We believe it’s crucial to let the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service know we are aware of what they are doing when they try to violate the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
That’s why our Wildlife Law Program doesn’t miss an opportunity to respond to requests for public comments on these agencies’ cockamamie plans, which involve ripping wild horses from their families and habitat and even shooting them.
Mesa Verde National Park’s “Livestock Removal Environmental Assessment” includes an unethical and unnecessary plan to remove all wild horses within five years—this means shooting some of them—and improve the park’s boundary fencing over the next 10 years to prevent wild horses from re-entering the park.
Another atrocious plan has been proposed by The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Price Field Office. It includes the roundup, removal and fertility treatment in the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area (HMA), which is located in Emery County, approximately 20 miles south of Ferron, Utah. It consists of approximately 283,400 acres of public and state lands.
The proposed action is an initial roundup of 66 percent of the existing wild horses from the HMA, the continued management of the wild horse herd at the low end of the appropriate management level (AML) and the forced drugging of mares with fertility control. BLM intends to continue these inhumane actions over a period of 10 years with the goal of retaining a core breeding population of only 75 wild horses within the HMA—thereby allowing an average of only one horse for every 3,000 acres.
Based on a 2017 census, BLM estimates that 195 horses currently reside within Muddy Creek HMA. Notably, the last roundup of the Muddy Creek HMA occurred in July 2009. At that time, estimates showed 75 wild horses remained within the HMA. Therefore, contrary to BLM’s previous statements that wild horse populations double every year, it took close to 10 years for the Muddy Creek population to reach an estimated 195 horses. This supports the fact that wild horses, specifically wild horses within Muddy Creek HMA, are able to self-regulate.