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


Once again, the majestic symbol of American Freedom is under attack and these cruel round-ups must stop!

Read about the unacceptable and unbelievable policies and practices of the BLM and then step up, let your voice be heard and let’s put a stop to the injustice and certain extinction of the Wild Horses and Burros of the West once and for all.



Renewed Motion Filed to Stop Rock Creek Wild Horse Roundup in NV

Herd Watch Director Continues Fight for First Amendment Rights

Reno NV (July 23, 2010)—Laura Leigh, Herd-Watch <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22http:/www.thecloudfoundation.org/inde>  Director for the Cloud Foundation and journalist, filed a Temporary Restraining Order <http://thecloudfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/doc-24.pdf>  (TRO) in Nevada Federal District Court today to halt the Rock Creek Roundup and prevent a repeat fatal summer roundup and the shutting out of the public and plaintiff from observing wild horse roundups.

“We’re talking about a matter of public interest,” explained Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan. “This is a hot button issue here in Nevada. To prevent the public and press from observing the government in action on public lands is shameful.”

Leigh is asking the court for the following:

1.) Immediate cessation of all horse gather activity in the Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Horse Management Areas in northwestern Elko County, to maintain the status quo until the matter may be heard by the court.  There is no purported emergency or pressing urgency to remove horses from purported drought conditions as was contended by Defendants, in Owyhee;

2.) A Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the government Defendants from conducting helicopter wild horse gathers during summer months and so close to the foaling season.  There are many foals three months in age or less, running alongside the hips of their moms.  If removal of some of these horses is necessary, in that event the Defendants can reschedule and complete this process in the Fall season or at the end of Summer when temperatures are more mild and foals are more mature and better adept at withstand the gather.  To gather at this date is inhumane and directly contradictory to provisions of the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971;

3.) A Temporary Restraining Order that at this point requires the Defendants in no uncertain terms to include and accommodate members of the public, the press and journalists including Ms. Leigh and others who are not hand-picked by the Defendants, to view every step of the process of gathering horses from public lands, such that the Defendants’ gather method and process becomes open and transparent from beginning to end, rather than secretive and hidden from the public as it is currently; and such that the method of protecting the health and safety of the public during these gathers is not used as the excuse to restrict, limit or otherwise offend First Amendment speech and press concerns but instead, ensures independence in observing and reporting the Defendants’ gather activities in a method encouraging liberal access and safe accommodation to the public including Ms. Leigh, to observe and record these gathers;

4.) To require the Defendants to conduct such gathers on public lands should private land owners not be willing or able to accommodate members of the public, the press, journalists or other interested persons including Ms. Leigh, in their observation of these gathers.

In his decision issued on July 16, Nevada District court Judge Larry Hicks recognized that the Owyhee complex roundups consist of three distinct and separate actions. Although BLM presented to the court claims that an unexpected and unprecedented emergency existed in the Owyhee herd management area, no emergency either claimed or proven exists in Rock Creek were BLM is currently rounding up horses. The public was permitted to observe the roundup for a short time only today.

“We hope the TRO will be granted and the case can be heard before all the horses are gone from Rock Creek and Little Humboldt herd management areas,” stated Leigh.

According to the TRO the BLM used the “private property” tactic to strike fear among those seeking to observe the Defendants’ gather operation.  Members of the public were threatened with immediate, on-the-spot arrest should they “trespass,” intentionally or not, onto the very land the Defendants chose to set their horse traps to complete the Owyhee gather <http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/index.php/news-events-a-media/press-releases/425-injunction> .

Nearly two-dozen wild horses, including many foals, have already died as a result of the BLM’s Tuscarora roundups from which the agency plans to remove 1,100 wild horses and leave only 440.

Contrary to the BLM’s spin that the Owyhee horses were dying due to lack of water in their environment—a so called “emergency”, veterinarian Nina Windand goes on the record to explain the wild horses died due to the lack of proper care after being rounded up and stressed in desert heat.

“The lack of controlled reintroduction of water to these dehydrated, overheated recently stressed horses and the failure to use commonsense horsemanship by letting them drink ad lib under these conditioned caused unnecessary deaths by water intoxication,” states Nina Windand, DVM. “It is my opinion that this constitutes negligent management and that had expert or even common sense management prevailed a plan for gradual rehydration would have been instituted before the gather was in progress, not after the initial wave of deaths.  I further believe that leaving animals in this condition without overnight monitoring was a lapse of professional judgment.”

Dr. Windand condemns the Owyhee roundup <http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_programs/wild_horse_and_burro/owyhee_rock_creek/reports.html>  saying, “The uncontroverted fact remains that nearly all horses who reportedly perished, did so during the process of gather itself or immediately thereafter while the horses were in the custody of the BLM, but not before”.

BLM continues to ignore both the public’s first amendment rights and wild horse welfare.  Advocates are outraged that BLM continues forward, at rapid speed, with their multi-million dollar roundups as the agency strives to remove more than 6,000 wild horses and burros in the next three months.

Donations to Leigh’s legal fund may be made to http://www.GrassRootsHorse.com <http://www.GrassRootsHorse.com/>

Donations to Herd-Watch may be made to http://www.TheCloudFoundation.org <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22http:/www.TheClo>

# # #
Links of interest:

Judge’s motion for response Monday: http://bit.ly/July23order <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22>

All court documents filed today: http://bit.ly/July23LLvSalazar <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22>

George Knapp/KLAS reports & helicopter ride w/ Leigh: http://bit.ly/iteamOwyhee <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22>

George Knapp’s column on BLM secrecy: http://bit.ly/GKnapp <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22>

CNN Tuscarora/Ruby Pipeline Coverage: http://bit.ly/CNNnvmustangs

BLM daily reports on Tuscarora roundups: http://bit.ly/Tuscarora

Court Order Granting Injunction 7/14 http://bit.ly/doc10LeighvSalazar <applewebdata://907999DF-B656-44D8-885A-85F71E1B7CB6/%22http:/bit.ly/doc10LeighvSalaz>

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

Restraining order sought – AP article http://bit.ly/TROsought

Tuscarora Mustangs fenced out of water http://bit.ly/Livestockfences

Roundup Schedule- updated July 12, 2010 http://bit.ly/roundupschedule

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

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

Link to this press release online http://bit.ly/LLvSalazarJuly23PR

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

Photos, video and interviews available from:

The Cloud Foundation ~ Makendra@TheCloudFoundation.org

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- http://www.thecloudfoundation.org <http://www.thecloudfoundation.org>

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak


Tel: 415-531-8454

Makendra Silverman


Tel: 719-351-8187