Wyoming Group Sues BLM Over Mustangs' Grazing Habits

Wyoming Group Sues BLM Over Mustangs' Grazing Habits

A Wyoming corporation is asking a federal court to order the Department of the Interior (DOI) to remove wild horses that have strayed from federal lands onto privately held properties.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management

A Wyoming corporation is asking a federal court to order the Department of the Interior (DOI) to remove wild horses that have strayed from federal lands onto privately held properties.

The Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) is a Wyoming corporation that owns and leases approximately one million acres of private land within the Wyoming Checkerboard, which consists of both public and private lands. The area includes the White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas on which Bureau of Land Management (BLM) animals reside.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on July 27, a 1981 federal court order requires the BLM to remove wild animals that had strayed from herd management areas onto RSGA lands. However, the RSGA voluntarily agreed to allow 500 BLM animals on its properties.

The current lawsuit seeks the removal of all BLM-managed animals from RSGA lands on grounds that agency failed to comply with the 1981 agreement.

BLM Spokesman Tom Gorey declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation, a Colorado-based wild horse advocacy group, said the lawsuit threatens thousands of federally protected mustangs residing in southern Wyoming: "It's time wild horses are protected against big, government subsidized businesses."

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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