Federal government begins large Oregon wild horse roundup

Op-Ed: Just unbelievable. The BLM complains about not having any space for horse storage and not having enough money, they give horses to killer-buyers, and here they are, rounding up another 1,500 horses, cutting the whole herd size down to 100 horses on 625 acres. That’s 62.5 acres PER HORSE!

Oh, don’t count the cows moving into the management area. They must be native to Oregon, so that doesn’t count.

This is not herd management. This is nothing more that total herd destruction. There is not one ounce of sanity in this move by the BLM. It’s pure horse hatred and greed.

I wonder what killer-buyer they are going to find to give these horses to. It certainly doesn’t matter that it’s against the law, because no one prosecutes illegal horse sales.

~ Jerry Finch
From: GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Wild horse advocates are calling for a stop to one of the largest roundups of wild mustangs in Oregon history.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday began preparations to gather up to 1,500 wild horses roaming freely on about 625 square miles of the Beatys Butte herd management area east of Lakeview in southern Oregon.

Officials say the mustangs will be rounded up by helicopter. The roundup’s aim is to reduce the population to 100 and remove the rest.

It’s the first roundup since a federal investigation in October determined a Colorado livestock hauler repeatedly lied to officials and sold nearly 1,800 wild horses to buyers who took them to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

The hauler bought the mustangs through the BLM program that’s supposed to provide wild horses with good homes.

Wild horses are protected under federal law, and selling them for slaughter is illegal. The BLM said it has taken additional steps to “prevent this type of situation from happening.”

Officials say the large population of mustangs in southern Oregon damages the environment and wildlife, a problem compounded by the area’s drought that has stressed forage and water availability.

“Horses have overgrazed sagebrush and other plants to the extent that plants and soils are being lost entirely,” BLM spokeswoman Larisa Bogardus said in a statement.

But horse advocates say conflicts with livestock, which share the land with the mustangs, are driving the roundup. Deniz Bolbol with American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign said thousands of cattle are permitted by the federal government to graze in the area.

“It’s the ranchers versus the wild horses,” Bolbol said. “The horses eat the same food as the cows.”

Federal officials say ranchers have voluntarily reduced grazing in the area by approximately 70 percent.

Wild horse advocates are also asking the government to implement a program to suppress population growth — with the use of a fertility control vaccine that’s currently administered to a small number of horses.

But BLM says that vaccine’s effectiveness is limited to one or two years and must be hand-injected or deployed via ground-darting, making it difficult to administer to wild horses on a large scale. The agency is currently researching other fertility controls, including sterilization — something mustang advocates say would be cruel and would change wild mustangs’ natural behavior.

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  • ACH369

    I am so disgusted with the BLM. as I’m sure every single one of is us who CARE about our horses!!!

    Maybe we all need to become Clive Bundy’s…they sure backed down from him, didn’t they???

    November 4, 2015
    • Daniel Cordero Fernandez

      I don’t think they will back down on wild horse advocates if they were to do the same than Bundy… even if it is in an entirely peaceful fashion like chaining themselves to the gather corrals or blocking contractors from setting up operations.

      I truly believe they let Bundy get away with it because, at the end, he is part of the good ole boy network. It was just a set up to allow the Bundites to make a political point. As a matter of fact he is now into local/state politics (sickening!). There was never an intention of using force against him.

      November 6, 2015
      • ACH369

        Daniel, I’m sure you’re right!!!

        November 6, 2015
  • Louie C

    This is an archived article and just a few of the comments
    Breaking News: Wild Horses Sold to Kill Buyer by BLM Contractor
    by Debbie Coffey PPJ Investigative Reporter ~ Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
    Director of Wild Horse Affairs Wild Horse Freedom Federation
    “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”
    Reader Comment
    And perhaps Francis Ackley (Colorado WH&B program leader) didn’t call you back because his assistant Lona A Kossnar is the person who signed the sales agreements for the sales to Tom Davis from Cannon City from 2008 to 2012 and most likely either he or she signed the sales agreements for Reeves’ purchases too.
    To take it a step further, Reeves and Anderson were APPROVED by BLM as guardians for our Wild Ones.
    Shall we start our list of “Who’s Who” in this big mess? So far, it appears that the BLM Washington D.C. office and the Colorado state office and some of the BLM short term offices/managers and some of the long term holding facility operators knew for years what was going on and had an active part in the conspiracy.
    Reader Comment
    It was Sally who signs off on large sales..they have to be approved by the DC office…I was approved by Lona on the purchase of Grey Beard, but when I decided to take a semiload it was kicked up to her…and I had to fight to gt that approval for 4 months..Davis was already approved within days of the arrival of the adobe town mustngs at the facility..to take ALL the 235 SA wild horses from the roundup…they allowed me to take a semi-load despite the fact Davis had spoken for them
    Reader Comment
    The wild horses and wild burros are not giving up and neither can we.
    Along with sending this article to government representatives and media and NAS and GAO [contact@gao.gov] below are some links to the BLM persons in charge of decision making. Although I realize that it is like asking the fox why he stole the hen from the hen house … I will be sending these BLM employees the article and asking the BLM to explain to me why they have allowed (encouraged and/or assisted) these illegal activities.
    (I am not naive … just stubborn)
    And if I can be so bold as to suggest:
    Ed Roberson
    Sally Spencer
    Lili Thomas
    Bea Wade
    Dean Bolstad
    Mike Pool
    Reader Comment
    2 years ago, I went thru every quarterly report for all holding facilities in the US..BLM claims a death rate of 3% per year..using the oct and jan reports of additions and subtractions..I noted mare facilities death fractions, and gelding facilities death fractions(as they do not list sales in the subtractions from facilities…mare facilities reflected what would be a “normal” death rate..whereas geldings facilities were missing semi loads of animals in a 3 month period…I would like to point out -the preferance of kill buyers are large geldings, recent stallions which tend to be bigger and larger boned which enhances their profits..I would also like to point out, the horses that are held at Canon City come from the HMAs-which are home to some of the larger bodied, heavier boned and taller than average mustangs as a whole…such as the Adobe Towns..There is an accounting of horses held at LTH, and STH…but there is no documentation of open accounting as to the sales of horses from the facilities, which explains why this buyer who had LTH facilities would rather buy from holding..he gets paid by the documentation of how many horses are at his facility and there is a record..if you go outside of LTH it requires a FOIA to get the information because the BLM will claim “protection of privacy”
    Prior to these most recent cases of kill buyers at Canon City…there existed other cases of the same thing at this facility..Canon City should be closed down and all connected employees fired immediately..they had a responsability to be whistle blowers
    A reminder that BLM policy states there wil be no individual sales from LTH only semi loads and not by “choice”

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C

    This shows only one (~30 wild horses) load that the taxpayers paid to haul a
    load of wild horses to Tom Davis. This load was shipped from Burns, Oregon to Tom Davis in Colorado. If this was about 30 horses … then you can use some math to estimate the total cost to the taxpayer for hauling about 1784 WH&B = about $267,600 total @ $150 per horse/burro. This hauling was done by multiple haulers but this one is just for J C Ourada who just happens to be the owner/contractor for the Elm Creek BLM WH&B holding facility.

    Contract Transaction #6eec157f2f0c2c8dd37a962cb1fb8055
    (FY 2000-2012)
    Award #1

    Dollars Obligated $4,520
    Current Contract Value $4,520
    Ultimate Contract Value $4,520

    Purchaser Information
    Major Agency Dept. of the Interior
    Modified Contracting Agency 1422: Bureau of Land Management
    Contracting Agency Bureau of Land Management
    Contracting Office OR020
    Major Funding Agency Dept. of the Interior
    Modified Funding Agency 1422: Bureau of Land Management
    Program / Funding Agency Bureau of Land Management
    Program / Funding Office OR020

    Contract Information
    Date Signed 02/29/2012
    Effective Date 02/29/2012
    Current Completion Date 03/07/2012

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C

    Another reader comment
    “Salazar told The Gazette in an interview that buyers of wild horses can be prosecuted for falsifying sales applications and for indirectly selling horses to slaughter by reselling to middlemen”
    November 1, 2015
    USA TODAY, DEC. 12, 2012
    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is restricting the number of wild horses people can buy from the federal government and promises to prosecute those who sell mustangs for slaughter.
    Salazar’s announcement comes after reports about Tom Davis, a southern Colorado livestock hauler and horse slaughter proponent who has bought more than 1,700 horses from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since 2009.
    Davis’ purchases account for 70% of BLM wild horse sales since 2009.
    The Gazette of Colorado Springs previously reported that the BLM sometimes contacted Davis to see if he would like to buy more horses.
    Davis has told Colorado officials that he shipped some horses out of state, in violation of brand inspection laws. The Alamosa County district attorney is investigating the transfers. Davis has said he honored contracts promising the animals wouldn’t be slaughtered.
    Salazar told The Gazette in an interview that buyers of wild horses can be prosecuted for falsifying sales applications and for indirectly selling horses to slaughter by reselling to middlemen.
    Salazar also said buyers will be limited to five horses every six months. Larger orders must be approved by the deputy director of the BLM.
    The BLM oversees most of the 35,000 wild horses roaming public lands in the western United States. The horses are protected by law from slaughter.
    The agency has struggled with how to manage growing horse herds, which can double naturally within five years if left unchecked. Horses have been injected with drugs and vaccines to slow reproduction and also are rounded up for adoption.
    The BLM currently has more horses in captivity — more than 45,000 — than are left roaming the range.
    (c) USA TODAY, 2012

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C

    Land Management Official Sentenced in Workplace Fraud Case
    July 7, 2015

    A federal judge sentenced a senior official in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to six months in prison on Tuesday after he was convicted of covering up for a subordinate who kept drawing government pay after leaving the agency for a job in Montana.

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C


    The False Claims Act (FCA) is a whistleblower reward statute.
    If you know of private parties (such as government contractors) defrauding the government, you as a whistleblower may bring a court action, called a qui tam suit, and be awarded a portion of the damages if the case is successful.
    There are also other federal whistleblower reward statutes, for tax, security and other types of fraud.
    In addition, 30 states have “Little FCAs” –these provisions can also be seen in the context of other state whistleblower laws.

    Remedies against the Violator:
    Civil penalties
    Treble the amount of damages sustained by the government as a result of the fraud
    Exclusion/debarment from government programs
    Remedies for the Whistleblower:
    15 to 25% of the recovery if the government intervenes
    25 to 30% if whistleblower succeeds in a case which

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C

    The fine for harassing or killing a Wild Horse was increased to $100,000 PER OFFENSE
    Sentencing Reform Act

    November 4, 2015
  • Louie C

    o BLM to remove MORE Wild Horses from Public Land
    DATE: October 22, 2015
    CONTACT: Heather Tiel-Nelson, 208-736-2352
    BLM to Gather Remaining Wild Horses at Sands Basin Following Soda Fire
    Public Asked to Avoid Area Where Stressed Horses Remain
    BOISE –The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Owyhee Field Office plans to conduct a bait/water trap gather of the remaining wild horses within the Sands Basin Herd Management Area (HMA), located about 13 miles southwest of Homedale. Approximately 31 Sands Basin wild horses eluded capture during the emergency helicopter gather that commenced shortly after the Soda Fire that burned nearly all of the Sands Basin and Hardtrigger HMAs and about a third of the Black Mountain HMA. A bait/water trap gather is a passive method to capture wild horses, and it requires minimal activity in the area so the horses will not be spooked away from the feed and water that will be set in temporary corrals with trigger closure gates.
    It is important that BLM capture these horses for two reasons: there is not enough forage to sustain them long term, and to protect the ongoing re-seeding efforts to rehabilitate the burned areas. If at all possible, the BLM asks that members of the public avoid riding or recreating in this area to relieve any additional stress or pressure to these horses.
    An emergency wild horse gather was conducted immediately following the Soda Fire, where 279 horses were gathered and are being cared for at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals or at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center in Reno. Once the range recovers and rehabilitation objectives have been met, wild horses will be returned to the Sands Basin and Hardtrigger HMAs.
    Public viewing of the wild horses at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals will take place Oct. 29 -30 from 1- 3 in the afternoon. Additionally, several of those horses gathered will be available for adoption Nov. 6-7 at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals.

    November 4, 2015
  • Lisa LeBlanc

    All that spin from those agents…not a single original thought or expression from any of them, anywhere wild horses and burros are managed. It’s like they rip the independent thoughts right out of them.
    i would weigh the common sense, range knowledge, equine acumen or familiarity with the Wild Horse and Burro Act against the babbling rote these people seem bound by law to spew.
    Seriously runnin’ out of synonyms for “disgusting”.

    November 5, 2015
  • Barbara

    Louie C , if only your information as well as grandmagregg, Debbie C. ‘s and others could be presented to a Congressional hearing on the BLM . How can this be done ? Who has the pull and courage?

    November 5, 2015
    • Daniel Cordero

      Ansering your question a Congressional investigative hearing (of the type that issue subpoenas like the Watergate or Iran-Contra ones) can be formed by creating a Select Committee on the matter on either chambers, usually through the introduction and subsequent passing of a House or Senate resolution, which any legislator can introduce. There is no need for concurrency so it just take a single house vote to pass it.

      Additionally, standing committees may carry out investigative hearings, typically by action of the committee or subcommittee chairman or because a committee member made a motion to call an investigative hearing while in session and the motion is passed by a majority of committee members.

      So yes… it is perfectly possible to call investigative hearing into BLM, as was done in the past with the greatest scandals of American politics… and as you likely know, testifying before a Committee under oath and lying is a major federal crime.

      The problem is that there is not enough political will to call the hearing and lead it successfully. Unfortunately Congressmen supporting horses often aren’t particularly influential, specially regarding natural resources and agriculture, and others feel it will piss off a lot of folks and won’t go for it. Most try not to blow up their political “bridges” or see little to gain for their political careers

      Also, as some already know, all committees are always chaired by politicians acting as gatekeepers for -and funded by- the establishment (big bucks agribusiness, horse slaughterers and welfare ranchers in this case), so there is very little chance a motion to call a massive investigate hearing at committe level will succeed.

      Again, this is why it is so important to chose carefully who you give your vote to, because unless we manage to remove those system gatekeepers from office, chances of getting anything done at federal level (or even at state one) are next to none.

      November 6, 2015
      • Barbara

        Many thanks for this information, Daniel. My Congressman , Ed Whitfield in KY, is a horse lover and is a co-sponsor of the SAFE Act. He is not running for office again but we could ask him to do this. About a year ago some of the TN Walker torturers made trouble for him as his wife supposedly lobbied his staff ,she works for HSUS , by claiming this was not ethical. He was working to stop soring. His aide in D.C. is Marty Irby, phone 202-225-3115

        November 6, 2015
        • Daniel Cordero

          Now that’s a very good idea. I think that as a constituent of him you should set up a meeting with him and propose it. I would also ask him to stay; we already lost too many supporters in Congress. We need more like him not less.

          November 7, 2015
  • grandma gregg

    Thanks for posting this but it is 4,371 acres per each horse!
    The Beatys Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) consists of a total of 437,120 acres, including 396,520 acres of federal, 640 acres of state, and 37,040 acres of privately owned land.
    Read more here:

    November 5, 2015
  • Louie C

    Jury Convicts Former High-Ranking BLM Official

    March 26, 2015
    PACER Case Reference: 14-57
    GREAT FALLS – The former State Director of the Bureau of Land Management’s Eastern States Region, which is responsible for the stewardship of the public lands and resources under the jurisdiction of the BLM in 31 States east of and bordering the Mississippi River, was convicted of fraud and theft by a federal jury in Great Falls Wednesday night.
    John Grimson Lyon, 61, of Clifton, Virginia, faces a possible 35 years imprisonment, $750,000 in fines, and $112,000 in forfeitures.

    The guilty verdict is the latest in a series of prosecutions and convictions relating to public corruption, fraud, and theft in federal grants, contracts and programs brought by the investigators and prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Guardians Project, an anti-corruption strike force created in 2011.

    November 6, 2015
    • Daniel Cordero

      We need to elevate the Davis affair to the Guardians Project staff. It is a flagrant case of corruption involving all ranks of the agency. It is high time to crack down on the culture of cronyism and impunity imperating imperating in BLM and western politics.

      November 7, 2015
  • Louie C

    False Claims Act
    The False Claims Act (FCA) is a whistleblower reward statute. If you know of private parties (such as government contractors) defrauding the government, you as a whistleblower may bring a court action, called a qui tam suit, and be awarded a portion of the damages if the case is successful.
    There are also other federal whistleblower reward statutes, for tax, security and other types of fraud.
    Remedies against the Violator:
    Civil penalties False Claims Act

    • Treble the amount of damages sustained by the government as a result of the fraud
    • Exclusion/debarment from government programs
    Remedies for the Whistleblower:
    • 15 to 25% of the recovery if the government intervenes
    • 25 to 30% if whistleblower succeeds in a case which the government declines to pursue

    November 6, 2015
  • Louie C

    Beatys Butte Roundup: November 4, 2015 to November 14, 2015
    DAY 2:
    146 mustangs were rounded up today. There were 2 deaths

    November 8, 2015
  • Louie C

    Don’t Let the BLM Get Away with Illegally Selling Wild Horses for Slaughter!
    83,179 supporters
    TARGET: U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch


    November 9, 2015
    • Barbara

      Signed and shared.

      November 9, 2015
  • Louie C


    Kill buyers Don’t pay taxes – they do all their dirty deals in cash. If you know something say something.
    Whistleblower – Informant Award

    The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.

    November 9, 2015