BLM responds to allegations of “Inhumane Treatment”

Press Release from Wild Horse Freedom Federation 

New “Game Plan” may be on the table

Orphaned Baby at Triple-B Holding ~ photo by Laura Leigh

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – In declarations supplied to the Court in the current TRO motion, that alleges inhumane practices atBureau of Land Management (BLM) Roundups, information has been disclosed.

“Because BLM has not achieved it’s management objectives during the time allotted to this gather,” States Alan Shepherd of BLM, “ it will be necessary to complete the gather in more than one stage.”

In press releases BLM stated that this operation was to complete the end of August. Telephone inquires made today, Monday, also confirmed this as the “understood” plan for operations.

Shepherd’s declaration outlines a plan for the use of water trapping and getting helicopters back into the air as soon as feasible before February 28, 2012. He sites the inability to capture the projected number of horses on “scattering due to human and helicopter pressure” and hiding in “dense tree cover.”

Shepherd makes an assertion that if BLM does not complete the push to lowAML that after foaling season next year they will be over AML.

“I have read Mr. Shepherds declaration,” says Plaintiff Laura Leigh, founder ofWild Horse Education (WHE) and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation(WHFF) “basically he is asserting that paying for a team to water trap, or to rush and squeeze in another roundup pre March 2012, makes more sense than another operation to be (possibly) conducted in 12/13. It is indicative of the type of logic that has gotten this agency into such a fiscal hole, “full-steam ahead without discussion that perhaps we should change strategy.’ ”

Shepherd’s declaration does not address any of the specific instances in Leigh’s declaration to the Court. He does not address an incident where evidence presented to the Court asserts that Shepherd himself approved operations to continue as a foal remained missing. His declaration simply asserts he observed “no inhumane treatment.”

The last four large roundups conducted by BLM have not reached projected removal numbers. At the Calico Roundup of Winter 2009/2010 BLM stated they needed to remove about 2,500 animals, yet only removed 1,922. At the Antelope Roundup in February BLM ended operations early, under a storm of public pressure, due to the number of pregnant mares and poor weather.


Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c3 status pending.  WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.

Hold Your Wild Horses…

There is a lot of “talk” about BLM calling Triple B tomorrow. Folks saying DC is saying tomorrow is the last day.

Since when has DC ever been informed on the reality of what is going on?

AS in any case there are documents filed. After they are filed the contents become “public knowledge” and are open for disclosure.

BLM responses will be posted soon along with declarations from our motion. There will be clear areas of “interest” to any conversation that wants to learn how this agency operates in a Coutroom. There will be clear areas that demonstrate how citations of case law (and their interpretations) can be far reaching.

My head needs to go back down.

I wanted to address issues as well of other rumors. In no way is this case supported by any agency or individual that has “big pockets.” In no way is my work “funded” by anything but you.

I promise you that I am trying. But there is a destructive element that impedes progress. I am a human being, and like any other, have my limitations of patience and tolerance.

TRO filed, personal perspective

I have been working non-stop for the last 4 days on these documents with my attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno.


What I document in my almost daily observations of horses either on the range, in holding or at trap sites is more akin to a “feral livestock trash removal” operation than the humane care of a protected equine species. This animal is the only animal in our country to have an entire act of Congress devoted to it’s protection and humane treatment. Yet the agency fails to enforce the most basic of humane standard of care. This “conversation” is overdue after 40 years of this Act being in the hands of a “land management” agency.

During Triple B I have travelled back and forth across the state three times. I had a friend get altitude sickness and she went to the hospital. I have had my dog get sick. “Our” attorney, Gordon Cowan, lost his father last weekend.

But the Motions got filed. I went through the photos and edited more video. I looked at doc’s and did research. It all breaks my heart. Looking at situations that would cause most horse owners to be cited yet searching for an avenue of accountability… and the actions are perpetrated by my own government…. it boggles the mind and simply hurts my “American” soul.

There are a few of you that have helped with this effort and I am forever grateful that you have faith in me to bring this forward. I am trying. I pray everyday that I find the door and the right words…

Most of my family is currently on the East Coast in the path of Irene.

I still have work to do… an awful lot of work to do… but tonight I just wanted to express my gratitude, as a human being, to those of you that have had the fortitude to stand tall. It aint easy. It aint over….

Before the chopper flies...

Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit

Now you know what I’ve been working on. I need your help to stay in the field and continue to develop a chain of documentation.

Donations can be made to support Litigation at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. You can mark your donation “HUmane Case” or donate to the general fund to help pay cost for other ongoing Litigation efforts.

Orphan at Triple B

Feds found to be in violation of own humane standards

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) filed a lawsuit and companion Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Federal Court in Reno Nevada on Wednesday, 8/24/2011. Through their Plaintiff, Laura Leigh, the issue of “humane treatment” will enter into a Courtroom.

The Wild Horse and Burro Act that passed unanimously in 1971 was done with the expressed intent of protecting the “living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West.” Yet questions of humane treatment, including basic care like water and feed, often come into question during actual roundup operations.

Now 40 years later the question of “humane care” will have its “day in Court.”

“Day in, day out, roundup to roundup, I see the same issues,” said Leigh WHFF, VP and Founder of WHE (Wild Horse, “lack of water in holding, feed given inappropriately and a pilot that flies dangerously close, including contact with an exhausted animal. When you view these animals in their natural state and then witness the disregard given to our symbol of freedom, it is a direct blow to your soul.”

Leigh has witnessed more roundups than any government or public observer in the last 18 months. She has spent countless hours documenting wild herd behavior and the process these horses face once they are removed from the range.

BLM states it operates under regulation 43 CFR 4700, including the following definitions:

Humane treatment means handling compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to a wild horse or burro.

Inhumane treatment means any intentional or negligent action or failure to act that causes stress, injury, or undue suffering to a wild horse or burro and is not compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community.

“Accountability within the actual activities of the BLM has been an ongoing issue,” states WHFF President R.T. Fitch “actually finding an avenue to address the core intent of Legislation has been almost impossible. If this is an issue that needs to land in a Federal Court to actually begin a dialogue than that is exactly what we will do.”


Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c3 status pending.  WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.


NOTE: The lawsuits have been transferred to


Regarding your account: WildHorseEducationThe YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content that may not be suitable for all viewers:

Horse hit with helicopter_Triple B

As a result, we have age-restricted this content.

For more information on YouTube’s Community Guidelines and how they are enforced, please visit the help center

The YouTube Team

working on a big project and you will all know about it tomorrow… but thought this interesting.

If kids can’t watch it… is it humane treatment?

BLM, if you are going to LIE

At least make it a challenge to catch you.

And if you want to blame this on poor communication, again… you really need to fire everyone in that loop.

BLM>Nevada>District Offices>Ely District Office>Gather Reports
Print Page
Ely District Office

BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program Logo

Triple B, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas Wild Horse Gather

Gather Reports

Date/2011 Comments
Aug 20
Summary: The BLM gathered 35 horses today.  The BLM did not ship horses this morning.
Animals gathered: 35 (11 studs, 17 mares, 7 foals)
It was observed that a foal was orphaned and was laying down while in holding.  It has since paired up with a blue roan mare, and was nursing the mare when staff left for the afternoon.It was also observed that contractors had difficulty loading an uncooperative mare into the trailer at holding.  Both CORs reported that a cold (not charged) hotshot was used to load the mare.  The mare eventually cooperated and was loaded into the trailer, without being shocked.
Gather related animal deaths: 0
Cause: None
Non-gather related animal deaths: 0
Cause: None
Temperature Status: Low of 58, high of 80 degrees.
Weather Forecast:
Sunday and Monday – Sunny with a high near 86 degrees.

The mare was NOT that difficult. She was also not loading into a trailer… at least that one. I’m sure the hotshot was used more than once that day.

AND there was no BLUE ROAN in the pen. NOT ONE.

I also have pics of “Junior” coming in off the range… wanna post a pic of mom and I’ll post my pics? You show me yours and I’ll show you mine?

Video am.

I’m fighting with the internet connection and need to sleep.

Triple B: Saturation

I have to admit I’ve hit saturation.

I have a high tolerance for documenting what happens to our wild horses with the goal of bringing the images to the public that can not be here on the ground. Documentation to educate and work toward reform.

My tolerance for the bald face lying has evaporated with the last bit of moisture from my skin.

I saw a heavy, young wet mare (either close to birth or just having done so) hotshotted. The claim was they did “everything they could” to make her move.

I’ll get the video edited… no they didn’t. She was the very last horse and was holding up the conclusion of operations so that the contractors could run into the air conditioning… and off to the rodeo.

A tiny baby from early morning still had not paired up. I watched that baby clack it’s teeth, try to nurse off of other mares and get pushed away. I watched that baby lay down exhausted and not one muzzle came to check on the babe.

I asked Bruce Thompson, Elko district WH&B specialist, what the protocol was to determine that babe was orphaned… In other words when was some lazy son of a ____  going to come sit at the pen… see the TINY babe without a mom and give it electrolytes or milk replacer. I was told they would check in the morning… when I asked why the two contractors operate so differently (I don’t like what Cattoor does but Sue identifies orphans and cares for them immediately). Thompson actually had the … what would you call it … nerve?…. to say he didn’t know what I was talking about. I told him I’ll send him a tape… (and the film crew they were trying to impress actually had already seen Cattoor match mares and foals and knew excatly what I was talking about).

Then I was warned the second time by the security guard to “watch myself.” Don’t worry folks, I was miked the whole time… I am never out of line. They control what I can see, they control where I stand… but they can not control what I say. IT IS THE TRUTH.

Six horses fell in the chute today. Two of them limped afterward, one was rather stunned.

You all know I like feet… they say so very much.

(BTW they only give a walk around on “Announced observation days.” In other words once a week).

I will get edits up including a foal getting caught in the jute as soon as I can. I have had six flat tires this roundup. Lost my sway bar lionks. Had to have brakes done, too. I am thankful every day that truck actually still runs…

A few pictures for you.

Will this be a "pre-existing" condition?

Horse down in the alley

Another horse getting crushed in the alley, six today.

...... why don't they care?.....

EVERYDAY with this contractor... every damn day

early morning run for your life

After being "protected" by our Federal government through their chosen contractor Sun-J

Have you seen my mom?

I need your help to keep up the work. I promise I am working hard and will have an announcement soon.


8-14… Hey BLM! it’s foaling season!

Tired… will edit video tomorrow.

Just don’t feel right unless I get you all at least something each day.

So we are going to do ridiculous statement of the day…

Ken Miller “The horses aren’t even sweating.” And then “it’s not foaling season.”

OK… two ridiculous statements… but there were so many I lost count.

Not foal?

pic taken today.

not sweat.... sprinkled with dust?

Yeah… I’m getting really tired of the rhetoric. If we can’t have honest dialogue based on truth…. hmmmmm…… thinking….


Response to “observation” opportunity at Sheldon NWR

Horseback Magazine

Steven Long, Editor


Open RSVP to Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge             August 12, 2011

Dear Mr. Collins,

I will not be attending your crafted “public observation” of the roundup of Wild Horses on Monday. The idea that perhaps three hours, and maybe one run into the trap, is observation is offensive.

The Refuge’s history of conducting operations out of public scrutiny after the “Sheldon Massacre” of 2006 is obviously continuing. From the limited observation, and questions that must be submitted in writing 24 hours after the email is sent, is content control at it’s zenith. The Refuge makes grandiose statements about policy change toward improving public relations that ring hollow.

Your press release about protecting Sheldon horses from slaughter gives no comfort. The protocol is identical to the past with the exception of pit tags.

Horses will still go to two contractors that are not known to the public (Carr’s being the exception). Sheldon has no budget to do any follow up on these horses.

The horses that are so “graciously” being returned to the range are being released in the same irresponsible fashion as you have always done. You will perform vasectomies without doing any follow up on behavioral ramifications. You will perform hysterectomies in holding.

I don’t need to use considerable resources to be shown nothing, and that nothing has changed.


Laura Leigh

Horseback Magazine

Leigh’s response is to the following email she received while attending the brutal summer roundup of the Triple B Complex in Ely Nevada. Where once again it appears discriminatory access has been given to Associated Press as Leigh has been told she can’t listen to a radio (new Nevada state policy) and can not be near the CORE during operation (AP videotaped Ben Noyes, WH&B specialist on the radio during a run).



Fw: Sheldon gather observation


08/12/2011 03:10 PM

Ms. Leigh,

Greetings from Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.

We are working with the contractor to select an appropriate location for the gather site and subsequently an appropriate location for media observation of the Sheldon NWR 2011 horse gather. We will not know the exact location until Sunday afternoon after the gather site has been selected, but anticipate it will be in the vicinity of Big Spring Reservoir. Much of the gather area will be closed to public entry from August 14-17, but we are organizing a viewing trip for a limited number of media (due to vehicle and staffing limitations) on Monday, August 15. The viewing trip should provide opportunity to observe helicopter activities and at least one group of horses entering the gather site.

An independent observer for Sheldon NWR gather and sorting operations, Dr. Julie Wiekel, will be available Monday during the media trip for interview. We request you reply to this email with potential interview topics and questions for Dr. Wiekel in writing no later than 5:00 p.m. August 13 in order that she may provide any necessary specifics and details in her responses.

Because the area will be closed to public entry once gather operations are underway, the Service will provide a vehicle and staff escort for media representatives. Please be prepared to leave your vehicle at the rendezvous location during the observation period.

Here are the logistical details for media representatives who wish to observe the Sheldon NWR gather.

Date: August 15, 2011
Time: 9:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m
Rendezvous location: Sheldon NWR at Hwy 140/ County Rd 8A Jct.
Necessary items: water, food, press credentials

Please RSVP if you plan to participate in the media viewing trip.


Aaron Collins
Park Ranger/ Public Affairs Officer
Sheldon-Hart Mtn. NWR Complex

8-11 Foaling season

Very early in the day…

Foals... 8-11

As the days warm up we do not see babies like this. Horses go into the trees as it gets hot and babies sleep… they also can’t keep the distance nor pace this pilot flies… How many don’t make it in? It is a VALID question. Particularly as you evaluate the way this pilot fractures every group, no exception, that he pushes.

I am tired. Will get video up soon.

WHE Press Release: Triple B report


Palomino Foal, the first foal euthanized at Triple B

Draft Report of Triple B Roundup released

Wild Horse Education has published the draft report on operations at the Triple B roundup in Nevada.

The report contains photographs and video of the roundup during foaling season that has already taken the lives of 9 horses. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “gather report” claims these foal deaths have been due to abnormalities in the young horses. Documentation obtained shows otherwise.

“The development of the foals I have seen are all within normal range,” says Laura Leigh, founder/President of Wild Horse Education and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation “Joint development in young foals has a broad range of normal. None of the foals I was actually able to observe showed any fatal abnormality other than inflammation and damage from a run that never should have been allowed to happen.”

Other issues with this roundup include over driving, poor loading, lack of appropriate amounts of water and lack of public assessment opportunity.

Report can be downloaded for printing and faxing to Congress at:

Wild Horse Education



This beautiful horse broke out (jumped the panel after capture at the trap) and stood by the jute… moving forward and back… forward and back… as his family loaded.
After the trailer (with his mares) went past him he shot up the hill behind us… then eyed the trap from the other side of the hill calling to the babies… he moved off as vehicles came in but stopped as a trailer came back up the road… and called to see if his family had come back.

Off in the distance you could see a chopper… he briefly headed toward the band being chased and then so very slowly… with head down… went down the road… and over the horizon.

I have seen thousands and thousand of horses loose everything they have. I don’t normally name them.

But this horse is “Allegiance.”
It is what he demonstrated and what we owe him.

I will edit video and get images together as soon as I can… but I am exhausted… have hours of tape and pics to log of over-driving, atrocious flying, BLM admits hotshot use and more.

As well as a few tears to shed tonight.

A local auto shop fixed my truck today even though I couldn’t pay… he said to bring the money when I get it… but to get out to the range and keep an eye on “our” horses….

Tears for many reasons tonight… these people that live here love these horses… but they are not a mine or ranching interest… they are just people that read the local paper and live their lives in this hard, but beautiful place… and cherish the ideals of Freedom and survival that “our” horses represent.


Driven into the trap

Allegiance... I pledge to you...

8-6 preliminary vent

There are days and then there days.

August 6th was one of those days.

As I sit and try to edit video to tell you all that was seen I am hit with an inability to edit. Every basic concept of humane treatment was broken. Every basic concept of common sense went out the window. Every basic demonstration of the simplest concept of equine behavior was non-existant.

The drives were long, no matter what is placed on the BLM site. Drives were well over ten miles. One group ran for over an hour and had a foal. They were run. The horses were confused and panicked.

A horse was left pinned between the trailer and the trailer door (after getting it’s head caught in an inappropriately set panel) while a group of horses are driven into the trap.

Exhausted foals are chased.

In holding evidence of injury.

The same issues with the bare minimum of feed that is NOT distributed in a manner to the best interest of the horses, but to convenience of the contractor.

The same water games with the foal and adult horses.

On this one let’s do the math one more time… 15 gallons a day is what BLM states a horse drinks. A 50 gallon tub filled 2 times each day is 100 gallons. 45 studs, in July and August, need more than two tubs. A nursing mare needs more than 15 gallons (according to BLM).

BLM according to the law YOU are responsible for making decisions on the ground. That includes determining that in the heat the horses need water. That includes determining if horses, and tiny babies, are being over-driven. That includes making the call that handling is too rough and counter intuitive.

BLM you can make the calls that include leaving a horse lost while horses are driven in. BLM you can make the call that a horse remains “wedged” for over ten minutes as other horses are driven in. BLM you can also actually make calls that are for the welfare of the horse… not just the “expediency” of the operation.

I am trying to edit video down to appropriate lengths. Youtube takes ten minute clips. I am sending the rough edit (over 25 minutes) to someone that may be able to get it cut into sections. I am trying to get everything logged… but need sleep.

Blew a tire and spun out after over an hour driving fast on gravel and dirt to try to catch a trailer…

If you can help get the truck fixed and keep gas in the tank it is appreciated.

some pictures from 8/6, video soon

Third horse to try to break through panels sloppily set against the trailer. This one got her head stuck.

Rope around her neck they use a horse and rider to pull on her neck.

Left wedged while another group is driven in

Any horse owner knows feet and legs speak volumes (holding)


Few photos from 8-5

Slept early last night. The ay before I pused and added an extra four hours to the day to do both trap and temporary. I will edit video together of the horses caught and then loaded this evening.

But this mare went down in the alley as they tried to sort her from her baby…. and then she stops at the pen they put her little one in before being loaded to go to PVC.

Down in alley

Stops at the pen to see her baby before loading to PVC (babes loaded into compartment after moms)

This IS foaling season

If you can help keep documentation coming please donate:

Triple B- August 4

Back at Triple B.

An advocate came out to help and had serious health issues that took priority.

Considering the issues at Triple B… I came back.

Added an extra 4 hours of additional driving to an already long day to go to temporary. )and an extra half a tank of gas). Many of the issues are so unnecessary and sad.

It is almost 11. Just finished loading video and images… So I will get all of that to you tomorrow.

But want to kind of give you a flavor of the sense of frustration with this simple story in pictures.

We have all seen the issues with bands being broken during the drives. During foaling season this is even more of a problem Foals get left behind or separated from mom.

This band broke in two. Four members were chased around a hillside. Two were chased back. a foal and a grey. The grey was driven in. The foal roped. The other two …? At temporary I saw the grey… it’s a stud.

4 driven

2 driven back

grey driven in

foal chased (why? just spot from distance as runners come in)

foal roped

pregnant mare

I’m tired… much more to post… but if you have babies just weeks old and pregnant mares you have newborns out there. But no newborns are brought in.

BLM… it’s foaling season. Your handbook prohibits roundups during foaling season… just because you say it is not foaling season doesn’t make it the truth.

I am sorry I am posting so late but I will get video and more up tomorrow. The extra 4 hours to go to Temporary took it’s toll.

If you can help with expenses:

edited to add video: This is NOT well edited and so much more happened today. But really want to drive home that… no matter how you feel about roundups being “justified,” JULY is NOT an acceptable month to operate.


Palomino Foal

Taken from BLM Triple B “gather update” page

1‐ A 2‐3 weeks old palomino foal was brought in with a pre‐existing deformity on the right front fetlock joint. The foal was showing some signs of lameness and could not stand straight on that leg. Exercise associated with the gather activity likely aggravated the condition and the foal was standing and walking with difficulty. With the heat and activity of the gather the foal also showed signs of respiratory distress.

She was treated with injectable procaine penicillin and flunixin and sorted into a smaller pen with the mare. The flunixin injection to be repeated once daily for 3 days. The signs of respiratory distress subsided substantially over time, however the right leg was still exhibiting the same symptoms causing lameness. This deformity would most likely affect the animal’s survival in the wilderness, and reduce the animal’s quality of life for the foreseeable future. The deformity has a poor prognosis for recovery. The decision was to monitor the condition for a few days and consider euthanasia if no improvement is noted.

Final disposition, on July 25, 2011 this foal was re‐examined:

The foal was not improving in condition. She had been treated daily with anti‐ inflammatory injections for 3 days to relieve pain and showed no improvement. The foal as euthanized based on no improvement in her condition, the limb deformity and a poor prognosis for recovery from the lameness.

Palomino Foal Euthanized July 25

Palomino Foal Euthanized July 25

Palomino Foal Euthanized July 25

help keep documentation coming:

edited to add:

Wanted to add some more information in case this page goes to those interested in WHY this is so outrageous.

ANATOMY lesson.

First take a peek at this illustration so you know what part of the horse we are talking about.

Now read this quote about an adult, trained athlete, named “I Want Revenge.”

“The ultrasound exam that was performed on May 3 showed changes in the middle distal sesamoidean ligaments (also known as oblique sesamodean ligaments), which are the ligaments below and behind the fetlock  joint that support the fetlock during high speed exercise.”

Now look at the illustration on the page the quote comes from to understand the rest of the anatomy.

Now just look at this breeding website on foals, quote: “So, your new foal has arrived, it is now about 3 weeks old and most probably enthusiastically skipping around the paddock and causing Mum a few annoyances! By this stage any initial tendon problems have usually righted themselves…”

scroll down and look at the photo… that baby would have been euthanized, but is within the range of NORMAL. If we continue to run these horses during FOALING SEASON they will continue to DIE.

IF this agency continues it’s pattern of “shell game” all we will have are “new policies” that block the public from hearing that runners are going out. We will have policy that hides these deaths…. Roundups should NOT be occurring during foaling season. It is inhumane and a violation of the Act… no where in the Taylor Grazing Act nor in FLPMA does it allow for the most basic violations of humane treatment we are witnessing.


Smart Litigation effort Bears Fruit!

In Field want to share this with you!
BLM Caves to Lawsuit and Abandons Unscientific Plan to Castrate Free-Roaming Wild Horses

August 2, 2011 by admin · Leave a Comment

Environmental Groups Challenged Interior Department’s Plan to Manage Wild Horses to Extinction

For Immediate Release…Washington, DC (August 2, 2011) . . . This morning, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it was withdrawing a controversial and unscientific plan to castrate free-roaming wild stallions and convert two viable wild horse populations in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in southwestern Wyoming to “minimally-reproducing” herds comprised primarily of geldings.

The announcement was made during a status conference call today on a lawsuit against the plan, which was filed on July 25, 2011 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Western Watersheds Project a local Wyoming couple and wildlife photographer Carol Walker.

“By galloping ahead with this destructive plan, the BLM ignored over 10,000 public comments and the opinion of experts who warned of the irreparable harm that would be inflicted on these wild horse populations, but the agency could not ignore a federal lawsuit,” said Suzanne Roy, Campaign Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

Under the proposed action, the BLM would have rounded up every horse that it could find in the two HMAs – or an estimated 900 mustangs, permanently removing 723 of them and returning just 177 castrated stallions to the range.

“The BLM’s plan to sterilize wild Wyoming mustangs made clear the agency’s intent to manage wild horses to extinction, in flagrant violation of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” Roy continued. “It’s a shame that citizens must turn to the courts to force this agency to respect and uphold federal law.”

Roy indicated that the plaintiffs would now consider their options for further action once the BLM issues a new decision record, a move that is expected by the end of the week. It will be the fourth action proposed by the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office for these HMAs and the third decision record issued for this roundup plan. The agency has agreed to postpone any roundup activity until September 1 or later. The roundup had been scheduled to begin on August 16.

Last week, scientists and other experts filed declarations detailing the harmful impacts the proposed action would have on the individual horses, the wild horse herds and the environment in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas. The declarations were attached to the plaintiffs motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.

For background on the legal action, including news coverage, new releases and copies of the complaint, please visit the AWHPC website here.

More … “new normal”

There is an interesting phenomenon occurring at the moment:

The questions I put on this blog, and subjects I discuss, seem to get more of a response from BLM than the questions I ask when onsite… so now I will raise some more issues in the “food for thought” category and see what happens.

Vet Report on Two Foals that I asked folks to call for is posted on the “gather update” page. See Report Here

This is very interesting… are you paying attention DC? See if you can follow….

Here is the “palomino” foal:

July Roundups = Injured babies (dead babies)

Both foals noted in vet report are in this video:

Here is a quote from the vet report

“A 2‐3 weeks old palomino foal was brought in with a pre‐existing deformity on the right front fetlock joint. The foal was showing some signs of lameness and could not stand straight on that leg. Exercise associated with the gather activity likely aggravated the condition and the foal was standing and walking with difficulty. With the heat and activity of the gather the foal also showed signs of respiratory distress.”

I have more photos of this babe if you need them. If you haven’t figured out the problem here I’ll explain it.

This foal died because of the roundup. This foal died because it is foaling season. The explanation given at the trap location by Alan Shepherd was that this baby had “weak tendons.” The respiratory distress is all roundup related. Many of these horses have suffered damage from being run in the alkali that will not be apparent until later. I’ll say it one more time…. this baby died because you are running foals during foaling season. This death is listed as “non-gather” related… (you can insert tears of frustration, and swearing like a truck driver, if you want to get the full picture of how this makes anyone who comprehends equine psychology and physiology feel, here).

Do you need to be reminded that these foals RAN from a helicopter?

THIS is the second baby (also in video)

Now this second baby has my ears steaming…..

I was told onsite that the second euthanized foal was the one that the runners had trouble finding (y’all remember the one I said I would NOT leave the trap site until it was found?) I was told that baby had been euthanized…. but it was this one. I was very afraid that this foal was NOT with his mom… but a family member. Sun J does not mark mare/foal pairs.

Excerpts from “vet report:”

Foal 1: Final disposition, on July 25, 2011 this foal was re‐examined:

The foal was not improving in condition. She had been treated daily with anti‐ inflammatory injections for 3 days to relieve pain and showed no improvement. The foal as euthanized based on no improvement in her condition, the limb deformity and a poor prognosis for recovery from the lameness.

Foal 2: Final disposition, on July 25, 2011 this foal was re‐examined:

The foal had a right front limb deformity which was causing an abnormal strain on the limb and lameness when walked or ran. In addition, the colt was not well developed for his age and was declining in condition. The foal had been treated daily with an anti‐inflammatory medication for three days to help relieve the pain with no sign of improvement. Based on the lack of improvement and a poor prognosis for recovery from the limb deformity and lameness, the colt was euthanized.

Excerpt from “gather reports online:”

Non-gather related animal deaths:  1
Cause:   A foal was euthanized as a result of a congenital condition involving the structure/conformation of the lower hind legs.

These ARE “gather” related deaths. The “deformities” were NOT noted in the population prior to the roundup. Any abnormality in the appearance of foal limbs IS because they are being run DURING FOALING SEASON. However my camera did not catch any abnormal appearance in holding. BLM may have pictures of  poor twisted baby limbs… but BLM is responsible for it… not nature.

ALSO: I am glad you are now including the terrain and temps in the gather report. You are also including “distance.” However I call “Shitzies” on that. While I sit out there I take my own temps. In winter you are 4-8 degrees warmer, in summer you are 4-8 degrees cooler. AND I asked if BLM had any observers watching pilot performance over the rise to spot horses that drop out and gage pilot performance and was told there was no one from BLM in those positions. UNTIL you get cameras on those choppers nothing you claim about distance is believed. You historically have shown your ability to pass absurd information to be uncanny. (Like shipping 34 horses to a facility and 36 arriving).

UNTIL a member of the public (not Advisory Board member) is allowed an opportunity to assess the trauma of a drive through respiration rates, any parameters that are deemed sufficient by BLM are NOT acceptable.

GET A CAMERA INTO THE CATCH PEN. If you can’t I’ll gladly set one up for you. (You let the Las Vegas Sun do it on a day you held me behind a hill and wouldn’t even take my press credentials out of my hand).

Last, but not least: lets see if you can get a working radio up to the observation area. Or is it too scary for the horses if the public can hear? I promise to not publish the number of times Logan falls off his horse.

On the Road Again

Just a quick informal update:

I have left the Triple B area. Another observer has come in. I had not originally planned to go to Triple B as I was under the assumption that others would be there and I could “track the gap” in the roundup schedule.

However sometimes things work the way they are supposed to even if you don’t realize it. I was able to further document the actions of Sun J at yet another operation. I have been at all of their activities since last fall. So the documentation is still an inclusive record.

Yet by not being able to “follow my gut” it appears (I have been informed, but have not seen the Press Release) that an unpublicized roundup did occur as I suspected it would. The gap in the schedule made me suspect Sheldon was “on the radar” and that proved correct. An estray roundup occurred in Oregon. Where they went, I don’t know. Winter Ridge will be “zeroed out” as it is HA, not HMA. (I have been to Winter Ridge and there are no horses there… only near the BIA land).

I am heading back to complete the work I began in the field and off to cover the Oregon Roundups. So at this point it appears that you will all be able to follow the activities of both contractors.

The photo I posted earlier on this blog IS of the foal euthanized. The other foal I never saw and have serious suspicions that it ever existed. If anyone has time to FOIA the vet report? Thanks.

Two articles on other investigations coming your way sooooooon.

Some pics real quick and then I turn the ignition.

July Roundups = Injured babies (dead babies)


Incredible black stallion that should have gone back to the range

Baby leaning on mom after a run that left him traumatized

Roundups should NOT happen in July. This is “no-brainer” stuff that makes the idea that any sanity or comprehension of what humane management means exists at all.

note: Alan Shepherd went back to his desk and is no longer at Triple B.