Today the BLM finally issued the Decision Record for the Great Divide Basin Herd, located near Rock Springs. The comments were due back in May. Over 3200 people sent comments, and the BLM decided to implement Alternative A which includes removing 1225 horses from the area, reducing the numbers of the herd to the low end of AML, and using birth control on all the mares released, but no gelding of stallions and no spaying of mares.
The roundup will start October 19.
Here is the link to the BLM’s Decision Record:
This is a big win for Wyoming’s horses. Things were looking very bleak when the BLM in a surprise change of policy issued their Decision Record for Little Colorado and White Mountain herds and selected the alternative that included removing all of the horses, spaying the mares and gelding the stallions that were returned to the range, creating a sterile herd. After an outcry from the public, spaying the mares was removed from the plan, and then the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Western Watersheds, Carol Walker, author of Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses and a local Rock Springs resident Donna Duckworth brought a lawsuit against the BLM to stop the gelding of the stallions. This was a very important case because if the BLM starts a precedent of gelding all the stallions and creating sterile herds in Wyoming, this could spell the end of wild horses not only in Wyoming but also across the west. This would be the new way to “control the population” – get rid of it entirely by sterilizing the herds and letting them die out. The BLM withdrew their plan to geld the stallions returned to the range in the face of the lawsuit.
This is a bittersweet victory however, because in the White Mountain and Little Colorado roundup, starting tomorrow, the BLM plans to remove 696 horses from the range, leaving only 205 in White Mountain, and only 69 in Little Colorado.