Please Comment on the BLM Plan to Eradicate Wyoming Herds Today!!

I wish I could step out of life for a while.

Yesterday I stepped out my door at 5 a.m. and didn’t step foot back in until 8 p.m. A full-time job, a two hour round-trip to said job, four horses who all need a lot of time and attention to their training, every other weekend taking care of my Gramma in another state, the occasional attempt to keep this photography thing going, cleaning up after the massive rainfalls in Colorado, responding to NEPA documents put out by the BLM … I am freaking burnt out. And the funny thing is, I don’t really have it that bad. How much busier are my dear readers with spouses and children on top of all the stuff I just rambled off?

So I get it. Life is busy.

That makes it hard to find time to be a wild horse advocate. Sitting down at the end of the day to peruse a document hundreds of pages long and filled with government speak is not something anyone wants to do. But it is one of the most important things that you can do right now.

Let’s break down the process chronologically: The BLM releases a scoping notice. The public has a month to comment. The BLM releases an Environmental Assessment (EA). The public has a month to comment. The BLM disregards the public’s comments and proceeds with their plans to decimate (or in the case below, eliminate) a wild horse herd.

At this point, a wild horse advocacy group may or may not sue the BLM. This is the part where all those comments the BLM ignored become important. A person may not be a plaintiff if they have not commented and participated in the normal process. Even if you are not directly part of a lawsuit, the number of comments recorded and filed by the BLM will be noticed and taken into consideration by a judge.

White Mountain bachelors

White Mountain bachelors

This brings me to form letters. Do you remember the last time you were asked to sign a form letter in response to a scoping or EA? I do! It was 2011. That is not because I am just that awesome and chose to write my own comments even when form letters were  available. It is because the BLM announced in 2011 that they only count form letters as one comment from one person, regardless of how many people actually sign off on it. After learning of that, wild horse advocacy groups quit giving the option of signing a petition or form letter. Instead, they started releasing suggested talking points, emphasizing that a person should write something in their own words.

DB FOAl

Divide Basin 2013 foal

That brings us to Rock Springs Wyoming. In 2011 the Rock Springs Grazing Association (the largest livestock association in the country) sued the BLM for the removal of all wild horses from the checkerboard portion of Wyoming. In April of 2013, the BLM agreed to do exactly what the RSGA was demanding and then some. Here’s the quick facts:

Salt Wells: Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 365 horses, 1.1 million acres, 37.6% private land which is primarily owned by the Anadarko Corporation

New plan: Zero out the herd. No more wild horses are allowed in this area, including a portion to the South which is purely public land and outside the checkerboard. Roundup to occur in the winter of 2013

salt wells fam

Salt Wells family band

Adobe Town: AML of 800, 477,624 acres, 5.5% is private land

New Plan: Roundup in the winter of 2013. Reduce AML to 224-450 horses in spite of the fact that only the northwest corner, a very small portion of Adobe Town, is actually within the checkerboard

This Adobe Town mare and stallion will likely be removed this winter if the BLM's plans succeed.

This Adobe Town mare and stallion will likely be removed this winter if the BLM’s plans succeed.

Divide Basin: AML of 600, 776,000 acres, 25.5% private land, cattle are allowed to graze in this area year round through both the BLM and other parties the RSGA leases the private land from (read: oil and natural gas companies who own the biggest portion of the private land in the checkerboard)

New Plan: Zero out the herd. No more horses will be allowed in this area including the northern portion of the HMA. About half of this herd’s allowed area is north of the checkerboard. Roundup to occur in 2014

This Divide Basin stallion and his large family of 6 will all be removed, even though they live North of the checkerboard

This Divide Basin stallion and his large family of 6 will all be removed, even though they live North of the checkerboard

White Mountain: AML of 300, 362,132 acres, 41.8% private land

                   New Plan: Roundup in 2015. Remove all horses. Spay and geld 205 horses to be returned to the range. Manage as a “non-reproducing herd” so as not to hurt the tourism money this herd brings to Sweetwater County. This includes horses in the northern portion of the HMA outside of the checkerboard

This 2013 foal will be more likely to be selected for castration and return in 2015 than the older horses, since he's more likely to survive it.

This 2013 foal will be more likely to be selected for castration and return in 2015 than the older horses, since he’s more likely to survive it.

Splash is another likely candidate for being spayed and released. This is a dangerous procedure for mares, and it could kill her.

Splash is another likely candidate for being spayed and released. This is a dangerous procedure for mares, and it could kill her.

Little Colorado: AML of 100, 635,000 acres, 0% private land

Possible New Plan: Not listed, but I would lay good money down that the BLM will include this herd in their “non-reproducing” scheme, since that is what they tried to do in 2011. As such, I believe it deserves mention even if it is not part of the current RMP

Divide Basin bachelor

Divide Basin bachelor

To put it oh so eloquently, this is a BIG FREAKING DEAL. The BLM agreed to zero out horses on 2.3 million acres where horses are legally allowed to roam under the Wild Horse & Burro Act. Hell, the BLM recommended/suggested the Rock Springs Grazing Association bring this lawsuit. Is it really that surprising that they would agree to the RSGA’s demands and then some?

Even if you do not care about these individual herds the way I do, this decision sets a very serious precedent. If it is allowed to go through and these herds are removed, it will effect nearly every horse herd left in the West. Want more cows & sheep on public lands? Just sue the government! They’ll cave like a house of cards. Heck, they’ll shake your hand for bringing the lawsuit, because it makes their job that must easier!

If you care about wild horses, you must care about this decision and these herds.

And if you care about this decision and these herds, then you must join me and countless others in flooding the BLM with comments. They are due by the end of business today. That is 6 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. CT, 4 p.m. MT, and 3 p.m. Pacific/Arizona. Please email all comments to BLM_WY_RockSpringsRMP@blm.gov with the subject line ‘Wild Horse Scoping’. You may also fax them to (307) 352-0329.

Your comments don’t have to be long. I’ve already sent War & Peace to them. So have many other people who have spent time with these herds and have that direct knowledge. The length and detail of your comments are not as important as the fact that you do comment. It can be three sentences long and to the effect of “Please don’t eliminate these herds. Federal law cannot be violated under a consent decree. These horses are a national treasure and should be protected.”

See? Easy. That took me less than a minute to write while talking on the phone with a client at work (don’t tell my boss). I’d love for you to write more, of course but please, please, please just write something.

Divide Basin bachelors, also outside the checkerboard.

Divide Basin bachelors, also outside the checkerboard.

Now here comes the part of this where I probably get myself in a lot of trouble. Eh, I’m due for some non-Bandit produced trouble anyway, and I was so upset that I couldn’t sleep last night. May as well get it out:

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) sent out a petition/form letter, urging everyone to sign it so they can get up to 15,000 signatures to send in the BLM. It seems like a decent enough idea, right? Well… Remember that part above where I said that the BLM does not count those? Signing that petition is meaningless. Your voice will literally be ignored if all you do is sign that petition. You will have done nothing to help these amazing herds.

And it’s even worse than that. This form letter is harmful. It has been spread far and wide across the internet. How many people signed it, shared it, patted themselves on the back, and moved on from a “job well done”? If you did that, it’s cool bro. I’m not yelling at you. If an established group puts out something and says it will help wild horses then it is only natural to trust that and support it. I’m not saying it’s the fault of the people who signed it.

Neither am I saying that everyone who signed the petition would have submitted their own personal comments. But if the wild horses have lost even 10 comments that would have otherwise been emailed in correctly because of this petition, then the efforts to save these 4 herds have been hurt. That’s unacceptable. This decision, these herds are too important for that nonsense.

So AWHPC, I’m calling you out. What. The. Hell? You of all groups should know better. You cannot tell me that you conveniently forgot what happens to form letters. So why are you doing it? Is this a money thing? Because sitting in this office chair right now, it feels a little like a scheme for more donations. In your position, with your HUGE audience, why didn’t you just send out an email with suggested talking points like you usually do? You wouldn’t get as big of a response, but what you did get would have counted for something.

I genuinely would like to know what is going on here. If I am wrong I will gladly eat crow openly on this blog, my facebook, your facebook, wherever. I’d rather be wrong and own up to it than to increase this never-ending panic over these herds that has refused to leave my chest since February.

To end this: Here’s a link to answer all your questions. The scoping documents section is particularly useful: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2013/august/27rsfo-whbscopmtg.html

Please send comments before 4 p.m. MST today to BLM_WY_RockSpringsRMP@blm.gov with the subject line ‘Wild Horse Scoping’ or to the fax number (307) 352-0329.

Here’s a very poorly edited video I made to highlight horses who will be forever gone if this goes through and exactly what a roundup will be like for them.

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97 thoughts on “Please Comment on the BLM Plan to Eradicate Wyoming Herds Today!!

  1. Carol Walker says:

    Nice Rachel. Good good points. Just got an email from Suzanne they may not do the lawsuit, am beyond devastated/pissed.

    Carol Walker cwlivingimages@gmail.com http://www.LivingImagesCJW.com http://www.WildHoofbeats.com

    • What?! If *ever* there was a righteous cause in the wild horse world to sue over, it is for these herds. This cannot be happening.

      • i can’t believe that their is people in this world that would want to eradicate these beautiful creatures, they do no wrong, and are a vital necessity to the native people, why on this earth would anyone want to get rid of these magnificent animals.

    • Melissa Maser says:

      So am I ! I was hoping / counting on a lawsuit. I have lost hope. From – A Rock Springs, Wyoming resident.

    • Melissa Maser says:

      Carol, You have always put a lot of effort in to these herds.. Attend our meetings here in Rock Springs..I want to thank you!!

  2. Joy says:

    You have put heart and soul into this…. Thanks, from me and the horses.

    • Thanks, Joy. These horses mean so much to me and so many others that it is worth the stress and manic energy to try and save them.

      • Melissa Maser says:

        I live in Rock Springs Wyoming. These horses surround my home. I’ve been fighting very hard for them !
        Melissa Maser – Protect Mustangs
        Outreach Coordinator – Wyoming
        Wild Horses in Wyoming – Page Manager
        I attend all meetings and am down at the coral checking on them daily. Keeping up with every new foal and adoptions… This Is there home ! My home and I’ve been working very hard ! I’m destroyed !

      • Chris Posey says:

        Thank you Melissa. We’re thinking of the beautiful mustangs and sending special thoughts.

    • Melissa Maser says:

      I am surprised at some of the dates as I speak with our public affairs specialist and this is different than what I’ve been told…I live here. Attend the meetings. Check on them in holding almost daily…I will definitely get with our BLM on some of this I formation. Hope your correct on some of the dates. !

      • Hi Melissa! May I ask which dates you have in mind? The dates for the removals all came from the consent decree that was issued. So I’d think Serena should have those dates too. What has she told you previously?

      • Melissa Maser says:

        Initially roundups were to be per -Serena Baker, this October And November . But it was not yet on the Calender.Inked in.. I don’t think they have any definite dates. They do not have the room is the hold up. Coral is closed for ” cleaning ” to October 15..There is alot going on out there ……! Very Surprised, I spoke to her this
        week. And receive all emails. Hope your right ! This gives us more time !!

      • Okay. I do know that October/November was their goal, since parts of Salt Wells & Adobe Town are liable to be inaccessible once the snow really starts coming, but I keep hearing that it is most likely being moved back. Normally an official schedule is out by now, but the lack of space & competition between field offices for who gets to have their desired roundups is probably messing with things.

    • Melissa Maser says:

      Thank you for the photographs and the article. Maybe we will meet at a meeting! I attend them all here !

      • Melissa Maser says:

        The consent decree dates are all old. Good article with pictures..Dates are not any good, though..

      • The consent decree dates are not “old”. They are the dates the BLM agreed to uphold in a legal document before a court of law. Therefore, that is what the BLM and the judge will hold them to and will expect.

        I do hope to meet you someday. I am not able to go to very many meetings, since they are always held on weekdays, typically in the middle of the week, and I have to work.

  3. Nora Suppers says:

    a very educational column… now I understand the “dangers” of signing a form letter, however well intentioned…I have been making individual comments but don’t know if that will qualify as its own letter since it is being sent via their form letter. Thank you for putting so much personal energy into this tragic issue. We need to take advantage of this time, before it is too late, to save the wild horses as the BLM, under the weak silent management of Secy Jewel ( and her predecessor ), as their aim seems to be to eradicate horses from our federal land. Our government continues to fail the American citizens and our precious environment, Hopefully, with the efforts of people like you, Rachel, we can save these wild horses and their freedoms.

    • Thank you for your comment. I would suggest you resend your personal comments. I am not 100% certain but my understanding is they probably won’t count. If it’s still possible for you to copy and paste that section, it would make life easier. I agree that Secy Jewell is proving to be just as worthless as Salazar and am very disappointed, if not surprised, by that. We just have to keep up the good fight, Nora!

  4. Camille says:

    Sit them in front of the movie “spirit” and they might rember how amazing and important these horses are to or haritiage and way of life. They were here before us. I took my son when he was 4 to see the herds and now that he is 15 he not only remebers it but it had a lasting impression on him of magic and what a gift the horses are to us.

    • YEA!’s statement to Wyoming Field Office:

      “It is our deepest concern that the living history of wild horses will be preserved in every state where they are found to be living wild because as living history the horses and burros provide youth with an opportunity to connect with our heritage. In our experience, children are inspired when they see horses and burros living in the wild. They become inspired to learn more and to do more.

      The lives of youth are enriched by the interest of equines. Please consider the children and revise your plans to allow for continued enjoyment of our shared outdoor space with genetically viable herds of wild horses and burros for generations to come. Not only would removing the horses deny many children the opportunity to enjoy them, but it may also cause harm by ceasing current enjoyments.”

      Thank you, Rachael for the alert! Keep us posted. info@yeaspage.com

  5. Prairie girl says:

    Hey Rachel.
    I just sent my own letter. I really thought it was going to be a three sentence plea, but I just kept writing & writing!
    I’m going to forward it to you, so you can see what I said to those assholes.
    I live in Casper, and I’ve gone out to these ranges and I’m planning on going to Adobe town for “one last look”. 😦
    I can’t believe they are backing out of the suit.
    Ginger is probably too exhausted to tangle anymore. If anyone could put a stop to it, she could.
    I wish I knew of a way to really shake things up and get more folks to stand up and take notice.
    What ever happened to protests? Whatever happened to fighting for what we believe in?
    Do letters and petitions even work anymore?
    I’m so glad to see you, Rachel. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been.
    I think about your sweet ponies too. And your funny dad. 😉

    • I look forward to it! Do you have my email address or do I need to send that to you?
      To be fair, we don’t know for sure that AWHPC really will back out, and even if they do that does not mean TCF would not still get involved in litigation. What worries me is whether TCF could afford the legal fees on their own.
      Protests would be great. We probably should get back to organizing those. Letters work so long as they are your own letters. Actually, be sure to comment on Massacre Lakes in California today! The BLM may actually increase the AML there so we are making a positive impact in some places.
      And thanks! The ponies and Dad are all good. I need to get back to posting. It’s been a rough year, and it seems like all the times I tried to write they came out lacklustre and a bit depressing. Time to try again!

    • Yes petitions and letters work and are important. They raise awareness and rally troops. Unfortunately, there’s no way to really petition at the federal level, state level petitions can get on ballots. Here is policy on form letters from BLM’s “From the Public” page:

      “The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has established regulations concerning the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, which Federal agencies such as the BLM are required to follow. CEQ also provides guidance for interpreting NEPA regulations. One such memorandum, “Forty Most Asked Questions Concerning CEQ’s National Environmental Policy Act Regulations,” can be accessed athttp://ceq.hss.doe.gov/ceq_regulations/guidance.html, where question 29a addresses the subject of comment responses:

      …If a number of comments are identical or very similar, agencies may group the comments and prepare a single answer for each group. Comments may be summarized if they are especially voluminous…

      All substantive comments are an important part of the BLM’s NEPA process…

      It should be noted that the BLM, which welcomes public input, is not required to respond to non-substantive comments, such as those merely expressing approval or disapproval of a proposal without reason, as the opportunity to comment is not a voting exercise.”

      • I certainly can agree that getting awareness up is important, but only if something effective is done once the troops are rallied – protests, canvasing on the streets, civil disobedience… something. In this case, the petition will be signed and … then what? So if it is not helping with the NEPA process, and there are no stated plans to keep the momentum going to save these herds then what good does it really do?

        On the other hand, everyone brings their unique perspective when they write their own comments. The petition brought up points I did not put much thought into. Similarly, I emailed points that the petition did not address. Even a simple, generic comment is going to say something different and possibly raise a point that had not been considered previously in addition to it being logged as its own comment.

  6. […] Please Comment on the BLM Plan to Eradicate Wyoming Herds Today!!. […]

    • Just finished my comments and sent this off:

      I find your plan to remove most of the horses from the checkerboard area in Wyoming totally unacceptable. Did you read the NAS report on the wild horses and burros? Did you listen to the discussion from the NAS scientists at the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting earlier this month? What is planned does not take into account what scientists said about removing horses from HMAs.

      I find it abhorrent that colts and stallions will be castrated and that mares will be spayed – this is a sure fire way to destroy the herds and their genes will be lost forever! The wild horses not spayed or castrated will make the herds genetically un-viable and any offspring of those still intact may also have genetic problems from inbreeding.

      It’s time for BLM to read and understand the science before making ridiculous decisions that will destroy the wild horse families – non-reproducing herds will no longer display the characteristics of wild horses. They will be no different than a small herd of domestic horses found in any pasture in America. The BLM will single-handedly destroy tourism associated with viewing wild horses in their natural environment. There will be no reason for anyone to come to Wyoming to view wild horses.

      If BLM continues to support the cattle ranchers, BLM will be complicit in destroying the land managed by the BLM. Wild horses don’t eat the same things cattle eat but BLM has neglected this simple fact.

      Wild horses don’t stay at watering holes like cattle do because they are a flight or fight species that instinctively understand that predators lurk near water and move on as soon as they’ve had a drink. Wild horses take a drink and move on while cattle stay in one place including watering holes until the food is all gone.

      Cattle are ruminantes ​(​any of various cud-chewing hoofed mammals having a stomach divided into four (occasionally three) compartments​)​ and their stomach digests any seeds that are eaten while wild horses only have one stomach and they pass the seeds in their manure providing moisture and nutrients enough for the seeds to germinate.

      Listen to President Obama – he says follow the science and BLM has made up their own fake science in order to please the cattle ranchers.

      Respectfully Submitted,

      • Judy Elliott says:

        Awesome comment, WestDeltaGirl! I’m wondering about the last line regarding President Obama. I’m really hoping he actually made that comment about following the science, etc. Sadly, I’m losing faith in my government. The political system is way out of control, and in this case, it seems to me that their concerns favor special interest groups, such as welfare ranchers and oil and gas companies. In the case of WY, my fear is that the force behind the removal of the horses is more likely the oil and gas companies for fracking purposes rather than the cattle industry. I may be wrong, but either way this will lead to the ruination of our public lands and the water supply therein.

        They don’t seem to care that 80% of the American people want the BLM to leave the wild horses free. Certainly, we would not know anything about the actions of the BLM if it were not for social media. Thankfully, through this method, people are exposed to the facts that would otherwise go untold. We seldom see media coverage on this…certainly not enough to reach the masses that love horses and live outside the 11 states where wild herds roam.

        There are many wonderful individual and group advocates working on behalf of the herds in their particular area. That is a good thing, but it does not get National Media coverage. Perhaps it is time to unite in some way….maybe we should all ride down Pennsylvania Ave on horseback…or if not allowed a march on WA that will most certainly gain the attention of our Government and make National news! Sadly, I think that is the only way to save our wild horses short of legal action against the BLM. If everyone involved knew of and get support from attorneys to take on our case pro bono, we might just pull it off.
        I am sick over this.

      • Chris Posey says:

        “the force behind the removal of the horses is more likely the oil and gas companies for fracking purposes rather than the cattle industry.”

        Wyoming’s Red Desert is on top of a large oil shale formation that would provide lots and lots of oil, at the same time these companies will destroy the natural beauty of the land. The state government doesn’t care a fig about the land, they’re invested in getting energy/ranching going even though Wyoming has national park quality lands that the people of Wyoming and outsiders actually love. This is a shame that greater investment in renewables instead of fossil fuels does not exist. Ranchers are invested in the energy companies, so they’re involved in both – one hand washes the other.

        You’re right about the lack of national media coverage. If there is any, they side with ranchers and pro-slaughter groups with the constant mantra that the wild equines are out populating sheep, cattle and even rabbits. They spew such lies and blame wild horses for everything bad that has ever happened to the West. It’s such a shame how these people including the biased liberal media spin such fabrications. Surprisingly, even wildlife advocates from Wyoming exclude wild horses. They just talk about the sage grouse, a beautiful and unique bird, but still not a horse.

      • Obama said something similar to this in one of his campaign speeches!

        I also have lost any faith in the US Government and the Supreme Court – especially for their ruling on Citizens United where corporations are allowed to pump unlimited funds into election campaigns. Seems that the power of money now rules the land!

    • Judy Elliott says:

      OMG… It’s too late to send today, right? I was writing about the Lake Massacre Herd yesterday…didn’t see this one. I’ll be sick if I missed this. 😦

  7. Steve says:

    AWHPC needs to be called out…They take credit where credit is not due and manufacture crisis’ all an effort to collect donations. Otherwise they could not afford the PR firm and pay their executives really GOOD salaries!

  8. Jeannie Jacobs Parisi says:

    Hi Rachel
    Sending my comment now and praying. I feel fo you and o course the horse,

  9. Brigitte says:

    Comments sent, thank you for providing the info Rachel.

  10. Margaret says:

    I added my own comments to the AWPHC petition. But then I think I wrote one of my own–before now. And just now. Happily I didn’t take the time to read the entire blog here–I stopped at the address–and wrote one (another one?) of my own. And sent it. Then I read how they had to be in before noon. It’s before the witching hour here including the change for the time difference.

    • Thank you, Margaret! Where did you see the comments had to be in before noon? That’s bad news! The info on the BLM website just said by 09/27. I wrote 4 p.m. MST in this post because I have written enough comments to the Rock Springs to know that in the past, they’ve always said before the close of business on the given day. I can’t remember if that is 4 or 4:30 so I wrote 4 in the blog to play it safe.

  11. Susanne says:

    There needs to be an investigation into conflicts of interests governing decisions of removals! A memorandum of roundups for population studies of returned native-wild horses. Noo fertility control unless population studies prove overpopulation. So what you are doing is wrong! This is very unneccesary for a pipeline. Soo much land availanle for all wildlife!

  12. Wrote a letter in my own words, none of them positive. A very direct letter. Just wanted to let you know, I tried.

    • Karen DiBagno says:

      I too sent an email in my own words. To the point, that I was completely against these actions and wanted to go on the record! How can anyone sit ideally by and let this happen??? NO

  13. Alice Singe says:

    I really just cannot enjoy life anymore, if this is the type of thing is allowed in the 21’st century. People used to say, “The future is going to be a better, brighter place.” Well, things like this have proved them wrong for sure. In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s we made movies and T.V. shows about how the 21’st century was going to be an amazing, humane, shining world where we would have the chance to do things great without being judged, questioned, or humiliated by other people’s insecurities. Those T.V. shows and movies never showed herds of animals being killed by a “humane and secure” government. It never showed huge pipes containing one of the most dirtiest fossil-fuels being carried throughout what used to be, “America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. You’d have to be pretty damn brave to be free now in the U.S., take it from me. You want freedom? You want to show that your human rights mean anything? Stick up for yourself, for others who agree, and for Wyoming’s wild horses.

  14. Debra Gordon says:

    So, the horses re-seed any place they graze. Cattle damage every place they are, and have to be moved once the land can no longer support their grazing, because they damage it. Trees die from their trampling root systems, watersheds become polluted with their feces, and parasites, and the hormones, antibiotics, and wormers they use… Science says there is no need to remove the horses, but the ranching interests hold the BLM by the throat, or another soft body part, and squeeze. So, the BLM works in lockstep with the ignorant ranching interests to go against science to remove, sterilize or kill the wild horses, so they can NOT have any competition for their herds. Not only that, if the ranching interests are afraid of coyotes, wolves, cougar, they can have them eradicated from anywhere because these animals threaten their herds. Then the deer become too plentiful and eat grass, then hunters run rampant, and the ecology is once again threatened, all because the ranching interests say so. This is the most ridiculous way to manage anything I’ve ever heard of. Leave the horses alone, lower the cattle numbers. Why do the ranching interests get to make all the calls regarding wildlife?

    • This is an excellent point. Sheep are also very prevelant in Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and White Mountain (I am not sure about Divide Basin) and they decimate the range wherever they go. It is very unfortunate that our tax dollars pay so much for subsidized cattle grazing that damages the quality of the rangeland.

      • Debra Gordon says:

        I am vegan, so it is easy for me to say lay off of beef if it is from ranches that do this kind of grazing before they are “finished” at a feed lot before butchering; but doesn’t it make sense to boycott that which we perceive to be so wrong? There are local farmers who raise their cattle on their land, and shouldn’t we make the effort to support them over the ones who are killing the populations of our horses off? I (I would call for a boycott of all meats, but…) say find that local farmer, and support him, over the beef you find in the store. Find a farmer who will raise the beef, get a co-op together to purchase one, and stop purchasing them from the meat department at your store! They only listen when it hits them in the pocket book. Right now, the Cattle Ranching Association believes they have nothing to lose but the competition to their herds- the horses and burros. And we know they would rather they died, than eat one blade of grass, or drink one sip of water before their cattle or sheep. It is shameful. We have the power, we should really use it.

  15. I AM SO SICK TO DEATH OF ALL THIS KILLING OF OUR AMERICAN HORSES . STOP STOP STOP …the round ups the starvation , the cruelty and the killing. We want these horses protected not eliminated …this is the voice of the American people all over the USA . Those who are killing our horses are rich fat cats that are killing our whole world ..this must stop now PLEASE we must get humans who understand how our world works ..not those who are so greedy they risk the lives of all of us and take away our heritage

  16. Shawna Dockery says:

    Please let our wildlife alone let them be they are not directly hurting anyone or thing. Quit trying to make it better they are doing well with the circle of life. Mind your own garden and stay out of theirs! Enough is enough our government needs to quit messing with others including animals lives!! Blessed be All!! There is room for All

  17. Well done. Wrote and shared on Mustang Meg.
    Here’s a sample of what I wrote:

    More herds being zero’d out and more wild horse lands are being taken away from the original 54 million acres. Really? I would like to remind your office about some important management regulations for our wild horses and burros on these “wild horse and burro designated lands since 1971″…

    § 4710.3-2 Federal Regulation- Wild horse and burro ranges:
    Herd management areas may also be designated as wild horse or burro ranges to be managed principally, but not necessarily exclusively, for wild horse or burro herds.

    Another critical piece of Federal regulation states: “If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.” (43 CFR 4710.5 (A)).

    Federal law cannot be violated under a consent decree.

    While BLM is to manage the rest of our public lands as “multi-use”, the above clearly states that ‘wild horse herd areas’ are to be managed a bit differently from the rest of the of the 245 million surface acres of our public lands – that on the 54 million original acres designated wild horse and burro lands as established in 1971, wild horses and burros are ‘priority’ and lands are to be managed accordingly.

    Please reconsider. Thank you for your time.

  18. Rene' says:

    sent my letter to the address given in the blog. Maybe if they don’t want to see it, hear it or consider it, I asked them to send me to someone who will hear, see and consider it. So tired of all of this hide and seek, zeroing out herds all over the place.. and for what? Cattle, sheep, oil and gas? The BLM are a bunch of morons. Yep, I said it. Their double standards is enough to make an entire continent sick. If someone doesn’t sue over these round-ups… the next time we blink there won’t be horses out in the wild anymore.

  19. Tracy says:

    Thank you for this post. I wish you didn’t have to write it. I, too, appreciate the realization of the lack of help of the form letters. I started with your three sentences, but that soon turned into several paragraphs. I’m so sick of this fight having to be fought all over this country…

  20. rlebt says:

    Hey love, I just sent a mail to the bml, even if I’m too late, I still guess it should work. You’re wonderful!!

    Love Rain

    • Thank you so much, Rain!! It’s not too late at all! A couple hours early in fact. Sorry I haven’t emailed you back yet! This has kept me busy. I will try to this weekend or Monday at the latest. ❤

  21. Jamie Palko says:

    I think the Government&State politicians have done enough damage to this country already! Leave The WILD HORSES ALONE! Jesus Christ everything you people get your hands on you destroy!

  22. donna says:

    Leave the horses where they belong. Its land intended for them. Why do they have to be destroyed or moved from their home?

  23. EVERYONE HAS SAID IT ALL FOR THESES BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN WILD HORSES, THEY HAVE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE HERE AS THE CATTLE THAT ROAM THE RANGES, THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS WAY BACK WHEN. IT JUST THAT THERE ARE MORE & MORE GREEDY PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD & DON’T CARE ABOUT OUR HERITAGE OF THESE MAGNIFICENT HORSES. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL IT WAS NOTHING TO DRIVE THREW THE WEST & SEE THESE MUSTANGS, NOW YOU SEE NONE. WHAT A SHAME.

  24. Anonymous says:

    For once let go of the greed and do the right thing, PLEASE!! These magnificent horses are one of God’s glorious creations and they are icons of our Western heritage. Please do not let the blessing they are to so many of us be taken away. Do the RIGHT thing. Respectfully, Cathy S. Matthews, Nashville, TN.

  25. karen says:

    These are America’s horses! They are part of our history. They are protected by LAW! Put aside the greed and protect our wild horses. PLEASE.

  26. Donna Godwin says:

    Here’s what I wrote, feel free to use any or all (copy/paste), if you call (307) 352-0329 or email them- BLM_WY_RockSpringsRMP@blm.gov with the subject line ‘Wild Horse Scoping’
    Here’s a sample of what I wrote:

    More herds being zero’d out and more wild horse lands are being taken away from the original 54 million acres. Really? I would like to remind your office about some important management regulations for our wild horses and burros on these “wild horse and burro designated lands since 1971″…

    § 4710.3-2 Federal Regulation- Wild horse and burro ranges:
    Herd management areas may also be designated as wild horse or burro ranges to be managed principally, but not necessarily exclusively, for wild horse or burro herds.

    Another critical piece of Federal regulation states: “If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.” (43 CFR 4710.5 (A)).

    Federal law cannot be violated under a consent decree.

    While BLM is to manage the rest of our public lands as “multi-use”, the above clearly states that ‘wild horse herd areas’ are to be managed a bit differently from the rest of the of the 245 million surface acres of our public lands – that on the 54 million original acres designated wild horse and burro lands as established in 1971, wild horses and burros are ‘priority’ and lands are to be managed accordingly.

    Please reconsider. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Donna Godwin

  27. Laurie Reggiannini says:

    FREE COUNTRY THIS AMERICA????

    I don’t think so, when what all these people want to do is PREVENT FREEDOM for an American Tradition, the America’s Wild Horses.

    Eliminating America’s Wild Horse is WILLFULL & CHOSEN EXTINCTION and BLATANT DISREGARD for “AMERICAN HISTORY”.

    I Live in Massachusetts, a Land where the Pilgrims Landed, a Land NAMED AFTER an American Indian Tribe and WE have NO WILD HORSES! We don’t even have Native American Indians in the Population.

    Weymouth, Massachusetts used to be FILLED with WILDLIFE & Horse Stables.

    It is a SHAME & ASTONISHING to know that there are people BANNIG TOGETHER to BANISH WILD HORSES FOREVER! All for the sake of GRAZING Domestic Animals?

    URBAN SPRAWL will KILL everything WILD, and I will NOT Sit Back & Watch It without a FIGHT.

    Please RE-CONSIDER your act of ABOLISHING America’s Wild Horses.

  28. Adahy Linda says:

    THEY NEED AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION BEFORE HARMING ANOTHER HORSE !!!POPULATION STATISTICS ARE FLAWED , ! IF THEY DO NOT CARE WHERE THEY END UP ,,, SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO WITNESS A RENDERING PLANT FROM START TO FINISH ! National emergency !!!!

  29. Penny Zerr says:

    Why would anyone want to destroy such gorgeous animals. They are part of our history. They have every right to live as much as you or I do. As long as there is open ranch there should always be Wild Horses.
    No, No, No. This is evil to even consider murdering these these American Icons! Please stop this madness!

  30. Wendy Forsyth says:

    It boggles the mind that the BLM is behind the murders of so many of our national icons. Please put a stop to the madness.

  31. Anonymous says:

    This is so wrong at every level. It is inconceivable to me to do this to our natural resources of wild horses and burros. It is insane and pure greed, all for the sake of using the land for cattle and profits! The BLM is so wrong in this matter and the American public knows it!

  32. elizabeth loftin says:

    My Blood Has Just Ran Ice Cold Through MyViens !!!! And the movie ” The PostMan ” just ran thru m y head !!!! What is OUR GOVERNMENT TRYING TO DO………PROVOKE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. INTO A WAR WITH THE BLM !!!!!! LEAVE THE HORSES ALONE !!!!! You have no legiment excuse for killing these horses, except for lining the pockets of “FAT POLITICIANS !!!! GOD WILL SURELY RAIN

    DOWN HIS WRATH ON THOSE WHO KILL THESE KILL HORSES !!!!! ” YOU WILL DROP LIKE FLIES !!!!! Just test Gods FURRY….AND WATCH WHA
    T HE DOES !!!!! READ REVELATIONS !!!!! GOD IS SENDING HIS SON ” JESUS CHRIST ” BACK TO THE WORLD TO CLAIM HIS CHURCH……THE CHURCH IS HIS CHILDREN, HIS PEOPLE !………..This killing of the Horses, is of Satan !!!! I am warning you of HIS WRATH !!!!! It’s Best You Protect & Save These Horses ! THE EMPLOYEES OF THE BLM, THAT HAVE ALREADY KILLED 1000’S OF GODS HORSES…..are already Bound For Hell !!!! Do You Want To Join Them In Hell !!!!! ?????

  33. Anonymous says:

    If the land is intended for the horses and the ranches have problems with not enough land for their animals to graze then maybe they should cut their herds down. Leave the horses alone and where they belong in the wild.

  34. Sharon Maxey says:

    Leave the horses and burros and let them roam free. They are part of our history. They do not deserve cruelty or death by human.

  35. Dana says:

    BLM land belongs to the American people. Mustangs are a part of the American heritage. It’s the law! The American people demand that our government abide by the laws that have been passed by our Congress. We are in an angry mood and if this disregard for what the people want continues, you will all lose your jobs…and your benefits…and your cushy retirements. We are fed up with our government’s disregard of its employERS.

  36. Deanna says:

    This is so wrong at every level. It is inconceivable to me to do this to our natural resources of wild horses and burros. It is insane and pure greed, all for the sake of using the land for cattle and profits! The BLM is so wrong in this matter and the American public knows it!

  37. Anonymous says:

    AS A NATIVE AMERICAN I AM INSULTED AND FURIOUS THAT THE BLM AND GOVERNMENT WILL NOT LEAVE OUR HERITAGE ALONE !
    WHY CAN’T THEY DO THE RIGHT THING AND BE BUSTING THEIR BUTTS TO PROTECT OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND HERITAGE THROUGH ETERNITY ??????????
    TO THE GOVERNMENT ….I AM A REGISTERED VOTING CITIZEN … AND I HAVE A VERY LONG MEMORY !

  38. Anonymous says:

    WHY do they all be to be spayed or castrated? why cant you just cull out the stud colts that are born every other 2 or 3 years and cut the ones that are with the most un desired traits, like overbite, things NOT allowed in registries? There are so very NICE horses out there, ALSO what happened to the birth control SHOTS for mares, that are supposed to last for 3 or 5 years? THAT is MUCH better that SPAYING mares. I always thought BLM was FOR the mustangs,,,, BUT I guess I guess the cattlemen pasture money is more important than the West’s heritage. BLM,,, about 10 years ago, I was all for you NOW I don’t respect you at all, SAVE THE WILD HORSES IN A MORE HUMANE WAY.

  39. Jackie Bass says:

    I AM OUTRAGED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ABIDE BY THE WISHES OF THE AMERICAN VOTING CITIZENS AND CONTINUE AGAINEST OUR WISHES, TO ERADICATE OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND OUR NATIVE HERITAGE !!!!!!!
    THIS IS WRONG AND NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME ! IT’S AGAINEST THE LAW AND THEY ARE BREAKING THE VERY LAWS WE WANTED PUT IN PLACE TO PROTECT OUR HERITAGE AND RESOURCES !!! I TOO AM A VOTING CITIZEN AND WILL CAMPAIGN AGAINEST EVERYBODY IN THE GOVERNMENT CONNECTED TO THIS OUTRAGE AND MURDER OF OUR PRECIOUS HERITAGE AND RESOURCES !!!

    • Gloria Kersey says:

      The laws are already in place. The BLM just chooses to ignore the laws and us and do whatever they please! They are corrupt and have been bought out by big oil, gas, and ranchers! They think they can do whatever they want and we can do nothing about it! It’s time to demand the disbandment of the BLM or at the very least, a whole new staff! These monsters have no compassion nor conscience for the destruction of America’s wild mustangs and burros!

  40. Veronica Danie says:

    Please Please people. Think about this horrible crime.

  41. Marilyn says:

    this is an outrage! there are many things that should happen here.
    The lives of these horse’s are of value. I for one would love to see the wild horse run before I met the creator.

  42. What gives them the right to play God & kill horses or any other animals. Just because horses breed & multiply does not make it ok to kill them. If that is the case, every living species throughout the entire world do that, including the human population. Are they going to start killing the human population just because there are to many people? All the horses originally came from the wild to begin with.

  43. Mary Koloamatangi says:

    Please dont wipe out the beautiful mustangs there are more viable ways of controlling their numbers they are a precious part of our country..

  44. Devonna Ellen Mcrae says:

    “Stealing horses is stealing power” was a statement made by a historical native American. Humanity made a great leap forward when horse was domesticated, a discovery akin to that of fire. Before horses humans were earthbound, heavy laden, slow creatures indeed. Once humans climbed on Horse’s back, they were free and fleet as the wind. Through the special relationships with horses man altered their self-concept beyond measure.
    Today in our society we think we have learned it all and gained all we need from the creatures of the Universe “God’s holy creatures”! Even the engines with the term “horsepower” a reminder of the days when horse was an honor and highly prized partner with humanity. How is society repaying our horses for giving us travel and freedom to roam in todays world? There will come a time when all is gone, animals, trees, plants and existence as we know it, we will be no more!
    When all the “Wild Horses” are gone and can roam no more on our land, then too will man be gone. The land will become dry and lifeless just as man will be hard and cold, numb and lifeless. “Ego” has taken over the compassion in man’s mind. The lack of admiration and respect for all living creatures and our “WIld Horses” will soon be and is now being seen in our society among the young children and humans… the race for what a state of nothing? The Balance of the human race is gone and has taken over the thoughts of man in his urge for power to control all the land, all the animals, and all of our mere existence as a people.
    There is no power without the winds of destiny. There is no destiny with animals. Man cannot and will not survive without our animals. Is the destruction of our NAtions “Wild Horses” the destruction of us? Compassion, caring, teaching, loving and sharing your gifts, talents, and abilities are the gateways for the survival of humanity. Not death of God’s holy creatures “WIld Horses” for as surely as they are all removed so too will the existence of Humanity be next.

  45. Badger Creek Farm says:

    I’m sorry I heard this so late. I sent them a rather long email expressing my displeasure that they are failing the public interest.

    Praying it helps.

  46. Debra Nix says:

    I hope they can save them from being wiped out!!!

  47. Marie Sandra says:

    My name is Sandy but many know me under my author name of Emry Kale Owens. I am a huge advocate for the mustang and have spent my life from the best view in the world….the back of a horse. They have taught so much to so many. Perhaps the best response to this judge is to ask…….what makes them not a historical figure?? Every part, every piece of history is embeded with the hoof prints of the horse. They symbolize not only the spirit of our Native culture that was virtually wiped out they symbolize our country. The wars we have fought the battles that we have lost and the many we have won. We do not live in the United Kingdom where there are glorious castles left preserved through the centuries, we live here in this country, the United States where the voice of the people should echo more loudly then any judge’s gavel. We do not have castles of stone to symbolize our history we have teepees and buffalo…..and the horse. Dominion has taken all but one of these away and now the one piece of time that has stood against the changing pace of a changing world…….the wild horse…..is being slowly torn away. Rounded up, broken, slaughtered, neglected, forgotten. Many people speak of our great country as though it was just suddenly built, they far to often forget that it was fought for, died for and through those battles it was the sound of hooves beating upon our soil that carried our soldiers to victory. So again to the question “Why should they be protected?’ ….the answer is simple…..because as time moves forward we grow further from our roots farther from a world that so many of us long to return to, we are reminded that world once, and in some places, still does exist For those who long to see it they need only to drive across state borders where they can then find the past running freely, and they can share the beauty and the freedom of a world untouched with their children for the first time. These wild horses are not government property they belong to every citizen of the United States….and on this site alone there are over 60,000 voices uniting to protect them…..that should stand for something.

  48. Genevieve Hernandez says:

    Please eradiate the wild mustangs in Wyoming and all of U.S.

  49. Chris Posey says:

    Thank you Rachel for your blog and your pictures of magnificent horses. I’ve signed petitions, letters, and wrote my own e-mail, knowing that all of this is falling on deaf ears. We need to petition government to declare Wyoming’s Red Desert an extended wildlife study area or a national park. I’m not sure if all of the HMAs would fall into this land, e.g. White Mountain, etc. The state government of Wyoming is not thinking clearly, because such land is invaluable, but as Sec. Jewell said, recreation brings $650B into the U.S. economy, many people would love to see Wyoming. Therefore, all that fracking/drilling will just wreck not only the land, but the gorgeous wildlife. All of these should be protected. So where does one start a petition to have Wyoming declared a national park before it’s too late?

  50. Kelly Militello says:

    Dear Rachel,
    Thank you so much for all the information on form letters. I had no idea. I have been signing them and forwarding them for years. I have a Divide Basin mustang and it brings me to tears what may become of all the horses there now. Please keep the updates coming. I want to help any way I can. God bless you for all you do. Thanks. i

  51. Melissa Maser says:

    As both a resident of Rock Springs, Wyoming and an advocate fighting for these herds that surround my home I’m profoundly effected by Wyoming’s plans ..I’m so ashamed that they have sold out our Icons of the West to appease the Greedy Rock Springs Grazing Association who also owns shares to the large petroleum companies. Oil and gas lease incompass these herd areas..They pay off the BLM for this at OUR Wild Horses expense. There is enpugh land here that they should allocate some for these beautiful horses. They won’t…… all for greed..! Shame on Wyoming. They sold out our horses !!!!! I am on the list to observe the roundups. This will be one of the hardest things in my life to witness. Its something I feel I must do. I must. I pray Ican help me control myself ! I visit our holding coral. This is my home ! Tears for them !!

  52. Julie Young says:

    White rain turns to black tears the moment the mustangs ceased to exist.

  53. Melissa Maser says:

    Initially roundups were to be per -Serena Baker, this October And November . But it was not yet on the Calender.Inked in.. I don’t think they have any definite dates. They do not have the room is the hold up. Coral is closed for ” cleaning ” to October 15..There is alot going on out there ……! Very Surprised, I spoke to her this
    week. And receive all emails. Hope your right ! This gives us more time !!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t kill these beautiful creatures. Let them run free like God intended, they are part of the heritage of the US and should be protected. There is room for all of them . Please don’t harm them. (from the UK )

  55. ROGER says:

    The BLM must stop this senseless act of greed just so cattkl ranchers can have more land to feed their stock on.This is our land,ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.Leave the horse’s alone.This just another instants of the government,wether State of Federal giving in to big business’s and the HELL with what the people want.STOP IT NOW.

  56. Tina Wooten says:

    BLM why?? How could you just keep torturing and destroying Wild Horses? Why are you trying to destroy what everyone loves, ” WILD HORSES & WILD BURROS , your torturing and breaking literally millions of hearts and FAMILES apart! BLM stop this dark BLM WAR against Wild Horses!!!
    If you dont stop then America will stop you! BLM you have started a war! BLM you only get back what you out in this world and you have only put HELL in it!!! ” Wild Horses were meant to be free for all the worlds hearts and eyes to see..”
    — Tina Wooten

  57. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Why, oh why do people allow such EVIL to go unchecked ??? Wild horses are in the same realm as “Unicorns” to most of the world and why would you destroy such a magical, peaceful creature ???!!!! Jori R. Hamilton

  59. janwindsong says:

    Reblogged this on Song of the Horse and commented:
    It is too late to comment on the EA for this series of rondups that BLM has negotiated with this grazing association. But keep your ears to the ground for developments as this very dirty plan comes up out of the sewer it was conceived in to the fresh air if accountablity. After consideration of the many comments by the public, I am sure BLM will have to make its case very carefully, and well they should.

  60. janwindsong says:

    Ive commented separate from reading this blog. Sure wish I had seen your berakdown first. Amazing and thank you. BLM has sold out in the worst way. We’ll see how they justify what they do once they come up with their record of decision. this wll not be pretty. Everyone should be ready to fight with their pens.

  61. NANCY says:

    LEAVE THE 4 WYOMING HERDS WHERE THEY ARE AND LEAVE THEM ALONE. NO ROUNDUPS FROM BLM.

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