Postponement Request of SB301 and SB271 (Scheduled in HAAWC Tues) for Negotiation of NM Wild Equine Board under NM State Parks Dept.

Re:  OPEN LETTER; Please postpone SB301 and SB271                                                           3/5/2023
       and replace with discussions for Wild Equine Board under
       the NM Parks Department.  See       

To: Dear Senator Brenda McKenna, Representative Matthew McQueen, cc Senator Carrie Hamblen,

Thank you for your response in the email string (See Attachment 1) which I will address herein.

To: Dear Citizens of New Mexico,

From: Patience O’Dowd for WHOA, Wildlife Protection of New Mexico (WHOA-Voters), PO Box 932, Placitas, NM 87043


This is where we live on Wild Horse Mesa in Placitas. 86% or more of Placitas is all about Wild Horses as was the San Antonio De Las Huertas (SADLH) Land Grant in 2007 prior to pressures in the form of rewards of BLM lands. It was old Spanish families of New Mexico who wanted all Spanish Colonial Horses to be specially preserved and not adopted out, however, only, if necessary, to put them on a preserve with their families.

The NMLB’s own DNA result from UC Davies on the Placitas Wild Horses (that Nancy Henry of New Mexico for Equine Rights and Open Government, a Dixon Award Winner, obtained by inspection of public records) confirmed the special bloodlines of the Placitas Wild Horses. This DNA test was done on horses that had been illegally rounded up by a Placitan and taken for public auction by the NMLB. WHOA responded with court action and won in the NM Appellate Court. 86% of Placitans want the horses to remain, and this is the lowest poll result of 4 polls in 20 years.


There are similar stories in Alto/Ruidoso including a petition with 95,000 signatures in support of the Wild Horses there. These horses roam amongst thousands of Deer and Elk there. Together, these wildlife thrill visitors who keep coming back, spread the word, and create a tourism economy for New Mexico.


I will respectfully address the points made in the email below regarding the current Safety and Welfare of the wild horses in detail. Senators, Representative, please, let me know what I am not understanding or what I have missed in your next response.


Senator Pat Woods’ family is a $3 Million Big-AG FARM Bill Recipient and pays no property taxes on approx. 8200 acres in Curry County, NM where there is no wildlife corridor, and there are no wild horses bothering his crops for livestock. He has worked legislatively since 2017 to wipe out OUR NM Wild Horses. WHY? His expert witnesses have been the NMLB, Animal Protection Voters, and Mount Taylor Mustangs. (Don’t judge a book by its title, ever again!)

Under current law NMSA 77-18-5 wild horses are already protected from slaughter because they are wildlife, not livestock, and not estray, and therefore subject to the Animal Cruelty Laws of the state.


There are no imminent Safety Issues for, or caused by, the Wild horses in Placitas, Alto, Ruidoso, or anywhere in NM that would preclude us from working together towards a Wild Equine Board and our proposed amendment of SB301/SB271 (See Attachment 2).

This Proposed Sandoval County Ordinance is an attempt to offset the recent WHOA win in court stating that the fence-out laws of New Mexico apply equally to Wild Horses as well as cattle and all other animals. Meaning, if one does not want wild horses on their property, they can fence them out.  In fact, the Proposed Ordinance does NOT apply to ranchers and others who own more than 24 acres. If passed, this will be animal cruelty toward a protected animal, as well as unequal protection under the law, and retaliation.

This may well be a conspiracy or a “collaboration” between the federal BLM, NM State Legislature, and political subdivisions (Sandoval County, Land Grant, and Acequias) to retaliate against the fence out ruling of the courts and to commit a TAKING of our native NM Wild Horses under color of law.

Traffic Data state and local show relatively NO Wild Horse safety issue (outside staged hits). Is this why we not addressing road safety improvements?

  1. UNM Animal Crash Statistics show Deer, Elk, and Cattle as issues, not horses. 
  2. New Mexico Animal Crash Statistics, 2016 – 2021. (Raw Data from Public Records Request) This shows Placitas had 8 animal accidents in 6 years:  3 Deer/1 Coyote/4 Wild Horses. Totaling 1.3 hits/yr., or about 0.13 hits/mile/yr. including Deer, Coyote, Horse.  Nearby 550 has 10 hits/mile/year. See No. 3 below.
  3. The NM Wildlife Corridors Action Plan published 6/2022., See Page 5 Wild life Corridors Placitas; See Page 6-188 showing 10 hits/mile/year stating at I-25 up Rt. 550 in Sandoval County with 10 hits/mile/year;
Pages 6-187 to 6-194 showing the GAME hits on Rt. 550 at 10 hits/mile/year.  Santa Ana Pueblo waters ALL the wildlife and provides cameras for viewing Cougars, Bear, etc. Are you suggesting they stop sharing water with wildlife?


Senator McKenna has declared that the Placitas Wild Horses are “not wild,” which is contrary to the long-term DNA studies, contrary to the science of Domestication, contrary to the Wild Horse Experts who the courts relied upon, and contrary to the NM Attorney General Opine regarding the White Sands Wild Horses. We ask that she please provide her scientific basis, as Domestication is well understood for decades to be a genetic change, not simply habituation or taming.

Senator McKenna has written that the Placitas horses were dumped here in 2006 and 2007. We ask that she please provide her documentation. I have asked and am asking again that Horse Dumping be outlawed in New Mexico. It is only utilized by Kill Buyers and a Retaliatory Federal Government.

We offer again our Wild Equine Board proposed in 2019 and placed under the State Parks Department by our current respectfully proposed Amendment to SB301/SB271. This would provide an avenue to address any of your perceived or potential short comings of the current law NMSA 77-18-5.

They may have been gone for about 7000 years max, though certain First Peoples say they were never gone.  In any case, they were self-domesticated long before any modern human or Neanderthal could have domesticated them.  There is proof of self-domestication, and no genetic proof otherwise, only presumption.

They have never lost their natural wild family structure that is also still seen in two of three zebra species in Africa. (By the way, all equines evolved here in North America, including zebras.) Self-Domestication made horses less reactive and gave them their varied coloration prior to their migration back and forth over the

Federally-Wild-Horse Wipe-out

Thanks to the NMLB, NM went from almost 8000 federally protected wild horses and burros in the first census of 1974 to only 563 wild horses and zero (0) burros in 1978, just 4 short years later.  At the same time, the NMLB wiped out the legally Wild Donkeys NM had in Lincoln County. The NMLB took them as estray livestock in rebellion against the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act.  The feds took the NMLB to court for breaking the law and won.

This case is detailed even in Wikipedia under Kleppe v New Mexico where the NMLB lost in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

To this day you can hear Justice Thurgood Marshall delivering the verdict. No other western state flushed their wild horses out of existence once the law was passed, even though other states had more wild horses than NM.

Shameful lawless legacy of Wild Donkey wipe-out remains The NMLB lost but claimed the Donkeys had been in a corral too long during the court case to let them go (which was incorrect). Tragically, the Wild Donkeys were not released. The only Donkeys we have left in Billy the Kid’s famous Lincoln County of NM, are painted STATUES of Donkeys, literally all over Carrizozo; on roofs, in buildings, on side-walks, and in court yards. 

THE HIDDEN AGENDA Motivating The “Wild Horse Crisis” Story Line

There have been no public meetings regarding the unconstitutional plan to wipe out our natural resource, our state’s native Wild Horses. There have been many false testimonies in committee and on the Senate floor.

The powers that be: BLM, Gov. Lujan Grisham, and Sandoval County would like to have the following projects on the 3000-acre BLM Lands called the Buffalo Tract. The BLM denied Placitans due process in their planning regarding the Wild Horses and the Highway, and perhaps the Energy Corridor.

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