One ray of hope for these horses – although Sun J with their high record of deaths and injuries to horses is the contractor for the roundup, the BLM must report to the judge each day the status of the roundup and injuries and deaths of the horses.
Press Release for immediate release
Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd
Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”
Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).
The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “
“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case. “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”
“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain. It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”
“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”
“The BLM does not consider mortality rates in its population estimates,” Flores continues. “While we all expect the death of old, sick and injured wild horses, research shows that foal mortality is often 50%, and in many herd areas it is even higher. This means that less than half the foals make it to their first birthday. Shockingly, BLM’s 20% population growth rate assumes all foals live and no wild horses, of any age, die.”
“To add insult to injury, the helicopter contractor chosen to round up the West Douglas herd, is noted for their cruelty,” adds Hanick who personally witnessed a roundup in 2010 conducted by Sun J Livestock in which 12% of the horses were killed. “We will hope for the best and attempt to record what happens this time around if granted adequate access.”
“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”
R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”
“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming. They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”
Paula Todd King
Director of Field Documentation
It is shocking that big business and government in America can make such awful decisions, based on their ignorance and greed. People in leadership positions in America, who have been educated at, what we are told are Ivy League Universities, seem to be the most ignorant of all. Shocking.
Prayers and good wishes to all those who are fighting to save the wild horses.
Please stop destroying our horses…they belong to all of the USA and God …
My heart is just broken. It just plain wrong.
Why are we just now hearing about this??? Why are we able to play God to these hotse??? Has every other revenue been even an option to keep the horses safe???
The most destructive animal on this planet is mankind.
I guess the question is “will the BLM report to the judge daily regarding the status of these horses. And frankly, at this point, what good will that do – the horses that are injured or killed wont be returned anymore than the others. How any judge – in good conscience (or otherwise) can say zeroing out an entire herd does no irreparable harm is beyond me. I cannot imagine how hard this decision has been for all of you, Carol. And for the horses?
Can this be Appealed.?? I would think there is Scientific info about how the horses help the land..etc.Craig Downer, Laura Leigh, Mustang Meg and how this gene pool will be gone forever.!! How many are there and Can they be Adopted??
This is discusting and WHO Can over ride this stupid decision??
Is there someone who I can contact about this? I know it has gone through the court but are there any other ways to prevent this?
Heather and everyone else, I wish there were something else we could do. The horses are gone, we tried the court, we lost. As far as I know the only thing left to do for these particular horses is to adopt them. They are at the BLM Canon City holding facility at the prison in Canon City.
Where can we get more information on adoption? We live on the east coast.
Thanks for all you tried to do and all you do everyday for our horses. Stay strong!
please, can I do anything to revoke this decision? Can we sign, share, protest?? The whole world cried one lion all the way to Africa and this is happening here, and no one is doing nothing??? Humans don’t own earth!!!! We must learn to respect and love all living creatures and laws must be modified in order to protect them from human greed…
Everyone needs to study this map. It show you why so many horses are being removed from the BLM. The US cow herd is the lowest numbers since statistics were started. The drought has moved cattle and sheep from the open range. Do not blame the rancher or sheep men for all the issues of the wild horses. This is a 10 year drought so far. We do not know how long it will last. When it started in the early 2000′, the cattle herds in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and on north were either completely liquidated or reduced to almost nothing, because there was no feed, and purchasing hay past a year was not economically possible. Why can’t the wild horse organizations collectively sit down and put together a sustainable plan for the continuance of the wild horse. If you had all the finances these organizations have spent on litigation, you would have all the horse sanctuarys you need. Madeline Pickens states she can only run ~1,000 head of horses on her sanctuary. Also, there is historical data that states what happened to the Southwest, and why it turned into a desert. To many wild horses who over grazed and trampled the grass into the ground allowing the mesquite and other forms of invasive plants instead of grass to grow. Also, remember how these “wild” horses came into existence, they are animals who went ‘Feral”. Not from the horse of the ice age. Imported from Spain.