The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting comments on its draft revision for the Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan (RMP) developed by the Cody and Worland BLM Field Offices in Wyoming. The 5.6 million acre planning area includes the McCullough Peaks and Fifteenmile wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Also included are five Herd Areas (HAs) that the BLM has "zeroed out" for wild horse use, primarily to make room for private livestock grazing.
The Bighorn Basin RMP revision will set the Authorized Management Levels (AMLs) for the McCullough Peaks and Fifteenmile HMAs. Despite a proposal to add 10,000 acres to the McCullough Peaks HMA, none of the alternatives considered in the draft RMP would increase the current AMLs of 70-140 "breeding adults" for McCullough Peaks and 70-160 "breeding adults" for Fifteenmile.
These artificially-low AMLs were set decades ago and reflect wild horse population levels that existed in 1971, when Congress determined that America's mustangs were "fast disappearing" and needed federal protection. They reflect a BLM policy driven by commercial interests like energy development, mining extraction and livestock grazing and not public interests, including the protection of America's wild horses.
Currently, BLM authorizes at least 85 times more private livestock than wild horses (the equivalent of 25,404 cow/calf pairs vs. 300 horses) to graze in the Bighorn Basin planning area. All but 22 acres of the McCullough Peaks and Fifteenmile HMAs are open to livestock grazing.
The wild horses of north central Wyoming need our voices NOW to change this unfair policy. This is the time in the BLM’s land use planning process to weigh in and make a difference for the horses.
Please personalize the letter below and send it today. For more information:
Bighorn Basin Draft RMP and Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Summary of Key Points Related to Wild Horses in the Bighorn Basin RMP
Citizens Guide to the Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan
Photos of McCullough Peaks wild horses on this page provided courtesy of Carol Walker, Living Images.