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Archive for the ‘Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010’ Category

High Rock & Calico Gathers to be Conducted Simultaneously…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 24, 2011

BLM Says: “The High Rock Complex Gather is being coordinated with the Calico Complex Gather proposed by the Winnemucca BLM District’s Black Rock Field Office in Fall/Winter 2011.” 

Advocates Ask: “Why?” (rather sarcastically I might add…)

According to the High Rock Complex Gather EA, BLM states the following:

“The benefit of coordinating these wild horse gathers is that it affords the BLM the opportunity to gather wild horses that have moved out of their designated HMAs (due to gather pressure) and have moved into adjacent areas which are subject to different administrative jurisdiction. In the past, horses that have moved out of the prescribed gather area during operations have not been gathered. By coordinating the High Rock and Calico Gathers to occur consecutively, the effective gather area would be increased, thereby improving gather success rates and the ability to achieve the AML within this broader area.”

The High Rock Complex is managed by the Surprise Field Office in California and consists of the Bitner, Fox-Hog, High Rock, Nut Mountain, and Wall Canyon HMAs, along with the Nut Mountain HMA. There is some minuscule light shining at the end of the tunnel though. In the first paragraph of the High Rock EA, BLM states the following:

“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Surprise Field Office is proposing to implement a population management operation for wild horses in order to achieve desired population levels within the Bitner, Fox-Hog, High Rock, Nut Mountain, and Wall Canyon Herd Management Areas (HMAs), and from adjacent public lands outside of these designated HMAs. This would entail gathering and removing excess horses from four HMAs (Bitner, Fox-Hog, High Rock, and Wall Canyon) and potentially adding horses to one HMA (Nut Mountain). The Nut Mountain HMA did not have excess animals at the time of the last population inventory. All HMAs will be managed for Appropriate Management Levels.”

Whether or not this actually occurs will be the question on everyone’s lips from now until then. The Tri-State MOU includes the following Wild Horse Areas:

  • FWS Oregon: Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
  • BLM Oregon, Lakeview District: Beatys Butte HMA
  • BLM California, Surprise Field Office: Bitner, Massacre Lakes, Nut Mountain, Wall Canyon, High Rock, Fox Hog HMAs
  • FWS Nevada: Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
  • BLM Nevada, Winnemucca District: Granite, Calico Mountains, Black Rock West, Black Rock East, Warm Springs, McGee Mountain HMAs

Contact Info:

Rolando R. Mendez
Field Manager
Bureau of Land Management
Black Rock Field Office
5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd.
Winnemucca, NV 89445

Comments need to be writing and should reference High Rock Complex Wild Horse Roundup, the specific document you are referencing, and include applicable section or page numbers.

Comments may be mailed toBureau of Land Management Surprise Field Office, P.O. Box 460, Cedarville, CA 96104, or emailed to: CA High Rock Complex Horse Roundup


Tri-State Calico Complex Wild Horse and Burro Gather PEA (Public comment period ends July 18, 2011)

High Rock Complex Wild Horse and Burro Roundup  (Comments will be accepted until July 15, 2011)

For many, many more NEPA documents from the Surprise & Winnemucca Offices, click here…

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, FY2011, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge | 7 Comments »

BLM Releases Tri-State-Calico Complex WH&B Gather Plan, & Meets with Immediate Opposition…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 16, 2011

More to come on the Calico Complex from TMP soon… T.

BLM Nevada News
FOR RELEASE: June 15, 2011
CONTACT: Lisa Ross at (775) 623-1541,

Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available for Tri-State-Calico Complex Wild Horse Gather

Winnemucca, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office has prepared a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) for the Tri-State-Calico Complex Wild Horse and Burro Gather Plan. The BLM is proposing to gather approximately 1,298 wild horses and 140 wild burros, of which as many as 268 wild horses would be released back to the range following the gather. The gather area is located northeast of Gerlach, Nev., within Humboldt and Washoe counties. The BLM would appreciate receiving substantive comments on the preliminary EA by July 18, 2011.
In the proposed action, of the wild horses released back to the range, approximately 87 mares would receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment and 181 studs/geldings would be released due to sex ratio adjustments (60 percent male/40 percent female). The goal is to slow population growth and maintain population size within the appropriate management level, and extend the time before a gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed.
“Keeping the herd population in balance with the available forage and water helps keep these wild horses healthy,” said Rolando Mendez, Black Rock field manager. “It is the BLM’s responsibility to sustain the health of the rangelands, and achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance.” The BLM is proposing to finish the proposed action and decision made in the Calico Mountains Complex Wild Horse Gather Plan from 2010.  Although the Calico Mountains Complex was gathered in Jan. and Feb. 2010, the overall proposed action was not achieved due to winter conditions and wild horse movement within the tri-state area of Nevada, Oregon, and California, which necessitates the need for this follow-up gather.
The BLM estimates there are currently 1,602 wild horses within the Complex and 179 wild burros. The gather is proposed in order to return the wild horse and burro population to within the appropriate management level of 572 to 952 wild horses and 39 to 65 wild burros. The Complex consists of approximately 584,000 acres (public and private) but the gather area consists of approximately 1,041,000 acres to encompass wild horses and burros residing outside of the herd management areas (HMAs).
Wild horses and burros from the Tri-State-Calico Complex would be gathered as a Complex or unit as herds move and interact throughout. The proposed gather is being conducted in conjunction with BLM California’s High Rock Wild Horse Gather, which would take place immediately prior to this proposed gather. This is conducive because both gathers are located within the tri-state area where wild horse movement between these areas exists. The Complex gather involves areas beyond the HMA boundaries as wild horse and burros have moved outside of HMAs in search of forage, water and space, due to the current over-population of wild horses and burros in these areas. The Complex includes the following HMAs: Black Rock Range East, Black Rock Range West, Calico Mountains, Granite Range, Warm Springs Canyon, and McGee Mountain.  The proposed gather is tentatively scheduled to begin in December 2011 and will last approximately 40-50 days.
The document may be reviewed on-line at Printed copies are available upon request from the BLM Winnemucca District Office. Questions and written comments should be directed to: Rolando Mendez, Field Manager, Black Rock Field Office, BLM Winnemucca District, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921.Comments may also be submitted by email to Email messages should include “Tri-State-Calico Complex Gather Plan (Whitman)” in the subject line. Public comments submitted for this project, including names and addresses of commentors will be available for public review at the Winnemucca District Office during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

Immediately following the email distribution of this news, a reply-to-all message was sent:

Do you have any other documentation available to support the conclusions set forth in the EA? Names of the experts, their backgrounds, photographic evidence (specific locations, documented on the ground photos & aerial) and detailed examples of damage, over use, etc.? Please provide the methodology used to calculate the numbers of Wild Horses on the various ranges; dates, times, and methods used and the specific individuals utilized and their professional backgrounds. Do you have a new and specific proposed multi-use plan? If yes, please provide?
Best regards,
William M. LeRoy, President & CEO
American Legal & Financial Network® (ALFN®)

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | 5 Comments »

BLM to Host Public Tours of Indian Lakes Facility

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 13, 2011

BLM to Host Public Tours of its Fallon Wild Horse and Burro Facility

Reno, Nev. —The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is offering public tours of its Indian Lakes Road Short-Term Holding Facility in Fallon, Nev., Friday, June 3, and Friday, July 15, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  The tours can each accommodate up to 30 people and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  The public can sign up to attend and get driving directions to the facility by calling the BLM at (775) 475-2222.  

The facility is located at 5676 Indian Lakes Road, Fallon, and is privately owned and operated.  Those attending the tour will be taken around the facility as a group on a wagon so visitors can hear information about the facility and program, ask questions, and to provide safety for visitors, since the facility is quite large to walk around by foot.  

About a one and one-half hour drive from Reno, the Indian Lakes Road Facility is the BLM’s newest contracted short-term holding facility, and provides care for up to 2,850 excess wild horses that are removed during gathers.  The facility encompasses 320 acres and contains 36 large holding pens that are 70,000 square feet per pen and can hold approximately 100 horses safely per pen.  The horses are fed an abundance of feed tailored to their needs each day, and a veterinarian routinely inspects the horses and provides necessary medical care.  

Once preparation for adoption is completed, and the animals have fully transitioned to a diet of domestic feed, they are ready for shipment to adoption venues and may be available to the public for adoption through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program.  

The BLM plans to hold periodic public tours in the future.  Announcements of future public tours, as well as information about the Indian Lakes Road Facility and the public tours, can be found at the BLM Nevada website at  

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 1 Comment »

the Texas Mustang Project presents the You Be the Judge Series…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on September 2, 2010

Sorrel Foal Dozing in the Sun at the Broken Arrow USA Wild Horse Holding Facility, Fallon, NV March 2010


I’ve had a few of you folks ask me over the past month or so when I was going to do another You Be the Judge edition. Well, I can’t quite say that for sure just yet. I have been tinkering with a few ideas here and there, and of course there are several current affairs that I would like to “pick on” and play the Devil’s Advocate to, but there’s just not been that one in particular that I have been able to settle on yet. This series takes a great amount of time to produce due to the research involved that is necessary to uphold the purpose of the editions themselves.  To give some background to anyone new to this series, I’ve included the links below to the entire series here on TMP. They can also be found in pdf format on the You Be the Judge page. As well, I’m including here “Playing the Devil’s Advocate as a preface to the series. (I encourage each of you to read the information on the YBTJ page to get a better understanding of the overall purpose.)     

So without further adieu, the Texas Mustang Project presents the You Be the Judge Series…    

*I’ve had several requests to post the Q&A interview with Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation in response to the Pryor Mountain Gather of September 2009. I proofread the document before posting, and I realized just how much I have learned about the Wild Horse Management situation as a whole in just a few months. It is my hope that its content will be taken in this spirit. And yea, it’s really long too, but Ginger and I tend to gab quite a bit when we get on this subject, so just bear with us… Trust me, it’s worth it! 🙂 Q&A with Ginger Kathrens September 11, 2009

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | 2 Comments »

Dr. Eric Davis, Report of July 01, 2010 Visit to Indian Lakes Facility

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 22, 2010

Dr. Eric Davis, Report of July 01, 2010 Visit to Indian Lakes Facility

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 4 Comments »

Re: Discrepancy in the Numbers of Gather Related Deaths from Calico, July 30, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 30, 2010

Well! It has certainly been a chaotic past couple of weeks, and as usual the hits just keep on comin’… Fires, droughts, floods, and storms are the oxymoronic topics that grace our daily news digests. We’ve all seen about 20 “breaking news” bulletins in the past week alone causing some of us to become a tad bit desensitized to them. However, when I saw the “breaking news” of 150 horses lost, I stopped to investigate. Now I don’t know if this is all inclusive, or if this is just a tip on the iceberg, but one report in particular caught my eye for sure…

The BLM’s National WH&B website has a “Completed Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Gather Reports (as of 6/9/10)” to show what gathers have taken place, what their results were, and what the estimated post-gather population of each HMA gathered from was afterwards. In this particular case, I saw the gather related deaths to be totaled at (0) and the non-gather related deaths to be totaled at (2).

This is a screen capture image of the “Completed Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Gather Reports (as of 6/9/10)” from the BLM’s National WH&B Webpage.

Needless to say, I was intrigued.

So, as usual, I went to the “source” to see if I could get some answers on just what the heck the deal was with these numbers… I know there are more than just (0) and (2) deaths, and I know that this just can’t be the right totals. The following email is the response I recieved in answer to my questions…

Tracie Lynn,

This is Dean’s accounting of the 2 gather related deaths during the Calico gather.

JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515
Office of Communications
BLM Nevada State Office

—– Forwarded by JoLynn Worley/NVSO/NV/BLM/DOI on 07/30/2010 02:07 PM—–
Dean Bolstad/NVSO/NV/BLM /DOI
To JoLynn Worley/NVSO/NV/BLM/DOI, 07/30/2010 01:31         Shayne Banks/JFO/ES/BLM/DOI@BLM, PM Sally Spencer/WO/BLM/DOI@BLM, cc Kaveh C Sadeghzadeh/WO/BLM/DOI@BLM

Subject: Calico Numbers 

JoLynn, Shayne, Sally, and Kaveh,

This is an updated and corrected version of the email that I distributed earlier this afternoon.  JoLynn, you can send this one to Tracie Lynn.
See the following that explains the circumstances of 7 horses that died (5 “non-gather related” and 2 “gather – related”) or were euthanized at the Calico Gather in the field.  The national website only shows two deaths at the field gather sites, it should be 7 and it Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 9 Comments »

BLM Issues Right-of-Way For Ruby Pipeline Project, July 12, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 14, 2010

Release Date: 07/13/10 Contacts: Mark Mackiewicz, 435-636-3616 News Release No. 2010-023  

Record of Decision For Ruby Pipeline Project

The U. S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday, July 12, signed a Record of Decision (ROD) and Right-of-Way Grant (ROW) for the Ruby Pipeline Project, a proposed 678 mile interstate natural gas pipeline that crosses 368 miles of Federal land beginning near Opal, Wyoming, through northern Utah and northern Nevada, and terminating near Malin, Oregon. The BLM Nevada State Director, as the designated Federal official, signed the ROD and authorized the ROW for the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of the pipeline and associated facilities across lands under jurisdiction of the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the four states. The ROD is for the selected alternative for the Ruby Pipeline Project, and the ROW is for the route certificated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), with the inclusion of the Newmont and Southern Langell Valley reroutes. The FERC is responsible for authorizing interstate natural gas transmission facilities under the Natural Gas Act and was the lead Federal agency for the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in January 2010 in compliance with the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act. The BLM has the primary responsibility for issuing ROW grants and temporary use permits for natural gas pipelines across most Federal lands pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. On April 5th, FERC issued its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Ruby Pipeline Project authorizing construction and operation of approximately 672.6 miles of 42-inch diameter mainline natural gas pipeline, approximately 2.6 miles of 42-inch diameter lateral pipeline, and related above ground facilities. The BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office, and the Board of County Commissioners in Lincoln County, Wyoming, served as Cooperating Agencies in the preparation of the EIS. The BLM decision is based on extensive environmental analyses; consideration of agency, tribal, and public comment; application of pertinent Federal laws and policies; and information contained in the Final EIS for project-related actions affecting the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands. A copy on compact disk of the ROD is available at affected Federal, state and local government agencies and interested parties. It will be available on the Internet at: and at the following Federal agency offices:  

  • BLM, Kemmerer Field Office, 312 Hwy 189 N, Kemmerer, WY 
  • BLM, Salt Lake Field Office, 2370 South 2300 West, Salt Lake City, UT
  • BLM, Elko Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV
  • BLM, Winnemucca Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd, Winnemucca, NV
  • BLM, Lakeview Resource Area, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR 
  • BLM, Klamath Falls Field Office, 2795 Anderson Ave., Ste. 25, Klamath Falls, OR
  • BLM, Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville, CA
  • Fremont-Winema National Forests, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR
  • Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Klamath Basin Area Office, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls,

OR An electronic copy of the ROD is available on CD by request via e-mail at: or by mail to: Mark Mackiewicz, BLM National Project Manager, c/o125 South 600 West, Price, UT 84501. Questions concerning the ROD may be directed to Mark Mackiewicz at the above address or by phone: 435-636-3616. 


Map Courtesy of Matt Dillon, PMWMC


Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather, You Be the Judge Series | 1 Comment »

BLM News Release: Wild/Feral Horse Population Data Collected

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 9, 2010

Release Date: 07/09/10
Contacts: JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515,
News Release No. 2010-022

Wild/Feral Horse Population Data Collected

Reno, Nev. — Preliminary data from an aerial population survey conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of northwest Nevada and southern Oregon indicates there is a minimum of 4,200 wild/feral horses within this area, which contains 13 wild horse herd management areas (HMAs), including the five Calico Mountains Complex HMAs, 3 wild horse herd areas (HAs), and two national wildlife refuges.

The BLM and FWS concluded the inventory on June 28 after nine days and approximately 60 hours of flight time using a fixed-wing airplane, which will provide a scientifically-based estimate of the wild/feral horse population. The project area encompasses approximately four million acres of private and Federally-managed public lands.

This improved population survey methodology was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with the assistance of BLM wild horse specialists. The methodology, called Simultaneous Double-Count with Sightability Bias Correction, used three observers to independently observe and record data on groups of individual horses. The methodology incorporates peer-reviewed techniques that have been used for decades to estimate wildlife populations around the world.

A statistician cooperating with USGS will analyze the preliminary data obtained during the inventory flights to provide population estimates with a 95 percent confidence interval. Inventory information relies on the ability of the aerial observers to see horse groups and is strongly dependent on the skill of the individual observer, size of the horse group, and vegetation cover.

The modeling and analysis to be completed will make adjustments to the preliminary data to account for animals not observed during the flight. The simultaneous double-count/sightability bias correction technique will provide more valid population estimates than the standard uncorrected aerial inventory method.

While the BLM does not have a date for the release of the final results of the inventory and necessary modeling work, preliminary data, which represent the minimum number of horses in each area, are shown below. The BLM/FWS will release the results of the analysis to the public when it comes available. The following numbers shown are direct counts of animals seen during the flight and include observed foals of the year.

Bureau of Land Management administered areas:

State/Herd Management Area (HMA) or Herd Area (HA) Direct Count
Nevada Calico Complex 5 HMAs
   Black Rock East HMA
   Black Rock West HMA
   Calico Mountain HMA
   Warm Springs Canyon HMA
   Granite Mountain HMA
NV/non-HMA areas
                                                     NV sub-total
OR/Beaty’s Butte HMA
OR/Pueblo-Lone Mountain HA
OR/South Catlow HA
OR/non-HMA areas
                                                     OR sub-total
CA/Bitner HMA
CA/Carter Reservoir HMA
CA/Fox Hog HMA 
CA/High Rock Canyon HMA
CA/Massacre Lakes HMA
CA/Nut Mountain HMA
CA/Wall Canyon HMA
CA/New Years Lake HA
CA/non-HMA areas
                                                     CA sub-total
US Fish and Wildlife Service administered area:
USFWS/Sheldon-Hart Mountain
                                                  Inventory total 4,217

This cooperative effort will establish a base line population count and animal distribution in this large area. Past population surveys and gather operations have shown that wild/feral horses may move among a number of HMAs and the Sheldon and Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuges.

This population survey represents a point in time and that because of the free-roaming nature of the animals their movement between HMAs is normal and expected. While the total number of animals is expected to remain stable until next year’s foaling season, the numbers within each HMA will vary over time.

Pre-determined transects spaced 1 ½ miles apart were flown at an altitude of approximately 500 feet above ground level and speeds ranging between 95 and 110 nautical mph. Data collected included the number of horses per group, type of topography, plant cover, activity of the horses, and other parameters that will be used to develop population estimates. All observed horse groups also had their locations recorded via GPS.

BLM and FWS are planning to return to the area later this fall for a second survey that will provide information on the herd movement and how that can affect population counts in the individual areas.

Map of survey area and locations where horses were observed.

The BLM manages more land – more than 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.


Nevada State Office   1340 Financial Blvd., Reno NV 89502

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 6 Comments »

The Declaration of Independence – From a Wild Horse & Burro Point of View

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 4, 2010

How many of those among us have actually read and understood the document now known as the Declaration of Independence? Any of us who have made it through middle school grade levels know what the text of the document is; most of us had to memorize the first few paragraphs for a test grade. But how many of us actually understand the text and words?

I began this post early this morning. Needless to say, I got a little bit sidetracked. However, following the white rabbit down the bunny trail has led me to a new and awe-inspiring understanding of this great document.

I wonder now if Thomas Jefferson knew then while he sat by candle light with a quill and ink pot just how much his humble and yet powerful words on a piece of parchment paper would affect the American people. Certainly, he did not know then what I know now of how it so accurately applies to the plight of the American Wild Mustang and Burro.

It has been said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration in a format that was intended to be performed, as in acted out. After coming upon this discovery today, I would have to agree with this wholeheartedly.

I ask that you follow with me on a trip to the imagination: As you listen to the following reading, think of the Colonial Americans… Then think of them as the American Wild Mustang. Don’t stop paying attention once you hear the first few paragraphs that we’ve all heard a million times. The truths come after them.

As I stated, I started this post early this morning in order to pull a few more resources together for a slide show / video showcasing the Equine contributions to the American Military. It is greatly shadowed by the light of the video above but I like it LOL.

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather, You Be the Judge Series | 4 Comments »

Upcoming Wild Horse & Burro Gathers, Summer 2010, Updated List 06/22/2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 3, 2010

The following are wild horse and burro gathers that are proposed to be conducted this summer. This list is up to date through June 22, 2010.

State Agency HMA Complex Start Date End Date # To Be Gathered # To Be Removed Horses/Burros
NV BLM Eagle (outside) *   3/10/10 9/29/10 50 50 Horses
NM BLM Bordo   7/7/10 7/17/10 107 50 Horses
OR FS Murderers Creek   7/1/10 9/30/10 50 50 Horses
OR FS Big Summit   7/1/10 9/30/10 50 50 Horses
OR BLM Ligget Table   7/1/10 9/30/10 40 40 Horses
NV BLM Owyhee Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 660 595 Horses
NV BLM Rock Creek (outside) Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 358 358 Horses
NV BLM Rock Creek  Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 250 50 Horses
NV BLM Little Humbolt Owyhee Complex 7/9/10 8/1/10 80 30 Horses
OR BLM Cold Springs   7/11/10 7/16/10 187 112 Horses
OR BLM Murderers Creek   7/18/10 7/23/10 100 100 Horses
NV BLM Moriah   8/10/10 8/12/10 72 72 Horses
UT BLM Confusion Conger 8/14/10 8/25/10 300 250 Horses
UT BLM Conger Conger 8/14/10 8/25/10 260 230 Horses
CA BLM Twin Peaks   8/9/10 9/23/20 2301 1853 Horses
OR FS Stinking Water   8/18/10 8/23/10 215 175 Horses
CO BLM Piceance/East Douglas HMA   8/25/10 9/3/10 380 340 Horses
NV BLM Reveille   9/4/10 9/8/10 235 195 Horses
NV BLM Montezuma   9/9/10 9/13/10 155 155 Burros/Horses
UT BLM Winter Ridge HA   9/15/10 9/23/10 200 200 Horses
NV BLM Paymaster   9/14/10 9/16/10 45 45 Horses
NV BLM Silver King   9/18/10 9/30/10 600 500 Horses
CA BLM Twin Peaks   8/9/10 9/23/10 302 205 Burros
NV BLM Reveille   9/4/10 9/8/10 235 195 Burros
NV BLM Montezuma   9/9/10 9/13/10 155 155 Burros/Horses
AZ BLM Cibola   9/25/10 9/30/10 100 100 Burros
*Will Continue thru September as they are found outside the HMA. Total Horses Planned to be Gathered 6,645    
Total Burros Planned to be Gathered 792    
     These totals are for the summer months of 2010 only. Total Horses Planned to be Removed 5,450    
      Total Burros Planned to be Removed 655    

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, Ely FO, McGavin Peak Gather, Tonopah Field Office, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | 13 Comments »

FROM BLM, *NOT TMP*: Respiratory Disease Status at Indian Lakes Holding Facility

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 12, 2010

It has just been brought to my attention that this post appears to be directly from TMP. It is not. This post is a re-posting of the report released by BLM on the Calico Daily Gather Updates webpage. In my attempt to distribute this information, I failed to make it clear that this was not the opinion of myself or anyone else affiliated with TMP. This is directly from the BLM and their veterinarian, Dr. Richard Sanford.  

Again, the following information is not from TMP or its authors. It is copied here, in its entirety, for information distribution ONLY from the BLM report released on the Daily Gather Updates webpage. 


Currently there is a minimal amount of viral respiratory disease at the Indian Lakes Wild Horse holding facility in Fallon, NV. It is located in the oldest of the 2010 born colts (Feb. & March). This is part of the normal pattern where newborn colts lose their disease immunity they receive from their mothers via colostrum and actively build their own immunity to common disease organisms. This process typically takes two – four months. During this time colts will be vaccinated to stimulate immunity to common equine disease and be naturally exposed to common equine pathogens. Typically, maternal immunity wanes at three – four months of age. This will be an ongoing process until fall as the colts continue to grow.  


Influenza, Rhinopneumonitis and other equine pathogens are endemic to horse populations, both on the range and in confinement. Incidence and rate of spread are typically higher in confinement due to concentrated conditions. Overall, this is analogous to young children going to school or daycare for the first time.   

There is no specific treatment for viral respiratory disease other than rest. Antibiotics can be administered to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections as needed. Typically, this involves dosing individual animals with injectable penicillin or dosing all animals in the pen with an antibiotic added to the drinking water.   

Currently, these pens of colts are being monitored and those that appear sick are being treated. Two colts were treated during the first week in June. One colt later died. Pneumonia was noted on the necropsy. The other colt is doing well. There are currently 10 colts in the pens            Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 18 Comments »

BLM Offers Final Tours at Indian Lakes Road Facility, Press Release May 28, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 31, 2010

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010 | 1 Comment »

Judge Friedman “Rules in Favor of BLM” in Calico Lawsuit, May 24, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 25, 2010

Reaction of BLM Director to Judge Friedman’s Ruling

Yesterday (Monday, May 24, 2010), U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman ruled in favor of the Bureau of Land Management in a lawsuit that challenged the BLM’s recent gather of wild horses from the Calico Mountains Complex in Nevada. We are satisfied with Judge Friedman’s ruling and believe that the decision stands on its own,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “The BLM will continue to implement land-use planning decisions based on the best science available. We will continue to follow the law and seek public input as we chart a new course for the Wild Horse and Burro Program, one that benefits the animals, the land, and the American taxpayer.

Decision of U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman, In Defense of Animals, et al., v. Ken Salazar, et al., May 24, 2010

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 21 Comments »

Re-Posting a Message from Willis Lamm, LRTC – A Definite ‘Must Read’

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 11, 2010


Feel free to use this if you like.

– – –

In November 2008 I was at a meeting where a rather influential person in the anti-horse camp was lamenting that the horse advocates were making headway because of their use of the internet.  “If something happened, within 24 hours these people will have 5,000 emails and letters sent out to politicians.”  The point of this little speech was that the anti-horse folks had learned their lesson and were going to use the internet for their own advantage.

A few months later I was at a restaurant late at night when things were quiet and amazingly ended up at a table within earshot of some guys planning strategy.  Their conversation caught my attention when I heard the phrase “those horse people.”

To make a long story short the people who want to get rid of wild horses have been getting organized.  They are bringing everyone of common interest into their fold.  They have developed action alert networks so they can also generate an instant flood of emails and letters.  Some of these people have also carefully analyzed our camp and have identified our weaknesses and they are taking advantage of our weaknesses.

We have not been evolving at the same rate as they have and our advantage in this battle is eroding.

One of the most effective tools used by the other side is misdirection.  These people are primarily motivated by profits. Profits (and losses) tend to keep people focused.  The motivation of the wild horse advocacy camp is more esoteric and therefore is more easily manipulated.

The anti-horse camp knows that some in our camp are emotionally reactive and they can and do use that weakness against us.  While we certainly have folks jumping to conclusions on their own, a carefully planted suggestion in the right forum predictably gets some advocates in a fuss over things that often have never happened.  When we have tried to source out false rumors, they typically resolve in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | 46 Comments »

Updates on the Geldings of Calico – Questions Answered & Explained, May 04, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Today I spoke with John Neill, Manager of PVC and Broken Arrow in Fallon. The topic of discussion was the currently-underway gelding of the male horses four years and younger from the 2010 Calico Gather. Recent reports have been posted on other internet sites and blogs about this situation, and, well, let’s just say they’ve not been painting a very pretty picture. So I went to “the source” to get the information I needed to answer both your questions and my own: John Neill.

Before I get started with the gelding updates, I want to share something with ya’ll. Dean Bolstad returned my phone call yesterday afternoon. Dean was not his normal, cheerful and welcoming self when I answered the phone. He was actually a little flustered. I inquired as to what was up with him. He hesitantly responded that there had been a verbal attack by an individual upon his staff and upon himself. Such was the nature of this attack that he was personally offended by its content.

Now, Dean – being the Deputy Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program in Reno, Nevada – has had to develop some pretty tough skin over the years as a result of his position. More recently, he has had to further bolster his hide as a result of the controversy surrounding the Calico Gather. So for Dean to be personally offended, it must’ve been something pretty low down. I soon learned that it was.

Name calling, mud-slinging, petty personal agendas and the ever-present quest for that 15 minutes of time in the spotlight has absolutely no place in the world of Wild Horse Advocacy. True advocates are not here doing the work we’re doing for our own personal selfish reasons. We are here for the horses, the burros, and recently I think we’ve pretty much begun to include just about anything that is wild and keeps its home on public lands. We’re here for their benefit, not ours.

I will not go into details about the who, the what, the how, or the why, but I will say this: If these are your reasons for being involved in this campaign, please find the nearest exit and proceed through it. We have no room for more problems, got enough of them as it is. Destroying relationships and trust between advocates and those in positions of power and information at BLM and WH&B does not help anything. In fact, it hurts the progress toward our ultimate goal. Bottom line here is this:

If you can’t be part of the solution, DON’T be part of the problem.

Now, on to the matter at hand…

John called back this afternoon. I had compiled a small list of questions from the ones ya’ll have sent to my inbox and had asked on TMP, and added a few of my own. These questions and their answers are below. (Further discussion and explanation will follow them. You will definitely want to see / read these.)

Q.       What – if any – preparation is done prior to the procedure?

A. They are not fed 24 hours prior to the procedure to prevent gastric aspiration during the procedure, much like a person would not have food prior to having surgery.

Q.        What are the drugs used during the gelding procedure?

A. Sucostrin, Ketamine, and Rompun. The Sucostrin is a neuromuscular blocking agent and paralytic. The Ketamine is an anesthetic. The Rompun is a pain medication. Once the medication has been administered, the chute is opened and the horse moves to the corral in front of the chute where the ground is soft sand. Once there, the drugs have begun to take effect and the horse will lie down.

Q.        How do the horses lie down? Is it a “collapse” or is it a simple lying down like he would normally do?

A. No, there is no “collapse” as if their feet and legs just fold out from under them. It’s just like any other time they would lie down, like if they were in the pasture. They don’t just fall.

Q.        Then what?

A. Doc administers a cocktail of Ketamine and Rompun for sedation and pain relief. Then he does the procedure. It usually takes anywhere from four to eight minutes. After about ten minutes, the Sucostrin has worn off and they begin to stir. Then they get up and go back to the holding pen. It’s a very simple process.

Q.        Why not leave the horses inside the squeeze chute and use the tilt feature to facilitate doing the procedure there versus the horse walking out into the corral?

A. This is not a safe practice to use. There are too many risks that the horse could injure himself (his legs, head, body, etc.) while inside the chute during the “going down” and “coming back around” from the anesthesia. As well, this is not safe for Doc as he would have to climb up on top of the chute once it is tilted in order to do the procedure. In the rare case that the horse did not respond correctly to the anesthesia and /or had a reaction, Doc and any of the wranglers around could also be hurt – in addition to the horse itself – by his kicking and struggling. It’s just much safer for the horse and for the handlers to be in an open area where everyone can move around.

Q.        Once they’ve been gelded, do the horses stay in the general population or do they go to the sick pens?

A. They go to a pen that has just the gelded horses in it. They don’t go back to the general population. They only go to the sick pens if they show signs of excessive swelling and/or infection or if they have injuries.

Q.       How many horses have had to be removed from the other gelded horses and placed into the sick pens as a result of excessive swelling and/or infection or injuries?

A. None so far that have been text-book. They’ve all responded very well to the procedure and have all done well in their recoveries, and no injuries. We have had one horse that was a cryptorchid (testicles were not “dropped”; stored in the abdominal cavity and are surgically removed). He was placed directly into the sick pen following the procedure for closer monitoring and to prevent possible suture rupturing. He recovered well and is doing fine.

Q.        What is the “normal” recovery time for them after being gelded?

A. Usually around ten days. Some of the older horses may take up to two weeks because they are older and have more blood vessels to the area. As they grow and mature, so does the reproductive vasculature in preparation for reproduction. If they need more time, we give them more time. We don’t try to push the recovery. If we did, we’d have a lot more problems with infections. We just let them hang out until they’re healed.

Q.        What is the protocol for the geldings as far as pain medications following the procedure?

A. There aren’t any prescribed, as is usually the case even in domesticated horses following the same procedure. There are however prescribed daily exercise routines to prevent the horses from having possible blood clots from inactivity, and to promote circulation to the area to facilitate better healing. Each day, the geldings are moved from their pen (one pen at a time) down the alleyway to another pen. They move around, get the stiffness out of their legs and bodies, and then they go back to their original pen the same way. This takes about 30 minutes each day. We don’t push them rather we let them go at their own pace. It’s just to get them moving around.

Q.        How many geldings are in each pen?

 A. The max number is 80 head, but they usually aren’t at max.

Q.        How many horses are gelded per day?

A. Just whatever time and weather allows for each day. There is one week left for the 2-4 year olds. Then there will be approximately 70 head of horses who will be done under the observation of Dr. Davis from HSUS and Dr. Carolyn Stull, MS, PhD, Animal Welfare Specialist from UC Davis. We’ve invited them to observe the procedure and give us their feedback.

Q.        What is the reasoning behind doing the gelding procedures now versus waiting until after the judge’s ruling in the pending lawsuit?

A. All of the horses currently being gelded are under the age of four years old and are being prepared to be moved to PVC for an internet adoption this summer. Most of them have been requested by members of the general public after seeing pictures of them on the internet. These horses are in very high demand for adoption.

Q.        Everyone would like to know the status of the horses commonly known as “Tomahawk”, “General”, “Lightning”, “Mouse”, “Red Man”, and the horse that has been claimed by some to be “General’s” son. Have they been gelded, and are they slated to be gelded?

A. No, none them have been gelded and none of them will be gelded. Because of the high demand for each of them, they will be placed into an internet adoption as well. It’s the only fair way to adopt them out – to require potential adopters to bid on them. There are just so many people who want to have them.

Q.        And of course, there has been a lot of concern over a horse commonly known as “Legacy”. How is he faring?

A. I don’t know of which horse specifically he is because we don’t name them; we go by their numbers. Of course we know who the others are because there has been so much attention given to them. So all I can say is that there haven’t been any horses separated out due to complications (with the exception of the one cryptorchid), and that all of the gelded horses are doing fine in their recoveries.

Q.        Have all of the gelding procedures been done at Broken Arrow?

A. Yes, they’ve all been done at Broken Arrow.

So! Now for an explanation of all of this info:  

Sucostrin is a neuromuscular blocking agent and paralytic with anesthetic properties. It is commonly called “Sux” because of its common name, Succinylcholine chloride. It has a profound effect on the central nervous system which causes the paralyzed state of the horse. The degree of anesthesia varies with dosage and may reach the level of unconsciousness. Even at clinical dosage levels, however, the eyes remain open and certain reflexes (corneal, palpebral, laryngeal, pharyngeal, pedal and pinnel) are intact. These reflexes and responses can commonly be seen the body’s muscles as they will typically begin to fasciculate (or tremor) after administration of Sux.

These side effects are most often controlled by the administration of a supplemental drug such as Rompun or Ketamine, and in some cases – depending on what the situation calls for – both medications will be used. Such is the case with the gelding procedure currently being used at Broken Arrow.

There have been reports made across the internet and on various blogs about the use of Sucostrin in horses.

“One must, however, take into account that Sucostrin does have its shortcomings. Sucostrin is not a tranquilizer, but a muscle blocking agent—it essentially paralyzes the animal. These paralyzed animals are fully awake, aware, can feel pain, and are subject to stress.”


“With Sucostrin an overdose must always be considered a possibility, so artificial resuscitation may be necessary and has been proven effective.”

These quotes are from a document known as “Tranquilizer Use in Wildlife Damage Control” by Jerry Hoilien and David Oatesy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1981. The purpose of this document was to illustrate the problems associated with restraining wildlife by animal and wildlife control officers who needed to restrain the animals because they were posing a danger to themselves and others around them. The following is the abstract from this document:

“Acceptable handling of problem or nuisance animals has been a concern of the general public and many local, state, and federal agencies. In the past, handling of these animals involved physical restraining techniques. These techniques exposed not only the “restrainer” but the “restrainee” to potential physical damage. Equipment utilizing Sucostrin as the immobilizing agent was developed to minimize these hazards.”

The only mention of horses in this entire document is the following in reason number 7:

“The immobilizer selected was Sucostrin (Succinylcholine chloride). Sucostrin was selected for several reasons:

  1. Relatively safe for human handling, especially at the levels used for immobilizing wildlife
  2. Commercial availability in various strengths
  3. Inexpensive
  4. Fast acting
  5. Only small amount needed
  6. Good shelf life
  7. Its veterinary success on horses.

There is no illustration or mention of the drug being used on a horse and therefore the data it contains does not pertain to administration specifically to horses and their physiology, which is quite different than some of the species listed in the data. Additionally, much greater research and understanding has been gained regarding the pharmacokinetics (how it works in the body) of medications since 1981.

Also used during the procedure is the drug Rompun. Rompun (Xylazine) is an alpha-2 receptor agonist which acts as a sedative, analgesic, anesthetic, a central muscle relaxant and for post-operative pain relief. When given intramuscularly (IM) as it is during the gelding procedure used at Broken Arrow, it produces an “excellent tolerability thanks to Xylazine’s potent action as a local anesthetic. Rompun’s major advantage lies in the timing of the onset and cessation of its three important anesthetic effects of sedation/anesthesia, central nervous relaxant, and analgesia. The muscle relaxant effect ceases before the sedative effect, so that when the animal recovers consciousness, it can rise with no risk of accidents. Rompun’s distinguishing features are its rapid onset of action, quick restoration of normal body functions and a calm recovery of consciousness.”

The same website that reports this information has been quoted as stating the following:

“To increase the depth of sedation, Rompun is widely used in combination with other sedatives and analgesics for minor surgery such as skin suture, excision of small coetaneous tumors, or standing castration under local anesthesia.”

However, this quote comes from a page that is speaking of intravenous (IV) injection. In the case of the horses at Broken Arrow, the drug is not used as the sole sedative / anesthetic. If it were the only drug used, this statement would apply, but it’s not. In this situation, the drug is used for its analgesic properties mainly, but also for its ability to bind with the Sux and Ketamine to produce the desired effect: anesthesia for a surgical procedure in a horse.

Ketamine is the third drug used during this procedure. For years now, Ketamine has also been known as “Special K” as a result of its widespread use as a recreational drug by humans. Ketamine belongs to a group of medications known as dissociative anesthetics. These medications induce a state of sedation, immobilization, amnesia, and marked analgesia. This means that once administered, the horse does not feel pain, does not move, and does not remember the events that occur while under its influence.

There have been statements made that the horses being gelded are fully awake during the procedure and that they can see, feel, and / or hear everything going on around them; that they could feel the pain of the procedure itself as well as the after-pain of the procedure as soon as the Sux wears off enough for them to get up and walk away. This statement is simply not true. These medications are given together for a reason: they induce a state of unconsciousness in the horse to allow for a surgical procedure to be done without him feeling the effects of that procedure. If these medications were given individually and not as a cocktail, then yes, there would be a huge issue here for an act of cruelty. But this is not the case.

This procedure is almost completely identical in the clinical aspects to the same gelding procedure and protocol used by most every large animal veterinarian in the US. The amount of swelling, the horse’s reactions, the look of the wound, the general impression and disposition of the horse following this procedure – all of it is nearly identical to every other horse who has undergone this procedure without complications. There are not normally pain medications prescribed following this procedure for a variety of reasons but mainly because of the way a horse’s bodily physiology works: the meds simply do not act on his body in the same way most people think they do. In order to achieve the same type of effect that a human receives from pain meds in a horse, the dosage would be have to be so great that it would put the horse down again. Horses cannot stay lying down for extended periods of time. Their circulatory systems will not allow it. This is one of the principal reasons that a horse sleeps standing up. They must move around in order to maintain circulation to their extremities.

I have tried my best to explain all of this as clearly as possible. If there are any misunderstandings or questions PLEASE feel free to ask. There are no “stupid questions”, only stupid assumptioms.


Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 54 Comments »

“United Organizations of the Horse”… AKA United *Slaughters* of the Horse

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 1, 2010

I want to give some information and facts behind an attempt to sugar-coat the ugly world of horse slaughter. It may be old hat to some of you, but to others it may not. Most of us know who Sue Wallis is… The woman who is PRO-slaughter, and did the *wonderful* write up in Range Magazine… Oh! And of course, let’s not forget…   

Legislator Information for Representative Sue Wallis
Party: Republican     District: House District 52     Counties: Campbell     House: 2007-Present
Contact Information: P.O. Box 71     Recluse, WY 82725     Home (307) 685-8248     Cell (307) 680-8515
Occupation(s): Rancher / Writer-Poet    Birth Date: 10/9/1957    Spouse: Rod McQueary    Number of Children: 7     Number of Grandchildren: 1    Religion: Unitarian
Organization(s): Recluse Community Trust, Executive Director; Wyoming Humanities Council Board; Women in Government; Partnership for America’s Economic Success-Invest in Kids Working Group; WyoAg Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; WyoLearn League for Educational Accountability and Reform Network; Wyoming Early Childhood Partnership; Wyoming Assn for Public Charter Schools; Wyoming Humanities Council; KidsFIRST 24/7 Childcare Cooperative; Recluse Community Trust
Year Committee Name Membership
2010 House Revenue Committee Member
2010 House Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee Member
2010 Select Committee on Legislative Technology and Process Member
2010 NCSL – Agriculture and Energy Member
2009 House Revenue Committee Member
2009 House Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee Member
2009 Select Committee on Legislative Technology and Process Member
2009 NCSL – Agriculture and Energy Member
2008 House Education Committee Member
2008 House Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee Member
2008 Select Committee on Legislative Technology Member
2007 Select Committee on Legislative Technology Member
2007 House Education Committee Member
2007 House Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee Member

So now that we’re all refreshed on exactly who she is, let’s take a look at ole Slaughterhouse Sue’s big idea…   

Unified Equine Programs Implementation The concept for the Unified Equine Programs was solidified at an Implementation Summit that was held in Cheyenne, Wyoming on April 2nd, 2010. This was a historic meeting of key players, partners, and potential contractors to finalize plans and begin implementation of a suite of programs providing comprehensive services to the horse industry to rescue… [Read more of this review]   

May 14, 2009 unveiled the umbrella group: United Organizations of the Horse. Sue Wallis has been quoted as stating, “We need a voice that is capable of coherently and articulately communicating to a misinformed and emotionally manipulated American public.” She is a founder of the United Organizations of the Horse. The UOH website lists the following as their Founding Leadership Team:   

Tom Arens: UOH Treasurer, Fairview Equine Center, Markleville, Indiana
Baxter Black: Cowboy Poet, former large animal veterinarian, Benson, Arizona
Buster Black: Attorney, Tennessee Walking Horses, Georgia
Frank Bowman: Illinois Horse Council, American Horse Council—State Horse Council Advisory Committee, Springfield, Illinois
***Conrad Burns: American Quarter Horse Association, Arlington, Virginia***
Jeri Dobrowski: UOH Secretary,,, Montana
Dave & Stephanie Duquette: United Horsemen’s Front 541-571-7588
Dr. Patricia Evans: Equine Specialist—Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Katherine Minthorn Good Luck: National Tribal Horse Coalition, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Pendleton, Oregon
Wylie Gustafson: Singer, Songwriter, Rancher, Horseman, Lacross, Washington
Darold Holden: Horse Welfare Council, 651-454-7196
David Howell: Indiana Horse Council, American Horse Council—State Horse Council Advisory Committee 317-714-4158
Trent Loos: Faces of Ag, Loos Tales, Loup City, Nebraska
Sharon Marohl: Missouri Equine Council, Clark, Missouri
Rod McQueary: Recluse, Wyoming
Carolyn Orr: State Ag and Rural Leaders, Council of State Governments—Midwest, Council of State Governments—East West Lebanon, Indiana
Bill & Jann Parker: Parker Horse Company, Billings Livestock Commission, Billings, Montana
John Radosevich: Veterinarian, Wheatland, Wyoming
Nancy Robinson: Livestock Marketing Association, Kansas City, Missouri
Charlie Stenholm: Livestock Marketing Association, Washington, D.C. & Texas
Krissa Thom: UOH Operating Manager, Marlette, Michigan 517-388-2844
Sue Wallis: UOH President & CEO, Recluse, Wyoming, 307-685-8248 ranch 307-680-8515 cell
Jacqueline Wells: Austin, Texas
Johnny Zamrzla: California Horse Council, Palmdale, California

Just seems like too much anti-horse / pro-slaughter hands in the cookie jar… Did you note that Conrad Burns is on the Founding Leadership Team? You know, Senator Conrad Burns from Montana (R-MT)… The one who slipped a “one-page rider into the 2005 budget-appropriations bill on the eve of the bill’s congressional deadline… It removed federal protection for wild horses. When some of Sen. Burns’s colleagues found out about the rider, they were outraged. Didn’t matter. President Bush signed off on the rider while the Administration altered Bureau of Land Management rules to undercut even further wild-horse protection. The House passed a measure with broad bipartisan support to reinstate legal protections for wild horses. Guess who exercised his prerogative to block it in the Senate? That’s right, Conrad Burns, the politician from Montana. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 38 Comments »

Re-Posting Yet Another Tidbit…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 30, 2010

Grazing Will Remain a Controversy on Carrizo Monument Under the New Plan

1 week ago ago by carrisa.  Spam? Tags: Marlene Braun, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Environment, News, The CPNM News, grazing, BLM, Ranching, Conservation, Bureau of Land Management, Oil and Gas, The Nature Conservancy, California

SLO Tribune: Finally, A Plan for the Carrizo
The plains monument has its first management guidelines, which will direct it for 20 years
By David Sneed

Nearly a decade after it was created, the Carrizo Plain National Monument has its first resource management plan.
The plan uses
grazing as a management tool for helping rare plants and animals and provides additional protections for those parts of the monument that have wilderness qualities. The plan will determine how the monument is managed for the next 20 years.
Jim Abbott, the Bureau of Land Management’s state director, formally approved the plan Saturday at a celebration at the monument, which attracted more than 400 people. Many were drawn by one of the most spectacular wildflower displays seen at the monument in years. (read more…)

Note: The Sierra Club together with the Center for Biological Diversity, Los Padres ForestWatch and Western Watersheds Project all lodged protests about the proposed RMP see…
Cal and Letty French, (tel 239-7338 Prefer e-mail
lettyfrench@ from the Sierra club are also leading the next weekend on the CPNM.
John Weatherman, April 22, 2010 at 3:40 p.m.

Now again, I may be right, but I may be wrong… But it just seems to lit’ ole me that if there are 250,000 acres of land that they can’t figure out what to do with, and they’ve all of these other animals who need grazing areas, why not put two and two together?


Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 7 Comments »

Re-Posting A Tidbit for Your Thoughts: “Cattle can help with fire risk in Colorado”

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 30, 2010

This one just caught my attention right quick… A reposting of some interesting op-ed… On WordPress, there is an app called a “tag surfer”. It basically scans its blogs posted recently that match the tags you attach to your own posts. This one came across this evening, and quite frankly I don’t think it could’ve have come across at a more appropriate time. (Updated with a few comments of my own at the end…)

Community Agriculture Alliance: Cattle can help with fire risk in Colorado

5 hours ago ago by csuile. Spam? Tags: Uncategorized, Beef, Economics, Environment, Colorado, grazing, sustainability, cattle, BLM, USFS, Western Governors Association, Fire

[Source: Op-ed by Brita Horn, Routt County CattleWoman for Steamboat Today]

Cows can be the first line of defense in fighting wildland fires this season. No, do not expect our local cattle to don a yellow Nomex shirt, green brush pants and wildland boots. Do not anticipate seeing bovines eagerly trying to carry a Pulaski tool, a backpack water pump and their fire shelter belted around their waist. However, if we try to work together with the forestry management groups and the local ranchers, we might be able to get some mitigation of reducing flashy fuel loads (grass) growing below our tree lines and reduce the ladder fuels (shrub, brush) carry that fire to the tops of trees and devastate the forest.

Last year was an outstanding year for moisture and minimal wildland fires. It gave yet one more year for the needles to fall off the beetle-kill trees, which will reduce the heat intensity of a fire in most areas. The intensity of the fires is what is different about wildland fires since the past. Fire was always a part of our western heritage. Ignited by lightning and even “prescribed burns” by Native Americans, our western land has seen generations of surface fires that have reduced the dense fuels that are under the tree canopies that were only stopped by a right mix of rain, weather and topography. The natural burning of the lands started to make expected firebreaks and created a variety of landscapes and a habitat for wildlife and livestock to thrive on.

We still have controlled burns in spring and fall and lightning strikes throughout the summer, however, the landscape has changed. Now, we have urban sprawl, subdivisions surrounding public lands and communities nestled in and around tree lines. These communities bring paved highways, power lines, fences and bike trails to the mix. Colorado communities are beginning to identify the areas that have fuel buildup that is surrounding homes, and that creates the urban-interface model.

Now, with the suppression of fires in the forest since they are too close to homes and communities, our forests are not as healthy as in the past. The forests now are filled to capacity: too much vegetation, downed trees, and new seedlings and standing trees. What the frequent natural fires once cleaned out to make open healthy tree stands without disease and insects now are riddled with overcrowding of trees, creating a prescription for higher-intensity fires when Mother Nature strikes. The pine-beetle-killed trees are in various stages of danger: highly intense heated fuel loads with dead and downed trees that will make it nearly impossible to mitigate.

According to the 2002 report, “A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: 10-Year Compre­­hensive Strategy, Implementation Plan,” by the Western Governor’s Association, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and others, “The 2000 fire season was one of the worst in 50 years, with nearly 123,000 fires burning 8.4 million acres. More than $2 billion in federal dollars and countless dollars from state and local funds were spent to suppress these wildland fires. The average acreage burned nationally has remained high with 2006 surpassing the devastation of 2000, and fire risk continues to mount. Much of this increased fire risk has resulted from community growth in the wildland-urban interface, build-up of forest and woodland fuel loads from years of fire suppression, and fire-prone ecosystems created by the invasion of exotic plants like cheat grass.”

Since the cheat grass is now on the floor of our forest, it is a perfect time to implement target grazing to reduce these fuels. Target grazing typically tackles four fire fuel types: grass (flashy fuels), shrub, slash and timber.

“Grazing by cattle has been applied to forestlands around the world to reduce fire risk,” (Gold, M.A. and J.W. Hanover. “Agro forestry systems for the temperate zone.” Agroforestry Systems).

The livestock becomes active participants in forestry systems designed to reduce the overcrowding of plants and trees and reduce the likelihood of wildfire. Grazing also can trim ladder fuels and copies the fire pruning effect created by the frequent surface fires that historically burned naturally below the forest canopy. Livestock grazing can clearly adjust the fuel characteristics of forests, though grazing alone does not reduce fire risk. Target grazing allows for the local livestock producers to work with the forest managers to identify the fuel characteristics and develop a strategy to reduce the fuel load and optimize the feed potential.

The strategy would need to include more prescribed burns to fully complement the natural fires of the past that kept the forests healthy. It would take monitoring and flexible procedures to form a successful plan. In order to reduce the fuel loading, integrating grazing and prescribed burns would be the most successful blueprint for our county.

Putting together a line of attack for using grazing livestock as a fire line attack is a complex process. It takes a great deal of cooperation between the forest managers, livestock owners and the public. Using livestock to manage the forest is an ongoing and dynamic process that will take time and persistence to be successful. It will take a great deal of education and training to understand plant and fire characteristics, grazing management and a focus on the goal to reduce fuel loading from all parties. This type of cooperation of all the valued participants could be a cost-effective business model that is a win-win for all involved. For the most part, these relationships already have been forged, and tabletop discussions would be the first step in the right direction for our community. We now have all the tools in the toolbox; now, let’s get to work and hammer out a plan for the future health of our forests.

Well, I went to the websites shown as hyperlinks and I was able to find some of the documentation referenced. However, the links to some of these were “no longer active pages”. So in order to get the rest of the documentation, I had to do a little digging and of course, I found them anyway!

Archive – Wildland Fire Leadership Council News and Accomplishments: A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment, Monitoring and Performance Report DRAFT Briefing Paper (PDF, 1.9 MB) and DRAFT Executive Summary 2007 (PDF, 3.5 MB)

Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS)

Large Fire Suppression Costs: Strategies for Cost Management (PDF 1.2 MB) – A Report to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council from the Strategic Issues Panel on Fire Suppression Costs

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I’m right… It just seems to me that if there were… I don’t know… say… wild horses and wild bison grazing those lands in the same exact ways that they have been for however many centuries (not in the mood to argue that point right now) Well, it just seems to me that they would be accomplishing the same exact thing that the cattle would be accomplishing… Only differences here lie in the two sides of a coin: heads – the wild horses and wild bison are gathered / hazed and removed from the lands they call home and the cattle come in a replace them at a nice shiny pricetag for most all involved; tails – leave the wild ones there to do what Mother Earth intended them to do in the first place!

But that’s just my “op-ed”…

And this same blog has the audacity to go after the wolves! Wolf-pack report raises doubts, fears March 2, 2010 This is just too much! I’m sorry if you guys think I’m being abrasive or rude, maybe even a little bit of ignorance because I haven’t reserched all of this as much as I normally would… But tough titty said the kitty when the milk ran dry! I’ve just about had enough of all of this. It’s time.


Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Call for a United Front Against a Common “Enemy” – April 29, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 29, 2010

I want to be perfectly clear about this: I am NOT totally against cattle grazing and grazers. What and who I am against are the grazers who take advantage of the situation and therefore cause bodily harm, injury, and death to the NATIVE wildlife and the horses because they are causing an inconvenience.

In this spirit, I want to bring to light a situation that has come to my attention: the Bison of Yellowstone and their annual hazing. Apparently – from what I can gather so far – every May the Montana Department of Agriculture or Wildlife conducts a hazing of the bison near Horse Butte. This is also a bison calving area, and the bison apparently have their calves in late April to May. So when this occurs (this year is May 15th) basically we have another Calico type situation.  There are bison who are still pregnant, barely newborns, and some who are maybe a month old. Last year, I don’t think that there were any bison killed. The year before that I’ve been told that 1600 bison were killed, either as a result of the hazing or by the Park Rangers themselves. The hazing consists of these bison, along with their newborns, getting “hazed” back into park territory by rangers and wildlife agents swooping down in helicopters, on horseback and riding ATVs. Again, this is sounding all too familiar, but it actually gets worse. The reasoning behind this – I am told – is that ranchers in Montana worry that if the buffalo leave Yellowstone’s boundaries, they might pass a disease called brucellosis to their cattle. These cattle – again, this is what I am being told at this point – these cattle graze on public land AUMs under grazing permits. This situation is VERY familiar. As the wild horse advocates and the bison advocates seem to have a “common enemy”, I felt that it was only fitting that we band together and make two parties one really big party, all against the same thing: stop meddling with Mother Nature, allow the wildlife to remain where they are supposed to be. If we can stand as one group instead of two, we would have strengthened numbers and could make an even bigger cry. To this end, I have compiled a little bit of information about this subject. I think you just might find even more similarities than you think. Heck, I even found  more than I thought I would.       

Please keep in mind that I have not researched this issue as deeply as I do my other posts. As much as I hate to say it, I am simply too overloaded currently to get any deeper at the moment, but I wanted to get at least something out to you guys now instead of waiting. If you have information that is more accurate or more current, PLEASE post comments to that end and/or let me know so that I can make the appropriate changes. As always, we are in the pursuit of truth, facts, and evidence, for it is only by these principles that we can be effective toward our cause.      





This image is from the National Park Service website ( It has not been altered in any way. You may view the original image at


Brucellosis: (Brucella melitensis, abortus, suis, and canis) General, technical fact sheets, additional information from the CDC     

Brucellosis from Public Health Response and Preparedness, CDC     

USDA – APHIS – Animal Health – Brucellosis     

Brucellosis and Yellowstone Bison from APHIS     


Cattle Diseases Brucellosis from Cattle Today     

Brucellosis in Cattle – The Merck Veterinary Manual     

Brucellosis Bovine brucellosis is almost always transmitted from herd to herd through the movement of infected cattle. Cows shed large numbers of organisms when they…     

CDFA > AHFSS > Animal Health Branch > Brucellosis Brucellosis is a contagious disease of livestock that also affects humans. The disease is also known as contagious abortion or Bang’s disease in livestock.     

New brucellosis “hot spots” found in Yellowstone area 5 hours ago (April 29, 2010, 8:04p.m. CST) That means containing the park’s bison and getting rid of the feeding grounds might not be enough to stop brucellosis transmissions to cattle in Idaho… The Salt Lake Tribune     

Brucellosis Missoula Independent Matthew Frank – Apr 22, 2010      

Elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem appear to be increasingly affected by brucellosis, a bacterial infection that causes cattle, elk and bison to abort…     

Future of elk hunting in Montana is in jeopardy Great Falls Tribune Vito QuatraroApr 17, 2010 Everyone has read of the controversy regarding whether, in fact, there has ever been a documented case of bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle…     

USDA: No known brucellosis infections in U.S. cattle     

Yellowstone Bison Hazing and Slaughter from HSUS     

Yellowstone Bison (from Bison are enjoyed by visitors, celebrated by conservationists, and revered by Native Americans. Why are they a management challenge? One reason is that about half of Yellowstone’s bison have been exposed to brucellosis, a bacterial disease that came to this continent with European cattle and may cause cattle to abort their first pregnancy after exposure to Brucella bacteria. The disease has few population level effects. Outside the park wild bison from the Yellowstone population have not been known to transmit brucellosis to a visitor or to domestic livestock. The State of Montana believes its “brucellosis-free” status may be jeopardized if bison commingle with cattle. The risk of Yellowstone bison transmitting brucellosis to nearby livestock is very low. However, if livestock are infected, ranchers can be prevented from shipping livestock out of state until stringent testing and quarantine requirements are met. Some elk in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem also carry the disease.    

The National Academy of Sciences has issued a report concerning Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area.  

Final Environmental Impact Statement Related to the Interagency Bison Management Plan, (FEIS)     

Public Meeting Posters – Series of slides shown at public meetings to discuss the remote delivery of Brucellosis vaccine to free-ranging bison in Yellowstone National Park     

The Interagency Bison Management Plan is a new website created by the Interagency Plan Partners to put all documents and information about the plan in one place.     

Questions About Bison     

Interagency Bison Management Plan Operating Procedures (827 Kb pdf)     

2008 Adaptive Management Procedures (1.7 MB pdf)     

2008 Annual Report (2.7 MB pdf)     

The Ecology of Bison Movements and Distribution In and Beyond Yellowstone – April 2005     

Bison Site Bulletin (1.3MB pdf)     

The Eventual Elimination of Brucellosis from Greater Yellowstone Wildlife – 6/27/2003    

A Status Review of Adaptive Management Elements, 2000 to 2005 (269KB pdf)    

Historic Bison Study – 1973    

Final Bison Management EIS    

Other sources of information      

 See Bison under the Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook, Wildlife Section  

Buffalo Field Campaign   

The Last Lonesome Place     

Greater Yellowstone Science Learning Center’s website section on bison      

From Born Free USA: H.R. 3446 Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act  (Columbia University Analysis Report of H.R. 3446 Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act)  

 Purpose: This bill would protect the Yellowstone buffalo herd from slaughter by allowing the buffalo to roam freely on federal lands outside of Yellowstone Park.     

Status: Referred to House Committee on Resources, which referred it to three separate subcommittees (National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands; Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans; and Forests and Forest Health). Executive Comment Requested from Interior.    

Action: SUPPORT. Buffalo are a significant wildlife icon in the U.S. and must be protected from slaughter. The Yellowstone buffalo move to lower elevations to forage for food in the winter but, instead of finding food when they leave the Park, the buffalo are chased, trapped, and killed. While the purported reason for killing the buffalo is the fear of the spread of brucellosis from the buffalo to nearby cattle, there hasn’t been a single documented case of brucellosis being transmitted from wild bison to livestock. It is time to embrace the science on this issue and to provide some protection to the Yellowstone bison.    

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 13 Comments »

Re-Posting Message from Willis Lamm, April 18, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 18, 2010

Good morning.  

First, some points of clarification for folks following the Calico issue.   

The BLM posted on their daily update log that gelding has started on studs aged 4 and younger. 

Some advocates expressed concerns that this activity might be in conflict with IDA’s court challenge since Judge Friedman is not expected to rule until late May. 

The primary issue presently under the court’s consideration involves horses that would be turned over to long term holding.  Horses aged 4 and under are headed for the adoption program and therefore don’t fall under the scope of these particular court arguments. 

With respect to adoptions, our adoption corrals were next to BLM’s adoption corrals at the Nevada Humane Society’s “Super Adoption” yesterday in Reno so I got a chance to chat with JD from Palomino Valley Center.  Since rumors still continue to circulate I verified some things with JD and some of the BLM volunteers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 36 Comments »

Broken Arrow / Calico Updates – April 13-15, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15 Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  No miscarriages occurred.  The mares are actively foaling and new foals are born daily. Some visitors to the Indian Lakes Road Facility in Fallon have noticed some hematomas that look very similar to pigeon fever, which had been identified in a small number of horses. BLM has been busy modifying the feed bunks, which is believed to have caused the hematomas. To read the veterinary report about this click here. Facility Death: 0 Cumulative Death total: 79  
Wednesday, April 14 Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight. Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well. Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving. Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well. No miscarriages occurred. Facility Death: 0 Cumulative Death total: 79
 Tuesday, April 13 Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight. Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well. Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving. Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well. No miscarriages occurred.  Facility Death: 0 Cumulative Death total: 79 

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 13 Comments »

HSUS Answers FAQs Re: Calico Gather – April 02, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 15, 2010

The Calico Wild Horse Gather

Questions and answers

The Humane Society of the United States


In late December 2010, despite pleas from wild horse advocates around the world to stop the senseless removal of mustangs from the American landscape, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began the process of gathering more than 1,900 wild horses from the Calico Complex Herd Management Areas (HMA) in Nevada. Since then, the Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) has received numerous complaints about the methods used to conduct the removals, which may have resulted in the injury and death of several animals, as well as the treatment of animals held at the short-term holding facility in Fallon. To address these concerns, the HSUS has been in constant communication with the BLM regarding these allegations and sent an equine veterinarian associated with the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) to inspect the Fallon facility. The following article addresses some of the most frequently asked questions and expressed concerns regarding the Calico gather and the treatment of animals at the Fallon facility. 

1. Why is this wild horse gather so controversial?
2. Wouldn’t the animals starve if left on the range?
3. If the BLM waits until starvation begins to occur, isn’t that too late?
4. If the horses are scattered over 250,000 acres, how could BLM feed them on the range if range conditions begin to deteriorate?
5. What’s wrong with gathering the horses and removing them now, and then beginning a contraception program when the horses aren’t so far over AML?
6. Are the Calico horses being well cared for?
7. If adopted or moved to a preserve in the east, won’t the horses suffer from a severe change in diet that they will have difficulty adjusting to?
8. Are BLM’s gelding procedures humane?
9. Didn’t the BLM drive colts to death during the gather by running them so hard their hooves sloughed?
10. Didn’t several horses die after the gather from being provided feed that was too rich?

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 36 Comments »

Calico Horses – Daily Updates – April 05 thru April 12

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 12, 2010

***Note the correction on April 07 for April 05*** 

Monday, April 12    Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well. No miscarriages occurred.

Facility Death: 0  Cumulative Death total: 79

Sunday, April 11     Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well. No miscarriages occurred.

Facility Death: 0  Cumulative Death total: 79

Saturday, April 10 Sorting and hospital pen work are occurring today.  Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  One 25-year-old mare was found dead. Diagnosis of death due to old age.  No miscarriages occurred.

Facility Death: 1  Cumulative Death total: 79

Friday, April 9        Booster vaccinations are continuing today.  All 2009 colts and most mares have had booster vaccinations and their second deworming.  The remaining mares and stallions will be receiving their boosters and second deworming throughout the next 3 weeks.  Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  Four stallions and one mare were removed from the hospital pens and placed in a recovery pen. One weaned stud colt died due to colic. There are no miscarriages to report. The mares are actively foaling and foals are born daily. 

Facility Death: 1  Cumulative Death total: 78

Thursday, April 8  Booster vaccinations are not taking place today as staff is removing BLM supplies and equipment from the previous contract facility in Fallon which is now closed.  Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  One mare was placed in the hospital pen for a vaccine abscess and will be treated.  There are no miscarriages to report.  The mares are actively foaling and foals are born daily. 

***On Monday, April 5, BLM’s daily update included two Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports. In the report dated March 6, the veterinarian who visited the Indian Lakes Road Facility noted that a mare died while giving birth.  While the mare’s death was recorded in BLM’s veterinarian log book, as well as on an internal BLM death reporting form, it was an oversight that this horse’s information was not reported on the daily facility report on this website.  Therefore, today’s cumulative death total includes this mare’s death.***

Facility Death: 1 Cumulative Death total: 77

Wednesday, April 7           Booster vaccinations are continuing today along with a second dose of deworming medication. Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  No miscarriages. The mares are actively foaling and foals are born daily. 

Facility Death: 0  Cumulative Death total: 76

Tuesday, April 6     Booster vaccinations are taking place today with animals that are due. Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  Mares which have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight as well.  No miscarriages. The mares are actively foaling and foals are born daily. 

Facility Death: 0 Cumulative Death total: 76

Monday, April 5     Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight.  Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well.  Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving.  One 25 year old poor condition stallion was euthanized. No miscarriages. The mares are actively foaling.

Facility Death: 1  Cumulative Death total: 76

On February 13 and March 6, 2010 a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) veterinarian visited the Indian Lakes Facility to assess the infrastructure and equipment at the facility, horse condition and animal care. 

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | 2 Comments »

More “Pigeon Fever” Info & Re-Feeding Syndrome Info From UCDavis… April 04, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 4, 2010

The following are copied email texts from “Jane Doe” to Dr. Irwin Liu and Dr. Sharon Spier at UC Davis. “Jane Doe” is being used for this information to be distributed – obviously to protect the privacy of this individual. She had originally contacted Dr. Liu to inquire about birth control for wild horses earlier in the year. This email was directed at the Pigeon Fever infections and the re-feeding of the wild horses that had been underweight.

Dr. Spier and I have been corresponding over the course of this past week concerning the infections and other issues the wild horses are currently facing. She was gracious enough to forward this correspondence to me and to give permission for it to be posted for you all as well.

The information contained in these emails is actually very interesting and may answer a couple of your questions. Also, see the end of this post for several links to references regarding both “Pigeon Fever” and re-feeding syndrome, as well as articles regarding the care and health of horses. 

The figures used by “Jane Doe” have not been verified. Her opinions are her own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of myself, Dr. Liu, or Dr. Spier unless specifically stated otherwise.


Unknown when this email originated…

Hello Dr. Liu,
This is “Jane Doe” again in Any Town, USA. with a question regarding Wild Horses.  I have asked for your help regarding birth control for the wild horses earlier this year.
The BLM has rounded up over 1900 Horses from the Calico herd and the horses are now in the Fallon, Nevada holding pen. Over 119 have died. This includes approx. 40 foals that the mares have miscarried following the 14 mile chase. Others are still dying of metabolic syndrome, or change in feed. 2 foals died from their hooves falling off from the harsh helicopter chase.
I have read they are feeding them 50 % alfalfa, which I would think is far too rich for a horse having eaten forage all of its life.
My question is, now many horses there in Fallon have Pigeon Fever. The public is allowed to visit only on Sundays from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 106 Comments »

“Pigeon Fever” Information…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 30, 2010

1220hrs CST – Update: The veterinarian at Broken Arrow USA (Indian Lakes Road Facility) has released a vet report regarding the “Pigeon Fever” infections at that facility. See below or download pdf at 

Pigeon Fever at Indian Lakes Road Facility in Fallon, NV  


Veterinarian report prepared by: Richard Sanford, DVM. NV# 565  

Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis: 


Of the Calico Complex horses gathered from December 29, 2009 – February 4, 2010, approximately 2 percent of the 1,922 horses received at the facility showed clinical signs of healed chest abscesses from recent Pigeon Fever infection and .25 percent to .50 percent showed more recent or currently were infected with Pigeon Fever.  

As of March 31, 2010, at the Indian Lakes Road facility, Pigeon Fever is still noted at the .25 percent to .50 percent rate, mostly found in the juvenile horses. The incidence of Pigeon Fever at the Indian Lakes Facility is at the same percentages that exist on the Calico Complex. The chest swellings range from golf ball size to grapefruit size. Fly season occurs at the end of summer. Therefore, it is expected that incidents of Pigeon Fever will decrease over time. Disease may or may not reoccur during the 2010 fly season based on environmental factors, such as temperatures, precipitation levels, soil conditions, fly conditions, etc. It is noted that California had severe Pigeon Fever conditions during the 2009 fly season. It is speculated those conditions apply to Nevada as well.  

Horses housed at the Indian Lakes Road facility that have active Pigeon Fever are being monitored. No treatments have been administered to date. Abscesses have all resolved without treatment. No deaths or complications have been associated with infection. Based on 25 years of past experience with wild horses and burros, Pigeon Fever can exist in many of our wild herds depending on current year environmental conditions.  

bacteria which is found in the soil, is most likely transmitted by biting flies and has a very long incubation period (weeks – months). The disease has nothing to do with pigeons. The name comes from the large chest abscesses that some horses can get, which look like the large breast of a pigeon. (Also known as “Dryland Distemper” or “Pigeon Breast”)   

1947hrs CST – Update: 

At this time, I still have not received confirmation and details from John Neill. I did however speak with a couple of the university veterinarians I had contacted.

From Dr. Sharon Spier, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of California, Davis… “The bacteria is endemic in both Nevada and Texas and survives for long periods of time in soil, especially if the soil is mixed with manure (like paddocks).  Flies are important as vectors but open wounds could be contaminated if the bacteria is present from other horses draining abscesses.” “Dryland Distemper” C. psedotuberculosis Infections in Horses by Dr. Sharon Spier, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM, Professor, Dept. of Medicine and Epidemiology, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine ***I highly recommend this article as it has some great information and explains the disease process in detail.***  

Dr. Buddy Faries said earlier that “the disease is not a highly contagious disease, rather it is a chronic disease. This Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 89 Comments »