Tell BLM: Leave Red Desert Mustangs in their Home!
Photo | Casper Tribune
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wyoming is seeking public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a massive helicopter roundup and removal of over 1,700 wild horses from Wyoming's Red Desert Complex -- this is almost 45 percent of the entire wild horse population remaining in the State! This proposed action will return only 43 horses to the range after the roundup, leaving just 480 wild horses in the more than 700,000-acre public lands complex, which includes the Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Green Mountain, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills Herd Management Areas (HMAs). In taking this action, the BLM blatantly ignored the comments of over 6,000 citizens who responded to the agency’s request earlier this year for input into what alternatives and impacts it should analyze for the management of the Red Desert horses. The agency also refuses to disclose the staggering costs of the proposed removals – both to the taxpayers and to the horses, who will be placed into a system in which 50,000 wild horses are already stockpiled and are in increasing danger of being sold for slaughter.
The BLM's process for gathering and considering public comments is clearly a complete charade, but now is not the time to give up! Help us take a stand to show that we, the citizens and taxpayers, will not be ignored. Please take action below today!
Pershing Country Ranchers Drop Anti-Mustang Lawsuit
Photo | BLM
Late Tuesday, Pershing County, Nevada and six public lands ranchers dropped their lawsuit against the BLM seeking the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands in the area. In exchange, the BLM agreed to a drawn-out schedule over several years to prepare and evaluate alternatives for removing wild horses from 16 HMAs in and around Pershing County. AWHPC and Pershing County landowner Debra Davenport filed for and were granted the right to intervene in the case and were part of settlement discussions between the BLM and the suing parties. The private settlement agreement that resulted is not a court sanctioned one, and is essentially a face-saving move on the part of the ranchers and Pershing County to drop their meritless lawsuit before we filed a motion to dismiss. Federal courts in Wyoming and Nevada have already granted AWHPC's motions to toss similar rancher-led lawsuits against the BLM seeking removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands in those states.
White House Asked to Halt Experiment on Nevada Wild Horses
Photo | BLM
On September 24, 2015, AWHPC's law firm, Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks, filed a complaint on our behalf with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) against the BLM to stop a precedent-setting plan to use an experimental fertility control vaccine on wild horses in the Antelope HMA in eastern Nevada. Unlike the PZP fertility control vaccine, which has been studied and used for more than two decades, the vaccine in question, known as GonaCon, has never been adequately studied in horses. The National Academy of Sciences itself concluded, "Further studies of behavioral effects of [GonaCon] are needed."
The long-term effects of GonaCon on horses are unknown, but include potential behavioral impacts that will change the social dynamics and organization of wild horse herds, and miscarriage if the vaccine is administered to mares in the early stages of pregnancy. The agency's plan to use GonaCon for the first-time ever on wild horses under BLM management without scientific study is unjustified. As a result, AWHPC is calling upon the CEQ to prohibit the BLM from using GonaCon in wild mares in the absence of a formal scientific study that accurately collects and analyzes data on the physiological and behavioral effects of the vaccine on horses.
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American Wild Horse Preservation
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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.