Wild Horse Education

Working For Freedom, “A Top Ten”


Glorious Freedom

As the year draws to a close we countdown the “top ten” stories from WHE. The list is compiled from news stories, social media and our website. (We will be publishing a personal top ten list from the desk of our founder tomorrow. Those stories include wild horse encounters of many kinds).

10. McDermitt/Pauite Roundup: WHE has a long history of fighting to keep the wild horses free from being rounded up and sent to slaughter in this area. A new cooperative was formed this year between Forsest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Pauite McDermitt Tribes. This year our on the ground documentation was key in stopping the roundup planned fall of 2015. READ the story here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/04/05/mcdermitt-pauite-shoshone-criteria-inadequate-for-blm-wild-horses/


Roundup documentation has been key to gaining a humane policy. Without consistent documentation, we would not have won so many cases in court.

9. Inhumane treatment at roundups is a key part of our work. In 2015 we began to see years of blood, sweat and tears come to fruition as the first humane handling policy in history was finalized and placed into roundup contracts. WHE is the only organization to take this outrage into federal court through our founder, Laura Leigh. WHE is the only organization to win repeatedly on the issue. You can read some of the work here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/05/06/whe-works-humane-care/

8. Horse slaughter is a real threat for our wild and domestic horses. We thank all of our supporters that engaged our alerts and contacted their representatives this year. Once again appropriations (funding) language has been included to defund horse meat inspection and to stop BLM from using funding to kill healthy wild horses and to send them to slaughter. To educate yourself to the “web of slaughter” that endangers wild horses and burros click here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/reality-of-wild-horse-slaughter/


Humbolt wild horse, 2015

7. Laura Myers was an extraordinary women. A journalist and humanitarian, she died of cancer this year. Myers interviewed us at the Triple B roundup and stayed in touch after writing extensively on the “issue” of wild horses in the American West. We republished one of her articles on our website with our memoir: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/06/20/remembering-journalist-laura-myers/ another article, on ranchers, can be read here: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-and-west/wild-horses-ranchers-struggle-against-variety-forces

6. Trespass Livestock is a much larger problem in the West than many people think. Several of the stories we have worked on have made the “top ten list.” The story in Reveal, that points out the hypocrisy of ranchers denying drought to run livestock yet at the same time claiming that they are hit by the drought and collecting large sums of money from the government, broke recently. The story was picked up by multiple news outlets and several have already done follow up with us for stories in 2016. You can read the original story here: https://www.revealnews.org/article/ranchers-denied-the-drought-while-collecting-drought-subsidies/


Our public lands are unique and complex, so is this wild and free curly horse. This horse has genetics found nowhere else in the world and they are under threat.

5. Education is key to effective advocacy. In 2015 WHE brought that message literally “into the classroom.” WHE has had the honor of talking to grade school through college level students in person. We met students in their classrooms and on the range. A lovely piece was written by a student from Return to Freedom that you can read HERE. Our recent visit to a college campus can be seen here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/12/04/spreading-the-message/

4. Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick passed away this year. Kirkpatrick was an extraordinary human being that devoted his life to humane management of wildlife species around the world. He was a friend and will be sorely missed both professionally and personally. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/09/05/the-science-and-conservation-center/


This is a very serious problem that must be addressed if we are ever to have healthy rangeland. The “bully” must be held accountable.

3. The Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) legal action to remove and destroy wild horses across the state was defeated in federal district court (WHE intervened). The fight began in 2012 at the Diamond Complex.The case is on Appeal in the Ninth Circuit http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/03/12/wild-horses-prevail-over-nevada-counties-suit/

2. “The Grass March.” The Grass March is another name for the “state’s rights agenda” that sees itself as an extension of the Sage Brush Rebellion. This agenda includes the resumption of horse slaughter and “mustanging.” It has been very difficult to get the public to see beyond the “flash” of antigovernment rhetoric that has become a real danger to our public land and human life. But we try… http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/05/16/not-over-my-wild-horses-grass-march-part-1/ One of the key events that spurred this on was the “Argenta debacle,” an area where we are trying to bring accountable action to our public land http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/11/25/clandestine-grazing-agreement-draws-more-legal-fire-from-environmental-groups/ The “Grass March” includes the fight against a science based plan at Fish Creek, we truly believe that the objection has nothing to do with wild horses but has everything to do with “eyes on the range.” http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/04/02/breaking-legal-status-granted-to-wild-horse-conservation-groups-to-fight-county/


Sarge, one helluva story

The number one story of the year is a TIE! Both stories include lengthy involvement by WHE.

The investigation into the Tom Davis/Salazar connection was released by the federal government. ALL allegations were true, yet NO actions are being taken against the offenders. In this story over 1700 wild horses were sold by the BLM to a known kill buyer. We began this story in 2012 with journalist Dave Phillips. This year we continued to push for the release of the internal investigation. We are still working for accountability! READ here: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/10/25/an-honest-conversation/

The defeat of the suit brought by Eureka county and ranchers to stop wild horses from going back to the range at Fish Creek. But our work to create these plans extends into many areas where wild horses are managed. We are working cooperatively (our preferred method) in multiple areas. But the one with the largest obstacle to sanity is still Fish Creek as the county pushes legal action that continues to have at the bottom line the removal and sale of wild horse to slaughter. We remember the release and we celebrate freedom… and we will continue to fight for it. No story illustrates the larger fight we are in more than Fish Creek, and the horse “Sarge.” http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/12/28/2015-a-year-of-retaliation/

CELEBRATE FREEDOM! http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/04/14/thank-you-gallop-to-freedom/

We did not include our roundup documentation in the “line up.” Our documentation of roundups is by far the one thing the public relies heavily on us for. WHE has the largest documentation record of roundups since 2010 in the world. In 2015 we covered roundups that included Humbolt, Little Fish Lake, Beaty Butte and Fish Creek. We are compiling that documentation into a video, as is our tradition, and it will be released with the New Year.

Help us stay in the fight, click image below.


Photo from the Fish Creek removal to trap, treat and release wild horses in 2015 (fought by Eureka County and ranchers).