The Bureau of Land Management, which is supposed to protect wild horses, sent nearly 1,800 of them to certain death in Colorado between 2009 and 2012.
The U.S. Office of the Inspector General issued a scathing report, the according to Denver Post coverage last week. The report said the bureau “failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.” (Here’s the full report.)
That hasn’t stopped the bureau’s plan to descend early next month on Beatys Butte Herd Management Area in southern Oregon, where 1,500 wild horses live peacefully on some 400,000 acres of public land. Using helicopters, it will drive them out.
Such roundups appear to be legal, based on earlier Inspector General reports, which mention how difficult a job it is to carry out.
There are other ways.
Although BLM culls horses to “maintain rangeland health,” ranchers in southern Oregon acknowledge it’s to ensure there’s enough land for their cattle. As one rancher from Kiehly Brothers Ranch put it, “It’s starting to hurt the resource out there…. It’s just too many horses out there for the resource.”
Let’s tell BLM and the Department of the Interior, which oversees it, that that’s no reason to send 1,500 wild horses to their deaths. If horse populations need to be controlled, the fertility control vaccine PZP is a far more humane and more sustainable option.
Leave a message on BLM’s web site and for Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the former CEO of REI who oversees BLM:
Here’s a sample, but please tailor for yourself: