ISPMB Needs Our Help

May 19, 2010

A message from Karen Sussman of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros:


As many of you know, ISPMB has been a leader in the field of wild horse and burro protection since our inception in 1960. Along with our first president, Wild Horse Annie, we were instrumental in getting federal legislation passed in 1971 – otherwise there would be no wild horses left on public lands today.

Well just as important, ISPMB is conducting research on our four herds creating a model for wild horse management – something sorely needed since it has been 39 years that the Act passed without BLM knowing much about herd behaviors. Our findings show that we may now be facing losing the extraordinary wisdom that was so inherent in the wild horse herds. This wisdom kept a very powerful social order intact with healthy behavioral modeling passed on to future generations. The loss of this wise modeling has caused the herds to double their fertility rates.

How did this happen? It has happened over the past twenty years since BLM went from gate cuts to selective removal. When BLM took all the horses that they wanted with gate cuts regardless of age, they still left many band structures intact that were never rounded up. With selective removal, BLM captures the entire herd or as many as they can and they separate the stallions from their harems and remove the five and under horses for the adoption program releasing all horses over the age of five. As the older horses are released, many of the older stallions never reclaim their mares because of the younger aged stallions taking advantage of an opportunity to steal mares. Often stallions as young as six will take mares. If that six year old stallion had a mentor who was only six when he was born, the educational process deteriorates. You can see over a period of 20 years how the mentoring and education process has been threatened. Consequently, you see younger and younger mares getting pregnant by younger and younger stallions.

How do we know this! ISPMB has been studying herd behavior now for eleven years with our own herds. We were fortunate and did not even know in the beginning that we acquired two of the healthiest herds left in our country – the White Sands and Gila herds. Neither herd had been gathered in decades of time leaving their social structures intact. We have the same stallions in charge of their mares now for eleven years. It did not become apparent to us until we acquired our third herd (Catnip) that we were observing truly the most natural and healthy behaviors in wild horse herds. The Catnip herd displays all the behaviors of horses that have suffered constant removals as the US Fish and Wildlife Agency had planned the elimination of wild horses from Sheldon Wildlife Refuge where they originated.

We are at the pinnacle of our studies here in South Dakota. We will have Princeton University coming in June to collaborate with us on our behavioral studies. This is extremely exciting as ISPMB begins a new study – how to infuse healthy behavioral modeling in herds that have suffered from the ongoing devastation of their harem structures.


I didn’t think I would ever have to say this; but unless we get funding, ISPMB may have to disperse it herds. This would mean the end of our studies and the end of our ability to stop the helicopter roundups on public lands. Yes, with our studies, we believe we have enough evidence to show that helicopter round ups are destroying the very nature of our wild horses on public lands. ISPMB has one of the longest ongoing studies on wild horses that have remained intact without human intrusions. Our studies are creating the perfect model for management of wild horses on public lands. We have come off a very cold winter, snow continuing as of last week and now the cold rains. We are feeding three of our herds.


If everyone on this list gave just $5.00, we would have enough hay for a month! If you could pledge monthly, we would have enough funding to keep our project going forever! Statistics show that only 3% of people respond to requests! We hope this time that we will hear from everyone. The future of all wild horses depends upon your call to action.



Any Donation is Appreciated!

The website address:

A Message from Michael Blake, Author of “Dances With Wolves

By the late 1890’s America had slaughtered more than twenty million Buffalo. A few devoted citizens managed to save roughly five hundred. In doing so, those incredible animals were saved from leaving the earth.

Today, America’s Wild Horses, primary resources in making America a major country in this world, are being captured, killed and slaughtered by corrupt, money-hungry American agencies. Removing them from life on earth is moving faster than ever.

Karen Sussman, like the few who rescued Buffalo, has devoted herself and her organization (ISPMB) to saving Wild Horses from extinction. At present she is maintaining more than five-hundred magnificent creatures that were saved from death…but keeping them alive with food alone is an increasing struggle. Whether rich or poor, any individuals who can donate even a few dollars to help eliminate loss of these lives will be significant. Destruction of the atmosphere, oceans, land and even Wild Horses is moving humanity closer to its own removal.

Any donation, even from those of us currently jobless, will represent standing up not just for ourselves, but for the Creator who brought the marvelous and deeply connected life to this tiny planet.

(As many of you know, Karen Sussman is also the one that helped me facilitate the placement of El Mariachi and Hope into Michael Blake’s care. Please help her maintain her amazing herds and continue her important work if you can – thank you).


The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Will Conduct Public Workshop and Meeting in June in Denver.

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a public workshop and hold a regular meeting in June at a two-day event in Denver. The workshop on Monday, June 14, will provide the public with a unique opportunity to express their views, comments, and suggestions regarding Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s wild horse initiative, which he and BLM Director Bob Abbey announced last October. The Board will hold a regular meeting on wild horse management issues on Tuesday, June 15.

The public workshop and the Board meeting will take place in Denver, Colorado, at the Magnolia Hotel, 818 17th Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202. The hours of the Monday workshop are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time; the Tuesday Board meeting is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time. The hotel’s phone number for reservations is 303-607-9000. The business agendas for the public workshop and Board meeting can be found on page 26990 of the Thursday, May 13 Federal Register (

On Monday, June 14, the public will be able to provide feedback and input concerning Secretary Salazar’s initiative, the details of which can be accessed at the BLM’s Website (; the specific Web address is

On Tuesday, June 15, the public may address the Advisory Board at an appropriate point in the agenda, which is expected to be about 3 p.m., local time. Individuals who want to make a statement should register with the BLM by noon on the day of the meeting at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings. Speakers, who should address the specific wild horse and burro-related topics listed on the agenda, must submit a written statement of their comments, which may be sent electronically to the BLM by accessing the following Web address: Alternatively, comments may be mailed to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147. Written comments pertaining to the Advisory Board meeting should be submitted no later than close of business June 7, 2010.

For additional information about the meeting, please contact Ramona DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. DeLorme at any time by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. This law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. The BLM manages about 37,000 wild horses and burros that roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states; the agency also feeds and cares for more than 35,000 horses and burros that are maintained in short-term corrals and long-term Midwestern pastures.

The Advisory Board meets at least twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

Please, if you can attend this meeting, do so. It’s important that we have as many people show up for this workshop as possible.

Pryor Mountain wild horses of Montana

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