BLM wild horse roundup
Photo: John Harwood / CC BY 2.0

Obama knew what he was getting when he made Ken Salazar head of the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior that manages some 500,000,000 acres of public lands. The Department of Interior has been an agency ratcheted by corruption for decades. In 2009, Obama put Salazar in to oversee and manage this agency. During his term, Salazar, a strong proponent of renewable energy, pushed through more then three dozen new solar, wind, and geothermal projects on public lands. However, what this article will seek to understand is the BLM wild horse roundup and its mission to destroy the free roaming wild horses they are mandated to protect.

Salazar is an associate of a notorious senator from Nevada who is currently under investigation by the State of Utah for corruption. Harry Reid’s scandals could fill a book and include land swaps, hidden property, and lavish gifts for his intervention in and in the Utah investigation for pay to play. Reid has also been involved in BLM land deals for solar energy, Salazar’s pet project.

BLM wild horse roundupTom Davis purchased nearly 1,800 mustangs from the BLM over a four-year period. He claims to have immediately resold the animals to individuals who drove them to Mexico to their painful deaths in Mexican slaughter houses. The Inspector General interviewed Davis, who refused to disclose the names of anyone he sold these animals to. So why not prosecute Davis himself and perhaps even Salazar if, as I suspect, Salazar was aware of the fate awaiting these animals?

Davis and Salazar are both cattle ranchers from Colorado. They had a pre-existing personal relationship that allowed Davis an inside opportunity to acquire wild horses from the BLM. These BLM wild horse roundup efforts and the subsequent slaughter of our wild horses began almost simultaneously with Salazar’s appointment as head of the agency. Suspicious?

To be clear, this was no accident. Davis allegedly had farming and trucking connections with Salazar according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General, who has begun an investigation. Hopefully Salazar, if he in fact knew wild horses were being driven to Mexico for slaughter, will feel what it’s like to be rounded up, penned up, and behind bars, although it’s doubtful Obama will allow that to happen. In fact, the agency charged with criminal prosecutions at the U.S. Attorney’s office has apparently gone dark.

The BLM claims a death rate of one percent for helicopter roundups, but these claims are inaccurate. Wild animals do not belong in pens, ergo the term “wild.” In BLM wild horse roundups, wild horses are dying in captivity.

As of August, at least 86 horses have died in holding pens after being captured in Wyoming’s Checkerboard roundup. Most of them died from broken necks, traumatic injuries sustained from desperately slamming themselves against the bars of their holding pens during terror-stricken attempts to escape. There are now fewer then 25,000 wild horses running free on our public lands.

BLM wild horse roundup
Photo: BLM / CC BY-SA 2.0

As the Inspector General report states: “In 2005, BLM implemented a policy that placed limitations on the amount of horses sold and required buyers to provide good homes and humane care to prevent the horses from being sent to slaughter.” Yet that is exactly what happened to almost 1,800 wild horses during BLM wild horse roundups under Salazar’s watchful eye. Davis knew the rules; he should be prosecuted as an example to others with this same destructive intent. When there are limits, how did this “individual” manage to buy nearly 1,800 horses?

Its time to follow the money! Time to see who received what at the expense of these horses’ lives.

Which would you believe to be more important to a cattle rancher with oil interests, drilling leases, and wind farms: money or protecting a national treasure, our wild horse heritage?

BLM wild horse roundup
Photo: Qfl247 / CC BY-SA 3.0

As Salazar admitted when he retired from public office, “Today, the largest solar energy projects in the world are under construction on America’s public lands in the west, and we’ve issued the first leases for offshore wind in the Atlantic.”

About 500 million acres, or about 20 percent, of the nation’s land are under control of the Department of the Interior, perhaps one of the most corrupt government agencies notwithstanding the IRS … but that’s another story.

The Department of Interior’s No. 2 official, Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles, served 10 months in prison for lying to a Senate committee about his relationship with Jack Abramoff, with whom the agency had strong ties. But even worse are the allegations of sexual misconduct, drug use, and comfortable ties to the energy industry and its rewards, leaving no room in their agenda for our wild horses, which by law they are mandated to protect.

Agency employees responsible for collecting royalties paid by oil and gas companies using public land cut inside deals for private financial rewards, money that never reached the U.S. Treasury, along with lavish gifts. Just how much money ever made it to the U.S. government is a big question. A bigger question is “How much did not?”

The agency is tasked with maximizing oil and gas royalties while also protecting the environment. But as this administration especially has shown, it can’t manage a grapefruit planting on even one acre.

The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze livestock on public lands.

BLM wild horse roundup
Photo: Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

The BLM permits 12.4 million animal unit months (AUMs), but only about 9 million AUMs were billed in 2012, and the average during recent years is only about 8 million AUMs. An AUM is the unit of measure for livestock grazing and equates to forage needed to support one cow/calf pair or five ewes and their lambs.

There are about 800,000 livestock operators and cattle producers in the United States. Of those, fewer than 21,000 benefit from the Forest Service and BLM grazing programs in the West.

Again, thanks to the BLM wild horse roundups, we have left around 25,000 wild horses versus the millions of sheep and cattle that forage on BLM public land.

The sense of frustration that we as a nation feel with government is at an all-time high. Maybe we should look to Thomas Jefferson and examine how he would have dealt with a government that is so out of control. The BLM wild horse roundups may be that catalyst.

The Inspector General referred his investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office, which declined civil and criminal prosecution. That leaves the matter in the hands of the public. Perhaps it’s time to make our voice heard. Perhaps it’s time to overwhelm the Colorado U.S. Attorneys office and demand that Davis and Salazar, if evidence warrants, are prosecuted.

The BLM says that “Anyone who has knowledge of the sale of federally protected wild horses or burros to a slaughterhouse or ‘kill buyer’ is asked to report it to the BLM at wildhorse@blm.gov or 866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826). Individuals who witness the inhumane treatment of these animals are also asked to report the incident to the same e-mail address and phone number. Law enforcement will investigate the reports as warranted.”

Time to flood the government with complaints about Davis! Time to rise up and demand that our government obey our laws.

BLM wild horse roundup
Photo: Jaime Jackson / CC BY 2.0

Demand letters should be addressed as follows:

U.S. Attorney John Walsh
1225 17th Street, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 454-0100 (phone)
(303) 454-0400 (fax)

Note that Walsh was appointed by Barack Obama in 2010 and that federal lands comprise about one-third of Colorado.

One thing about the beauty of wild horses, as Alice Walker once noted, is that ”Horses make a landscape look beautiful.” Cattle do not!

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28 COMMENTS

    • Sidebar: we must not forget the plight of the Wild Burros, also. They will be destroyed long before the last of the wild horses disappear. We often allow their struggle to fall through the cracks.

  1. This is an archived article and just a few of the comments
    Breaking News: Wild Horses Sold to Kill Buyer by BLM Contractor
    http://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/01/22/breaking-news-wild-horses-sold-to-kill-buyer-by-blm-contractor/
    by Debbie Coffey PPJ Investigative Reporter ~ Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
    Director of Wild Horse Affairs Wild Horse Freedom Federation
    “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”
    http://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/01/22/breaking-news-wild-horses-sold-to-kill-buyer-by-blm-contractor/

    COMMENT
    And perhaps Francis Ackley (Colorado WH&B program leader) didn’t call you back because his assistant Lona A Kossnar is the person who signed the sales agreements for the sales to Tom Davis from Cannon City from 2008 to 2012 and most likely either he or she signed the sales agreements for Reeves’ purchases too.
    To take it a step further, Reeves and Anderson were APPROVED by BLM as guardians for our Wild Ones.
    Shall we start our list of “Who’s Who” in this big mess? So far, it appears that the BLM Washington D.C. office and the Colorado state office and some of the BLM short term offices/managers and some of the long term holding facility operators knew for years what was going on and had an active part in the conspiracy.

    COMMENT
    It was Sally who signs off on large sales..they have to be approved by the DC office…I was approved by Lona on the purchase of Grey Beard, but when I decided to take a semiload it was kicked up to her…and I had to fight to gt that approval for 4 months..Davis was already approved within days of the arrival of the adobe town mustngs at the facility..to take ALL the 235 SA wild horses from the roundup…they allowed me to take a semi-load despite the fact Davis had spoken for them

    COMMENT
    The wild horses and wild burros are not giving up and neither can we.
    Along with sending this article to government representatives and media and NAS and GAO [contact@gao.gov] below are some links to the BLM persons in charge of decision making. Although I realize that it is like asking the fox why he stole the hen from the hen house … I will be sending these BLM employees the article and asking the BLM to explain to me why they have allowed (encouraged and/or assisted) these illegal activities.
    (I am not naive … just stubborn)
    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/directory.html
    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/directory/wo-270_dir.html
    And if I can be so bold as to suggest:
    Ed Roberson
    Sally Spencer
    Lili Thomas
    Bea Wade
    Dean Bolstad
    Mike Pool

    COMMENT
    2 years ago, I went thru every quarterly report for all holding facilities in the US..BLM claims a death rate of 3% per year..using the oct and jan reports of additions and subtractions..I noted mare facilities death fractions, and gelding facilities death fractions(as they do not list sales in the subtractions from facilities…mare facilities reflected what would be a “normal” death rate..whereas geldings facilities were missing semi loads of animals in a 3 month period…I would like to point out -the preferance of kill buyers are large geldings, recent stallions which tend to be bigger and larger boned which enhances their profits..I would also like to point out, the horses that are held at Canon City come from the HMAs-which are home to some of the larger bodied, heavier boned and taller than average mustangs as a whole…such as the Adobe Towns..There is an accounting of horses held at LTH, and STH…but there is no documentation of open accounting as to the sales of horses from the facilities, which explains why this buyer who had LTH facilities would rather buy from holding..he gets paid by the documentation of how many horses are at his facility and there is a record..if you go outside of LTH it requires a FOIA to get the information because the BLM will claim “protection of privacy”
    Prior to these most recent cases of kill buyers at Canon City…there existed other cases of the same thing at this facility..Canon City should be closed down and all connected employees fired immediately..they had a responsability to be whistle blowers
    A reminder that BLM policy states there wil be no individual sales from LTH only semi loads and not by “choice”

  2. DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

    Katherine A. Meyer
    Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal
    1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
    Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 588-5206
    Timothy Kingston
    408 West 23rd Street, Suite 1
    Cheyenne, WY 82001-3519
    (WY Bar No. 6-2720)
    (307) 638-8885
    Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenors
    IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING
    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF
    Plaintiff,
    v.
    Ken Salazar, et al.,
    Defendants,

    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER
    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

    1. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas. I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background, served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.

    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard.

    4. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses. Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage. This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely bedevastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has implemented on public lands.
    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Lloyd Eisenhauer

  3. rt and louie c.
    I have spouted before of my hatred for obama and his policies about our nation and our love for our wild animals . from the beginning of his terms he has proclaimed his hatred of all we hold precious to our wild america (wolves , cougars , wild horses , bison ,ect….) he from the very beginning has had deals with china about big ranching, wind and solar deals .he has also been selling off our water from the great lakes . his aim at making america the richest nation in oil and gas has come true also while he and his family has globe trotted the world making use of our tax dollars like they were his own monies from his pocket . I’m so sorry I haven’t been around , I just got out of the hosp. after 3 weeks ( pnuemonia ) while doing radiation and chemo therapy for lymphomia (?) . I’m still pretty weak . but really this s/o/b told us before he went into office what we could expect . and america still put his ugly ass in the big seat . congress whether it be republican or demoncrat’s have had a bead on our wild horses , not one of them have made a stand for us and our belief’s about the pressure being put on our wild horses. not one of them have made progress with shutting down the borders . I’m just so disgusted with all of them but still fighting.

    • Actually, wild horses going to slaughter started in earnest with Clinton (remember when he was divesting the U.S. of unused military land?
      …well public lands were lumped into this) and continued through Bush regime. It did not start with Obama. He just didn’t care. Afterall, they were just, horses.

  4. The whole BLM song and dance which sold our wild horses and burros to slaughter via Tom Davis (and others) was pre-planned from the top to the bottom… from the person who approved the sale and signed the sales agreement and the wranglers who chose the animals and herded them down the alleyway to the loading chutes and the BLM facility office manager who did the paperwork and the contractors who were paid to haul the horses and most important the top BLM who OK’d the whole plan. All of them knew the future for those horses and burros and all of those people are guilty and should be in prison. Why has Davis not been prosecuted? Because it would be like a house of cards and MANY people (mostly BLM) would all come tumbling down down down.

  5. The destruction of the wild horses and burros and the corruption that goes along with it is unacceptable. I might not live in the west but doesn’t mean that I and other Americans are unaware of the conditions under which the BLM are destroying one of our national treasures. All involved should be prosecuted to the fullest letter of the law.

    • Be sure to tell your Congressman/woman and Senators how you feel. Until Washington starts to feel the pinch…nothing will happen.

      Example: ID proposed spaying the Saylor herd this coming year. It is being blocked by wildhorse advocates in court (we hope). Now WY has jumped on the bandwagon and wishes to pay out ~$400,00-500,000 to roundup ~235 horses (of which there are only ~79 mares thanks to previous BLM roundups and skewing ratio; 51 of whom were treated with PZP and 5 of whom have died). Bait trapping bands and applying PZP to the mares would cost <$10,000. But USGS has money to burn and offered to capture, experiment (spaying) on the mares and 'follow' them with radio tracking collars. These people (our gov't) will do anything to WASTE money.

  6. Jack, beautifully written. I think it may take a taxpayers revolt to demand all having to do with the BLM and the roundup and slaughter of our wild horses, donkeys, and burros be brought to justice with the balance of their lifetimes in jail for animal cruelty and stealing from the American taxpaper, as well as, destroying our American heartlands with monies received from royalties from oil and gas companies. THese are terrible people, Davis included, as well as all buyers that received the horses and the transporters. The cattlemen should also be punished for receiving interests from these very same people. Money talks and this is where the answer is. We, the American taxpaper, need to demand we get our country back from the criminals that are enjoying rich paychecks and monies under the table. Crooks will always be crooks, so punishment needs to be severe to scare others from attempting the same. Our beautiful American Icons deserve this and they deserve to be with their families on their home ranges.

  7. What is happening to America’s wild horses is unacceptable but sadly it’s nothing new. What people need to keep in mind is that the annihilation of our wild horses has been going on for generations. What’s happening under the Obama administration is the same thing that was going on under George W. Bush’s administration.

    It’s obvious that neither the BLM or USFS are following the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Both agencies have incorporated their own ‘twists’ in order to suit their agendas. The administrations are their enablers. There are no checks and balances. Without checks and balances nobody is being held accountable for the abuse of the WFRHBA. The Act of Congress is being ignored and there seems to be nothing to stop the destruction of our wild horses on our federal lands even though a large majority of Americans wants them kept safe, free, and protected. It is all about power and greed. As John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    The question is how do we stop this wild horse and burro massacre before there are no wild horses or burros left?

    “Mustang Sallies”
    “Can America’s wild horses survive another four years of Bush?”
    By Deanne Stillman
    “Under Bush, slow-motion neglect has been replaced by a vigorous assault on mustangs. The BLM’s wild horse removal policy has escalated ferociously.”
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_best_policy/2005/02/mustang_sallies.html

    • I agree. Not only am I a horse lover, had many for 40 yrs., I cannot bear this for any animal. The wild horse is our symbol. Without them the U.S. would not be what it is today, hmmmm . . . maybe I should rethink this. In any case, this is just plain criminal animal cruelty and they should all be prosecuted to the full limit of the law.

  8. Something that seems so cut and dried, written in stone, provided for by laws, seems to be just fluff to BLM and all the cattle/sheep ranchers wanting to zero out all the wild one. I am so disgusted with the entire thing. We write to the BLM and tell them, overwhelmingly so, that the wild ones must live and maybe five ranchers write about their poor cows and open range and guess which way the vote went??? Makes me ill…

  9. MARCH 3, 2009
    Breaking Through Del Rio
    http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2009/03/breaking-through-del-rio.html

    The four-year grand jury investigation of the Wild Horse & Burro Program and the over 3,000 pieces of evidence it accumulated that was slammed shut in 1996 (without any of this evidence ever being heard) is often referred to in wild horse circles as “Del Rio”.

    Does anyone remember what the final straw was that broke the back of the Del Rio grand jury’s investigation? It was a subpoena issued to BLM demanding an “inventory” of a 1,200 capacity long-term holding facility in Osasge County, OK, – a legal subpoena BLM refused to grant.

    Let me repeat this so it is crystal clear…

    Because a subpoena demanded an accounting of the number of wild horses in a BLM holding facility, the BLM successfully shut down a grand jury investigation of the United States of America rather than comply and allow independent law enforcement to verify the number of wild horses BLM said they were holding in the facility.

    The key word was inventory – meaning numbers – and anyone who takes a little time to research this issue quickly realizes this is a “numbers game”. As the lives of America’s wild horses and burros continue to tip precariously closer to execution and/or slaughter, the future they are facing is a result of only one thing – numbers.

  10. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
    Horses to Slaughter – Anatomy of a Coverup within the BLM (April 1997)

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Department of Interior is the agency mandated by law “to protect and manage wild free-roaming horses…as components of the public lands.” Yet, the BLM has tolerated and in some instances facilitated the routine and illegal trafficking of wild horses to slaughter. The agency has obstructed efforts by its own law enforcement officers to expose commercial theft of wild horses, fraudulent adoption schemes and fictitious “sanctuary” herds not only to avoid embarrassment but also to maintain the flow of horses off the range.
    http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/whitepapers/1997_horses_to_slaughter.pdf

  11. The revolution needs to begin now The facts are in and the horses have been injured, slaughtered, and the remaining are languishing in these pens. I cannot believe in either political party any more because they are both so corrupt. The fact that Obama has known and appointed these horrible people to Interior (Salazar and Jewell) sealed the fate of the wild horses and burros from the beginning. My question is why can’t we be the Clive Bundy’s who take a stand against the feds in this situation? Obama bamboozled a nation and the Democrats will never recover. But what does that leave? Jokers like Trump and the Republicans who are beyond greedy profiteers. I will never forgive the BLM and other agencies and pols like Harry Reid, who have participated in destroying our nation’s wild horses and burros while we all sat back and watched this happen. Sadly, that makes us all complicit in the act because we did nothing.

  12. Interesting subject and read. Reminds me of a few quotes used it the movie Forrest Gump. It also reminds me of the operational practices at Planned Parenthood. It’s the money folks!
    In my novice brain, I keep thinking; Why are cattle used for consumption and not horses in the USA? Is it inhuman to eat horses, but considered kosher to eat young cattle? Is it a regional thing? Can folks in India eat a horse steaks but not the beloved cow? And crap, in Mexico anything is fair game if it taste good on a tortilla with salsa and a mug of beer. Have you ever consumed a buffalo steak? Taste better than chicken.

    • Horses are not eaten due to the fact they have been our companions, heroes, chargers, healers and friends since the beginning. We shouldn’t be eating any animal. But we especially shouldn’t be eating an animal that we acknowledge considers us kindly. That is sick.

      Have people forgotten how to eat? Yes. They have been told they have to eat meat – well that is the meat industry. You don’t have to eat meat. You are actually healthier not eating meat. As for your funny joke about one nonhuman species having the flavor of another – when did you decide what it tasted like? Someone tell you? This is a real good time for all of us to consider the true nature of the “business” of food. And what that business has lied about, how it abuses the water we need, how it destroys the Earth and fouls the air. Time to think.

  13. Jack, there is nothing new in your article. But it is organized very well.

    Tell you what – if you would use your network to instigate Congressional hearings on the corruption of these BLM employees who are still working with the horse program, the criminal behavior of Tom Davis and everyone down the line who accepted those wild, branded horses (over 100 stallions from Adobe Town and Salt Wells and freshly gelded), pregnant mares from Burns, horses out of Litchfield captured from Twin Peaks, Silver King and on and on) on down the line – we would greatly appreciate it.

    If you need to get acquainted with the horses that went to slaughter, take a look at Carol Walker’s portfoilios from the 2011 Adobe Town and Salt Wells roundups. Take a look at her stallion photos. Then make some calls for us. We;e done all the reporting we can do and beileve there is much to be told. We just do not get the US Marshall’s Office too engaged. They actually act like they are concerned, but that is their call to us. The follow through is nonexistent.

    Take for example, teh truck full of pregnant Calico mares that was in such a rush to get to Canada, he crashed into a bridge and tore the roof off. Or the horses shipped to trainers for the 2012 EMM who were starved before they were picked up. How about the kill buyer dropping into Palomino alley and buying a trailer full of wild horses and preferring paints – black and white – to look like cattle. Or a trailer “full of wild babies” heading south from WY to Mexico. On and on.

    If you can get a Congressional hearing and testimony from citizens – I guarantee you – the truth will be found and charges will be brought. Tom Davis should be in jail for a long time. So should Salazar and Sally Spencer and Tom Poglicizk and on and on. We are sick of being told we need to report and we need to write, email, phone etc etc. The truth is and has been told to many. We need a bigger audience.

  14. We desperately need to get rid of all corrupt civil servants who only have big business at heart and elect members who serve the public who ultimately signs their paycheck. Quit eating meat!

  15. Well the January 2016 round up schedule is staring at us right now and why is nobody organizing any civil disobedience to stop these barbaric acts? What is wrong with the BLM, yes, but what is wrong with US that we are allowing this to happen? Why after all these years is there not a single advocate group that is saying we are laying our bodies down on the line for these animals? We all stay complicit and allow the fascists to keep dictating to us. Maybe the wild horse is symbolic of our own relationship with “freedom” right now. All this creativity, knowledge and education behind us, but no guts? Where are the leaders?

    • @Luna del Penn, the leaders are us. If we don’t stand up, VISIT our representatives offices, demand this be investigated, people pay the price and stop the roundups – it will continue. MORE people need to attend roundups and report them and photograph them. MORE people need to visit their representatives office (local and/or DC) to meet with staff and representative and ask – WHY? Why arent’ you doing anything about this? I don’t pay for this. Period. We need a groundswell….to stop this corruption.

  16. BRAVO!!!! Our government is a disgrace and in shambles. Bought and paid for by corporate and foreign interests who lease the (mineral) rights of federal lands (for pennies!) and profit from their plundering. Thank you Mr. Ferm for shining a bright light on a bloody subject our government wishes to keep OUT of the public eye.

    People need to focus on Idaho and Wyoming’s experimental research on spaying (permently nulling and removing all genetic viability) wild mares. Idaho BLM’s plan was approved and is now being fought in court. http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/news/press-releases/505-blm-to-sterilize-idaho-s-saylor-creek-wild-horses

    Wyoming has asked for public comment by January 14, 2016. https://reevesimagery.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/white-mountain-roundup-spaying-scoping-the-more-you-know/#more-1932.

    By my math, the BLM wishes to spend >$400,000 to remove 250 horses in WY and spay 79 mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area, whereas it would only cost ~$9,000 to bait trap the bands and administer PZP (which by last account 51 mares had been treated). This is how our government rolls….this project is being funded by USGS. What does that tell you?

  17. I would like to see them all in jail, 10 years for every horse they killed!!! Wind Mills, killing millions of birds, eagles. So disgusting and here we sit, nothing can be done about it, to watch this is heart breaking.

  18. If all this information is true then the ones that are behind this CRUEL act should be taken to court and put in holding cells and sold to the highest bidder!! some one out there MUST be powerful enough to stop these heartless people that choses money and power over a wonderful animals life!! they may sit around smokeing cigars drinking the best drinks and teaching their children this horror while saying they love them are nothing but snakes in the grass! we may not be able to stop you here on earth but all your power will be going to hell as soon as our lord gets ahold of you!!!

  19. Hi,I’m 62 and living in a small town in Wisconsin, I grew up with horses all my friends had horses our parents were all farmers.I love them there kindness,there smell ,I loved just riding through the woods .I can’t stand any animal being miss used . What can I do to help these animals from being killed by these corrupt agency’s?

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