The American Wild Horse Campaign is furious with BLM. This time it isn’t Black Lives Matter troublemakers taking the heat. The Bureau of Land Management illegally rustled 60 fully protected wild mustangs. The non-government organization protecting the horses wants them back, now.
BLM stealing horses
Traditionally, they hang horse thieves in these parts but the most powerful equine protection organization in America dragged BLM into court, demanding the government do the right thing, pronto.
They just held the “largest wild horse roundup operation in the agency’s history.” When it was over, they were caught illegally holding an extra five-dozen ponies.
The herds of free-range horses roaming across Wyoming are a controversial part of the state’s natural resources. The planned herd management roundup started in October and remains scheduled to run into February.
The BLM organized operation is focusing on “five federally-protected herds that roam on 3.4 million acres of land in and around Rock Springs.” When they get done, half the mustangs will be gone. At least, they aren’t chased off cliffs and turned into dog food anymore.
Lawyers for the American Wild Horse Campaign rushed to the courthouse with paperwork which accuses that “the BLM unlawfully removed 59 more wild horses than authorized in its Environmental Assessment and Decision Record for the roundup.” They need to turn them loose “in order to avoid legal action.”
According to Grace Kuhn, Communications Director for AWHC, “This roundup is of great importance to the public, not only due to the sheer number of wild horses being removed but because of the continued scapegoating of this herd in favor of privately-owned livestock.”
Removing too many
The equine advocates “want to send a clear message” to BLM that “we are watching closely.” They look straight at Bureau Director Tracy Stone Manning, with that Billy Jack look in their eyes, and assure her that “every horse counts and matters.”
In the Bureau of Land Management’s “attempt to hide from the public that too many horses are being removed from the Salt Wells Creek HMA and too few are being returned to their homes,” officials prove once again that “the public cannot trust them to follow their own protocols or to protect and properly manage the wild horses in their care.”
They catch the horses and return planned numbers to the wild, after giving the females “fertility control.”
William Eubanks, a leading public interest environmental lawyer, notes that “BLM has unlawfully taken the Salt Wells Creek HMA below low AML [appropriate management level] by removing more horses than analyzed or authorized.” That’s illegal. The government ignores their own rules.
If they commit right now to “rectifying these legal violations by returning at least 59 more stallions and mares to the Salt Wells Creek HMA (in addition to the 42 stallions already returned and the 45 treated mares BLM intends to return this week), AWHC will agree not to pursue litigation.”
So far, the roundup “captured 2,383 wild horses and there have been 11 deaths reported, including two wild mares who died yesterday after breaking their necks while crashing into panels after being chased into a trap by a helicopter.”