Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Latest News on American Wild Horses

From the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC): The BLM has begun the roundup of wild horses in the Barren Valley area, a remote area in southeastern Oregon comprised of 3 Herd Management Areas (HMAS): Coyote Lake/Alvord-Tule Springs HMA, Heath Creek/Sheepshead HMA, and Sand Springs HMA. The wild horses of this area are thought to be descendants of cavalry remounts and ranch stock representing a unique piece of history. The BLM wants to remove 275 mustangs from this area in a roundup that will leave an estimated 449 horses behind in this nearly one million acre, public lands area.

The Barren Valley roundup is being conducted by the contractors known as "Sun J." These are the same helicopter wranglers who just completed the Triple B roundup. Their brutal treatment of horses there prompted U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben to issue an emergency injunction prohibiting the mistreatment of wild horses by helicopters at that capture operation. Wild horse advocate Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education will be in the observing the BLM roundups. AWHPC's Deniz Bolbol is also attending the roundup for over a week of public observation, thanks to a grant from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

At another location, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on its plan to roundup and remove 287 wild horses from the Flanigan, Dogskin Mountain, and Granite Peak Herd Management Areas (HMAs) northeast of Reno, Nevada. The action will leave behind just 10 to 15 horses in the Dogskin HMA and 10 to 15 horses in Granite Peak, while the equivalent of 872 cattle will be allowed to continue to graze these same public lands. The BLM claims that the removal of horses is necessary to restore the "thriving natural ecological balance," yet the agency proposes no reduction in cattle grazing to help achieve this goal.

Each time the AWHPC mounts a public comments campaign on proposed roundups, they propose that they are building a record demonstrating that public opinion demands a change in the BLM's costly and cruel wild horse policy. If you want to comment on this latest issue, you'll need to do so this week. You can do so here.

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