The Bureau of Land Management just announced plans to destroy three wild herds of horses in the Checkerboard Area of Wyoming’s Red Desert. These wild horses are federally protected and living on 2 million acres in southeastern Wyoming.
The proposed Resource Management Plan would zero out the Salt Wells Creek Herd, the Great Divide Basin Herd, and roundup up and surgically sterilize the entire White Mountain, meaning within a few years this herd will be gone as well. All three of these iconic herds have large sections of “checkerboard” of public and private lands throughout much of the area, which since 2011 has led to several lawsuits. The Rock Springs Grazing Association, the most powerful grazing association in the country wants all of the wild horses removed. Instead of participating in land swaps that would allow consolidation of the public lands that wild horses roam on, they want all of the land, private AND public for grazing their livestock and the wild horses removed completely even though America’s public lands are “mixed-use” by definition.
The Adobe Town Herd Management Area, which has only a small fraction of Checkerboard and over 478,000 acres will have its Appropriate Management Level (which is the range from low to high of wild horses allowed in the area) cut almost in half, from 610-800 to 225-450.
The plan will result in the removal of over 4000 wild horses from their homes and families and freedom, and 40% of wild horses habitat gone forever.
Changing the Land Use plans as a vehicle for wiping out entire populations of wild horses defies their federally protected status. And the issue here is bigger than wild horses in Wyoming – this may very well serve as BLM’s new template for eradicating all of America’s treasured wild horses.
I will be partnering with the American Wild Horse Campaign in the upcoming legal battle as I have on all the previous lawsuits to protect the wild horses in this area. This cruel and devastating plan that benefits one powerful special interest group cannot be allowed by the American people, 80% of whom want wild horses and burros to continue to roam free on our public lands.
What can you do to help? Today you can sign American Wild Horse Campaign’s petition and pass it along to your friends. Keep an eye out for updates about where to send comments about this horrific plan, and support the legal fund.
Here is the link to the petition: