Wild Horse Education


Cattle watching as wild horses are loaded for shipment to holding facilities

Cattle watching as wild horses are loaded for shipment to holding facilities (copyright Laura Leigh, use only with written permission)

HR 5058, or the Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, is a BAD move from start to finish.

In this election year we have seen chest thumping against the federal government from the Cliven Bundy standoff supported by threats against wild horses in Iron County Utah, county commissioners organizing ATV rides through restricted federal land  to livestock permittees thumbing their noses at grazing restrictions and running cattle as they blame the degradation on wild horses.

Non-permitted livestock use and salt block in prohibited area

Non-permitted livestock use and salt block in prohibited area

Now in a move couched as “common sense” Representative Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced a bill that would allow these individuals that fail to recognize federal authority a legal right to run “rough shod” over our wild horses. They threw in “tribal” management into the bill to make it appear all “cooperative” and “touchy feely.” In truth this year we have seen multiple instances of how tribal authorities “manage” wild horses by shipping them to slaughter (Navajo fiasco, Yakima and last years highly publicized Pauite slaughter drama).

McDermitt Pauite foal at the livestock Auction

McDermitt Pauite foal at the livestock Auction

At this time the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is actually reviewing some of the recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Several of these reforms (if implemented correctly) would require serious review of the way public land is managed within Herd Management Areas (HMA) where wild horses are supposed to be protected as “wild and integral.” Serious review of handling methods is also underway that is likely to create a beginning of an actual handling policy that would improve methods of capture and housing wild horses.

Is this bill an “end run” around efforts to create real protections for wild horses by private interests? Remember that in 1971 the Act was passed to curtail “mustanging.” Mustanging was a brutal practice of running horses to collapse in the West and then grinding them up for fertilizer, chicken feed and dog food at a profit that many have resented being taken from them. efforts to begin mustanging have been alive ever since the Act was passed. This bill is simply one more effort.

In addition giving a sovereign nation (tribal authorities) any power over management of a federal public resource sets a very dangerous precedent.


This IS an ELECTION year. Form letters and petitions create ONE email or phone call to a Representative. Even if the form generates multiples it is the SAME letter. It’s time to “make it personal” with Congress. What YOUR Representatives need to hear from are those that VOTE them into that nice job in Congress.

PLEASE take the time to find your Rep here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Read text and keep rack of HR 5058 here https://www.govtrack.us/events/track-something?feed=billsearch:text=HR%205058

Call or write today!

Tell them that YOU do not support HR 5058 and that you intend to VOTE.

Tell them that this bill is one more way private profiteers and states are thumbing their noses at federal authority to skirt the protection afforded wild horses and burros in a unanimous Act of Congress passed in 1971. Tell them you in no way support a sovereign nation having any management authority over federal resources (tribes sent horses to slaughter routinely). 

Tell them BLM spent 2 million in tax payer funds to create the National Academy of Sciences report and you expect that document to be reviewed and implemented before Congress takes a “knee jerk” response to pressure from special interests.

The Wild Horse and Burro Program needs reform but this bill is absolutely 100 steps backward.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue~ Volunteers at Wild Horse Education

Categories: Wild Horse Education