PETITION TARGETS: Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning
UPDATE (2/2/2022): The Checkerboard roundup has ended, with the Bureau of Land Management gathering 4,161 horses from five herd management areas, including 3,540 who were permanently removed and 621 who returned to their home range, leaving roughly 1,565 wild horses in the area. Thirty-seven horses died as a result of the roundup, according to the Casper Star Tribune. This roundup once again shows that using helicopters is not humane, and we will continue to do all we can for these innocent and iconic wild animals. —Lady Freethinker Staff
Helicopters careen toward the earth, scattering herds of wild horses, tearing family units apart, and causing several panicked horses to die gruesome deaths in an effort to gather Wyoming’s wild horse population in the largest roundup in U.S. history.
Already, two mares have broken their necks after being chased into a holding area and crashing into containment panels in the gather operation by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — the federal agency responsible for managing wild horse populations on public lands.
More than 10 other horses have died — including an 11-year-old stallion who suffered a broken leg and a 12-year-old mare who suffered a ruptured uterus.
It’s not uncommon for iconic wild horses to break their necks, bones, or sustain other life-threatening injuries during helicopter roundups — yet the federal agency plans to spend a staggering $175 million to round up more than 4,300 horses and permanently remove 3,500 horses from five herd management areas (HMAs) in Wyoming’s “Checkerboard” region, a 3.44 million-acre stretch of federal, state, and private lands.
The government also plans to implant controversial IUDs on some of the mares returned to the range — a fertility control method whose impacts on wild horses haven’t been well documented.
If the capture is allowed to continue to completion, a mere 1,600 wild horses would be left in the area, or one horse for every 2,141 acres — a number vastly exceeded by the number of cattle and sheep in the area — and at the low end of the federally mandated minimum number of horses for the area.
Sign this petition urging BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning to prioritize the needs of wild horse populations over private grazing interests in public lands, increase the population limit for wild horses in the area, and focus on humane PZP as their fertility control method.