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Take Action for Wyoming’s Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) to update the Fifteen Mile Herd Management Area (HMA) Plan and conduct a roundup of wild horses from the HMA in Wyoming. Located 30 miles northwest of Worland, the Fifteen Mile HMA encompasses 81,000 acres of mostly public land and is currently home to approximately 404 wild horses.

The proposed EA aims to reduce the population — through helicopter stampede — to the low “Appropriate” Mangement Level (AML) which currently is only 70 wild horses. However, in its new plan, the BLM wants to raise the AML to between 100-230 wild horses. While this sounds great on the surface, the BLM is planning to include foals in that total AML, which is counter to the policy detailed in the agency’s own handbook, which states “applies to the number of adult wild horses or burros to be managed within the population and does not include current year’s foals.” Therefore, raising the AML by counting foals in the AML total will not actually result in an increase in the population limit for horses in this HMA. AWHC is also concerned about broader implications of this change on agency wide management practices.

In addition to the above actions, the BLM is also proposing to adjust sex ratios by skewing the ratio in favor of males – an action that can disrupt herd social dynamics and has proven ineffective as a population management tool.

Bottom line: This roundup is unnecessary and the plan involves an outdated and unsustainable approach. The EA itself states that at the current population level, the Fifteenmile wild horses are healthy and that minimal livestock grazing is taking place in this HMA. Instead of continuing the broken approach of roundup and removal, the BLM should allow the current population of horses to remain in the HMA and implement a comprehensive fertility control program to maintain herd numbers within healthy limits.

Please take a moment to send the EA comment letter by clicking here.