Tell Feds to Protect Wild Horses in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
Public Comment Deadline: February 28, 2013
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input on how to manage a herd of 100-150 wild horses living in the Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. Wild horses have lived in Mesa Verde National Park for many years and are part of the park's natural landscape and history. Each year, thousands of park visitors enjoy seeing the wild horses, as evidenced by the videos and photographs of these beautiful horses that are regularly shared online.
The Park Service has stated that it will decide how to manage the horses based on the comments it receives from the public. Now is our opportunity to encourage the National Park Service to humanely manage these wild horses with PZP birth control, just as it has successfully managed the wild horses of the Assateague National Seashore in Maryland for more than two decades.
To take action, please take these steps:
1. Copy and personalize the bold text below
2. Paste the text to the Park Service web form by clicking here.
The wild horses of Mesa Verde National Park are part of this area's natural landscape and history. They are also an important part of the visitor experience. Each year, thousands of park visitors enjoy viewing the wild horses, as evidenced by the videos and photographs of these beautiful animals that are regularly shared online. I urge the National Park Service to create a management plan for the wild horses that preserves this unique and historic herd in Mesa Verde National Park and protects their wild, free-roaming behaviors, while managing their numbers through the use of humane and reversible fertility control. The National Park Service has had great success managing a similarly sized wild horse population in the Assateague National Seashore using PZP birth control. The Assateague horses have been managed using PZP for 20 years without a single removal. I urge the National Park Service to establish the following as guiding principles for managing the horses:
1. Protect archaeological sites by creating fence barriers to keep horses away from sensitive areas.
2. Educate staff and visitors about wild horses.
3. Preserve natural behaviors and natural social structures of wild horses and manage their numbers utilizing safe, humane and reversible PZP fertility control. 4. Allow the time necessary for a PZP fertility control program to reduce population numbers over time.
5. Prohibit any population suppression techniques that are not reversible and/or alter natural behaviors. These include hormonally based fertility control drugs, experimental drugs with deleterious side effects and manipulation of sex ratios, which alters behavior and natural social band structures.
6. Prioritize the use of remote darting or bait and/or water trapping for application of PZP. If removals do occur, bait and/or water trapping should be used as a less intrusive alternative to traumatic helicopter roundups.
7. Ensure fencing within the Park does not inhibit the natural migratory patterns of wild horses in the park.
8. Improve the distribution of the wild horse population within the park through range improvements.
Thank you for your consideration.