Owyhee Litigation Moves Forward

Removal Cancelled at Snowstorm in 2013

Removal Cancelled at Snowstorm in 2013

(Reno) Last week more documents were filed in the ongoing legal saga of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ten year removal plan of wild horses from the Owyhee Complex in northern Nevada.

Laura Leigh, President and founder of Wild Horse Education, alleges that wild horse removals are unlawful at the Owyhee Complex due to insufficient data and analysis of available data. Leigh also asserts that at removals that occurred under this plan have violated First Amendment notions.

In documents filed last week through Leigh’s attorneys, Danielle Holt and Michael Beede, Leigh moves these claims forward as allowed by the court.

“Because the plaintiff may reasonably expect that the same agency conduct would likely repeat in other areas of the Owyhee Complex during the ten-year EA as that outlined in paragraphs 11-13, 15-16, 18-28 and 32-33, and which also causes inhumane methods and conditions to occur, and which causes roundups to occur based on no information or mis-information or inaccurate or non-valid data, plaintiff avers that the Defendants should be temporarily restrained and preliminarily and permanently enjoined from proceeding with further roundups during the ten-year EA, within the Owyhee Complex until after the defendants conduct appropriate studies and obtain valid, current data.”

The Owyhee Complex is comprised of five distinct Herd Management Areas (HMAs) consisting of more than one million acres of public land and the removal plan covers nearly two million acres. The removal area also covers areas removed from use by wild horses after the 1971 Act of Congress to protect them, although much of the area still allows private livestock grazing.

At the last removal in 2012-2013 Leigh’s camera captured images of wild horses being repeatedly electric shocked (hot shot), babies run until they could not keep up and even wild horses colliding with barbed wire fences.

In an earlier order the court included expectations for conduct that disallowed the above mentioned practices.

In summer of 2013 BLM announced removal plans at the Snowstorm HMA, part of the Owyhee Complex. After documents were filed addressing the lack of data, BLM cancelled Snowstorm.

Owyhee Complex, Winnemucca District Nevada 2012

Owyhee Complex, Winnemucca District Nevada 2012

Wild Horse Education is devoted to gaining protection from abuse, slaughter and extinction of our wild horses and burros.