Horse News

Wild Horse Advocates to get Court Hearing over Herd

From the pages of HorseTalk

Unified Advocacy Groups Advance Wild Horse Case Against BLM

A federal court rejected a request from the Bureau of Land Management to dismiss or limit a suit brought by wild horse advocates to save Colorado’s West Douglas wild horse herd.

Although the bureau withdrew its 2010 plans to cut the wild horse herd early in 2011, the consortium of wild horse advocacy groups and concerned citizens still want the courts to decide whether the bureau has the legal authority to zero out a herd.

By her ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed that advocates could proceed with their claim.

The battle over the West Douglas herd is nearly two decades old, and only through the efforts of concerned citizens and organizations have the horses been saved from the BLM’s desire to remove them all from their homelands.

In 2009, opponents won the first case in the United States against the bureau’s practices of eliminating wild horse herds when Judge Collyer set aside the department’s 2008 roundup plans.

In 2010 advocates again sued the bureau and it withdrew its plans to cut the herd.

“The court agreed that we have the right to challenge the decision to zero out the herd, originally made in the 2005 Amendment, despite the fact that the BLM has decided not to perform a round up and removal in 2010,” said Bruce Wagman of Schiff Hardin LLP, legal lead for the groups.

“BLM has been trying to avoid the issue with self-serving tactics, but the court found the BLM’s decision to hold off on this year’s gather ‘does not effect any change to the allegedly improper decision to eliminate the herd as soon as practicable’. This is, of course, exactly what we argued.”

Co-counsel Valerie Stanley said: “For years, BLM has issued cookie-cutter environmental assessments that purport to elicit public opinion on whether wild horses and burros should be removed from the public lands, all the time knowing that they set these eradication decisions in stone years previously.

“BLM has finally been called on their game plan to decimate the nation’s wild horses and burros.”

R.T. Fitch, president of the funding organization, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, said: “We have made a commitment to not only the wild horses but to the American public, that we are in this battle for the long haul and will stand firm on the letter of the law until the BLM relents and agrees to follow its mandates.”

Hilary Wood, of Front Range Equine Rescue, added: “While the fight to preserve wild horses is far from over, this ‘win’ provides hope that justice can prevail in the courts for America’s mustangs.”

Plaintiffs in this action include, Habitat for Horses, Front Range Equine Rescue, The Cloud Foundation, Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Dr Don Moore, Toni Moore and Barbara Flores who are collectively supported by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

15 replies »

  1. A congressional investigation ( hearing) still needs to be done of the BLM’s “Managing for Extinction”. The 1971 WFRH&B Act is being broken. I wish Salazar, Abbey ,etc. all could be fired and go to prison for what they have done .


  2. I agree Barbara, They have committed crimes and have broken many Laws , they should not be immune d to Justice, This is what America is about, its time these two and many others who are trying to eradicate our Mustangs , whom are protected by the Law, be forced to face the consequences of there actions, it is also time our Mustangs are allowed to roam free, and the maiming and murdering is stopped………..MUSTANGS ARE OUR HERITAGE THEY BELONG TO THE PEOPLE NOT THE BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


  3. Also, other People who read this, need to UNDERSTAND:
    that EA ‘plan’ was FILED for Round-ups to CONTINUE through 2011,2012, 2013, & beyond, if necessary !! Isn’t that correct?
    so, ‘lest they think, poor BLM is being Picked-on’….with a ‘frivolous Lawsuit’ that is no longer applicable !!!! ;[


  4. Amen Barbara. The BLM and all connected should be asked to find employment else where. The sad thing about all of this, is that it is our tax dollars that gives them the amunitiion to continue rounding them up. Thank you RT and the others for standing strong so that we many save Americas Mustangs & Burros. If anyone is interested, OBama has a question and answer that will take place on Twitter. So fire up all those computers. The more people that get involved the more publicity the Mustangs & Burros will get. We just must keep calling and writing until they get it. The more emails, letters, twitters and face book information the more Americans will see what is going on and take action. I don’t know what the hold is on the Administration, but it certainly must be big. It undoubtly has something to do with Harry Reid as he is one of the Senators from Nevada. Who does he owe and is it worth the aniliazation of our Mustangs & Burros? Money and power are what they understand. I just sent more emails yesterday to all my Legislators. The members of the House of Representative are now in their home district offices so if you have time go visit them and bring all of the information. You can call and make an appointment. I also found out that my Rep has the Hometown meetings so I asked for a list of those dates. Get a group together and present some of the facts at the hometown meeting. I think things are looking up for our horses, But we never can let up. Lets keep the pressure on!


    • Not only should the blm be investigated for the crimes against the horses but I’d like to see a financial audit of their system along with the awarding of contracts etc. Turn the dept upside down and give it a good shake.


  5. and We THANK the Great Creator for people like R.T., Ginger, Hilary, Craig, Don, Toni, (and ALL others) with the guts & stamina to KEEP ON, KEEPING ON the BLM over this!!
    Remember, this is NOT over !
    the Federal Judge said, “2005 Amendment directed the BLM to eliminate”
    [*ELIMINATE/*DESTROY 4-EVER! ALL of them! ]
    ‘the herd ‘at the earliest practicable date’ , and BLM’s recent withdrawal of its decision to gather the herd in 2011 does Not effect any change to the allegedly improper decision to eliminate the herd…”
    note the words: IMPROPER Decision to ELIMINATE the Entire Wild Horse HERD !


  6. I agree with all being said here – especially Morgan’s statement that a financial audit is absolutely required! There are way too many hands in that cookie jar that’s being filled continually with our tax money and it’s time to put the lid on it forever! We can do this!


  7. Not only does the public have to pay to try to stop these round ups through lawsuits, we also pay the BLMs legal fees too! Included in the round up costs to US taxpayers, all the money the BLM wastes going to court to uphold their right to illegally harass, round up and brand wild horses.


    • Agreed….their is no transparency, accountability or discipline when things go wrong in our environment, food, wildlife, etc.

      In other words….there are no consequences for the perpetrators of the actions that result in fraud, waste, abuse and down right destruction of America’s public assets.

      WTH has happened to Washington, DC and ultimately, us as a Nation?


      • Where has the power of the people’s voices gone? In 1971 the Wild Horse Act passed unanimously in Congress. Would this happen today, even with overwhelming public pressure? I don’t think so, as politician seem unmoved by the people’s voices now. Why are we electing people who think their constituents are corporations and special interests? Might have something to do with the fact that our government is not representative of the people anymore. 50% of members of Congress are millionaires. 1% of the population is.


  8. Not only do the horses belong to the people, the LAND belongs to the people, not the BLM. The BLM are only the care takers of the land. The land belongs to the people, and somewhere down the line, the BLM has come to think they own it. So we need to stand together (and we are) to make sure the BLM know ther place, caretakers………..


  9. Horses are simple beings , who really dont require much to survive, Horses have a flawless memory, with no greed or ego, what great politicians they would make !!!! They have lesson to teach to them also………………..


  10. OT but Urgent! Flood Obama’s economy Twitter Town Hall with questions about BLM waste in persecuting mustangs and burros. Use the #AskObama hashtag.


  11. If every single one of those murderous BLM’ers could be charged with animal cruelty and even abuse causing death, it would be a VERY happy day for everyone. I pray that if it is won and they can’t touch another single horse ever, that the ones in pens will be permmitted to finally go home where they belong. They have lost too much. Time to give them their home back and their dignity.


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