The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act mandates, the Secretary of Interior shall manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public land.
A friend of mine, one of the most dedicated horse advocates I know, reminded me that the removal of wild horses and colts that play and roam on 2 million acres in four areas of Wyoming, is becoming a reality. That is if the Rocks Springs Grazing Association (the largest livestock association in the country) and the BLM have their way.
Last year the RSGA sued the BLM to remove all wild horses from public lands they shared with cattle. They are forgetting that it is a privilege not a right to graze their cows. That the land they use is public. Yours and mine.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (how lovely) owns part of the land known as Salt Wells, but the remaining is public. We're talking 1.1 million acres. In this particular area, the AML (Appropriate Management Level) is 365 horses. They want to zero out this herd. A roundup will occur this winter.
Adobe Town, has an AML of 800 horses on 477,624 acres. All but 5% is public. The removal of close to 400 horses might take place as soon as this winter.
In the Divide Basin, 600 horses are AML on 776,000 acres, but no more horses will be allowed in this area. The plan is to zero out this herd, leaving it strictly for cattle. A roundup is planned for 2014.
In the White Mountains, the appropriate management level is 300 horses on close to 400,000 acres. The new plan is to spay and geld castrate 205 horses and return to the range. Not only is spaying mares dangerous, it could kill them. This will be a "non-reproducing herd" to keep tourism money in Sweetwater County for awhile. Eventually they will be wiped out completely.
Yesterday was the deadline for sending comments in letter form to the BLM asking them to halt their plans for these inhumane wild horse roundups. Where helicopters chase them down and run them ragged, including newborn foals. Their little legs are damaged after these hard and erratic runs.
The amount of personalized letters and comments that they receive, supposedly make a difference.
I hope mine will.
Date: September 27, 2013, 10:12:27 AM MDT
To: "BLM_WY_RockSpringsRMP@blm.gov" <BLM_WY_RockSpringsRMP@blm.gov>
Subject: Wild horse scopingTo whom it may concern:Save Wyoming's wild horses.
Tourism advertising boast visitors to "come to Wyoming to see the wild horses."
But, at the same time, they are being removed.
To see a wild horse, an icon of the west, is on thousands of people's dream vacation list.
Also, they don't want to see a horse who's been tampered with, gelded, fixed, etc. because obviously doing so changes the behavior of wild horses. They lose their "wildness," so to speak.
These horses know what's going on, and it shows.
The tourists know what's going on, and it shows.
Wyoming will have a bad reputation for heartlessness and greed and mismanagement and above all selfishness. The word is already going around.
These beautiful beasts were supposed to be protected BY LAW. The people who work for us, the BLM have broken that promise. Again. And again.
Please don't remove the horses. There is plenty of room for them and other wild animals to roam.
Cows don't belong here anyway. They turn our prairies into dust. Exchange them for bison.
Thank you for your consideration.
This beautiful image by Terry Fitch shows a sadness in their eyes and the BLM brand they all receive.