Wild horse helicopter roundup. National Geographic.

BLM now using drought as excuse to zero out Mustangs


The largest wild horse roundup in state history is underway in western Colorado, with helicopters chasing the animals into a trap set on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management’s White River field office.

As of Tuesday, the roundup had removed 287 horses over the course of eight days, making it the biggest in Colorado history. BLM Public Affairs Specialist Chris Maestas said the next closest was 10 years ago in a roundup east of Highway 139 in the Piceance East Douglas Herd Management Area, in which 276 horses were gathered.

In addition to BLM land, the horses currently being rounded up in western Colorado also range on state-owned and private property. The horse habitat is known as the West Douglas herd area, and has long been considered to be outside of the areas identified for the management of wild horses by the White River field office.

“This emergency gather will prevent further deteriorating body condition of the wild horses in the area due to limited food and water,” said White River Field Office Manager Bill Mills.

What about the cattle? Are they being rounded up and held captive by the BLM for their “safety”? No, we didn’t think so. What liars they are, especially knowing what a huge percent of gathered wild horses are sent to slaughter for human consumption — not to feed zoo animals — but people.

It is only the beginning of yet another holocaust. Look at this report.

6,000 plus need to be rounded up says BLM

E&E News reports:

The Bureau of Land Management is prepared to ramp up wild horse and burro gathers over the next two months as extreme heat and drought conditions across much of the West threaten the safety of thousands of federally protected animals.

BLM estimates that as many as 6,000 additional wild horses and burros need to be rounded up and removed from federal rangelands by the end of September in order to “prevent widespread thirst and mortality in wild horse and burro herds as drought intensifies across most of the West,” the bureau said today in a news release.

The drought conditions have already forced BLM to conduct multiple emergency gathers to remove nearly 1,200 animals.

The bureau did not specify where it would concentrate the emergency gathers, if executed. But the number of wild horses, and the current condition of the rangelands, likely means the bureau will target animals in Nevada, Utah and California.

“As one of the agencies charged with the responsibility to protect and manage America’s wild horses and burros, the BLM is prepared to take emergency action where we can in order to save the lives of these cherished animals,” said Nada Culver, BLM’s deputy director of policy and programs, in a statement.

“At the same time, we are committed to continuing our efforts to reduce overpopulation across the West and achieve healthy, sustainable herd sizes that are more capable of withstanding severe conditions, including prolonged drought, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change,” Culver added.

BLM under the Biden administration has already committed to an aggressive Trump-era plan to round up roughly 11,000 animals this fiscal budget cycle, ending Sept. 30, and as many as 20,000 wild horses and burros in fiscal 2022.

The increased roundups that began in 2019 resulted in total rangewide wild horse and burro populations dropping as of March 1 for the first time since 2012 — to 86,189, from a record count of 95,114 last year (E&E News PM, July 1). There’s more »

How mendacious of you Nada Culver — perfect for the BLM — the Bureau of Limitless Mendacity. The E&E News had some interesting things to say about her appointment by the way. We will leave it there for now.

Some common synonyms of mendacious are deceitful, dishonest, untruthful, and unworthy of trust or belief.

Continuing into September

Mustangs and the American West. New plan seeks to protect the range. -  CSMonitor.com
Mustangs wait in a corral after being gathered as part of an effort by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to manage horses in the American West.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff. Christian Science Monitor.

OregonLive.com tells us this:

The Bureau of Land Management said the emergency roundups that began Sunday in Oregon and Monday in Nevada concentrate on places where “chronic overpopulation” of the herds “already has stretched the available food and water to its limits.”

Horse advocates say the emergency roundups that will continue into September are being driven by pressure from ranchers who don’t want the mustangs competing with their livestock for limited forage and water.

One advocate said she’s especially disappointed the Biden administration is continuing the policies of former President Donald Trump and previous administrations that prioritized removal of horses that are federally protected without reining in the number of cattle and sheep grazing on the same land.

“Profit-driven interests ravage the landscape, and we blame the horse,” said Laura Leigh, president of the nonprofit group Wild Horse Education.

“Absolutely nothing has changed under the Biden administration except we are being spoon-fed a dose of greenwash that they ‘care’ about the environment and wild things,” she said.

Look at these numbers from the same article:

“These removals are critical for the horses as well as the health of the rangelands,” Leigh said in an email to The Associated Press. “Even in times where resources are plentiful, these overpopulated herds cause serious damage to the landscape.”

The bureau already has gathered 1,200 animals this year and originally intended to round up about 12,000. The new effort would push the total to about 18,000 across 10 Western states from Montana to California.

Wild horses are restorers not destroyers of the land

Wildlife ecologist Craig Downer wrote to the Fund for Horses:

“The tens of thousands of wild horses who presently languish in BLM corrals and contracted pastures should be placed back on the public lands where they belong and have legal right. Concomitantly cattle and sheep ranchers should be required to greatly reduce their livestock on these same public lands.”

“The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act should now be celebrating its 50th anniversary and the true intent of this noble law needs to be restored along with the herds and their habitats throughout the West.”

“These equids would restore the soils and a well functioning community of plants and animals that are native in large part due to their post-gastric, caecal fermenting digestive system that is a much needed balance to the pre-gastric, rumen-fermenting digestive system of domestic livestock like cattle and sheep. This would also greatly help combat Global Warming that is such dire threat to all life on Earth.”

“I urge you to read my article concerning superior Carbon Sequestration by horses and their kin at this link, ‘Spotlight On the Overlooked Role of Horses as Carbon Sequesters.’”

The Fund says

America’s wild horses and burros have absolutely no support and zero protection in Washington D.C., from the President on down. Over many years it has not mattered who the President is or what party he is from. The result for our wild horses and burros is always the same — destruction.

It is obvious that the federal law enacted to protect our wild horses and burros will continue to be flagrantly violated or ignored until every last one is destroyed, while we who cherish them can only stand by and watch as it unfolds.

This and previous governments continue to break the laws enacted for the protection of our wild horses and burros when they should be upholding and enforcing them. For decades they have been getting away with it.

However, the fight is not over. We will never, ever give up.

Featured Image: National Geographic

Updated 5th August 5:55 pm EST

Thank you for your patience. We have a lot of our staff contributing to this post. The adrenalin has been off the scale. —Fund for Horses.



11 thoughts on “BLM now using drought as excuse to zero out Mustangs”

  1. The only way for progress is for ALL horse advocates to join together instead of operating separately. Get the CHILDREN who are the next generation of Americans involved.. They’ll never stand for the BLM ‘s brutal treatment and slaughter of horses.
    Plus, this isn’t the time for any individual horse advocate to profit financially from the plight of these beautiful, strong sensitive, family-oriented animals. You must join hands! Come together for the mustangs!


  2. Why are you inaccurately attributing a quote to Leigh that came from Cattlemen’s ass’n? You would have to type “Leigh” in that sentence, not just copy and paste. (OregonLive)

    “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said ranchers already have made voluntary changes to reduce and rotate grazing on federal lands during a drought “more pervasive and dramatic than we have seen in years,” said Kaitlynn Glover, the association’s executive director of resources.

    “These removals are critical for the horses as well as the health of the rangelands,” she said in an email to The Associated Press. “Even in times where resources are plentiful, these overpopulated herds cause serious damage to the landscape.”


  3. I agree with everything you’ve presented, but the shear numbers of wild equines supposedly on the range boggles the mind. It can’t be true that while BLM removed so many, gelded the stallions and returned some, skewed the populations, sent many to their deaths and there are still 94,000+ last year? No way, it’s all a lie. It’s always the excuse that we need to remove them to save them. I am grateful to the Biden admin for abandoning the Trump era determination to spay mares of Utah’s Confusion HMA because it’s barbaric. However, Biden does NOT listen to the advocates who make perfect sense. There has to be a deeper motive not only that the “big” elite ranchers/energy extractors want it and have agreed to some kind of a compromise. What could it be? Does it have to do with clean energy, electric cars that need lithium batteries requiring lithium from our lands and wild equines have to be sacrificed? — Just a thought.


    1. Their enemies will say and do anything to rid our public lands of wild horses and burros.

      The BLM are a rogue agency that conducts numerous atrocities against our supposed federally protected wild horses and burros with the blessing of the Dept of Interior who Biden has given carte blanche to do whatever it sees fit to do. It’s not just him. No matter who is in office the holocaust continues.

      There must be a way to end it and save our wild horses and burros. We must find it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I find it deplorable to take the Mustangs off the land using the excuse of draught. So many rivers and lakes in Colo. Often due to Privitization of public lands forced on us by Trump adm, cattle take their place. So there’s foliage for them and not horses??? Ridiculous! Helecoptor roundups are inhumane. Foals die, legs are broken, families separated. For shame. Answer to God, knowing how the horse has benefited mankind thru the years.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I left voice mail messages for my Senators and Representative and also sent an email to the White House noting my opposition to these emergency roundups after reading an article on the subject by wild horse advocate Carol Walker. The article appeared on the Straight From The Horse’s Heart Blog. I like your attitude about never giving up despite the frustration of watching the continual removal of our wild horses and burros from our public lands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what we need. Pressure. All of us here have done it too. We hope wild horse and burro supporters will be inspired by you to do the same. Thank you. 👏👏👏


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