Wild Horse Madness, Counter Punch

Published by Counter Punch:

An Open Letter to the BLM

Dear Bureau of Land Management: You know what you’re doing to America’s wild horses is wrong.

So why are you doing it?

Our public rangeland is in trouble. It is in trouble because it has been battered, beaten and raped by profit-driven interest. It has been managed through fear, bungling and the kowtowing to good ole boys in Stetsons.

The cowboys who dominate the rangeland hate wild horses because the horses are said to compete with cattle for the forage on the public domain. They hate the federal government for stopping them in 1971 from the wholesale capture and slaughter of wild horses that put extra money in their pockets.

But here’s the truth: less than 2 percent of the public forage is eaten by wild horses. Livestock use 66 percent of public land, wild horses can legally exist on about 11 percent of public land, and in that 11 percent the horses are allocated as little as 12 percent of actual grass to survive.  In other words, actual use of all public forage by horses is minuscule.


Slideshow of the “mares from the accident(s),” trailer accident or processing mishap? This day was a rough day… after access was already an issue. The right to view handling of a public resource, paid for with public dollars, should NEVER need to walk into a courtroom again. Equal voice in process should be a reality, not lip service.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

NOTE: before this was published two interactions occurred with BLM personnel; Leigh was told by the state wild horse and burro lead that the reason she was not allowed to move fertility control forward was “What happens when you die?” and a district manager told her that her ability to observe was impeded because “The livestock industry feels we do not listen to them.”

All photos copyright. Reprint or use by written permission only.