Wild Horse Education

Owyhee Roundup Ends?

Owyhee_092718 - 1 (20)

On October 2nd the BLM captured 56 wild horses (Studs 34, Mares 20, Foals 2).

On October 2nd the BLM stated the capture had concluded.

However, they never updated the webpage (until 8 pm on Oct 3rd) after being repeatedly emailed and called. BLM never answered multiple requests for information on any release (onsite observers were told at least 3 were to be released).

BLM released 21 studs on October 2nd and did not inform the onsite observers.

death: 10/2/2018, 8 year-old Mare, Black, euthanized; lateral deviation of the left-front fetlock from old fracture.

On Oct 3rd BLM released 41 wild horses (Studs 3, Mares 38) after telling the public no observation. Please note: BLM does not release horses onto private lands. All public land operations were to be relayed to the public.

BLM has not provided a daily count to any onsite observer for the length of the operation saying “check the webpage.” The reasoning is that “sometimes we get the count wrong and only want to give you the final that wont be known until all the paperwork is matched.” This has become standard under the new administration.

“Animals Treated with Fertility Control 39

Animals Returned to Home Range 41 (Studs 3, Mares 38)”

Studs are not treated with fertility control, unless there was an error and one of the boys got in line. 

It s because one of the mares died… 

death: 10/3/2018, 20-year old, black mare euthanized, compound fracture to the left hind leg below the hock, kicked through a panel while moving through the chute area.

We let BLM know. Just like we let them know the website, hotline were not updated and the public should have been notified of the treat and release, on public land, and allowed to observe.

 Public affairs has had multiple communication issues during this operation and we can add simply “dropping the ball on the way out” as the punctuation mark. Hopefully they get the finals on the website updated.

Slideshow from Oct 2. (The only trap site located in an actual burn area)


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It seems very fitting to end an operation that suffered from extremely poor communications to the public with the following:


This is what BLM has as totals as of last night.

Wild Horses Captured: total 1,178 (Studs 482, Mares 505 , Foals 191)

Shipped to Palomino Valley Center: 873 (Studs 320, Mares 366, Foals 187)

Wild Horses Returned 267 (Studs 151, Mares 115, one foal*)

Deaths: 25

But the totals DROPPED, not rose, with additional horses captured from the statistics published the days before.

So we end Owyhee with captured ???, released ????, shipped ????. died ????

We hope BLM “gets it together” and updates the site. We know BLM employees, advocates, range, horses… the quirks, the deficits, the intentions.

All of it wears pretty thin… is it intentional misleading and things like keeping releases “just for the enjoyment of BLM?,” is it simple “power displays by the insecure?,” or is it just inept? more soon. 


We will bring you a full run down on the significance of this operation, politics and sage grouse money, soon.

Childish assertions abound on all sides of this conflict.

In one instance a BLM WHB Specialist brought up an instance from 2010 involving an individual from a high profile wild horse org. He tried to use that as justification for restricting access and information. When BLM presented that in court to a federal judge, the judge did not find it relevant.

My case (the BIG First Amendment case) was filed in 2010, won in 2012. The next round was in 2013 and in 2014 the current IM was crafted by myself. Amy Lueders and DoJ attorney Nancy Zahedi. (this is added as reference for the BLM that like to make accusations against advocates that paraphrase the past, misrepresent and act like children. (Do people even know how to “look in a mirror” anymore before casting an accusation?)

BLM assertions that inappropriate and overly aggressive conduct at roundups is somehow the “horses fault” was also not appreciated in federal court in our cases that created the humane handling policy. We know BLM reads our site. We have added this as a public reminder moving forward.

So much of the last month in field is shrouded with people engaging in behaviors that they criticize in others. Our patience is growing thin.

We will update you soon on other developments in field; habitat loss is on this fast track. Our teams are working hard and a few unexpected issues cropped up. There is a lot moving, on many levels, for our wild horses and our public lands. 

Further Reading:

Zinke’s DOI and Zero Accountability: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/09/09/zero-accountability-factor-department-of-interior-blm-doi-zinke-wildhorses-publiclands/

Eagle operation; CAWP Violations: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/09/18/eagle-update-cawp-violations/

Gold Rock: The Destruction of a Wild Horse Herd Begins: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/09/14/gold-rock-the-destruction-of-a-wildhorse-herd-begins-blmnv/

At Owyhee there is over one million acres of the best grazing land in the state of NV. The underlying justifications for HMA boundaries, numbers of horses and cows, more fence lines for grazing than you can possibly imagine… are all built on politics. 

We need to do better than this. 

If you can support our work we will send you a link and code to access your copy of the digital E-Mag when it publishes Oct 15.

Click the Mag cover to make a donation and add your name to the list.


Our work can not continue without your support. Thank you!


Categories: Wild Horse Education