(EUREKA, NV) Today the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) granted two wild horse advocacy groups, Return to Freedom and Wild Horse Education, status to Intervene on behalf of wild horses.
A legal challenge was made by Eureka county and local ranchers (including one under a formal decision of cattle trespass) to stop the return of 183 wild horses to the range following the capture of 432 wild horses from the Fish Creek Herd Management Area in February 2015.
The filing against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an assertion that the federal government has no authority to carry out a ten-year management plan based on fertility control instead of costly captures and removals. The claim asks that wild horses be removed, and with holding facilities at maximum capacity, to euthanize or sell off wild horses without limitation (slaughter).
The IBLA has dismissed the ranchers claim as having no standing to address these issues, but is allowing the county’s argument.
Return to Freedom and Wild Horse Education have been granted status to Intervene on behalf of the BLM management plan and the wild horses.
Return to Freedom (RTF), a national wild horse conservation organization, runs a large scale sanctuary in California. The method of fertility control proposed at Fish Creek has been used by the sanctuary for more than15 years. The sanctuary manages 400 formerly wild horses.
“It is time to move forward with proven, safe and humane solutions to manage wild horses and burros on their ranges sustainably”, said Neda DeMayo, President of Return to Freedom, Wild Horse Conservation. “Any other argument is a distraction that only serves the current inequitable distribution of our public land grazing and natural resources”, DeMayo continued.
Wild Horse Education (WHE), a national non- profit based in the state of Nevada, has been active in range monitoring and discussions with the BLM on the Fish Creek herd for several years. WHE actively engaged in the current management strategy for this herd based on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that address fertility control and collection of data.
“It’s more than past time that we see management based on best practices as outlined by the best available science.” said Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education, “Over and over again I document our wild horses and public lands suffer because of an agency that prioritizes livestock out of laziness or fear. In this case BLM has created an actual management plan that will address the gaps in data outlined by the NAS. It is time we put on our ‘grown up pants’ and step boldly into a world where facts trump fiction.”
Leigh has documented these particular wild horses for years. “We are going to do everything we can to get them home, safe and into a new decade of sanity.”
Links of interest