(San Francisco) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has referred the case on access issues and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro program into mediation.
A hearing was held on December 3rd of this year in a case that has spanned over 3 years in litigation. The BLM began to severely restrict access to roundups and facilities after images were published that painted the agency in less than a flattering light. In 2012 in a landmark decision by this same court journalist for Horseback Magazine and founder of Wild Horse Education Laura Leigh prevailed, defeating the lower courts ruling in BLM’s favor.
The case has been referred to the Circuit Mediation Office for further action. A report will be sent to the court in sixty days.
“I always welcome an opportunity to have sincere dialogue,” stated Leigh “we will know very soon if that is the intention. I have always felt that having to address this issue for over 3 years in court is a bit absurd. 60 days really is not a lot of time. I certainly hope that we can cut through the fluff and actually discuss the issue.”
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
DEC 09 2013
MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
LAURA LEIGH, Plaintiff – Appellant,
SALLY JEWELL, Secretary, US Department of the Interior; BOB ABBEY, Director, Bureau of Land Management; AMY LUEDERS, Nevada State Director of Bureau of Land Management,
Defendants – Appellees.
Before: TROTT, THOMAS, and MURGUIA, Circuit Judges. The Court is of the opinion that mediation may be appropriate for this appeal. The submission of this appeal is vacated and the matter is referred to the Circuit Mediation Office for further proceedings. The Mediation Office shall report back to the panel within sixty days of this order as to whether continued referral is appropriate.
Wild Horse Education is dedicated to gaining protections for wild horses and burros from abuse, slaughter and extinction.
We will keep you updated on this case and our other ongoing efforts.