Lets Stop Wyoming’s Wild Horse Wipeout!

/ Action Alerts

Return To Freedom, along with Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), photographers Meg Frederick and Angelique Rea, has been actively monitoring the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to benefit private ranchers and eliminate vast portions Wyoming wild horse territory, and the horses who live there. Our lawsuit is ready to go once BLM releases their final Range Management Plan (RMP) for the area.

We need your help to fight BLM’s plan to:

• remove roughly 2 million acres of wild horse territory use, and the horses who live there, in the Salt Wells and Great Divide Herd Management Areas;
• effectively “zero out” (eliminate) the 393,000-acre White Mountain Herd Management Area by making the herd “non-reproducing” — with the possibility of dangerous, inhumane, unproven, and costly surgical sterilization of mares, ineffective sex-ratio skewing, and gelding
• round up 2/3 of the horses on the 478,000-acre Adobe Town Herd Management Area. Just last year in this same region, the BLM spent more than $1.1 million to capture and remove 3,502 wild horses from their home ranges during a three-month-long helicopter roundup in which 37 horses died.

Now, the BLM says it is altering its plans because of an agreement it made in 2013 with private ranchers who want the horses gone from the area, so they can use it for livestock grazing. But that agreement does not require – or allow – the BLM to violate federal law and negatively impact the wild horses under its protection.

The BLM’s only excuse for removing hundreds of horses, and millions of acres from wild horse use? It’s too hard for them to do their job otherwise. This is in an area where the agency was already allowing livestock to outnumber wild horses by more than 10 to 1.

And the consequence of removal, for the horses, is a life of misery. Currently, in just one of Wyoming’s short-term holding facilities, 3500 captured wild horses are crowded into corrals on an inadequate space totaling 10 acres; another 800 horses including foals are crowded at the Rock Springs facility, with no shade, and no shelter, which they would seek on the range. The agency is not prepared to provide responsible care for the horses already removed and it is in- excusable that they would remove even more.

That is a violation of every obligation the BLM has to preserve and manage the horses, and to conserve wild horses and burros on behalf of all Americans. The BLM did not consider reasonable alternatives, which would lead to stabilization of the population and a decrease, where necessary, of wild horse populations, with fewer horses ending up in already overcrowded off-range holding facilities at great taxpayer expense.

It is also illegal — a clear violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act for the BLM to put the wishes of private landowners before the agency’s legal responsibility to federally protected wild horses.

If the BLM is allowed to cave to private landowner pressure in this way, whole herds could vanish across the West.

We need your support! Join the herd as we stand up for the future of wild horses in Wyoming and across the West.

Donate to RTF’s Wild Horse Defense Fund

More Ways To TAKE ACTION for America’s Horses and Burros

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