The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Hi, it’s Suzanne.
By now you may have seen the news about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement of its intent to round up at least 22,000 wild horses and burros from national public lands this year and permanently remove 19,000 of them from their homes on the range.
These formerly free-roaming animals will join the 58,000 other wild horses and burros confined in off-range government holding facilities, putting 2022 on track to become the year that the United States of America holds more wild mustangs – our national symbols of freedom – in captivity than remain free in the wild.
It’s part of the BLM’s plan to reduce wild horse populations to just 17,000 – 27,000 animals on 27 million acres of land. That’s fewer animals than were left in the West in 1971 when Congress passed a law to protect them because they were “fast disappearing.”
This is wrong on so many levels – it counters the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences, is fiscally reckless and unconscionably inhumane.
The BLM claims these devastating roundups are necessary to protect the environment. But wild horses and burros are present on just 12% of the land that the BLM manages, and they are greatly outnumbered by commercial livestock — a major cause of land degradation and a contributor to climate change. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to round up and warehouse wild horses in captivity actually harms the environment by diverting funds away from actual programs to address land health, habitat restoration, and climate change.
I understand if you are angry at this injustice. I know I am. But I don’t want you to despair or give up. I’m not, because I see the real progress we’ve made together in the last year alone:
We worked with Congress to direct one-third of the funding earmarked for roundups to the implementation of humane fertility control instead.
We combatted roundups in the Sand Wash Basin (Colorado) and Onaqui (Utah) Herd Management Areas (HMAs) — and thanks to public outcry and the support of political leaders like Governor Jared Polis, we succeeded in keeping more horses in the wild than originally intended. We also got the commitment of the BLM in both states to work to make these the last helicopter roundups that ever occur in the HMAs by ensuring the PZP fertility control programs there succeed.
We joined forces with a growing chorus of prominent environmental groups to oppose the BLM’s scapegoating of wild horses while giving commercial livestock a pass. The 7 million-member Sierra Club even wrote to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland calling for the removal of all commercial livestock from wild horse and burro habitat areas!
We added nearly 200,000 new supporters to our grassroots army fighting to keep wild horses wild, and our videos, photographs, and reports documenting the cruelty of the roundups were seen by millions nationwide.
The fight to save our wild horses and burros is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are making progress. In fact, we are stronger and larger than ever.
We have an impactful agenda this year to continue the fight on the Hill, in the courts, and in the field. But the backbone of the fight is you.
So please, stay positive. Stay passionate. And stay ready.
We’ll be in touch!
American Wild Horse Campaign