The Ely district of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning on removing 1000 wild horses from the Silver King HMA. The operation will begin the last week of November.
Only 244 wild horses will remain in the HMA once the operation is completed.
The area consists of 574,962 acres of BLM land and 498 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 575,460 acres.
At this time the agency is proposing a litany of projects for domestic livestock that occupy part of the HMA that includes more fencing to be constructed in an HMA that is already crisscrossed by fencing and gates that impede movement of the herd. The district is failing to appropriately notify wild horse organizations. The district is failing to even respond to inquiries for proper notification. Wild Horse Education and WildLands Defense have filed a protest. (We will bring you more info soon.)
(NOTE: this is the same district that failed NEPA in approving the Gold Rock mining project by excluding known wild horse interests. We have filed legal action.)
In 2010 our 5 year court battle to gain daily access to roundups and to open the Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes in Fallon) facility to public tours began at Silver King. The “Silver King case” went up and down the court system creating landmark civil rights precedent and the case is cited by news media around the country as they battle for the right to observe and report on the actions of the federal government.
An interested press and public are important. Public land management is often a hierarchy that operates like a “friends and family club.” Wild horses are managed by the BLM for the public. An interested “wild horse public” has a legal right to observe and to “be at the table.”
Please note that daily access was won for all, not just us. It took years of following each and every rule, protocol or made up on the spot restriction. Years of taking the fight from range to court. Today all have access to roundups each day.
Our work in the Ely district does not just include the arduous First Amendment case, it includes filing and winning the first case against abusive conduct at roundups. WHE is the only organization to take abusive conduct into a courtroom. We are the only organization to win, repeatedly. We now have an enforceable human handling policy (even if we must go back into the courts because BLM fails to adhere to the policy, it’s enforceable. There is now a solid base if caselaw to assist any effort).
The work to protect and preserve wild horses is complicated and deeply involved in land use planning. Yet even when we do the field work and are ready to address these proposed projects government agencies fail the public and simply exclude interests “they don’t like.” It’s on “ok.”
We need your help to continue this important work.
Until November 22nd and midnight all contributions to WHE will be matched. Together we have created change. Yet our work is only possible with your support. ALL contributions will be matched and you will be placed on our mailing list to receive our “Year in Review, 2018” digital magazine.
Match extended through Saturday the 24th!
Help us build a strong frontline to fight for them and their habitat.