23 July 2014.
US Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), supports listing of wild horses as endangered species
ROCK SPRINGS, WY (July 23, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation (TCF) with 280,000 followers, as well as numerous wild horse and animal advocacy groups, condemns the Bureau of Land Management’s scheduled roundup which will eliminate all wild horses on 1.2 million acre checkerboard land (alternating one mile square sections of private and public land for 20 miles on either side of Interstate 80) within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMA). The roundup of 946 wild horses is the first step in the planned total elimination of all wild horses in Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek.
“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, renowned equine photographer and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) Board member. Walker has photographed the unique southwestern Wyoming herds for 10 years. “Genetic tests link the Adobe Town herd to horses re-introduced to the America’s by the Spanish in the 1500s. Great Divide Basin wild horses are descended from Calvary remounts,” she continues. “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage, and the untamed spirit of the West.”
The roundups, aimed at appeasing the powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), are in compliance with a Consent Decree between the BLM and RSGA, a back door deal allegedly encouraged by then-Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. According to the Consent Decree the BLM agrees to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, arguing that these unfenced wild lands allow mustangs to freely roam into private land in the checkerboard areas. Yet even in the Adobe Town HMA, which contains only a small portion of land within the checkerboard, the BLM intends to slash the herd by 100% leaving only 500 horses on over 400,000 acres of federal lands.
While BLM and RSGA contend that 1,912 wild horses overpopulate the 2.4 million acres within the HMA’s, TCF and WHFF research reveals that 356,222 cattle and 45,206 sheep graze the same lands under federally subsidized grazing leases. While cattle and sheep are not on the range year round like wild horses, the monthly average of 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep is staggering compared to fewer than 2,000 wild horses. Livestock, not wild horses overpopulate and degrade the rangelands.
Take action and contact Committee Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) and ranking member Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and tell them to squash the bill because it would put our wild horses at risk of slaughter. Email Hastings here or call 202.225.5816 or 509.543.9396. E-mail DeFazio here or call 202-225-6416 or 541-440-3523.
You can also tell Congressman Stewart you oppose his legislation by writing to: 323 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; calling him at 202-225-9730; or sending an email here.
Contact Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and tell her wild horses on public lands should be listed and protected under the ESA. She can be reached at Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC 20240; 202.208.3100; firstname.lastname@example.org