You are here


The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on an Environment Assessment (EA) that would remove all the wild horses from the Mesa Verde National Park in Four Corners, Colorado.

Wild horses have lived on land that became the Mesa Verde National Park for more than a century and are part of its natural landscape and history. Each year, thousands of park visitors enjoy watching the wild horses, as evidenced by the videos and photographs of these beautiful horses that are regularly shared online.

The estimated 80 horses in Mesa Verde are not protected by Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act.  Instead, the NPS considers them “trespass livestock,” and it does not allow livestock grazing in its management policy.

According to the EA, the NPS’s proposed plan includes removing all the horses over the next five years primarily by bait trapping and wrangler roundups.  Unclaimed horses would be offered by public or private sale, auction, or adoption, which most likely means they will enter the slaughter pipeline.

Please speak up for the Mesa Verde wild horses. More humane options are available. Submit comments in your own words on this removal plan.  Here are some suggested points to make:

  • The NPS should implement PZP to slow the population growth rate, resulting in fewer horses being rounded up and removed;
  • Removals should be incremental over 10 years one band at a time to allow for placement of the horses in sanctuaries or through adoption;
  • No removals should take place during foaling season, March – June;
  • The NPS should start habituating the horses to the bait traps with water; this would also help the horses during the drought; and
  • The NPS should unequivocally reject the use of lethal removal of the horses via gunshot and electric prods when restraining or handling the horses.

Comments are due by 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Sunday, May 13, 2018 and can be submitted at

The EA is available ate:  Mesa_Verde__NP_Livestock_Removal_EA_April_2018.pdf