Wild Horse Education

Wyoming, A Public Mourns

photo BLM Colin Brayly

photo BLM Colin Brayly

1263 Wild horses were removed from the “checkerboard” area in Wyoming. The areas included horses in the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town, and Salt Wells Creek. These horses lived and thrived in an area of public and private property that had significant interests in livestock and in energy use. The reason they were removed is that wild horses can’t read when they are crossing boundary lines.

Litigation and IBLA Appeals were filed. Litigation did not result in a restraining order. The IBLA Appeal was put “on hold” pending resolution of litigation (WHE assisted with one of the stages of the Appeal).

From BLM website: “This checkerboard wild horse removal is not a population management action related to appropriate management levels. Instead, the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, Section 4 requires that the BLM remove wild horses from private land if requested by the land owner. This removal also complies with the court-ordered 2013 Consent Decree between the BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association which directed that all wild horses be removed from checkerboard lands within the HMAs. Not removing all wild horses from the checkerboard would result in non-compliance with the Act and Consent Decree.”

The public is heart broken over such a huge removal. In this “time in history” removals on a broad scale are lower than they have been since 1977 because the protocol of “remove and warehouse” was status quo for so long. Tools exist to that should have been utilized a decade ago. But right now the removal at Wyoming simply “hurts” as we stand at the threshold of perhaps witnessing such huge removals of wild horses vanish into history.

This is a letter we received in our inbox from a member of the public, Terri McCleary:

October 10, 2014

I have been following the round up over the last 10 days and I have to say it is shameful the way the BLM is managing our wildlife. You have been given other alternatives to control the size of the herds using birth control, but you’ve ignored this. You have been given studies on how wild horses help the eco system (which Europe is re-introducing the wild horses to help sustain their eco system), but you have ignored this. You have ignored the American public in their desire to keep the wild horses wild (Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971) and not in holding pens at tax payers expense. You have sentenced them to extinction because of special interest groups. It is unbelievable that this is how we operate in the USA, definitely not a democracy. What we witnessed, removing 1200+ horses is nothing more than a holocaust on wild life.

Please stop this and listen to what the American public wants. Keep these wild horses wild and safe on the land that is their home. Look at the real issues of what is destroying our public land, it is not the horses. These horses represent our heritage, our freedom and our spirit.

I hope you will take the time and effort to find a better solution and work with the many volunteers that want to see these horses remain in the wild.

Thank you for your time,
Terri McCleary

It is time we begin to fully analyze and correct things of the past including boundary lines, repatriation of HAs, genetics, public interest… 

We mourn the loss of freedom and family with you and the 14 deaths related to the roundup… and renew our commitment to creating change.

Categories: Wild Horse Education