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.


21 thoughts on “BLM responds to allegations of “Inhumane Treatment”

  1. Louie Cocroft says:

    It appears to me that his agrument is “moot”.

  2. Paula Denmon says:

    Public pressure and proof to the court that the BLM, it’s contractors, and holding facilities do not even meet their own humane treatment standards is going to force changes to the Stampedes and Round-ups. And perhaps the continuing mis-information and down-right lies of Alan Shephard et al will be made public, and finally a Sunshine Law will force the true picture of this rogue agency into the light of day.

  3. polopaula says:

    I wish you the attention from the court that you deserve.. I don’t think it has anything to do with LUCK. Your case is well documented. If your TRO is not granted it will be because they once again use the “end around” scheme to avoid “facing the MUSIC”. And in this case it is a very discordant tune!

  4. praying for you and the horses & burros!

  5. Mar Wargo says:

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear everything!!

  6. Cecilia says:

    What does Salazar say about this? Or is he hiding as usual?

  7. Louie Cocroft says:

    All of “them” will most probably say what they are told to say. The big question is “who is telling them what to say and why?”.

  8. Louie Cocroft says:

    Burning Man Festival
    Wed. Aug 31, 2011
    Black Rock City
    Gerlach, NV

  9. Has it occurred to the BLM that the reason they have not collected as many horses as they had hoped is down to there not being as many horses as their projection, and not due to horses hiding under trees or tufts of grass or wearing invisibility suits or any other stupid reasons that they or any three year old they ask for a reason can come up with.

    • Mar Wargo says:

      Yes, Nigel, This is a ploy. BLM has changed numbers repeatedly and on any one HMA in a roundup year. One will see numbers simply changed. The reason is to be able to remove all of the wild ones and then claim they cannot find anymore. Then none are released with the majority having been removed. BLM always acts surprised but they get as many wild ones as possible using this and other rouses. It is all BS. The change policy as they walk.

  10. Hi Margo.The reasons that the BLM give are pathetically lame, how long do they think they can get away with it, it will surely catch up with them in the end.
    I just hope that it will be sooner than later.

    • Mar Wargo says:

      Time wise we are catching up and trying to head them off. So much damage has been done already. What goes on through the BLM with the wild ones and their range has just been a rush to destroy. We need to be healing the herds and not destroying them. Way over due to end this violence and displacement.

      What if there is not enough hay this winter? All they need is a huge excuse to kill them. They move with out permission from anyone. BLM is deadly.

  11. savewildhorses says:

    So Laura did they call the round up so they can claim your lawsuit is moot again?

  12. LynnIL says:

    YOU ROCK LAURA!!!!! and legal crew!

    BLM Pilot Conduct Ruled Inhumane at Triple B Wild Horse Hearing, Judge Issue TRO
    Horse Back Magazine

    Federal Judge “Deeply Concerned” Over BLM Defense

    HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Reno Nevada Federal Judge Howard McKibben has granted a temporary restraining order against the continuation of documented helicopter pilot conduct at the Bureau of Land Management’s Triple B wild horse roundup in Eastern Nevada. Citing his authority to enjoin an agency’s conduct where their actions have been demonstrated to be “in violation of an Act.”
    “I am deeply concerned,” Judge Mckibben stated to Eric Petersen, the BLM legal counsel, “that declarations presented to the Court by the agency do not address the issue, but simply deny wrong doing.”

    Judge Mckibben went on to recite the only declaration of the four presented to the Court, that addressed an instance where video taken by Plaintiff Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education (WHE) and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) shows a BLM contract pilot coming dangerously close to an exhausted horse apparently making contact with the animal was in direct contrast to what was recorded. He stated that the declaration by “defendant was not what he observed in the video as he could see an exhausted animal and the pilot apparently making contact. He said he did not appreciate the ‘blame the horse’ direction of the defendant’s statements.

    Although McKibben did not rule in plaintiff’s favor on other alleged violations, he did verbally address the defendants. For example in the insufficient water assertion McKIbben said that if the horses drain the water they should simply be given more.

    “I was honored to have the opportunity to bring these issues into the Courtroom,” stated Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno. “This is a beginning to addressing this most basic premise of an Act of Congress that still has significant public interest.”

    Mckibben also noted that if the BLM brings a helicopter contractor back to Triple B, as stated in Alan Shepherd’s (BLM) declaration, “this Court will be watching

    • Laura Leigh says:

      I had to get release done and then out to RT… who is overseas… and then released.
      Sorry it took so long to let y’all know.

      But I need your help to keep going!

      • LynnIL says:

        Sorry I couldn’t wait and have been checking all morning. As soon as I read it on Horseback I had to start to scream!! I knew you and RT were probably both working on the official announcement but I just couldn’t wait.

  13. Karen says:

    Thank you Laura, Gordy and all who have worked so hard toward this wonderful victory–first of many. Amazing there are still judges out there who believe their own eyes.

  14. MAYBE there just aren’t as many horses as the BLM thought there were…

    MAYBE they are not reproducing nearly as quickly as the BLM thinks they are… since there is no scientific documentation as too the correct numbers…

    OR maybe the horses are getting smart about the helicopters and see them as just another predator to outsmart… : }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s