Wild Horse Education

Roundups; the next round in the fight (a simple illustrative tool)

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Onaqui wild horses, during the roundup

The fiscal year 2019 roundup schedule is in it’s final days. The fiscal year 2020 budget, that is in debate now in Congress, will fund the removals from October 2019 through September of 2020.

The Senate Committee has just funded a plan (approved $35 million) that will remove 15-20K wild horses per year for 3-4 years, include surgical sterilization and more. This agenda includes massive subsidies and further privatization of public resources. The House Committee approved $6 million. Both plans are based on the broken framework of wild horse management and further burden the program, not fix a single thing. (This has not gone to consolidation or full floor vote, you can take the current action HERE)

Currently, the BLM claims to be “woefully underfunded.” They claim they have to prioritize roundups based on emergent situations and Congressmen that support massive takeovers of federal authority and public resources (National Monuments, massive sales of public land to oil and gas leasing, etc) wave photos of “starving wild horses” to push a corporate agenda to further subsidize the wild horse and burro program that includes massive power grabs by states, counties, livestock and a few opportunists that are claiming to represent advocacy (HSUS, ASPCA, RTF).

So if you buy the propaganda that was the driving force behind this corporate feeding frenzy of a public resource (wild horses are a public resource under law) we should have seen thousands of starving wild horses removed in fiscal 2019. Then we could all recognize the urgency of “hard choices?” That is not what we saw.


Triple B wild horses in the area of the 2019 roundup. The first day of the operation BLM public affairs posted online that the horses were starving at Triple B. When asked “WHAT?” they finally changed the public interface, after the Washington Post left town.

We could walk you through the 2019 schedule area by area. There are 38 distinct areas noted in the roundup schedule; 6 we could agree were due to actual range degradation where an actual emergency could have arisen (yet the cause of that degradation is at issue). Another half dozen were caused by habitat encroachment with no beneficial mitigation for herd health except removal. The rest of them were intensely politically motivated. In one instance local control over BLM and “how many were removed” was bragged about at a local pub.

In the areas where there are jurisdiction issues that have caused decades of crisis management (areas like Cold Creek) we saw BLM, once again, not invest a single dollar to address management concerns. Instead they will rely on the “look only when we have to because a politically powerful permittee is not putting pressure on us” method.

You can access the 2019 schedule here: BLM Wild Horse and Burro Tentantive Gather Schedule for FY2019

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Fish Creek as the roundup began

Many of these areas include new modes of operation that allow waters (that BLM is supposed to maintain paperwork on that allows wild horses and burros to drink) to be shut off to provide “rest periods” from livestock grazing, fences closed that should be open, and more games to satisfy the political pressures from those now claiming to have “made agreement for the welfare of the wild horses.”

This agenda (Path Forward, Ten Years to AML) is not a management strategy. This is a sweep the wild horses off the range strategy that allows further monopolies on public grazing lands, agreements for slices of the holding facility budget, small areas to receive subsidized “darting contracts,” and then overload the warehouse system and then “kill wild horses humanely.” All of this on the taxpayer dime and the wild horses will pay a massive price; cruelty increases on range as more fences go up in the new grazing schemes, livestock waters get further subsidized in the name of the horse, brutal sterilization of a wild animal, and then those unfortunate enough to be captured will, eventually, (in 3 years) be subject to be killed in the guise of “hard choices” once more.

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Fat Owyhee wild horses removed off a range, where 2000 of them were removed in two years and grass loads reached 200-1000 times normal and it burned

If this budget gets approved, in any fashion, BLM will continue to manage your wild horses through political maneuvers to satisfy politics. They wont get trespass (illegal) livestock under control; it’s still rampant in the West. They wont fix boundary lines or insanely low, politically set, stocking levels for wild horses (AML).

In fiscal 2020 you will continue to see BLM do the exact same thing they always have, scapegoat the wild horses to satisfy political pressure. Except this time they will have very happy “partners” cashing taxpayer funded checks.

As you speak to your Reps (we urge you to call both your Senators and your House Reps) this is a simple illustration of the truth of this corporate move that both Senate and House are on the verge of passing in the Appropriations debate. Shouldn’t this be investigated and not funded?

Do you want to pay for this agenda? 

Make the call. HERE






Categories: Wild Horse Education