New Video from 2/9

The “relentlessness” (only word I can think of) of the outrageous conduct at the Antelope gather continues.

The issues are so many and range from actually having to notify official personel that there was only one 50 gallon water trough for 10-30 horses (do the math… 15 gallons each day per horse) to the conduct that demonstrates the pilot repeatedly flying dangerously close to horses (despite the BLM press release… c’mon!).

Have we learned nothing? Has our government become a dense faction of ostriches and cowards?

We have horses dying behind the “Iron Curtain” of Broken Arrow(aka Indian Lakes) of pneumonia. I warned them at Eagle and Callaghan that these horses are vulnerable to respiratory illness. Because there is no “temperature rule” we will have the same vulnerable population entering the warehouse system from Antelope.

Is America a leader in humane treatment or are we a “sell-out” nation?

****Note about 2/3 of the way through Is that Sun-J wrangler beating a horse in the face with his “baggie” and then turning the whip around to hit him with the stick end?



It has been a bit of a “rough trek” trying to report to all of you the treatment of our horses as they are rounded up and handled by the BLM. I am still trying to get a report on the actual trap for Horseback.

In Tonopah we had an AML of 3 at Paymaster because they didn’t want to list as a “zero out” and to allow a horse or two to cross the border on occasion.

Observation was discriminatory, again.

It has taken me some time to edit the footage together that I have to give you all a “taste” of the frustration. It is frustrating to view the tapes and review the documentation.

Gather reports:

Field office data… Please note the number of “Fast tracked” projects and that so many use WATER. Also note how proud the district is of how much gold and silver come from the land (we all know about mining and what it does to WATER):

Note the date on this project that utilizes heliostats (water) in the federal registry, Sept. 3, 2010 with expected approval of Dec. 2010:

Warning in New York Times article: 

“The Nevada controversy highlights the emerging conflict between the Obama administration’s plans to greatly expand the use of renewable energy and the concerns of those who fear solar arrays, wind farms and geothermal plants could disrupt or destroy wildlife habitat and soak up precious water supplies in the arid West.”

But OUR horses are just about gone now in this area and the main reason given is lack of water… but we can bend over (literally) to create avenues to “fast track” projects, yet can’t find a way to make sure horses can get water.

Silver King video soon… Just need to push through the frustration. 

Edited to add stills.

We watched loading only after Horseback called DC


Paymaster AML of 3



Tonopah's one day of Observation



The Silence of the Foals and Journalists


Gordon Cowan (photo by Melinda Cowan)

RENO, – The BLM is escalating removal of wild horses from western rangelands in epic numbers. Thirteen thousand horses will be removed just this year. Flawed data and ulterior motive drive their purpose. Blanket closures, deception and restrictions hide their brutal enterprise.

With journalists excluded, their public relations prowess spins favorable accounts from horrendous failures.

It’s called the “Owyhee Slaughter.” Thirty-four wild horses perished in northeastern Nevada this July in a BLM roundup. The BLM blamed dry range conditions.

It started when the BLM told a federal judge if his injunction against the roundup continued, 75 percent of the Owyhee herd would die for lack of water. This bleak testimony formed the basis for the judge to lift the injunction.

But, something was awry. The BLM managed the area exclusively. They planned the roundup months in advance while never forecasting this emergency.

When the BLM vacated Owyhee after the roundup concluded, independent range experts were eager to see firsthand what caused the emergency. Contrary to BLM court testimony, they found water and lots of it.

It’s a disturbing process. The BLM uses helicopters to push herds several miles. Horses are panic driven over difficult terrain in midsummer heat. New foals, their moms and pregnant mares are among those pursued. Oftentimes they don’t survive. Resultantly, the BLM excludes journalists to discourage their reporting to the public of what transpires behind closed doors.

When Congress in 1971 proclaimed their protected status, wild horses became America’s newest native citizens. When Congress entrusted their welfare in part to the BLM, the assignment posed a conflict where the BLM’s role as “property manager” competes with the horses’ best interests.

The BLM caters to private interests who use considerable areas of public land to extract non-renewable resources. To make room for these private concerns the BLM eliminates wild horses from the landscape, giving little credence to their iconic and protected status.

Despite massive land holdings the BLM chooses slivers of private property on which to capture horses. They contend private property is safer than public lands for horse roundups. With traps on private property, the BLM engages local authorities who threaten arrest should citizens trespass to sneak a peek. This allows the BLM to conduct their brutal enterprise under a blanket of secrecy.

How far did the BLM go to prevent public observation of the Owyhee Slaughter? In July horse journalist Laura Leigh and two friends sought to document the BLM’s herd removal. Anxious moments prevailed as BLM officials converged on the women before they reached the trap zone.

Three BLM officials and a sheriff’s deputy stood ground in a desolate region on the dirt road. Reminiscent of the Clantons and Earps, the women were blocked from traveling further. The men said don’t trespass. The women inquired. The men drew the figurative “private property” line in the sand. The women held cameras. The men packed guns. Tensions peaked when a BLM official shoved back a camera lens.

The women retreated, fearful of arrest from venturing beyond undefined property boundaries. It all occurred on public lands on a public road in violation of a judge’s order prohibiting closures.

Earlier, Ms. Leigh sought judicial help to postpone the BLM’s helicopter roundup to a time when foals were more sturdy and when temperatures cooled. She asserted First Amendment notions because the BLM’s land closure was a censorship of her right to observe and report government activity.

When the entourage of Washington, D.C. lawyers descended on Reno to defend Leigh’s claims, her counsel offered to forego suit if the BLM would postpone the roundups and allow public access. The BLM refused. The case proceeded.

Two federal judges agreed with Leigh’s right to observe government in action. Judge Hicks dissolved the BLM’s blanket closure, labeling it a First Amendment “prior restraint,” meaning, “censorship” of a free press. The second, a noted jurist, conveyed this:

“The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.” Hugo Black, 1971

What’s next? The BLM is back to “business as usual,” playing the “shell game” with roundup dates, closing public lands, censoring speech and killing good horses. If they can’t be stopped, America should be prepared to say goodbye to the last living symbol of the spirit of the west, the wild, free-roaming horse.

Author Bio:  Gordon Cowan is a veteran civil litigator in Nevada who challenged the Interior Department’s news blackout of the brutal Owyhee roundup. Mr. Cowan raises horses, works with cattle, is a cutting horse enthusiast and a past president of a top rodeo in North America.  His work on the ongoing issues of the First Amendment are supported by Wild Horse Education, Ms. Leigh Nevada non-profit.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Cowan successfully won the right in federal court for press and public to observe BLM activies on public land. Since that time the agency has flagrantly violated the court order. He is now attempting to get BLM held in contempt.

Personal note: I’d like you all to meet my attorney.

If you can support our effort go to:

If you can support our effort go to:




New Report

Here it is… NO MORE.

NO MORE stealing from taxpayers. NO MORE using MY public land to profit a select few. NO MORE empty excuses based on NOTHING to remove MY horses from MY land.

Part 1

Part 2

Working on embed code…

Mustang Conspiracy

Dusty trail down dead end AML

Again… I feel the need to remind readership that this is a BLOG. A blog is defined as an “online diary.” It is not the same venue as an online newspaper.

Before you read the BLM explanation of an HMA in the Mojave Desert area unable to sustain more than 3 horses as an AML read this:

The plant would generate electricity using heat generated by the sun’s rays. BrightSource plans to erect thousands of “heliostats” on three solar fields. Each heliostat will have two mirrors that track the sun, and reflect it onto a boiler filled with water atop a tower. The boiler will produce steam for a turbine. The company says the mirrors will capture a greater percentage of solar energy than other solar thermal technologies.

or this:



BLM Nevada News


Tonopah Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment

Tonopah, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District’s Tonopah Field Office is proposing to remove about 182 excess wild horses and burros from within and outside of the boundaries of the Paymaster and Montezuma Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to establish the appropriate management level (AML) in the HMA to 27 wild horses and 10 burros.

The Montezuma Peak HMA is located west of the town of Goldfield and 26 miles south of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The Paymaster HMA is located less than five miles north of the Montezuma Peak HMA and 7 miles west of Tonopah.

The proposal and associated impacts are described and analyzed in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA).

The BLM would appreciate receiving substantive comments on the EA by July 15, 2010.

Comments received during the public review period will be analyzed and considered as part of the decision-making process.

The EA may be viewed at

Submit written comments to Thomas J. Seley, Tonopah Field Manager, Tonopah Field Office, P.O. Box 911 (1553 S. Main St.), Tonopah, NV 89049.

Comments also may be via e-mail to In order to be considered, all comments must be received by mail or e-mail at the above addresses.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available.

The gather is needed to achieve the AML in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMAs and achieve a thriving natural ecological balance for the remaining wild horse and burro population, wildlife, livestock and vegetation. The BLM issued Final Multiple Use Decisions (FMUDs) between 2001 and 2007 for the allotments within the HMAs, which established an AML of 38 wild horses for the Paymaster HMA and 3 horses and 10 burros for the Montezuma Peak HMA.

These HMAs are very arid, located at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert and do not provide suitable habitat for large numbers of wild horses and burros. The areas have a history of poor animal health and emergency gathers due to lack of adequate forage and water, particularly during drought years.

It is estimated that approximately 45 wild horses would be gathered and removed from outside of the Paymaster HMA and inside if needed to leave a post gather population of 23 wild horses.

Approximately 61 wild burros and 78 wild horses would be gathered and removed from within and outside of the Montezuma Peak HMA to leave a post gather population of  3 wild horses and 10 wild burros.


So I am expected to believe that 3 horses (or 23 horses) represents a population protected? I am expected to believe that the Mojave desert can support heliostat projects but can’t have more than 26 horses?

So do you want to tell me exactly how you derive AML? Exactly what management means on MY land? Do you want to tell me whose pocket the money goes into? Do you want to attempt to actually TRY to manage in a way that allows enough resource for all uses? Or do you just want to keep lying to me and then saying it is for my own good?

YES… there may not be enough water for much in that desert… but I guess a 1.4 billion dollar boost can explain a lot.

Not very far from there stimulus funds were going to be used to create an organized crime museum….

“Stimulus” money… I guess today is not the day to get me started on that one.

Any of you watch the program “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”

And if you haven’t read Debbie Coffey’s article yet… PLEASE READ IT.

Water is more precious than gold.

I have a lot to do and will write more soon……. I like this song.

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…

So much for talking…

While we were in Denver listening to BLM’s hired gun Michael Harty act as if his meeting actually meant something … the stallions at Fallon have been castrated. I wonder how many of those smiling faces at that  meeting knew what was happening?

Gelding of the five years and older stallions took place this week.  During gelding, one stallion was noted with two cryptorchid testicles and was euthanized, one stallion suffered a spinal injury while in the chute and died on his own and one gelding was found dead in the pen.

The letters I have written (we all have written) go unanswered. Instead Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district replied to Craig Downers letter and cc’d us all.

That is not a reply to MY letter.

He addressed Craig’s fly over… never my questions directly… NOT EVEN CLOSE.

He never responded to my last letter. He has never sent me the schedule for data collection that he invited me to participate in… that started today. He is side stepping and squirming instead of simply answering. Does someone behave that way when they have legs to stand on? Or when they are acting like someone with something to be ashamed of?

A proposal sits unanswered that would have taken in all of these horses at a savings to the tax=payer that would not have required gelding!!!!!!

Does our president care that his BLM… yes Obama’s BLM… behaves in such a manner? A manner that only deserves the label “sociopathic.”

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

Before I left for Denver I said to watch them… best face, big hit.

Watch them now while they close air space and deny me access to observe data collection…. what are they really doing?

I am in the desert and rather beside myself at the moment…. we will NEVER even be permitted to see these older stallions that the BLM has castrated… who died? Does the BLM even care?

I will write more later… I need to walk or something.

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

SaveWildHorses posted this in comments. I think this is a great idea…. start cc ing the White House, Senators on your emails to the BLM.

Yes! And on every correspondence with any BLM official please make sure they see your cc: to the following

Your Senators
Barbara Boxer
all the chain of command in the WH&B and BLM (Don Glenn, Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar)
and the President

Soon, I think we may need to start contacting the Justice Department