By Erin Jones, Wyoming Public Radio
Wild horse advocates continue fighting a planned roundup near the Red Desert.
The Bureau of Land Management plans to gather wild horses in a patchwork of public and private lands near Rock Springs called the Checkerboard. Nearby landowners who graze livestock have requested the horses’ removal.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and others are suing the BLM to block the roundup. Last week, the BLM agreed to voluntarily delay the roundup until at least September 12th , as the Tenth Circuit Court considers an appeal to keep the horses where they are.
Wild horse advocate Paula King says that the BLM is not following the law. “Our lawsuit is based on having them complete the requirements that they are supposed to complete,” she says.
King says that the BLM hopes to gather the horses before their fiscal year ends at the end of the month. She says they’re bypassing National Environmental Policy Act requirements to spend excess money, so that they can keep their budget next year.
“It’s robbing us of the legacy of our wild horse herds,” she says. “You know, we cannot look at our public lands just for their economic value.”
She says the BLM is managing public land for livestock, not multiple use.
A decision is expected by September 11th.