Wild Horse Education

Orgs Challenge BLM NV Director Over Planned Capture of 1900 Wild Horses

Pregnant Triple B mare, taken 7/10/22

Roundup of 1900 Wild Horses by BLM NV Challenged

(RENO) Today, the CANA Foundation and Wild Horse Education (WHE) sent a letter challenging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) imminent roundup of 1900 wild horses in the Triple B Complex in Nevada. The roundup is set to begin this Friday, July 15.

In light of new legal precedent in Friends of Animals v. Culver, Civil Action 19-3506 (CKK), 15 (D.D.C. Jun. 28, 2022), that raises serious questions about the validity of multiple “gathers” justified under ten-year Gather Environmental Assessment (EA), the groups question the solvency of the agency assertion that they comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in this instance.

In 2017, the BLM approved a ten-year Gather EA that combines two large complexes of Herd Management Areas (HMA), Triple B and Antelope. The combined acreage of the complexes is 3,870,919. The agency claims the population goal for the combined area is 899 wild horses.

Since the finalization of the EA, the agency has completed 3 capture operations in Triple B totaling 2,584 wild horses and in the Antelope Complex completed 4 operations totaling 4,106 wild horses. A total of 6,690 wild horses have been captured under the 2017 Gather EA.

“The physical environment has really changed out there since 2017,” stated Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education. “As the agency continues to use the charade that ‘removals mean management’ they continue carving up the landscape for livestock and mining. Access to critical habitat and seasonal migratory routes is rapidly becoming an exercise in abuse of wild horses on those ranges.”

The agency has made no move to include creation of actual management planning as mandated under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and their own handbook. In fact, they are avoiding all discussion that includes any mention of the Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) process and simply amping up the “gather plans” they masquerade as management.

“The agency has closed the door to introduce new science-based management tools to increase productivity of the range and protect wild horses through rewilding,” stated Manda Kalimian, Founder of CANA Foundation. “These ten-year plans that continue to run, with no opportunity for revision as climate change continues to impact the landscape, our wildlife and our herds, is unconscionable.”

The most recent roundup conducted under the EA took place last fall at the Antelope Complex. The operation included multiple infractions under the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP); the agency’s own assessment of handling found the operation in violation.

“I witnessed intense and chaotic runs that included foals being run over, a chopper coming so close it caused a mare to fall, collisions with barbed wire,” stated Leigh. “Since that roundup BLM has made no revisions to CAWP or even opened the policy for public input. It is all so very wrong.”

The Buffalo Hills roundup that ended last week (with the capture of 380 wild horses, 10 deaths) saw the same collisions with barbed wire, chaotic flying, a horse dragged by the neck and a foal slammed to the ground and tied to an ATV.

“In 2011, at Triple B, I walked BLM into court over abuse for the first time in history. That roundup was shut down and began the creation of the policy today.” Said Leigh, “Why do we even have to go to court to get our federal government to stop allowing abuse of wild horses? Why do we have to go to court to try to get them to actually do anything at all to protect habitat? As an American, all of this is just so outrageous.”

The advocacy groups are determining their next course of action as they await a reply from BLM. Over 10,000 wild horses and burros are on the BLM capture schedule through October; most of them using outdated planning.

You can learn more about the broken BLM on-range program in Wild Horse Education 2022 Report by clicking HERE.

You can learn more about CANA’s rewilding initiatives HERE.

You can learn more about Triple B and the Ten-Year EA by clicking HERE.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education