Official Records Expose Fraudulent Nature of BLM Excuses for Carson City Wild Horse Capture as Humane Society of U.S. Calls for Release of Mustangs

Official Records Expose Fraudulent Nature of BLM Excuses for Carson City Wild Horse Capture as Humane Society of U.S. Calls for Release of Mustangs

Carson City, Nevada – March 6, 2013 – Today, amidst calls by the Humane Society of the U.S (HSUS) for the release of a small family of wild horses captured by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last week near Carson City, frustrated community members released information documenting the government’s false claims about the reasons for the removal of the horses.

Despite refusing to provide any documentation, the BLM issued a press release asserting that it removed the wild horses from the Deer Run Road area near Carson City because, “In the past two years, four horses have been struck and killed by vehicles.” The agency is presently stating that the horses were removed because they were outside the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area, their federally-designated range.

However, information obtained by local residents from the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), the local Sheriff Department and the BLM itself documents the following:

  • No accidents involving horses have been reported in the past two years in the area where the wild horse band lived. (Two incidents – one vehicle accident and one injured horse – were reported in the area in 2010. However, no safety measures were implemented and no additional incidents involving horses have been reported since.)
  • Public safety complaints related to only one stallion and his colt who were both removed by the BLM in or before August 2012.
  • No complaints were ever received regarding the horses removed by the BLM last week.
  • Deer Run Road (Rt. 513), the area where the horses visited, is actually inside the designated Herd Management Area according to the BLM GeoCommunicator mapping system.

This week, the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Division Chief, Joan Guilfoyle, escalated the issue by restating the demonstrably false claims at a national meeting. Guilfoyle stated that the Deer Run herd, which has been enjoyed by the community for decades, was removed due to complaints the agency received “in the last couple of months.” She further dismissed the opposition of scores of local neighbors to the removal of the horses instead claiming that opposition came from “outside parties.”

Approximately 40-50 community members – including the mayor of Carson City, a county supervisor and a state senator – pleaded with the BLM to leave the horses in place, offering a host of solutions to leave the horse family on the range. Instead of working with the community, the BLM quickly rejected all solutions and removed the horses. The horses are currently being held at the Carson City Prison.

“The BLM’s unwillingness to take reasonable steps to keep this small wild horse family free on the range is telling,” said Deniz Bolbol, communications director for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “This agency is hell bent on removing wild horses from their homes on the range, despite the costs to taxpayers, local communities and to the horses themselves.”

“We remain heartbroken that the BLM has violated the goodwill spirit in our community by callously removing these beloved horses from their home,” said Annie Jantzen, a local community organizer. “The fact that the agency has lied about the reason for removing the horses only adds insult to injury.”

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come.