Saving Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin Herd

The Bureau of Land Management plans to permanently remove over 700 of the just over 890 wild horses from Colorado’s beloved Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area herd.

BLM is conducting this “emergency” helicopter roundup because of (1) concerns about enough forage for the upcoming winter; (2) the number of wild horses exceeds the agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 163-363 for over an 157,700 acre Herd Management Area; and (3) because horses have gone onto property due to gates left open by the public, including ranchers.

The BLM’s intent is also to capture and release an additional 50 wild horses, approximately 25 mares treated with fertility control, and about the same number of studs.

Photos and videos taken very recently show the horses looking healthy. Recent rainfall has alleviated concerns over a lack of water.

With many other issues to deal with, there is no reason for the BLM to target smaller wild horse populations, particularly herds that are easily trackable, have very young foals, and ongoing investments in fertility control programs.

Last year, volunteers darted 300 mares in the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area with safe, proven, and humane fertility control. This was a significant investment of time and resources to safely manage the herd on the range.

Public outcry and elected officials representing Colorado have contacted the Department of Interior (DOI) and the BLM to protest and stop this unnecessary roundup, so far to no avail.

Injuries and deaths have been increasing daily. The helicopter contractor has been relentless and grossly inhumane in chasing down and trapping these horses.

This roundup has been especially brutal and cruel. See updates on the Sand Wash Advocates Facebook page: