Hello Supporter, August 18, 2011
Speak Up for the Famed Wild Horses of the Pryor Mountains - Submit Comments Now!
BLM Proposes to Remove More Mustangs from Cloud's Herd
Just two years ago, the Interior Department Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted a controversial helicopter roundup in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, permanently removing 52 wild horses from their homes on public lands on the border of Montana and Wyoming. The Pryor Mountains are home of the famed wild stallion Cloud and a herd prized for its Spanish colonial ancestry.
Now the agency is proposing to remove more mustangs from the Pryor Mountains in 2012. The BLM is not specifying the number of horses who will be targeted, but the sudden removal of a large number of wild horses from this already small population could have negative impacts on the health of this nationally significant herd.
This area of the Pryor Mountains is specifically designated as a national wild horse range, one of just three in the country, and as such it should be managed according to the highest standards. Please get your scoping comments in today to ensure that the BLM considers alternatives to the proposed removal of wild horses from the Pryor Mountains, including measures to accommodate the current number of wild horses remaining there and re-open seasonal access to traditional grazing grounds in the Custer National Forest, which were fenced off from the horses last year.
AWHPC's Lawsuit to Stop Castration of Free-Roaming Wild Stallions "Won" According to Federal Court Judge
AWHC was successful with its lawsuit to stop the BLM from proceeding with the castration of 177 free-roaming stallions in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming. In addition, AWHPC commissioned (thanks to a generous donor) a range report on the White Mountain/Little Colorado HMAs which outlines that the upcoming roundup scheduled to begin this Saturday, August 20, 2011, is unnecessary.
In her court order dismissing the case, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted that we had "won" by forcing the BLM to back off the gelding plan. On behalf of AWHPC and our co-plaintiffs Western Watersheds Project, photographer Carol Walker and Greg and Donna Duckworth, our attorney, Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal made clear to the court and to the BLM that we are prepared to challenge any similar castration plans as a serious violation of federal law.
AWHPC continues to closely monitor BLM decisions for upcoming roundups. The BLM recently clarified that there would be no castration of free-roaming stallions during the Barren Valley roundup in southeastern Oregon.
If you come across any newly issued Decision Records or BLM requests for public comments on proposed roundups please be sure to forward them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWHPC Founding Sponsor Advocacy Sponsor
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Supported by a coalition of over 40 organizations, its grassroots campaign seeks:
* A suspension of roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations while the entire BLM wild horse program undergoes objective and scientific review;
* Higher Appropriate Management Levels (AML) for wild horses on those rangelands designated for them;
* Implementation of in-the-wild management, which would keep wild horses on the range and save taxpayers millions of dollars annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities.
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Also of Note...
Update on Twin Peaks Litigation
Earlier this week, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel dismissed as "moot" an appeal to stop the Twin Peaks roundup which took place last summer. The sole dissenting judge on the three-judge panel pointed out that a remedy still existed should the roundup be deemed illegal. This remedy involves return of captured horses - currently in BLM holding facilities - to the range. However, the two other judges on the panel decided that the appeal of the roundup was "moot" given that the action had already taken place.
On the positive side, the court noted that the plaintiffs (In Defense of Animals and Dreamcatcher's Wild Horse Sanctuary) had raised serious questions on substantive provisions of the law protecting the wild horses. The Twin Peaks litigation continues in district court. Read more about the case here.
Triple B Roundup Continues
Photo by Laura Leigh
The largest wild horse roundup of the summer is still underway in the Triple B Complex in northeastern Nevada. Since July 20, the BLM has captured 1,046 wild horses from this one million acre range. Nine horses have been killed in the roundup, the majority of them young foals.
AWHPC's Deniz Bolbol observed the Triple B roundup for eight days and has posted new video documenting the incompetence of the BLM roundup contractor and the cruelty of the roundup, as evidenced in the relentless chase of a mare who had sustained a previous (but healed) leg injury and was subsequently killed by BLM after she was captured. View AWHPC's updates on the Triple B roundup, including BLM data as well as our field observations here.