By Caroline Ballard, WPM
A US District Court granted wild horse advocates the right to intervene in a case involving the management of horses on Wyoming land. The State of Wyoming brought the case against the Bureau of Land Management in order to seek management of the state’s wild horses.
The wild horse advocates back the BLM in the suit, and will now be privy to the legal developments in the case. Ginger Katherens is with the Cloud Foundation– one of the advocacy groups now part of the lawsuit. She says Wyoming’s horses should be preserved on federal land not only for their beauty, but also for economic reasons. "The state benefits greatly from having populations of wild horses on public lands. They bring in tourist dollars. That’s why Wyoming tourism has actively promoted coming to the state of Wyoming to see wild horses," she says. Jim Magagna is with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, a group that supports the state of Wyoming in the suit. He says that horses deplete grazing land and are currently not properly managed by the BLM. Many wild horses are now in holding facilities. But Magagna says wild horses should be managed with better population control. "In the old days that was done through gathering horses and shipping them. Most of those horses went in to processing facilities. That clearly appears to be unacceptable to much of the general public today. So the other alternative that makes sense to us at least is more aggressive fertility control and neutering of horses," he says. Magagna says the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, along with other groups that support the state, will file their own interventions in this case.