Straight from the Horses Heart

RT Fitch

Call to Action from American Wild Horse Preservation.org

BLM Plans to “ZERO OUT” and Destroy Two Unique Wild Horse Herds

Public Comment Deadline: December 7, 2012

Taking its marching orders from Wyoming’s powerful livestock industry, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning the second roundup in less than three years of wild horses living in the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming’s pristine Red Desert region. The 1.5 million-acre public land area is managed as a complex due to wild horse movements between the two HMAs. The roundup is proceeding despite the fact that the Adobe Town HMA is substantially below the low end of the Allowable Management Level (AML) of 610 – 800 horses. Even more disturbing, the BLM intends to remove all wild horses on “private land or checkerboard land within the Rock Springs Office portion of the HMA.” Since the majority of the Salt Wells HMA is “checkerboard” (alternating public and private land parcels), and since the wild horses living there cannot tell the difference between public and private land, this raises the alarming possiblity that the entire HMA will be zeroed out!

This stepped-up roundup plan is the result of a lawsuit filed last year by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which owns or leases the checkerboard lands for livestock grazing. The legal action — which the Interior Department itself advised ranchers to file – seeks to compel the BLM to remove all wild horses from the public and private lands in the checkerboard area. AWHPC and our coalition partners, The Cloud Foundation and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, have intervened in this lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the government from simply settling the case by agreeing to wipe out all the horses on the 2 million acres that constitute the Wyoming checkerboard. Yet, deciding not to wait for the outcome of this litigation, the BLM is now proposing this potentially devastating roundup.

The BLM allows the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) to graze the annual equivalent of 15,000 cows — or 75,000 sheep — in the alltoments that lie within and around the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek HMAs, while restricting the wild horse population in this vast area no more than 1,165. The RSGA members enjoy the privilege of grazing their livestock on our public lands, as well as the benefits of the taxpayer subsidies that underwrite below-market grazing rates. It’s time for our government to demand that, in return for those privileges, the RSGA members be required to tolerate the presence of America’s cherished wild horses on the public and private lands in this area. More