On File: Desatoya

Today, Wild Horse Education (WHE) and WildLands Defense (WLD) filed legal action against the Desatoya HMA “gather plan.”

The organizations allege that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has created a mishmash of fertility control (IUDs, various substances the agency admits can cause sterilization) and a removal plan without any management plan. In addition to the extreme actions the agency intends to impose on wild horses, the agency released massive livestock grazing plans that will adversely effect the HMA.

“The plan appears to be to ‘set up’ wild horses as a scapegoat for the next decade; repeatedly removed and experimented on any time the new livestock grazing scheme expectedly destroys the range,” stated Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education.

“This is nothing new from BLM as they repeatedly consult with the livestock industry as they barely interact or include any other interest in actual planning,” stated Katie Fite, WildLands Defense, “This time the concurrent actions make the set-up more than obvious.”

You can view the finalized plan for the Desatoya herd HERE.

Some of the absurdities in the finalized plan:

  • The BLM has approved the use of IUDs at Desatoya, yet state they do not need inclusion of a study that would demonstrate safety in a wild population.
  • The approved gather plan claims to tier to an old “gather plan” (the agency references as a management plan or HMAP) that disallows sex-skewing, the practice of creating a larger male to female ratio on the range. Yet, the finalized 2021 plan approves the practice.
  • In one instance the EA states that “Horses are present year-round and their impacts to rangeland resources differ from livestock.” Yet, the permits for the vast majority of the HMA are for year round domestic livestock use.

The finalized EA states: Gather and removal of excess wild horses to low AML and population growth control by establishing a non-reproducing component… could be implemented via gathers and the sterilization of mares over a period of ten years. 

“The agency repeatedly skirts planning that would protect wild horses and simply removes them for profit driven interests again and again,” said Leigh. “Management planning, the Herd Management Area Plan, is not something they can continue to avoid. Wild horses, and those that speak for them, deserve a fair voice.”

An update on the filing will be published soon.

We thought you would like to know as soon as possible.

You can view the pending livestock grazing EAs for the Desatoya HMA

Edwards Creek, Carson and Porter Canyon HERE.

Notice of “Outcome Based Grazing” at Smith Creek Ranch that will impact the HMA HERE.

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Last roundup at Desatoya. There are already so many fences at Desatoya that the wild horses were run through two barbed wire fences, one on one side of the draw and one on the other side. 

Categories: Lead, Legal