ACTION ALERT -To Kill or Not to Kill

House Appropriations Committee Members Seem to be Confused About the Decision to Kill or Not Kill Our American Horses.


America’s wild horses and burros again need your help during this year’s appropriations/budget cycle.

The House Subcommittee on the Dept of Interior FY 2019 budget bill approved a bill that includes language that would bar the Bureau of Land Management from killing healthy wild horses and burros. (no killing)

The full House Appropriations Committee, for the FY 2019 Dept. of Agriculture appropriation bill voted again this year to keep open the door to legal horse slaughter. (killing)

Both Senate and House Appropriations committees can still stop the slaughter and killing for both wild and domestic horses.

  • Call (202) 225-3121 daily. Tell your senators that you:
    • Oppose amendments to the FY 2019 Interior Appropriations bill allowing BLM to kill wild horses-burros, sell with no restrictions, or sterilize wild mares
    • Support the SAFE Act (S. 1706) to ban slaughter and transport of horses to slaughter across our borders.
  • Contact Senate Appropriations Committee Members tell them to:
    • Oppose amendments to the FY 2019 Interior Appropriations bill allowing BLM to kill wild horses-burros, sell with no restrictions, or sterilize wild mares
    • Support language continuing the defunding of USDA Inspectors for horse slaughter in the FY 2019 Agriculture appropriations bill
  • Tell your representative that you:
    • Oppose amendments to the FY 2019 Interior Appropriations bill allowing BLM to kill wild horses-burros, sell with no restrictions, or sterilize wild mares
    • Support the SAFE Act (H.R. 113) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.




Agriculture bill

-moves to the Senate Appropriations committee. This bill decides the issue of slaughter, which involves opening slaughterhouses in this country by allowing funds in the bill to be used for inspectors for horsemeat. And whether or not we close our borders to horses being sent to Mexico, Canada or anywhere else for slaughter.

Interior bill

-Still goes through the House Full committee and decides the fate of wild horses in holding pens, long-term leased pastures and still in the wild.

– also goes through Senate sub and full committees, last year the House approved language to euthanize wild horses and sell them without any restrictions (opening the door to kill buyers who would send them to slaughter)


Rep. Chris Stewart’s Office Blue Pencils Invitation to Give the Starving and Dead Wild Horse Tour in UT

©CAES 2018
Val Cecama-Hogsett

As predicted by CAES Stewart refuses to honor his invitation promising to “change your mind” about whether or not the vast majority of wild horses are starving or dying of drought on public lands.

Stewart Refuses to Honor Invitation to Prove His Claims of Starving and Dead Wild Horses on Public Lands. His refusal seem to indicate the Office of Congressional Ethics is acting on our allegations of ethics violations and criminal activities pursuant to U.S. Criminal Code, Title 18.

Today we received the following message from Representative Stewart’s Scheduler.

“Ms. Cecama-Hogsett,
Thank you for following up.  Unfortunately, this is something that we will not be able to accommodate.
The issue of wild horse overpopulation is well documented by the Bureau of Land Management and others, I’ve included some links below for reference. The Congressman is committed to solving the issue and believes reaching a compromise that is humane is within reach…..”

Thank again for the inquiry.

Rhonda M. Perkes
Scheduler/Field Representative
Office of Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-2)
420 E. South Temple #390
SLC, UT 84111

He was noticeably silent, maybe even absent at the House Appropriations Subcommittee (of which he is listed as a member) for the Department of the Interior mark-up hearing yesterday. His amendment was not in the bill, however, it could be in the riders or he may intend to introduce it during the full committee hearings. Congresswoman McCollum did mention the abundance of riders and the lack of transparency in introducing them as riders to an appropriations bill instead of introducing them as bills, on the floor to be discussed openly. So now, we wait.

Apparently, Rep. Stewart has been told to hush or is trying to keep us in the dark as long as he can.

How can you take action to help?
Keep making those calls, tweets and sending fax or emails to your representatives and senators. We have to make it very clear we will not accept:

  • the killing of our horses,
  • the unrestricted sale or transfer of horses,
  • the lack of enforcement that is in the current language on sales or transfers, and
  • the roundup and remove model of management at the business as usual method, it should only be used in extraordinary situations

We want:

  • a moratorium on all roundup and/or sale authority and transfers until an actual inventory is done,
  • lands removed from the Wild Horse and Burro Program repatriated,
  • wild horse preserves managed principally for the wild horses pursuant to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act
  • livestock inventory done and reported to the public and Congress on wild horse preserves
  • wildlife, game species, inventory done and reported to the public and Congress
  • explanation of all forage and water areas on wild horse preserves where horses are fenced out, showing that the horses still have principle use of forage and water with these fenced out areas
  • zeroed out herds returned or replaced with horses currently in holding
  • clear definitions and requirements that must be met to call an ’emergency’ gather and remove the opportunity for public input pursuant to NEPA
  • cooperative or collaborative groups to have all meetings webcast in real-time, and an opportunity for public input to be given on these meetings before any recommendations are considered for implementation
  • scientific recommendations from Dr. Gus Cothran and an independent geneticist who has no conflict of interest or connection to opposing stakeholders of wild horses, i.e. the commercial livestock industry, on the number of horses per herd needed to maintain genetic health and viability. Augmenting genetics from an outside herd removes the uniqueness of herds found in remote pockets.
  • migratory routes considered for addition to the preserves to allow natural selection in breeding where herds have been separated by physical obstacle or barriers,
  • PZP Native or PZP 22 mandated as the form of population management where predators are not enough of a presence or no presence at all, to keep horse populations in check by natural predation


CAES in the news, the AZ Independent Supports the Wild Horses, Does the Government?

©CAES 2018

Comparing Theories, Management, and Tragedies

Recent situations that seem to prove the statements of wild horse opponents, but do they? CAES looks at facts, theories, and hypocrisy in the recent Cold Creek and Herber wild horse herd.

Read the full article here
“Arizona should take a whole lot of pride because that Heber area ecosystem is beautiful simply because it’s working,” said Cecama-Hogsett. “That’s the big story — that Heber herd is the only one that IS working. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Let us and the community step in and help if need be.” (excerpt from the article)

That’s not exactly what was said, It was that it is working, and that is because man has not eliminated the apex predators and they are keeping this population in check. Val responded to Laura Singleton, the journalist who spoke with her and authored this article, but later someone brought to our attention how awful the comments after hers were, and if you know Val, you know she is an educator and fierce advocate for many wildlife species but her passion is the wild horses, so …she had to respond a bit more. We thought we should share.

V Cecama-Hogsett 

Thank you for doing this story, Laura. I wanted to let readers know that it is CAES. I am not sure where you got the population numbers, but after speaking with one of our people this morning, that number is about twice what our boots on the ground people say are out there. However, I do not believe that an actual census has ever been done. Also, the situation on the Navajo was clearly staged as many horse people will tell you, and I pointed that out to Mr. Johnson. Also the Heber group you mention at the end of your article IS the CAES branch in AZ. And Barb Rassmusen from the Hila Group is also a CAES member. Mary Hauser is from the Heber Group. So it is CAES the ASNF has been working with, though it’s clear they didn’t know it. What is also clear is that different statements are being made to different parties, and we need to have one contact person with ASNF, Steve Best told one of our people we could not set out water. And this issue of creating mud…really? That is the most absurd reason I have ever seen for not providing water to an animal. If a private citizen did that with their animals we would be in jail, wouldn’t we?

Wild horses are non-native because they were not here, were domesticated and brought back.
Elk are native even though they too have been domesticated.

V Cecama-Hogsett

What gets me is the one someone said, that clearly repeated the rhetoric we always hear…these horses double in size every 5 years. The population in the Heber Wild Horse territory has remained the same since 2005. Apex predators are managing the population. The situation there is heating up because as the earth changes, and the drought becomes more severe ranchers need more land as forage becomes more and more scarce. They also comment about the deer and elk when claiming horses are not native. What they don’t understand is there are 2 issues one is feral vs. wildlife and the other is native vs non-native or invasive. It is not native vs feral lol. In the first issue, we have feral vs wildlife, that issue was decided by the courts time after time, and is decided by the legal definition of wildlife. Our horses being managed as a protected species are in fact, legally wildlife. The second issue native vs non-native or invasive is more complicated because it boils done to biology, DNA, and genetics. But that has also been decided over and over by the science community, and is also something most Indigenous people will tell you is a non-argument. (Not the Tribal Fish & Game or Tribal Councils who get paid for killing our wild horses on their lands, but the Dine (elders) the real tribal members who still follow the traditional oral history and path that is their culture and heritage. Scientists and biologists will recognize that the first tale told by anti-wild horse people (the horses went extinct and were BROUGHT back) is an impossible statement to make if the animal is not native. Something that was never here (or non-native) cannot be brought back. The second tale told (they are a different genus, commonly called a different species) that domestication made them non-native. Domestication has not morphed into a new genus of horse. Equus was the last genus of horse here, in the 56 million plus years of horse evolution, equus is the genus that roams wild now. It matters little is someone caught one and tamed or trained it to behave in a different manner. Does a circus lion become a non-native species in its country because it has been captured and trained? Has the DNA of offspring from that lion made that off-spring any less native? NO. Have we seen the changes that are seen from wolf to dog, as they were domesticated happen to create a new genus? NO. What we have are different breeds. segments that have had certain traits bred in our out for breeders preference. They have not changed the DNA, there is no new genus that proves today’s wild horses are some new genus. The argument really could be made that domestic horses are nothing more than a tame wild horse. And yes Prezwalski is a different genus, and were not here at the end of the Pleistocene Era, however ALL genus of equus originated right here on this continent, and in the case of the Prezwalski, the evolved from a genus in what they are when they moved to another continent, just as our last horses here on this continent evolved to be the equus genus, the same one here today. Now if we find Prezwalski DNA here…maybe you could say those wild horses are non-native here because they DID evolve into a separate genus of horse on another piece of land.

 And then, of course, there is this little tidbit on the elk specific to the Apache-Sitgreaves NF. Oops…

“By the late 1800’s native elk (Cervus elaphus merriami) were believed to
have been extirpated from Arizona. Consequently, Arizona’s current elk herds
are a result of reintroduction efforts which took place in the early 1900’s.
In 1913 the B.P.O.E. Lodge in Winslow succeeded in obtaining 86 animals from
the Yellowstone herd. The animals were transported by rail to Winslow. From
Winslow they were transported south by horse drawn wagon some 40 miles and
released near Cabin Draw, in what is now the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
(White 1968). Several additional reintroductions took place between 1913 and
1928. These early efforts are credited for reestablishment of elk in Arizona. “

V Cecama-Hogsett

Sorry, one more comment and I promise I will get off the podium because we will never change the opinions of some. In reply to loving these horses to death, this is exactly what I told MR Johnson in a conversation today. If wild horses do not have water, and it is purely because of a drought on their preserve, that is nature. However, if the horses do not have water because their access has been denied due to a man-made situation, i.e. livestock fences, that is not nature. When humans interfere and create a situation it is our responsibility to fix issues that are caused by that interference. So in this case, horses are fenced out of other water sources, on their outlined territory where they would travel to when a traditional water source dries up, this is one of those situations man created and must be accountable for. And in this instance, CAES and our members ARE providing water, and we have done so in NM and other places as well. We discussed today some option to be looked at for a more permanent solution than hauling water out like we are now. The other thing I want to point out that no one seems to notice is that we have elk feeding stations all over the country, east, and west, my favorite heard is in the mountains back east where people flocked during rut to hear the bucks. But the same agency that provides elk feeding stations also says people need to not feed wildlife because it causes them harm, a statement they make about mule deer, and in the case of wild horses they mistakingly claim wild horses are not wildlife, I guess we need to update them on legal definitions and court rulings too. However, elk who are a source of revenue for Fish and Game are fed and watered, often on the wild horse preserves, but in fenced areas that the elk and deer can jump in and out of but wild horses cannot access. Again human interference, accepted when it benefits humans, but we take no responsibility or accountability for wildlife when it does not?

While AZ Game & Fish claims to oppose wildlife feeding and apparent selective watering for some species. We happened upon another…oops. Found in a 2017 Hunting Calendar Handout

Screenshot 2018-05-15 20.16.25

As in the recent situation with the Cold Creek herd that was a wild horse preserve (the word sanctuary was used but the wild horse areas managed for horses are in fact wild horse preserves set-up by mandate of the 1971 WFRHBA)  This practice of management depending on the special interest groups who apply the most pressure and ignoring or interpreting of the law in a manner to fit the outcome desired has got to stop. The Cold Creek horses in the Wheeler Creek Joint Management Area or JMA (managed jointly by Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management) was one such situation where horses were allowed to starve due to lack of forage from the drought and on this same JMA is at least one feeding station. How are the horses kept out? Fences, the deer, and elk will jump the fences but horses will not. So, are we managing wildlife as wildlife, or are we managing differently based on the financial value of a species?

When we illustrated in a previous article, wild horses are only permitted to use 17% of the original preserve acreage nationally (acreage first outlined as a result of the 1971 WFRHBA) are they really overpopulated? Or have we tried to put too many animals into an ever-shrinking pen? The wild horses are after all the only wildlife species we know of that are ironically not permitted to roam freely, despite the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act…hmmm.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Passes the FY 2019 Dept of Interior Bill Forward to the Full Committee

Official headshot 7-07.JPG
Representative Lowey

©CAES 2018

The House Appropriations Subcommittee today passed the draft bill of the Department of the Interior budget bill for FY 2019.

Among comments from M.s McCollum, and M.s Lowey (who is not listed as a member of the subcommittee on the House Appropriations members list for this subcommittee) were comments opposing the $100 million cut to the EPA budget, gutting protections for the environment and the Endangered Species Act.
Also mentioned was the recent GAO report on Secretary Pruitt and questionable moral and financial issues that he has not yet answered to. Additionally, there is much concren over funding Int. Secretary Zinke’s reorganization of the Dept of Int. which M.s Lowey said lacked any consultation or explanation as to his justiication of how the reorganization plan was to be implemented.
Ms. McCullom mentioned again, as she has in previous years that all of these riders that are attached should be bills brought to the floor and that this habit of attaching them to appropriations bills lacks transparency.
The current language in this bill for wild horses is the same language that was included in the Omnibus Bill for FY 2018 and 2017.
” Appropriations herein made shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products. “
This doesn’t mean the horses are safe, nor does it mean that we will not see the Stewart Amendment to kill or sterilize mares in this bill. Today’s meeting is only a draft, and this draft was passed to go to the full committee now, so the full committee will have the opportunity to do their mark-up, including introductions of amendments. So stay tuned as we watch this long process progress. And keep making those calls, tweets, Facebook comments and emails happen.

Watch the hearing here:

ACTION ALERT: Contact the Appropriations Subcommittee



The House of Representatives will begin hearings on the FY 2019
appropriations bill today. This is the bill with the Stewart amendment we fought to get rid of last year, and succeeded.

Last year Rep. Chris Stewart did, as in the previous year, stand in front of this Congressional committee and tell bold face lies to push his major donors’ agenda to get rid of our wild horses.

His amendment sought to use ‘all the tools in the toolbox’ meaning unrestricted sales of “excess” horses, and euthanasia of “excess horses”. His agenda supports the wishes of a huge group of well funded commercial and corporate special interest public lands users and abusers. The leaders of this group being the commercial livestock industry.

We filed an ethics complaint against Stewart, and we cornered him on C-Span, announcing that ethics complaint to the audience at a time when mainstream media would not tell the truth either. We have been forcing the truth to be seen and we will not stop.

We expect the same, if not a worse amendment to be introduced this year to try and kill over 100,000 wild horses. We believe there have been at least 3 stagings, intentionally providing dead horses at the very hands of the federal agencies who are supposed to be protecting them. We need your help, your voices, and your passionate intelligence to speak up again for our wild horses.



Feel free to use this or any other graphics at the bottom of this post on your social media profiles to show unity in this fight for these magnificent wild horses.



ACT NOW – Contact the subcommittee members listed below, and tell them: 
We will not support any language to kill, allow unrestricted sales, or perform barbaric sterilization surgeries of wild mares. 


  • Ken Calvert, California, Chairman

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 92882
2205 Rayburn
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1986
Fax: (202) 225-2004

  • Mike Simpson, Idaho

Facebook Link

Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 83701
2084 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-5531
Fax: 202-225-8216

  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
WashingtonDC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-6165
Fax: (202) 225-3512

  • David Joyce, Ohio
Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 44087
1124 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5731
Fax: (202) 225-3307
  • Chris Stewart, Utah, Vice Chair

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 84111
323 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-9730
Fax 202-225-9627

  • Mark Amodei, Nevada

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 89511
332 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6155
Fax: (202) 225-5679

  • Evan Jenkins, West Virginia

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 25701
1609 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3452
Fax: (202) 225-9061


  • Betty McCollum, Minnesota, Ranking Member

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 55114
2256 Rayburn House Office Building
WashingtonDC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6631
Fax: (202) 225-1968

  • Chellie Pingree, Maine

Facebook Link
Email Web Form use her office address: 2 Portland Fish Pier, Portland, ME 04101
2162 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-6116
Fax (202) 225-5590

  • Derek Kilmer, Washington

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 98402
2162 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-6116
Fax (202) 225-5590

  • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio

Facebook Link
Email Web Form for Zipcode enter 43604
2186 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4146
Fax: (202) 225-7711


Watch for more action alerts as the budget process moves along in the coming months, and remember this issue when you go to the polls in your state! We’ll follow this up with some information on how your Congressperson and Senator did for the wild horses, and on the issue of slaughter in Dept of Agriculture in the coming weeks. For more information on past years, appropriations refer to the list of other articles we’ve published below.

Graphics for use as social media profile pics or avatars


Continue reading “ACTION ALERT: Contact the Appropriations Subcommittee”

Cold Creek, 3 Day Old Filly Killed by Forest Service

gather FS photo
Is this the filly killed by this unnecessary gather?

The daily gather statistics are updated as far as 5/12 of the Cold Creek Wild Horse Herd. This day the Forest Service caused the death of a 3-day old filly.

The Forest Service has changed information, including the beginning date of the gather. Residents in the area have been reaching out to CAES and sharing photos and videos of horses that look really good, and also photos of these horses that Forest Service is showing of thin horses.

These are the statistics posted for the 12th of May 2018.

Animals gathered:  28 (15 Studs, 11 Mares, and 2 Foals)
Animals shipped:  24 
Total Deaths Cumulative (#): 2
  • Acute (#): 1
  • Chronic/Pre-existing (#): 1
05/12/18: Chronic pre-existing 14-year-old black mare. BCS 1.
05/12/18: Three day old bay filly humanly euthanized for acute injury.

When you have a 14-year-old horse with a pre-existing condition that condition should be explained in these reports. We have long disagreed with removing a horse that is blind if they have been getting around and are healthy there is no reason to remove or euthanize them. That can be the same with a wild horse that may have had an injury, like a broken bone, that heals wrong, but they are surviving and in no apparent pain. These horses should not be removed, but it seems to be a case of any horse they can find a reason to get rid of they do.

Here are the definitions of both ‘acute’ and pre-existing the Forest Service gives:

A death labeled as “acute” is when an animal dies or is euthanized due to acute injuries or medical conditions brought about by the gather and removal process including those that occur during capture, sorting and holding at the gather site. This term will include animals that die for known or unknown reasons thought to be related to gather activities.
A death labeled as “chronic/pre-existing” is when an animal dies or is euthanized for reasons related to chronic or pre-existing conditions such as body condition, lameness, serious physical defects, etc. This term will include animals that are euthanized for conditions not brought about by the gather activity.

The death of this filly is a horrible incident that did not have to happen. These horses could have been managed on the range and the Forest Service could have worked with community members who offered to supply hay or whatever the horses needed. Instead, they have decided to zero out or remove every horse on the preserve. All this without one answer on how there are several hundred elk, and deer on the preserve that are healthy, not skinny.

The BLM and Forest Service jointly manage the preserve and the horses. This emergency is only one of several in 22 years. To CAES a 22-year emergency is not management. This gather clearly could have been avoided, but instead, the 2 agencies wait and watch until horses are so thin they can remove them and call it an emergency.

We recognize that this is likely part of the proof needed by wild horse haters who want the wild horse gone. They have for a few years in a row launched a massive pr campaign claiming that this is the norm for wild horse herds in the west. We know differently, but this situation will be exploited to try and prove the lies and pass a law to remove all but 26 thousand wild horses, a number that will leave the herds so small they will not be genetically viable.


Breaking News: Forest Service Traps Protected Wild Horses Inside a Cattle Permittee’s Fences With No Water, Again.

Forest Service & BLM, Rivals in Staging the Best Scene to Support the Big Lie.

©CAES 2018

Yet again Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES) has caught one of the federal agencies, mandated to protect American wild horses, creating the scene they need to support the lies told to get rid of our wild horses.

After a week-long battle CAES has been given permission to provide water for horses the Forest Service (FS) has allowed remaining trapped inside an area with no water. CAES received a call from our Arizona branch, the Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance, letting us know that the FS had a band of 15 – 20 wild horses trapped in a fenced area where they cannot get to water. Our team there was told by the FS that they were not going to supply water to the horses. They stated that the cattle would be back out on the range in 2 weeks and the ranchers would be putting water out then.

Our first reaction was that gates must be opened when cattle are not on the land. This is not a solution for this band that is trapped, the fences run the wild horse territory (WHT) from the northern to southern boundaries, and there is no access at either end for the horses to go around. This band can stand and see water on the western side, beyond the fence, but cannot get to it.

The Information Assistant, Steve Johnson sent this email to one of our members:

“I’m an Information Assistant on the forest, and David Evans forwarded your email to me. We share your concern regarding the drought conditions on the Sitgreaves National Forest. The Black Mesa Ranger District is in the process of coordinating with local interested private individuals who have expressed an interest in providing water for the horses. Gates on the fences around earthen stock tanks are being closed on tanks that are close to going dry. This is to prevent animals from getting mired in the mud created by receding waters.
Steve Johnson, Information Assistant, Forest Service
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Supervisor’s Office
p: 928-333-6348, f: 928-333-5966,”

When CAES board member, Val Cecama-Hogsett got involved she spoke with Mr. Johnson. He told her this closing of gates was to prevent a situation such as the one that allegedly happened on the Navajo reservation. The truth, in this case, is that there are no gates between these horses and the water, just miles of cattle fencing. He informed Val of the working group with local people. There is a meeting Monday for ongoing topics.  But this is an urgent situation that has already claimed one wild horse’s life.


The BLM and FS must stop the lies, allowing horses to die by denying them water or food. That is illegal, cruel and goes against the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act which mandates they manage these horses for healthy, thriving ecosystems, and the survival of the horses for future generations.

Updated – Cold Creek Wild Horses, Animal Neglect & Cruelty Complaint Filed

This is the mare who looks the thinnest according to our boots on the ground team member who took this photo on May 4th, 2018. She is putting on weight very nicely since coming out of winter and giving birth to the beautiful foal you see lying next to her.

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter Files a Complaint Against Tabitha Romero, BLM’s Southern Nevada District Office, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist.

©CAES2018  Updated 5/13/18

Today, May 7, 2018, we filed a complaint alleging neglect and animal cruelty to the Nevada State Attorney General’s Office. After 22 years of mismanagement of the Cold Creek Herd in Nevada, we got a notice that once again an emergency gather has been called for the herd due to horses that appear to be in poor body condition.

We do not agree that there is an emergency, and if there is, it is not the horses from the herd, as you can see from the above picture of the horse in the worst shape in the herd. She has gained significant weight since coming out of the winter months and foaling. We do have reports of horse sightings by 2 of our team members who frequent the HMA, that say they do not recognize these horses. Is there a situation being created to push the starvation and removal plans to kill 100,000 wild horses through the FY 2019 appropriations bill, again pushing the agenda of Rep Chris Stewart, and the commercial special interest groups who want them gone. In this case, it is the hunters.

The other major use of this area is hinting of big game, mainly elk. The hunters are reported to have shot in the direction of one of our team members more than once, and cars will follow her, stop and watch as if to intimidate her. She has witnessed them shooting a desert tortoise and an endangered fox in the area as well. This is not a hunting preserve, it is a wild horse preserve. Again we have to ask if there are many elk herds that are large, and many mule deer and other wildlife, why is it that the only species starving on the land is the horses? We call shenanigans. And we want charges filed, and the truth told about why this is a persistent problem that these 2 federal agencies are just watching it happen instead of fixing the problem.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Boots on the Ground team member reported that on 4/10/18 as she was following the James Gang they were in the line of fire from nearby gun enthusiasts shooting in the direction of the horses as they were headed to the water. She stayed with James and his mare and newborn foal until dark. The following photo shows the 2 people on the hill with their firearms.


The BLM and Forestry Service both manage the herd and there is a history of emergency gathers from 1996 to present all siting lack of forage due to drought. We assert that Ms. Romero has watched these horses slowly starve, and knowingly did nothing to provide sustenance for horses she is responsible for the protection of under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act (WFRHBA).

That same law also gives authority for the managing agency to provide supplemental food or water if needed. This was the basis of our complaint. She is in violation of several Clark County Ordinances, and Nevada statutes on Animal Cruelty. The wild horse management laws of the state have been broken every time this lack of management has caused the death of a wild horse and that is a class C felony charge in the state.

Since 1996 the pattern of calling an emergency gather, instead of a normal gather, means the public has no chance to provide input as mandated by NEPA laws. Also, this patter of emergencies for 22 years for the same reason (drought) means that the BLM has done nothing to rectify the problem. This is not management, not protection and should be prosecuted.

We are poised to file a complaint against Bill Dunkelberger, Forest Supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest who is equally culpable for watching this herd deteriorate and doing nothing to protect the horses. The Forestry Service is mandated by the same WFRHBA. These horses need a better management plan, their numbers are so low that there is no genetic viability and that will further increase the risk to the overall herd health.

The announcement to do the gather beginning May 14 was put out today (a real emergency should happen faster than 8 days, we knew about this yesterday, so it was at least 8 days, likely longer.

What can you do to help:

Contact Attorney General Laxalt
Fax: 702-486-3768
Telephone: 702-486-3420
or                 775-684-1100

Tell him you want Tabitha Romero & Bill Dunkelberger charged with animal neglect and cruelty for not acting on this situation and allowing prolonged pain and suffering, not providing sustenance and not managing our wild horses in the Cold Creek Herd in a manner that preserves them for future generations.


The continued harassment of wildlife enthusiasts and photographers has got to end. The last photo from one of our team members is one she took while hiding in the hills to take the photo. The vehicles are hard to see, but hers is the blue car. Whoever drove up there stopped and dumped a 25-pound bag of carrots in front of her car. It is likely they took a photo of it with her vehicle’s license plate to try and say she was illegally feeding the horses. That has been a major problem for this herd because the public feeds them from the roadside and in a parking lot, this can create a collision with vehicles and puts both human and horse at risk of injury. It also encourages the horses to behave in a way that is not natural and they remain there waiting for the next handout instead of foraging and moving to higher elevation where there is more forage.

The announcement for the gather can be read here:

Update as of 5/13/18

Bill Dunkelberger also named in complaints of animal abuse and cruelty to NV Attorney General Laxalt. Administrative Appeal has been received and acknowledged by both the BLM and USDA Forestry Service. The appeal is based on the repeated call for ’emergency’ over the past 22 years. This was not an emergency,, the horses were improving, and if the appeals process rules this was an emergency then there has been a continued, 22 year emergency that opens BLM and Forestry Service to a can of worms for managing an ’emergency’ for 22 years instead of fixing the problem. We contend that problem is an overpopulation of elk on this wild horse preserve.

New photos from local community members and our boots on the ground in the Cold Creek area have been flooding in. The majority of calls and emails from community members and our people are telling us that horses were dumped prior to this gather, that some mares were thin coming out of winter, especially those with foals born this year, and that with the spring forage coming in they were gaining weight. Nobody, that is an advocate for this herd, believes this herd needed to be gathered. There have been 2 people named that appeared to be advocates and reported starving horses to force the gather, and we are finding out that one of the pictures used by one of these advocates was likely doctored to make the mare look much worse than she really was.

Suspicions around the real motives for this gather abound, but it all seems to fit right into trying to prove the claims, especially those of House Representative Chris Stewart, claiming we have “tens of thousands” of starving wild horses on our public lands. Again, what advocates and lawmakers MUST ask is why only wild horses are allegedly starving when no other species is. In this particular wild horse preserve there are many more times the number of elk than there are wild horses and the photos below, taken this week, clearly show that the elk, which supposedly have access to the same forage, are looking pretty darn good.

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