Wild Horse Education

2020 Roundup Schedule; get ready for chaos


Roundups are on the verge of going into overdrive

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is putting together the fiscal year 2020 roundup schedule. Once funding is approved by Congress in the fiscal 2020 debate (happening now) we may see the schedule explode to include up to 20K wild horses removed each year for the next 3-4 years. These will be the largest roundup schedules in history.

This will decimate existing populations. It is based on the severely flawed parameters of politics in the 1970’s and perpetuated through a program based on excuses and chaos ever since.

WHE has proposed an alternative to Congress that requires no additional funding, fixes the flaws outlined by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and brings the program into fiscal balance and fair management by 2029. To begin the “changes” we did propose only $2 million for BLM to produce an extremely specific report for Congress. WHE are working hard. But we are up against so many, not just the opposition, that want to turn the BLM program into a privatized series of contracts on the back of the taxpayer. (more here)

As always, we hear those that betray the wild horses continue to use the work others have done, like the fight to gain a humane policy that invested not one dollar in (CAWP), as tag lines to justify their betrayal and keep their orgs true agendas hidden under a shroud. “Roundups will include CAWP” they say in press releases. Yes, roundups will include CAWP because it is the law to handle “humane” and is the product of multiple court cases that set that in stone. It needs oversight, something NOT in the agenda “Path Forward” or in the Senate and House bills.

Today they are still not fighting the battles against those intent on destroying our herds, they have joined in. (more here

One example that is extremely troubling is the change to the NEPA process for beginning a roundup. BLM no longer creates something called a “Decision of NEPA adequacy,” (DNA), for a roundup. They used to craft one 30-45 days prior to a removal operation. If an org had documentation to demonstrate a flawed decision, we could protest that decision and either change it or stop it. This change happened in 2019, here.

BLM now defines the need for that protest period by counting the number of cases filed in the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) and federal courts, not fair and lawful process.

BLM claimed advocates wait, on purpose, to file as a roundup starts. So they cut the notification time down to a minimum of 14 days, with no DNA. How long do you think it takes to craft a case once you are notified? You need to check your data to ensure you can prove that BLM has no legal justification, find an attorney with the time on their schedule, explain the case and basis, craft the case, raise the funding and file. Unless you are extremely wealthy with a lawyer on speed dial your ability to get a case on file in 14 days is a massive undertaking that would allow absolutely no time for any other task.

This is an intentional move to run roughshod over the wild horses and burros… and any voice advocating for them. Wild horses and burros are the only public lands interest that short a window to respond to an agency action. This is an example of BLM’s new “pay to play” mode of operation.

What we will see in 2020 will be a rapidly changing schedule. Many areas will have extremely short notice. We are getting a glimpse of it now.

This is just the beginning of BLM formulating the next years (fiscal year) schedule that begins this month.


Next week BLM will begin a removal of horses and burros in NV, with only 14 days (13 days if you count the date of actual notification, not issuance of the notification). This particular operation could stage out of three different locations, all hours from each other. BLM dimply states “check the gather hotline the night before.”

The following week Fifteen Mile in Wyoming begins a removal of 600 wild horses.

Saylor Creek in Idaho has been announced, yet no date is on the schedule.

Challis in Idaho begins November 1. (This is one of those areas that BLM likes to use as an example of “collaborative management.”)

Between now and Nov 1, if funding is approved, October could blossom into several choppers flying in different locations, on very little notice. That is how BLM will, likely, fill this schedule for the winter. Be ready for chaos if this funding package of an additional $35 million approved by the Senate Committee makes it over the finish line.

The orgs claiming it protects wild horses? It does not. No funding is specifically designated for fertility control, oversight, nothing that will prevent spaying, etc. Not one dollar fixes flawed AML (stocking levels) or addresses any single flaw in range management. This agenda will run the program, and our truly wild herds, to collapse.


Please continue to take action. Next year is an election year. It is very important for your representatives to hear from you. Clear and informed, please continue to make your calls. This is the last sand for the truly wild. Please make the call. (more HERE)

We will update you soon on our efforts.

Many of you remember what things were like a decade ago. We are headed rapidly in that direction, and worse, again.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education