THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: August 27th, 2022
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the fifteenth edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of August 27th, 2022
Photograph by Carol Walker
Bible Springs Roundup Draws to a Close
The Blawn Wash and Bible Springs roundup concluded on August 20th after a two-week helicopter drive. According to an official report, the BLM was cut short of their targeted removal number of 410 wild horses, instead rounding up 305 animals. WBF is encouraged to hear that more than 100 wild horses, who were destined to be stripped of their freedom, were able to avoid the helicopters for now. Thankfully, no horses were injured during this roundup and there was only one euthanasia due to supposed blindness.
The removed horses have been shipped to the Axtell Off-Range Holding Facility in Utah where they will remain in crowded, unsanitary pens until, WBF hopes, they are adopted by reliable buyers. Unfortunately, not all wild horses who are rounded up are lucky enough to be given a safe and caring home. Many end up in neglectful hands or are cruelly abandoned at kill pens; destined for the slaughter pipeline. Some horses in holding may never see outside of the facility grounds.
According to first-hand accounts of wild horse advocates on the scene, the foaling season was not yet over in this HMA and there were several newborn foals and heavily pregnant mares involved in this roundup. We at WBF believe that these types of roundups should not occur during foaling season or when there are very young foals on the ground. The high temperatures of the summer months paired with exhaustion from being run for miles across the range can cause extreme injuries, potentially leading to fatality.
Fortunately, the contractors responsible for this roundup seemed to follow most animal welfare policies according to witnesses, resulting in a safer roundup for all involved. However, this is not usually the case for most helicopter roundups that HMAs across the country face. We at WBF hope that helicopter use will become an antiquated operation and that developments of new, humane management practices will take their place.
Updates on the Triple B Roundup
In the Triple B HMA outside of Ely, Nevada, one of the largest and deadliest roundups so far this year wraps up. While the helicopter roundup, removal, and shipping is now over after passing the 40-day mark, the BLM will begin implementing fertility control to 50 mares who will be released back into the wild.
There are currently an estimated 3,475 wild horses living free in this HMA. The BLM claims that the Appropriate Management Level for this herd is 482-821, meaning that their removal goal is nearly 2,000 wild horses. This incredible population of horses will now be subject to overcrowded holding facilities while the remaining horses on the range will struggle to keep up with population stability on over 1,230,000 acres of land.
Not only is this extravagant number of captured horses likely to suffer unhealthy conditions in holding, but the mares released will also be treated with a potentially irreversible contraceptive. Studies show that GonaCon, the fertility control vaccine the BLM has announced they will be using in this HMA, is reported in some instances to cause ovaries to shrivel in mares and potential sterilization.
According to an official BLM report, 1,897 horses have been rounded up in this HMA as of August 25th. Only 25 stallions have been released, with the remaining 1,849 horses being shipped to Indian Lakes Off-Range Holding Facility and Sutherland Holding Facility. Unfortunately, 23 horses have lost their lives due to this unnecessarily dangerous roundup.
We at WBF urge the BLM to ground their helicopters and reconsider their wild horse and burro management practices. We will not stop until no wild horse has to fear the descending whirl of helicopter blades as they flee away from their lifelong home.
WBF’s Short Story Contest on EquiMed
We would like to thank EQUIMED for sharing our 2nd Annual Short Story Competition in their online publication this week!
WBF is delighted to be able to reach more equine-loving children and teens through the horse health and wellness based news source.
You can read the full press release here!
This Week’s Call To Action
Submit a Public Comment on the Roberts Mountain Complex Environmental Assessment
This week, the BLM announced the Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the Roberts Mountain, Fish Creek, and Whistler Mountain HMAs located in Eureka County, Nevada.
Outlined in this 10-year assessment was a plan to maintain an AML of 110-184 wild horses by the methods of roundup, removal, and fertility control.
We want to present the BLM with informed alternatives to helicopter roundups and urge them to use only safe, reversible fertility control methods. The management of each HMA individually is essential in advocating for wild horses as a whole.
The review will be available for public comment until September 20th, 2022.
Comments may be submitted using three different methods:
Through the BLM’s ePlanning web page
via email to
or in writing by mailing your comment letter to
Bureau of Land Management,
Attention: Jon Sherve, Field Manager,
50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820.
Photograph by Carol Walker
Roundup of Utah’s Frisco HMA to Begin This Week
Beginning Monday, August 29th, the BLM will round up approximately 100 wild horses from the Frisco HMA in southwestern Utah. The helicopter gather is scheduled to last five days over the course of next week.
The current population of this herd is 137 wild horses, an already extremely low number for a wild horse herd. According to the BLM, the Appropriate Management Level is a shocking 30-60 animals on nearly 50,000 acres of public land. This is completely genetically unsustainable for a wild horse herd and will potentially lead to the complete eradication of the wild horses in this herd management area.
We at WBF believe the Bureau of Land Management’s AMLs are not scientifically proven and favor the commercial livestock grazers that benefit from public land usage. These low AMLs will only damage the wild horse population, and in turn, cost taxpayers thousands of dollars while being imprisoned in holding facilities.
Mackenzie Foy & Whisper of the Wild; PC: Kimerlee Curyl
WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest’s Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader: Mackenzie Foy
Joining our wonderful troop of equine-loving celebrity judges for the second year is actress and WBF ambassador, Mackenzie Foy!
One of Hollywood’s most exciting young actresses, Mackenzie stars as Jo in the Disney+ feature film “Black Beauty ”, written, directed, and edited by WBF founder and filmmaker, Ashley Avis. Her time filming “Black Beauty ” sparked a passion for horses. She gained a deep admiration for the animals and learned about the challenges they face. During the creation of Black Beauty, Mackenzie adopted her first horse named Don who she has created a wonderful connection with over the years.
This summer Mackenzie welcomed the newest horse into her life, WBF rescue “Whisper of the Wild”. Upon hearing Whisper’s touching rescue story, Mackenzie felt an instant connection. You can read Whisper’s full story here! She adopted Whisper in June and has been working alongside her during rehabilitation after her stressful experiences in the kill pen.
Some of Mackenzie’s other notable film roles include Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”, the animated film “The Little Prince”, and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” where she garnered worldwide recognition as Renesmee.
We are so proud to have Mackenzie as a Legacy Ambassador for The Wild Beauty Foundation and thank her for lending her voice to our Short Story Contest again this year!
Start writing your stories now!
The deadline to enter is October 31st, 2022 so be sure to get your stories in by then so they can be considered by our wonderful panel of judges. To learn more about the short story contest or submit your story, visit our website!
Welcome Scott Beckstead to the WBF Team
The Wild Beauty Foundation is pleased to welcome Scott Beckstead to the WBF team as Program Director, overseeing WBF’s Wild Horse Week Educational Program.
Beckstead has always been passionate about animal welfare, leading animal protection to play a significant role in his professional career. He gained experience in Animal Law while owning his own law firm from 1994-2008 and now teaches the subject at the University of Oregon College of Law and Willamette University College of Law.
Beckstead has assumed positions with the Humane Society, and more recently Animal Wellness Action and Center for A Humane Economy, where he serves as their director of campaigns.
“A top priority for me is and always will be saving horses both wild and domestic from cruelty, abuse, and slaughter,” Beckstead affirms.
We are glad to have Scott on our team, and look forward to his contributions as we bring Wild Horse Week to schools around the country this spring!
Photograph by Sandy Sharkey
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
Five wild horses wade in a waterhole, beautifully captured by Sandy Sharkey on her recent trip to Wyoming.
This is the life every wild horse deserves.
A Quote to Graze On
“Choose only one master – nature”
Listen to nature all around you and you will feel its influence in your soul.
Let the wild world be your guide.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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