You can watch the “No More Standoffs” hearing live:

Our commentary during the hearing will appear beneath the reading list.

Reading list for wild horse advocacy:

When Ryan Zinke took his seat as Secretary of Interior (now former) he met with members of Protect the Harvest and their lobbyist that also works for a gun company Zinke holds stock in. The agenda had two mainline items: National Monuments and Wild Horses. More from our investigative team here:

“All the Pretty Horses Must Die” is a narrative by Christopher Ketcham, the author of the New book This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West.” We worked with Ketcham for two years on this twisted tale of intimidation and destruction in public lands management that resents federal authority. The story is not for kids. Our preface and a link to the full, 10,000 word, article:

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has released a new report to assess “security requirements.” The report outlines at least 360 threats and assaults against employees of four agencies from fiscal 2013 through 2017. The FBI investigated “under 100” of these as domestic terrorism cases, from zero to 99.  The range of intimidation against federal employees included attempted murder.

Our complaint filed with the Office of the Inspector General on Brian Steed (former) BLM Deputy Director:

A 5 part series on the public land seizure movement written just for the wild horse advocate:

WHE commentary for our readers:

NOTE: it is obvious that some witnesses are fearful. The tone of voice of many on the panel is an indication of the serious nature of this hearing. 

Intro to meeting: review on GAO report.

Minority chair, Curtis, takes issue with the name of the hearing downplaying the threats.

Witness list updated: 

Witness List

Mr. Dan Nichols (testimony)

Rancher and Former County Supervisor 

Diamond, Oregon 

Professor Peter A. Walker (testimony)

Department of Geology 

University of Oregon 

Eugene, Oregon 

Ms. Anne-Marie Fennell (testimony)


Natural Resources and Environment Team 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

Ms. Katie Tubb (testimony)

Senior Policy Analyst 

The Heritage Foundation

When Ms Tubb (Heritage Foundation) says federal managers need to reach “compromise” with those that are “frustrated in the community” she means “do what the county says, what the trespass rancher says.” Understand those words. This is what it looks like for the desert tortoise and the cows are still out:

Minority chair Curtis (R-UT) says “BLM needs to build relationships of trust.” He means to give the reins to the county. This is what it look like for #wildhorses. The county runs the parameters of the roundup, cancels fertility control, gets all other voices out until they get what they want.

NOTE: it is obvious that some witnesses are fearful. 

Mr Nichols (Harney county) talks about collaboration. Says that Harney was never anti-federal government and is actually a model of cooperation. The standoff was not related to the county and BLM’s relationship. That we need to communicate “people to people.” He says county now divided. He agrees violence is not an answer.

So do we.

The hearing is now over and will continue with written questions.

We thank all of our readers for understanding how important this issue is. No one should walk in fear at their jobs. No one should be making decisions out of fear regarding how public lands resources are used. 

No one advocating for the environment should face threats or be used as a scapegoat by a fearful land manager to draw pressure, and potential violence, away from themselves. 


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