The Bureau of Land Management has released an Environmental Assessment for the roundup and removal of wild horses from Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek in the Red Desert of Wyoming. Comments are due by June 10, 2013.
Here is the link to the Environmental Assessment online:
The BLM is determined to follow though on their planned removal of wild horses in Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek despite the need for cutbacks in every other area of government. Somehow they were able to obtain $6 million dollars for helicopter roundups a month ago for these and other roundups days before the Consent Decree of 2013 was signed by the judge. More information on the case can be found here: http://wildhorsepreservation.org/media/federal-court-grants-wild-horse-groups%E2%80%99-request-intervene-grazing-association-lawsuit-aiming-0
In this Environmental Assessment, the BLM wants to remove 85% of the wild horses in Salt Wells Creek, an area of over 1 million acres.
Some specific items that I object to in this Environmental Assessment:
1. The numbers that the BLM is basing their need for roundup and removal on were obtained in May 2012. Their projections are a fairy tale at best. They should have conducted a direct count in May 2013 so that their numbers have even a remote chance of being accurate. They have projected population growth based on a very high 20% growth rate, with no accounting for any mortality, and also they are counting the projected foals of 2013 in order to arrive at their conclusion that Adobe Town is over low AML, which is 610 horses. A roundup should not be scheduled unless the herd is over AML, not low AML, and the numbers should not include the current year’s foal crop.
3. The range conditions have changed significantly since 2012. There has been a winter and spring including enough moisture that wild horse removal should not be considered a “necessity” and an “emergency.”
4. A statement in the EA that concerns me very much is this: