Help Protect the Pryor Wild Horses

BLM Now Accepting Email Comments

Dear Cloud Friends;

The Billings BLM has decided to accept emails ( and faxes (406-896-5281) for comments on their Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) which calls for the permanent removal of 30 young horses (ages 1-3 years) from the Pryor Wild Horse Range during 2012. Comments are due by close of business (4:30 pm MST) January 6th.

2-year old Adelina, granddaughter of Blue Sioux & Red Raven

The removal will bring the herd to the “Appropriate” Management Level of 120. This drastic plan is completely unacceptable and dangerous for the future survival of the Pryor Wild Horse Herd.

  • The herd currently numbers only 150 adults (one year and older), the bare minimum to maintain genetic viability.
  • In 2011, mortality equaled births which is exactly what BLM states as their goal for the herd.
  • The PEA includes an alternative (which was considered but not analyzed – why?): “This alternative consists of initially removing ten wild horses and re-assessing every year until the recruitment rate is equal to the natural mortality.” This is already the case! In 2011 mortality equaled recruitment (surviving foals).

Bottom line, it is dead wrong to remove any horses of any age before knowing how many foals are born in 2012, how many horses survive the winter,  how many foals survive going into the fall, and the level of predation.

We urge you to write, email or fax (currently broken according to Billings BLM). Please encourage BLM to select the No Action Alternative.

Stand up for Cloud and the young horses of the Pryors, including Cloud’s look-alike grandson, Echo (Killian) and so many other youngsters who are the future of the herd. They deserve to live their lives in precious freedom!

Cloud's only son, Bolder, with his son, Echo

Happy Trails!


Regular post letters can still be mailed to:

Jim Sparks
BLM Field Manager
Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101

Further confirmation:
I confirm that the Billings Field Office will accept electronically transmitted public comments, but definitely do encourage comments being mailed or hand delivered since malfunction of the electronic means when receiving a high volume of comments can lead to comments not being successfully received in their entirety.  Thank you.
– Richard Hanes, Ph.D.
BLM Acting Assistant Director, Washington D.C.

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18 Responses to “Help Protect the Pryor Wild Horses”

  1. Michael J Ahles Says:

    Boycott Beef!


  2. theresa mckee Says:

    Please do not downsize the Pryor herd again. I believe it will hurt the integrity of this wonderful herd. As it stands the herd is already NOT growing. I think that is more than sufficient damage to this herd. Please I beg you to stop taking more from this herd. I am a rancher and have horses and I know what is being done is not necessary. Sincerely Theresa Mckee 918-473-3926

  3. Laura Bruns Says:

    Removing the wild horses from this area is maybe going to be the end of the beautiful wild ones in this area…These horses are part of our history.. This is a huge wilderness area.. To get to where the horses are you have to travel dirt roads for hours and then hike or go on horseback!!!! How could they be bothering anyone. Inhumanity of Humans!!!!!

  4. mojohasmagic Says:

    Please rethink the way you decide how many wild horses are removed from the herd.
    Minimum, you should wait to see how many foals are born in 2012 before you decide how many horses to cull from the herd.
    These are magnificent animals, PLEASE ease off of drastically reducing their numbers.

  5. Cahlua@ Says:

    Between Beef, Big Oil And Natural Gas , Our wild mustangs are being pushed to extinction and this has got to stop! Please Leave the montana herd alone. There has been no increase in this herd and WE The American Public Want This Land Left For The WILD MUSTANGS. STOP ALLOWING GREED TO WARP YOUR DECISION MAKING.

  6. nancy pearson Says:

    it is dead wrong to remove any horses of any age before knowing how many foals are born in 2012, how many horses survive the winter, how many foals survive going into the fall, and the level of predation.

    please, these beautiful animals are precious to our unique country!

  7. Jenna Says:

    Protect the horses!

  8. nan Says:

    these horses don’t deserve the treatment they are getting… they
    are the embodiment of the american west and ideals..

  9. Barbre Brunson Says:

    BLM clearly has wild horses in its sites for elimination rather than protection as they are required by law. It is disheartening and sad as a girl that grew up with wild horses in Nevada that when I retire from my government job–wild horses may well be gone. Instead ….. more cattle will be grazing on the public lands. Leave the Pryor horses alone… is too soon to remove any horses. I once believed the Wild Horses and Burros Act would be honored, now I face the reality that tricks and deceit are ways the law has been ignored. The BLM IGNORE our requests. I miss eating the steak I once enjoyed–my small protest against the ranchers with no respect for the horses that made them what they are today.

  10. Louie Cocroft Says:

    Letter from Craig Downer:
    December 31, 2011
    Mr. Jim Sparks, Field Manager
    BLM Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive
    Billings, MT 59101
    Re: “Pryor EA Comments” re: proposed roundup of Pryor Mtn. wild horses in 2012
    Dear Mr. Sparks:
    Greetings for 2012! Hopefully this will be a year to reinstate true fairness for the wild horses of the Pryor Mountain and elsewhere. I have just reviewed your Environmental Assessment and am very much opposed to your proposed plan to remove thirty mustangs from one to three years of age. There is absolutely no necessity for doing this, and this removal jeopardizes the long-term survival and adaptation of this very small herd in future times. The Pryor herd is presently stable at ca. 150 horses, and these horses are well on their way to filling their niche and self-stabilizing according to the natural world’s criteria that confer long-term survival value, rather than the artificial selection by man. There were eighteen births balanced by eighteen deaths in this herd in 2011, indicating utterly no need for gathering these returned North American native species. The 92-117 Appropriate Management Level is a non-viable one, even according to the substandard standard BLM generally puts forth, i.e. 150 total population for an effective breeding population (Ne) of 50. And as a wildlife ecologist well informed on this subject, I consider this level of 150 to be way low in itself, as far as long-term viability. I further consider the taking of this age group as an unwholesome undermining of the herd’s natural vitality, social well-functioning, and resilience in face of both short- and long-term survival challenges (e.g. approaching winter). I wonder just exactly what your motivations are in treating this unique and universally appreciated herd so niggardly!
    The Pryor Mountain herd is a world attraction. It should not be cut to the quick, most of all for the individual horses’ sake. This would accord with the true intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971—an act we should now be celebrating, though actions such as you propose are only causing fair-minded and sensitive people to lament what has happened to this program for national heritage species in the wild.
    Please give me a cause for celebration on the 40th anniversary of the act by adopting the NO ACTION alternative and exerting your authority to convince Custer National Forest officials to tear down that abominable fence that illegally keeps the Pryor Mountain mustangs from realizing their traditional, seasonal migrations that are guaranteed by the act, for long-realized by the wild horses both during 1971 and for many generations prior.
    As one who has directly observed the Pryor Mountain mustangs and intends to continue doing so as well as to fend for their higher, fairer population numbers and resource provision, I wish you a happy and progressive New Year.
    Craig C. Downer, AB, MS, PHD cand.
    P.O. Box 456, Minden, NV 89423-0456. Email:

  11. Erasing the Memory of Cloud the Stallion « Straight from the Horse's Heart Says:

    […] Help Protect the Pryor Wild Horses ( Rate this: Share this on behalf of the Horses:EmailPrintFacebookStumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  12. Lowri Says:

    I’m only 12 but I know that for a fact the number of mustangs in Montana is no where near to many. They are already struggling to keep their numbers up and yet you still let your greed get the better of you! Bolder is the only son of cloud and Echo is clouds only grandson. They are in the herd of 30 that you are going to kill. How could any man, woman ever harm any creature so magnificent and beautiful!! These horses deserve to be free and wild but thanks to you the only place they are going is extinction just like many other horse breeds and animals around the world. These horses are what captivate America, what make America, well America.But that doesn’t matter to you. No you only have eyes for the profit in it and that to all people who love horses and many others is SICK and WRONG!!!!
    where is your dignity?
    All i’m saying is don’t let greed get the better of you. Give the horses the chance to thrive on life just like we do. Because they deserve to be free. I mean what have they done to you?

  13. Brandy Lambert Says:

    When did it become okay for people to act in such a way? God put creatures here first and then he created us, we were to use them as companions or for food. How would BLM feel if as children, they were removed from their own homes; far, far away from the family that loves them? They ought to be ashamed of themselves for even thinking of removing those babies!

  14. Brian Phythian Says:

    I am not sure what I can do, but please email me any info at BPHYTHIAN@GMAIL.COM or sending any correspondence to Brian Phoenix Phythian
    10282 Meredith Drive
    Huntington Beach, CA 92646

  15. Rose Says:

    The BLM makes me sick. Their greed and inconsiderate treatment of their wards (e.g.the Pryor Horses) that you are supposed to protect, is clearly an abomination. If people are to judge by your very clear destructive and greedy motives and actions. There is but one conclusion. The BLM has over stepped it’s legal duties and made contradictory decisions of the continuance of the CLOUD herd.. For one moment in time BLM was considered to be an honorable position preserving forever the beauty and majestic herds on Pryor mountain. In the past Three years there has been much conspiracy and greed. Resulting in the decimation of the Pryor horses and elsewhere. BLM should and MUST separate itself from the horrific intentions noted by the Governments lies and failures to uphold the law. If BLM wishes to be viewed as a respected and integral part of the preservation of the wild horse herds. The fence MUST be removed. The herd MUST be left alone to self stabilize without INTERFERENCE from man. So in conclusion I respectfully request a return to the original purpose of BLM and the protection of these herds be fully reinstated and honored as the law requires. Otherwise it shall require a nation wide demand for your terminations and prosecutions for blatant disregard for the laws.

  16. Chris Posey Says:

    I agree with all responses and have written the BLM, President Obama, Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack. We need to keep the faith.

  17. Margaret Coulter Says:

    Please adopt the No Action Alternative for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. The yearly birth/death rate appears to be managing the herd size naturally. Taking up to 30 young horses above and beyond what happens naturally will eventually destroy the herd. Please preserve the herds for future generations to enjoy!

    My daughter and I are writing on to BLM, President Obama, Ken Salazar and our State Legislators.

  18. Lisa R Says:

    They shouldn’t remove any horses from this herd! They even say this by their own guidelines!

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