Stop BLM’s Illegal Plans for the Checkerboard Roundup II in Wyoming
Less than 2 years ago, the Bureau of Land Management illegally rounded up and removed 1273 wild horses from 2.4 million acres of public and private lands in Wyoming. 71% of this land is public land. At least 100 federally protected wild horses were killed during the roundup and in the months following it as they were warehoused at BLM facilities. The BLM is proposing to do this again this fall, and are using the same precedent that they did last time. They are using their right to remove wild horses from private land to justify and enable them to remove wild horses from public lands as well. This is illegal and must not be allowed to stand.
This plan to remove wild horses from the Checkerboard lands in the Herd Management Areas of Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Greek Divide Basin is driven by the greed of the ranchers in the Rock Springs Grazing Association who seek to treat the public land as if it were their private land. Permit grazing is a privilege, not a right. Land swaps should be forced to occur in this area to consolidate private holdings and public ones separately in order to enable grazing of wild horses on public lands.
In this action the BLM is also violating the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) by lowering the numbers of wild horses allowed to live in these three Herd Management Areas (Appropriate Management Levels) without using a land use planning process to amend the governing Resource Management Plans (RMPs).
The BLM is using flyover data from their counts of wild horses in April 2015 to justify this removal:
Here is what the BLM told us in October, 2014 – the remaining numbers of wild horses in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin after the Checkerboard Roundup:
Adobe Town: 519
Salt Wells Creek: 29
Great Divide Basin: 91
All of these figures are below Appropriate Management Level, or AML for each of these Herd Management Areas.
The new figures from the 2015 April flyover are:
Adobe Town: 858
Salt Wells Creek: 616
Great Divide Basin: 579
And what exactly is the explanation behind this massive discrepancy? Even with all the mares and stallions in each Herd Management Area giving birth to twins, there is no possible way that there was such a huge jump in population sufficient to trigger this roundup. Conveniently there are no photographs during the flyover “The survey lead indicated his reluctance to use photography,as it requires additional circling around groups that could cause air sickness.”
Here is how you can comment – please do this by April 22 4:30 pm Mountain Time:
Written comments should be received by April 22, 2016, and should be emailed only to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please include “Checkerboard Scoping Statement Comments” in the subject line),
or mailed to BLM Rock Springs Field Office, Checkerboard Scoping Comments, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901.
Here is the Scoping Document:
Please DO NOT sign an online form letter. All of these will be counted by the BLM as 1 comment. If you actually want your comments to be read, counted and make a difference you must write your own letter and send it yourself.
Some points to cover: It is illegal to use section 4 of the Wild-Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act which covers removal of wild horses from private lands to remove wild horses from public lands.
It is a violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to remove wild horses from three Herd Management Areas to below AML for those areas.
There is a need for a census done by an independent, outside agency, not paid for by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, that includes photographs of the horses that are counted.
There needs to be a plan for land swaps to be made to consolidate private lands separate from public lands in the Checkerboard.
Any horses removed from the Checkerboard Area of their Herd Management Areas need to be returned to the public, non-checkerboard areas of their Herd Management Areas, not permanently removed and sent to BLM holding facilities.
Regarding conflicts between livestock grazing and wild horse use of lands in Wild Horse Management Areas:
(a) If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.
(b) All public lands inhabited by wild horses or burros shall be closed to grazing under permit or lease by domestic horses and burros.
(c) Closure may be temporary or permanent. After appropriate public consultation, a Notice of Closure shall be issued to affected and interested parties.
If the Rock Springs Grazing Association cannot come to an agreement on how many wild horses can live on the unfenced areas of the Checkerboard, then all of the public land within the Checkerboard and outside it in these three Herd Management Areas should be closed to livestock grazing.
The American public wants these wild horses to remain in their Herd Management Areas on public land, and to live out their lives wild and free, not suffering death and injury in roundups and stockpiled in holding facilities.
Wild Horses: Federal Court Rules BLM Violated Law in Checkerboard Roundup
Wild Horses: Court Denies Emergency Motion Allows Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup That Turns Public Lands Over to Private Livestock Interests
This round up needs to stop. The BLM was put in place to protect the wild horses not to round them up or have them killed. We need to protect our wild horses that were here way before cattle ranchers.
Stop the roundup and stop the slaughter of our wild horses. There is no overpopularion
Get out of ranching and protect our horses from ranching and mining interests
I have been trying to share this on my Facebook page, by it will not work. I have sent a email to the the email provided. I was respectful and used my own words. 😉 Hopefully it will count.
Hopefully – the commenters above either will or have written an email to the BLM with their opinions.
As Carol has written many times – we all need to write an original email rather than just sign a form letter!
I can not believe that the BLM thinks that this is ok. (I have some REALLY annoying people in my class right now, saying “horse meat” in spanish and I’m like “could y’all shut up or leave? You don’t even know what you’re talking about” but they live to annoy me, so I have to deal with them) The BLM should have given proof of the numbers of horses that were in the 3 areas with wild horses, because even I know that the numbers could not have skyrocketed that high up that fast, it’s practically unbelieveable for me. It would take way more than 2 years to get the population of wild horses to those numbers. The BLM doesn’t have any right to lie about the number of horses so they can just round up as many mustangs as they can so that greedy ranchers can have the public lands for their horses and cattle. The mustangs have very little land to share amongst the whole number, whereas the cattle and ranchers have more than enough for their cattle, but want more just because they’re greedy. These ranchers also need to understand that they have more than enough room for their cattle and they need to be understanding and let these horses live their lives free and wild like they should, not cooped up in a BLM holding facility where they will just lose their wild spirit after a while. Our mustangs deserve to live long and free lives, but don’t deserve to live them in a BLM holding facility. This is just another cruel way for the BLM to get rid of the mustangs, and if we all keep sending our letters to them, they might finally realize that we will not let them do this to our mustangs, and hopefully get that into their skulls. I know that everyone here wants these mustangs to live free, without the BLM constantly breathing down their necks, waiting for the perfect time to round them up. It’s inhumane and another thing we need to stop! We can’t let the BLM continue to do this to our mustangs, who deserve to be free from the BLM and protected by people who care for them.
– Caroline (13)
Comments here are not read by the BLM. Please write a letter! It is too late for it to get there by mail but I e-mailed them. I copied the points from this website and made them my own and sent it. If I can do it you can as well!
Please share with your friends.
Can I Please have some to Keep? I love horses and I don’t want to see them be killed. Let me have some to save please! I beg of you to help me! We are planning to move and I want to move there in Wyoming some day soon.