By Brooklynn Gray, Wyoming Public Radio
September 19, 2016
On Monday, arguments were presented against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's removal of wild horses from a herd of management area in what's known as the Checkerboard area near Rock Springs.
Wild horse advocate groups argue that the removal of horses is conducted inhumanely and is expensive for tax payers, and that wild horses have the right to roam on public land. American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign Director Suzanne Roy says she hopes the court appeal will stop the roundup, and soon.
"BLM just issued a decision record Friday, saying that they're going to conduct another roundup. They're going to reduce the populations in the herd management areas," Roy said.
But the BLM contends that private land owners have the right to request wild horses be removed to preserve grazing for their cattle and sheep since the area is a patchwork of public and private lands. But Roy disagrees.
"There's never been an instance where the BLM has removed horses from the public land proactively to prevent the possibility that they'll wander onto private land. So it establishes a really dangerous precedence," Roy said.
The scheduled roundup of about 600 horses can begin as early as October 16 and the court decision is expected to be announced in the next few weeks as well. Whether the decision is announced before or after the roundup is yet another factor that will impact the future of the horses in the Checkerboard.