BLM Deal to Return Warm Springs Horses is NO Deal #FakeWin

While other wild horse advocate groups celebrate, likely because they need to find a win in the lawsuit they had dismissed for being moot, we see that this new announcement of BLM on the Warm Springs Case is NO win at all for the horses. In fact, it is NOTHING at all.


We didn’t get our way so we are not returning 200 horses as we agreed to in a previous APPROVED plan. But hey we’ll try to return horses, just not from now through December of 2019, and not pregnant or unpregnant mares, or stallions.


What is BLM really proposing?

BLM issued a new plan to release wild horses on the Warm Springs Horse Management Area (HMA), changing the already approved plan. As we reported in our previous article on this the release of less than half the horses approved in the plan should not be changed because BLM could not go through with plans to sterilize mares. If the range could support 200 for their gruesome study, it can support the release of 200 without the study. Period. 200 horses must be released and we reject this new plan.

As if that was enough of an insult to our intelligence BLM also gives the following restrictions on releasing even the meager 66 these mainstream fake advocate organizations are touting as a great win. Here are the conditions that may change the release of just 66 horses:

  • BLM can’t return horses now or until approximately May or June because the roads are not good enough
  • Can’t return mares that are pregnant March – June because well, they might deliver on transport?  (They gather and transport pregnant mares routinely)
  • Won’t return mares with foals because of danger to foals on transport (They transport foals routinely)
  • Won’t return mares until foals are weaned and ripped away from mares 4 – 6 months after birth (so no returns from March – June until after 4 – 6 months later which would be as late as December
  • No returns during fire season June through fall
  • No returns if there is not adequate water (to be assessed in flyovers in June) even though forage is good and water on one half is good, the other side was questionable, and the solution is the removal of a livestock fence between the 2 sides of the HMA
  • No mares returned who were not pregnant, they could be sterile (erm the original plan was to return nearly 30 sterile mares wasn’t it?)
  • No stallion released without a mare released to keep a 50/50 sex ratio (unnatural and why can’t they release 33 stallions and release 33 mares as they can based on their other fake conditions)
  • AND BLM retains the right to alter, change, nullify, or create a whole new plan even if this one is passed

So, in other word BLM has said :

We didn’t get our way so we are not returning 200 horses as we agreed to in a previous APPROVED plan. But hey we’ll try to return horses, just not from now through December of 2019, and not pregnant or unpregnant mares, or stallions.


BLM Decides NOT to Release All the Horses Promised in Oregon

BLM Doesn’t Get Their Way and Warm Springs Horses From Oregon Suffer for it.

Feb.15, 2019

In 2018 we filed legal action to stop the BLM in Oregon from performing brutal, archaic sterilization experiments on pregnant mares. The BLM, after receiving our legal arguments against their plans, and after we got the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board to investigate the lead veterinarian who wishes to do these procedures, Burns BLM in Oregon canceled their plans to do them.

One declaration written by Burn’s BLM Rob Sharp to the court stated that if BLM was not able to do the experiments they would not release all 200 horses, which was what the approved plan stated. We called this emotional blackmail then, and after bringing this up on the BLM Facebook page for their wild horse and burro program…just the next day…BLM loads online a new proposed plan to return less than half what was approved in the previous APPROVED plan.

“Despite the DR being vacated, the conditions that caused the BLM to determine that approximately 652 animals were excess and needed to be removed from the range remain present and necessitate the current decision. To that end, this determination of NEPA adequacy (DNA) assesses whether the 2018 EA adequately analyzed the environmental impact of permanently removing wild horses and burros from the Warm Springs HMA, the proposed return of horses to low appropriate management level (AML) for the HMA, and the treatment of mares to be returned to the HMA with porcine zona pellucida (PZP). This DNA in no part replaces or relies on the 2018 DR, which was vacated in its entirety.”


BLM — you removed “850 or so” stating “only 652-ish” are to be permanently removed.  The following email communication was received by CAES through a FOIA request. Note the author is BLM Public Affairs Specialist Tara Thissell.

Thissell emails 1

According to the gather reports from Sun J, the contractor who did the gather…846 horses were gathered, and of those only 813 made it to holding because of the horses that were killed or euthanized (and one lucky one that got away)

Per the new BLM proposal they will only leave a total of 96 horses and 15 burros (the low end of the AML for the Warm  Springs HMA. The reason they claimed an emergency to gather the HMA before any appeals on the gather were heard was deteriorating range conditions…which we also challenged because they had known about, and had been hauling water for months.

Despite the range being able to support the release of 200 of the gathered horses then (to do their study), they now claim that it can only support to the low end of the AML.

“The AML for the Warm Springs HMA is 96 to 178 horses and 15 to 24 burros. The number of animals gathered combined with the estimated 30 horses and 30 burros remaining on the range indicates that there are approximately 779 excess horses (plus 2 mules) and 56 excess burros above the low end of the respective AMLs.”

BLM tries to say…mares released would have been spayed so we would be releasing mares that can reproduce and add to the population which was not part of the original plan. When in reality only 28 – 34 of the 200 released would have been spayed mares, and BLM states in the new plan that they are
So let’s recap…

BLM removes 850-ish

SunJ Contractor who did gather says 889 removed – 846 horses, 43 burros. However, only 813 of those horses were shipped to BLM holding because one got away and 33 were killed

Plans to experiment on some of the 200 they say they will put back on the land

BLM stomps feet and says in court documents if we can’t do the experiments we refuse to let all the horses we said we’d release go back on the range

BLM claims 850 or so were gathered

BLM claims 652 were “excess”

BLM can’t do experiments

BLM claims really 779 +2 +56 (horses mules and burros which were all added together in the number of animals gathered in 2018) are excess now…837 excess animals

BLM Plans to return 66 horses instead of the 200 approved in the proposed plan, and according to their estimate that there were also 30 burros left after the gather which is over AML so none will be returned.

And what is their justification…” the conditions …remain present and necessitate the current decision.” The conditions that were such that 200 horses would be returned?

Go to this link:


Tell BLM that when conditions remain the same…they have no justification for putting less than half the planned horses back out on the Warm Springs HMA. There was range to support 200 for a study, and they admit conditions remain present, not worse, therefore there is range to support returning 200.


Forest Service, Dead Horses, Forced Investigation & Taking Advantage to Spin a Tale

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has finally put out a press release on the wild horse shootings in the Heber Wild Horse Herd.

We think it’s nice that they have finally openly admitted that horses were in-fact shot. They could not do this until they finally had a veterinarian (member of the working group – more below) and a helper (ex-brand inspector) finally do necropsies on the dead horse carcasses on February 1, 2019, when we believe they actually put out the appearance to investigate this matter.

We, on the other hand, could look at the body, the bullet holes in the bodies, including one shot point-blank in the eye and know they had been shot…but you know we watch all the crime shows so we get that until the coroner says the cause of death was a gunshot wound…maybe aliens stole its heart first, then it was shot right?!

Here is what we have learned by the Forest Service Press Release:

  • FS claims 4 more dead horses than even we are aware of.
  • Forest Service says most horses had gunshot wounds but STILL will not say they were killed by a shooter.
  • Forest Service claims one horse died of blunt force trauma, like a vehicle collision…but doesn’t say any such incident was ever reported.
  • Forest Service warns media that they believe the reports they are providing to you are not factual.
  • Forest Service is still trying to appear the victim of us not sharing information we received on our tip line with them.
  • Forest Service is beginning to spin the web of deceit they will use to support the wild horse management plan they are going to put out for public review and comment.

Explanation of what we have learned and why we believe the statements were very craftily written.

  1. FS Claims 4 more horses are dead…when we have dozens of volunteers on the ground, taking shifts and out there every day, how many more might be dead if we did not find 4 of these deceased horses? Also, did FS include the 2 unborn foals in this 16 or are there really 18 dead horses?
  2. The FS after admitting that most of the deceased horses had gunshot wounds still tries to downplay the situation by not openly admitting some person(s) are out there killing wild horses. This has been an issue for years, and the FS not reacting proactively and firmly has also created a situation where many in the community have come to us admitting they purchased horses they knew were removed from the Apache-Sitgreaves but were told they were removed with permission of the FS or that they just thought horses could be removed without permission. 2 people have been named in those illegal thefts of our wild horses.
  3. FS claims one horse died of blunt force trauma, as if a vehicle collision happened, however, fails to state whether or not there was ever a report made about such a collision. It is illegal to have an accident and leave the scene of the accident, so are they looking for another criminal on that charge. Was it really hit in the road or was it too eaten by predators to see gunshot holes, with bullets already in the bellies of predators, body near a road, and take the focus off the shooters firing near a road?
  4. FS asks the local and state media to provide “accurate” information. Are they accusing them of lying? Are they mad because the media has been more helpful and honest to the public than they have?  Is this a threat to be quiet or to only publish the story the FS wants the public to hear?
  5. FS even though we reached out to the local law enforcement agencies and FS dispatch numbers has never made any real attempt to return our calls to retrieve information. Instead, we believe (but do not really know if it was them) they are the ones who called from a blocked phone number and left a message claiming to be an agent of FS LE that we had never heard of and told us to call another tip line to leave sensitive, protected information with whoever answers an 800 number, and to trust that the desk, voicemail or email boxes it goes to will not expose people who gave us information. It would be the most irresponsible thing we could ever do, what if one tip gives someone a clue that identifies them to some secretary, or someone walking by a desk etc. and it puts that person in harm’s way. We would be responsible for that person getting injured or worse. So…because they refused to do their jobs and get back to us (other than one call from a blocked number to leave a voicemail telling us to call an 800 number) we decided to take it to the agency that was next in the chain of command and turned everything over to the Phoenix FBI.

6. FS…and this is the major point of our response…states 12 of 16 horses were found deceased off the wild horse territory. This statement is the precursor to what you will read in the wild horse management plan they will be putting out this year for public review and comment.

When our board member was on the working group who was going to provide recommendations to the FS for the wild horse management plan for the Heber wild horses, we brought up the fact that livestock fences often prevent the horses from using the territory the FS outlined for this herd.

We also brought up the fact that FS has acknowledged in court cases that the herd often went back and forth and co-mingled with horses from the White Mountain Apache Reservation. However, the FS neglected to include the land between the reservation and the beginning of the boundary line they drew on a map for the horses. If the horses went from point A (reservation) to point C (Wild Horse Territory assigned by FS) how did they not cross point B (land in between that was historically used as the migratory route).

In Kleppe v New Mexico it was proven that a wild horse is still a wild horse when it walks off it’s protected area because wherever it roams it is still the property of the United States and the people. So it is IRRELEVANT that it was off the Wild Horse Territory. Perhaps people are chasing them off the territory and then shooting them.

THIS INFORMATION IS IRRELEVANT TO THE SHOOTING OF WILD HORSES. However in order to make claims the horse herd is overpopulated, or wandering off their territory because there are too many horses they are starting to attempt to create this illusion instead of fixing their errors, finding the shooter(s), and fixing the boundary to include all land where wild horses were in 1971 per the federal law, as the area for this herd to be managed on.

If FS is going to attempt to say they are overpopulated, the solution should be safe birth control, not the removal of genetics, or definitely not turning their heads while someone illegally removes or shoot them.

Additionally, we believe that the illegal meetings (per the Sunshine Laws of this nation) are irrelevant and did not meet the Stipulated Agreement of the court order. The same court that issued an injunction which prevents the FS from removing any horse from the Forest. We believe that they will now have to look at the fact that natural causes and these illegal killings have decreased the herd by approximately 12% in one year and they may need to look at increasing the herd size to preserve and protect genetic variability and viability and maintain a thriving herd as is their mandate. This, of course, does not include the numbers of horses that have been stolen or removed illegally from the forest.

Nice try FS but not good enough.


Forest Service Makes an Anonymous Call to Our Tipline Number

Weeks after asking Forest Service Law Enforcement to call us and retrieve the information we got on our tip line, Forest Service Law Enforcement from a different county calls us, from a blocked number…and then asks us to call a national 800 hotline to give them information!


Too late we turned it over to the FBI and will let them do your job Forest Service. We don’t even know if it was really you who called and we sure are not going to be so irresponsible as to call some 800 number and give any information that could possibly have some identifying information to expose any person of a community that is under siege by thugs.


This was the letter we sent to the FBI and Congressional members O’Halleran and Grijalva in response:

This letter is to inform you all that after having turned over my declaration with all of the information we received on our tip line for people to call about shooting of horses from the Heber Wild horse herd in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, I received a phone call from a blocked number. 

I was not able to take the call and the caller left a voicemail claiming to be Andy Peterson from the Forest Service Law Enforcement…”

“Mr. Peterson, if it was, in fact, him, did not leave a contact number or email for himself but instead left an 800 number for me to call to turn over the tips we have.

This 800 number is the number that the Navajo County Sheriff has posted as their We Tip line, however, we feel that is a very inappropriate suggestion. This information we received is highly sensitive, we do not know who is on the receiving end of the information turned over to that 800 number, and we feel information must be delivered to sworn law enforcement, which is why I provided you at the Phoenix FBI me declaration with all the information we received from those calls.

With the high level of public safety concern and all the illegal activity of not only horse shootings, but shooting near roads and buildings, wild horse theft ring, and possible collusion with the local Forest Service personnel we are again asking that an outside agency is brought in to handle this investigation.

WHY would a Forest Service Law Enforcement person from a different county call me and not Mr. Lopez, the ranger for that are who is the “lead” investigator be calling me, why from a blocked phone number, and why would they refer me to a national tip line?

We also know that 800 number has received no tips per the Navajo County Sheriff Department, and that is a clear indicator to us (after receiving more than 3 dozen tips on ours) that the community does not trust, or is afraid of the local law enforcement. 

There is a bad situation out there and it has got to be stopped. “

AZ Congressman O’Halleran Speaks Up for the Heber Wild Horses

Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance, the Citizens Against Equine Slaughter AZ branch have been in contact with Congressman Grijalva and O’Halleran since the situation escalated in mid-January. The Forest Service was on furlough, the Law enforcement person for that area was said to be investigating even though he was on furlough, and the local Navajo County was referring us to the Forest Service. We were so worried not only about the horses but also for people as these shootings were happening near a major road and buildings.

After the Forest Service refused to return calls from CAES and was not collecting evidence or doing necropsies we felt that the investigation was not really being considered a priority as the shootings in October were still unresolved.

Thankfully Congressman O’Halleran has stepped up to the plate for the Heber wild horses, our public lands, and all of you who own these land and wild horses on them.


Please use and send a thank you to Congressman O’Halleran!



Heber Wild Horse Update

Angel makes 12


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Today, while our crews were on the ground early in the day 2 more of the Heber wild horses, were found dead.

Our ground crew has been taking shifts day and night to watch horses, some who are injured, one in particular with a serious wound, but we could not tell if she would recover, or if she had been shot. Today that mare, a beautiful palomino named Angel by our volunteer crew went down.

As the Forest Service personnel were leaving the scene of the other 2 horses where a veterinarian had performed necropsies, our crew flagged them down to have the veterinarian look at this downed horse we had been watching for several days.

At first Ranger Lopez said they didn’t have time to look at another horse and was insistent on leaving the area. The veterinarian traveling with them said it would only take a moment. So they evaluated the mare and determined she had to be euthanized.

Richard Madril of the Forest Service told one of our ground crew members that the injury to the horse we had observed was, in fact, a gunshot wound.

As we are looking at photos and having some of our own experts assist with their opinions we believe all these horses we have been finding the past 10 days were shot in one killing spree that happened late on January 21st.

As of this report, the national office for CAES has received 35 tips on the activities in the forest and the people we believe to be involved in the killings, and other illegal activities in the forest concerning the herd. We are still encouraging the Forest Service Ranger to call the investigative reporter who works for ActivateNow News, and set-up a tip line at the Citizens Against Equine Slaughter national office, so far he has not made contact to find out what we might know to assist his investigation.

The reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) has grown to over $5,200 dollars and CAES has a goal to double that and find these killers. If you have any information please call 541.315.6650 And if you want to contribute to the reward fund you can use the donate button on the side of this page, or go to our Citizens Against Equine Slaughter on Facebook and look at the top post where there is a donate button.

Through this tragedy, we have had an outpouring of anger and sadness from the Heber and surrounding communities. People are afraid this will go beyond the killing of animals, and they are afraid of these men. But…you are still speaking out, still standing up and we are proud of you for that and will stay in this battle with you until we have Justice for the Heber Herd.