Muddy Creek Appeal – and an Explanation of the IBLA Appeals Process

CAES Files Next Round with the Interior Board for Land Appeals. on the Muddy Creek Wild Horse Gather and Removals.

Allegations include: illegal transfer of withdrawn lands to SITLA, animal cruelty, torture, neglect, fraud, failure to follow proper procedures, inadequate, possibly intentional lack of transparency and FOIA requests, and much more.

©CAES 2018 October 31, Val Cecama-Hogsett

2018-10-27 (10)

Ok so, we announced a while back that we filed an appeal on the Muddy Creek gather in UT. For those who don’t know the process when you file the appeal, against a BLM action or Decision of Record, you file a document called the Notice of Appeal, and that might also include a Petition of Stay (like an injunction filed in court to stop something from happening while the case is being heard).

After that is filed there may be some response from BLM that we file a reaction to, but the next major step in the appeal case is called the Reason for Appeal. This is the bulk or meat of the appeal. All the reasons you feel BLM acted in error, or against the law etc.

So today we filed that Reason for Appeal brief….and BLM is likely to respond to it, which means it is likely we will have one more round of documents to go to court which will be our reaction to whatever they respond with.

Other actions in this particular case that have been noteworthy have been that BLM timed the Decision of Record just perfect so that they could begin the gather before the time period to appeal had expired. So sadly our due process was stolen and horses were gathered. However, we now know about this statute that we were not aware of that allows BLM to use the phrase “Effective Upon Issuance” to usurp the appeals deadline. And we will be ready for and watching for that tactic from here on out in all other actions BLM takes.

Read the entire brief here:  Muddy Creek Reason for Appeal 2018


Scoping Period and Public Comment Period Announced for Skull Hollow Campground and Trailhead Improvements – Ochocos Nat’l Forest

USDA Forest Service
Crooked River National Grassland
Ochoco National Forest
Jefferson County, Oregon
T.13 S, R.14 E, Section 33, Willamette Meridian
Skull Hollow is the busiest recreation site on the Crooked River National Grassland due to its close proximity to urban communities and to the adjacent Smith Rock State Park. Located minutes away from Redmond, Terrebonne, Prineville, Sisters, and Bend, the area has become a popular recreation site for nearby communities during the winter and spring months when higher elevation areas are inaccessible due to mud and snow. Skull Hollow serves as a launching point for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and camping.

Skull Hollow Campground consists of a concessionaire-operated campground that offers 28 campsites from mid-May to mid-November and a trailhead that accesses the popular Gray Butte and Smith Rock. Public use of the site has exceeded the capacity of current infrastructure. Between 2010 and 2016, recreation use nearly doubled at the campground, from 6,586 camper days in 2010 to 12,618 camper days in 2016. The
campground is often full so dispersed camping and parking sprawls out around the trailhead, even though dispersed camping with a vehicle within 300 feet of a road is not permitted in this area. Dispersed campers often enter the campground to use the two existing toilets though they have not paid the campground fees.
With the dispersed camper’s unauthorized use of the campground toilets, there is often lines of 10 or 12 people waiting for each toilet during the high season. There is no designated parking area, toilets or water available at the trailhead.
Proposed Action
The Crooked River National Grassland is proposing to improve recreational facilities at Skull Hollow Campground and Trailhead. Proposed activities at the campground would include adding 32 developed campsites with gravel parking spurs, three vault toilets, a potable water system with pump house, hydrant and storage tank, and a 12-foot culvert pipe. Proposed activities at the trailhead would include developing ADA compliant parking areas for hikers, bikers and equestrians, installing two vault toilets, horse tethering rails and feeding troughs, a bicycle maintenance area, up to three picnic pavilion shelters with cement pads, paved day use trails and an information kiosk. This project also proposes to remove the cattle guard at the junction of Lone Pine Road and Jefferson County Public Use Road 5710 and relocate it at the north side of the trailhead exit and to reroute portions of the Cole Loop Trail to provide segregated access for equestrians and bikers. Refer to Map 1 and 2 for details about the campground and trailhead improvements.
Current recreation funding is very limited and there is no money to purchase new toilets. Eight vault toilets that currently receive little to no use in other areas of the Ochoco National Forest will be evaluated for relocation and up to five of these toilets would be moved to the Skull Hollow Campground and Trailhead. Relocating toilets that receive little to no use will make the best use of existing amenities for a greater number of public visitors. Refer to Map 3 and 4 for toilet locations. Appendix A includes a list of these toilets, a description of the site, use levels, and other considerations.

The proposed work at the campground and trailhead would be accomplished using a backhoe, road grader, dump trucks, cement trucks, and asphalt equipment. Toilet relocation would involve lifting the top structure and vault with the use of a crane and backfilling the resulting holes using weed-free fill from a local Forest Service pit. All areas of ground disturbance would take place on the previously disturbed ground in order to minimize impacts. Work would include rehabilitation of the old trail parking area and the user created dirt road that parallels the north boundary of the campground and relocation of approximately 400 feet of wire fencing at the southwest corner of the campground.

Purpose and Need
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve recreation facilities at Skull Hollow Campground and Trailhead in order to accommodate increased use, improve visitor experience, and better protect nearby resources from unplanned and unsustainable use. The project is needed to prevent people from damaging the surrounding area by camping illegally and driving on and trampling sensitive soils and spreading invasive
weeds and leaving excessive amounts of trash and human waste. The project would provide adequate designated parking areas for hikers, bikers and horse trailers and more designated camping sites and restrooms to accommodate increasing numbers of visitors. The proposed work would also alleviate conflicts between overnight and day users, and between different types of recreation use, by providing adequate parking and facilities to accommodate different uses. Information signage is needed to promote sustainable use of the recreation site in accordance with Leave No Trace principles.
Land and Resource Management Plan Direction

The proposed project is expected to meet Forest-wide standards and guidelines and Management Area standards and guidelines as described in the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland Land and Resource Management Plan as amended. Management allocations for the project area include MA-G3 General Forage.

Categorical Exclusion Criteria

Decisions may be categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment when they are within one of the categories identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 7 CFR part 1b.3 or one of the categories identified by the Chief of the Forest Service in Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.15 sections 31.12 or 32.2, and there are no extraordinary circumstances
related to the decision that may result in a significant individual or cumulative environmental effect. The specific category anticipated for this proposed action is found in 36 CFR 220.6(d) (5) and described in Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.15, Chapter 30, Section 32.12(5) – Repair and maintenance of recreation sites and facilities.


Public Comment
Comments may be submitted online through the Forest Service online comment system available at

or mailed to:

Kent Koeller
Recreation Planner, Ochoco National Forest
3160 NE Third Street
Prineville, Oregon 97754

Implementation Date
Implementation is anticipated to begin Summer 2018.

Contact Information
For further information, please contact Kent Koeller, Recreation Planner, Ochoco National Forest, at:
or 541-416-6482.

2018-10-302018-10-30 (1)

Reward Offered for Information on Shootings of Federally Protected Wild Horses in the Heber Herd in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest




ph (202) 225-2435
fax (202) 225-1541

Or use this information from hos Tuscon office:
If you need help with a federal agency, please contact one of our caseworkers at
520-622-6788 or

The Heber wild horses are being illegally shot after months of roping, trapping, and even wrangling to steal them off their land.

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An anonymous donor has put up $2,500 for reward and additional donations are coming in for information that will help catch the perpetrators of this federal crime.

Two Heber Wild Horse young stallions were found shot dead on10-13-2018 on Forest Service Rd 50 around mile marker 8. We were told the Navajo County Sheriff’s Dept did an investigation today and turned their information over to Forest Service law enforcement. We were also told by Arizona Game and Fish that they were notified yesterday and that Forest Service law enforcement had been out to investigate.

Please, if anybody knows anything about this, please contact us at 541.315.6650.

If you were in the area yesterday and saw any vehicles or heard gunshots, please let us know.

If you’ve heard any rumors, let us know. We want to stay on top of this and make sure a thorough investigation is done.

Somebody knows something, please keep your eyes and ears open and if you head out to the forest be careful! There are a lot of sick people in this world.

The Heber Herd is a federally protected herd.


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For too long the Forest Service has NOT taken these acts seriously, and perhaps even encouraged them.

We have receipts gained through FOIA, whereby the FS contracted with local ranchers through the years to gather and ship some of the herd to slaughter. And there has been a history of horses being caught, wrangled, from the Forest for decades.

Halter around the neck from attempted capture.

This year we brought you to notice that horses were trapped without water (between livestock fences on the wild horse territory), and we worked with FS to get them to allow us to haul water in, and we provided the tanks, manpower, and water.

Recent months have seen suspicous horse trailers in the Forest, horses caught in a trap, and horses with ropes around their necks.

Trapped mare with her foal and another whose mother was outside the trap.

It is long past time for Richard Madril and Steve Best of the Forest Service to demand that the Forest Service Law Enforcement find out who is responsible for these actions and put an end to them. THAT is the job of the Forest Service and Mr. Madril and Mr. Best we support your efforts to do that job!


If you have any information please call CAES @ 541.315.6650. We will keep your name anonymous.

CAES Files a Stay to Stop Dangerous Experiment Tantamount to Abortions on Wild Mares

On Friday, October 12, 2018, CAES filed a 415-page Appeal and Petition for Stay with the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

CAES is asking the judges on the Board to rule in favor of their motion to stop any experiments from happening on the Warm Springs Mares while the appeal against the plan to experiment on the mares can be decided by the Board of Judges.

The Burns, Oregon BLM, along with Dr. Leon Pielstick, Dr. Julie Weikel and others have been working on this plan since they were stopped from doing these experiments in 2016.

In 2016 CAES filed appeal against this plan, and the BLM asked the Board to redact their decision of record claiming they no longer wished to do them.

Since that time there has been a concentrated effort to convince the public and unknowing members of Congress that these experiments are safe and necessary.

Jeff Rose the District Manager and Rob Sharp the Wild Horse & Burro Specialist at the BLM Burns District office conspired with Dr. Pielstick and well-known, pro-slaughter organization Protect the Harvest to circumvent the law and do the experiments.

They sold horses to the organization, they were still behaviorally wild, or ungentled, and Dr. Pielstick knew this and knew what the laws were. Whether or not the law was broken, it was certainly unethical. And BLM broke their own policy by selling to a pro-slaughter organization.

Burns BLM also sold horses knowing they were to be experimented on. That is also a very questionable, and legally questionable action as well.

Then we have Dr. Weikel, another Oregon veterinarian who has been on boards, panel discussions, and speeches to promote the experiments. All the while knowing the federal agency she had been under contract with to do these procedures on cows, was going to be joining BLM to do this. It is likely she will be involved in the experiments in Burns if they are allowed to move forward.

To make matters even more corrupt add in the lies of western Congressman like Chris Stewart:

Screenshot 2018-06-06 10.44.26

———-I love these horses….but we have to kill them.————-

And Rob Bishop


———-You will let us do horse abortions or we’ll kill them all.————–



And how do they get the science to prove that this is acceptable via veterinary practice and research standards….even though this is an antiquated, unsafe surgery done in a non-sterile environment, even admitting that unborn foals will be aborted (and stating so as if it is doesn’t matter at all)?

Well, they set up councils, working groups, and advisory boards who will be their puppets. Then they get special interest groups to sit on those boards and support what they want, oh and lets also not forget their wives, cousins, brothers, and work associates, some with absolutely no credentials to write fake reports or studies that might seem to support their agenda.

After digging in and combing through nearly 30 pages of references listed by the Burns BLM in their Environmental Assessment and supporting documents, we provided assessments of many of those studies and reports. We noticed that there are a few names that were common throughout and that the 2 studies the BLM used the most as the foundation of support for these experiments are not written by credentialled scientists, one just written by 2 people who worked for the agency where Pielstick did the experiments before. Pielstick himself has never provided on written Piece of paper on any of the prior procedures he has done.

Earlier in the year, CAES filed a complaint against Pielstick with the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board who opened an investigation. But this whole thing reeks of collusion and we believe even rises to a conspiracy against the American people.

We’ll update you as the case moves forward. For now, we just hope the IBLA can see through these shenanigans and not allow more innocent, sentient beings fall prey to the sick minds of humans.




Muddy Creek Appeal – It Isn’t Over Yet

by Val Cecama-Hogsett

UPDATE – Even though we were denied our Due Process for a Stay to be heard and the horses were gathered, there is still a case to be fought. The IBLA denied a motion from the BLM to dismiss our case for cause, and again for lack of standing. We are moving forward and this far BLM has had to ask for 2 time extensions just to respond to the initial notice of appeal. We are fighting back, we are fighting for the horses that remain on the HMA, for the horses that were removed, and for the behaviors historic and present of the BLM and ranching community. Stay tuned and please don’t feel defeated…we need to be strong, that’s who wild horse advocates and warriors are! We will not let them wear us down and belittle us.

Part of the complaint we bring forward is a clear bias against not only the wild horses but also the people who advocate for them. In the initial round of documents, we included an email we obtained, between two BLM employees, Shawna Richardson, and Joy Fatooh. In this email wild horse advocates are said to be “emotionally driven” and that we cannot read these documents (referring to an EA for Oil and Gas leases on an HMA) and that we cannot understand NEPA. Ms. Richardson asked for the mailing list, a list of interested parties that must be notified of certain actions, such as a new EA open to public comment, so that she could see who was on it, and know “what we’re (the BLM) up against.” This is just another example of the psychological warfare used against us by the government. Let me see who is on the list, so we know what to say in the EA to avoid issues.
Shawna Richardson may be a familiar name to some of our followers. She sits in many wild horse groups on social media. That’s her job, she is there to monitor what we say, what we post, get to know what issues are important to us and what might cause a public relations problem for the BLM. That is why our Board members and other volunteer team members made the decision to leave several of the Facebook pages and groups. We also do not let people we know are working for BLM in this type of capacity sit in our groups. I have no problem telling BLM what we’re doing, or what we think, but don’t sit in our groups and just act like a spy. Is that really what you want the government doing with your tax money?
The general attitude toward wild horse advocates is one we see bestowed upon our wild horses. That attitude is that we are of little value and just a nuisance. That is evident in the comments you will read in this email about our annoying form letters and letters in general. So if you do not write often…guess what you need to do…
And this letter makes it clear that your letters DO make a difference!

Richardson Email 1Richardson Email 2