The largest roundup in history began weeks ago with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) helicopter contractor targeting a capture of 4,000 wild horses across five Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the Wyoming Checkerboard.
This unnecessary, massive roundup will continue into February 2022. Over 3,500 wild horses will be permanently removed from over 3 million acres of land. Based on mortality rates connected to roundups, it is estimated that at least 50 horses will die horrible deaths as a result. The BLM estimates that just over 1,600 wild horses will remain on the 5 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) equaling one horse for every 2,141 acres.
Wild horses which survive the onslaught will be confined in feedlot pens that provide about 700 square feet of space per horse. These horses were used to roaming freely 10-12 miles daily!
It is fully expected that a large percentage of the horses to be adopted through the BLM’s cash incentive program will end up shipped for slaughter. This $1,000 per horse incentive program was proven to fail as evidence surfaced showing “truckloads” of wild horses ended up in the slaughter pipeline, per reporting by The New York Times. The horses escaping this brutal ending will remain in captivity having lost freedom and family forever.
And what is all of this for?
For decades, livestock special interests have lobbied to have wild horses removed so that private (and corporate) cattle can graze on our taxpayer-funded public lands. Right now the lives of thousands of Wyoming’s wild horses hang in the balance as the BLM’s massive roundup rages on, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
In January, the BLM released a proposed amendment to its Resource Management Plan (RMP) which effectively zeroes out wild horses from 3 of the 5 HMAs and then gutting the number of wild horses allowed on a fourth. This would remove over 2 million acres from wild horse use, and include “management” tools like the dangerous, inhumane and costly surgical sterilization of wild mares.
In drafting the RMP, the BLM appears not to consider solutions more in line with the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. These solutions would include the use of land swaps or increasing a program utilizing safe, proven, and humane fertility control. Doing so would help to stabilize wild horse populations and reduce the number of wild horses rounded up only to end up warehoused in overcrowded off-the-range holding facilities.
Send a message to BLM that it must not approve its preferred Resource Management Plan amendment, www.blm.gov:
The recently appointed Director of the Bureau of Land Management is Tracy Stone-Manning.