Currently, the BLM is accepting public comments on a scoping document with the deadline of September 19, 2012 for its preparation of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for an eco-sanctuary for wild horses in northeastern Nevada.
Yes, this is indeed the eco-sanctuary that Madeleine Pickens and her Save America’s Mustangs Foundation is proposing. Mrs. Pickens’ plan to give the horses that are currently in holding a better life in a natural setting and using BLM cattle grazing allotments to do so is a worthy goal.
However, the BLM, in its Scoping Project Brief, http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_information/nepa/nenvwh_ecosanctuary.html is indicating that in order to set up the eco-sanctuary, they are considering removing all of the mares from the Spruce Allotment, gelding all the stallions, and also removing the mares and gelding the stallions in the surrounding Antelope and Goshute HMAs.
This would mean the complete destruction of three wild horse herds in Nevada. The BLM cannot be allowed to take this action. This could set a very dangerous precedent for sterilizing and zeroing out wild horse herds all over Nevada and the west, and replacing them with sterile herds of unrelated horses. Their eventual extinction will be guaranteed.
Here is video provided by Elyse Gardener of the Public Open Houses that the BLM held about the Eco-Sanctuary:
I have been observing and photographing wild horses in the wild on our public lands in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana for over 9 years. One of the most essential, and unique characteristics of these wild herds is that they live in families. The stallion is the protector of the wild family, ensuring their safety and fighting for that right when necessary. The mares are the heart of the family, bearing the foals and raising them to grow up and one day have their own families. The bonds between mares and their foals, and between stallions and mares who have been together for over a decade are incredibly touching and inspiring to see.
I have spent thousands of hours observing the interactions of family members as well as interactions between families and between the wild families and the bands of bachelor stallions who do not yet have their own families. Watching them is nothing like watching a group of unrelated geldings and mares in a pasture. If the BLM is successful in carrying out this plan, something precious, unique and fragile will have been destroyed forever.
I have visited tow Long Term Holding Facilities in Oklahoma and in Kansas, where the mares are together, then the geldings are in separate pastures. There are no foals. There is no family behavior. These horses are strangers to each other. They are in fenced pastures. While the horses in Short Term Holding are housed in undeniably grim corrals with no grass and no shelter, depriving yet more horses of their families and their freedom is not an acceptable alternative.
Thousands upon thousands of wild horses have already lost their families and their freedom, and currently many of us are still fighting to keep America’s wild horses where they belong – on public lands, in their homes, with their families, wild and free.
Please comment by September 19 to the BLM and tell them that this plan they are considering in Nevada of sterilizing 3 wild herds for the sake of an eco-sanctuary is not what we want for these herds, and not what we want used as a model for managing our wild herds.
Please comment on this plan by September 19th.
BLM Elko District Office, Wells Field Office
3900 E. Idaho Street
Elko, NV 89801
Attn: Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary
Comments can also be faxed to (775) 753-038 or emailed to: EcoSanctuaryComments@blm.gov.
You can read more about this plan and comment online here at American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign:
and read more on the plan here: