Wild Horse Education

Spaying, Slaughter, Subterfuge; Respond


The new Environmental Assessment (EA) for spaying wild horses at Warm Springs holds several important pieces of information, including incorporating the “alliance” through reference to BLM’s 2018 Report to Congress. 

EDITORIAL and ACTION: personal plea, Laura Leigh

Our opposition, that wants control over federal decision making and the land the wild horse stands, on is just about at their finish line. I am writing this piece with a hope that some of you will understand the gravity of the situation. We are on the verge of seeing the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act gutted. I am hoping you click the link to the action item, send an email or make call. 

A lot is going to come at you while the opposition pushes changes to the law through Congress, the goal. This push at the spending bill carries amendments to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act that will be required for the objectives outlined. This goal will allow spaying, gelding and so many other things to happen fast with mullions of dollars in new subsidies, as they gut the NEPA (comment/litigate) process. There are going to be a lot of “outrageous” proposals and headlines leading into the final approval of the spending budget for 2020. Be prepared. 

This tactic counts on you seeing the most horrific (kill, spay, whatever) and looking for something less horrific, and forget what any causation was by responding first with emotion. Like someone threatening to kill you, then you beg them to just beat you, while you forget they had no reason to hit you in the first place (not the best analogy, but I think you understand).

Advocacy is still trying to understand Chris Stewart (R-UT) presenting his “agreement” with HSUS, ASPCA, Return To Freedom, Public Lands Council, Cattlemen’s Ass’n, etc on wild horses. BLM incorporated it into last years report to Congress and it is already in debate in the House for Appropriations 2020. (see 2019 version here)

PLEASE remember “the devils in the details.” The BLM Report to Congress last year outlines how BLM incorporates the requests. In addition to the “ask” of money for multiple purposes (including reseeding under a heading of range improvement; read cow chow) BLM is going to ask for changes to the way they conduct NEPA. This will gut the “analysis” requirements. (read HERE)

Yes, the organizations supposedly representing wild horses had been in this process for five years. This did not just happen overnight. Opposed spaying, large removals or any reference to BLMs Appropriate Management Levels (the number BLM says can exist in the West, 26,000 wild horses) on websites, but had already made “agreement.” 

In the BLM Report to Congress, last year, this alliance was noted “in agreement” on large scale removals (20K a year to get to 26,000 total left on range) and they agreed to spaying. (read HERE) But the corporate “advocates” denied it to the public. 

The new Environmental Assessment (EA) for spaying wild horses at Warm Springs holds several important pieces of information, including incorporating the “alliance” through reference to BLM’s 2018 Report to Congress. 

If you can, momentarily, get beyond the brutality of the act of spaying a wild horse (a procedure only done in domestic horses in extreme circumstances), and not look for a “lesser evil” as an initial response, and  look at this from the “big picture” view.

  • Spaying wild horses is a product pushed by people like Boyd Spratling (former NV Dept of Ag) for over ten years. Spratling is deeply entrenched with the Public Lands Council, Nevada Association of Counties (NACO), Cattlemen’s Ass’n and Protect the Harvest.
  • Spaying is a product that Protect the Harvest has invested in to push the product endorsed by it’s members (along with domestic horse slaughter, puppy mills, etc).
  • Protect the Harvest has ties, members, overlap with Public Lands Council, Society for Range Management, NACO, Utah counties, Chris Stewart and his former Chief of Staff, Brian Steed.
  • Protect the Harvest has ties in Nevada and John Ruhs (former NV State Lead) helped them avoid legal scrutiny for events that, if guilty, carried mandatory legal penalties for a staff member and those they supported.
  • John Ruhs helped organize the “Summit of the Wild Horse” held in Utah. Then he carried both that recommendation sheet and the “Ten Year to AML” created by the 5 year long HSUS et al crew as he took the chair of Deputy Director of BLM (with acting authority of Director).
  • When Ruhs delivered the Report to Congress on National Monuments it became obvious the report was highly manipulation and filled with outright fabrication to move the agenda of his buddies forward (Amodei was pretty upset when BLM moved Ruhs).
  • Ruhs left DC and Brian Steed (Stewarts Chief of Staff) took the Deputy Director helm. He was given authority of director by Ryan Zinke. (you can see that these shifts in the “deputy with authority” come under scrutiny when it comes to other public lands issues, like this PEER legal filing on National Parks)
  • Zinke has long standing ties with Protect the Harvest staff and carried the domestic horse slaughter bills as when he was a Congressman in Montana. (Protect the Harvest and Zinke have a few other overlaps like his investment in PROOF that has an overlapping lobbyist). As a matter of record the top two agenda items brought to Zinke by these interests were: National Monuments and Wild Horses. (click here to see meeting schedule)
  • The EA to spay Warm Springs cites last years BLM Report to Congress where the “Ten Years to AML” had already been incorporated. (where the orgs agree to the “spay product” in order to get agreement to get millions in subsidies for the “products they had for sale, while they lied to you about it)

Be aware that the points above are only scratching at the surface. There is so much more that points directly to a need for intense scrutiny. 

This is not a conversation based in data, it’s based in politically motivated actions.

Do YOU want to stop the spaying?

Organizations like Wild Horse Education will do our jobs and get in-depth comments on record and look at legal options.

The “agreements” incorporated into the BLM Report to Congress need an investigation before any action recommended creates irreversible consequence. Those consequences can be viewed as BLM notes the recommendations in the 2018, that were not adopted by Congress, as legal basis for this EA. I am sure you can see the dangerous ground this “alliance” created. It needs to be stopped. 

An ethics probe must happen.

The news media can not spin this into another story where advocates scream “barbaric!” and the crooks get to say “I know they are emotional. But we have to be adults and make some hard choices.” Advocacy, far too often, gives the perpetrator too many plausible sound bites to hide their lies under.

The actions are barbaric, proposed due to long standing corruption, lies and manipulation. What is happening to all of our wild things and wild places has a callous disregard for life. People see the corruption when we talk about National Parks or oil and gas. This is the same thing, same people behind it all.

To stop it? you have to go after the root.


Where we really need your help? Your representatives count on your vote. Your representatives can not let the changes to the Wild Horse and Burros Act happen that will allow spaying, gelding and mass removals, based on nothing but a sales pitch, and even GUT your ability (and ours) to comment and litigate EAs like these.

In oder to stop this? the BLM Report to Congress needs to go up in flames… and all those that helped to create it exposed, shamed and held accountable.

Make the call…

Find your Representatives. (find them here: http://govtrack.us)

Ask for:

A serious investigation into corruption, waste of tax payer funding, intimidation in the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Start an investigation into the BLM Report to Congress, and all those involved in the creation of the report. 

Before they open that report and read one single word, they need to know who bought and paid for it. The public deserves to know, before wild horses pay a permanent price.

Both men that were the Deputy Directors of BLM, while this report was being utilized by BLM and incorporating documents created by corporate interests, need intense scrutiny. The two men are John Ruhs and Brian Steed. 

In addition, all involvement of Brian Steed with these alliance members, as he sat as Chris Stewart (R-UT) Chief of Staff and then moved the agenda from the helm of the BLM, need more than a “notation,” it needs a close look. 

Chris Stewarts “wild horse agreement” needs a probe into ethics violations. It is a corporate interest document he is masquerading as a public interest document. 

We, the public, demand accountability and the end of sweeping wild horses aside in political debate, by regulators that are bought and paid for (gifts, promotions, job security, campaign contributions, etc).

Please. Make that call.


Help us stay in the fight. 




Categories: Wild Horse Education