Horse News

Only 90 Wild Horses Released Back into the Red Desert Complex During the Largest Removal in WY History

by Carol Walker as published on Wild Hoofbeats

A gorgeous and proud buckskin stallion runs as fast as he can, away

Yesterday, 20 wild stallions and 46 wild mares were released back into Stewart Creek in the Red Desert Complex in Wyoming. The day before 24 stallions had been released.

Yesterday morning we drove 2 hours to the trap site, hiked and set up our gear and then were told that they cancelled the roundup for the day because of high winds. Of course the forecast had said that last night and this am, so it should not have come as a surprise. One more day of freedom for the wild horses of Arapahoe Creek.

The 20 stallions

We rushed back to temporary holding hoping we could see the stallions being released.

A very happy varnish roan

I watched 20 wild stallions being released back into Stewart Creek Herd Management Area in Wyoming. As the trailers drove up I was struck by the wildly proud posture of a stunning buckskin stallion in the front of the trailer. He did not look like a good candidate for captivity, so it is a very good thing that he has been included with the stallions to be released back into Stewart Creek.

The proud buckskin in the trailer
A bay roan and a buckskin
A favorite in the area, a palomino appaloosa
Stallions are going fast

Most of the stallions bolted and ran as fast as possible never looking back but just as we thought they were all out one big gorgeous black and white pinto stallion leaps out then turns to take a look at us. So awesome! He headed a different direction from the other stallions, not in a hurry, clearly an older guy and an independent sort! I had very much enjoyed seeing him in the wild and was happy to see him here.

The black and white pinto
He turns to look at us.

Next we saw 24 wild mares released in the same area as the stallions had been released into. They were not running as fast as the stallions, they called to each other and waited and all ended up together in a big group. It is so interesting how differently they behaved than the stallions. Yesterday I was at the Red Desert Complex wild horses roundup and was able to see 20 wild stallions released back into Stewart Creek then two groups of 46 wild mares released as well, bringing the total to 44 wild stallions and 46 wild mares released.

A mare jumps out
The mares run
Beautiful varnish roan mare

The original total to be released was supposed to be 150 but we were told that the helicopter pilot found 60 horses still on the range in Stewart Creek so instead of going back into Stewart Creek to roundup more horses they instead subtracted that number from the total. All of the mares were treated with PZP-22 birth control with a plan to continue field darting the mares in the future to control the population. Appaloosas, which include varnish roans as a type of coat pattern, are common in Stewart Creek and relatively rare in the wild so I was very happy to see many being released.

The mares gather into a big group

I know, this is supposed to be a happy post – after all, 90 horses get their freedom! But it just underlines what is wrong with this whole plan of removal and devastation. It is important to know that none of the mares with foals were released. None of the horses were kept with their families, so they must start over and there will no doubt be a lot of disruption and fighting. That huge gorgeous pinto stallion had a large family – no more. Although these horses are the lucky ones because they get to stay free, they have still lost so much.

The amazingly beautiful wild horses of Arapahoe Creek had another day of freedom because of the high winds, but now today most of them have been captured and are in the temporary corrals. Such a needless act of senseless waste and cruelty. None of the Arapahoe Creek wild horses will be returned to their homes. They are considered to have strayed “out of the Herd Management Area” because in the late 90s or early 2000s their HMA was turned into a Herd Area not managed for wild horses. Of course you would ask “why?”

Mare and foal rounded up with their family today, their lives will never be the same

Why would the Herd Management Area smack dab in the middle of the other 5 not be managed for wild horses? Sure there are some fences, but many downed fence as well. And the BLM’s justification for managing Crooks Mountain, Lost Creek and Antelope Hills at 60-65 horses in each which is way below the 150 adults needed to ensure genetic viability is that the horses go from HMA to HMA.

The BLM is determined to zero out the Arapahoe Creek HA. They are also going to remove many more horses than they should from all the HMAs because their “count” in August was impossibly high. There will be very few wild horses remaining in the Red Desert Complex when they are done. These wild horses were nit starving to death – they are fat going into winter with body scores of 4 or 5. The range is in good shape and there is plenty of water despite the fact that the cattle and sheep ranchers have left their livestock out for months longer than they are supposed to this year. This is wrong. Our wild horses need to be managed in their homes on our public lands where they belong with their families. This needs to stop.

11 replies »

  1. I’m absolutely sickened by the distruction of the inhabitants of our country by legions of evildoers. I believe they will get their just desserts in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you understand why the human believes his power and will should not be questioned? Can you understand why humans exercise their power over everything on Earth? Unfortunately, humans often forget to be humane.

    Even more often, animals are the subject of our extremely brutal acts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from Mississippi response:

    Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the Bureau of Land Management.

    On March 12, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management issued a new incentive program to encourage the sale of excess wild horses and burros to qualified buyers. Should legislation regarding free-roaming horses and burros come before the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind.

    Having the benefit of your views is important to me. I appreciate your taking the time to write.


    United States Senator

    CHS /SW


  4. With the virus right now so many people are dropping their animals off and deserting them along highways to fend for themselves and it’s horrible. People can be so cruel and the same can happen to those horses you are capturing. Leave them alone so they can live free a little longer til this virus is over and people get back to normal .
    Then maybe people will start to want horses and will take care of them the right way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stop stop stop. I can’t stand this nightmare that’s happening to our innocent horses. Horses are what made our civilization develop. I am sickened to my very core..
    I hope the human beasts that are involved in this genocide rot in Hell

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The question that begs to be asked is: What purpose will the BLM be putting these HMAs to next? Its so very obvious that these horses are doing very well – forage appears to be great – so what purpose?? More livestock? This is sickening, frankly. Have no more words at this point. And the words I have? wouldnt be appropriate here. The above letter from the Miss. Senator? It only says what we all know – these politicians follow the BLM propaganda & dont make any attempt to look farther. Sickening.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The anguish our wild horses go through is beyond comprehension. We have HMAs for our wild horses.This is heartbreaking to release only 90 horses. What were they treated with? Not genetic viability in the minds of the BLM. Shame on our government and the the BLM. Those who work for the BLM, how can you honestly work for them and feel right? The BLM needs to work with us, horse owners and lovers that understand their plight and make it better for them. We need massive reserve designs. Massive long term sanctuaries where our horses go and live out their lives in freedom not pens all across this country. I want to be on this task force and make it happen. Please all of out there, contact your government officials. We can make this happen. We need to introduce a new bill. Total protection of wild horses and burros act again. No horse slaughter, no transport of our wild horses to slaughter bound areas. You are jailed if you do. Let’s get busy horse warriors. We can do this. Our wild horses and burros need us NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

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