There’s likely more than one thing going on here, including the Bureau of Land Management’s internal politics that we don’t know about. Horses are regularly eaten, just as beef cattle. Does somebody see a cheaper meat on the hoof? There’s private livestock interests. There’s simply culling the herd which is done in hunting. Births maybe outnumbering deaths. There’s a number of things at play here.
The Bureau of Land Management is under fire for not releasing almost 60 horses back into the land that’s been set aside for them. So what’s being done with these protected animals?
Those animals are supposed to be gone once this huge roundup is done. It’s been going on since October and is expected to continue until February. But once it’s done, 50% of the horses will be gone.
The feds eradicating horses
We’re not going to know the official reason the feds are doing what they’re doing but they’re violating an agreement. These horses are under their care roaming almost 3.5 million acres of land around Rock Springs.
The American Wild Horse Campaign or AWHC charged the BLM with removing 59 more horses than it was supposed to according to the Environmental Assessment and Decision Record. AWHC attorneys want those horses returned to the herd or legal action will be pursued.
Wild horses roamed the land when the United States was young. It’s important to remember our past and this is one aspect of it. Grace Kuhn is the communications director for AWHC. She stated, “This roundup is of great importance to the public, not only due to the sheer number of wild horses being removed but because of the continued scapegoating of this herd in favor of privately-owned livestock. We want to send a clear message to the agency that we are watching closely and that every horse counts and matters.”
Carol Walker is a wild horse photographer, she’s not happy either. “In its attempt to hide from the public that too many horses are being removed from the Salt Wells Creek HMA and too few are being returned to their homes, the Bureau of Land Management once again proves that the public cannot trust them to follow their own protocols or to protect and properly manage the wild horses in their care.”
Horses on birth control
As part of the initial agreement, the agency released 42 stallions and will release 45 mares on birth control back into the Salt Wells Creek HMA. That’s all well and good but ALL of them need to be returned.
William Eubanks, an attorney for the leading environmental law firm Eubanks and Associates, just said to put all of them back and we’ll be fine. “In our view, BLM has unlawfully taken the Salt Wells Creek HMA below low AML [appropriate management level] by removing more horses than analyzed or authorized … in flagrant violation of [federal law]. If BLM commits to immediately rectifying these legal violations by returning at least 59 more stallions and mares to the Salt Wells Creek HMA (in addition to the 42 stallions already returned and the 45 treated mares BLM intends to return this week), AWHC will agree not to pursue litigation seeking a court order that BLM’s actions have violated, and are violating, its duties under federal law.”