The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Here is your latest news on all things wild horses and burros!
The Heber wild horses of the Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona have been through enough. Since 2018, the bodies of 28 horses from this small herd have been found shot to death in the Forest and not a single person has been brought to justice.
Now, the Forest Service has just released a Territory Management Plan that continues this assault — in a different way. The agency wants to reduce the population of these mustangs to as few as 50 animals on nearly 20,000-acres of public land.
Why? You might ask — well, taking a look at who else resides in the Forest might be a good place to find answers. At the same time that the Forest Service wants to drastically reduce the population of the herds, it permits nearly 500 cow/calf pairs to graze within the horses’ habitat.
We cannot let this stand. Please take one moment to speak up for Arizona’s Heber wild horses.
The wild horses in the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) of Dugway, Utah are arguably the most visited and cherished mustang population in the country. The herd’s accessibility provides a unique experience for visitors and photographers who, in turn, share their photographs and stories of these iconic animals with an international audience. Not only that, but there is a successful PZP program, spearheaded by volunteers, to stabilize the population numbers.
But none of that seems to matter to the BLM, which recently announced that it will be targeting hundreds of the Onaqui wild horses for removal as early as July 2021. When we heard the news, we sprung into action and are currently developing a plan to fight back. We will give you more details on that soon, but for now, please read our most recent oped in the Salt Lake Tribune about this situation.
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The BLM released an Environmental Assessment this week outlining a plan to continue its nearly decade-long assault on the iconic wild horses of the Wyoming Checkerboard. Under the proposal, the BLM would use helicopters to permanently remove 3,500 wild horses — or nearly 40% of the wild horse population in the state.
The BLM continues to cater to the interests of the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), whose members view wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. Since 2011, AWHC has been involved in litigation against the RSGA and the BLM to defend the wild horses in this area and has amassed numerous court victories, including at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We intend to continue legal action to defend Wyoming wild horses and to rally public opposition to this plan — but more on that soon.
Check out our latest news release on the situation and stay tuned for more ways to take action in the coming weeks.
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—The AWHC Team