What's New: Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado’

This week’s eNews: Thousands of wild horses at risk of disease in BLM WY facility


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to share some recent updates around roundups and holding, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 proposed budget for managing wild horses and burros, and a distinguished award won by a member of the AWHC herd! Read on to learn more and help us to protect these cherished animals. >>

Tell Congress Protect Wild Horses and Burros in the FY23 Spending Bill

The Biden Administration recently released its proposed FY2023 budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior and called for $153.1 million to fund the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. While this is still a $16 million increase from the FY22 spending bill passed last month, the increase in spending is noticeably smaller than in previous years. Now it’s up to Congress to determine how much money will be appropriated to this mismanaged federal program. 

Last month, Congress took a historic step toward reforming the Wild Horse and Burro Program when it passed its Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus spending bill that required the BLM to spend up to $11 million to implement a robust fertility control vaccine program as a step away from cruel roundups. Now Congress is working on FY23 appropriations and we need your help to protect wild horses and burros! Take action now by asking your elected officials to include similar measures to protect wild horses and burros in the FY23 spending bill.


Take Action for North Dakota’s Wild Horses

The wild horses that call the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota home have roamed the badlands for centuries, and many believe they are descendants of Sitting Bull’s horses and related to the rare Nokota breed. Although the wild horses are not protected under the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act, they are a significant part of the historical and natural heritage of the park and the state. Equally important, they’re a huge tourism draw for North Dakota.

Right now, the National Park Service is considering many management options for this herd, including slashing their populations or eliminating them entirely. Please take action TODAY!


“Strangles” Outbreak in Crowded BLM Wyoming Holding Corral

The BLM recently canceled an adoption event scheduled for April 1 at its Wheatland Off-Range Corral holding facility due to a “strangles” outbreak — a highly contagious upper respiratory disease with an up to 40% mortality rate. AWHC is calling for an immediate moratorium on all Wyoming roundups pending inquiry into the disease outbreak, as well as dozens of deaths of horses from other causes in the state’s holding facilities. 

The Wheatland facility is one of the BLM’s newest and largest holding facilities, with a holding capacity of 3,500 wild horses. Learn more about our call for an investigation into the outbreak and a halt on all roundups in the meantime here:


AWHC Board Member Wins Top Nature Prize

Photo by Scott Wilson

AWHC Board Member and wildlife photographer, Scott Wilson won the coveted Natural World and Wildlife Award in the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards for his photo of a Colorado mustang, titled, “Anger Management” (above). Scott’s photo was chosen for the top prize out of 170,000 entries!

The photo was taken just months before the devastating roundup of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado, where 684 wild horses were captured. Scott’s photo is bringing international attention to the plight of America’s wild mustangs. Scott is a strong advocate for the preservation of wild horses, and we are proud to have him as a member of the AWHC herd!


Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros!

— AWHC Team

enough is enough


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Since the beginning of the month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been conducting a brutal helicopter roundup of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado. We’ve had observers on-site every day to document the roundup and to hold the BLM accountable for any wrongdoings as the operation draws to a close.

I’m saddened and angered to share with you that we received news on Wednesday that a 6-month old foal was left orphaned on the range after Tuesday’s operation and found the next morning alone near the trap site.

The BLM euthanized the foal, claiming he had “difficulties in movement and coordination” and called his death “non-gather related.” But the symptoms this foal was exhibiting are closely associated with “capture shock” — a condition caused by extreme exertion or stress, and results in tragedy for far too many young foals who are literally run to death.

If the death of this innocent, young colt wasn’t bad enough, this was the fifth foal left alone on the range to fend for themselves after their mothers were captured in helicopter stampedes at Sand Wash Basin. When will enough be enough? 

We document these horrible tragedies because the BLM must be held responsible for their cruel and antiquated practices. And I promise you — every. single. day. we are fighting back.

We continue to send field representatives out to the range to bear witness and to document the helicopter roundups. We use their reports to get information out immediately to political leaders and the media about the atrocities being committed against wild horses by our own government.

We’re fighting every court battle where we have legal grounds to hold the BLM accountable for its actions. And we’re working with legislators at the state and federal level to advocate for these cherished animals and pass legislation that furthers wild horse and burro protections.

We’re fighting every day to protect wild horses and burros, but it’s a fight we can’t win without your support. If you’re with us in the fight to save the lives of America’s wild horses and burros and make helicopter roundups a thing of the past, can you make a donation to fuel our work today?


We’re so grateful for your continued support — thank you.

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign