Stop the Total Removal of the Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd & Partial Removal of Piceance-East Douglas Herd

The BLM is Managing Our Wild Horses to Extinction - One Herd will be Wiped Out

The BLM is scheduled to begin a total removal of wild horses in Colorado from the West Douglas and partial removal of the Piceance-East Douglas Herd, located on the NW part of Colorado, in September 2015.

The West Douglas Herd has been living free in what is now Colorado long before there was a Colorado. Written documentation of horses in this area exists as a result of the travels of the Fathers Escalante and Dominguez who traveled on foot from Mexico into the area in the 1770' s. The West Douglas Creek mustangs may be one of the oldest documented herds in the United States and for that reason alone deserve preservation as a link to our western heritage.

Their plans include:

1. Total elimination of the historic West Douglas Herd, which means complete zeroing out of horses that have lived in the area for over 400 years.

2. Planned removal of 167 wild horses from the Piceance East Douglas Wild Horse Herd Management Area. Wild horse herd was to be managed in large numbers as promised by BLM years ago. Now ?Appropriate Management Level is only 135 to 235 wild horses, a population no longer genetically viable."

This is not acceptable. Our wild horses are being managed to extinction. BLM Estimated Populations do not accurately reflect the numbers of wild horses in either herd area. Removal of all wild horses within the West Douglas HA is not acceptable and not consistent with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act which mandates that horses be managed in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands they are considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.

On December 15, 1971, Congress enacted 16 USC Ch. 30, popularly known as the "Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act" (WHBA) and declared "that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."

Helicopter roundups are extremely inhumane, terrorizing horses, running them for miles, destroying family units, causing fatal injuries, etc. Some horses end up being slaughtered in Canada or Mexico. Instead of removing horses, we should be looking at cattle grazing. Cow and sheep graze these lands, and are the "true" reason our wild horses are being destroyed. Many cattle ranchers use these lands paying minimal fees yearly. Energy Extraction industries also should not be primary users.

Wild horses promote natural balance. Countries from around the world have begun reintroducing wild horses, recognizing their unique and abundant benefits as a native species within the ecosystem. It appears Colorado and the United States fail to recognize what most other countries already realize.

Please don't wait until all horses are removed. We must stop going backwards. Our children's children will never view a wild horse in all it's splendor. These magnificent creatures must be saved, and roundups must end.

Thank you.

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