On July, 25, 2011 the American Wild Horse Preservation (AWHPC) joined the Western Watersheds Project (WWP), a leading environmental group, filed suit to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from rounding up every wild horse it can find in the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs), permanently removing an estimated of the horses from the range and returning 177 castrated stallions to the one million acre public lands complex. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by a leading public interest law firm, Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal. Joining AWHPC and WWP as plaintiffs are a Green River, Wyoming couple, Greg and Donna Duckworth, and wildlife photographer Carol Walker.
UPDATE: On August 2, Department of Justice attorneys representing the BLM in this case informed the court that the BLM was withdrawing its mass sterilization plan for these HMAs.The agency is expected to announce a new course of action by August 5. See below for news articles and news release. On August 8, the case was discharged from federal court by Judge Amy Berman Jackson with an order noting that we had "won!"
In addition, a number of leading scientists and experts in the fields of wild horse biology, genetics, behavior and reproduction have filed declarations in support of the action, which charges the BLM for violating the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Polcy Act by implementing an action that will convert two viable, free-roaming populations of wild horses to "minimally-reproducing" herds comprised primarily of geldings (castrated male horses.)
In the words of one of the experts, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, director of the Science and Conservation Center,“[t]he very essence of the wild horse . . . is the social organization and social behaviors. Geldings (castrated male horses) will no longer exhibit the natural behaviors of non-castrated stallions,” and “gelded stallions will not keep their bands together, which is an integral part of a viable herd. These social dynamics were molded by millions of years of evolution, and will be destroyed if the BLM returns castrated horses to the HMAs.”
Please see below for more information on this lawsuit and check back here for updates on the lawsuit.
08.11.11 "The Quiet War Against Wyoming's Wild Horses," (TheAtlantic.com)
08.06.11 "Lawsuit Thwarts Wild Horse Castration," (KOWB Radio, Laramie, WY)
08.02.11 "Whoa There: BLM Cancels Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup Plan" (The Atlantic)
08.02.11 "Wild mustangs spared roundup in Wyoming for now" (Reuters)
07.28.11 "Wyoming to Intervene in Wild Horse Lawsuit" (Associated Press)
07.28.11 "Wild Horses Are (Again) Losing Their Home on the Range" (The Atlantic)
07.26.11 "Groups Challenge Wyo. Wild Horse Roundup in Court" (Associated Press)
08.25.11 Judge Amy Berman Jackson Decision
07.29.11 TRO Motion
07.29.11 TRO Brief
07.29.11 Declaration of Neda Demayo
07.29.11 Declaration of Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick
07.29.11 Declaration of Dr. Allen Rutherberg
07.29.11 Declaration of Dr. Anne Perkins
07.29.11 Declaration of Dr. Lori Eggert
07.29.11 Declaration of Dr. Bruce Nock
07.25.11 Complaint: Other Key Documents