Speak Up for Sand Wash Basin Horses: Talking Points

Please use these talking points to craft your comments in the Bureau of Land Management's mass roundup plan for the Sand Wash Basin wild horses.

Comments can be submitted via the BLM portal at this link. (Note: When you get to the page, wait for the "Participate Now" button to load, then click on it to submit your comments. You can also access the Environmental Assessment on the plan at the link.)

  • I strongly oppose the BLM’s proposal to roundup and unnecessarily remove hundreds of federally-protected wild horses in order to achieve the unscientifically low “Appropriate” Management Level, forever depriving these federally-protected horses of their freedom and families.

  • I urge the BLM to undertake a land use planning process to reallocate Animal Unit Months (AUMs) of forage from livestock to wild horses, in order to save taxpayer dollars in roundup and removal costs, maintain a larger, genetically healthy herd wild horse herd, and give wild horses an equitable share of resources in this designated habitat ares.  

  • If removals occur, they should be incremental -- in smaller numbers over time --  in order to minimize the burden to taxpayers of warehousing horses in holding facilities. Additionally, the BLM should utilize only the least intrusive capture methods, such as bait- and water-trapping, that are much less expensive and traumatic than helicopter roundups.

  • The BLM plan calls for removal of wild horses who have traveled outside of HMA boundaries. Instead of immediate removal, the BLM should make every effort to relocate those horses within the boundary.

  • The BLM should expand its partnership with SWAT, investing time and resources to support the effort of this group to expand the existing PZP fertility control program, pursuant to the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences.  

  • PZP has over 30 years of proven efficacy, including in this HMA, and should be the preferred tool for humane population management for the foreseeable future.

  • IUDs have not been proven humane or effective in wild, free-roaming herds and should be eliminated from further analysis, especially with a PZP program already in place in this HMA.

  • The Sand Wash Basin wild horses are one of the most visited and significant wild horse populations in the country. They are one of just four wild horse herds left in the state of Colorado. The BLM must prioritize their preservation in line with the wishes of 80% of Americans who want these iconic animals protected on our public lands.