Wild Horses/Mustangs

Mesa Verde National park prefers removal of ‘trespass horses’

Source:  the-journal.com

About 80 horses live off the land at Mesa Verde National Park (photo: The Journal file)

Mesa Verde National park prefers removal of ‘trespass horses’

Proposal includes five-year capture plan and a last resort

By Jim Mimiaga Journal Staff Writer

Mesa Verde National Park is seeking public comment on a plan to remove free-roaming horses and cattle from the park’s interior.

Currently, about 80 “trespass horses” and 12 feral cattle roam the backcountry of Mesa Verde, which is known for its Ancestral Puebloan ruins. The animals are not considered wildlife, and the park does not allow livestock grazing under its management policy.

On Friday, a Livestock Removal Environmental Assessment was released for a 30-day public comment period on the issue. The park’s preferred Alternative B includes a phased, proactive approach to remove all livestock within five years, and improve the park’s boundary fencing over the next 10 years to prevent livestock from re-entering the park.

“We are working on how to humanely remove livestock from the park and identify potential homes for captured, unclaimed livestock,” said Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer. The primary capture methods identified in the preferred alternative include baited pen trapping and horseback roundups.

The National Park Service will coordinate with the Colorado Brand Inspection Division and local brand inspectors to identify possible owners of the trespass livestock, and will follow the most humane methods as defined by the American Veterinarian Medical Association, the park said.

Read the rest of this article HERE.


The 30-day public comment period for the draft Livestock Removal Environmental Assessment opened on Friday, April 13. Comments are requested by Sunday, May 13.
The public comment site is available online at bit.ly/2JL0CFK
A printed copy will be available for review at the Mesa Verde

5 replies »

  1. Here we go again! Horses are grouped together with destructive cattle. And how do you deny water to wildlife! Cattle are not tourist attractions but wild horses are. Killing the horses is disgusting! Roundups a disaster! And harassing elk is the funniest comment yet! Many of these regulations are Park made rules that people have established. I definitely will be sending my comments along. Thanks for the heads up!


  2. 2014
    Push for protection for Mesa Verde wild horses continues

    “Horses have resided in the park since before the archaeologically important area was designated a national park in 1906.”

    Five national and local wild horse preservation and anti-animal-cruelty organizations are keeping pressure on the National Park Service to manage the more than 100 horses living in the park to the delight of some tourists and the chagrin of park officials.

    The horse advocates are trying to ensure that no more horses die from dehydration because the Park Service treats them as “trespass livestock” and does not operate under a mandate to protect them.
    “At this point, we are still at a standstill waiting to hear from the Park Service on what we can do,” said Tif Rodriguez, director of the Colorado Chapter of the National Mustang Association.

    Six horses died of dehydration and malnutrition in the park this summer. The deaths triggered protest letters to the Park Service’s top echelon demanding change.

    Horses have resided in the park since before the archaeologically important area was designated a national park in 1906.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. The horses have been known to be on the land since before it became a park so why are they trespassers? We need to get the wild horses declared a native species so they will be treated as wildlife–not domesticated horses on the lam.


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