Wyoming Castration Plan Lawsuit Documentation (July 2011)

On July, 25, 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 wild horses from the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs), permanently removing hundreds of horses from the one million acre public lands complex and returning only castrated stallions to the range. 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. Wild horse band in White Mountain HMA. Photo by Donna Duckworth.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 "appeared to have 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.”

The dramatic series of photographs below, captured by Rachel Reeves last months, demonstrate clearly what will be lost if the BLM is allowed to proceed with taking the wild out of these wild herds by castrating thes magnificent stallions who live in this area:

   

Please see below for more information on this lawsuit and check back here for updates on the lawsuit.

News Articles

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)

08.05.11 "Wyoming Horse Roundup Plan Changes to Birth Control After Environmental Groups Slam Castration Plan," (Associated Press)

08.04.11 "BLM to Revise Wyoming Mustang Gather Plan," (The Horse.com)

08.02.11 "Whoa There: BLM Cancels Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup Plan" (The Atlantic)

08.02.11 "Feds back off Wyoming wild horse castration plan" (Associated Press)

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)

News Releases

08.12.11 "Expert Report Refutes Scientific Rationale for Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup"

08.05.11 "BLM Officially Backs Off Wild Stallion Castration Plan in Wyoming"

08.02.11 "BLM Caves to Lawsuit and Abandons Unscientific Plan to Castrate Free-Roaming Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming"

07. 29.11 "Environmental & Wild Horse Organizations File for Injunction to Block Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup"

07.25.11 "Federal Lawsuit Filed to Stop BLM Plan to Sterilize Wyoming Wild Horse Herds and Manage to Extinction" LEGAL FILING

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

08.11.11 Request for Reconsideration of Roundup

08.04.11 Rangeland Resource Report by Robert Edwards, Retired BLM Range Specialist