Wild horse roundup sparks anger

“At the center of the controversy is the competition for food between Wyoming’s wild horse population and livestock.”

David Louis | Rawlins Daily Times

RAWLINS — Many factors contribute to the health of Wyoming’s open rangeland.
From climate and drought to soil conditions, human recreation to energy development, land managers agree that the northern plains habitat is a fragile ecosystem.

Of all the variables, many believe that the single most significant threat comes from the competition for food by animals that graze upon the land.

At the center of the controversy is the competition for food between Wyoming’s wild horse population and livestock.

Wild horse advocacy groups such as The Cloud Foundation and American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) maintain that fewer than 2,500 wild horses remain in Wyoming and graze on 2 percent of the land grazed by livestock.

Wild horses, advocates say, are restricted to 3 .2 million acres of public rangelands in Wyoming while livestock graze on 18 million acres.

Bureau of Land Management’s recent announcement of its plans to remove of all wild horses from checkerboard lands within and outside of the Great Divide Basin, Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town Herd Management Areas (HMAs) this fall has wild horse advocates crying foul.

“Here we go again,” said Deniz Bolbol, communications director for AWHPC.

According to the BLM, wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, the agency removes thousands of animals annualy to control herd sizes as part of its management of public rangeland.

According to 2015 BLM population surveys, there are approximately 232 wild horses on checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin HMA, 242 wild horses on the Salt Wells Creek HMA and 26 wild horses within the Adobe Town HMA.

The checkerboard wild horse removal is not a population management action related to maintaining appropriate management levels. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act requires that the BLM remove wild horses from private land, if requested by the land owner.

The removal, in conjunction with BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office, is also required under the provisions of a court-approved 2013 Consent Decree between the BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which provided a schedule for the removal of wild horses from checkerboard lands within the three HMAs.



AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Please leave these horses alone! I do no want them touched! Thank you for ou!

    April 10, 2016
  • Melissa Warfield

    Of course, there are no natural predators to keep the number of wild equines down. The only un-natural predator the wild equines have is the humans, especially the BLM!!!! Is there a way we can do away with the BLM? How can we make them go extinct? It’s all the GREEDY ranchers, super big corporations, fracking, mining and now shooting ranges!! This is OUR (the public’s – tax payer’s) land that we pay for to keep the wild equines free and living on the land. Whatever happened to the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, bring it back into existence! Get rid of the Burns Amendment. That should never ever gone through the cracks and got signed. Who was the person (I would like to use two other word’s but that would not get this printed) who ever signed the paper. Whoever signs these papers should see what they are signing. Who knows they could be signing a piece of paper with a death warrant on their heads. Just saying.

    April 10, 2016