MAKE A STAND! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has opened a public comment period on their plans for the North Lander Complex in Wyoming. The complex includes the Conant Creek, Dishpan Butte, Muskrat Basin, and Rock Creek Mountain herd management areas.
Here’s a link to the call for public input, and a summary of the BLM's upcoming proposal:
Register a comment to let the BLM know that you value large, sustainable herds of mustangs.
The BLM contact: Sarah Beckwith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Due date: February 18, 2022
Here’s our best advice on how to approach a comment:
Make it personal. Tell the BLM who you are, and if you’ve ever visited the horses in Wyoming, be sure to say so. Even if you plan to visit one day--if it’s on your bucket list--you can say that, too.
Then, in particular, you can:
Urge the use of bait-trapping and the application of PZP. Bait-trapping represents a safe, humane, and affordable alternative to helicopter roundups, and PZP serves as a favorable alternative to surgical “spay” or “neutering” or "IUD implants" or "field vasectomies." At the moment, the BLM includes all of the aforementioned procedures in their plans.
Encourage the protection of natural predators. The geography of the North Lander Complex gives the region high potential for the re-establishment of natural predator-prey relationships. If we leave nature to take its course, mountain lions reduce and control wild horse populations. Encourage the BLM to work with the state’s Game and Fish Department to ensure that we protect an ample of number of mountain lions in this important region.
Suggest the rehoming or relocation of wild horses to currently closed-out herd areas. In Wyoming, and other western states, wild horses have been removed from the areas originally protected in 1971. With respect to the 40 herds initially preserved in Wyoming, the BLM has set the "appropriate" number of wild horses to "zero" in all but 16 of the areas. One key to ensuring that future generations can share the world with mustangs is reestablishing their range.
Advocate for the buyout or retirement of livestock grazing leases. Cattle outnumber wild horses in the herd areas protected by the federal Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Depending on the year, cows and calves outnumber horses by a minimum of 28:1. In recent years, livestock have outnumbered horses by a ratio of 92:1 ... keep in mind .... that's in Wild Horse Herd Management Areas!
Remind the BLM: tourism is the second largest industry in Wyoming—second only to the energy sector. Today, wild horse photography and tourism stand poised to revitalize rural communities like Jeffrey City, currently struggling to hang on in the wake of a volatile energy market.
Finally, urge the BLM to designate the North Lander Complex as a Wild Horse Range: managed "principally, but not necessarily exclusively, for wild horse or burro herds" (43 CFR Subpart4710.3-2). At 375,000 acres, the North Lander complex is the second largest tract of land currently set aside for mustangs in Wyoming. Visitors enjoy the sights from several ridges and escarpments, including "amazing views of the Wind River Mountains, Copper Mountains, and Owl Creek Mountains." A Wild Horse Range designation would grant the BLM the freedom and authority to protect this valuable resource to a degree that suits the region's potential for visitation, photography, and primitive recreation. At present, none of the BLM's Wyoming Field Offices manage any of the state's herd areas as Wild Horse Ranges.