(Reno, NV) The Bureau of Land Management to continue the gather of 1,000 wild horses and burros without analyzing significant environmental impacts, contrary to the law.
Today, CANA Foundation and Wild Horse Education filed suit in federal district court to protect the Blue Wing Complex from the antiquated and unscientific Environmental Assessment (EA) BLM is using to justify ten years of Wild horse and Burro removals without public process.
The US Government Ignores its own laws and continues the unchecked decimation of America’s Public range lands, Wild Horses, Burro’s and wildlife. In violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act the government is planning to round up 1000 wild horses and burros without the use of current data and planning documents necessary to make environmental assessments in properly managing the range in this tenuous time of climate change and droughts.
Plans for monitoring and evaluating management actions and decisions, require the collection of timely data/information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of decisions such as removals of wild horses, water levels, and overall range condition that should effect the decisions for wild horse roundups and permitting for grazing, geothermal, hard-rock mining, as well as oil and gas.
The organizations reached out to the Nevada State Director in a letter challenging the agency justifications moving forward. After receiving no response, and BLM simply announcing the start of the removal, CANA and WHE had no choice but to file litigation.
The Secretary of the Interior is to use the best available science. In many cases, roundups are being run using archaic planning and vacant scientific analysis.
But with no collection of current data or environmental assessments as required by law, the BLM plans to remove 1000 wild horses and burros from their homes and disregard the destruction caused by the livestock and mining industry’s on public lands all at the tax payers expense.
Dr. Ross MacPhee Science advisor for the CANA Foundation and senior curator for the Mammalogy Dept. at the Museum of Natural History states that “It has been completely forgotten, or ignored, by the BLM that the large herbivores of the past, like mammoths and ancient horses, were the ones that maintained North America’s prairies by appropriate grazing and returning nutrients to the soil. The grasslands of the west are now only a faint echo of what they once were, with a much lessened capacity to sequester carbon or to resist wildfires. Horses are natural caretakers of the grasslands in ways that cattle are not and never will be”
Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education explains, “Stakeholder engagement is skewed consistently to favor industry; if you represent an environmental interest you are repeatedly ignored. BLM has not truly updated environmental analysis in management for Blue Wing since 1987; they just carry over the dusty myths connected to their agenda and plow ahead. A lot has changed in the world in 40 years… except how BLM continues to ignore stakeholders for wild horses and burros, continues accelerated removals to suit big corporate politics, and fails at responsible management of a public resource.”
With the use of required analysis and planning we can prevent the inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros on range and during capture, as well as all wildlife and critically important water sources.
“The deaths during roundups that we have seen so far, just this summer, are in part due to the sheer lack of science backed management planning that includes a data-based foaling season,” Leigh continued, “In the last week two young foals died unnecessarily at Triple B. It is foaling season in Blue Wing as well, where the BLM claims there is no foaling season at all for burros. The burros at Blue Wing are heavily pregnant and with very small babies; our team is out there now. What is getting ready to hit that complex is simply not ‘ok’ in our nation that claims to be civilized.”
CANA Foundation and Wild horse Education have taken next steps in trying to bring the Nevada state BLM to rectify the archaic system and drive sustainable and science-based management of our lands, wild horses and burros and wildlife.
*Blue Wing is located located 50 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, the Blue Wing Complex (the Complex) consists of approximately 1,230,364 acres; additional areas zeroed out for wild horses and burros bring the total acreage to over 2 million.The complex encompasses five Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that include Kamma Mountains, Seven Troughs Range, Lava Beds, Blue Wing Mountains, and Shawave as well as four Herd Areas (HAs) that include Antelope Range, Selenite Range, Trinity Range, and Truckee Range and is the next target on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) accelerated removal schedule.
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