Lummis takes on horse advocates

Hugh Carey, Wyoming Tribune Eagle U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., speaks during a news conference inside the State Capitol rotunda Jan. 2 in Cheyenne. Lummis said the wild horse population issue “is a terrible problem without a good solution.”

Hugh Carey, Wyoming Tribune Eagle
U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., speaks during a news conference inside the State Capitol rotunda Jan. 2 in Cheyenne. Lummis said the wild horse population issue “is a terrible problem without a good solution.”

By David Louis

RAWLINS — As a member on the U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee for public lands, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. joined her fellow lawmakers last week taking dead aim at groups who advocate against euthanizing wild horses.

Although the committee realized it was taking on an issue that does not have any easy answers, Lummis stressed that the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is not being followed.

The law requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove wild horses from private land, if requested by the landowner, and also allows for their destruction if wild horses held by the agency are not adopted.

However, because of Congressional direction, BLM has not been allowed to slaughter wild horses for several years.

Compounding the issue, since 2012 Congress has required anyone who adopts a wild horse to contractually agree not to resell them for slaughter. The BLM has argued against lifting that restriction.

“This is a terrible problem without a good solution,” Lummis said. “The fact is that the law requires the BLM to maintain range resources in good condition. But this does not square with animal rights activists’ view of wild horses as the superior species on the range.”

According to the Associated Press, BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis expressed his frustration during last week’s testimony, offering a glimpse of the challenges facing the agency that has been struggling for decades with what is described as a $1 billion problem.

During the at-times emotional hearing, highlights included Nevada’s state veterinarian calling for the roundup and surgical sterilization in every overpopulated herd, followed by a protester who briefly interrupted with shouts denouncing “welfare ranchers” turning public lands into “feedlots.”

“I was surprised that we had an animal rights activist come to the meeting who disrupted it so thoroughly that the Capitol Police had to be called,” Lummis said. “I don’t want to be insensitive, but when people come and testify saying ‘no’ to everything, they are being inflexible, unrealistic and emotional.”

Lummis knows that the question of how to control the wild horse population is a political football and passions run deep; she doubts that common ground will be found.

“I’m not sure we all do want the same thing. People assume and assert if you take all the cattle off the range then everything will be fine. That’s simply not the case,” she said.

“Now BLM is experimenting with castration and neutering, and activists find that unacceptable. The problem I had with the disruptive witness was that she wanted no castration. No neutering. No holding pens. All she wanted was horses released from government corrals and turned back out onto the range.”

During subcommittee testimony, Ellis estimated there were 67,000 wild horses and burros on federal land in 10 states, 2.5 times more than the range can support.

However, government corrals and leased pastures are maxed out, where 47,000 horses nationwide cost taxpayers about $50,000 per head over the course of the animal’s lifetime.

“You can’t give the activists what they want and responsibly manage the land,” Lummis said.

“There are way too many horses on the range to do this, and they are way over objective population numbers. Wild horses double in number every four to seven years and this is completely unsustainable. We don’t do that with elk. We don’t do that with deer, don’t do that with any other wild specie.”

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., chairman of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on public lands, objected to those who stood staunchly against euthanizing wild horses “and yet seem perfectly willing to watch them succumb to excruciating death by starvation, dehydration and disease.”

“That is the future we condemn these animals to if we don’t intervene now,” the California Republican said.

“I don’t know if there is common ground among us that can be found to create a win-win strategy with every single horse,” Lummis said, “but there have been some successes.”

The first of its kind in the United States, the Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary, located 35 miles west of Laramie, is home to a heard of 130 wild horses. Open fields invite long runs and lazy afternoon grazing.

The BLM established the EcoSanctuary project in 2013.

“I would think this type of an arrangement, although expensive for the taxpayers, would be an acceptable alternative, but advocates are opposed to neutering these animals,” Lummis said. “Until this hearing I didn’t realize just how unrealistic and unachievable the activist’s goals are.”

Though no one has come up with a one-size-fits-all solution to managing the wild horse population, and Lummis doubts there ever will be one, there are other alternatives that may include euthanizing animals in government pens, she said.

“I think that humanely euthanizing the animals and disposing of their remains without using them for food is certainly an acceptable alternative,” she said. “I could go either way, but if we can find the ultimate, compassionate, calming process — that’s a better alternative than holding them in pens until they die of old age.”

Many in the top jobs at BLM admit the wild horse program is broken and straining under its own weight.

“The committee understands BLM is between the ultimate rock and hard place,” Lummis said.

“I think this is an impossible situation on a large scale to find a solution that is acceptable for everyone. I suspect BLM is as frustrated as I am. I don’t fault the BLM. They are trying to thread the needle so that they are not beaten to a bloody pulp by people who are against them.”

82 Responses to Lummis takes on horse advocates

  1. S griffitts June 30, 2016 at 7:54 am

    And yet, no factual interview with wild horse advocates to present a different perspective. We are all
    emotional, unreasonable animal rights activists. What happened to balanced journalism?

  2. Kathleen Hayden June 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

    There is an abundance of range land that is not being utilized for the Nation’s Congressional protected HERITAGE wild horse and burro herds. The agencies refuse to maximize habitat options that are required for federally” protected” special status species. The taxpayer BLM management budget was never intended to create an entire extraction cottage industry and conversion for special interest profit.

  3. Susan carter June 30, 2016 at 10:23 am

    What was not discussed at this meeting, which had more the tone of a trial, is that there are 2.1 million cattle on Public land and only 30-50k Wild Horses.
    Lummis, JJ Goiechichia and the others are all motivated by self interests.
    The fact that an East Coast “Animal Rights Activist” showed up to try to understand the subject, is outside of the real issues involved and Ms.Lummis (who should be home tending her cattle) has seized upon her presence to obfuscate the real issue…
    Her thousands of cattle on Public Land.

  4. Mary Kostanski June 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Lummis needs to get it through her thick skull that people who are concerned about this issue are from all walks of life. The advocacy is compromised of a variety of individuals, not just a few “crazed animal rights activists.” The American public cherishes its protected (1971) wild horses and is appalled at what our government, in addition to the welfare ranchers and other narrow-minded industries, are doing to them. But let’s not count on Ms Lummis to present any type of objective account! If she can’t be objective, then our “4th arm of government” should be handing that responsibility. Let’s make it clear: the people of this country do not want our wild horses slaughtered, euthanized, sterilized, experimented on, or drugged up. We want welfare ranchers to get off our public lands–we are tired of footing their bill. OUR money; OUR horses; OUR public lands. Ms Lummis’ dramatic act at the Federal Lands Subcommittee meeting can only be categorized as the ravings of a madwoman. What’s next for her? Hollywood?

    • al smith June 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      I do.. I want them slaughtered.. I want them to be used as dog food until they are of a manageable number.. so if they are OUR horses on OUR land I want mine made into dog food.. how many do I get? I AM the “American Public’ who’s seen the fate that awaits many of these horses.. death by starvation.. not a pretty sight. and talk about “ravings” read your own post.. you do Not speak for me

      • Smithereens July 1, 2016 at 8:22 am

        So the land is so depleted that the wild horses are starving — but the 37 times more cattle on that same land are not starving? That’s odd.

        OF course, your entire argument is a scam.

        This is about money. You can’t make any off wild horses, unless you can sell them for slaughter and then hand the land on which they’re a protected species over to a welfare rancher for his cattle. Yourself and your buddies, perhaps?

        • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:04 am

          straw man.. we are talking about horses not cattle OWNED cattle do not starve because they are watched over and bring a profit and FEED people /Their by products are used in many things that you probably use everyday.. what do the horses do for man? I do not advocate wiping them .. only managing them is a way that they can survive in numbers that sustain their population without “overpopulation” and devastation to all of MY land

          • Jen Howe July 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

            Welfare ranchers cost taxpayers hundreds of millions every year and produce less than 3% of the nation’s beef. When you factor in all the freebies, ‘FEEDING the people’ is extremely expensive. And if I was able to post photos of the destruction they did to the land and water sources, you’d be appalled.

          • MS July 1, 2016 at 3:53 pm

            Al — I hope you read ALL the comments on this forum!

            Everything CANNOT be about YOU — everything CANNOT be about ME.

            (1 Horses have the innate right to live their lives happily and comfortably — just because horses do nothing for YOU, doesn’t mean they should suffer and lose their lives — (2) we, human beings, MUST designate a place, a home, for them — it’s the RIGHT thing to do! — Just because you CAN, no matter your reasons, does NOT mean you should! —
            (3) cattle do NOT feed ALL the people — there are many who live without animal meat consumption — (4) horses NEVER ruined the land — horses are NOT devastating the land — it’s the RANCHERS who are overgrazing, without end in sight — THEY are overpopulating YOUR land!

          • Smithereens July 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

            It’s not “me the people,” Al. It’s “we the people.”

      • Backroad July 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        Thank goodness the MAJORITY of Americans does not agree with you! If you don’t like democracy you can always leave.

      • MS July 1, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        How many of you are there? — So far, I count only ONE — By the way, if you left the horses alone on the range in the first place, they would not be “starving to death” in their prison pens.

  5. M. Neverla June 30, 2016 at 11:05 am

    This is such a blatant show of one sided journalism! David Louis, what are you afraid of? Or, who is pulling your strings? No mention of any opposing viewpoint, or even an attempt at trying to balance it out. Modern journalism has become so filled with propaganda that few want to read it anymore. You are the prime example. What cowardice to write an article that is so extremely biased. Perhaps I am being unfair. Maybe you are just ignorant. Either way, I can’t imagine you believing this is balanced and just. Do you know what is really going on, or did someone buy you a great lunch? You should work for as a gossip columnist. That is more your style.

    • Donna June 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      I agree wholeheartly with the comments here. We no longer have journalist giving independent view just writing what they are told. Ms lummis is not representing anyone’s interest but cattlemen.

      • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:06 am

        I am not a cattleman and she supports my interests.

  6. cathy perkins June 30, 2016 at 11:13 am

    She did not mention the millions of cattle on the same land as these horses, she also did not mention that if the government put an end to the public lands ranching it would save the tax payers $500,000,000 a YEAR, or the fact that only 3% of livestock producers in the US have those grazing permits. Most of those are huge corporations, and most of the beef they raise gets shipped overseas, so we are paying a huge price with virtually no return.

  7. Debbie June 30, 2016 at 11:34 am

    It was also NOT DISCUSSED at the meeting that the BLM AnD the ” Holding pens” DO NOT let people IN TO SEE the HORSES so they CAN GET ADOPTED! OncE a YEAR Is NOT NOT NOT ENOUGH TO GET the Horse’s ADOPTED! This meeting was VERY MUCH CATTLE SPONSORED Based! You Could See their LIES and FALSE Remarks.. People WOULD ADOPT and RESCUES COULD relocate and CARE for the horse’s BUT BLM is too CORRUPT to SEE AnyThinG but theiR own Views. Their (un)leadership has NOT done anything Willingly to HELP the Horse’s. TimE for the American people and horse loving ADVOCATE ‘S to show BLM HOW to Manage OUR Land FAIRLY. 90% of the cattle ARE Shipped OVERSEAS but GREED in our USELESS BLM, DOI Leaders is ALL WE SEE! LET the Horse’s BE SEEN AnD they WOULD GET ADOPTED!

    • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:07 am

      how many do you have?

  8. Deb June 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    First remove the cattle from the federal lands that are there for all the wildlife not domestic cattle and for sure not at the taxpayers expense that we pay to the welfare ranchers!!

    • al smith June 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      we eat the cattle so what’s fair is fair we should be able to use the horses as well bring back Alpo Horsemeat..

      • Smithereens July 1, 2016 at 8:27 am

        Al Smith,

        Horsemeat dogfood stopped being marketed in the US in the 70s, when it was discovered that the antibiotics in horse wormers were fatal to certain breeds of dogs.

        No horsemeat Alpo for you!

        • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:23 am

          that is pure BS. LOL antibiotics are wormers? that’s rich.. time for you to take a course in pharmacology Meanwhile those “free range” horse have no drugs in their systems do they? Perfect for food. Organic, free range, natural product

  9. Karen Jaquay June 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    With all the laws in every state against animal cruelty and neglect you would think these animals would be protected . Politicians are here as our voice , yet the only concern themselves with lobbyists that represent big money . These people who supposedly are our representives need to be held accountable . Are our laws only in place for the poor ? What is being done is criminal , if you did what they are doing to these animals you would be in jail and in the news . Listen to your voters or find another job .

  10. Rob Winn June 30, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Yep just look at the idiot horse lovers responding here! The feral horse should not have any protections! It should be removed from all wild lands. They are non native and do not belong in the ecosystem!

    Oh and yes cattle are good, they taste great and are managed for both the human and wildlife

    Sorry but cattle are not the problem! A wild horse overpopulation is the problem and it would be best if every bag of bones was removed and native species were reintroduced!

    • Lynn Otoole June 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Some of the “bag of bones” you refer to are direct descendants of Spanish horses. The quality of some of these horses is apparent to any educated horse person. And as far as being not native to North America, it may surprise you to know that the equine species dates back to about 2.5 – 3 million year ago. Guess that qualifies as a native species.

      Cattle on the other hand are invasive, not native and cause great damage to the environment. The entire cattle industry and the accompanying issues such as deforestation and pollution are far more damaging to the environment than all the car emissions across the world.

      • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:26 am

        Which ones are direct descendants of Spanish horses? pick those out and save them the rest should be managed and used. Cattle are a food source. You make a lot of assumptions her with no facts..

    • MS July 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Rob — “Native species?” — what a bunch of rubbish — there’s no such thing!

      Read ALL the posts — all the comments!

      This is my take on you — you do NOT give a DAMN about horses — If animals do not serve YOUR purpose, they should be eradicated and demolished.

      At least be forthright and genuine about your feelings instead of fabricating “native” species NONSENSE.

      You refuse to look at the big picture — we ALL have a place on this planet, humans and animals alike.

  11. Judy M June 30, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    “I could go either way, but if we can find the ultimate, compassionate, calming process — that’s a better alternative than holding them in pens until they die of old age.”

    Lummis calls slaughter a “calming process”! Shows how much she knows about the entire subject.

  12. Cheryl Bohman June 30, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    When the ratio is 50 to 1 in favor of cattle, we have imbalance. If horses are to blame than surely the cattle are 50x more responsible. You can not have it both ways: if one species damages the land so does the other. Horse avocates have pushed for reserve style management. What happened to that? It is a great idea and a model that has had much success. These horses have been pulled off the range and wherehoused under the guise of over population. It its clearly about resources alright…the unwillingness to share. As for those who say the American Mustang is not indigenous, the DNA begs to differ. The American people have spoken time and again…we wish our horses to remain free and unmolested.

    • al smith June 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      You do not speak for me..

      • MS July 1, 2016 at 4:06 pm

        AL — and YOU do not speak for me!

  13. Lynn Otoole June 30, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I tire of all these “meetings” and “hearings” and self proclaimed experts carefully explaining why our American wild horses have to be slaughtered. The outcomes of these meetings do a great disservice to most Americans and certainly to the wild horses.

    Thank God there was at least one animal activist at that meeting. But of course in order to have a balanced and insightful group of people, there would have to be people representing all viewpoints. A dozen or so cattle owners with no animal welfare advocates or wild horse enthusiasts is not balanced by anyone’s measure.

    I don’t understand why I, as a long suffering taxpayer, have to pay for an agency that is obviously broken, holding pens that are not humane, helicopter roundups which result in dead horses, spaying practices that would be considered barbaric in third world countries, and the paychecks of government employees who are so dirty that they knowingly sell wild horses to kill buyers even though it’s against the law.

    We need change but Ms. Lummis seems ill equipped to offer compassionate and creative approaches. Time to clean out this short sighted group and start over with appropriate participants representing all viewpoints.

  14. Barbara Watner June 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    The hearing was completely rigged against our wild horses with only one advocate telling the truth. Facts were ignored by Lummis and the other members and lies were even told . First of all McClintock used just one example of wild horses starving and that was during a drought. The BLM should have been feeding and watering any horses in need at that time. Anybody can see what great shape the ones rounded up are in.
    The NAS study that BLM had done is being ignored since it stated the truth. NAS found no evidence of an over-population. It also found the roundups and removals were causing the mares to breed more to compensate for lost members of their complex society. 70% of the AML’s are not genetically viable. There is no excess of wild horses.
    A 1990-91 GAO study found the millions of cattle cause the range and riparian area destruction and not the few thousand wild horses.
    The American public want our wild horses protected and preserved as the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act intended.

  15. Jacky June 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    As a tourist from across the pond I visit your beautiful western states to spend my money and visit the wild Mustangs not thousands of cattle.

    • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Did you eat any beef while you were here? A burger perhaps.. I cant tell you you at no horse while here on the other hand when I visit (perhaps your) countries like Italy and France I eat the “native foods” which include horse.. YUM When in Rome and all of that..

  16. Linda Staffulani June 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    The meeting was a joke , all the people there was for slaughter the wild horse. But just one horse advocates was there and they jump on her and didn’t let her talk. This people need to be replaced and have some people who love animals on that group. Not one of the talk about all the cattle that is on our land. There are to many cattle out there eating everything up. We want our horses free. Get the cattle off the land and put our wild Horse back where they belong. Shame on all of you who want to slaughter them. You are very hated people . I think it time you resign. Stop using our tax paying money to around them up and put them in pens. That cost us a lot of money. It’s cost us no money if they run free. But if time is bad you can feed them and give them water. Get off your butts and pass the safe act HR1942 .

  17. Barb June 30, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I have seen photos of truck loads of cattle that were brought in as soon as the horses were rounded up. The damage that cattle and sheep do to the range is brought on by the way they eat they only have one set of teeth which they use to pull the grass up instead of cutting it off above ground. Horses have top and bottom teeth which are used like a pair of shears that leaves the grass stem to regrow back unlike cattle/sheep. This is why when cattle/sheep are left on the range longer than a week or more the area begins to look denuded of grazing its been all pulled up by the roots. This is what the horses are being blamed for which is a out and out lie. They are also being blamed for the destruction of any small streams in the area which are covered on the banks with either wall to wall with sheep manure or covered with cow flops even in the water which ruins the water for wildlife. Another thing about water is that the wild horses move quickly down to a water hole drink and leave the reason is predators. The fear of predators is ingrained in their nature it helps with their survival in the wild. The cattle ranchers have had almost all of the predators killed in the U.S. they called Wild life services which comes out and kills any wolves, coyotes or mountain lions that might be moving through the area. All this damage to protect their imported cattle because these cattle have been imported from Europe years ago they are not native to the U.S. like the horses which were brought back by the Spanish when they came to this country looking for gold.

    • al smith June 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      we eat cattle and sheep they give us many useable products.. what do the horses give ?

      • Lynn Otoole July 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

        Al Smith, here’s a great quote which helps to put this into the proper perspective:

        “It’s quite apparent that because of the increasing tendency toward the monopolistic use and abuse of our public lands to the exclusion of all forms of animal life not commercially profitable to private interests, we must expect strong opposition to any plan that will interfere with this convenient arrangement.” (Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston) Ms. Johnston died in 1977 but her words still ring true today.

  18. Maggie Frazier June 30, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Having watched this committee meeting/hearing – the phrase that got to me was ms.Lummis’s “euthanization is a lovely gentle way to kill an animal” – lovely gentle were her words! Every person on that committee was financially connected to the livestock community! As in LARGE ranching corporations – who all want the horses gone. No surprise, but these people are supposed to be politicians – not lobbyists for cattle corporations. This whole hullaballoo was a set up. If you are having a hearing with witnesses – you have an even number of witnesses for both sides. Ginger Kathrens was treated with rudeness – not allowed to speak more than a sentence – but the pro-slaughter crew were given carte blanche – and asked for their opinions. I may not agree completely with the gal who “spoke out of turn” but I sure can sympathize with her after listening to this bunch of jerks!

  19. Renate Nuss June 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    How come the cattle on public lands are not fully countedcounted. And are the Mustangs not an icon of the West. When I posted a picture of wild horses n Mesa Verde on social media I got hundreds of likes, I posted a picture of a cow in the national forest, buyers what I got nothing!! If the public would just know what’s going on there would be an uproar. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t even know we still have mustangs out there, but it will chabgechange. We watch you!!

  20. Alynn Dalton June 30, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Lovely euthanasia is a bullet to the head….just ask 28 Cold Creek Wild Horses….oh wait you can’t….

    • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:32 am

      and of course you could not even if they were still alive unless one was “Mr Ed”. Shooting horses is the safest way to kill them.. they even teach humane officers the proper way to kill a horse and it is not a shot with a syringe it is a well placed bullet

  21. Terri Russell July 1, 2016 at 3:24 am

    That dog and pony show that these yahooligans put on was a real piece of work. Those numbers of on range mustang is closer to15000 not the 67000 that’s claimed to be out there. Their guesstimate of herd size increase is totally flawed as only fertile mares can get pregnant and the gestation time for each mare is11 months with one foal. Using their math every stallion, gelding, and mare stupid have to reproduce like rabbits. Horse slaughter is anything but calm, peaceful death. Anybody with half a brain knows that. I totally agree with many of the above comments. I’ve been following this issue for over a decade. How in hell can they say that the numbers are so high when they have zeroed out so many of the horse management areas? This is a no brainer. Those numbers are nowhere near the truth. Ms Kathryns was treated very rudely beat up, avid spit out. She was in a snake pit for sure. That cattle owning vet should be disbarred. He failed to mention that water was fenced off from the wild horses be these same state ranchers, that horses were removed and photos of cattle showed that they replaced the horses immediately after. Only 3% of the range raised cattle go for food for this country…only 3%!! Yet these same ranchers get all kinds of subsidies as well as land to feed their cattle for far less than the going rate. This is not private land…it is PUBLIC land!!! Our tax dollars should not be used to support these ranchers handsomely. The BLM board of directors is made up of Cattle avid livestock interests with only one horse advocate in its midst. Kudos to the eastern advocate for making a valliant show. Too bad the bullies couldn’t handle the truth!! If this was a hearing then we’re in big trouble.. It looked more like a kangaroo court to me. To the writer of this need to open your mind andrei a little more research on the subject. I watched the hearing and did not like the lies and one sidedness of it at all.

    • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:39 am

      I am a tax payer I want MY land to be used to feed people and be useful you should put on your glasses when looking at charts.. it is NINE point SIX % not NINETY SEVEN % her I will spell it out for you 9.6 percent of beef produced is exported ..that means that 90.4% feeds people in the USA meanwhile who cares what is exported as long as it keeps the economy going.. it is called balance of trade.. I guess you half of a brain and half of the rest MIGHt make up one..but with your math who knows?

      • MS July 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        AL — many things KEEP THE ECONOMY GOING! —

        keeping the horses ALIVE will keep the economy going —

        — you do NOT always have to EAT everything! —


  22. Jen Howe July 1, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I wonder if Ms. Lummis might be in favor of removing wild horses because she’s taken $208 million in subsidies for her ranch since 1995?

  23. tokira July 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    If every “animal rights activist” who objects to reducing the overpopulation of wild horses were to contribute ONE flake of hay PER DAY for these horses, we might see an attitude change…

    • Jen Howe July 1, 2016 at 8:39 am

      If every taxpayer would acknowledge how much the public grazing program for welfare ranchers cost us, there might also be an attitude change. The BLM alone loses $123 million every year on this. We subsidize them almost $1 billion per year, not including millions more for predator control. They also graze their livestock for a mere pittance, cause great destruction, and are allowed to take out loans using their permits as collateral. All of this and all they produce is less than 3% of the nation’s beef. And since cattle outnumber horses 50:1, how about the non-animal activist-beef-eating people throw out a few flakes a day for the cattle?

    • al smith July 1, 2016 at 9:44 am

      surely you jest.. why would they want to do that? the horses might be better off and they would have nothing to complain about behind the key board ( of which many are made of some sort of beef/animal by product) so many fallacies on this thread.. mind boggling

  24. Sassy July 1, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Fact: The BLM has not conducted a count in 20 years. FACT: Much of the range degredation has been brought about through persistant drought and cattlemen not abiding by the grazing cycle spelled out clearly in the grazing permits they aquire for a pittance. Fact: The ratio of cattle to wild horse is 42 to 1. FACT: The cattle produce 3 percent of the beef consumed in this country. Fact: There are more wild horses in capitivy than on the range. Fact: Entire HMAs have no willd horses in them at all. Fact: The BLM and the western states have repeatedly refused to explore any other means that are fiscally responsible and allow these animals to remain on the range. Fact: The American public has been deliberately shielded from these facts leading to ignorance. Fact: public lands do have a multiple use stipulation that includes the wild jorses as one of those multiple uses. Fact: Just because something is not “useable” does not mean it should be detroyed. If one agues from that position, you are also stating that we may open the door to destruction of anything not being profitable. For example, your yard Al Smith, or the mountain ranges, etc. Fact: Not all advocates for the wild horses and burros are “crazy animal activists.” Some of us are worthy opponents who are armed with facts and champions of critical thinking. And, lastly, this omninous fact is that whatever happens to the wild ones will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, kick open the door to privatization of our public lands. So be careful, Al Smith and others who hold your viewpoint, about how you talk about the wild ones because you may find yourself unwittingly supporting that which you do not want.

  25. Barbara Schatt July 1, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I ask her how she justifies American taxpayers subsidizing oil men, miners and cattlemen’s use of public land by at least $10.00 a unit! And how many leases does she have? If we look at the fact that we subsidize the grazing leases by at the very least $10.00 and that they graze 600,000 units (cows) that should bring in $6,000,000. But we only bring in $1,200,000 using the same numbers. I don’t like subsidizing anyone to kill our wild horses and burros, but I really don’t like subsidizing the Koch brothers or the Bundy’s. MOST ranchers are conservationists and don’t want the horses gone, but the greedy ones do. I have to pay Safeway $12.99 to $17.99 for cut of “grass fed” beef. I think I should get back at least $10.00 for a grazing unit as it is today defined. Since the Dept. of the Interior leases our land to frackers and since the frackers don’t have to tell us what is in that effluvium they dump into holding ponds I don’t think we should subsidize the land they are destroying. It might be a trade secret, but I’m sure those who really want to know can find out. Or maybe we’ll find out when a hole in the liners appears 50 years from now and destroys the water table and you folks in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, California and Arizona experience what the folk in Flint are going through. Don’t look to me, the BLM or the Dept. of the Interior if you don’t fight to keep the land clean now! Of course the Dept. of the Interior is indebt to or paid to destroy our land and we are paying them!

  26. pat duPree July 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Miss Loomis does not seem to know a calm program of PZP with mineral oil emulsion would make Leaps and Bounds toward population control of a species that is not currently over populating the land.

    I never realized that she had so little an idea of what causing forced death to thousands of sentient beings would be like or look like , including euthanasia all congressmen and congresswomen who think this is ok have a mandate to spend a week at The Killing Fields ; I just required it of them . Let the blood and smell And aurora of forced death be upon them — they want it let them experience it .

    God in heaven, I want America to realize that there are many Hitlers and Isis in the halls of a potentially honorable country who do not belong there : they can have someone else kill for them the eyes of intelligence and gentleness there need be no other reason to call a murderer a murderer .

    Wake up America or go to the killing field yourself ! These are words the reality will be there .

    And the sin . Do not think this would be good stewardship do not be that influenced because this woman is standing in our White House . These are the same victims that would heal a PTSD troop who fought for ur freedom and the same victim who would lower his her head to gently sniff ur and ms. Lummis’s grandchild’s hair and carry him carefully on her back .

  27. pat duPree July 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    #cynthialummis , @Cynthia Lummis

    I forgot to tag u with comment above . the highlight is not working so I hope it tags .

  28. pat duPree July 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    #CynthiaLummis ,

    Never before have I incorporated America’s indifference and coldness of heart mind and intellect toward massacre of the young as when I have watching foals trying to keep up with their mother in a round up and seeing them mutilated in slaughter .

    if u were someone else I would still have to ask does that not give pause and the courage to simply treat herds with proven birth control .

  29. pat duPree July 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    correctly tending to wildies would create jobs

  30. Buddy July 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    How much did the Cattlemen’s Association pay her for all of the biased remarks. Saw pictures of Palomino Valley, was the largest adoption facility. No horses. None. What happened to the horses in Palomino Valley? The cattle are the culprits, not the horses. Leave the horse be. And for anyone’s information, activist, advocate, compassionate all define those whose look beyond themselves for the betterment of others, in this case the American Icon, the Wild Horse. What blither, what uninformed biased crap.

  31. MS July 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    POINT (1) : I refer to the following, “The law requires the … (BLM) to remove wild horses from private land, if …” — since when did these lands convert from public to “private?” — The horses were always on THEIR land (they were referred to as “public” lands belonging to the American taxpayers) — at what point did these lands become “private?” POINT (2) — The “animal rights activists” SHOULD BE HEARD — according to many, horse overpopulation does NOT exist — thus, not necessary NOR wise (for other reasons) to neuter or castrate them. POINT (3) — We CAN have a win-win — land, in each and every state of our Union, should be designated specifically for our wild horses — Humans will always have justifications to NEED land, more and more land — SOME THINGS IN LIFE, AS YOU KNOW, MUST BE HELD SACRED — this is one of those things — land specifically designated for our horses CANNOT and MUST NOT be touched — Let’s get some standards! POINT (4) : ranchers, along with other humans who want land, MUST have restrictions on their ownership — when it comes to our land, the SKY is NOT the limit! — When will we learn that money does NOT buy everything! — Sometimes money CANNOT buy everything.

  32. Ruthanne Gardner July 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Just more lies! You know you’ve been bought off! Your greed is clouding your vision of the truth! The horses have been on the land for years! As soon as the ranches were allowed to over graze the same land for a negligible amount paid to the gov’t and then profit from the sake of the herd…. The horses became a problem because the ranchers wanted it all! Greed is running our country and it’s not only visible with the way the gov’t and the BLM and it’s followers want to treat the wild horses! The veterinarians, the university, the ranchers, the BLM, gov’t officials, kill pens, transporters, are all in cohouts. MONEY…that’s it! Whoever pays the most gets what they want and in the instance of our wil horses it’s the BLM, gov’t officials, ranchers and the large corporations who sponsor the ranchers! There’s a herd and family order within our wild horse herds! You are destroying this! Why to store thousand of wild horses in dry feed lots without cover! If this sounds like a rant it is because there’s so much wrong with what you people are doing to our history! If you consider the wild horse advocates emotional, irrational then I would start worrying about what they will do if you continue these cruel methods of sterilization, round ups and sneaky slaughters!!

  33. Barb July 1, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    The welfare ranchers are using our public lands as a free feed lot for their cattle and sheep. Just who is the BLM going to blame for the damage to public land when all of the horses are gone, their ghosts?

  34. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Cynthia Lummis/Wyoming

    The Department of Interior Oil and Gas Royalty Scandal and Its Wyoming Roots

    In 1992, independent auditors Ryan and Fetterolf were witnesses for Uinta County against Union Pacific Resourcesxviii, which was suing the county and the state, claiming the county had no right to hire minerals production auditors for contingent fees, and disputing the taxes on the company’s oil and gas production in the county. Ryan told WyoFile that when he and Fetterolf showed up to give their depositions in the case, he was shocked to find that state Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Laramie County Republican, was the company’s lawyer.

    “Cynthia, are you here to represent your constituents or Union Pacific?” Ryan says he asked.
    “I represented Union Pacific Resources Co. in a declaratory judgment action that went to the Wyoming Supreme Court,” Lummis told WyoFile, adding that the court made no decision on the merits of the case, but sent it back to the Board of Equalization.

    Cynthia Lummis, who is now Wyoming’s sole U.S. Representative in Congress, has been a politician for more than 30 years, and a lawyer for nearly a quarter of a century. When she was working for Union Pacific Resources in the 1990s, she was a partner in the Cheyenne firm of Wiederspahn, Lummis & Liepas PC. Her husband and law partner, real estate developer Alvin Wiederspahn, is a former state representative and senator on the Democratic side of the aisle. In the ’90s, the firm’s clients included Amoco Production Company and Union Pacific Resources. Wiederspahn was also a leader of the Wyoming Taxpayers’ Association, a group with a populist-sounding name that is an energy industry lobby.

    During the summer, Burton—who as a Republican state representative from Natrona County had served on the House Revenue Committee with Rep. Cynthia Lummis—consulted Lummis and former state Sen. Dan Sullivan, who were co-chairmen of the legislature’s Joint Interim Revenue Committee that had reported on the 1990 law. Sullivan, the Republican brother of former Democratic Gov. Michael Sullivan, was by 1996 working for Chevron. He assured Burton that Chevron was correct, the production taxes and royalties should be excluded.xxv Burton met with
    Governor Jim Geringer three times on the subject, and he finally told her, she said, “Do what you think is right.”

    What she thought was right (Burton consulted the state attorney general to see if she was about to break the law; he said no) was to accept Chevron’s view of the matter, overrule her auditors and herself, and exclude production taxes and royalties from the direct cost formula.
    She issued a new memo in October 1996 to “supercede” and “cancel” her previous memo. The Equalization Board later found this October memo to be “contrary to law.”

  35. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Wild horses & burros being removed for Richfield Tar Sands plan

    In addition to the welfare ranchers, here is another major cause of our wild ones being captured & removed & sterilized … please become aware of the Richfield tar sands plan.

    The Richfield tar sands has already effected our wild ones and continues to do so as of TODAY with the BLM proposal to rid the White Mountain and Little Colorado of more/all of the wild ones and the same with the Sinbad wild burro HMA (comments due Monday).

    The Richfield tar sands plan has been in progress since about 2010 and if you look at the list below you will see that most of these HMAs (plus West Douglas HA) have been heavily captured/removed in recent years.
    The document goes so far as to say, “the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas”. How much clearer can it be. They want the wild ones GONE.

    TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)

    Little Colorado
    White Mountain
    Salt Wells
    Adobe Town

    Piceance-East Douglas

    Muddy Creek
    Range Creek

    [PLUS Herd Areas which are not discussed in this report – such as the West Douglas HA]
    More Richfield tar sands information:
    Sinbad Wild Burro EA information:

  36. Franklin July 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Any allotment rancher who is has not been paying their rent, is disregarding scheduled grazing rules like Borba or Bundy should be immediately evicted from the grazing program. Their former allotments, all public land, should then be used to graze and support wild horses. If they still own their base ranch (Bundy should loose his unless he pays past grazing bills) the BLM should buy it and develop more sanctuaries for our horses on our land. There must be dozens of ranchers who are in arrears which are being ignored by the BLM. The difference between the loss of grazing revenue and the savings by using a former allotment for horses would actually put the taxpayers ahead and spare the cruelty planned by our government. Lummis should step down since she appears to be a cruel shill for the welfare ranchers. I believe Al Smith who has the stubborn, greedy attitude of a typical rancher should be investigated.

  37. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses

    Wild Horse DVD Slideshow set to music with images from the book Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses
    This is the Adobe Town Herd, the largest herd in Wyoming, that I followed over six years,

  38. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Black Curlies Sparring (Wyoming)
    Barbara Wheeler

  39. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    A Call to Arms (More or Less)
    A couple weeks ago the BLM released their roundup schedule for the rest of the year.
    The numbers on the chart read that the BLM was going to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, and take over 1/3 of the remaining Adobe Town horses.
    Reading these numbers, it felt a little like the world was crashing down, like I was stuck on a calving glacier just waiting for my feet to fall out from under me so I could hit the icy punch of the water while the ice crashed down on my head.
    And yet, how much worse is it for the horses? They don’t even see it coming. The horses are busy living their lives as best they know how. They will be busy storing up fat for winter and then suddenly BAM! Running for their lives, permanently separated from their families, spending the rest of their lives in government holding. If they are lucky the horses removed won’t be euthanized or slaughtered by an organization that was ordered to protect them, but who now is looking for easy escapes for a problem that they themselves created. It’s sick.
    If you are me, the only way to combat that sickness is to dive into the numbers and type out a few feelings. Let’s break all of this information down in a comprehensive way.
    First we have to start with the basics. For any roundup, the BLM follows a process known as NEPA. NEPA stands for National Environmental Policy Act, and the short of it is that federal agencies like the BLM are required to write Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) on how their plans may impact the environment. In the wild horse world, these are often referred to as Environmental Assessments (EA).
    For wild horses lovers the process can be explained in more simple terms.
    Step 1. BLM wants a roundup and they tell everyone. Advocates respond by disagreeing with the BLM’s plans, and are summarily ignored.
    Step 2. The BLM releases an official document with “options” for how they plan to conduct the roundup. Advocates respond by pointing out all the flaws in their logic.
    Step 3. The BLM has to read all of those comments and explain in internal documents why they are choosing to ignore them.
    Step 4. The BLM declares they will use the most invasive and drastic roundup plan in their list of options.
    Step 5. Roundup
    Last Friday afternoon (just in time for it to be too late for advocates to do anything before the weekend) the Rock Springs released their plan. Here is the link, but I’m also happy to translate it into English for everyone to save time. In a nutshell this says:
    “The ROCK SPRINGS GRAZING ASSOCIATION (RSGA) asked us to remove all these horses immediately, and we said yes, so therefore we don’t have to follow the rules on this and can just roundup as many horses as we want in this area whenever we feel like it.”

  40. Louie C July 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    A Call to Arms (More or Less)
    Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that because it requires that you understand a little bit more about the ROCK SPRINGS GRAZING ASSOCIATION. The RSGA are modern day cattle barons. They are rulers of the range in that area of the country, whether that range technically belongs to them or not. In 2012 the RSGA filed a lawsuit with the BLM demanding that the BLM remove all horses from three herds in the area, since parts of the areas where the horses were allowed happened to be on checkerboard land.

    The checkerboard is an area where for every one square mile of public land there is one square mile of private land. Much of this private land is owned by oil and gas companies like ANDARKO and SHELL. Members of the RSGA own some of this land too, and they also lease the public sections from the BLM and those private companies to graze their massive herds of sheep and cattle. To better understand them, I suggest you check out this link to a simply fabulous Andrew Cohen piece on the issue.

  41. Grandma Gregg July 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    “Letter: OSU is complicit in horse scandal”

    Jul 1, 2016
    I am an Oregon State University alumni from 1996. I am ashamed and shocked that OSU would partner with the Bureau of Land Management to perform unprecedented and barbaric sterilization experiments on the wild horses that belong to all Americans!

    The BLM and ranching interests want these horses eliminated and continue to make absurd overpopulation claims in order to get backing for cutting the population. Any educated person knows what happens when the mares are sterilized! The wild horses will decline and eventually be eliminated. Aside from the pain and suffering the horses will be subjected to in the immediate future, the BLM and ranchers and the big bucks OSU makes from jumping on this corrupt and selfish agenda is worse than shameful!

    I will never feel the same about the university. I am among a majority of Americans who prefer the continued freedom of these symbols of freedom in America, not their zeroing out via sterilization! I guess the only thing that matters to OSU is money!

    How many residents are aware of the partnership between OSU and the BLM in a horrible attempt to destroy our iconic wild horses in Hines, Oregon? I have been trying to plead for a stop to these atrocious experiments for months and without any replies from OSU or the BLM. There are countless cattle on the range and there lies the real problem. The horses are being scapegoated.
    Janelle Ghiorso
    Sonora, Calif. (June 28)

  42. Grandma Gregg July 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    We ALL need to tell the Resources Committee (and our senators and representatives) about their oversight committee meeting and you may wish to include some of the below sample letter.

    PUBLIC COMMENT allowed for 10 Business days after the Natural Resources meeting, The deadline is July 7, 2016.
    EMAIL: the Clerk:

    June 30, 2016

    Natural Resources Committee
    Attn: Tom McClintock
    EMAIL the Clerk:

    It is clearly visible that last week’s Natural Resources committee meeting led by Tom McClintock, was a clear example of regulatory capture of an agency – the Bureau of Land Management. The information provided to the committee was not scientifically supported and not credible – especially the populations of the public’s wild horses and wild burros both on the range and in the holding facilities. The proposed and recent wild horse captures and removals and sterilization procedures are completely politically and monetarily motivated decisions. This is not in keeping with the law or the wishes of the American people who own the land and who own the wild horses and wild burros – it is completely biased and favored toward special “favored” interest groups. This in itself is illegal and often called “Regulatory Capture”.

    Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms to behave in ways injurious to the public (e.g., producing negative externalities). The agencies are called “captured agencies”.

    For the past 40 plus years the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and associates have been chipping away at these legal wild horse and wild burro lands and obviously the recovery and reinstatement of wild horses and wild burros would be unfavorable to any financial stakeholders, i.e. livestock permittees, mining and energy corporations, large lobbying trophy hunting “clubs” and many more. But let’s face it … the only persons that have worked for 40 plus years for the extinction of wild horses and burros are those with a financial interest. This has been and continues to be unacceptable, illegal and the American citizens including me are disgusted at the “sell-out” of our lands and resources by the agency that is responsible to protect them … the Bureau of Land Management.

    I require each of the committee members and speakers admit to the public their political and financial connections to the agencies and private/corporate benefactors of the destruction of the wild horses and wild burros and the selling leasing of our public lands and resources – i.e. admit their connection to regulatory capture.
    Receipt Requested

  43. Sheryl Barned July 2, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    This is such a one sided article. I don’t know where to begin. There is not one fact in this article. Just propaganda. Where are the facts! 70,000 horses rounded up. None left in the wild. Where are the factual counts, who are they done by. The NAS report tells that BZlM is a total waste of money because the are just causing the ones they don’t catch to make more babies because there’s nothing left. They don’t need any birth control because it vows doing all the damage, depleting the ecosystem and blaming ghost horses. Fencing them off from water and declaring their dying of thirst. When will the justice system start paying attention to the Lyra they tell.? Selling 1700 horses to a kill buyer and now horses are missing from long term holding. Where r they? Let me guess, sent off to slighter on our dime against 80% of the will of the people, but for 2% of cattle grazing industry. When will justice prevail for our wild horses and burros who are suppose to be protected? The republican cattle ranchers in office keep the will of the people at bay to take their greedy payments to fruition. Shame on this article. No facts. One sided . No advocates to speak for the horses!

  44. lj July 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Seems to me the cattle are as much on public land as the horses and greatly outnumber the horses. Seems to me that I once heard the taxpayer supports the cattle by only charging a $1.40 for full grazing rights on the public lands; so those who support the horses should also be honored. This could be a win/win situation for all if Ms. Lummis would just shut up.

    • Jen Howe July 3, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Ms. Lummis’s distric has taken in $208 million in ranching subsidies between 1995 – 2014.

  45. Janice E. Mitich July 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Lummis in totally incorrect when she states that the BLM has not been able to slaughter wild horses because this hasn’t prevented the BLM from selling horses to killer buyers or shipping them out of state to auctions where they will be sold for slaughter. Their hands are still covered in blood. I’m disgusted with the attitude of a representative of my home state. We know who contributes to her campaign fund.

  46. Ann Mond July 4, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Livestock Subsidies in At-Large District of Wyoming (Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis) totaled $208 million from 1995 – 2014


  47. Louie C July 6, 2016 at 1:33 am

    A death a day at Conger HMA. Wild mare was driven into a fence panel, breaking her neck as her mate and very young foal looked on in horror

  48. Louie C July 6, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, the oldest wild horse and burro group in the United States. Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) was its first president.
    As we complete our thirteenth year in studying the White Sands and Gila herds, two isolated herds, which live in similar habitat but represent two different horse cultures, have demonstrated much lower reproductive rates than BLM managed herds. Maintaining the “herd integrity” with a hands off management strategy (“minimal feasible management”) and no removals in 13 years has shown us that functional herds demonstrating strong social bonds and leadership of elder animals is key to the behavioral management of population growth.
    ISPMB’s president, Karen Sussman, who has monitored and studied ISPMB’s four wild herds all these years explains, “We would ascertain from our data that due to BLM’s constant roundups causing the continual disruption of the very intricate social structures of the harem bands has allowed younger stallions to take over losing the mentorship of the older wiser stallions.
    In simplistic terms Sussman makes the analogy that over time Harvard professors (elder wiser stallions) have been replaced by errant teenagers (younger bachelor stallions). We know that generally teenagers do not make good parents because they are children themselves.
    Sussman’s observations of her two stable herds show that there is tremendous respect commanded amongst the harems. Bachelor stallions learn that respect from their natal harems. Bachelors usually don’t take their own harems until they are ten years of age. Sussman has observed that stallions mature emotionally at much slower rates than mares and at age ten they appear ready to assume the awesome responsibility of becoming a harem stallion.
    Also observed in these herds is the length of time that fillies remain with their natal bands. The fillies leave when they are bred by an outside stallion at the age of four or five years. Often as first time mothers, they do quite well with their foals but foal mortality is higher than with seasoned mothers.
    Sussman has also observed in her Gila herd where the harems work together for the good of the entire herd. “Seeing this cooperative effort is quite exciting,” states Sussman.

  49. Louie C July 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm



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