Judge allows Wild Horse advocates to join Wyoming case

PAT RAIA, reporting for the Horse.com writes:

    A Wyoming U.S. District Court judge has granted intervenor status to wild horse groups in connection with a lawsuit brought by the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) against the U.S. Department of Interior earlier this year. The judicial order allows the groups, which are not parties to the original lawsuit, to join the case.

    In July, the RSGA petitioned the court to enforce a 1981 court judgment directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove all the wild horses that had strayed onto private lands within a specific block of land spanning 40 miles wide and 80 miles long and covering approximately 2 million acres. The area is home to the BLM’s Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basis, White Mountain, and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas.

    Prior to the 1981 order, the RSGA agreed that 500 BLM mustangs could remain on the private lands. The July 2011 lawsuit claims that the BLM has not adhered to the previous agreement. The lawsuit seeks the removal of wild horses residing on public lands that lie adjacent to the private lands.

    Subsequently three wild horse advocacy groups–the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB), and The Cloud Foundation–sought intervenor status in the case.

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2 thoughts on “Judge allows Wild Horse advocates to join Wyoming case”

  1. Hallelujah !!!!!! This is great news for a change,,,,,,,,………………what exactly does this en power us to do??????

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    1. Arlene, I think it gives the possibility of “standing” to these groups, which is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome, especially when dealing with the Feds. Increasingly, environmental groups have found a way around denial of standing for “generalization” by bringing specifics, scientific evidence, and expert testimony before the court. A complete victory, as precedent, should give parties standing to either bring or join suits regarding a number of wild horse management issues in other places. The fact that it involves checkerboards is especially important, since the BLM has chosen not to manage almost all checkerboards where wild horses were found to roam from the time of the 1971 Act to the present day, Instead, they simply convert them from HMAs to HAs, or remove them entirely, and the special interests get their way. A partial victory in this particular place would open the door a crack. Sometimes that’s all you need to be heard by a lower court and file appeals to higher courts. Another denial would be a blow, but every time a suit is filed, the prosecution learns more for the next case or appeal. Laura Leigh’s suits are a perfect example of this learning curve.

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