Media Update: Local Group Calls on BLM to Rein in Helicopters Amidst Controversial Roundup

Sand Wash Basin Advocate Team Calls on BLM to Rein in Helicopter Wranglers as Sierra Club National Weighs In

Weeks-old foal left alone on the range after mother was captured sent to vet hospital for care

Media Update 9/7/2021 

  • An estimated 93 horses (26 Stallions, 55 Mares, and 12 Foals) wild horses captured yesterday 9/6/21 for a total of 422 wild horses captured since the roundup began on Sept. 1.
  • Sand Wash Advocate Team (SWAT) states that it will be calling on BLM to rein in the helicopter contractor, Cattoor Livestock Roundups, based on 2 foals in 2 days left behind on the range alone on the range after their mothers were captured. 
  • Sierra Club Grazing & Wildlife/Endangered Species Teams reveal that the 3.6 million-member Sierra Club has appealed to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to remove livestock from wild horse habitat, adding national weight to the Sierra Club Colorado’s call for a halt to the Sand Wash Basin roundup. 
  • A weeks-old foal was found in the care of a stallion named Merlin near the trap site Monday morning when observers arrived. The foal was left on the range alone after its mother, a mare named Serendipity was captured in the roundup on Sunday. The stallion and the foal were chased by helicopter into the trap and the foal was taken to a local vet clinic for care. The stallion was sent to temporary holding and will be loaded onto a semi and taken to the Canon City prison holding facility this morning. 

Photo credit Scot Wilson, Wilson AXPE Photography

Photo credit Scot Wilson, Wilson AXPE Photography

  • The day prior (Sunday), another foal named Semper was found in the care of 2 stallions (Cognac and Triumph) near the trap. That foal had been left alone on the range after his mother, a mare named Spotlight was captured on Saturday. The foal and 2 stallions were captured and sent to the Canon City holding pens where presumably Semper will be reunited with her mother. 

Photo: SWAT

  • In allowing foals to be left behind in the helicopter stampedes, the contractor is violating the BLM’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP) guideline, which requires that the helicopter drive the horses no faster than the slowest animal in the group. The BLM yesterday also dismissed a CAWP guideline limiting temperatures at which horses should be run to no higher than 95 degrees F as “just a suggestion.” BLM states that the only hard stop for chasing wild horses for miles with helicopters is at 105ºF. 
  • Two horses escape capture - Licorice, a young black stallion and PJ, son of famed stallion Picasso. Instead of bolting to freedom, PJ ran for hours back and forth beside the trap whinnying to his family inside. He remains free. 

About AWHC

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation's leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for the protection and preservation of America's wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.