I-TEAM REPORT: KLAS TV LAS VEGAS, GEORGE KNAPP REPORTING
One of the largest wild horse roundups in Nevada history is over. The Bureau of Land Management says it gathered more than 1,900 mustangs from the sprawling Calico Range in Northern Nevada, but that’s far fewer than the agency expected to capture.
Critics of the BLM say the Calico roundup is a perfect illustration of what’s wrong with the BLM wild horse program, which uses roundups as its principal management tool.
BLM often says it is “mandated by law” to gather up wild horses from public land. The fact is, the law doesn’t say that. It allows BLM to use roundups as one of the management tools at its disposal, but it doesn’t order the agency to gather up mustangs.
Critics say BLM always uses roundups as its first choice. The fact that there are now more wild horses in captivity than on tens of millions of public acres proves something is wrong with the program.
View Part I: BLM Wraps Up Huge Wild Horse Roundup
A massive roundup of wild horses in Northern Nevada turned out to be one of the deadliest in the history of the wild horse program.
Contrary to assurances from the Bureau of Land Management, dozens of horses were killed during the Calico roundup. What’s more, the horses are still dying inside government corrals because of injuries suffered during their frightening run across tough terrain.
American taxpayers shelled out close to $1 million to capture 1,900 horses on the Calico range, even though a federal judge told BLM it was a bad idea.
Millions more will be spent in roundups planned all year long by the BLM. Critics of the program ask, for what?
If a private citizen were to kill dozens wild horses, that person would go to prison. Yet the government has been killing mustangs for years, with the promise that it’s all for the horses own good.
“We are the Bureau of Land Management — not the Bureau of Wildlife, not the Bureau of Horses, not the Bureau of Cows. It’s the land,” said BLM District Manager Gene Seidlitz.
Whoa, uh, Mr. Seidlitz, the Wild Horse and Burro Program is managed by the BLM. Not land, not cows . . .
View Part II: Wild Horses Forced into a Stampede of Death