BLM says stampede is a “dirty” word

New Article from Horseback

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Officials of the federal Bureau of Land Management have become increasingly sensitive to the media’s frequent use of a common English word. Horseback Online and many other news sites have used the word “stampede” to describe what BLM bureaucrats in Washington routinely describe as a “gather.”

In a note to Horseback on the first Monday of the year, BLM’s chief Washington spokesman Tom Gorey said, “Wild horses and burros are not stampeded during gathers. Go observe one for yourself. Stampede is an anti-BLM propaganda term, pure and simple.”

Horseback responded.

“Tom, stampede is a word common to the English language. Your response drove me to my copy of the 2,129 page Webster’s Universal Dictionary,” said Horseback Magazine Editor Steven Long. “The definition I quote in the first reference is ‘A sudden headlong running away of a group of frightened animals, especially horses or cattle.’ That seems to fit perfectly what I have seen in every video of the BLM roundups. I don’t view it as a propaganda term whatsoever, and I’m certainly not anti-BLM as you well know. It is simply a term which best describes for my reader, in common language he will understand, what is going on. While I’m certain BLM would prefer me to call these things a gentle trot down the trail, that doesn’t seem to be fitting considering hundreds of horses have died in the process.

Horseback has also learned that controversial BLM chase contractors, Cattoor Livestock Roundups have been awarded a new five year contract.

“October 1, started a new contract for the wild horses roundups and CLR, and another company, Sun J, received the two awards for the next 5 years,” Sue Cattoor told Horseback Magazine last week. We asked Ms. Cattoor about the new firm.

“They are not based out of Nephi, but out of Vernal, Utah, and they are not related to us,” she said.  

Asked if the BLM had used any new criteria in awarding the contracts to Cattoor in light of the unprecedented number of wild horse deaths in 2010, Gory said it was business as usual.

“The Cattoors have demonstrated an ability to conduct safe and humane roundups, so that’s why their contract was renewed,” Gorey said. 

Today, CNN ran a story critical of BLM’s wild horse roundups showing a helicopter flipping a donkey with its skid. The news network didn’t identify the company chasing the burro. 

Horseback asked Gorey if pilots actually touching animals with the skids of their helicopters was taken into consideration in awarding contracts.

“Regarding the new footage concerning the burro, I’m trying to get the specifics of where and when this happened,” Gorey said.

Read the rest of the article on Horsebacks Online site:

Reminder that BLM changed “Roundup” to “gather” and then tried “harvest” on for size… propaganda?

The photos are from Twin Peaks 2010, Cattoor Contractor.

They "trot" horses, don't they?




Twin Peaks


BraveHearts Last Stand

Repost from AWHPC

by Suzanne Roy, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 6, 2010, amid the vast landscape of the Silver King Herd Management Area in southeastern Nevada, a mustang family lost everything in a BLM helicopter roundup.

I looked down from a hill above the entrance to the capture site to see a striking white mare, running at full speed, with her young foal at her heels. Galloping just ahead of the helicopter was a beautiful sorrel stallion, forehead lined with a wide white blaze. He lagged behind his family, torn between making a run for freedom and protecting his mare and foal, even if that meant following them into the jaws of the trap. The stallion, who we have named Braveheart, chose family over freedom, and it cost him his life.

Not long after his decision, Braveheart charged the bars of the trap pen, defending his mare and foal against an enemy he recognized: another horse. Though the BLM contractor clearly observed that his saddle horse was causing Braveheart’s agitation, he tied his mount just outside the stallion’s pen. To Braveheart, the saddle horse appeared to be within striking range. Braveheart didn’t know know men and their metal fences wouldn’t give way to his charge. And, slamming himself against the metal fences, he went down.

BLM often claims that horses with broken necks die instantly. They don’t.

Braveheart fell down after sustaining a mortal injury, but then he struggled to his feet. Head hanging down, he searched for his family. Could he see them nearby? Could he hear or smell them as he lifted his great red-gold head one final time?

As Braveheart lay dying or dead, the BLM wranglers loaded his white mare into a trailer. Dazed by defeat, she no longer struggled. Her stallion was dead, her foal forcibly taken from her.

Next the wranglers dragged the stallion’s body, covered by a tarp, onto the same trailer, forcing the pale mare to stand over her dead mate.

An endless 40 minutes later, the truck drove off, leaving the small foal, who looked just like his father, alone in the trap pen, never to see his mother or sire again.

At the holding site, dirt was piled atop the stallion next to mounds containing the bodies of numerous other victims of this roundup. Our requests to film the body were denied; when we filmed the backhoe and the stallion’s body awaiting burial from the distance, the government-contracted wrangler drove the truck and trailer around to block our view.

Ben Noyes, the BLM wild horse and burro specialist, refused our request to speak to him to get information about Braveheart’s death. Throughout the two days that we attended the roundup, Mr. Noyes refused to speak with the public and answer questions. The PR person charged with being the spokesperson often was unable to answer basic questions about the Silver King capture operation.

My colleague Deniz Bolbol and I captured the whole scene on video, despite the best efforts of the BLM to prevent us from doing so. We participated in two days of “public observation” at Silver King, during which the BLM’s main objective was to prevent us from capturing and exposing the images that convey the anguish, the trauma and the suffering wild horses endure in the BLM roundups.

BLM observation rules prevented us from observing and videotaping all aspects of the roundup including when the horses enter the trap. That is the moment they realize there is no escape, and the full impact of their capture is visible as they struggle mightily to kick down or climb fences. BLM also prevented us from filming the actual sorting of horses, when foals are wrenched from their mothers, and mares are taken from their stallions.

In previous roundups advocates have been allowed to get close enough to the trap and holding facility so that wounds could be seen – now the BLM keeps the public at such a distance that makes observation nearly impossible. It was only because we stood firm on our rights to travel the public roads in this public lands complex that we captured Braveheart’s final moments.

Sadly, this rainbow, which greeted us as we arrived at the trap site on Tuesday morning, brought no luck to the Silver King mustangs. Our wild horses aren’t looking for a pot of gold; they just want their freedom. It’s up to us to be their rainbow.

Braveheart standing guard over his mare moments before he broke his neck by charging the fence.

In Braveheart’s memory, we will continue the fight. Meanwhile, we have told BLM that we would like to adopt Braveheart’s mare and foal. After this ordeal, this pair must be reunited. It’s the least we and the BLM can do for these brave survivors.

Note: Return to Freedom is taking this mare and foal and attempting to reunite Silver King with his family. Visit Return to Freedom for more info.

Wont forget you

Pre-existing injuries…


One of the three I weas actually able to see the first day prior to loading…

post sorting/loading/handling

Note BLM’s update page

September 27
Gather operations resumed this morning.  The BLM gathered 29 wild horses, 12 mares, nine studs and eight foals. 
Gather related animal deaths: 0Non-gather related animal deaths: 4 – The BLM today euthanized four horses.  Three of the horses were blind in one eye from previous injuries.  The fourth horse suffered with a severe sway back

Also note that NO shipments to Gunnison are listed at all. Even the load that I followed to Gunnison where I was told the horses in the next pen were there from Silver King in an earlier shipment. (printed it out and took a screen shot… so go ahead and change it… again. It has already been changed after I told them the numbers in the field did not match the numbers on the site).

ASK Tim O’Harvey the new BLM appointed spokesman  (edited to retract: new Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board member) about the facial injuries and his experience at Twin Peaks as he told me advocates need to “give” more… and retract a statement they felt was false… as I stood there with Sue Cattoor the woman that in print blamed me for the deaths in Owyhee and I held it up for “days.” (If y’all remember the delay was created when BLM called a halt to activities because of the need to create an “emergency” plan. Injunction held a day…)

Hey Tim… you understand NOW what I was trying to tell you?

Without meaningful access to activity there will never be any accountability… NONE.

Last shot for today…

They "trot" horses, don't they?

The beat goes on

Been on the road and have a minute to try to catch up. I have received a ton of email in the last week. Some of it I have responded to, some not. It’s hard to dig through. If you have sent something urgent that I did not respond to, please send it again… and accept my apology.

So much is happening right now.

People keep asking me “what can I do?”

We had the meeting in Denver. It was honestly filled with promising dialogue. But it is just dialogue at this point. The report wont go to Congress until the fall. Who knows if anything will come after that.

But for now we hear the same beat of the same old song.

More meetings where we will be told not heard.

A very suspicious gather of horses deemed “estray” by the BLM to be turned over to the NV Dept. of Ag. They go to slaughter… legally under current law. But the timing and the area make you go hmmm… for many reasons.

Rental rates for Solar energy developers are announced. But there is no cost comparison for you to see… for that to be known you need to dig.

Horses continue to die from the Calico roundup. Observers denied an ability to witness the gelding of older horses… told “you have seen all there is to see.”

Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district doing quite the sidestep after talking about cooperative monitoring.

And the beat of helicopters …

Change in this issue will only come when we have a full cost recovery system on public land. When lease holders actually get off the welfare line. But that action will only come through Congress. On all public land, not just places where horses are being forced off through manipulations of the multiple use mandate, lease holders are being allowed to reap private profit off of the taxpayer. Each lease requires an environmental impact statement that BLM field offices can’t perform in the manner truly needed to determine what those leases will do to our land. Ongoing effects to our wild resources can not be monitored as they should because the “powers that be” (in each field office) are not accountable to anyone but themselves. Conflicts of interest within our BLM/DOI are overwhelming and if they existed in the private sector would find themselves wrapped up in our judicial system in a manner that does not require the public to privately attempt to bring suit.

Write your Congressional representatives.

Write your newspapers.

Write your President.

The issues we are dealing with attempting to gain protections for our wild herds are identical to issues faced with any group looking for reform. In many respects our country is not regulated by our government… our government is regulated by special interests. The “checks and balances” have been removed through the lobby efforts of “industrializing” public land (not just on public land, everywhere)… on the back of a rapidly decreasing middle America.

But the symbol of the spirit of “freedom” is paying a great price.

I do not understand why in this time when America herself stands at this cross road we do not find it inside of ourselves to hold the symbol of the American Mustang high? We need all the reminders we can find of what it once meant to be resilient, brave, free…

not this…

No Investigation of High Death Rate

Government Contractor Paid Almost $700 K – 113 Horses Dead and no Investigation of Calico Capture

(Taken from Horseback Online)

"Freedom's Escape" 2010 Craig Downer

By Steven Long

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – A Nephi, Utah, government contractor was paid $697,359 for a Nevada roundup of wild horses in the Calico Mountains. The roundup was held against the advice of federal judge Paul Friedman of Washington D.C. who wrote that holding wild horses in large privately owned facilities is likely against federal law.

At least 113 horses have died thus far, including two foals that shed their hooves after a helicopter stampede over rocky ground in the dead of winter. A BLM vet has acknowledged that the roundup was the likely cause for the foals to lose their hooves in an excruciatingly painful end of their lives.

Information on fees paid by the federal Bureau of Land Management to Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc. was released late Friday to Horseback Magazine by Deputy Division Chief Dean Bolsted of the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The large number of deaths in the roundup is unusual.

In 2008, 45 percent of the roundups resulted in at least one fatality, and on one in Nevada, 27 horses died. The total number of deaths through injury or for other reasons totaled 126 animals that year.

Alternatives to the helicopter stampedes approved by the agency include baiting and trapping, however, BLM directs the type of capture when a “gather” is scheduled.

According to Bolsted, government horse capture contractors are paid for the number of horses captured, feeding and watering for animals kept at the gather site overnight, and transport of animals from the capture site to designated short term holding facilities such as Fallon, a Nevada holding pen and processing site..

Private landowners in a capture area do not reimburse the government for removing wild horses from their property. The animals are often considered a nuisance to western ranchers and have been sometimes referred to as “the cockroaches of the west” by some.

The percentage of dead horses on BLM roundups in 2009 was slightly worse than the previous year at 46 percent resulting in at least one horse death. A mid-summer Wyoming gather proved fatal to 11 horses – tiny by comparison to this year’s Calico roundup.

As of late 2009, a total of 205 horses over a two year period died at the agency’s hands during roundups to thin the herds despite the vastness of the lands managed by BLM. The agency controls almost 260 million acres, much of it is vacant, and over a million cattle graze unmolested on the land, some of which was once reserved for wild horses. The number of 205 dead horses does not reflect the number of foals lost due to miscarriages.

Asked by Horseback Magazine if BLM plans to launch an internal investigation, Bolsted said, “No internal investigation of deaths is planned.”

The roundups by BLM have drawn protests from coast to coast. The next is planned for Washington D.C. on March 25, when activists will set up shop across from the North Front of the White House in Lafayette Park.

The BLM response to the burgeoning scandal has been a proposal to set aside seven wild horse refuges, dubbed “Salazoos” by activists after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former Colorado rancher.

Sen. Mary Landrieu and others have called for a Congressional investigation of the Bureau’s Wild Horse and Burro Program which administers the animals under the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, or “Wild Horse Annie Law,” named for the late Velma Johnston of Reno.

Horseback Magazine has repeatedly sought an interview with BLM director Bob Abbey, who has thus far turned a deaf ear to repeated requests.

The captured Calico horses are currently held at the BLM’s Fallon facility. Neither press nor public are allowed to observe the agency’s treatment of the animals, conduct a census, or to spend prolonged periods in their presence. The gates are opened to infrequent and tightly controlled viewing by small screened groups for one and one half hours. Only one reporter or photographer will be permitted from each media outlet during the next scheduled viewing.

Press and public were also not allowed unfettered access to observe the Cattoor roundups of horses in the wild. Horseback Magazine offered to have only experienced mounted journalists and wildlife experts in the field with company and BLM wranglers to observe the helicopter roundups.

Armed guards were on site to prevent observation of the “gather,” as was the case in late 2009 at Montana’s Pryor Mountain when the iconic wild horse, “Cloud” was captured. The horse was the star of three PBS specials by Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens.

Kathrens will speak at the Washington D.C. rally.


Calico Complex 2010 Cattoor contractor

I noticed in my “internet” wanderings that Sue Cattoor has mention me by name on her companies website.

Before I address what she actually posted, (if I decide to address what she wrote pertaining to my name) I want to address the forums in which people use the Internet and their implications.

Many of you that follow my blog know that the use of language is a subject I find rather interesting. From the way we communicate with each other daily, to the way language is taken from a theory into practice, is becoming a subject that occupies much of my thoughts.

As we attempt to move the issue of “Wild Horse and Burro” in America into a phase where dialogue toward problem solving becomes a possibility, the use of language will clearly take on more importance. I urge you all to become very aware of terminology and it’s implication.

In “electronic space” you and I now occupy “the blog zone.” I am an artist by trade that has created a blog to share “Information, thoughts, photographs, expression (with horses at the heart).” My site takes comments for open discussion of what I blog.

Courtesy of dictionary online:

Main Entry:              blog

Part of Speech:              n

Definition:              an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log

Example:              Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

Sue Cattoor is writing about the gather activities on the Home Page of what appears to be her business website. Not a blog page, not a page nestled in the site that promotes her livelihood… but the “Home” page. Her writing is not on the BLM website. She does not publish her website with BLM approval of content nor does it represent the BLM. She is a private contractor running a business. That business receives revenue from the BLM as well as from other government contracts and private entities.

I asked Tom Gorey of the BLM about Sue Cattoor’s Informational authority on BLM protocol. This is his response, (it was the expected answer):

Laura ~

Sue Cattoor speaks for herself and her company. The BLM has its own

representatives to speak for the agency.

The Bureau shares information with Ms. Cattoor that is relevant to the

contracting work she does for the agency. Beyond this, she has access to

the same information available to the public that is posted on our


~ Regards,


So within the parameters of human language there are certain implications to the manner in which her writing is presented.

  1. The importance of these “updates” would be priority to her company because it is listed on the “Home” page.
  2. The implied official capacity she writes from as the holder of a government contract adds weight (implied) to her writing.
  3. The inclusion of her Company address adds another “communication” tool that again implies the authority from which she writes.

Cattoors website can be viewed here.

Many of you that follow this issue will read what she writes and see the manner in which she presents “what happened” as distressful. But consider the source, consider the placement, consider the language as you read. Consider the business that she operates.

Yet do keep in mind that her testimony is relevant to the perpetuation of her contract as utilized in BLM assessments on gather operations. Then read again what Gorey wrote in response to my question.

Now go back to Cattoor’s website. Click the “Information” tab.

She answers questions such as this one:

Problems Inherent in the Passage of the 2009 ROAM Act

…with excerpts from an article by Sue Wallis. Highlighted in yellow is a provision I have not seen in all the hours I have poured through ROAM looking for issues with language.

(OK, so I should have put the “remove liquid from mouth” warning prior to directing you here)

Or this:

How can you watch a wild horse roundup?

“Some of the lies being circulated on the internet this summer contain statements that say the contractors and BLM do not want and sometimes do not allow people to watch wild horse roundups.  As contractors, we always work with the BLM to accommodate visitors and photographers…”

Do I need to go on?

You might like this one:

Things that we do to assure the welfare of foals.

“…If the pilot sees the foal or even a weak or old animal is getting tired, he radios the wranglers at the trap and they go out with saddle horses and a horse trailer and load and transport the foal or other animal to the trap…”

The photos make you want to grab the kids and head out to a gather for a picnic.

So my dilemma is this:

Does this actually deserve more of my time? Or do I just prepare for DC?

What is “Viewer Discretion?”

Struggling Foal pushed by chopper

*Feel the need to put this at the top.

Please do not bombard YouTube. This article is just “food for thought” on the real care we need to use when choosing our words that will define our reality. And a reminder to be “extra” aware right now how we respond to the words we are given.

Many of us post things on YouTube. Kids share their adolescent angst, parents their kids achievements, you can find just about anything on YouTube. I’ve seen flowers grow in slow motion and I have heard from my teens there is a guy that boasts about peeing in mailboxes.

I’ve never had any issues with posting on YouTube until now.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a brief video illustrating some of the actions sanctioned by the Obama administration and carried out by the Bureau of Land Management.

Here is a YouTube of Ken Salazar talking about a trip to Yellowstone he made with Obama.

Salazar was Obama’s choice for head of the Department of Interior. Here is a Youtube of Salazar reading to school children.

The clip I posted simply shows footage and documents location and notes that the foal died and the reason.

Within a couple of hours people had trouble viewing it. They were getting this message:

You must be logged in to view this video.

The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate. Viewer discretion is advised. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

This video is unavailable.

A few hours later it was running smoothly and people could see it. Then I was notified that error messages began to appear on the link again, and then in a few hours was back up. Last night I tried to view the clip and received the error for over an hour. (I have uploaded content before from the same program and not had this kind of  difficulty).

The next video was put up to show how horses are processed at Palomino Valley. The intent of that video was to show that observing the process is not as dangerous as BLM is stating as they bar the public from witnessing the horses processed at the new Fallon Facility where the equipment is identical to that in my video.

This video was up for over 24 hours without any issue. Equine Welfare  Alliance put out a press release and within one hour it was flagged. Same code:

You must be logged in to view this video.

The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate. Viewer discretion is advised. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

This video is unavailable.

It’s up now and running fine. Again all it shows it processing horses. An action sanctioned by the Obama administration and carried out by BLM.

Flagging the posts in itself really means nothing. It changes nothing.

But what it does do is illustrate language and it’s effect on us. At  first I was confused and upset that the video would not get out to people. Then I received email from others that were really upset that the video was down. People that really care.

So I thought for a minute.

A few definitions courtesy of the internet dictionary:


Pronunciation: &-‘fen-siv

Function: adjective

1 : of, relating to, or designed for attack <offensive weapons>

2 : causing displeasure or resentment; especially : contrary to a particular or prevailing sense of what is decent, proper, or moral offensive way> —see also OBSCENE —of·fen·sive·ly adverb —of·fen·sive·ness noun


Pronunciation: \ˌi-nə-ˈprō-prē-ət\

Function: adjective: not appropriate : unsuitable

— in·ap·pro·pri·ate·ly adverb

— in·ap·pro·pri·ate·ness noun

not appropriate; not proper or suitable: an inappropriate dress for the occasion.

Now let me ask you this:

Was the subject matter contained in the videos offensive?

Was it inappropriate?

(OK,  this creates  another interesting question if the actions in the video are condoned and funded by our government, doesn’t it?).

YouTube warns:  Viewer discretion is advised


/dɪˈskrɛʃən/ Show Spelled[dih-skresh-uhn] Show IPA


1.the power or right to decide or act according to one’s own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice: It is entirely within my discretion whether I will go or stay.

2.the quality of being discreet, esp. with reference to one’s own actions or speech; prudence or decorum: Throwing all discretion to the winds, he blurted out the truth.

I believe they can bank on it.