BLM to Remove 1,225 Wild Horses from the Great Divide Basin in Summer Roundup that Will Stampede Young Foals and Pregnant Mares
All Remaining Horses May Be Sterilized & Managed as "Non-reproducing" Herd
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This beautiful mustang family living in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in Southern Wyoming does not know the terror that awaits them. Beginning as early as July 2011, the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intends to send out helicopters to roundup over 1,600 mustangs from this HMA. After tearing foals from their mothers and forcibly driving mares from their stallions, the BLM will permanently remove 1,225 of the wild horses from their rightful home on our public lands.
And making a bad situation worse, the BLM is considering an option to remove 100 percent of the horses from the Great Divide Basin and return a small number of sterilized horses to the range. That's right - gelded stallions and spayed mares, and a population of wild horses managed as non-reproducing! BLM's decision to choose this option in the neighboring Little Colorado and White Mountain Herd Management Areas is sparking outrage across the nation.
Roundup During Peak Foaling Season
Photographer Carol Walker recently visited the HMA and found few foals, which means that the foaling season has not yet hit its peak. This spells danger for the Great Basin Divide mustangs, as still-pregnant mares and vulnerable one-month- old foals will be stampeded over miles of rough terrain during the helicopter drive. Previous roundups have run young foals so hard that their tender hooves literally sloughed off, requiring the BLM to euthanize them, and heavily pregnant mares suffered spontnateous abortions in holding pens after being stampeded and captured.
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Ignoring the Will of the People. . . Again
The BLM received more than 3,200 comments opposing this roundup, but it is proceeding with the costly and cruel roundup in spite of the public's call for alternatives to be implemented. Once again, the agency is promising change, but delivering business as usual. The BLM allows just 400-610 wild horses to live in this this 1,200+ square mile public lands area. Meanwhile, the four livestock grazing allotments in the Great Divide Basin HMA are authorized to use 17-26 TIMES MORE forage and water than are the federally-protected wild horses!
The photo above shows some of the hundreds of cattle that Carol Walker observed on her recent visit to the Great Basin Divide HMA, an area that was designated by Congress to be managed principally for the benefit of wild horses.
While no crisis exists on the range, the fiscal crisis is mounts off the range, where the BLM's stockpiling of more than 42,000 captured wild horses threatens to break the fiscal backs of American taxpayers. The Great Basin Divide roundup will add over 1,000 more horses to government holding facilities that already cost taxpayers nearly $50 million annually.
Wiping Out Wyoming's Wild Horses
While Wyoming's Tourism Board advertises its state by promoting its wild horse herds, the BLM, in partnership with the cattlemen's industry, is busy clearing Wyoming's mustangs from the land. The proposed Great Basin Divide roundup will take place on the heels of another massive BLM roundup, which aims to remove nearly 700 wild horses from the nearby White Mountain and Little Colorado HMAs in early July. Both actions follow by less than a year the devastating Adobe Town and Salt Wells roundups, which permanently removed more than 2,000 mustangs from these famed HMAs in Wyoming's Red Desert region.
Let BLM know that it is not acceptable to continue to ignore the comments of thousands of American citizens who are speaking up for the mustangs!