Rebuttal Letter to the BLM (graphic photos at the end)

May 12th, 2021

Thank you for sending me a response to my letter regarding my concerns about the Onaqui Wild Mustangs and the impending roundup that is planned for July of 2021.
In response to your letter, I have included several facts about the original Wild Horse and Burro Act, information that you seem to be lacking about the current commercial use of OUR PUBLIC lands by “for profit” parties (cattle and sheep operations), as well as various other grievances and issues.

  • There are 207,000 acres of public lands for the current herd count of 474 horses.  That equates to over 463 acres per horse, certainly enough for this herd to exist in peace if the “for profit” users (sheep and cattle ranchers) of the land were to be strictly monitored and controlled.
  • The BLM states that there is insufficient forage for the Onaqui wild mustangs due to drought, but we have photographs (enclosed) and video that there are 300-500 groups of sheep (massive herds) and cattle on that land.  If there is a shortage of forage, then what is YOUR EXCUSE for allowing the sheep and cattle to remain on the land and depleting it to nothing?

I have read the Outcome-Based Grazing Authorizations (OBGAs) and what is concerning is that the BLM are partnering more closely with livestock operators which leaves little or no voice for the needs of wildlife on these public lands. They have made no improvement of water shed conditions and have not enhanced wildlife habitat but rather are helping decimate the very lands they are supposed to protect.

  • Public lands were put aside for the public to enjoy, NOT for ranchers to use to graze their livestock and pad their profits.  As a taxpayer, I am horrified that “for profit” users are YOUR priority rather than the true American Icon of the West, the wild mustangs. The very beings that you are supposed to protect.
  • The livestock grazing on OUR PUBLIC LANDS are destroying that very land and any wildlife it supports without apparent limitation. To be clear, these “for profit” operations are a significant cause of conflict on public lands and the Wild Mustangs are paying the price, we are heading to the brink of extinction just like we have done for numerous species that we later had to help re-establish.
  • The public lands were also set aside for wildlife and to preserve it for future generations, future generations that will want to see wild mustangs and the Wild West. This land was not set aside so that Sheep herders and Cattle ranchers can have cheap land to graze their livestock on.
  • YOUR job is to protect wild horses according to the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 and in case you forgot what was written BY CONGRESS:

“Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

Your organization is spending a lot of money and resources ripping apart these families, putting them in holding facilities where too many times they are sold to kill buyers. 

So according to the Act passed by Congress the BLM is blatantly breaking the law. With the roundups not only are you CAPTURING but you are also BRANDING and let’s face it HARASSING these wild horses, sometimes, to DEATH.
There needs to be a change, and YOU need to stand up for what is right!  What is right is for the Wild Mustangs to be respected for what they are and for YOU to come up with ways for them to live and thrive on our public lands.

Let me make a request at this point, I DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE A GENERIC LETTER, this is too important and the Onaqui wild mustangs and other herds throughout the United States do not have time since the clock is already ticking because of your organization.  I WANT EXPLANTATIONS AND ACTIONS. To start with, I want an independent scientific body to study the ecosystem impact of wild horses versus livestock which has been requested by the government and has not been produced.

To round the wild mustangs up and say the BLM decisions is based on a drought when there are sheep and cattle heavily using that land is a travesty. Actions that uphold the Wild Horse and Burro Act is what I expect and what I demand.

As a final note, I will let you know that this letter is going to be widely shared on social media as well as print media and anywhere else I can think of.  I will continue to spread the word about the BLM’s inadequate actions until these policies are changed.  As stated above, I believe the BLM’s activities are criminal in how they have been CAPTURING, BRANDING, HARRASSING, AND MANY TIMES ACCIDENTALLY KILLING these beings with their current practices and the wide public needs to know about this.