Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport 6/22/10

Media Contacts:

Makendra Silverman

Tel: 719-351-8187

Anne Novak

Tel: 415-531-8454

For Immediate Release:

Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport

The ‘Erin Brockovich of America’s Mustangs’ fights to return Nevada Wild Horses to Freedom

Reno, NV (June 21, 2010)—Cindy MacDonald, research expert and American Herds blogger has filed a request for investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this afternoon to prevent the transport, adoption, and/or sale of non-excess Calico wild horses currently being held in BLM processing facilities. MacDonald is requesting an investigation into the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for attempting to dispose of the Calico wild horses prior to confirming that the recent removal operations left approximately 600-900 wild horses on the range as required by law.

From December 28, 2009 to February 7, 2010, BLM reported they removed 1922 wild horses from the Calico Complex in NW Nevada during the fatal winter roundup.

Read MoreMacDonald contends that, “the BLM may have removed far too many Calico horses in a massive roundup last winter and failed to return, by BLM definition, ‘non-excess’ horses.” The BLM is required to leave at least 572 wild horses on the Calico range, the low level of their arbitrarily set “appropriate management level” (AML). Only horses above that level can be considered excess. Returning the horses would save at least $3 million dollars over the next ten years alone.

Early this month, wildlife ecologist Craig Downer carried out a flyover of the Calico Complex in a fixed-wing aircraft. Downer was able to find only 31 wild horses but noted 350 privately-owned cattle grazing on the Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Downer noted that “there was a reasonable spring green-up of the landscape and the open treeless character of the terrain permitted a high degree of horse detection”. An additional ground survey by Robert Bauer resulted in finding only 9 mustangs in Nevada’s Calico Complex region.

“Two recent independent observers report the Calico herds are gone,” states MacDonald, adding “there’s a vast difference between less than 50 and 600-900 wild horses. The public needs to be sure the BLM followed the law before those horses are shipped out.”

MacDonald points out that BLM is plagued with failures to properly count free-roaming wild horses and burros even though the agency attempts to develop new protocol to remedy these errors.

“While the BLM’s numbers rarely add up, the Calico fiasco is an extreme example of this from start to finish,” states MacDonald.

Responding to public comments during last Monday’s BLM Denver workshop, the BLM announced Friday they will partner with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an aerial census of NW Nevada and SE Oregon. The BLM refuses to bring along The Cloud Foundation’s ‘Herd-Watch’ project director, Laura Leigh, on their census flights—continuing to demonstrate their closed-door protocol. The Foundation supports transparency and wants advocates involved in counting horses.

The BLM’s policy for massive removals through roundups, followed with stockpiling mustangs in government-contracted holding pens and mid-east pastures is not sustainable and is costing American taxpayers some $40 million per year.

“In this day and age of government budget crises, to waste the lives of these mustangs at a cost of millions of dollars to the American taxpayers is unconscionable,” states Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. “We call on BLM to show an act of good faith. We ask they put an immediate moratorium on all roundups is until we can partner together to sort this all out.”

# # #

Links of interest:

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Special

American Herds Blog

June 14th Morning Department of Interior Public Workshop

Afternoon Department of Interior Public Workshop

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’

Roundup Schedule- updated May 2010

PR Firm Hired for the Destruction of America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues

AP 6/16/10: “Two Nevada men plead guilty to killing wild mustangs”

After campaigning for Obama, Sheryl Crow at odds over his administration’s wild-horse plan (Associated Press)

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit.
America’s Disappearing Wild Horses

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan

CNN Report, Issues with Jane Valez-Mitchell, March 25th

Wild Horse and Burro Act

Photos, video and interviews available from:

The Cloud Foundation ~

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 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


27 Responses to “Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport 6/22/10”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    This has made great sense and if the FBI can see fit to consider the BLM in their jurisdiction, maybe there will be a chain of events from this and not a dead end.
    We need more of this.

    And we need funding for our Herd Watch people to stay in the field and begin the roundup observations and show us what is out there. Please help with a little bit every month. Even $5. a month. Please help us see all we can by being out in the field with the horses. mar

    • Karen L. Says:

      Yes, it makes sense. I immediately wondered about the jurisdiction issue though. No agency seems to have much control over the BLM or to want to have to deal with them. Maybe this is going to be a turning point.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Jurisdiction should not be a problem as the FBI has arrested people in all walks of government over the years. That may be another excuse to let BLM run rough shod a little longer. I hope not. They can do this if they see fit. If they do not, I say “Cop Out!” Big time. mar

      • sandra longley Says:

        Once they moved horses from the calico acress state is an issue for the FBI and they do have legal standing and that is federal law now not state

  2. jan eaker Says:

    I am hoping for the best, on the other point, what IS going on w/HerdWatch,

  3. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Herd Watch Volunteers; Herd Watch the .org has had to take a back seat to events which are what is driving us now. It is not an over sight but just that we cannot fund everyone in the field and have been out there ourselves and we need to keep our core people on the road as things unfold. It will come together as things happen. That is the nature of the group.

    I am intending to put up a list of fundraising projects at my blog that people have talked about in the past and hope this time around we can have commitment and action. We are dependent on all of you and we can only go so far and then we are literally ‘out of gas’. Our intentions are to keep going regardless and we will not back off as long as the wild ones are threatened with captivity. If you have volunteered and have not heard anything, this is the situation at present. I hope we will be able to get you all into communicating regional groups ASAP. Hang in there, the summer has just started and we have so much to do. We do appreciate those of you who have been giving donations. Thank you for all you have helped us do. Please consider a monthly donation even if it is very small as it will all help us get out there with the herds.

    If anyone has the ability to do some fundraising or has a good idea, please contact me at We do need your help and participation and have just been spread a little thin and far apart. Love you all, mar

  4. Janet Ferguson Says:

    This may already have been posted here, but I just found a Facebook page on BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program and one of the “posts” on its wall was:

    BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program We are having unanticipated problems with the e-planning website to collect comments, so we are allowing individuals to send in their comments through regular mail, certified mail or fedex. Please forward any comments to:

    BLM Washington Office
    1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
    Washington DC 20240

    • Linda Says:

      Jeeze, can our government do anything right? Our tax dollars are paying the salaries of “tecknogeeks” who couldn’t fix this in a minute. Just another “roadblock” from the BLM. Send it registered mail, so somebody will have to sign for it. If we have to use the “snails”, so be it.

      • sandra longley Says:

        They are making this complicated so that many people cannot hit the send button to be heard..its not by accident that they are starting to take comments for the HMA gathers by snail mail..there is a “legal” term for this that I am going to research and file a complaint with the BLM and forward to the white house.

      • sandra longley Says:

        The term I was thinking of was “voter suppression” limiting public involvement through means that complicate the process, making it more difficult and complicated for public invovement and participation..How about some of those “town hall” meetings like on health care..take it to the people!



    BLM to Hold Public Hearing on use of Motorized Vehicles, Aircraft to Manage Wild Horses, Burros

    Elko, Nev.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses or burros on public lands in Nevada. The hearing will be held on Thursday, July 1, at 6 p.m. at the Bureau of Land Management Elko District Office, 3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, Nev. in the main conference room.

    The purpose of the hearing is to receive information and public comments on the use of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to inventory wild horse or burro populations and the use of helicopters to gather and remove excess animals. The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

    Before helicopters or motorized vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required in order to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The BLM proposes to use a helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to estimate population numbers and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada. Also proposed is using a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros on gathers and complexes throughout the state during the coming year. The actual number of areas where gathers will be conducted or inventoried will depend on a number of factors including funding.

    For further information concerning the hearing, contact Bryan Fuell at (775) 753-0200 or Heather Emmons at (775) 861-6594. If you cannot attend the hearing, written comments must be mailed to the BLM Elko District Office, Attention: Bryan Fuell, 3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801 and be received by July 5, 2010 to be considered.

  6. sandra longley Says:

    WHY would you geld a 25 year old stallion??? You, the vet are “sick” and perverted”

    “Two deaths occurred this week: a 12-year-old stallion (#1406) suffered a spinal neck injury, and a 25-year-old gelding (#1337) was found dead. Necropsy was performed and the gelding’s death was due to pulmonary hemorrhage caused from anesthesia”

    Notice for the first time they are giving the freeze brand #s of dead horses..Do you ever wonder if some of these deaths are do to “medical experimentation?” Gelding of a 25 year old stallion is ‘cruel and unusal treatment” shouldn’t these horses be placed in preserves or sanctuarys as opposed to death by shock..Have you NO much longer do you think this stallion had to live..wouldn’t it have been more humane to just put him are some sick puppies!

    • sandra longley Says:

      WHERE is the USHS on this issue..have they just become an overgrown, bogged down, top heavy governmental organization that dupes the public into believing they save animals..I sent an e-mail out urging folks not to donate to the Humane Society but to donate to IDA, who is proactive and effective in the actual defense of animals across the board..Did they ever go back to fallon to follow up on shelters for the horses from the summer heat..DEMAND better from this organization..start sending them letters as well as the white house-They should be at least as well informed as we me a greater crisis right now than the wild horses in captivity and the animals fish and birds in the gulf..are they doing anything about that..I envision a bunch of fat cats sitting around the office sipping Lattes, living high off of donations…get out in the field!

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        They are protecting their deal for the PZP and not willing to get into the real facts and needs for wild horses and burros. The Burros are nearly gone, people. The horses are close behind. HSUS has been a very hoighty toighty .org and should be held accountable for being one big lazy bunch of overpaid snobs. mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        Yes, Mar, that’s exactly right about the thinking on the PZP project/contract. However, they believe that they can exert at least a bit of control over the BLM in the field by continuing to “partner” with the administration of the PZP. (I think I read that in Horseback Magazine’s article, “A Cloud on Pryor Mountain”, last fall.) I am not currently sending them donations either—better to send to TCF and IDA.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Don’t forget Herd Watch! I have posted some unofficial fundraising ideas for volunteers to help us get out in the field and stay there all summer and fall if need be. I am hoping for all this insanity to end if someone with real Sense and Guts will just stop the roundups!

        Come On Obama and DOI/BLM, STOP THE ROUNDUPS NOW!!!!!! mar

    • sandra longley Says:

      WHY are so many deaths occurring at Fallon from the gelding process?,,it is THE most common veternary procedure…deaths are RARE from complications..I have personally had over 100 colts gelded over 40 years and NEVER had one die…What is going on here??? Is this their method for conducting the euthanasia of healthy horses under the guise of “gelding”?

      • Karen L. Says:

        It is very strange. If a physician for humans had people dying of vasectomies, there would be major consequences.

  7. sandra longley Says:

    PLEASE, try to send what you can to Herd Watch..$5 dollars can make a difference if we ALL send 5..we can all afford $5 a month, have it auto deducted from your account..the future of our herds depends on this..many of our herds have no local people to keep an eye on them-they will be giving us a legal leg to stand on..this is our eyes on the land – to see our horses-and testify for them..$5 is 2 gallons of gas..lets help these folks out! organise a car wash or other community event..come on are out of school for the summer…collect bottles or have a penny drive..we are counting on you as future protectors of our horses!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Click on my name and go to my blog for some Herd Watch Fundraising ideas you can get involved with!! Also do not forget that Laura Leigh designed our Herd Watch Logo, ‘Public Eyes For Public Herds’ and you can purchase all kinds of goodies at Cafe Press at the Cloud Foundation or at Herd Watch site. Please help us stay out there where the wild ones are! mar

      • jan eaker Says:

        The quality of merchandise from Cafe Press is outstanding, it is a win-win situation, you get great stuff and HW and TCF get needed funds!



  9. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Thanks, we do need to be funded by the public right now. There is a huge need. I hope we will be able to get people in the field under their own power, but we have people who are doing nothing else but the wild horses and they need to be helped daily. Gas, food and lodging for two people on the road is easily $400. a week and that is very conservative, as we have had to be.

    Roundups begin July 1st. Please help Herd Watch. mar



  11. Pony Up, Cattlemen! « Straight from the Horse's Heart Says:

    […] Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport 6/22/10 ( […]

  12. “Herd Watch” Manager Files Suit to Block Deadly Wild Horse Round Up « Straight from the Horse's Heart Says:

    […] Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport 6/22/10 ( […]

  13. BLM’s Abbey Escalates Wild Horse Propaganda « Straight from the Horse's Heart Says:

    […] Request for Investigation Filed with FBI to Stop Calico Wild Horse Transport 6/22/10 ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: