Skip to content

Cliven Bundy Ended My Forbes Gig

April 29, 2014

Vickery Eckhoff

Stewart and BundySo, the word is out.

On Friday, April 25, 2014, at 10:39 PM, after a great run publishing 23 articles and three photo galleries on horse slaughter, horse racing and wild horses on, the powers that be cut me loose.

Not quite sure why. A few people have suggested it may be on account of Steve Forbes keeping cattle on his New Jersey estate to reduce his property taxes. Others have mentioned Forbes partnership with FOX News.

Whatever prompted the decision, however, there was urgency behind it, coming the night before I was a featured speaker at the American Equine Summit, along with Victoria McCullough, Frank Biden and Senator Joe Abruzzo, and too many other national experts to mention. (See Victoria’s presentation here).

My topic for the summit: Disinformation in the Media. How’s that for irony? (you can view my presentation here).

I’d never gotten a word from Forbes editors that there were problems with any of my stories until Friday at 4:53 pm, when I was driving Jane Velez-Mitchell to the summit to be keynote speaker. (see Jane’s keynote speech here).

My editor, Jane Lee, who’s been very supportive and great, sent an email requesting some edits to a story—Federal Grazing Program in Bundy Dispute Rips Off Taxpayers, Wild Horses—that went live Friday afternoon.

This story got more views in a single day than any story I’ve written to date, BTW. Within a day, it reached 26,000 views and I’m told the link got more than 70,000 views on Cloud the Stallion’s Facebook page.

My article covered some of the same territory that Paul Krugman of The New York Times, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, and Jon Stewart addressed for millions of viewers. The only difference is that mine exposed why the grazing program was not only a bad deal for tax payers, but wild horses. Oh, and I got the boot while they got ratings!

For some reason, my story rattled Forbes’ corporate cage and hours later, without so much as a phone call, Forbes pulled the plug. These were the first edits I’d been asked to make in more than two years, I made them as requested in a timely manner and notified them that I had done so. The topic was hardly controversial.

Importantly, in my writing for on this subject, I’ve never been challenged on a single fact. I’m proud of that, given the complexities of the horse slaughter trade and wild horses issues. Readers, too, were enthusiastic, praising the series for its research and accuracy, as well as Forbes for running it.

Let me say, I am grateful for the opportunity, which allowed me to explore a difficult subject with Forbes’ credibility behind it, when other media didn’t fact check, got the details plain wrong, and refused to make corrections when their errors were called to their attention.

I’ll continue writing on this topic, aiming for a more mainstream news audience, to reach the kinds of readers who really care about their taxes being wasted by the Federal Government on wild horse roundups and a grazing program that damages public lands at the public’s expense. One would think this was right up Forbes’ alley—the story appeared in its “Taxes” section—but, apparently…no.

I thank all of you for following me on and ask you to read the article and comment, if you haven’t already done so. FYI, my account there is locked, so I cannot call out any comments as I usually would, or even reply to them as author. Forbes has even removed my ability to comment as a reader to other articles. How’s that for gratitude for the two and a half years of free content I provided them?

Maybe they thought I’d go all Cliven Bundy on them, but that’s not my style. Yes, the relationship with Forbes is over; no, I am not dropping this bone.

If you feel the desire to do something, please send a link of my Forbes article—  — to your Congressmen. Please also tweet the article, using the hashtag #BundyRanch and include this short link:

You can also politely let Forbes editors know how you feel. The link to do that is (PS: They did not fire me as I am not an employee, just one of their many contributors.)

And please check Equine Advocates site to see all video presentations of the American Equine Summit, including my presentations from 2013 and 2014. The speakers were fantastic, and many of them have made huge personal sacrifices in speaking out, like Dr. Ray Kellosalmi, whose horses were poisoned after he went on TV exposing the horrors of the PMU industry supported by drug companies like Pfizer.

Compared to that, losing an unpaid writing gig is minor stuff.



Post a comment
  1. Kim Michels Photography #
    April 29, 2014

    I am so sorry this is happening to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a voice for America’s horses.

  2. yoshigirl28 #
    April 29, 2014

    Reblogged this on Wonder and Whimsy, Beauty and Soul and commented:
    Vickery Eckhoff was unjustly and fired for posting an article about the Cliven Bundy/Wild Horses Dispute. This is absolutely outrageous! She has done nothing more than post the facts about this issue and apparently some people do not want her voice to be heard. She is an amazing writer who has a been a champion of wild horses and was set to speak at the American Equine Summit when she was let go. The cattle industry has time and time again tried to shut down wild horse advocates and the voice of the American people who support wild horses on public lands. Don’t let them silence us. The horses are the one who will suffer for it. Please follow the link and let Forbes know that Vickery Eckhoff should not have been fired. Wild Horses need us. We are their voice!

  3. April 29, 2014

    Reblogged this on Straight from the Horse's Heart and commented:
    There is more to this story to tell!

  4. April 29, 2014

    Well, that’s just wrong. Your report on Bundy must have leads to something they obviously don’t want our attention focused on. Makes me wonder how Bundy’s welfare-ranching lifestyle affects Forbes corporate types.

  5. Marilyn Wilson #
    April 29, 2014

    What a bunch of idiots Vickery!
    My hat’s off to you lady, and thanks for keeping us informed!

  6. April 29, 2014

    Vickery, I wrote to say that with you gone, Forbes has seen the last of me, too (I didn’t say that your columns were the only things I ever read there anyway 🙂 ). What a dreadful decision! I am so sorry, and I am also sorry to learn that they weren’t even paying you, because your sterling work deserved it. Thank you for all you have done to counter the disinformation and propaganda about horse issues.

  7. Lisa LeBlanc #
    April 29, 2014

    “What a crock.” I said that earlier to a friend and colleague because it’s about the cleanest verbal reaction I could muster.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if equine advocates had their own media outlets – a paper, a magazine, a couple of documentary channels – a huge news corporation devoted to publishing all the collective data we currently have to scatter around like confetti and post on our FaceBook pages?

    This changes very little, Vickery. You’re still one of the most honest, thorough and knowledgeable investigators among us. It’s sad and unfortunate that whatever happened – happened. I will always picture Forbes and AP la-la-la-ing up a garden path heavily landscaped by whatever black-hearted trolls make their decisions for them; some day soon, they’ll be scratching their heads, wondering just when the hell they lost control.

    Meanwhile, just write it. Toss it out here in the Ether, and we’ll find a way to send it on. Nearly everyone I know does their own damn landscaping, and we answer to no one but those we advocate for.

    • April 29, 2014

      I love the comment about a garden path landscaped by black hearted trolls. Really made me laugh! Thank you for writing.

    • Margaret #
      April 30, 2014

      Here! Here!

  8. April 29, 2014

    so which cord do we need to strum?

  9. Susan #
    April 29, 2014

    This is pretty much below the belt, reminds me of what’s happening to the horses in this country. Good ole boys just won’t quit.

  10. April 29, 2014

    Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game.

  11. April 30, 2014

    Thank you so very much for defending our wild horses. Forbes has seen the last of me. Since when do you can someone for telling the truth?

  12. April 30, 2014

    Vickery, have you fallen victim to the Cost of Freedom? Maybe stepped a little too hard on Hannity’s toes?

  13. Michelle Eubank #
    April 30, 2014

    I am not surprised that this happened to you although I am very sorry you lost your writing gig with Forbes. I am sure you stepped on a lot of toes and the BLM is corrupt. The welfare ranchers would lose a lot of money if they were not allowed to graze their cattle for free on public lands. God bless you and thank you for voicing the truth about the destruction and slaughter of America’s wild horses!

  14. April 30, 2014


    Great work! If you are that important in journalism, you have made it to an enviable place. I have a feeling you will have many opportunities in the future. This is just more cred to you.
    I only read your articles on Forbes and I don’t need anything else from that source. I assume I can continue using your links to your reports as I advocate for an end to slaughter.
    Forbes revealed its agenda with this decision and pulled the noose on itself.
    Don’t you wonder sometimes at the obvious stupidity in management decisions and how consumers now regard this corporate cowardice? This is the pattern for all exemplary workers–they are competent, honest and too intelligent for management to tolerate. Corporate management then runs away and loses yet another winner it might have kept somehow. Forbes will lose readers for the same reason. Advertisers will find out the hard way about losses of readers and resulting sales.
    Keep up the great work and keep us all informed. We will be interested to know.

  15. Margaret #
    April 30, 2014

    Vickery you are one of my heroes. I am so sorry this happened. It wasn’t handled at all correctly. To say I am angry for you is putting it mildly.

    I wrote Forbes, my two Senators and Congressperson. I hope to read many more articles by you cause you have a way of finding the truth, and then write it so it makes sense. Things don’t get lost in translation with you writing!

    Shame on Forbes!

  16. April 30, 2014

    You did all that quality writing and content without being paid???
    Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth! It’s their loss…

  17. April 30, 2014

    Evidently you FOUND THE SOFT SPOT. Now we just have to figure out what kind of gangrenous rot and festering disease is the cause of that soft spot and then tell the world about who else is infected. This little hissy fit they threw surely makes one wonder how closely the Forbes upper crust is attached to the slime gunning for America’s horses.

    THANK YOU, Vickery, for bringing light to these ugly issues in a way that is backed by fact and unable to be debated on any level. Your ability to lay the truth out there in easily digestible bits, justify it and draw the lines that connect so many of the ugly dots is incredibly strong and a true gift to horses and horse lovers all.

    I am sorry to hear Forbes is not even paying content providers these days. As a creative, that makes me sick, realizing they are only giving voice to creators while using them for their own gains (big advertising revenue$) without any remuneration or the people who actually produce their product! Sort of like the free-loading moocher Bundy, eh? Same concept, they want something for nothing and then use and abuse those who provide. I’d like to advise you to just keep sharing your voice here and I’m sure it will be broadcast far and wide. Who needs these moocher creeps anyway? Maybe in the end we’ll find they are senior members in the Affiliation of Black Hearted Trolls (good one, Lisa!). You just never know.

  18. April 30, 2014

    Vickery – Thank you for your continuous effort to speak the truth in behalf of OUR horses.

    It was hopeful that Cliven Bundy’s actions would bring the WH&B’s issue to the forefront of the media, and Forbes is likely receiving a good deal of pressure from somewhere – Big Ranchers, Hunters, but most likely Big Energy – BP, et al, who do not want the public to know that they intend to dig, drill, and frack all over OUR public lands and for dirt cheap. And Big Ranchers do wield a lot of weight so you were taking on a lot of heavy, greedy self aggrandizers.

    You are not the only recent rejection from Forbes. James McWilliams was also given the boot. I do not remember which article, but probably determined to be an anti-rancher article in that he promotes veganism.

    It is true that when one door closes another opens. I am sure the new door will be a big and welcoming one. Thanks for all you do.

    • April 30, 2014

      Will be waiting for your next article in a new wider read publication.

    • Lisa LeBlanc #
      April 30, 2014

      James McWilliams insulted SeaWorld with a strongly worded op-ed on “Blackfish”. Management had ‘asked’ that he make changes in the piece, and true to his calling, he refused, and thus ended the relationship.
      The article received 77,000 ‘hits’ before Mr. McWilliams was asked to ‘edit’.
      77,000 folks who, apparently, Forbes found unworthy of readership.

      Screw them; either you’re a decent publication capable of embracing an exchange of ideas, opinions and free information, regardless of whose feathers get ruffled, or you’ve become likewise – unworthy.

      • May 2, 2014

        Yes, thank you, Lisa, I had forgotten.

  19. Cheryl Bowe #
    April 30, 2014

    Thank you for your intelligent truthful writing. Every article was factual and to the point. Please continue to bring the truth forward about our horses. Perhaps this is a blessing, if you will now be writing in the more mainstream media, you will have a larger audience, and have the opportunity to educate more people about the use of our land and the abuse of our horses. Thank you for being a voice for all of us.

  20. Mary Ceglia #
    April 30, 2014

    If they’re hating on you Vickery, you must be doing something right!! Your article was well researched and very well written, and all the information you provided can be easily verified. Which does lead one to consider that your piece has made someone (or ones) uncomfortable. I did voice my disappointment with Forbes regarding their action against you. I was polite as instructed – after I went and slammed my typing fingers in the car door to make them behave.

    The blustering regarding our wild horses and burros in Utah is very troubling. I just finished reading an article from the Deseret News (that’s how they spell it – I know why – but don’t get it) – It is dangerously slanted towards Governor Gary Herbert’s views. I read a few of the comments. Don’t ask me why I do this to myself. I just want to do physical harm to stupid people. That’ll just get me arrested.

    The comments are rote. These people are regurgitating the same old garbage that has been circulating for years. I swear – these people couldn’t come up with their own idea even if someone went through the trouble of drawing ‘em a picture with crayons. I believe some folks need to return to the womb. A re-birthing could be an effective do-over for some of these knot heads. Herbert needs to be the first in line.

    You are way too good at what you do and Forbes clearly has slipped up. Just gotta keep hammering them. We are all listening. I have a big mouth and fully intend to yell – “Yeah – what she said!!” Hang in there Lady.

  21. April 30, 2014

    Reblogged this on Comedyflyer's Blog and commented:
    When ever you tell it like it is…you run the risk of someone trying to silence you…Rave on Vickery Eckhoff

  22. April 30, 2014

    Whenever you tell it like it is, you run the risk of someone trying to keep you quiet….not going to happen…when one door closes, another one will open…..RAVE ON Vickery….

  23. TerryW #
    April 30, 2014

    There’s some big corporations taking tax advantages of having public lands grazing allotments. Keeping the taxpayers ignorant is to their benefit.

    Do you post your articles to Squidoo? Might be another way to spread your excellent articles around the internet.

    You are an amazing investigative reporter and should be paid for your work. But I understand, for the horses and burros, why you have been doing it for free.

  24. Stephanie Graham #
    April 30, 2014

    It is never crowded along the extra mile Vickery. You just keep writing the truth which is exactly what the American public WANT and NEED to hear and read.

  25. April 30, 2014

    Vickery, was just going to contact you about the media BLACK OUT in New Mexico on the on going Placitas Wild Horse Round ups. You can read about them on New Mexico Against Horse Slaughter. There are 4 round up videos so far. Very strange for a state whose annointed all feign pro-horse….Dare to look into this, you will be surprised. Contact through or on facebook. Of course, thanks for the Bundy Article it is posted on NMAHS also!

  26. April 30, 2014

    THANK YOU, Vickery, for your integrity and for your courage.
    You just can’t keep a Good Gal down.

    Steve Forbes, cattle farmer (excerpts)
    Of Forbes’ top ten career patrons, six are Wall Street investment bankers, who earn the lion’s share of their income speculating in the stock market. All that income would be tax-free under Forbes’ flat-tax proposal.

    Middle class deductions disappear
    As for corporations, Forbes would slash their income tax rate from 35 to 17 percent. As with the flat tax for individuals, many deductions that are important to the middle class would disappear. For example, the write-offs that corporations can take for offering fringe benefits such as health insurance would disappear, which might tempt employers to stop offering medical coverage for their employees. Similarly, the share of Social Security and Medicare taxes that employers pay could no longer be written off.

    Why Forbes raises cattle
    To encourage family farms, federal tax law allows cattle farmers to enjoy substantial write-offs on their business expenses. On top of the federal tax break, New Jersey cattle farmers get a property tax break if they own at least five acres of land and generate at least $500 in revenue a year. Which helps explain why Steve Forbes is in the cattle business. His New Jersey farm meets the state’s revenue test, with about $5,500 in yearly income, and he gets the federal write-offs for raising cattle, too.

    Forbes raises three different breeds of show cows: Polled Herefords, Galloways and belted Galloways. “You don’t make money selling hamburger meat,” Forbes told Fortune magazine in 1996. “You make money breeding show cows; that’s the name of the game.”

    If Forbes did not stock his land with show cows, his property would be valued for tax purposes at $9 million, according to a local land assessor.

  27. April 30, 2014

    hi vickery, sorry about what forbe’s did but look at it this way — they didn’t deserve you any way, and i mean that.. do you ever read any of the d.c. watch dog papers , well you might want to look at this one . someone named heekim jefferies has introduced a bill in congress to that must be brought to attention ,too. that bill is h.r.3878 this one is to curb freedom of speech .please get it out to your reading public please . also you need to read ” the last american president ” then look up the story’s about ” valerie jarrett ” she is the presidental adviser . what it is all about is control and how the goverment is playing everybody against each other . here are a few of the watch paper “d.c. clothesline ” and freedom outpost ” n news before it’s news” infowars” just a few of them . believe me, i love my horses and i will fight for them tooth and nail . but i believe we need to look at the whole . but good news since i wrote on the channel 8 ‘s show ” general hospital’s facebook page they are no longer advertising that medicine created by the pmu industry . one small win . i’m not going to read that company’s news any more cause now we know they are dirty and probably big gov. is what happened so don’t feel bad , we are very happy you’re on our side .

  28. Lisa Friday #
    April 30, 2014

    As usual, when searching for the injustices, all we have to do is follow the money…………..Vickory, know we stand behind you. Come speak to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in August in Cheyenne.

  29. Bonnie McGahee #
    April 30, 2014

    We thank God for you everyday! And your little dog too!

  30. April 30, 2014

    I am sorry this happened to you, I guess Clive Bundy has friends in high places, somewhere in DC. …….best, Pam York Honey Brook PA

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®4

  31. April 30, 2014

    You are one of the few real investigative reporters who is still out there. You were doing it for free and they still got rid of you! That tells me it’s not a real magazine. It’s an advertisement for their corporate interests. They wonder why they’re all going out of business. Find another avenue. We, the people, want to know! I’m done reading Forbes. I want real information and real news. What about that Mother Jones publication? I haven’t seen it myself but I catch references to it online and it sounds like it has content that consists of real reporting. Wow. I am just shocked.


  32. Laurie Greenwood #
    April 30, 2014

    Maybe, just maybe, you’ve started enough of a firestorm to get Cliven Bundy’s gig up! You’ve certainly raised awareness of the intricacies of the wild horse, cattle, public land/range destruction issue and for that I am so thankful.

  33. April 30, 2014

    The corruption knows no end. Ditto to all everyone above has said. Vickery, you are the best! Keep doing what you’re doing–we’re all behind you.

  34. LM #
    April 30, 2014

    Dear Forbes,

    I am shocked and dismayed at the news of Vickery Eckhoff’s dismissal.  My husband, a 4th generation Colorado rancher and Oil &Gas and Natural Resources lawyer, and myself, have always held FORBES in very high regard.  We thought FORBES interest in this issue was very timely, because of the Bundy/BLM fiasco, and that it was prudent of FORBES to address and publish information about the economic reality of the Public Lands grazing program, the Wild Horse and Burro program and their respective costs to the American Taxpayer.  Here is a quote & link to a prior study evidencing that this program is in dire need of reform.

    Beyond the Grazing Fee: 

    An Agenda for Rangeland Reform

    by Karl Hess Jr. and Jerry L. Holechek

    Karl Hess Jr. is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, and Jerry L. Holechek is a professor of rangeland science at New Mexico State University.

    “Public-land grazing is an American anomaly. In a culture and economy of free enterprise, it is the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism. Deeply regulated, like other sectors of the economy, it is an industry owned and operated by the U.S. government. The land and grass are federal property, planning and management are federal functions, and the workers–the 27,000 ranchers who own the livestock–are federally licensed, supervised, and subsidized. From the building of fences and watering holes to the setting of details of how, when, and where to graze, grazing on public lands is in every sense a command-and-control economy”

    Link to entire article:

    We currently live and operate a wildlife conservation ranch in Colorado, obviously in a ranching community, but we do not have access to Public grazing allotments because we are (former) bison producers and bison as a Native species are EXCLUDED from this privilege, although, ironically and in case you haven’t noticed, the DOI/BLM has a buffalo as its signature species on its insignia. However, we have many ranching neighbors who depend on this privilege, who are conscientious, considerate and law abiding.  However, the cost of the mis-management by BLM of the Public Lands with regard to all Stakeholders has affected and will continue to threaten the environment, the wildlife that live thereon, and the people that depend on the resources of Public Land to survive.  

    The consensus among ALL the Stakeholders is that reform is sorely needed.  I encourage FORBES to reconsider its agenda in this regard and to show some courage and ethical backbone for the sake of political and economic honesty.

    Yours Truly,

    Lyn McCormick
    Yampa Valley Bison LLC
    Maybell Colorado. 

    • April 30, 2014

      Lyn McCormick,

      Thank you so much for this eloquent letter about the grazing program and sending it to Forbes editors. I hope they respond to you. May I have your permission to share your letter through social media? I think it’s indicative that these programs are in need of greater public exposure and reform—not less. That the public has to beg for these issues to get the proper attention in a business publication is telling. But I do think the issue is going to get much more attention, and it’s about time. Thanks again for your words and support.

      • LM #
        April 30, 2014

        Sure, maybe delete my address though. LOL !

        Sent from my iPad

  35. grandmagregg #
    April 30, 2014

    Forbes made a BIG mistake when they sent you down the trail..

  36. grandmagregg #
    April 30, 2014

    More about Forbes and their ranching tax breaks:

    • LM #
      May 1, 2014

      GG, link says “page not found “

  37. April 30, 2014

    This is just so transparent to have your relationship severed with Forbes. I am sure it goes deeper, maybe to the Koch brothers whom own a load of companies across the US. They are into Fracking and drilling for Oil. The public lands are used for Fracking… I am certain they had you shut down, but not shut up!!!

  38. April 30, 2014

    WHAT THE HAY!…Truth in print…grazing rights are a big ‘DEAL’ in Washington…they are currency of a sort..traded for this & that..but mostly just federal protected lands.. run by the BLM..used to graze cattle…so Wilds get pushed out!…So wrong for so long!

  39. April 30, 2014

    There is, indeed, more to this….MUCH more.

    At The Root (excerpts)

    Whether you’re passion is wild horses and burros, wildlife or just someone who loves to go hiking around in nature, eventually we all run into the same issue; the degradation of public lands by poorly managed livestock grazing and our government authorizing unsustainable numbers for decades.

    The question becomes why…..

    Why does public lands ranching have such a death grip on our natural resources? How is it that after all these years, little has changed despite overwhelming evidence of the damage? Why, despite all the laws and many, many good dedicated people in the government agencies themselves that have tried to effect change, nothing substantial can be done? Why is it that report after report submitted to Congress clearly outlining the mismanagement and malfeasance of livestock grazing to our resources, including wild horses and burros, is met with indifference as they not only continue to support livestock grazing but will viciously fight for the rights of ranchers time and time again? And how is it possible that just a handful of ranchers who produce less than 3% of America’s beef on public lands continue to wield so much power over our Nation?

    Well, the answer is, they don’t. The banks do, just like everything else these days and it’s the banks that continue to dictate American policy and cause Congress to ask “How high?” when they ask them to jump.

    In Mike Hudaks’ Western Turf Wars – The Politics Of Public Lands Ranching, an interview with Mike Sauber sums it up in a nutshell and what he describes should send chills down anyone’s spine who cares for America’s resources, “our” public lands and why the current system has eternally doomed us to failure until there will be nothing left but dust.

    Mr. Sauber so aptly and clearly describes America’s real predicament in this powerful truth so often hidden from public view when he states: “People typically assume that ranchers have a lot of power, but it’s not really true. It’s the banks holding the estimated $2 billion that’s loaned out on grazing permits on western public lands that have the power. Our public lands are being used as collateral for bank loans. Our wilderness areas, archaeological sites, watersheds, wildlife habitat is being mortgaged – used as collateral for bank loans of ranchers that are buying base properties with grazing permits attached to them.”

  40. May 1, 2014

    I remember reading that piece and thinking how accurately it described the situation. When other reporting just glossed over or hid the facts and presented the cattle ranchers as the victims. Sorry to hear this happened, but hope something good comes your way. Always love reading and sharing your pieces.

  41. May 1, 2014

    Forbes, Bundy, and everyone else who lies, cheats, bribes or blackmails to avoid doing the right thing and/or to promote themselves is pitifully morally corrupt. It angers and frustrates and saddens me to no end that they have power over those of us with less money, stature, or connections, and that we continue to allow them to run roughshod over us, or anyone with morals or ethics or integrity. What the heck happened to us, We The People? When did we become so weak?

    Vickery Eckhoff is and always has been one of my heroes. She has backbone, she walks and talks a straight line, and she is a champion for horses like no other. Chin up and have faith, Ms. Eckhoff. You can kick Forbes to the curb, because God has something spectacular planned for you.

    • May 3, 2014

      Good Luck to you Robynne. You are also a heroine as you take on your Ride for Their Lives. Please keep us informed of your adventures as you travel forth. Thank you

  42. Tracey Williamson #
    May 1, 2014

    We can’t tell the truth you know, the cattlemen have to run things… silly you for being a voice of truth and reason.

  43. May 1, 2014
    An Interview with Former Sen. Conrad Burns

    BURNS: Well, HARRY REID came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana

    By Steven Long, Horseback Magazine (reprinted with permission)

    In the world of equine welfare there may be no person subject to derision than former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns. An ardent supporter of horses as a commodity to be sold for whatever reason their owner deems profitable, the former auctioneer lost his seat in the U.S. Senate to a farmer, Jon Tester, after passage of the Burns Amendment. The law was passed in the dead of night after it was attached to an appropriations bill nobody had read. For the first time, in an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine, Burns how revocation of the law came about.

    HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: You’re a lobbyist now, right?
    CONRAD BURNS: Well, I’ve only got one client I lobby, but right now I’m doing a lot more international consulting.
    HORSEBACK: Well good for you. Who are you lobbying for?
    BURNS: The Quarter Horse Association.
    BURNS: Yep
    HORSEBACK: We support them in every way we can in our little magazine.
    BURNS: Yep, that’s right. How’re you doing?
    HORSEBACK: Old and fat Sir, old and fat.
    BURNS: I can relate to that.

    HORSEBACK: I’m working on this story that’s going on up in Montana with the Pryor Mountain wild horses. In my research I obviously ran across the Burns Amendment. Can you tell me how that came about and what prompted it?

    BURNS: Well, HARRY REID came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana.

    HORSEBACK: So what happened then?

    BURNS: So he and I, up in his office, got together and we crafted that amendment because they’ve really got that problem of over grazing down there. That’s how that came about.
    HORSEBACK: It was actually Reid’s idea, huh?
    BURNS: Yeah, well it was his problem. I just helped him solve it, that’s all.
    HORSEBACK: Well, you did a pretty good job of it.
    BURNS: I don’t think they’ve sold any or anything like that. It wasn’t really designed for that. The premise of it was to take a strong look at how we manage our resources and how they affect the herd of the horses.

    HORSEBACK: One thing I can’t figure out with this BLM stuff for the life of me is if you have millions of acres of vacant land and there’s 100 miles between towns, why on earth can’t they put all those wild horses out there and nobody would ever care.

    BURNS: Well, you see, some of that country won’t sustain them year round. You’ve got spring growth, which is fine, but if you are a rancher, then you’ve got the dry season, and you’ve got to save some of your country for pasture and you’ve got to have supplemental feeding. And when you fly over that country and look down there, there’s something down there, you just don’t see it,, There’s sheep herds, and there’s also a few cattle run on that same country. They’re managed because you can’t just graze the whole thing off in the summer and then expect those animals to go through a very tough winter.
    HORSEBACK: One more question Senator. What do you think about this EU thing on the slaughter issue? That just kind of stopped everything dead in its tracks, didn’t it/
    BURNS: I don’t know a lot about it but I know one thing. We don’t have any slaughter plants here. That seems like that’s a problem Canada and Mexico are going to have to solve. I think they are still accepting horsemeat for human consumption.
    HORSEBACK: They are, until April when the EU says horses have to be in quarantine for six months.
    BURNS: I think we will probably have some science that will disprove that it takes that long for residue to dispel. I’m not sure, but I’m going to let the veterinarians and the folks who handle horses to make the decision. As you know, we’ve got lots of people who’ve got lots of ideas, but six months is a long time.
    HORSEBACK: Well thank you Senator. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.

    BURNS: I’m still grazing the green side.

  44. May 2, 2014

    Vickery –

    Keep fighting the good fight – I will keep you in my prayers. You are a light in the darkness for us and our dear horses. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  45. May 2, 2014

    Where are the helicopters and the swat teams?

    Under pressure, Utah BLM fast-tracks plea to round up wild horses

    The Salt Lake Tribune) Iron County Commission Chairman David Miller, left, and Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney discuss the failed attempt to lure wild horses into a water corral on private land northwest of Cedar City, Wed., April 23, 2014. (picture)
    Under pressure from ranchers and southern Utah elected leaders, the Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office is fast-tracking proposed roundups of wild horses on the state’s parched southwestern ranges.

    County commissions in Iron and Beaver County, heeding angry ranchers who have been asked by the BLM to cut their livestock grazing in half, had been threatening to round up the horses themselves in early April.

  46. May 2, 2014


    The commission, Miller said, has not ruled out euthanizing wild horses it may decide to capture, but that is not the plan.

  47. May 2, 2014

    Utah ranchers sue BLM, demand removal of wild horses

    Angered by the amount of money the BLM used to attempt to remove illegal cattle in Nevada, Utah ranchers now demand that over half of the wild horses in their area be removed – the total numbering around 1800. These horses live on the public land provided by law for them. The ranchers claim they are living on their private land. Funny how previously they did not use this claim…before it was just about their rights to have their cattle graze on public land. Anything to rid the area of wild horses. Now a lawsuit. If you were to only read the first half of the article, you would think the numbers of wild horses to far higher. After reading, be sure to comment on the original article as well as ours. Let your voice be heard! ~ HfH
    From: The Salt Lake City Tribune
    By: Kristen Moulton
    (Picture) Rick Egan The Salt Lake Tribune) Iron County rancher Matt Wood, one of the plaintiffs in a new federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management, talks about the number of wild horses on BLM land where he grazes his cattle northwest of Cedar City

    Thirteen ranchers in southwestern and central Utah are asking a federal judge to order the Bureau of Land Management to control the burgeoning number of wild horses that share the range with their cattle and sheep.
    A lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City names Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, BLM Director Neil Kornze and BLM Utah Director Juan Palma as defendants.

    The ranchers, angry about BLM requests that they slash their herds (or the herds’ time on the range) in half, formed the Western Rangeland Conservation Association this winter, pooling their money to bring the lawsuit. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation along with Iron and Beaver counties also have pledged money to pay for the lawsuit.

    • May 3, 2014

      There is no way to describe this other than LAWLESS.

      Even with the snuck in Burns Amendment, the law still protects OUR Wild Horses and Burros under the age of ten. And they are not being protected as WE the AMERICAN PEOPLE demanded in 1971 and DEMAND today.

      I say rescind the Burns Amendment, withdraw cheap leases to both Ranchers and Big Energy as illegally given.

      And I am still looking for a CLASS ACTION in BEHALF of the AMERICAN PEOPLE whose desires and law is not being followed.

    • Mary Ceglia #
      May 6, 2014

      Time for the feds to raise the cost of the AUMs. We can all provide the actual costs of raising livestock on private land. Time they do the same. I am so fed up with their entitlement attitudes. I am 100% behind Elaine. These Utah officials have a more sinister plan if they gain control of the public lands. Hopefully the BLM drags their feet with this lawsuit just like they do with everything else.

  48. May 6, 2014

    Where are the swat teams and the helicopters and the MEDIA?

    Iron County, BLM bring in first herd of wild horses

    CEDAR CITY — Iron County Commissioners finally got an opportunity to see the fruits of their threats the last two months when the Bureau of Land Management brought the first bunch of wild horses — eight to be exact — off the range into Cedar City Monday.

  49. leigh lennox #
    May 10, 2014

    I’m sorry this happened, Vickery – But at least this brought your writing (and the issues regarding wild horses) to my (and others’)attention; I will definitely continue to follow your coverage, wherever it appears. Thank you.

  50. Laurie Greenwood #
    May 12, 2014

    So, a tiny silver lining…more people becoming aware of the wild horse and burro debacle….

    • May 12, 2014

      William, first of all, THANK YOU for your article (also appearing on AlterNET) on the Forbes situation. If you don’t know James McWilliams, he, too, was driven away from Forbes over similar issues: in his case, he wrote about Blackfish and SeaWorld but did not make edit changes as requested to his article—which Forbes removed from the site (after reaching 80,000 views in one day), leading McWilliams to quit. The welfare ranching tie-in is quite real—looming large, of course, is what happens when the media silences all voices that really try and inform the public. Scary prospect for those, in particular, who write about animal industries that damage public lands, zero out wildlife, and fleece taxpayers. Thanks again for covering this!

      • William Berkowitz #
        May 13, 2014

        Thank you for your note Vickery. And thanks for informing me that AlterNet picked up the piece. Keep up your great work. Bill Berkowitz

  51. May 15, 2014

    From the BLM website

    We Need Your Help
    We invite you to view wild horses, however it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and unharassed life.

    BLM roundup…our tax dollars at work.
    Anatomy of a Roundup – Swasey 2013 (Swasey Herd Management Area, Utah)

  52. Ray #
    July 18, 2014

    This isn’t meant to be an attack, or even disagreement. I’m actually glad that you and Forbes parted ways. They showed their true colors, and yours have never been truer. I believe you and your cause are better off without them.

  53. November 8, 2014

    How do you spell assholes? by each of their last names…. now more than ever, after this election, do we need to worry. sigh.

  54. Linda #
    February 2, 2015

    Sorry to hear about your parting of the ways. As others have expressed I see it as a compliment to your journalistic abilities to get to the heart. I suppose Forbes is not different than other corporate media and when you go too deep it starts to hurt their image and their stakes. You are probably better off w/o them. And doing it for free makes them letting you go look really really dubious.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Cliven Bundy Ended My Forbes Gig | Habitat For Horses
  2. V. Eckhoff: Former Forbes Reporter + S. Forbes: Cow Farmer = FIRED? | Straight from the Horse's Heart
  3. Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and Horse Slaughter… | sara annon
  4. Vickery Eckhoff on Being Fired from Forbes for Wild Horses, Federal Grazing Story

Leave a Reply to William Berkowitz Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: