ACTION ALERT: Urge Haaland to change Sand Wash Basin roundup plan

/ Action Alerts, In The News, News, Roundups

Bachelor stallions playing on the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area. Photo by Meg Frederick.

The Bureau of Land Management plans to permanently remove 733 of the estimated 896 wild horses from Colorado’s beloved Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area herd in a helicopter roundup set to run Sept. 1-27.

BLM is conducting this “emergency” roundup because of concerns about adequate forage for the upcoming winter, because the number of wild horses exceeds the agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 163-363 for 157,730-acre Herd Management Area, and because horses have wandered on to property through gates left open by the members of the public.

BLM’s plans also include capturing and releasing an additional 50 wild horses: about 25 mares treated with fertility control and a similar number of studs.

While RTF recognizes the concerns about forage, photos and videos taken this month show the horses looking healthy and recent rains have alleviated concerns about lack of water. We also recognize that the plants need recovery time to provide adequate forage.

However, with the private sector struggling with hay availability, prices, wildfires and drought, this does not seem to be the right time for BLM to target these smaller populations — especially herds that are easily trackable, with very young foals on the ground, and a more than five-year investment in a fertility control program.

Last year, volunteers darted 300 mares on the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area with safe, proven and humane fertility control. This has been a significant investment of time and resources. Mares in the program should be returned to the range.

Read more about the planned roundup here:

TAKE ACTION: Please join us in calling on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to make changes to BLM’s plans: