BLM Releases Decision Record plan to wipe out the Red Desert Complex after they destroy the Checkerboard

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM has announced it will be removing 2200 wild horses from the Red Desert Complex, starting in October 2017.  This would be after the Checkerboard Roundup, where the BLM is planning to remove 1560 wild horses starting in September.  This means 3760 wild horses will be removed from their homes and from their families, and this is over half the wild horses remaining in Wyoming.

This is insane.  Right now, Congress is considering the 2018 Budget which now includes language that will allow the killing of the 46,000 wild horses in short and long term holding as well as thousands more on the range.

Adding 3760 more horses makes absolutely no sense.  There is nowhere to even put this number of horses in short term holding unless the BLM has already begun shipping wild horses in holding to slaughter.

Rounding up and removing these horses is a death sentence to them if this budget passes without an amendment to protect the horses.

In the Red Desert Complex, the 5 herds will all be reduced to numbers below the 150-200 adults needed to maintain genetic viability. Stewart Creek will be at 150, Lost Creek at 60, Antelope Hills at 60 Crooks Mountain at 65 and Green Mountain will be left at the closest to the number needed, at 170.

The rationale is that the horses travel back and forth between areas so they consider the Complex as a whole at 480 wild horses.  But I dispute this.  There may be some mixing of the members of herds at the boundaries, but these are vast areas and horses tend to be territorial – they cannot guarantee that the horses will mix sufficiently to maintain genetic viability.  There is data provided on each herd’s genetic viability but most of this is very old data, not from the most recent roundup in 2011 and 2012.

Then they plan to use PZP-22 on all mares over 1 year old that are released back into the area.

This is a recipe for destroying these unique herds, not preserving them.

The BLM is making the worst possible decisions for the wild horses under their care, as they have been for decades.

Be sure to read Carol Walker’s blog, Wild Hoofbeats.

Wild Horses: Please Comment by Oct. 7th on Proposed Destruction of Red Desert Wild Horse Herds

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats

wild horse, Antelope Hills Herd Area, Wyoming, roundup, stallion, mares, foal, helicopter

2011 Roundup in Antelope Hills HMA

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Proposed Removal of over 1700 Wild Horses in the Red Desert Complex in Wyoming

Wyoming is on a Campaign to Wipe Out its Wild Horses

The BLM is currently accepting public comments on a plan to remove 1700 wild horses from Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex, which includes the following herds: Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Green Mountain, Crooks Mountain and Antelope Hills.

Initially, when the BLM released their Scoping Document for public comment in February, the proposed action was to treat the mares with a birth control drug, PZP-22, then release them. Now the BLM has changed course and despite the thousands of comments from the public against this action, and requesting bait and water trapping rather than the cruel and inhumane method of using helicopters to chase and drive the horses, has stated that Alternative 2 which includes removing 1700 horses, 45% of all the horses left in Wyoming, and only giving fertility control to 23 mares is now the proposed action.

Alternative 1 is to remove all wild horses outside of HMA boundaries and utilize fertility control on mares to be released back to the HMA. In this alternative, 482 wild horses outside the boundaries of the HMAs would be removed and 713 mares would be treated with PZP fertility control and released along with 607 stallions. This alternative is preferable to the proposed action, but rather than removing the horses outside of the boundaries of the HMA, they should be returned to the HMA.

Read the EA here:

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/red-desert.html

Please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 7 to this email address:

RedDesertComplex_HMA_WY@blm.gov

wild horse, Antelope Hills Herd Area, Wyoming, roundup, stallion, mares, foals

Antelope Hills wild horses running from the helicopter

Personalized comments work the best, so I am going to give you some items to cover, but please use your own words:

Alternative 1 should be used. Removals of wild horses from their homes must be avoided – there is no place to put them and already 50,000 wild horses filling holding facilities to capacity. Use of PZP fertility control to control the population of these herd areas should be used instead of removal.

Alternative 1 should be modified in one respect – the horses outside the HMAs should be returned to the HMAs rather than being removed.

Three of the five herds have AMLs too low to insure genetic diversity of these horses. Removal of wild horses to the low end of AML in these Herd Management Areas will jeopardize the health of these herds.

During the roundup, horses should be kept in their family bands, and they should definitely be kept within the HMAs that they came from. Horses have a complex social and family structure and should not be treated like livestock.

The public should be given 14 days notice of start date of the roundups so that interested citizens have adequate time to arrange to observe the roundups.

Land Use Plans should be revised to allow AMLs to be raised for all of these Herd Management Areas, and livestock grazing should be reduced. Wild Horses should be managed as the principle species where they are found, according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

Again, please comment by 4pm Mountain Time on October 7:

RedDesertComplex_HMA_WY@blm.gov

and here:

Benjamin Smith, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist
BLM Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. 3rd Street
Rawlins, WY 82301
(307) 328-4200
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov
Jeremie Artery, Wild Horse & Burro Specialist (Acting)
BLM Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, WY 82520
(307) 332-8400
Email: reddesertcomplex_hma_wy@blm.gov

#FightingForFreedom

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Carol Walker is the Director of Field Documentation on the Board of Directors for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, which is dedicated to stopping the roundups and keeping our wild horses wild and free.  Carol’s websites are:  wildhoofbeats.com and Living Images by Carol Walker

image

Eleven years ago, Carol began photographing wild horses. As she followed several herds in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, she became aware of how precarious their situation on public lands has become.  Since then, she has dedicated herself to educating people with her photographs and stories about the wild horses. She is one of the leading advocates working to keep America’s wild horses wild and free on our public lands.  Her award-winning book Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses The book was released winter of 2008 and is currently in its third printing. Carol’s second book, Horse Photography: The Dynamic Guide for Horse Lovers is in its second printing. Carol’s third book, Mustangs: Wild Horses at the Heart of the American Legend was published in October 2014 in France.

Proceeds from the sales of Carol’s artwork and books fund her work to keep America’s wild horses wild and free.  Carol produces a calendar of her image each year to benefit Wild Horse Freedom Federation.