Fish Creek Roundup 2019

The video above is from day 2. Scroll down for reports, most recent at the top.

This page is set as a landing page for reports from the Fish Creek Roundup, 2019. The most recent reports will appear at the top of the page, scroll down for previous reports.

BLM plans on capturing 600 wild horses and releasing 50 after treatment with fertility control. If they do not reach the target number, there will be no release.

The Fish Creek HMA consists is 252,771 acres (250,244 BLM acres). BLM set Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 107-180 wild horses. BLM set this level in land use planning almost 35 years ago. In 2009 BLM began outreach to amend this land use plan (including AML and boundary lines) and to date has taken no steps to rectify the flaws in planning. Fish Creek has also been one of the areas where oil and gas parcels have gone into the “lease sale” list; fracking is a technology never imagined in the old land use plan.
BLM has stated a helicopter flight done in July documented 822 wild horses within and directly outside of the Fish Creek HMA.


You can help keep our team in field, at the table, and in the courts. Thank you.

The operation ended Sept 15.

WHE continue to monitor the range and those in holding. Pawns in a game of greed and politics. Our extended post that delves deep into the “real problems” on Fish Creek, ground zero for the deal makers of the “alliance agenda” (those publicly visible and those making backdoor deals) coming soon.

Please keep calling your Senators.

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Day 10

A token release of 20 wild horses (7 mares and 13 studs) took place.

Another foal suffered a compound fracture and was killed.


captured: 558 (213 Studs, 242 Mares, and 102 Foals)

5 deaths (3 were foals)

20 released.

Our observer was not permitted to observe treatment with PZP and was not even told the formula utilized (we are assuming PZP-22).

Our observer sat on range all day (where trailers would arrive).

What happened: Studs arrived. Then she waited on range for the PZP to be applied and the mares to arrive. Even though she waited all day to see the mares, they were released in a way that made her ability to document what needed to be seen (their left hip, as she had seen with the trailer of studs) did not happen. (We have reason to believe the state of NV interfered with federal authority to retreat and release mares.)

Even though she was there all day, no one informed her of the tragedy at holding (foal with a snapped leg).

We will do an extended article about the Fish Creek operation this week. Fish Creek points to everything wrong in the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program. 

A frame that took 6 years to begin, was abandoned under politics, dismantled in one week. The cost in lives in 2015, the cost in lives (including 3 more foals) at this operation, the continued cost in lives in holding…. all for politics and the “friends and family club.” 

This is not management.

(scroll down for additional reports, articles, pictures and video)

One mont before the chopper flew. This baby could be the one that died yesterday. We will never know.

Day 9


Wild horses captured: 32 (12 Studs, 15 Mares, and 4 Foals)

shipped: 78

2 deaths: 5 year old stud with club foot and a 7 yr old bay with “fibrous dysplaysia.” (We think we know the bay. If the dysplasia was the right shoulder, back in 2016 we did tell BLM we would take him if he was ever caught. RIP.)

Total to date:

captured: 558 (213 Studs, 242 Mares, and 102 Foals)

4 deaths: 5 yr old stud (club foot), 7 yr old bay (dysplasia), yearling (joint issue) and a yearling (foal) with a compound fracture.

Day 8

Youngster captured on Day 8. Another did not survive the run.

Editorial commentary by Laura Leigh, WHE founder (as a human being)

Many volunteers (not only those at WHE, but most organizations) do their work out of a deep love and respect for the interest they represent; domestic dogs, wildlife, wild horses, etc. The work is hard and, many times, it can wound us deeply. Today we thank our onsite observer, the only observer yesterday at the trap, for all she has been through at this operation. 

The Fish Creek operation has been unprecedented in many ways. We will editorialize, in-depth, this operation after it completes. (the behavior of many during this operation points to the depth of all that is wrong, not only in wild horses, in many areas of our world). 

A youngster was run yesterday, as many were the days before. We have been concerned (day 2 is at the top of this page, and if you watch the movement of the foals, you can see struggles and stumbles).

Yesterday, a foal was run and broken and shot. BLM did not remove the body, they continued the operation. (foal down at 10:54 am, next run into trap was 12:26 pm. Baby retrieved after observer was escorted to holding.)

Our volunteer remained professional onsite and did her job. But later, processing video and all that has happened, she broke down sobbing in her fatigue. She is a 3 year veteran of roundups.

We are focused on team support today and will upload more on the day 8 update later.

To volunteers that pour their heart and soul into their work and keep your interest your focus and not be swayed by money and power, no matter what issue holds your passion, we honor all of you today. Your work is important. But, we are all simply human. We thank you.

The video below is not a graphic representation of the injury, it is an unedited portion of the aftermath so you can understand some of the process. Wranglers went to rope, what they probably thought was an exhausted youngster (as we have seen many times, at many operations). The youngster tries to rise and they see the injury. BLM and veterinarian assess the wound and shoot the foal. (BLM has changed the public affairs officer to one we have known a long time, he is actually former media and understands the purpose of the First Amendment and did not ridicule. You can hear him ask our observer if she can see. WHE was the only org onsite. A personal thank you to him as an individual.

You will understand that comment more in our after-action report at the conclusion of Fish Creek.)

Many of our viewers will find the following, even though we did not include the moment of injury, disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.

BLM has essentially removed all of the wild horses, except stragglers, from two grazing allotments from day 2-day 8.

Day 9 they are going back to the area they were at on day 1, the south end. There is significant exchange this year, more than any other year we have documented (usually exchange is minimal), with a neighboring HMA. There are issues of human interference that have contributed; closed gates, livestock that (it was claimed) broke through a fence and were in “unintentional trespass,” impacting a critical water source, and a mine breaking ground. We fear that not only will we lose wild horses we know well from Fish Creek, but we will lose many from the neighboring HMA.

BLM NV has not published updates from Friday (as of our publish time). We saw about 30 run. We have no idea how many were trapped as we could not see wings, nor pen.

Utah had daily stats up last night. We will be publishing our Onaqui update shortly.

We will update with final numbers (BLM does not give them to observers onsite at holding) as soon as they are published.

Edited to add: At 10 am on the 14th BLM published stats:

Day 8 captured: 29 (11 Studs, 13 Mares, and 5 Foals)

BLM describes the death as (not our words): Yearling, sorrel, stud, was euthanized in accordance with IM 2015-070, due to acute condition with a poor prognosis for recovery (compound fractured leg).

Total to date: 526 (201 Studs, 227 Mares, and 98 Foals)

2 deaths. BLM classifies both as “yearlings” in the death reports, but wild horses the same age are counted as foals in the daily capture totals. (no classification of yearling in the total to dates)

The youngster in the rear of the photo suffered a compound fracture.

Day 7

Today more wild horses, we know well, lost freedom.

We will do an extended post on these wild horses, their bands and history, at a later date. This entire roundup is rooted in so many backroom deals, that if you knew them all your head would spin.

For us, the wild horses are the focus. This roundup never had to happen. This is so hard to watch, it is all so very wrong. We will update again soon.

Please continue to take action against the moves in Congress. There are many that feel your interest, your voice, your hard work, mean nothing. Learn more, and continue to make the call, HERE. 


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We were kept a long way from the trap today.


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Wild horses captured day 7:  77 (30 Studs, 30 Mares, and 17 Foals)

shipped: 0 

Total to date: 497 (190 Studs, 214 Mares, and 93 Foals)

Removal target is 550. We expect them to hit that target today. At this time it is unknown if BLM will do a release, or not. We will update you later today. 

Day 6

This was the fifth day at the same trap location. We are awaiting BLM response to our inquiry referencing the approved flight area for the operation. We have eyewitness reports of activity as far south and west as Forest Service land, and as far east as entering an adjoining HMA. When asked at observation location, the question could not be answered. We have asked supervisory personnel for the protocol on flight path. We will let you know when we receive it.

Today only 23 were captured today. Most of the wild horses we know that live in the immediate area have been removed.

Trap moves into the Lucky C allotment for day 7. We do not know, as of this writing, if BLM will use the same trap location as in 2015. We expect to see most of the wild horses we know in that area to be removed tomorrow.


Wild Horses Captured: 23 (12 Studs, 8 Mares, and 3 Foals)

Shipped on day 6: 81 (38 Studs, 33 Mares, and 10 Foals)

BLM has set a target of 550 wild horses for removal. If the target is exceeded they will do a release of mare treated with fertility control. 

Total captured to date: 420 (160 Studs, 184 Mares, and 76 Foals)

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Day 5

Captured day 5: 42 (12 Studs, 20 Mares, and 10 Foals)

Total captured to date: 397 (148 Studs, 176 Mares, and 73 Foals)

One yearling (BLM would count as a foal in the total) has lost it’s life.

On day 5 wild horses were harder to find on the 4th day at the same trap location. There were longer time spans between runs as two choppers flew. One chopper left for Onaqui, that begins on Sept 11. We received reports that there was helicopter activity over Forest Service land to the west an have sent an inquiry to BLM about that activity (as those on the ground were unsure of where the horse captured today were from).

As a mare and her youngster fought the helicopter in the valley, an escapee came over the rise in our direction.

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The Senate is back in session. All of our wild horses are in danger from the bullies that rule the world of wild horses… and that includes many big organizations. To learn more about one such “backdoor deal,” a devastating political agenda and to take action against it, go HERE.

Day 4

The Fish Creek capture total is 600 with 550 targeted for removal. The operation is now more than half way to it’s goal.

It is important to note that the trap has not moved; 3 days at this site and the same site is set for day 5. This area is the “heart” of the HMA and all the wild horses in the area are being removed. We expect BLM to have difficulty capturing any more at this trap on day 5.

BLM is mandated to manage wild horses, not just remove them. This is a removal that never had to happen if BLM followed that mandate. The removal, and subsequent costs, will top well over a million dollars. This is politics, not management.


Wild Horses captured: 122 (47 Studs, 54 Mares, and 21 Foals)

shipped: 81 (43 Studs, 26 Mares, and 12 Foals)

Total captured: 355 (136 Studs, 156 Mares, and 63 Foals)

A yearling has died.

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Day 3

A story of a mare and her foal; fast video.

At dawn her band is grabbed by the chopper and is chased, with multiple bands, toward the trap location. She veers from the trap mouth with another and her foal in tow. She heads for the safety of the trees and tries to hide her baby. The chopper finds her. She and her foal lose family and freedom. Both will be taken to Palomino Valley Center (PVC) north of Reno and never see their home again.


Wild Horses Captured: 73 (29 Studs, 32 Mares, and 12 Foals)

82 shipped to PVC.

Total: 233 captured (73 Studs, 89 Mares, and 36 Foals)

Today we met with the Field Manager, briefly, to try to get the fertility/data program back on track, and to begin to discuss many other issues.

Bullies rule the world of wild horses… and that includes many big organizations. To learn more about one such “backdoor deal” and to take action against it, go HERE.

But there are many others playing one game in the public eye, and another behind the scenes. We will have more soon. We are still juggling media and political officials on range during this operation. More on that soon.

Day 2

BLM moved into the heart of the Fish Creek HMA today. Many bands we know well lost freedom and family. We saw so many leave the range that BLM said, in 2015, would live the rest of their lives on the range, free, as deficits in management were addressed. The brands on their hips meant nothing. The changes to the Land Use Plan (LUP) are still not rectified. No Herd Management Area plan has been crafted to supplement management until the LUP is fixed. The data/fertility control plan had simply vanished.

Today? we saw the same actions we have seen, in so many places, over and over again. In many ways what we saw, all that was said and done, was as if the program had been dragged back in time ten years.

We estimated BLM would catch 150 on the first day at this trap site. As of the writing of this update we estimate  120-130 were captured today. We estimate BLM will capture about 80-100 at this trap on day 2 at that this site.

Edit: BLM published statistics:

wild horses captured 114 (42 Studs, 49 Mares, and 23 Foals)

46 captured day one.

Total captured: 160 (we know BLM has 154 as the published total)

BLM has not published statistics yet. People that are actually at the roundup are no longer being given daily statistics and need to wait, just like the people at home, for BLM to post online. This trend began at Owyhee in 2016. We will update when they post and we have signal.

We will write more later. We are juggling multiple projects and this was a very hard roundup to witness. It never had to happen like this.

(very fast video edit, day 2)

Day 1

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Wild Horses Captured:  40 (15 Studs, 18 Mares, and 7 Foals) (BLM made an error uploading numbers for the 6th. 46 were captured.

Deaths: 1

From BLM (not our words): Yearling, sorrel, stud, BCS 4 was euthanized in accordance with IM 2015-070, due to pre-existing conditions with a poor prognosis for recovery (severe joint infection).

Observation at the trap was really bad. We do have long lens video, but have not had time to edit (we will include in future video). We are juggling 2 media crews and interfacing with legislators that are reaching out for information. (We will update you on those conversations soon)

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You can help keep our team in the field. 


Learn more about the moves in Congress to remove 15-20K wild horses each year, sterilize herds and more. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2019/09/04/its-personal/

Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education