Myths and Facts about Wild Horses by the BLM, Myth #3

Challis Mustangs by Elissa Kline
Challis Mustangs by Elissa Kline

As part of March for Wild Horses, we ask you to help challenge the BLM on the Myths and Facts they have on their website.

We cannot make comments on BLM’s website about this, but we certainly can here. This is an important exercise, and we appreciate your taking part.

Here is today’s BLM “myth and fact”.


Myth #3: Since 1971, the BLM has illegally or improperly taken away more than 20 million acres set aside for wild horses and burros (from 53.8 million acres to 31.6 million acres).

Fact: This claim is false. No specific amount of acreage was “set aside” for the exclusive use of wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act directed the BLM to determine the areas where horses and burros were found roaming and to manage them “in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands.” The law also stipulated in Section 1339 that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the [Interior] Secretary to relocate wild free-roaming horses or burros to areas of the public lands where they do not presently exist.” Of the 22.2 million acres no longer managed for wild horse and burro use, 6.7 million acres were never under BLM management.

Of the 15.5 million other acres of land under BLM management:

48.6 percent (7,522,100 acres) were intermingled (“checkerboard”) land ownerships or areas where water was not owned or controlled by the BLM, which made management infeasible;

13.5 percent (2,091,709 acres) were lands transferred out of the BLM’s ownership to other agencies, both Federal and state through legislation or exchange;

10.6 percent (1,645,758 acres) were lands where there were substantial conflicts with other resource values (such as the need to protect habitat for desert tortoise);

9.7 percent (1,512,179 acres) were lands removed from wild horse and burro use through court decisions; urban expansion; highway fencing (causing habitat fragmentation); and land withdrawals;

9.6 percent (1,485,068 acres) were lands where no BLM animals were present at the time of the passage of the 1971 Act or places where all animals were claimed as private property. These lands in future land-use plans will be subtracted from the BLM totals as they should never have been designated as lands where herds were found roaming; and

8.0 percent (1,240,894 acres) were lands where a critical habitat component (such as winter range) was missing, making the land unsuitable for wild horse and burro use, or areas that had too few animals to allow for effective management.

(The percentages above were current as of July 25, 2011.)


Set the record straight, and challenge their so-called facts by commenting on this post.

If you have a lengthy answer, say from someone else’s website, please provide a statement or two (instead of pasting in the whole thing) with a link to where you got it, so we can give them credit for their work and make it easier for people to read all of the comments.

Thank you!

5 thoughts on “Myths and Facts about Wild Horses by the BLM, Myth #3”

  1. Here you go

    “In our Spanish mustang herd reproduction averages 10% to 14 % and keeps up with mortality. The BLM asserts horse population on public lands will double every four years. That is not supported by my research nor by the facts. If wild populations are left alone and not continually rounded up and their genetic pool altered by killing wild stallions and putting in paint quarter horses to ‘improve’ the breed and make them more colorful for kids to adopt, then breeding follows patterns I’ve studied,” Karen said.


  2. This is amazing to me, do they really believe their Bull S### or do they really think we do. Hey BLM!! Guess what someone went ahead and did a study on mustangs births, deaths. Guess what? Your way the hell off as always, you should NOT be allowed to manage wild horses or any specifies for that matter, you can’t even manage yourselves.
    When I read anything that the BLM writes, all I see is Lies Lies and more Lies. GROW UP! EVOLVE! And try to stop being greedy power hungry bastards and take a breath. Try to start living in harmony, to understand that greed is not in harmony with anything. Either enlighten yourself or understand that your going to have some crappy ass Karma coming your way.


  3. If the BLM has not taken land from the Mustang, then why are there roundups? The BLM says it is because the land will not support them but if the horses are allowed to roam as far and wide as they need to, the land supports them JUST FINE! It is the cattle that the BLM has allowed the cattle ranchers to lease that have fouled the water holes, eaten the grass to nothing and generally depleted the resources of a given area. The wild horses ROAM when allowed to do so, and the land recovers.


  4. I NEVER BELIEVE a thing the BLM does or says. Will this new Secretary of the Interior be any better? Remains to be seen. I have my doubts.
    They all get their fists in the ranchers pockets eventually.


  5. The only comment that can be made after reading this is, The BLM has written the most damaging lies ever written……………………..


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