Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mustangs on the Hill and Press Conference

From Cloud Foundation Blog
By thecloudfoundation

Mustangs on the Hill was a success I do believe! Thank you to everyone!–
**read an ARTICLE by Erin Kelly, Washington Gannett Bureau here**

The day began with a press conference and to start, Carol Walker showed her slideshow of the tragic Sand Wash roundup and Ginger described Cloud’s release and his defiant stand against the helicopter that drove him and his family down from their mountaintop. Hope Ryden, our honorary board member, author and one of the writers of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, spoke and met with Senators all day.

We were honored by a visit with Congressman Raul Grijalva and he addressed the full room of 60 wild horse supporters- he is a true champion for our wild horses and burros. Congressman Grijalva stressed that the ROAM act is bipartisan and will save all of us taxpayers money now currently used for mismanagement by BLM.

“This is not only a humane issue, this is an issue about preserving a legacy that we have in the west, that we have lost. A legacy that I think speaks to the spirit of the west, to its independence, to its adaptability and above all to its evolution. And its not the old west anymore, it’s a new west. And a new west with a different ethic. A new west where we preserve the resources that are important to us. And with that I join with Chairman Rahall in this legislation and we’re very proud of it. It could have been stronger, there is some perfection that I would have wanted, but this is the process that we have and this is the product that we have. And as we move forward I would hope that as we wait for the senate we’re going to continue to urge BLM, that we hold in abeyance any more gathering until the full impact of the legislation is felt.” [excerpt]

Thank you t0 Congressman Grijalva for his support of wild horses and burros. And for Congressman Rahall and Senator Byrd and Senator Landrieu as well—all four are our wild horse champions! The press conference will be streamed online early next month I hope and we’ll let you know when it is available to watch. Congressman Grijalva was also kind enough to take questions for quite a while.

Our friend and supporter, Crow Elder and Historian Howard Boggess, spoke next– he grew up in the Pryors and was there well before the BLM. (Meet Howard in the Pryors on this youtube for a frank discussion). Chris Heyde of the Animal Welfare Institute, was integral to this event and spoke on meeting etiquette and distributed packets of information to give to Senators (see contents here: ROAM Act S. 1579 facts, Wild Horse and Burro Facts and Myths, Words to Keep Them Wild and Free, Managing for Extinction booklet, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions show announcement– people are going to be watching our wild horses nationwide on October 25th and they will know about this recent roundup).

Then we fanned out in true advocate style and met with over 45 Senate offices (Senators and aides). We met with all the Committee on Energy and Natural members and everyone met with their Senators.

We had some amazing supporters who made this press conference and this hill day happen: Valerie, PJ and Lindsay: thank you! And a big thank you to everyone who came– age 8 to 80! And thanks to everyone for calling your senators. More recommendations and follow-up strategy to come. We are all a bit exhausted and I still have to let you know all about rescuing the older horses! We thank the Senators and their staff for their time and their interest in the wild horses and burros. I think that we have made a positive impact and have spoken for those who cannot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

URGENT: Horses at Risk!

Dear Friends,

The horses listed below are currently on a feedlot, and will be headed to slaughter, if not rescued by Wednesday, 9/30/09:

1) sorrel colts, 4-6 mo (3 @ $85/each) $255
2) buckskin welsh cross filly $225
3) black & white paint colt, 3 yrs old $255
4) bay arab mare, 15-17yrs $260
5) grulla gelding $260
6) dun gelding, 2 1/2 yrs $265
7) brown & white paint colt, 2 1/2 yrs $270
8) sorrel arab gelding, 7-8yrs (2 socks) $305
9) sorrel arab gelding, 8yrs (4 socks) $310
10) paint filly, 2yrs $315
11) white TB mare $485
12) brown & white paint mare, 5-7 yrs $500
13) grey gelding $525
14) gray mare, 11yrs $550
15) bay mare, 13 yrs $650
Subtotal (horses) $5430

Transport TBD

We are raising funds to pull them to safety, and simultaneously looking for rescues and/or adoptive homes that are willing/able to take horses into their care.

If you have space in your home/heart for a horse, please send your inquiry via email to The person handling placement of the horses will get back to you.

If you are unable to adopt, but want to help save these horses, please go to and send funds to

For updates during this rescue effort, go to

The horses and I thank you for your support!

Shirley Puga

P.S. With your help, we’ve been able to save over 700 horses from slaughter since 4/06. Please help us save these too!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

RT Fitch | Video: The final destruction of our Wild Horses

Watch on Youtube

From Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Terry and R.T. Fitch

Over the Labor Day Weekend of 2009 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) bumbled an ill-conceived and mismanage round up of the world famous “Cloud’s Herd” of the Pryor Mountains in Montana. Ignoring their studies and the advice of experts they stampeded horses down 5,000 feet of rocky mountainside in 95+ degree heat only to break apart family bands, pump the mares full of PZP and injure the horses. Despite public outcry, orders from a Congressman and questions from Senators the local BLM office in Billings destroyed this beautiful herd.

This presentation was written in honor of Cloud’s herd and the pictures are exclusively from that “gather”. Get outraged, get mad and then get on the phone and call your elected federal officials and tell them that enough is enough.

Startling Statistics Enlightening on BLM Management of Wild Horse Program

From Horseback Magazine

Compiled by Laura Leigh

Photo by Ginger Kathrens

Wild horses horse slaughter,BLM round-up
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, - In 1974 there were approximately 57,000 wild horses and burros actually counted on public lands.

Today - There are fewer than 36,000 wild horses and burros estimated on public lands.

In a December 1971 report to Congress the BLM estimated that there were about 9500 wild horses and 7500 burros on public lands.

In 1974 a ground count was done and found about 42,000 horses and 15,000 burros.

The next year, the BLM concedes there were probably considerably more than 9500 horses in 1971; probably closer to 28,000. (Allowing for the assumed 10% "overcount" still doesn't reconcile the difference between 42,000 and 28,000. Nonetheless the doctored numbers are the ones generally offered to the public and the actual count isn't acknowledged unless someone asks specific questions about the 1974 horse and burro census.)

*The 1974 census was limited to BLM and US Forest Service lands did not include several thousand horses and burros found within National Parks or US Fish & Wildlife Properties.

The present population figures of 37,000 circulated by BLM includes both horses and burros, approximately 20,000 head fewer than counted in the 1974 census.

Since 1971 wild horses and burros have been removed from 102 ranges (Herd Areas) representing a loss of approximately 13 million acres of land. (There were 303 original Herd Areas - now only 201 Herd Management Areas [HMAs] remain.

Wild horses and burros now reside on 34,549,570 acres of the 261,950,378 acres managed by BLM

Oct. 2008 GAO-BLM

In fiscal year 2007, the program was funded at $36.4 million under BLM’s Management of Lands and Resources appropriation. Forty-four BLM field units manage approximately 33,100 wild horses and burros on 199 Herd Management Areas (HMA) covering over 34 million acres in 10 western states— Arizona, California, Colorado , Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.4 BLM’s Nevada State Office manages about half of the land and animals in the Wild Horse and Burro Program

BLM permits far more cattle and sheep to graze on BLM managed lands than horses.

Specifically, in fiscal year 2007, approximately 567,000 head of cattle or sheep grazed BLM public lands. However, livestock are managed on 160 million acres of BLM lands, compared to the 29 million BLM acres that supports horses and burros.

BLM is currently compiling a history of how BLM field offices made the determination to manage wild horses and burros on the current 34.3 million acres, compared to the 53.5 million acres where they were originally found in 1971. According to BLM officials, they expect the review to be completed by March 2009.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Postcard Campaign for ROAM Act

Congressional WH&B Postcard Campaign

Horse slaughter,wild horses BLM


In 1971, an unprecedented letter-writing campaign moved Congress to pass the Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, declaring “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

Over the past thirty-eight years, the intent of the Act has been consistently ignored. The Department of the Interior continues to waste tax dollars on eradicating America’s wild horses and burros with aggressive removal policies favoring private interests over both law and the will of the people. Today, almost 19 million acres that the Act granted the Wild Horses & Burros have been taken away. There are more wild horses and burros now in government pens than in the wild. Recently, BLM began asking Congress for the right to kill them by the thousands or sell them openly for slaughter.

Please help tell our U. S. Senators we, the American people, want our few remaining Wild Horses and Burros to remain free on the land that was granted them in 1971, and on which they, and their ancestors have lived for centuries.

Four-color postcards have been purchased for a National writing campaign using a photo courtesy of Carol Walker – Living Images. It also has Wild Horse Annie’s quote printed across the bottom (front). "These horses belong to all the people of America and they exist on lands that belong to all the people of America." - Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston

These cards & applicable pre-addressed Senator labels will be provided FREE to all Host Organizations willing to get them written. NOTE: every U.S. citizen has 2 Senators -- i.e. every person needs to write 2 cards.

We need citizens of every state to send these cards urging their Senators to co-sponsor the current S.1579 bill. This is the Senate version of the recently passed House’s HR 1018 (R.O.A.M Act). We urge you to have all your friends, families (including children) and club members write cards to their Senators telling them how they feel about America’s Wild Horses and Burros.

The host organization, in each area, will be responsible for postage to DC (a postage donation jar on a table is recommended). Any monies collected, above the DC postage costs, belongs to the local participating host organization. Key to the success of this campaign is: the General Public must be asked to write their thoughts There & Then – No “take-home and do later” of postcards.

Contact: and request the Senate cards be mailed to you.

Please include: your name, postal mailing address, e- mail address, how many (x 2) and for what State(s) you want them labeled for.

Thank you for taking time to help
“The Wild Ones”

Can the Wild Horses and Burros be Saved?

From Animal Law

Posted Sep 26, 2009 by lauraallen

In 1971 the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) was passed to provide broad protections for wild horses and burros on public lands.

The law states that "wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West...[T]hey contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people". 16 U.S.C. §1331 et seq

Congress recognized the wild horses and burros are "fast disappearing from the American scene". 16 U.S.C. §1331 et seq

Some background on the legal protections for wild horses and burros



The wild horses and burros can be saved. There has to be a better way to manage these animals other than by hiring criminals to run them down with helicopters and penning some for life and sending others to slaughter. The WFRHBA requires them to be protected in their herd areas where they were living in 1971. And that is what the BLM should do. Go here for information about the ROAM Act which will help restore some of the original protections and restructure BLM's management of the wild horses and burros. The ROAM Act has already passed the House of Representatives. Let your U.S. senators know you want them to save the wild horses and burros and stop BLM's cruel removals and decimation of these American treasures and vote yes to the ROAM Act, S.B. 1579.

BLM Meeting to Be Carried Live Online

From Horseback Magazine

a non-profit 501(c)3, and their Educational Partner, Sierra Nevada Community Access Television., is proudly Bringing the Public the complete National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory meeting, Monday, September 28th, from 8 am - 5 PM. Starting 5 AM Eastern Standard Time.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting will be web-streamed live from the Hyatt Arlington, 1325 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, by HORSE POWER at through their public information and educational partner Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT).

This meeting will cover issues relating to the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands.

Topics include: Old Business, Update on Pending Litigation, Gathers, Adoptions,
Facilities and Forest Service Updates.
Including the recommendations and input from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board ,
Wild Horse and Burro Advocates along with Public Comments.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Unofficial update on Wild Horse Adoption Day!

Updates from Carol Walker:

1) Great news from Pryor Mountain Adoption! All 57 horses either adopted or sold to good homes. Big Thanks to all Freedom Fund donors, and supporters, and I say great work Ginger, Makendra, and all of the Cloud Foundation.

2) Conquistador gets to have his mare Cavaletta with him, and the four bands of Forest Service horses, including Floyd, that the Cloud Foundation was trying to keep together, will be together, all 15 going to a ranch of Laura Pivonka. Conquistador went... for the highest $ value as someone was trying to outbid the Cloud Foundation - $2500!

3) Ember and Image get to stay together at a great home, Ginger took Sax, other great homes were found for Rain, Arrow, Sage, Helena Montana, Stiles, Cassidy, and the lame foal and mare - the foal is looking better by the way. Again thanks to all who helped. This is a wonderful outcome!

Famous Cloud the Stallion Wild Herd still Suffering Damage from BLM Capture

From the Cloud Foundation


While Americans on holiday, Labor Day weekend round up decimates herd as winter arrives

LOVELL, WY --September 26, 2009 – On Saturday at noon, 57 wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Herd, made famous in part by the PBS Nature documentaries, will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. A large crowd is expected due, in part, to the publicity surrounding the controversial roundup earlier this month.

While the missing members of their herd wait, tagged and branded in BLM holding pens, the damages of this poorly planned roundup are highly visible on the range. Beyond leaving this unique wild horse herd seriously below genetic viability, the horses on the range are clearly damaged.

“We were up on the mountaintop yesterday and the cruelty of this massive roundup has not faded away,” explains Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “Cloud is lame on his right front and his filly-daughter is still extremely sore. It was painful just watching them walk to water.”

One of Cloud’s mares, also injured, appears to have a possible stifle injury. His four-year-old daughter, Firestorm, has significant difficulty walking at all. “I think they will recover but it is hard to know and winter is just around the corner,” Kathrens continues. In the past 15 years all roundups in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range have occurred later in the year when the horses were lower down on the range. This roundup took place in early September when nearly all the mountain horses were the furthest away possible from the trap site. Foals less than one month old were forced to run over 12 miles along with their families to the BLM corrals at the base of the mountain.

This roundup was scheduled early due to contractor availability, BLM desire to remove all horses from Commissary Ridge outside the designated range (a plan not revealed to the public until day one of the roundup) and National Adoption Day. The BLM is holding adoption events across the country and hopes to adopt out 1000 horses. “This is a significant event and will raise awareness for mustangs, but why they had to pillage this little herd for 57 more horses to adopt out when there are 31,750 wild horses in holding already is beyond me,” says Kathrens.

While at the turn of the century, there were approximately 2 million wild horses in America, there are only 33,100 mustangs left on the western ranges according to BLM. “I think the BLM knows that these horses will draw a considerable crowd and they put all the horses in danger with this early roundup. In what was planned to be a “model” roundup, even the most famous wild horse in the world was injured,” says Kathrens.

Citing “a disturbing round up a few weeks ago,” Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was instrumental in legislation that passed the Senate on Sept. 24, 2009. The legislation directs the BLM “to develop a new comprehensive long-term plan for wild horse populations by September 30, 2010” according to a press release from the legislation’s sponsor, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

“The public outcry for preservation of our wild horses and burros is being heard” says Kathrens.

“People are not willing to sit by and watch an unchecked government destroy a Western American treasure: the wild Mustang.”

For more information contact:

Valerie Kennedy


Makendra Silverman


Senate Directs BLM to Get New Game Plan for Wild Horses in One Year

From Horseback Magazine
By Steven Long

Photo, C-SPAN

The United States Senate has passed a tough new bill that orders the Bureau of Land Management to institute a new plan for its management of wild horses. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), La.

“Sen. Landrieu continued her efforts to protect wild horses by championing bill language to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of healthy, un-adopted horses and burros,” the senator’s office said in a press release.

The agency has one year to comply should the House pass a similar bill. It would then go to the White House.

“At Sen. Landrieu's urging, the Senate directed BLM to develop a new comprehensive long-term plan for wild horse populations by September 30, 2010.”

The language was inserted in a Department of Interior bill passed Thursday.

"Congress must work toward the goal of ending the slaughter of healthy wild horses," Sen. Landrieu said. "At a time when there are so many demands on the federal purse, spending taxpayer money on this inhumane practice is inexcusable. There is simply no reason for the federal government to destroy these animals if viable alternatives exist."

“Sen. Landrieu also supported language that encouraged all federal agencies that use horses to acquire a wild horse from the Bureau of Land Management prior to seeking another supplier. In addition, the Committee supports BLM developing an expedited process for providing wild horses to local and state police forces,” the release continued.

Landrieu took to the floor of the Senate in late September to blast the BLM in a brief speech. She also urged passage of the Restore Our American Mustang Act (ROAM) which would restore protections removed in the dead of night when former Sen. Conrad Burns (R), Montana, attached a rider to an appropriations bill that nobody read at the 11th hour before passage. The bill will repeal Burns’ legislative trickery and bring full compliance back to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

The House passed ROAM by a vote of 239 – 185.

In an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine, Burns said he enacted the legislation at the behest of the now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D), Nevada who is facing a tough re-election campaign.

Landrieu’s Senate Speech

Landrieu via C-Span

Thank you, mr. President. I appreciate the leadership of the senator from california and tennessee trying to move this important appropriations bill through the process. As you heard this morning, there are lots of very important issues pending before the body. I came to speak just for a few minutes not about an amendment pending at the present time, but about an issue that is bubbling up and brewing in a fairly significant way that we will have to address sometime soon, not necessarily on this bill today, not necessarily through an amendment process to the interior. But a program that is in the interior appropriations bill that is screaming for attention, and that is the program having to deal with the management of wild horses in our country. It's not a major issue to all of our 50 states, but it's a very big issue to a handful of western states and of interest to several of us in this body. And that's what i wanted to speak about. First, let me thank senator feinstein and her staff for the leadership that they are providing and helping us shape policy as we move forward. She's been extremely attentive and i want to thank her very much. I want to acknowledge the interest of former senator salazar, now secretary salazar, and his top leadership. They've got a tremendous amount of issues before them. Those that are going to take a lot of their time. And for them to make this a priority because some of us have asked them to, i want to acknowledge that and to thank them, all the assistant secretaries and staff on the interior that are working on this. The reason it's important is from two aspects. One, there's a fiscal note attached to this that taxpayers are alarmed about. That is that the wild horse program because of its mismanagement and poor way of operating and old-fashioned way of operating, is chewing up or taking up about three-quarters of the budget of the bureau of land management. And so from just a fiscal perspective and a financial management perspective, it's crying out for reform. On the other hand, there's another view of the humanity or inhumaneness of some of the practices going on that are also crying out for attention. And i come to speak briefly about both. And i understand that my colleagues are here to talk about other subdz. But, first of all, the big picture. At the turn of the century we had about a million wild horses on the territory of the united states. I guess it's a sad thing today for most people's perspective that we're now down to 66,000 wild horses. Basically forced through policies developed in the 1970's to stay in relatively, relatively small places grouped in just a few states, most notably the state of nevada, wyoming, and california, and a few other western states. We also are down to just a few herds of horses. And the reason that i think that this is even more important than to just western states or the rankers or landowners or humane society and others is because for the people generally, the idea of wild spaces with wild horses is something that is really part of our heritage. And we want to make sure that that heritage isn't lost, that we're being responsible in terms of the way the land is being used for multiple purposes and from the perspective of horse advocates, that the horses themselves are being treated fairly. And none of that right now is being done in the way that most people, i believe, would appreciate or would be satisfied with. There have been any number of studies that i'm going to submit to the record. Most recently, the congressional research service as well as the government accounting office has suggested major changes to the program. I'm just going to go through a few possible options. One, the creation of several public-private sanctuaries. This has been suggested by a few fairly high-profiled individuals in our country. The idea has merit. We are working with a variety of different groups along with the department to think about the possibility of creating public-private partnerships, large sanctuaries, maybe 500,000 or a million acres where thousands of wild horses could not only roam freely in a healthy way, but they also could potentially become ecotourist opportunities for some of the states and communities as it would be an attraction that could potentially make money and attract people out to some of these western areas. Or, for that matter, grant rural areas in other parts of the country. There is a possibility to make some smart investments to step up some of the adoption programs that might work. And there are any number of scientific and new technologies that can be brought to bear in terms of breed management, reproductive issues that could help us get a muchmore cost-effective, sane and humane approach to this problem. So i wanted to just let the leaders of this bill know that while we will not have an amendment at this time on the interior bill, i'm looking forward to working with the members of the energy committee that have jurisdiction over this matter to review in detail the bill that's come over from the house, by the chairman of that subcommittee, who i want to commend for taking his time and his committee's time, congress rahall, that sent a bill over to the senate, and as we begin to discuss the ways that that bill could potentially be modified, working with the department of interior to find a long-term solution, one that's cost-effective, one that's humane. And, mr. President, one that west, helped us to open up transport and commerce for this nation, have carried us into war, into battle, helped to feed and clothe this nation in our history needs a bit more than what they are getting right now. And finally i'll say in closing there was a disturbing roundup a few weeks ago -- i'll say in conclusion, there was a disturbing roundup a few week ago. We'll continue to work to until -- until we find a better way forward. It will be very respectful of the western lands and the ranchers who have multiple uses of this property. I'm certain in the nation that god has bequeathed to us, we can find enough space for everyone if we kind of keep an open mind. I know the senator from tennessee will agree with that, that if we work hard enough, we can find some common ground solutions to this issue.

What I Saw

From Horseback Magazine

Author and activist R.T. Fitch and his wife Terry spent six days on Montana's Pryor Mountain during the BLM roundup of the wild horses there. The following is his take on what transpired there.

By R.T. Fitch

Photo by Terry Fitch

MAGNOLIA, TX (Horseback) - Cloud, the world’s most famous wild horse thanks to filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, was released from the Bureau of Land Management’s Montana holding pens at the base of Pryor Mountain on September 09, 2009. Cloud’s family was partially destroyed as a unit by the BLM leaving him with only half of his band’s population. All of the mares were chemically sterilized for the next two years with PZP-22, an anti-fertility drug used by the BLM, which is still considered experimental in the wild. With these tactics, there is little hope that Cloud's bloodline will be able to survive genetically.

Now that Cloud has been released, independent observers have verified that he, and what is left of his band, has returned to their lush pastures in the upper altitudes of the Pryor Mountains. Cloud and most of the other adult horses, however, are now footsore and lame after a helicopter driven stampede down 5,000 feet of rocky trails instituted by the BLM.

Video of the injured animals has spread across the Internet like a California wildfire.

As if the BLM’s ill-conceived and grossly mismanaged round-up was not enough of a travesty, in its own right, the techniques they used cause extreme risk to the safety and welfare of the wild horses. Chasing horses down a rocky mountainside in 95 plus degree heat belies common sense.

At the onset of the roundup, a press day was held for the media. The temperatures reached into the upper 90’s so, by noon, the BLM decided to pull the plug on the day’s operations. They stated that it was just “too hot” to push the horses. Once the media’s cameras disappeared, however, things soon began to change. The following day the temperatures also reached into the upper 90's, but the agency continued to push bands of wild horses down the mountainside until 4:00 p.m.

On September 8, a band was pushed so far and so hard that one of the mares became “tied-up.” The BLM ushered the remaining independent observers away from the observation bluff, at 5:00 p.m., so that they could not witness the exhausted horses being driven into the pen. Earlier that same day, they also pressed a distant band so long and so hard that a foal and her mother could not keep up and were left behind and abandoned.

That night, several foals were lame and footsore in the BLM holding facility. Of those two bands driven to exhaustion, only one horse was slated for removal; so, what was the point?

Why torture these animals for no reason other than to pump the mares full of PZP so as to ensure that there will be NO babies for the next 2-3 years, if not longer? These are questions that demand an answer from Washington in hearings before Congress.

On September 11, the BLM banned Humane Observer Elyse Gardener from checking on the status of the remaining 57 horses being held in captivity at their Britton Springs holding facility. That group of 57 includes older horses that should have never been removed from the herd since they bear the knowledge and the herd’s store of information on water and winter food locations and are virtually un-adoptable at their advanced ages.

Those captives also include Conquistador and his band ripped out of the Custer National Forest, never to return to their native home. Initially, this was to be a selective removal not a “total” remove operation. Without previously agreed access granted to our observer, there is no way that we can verify the health, safety, and welfare of these horses or even if they are still present and accounted for. What would be the BLM’s “Mustangate” motives for this last breach of trust and honesty? What could they be hiding and why do they think that they can continue to operate with total immunity from the laws and the wishes of the American people?

These are valid questions that should be asked of your congressman,
Bob Abbey, the director of the BLM, Secretary of the Interior Department Ken Salazar, and the president himself. Just ask - why?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Take Action Today on Wild Horse bill

From The Animal Welfare Institute

Take Action Today on Wild Horse bill
The Restore Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act (S. 1579), recently introduced by Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) will restore protections for our country's wild horses and burros that were stripped away in recent years.

Not only will the ROAM Act ensure that our mustangs and burros are once again protected from slaughter, but it seeks to reclaim land - some 19 million acres - taken away from these magnificent animals. Please take a moment to contact your U.S. Senators today and ask them to cosponsor this vital legislation.

Senate Votes to Stop Slaughter of Wild Horses and Burros!

From Animal Law

$37 Million To Pen Up Excess Wild Horses

Posted Feb 25, 2009 by lauraallen

The Senate also prohibited BLM from using funds to kill healthy unadopted wild horses and burros!

Update Sept. 25, 2009: The Senate has voted to pass H.R. 2996, an appropriations bill for 2010 for the Dept. of Interior including the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM").

BLM manages the nation's wild horses and burros. In the bill the Senate made clear to the BLM: Appropriations ... made [in this bill]shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau of Land Management or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.

This mandate was proposed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). This provision must still be approved by the U.S. House.

Also at Sen. Landrieu's urging, the Senate Appropriations Committee found "the costs for gathering and holding equines to control populations on public lands have risen beyond sustainable levels. The Committee directs the Bureau to (1) consider private proposals for long-term care of wild horses and burros; (2) create a bidding process among such proposals, and (3) prepare and publish a new comprehensive long-term plan and policy for management of wild horses and burros that involves consideration and development of proposals by non-governmental entities, by September 30, 2010."

The Committee "encourage[d] all Federal agencies that need and use horses to fulfill their responsibilities to first seek to acquire a wild horse from the Bureau of Land Management, and, prior to seeking another supplier for usable horses, document why the Bureau cannot meet the needs of the inquiring Federal agency." The Committee "encouraged" BLM "to develop an expedited process for providing wild horses to local and State police forces."

Sen. Landrieu told the Senate,

"We ... are down to just a few herds of horses. And the reason that i think that this is even more important than to just western states or the ranchers or landowners or humane society and others is because for the people generally, the idea of wild spaces with wild horses is something that is really part of our heritage. And we want to make sure that that heritage isn't lost, that we're being responsible in terms of the way the land is being used for multiple purposes and from the perspective of horse advocates, that the horses themselves are being treated fairly.

"And none of that right now is being done in the way that most people, i believe, would appreciate or would be satisfied with. There have been any number of studies that i'm going to submit to the record.

"Most recently, the congressional research service as well as the government accounting office has suggested major changes to the program. I'm just going to go through a few possible options. One, the creation of several public-private sanctuaries. This has been suggested by a few fairly high-profiled individuals in our country. The idea has merit. We are working with a variety of different groups along with the department to think about the possibility of creating public-private partnerships, large sanctuaries, maybe 500,000 or a million acres where thousands of wild horses could not only roam freely in a healthy way, but they also could potentially become ecotourist opportunities for some of the states and communities as it would be an attraction that could potentially make money and attract people out to some of these western areas. Or, for that matter, grant rural areas in other parts of the country.

"There is a possibility to make some smart investments to step up some of the adoption programs that might work. And there are any number of scientific and new technologies that can be brought to bear in terms of breed management, reproductive issues that could help us get a much more cost-effective, sane and humane approach to this problem."

Read Animal Law Coalition's reports below for information about the ROAM Act which would also put an end to the slaughter of wild horses and burros and killing of healthy animals and restructure the way BLM manages these beautiful American treasures.

Also, on September 29, 2009, Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., join "Mustangs On The Hill" in Washington, DC. Gather on the West Front Lawn of Capitol Hill at 8:00 a.m. and spend the day meeting with Senators on the Committee of Energy and Natural Resources to urge them to support the ROAM Act. You may RSVP to

Before that, on September 28, 2009, Monday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. there will be a meeting of the BLM's National Wild Horses and Burros Advisory Board. Public comments are invited either in person or in writing. Plan to attend or send a statement! For more information....

Find and contact your U.S. senators here and urge them to tell the BLM to stop rounding up and removing our wild horses and also vote yes on the ROAM Act, S.B. 1579.

Go here to write your U.S. representative and urge him or her to tell the BLM to stop the roundup and removals of wild horses and burros!

Contact President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and urge them to support the ROAM Act, S.B. 1579! Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000; Fax: 202-456-2461

The ROAM Act, S.B. 1579, has been assigned to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Fax, email or call committee here and 202-224-4971 and urge members to vote yes on S.B. 1579 to restore the protections Congress intended for America's wild horses and burros under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act passed in 1971.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

12 News Video


From our friends in New Zealand: The canning of America's heritage

From our friends in New Zealand.

The canning of America's heritage

September 24, 2009

Today, America's wild horses are still being rounded up and sent to slaughter.

It was horse slaughter on an unimaginable scale - a United States industry built around the processing and canning of horses as dog food.

Train-loads of horses arrived at slaughter plants as the Ken-L-Ration company bled the west dry of horses in its quest for even greater profits.

The town of Rockford, Illinois, witnessed what writer CuChullaine O'Reilly described as the most astonishing series of equestrian-related crimes perpetrated in early 20th-century America.

The company canned just under 150,000 pounds of horse meat in 1923. By 1933, it was putting nearly 30 million pounds of horse meat into cans each year.

In the 10 years from 1923, the company produced nearly 58 million cans of dog food.

When local horses dried up, the company turned to the wild horses of the western rangelands. When they, too, became scarce the company set up its own 1.6 million acre farm across Wyoming and Montana, where it farmed horses for their meat.

O'Reilly's account of the rise and fall of the Ken-L-Ration company includes the story of Frank Litts, a miner determined to stop the slaughter by targeting the company's prized Rockford plant - and he had the dynamite to do it.

Read CuChullaine O'Reilly's account

Muster of famous wild horse herd under way

Wild horses and 17 tonnes of Spanish treasure

CNN Covers CLOUD stuation

Now it Gets Political

Wild horses horse slaughter,Wild horses CLOUD

From Horseback Magazine

Activists Will Seek To Fill Vacant Board Seats

CNN Airs Video of Limping Horses

By Steven Long

When the Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meets on Monday it will face an avalanche of protest relating to the culling of wild horses in the American West.

It will also face an attempt to fill several open slots on the board with wild horse advocates.

A Labor Day weekend “gather” of horses on Montana’s Pryor Mountain and the injury of the iconic Palomino “Cloud” in a stampede by helicopter in an alleged 10 mile run over a rocky path down 5,000 feet of mountain trails has activists and fans of the PBS series “Nature” talking politics.

Cloud is the star of a PBS series by Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens who made a video of him and a very young foal limping after they were released to return to the mountain. Portions of the video were shown Wednesday night on CNN.

The BLM denies the any horses were hurt. BLM policy states that sore feet on a horse do not constitute an injury, contrary to the overwhelming opinion of horsemen and veterinarians

The third program in the Cloud series is set to air in October.

The board currently has three vacancies. Activists hope to fill those spots or know the reason why they can’t.

The normally placid board which oversees policy making for America’s wild horses has been made up of political appointees, ranchers, veterinarians, and others with special interests in dealing with the bureau, which answers to the U.S. Department of Interior. The board meets twice each year.

No wild horse advocate currently holds a spot on the board, activists say.

The Monday meeting in Arlington VA is set for 8 AM – 5 PM at the Hyatt Hotel, 1325 Wilson Blvd.

Several animal welfare advocates have expressed a desire to fill the three openings.

The board doesn’t make it easy for citizens to express input regarding the nation's wild horse policy; a policy many now charge is wildly out of synch with the public’s wishes.

In a notice posted on the BLM website, the agency says, “Individuals who want to make a statement should register with the BLM by noon on the day of the meeting at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the board may limit the length of presentations.” The speakers will be given a short three minute slot to express their views.

Speakers must also submit a written copy of their statement.

Members of the board serve without salary but their expenses are paid by the government.

The BLM manages 256 million acres of land. Currently it holds 33,000 wild horses in captivity and claims it has no available acreage suitable for them to run free.

The BLM also does not class the horses as wild animals.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wild Horses: They keep Coming

Horses,Horse slaughter,wild horses BLM,wild horses Cloud

From R.T. Fitch, Straight from the Horse's Heart

There was nothing that we could do to stop them; the wild horses just kept coming. Driven by the mean beat of the helicopter blades they ran before us and into the pens as they screamed for their lives.

We prayed that they would not come, in fact, we prayed to every god worshiped by man but they ran in fear before us, anyway.

We called everyone that could possibly help, be it press or political, and the wild horses still continued to run. The pens filled, the screams of terror multiplied yet they continued to come.

There was no way to stop them, there was no one who was listening; we held each other and cried as the shattered spirits stood in their imprisoning pens pacing and fearful, their wonderful lives ended.

Phones ring, emails fly and fax machines churn out the message that the wild horses continue to fill the pens, yet the call for help is not heard.

We know of other herds, running in desperation across our public lands, filling up the pens, tens of thousands of them and they continue to keep coming.

In the dead of night, when our eyes are closed we can hear the distant calls from the wild horses who have lost all and have no hope; yet they continue to come. Even in our dreams, we cannot stop them.

But the nightmare that stalks us is not the beating of the hooves, the screams of terror or the vision of the dusty pens filled with once grand and glorious souls.

The dream of dread that chills our soul is the sound of silence, the vision of empty pens, the feeling of helplessness and loss because the wild horses are no longer running; they are no longer coming as they are no more.

The American dream that we leave for our children and share with the world is that the wild horses are gone, the last one has run into the pen and all the wild horses are finished.

The dream is the nightmare that one day, soon, we will look at each other and ask, “where were you the day the last wild mustang disappeared?” and all will be cloaked in silence as the wild horses will no longer be coming.

Our prayers will be answered, our messages will be received as inaction turns into action and our last wild horse becomes nothing more than a dim memory.

The wild horses have, finally, stopped coming.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Horses Discovered Dumped in Desert

KPHO Phoenix

Animal Dumping Becoming More Common In Down Economy, Horse Rescuer Says
Cara Liu

POSTED: 10:52 pm MST September 21, 2009
UPDATED: 11:11 am MST September 22, 2009

NEW RIVER, Ariz. -- Two dead horses were found dumped in the desert in the New River area.

The animals were spotted by a CBS 5 News photographer.

Rescuer Holly Marino from the Horse Rescue of North Scottsdale said the problem is becoming all too common due to the bad economy.

“People can’t afford their utility bills. They can’t afford food or house payments. They’re cutting back in all ways,” said Holly Marino.

Marino said the rescue group receives dozens of calls a day, mostly from people who’ve hit hard times and can no longer care for their horses. A number of calls are from folks who discover dead or dying horses in the desert or forest.

“It’s horrible. I don’t think anyone should dump their horses and let them die a long, slow death,” said Marino.

Marino added that rescue groups like hers can help.

“Get help for your crisis. Don’t let animals suffer,” said Marino.

The news photographer who spotted the horses called the Arizona Department of Agriculture, and was told an investigator had been dispatched to check it out.

Calls to the Arizona Department of Agriculture late Monday afternoon were not returned by deadline. It is unclear whether the state will remove the carcasses or whether nature will be allowed to run its course.

Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pryor Mountain Roundup – 9/6/2009 September 20, 2009

From Pam Nickoles Photography

Tom and I were not at this roundup from the beginning. We arrived Sunday morning, September 6th, 2009. My posts will focus on the four days we were actually there and what we witnessed first hand to the best of my memory.

We left Worland, WY (near the Fifteen Mile HMA) before dawn in hopes we wouldn’t miss much of the day’s activities if we managed to get to the Britton Springs facility by 7:00 AM. However, at 7:00 AM, there was no one else in the parking lot when we arrived at the corrals. A BLM employee met us at the entrance and informed us that nothing would be happening until the “morning briefing” at 9:00 AM. She explained that we needed to stay behind the barrier, handed us a map with printed instructions and said we were free to use the porta-potties before she left and headed back to the main building.

I had read on Matt Dillon’s Pryor Wild Blog that most of the Dryhead (lower area) horses had already been processed and released. We decided to head over to Bighorn Canyon in search of some of those horses until time for the briefing. There were some wildlife sightings along the way.


BLM Responds to Pryor Mountain Coverage

Coverage From Horseback Magazine

Cloud Foundation Video of Limping Mustangs After Labor Day "Gather"

Lame Foal Video From Pryor Mountain

The Bureau of Land Management has taken issue with the coverage of its “gather” of wild horses in the Pryor Mountains of Montana over the Labor Day weekend. The iconic Palomino stallion Cloud, made famousby Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens in the PBS series “Nature” by was captured and later returned to the wild limping. The following is the federal agency’s response to Horseback Magazine’s coverage. We stand by our stories and everything said in them.

Steven Long, Editor

Photo by Terry Fitch

From BLM Spokesman Paul McGuire

Dear Editor:

We appreciate your efforts to keep your readers informed about important issues relating to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. We know your readers value these cherished icons of the West. We know, too, that your readers value accuracy in reporting.

Unfortunately, recent reporting in Horseback Magazine about the gather of wild horses from the Pryor Mountain herd in Montana falls short of that standard. Let me point out several errors and mischaracterizations that warrant special attention.

In one article you use the term "equicide" in connection with the gather. That term, however creative it might be, has no applicable meaning here. By using such inflammatory language to describe proper actions taken under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, you veer into fringe territory hardly befitting a reputable equine news publication. It is true that BLM possesses the legal authority to euthanize healthy horses for which no adoption demand exists, but the agency has not exercised that authority since 1982, nor was it ever a management option posed for the Pryor Mountain herd. To suggest as much by calling the gather “equicide” is false and irresponsible. As for an internal document prepared last year by BLM staff (made public through the Freedom of Information Act, not “leaked,” as your article suggests), the agency looked at how it might implement all aspects of the law, if directed to do so by leadership. There was and is nothing sinister or devious about examining a contingency that is predicated on full compliance with existing law.

Second, in one article you report, “Several horses, including Cloud, were released lame…” That is not true. As Horseback Magazine itself has correctly reported elsewhere, Federal regulations governing the program define lameness as a wild horse or burro with one or more malfunctioning limbs that permanently impair its freedom of movement. No adult horses or foals suffered from this condition after the gather. The famous white stallion known as Cloud was gathered along with most of the rest of the Pryor Mountain herd and safely released back into the wild, along with a healthy and diverse group of 124 other members of the herd.

With regard to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued last fall on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, Horseback Magazine quoted an unidentified Senate staffer as saying the GAO cited "the [BLM's] utter mismanagement of this program." Horseback readers can review the report themselves (at ) to determine whether that accurately summarizes the GAO’s findings. The GAO identified several areas where BLM could improve its management of the program and offered some practical recommendations as to how it might do so. In a statement issued Nov. 10, 2008, BLM fully agreed with the GAO's findings and recommendations (see

Thank you again for your efforts to keep the public accurately informed. Further information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, including extensive documentation about the Pryor Mountain gather, can be accessed at

Paul McGuire

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Oklahoma Field Office

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conquistador: Captured, Conquered, Condemned

Conquistador Smaller

Please go to Straight from the Horse's Heart for pictures and links.

by R.T. Fitch and Elyse Gardner
Elyse Gardner served as the “Humane Observer” for the horses during Cloud’s round up. Being a true professional, Elyse would ask pointed questions during the daily operations briefing conducted by the BLM and overseen by field agent, Jim Sparks. Daily she would suffer verbal abuse, lack of courtesy and just simple rudeness. (all of this was documented both on video and in sound bytes), but she continued on when others may have quit.


For Conquistador

Conquistador smaller
Please Help Stop The Managed Extinction of Cloud and The Pryor Mountain Horses

From Ginger Kathryns

Dear Friends of Horses,

Here is something I've put together for Conquistador. Please share it, pray for him, go to and watch the video; it will tell you White House numbers, Michelle Obama, and what more we can do to free these horses. IT IS NOT TOO LATE. We have been
successful before in negotiating horses' release. He is a 19-year-old band stallion. Gelding him at this age would be cruel. He is not a potential good trail horse. He does not belong in a pen, in a stall,
or in a long-term holding lot. He is Conquistador.

"Oh, Conquistador, I'm so sorry," I told him. I could count on one hand the times I've cried so hard. The enormity of what was happening here was staggering. It was early, still cool out, 9:31 a.m. There were just a few people chit-chatting, their voices distinct in the still mountain air; no media, oddly quiet after the hype of the last few days. Just some horses in a trailer... So casual while this noble King of the Forest stood stripped of his life, his ability to defend his family. I hated pointing my camera at him, but I'm telling the world. We are working hard at finding him a home where he can be himself.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photos of adoptable Mustangs!


Upcoming demonstrations for wild horses and burros

Most of you have heard about the main demonstration on the 29th (Tuesday) in DC. I have pasted the notification at the bottom if you have not seen it. If you live away from DC and can only get to one, that is the one to plan for. Additionally, however, we were informed by congressional staffers that the BLM is going all out to get them to their adoption event in Lorton, VA (about 10 miles south of the DC beltway) on Saturday the 26th. This is the BLM notice for the adoption event:

Wild Horse
Directions: >From Rt 1, take Gunston Rd(east), go 2.4 miles
past the BLM Meadowood entrance onto Harley Rd.1.
Friday Preview: 1 - 5 pm
Saturday Adoption: 8am - 5pm
First come, first served only. No oral bid process.
September 25 & 26
Lorton, Virginia
Meadowood Special Rec Mgmt Area
10406 Gunston Road , Lorton VA

We decided we could not pass up the opportunity, but we did not want to risk turning off adopters with BLM bashing. While the event of the 29th is the big show, some of you may not be able to get off work during the week and some may be able to get to both. Those who can join us on Saturday the 26th are urged to do so. Those coming from any distance may stay Friday night with us at:

Comfort Inn Gunston Corner

Phone: (703) 643-3100

8180 Silverbrook Rd , Lorton, VA, US, 22079

The rate is $79 and includes hot breakfast and 10% off on 8 local restaurants

Each person will need to make their own reservations. Ask for the EWA rate.

Those who can attend on Saturday should email either John or Maria.

We will meet in the lobby at 7:30 AM.

We will not be using posters or protesting, but simply displaying support for ROAM and the slaughter bills. To that end, we have had a T-shirt made specifically for the Adoption event. Anyone who shows up can have a shirt though I will be accepting donations to cover the cost ($13). We recommend you bring a light jacket.

Valerie Kennedy tells me there will be fancier T-shirts of Conquistador available at the event of the 29th.

John Holland

Here is the announcement for the main demonstration on the 29th:

Dear Mustang Advocate;

I would like to personally invite you to join us at the BLM Advisory Board Meeting on the 28th of September in Arlington, VA and also "Mustangs On The Hill" in Washington, DC on September 29th. Please click for more details on the BLM Meeting.

For Mustangs on the Hill, we will be gathering on the West Front Lawn of Capitol Hill on the 29th for 8:00AM to 4:00PM. We will leave from this location to meet with Senators on the Committee of Energy and Natural Resources to urge them to support the ROAM Act.

You may RSVP to Please join us and help preserve and protect our wild horses!

We are encouraging everyone to make appointments with their US Senators- call 202-224-3121 or click here. We are trying to focus on members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to get the ROAM Act out of committee... click here for names and contact information. Please call, fax, e-mail all and request that they support the ROAM Act.

Please invite everyone you can! There is a huge outcry for wild horses now, partly as a result of this disastrous round up of Cloud’s herd. Perhaps that will be the catalyst for real change.

Ginger Kathrens
Volunteer Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation, Inc.

Commentary: From Cloud’s Herd point of view

From Straight from the Horse's Heart

by “Mustang Jack”

More Mustangate!

I have been saying it all along! The BLM,US Forest Service,US Fish Game and Wildlife,and the United States Geographical Science service, donot have a specific formula to determine accurate AUM’s (Animal Unit Month).For those of you who do not know what an AUM is, I will sum it up in a nut shell for you. It’s how much a foraging species eats on a month to month basis. The BLM and ecologists blame the degradation of the rangelands on wild horse overgrazing.They claim that the wild horse infringes on other native species foraging rights. They also claim the wild horses eat rare and protected vegetation that grows on the rangelands. Nothing, and I mean nothing is further from the truth than those fabricated analysis’s.

As you have read,the BLM has gone beyond their usual scope of tyranny and hired a known convicted horse killer to do their dirty work.

How apropos is that for the BLM to hire an outlaw?

WOW! Talk about irony,conflict and controversy all in the same breath.. What a movie this would make huh?

Little did Cloud’s herd know when they awoke on that September morning that their lives would change forever..

Just what do horses endure during a day of being chased miles upon miles by a machine with whirling,chopping blades?
Wild horses CLOUD,BLM round-up,Wild horses horse slaughter

Our National Icons being run into the desert dirt by the BLM - photo by Terry Fitch

Allow me to give to you a small graphic example.

First the Bell 206 type helicopter swoops down and tries to get the alpha mare to head in the direction where the shift chutes are waiting. The chopper pilot insistently swoops and makes passes over the herd until they change their direction..Once the direction has been change the horses are pursued from the rear by what they feel is something equivalent to a giant buzz saw. Needless to say it scares the hell of them.

I will try to explain to you from my experience of working with domestic horses just what happens physically to a wild horse when it’s natural instinct to flee from fear is actuated.

Within the first mile of the chase;

Their resting heartbeats race from about 45 beats per minute to an overwhelming 200 bpm in just a matter of seconds. There blood pressure soars to an astounding 200/110
and higher..Their respiratory rate increases from 15 breaths per minute to a mind blowing 50-75 breaths per minute.

The second mile;

At this point of the horrific chase, their vascular system
are so overtasked and surging with blood they are about to explode.. Their lungs are screaming for more oxygen as they continue to try and escape the glass faced,steel predator.

The third mile;

Their vascular walls begin to weaken from the pressure exerted from within.Major blood vessels and capillaries rupture and begin to fill the spongy lung tissue. Some horses have already succumbed to the seemingly endless journey. Any foals in the herd will have long been separated and probably have died from exhaustion by now.The weakest of the herd will eventually succumb to exposure.

The last and final mile;

The chutes leading to the makeshift traps finally come into view of the helicopter pilot about as he skims over the dusty terrain kicking up prairie dust in the wake of the predators steely rotors. The end of this pilots days journey is near. The beginning of the horses nightmarish journey has just begun.

There are men spread out all around the traps.Some here and some there,stalking and crouching to not spook the incoming herd as they approach the chutes.

The scene is like something out of a movie that I have seen over and over again. Dust flying from the stampeding herd and the swirling vortex of dust kicked up from the chopper rotor makes it almost impossible to see or breathe. This time its not a movie!

The horses file down the chute and into a penned arena. The men shut the chutes makeshift gate and the horses are now corralled. The round up team begins its processing.

I could literally feel the horses subdued sorrow and anguish among their exhausted appearance. They run frantically around and around looking for a breech in the walls of their prison. Perhaps a last ditch effort for them to regain the freedom that they will probably never see again.

The men on the other side of the walls slap their hats at them and poke and prods them to keep them back from trampling the soft sides of the pen.

I could empathically feel their pain.My chest was heaving as theirs heaved,my head pounded as theirs pounded,and I wept as they wept.

The sun begins to set and some of the mares are still nervously pacing looking for their foals. The colts and stallions are separated as the mares are left to be inoculated with contraceptives.

For some? Adoptions await! As for the most of them they are subjected to life in captivity or destined for slaughter.

The Conquest, Conquistador

Wild horses horse slaughter,BLM round-up

Aging PBS Star Still Held And At Risk Of Death

Wild Horse Adoption Day Set for Sept. 26th

By Steven Long

Photo, The Cloud Foundation, (Horseback) - Conquistador, a 19-year-old Pryor Mountain Mustang captured during a “gather” by the Bureau of Land Management over the Labor Day Weekend could soon face execution for the crime of being an older horse.

The agency has 33,000 wild horses in captivity, and despite the fact they manage 256 million acres, it has no place to release them where they can run free. What’s more, BLM has so depleted its budget, spending $27 million holding the horses in captivity, the agency last year seriously contemplated euthanizing tens of thousands of Mustangs and burros.

Despite having a leading role in the PBS “Nature” series starring the famed wild palomino Mustang named Cloud, the aging horse known to television fans across the globe as Conquistador is at risk.

Last year documents came to light under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query by a Phoenix group regarding an equicide plan to destroy healthy horses gathered on public lands and placed in holding pens by the thousands

Ironically, the plan was dubbed “The Conquistador Program.”

The BLM deems natural resources on Pryor Mountain as not being able to sustain the number of horses living off the land there.

Agency policy considers horses such as Conquistador as too old and thus, expendable. Under a 2004 law, the BLM is required to sell horses “without limitation” that are either more than 10 years of age, or which have been passed over for adoption three times.

The law’s mandate to sell without limitation is subject to interpretation, and while BLM vigorously denies that it sells to slaughter plants or to “killer buyers,” scant scrutiny is given to potential purchaser after the sale. Numerous reports have reached Horseback Magazine by observers who allege they saw the distinctive BLM brand on the necks of horses destined for abattoirs across the Mexican and Canadian borders as they were confined to holding pens with a telltale slaughter tag attached to them.

Minutes of BLM discussions of the Conquistador Plan reveal the agency at one point became so desperate to rid itself of the horses it now holds that it considered euthanizing horses more than 10 years old after only one attempt at adoption, not three.

Beginning in July, 2008, managers compiled a 68 page document dubbed Alternative Management Solutions. It detailed methods of dealing death such as barbiturates, gunshots, or the often cruel captive bolt.

The report revealed that it would call upon the agency’s public relations arm to shield those doing the killing from the scrutiny by the public, media, or even members of Congress.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), Louisiana, has said she would consider removing management of wild horses and burros from the BLM..

The plan even contemplated psychiatric counseling for BLM employees or contractors who would do the actual killing of thousands of horses.

While Cloud and members of his herd were released back into the wild, albeit fatigued, and depleted of much needed fat fat after as much as a 10 mile stampede by helicopter, Conquistador remains in BLM custody along with two other horses that will be seen in the next installment of the Cloud “Nature” series on PBS. The program by Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens is scheduled to air in October.

The gather, completed September 8, captured 146 horse including 15 foals.

A meeting of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is scheduled for September 28, in Arlington Virginia.

The agency’s National Adoption Day is scheduled for September 26. The 57 horses, including Conquistador, that were not returned to freedom on Pryor Mountain will be offered for adoption that day at the Britton Springs camp at the base. Pryor Mountain is located in Montana near Billings.

The BLM left 125 horses on the mountain to face the fierce Montana winter. The agency claims no horses were injured in the gather despite video of Cloud limping after his release.

A BLM spokesman said sore feet don’t constitute an injury.

Repeated requests for an interview with BLM Director Bob Abbey have been refused.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A New American Genocide: Horses for Uranium

From Earth Chambers

The Cloud foundation described the helicopter muster of the most famous horse in the herd, a stallion named Cloud, whose life has been recorded by documentary maker Ginger Kathrens.

"Cloud came in reluctantly and then turned and FACED the helicopter," the foundation wrote, "even taking steps back towards the range. Demonstrating his unbelievable courage and clear understanding of the trap he was about to lead his family into."

This wild mustang has more courage and intelligence than the current short term tenants who (unfortunately for the planet) inherited the wild and beautiful lands of America.

All levels of the U.S. "Government" continue to ignore the pleas of those seeking to save these wild herds. The foundation says calls to the government and bureau have not been working, with no concessions made. HorseTalk

A convicted "horse killer" is being paid taxpayers money, by the BLM, to round up Cloud's herd... Real men - who love horses - would not sell their souls to the devil to carry out this environmental crime.

The BLM is attacking this one herd for reasons not fully explained. There has been no public mention of the extreme interest in this area by the Skyline Uranium Corporation, which has direct ties to the United Arab Emirates.

Once removed from public lands the wild mustangs are being secretly killed... Bush, Oil and Wild Horses

The colonisers of America have a history of slaughtering these beautiful animals: "From the journals of the missionaries came these reports: In 1807, two herds of 7,000 mustangs each were driven into the ocean at Mission Santa Barbara to drown: at the San Diego Mission, Mustangs by the hundreds were shut in corals to starve." Save The Mustangs

Another heroic woman: "Wild Horse Annie", alongside hundred of thousands of schoolchildren and wild horse supporters lobbied the government for 18 long, hard years against the unspeakable cruel destiny of the Mustangs.

It was public outcry that ended the open-faced carnage—and it came from the nation’s schoolchildren and their mothers: in 1971, more letters poured into Congress over the plight of wild horses than any other non-war issue in U.S. history; there wasn’t a single dissenting vote, and one congressman alone reported receiving 14,000 letters. Mustang Foundation

Posted by Aonach Dubh at 6:33 PM

The High Cost of Lameness on the Mountain, Oops, He’s Not Lame

From Horseback Magazine

By Steven Long, Editor Horseback Magazine

Photo by Terry Fitch, (Horseback) - Employees of the Bureau of Land Management’s Billings, Montana, office hit a windfall as the summer months on Pryor Mountain came to an end. They had to work on the Labor Day holiday, September 7, and by federal regulation received double their regular pay, piling more costs onto an already expensive outing for the agency.

Jim Sparks, field manager of the office, says that the cost of the “gather” which penned the iconic Mustang Cloud for a time may run as high as $150,000.

Members of the famed Cloud band of Prior Mountain Mustangs, recognized as a distinct breed in The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide, will join 33,000 wild horses awaiting adoption in BLM pens or facing euthanasia. The agency lacks the funds to maintain them and last year threatened to kill tens of thousands because of a budget shortfall. After talk of equicide leaked to the general public, a perfect storm of outrage befell the agency as angry horse lovers howled in protest.

Many blame gathers such as the one over the Labor Day weekend that netted Cloud, and the cost of feeding horses that would have otherwise cost the government nothing had they remained in the wild, for decimating the agency’s budget.

“Under normal circumstances, without lawsuits, protests, threats, etc., a gather of this sort will cost $60,000,” Sparks said, blaming a handful of wild horse advocates for the overblown expense of an event that many say should never have happened at all.

Cloud, a yellow Palomino, has been the feature horse in a PBS “Nature” series by Emmy award winning documentarian Ginger Kathrens. A fourth installment is scheduled for October. Two of the horses in that episode did not return to freedom on the mountain with Cloud. They will be put up for adoption, or possibly euthanized.

Cloud has also been featured twice in the Breyer horse collection of sculptured plastic models. Another installment in the series is scheduled to be released by the company just in time for Christmas.

The high cost of the gather did not prevent Cloud, and others, from being injured in a stampede covering as much as 10 miles down the 5,000 foot Pryor Mountain over rocky terrain. Yet the BLM claims the horse didn’t suffer an injury.

“Sore feet do not constitute an injury,” said BLM spokesman Tom Gorey.

Horse owners believe any damage to a horse’s hoof is courting catastrophe. After hoof injuries horses sometimes suffer from painful abscesses, founder, or even colic.

Critics of the BLM, such as Virginia animal welfare advocate John Holland shake their heads in wonder at what they call the callous attitude of the agency. A Mustang lover who once rescued 12 Virginia wild horses, quoted the old adage “no hoof, no horse.”

At least two politicians have hinted they would like to see wild horses removed from the BLM's jurisdiction.

"I was trying to think of another agency to take over the management of the wild horses when I remembered what a good job the Fire Department has done managing the Chincoteague ponies," holland said. " But if that job swap left the BLM in charge of putting out fires, we would all be homeless in six months."

Video shot by Kathrens soon after the release show Cloud limping.

“There’s not a veterinarian in this country, except those employed by the government, that would not consider lameness an injury,” said Jerry Finch, founder of Habitat for Horses, the largest horse rescue in the nation.

The BLM counters with its own definition of what constitutes an injury.

Gorey said, “Regulations at CFR 4700.05 define a lame wild horse or burro as meaning a wild horse or burro with one or more malfunctioning limbs that permanently impair its freedom of movement. In accordance with this definition, we definitely do not have any lame horses as a result of the gather.”

Sue Cattoor and her family contract with BLM to catch wild horses at the rate of $100 to $400 per animal per gather. She says the use of her company’s helicopter is a humane way of catching them.

Critics of the BLM's financial management say the family has amassed a tidy fortune contracting to catch horses for the agency.

“The only time the helicopter puts pressure on the animals except maybe to turn them is just as they enter the trap. That is so they will follow the Judas horse,” she told Horseback.

A Judas horse is an animal that has been trained to run for the trap leading the stampeding wild horses with him. It is released in front of the herd just as the horses are reaching the confinement area.

Cattoor says the helicopter stays a good distance from the animals as it drives them down the mountain.

“When the helicopter is bringing the animals he stays fairly high and way back from them. He lets them travel at their own speed. He follows and keeps the band together. This would not happen if he chased or stampeded the animals. This Pryor Mountain is not a tremendously rough mountain when it comes to mountains in other places,” Cattoor said.

Repeated requests for an interview by Horseback Magazine with BLM Director Bob Abbey have gone unheeded.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BLM Capture of Iconic Wild Horse Herd Sparks Controversy

Wild horses CLOUD,BLM round-up

Press Release from the Cloud Foundation

Senator Landrieu, Congressman Grijalva Join Public in Calling for an Immediate End to the Mismanagement of the West’s Living Legends

For Immediate Release

LOVELL, WY-- September 17, 2009 -- Once wild and free, living in spectacular sub-alpine meadows designated by Congress as their home, 57 wild Mustangs now wait in dusty pens in the 90 degree heat. The BLM pens sit at the base of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range of Wyoming and Montana. The corrals offer no shade for the wild horses, now branded, with ropes and numbers around their necks. 19 year-old Conquistador is no longer a proud band stallion. He is number 5336. 21 year-old Grumpy Grulla is no longer a lead mare. She is number 5321.

The Pryor Mountain wild horses have been made world famous by the popular PBS Nature series that has followed the pale Palomino Stallion “Cloud,” throughout his lifetime. The third program will air this Fall in October, but many of the horses the world will meet next month are among those being put up for sale and adoption at the Britton Springs corrals in Lovell, WY on Sept. 26th. “They are losing what they value most – their freedom and their families,” says Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation.

“Despite a National outcry and letters from Congress demanding that the BLM halt these roundups until an acceptable long-term plan is made, we have yet to see them make a single concession to an outraged public. Somewhere along the line BLM forgot that these are the public’s horses on the public’s land.” Kathrens continues.

Great hopes for change lie in the Restore Our American Mustang Act (ROAM- §1579), now in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Advocates are planning a gathering, “Mustangs on the Hill,” in Washington D.C. on September 29th. Supporters of preserving our wild herds will fan out and meet with key Senate staffers and Senators. “The ROAM Act comes too late for thousands of horses, but we are hopeful that Congress can ride to the rescue for our wild horses,” states Arizona advocate, Julianne French. The Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 saved wild horses in the American West from complete destruction. Since then, the BLM, charged with their protection, has failed to follow the Act. Nearly 20 million acres have been taken away from the dedicated land set aside for America’s wild horses. Over 30,000 wild horses are held by the BLM at a cost of over $100,000 per day according to Ed Roberson, Department of Interior official. Advocates are demanding that the wild horses be returned to the rangelands that were stolen from them. Congressman Grijalva (D-AZ) called for a stop to all roundups and Senator Landrieu (D-LA) recently called for the management of wild horses to be taken away from the BLM altogether.

The American public is enamored with the mustang, one of the last symbols of freedom and the disappearing spirit of the American West. "Isn’t it time that the public finds out the truth, that this gross misconduct is not a result of managing for ‘healthy horses on healthy rangelands, but is an all out eradication of America’s wild horses?” questions advocate Monika Courtney. “Will hoof beats be replaced completely by oil and gas rigs and uranium mines as the old-guard BLM regime carries forth? BLM is betraying not only our horses, but our nation.” As one advocate stated, “The West will one day be about as wild as Wal-Mart.”

The small Spanish mustangs in the Pryor herd, descendents of the Lewis and Clark expedition horses and the original Crow war ponies, may not be aware that their highly contested roundup and subsequent removal has created a wave a protest from Thoroughbred racing forums to front porches in South Texas. “A whole new group of advocates concerned about our wild horses have come out against this roundup,” states Willis Lamm, a horse trainer noted for his work with BLM mustangs. “Moving forward with this roundup was a huge mistake on the part of the BLM.”

For more information contact:
The Cloud Foundation
Valerie Kennedy, Public Relations Manager 312-371-4933
Makendra Silverman, Associate Director 719-351-8187

Join All Horse Advocates in D.C. September 29th! Thursday, September 17, 2009 6:00 AM


From Americans Against Horse Slaughter

Dear friends,

On September 29Th, horse advocates will be headed to Washington D.C. in an effort to support The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (HR503/S727) and The ROAM ACT (S1579/HR1018).

"Mustangs on Capitol Hill" will be gathering on the West Front Lawn of Capitol Hill on September 29th from 8:00AM to 4:00PM. People are encouraged to bring signs with illustrations and can also bring brochures and literature to hand out. For more information on this event, please log onto The Cloud Foundation blog here:

In addition to “Mustangs on Capitol Hill” on September 29Th, there’s an effort to keep a strong presence in D.C. through the end of this congressional session. We are encouraging our members and all horse advocates who can attend D.C. for a day or two, to do so between September 29th and the end of October. The Horse Defense Fund will be lobbying for both The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act and for The ROAM ACT during the week of Oct. 18th. This means we would need folks in D.C. for a day or two during the week of Oct. 4th, Oct. 11th and Oct. 25th.

Americans Against Horse Slaughter is honored to join in the efforts of these groups to get our legislation passed.. Details of specific AAHS activities will be out in the near future.

Please email us back to let us know if you will be attending “Mustangs On Capitol Hill” and/or can attend D.C. for a day or two during one of the weeks in October as this is a highly coordinated effort.

Thanks so much for all you do for the horses.

American's Against Horse Slaughter

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Horses from Cloud's Herd Could End Up Slaughtered

From Animal Law Coalition
Wild horses horse slaughter,Wild horses CLOUD

Posted Aug 28, 2009 by lauraallen

Update Sept. 10: Curiously, when a concerned citizen called the BLM to ask the fate of the horses to be permanently removed from Cloud's Herd, she was told all would be adopted to good homes.

Not true. The BLM confirms on its own website that "sale-eligible horses (over 10 years old) will go through the sale authority process (oral competitive bid for one round then first come-first serve)."

That means kill buyers will be there to purchase the horses for slaughter. Jerry Finch of Habitat for Horses states, "Previous statements by the BLM were that they would remove only 70 of 190 horses. Today they are exceeding that number by going beyond their specific Herd Management Area (HMA) and rounding up bands outside of their legal perimeter in Custer National Forest, branding and tagging them and shipping them to holding pens ready to be sent away. All this is being done by a contractor previously convicted of ..capturing and killing unbranded horses, mares and colts running at large on public land."

The auction for these horses from Cloud's Herd is planned for September 26. Go here for the reaction of some members of Congress to BLM's continued harassment and elimination of America's wild horses.


Keep writing and calling! Don't wait. Do it now. Of course, be very polite.

BLM Director Bob Abbey
Call: 202-208-3801 or 866-468-7826
Fax: 202-208-5242
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden
Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000
Fax: 202-456-2461

House Committee on Natural Resources 202-225-6065

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 202-224-4971

Find and contact your U.S. senators here and urge them to tell the BLM to stop this atrocity to Cloud's Herd and also vote yes on S.B. 1579. Go here for more on S.B. 1579.

Go here to write your U.S. representative and urge him or her to tell the BLM to stop the roundup of Cloud's Herd.

Plan to attend or send a statement to the meeting of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Sept. 28-29.

For more on this, read Animal Law Coalition's earlier reports below.

Update Sept. 9: The Pryor Mountain Roundup has been called off! The BLM is leaving alone around 25 horses - 4 family bands.

Red Raven and his family are hiding in the mountains. Two foals are thought to be with this family.

The BLM will release some horses today, including most of Cloud's family. (Cloud is pictured here in captivity.) But there is no plan to release older horses slated for sale, meaning slaughter.

Update Sept. 7: Cloud the namesake of the herd, has been captured. But not without a fight. Go here for more.

The BLM has also announced that of the 70 wild horses that will be permanently removed, those 10 years of age and older, will be sold. That means these animals will likely end up at Mexican or Canadian slaughter houses. Earlier BLM had said the horses would be adopted to good homes.

Sadly, the contractor hired by the BLM for the round up of Cloud's Herd in the Pryor Mountains, is Dave Cattoor, previously indicted on federal charges of illegally running down wild horses and foals in Nevada with a helicopter and selling them for slaughter. The BLM pays him $7,000 per day for this round up.

Watch video of the roundup of Cloud's Herd and discussion of the controversy.

Update Sept. 2, 2009: U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, D.C., has denied a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, (attached below) filed by Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and nature photographer, Carol Walker, in their lawsuit to stop the roundup of Cloud's herd.

The motion basically asked the judge to order the roundup delayed until the lawsuit is resolved. A hearing to resolve the lawsuit on summary judgment is set for December 3, 2009.

The U.S. attorneys representing the BLM in the lawsuit agreed to delay the roundup set to begin Sept. 1 until the judge ruled on the motion. The judge issued the denial following a hearing on Sept. 2.

Watch the videos here for more information. Go here for a look at what happens to horses including foals during these roundups.

Original report: Beginning on September 1, 2009, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the U.S. Dept of Interior, plans to begin rounding up "nearly all wild horses" in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Montana.

The Cloud Foundation estimates there are 190 wild horses living in the mountains that are 1 year old or older.

The herd is called Cloud's Herd for the horse filmed by Ginger Kathrens, founder of the Cloud Foundation, when he was just a colt. Cloud lives wild and free with his family. At least for now.

The BLM plans to remove permanently "up to 70 adults including foals", having decided they are excess horses. 60 mares will be treated with a fertility control, Porca Zonae Pellucidae (PZP), and released. The way the BLM put it in its Environmental Assessment or EA which the agency is required to prepare pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq., "The method of capture w[ill] be helicopter drive-trapping using temporary traps of portable panels as well as trapping directly at Britton Springs Corrals. After capture in the trap, horses would be sorted on site and treated with fertility control or taken to the Britton Springs administrative site for sorting and application of fertility control. Treated mares and stallions identified for retention would be released either during or after gather operations. ....Excess wild horses removed w[ill] be prepared for adoption or sale at the Britton Springs Facility."

Cloud or his family could well be among those horses deemed to be "excess" by BLM and sold. Certainly, it is unlikely they will be together again as a family.

Excess wild horses is a legal term that means horses BLM has decided to remove from an area "to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area" or for some other legal reason. See 16 USC §1332(f).

Under a 2004 amendment to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which authorizes BLM to manage these animals, "excess" horses "shall be sold...if the excess animal is more than 10 years of age; or ... has been offered unsuccessfully for adoption at least 3 times." 16 U.S.C. §1333. Any horse sold under this provision is no longer subject to the protections of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 16 U.S.C.§1333. Since this amendment became effective, BLM has sold thousands of wild horses for slaughter.

The horses are panicked, terrified, traumatized and many times injured as they are run down by the helicopters. Families will be separated and destroyed, probably forever. It is unlikely the BLM would bother to keep even horses marked for release together in their families.

Go here for more information about what happens to these wild horses and burros when the BLM rounds them up.

As a reason for the removal of the 70 horses including foals from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, the BLM says only there has been "resource damage". Its EA cites to "[d]eteriorating range and forest conditions associated with past management practices". In BLM's Record of Decision issued this month, August, 2009, the BLM says only the removal will limit the horses to their herd area, "limit competition among wild horses and wildlife" presumably for food, and "prevent deterioration of rangelands and vegetation resources". It is mentioned there has been limited water.

But, according to Cloud Foundation, there has been 3 years of rainfall that has ended the drought and left the range in "excellent condition".

The BLM also refers to a need to "maintain a multiple use relationship for the area".

The wild horses and burros are actually supposed to be protected under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. In passing that law Congress declared that, "wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West"..."[T]hey contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people". Congress recognized the wild horses and burros are "fast disappearing from the American scene". "[W]ild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands." 16 U.S.C. § 1331.

Indeed, the Pryor Mountain wild horses are descendants of horses in the Lewis and Clark expedition that came to be owned by the Crow tribe in the early 1800's. George Reed, Secretary of Cultural Education for the Crow Tribe Executive Branch, wrote in 2006: "We advocate preserving our heritage, culture and language, and these Pryor wild horses are part of our culture."

The WFHBA requires that BLM management activities be at "the minimal feasible level." Id. According to its own regulations, BLM must protect wild horses and burros from unauthorized capture, branding, harassment or death and provide these animals with humane care and treatment. 43 C.F.R. § 4700.

Under the WFHBA, wild horses are "to be considered in the area" where they were found in 1971 "as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands." 16 U.S.C. § 1331. These legally protected areas are known as "herd areas," and are defined as "the geographic area identified as having been used by a herd as its habitat in 1971." 43 C.F.R. § 4700.0-5(d).

A brutal wholesale round up and removal, even slaughter, of so many horses is surely a direct violation of the protections of the WFHBA. It's hardly management of the herd at the "minimal feasible level".

According to the Cloud Foundation, this removal of 70 horses will leave this unique and historical herd genetically non-viable and unable to sustain itself into the future. Equine geneticist, Gus Cothran, Ph.D. of Texas A&M University, states that "a census population of 150-200 is required to achieve the minimum effective population size.... The [Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd] has been one of the most important and visible herds within the BLM Wild Horse Program and it is important that it stays viable."

Just last month a federal judge entered an injunction to stop a BLM decision to eliminate an entire herd of horses in a range in Colorado. The BLM had decided simply to eliminate the horses even though the agency agreed the horses were not "excess". The BLM has also decided to eliminate entire herds, 620 horses, from their ranges in Nevada.

The Cloud Foundation, Front Range Equine Rescue and nature photographer Carol Walker, have filed a lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction in the federal district court in Washington, DC to stop the roundup and removal of horses from the Range.

The plaintiffs claim the BLM has violated NEPA by failing to prepare and Environmental Impact Statement, consider alternatives, and take a "hard look" at the environmental consequences. They claim the BLM's proposed action means the herd will not be genetically viable. Also, the plaintiffs claim BLM relied on a 2004 study to support its contention the range has deteriorated when there is evidence that since then with the end of the drought, the range conditions have greatly improved.

The plaintiffs also claim these actions by the BLM violate WHBA's mandate to manage the wild horses at the "minimal feasible level" and protect them from harassment, capture and death.

A copy of the Complaint is attached below to this article. Animal Law Coalition will bring you more information about this lawsuit as it becomes available. In the meantime:

Read about BLM's final solution for America's wild horses and burros.

Listen to Angels for Cloud on WFL Endangered Stream Live radio

Go here
for information about and how you can help pass a bill pending in Congress, Restoring Our American Mustangs or ROAM, S.B. 1579, that would restore protections under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act 0f 1971 that were lost in 2004.

For more on this historic herd, go to

Information was provided for this article by Equine Welfare Alliance. Photographs courtesy of R.T. Fitch.