Wild Horse Education

Countdown 2021: Public Top Ten

The year 2020 is drawing to a close. Only 5 more weekends until the calendar flips to the year 2021! 

Will 2021 contain a “pot of gold” for wild horses? not if the mistakes of the past are not rectified.

The 50th anniversary of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act will arrive in 2021. It has been 50 years since the fight to protect our wild ones from horrific capture through mustanging and rampant sale to slaughter became illegal through the designation of federal jurisdiction; our wild horses and burros were now an integral part of our public lands under law. The deep dive into management planning never happened, leaving the “wild horse program” easily corrupted and exploited. That is the the task for this generation.

Over the next 5 weeks we will look back at the year 2020, take a hard look at the last 50 years and highlight the changes you have helped WHE create. Looking back, learning, will arm us all with knowledge to face the fight ahead in 2021! 

It has been a tradition at WHE to begin the year end countdown by featuring YOUR top ten articles and features from WHE.

YOUR Top Ten features (determined by traffic) in descending order:

This mare was unable to drink and her band ran away from all the noise. Nursing is thirsty work. With your help, we got the panels open.

10: Water Trap Near Temporary Stops Wild Horses From Drinking! At the Swasey helicopter roundup, in the heat of summer, the BLM had also set a water trap at a heavily used site. They set the tap right next to temporary holding and the chaos blocked wild horses from coming in. With you help we got the panels open. (more here)

9: Wild Horse Slaughter (SAFE, Burns, Budget) An article, with action items, that address the distinct threats of the slaughter pipeline to wild horses. The SAFE Act is a USDA bill that prohibits transport of all horses out of the county for slaughter. The budget debate for BLM is where we can keep sales to slaughter illegal for wild horses. Words matter. (more here)

Escape in biter cold, sweating heavy from the intense chase, Eagle 2020

8: NV County Adopts “Stop Helicopter Roundups” Resolution! In June Nye county adopted a resolution “..that it does not support the BLM’s present Helicopter method of rounding-up our Wild Horses and Burros any longer within the borders of Nye County, Nevada.” The resolution was based on the failure of BLM to comply with humane handling standards and revise the policy. (more here)

7: 4 Water Emergencies in Nevada (why we need actual management). Humane Management begins on the range. The failures of BLM to create management planning leads to agony on the range. BLM is giving away wild horse county to profit driven interests and doing absolutely nothing to protect our herds. Article, and an action item that is still active, here. 

The spay plan at Confusion will impact Swasey and Conger. The EA is severely flawed and must be stopped.

6: WHE ON FILE Against the “Spay Plan” in Utah: On October 28, 2020 WHE filed legal action against the Final EA released by BLM in Utah. The plan includes barbaric spaying of mares and is a clear attempt to fast forward a political agenda. BLM plans to begin spaying in the spring. We are the only org to file legal action against this pending horror to date. Our case against the plan is active. (more here)

5: One Herd, A Win, For Now (Mining Company Puts Massive Expansion on Hold). WHE joined with a very diverse group to halt a water permit application for one of the largest gold mines in the country, that would have devastating impacts to so many: tribal, endangered species and wild horses. (more here)

4: Eagle Roundup Ends, 23 confirmed dead. In February 2020 BLM captured over 1700 wild horses from the Eagle complex and 24 died (our count, later confirmed). Late in 2020 the area was hit by fire. BLM plans to target the complex again in January 2021. (more on the 2020 roundup here)

3: The Black (an escape at Red Desert). The wild horse that captivated the day was “the black.” Everything we think of when we think “mustang” was embodied in this brave stallion. His family trusted him more than they feared the chopper. (see the story here)

2: Personal Plea, take action in her memory. All year long our volunteers documented intense suffering in many HMAs due to the backdoor deal making that runs the buddy club of BLM. Waters shut off, critical habitat wiped out, gates closed keeping wild horses off water. Nowhere was this “buddy club” more apparent than at Fish Creek. We documented more than a dozen deaths while BLM played a game of favorites and ignored all of our offers to help. BLM cancelled the roundup claiming “covid fears.” But it should be noted that this is the only roundup BLM has cancelled this year. We will have an in-depth article soon on the “Fish Creek games” and a new action item. You can still take the last action in memory of a mare and her colt that died one of the most horrific deaths imaginable, dehydration. (more here)

1: Senate Action. Yes! The number 1 feature on our website in 2020 is/was the action item on Appropriations (spending) for the BLM! We are making progress educating Congress that there is a difference between creating corporate subsidies, funding tools used to manipulate a system and creating actual sustained management planning. YOU are a big part of that effort. If we can keep up the momentum in 2021, it may not be long before we can begin to realize the dream of the 1971 Act; wild horses and burros actually managed as an integral part of our public lands! (more here)

As we countdown to a new year we will continue to publish our “Top Ten” lists, accomplishments in 2020, volunteer stories and our continued actions and goals for 2021.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Together we continue the fight. 


Help us stay in the fight. 

Until December 6 all contributions will be matched up to $10K. End of year funding is critical to all nonprofits determining which programs and projects can be carried into the new year. We have a lot of work to do in 2021 to ensure our wild horses and burros are not subjected to abuse and begin to be managed fairly on the range. Together we can make 2021 a banner year for the wild ones we treasure! 

Categories: Wild Horse Education