is not uncommon for studs and mares to be mixed together while trying to load horses from the trap to the holding facility.

We headed back out to the trap the following morning, on November 22, 2022. When we arrived, the mare was lying down and the stud was kicking at her. She could not stand. At that point, I released the stud.

When the mare tried to stand, she was very uneasy and stumbled a lot to try to keep her balance. Her head was tilted to the side, she could not straighten her neck, and her eyes were very wide open. When I went to her left side, I noticed a huge bulge where her spinal column would be. She had hoof marks from the stud on her neck. I suspected the stud had fractured some of her vertebrae.

After about ten minutes of observation, I decided that the mare was not going to be able to load in the trailer or survive long outside of the trap. She was slow and clearly in a great deal of pain. The mare was obviously suffering and was not going to have quality of life.

In my opinion, if the mare were released, she would have gone through a lot of pain before passing a slow and horrible death. Her foal outside the trap was old enough to be weaned. Given all of these considerations, I decided to euthanize the mare as an act of mercy.”

Clearly, by his own admission, Mr. Blair was having great difficulty attempting to force two wild horses from a wilderness area (the mare and her stallion) into a trailer.

It’s my belief that the truth of the matter is that during the ‘hours spent’ trying force two wild horses into a trailer, the mare seriously injured her neck, resulting in her death. Of course, there was no necropsy performed, which might disprove Mr. Street’s statement.

“Unlike Mr. Blair, I am a field researcher and wild horse ethologist that has studied free roaming wild horses in the wilderness and around Pokegama for the past 8 years continuously, and I have logged over 15,000 hours of close observational study of wild horse behavior and ecology. In that time, I have never witnessed any band stallion or bachelor stallion kicking any mare lying on the ground. The highly questionable and unbelievable statement by Mr. Blair seems to assign blame for a human-caused injury, likely caused by attempting to force wild horses into a trailer, to the loving companion of the mare,” said William E. Simpson II, Founder & Executive Director of Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

“It would be highly unusual for a wild stallion to aggressively attack one of his mares as his principal role is to act as guardian and protector of his band. Stallions have an immense responsibility under pressure to manage their herd and protect the mares and foals. They are on watch at all times. If the mare were already injured, he would likely stand over her, nudge her, and continue to protect her. Aggression on the part of the stallion towards other horses is primarily associated with sexual competition, dominance, or territory (protecting the group and resources),” said Professor Julie Murphree, PhD, Equine Science Advisor at Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

A great deal of new research and understanding of wild horse ethology has come to light over the past eight years (2014-2022) as a result of the intensive and continuous study and published research of wild horses living naturally in the wilderness by William E. Simpson II.

One of many examples of the unexpected behaviors of wild horses is how they respect and honor dying members of the herd, as was documented in this published article, ‘How wild horses deal with death and grief – A rare insight’, which can be read here: https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/07/04/wild-horses-death-grief-insight/.

It’s most unfortunate that many of the personnel at the BLM are actually willfully ignorant of the many scientific facts related to wild horse behavioral ecology and ethology. These facts offer important insights as to how America can better manage its iconic wild horses.

Some of the research and peer-reviewed published studies that support the rewilding/relocating initiative integral to the wild horse management plan known as the ‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’ (aka: Wild Horse Fire Brigade) are found at: https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/resources.

Under the direction of Professor-Litigator Michael Harris, Vermont Law will be filing a response to Mr. Blair Street’s Declaration, as well as a ‘permanent injunction’ in January 2023, to prevent any future roundups in and around the Pokegama wild horse Herd Management Area, one of the few remaining wild horse Herd Management Areas in Oregon.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.