What's New: Nevada’s Virginia Range

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Nevada’s Virginia Range’

How a donation from Meredith helps us rescue wild horses and burros


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Just this year, AWHC’s Rescue Fund has helped save dozens of lives, from assisting foals on Nevada’s Virginia Range to saving the victims of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) failed Adoption Incentive Program from kill pens. 

Day in and day out we fight to protect wild horses and burros — whether that be through our rescue fund, in the courts, on the Hill, or in the field. None of this would be possible without supporters like you. Chip in to our Rescue Fund to help us continue saving the lives of wild horses and burros.

We couldn’t have helped these lucky horses and burros without your generosity, so we wanted to share with you some of the recent rescues we financially supported:


From left to right: Hazel (she’s gotten so big!) and her roommate 

You might remember Hazel from when we shared her story with you on April Foals Day!

She was alone, separated from her family, and when Least Resistance Training Concepts team members were unable to locate Hazel’s mom, they got permission from Wild Horse Connection Range Management to take Hazel to LBL Equine Rescue

After clearing some medical hurdles, we are so excited to tell you that Hazel is thriving! She is healthy and is getting stronger every single day! She even goes on walks twice a day with LBL Equine Rescue team members, who all say she is quite the fighter and a true spitfire! 

Now, Hazel can be found cuddling with her two new roommates and playing in their enclosure, which we’ve equipped with rubber mats, thanks to your support through our Rescue Fund. 

It’s stories like these that make what we do all the more worth it, Meredith. Thanks to your donations, we were able to play a hand in saving Hazel’s life. Your generosity provides us with the means to support the wonderful local volunteers and groups who work night and day to protect the Virginia Range horses in Nevada. If you can, please help us save more lives like Hazel’s by donating to our rescue fund today!


The Roan Filly and Her Friend

Back in April, we teamed up with wild horse sanctuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR) to rescue a roan BLM-branded filly from a Texas kill pen. This beautiful youngster was extremely skinny, in poor health, and was clinging to her friend, a domestic filly. 

We promptly rescued both of them, and are excited to share that they arrived safe and sound at MCR. While they are in need of a lot of TLC, the caring staff at MCR will nurse them back to health in no time! Please help ensure we have the funds to continue helping organizations like MCR rescue mustangs in need.


The Victims of the Adoption Incentive Program

As part of our investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), we partnered up with Evanescent Mustang Rescue to save the lives of over 30 wild horses and burros who were dumped at kill pens across the country. 

Most recently, with your help, we funded the rescue of 12 burros from a kill pen in Oklahoma as well as 10 unhandled mustangs from a kill pen in Colorado. All of the burros and horses have found homes and even better — three horses and four burros are going to a place we like to call “horsey heaven” — an AWHC board member’s sanctuary, Freedom Reigns! 

These animals are symbols of the failure of the AIP. When AWHC staff investigated, it was discovered that all 12 burros were adopted by the same family and were dumped at the kill pen as soon as the family received their second payment of $500. But thanks to your generous support, they get a second chance at life. Donate today to help us continue saving the lives of wild horses and burros!


Your generous support for our Rescue Fund saves lives. Please help us continue this work by making a donation to our Rescue Fund today.


Thank you, 

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

The wild horses of the Surprise Complex need you to speak up


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Speak Up for the Wild Horses and Burros of the Surprise Complex on the California-Nevada Border

Once again, the BLM’s reliance on unscientific “Appropriate Management Levels” for wild horses has set the stage for the roundup and removal of over 1,000 mustangs that call Nevada’s Surprise Complex home. What’s worse, the BLM “doesn’t manage” for wild burros in this area, so every burro living there will be captured and removed as well. The BLM’s goal of leaving only 283 mustangs in the Complex — just one horse for every 1,400 acres — would open even more land to the thousands of sheep and cows allowed to graze on public lands in the area.

This means once more, we need to speak up for a better way: Replacing brutal and inhumane helicopter roundups and cruel sterilization procedures with humane and proven fertility control methods.

Will you speak up for the Surprise Complex horses and burros today? Submit a public comment advocating for use of the PZP birth control vaccine and revising the plan that favors commercial livestock over federally-protected wild horses and burros. >> Take Action <<

One Nevada Roundup Nears End, Another Set to Begin

Since before the New Year, AWHC’s Field Representative has been onsite for the vast majority of the roundup and removal of wild horses from the Eagle Complex outside of Panaca, Nevada. Braving the frigid winter elements and grueling days, he has been the only member of the public on the ground to document the daily operations and bring the news to you. As is routine, the BLM sometimes keeps public observers so far from the capture site that documenting what’s happening is close to impossible. At the Eagle roundup, the BLM has also prevented daily observation of temporary holding pens, making it dififcult to assess the condition of the just-captured horses in a roundup that has had an unusually high number of deaths. 

This roundup is the third time in four years that the BLM is removing wild horses from the Complex. At the time of this email, 872 wild horses have been captured in the current roundup and 22 have lost their lives. >> Read the Report <<

Here are a few heartbreaking images from the operation:

Once the Eagle roundup is over, BLM-contracted helicopters will move on to the neighboring Silver King HMA beginning on or about February 5. This HMA consists of 574,962 acres of public land and is currently home to just 343 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. The BLM wants the public to believe that this nearly 900-square-mile habitat can only support 60-128 horses and it intends to permanently remove up to 258 of these federally protected animals from their homes on our public lands. This one roundup of a wild horse population that is clearly not overpopulated could cost taxpayers more than $14 million over the lives of the horses removed.

Our field representative will be onsite at the Silver King roundup to witness, document and bring you the latest on this unjust system that we are all working so hard to change.

Records Reveal Veterinarians Didn’t Back Plan to Brutally Sterilize Wild Mares

One of the more egregious plans the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released over the last several years for the “management” of wild horses is the proposed surgical sterilization procedure called ovariectomy via colpotomy.

This outdated procedure is a blind surgery in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a mare’s abdominal cavity through an incision in the vaginal wall, manually locates the ovaries, then twists severs and removes them using a rod-like tool with a chain on the end. The surgery is outdated, inhumane and dangerous, and will result in pain, suffering, and potentially life-threatening complications for wild mares.

Despite multiple lawsuits, federal injunctions, and overwhelming congressional and public opposition, the BLM continues to push this option, culminating in its most recent decision to move forward with conducting this procedure on wild mares from Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area (which AWHC promptly sued to stop). Throughout it all, the agency continues to say that veterinarians are in support of the procedure, though recently obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) tell a different story. >> Read More <<

Meet the Mustang: Rapunzel

AWHC operates the world’s largest humane fertility control program for wild horses in the world on Nevada’s Virginia Range. And as such, the team of darters and documenters have come to know many of the 3,000 mustangs that are part of the program!

In our newest series, the volunteers who make this program a success will introduce you to the mustangs they have spent time with on the range, often watching them grow up. First in this series is the story of Rapunzel, written by Deb Sutherland, a volunteer who had the pleasure of watching this beautiful mustang take her very first steps in the wild. >> Read More <<


An update


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Great news: our end of year fundraising totals are in, and thanks to your incredible support, we were able to reach our $125,000 goal and UNLOCK our donor match!  Your support will make an enormous difference for wild horses and burros as we launch our ambitious 2021 agenda.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we know we can always count on you to lobby your elected officials, support our critical legal work, and raise awareness across the country about the plight of America’s magnificent wild horses and burros. This is a tough fight, but this movement has stood up to the challenge over and over again and we’ll do it again in 2021. Please read on for a recap of the 2020 accomplishments that we’ll build on and a preview of what your generosity will allow us to do this year! 

Strengthened Political Support & Made History

We teamed up with our coalition partners and worked with members of Congress to introduce the first pro-wild horse legislation in over a decade. Passed by the House of Representatives, the bipartisan wild horse protection amendment would require the BLM to implement PZP fertility control to manage wild herds humanely on public lands. Although the final spending bill did not include the House-passed amendment, it did include strong fertility control language as well as other pro-horse provisions — a sign that Congress is well aware of our growing grassroots strength and increasing support on Capitol Hill for our cause. We have an incredible opportunity this year to make real change with the nomination of Debra Haaland as Secretary of the Interior and the continued leadership of Rep. Raul Grijalva as Chair of the Natural Resources Committee. Both are wild horse and burro champions who are committed to protecting these beloved animals and reforming the broken federal wild horse and burro management program.

Filed Suit to Protect Wild Mares

The day after the roundup ended in Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area, our legal team filed suit to stop the BLM from conducting barbaric sterilization surgeries on many of the just-captured wild mares. This is our third legal action against the BLM for plans to conduct the risky and invasive “ovariectomy via colpotomy” procedure, and we’ve successfully held the agency off since 2016! Joining us as a plaintiff in the latest lawsuit is Utahn Rob Hammer, who has extensive knowledge of the Confusion wild horses and the public land area where they live. In 2021, we’ll continue to drive this case in the courts while we also work with Congress and the administration to eliminate this brutal surgery as an option for the management of our wild horses and burros, once and for all.

Created Accountability for BLM Roundup Abuse 

While the COVID-19 pandemic made traveling much more difficult in 2020, we continued to address roundup abuse by sending humane observers to nearly every one of the many helicopter roundups conducted by the BLM and the Forest Service last year. This year we took a step beyond documenting roundups by launching an initiative to create a mechanism for enforcing the BLM’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program standards, which the agency routinely violates. We’ve teamed up with the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard University Law School to develop a rulemaking petition to strengthen the BLM’s animal welfare guidelines and turn them into legally-enforceable regulations. The petition will be ready for submission to the new Administration this year. If it is not acted upon, we will have the option of litigating, so please stay tuned!

Proved Humane Management is Possible

Our in-the-wild management program reached new heights in 2020. Not only were we able to grant funds to boots-on-the-ground organizations in Arizona and Colorado to support their fertility control programs, we also achieved an unprecedented milestone in our own fertility control program in Nevada’s Virginia Range. Last month, our volunteers and staff surpassed 3,000 treatments administered to mares in less than two years, making this the largest free-roaming horse fertility control program in the world, according to the Science and Conservation Center! Just last week, the Deseret News — Utah’s second-largest newspaper — published a feature highlighting the success of our program. In 2021, we will continue to support local groups managing their herds, expand our fertility control program in the greater Reno area, and we’re working to expand our fertility control efforts to new herds in the West!

Launched Habitat Acquisition Project

We officially launched the pilot project for the American Wild Horse Conservancy, our new land trust, in 2020. The inaugural effort focuses on securing habitat for the famed Fish Springs Wild Horses who live on BLM and private land in the Gardnerville, Nevada area. The Conservancy overall will focus on critical land acquisition to secure key habitat for wild horses, grazing lease buyouts and compensation for reduced or non-use of grazing permits, and range improvements to improve the quality and quantity of habitat available for wild horses. We can’t wait to expand this innovative program in the coming year!

We have a lot of work to do, but together, we’ll make real progress for our cherished wild horses and burros in 2021. So stay ready, stay safe, and stay tuned!

With Gratitude,

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

Donate today and help save a foal’s life (match expires TONIGHT!)


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

As many of you know, we’re in the midst of foaling season. That’s when pregnant mares welcome the newest additions to their families and herds to the world.

But with the excitement of welcoming a new life into the world comes risk and danger.

With AWHC volunteer fertility control darters in the field every day in Nevada’s Virginia Range, our team is often the first responder to foals in need. Working through a local coalition of organizations, orphaned and injured foals are rescued, stabilized, provided veterinary care, and nursed back to health so they can be adopted into forever homes.

For the last several years, AWHC has been proud to support the local effort through our foal rescue fund. This year, we’re providing foal rescue kits to rescue volunteers so they have everything they need to save these innocent babies’ lives. Our rescue fund also assists with veterinary bills, care and transportation of foals to sanctuary/training facilities.

This #GivingTuesdayNow I’m personally asking if you will make a matched donation of $20.20 or more to help purchase foal rescue kits and provide other support for volunteers to use in the 2020 foaling season — happening now. By donating, you double the resources available to save these precious foals.

Our foal kits are small, compact, easy to carry into the field — Because when a foal is hurt, the difference between recovery and not making it can be a matter of hours, if not minutes.

Inside each are essential emergency supplies, including but not limited to: disinfectant, colostrum (formula) and electrolytes to help stabilize the foal, bandages to cover any exposed wounds, blankets for foals in shock or for transport, and medical equipment in the event volunteers need to perform life-saving care.

These kits have all the things we need in a really organized way. We can bandage [foals] up quickly and prepare to get them to a vet ASAP. Before we had these kits, my bags were a mish-mash [of supplies]. I would have to dump everything out on the range to find what I needed, these kits make it easy and it’s really great for our entire team, especially when time is not on our side.”

– Tracy Wilson, rescue volunteer & member of AWHC fertility control team

The local volunteers work incredibly hard. And I want to ensure this foaling season that they have every resource at their disposal when crisis strikes so they can save these foals and get them the care they need to heal, recover, and find their forever homes.

That’s why, as important as it is for us to hit tonight’s fundraising goal, I am writing to you asking if you will give $20.20 or more, if you are in a position to do so, so we can keep the foal rescue kits stocked and ready to go. If you give before midnight, your impact will be doubled.

Donate (2x!)


How $30 can make all the difference in the life of a wild horse


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Great news! — We’re nearly 1/3rd of the way to our $100,000 End of Year goal (which we have to hit in order for all donations to be matched).

But before we ask you to make a donation ahead of our deadline tomorrow night, we wanted to give you a glimpse of where this donation will be going.

In Nevada’s Virginia Range, AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses and burros. The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’.

No need for roundups, expensive and crowded holding corrals, or risky sterilization surgeries. And do you want to know how much it costs for a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine?


Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup, long-term holding, and contractor fees involved in the removal of a single horse.

Let alone the $5 BILLION figure the Acting Director of the BLM is citing as the cost of a plan to round up over 100,000 horses from public lands over the next decade.

If every single one of you gave $30, we would unlock our $100,000 match, hit our End of Year goal, and give our darters in Nevada the resources they need to prevent horses from being removed by using this safe and proven vaccine.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

Donate (X2!)