Oregon Wild Horse Herd Next on BLM Chopping Block BLM aims choppers at American mustangs and young foals

Portland, OR (August 18, 2010)—The Stinkingwater wild horse herd of Southeastern Oregon is slated for a near complete removal in a summer helicopter roundup scheduled to begin today. Concerned citizens in Oregon and across the country have been calling for a stop to this unnecessary and costly action. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to roundup all 214 wild horses and young foals they claim live in the area and release back only 40, leaving 20 stallions and 20 mares. At least one mare with a less than two-week-old foal are in danger from this roundup. Horses will be pushed over miles of rugged country criss-crossed with barbed wire fences in this roundup planned to last five days.

“The range is beautiful with abundant water and forage but it is managed as a cattle ranch- not as a wild horse range”, explains Cloud Foundation Associate Director, Makendra Silverman, who visited the range last week in a Herd-Watch capacity. “I found a less than one-week old foal and named him Pluto, assuming he is the last foal of the season. Running Pluto over these sharp volcanic rocks and rough terrain even a mile could be fatal.”

Although outnumbered 20:1 by privately-owned livestock in Stinkingwater, BLM has determined that only 40 wild horses may live on this 133 square-mile range. Minimal genetically-viable levels are set at 150-200 adult horses. Not one Oregon herd, including the famous Kiger mustangs, have herd levels set above 150.

“We’ve seen this again and again,” explains Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens. “BLM sets their ridiculously low “appropriate” management levels at non-viable numbers and then turns around and zeros out the entire wild horse or burro herd for being ‘too small to manage’—the American public wants our wild herds preserved, not destroyed.”
Advocates fear that deaths will occur in Stinkingwater as a helicopter runs panicked horses and foals through a maze of barbed-wire fences.

“In 1990 the Government Accountability Office Report underscored that wild horse removals did not significantly improve range conditions,” explains Kathrens. “The report pointed to cattle as the culprit as they vastly outnumber horses on BLM-managed public lands and reported that wild horse removals are not linked to range conditions, noting the lack of data provided by BLM. Oregon has lost over half of the original wild horse and burro herds designated for protection in 1971.”

“I hope that I might return to find Pluto and his family safe in Stinkingwater- enjoying the precious freedom granted to them by Congress but so often dismissed by the BLM” concludes Silverman.


Links of interest:

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Special http://bit.ly/stampede2ext

Makendra’s blog post “a visit to Stinkingwater” http://bit.ly/VisitSW

Wild Horse Roundup Begins in California http://bit.ly/cuUZQN

PR Firm Hired for the Destruction of America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds http://bit.ly/czf3HB

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’ http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Wild Horse and Burro Act http://bit.ly/a7hOeS

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit. America’s Disappearing Wild Horses http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/resources/wild.html

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues http://bit.ly/awFbwm

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan http://bit.ly/bfdX1y

Short-link to this release online: http://bit.ly/stinkingwater

Short-link to photos available for download: http://bit.ly/SWphotos

Past Cloud Foundation press releases http://bit.ly/TCFpress

Photos online here- also video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation makendra@thecloudfoundation.org, 719-633-3842

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905 – 719-633-3842

The Mustang Conspiracy?

This is a very interesting video regarding the connection among the BLM, Big Oil & Gas and the Mustang Round ups.  Although Reach Out to Horses can’t verify all the information, this 2 part video certainly confirms much of what we’ve been hearing.

Watch the video and decide for yourself.


It’s time to stop the cruelty, corruption and greed, and save our treasured horses once and for all.

The Cloud Foundation Takes Action with Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses

For Immediate Release – April 29th, 2010

The Cloud Foundation Takes Action with Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses

47% of wild horse and burro herds have been zeroed out by BLM since 1971

Colorado Springs, CO (April 29, 2010)—Today the Cloud Foundation launches Herd-Watch, an innovative volunteer program to monitor wild horse and burro herds as well as roundups across the West. The iconic horses and burros are currently being managed to virtual extinction, contrary to the. From this day on, Herd-Watch will: watchdog America’s wild horses and burros, provide increased public visibility, monitor the range conditions and the mustang, burro and livestock numbers as well as keep tabs on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plans for “management” of each treasured American Herd.

“The more the public knows about our wild herds, the more deeply they will care about their preservation. Through Herd-Watch we will educate and inform the public while protecting an American treasure,” explains Project Manager Laura Leigh of Nevada. “Herd-Watch is an exciting and interactive new development facilitating improved protections for our wild herds and, we hope, an improved dialogue with both the BLM and Forest Service.”

A central database will keep tabs on each of America’s remaining 180 herds on public lands in ten Western States and their ranges. According to BLM, in 1971 339 wild herds were designated for protection. Since then the BLM and Forest Service have zeroed out 159 herds, including 12 in Nevada just last year. Volunteer teams will log and catalog data, photos and information following their visits to the range. The Cloud Foundation hopes that BLM and Forest Service officials will welcome the increased interest and monitoring of wild herds at no cost to taxpayers.

Interested members of the public are encouraged to visit http://www.thecloudfoundation.org to volunteer, donate and learn more.

“Herd-Watch will remove our wild herds from the ranks of the anonymous. Through the work of dedicated volunteers, the public will learn about each amazing herd of wild horses and burros and what can be done to preserve them for all time, as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” states Ginger Kathrens, Cloud Foundation Executive Director and Emmy award-winning producer whose Cloud documentaries have educated a world public about the rich lives of wild horses.
1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act

Links of interest:

Herd-Watch http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Roundup Schedule- updated February 2010 http://bit.ly/bOhwdk

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Sunday Special by Frank X. Mullen. http://bit.ly/9rGFwV

American Herds – “What’s Left?” http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2009/12/whats-left.html

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues http://bit.ly/awFbwm

Photos, video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation

719-633-3842 ~ http://www.thecloudfoundation.org

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Wild Horse Preservation Billboards Debut This Week in Lexington and Louisville in Time for Biggest Horse Events

For Immediate Release
Wild Horses Jockey for Attention of Kentucky Horse Enthusiasts through First-of-a-Kind Billboard Campaign

Lexington/Louisville, KY – March 30, 2010 – As horse enthusiasts flock to Lexington and Louisville in April to attend the big three equine events — Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, Keeneland Race and Sales, and the Kentucky Derby — they will be greeted by billboards urging them to take action to save America’s wild horses.

“STOP WILD HORSE ROUNDUPS” – “Text MUSTANG to 44144” is the message of the billboards showcasing large ominous photos of helicopters chasing horses. The billboards debut this week and are sponsored on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign <http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/>  (AWHPC) by coalition partners Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary <http://www.returntofreedom.org/> , Madeleine Pickens <http://www.savingamericasmustangs.org/> , The Cloud Foundation <http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/>  and Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. <http://www.wildhorserescue.org/>

“Kentucky is an important international hub for equine enthusiasts and we’re thrilled to launch this billboard and text advocacy campaign with the message that America’s wild horses are facing their last stand on Western rangelands,” said Return to Freedom founder and CEO Neda DeMayo.

“The American public, as well as the Congress, has made it clear that wild horses on federal land are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the American West and must be protected,” said Madeleine Pickens. “We must all work together to preserve these magnificent animals to create a legacy all Americans can be proud of.”

“America’s iconic mustangs are threatened by a destructive federal policy that rounds them up by the thousands off the Western range, stockpiles them in government holding facilities in the Midwest at taxpayer expense,” The Cloud Foundation director and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens.

“The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse policy is bad for taxpayers, bad for the horses and bad for our nation, which, year by year is losing an important part of our heritage. It’s time for change,” said Jill Starr founder and director of Lifesavers.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is using the same cell phone advocacy tool that recently gained notice after the filmmakers of the documentary The Cove held up a sign during their Academy Award acceptance speech asking viewers to “Text DOLPHIN” to help their cause. Respondents to the MUSTANG text outreach will be asked to join the effort to save wild horses by asking Congress to suspend BLM cruel wild horse roundups

The brutal helicopter stampedes routinely run dozens of horses to their deaths. At least 79 horses have died so far as a result of the recent BLM roundup in Nevada’s Calico Mountains. More than 40

heavily pregnant mares spontaneously aborted after being chased and terrorized. Two young foals were run so far and hard over treacherous terrain that their hooves literally separated from the bone, requiring euthanasia. Dozens more horse suffered illness and injury due to the roundup.

The BLM continues to perpetuate the myth that wild horses are starving and must be rescued. The BLM’s unwarranted removal of horses from the range in numbers that far exceed adoption demand has resulted in the stockpiling of over 36,000 horses in government holding pens and pastures. That number exceeds the estimated 33,000 wild horses left on the range. The program costs taxpayers over $44 million annually. Costs continue to rise as the BLM captures thousands more horses each year. (Nearly 12,000 are targeted for removal in Fiscal Year 2010 alone.)

The AWHPC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots efforts are supported by a coalition of over forty organizations representing 10 million citizens nationwide. For more information see  www.wildhorsepreservation.com <http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/> . The billboards are located on major arteries into Louisville and near the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. High resolution images are available upon request.

Media Contacts:

Makendra Silverman
Tel: 719-351-8187

Anne Novak
Tel: 415-531-8454

Cloud Update + An International Day of Rallies for America’s Beloved Herds

From our friends at The Cloud Foundation!

Spread the word.

Dear Mustang Supporters,
I just returned from the Arrowheads and after much long distance glassing with binoculars and spotting scope I was able to spot Cloud and his family with his little daughter, Jasmine; Flint and his family including young Jasper, as well as Bolder and his family with his pale buckskin filly, Jewel. All looked great from about a mile away across deep Big Coulee Canyon. I’ll be sending out more details and photos from this winter trip soon.

For now, I’d like to be the first to tell you that this Thursday, March 25th, the March for Mustangs will take place not only by the White House in Washington DC but on the Las Vegas Strip, by the Los Angeles Federal Building and in front of the US Embassy in London! In D.C. we’re honored to have award-winning actress and advocate, Wendie Malick speak to the crowd at the rally. Wendie will be joined by long time advocate and advisor on the original 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act, Hope Ryden; author RT Fitch, Filmmaker James Kleinert and many, many more! We are especially pleased to announce that country music artist Clay Canfield will be at the rally to sing his incredible song “Wild Horses” and more before we march to the BLM office with signs and banners.

TAKE A MOMENT FOR MUSTANGS Please spread the word on all the March for Mustang Rallies and support all the protests with calls to your Senators and Congress people on this important issue. Wild herds, like Clouds, are being managed to extinction with our taxpayer dollars by the very agency charged with their protection. Let’s make a big push for the mustangs during these rallies. On Thursday please call your on behalf of Cloud and all the wild horses! President Obama: 202-456-1111 and Congress: 202-224-3121.
When you reach your Representative and Senators, please ask to speak to the aide on the wild horse and burro issue. 1) Wild horses are being mismanaged in cruel waste of taxpayer dollars that is destroying the last of our wild herds in the West. 2) Vote NO on supplying funding for wild horse “preserves” in the East and Midwest– already there are now far more (36,000) wild horses in holding than in the wild where there may only be some 15,000 remaining. 3) Keep up the call for a moratorium on roundups and let everyone know that you love wild horses and burros in the wild and you vote! Or find and email your Senators and Congress person here on votesmart.org

WASHINGTON D.C. – Lafayette Park 1-3pm… details
LONDON – US Embassy 1- 3pm… details
LAS VEGAS – Walk the Strip 12:30- 3pm… details
LOS ANGELES – Federal Building, 11:30- 1:30pm… details

I’ll be back in touch soon with more news from my trip up to Cloud’s mountain home and a visit to our rescued “Freedom Fund” bands… some of the mares will soon have foals in those bands and on the mountain.

Happy Trails,

PS- Tune into CNN’s Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell on Thursday at 7:30 EST for an in-depth discussion on our wild herds and a recap of the D.C. Rally with Wendie Malick and me.

Check for frequent updates from TCF on Facebook, and via Twitter throughout the week!

March for Mustangs top graphic by Vivian Grant, Int’l Fund for Horses and Lise Stamphi (lower left). Racing the Wind photo by Tony Wengert

Washington DC Protest- March 25th

Go to The Cloud Foundation Blog for more information!

BLM Denies Public Access to Captured Calico Mustangs During Processing

For Immediate Release

BLM Denies Public Access to Captured Calico Mustangs During Processing

Americans are wondering what BLM is hiding as processing of nearly 1900 wild horses begins in Nevada. Protests continue to save an American icon as President Obama heads West

Colorado Springs, CO (February 17, 2010)— The Cloud Foundation objects to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) severe limitations placed on viewing of the wild horses captured in the controversial Calico Wild Horse roundup. Despite the enormous cost to the American taxpayers and the controversial nature of the roundup, the BLM and the Department of Interior (DOI) are denying requests for independent humane observers during the processing of nearly 1900 mustangs over the next few months in preparation for their long term holding or adoption. During this dangerous time for the mustangs, the public will be denied an opportunity to view BLM running the animals through alleyways and into chutes where they will be freeze-branded, inoculated and neck-tagged.

“I’ve been watching the processing of mustangs on and off for 15 years. What is the big deal this time?” Asks Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation, “There’s something very wrong when it’s easier to crash a party at the White House than go view our wild horses being freeze-branded in Nevada. Makes you wonder if there’s something to hide out in Fallon?”

49 horses have died as the result of the roundup. This does not include the 30 plus mares that have aborted their late-term foals in the feedlot style corrals in Fallon, Nevada. The 4% death rate is over eight times the BLM expected level for a helicopter roundup. Foals are now being born in the pens and the public is not permitted to confirm young, sick and old animals are being humanely treated in a timely fashion.

BLM says that the shut down of the facility is a safety issue due to the horses being continuously in facility alleyways during the preparation process. Given the high level of interest The Cloud Foundation asks BLM to figure out a way to safely allow the public to observe.

“Processing our wild horses in secret does nothing but promote suspicion on the part of the public who simply request to have independent representatives present to verify that our horses are being treated humanely,” said Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and Nevada wild horse advocate. “Denying American citizens the right to watch over their horses is a very disturbing trend, and simply throws fuel on a spreading fire.”

1922 wild horses were captured in the 40-day dead-of-winter helicopter roundup which stopped weeks early and over 600 horses short when BLM discovered fewer wild horses than anticipated in the huge 500,000 acre Calico Mountains of northwestern Nevada. The horses are now being housed at a cost to the taxpayer of approximately $75,000 per week while the death toll continues to rise. One stallion was euthanized on Monday, however, vet reports are now being withheld so the official reason for killing the stallion is unknown.

Despite Wild Horse and Burro Chief Don Glenn’s promise that the public is welcome  “anytime” to view the roundups, the BLM conducted the Calico roundup with limited access. Now BLM has repeatedly denied official requests from the Cloud Foundation and others to allow even two members of the public to be present during processing of horses which began February 15. Ed Roberson, Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning with the DOI told The Cloud Foundation in an email last week not to worry about the horses as “we have a licensed vet on site during the prep work to ensure humane treatment.” Given BLM’s reticence to release vet reports from Fallon this is no consolation to the concerned public.

By disallowing access to any independent humane observers, BLM’s “bunker” mentality appears to have trumped any requests for transparency. “If American citizens are willing to travel to Fallon, Nevada to check on and observe wild horses that have been removed from public lands against the public will by a federal agency, why is this access being denied?” asks RT Fitch, Texas author of the popular book Straight from the Horses Heart.

Meanwhile the captured Calico wild horses, many still with swollen joints and injuries from being run over sharp volcanic rock by helicopters, stand in pens without windbreaks. “Topography credited by the BLM as a natural wind break is a joke. I’ve been to Fallon and I’ve seen the conditions these horses are exposed to—no cover, no windbreaks except for some of the ‘hospital’ pens”, explains Terri Farley. The celebrated children’s author of the Phantom Stallion series, based on the Calico mustangs, visited the holding facility on February 11th with a professional photographer whose photos will soon be posted at http://www.thecloudfoundation.org.

To combat the continuing roundups of America’s wild horses and burros, Nevada is planning two protests in coming days to gain the attention of a visiting President Barack Obama. On Thursday, February 18th, protestors will unfurl over 50 banners along Las Vegas Boulevard calling for a stop to the roundups which will remove half of Nevada’s wild horses this year. On Saturday, February 20th the public will gather in Carson City, Nevada to further protest the tax-payer funded destruction of America’s Wild Horses and Burros.

According to Wild Horse and Burro Chief, Don Glenn, the facility is charging the government around $5.75 per day/per horse. That amounts to over $10,000 taxpayer dollars per day to house the mustangs. The cost of the Calico roundup alone was at least $1 million and holding of horses will cost taxpayers additional millions.

While nearly 2,000 Calico mustangs languish and die in Fallon, thousands of privately-owned cattle still graze the Calico wild horse herd areas, bringing in revenues to the BLM of around $40,000 per year. The cost to administer the grazing program for the Calico area is six times this amount based on the national average for the program as calculated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO reported that yearly revenues from the national public lands grazing program are $21 million per year, while the costs to administer the grazing program are $144 million per year, resulting in a yearly loss to the American taxpayer of $123 million. This taxpayer subsidized grazing program is often referred to as “welfare ranching” due to the small fees charged to livestock permittees. The rate is currently the lowest allowed by law—$1.35 per cow/calf pair per month.