Red Desert Wild Horses at Risk of Removal and Slaughter
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a massive roundup and removal of 2,096 horses, or 80% of the 2,620 horses in the Red Desert Complex that includes Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek, and Stewart Creek Herd Management Areas. BLM wants to end up with a low Appropriate Management Level of only 524 wild horses on 753,000 acres of public land.
Please also consider that any horses currently in short and long term holding, as well as any removed from their homes on public lands this year will be in jeopardy of being sold without limitation and may end up at slaughter if the Trump Budget is passed.
There is no question that these horses will be better off left on the range. Not only will they continue to live out their lives free with their families as wild horses should, but they will not become a further burden on taxpayers who are paying to warehouse 45,000 wild horses currently. This roundup is senseless, cruel, and may result ultimately in the deaths of thousands of these wild horses.
Please write a letter to the BLM asking them to NOT roundup and remove over 2000 wild horses from the Red Desert Complex. If they need to control the numbers on the range, there are methods of birth control that can be used, but only if the herd size is in the genetically viable range of 150-200 adult wild horses. The Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments on a revised Environmental Assessment for a proposed helicopter roundup and removal of most of the wild horses living in Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex despite the thousands of public comments made on this plan in 2015 calling for the more humane method of bait trapping be used if horses were to be removed.
In order to reach the low Appropriate Management Level of 524 wild horses, the Proposed Action would remove approximately 80% of the horses, or about 2,096 horses, in the Complex – about 1,518 horses within the HMAs and 578 horses outside of the HMAs. If any mares older than one year old are released back into the HMAs, they would be treated with PZP. This would reduce the size of the herds in the complex to dangerously low numbers, especially if the aerial census counts performed by the BLM which use outdated statistical models to “estimate” and pad herd numbers are wrong. Three out of five of these herds would be reduced to numbers below those needed to maintain genetic viability.
The BLM should raise the Appropriate Management Level for the Red Desert Complex wild horse populations. The BLM must also fairly allocate range resources to ensure that wildlife – including wild horses – have a fair share of the forage on our public lands, rather than giving exorbitant resources to the privately owned cattle and sheep operations. 7-11 times as much forage is allocated to privately owned livestock over wild horses. These numbers should be changed – decrease livestock grazing in these wild horse management areas by retiring grazing leases.
Ask BLM to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
Please make your comments in your own words – the online form letters are only counted as one – so you need to write your own comments.
Please send them in by June 5 by email or mail to the addresses below:
Comments may be emailed to RedDesertComplex_HMA_WY@blm.gov
Please include “Red Desert Gather EA Comments” in the subject line.
BLM Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. 3rd Street
Rawlins, WY 82301
BLM Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, Wyoming 82520