Smart Litigation effort Bears Fruit!

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BLM Caves to Lawsuit and Abandons Unscientific Plan to Castrate Free-Roaming Wild Horses

August 2, 2011 by admin · Leave a Comment

Environmental Groups Challenged Interior Department’s Plan to Manage Wild Horses to Extinction

For Immediate Release…Washington, DC (August 2, 2011) . . . This morning, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it was withdrawing a controversial and unscientific plan to castrate free-roaming wild stallions and convert two viable wild horse populations in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in southwestern Wyoming to “minimally-reproducing” herds comprised primarily of geldings.

The announcement was made during a status conference call today on a lawsuit against the plan, which was filed on July 25, 2011 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Western Watersheds Project a local Wyoming couple and wildlife photographer Carol Walker.

“By galloping ahead with this destructive plan, the BLM ignored over 10,000 public comments and the opinion of experts who warned of the irreparable harm that would be inflicted on these wild horse populations, but the agency could not ignore a federal lawsuit,” said Suzanne Roy, Campaign Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

Under the proposed action, the BLM would have rounded up every horse that it could find in the two HMAs – or an estimated 900 mustangs, permanently removing 723 of them and returning just 177 castrated stallions to the range.

“The BLM’s plan to sterilize wild Wyoming mustangs made clear the agency’s intent to manage wild horses to extinction, in flagrant violation of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” Roy continued. “It’s a shame that citizens must turn to the courts to force this agency to respect and uphold federal law.”

Roy indicated that the plaintiffs would now consider their options for further action once the BLM issues a new decision record, a move that is expected by the end of the week. It will be the fourth action proposed by the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office for these HMAs and the third decision record issued for this roundup plan. The agency has agreed to postpone any roundup activity until September 1 or later. The roundup had been scheduled to begin on August 16.

Last week, scientists and other experts filed declarations detailing the harmful impacts the proposed action would have on the individual horses, the wild horse herds and the environment in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas. The declarations were attached to the plaintiffs motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.

For background on the legal action, including news coverage, new releases and copies of the complaint, please visit the AWHPC website here.

6 thoughts on “Smart Litigation effort Bears Fruit!

  1. Mar Wargo says:

    Here we see BLM again avoiding a suit by simply changing their minds for now. Will the suit be able to address this withdrawal or will it have to be a new suit? BLM has come back before to do what it was sued not to do. They slip away and try again. At least these horses will be spared this but if they remove so many they will still castrate many stallions though they may not be allowed to return home.

  2. LisaG. says:

    A battle won, but not the war. Waiting to see what decision they issue at the end of the week. I’m sure my blood pressure will go right back up when I read it.

    AND, my sincere thanks to the plaintiffs in this suit for standing up to this rogue agency.

  3. Poor Ginger says:

    Mar & Lisa, I couldn’t agree more. I think the crafty BLM lawyers saw the potential disadvantage of trying to disprove scientific evidence on the part of the plantiffs (and the lack of it on their side) in open court. “Because we say so” doesn’t make it so! Now we wait for the other shoe to drop.

  4. savewildhorses says:

    I think WWP scared them a little bit more than usual.

  5. Pamela Vilmar says:

    Yay, glad Laura organizations and suits are making headway, it is all of your hard work and these organizations banning together all for the right reasons……THANK YOU………………….still don’t trust anything the BLM says or does……and never will……………..they are the EQUINE HOLOCAUST movement and hide behind all their indecency with no regard and nothing but ill-will………

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