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BLM Jackson Mountain Roundup Ends Under Continued Controversy
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has concluded operation in the Jackson Mountain removal of wild horses that began under the veil of an “emergency.”
On June 8, 2012 the operation began during BLM’s own prohibited “foaling season.” BLM prohibits the use of helicopters during roundups from March through June in all but emergent conditions. Yet the Record of Decision signed by District Manager Gene Seidlitz claimed the entire operation needed to occur regardless of the fact that the agency only justified an emergent condition in the South West quadrant of the Herd Management Area (HMA).
On June 16, 2012 Laura Leigh, founder of Wild Horse Education, filed a legal action against the roundup operation. The claim asked that the BLM be held to the parameters of their own rules, that only emergent areas constituted any action. The Judge ruled in Leigh’s favor on June 20. Judge Howard McKibben reviewed all documentation supplied by the agency and Leigh and determined that Leigh was correct.
However the agency played a word game and expanded the scope outside the quadrant that they determined the emergency to include the entire South of the HMA. At the time of the hearing more than 300 animals had been removed, including the area of concern, to relieve pressure off the stressed range and operations could have ceased entirely until July 1. The agency continued operations not justified in the EA. The hearing itself was an emergency hearing and the time required to hold this agency to any specifics of conduct was limited.
“Specific, accountable language is avoided by BLM at all costs,” said Wild Horse Education founder Laura Leigh, “a great example is the pretense of a humane care policy in the Record of Decision. In meetings prior to the start of the operation specifics of conduct were agreed to. Not one of the specifics made that document. Reassurances were given that those specifics would be followed during operation. In truth I witnessed one of the most careless, unnecessary runs I have ever seen that actually left me shaken for weeks.”
READ the FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://wildhorseeducation.org/2012/07/08/jackson-wild-horse-roundup-ends-questions-continue/