Sheldon and all the rest

398bf579bad4614ef552e1ba6fa46ab5A VERY fast post to bring y’all up to date.

Baby_001A bunch of time and resources were devoted to the Fallon Auction (McDermitt) horses. More time than we intended but when called on for the horses it is hard to say “no.” Hopefully much of the “drama” and “needs” have been met so that other projects can move into center stage. Many of those that said they would help with Sheldon have exhausted themselves and resources on the Fallon Auction as well.

Grijalva coming to PVC was great PR for the BLM horses. It was a great crowd and Grijalva was “good on his feet” with reporters. This was needed for BLM horses.

HOWEVER as press releases go out that have a celebrity name (Wendy Malick) and a Congressman in the spotlight the main stream press seems to be ignoring Sheldon… AGAIN.

Sheldon NWR is NOT BLM. Many people posting on social media still have it confused. Sheldon is Fish and Wildlife. Sheldon is “feral” horse eradication. Sheldon has a history that includes fertility experiments with no data collected on survival or effects to the herds, Sheldon horses historically are removed without public observation, Sheldon horses also routinely end up a sale auctions without fanfare in some “podunk” venue and disappear.

In MAY of 2013 Sheldon finally finalized an investigation into one of their contractors (all contractors were looked at) and found that 262 horses sent to that contractor over the course of the last THREE years and all horses can not be accounted for…. some even going to a supposed rodeo stock contractor that is NOT listed in any contractor list used for any accredited rodeo, nor do they even have a functioning phone number. One of the “adopters” that this “contractor” approved admits to taking horses to the sale barn because he was told he could do what he wanted with the horses.

IN MAY Sheldon put out a bid for contracts. They are claiming they spread it “far and wide” among the horse groups. While Wild Horse Education’s Laura Leigh was preparing for surgery she did hear from someone that Sheldon was seeking new contracts from the same gal that told Sheldon in NOVEMBER that there were issues with J&S Associates in Mississippi, but received absolutely NOTHING from Sheldon (if you know of anyone that has a rescue that received any notice from Sheldon would you let us know?).

As late as August 1 the breakdown of horses leaving Sheldon looked something like this: 120 to Carr’s, 40 to a rescue in Texas, 200 to a man in Montana…. it looked like the renewal of J&S might not happen. As late as August 15 Sheldon said they would consider all reasonable alternatives.

In the meantime Sheldon changed gears. It appears they plan to remove ALL the horses in a TWO year period (not the FIVE year period approved in the CCP). They increased numbers to 400 to be removed this year and a clean sweep to happen next year. AND the Montana contract did NOT go through.

So SHELDON now plans to send 252 horses to a contractor that can not account for all of the 262 horses he has taken in the last three years! And the all of the horses he took in the last three years were NOT even attempted to be “placed safe.” “You can do what you want with ’em,” seems to have been part of the “sales pitch.” JUST the horses going to this contractor will cost the tax payer (I think they forget that what they see as “their funding” is actually tax payer money) a whopping QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS.

 National Archives and Records Administration cir 1917-18

National Archives and Records Administration cir 1917-18

We are making a last ditch effort… however Sheldon is refusing to reduce the numbers removed and go back to the five year plan (we were told they are “feral,” in a manner that absolutely used the term like a dirty word). There is a claim that a special grant was received by National Fish and Wildlife and the money can only be used for two years. Sheldon is refusing to allow the Dufurina holding (permanent structure at Sheldon) to be used as staging for adopters and the funds used to have outside entities care, feed and screen adopters. In our conversation today it was apparent that those managing Sheldon have very little knowledge of horses and even less as to the reality of horse slaughter… a “sale barn” is not an adoption option.

They are claiming that they could “send the horses to auction” if there are no contractors and that J&S will “do better” because they changed some of the wording on the contract to require names and phone numbers of adopters. So RIGHT NOW Sheldon NWR will give J&S Associates over a quarter of a million dollars and 252 horses… even though their own investigation has shown they have failed to provide protections from slaughter in the past.

However they have announced “public viewing” (we are doubtful of meaningful observation) but if you want to go to Sheldon they will only accommodate the first ten people that get on the list.


We are still exploring all options. Why wont Sheldon slow it down? Take 200 this year and allow us to place 40? Let us as a country see what we can do for our “War Horses?”

We presented an option today… tomorrow we see what steps we must take… but tonight? Sadness fills the air for the horses America forgot.


We are still running all our other legal actions and have “eyes on the ground” in Sheldon. We need your support:


9 thoughts on “Sheldon and all the rest

  1. As I am Convinced the American Public know little to Nothing about the extermination of the Mustang… Using Tax Payer Dollars to fund theses senseless Death Round-ups…. I am Even More Convinced that Veterans Know Nothing About it. I am a Desert Storm Veteran. I was not aware of “War Horses” till Laura Leigh brought it to my attention. I am However convinced IF Veterans Knew that “A SOLDIER WAS LEFT BEHIND” IF This News received the kind of attention it deserves….FRONT PAGE NEWS, I believe There would be a public outcry. I watched an interview that said “During the Vietnam ERA There were 2 issues that had Calls that FLOODED the Whitehouse. 1. Stop the Vietnam War. 2. Protect and pass a law to make the Mustang the same as the Bald Eagle or the Bear… an endangered species, set aside Land just for the Mustangs…. Hence the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. If in the 1970’s they enacted Change Because of Public Awareness, Then We need to Make the Public aware again. God Bless You Laura Leigh and Thank You For Not giving up. Please Share this Information with a Veteran or Any Concerned Citizen… Let’s get Protection for our Beloved Mustangs.

  2. We do need a miracle; It does not make sense. A big money project is most likely at the root of this plan, I hope Laura Leigh is one of the ten on the list to observe. It is just so heartbreaking. Thank you for fighting for them,

  3. I was told in a previous conversation that Sheldon would welcome visitors as long as they were documented members of the press. They are being real hard asses about this Kristallnacht.

  4. rticle Today That Said That 10,000 PeOple Sent Faxes To Sally Jewell To Halt The Roundup There. The Sheldon Herd Has Not Been Forgotten. Good Knows How Many Emails Were Sent As Well. Your Alert Was All Over Facebook Being Signed And Shared. What More Can people Do? What Will It Take?

    • Sharon Brown post above is on to something. We need to go to Veterans FB pages and tell them that War Horses are REAL and are being “left behind”. One Million horses died in WWI. Our vets can help spread the word to the public because they STILL don’t understand what’s happening.

    • You bet they are. Why do advocates have to pay for rescuing “free” horses. They make no profit. KB make a profit. Why can’t rescues be “contractors” and get paid? 250K would go a long way.

  5. I sent this to Sheldon USFWSDear Brian,

    The Sheldon Range in essence is an area of critical habitat for its heritage wild horse herd.

    The removal and trafficking of the Sheldon wild horse heritage herd will result in the same trauma as other wild animals suffer when captured and transported and placed in close proximity to humans.

    By operation of Law the USFWS is required to either manage or file an ESA petition to maintain this herd inventory as a distinct population segments of a Candidate special status species that cannot be extinguished. It must be maintained on its native migratory habitat in sustainable genetic populations

    The Free Roaming wild horse and burro act is the only Congressional Act passed to protect a disappearing threatened special status species of Wildlife, BUT is MANAGED to limit herd’s migratory ranges. The migratory ranges are necessary and imperative habitat to the survival of distinct population segments that have been segregated between geographic regions for hundreds of years.

    BLM and USFWS neglects to amend their RMPs to ensure sufficient habitat ( ACECs) to conserve and maintain healthy distinct population segments. Both agencies are liable to manage Wild horse and Burro herd as a special status species candidate for ESA listing.

    The result has been waste and fraud of a public resource and National treasure. i.e Excerpt “ We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (the Services), announce a final policy for the evaluation of conservation efforts when making listing decisions (PECE) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). While the Act requires us to take into account all conservation efforts being made to protect a species, the policy identifies criteria we will use in determining whether formalized conservation efforts that have yet to be implemented or to show effectiveness contribute to making listing a species as threatened or endangered unnecessary. The policy applies to conservation efforts identified in conservation agreements, conservation plans, management plans, or similar documents developed by Federal agencies, State and local governments, Tribal governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals. DATES : This policy is effective April 28, 2003”.

    exceprts from Case 1984 Mt Legal v DOI 10th Circuit

    740 F.2d 792

    21 ERC 1759, 14 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,687

    In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is essentially identical to the Protection of Bald and Golden Eagles Act. 16 U.S.C. Secs. 668-668(d) (1982). The Bald and Golden Eagles Act prohibits possession, commerce, killing or other activities with reference to the bald and golden eagle, whether dead or alive, their eggs and nests, with both criminal and civil penalties for violation. The Act is absolute in its terms except that there is a provision for obtaining a permit from the Secretary of Interior to destroy or remove eagles that are destroying lifestock or agricultural crops. Id. Sec. 668(a). This ameliorative provision is essentially identical to the ameliorative provision of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1334 (1982). Under some circumstances, even the Secretary may not issue a permit for the taking of eagles even if they do damage to animals and crops. See 50 C.F.R. Sec. 22.23(c) (1983).


    There are numerous other similar statutes and regulations particularly relating to endangered species, 16 U.S.C. Secs. 1531-1543 (1982), some of which notoriously do damage to domesticated livestock and agricultural crops. The list of endangered species includes the Grizzly Bear, San Joaquin Fox, Jaguarundi, Ocelot, Florida Panther, Utah Prairie Dog, Red Wolf, and Grey Wolf. 50 C.F.R. Sec. 17.11 (1983). In these endangered species statutes, there is no provision, with the exception of the Grizzly Bear, to remove or destroy the endangered animals if they do damage to livestock. See 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1539 (1982); 50 C.F.R. Secs. 17.1 to 17.40.


    It is important to set forth the detailed parallels in other government statutes and regulations in order to understand what is at stake in this case. Notwithstanding the court’s implied suggestion to the contrary, the horses and burros regulated under this Act are legally wild in the same sense that any other “wild” animal is wild. The Act declares them to be so. 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(b); see also 1971 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News at 2149, 2153.


    It is conceded that the basic stock of wild horses and burros were on the checkerboard lands before the ranchers in this action obtained these lands. The fact that they were once domesticated and that the herds have been supplemented by other animals which were once domesticated is totally irrelevant. There is no authority whatever for suggesting that Congress cannot declare free roaming, unclaimed animals to be “wild.” The beginning point for an analysis of the issues in this case is the fact that the Act is a scheme designed to regulate wild animals just as all the other acts regulate animals, birds, and insects not owned by someone. Thus, to sustain this attack on the Wild Horses and Burros Act (at least so far as it is based on the notion of fifth amendment taking) is to fundamentally undermine all of the environmental protection schemes which Congress and state legislatures in their wisdom may undertake to enact.


    Notwithstanding the court’s contrary assertion, there is to my mind nothing legally unique about this Act. What the court has said about the federal government’s relationship to the wild horses and burros may be equally said about the wild animals regulated by the acts set forth above.

    Sincerely yours,

    Kathleen Hayden

    POB 236, Santa Ysabel, Ca. 92070

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