2011 roundup in Antelope Hills HMA. Photos by Carol Walker.
Wyoming is on a campaign to wipe out its wild horses.
The BLM is currently accepting public comments on a plan to remove 1700 wild horses from Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex, which includes the following herds: Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Green Mountain, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills.
Initially, when the BLM released their Scoping Document for public comment in February, the proposed action was to treat the mares with a birth control drug, PZP-22, then release them. Now the BLM has changed course and despite the thousands of comments from the public against this action, and requesting bait and water trapping rather than the cruel and inhumane method of using helicopters to chase and drive the horses, has stated that Alternative 2 which includes removing 1700 horses, 45% of all the horses left in Wyoming, and only giving fertility control to 23 mares is now the proposed action.
Alternative 1 is to remove all wild horses outside of HMA boundaries and utilize fertility control on mares to be released back to the HMA. In this alternative, 482 wild horses outside the boundaries of the HMAs would be removed and 713 mares would be treated with PZP fertility control and released along with 607 stallions. This alternative is preferable to the proposed action, but rather than removing the horses outside of the boundaries of the HMA, they should be returned to the HMA.
Read the EA here:
Please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8 to this email address:
Personalized comments work the best, so I am going to give you some items to cover, but please use your own words:
Alternative 1 should be used. Removals of wild horses from their homes must be avoided – there is no place to put them and already 50,000 wild horses filling holding facilities to capacity. Use of PZP fertility control to control the population of these herd areas should be used instead of removal.
Alternative 1 should be modified in one respect – the horses outside the HMAs should be returned to the HMAs rather than being removed.
Three of the five herds have AMLs too low to insure genetic diversity of these horses. Removal of wild horses to the low end of AML in these Herd Management Areas will jeopardize the health of these herds.
During the roundup, horses should be kept in their family bands, and they should definitely be kept within the HMAs that they came from. Horses have a complex social and family structure and should not be treated like livestock.
The public should be given 14 days’ notice of start date of the roundups so that interested citizens have adequate time to arrange to observe the roundups.
Land Use Plans should be revised to allow AMLs to be raised for all of these Herd Management Areas, and livestock grazing should be reduced. Wild Horses should be managed as the principle species where they are found, according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
Again, please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 8:
Benjamin Smith, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist
BLM Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. 3rd Street
Rawlins, WY 82301
Jeremie Artery, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist (Acting)
BLM Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, WY 82520
By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Carol Walker is the Director of Field Documentation on the Board of Directors for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, which is dedicated to stopping the roundups and keeping our wild horses wild and free. Carol’s websites are: wildhoofbeats.com and Living Images by Carol Walker.