Guest Column: BLM Contractor Speaks Out

By Sue Cattoor, Cattoor Livestock Roundups,  Photos by Terry Fitch, Katie Fite
Dear Steve,

I know the damage has already been done and that your headlines have already accomplished what you wanted but I am going to ask you to print what I have written here because your two articles contains many statements that are simply not the truth. I am asking you to print all of it not just bits and pieces.

This wild horse issue is so very controversial. It is imperative that you clearly understand the situations we were faced with and the actions we took. It is imperative that you understand the dynamics of these areas. So first lets look at the areas. The BLM web site has a good map of the three HMA’s and of the three different pastures that make up the one Owhyee HMA. The Owhyee HMA consists of three separate pastures – wild horses live in each pasture but the majority of the wild horses were and still are in the Star Ridge Pasture. There are fences between these pastures and open gates in the fences – the wild horses could – but appeared not to be moving between the different pastures.

I never ever, as you say, acknowledged there was plenty of water in this Star Ridge pasture of the Owhyee HMA. I distinctly remember saying that the water sources were almost dried up and that the only other water was the river. Then you were correct that I said the river was like a miniature grand canyon and that there were other access trails but that the wild horses were using this main steep trail. I never said multiple trails and I certainly never said any wild horses were kept in pastures far away. That is such a false statement. I said other wild horses lived in the ajoining pastures.

When you say Judge Larry Hicks imposed a temporary injunction that had stopped the agency from capturing horses after one day in which 12 horses died after being run eight miles in more than 100 degree July Nevada desert heat. All of that statement is false. First of all capture operations took place early in the morning when it was quite cool. Second we do not run the wild horses nor do we stampede them – they are herded towards the trap as is described on my web site. The first group of wild horses that were corralled came less than ½ mile. The pilot found this group of wild horses between two dried up seeps looking for water. In this group were 5 of the very dehydrated animals that later died or had to be euthanized. The second group were all together above the trap area approximately 5 miles from the trap. Third Dave and the BLM COR suspended all gather operations on Sunday morning July 11th. The BLM brought in water trucks and began to haul water up to one of the reservoirs in this Star Ridge pasture. We brought in our other gather crew from Oregon with more corral panels and water tanks. Dave and Chad flew several hours assessing the conditions in each of the three pastures.

This is also the day that they went to the river to talk to the campers and found and moved the wild horses that were up in the ledges. Then later went back and humanely euthanized the other two wild horses.

Then the BLM quickly established a review committee that came out to evaluate the situation and decide on the best way to proceed. Everyday from Monday until we were able to resume gather operations on Friday Dave and Chad flew the areas.

Water was hauled all day long everyday to that reservoir on Star Ridge and later in the week when Dave and Chad found another seep in the Desert pasture where the wild horses were out of water and the water trucks could get to this seep water was also hauled there. They did herd some of the wild horses in the Star Ridge pasture to the river. This group of wild horses had never been down that trail to water. They had been going to water at some of the other ponds on top that were now dry. They also herded wild horses in the Desert pasture towards the Desert Reservoir and one band that was staying on another dried up seep was moved into the Chimney pasture and to the Desert Reservoirs. This group was on the way south end of Desert pasture.

I did not say the bulk of the wild horses were three pastures away. I specifically said the bulk of the wild horses were in the Star Ridge Pasture.

I certainly did not say the pocket of possible stragglers from the helicopter chase were discovered after the helicopter pilot and her husband flew over to speak with the campers they had seen along the river. What I said was when they went to talk to the campers they saw the group of wild horses ledged up on the rocks on the north side of the river.

I also need to clarify another item. The BLM does not lease the ranchers property when we do a roundup. We, the contractor work out the agreements with the ranchers. Just as anyone else would to go across or use private land.

Then there is

the paragraph about the horses being kept by BLM in drought conditions on three pastures miles away from the river while they awaited capture as the waters flowed freely within driving distance. That statement is completely false.

You also state that the BLM had never mentioned any lack of water – they talk about it in the video describing these areas and the conditions that is on their web site

I am also asking that you include all of this following statement that I sent you after our discussion of how we care about horses and wild horses.

You need to understand why I think the wild horses have to be managed and why they should not just be left alone and let nature take charge and overpopulate until they run out of food or water and die. My family and all of our wranglers really love horses and that includes wild horses and we have seen horses dying of starvation and dying of thirst and we get really upset . Dying of thirst is the worst – horses that starve to death have an easier time. We know we are doing the right thing by gathering wild horses and we know using the helicopter is the most humane way to do it.

We know after we finish an area that some of the wild horses

we have caught will maybe be adopted and some will go to pastures where there is plenty of food and water. And the ones left on the range will have enough water and feed also. Steve you just told me you were not by your computer but out feeding your horses. So you love horses too, right. What would you do if you could no longer feed your horses or if you no longer had water for them and they were slowly dying of thirst or starvation? You would feel really sad and you would do all you could to see that they did not die of thirst or did not starve to death. I know Ginger Kathrens has said just like you that she would rather let nature just take charge. But I bet if Cloud and his family were dying of thirst or starvation she would want to do all she could to save them. That is exactly what we – meaning all of us and our wranglers and the BLM are trying to do when we do roundups.

Thanks you for doing this for me. I am sure you want to print the facts.

And I do hope that you are able to come out and watch a roundup soon.

30 comments for “Guest Column: BLM Contractor Speaks Out

  1. Mustang Annie
    August 7, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Dear Sue, What can I say, you are so full of Cow poop, that you really begin to stink real bad!I was trying to be nice to you and wrote you a very informative message sharing my 25+ years of Wild Horse knowledge. However I see you haven’r learned a bit…..or perhaps you can’t read? I pity you! You know the more you try to “explain” yourself, the deeper hole you dig yourself in. If half of that BS was true, about poor genetically defective , crippled Mustangs, that can survive your stampede, then the BLM would not have an over population problem, and you Honey, would be out of a job. Maybe you could go chase some wild pigs with your Choppers. I am so sorry that I just can’t go along with your story about Mustangs getting “stuck” on rocky ledges. You see I am an endurance rider, who campaigns Mustangs exclusively for over 25 years! Mustangs could pass for a mountain goat. So your beloved sicko husband or on, drove those poor horses off the cliff. Nothing you will say will change the facts. I do beleive in “Judgement Day” and it won’t be a good day for you…for you will get what you deserve!

  2. carriage-free chicago
    August 7, 2010 at 3:12 am

    What we see here is an age old truth that has always been and forever will be….as long as we can profit off an animal, in any way, shape or form, we will do that, and we will ignore any and all possible suffering the animals endure. If we can make money off of skinning an animal for its fur, bleeding out an animal to it can become a burger, or in this case trapping and killing a wild horse, we will, because there is money to be made. So many people posting their justified outrage at Sue and her goons will no doubt eat animals today that lived and suffered in horrific conditions in factory farms, or they will wear the skins of animals…if we truly loathe animal cruelty, we need to reject it, protest it, and not support it in any form. Go vegan, and you will stop the hypocrisy….you will be standing against animal cruelty in ALL, not some of its forms, against ALL, not some animals. Oh, and Sue Cattoor…you seem to think dying of thirst is the worst way to die….you do realize they wont have ice water in hell, right?

  3. sandra longley
    August 7, 2010 at 12:08 am

    One of my “many” concerns about the Catoors as i read their website-Is that they seem to view themselves as an “arm” of the BLM, and an enforcer of some sort for BLM policies, whereas , in fact, they are a contractor, only there to provide a service..This Blackwater mentality of theirs is not what the taxpayer is wanting to see..and must raise concern in more than myself..notice the phrase “we”, like she is part of the BLM…someone needs to do a story on this..she seems to think her expertise..which i find laughable, is driving the Wild Horse and Burro program.

  4. August 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I love how Sue Cattoor’s thirst for the limelight causes her to weave an even more tangled web of lies and contradictions, of her own statements. I personally think there could be another case to federally indict old Dave for wild horse hunting from a heliopter. If the mare and foal were not even in the HMA being rounded up……He probably thought he’d have himself a little fun.
    Mustangs are magnificant animals but even they don’t scale sheer cliff faces, Sue. I’d say it’s pretty obvious they went over the cliff not up the cliff. Keep talking though,and add pictures too. while I don’t really care what it is your flapping your gums about, I do love it that you manage to dig yourself in deeper and deeper as you try to keep track of your own lies.

  5. Loni
    August 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you to all of the posters so far for your succinct rebuttals to this dimwitted female. Slaughterhouse Sue clone?
    Yep, that’s their answer to everything – KILL ‘EM!!!
    I’ve said it before, I was in the aviation field for many years and would never wish harm on any pilot but I will make an exception in this case.

  6. August 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Hah! You’re really running scared now, you S.O.B, and we all know it. Your letter really gave us all a good laugh. You are probably peeing your pants you’re so scared. We KNOW you and your sick old man deliberately ran that mare over the cliff. Afterall, that’s you guy’s hobby…..getting your sick rocks off torturing and killing animals. You and your old man have SERIOUS mental problems and its just a matter of time before you’re out of society and put someplace where all living creatures will be safe from you. When the beautiful, innocent, murdered mare you ran over the cliff began rapidly making headlines, you got scared…SO SCARED YOU MADE UP THAT LUDICROUS LETTER about how you and your old man “just saw” her, and so ya just shot her from the helicopter…blah blah blah. Give it up LIAR. We all know YOU. And mark my words, one day soon, YOU WILL GET YOURS….YOU AND YOUR MURDERING HORSE-SLAUGHTERING OLD MAN!!!!

  7. August 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Sue –
    Love?? I’ve worked in horse rescue for years, and can show you photos of horses that owners have “loved” to the bring of death, or to death in some cases. Don’t use a term you don’t comprehend. Secondly – just as the movie industry has an animal organization there to monitor whenever animals are used on a set, so should you, the BLM, or whoever else is responsible allow observers to monitor and document. As a matter of fact, that should be a stipulation in any contract. And don’t say BLM staff and BLM vets qualify. They do not. Business as usual will not be allowed to continue. The American people are speaking out, and as word spreads about the plight of the mustangs, more outrage will be forthcoming. Start you’re retirement fund now – your days are numbered.

  8. William LeRoy
    August 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Sue, I know who you are and what you and Dave really do. You and your entire family can kiss my ass. Mudering SOB’s.

  9. August 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Dear Sue~~~~~~pls review this photo fr the National Geographic, Feb ’09 re herding. Maybe this is not your copter, but does this bird on the tail of a mustang look like gentle herding? Maybe the terror doesn’t show, but I have seen videos and other photos that do. No matter what you protest,are you really “helping” the horse,or protecting yourself?

  10. Soso Whaley
    August 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    to Sue and the rest of the Catoor family…. I don’t for one second believe that you “love” horses or even care for them because if you truly did “love” these wild horses you would not be complicit in moving any of them into the living hell of the holding pens currently housing approximately 35,000 of our Wild Mustangs… you would not be separating these delicate family units from the land given to them to help protect those areas for future generations of humans and all native species….you would not be running babies and their mothers over cliffs to their deaths… and you certainly would not be making attempts to cover up your essentially illegal activities, currently condoned by outlaw Department BLM, by making statements to the press begging us to understand your point of view… there is nothing kind nor loving in your actions and anyone who thinks it is acceptable to treat horses in this way, wild or domesticated, can only be compared to the slave traders of Colonial America or the Nazis in WWII Germany…. look at the photos of the slaves from our own dark past…. human beings who were herded onto ships, family members separated never to see each other again then kept in deplorable conditions to serve other humans… or perhaps you prefer to be compared to the Nazis… they did the same thing with their concentration camp victims, families entering the camps were separated some to work and die and others just sent to their deaths… this all sounds eerily like the holding pens for our wild mustangs, especially in the past…. you and your family Ms. Catoor are the real problem with our Wild Mustangs…. you take millions of our tax dollars (blood money) and use them to abuse our wonderful wild horses…. you are complicit with the illegal activities of the BLM and I can only hope that all those involved in these heinous crimes, including the Catoor family and your “wranglers”, will eventually face stiff federal penalties for their lack of compassion and outright brutal treatment of our wild horses…. you can lie and cover up all you want but the truth will come out despite the efforts of the incompetent Bureau of Land Management…. at the very least I ask the Karma Gods to deal with you and your family very harshly along with your cronies at the BLM…. I would settle for that type of justice if it will help our wild horses to remain on the land given to them by law….

  11. Darcy
    August 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Sue, you really are something. Not for one minute do I believe a word that comes out of your mouth about your love for our Wild Horses. Someone who claims to have such a love could never, even for all those millions you get paid, do such a job as yours. They could not stand by & watch these horses getting ran for miles to be stuffed into chutes & holding areas, separated from their family bands forever, dying in terror & from the atrocities being done to them by people like you. PUHLEEEZE don’t insult us with your PR lies. WE ARE WATCHING & DOCUMENTING.

  12. Robin Bailey
    August 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Sue, you had the opportunity that Steven provided you to give your side of the story. When your story and BLM’s story didn’t match up, you are now implying Steven’s article is nothing but lies. Maybe he should take a page from your playbook and have his attorney send you a letter to cease and desist…

    We’re not buying it, Sue. Your words are out and you cannot take them back.

  13. Scientist
    August 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Apologies to readers for a few typos in the above post. Hopefully the intent is still clear.

  14. Carryl Edwards
    August 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Sue Cattoor is full of s__t! She is back stepping everything she said in the interview. Someone from Blm must have threatened to take their contracts away if she didn’t change her story. We already know there is water there because Laura Leigh took photos of the water and trails. These so called ‘horse lovers’ is such a hugh lie, they do it for the money. Helicopters are a cruel and inhumane way of herding wild horses. Running newborne foals only weeks old for 8 miles or even 1 mile is way to long to run horses young and old in the desert heat. This woman should be in prison along with her husband and wranglers and throw away the keys!

  15. August 6, 2010 at 11:53 am

    We don’t “…need to understand…” anything about you, Sue. The facts speak loud enough. On almost a daily basis I deal with people who neglect and abuse the horses they “love.” Usually we end up taking their horses away. Sometimes, not often enough, those same people end up in jail. It’s a mental health issue, Sue.

    I cannot recommend strongly enough that you seek professional help.

  16. Alala
    August 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

    It’s all about PR now. It’s about who gets the most coverage where.
    There is a lot of work done on representation right now. From the numbers being straightened up to this. Pretty soon it will apparently make sense of the surface – for a newcomer. But again, this is exactly to whom this article is aimed at.
    So Steve, are you going to pick up her offer?

  17. August 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

    First, Sue, what can I say; you gave it your best shot, you had several weeks to think about it, massage it, rationalize it and sadly your statement fell flat on its face in front of God and your fellow countryman. I actually believe that I heard a wet, squishy “splat”, or was it a “plop”, when reading the last line of your letter.
    In retrospect, it was sort of nasty sound from a visceral point of view.

    (My response is longer than this import form will allow, if interested in here it all, please feel free to click on the link below):

  18. August 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    The day will come when this evil woman will pay for all she has done.

    It appears her mentally deranged husband choses to hind behind her.

    If the day ever comes where I am standing in front of this poor excuse of a woman I will tear her face off!


  19. Scientist
    August 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Sue this is priceless:

    “why I think the wild horses have to be managed and why they should not just be left alone and let nature take charge and overpopulate until they run out of food or water and die. ”

    This is precisely what the BLM is charged with preventing. After having 30 years to develop an effective management strategy they have failed. Horses have a single offspring (if it servives) per year after a lengthy gestation. Horse populations grow at fairly predictable rates. Consistent and effective monitoring of the population, forage trends and water availability as well as culling and a contraception program are necessary to accomplish this. It is simply effective wildlife/livestock management. IT IS NOT HAPPENING. I won’t even discuss the fiasco that is the adoption program-great concept but completely ineffectively managed. If a stockman managed commercial stock this ineffectively he would be out of business. In most states one that failed to provide adequate food and water could be prosecuted for neglect under Ag & Markets minimal care standards. Further, appropriate management and veterinary care need not be conducted in secrecy. If those onsite cannot handle the public interface and scrutiny, then staffing changes need to be made. It is important to remember that you and the BLM are doing a job for the public at public expense and that they entity the BLM (and all subcontractors) is a service provider-they do not own these animals. Aside from safety issues and disruption of animal movement there is no legitimate reason to bar reasonable press coverage and observation by an appropriate number (which is not two)of other non-selected scientists, veterinarians, concerned parties, etc.

    In addition, government contracting and subcontracting is heavily regulated and I have no doubt that contracts relating to gathers can and will be scrutinized to ensure that they are consistent with existing regulations.

  20. carol poole
    August 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Sue, Save us all a lot of headaches will you? SHUT UP! There is absolutely NOTHING that comes out of your mouth that is either true or makes any sense whatsoever. You denied just about the entire story. I am suprised you didn’t deny being interviewed at all.
    We’re tired of you Sue and we’re tired of paying you to run our wild horses to their deaths.

  21. Craig Downer
    August 6, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Why aren’t the relative proportions of forage AUM allotments to wild horses and to livestock being mentioned in these three hma’s? I’ll tell you why: they would reveal TOO MUCH UNFAIRNESS.

  22. Beth
    August 6, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Who do they think they are kidding. Nobody believes a word they say. Don’t every mistake the kindness of Americans for stupidity. We know exactly what is going on with these horses. Nothing you can say will change anyones opinions. Don’t waste your breath. Do you really like living on blood money? People who are involved in this whole issue have no soul – no heart. Your open participation proves this. Does everyone laugh when these poor horses lose their freedom and their lives. Does it give you a good feeling knowing what you are doing to these beautiful noble creatures? Oh yes, I forgot, no soul or heart so how can you feel anything. EXCEPT GREED that you can feel.

  23. Morgan Griffith
    August 6, 2010 at 3:33 am

    So you are admitting that you make the arrangements with the ranchers ad that it is not blm keeping observers out but you and your husband making the decision. So it is YOU that are afraid of being found out–how do we know what you are saying is true if you work to keep us away????? You invited me in your response to me once to come and observe how humane your work is, how many miles away am I going to be standing Sue? This whole dang article just sickens me. Does all that spin make you dizzy? It does me.

  24. Lynn
    August 6, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Hmmm, LOVE????? Interpreted many ways. I once saw a reining trainer work a horse before a show for over an hour, beating severely, as she was making this horse more and more angry. When I approached her and warned her to change her ways or be reported to the show commission, as she not only was “loving” her horse to distruction, but causing all the others to get very upset, she replied that “I love my horses and treat them good”. I believed her as much as I believe what you and the BLM say about doing good for the horses. Really disgusting and should be arrested as people are for mistreating a dog or other animal. We’ve seen the videos. You are convincing no one!!!! Mismanagement to the max!!!

  25. Cindi
    August 6, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Unfortunately, Sue, videos and statistics do not lie. The BLM does NOT gather horses for the benefit of the horse – they do it so that the land can support private grazing animals to the ratio of atleast 50 private animals for every 1 horse. It is not that the land can’t support the horse population, it is that the BLM deems the horse unworthy of the resources that are supposed to be available to them.

    Further, it is a disgrace that you and your family have been paid 12 million of our tax dollars to kill horses or at the very least, strip them of their freedom forever.

    Your original roundup was not early in the morning, BLM documents indicated it lasted until after 12 noon. In the desert, anytime after 10 am is dangerous for exertion. You should know better, but you don’t.

    I appreciate your attempt, but until the facts change, I cannot believe you do any of this for the horses – you do it for your pocketbook, and for the benefit of private grazing lease holders.

  26. Far away eyes
    August 6, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Oh Sue…
    Can I ask you how you gathered ALL of Owyhee from trap sites ONLY on private property on the eastern edge of the HMA?

  27. LaURA
    August 6, 2010 at 2:30 am

    You got to be kidding. Not even going to bother commenting about most of this dribble. But when you get to We love Horse, this is the same family who were involved in a scam to get wild horses out the back door and shipped to slaughter. Yeah like they care.
    2nd To invite you out to watch. Watch what one of the staged round ups for your benefit while they are on the other side out of site driving horses to there death. THe Blm is out of control this Idiot is worried about being out her million dollar contract.
    $$$ all This Sue or Sluaughter house sue knows. MAKES me so ticked.

  28. Joey Westhead
    August 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Thou doth protest too much, Sue…
    If Cloud and his family were dying of thirst and starvation, like the BLM said they were last year; THEY would be the ones who SHOULD take care of them.
    Instead, they hire people like you who do NOT ‘gently push horses toward trap sites’.
    Face it, we have all SEEN the videos of the chopper’s chasing the Mustangs up and down rocky hillsides at breakneck speeds.
    We have seen the videos of a chopper within FEET of a horses back pushing it into a trap.
    NOTHING ‘humane’ about it lady.
    You make a living off of Mustang hides and from an Agency that believes it is lawless in ignoring a Judge’s order to let Laura Leigh on site.
    Bet that was a real ‘hoot’ in ‘camp’ that day when she couldn’t get on ‘private property’.
    Y’all make me sick.

    • Cathy Bryarly
      August 6, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      Sue Catoor:
      I do believe your pants are on fire. If I loved my horses as much as you love wild horses, I would be charged with a felony.

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