The largest wild horse round up in Colorado history ended early, in part, because of pressure from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on the Bureau of Land Management to find a better, more collaborative way to manage the state’s wild horses. Polis asked the BLM to stop the roundup because of what he said in a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressing his “legitimate concerns about the fate of the gathered horses.”
The roundup went on.
The BLM initially set out to remove 733 horses from the Sand Wash Basin in Moffat County but stopped operations Sunday after rounding up 684 horses.
As planned, 49 horses — 24 stallions and 25 mares — were released back into the basin Saturday, and three mares were released in the Spring Creek Herd Management Area in southwest Colorado to promote genetic diversity. The remaining 632 horses were shipped to a BLM holding facility in Canon City.
In a statement Monday, the BLM said it will look to the state to help the agency recruit more volunteers to help with birth control darting programs, as well as engaging stakeholders and experts in further discussion of wild horse management.
Chris Maestas, public information officer with the BLM’s Little Snake Field Office in Craig, estimated there are a little more than 250 horses left in the Sand Wash Basin, which is roughly 100 more than initially planned. The management level for the area is between 163 and 362 horses.
“When you look at the big picture, you had very few injuries, deaths, things of that nature,” Maestas said about his view of the overall roundup. “I think it went extremely well.”
Went extremely well? If you are wild horse it didn’t. These round ups are callous and cruel. And now they are going to dart the remaining mares with birth control. This is a heinous crime breaking the laws of the “Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act” (Public Law 92-195). Yet who is going to prosecute this rogue agency?
There is no one with the power to take this on or no one with the the power who cares to take this on. For decades we have wondered why and heard many theories, but not facts. We need facts before we can begin to end this. It is the only ammunition that will really work. It appears that all roads lead to Washington DC. In the meantime, we can use more governors like Gov. Jaren Polis.
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Tuesday’s Horse © Fund for Horses