Wyoming Roundup: September 15, 2014 to October 9, 2014

Photo|Pam Nickoles

Between September 15 and October 9, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rounded up, via helicopter stampede, removed 1,263 wild horses from "checkerboard" lands in three Wyoming Herd Management Areas: Adobe Town, Salt Wells  Creek, and Great Divide Basin. At least 14 deaths resulted from the roundup, including young horses who crashed into panels and broke their necks and elderly, arthritic and ailing horses who were terrorized by helicopters and forced to run for miles before being "euthanized" by a bullet to the head. 

2014 Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup decimated the wild horse populations in these HMAs, leaving behind just 91 horses in Divide Basin, 29 in Salt Wells, and 519 in Adobe Town. All three populations are now BELOW the established "Appropriate" Management Levels, in violation of the BLM's land use plans for the area. The roundup was not conducted because wild horses were overpopulating the public lands in this area. Rather it was implemented solely to appease local ranchers who view wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized grazing fees on public lands. The government's sell out of Wyoming's wild horses to ranching interests was exposed by The Atlantic in March 2013.

Our lawsuit against the BLM over its flagrant violations of law in the implementation of this roundup continues. Although we were not successful in securing an injunction to stop the roundup, we are pursuing the case on its merits with the  goal of establishing a precedent that will prevent BLM from running roughshod over public opinion and federal law in the future and with the hope of obtaining some relief for the Wyoming wild horses, including possibly forcing BLM to return to the range some of the horses captured during the roundup.

Please read below for eyewitness reports from the massive Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup as well as to find links to key news articles, press releases and legal documents.

Day 1 of the roundup began on September 15, 2014

Our coaliton partner, The Cloud Foundation was on the ground in Wyoming:

 

 

BLM stated that 16 horses were captured in all. 6 mares, 6 studs, 4 colts. All were taken fromt he Salt Wells HMA

Read the Cloud Foundations report of Day 1 here.

Read photographer Carol Walker's report of Day 1 here.

September 16, 2014

AWHPC supporter and volunteer Jennifer Maharry is on the ground. Observers are situated about 1.5 miles from the trap site at the Divide Basin HMA with limited to no viewing.

 
 
Photographer Carol Walker is also onsite.

 

Later in the morning advocates were able to obtain a better spot to view the roundup.

End of Day 2 report from BLM: Two helicopters captured 63 wild horses - 24 mares, 20 studs and 19 colts - at the Bitter Creek #2 Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Read a report on Day 2 from photographer Carol Walker, here.

 

September 17, 2014

Read Carol Walker's report on Day 3 here.

From BLM: For the first part of the day, two helicopters captured 36 wild horses - 15 mares, 13 studs and 8 colts - at the Bitter Creek #2 Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

A 16-month old bay stud colt was found dead in a short-term holding pen this morning. The necropsy revealed an acute neck injury likely the result of running into a panel during the night.

September 18, 2014

One helicopter captured 23 mares, 29 studs and 12 colts at the Black Rock Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered and removed: 64

Removal related animal deaths: 2 

Cause: A three-and-a-half month old black filly was found dead in a short-term holding pen. A necropsy was performed but the cause of death is undetermined.

Cause: A six-month-old brown colt collapsed in a horse trailer. The necropsy revealed that the colt had scar tissue and nodules on its lungs, indicating that it likely had pneumonia previously. Tissue has been sent for testing with results expected in several weeks.

September 19, 2014

No wild horses were rounded up today. A 12-year-old grey stud was euthanized due to lameness associated with severe arthritis in both knees.

September 20, 2014

Two helicopters captured 26 studs, 21 mares and 10 foals at the Black Rock Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

September 21, 2014

No wild horses were removed today. Instead, the Bar X District Line Trap was set up in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area in preparation for Monday.

Removal related animal deaths: 1

Cause: A 25-year-old red roan stud was euthanized due to poor prognosis for improvement. The wild horse had an enlarged left front ankle and chronic severe arthritis in both ankle and knee joints.

September 22, 2014

Two helicopters removed 36 wild horses – 20 studs, 11 mares and 5 colts - at the Bar X District Line Trap on private land in the Great Divide Basin HMA.

Removal related animal deaths: 2

Cause: A 28-year-old chestnut bay stud was euthanized due to an old injury and swelling to the left front knee and right hock. The wild horse also had severe muscle atrophy over the entire rump area due to nerve injury from a severely arthritic spine. Its Henneke score was 1.5.
Cause: A 25-year-old black stud was euthanized due to swelling of both front knees from an old, degenerative injury. Both front feet were clubbed due to complications from the knee injuries, causing the leg tendons to shorten. Its Henneke score was 1.5.

Sepember 23, 2014

Two helicopters captured 30 studs, 35 mares and 12 colts at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

September 24, 2014

Two helicopters captured 31 studs, 45 mares and 29 colts at the CR 19/CR 82 Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area. 

Animals gathered and removed: 105

September 25, 2014

According to BLM, two helicopters captured 30 studs, 26 mares and 11 colts at the CR 19/CR 82 Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animal deaths: 3

Cause: A foal bay stud gathered on September 24 was down in the morning but improved and was able to eat and drink. The foal was given penicillin but declined at the end of day and became recumbent. Euthanized.

Cause: A nine-year-old bay wet mare became recumbent and had a grand mal seizure lasting 15+ minutes. The mare did not respond to touch. Euthanized.

Cause: A four-year-old bay wet mare had a perianal fistula with bleeding and urine leakage from under the tail. The fistula was packed with feces and infected. The mare was septic with a Henneke score of 1.5. Euthanized.

Photographer and advocate Carol Walker was also onsite. Read her eyewitness report here.

September 26, 2014

 

One helicopter removed nine studs, seven mares and six colts at the Bridger Coal Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Read Carol Walker's eyewitness account here.

September 27 - 30, 2014

Roundup delayed due to inclement weather

October 1, 2014

 
 
Two helicopters removed 27 studs, 41 mares and 20 colts at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area

October 2, 2014

Two helicopters removed 39 studs, 48 mares and 28 colts at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

October 3, 2014

Two helicopters removed 38 studs, 37 mares and 15 colts at the Brady Plant Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animal Deaths: 2

Cause: A seven-year-old black mare ran into a panel and broke her neck, dying instantly.

Cause: A six-year-old bay mare had severe scoliosis with extreme stunting. The mare’s spine was twisted 90 degrees counter-clockwise behind the withers, shortening the horse from nose to tail. Movement and foraging were difficult, resulting in poor body condition for her and her foal. Henneke score of 2.5. Euthanized.
Note: The mare’s chestnut foal was sent to the local veterinarian for surrogate pediatric care.

October 4, 2014

Two helicopters captured 13 studs, 13 mares and 4 colts at the Holding Corral Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

October 5, 2014

Two helicopters captured 37 studs, 46 mares and 19 colts at the Haystacks Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Octobr 6, 2014

Two helicopters rounded up 22 studs, 16 mares and 6 colts at the Haystacks Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

October 7, 2014

76 more horses lost their freedom today. 31 studs, 28 mares and 17 colts. Tomorrow should be the last day of the roundup. Number of horses captured has already largely exceeded the original number anticipated.

October 8, 2014

Two helicopters captured 38 studs, 1 branded gelding, 59 mares and 31 colts at the Eversole Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animal Deaths: 1

Cause: A six-month-old sorrel stud colt ran into a panel at the temporary holding corral and broke its neck, dying instantly.

 

Today was supposed to end today, but BLM has decided that October 9th will be the last day.

October 9, 2014

On the final day of the roundup, 47 more horses lost their freedom.

Read Carol Walker's eyewitness account here.

Death Reports from the Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup