The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Press Release from Madeleine Pickens in Politico January 18, 2011

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 21, 2011

Dear Friends & Supporters,
We thoughtfully planned out an online and print campaign in
Politico to run today, January 18th. It was the best outlet to target the right audience to get the most attention and a solution to the wild horse issues we are facing.
The audience is composed of the country’s innovators and high-end consumers:

  • Thought Leaders and Opinion Influencers
  • Key Decision Makers in Business and Finance
  • Investors
  • Community Leaders and Concerned Citizens
  • Journalists
  • Educators
  • Federal, State & Local Elected Officials and Policymakers 

With one click you can reach:
2010 Site stats:
3,723,219 Unique Visitors
10,064,124 Visits
25,230,687 Page views 
Source: Google Analytics
18-34 yrs old – 10%
35-49 yrs old – 39%
50 + yrs old – 47%
Male – 73% / Female – 27%
Average HHI 60K-100K  – 30%
Average HHI over $100K – 42%
College – 49%
Graduate School – 34%
Source: Quantcast

Also, please join in on the discussions on our Facebook fan page today. and on Twitter: @mpickens
Thank you for your continued support of our wild horses. Please share this email with your friends and family. Together, we can make a positive change for our mustangs.

Madeleine Pickens & all the mustangs  

Washington, DC (January 18, 2011)
As Congress returns from the holiday weekend, members will be greeted by a full-page ad in Politico blasting the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (
BLM) for its decision to proceed with the roundup of more than 2,000 mustangs in northeastern Nevada, despite a cost-effective alternative on the table.

“As costs [of the BLM wild horse program] spiral out of control, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who oversees the BLM, and BLM Director Bob Abbey pledge reform. But their talk is cheap when opportunities for real action are ignored,” the ad admonishes.

The advertisement was placed by philanthropist and businesswoman Madeleine Pickens, who has purchased two ranches in Nevada and is in the process of creating a wild horse eco-sanctuary in the area. Mrs. Pickens’ ranches are situated amidst the BLM’s Antelope Complex, where BLM intends to conduct the massive wild horse roundup beginning this week.

In early December, Mrs. Pickens and her Saving American Mustangs Foundation had offered to provide state-of-the-art holding facilities for the captured horses on her private lands, and requested the BLM to postpone the roundup by a few months until the ranches were ready to receive the horses.

Mrs. Pickens proposal would prevent the waste of tax dollars incurred by shipping the horses thousands of miles to off-the-range holding facilities. Despite this, BLM rejected the offer.

“For three years BLM has stonewalled our proposal to create a wild horse eco-sanctuary that offers a cost-effective, public/private partnership solution to the government’s unsustainable warehousing of wild horses,” Mrs. Pickens said today. “Today I turn to the Congress and the American people to urge the BLM to heed the call for change before it is too late, and the last of our cherished mustangs is lost forever.”

Last week, a coalition of prominent organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States , the Western Watersheds Project and the ASPCA sent a letter to BLM director Bob Abbey urging him to postpone the roundup in favor of the cost effective alternative plan.

Beginning as early as January 20, the BLM intends to capture up to 2,228 mustangs, or 83 percent of the wild horses living in the Antelope Complex, claiming that the 1.3 million acre public lands area can sustain just 427-788 horses. Meanwhile, the agency annually authorizes the equivalent of more than 2,000 privately-owned cattle and nearly 7,000 privately-owned sheep to graze the same area.

The BLM has been harshly criticized over the past several years for its aggressive policy of rounding up wild horses from public lands in the West and stockpiling them in government holding facilities in the Midwest. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Senate Interior Appropriation Committee, and Interior Secretary Salazar himself have acknowledged that the program is fiscally unsustainable, yet the roundups continue. The BLM now warehouses more wild horses in government holding facilities (40,000+) than are left free on the range.

Saving America’s Mustangs is creating up to a million acre Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary as a permanent home for wild horses presently in captivity. The “Mustang Monument” sanctuary will be a living museum, where visitors can reconnect with the great outdoors and learn about America’s wild horses and the important role they play in our culture and our history 

Here is the full-page ad that ran on page 5 of the January 18th print edition of Politico:

For more ads click here.


9 Responses to “Press Release from Madeleine Pickens in Politico January 18, 2011”

  1. Marybeth said

    The Antelope Complex’s Environmental Assessment disclosed that the number of active livestock “animal unit months” –AUMs — are 18 times the number of wild horse AUMs that correspond to the current low end of the AML — the level to which the herd is to be reduced. Further, those livestock AUMs are currently under-utilized. The latest data show 36,664 livestock AUMs in-use and 57,318 not-in-use out of the 93,982 AUMs in active status. Thus, if those 57,318 unused livestock AUMs were transferred to the wild horses, another 4,777 mustangs could be accommodated without impacting the current level of livestock usage. The wild horse population could grow to a realistic AML of 5,204 to 5,565 wild horses. There would be no need for gathers and removals now and for some time to come. Immediate savings of tax dollars would be realized by not conducting a roundup, and ongoing savings would be achieved by not placing any more horses into long-term holding. BLM’s stubbornness in planning to go ahead with the expense and cruelty of the roundup despite Ms. Pickens’ generous offer reveals how mismanaged the agency has become and why it should be divested of its authority over the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

  2. Reveil said

    This is sad. Horses would live much happier lives in an eco-sanctuary, and families would enjoy watching them as well. Is it possible that the rejection has something to do with the location?
    I vaguely remember reading something related to the fact that she chose Nevada for the sanctuary was not a very good idea. I wonder if she would have gotten the green light had she chosen a different state/location. Do you remember this, Tracy?

    • LOL, s’ok…
      Yea, I do remember hearing that. There was some initial doubt about her plan altogether because she wanted to do it in Nevada. But, at the same time, she was better to do it there as the horses she was wanting to place on the sanctuary were from the region. Its less stress and transition on them.
      I’ve been on the phone for what seems like 24/7 over this past week with every contact I could think of and then get in touch with about this mattter. There is something about this whole deal – deeper than the obvious – that doesn’t jive too great in my mind. This has only become more something-is-wrong-gut-feeling with almost every conversation I’ve had and answers I’ve been given. I know the simplest answer is nmost usually the correct answer, but I can’t seem to accept this one yet.
      Gonna keep digging… Let ya’ll know what piles up.


  3. Reveil said

    Oops. I meant “Tracie”.

  4. Reveil said

    It was back in 2009, after her initial meeting with the Secretary of the Interior. Due to his concern about the proposed location of the eco-sanctuary, from what I remember, she had responded with reassurance that her foundation would do good work, or something along these lines. If this exact location is at the source of the conflict, it seems that she may have to try again, but in a different location. If this becomes a land dispute it may take a really long time which is not in favor of animals in captivity.
    Although horses are in holding pens due to round ups, AMLs, etc.. while focusing on the issue of the eco-sanctuary, currently her only option is indeed to keep working with the BLM to resolve this, and most importantly, to try to offer a permanent sanctuary for horses currently crowded in holding pens, in a timely manner.

  5. R. Thompson said

    Just what is the “land dispute” that is allegedly the reason for BLM’s turn down of the sanctuary offer? Specifically who is disputing what? Cattle interests? Oil & Gas interests? Sundry other energy interests?

    Is it time for BLM’s horse management program to be further reviewed under OMB Circular A-76 vis a vis privatization of “inherently non-governmental activities?”

    There’s no good reason why BLM can’t accommodate private sanctuary now, under current rules and regulations. The sanctuary proposed, as I understand it, has a financial management plan, and won’t likely be either over crowded or under funded, as some others are and perpetually seeking emergency donations. I really do not understand this problem.

    Maybe I’m not up to date or just have missed something.

  6. Anonymous said

    At least one of the opponents:

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