BLM proposed removal targets youngest of famous Pryor Mountain Mustangs


Cloud’s family and other wild horse families threatened

BILLINGS, Mont. (Dec. 16, 2011) – The Montana Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office issued a Preliminary Environment Assessment outlining plans to strip at least half of the young wild horses from the Pryor Mountains in 2012. The BLM preferred alternative would result in a loss of 20% of the herd and 50% of the young horses, ages one-three, in order to reach their Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120 set in the Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) of 2009.

The Cloud Foundation (TCF) immediately brought suit against the BLM in 2009, challenging the AML of 90-120 horses, asserting that this low population would damage the genetic diversity of the herd and put them at risk of inbreeding and eventual die-off.

“The Pryor Wild Horse Herd has never been managed at the levels set in this recent HMAP,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “In fact, Sandra Brooks, BLM Field Manager, from 1995 to 2008 stated that the herd ‘has been managed at dangerously low levels.’ She was referring to populations of 140 to 210 horses in the 1990s and 2000s. The genetic viability of this herd—their very survival—is at stake if BLM carries out this plan.”

Litigation brought by TCF also challenges the herd boundaries. Judge Gwin ruled that the Custer National Forest (FS) could be added as a defendant in the Foundation suit when the FS issued plans in the summer of 2010 to construct a two mile-long, buck and pole fence on the border between the BLM and FS lands atop East Pryor Mountain. The fence was completed in October of 2010 and, for the first time in the over 200 year documented history of the herd, wild horses were denied access to their late summer and fall meadows atop the mountain.

“BLM seems oblivious to the fact that a significant number of horses died over the past year, thus negating the need for their thoughtless proposal to remove more horses,” states Kathrens. “Early this summer we found the bodies of Cabaret’s band of wild horses in the melting snow, about 100 yards below the fence that kept them from accessing their normal migratory route to their home in the Forest Service.”

If the BLM undertakes their planned 2012 removals, the bait and possibly water trapping of horses could begin this winter and continue throughout the year. Written comments from the public must be postmarked no later than January 6, 2012. Emails will not be accepted. Comments should be sent to Jim Sparks, Field Manager, BLM Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101.

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Media Contact:
Lauryn Wachs

Links of Interest:
BLM capture of iconic wild horse herd sparks controversy – Foundation release:
Pryor Facts for Scoping Input 2011:
Letter to Secretary Salazar signed by 64 members of Congress:
Stop the fencing in of Cloud’s wild horse herd – Foundation video:

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.

4 thoughts on “BLM proposed removal targets youngest of famous Pryor Mountain Mustangs”

  1. This is just another example of the BLM ‘s common goal of management to extinction. I believe that the total numbers of Wild Horses and Burros will be below 6000 animals within the three year period that the BLM has proposed their overall removals. I think that as we go on with our requests and law suits and they order surveys and scientific studies, we will ultimately see that by the time we win, and the surveys and studies show that we were right all along, the horses will be gone. I don’t know the answer, but my head for numbers, just says that those proposed round-up numbers leave 1/3 of the horses out there that they say. The move for more extraction industry and the ever present cattle baron mentality are buying their way through the Dept of Interior.


  2. What keeps coming into my mind is the dedication of the Officers to their Calvary horses in the Movie In the Pursuit of Honor, not once did any of those 5 men ever falter in their Pursuit of Honor for their Horses, they were willing to die to take them to Freedom, and one of them did…………………..This is the type of Honor that every horse deserves after all of his services unselfishly given to man, Through all of this torture The Mustangs and horses Stand tall proud, and strong ………………..


  3. This vicious attempt to destroy Cloud’s herd is beyond the pale. I have supported The Cloud Foundation via donations and Ginger and Craig were guests on my radio program at least six times. I also did an analysis of the Wild Horses and Burros after the Burns Amendment at the closing of Congress in December 2004. I discovered that many wild horse and burros had the unfortunate circumstance of residing in Nevada. This article called ‘The Rolex Ranchers’ was picked up by plenty of Beef publications. I have tried to get people motivated by starting the ‘Adopt a Herd’ program, however, I was the only person who adopted a herd of Mustangs and Burros and registered it with the Chamber of Commerce, sent a press release to the town paper and contacted the Mayor’s office. Not one single person that adopted a herd did any of that. I also started a Children’s Letter writing campaign as I was one of the thousands of school children who wrote President Nixon, with my late Father’s help, to pass the Wild and Free Roaming Burro Act. Again, not a single person had their child do this.

    People claim they are busy. We have no one to blame but ourselves. I am sorry, but how much effort does it take to write a letter, put in an envelope and stamp and drop it in the mail box??? It is unforgivable and those whom claim to be ‘Wild Horse Warriors’ should be ashamed of themselves. Now Amanda Sorvino, my ‘partner in crime’ on the Bravo Packing Investigation, which is still ongoing as I continue to speak to Joe Merola as Monty never figured out that I was investigating him, to gather more evidence about how many horses he gets and where they are coming from. New Jersey Ag is corrupt, they are totally Pro slaughter and when they threatened to sue me for using an image of the NJ State Seal, I moved my horses immediately to an undisclosed private facility and 3 people on the planet know where that is and exactly how many horses I currently have in my rescue.

    If NJ Ag had attempted to seize my horses, which they can for no good reason, they would have been sent directly to Bravo. The NJ SPCA sends ALL seizures and surrenders directly to kill. That is how corrupt these agencies in NJ are.

    The grass roots do not cooperate with one another, everyone wants to be a hero, I love Animal’s Angels and Julie is a friend. There is no need to investigate as Amanda and I have received standing to sue the State of NJ and we are waiting for a date on the Court Calendar. We have tried every way we can to shut down slaughter in NJ and we are waiting for our chance in Court. Monty was loved by the Salem County Police Department as well as the NJ State Troopers, he gave them horse meat for their K-9 force. Joe is completely protected by the local and State Police. When you have so much corruption coming at you, your last resort is Court and the ‘Wheels of Justice’ grind slowly. Additionally, in these times it seems the Justice and Law are distant cousins.



  4. What about opening up a gate size section the fence so the horses can get to their winter pasture. Then put it back in the summer? Nobody bothers to go up there to check it. That’s what caused the the Cabaret band to die, they could not get to the more sheltered trees out of the wind and snow where there was feed. Such a shame. And the BLM could care less as long as the welfare rancher’s butts are anointed.


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