By Carol Walker, Wild Hoofbeats
It was not enough for Wyoming Governor Matt Mead that 1263 wild horses were removed from Wyoming’s Checkerboard lands just two months ago. Right after the roundup was completed, he complained that in another few years there would have to be another roundup, and also whined about the public not being on his side. Well now Wyoming has filed suit against the BLM claiming there are too many wild horses in Wyoming, even though after the recent roundups, according to the BLM’s own figures, the current wild horse population of Wyoming is only 2508, which is far below the state’s Appropriate Management Level for wild horses. Press release from Mead’s office:
It was not enough for Mead that the BLM spent $535,000 of our taxpayer money two months ago rounding up wild horses in the Checkerboard to appease the Rock Springs Grazing Association.
Somehow Mead has also conveniently forgotten that two of the BLM’s Field Offices in Wyoming are very successfully using birth control to manage wild horse populations – the McCullough Peaks Herd managed by the Cody BLM Office and the Red Desert Complex, managed by the Lander BLM Office. But Mead has no interest in controlling populations of wild horses using birth control – he just wants them gone entirely.
Mead seems good at completely ignoring facts when it suits him – this is my favorite:
“Herds will continue to exponentially grow beyond what the BLM determined is ecologically appropriate for each herd management area (HMA). These herds have population growth rates that range from as low as 25% to as high as 58% each year.”
In order to attain a 58% population growth per year, the stallions would have to become pregnant and bear foals.
If Mead wants the BLM to remove all the wild horses removed from Wyoming, there is a problem. Currently, there are over 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities, and most of them are bursting at the seams. There wasn’t even room for all the wild horses rounded up from Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Great Divide Basin in the Rock Springs and Canon City corrals, so they had to send 100 youngsters to a burro facility in Utah. Perhaps Governor Mead would like the wild horses to be gunned down by helicopter like they do in Australia.
Governor Mead’s plan for Wyoming will leave a special interest wasteland devoid of wild horses, with drilling pad after drilling pad and public lands grazed down to the dirt by livestock. What he fails to understand is that these are NOT Wyoming’s wild horses NOR do these public lands belong to Wyoming – the wild horses and the public land belong to all of us, the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America.