Dear Wild Horse & Burro Defenders;
There are good days and bad days, but Tuesday was a great day! The Cloud Foundation, Western Watersheds Project, and American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) achieved another victory for the wild horses of the Pancake Complex in Nevada. The U.S. Dept. of Justice signed an agreement Tuesday cancelling plans to round up 198 mustangs living in the U.S. Forest Service’s Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory.
Our legal challenge prevented not only the removal of the Monte Cristo horses, it blocked BLM’s attempt to geld 200 stallions and return them to the range, and to zero out the entire Jakes Wash herd.
While we weren’t able to stop the Pancake Complex roundup outright, we’ve been able to stop the most damaging aspects of the roundup plan. This lawsuit is on-going, but we’ve already achieved a great deal for these horses, and we never could have done this without folks like you. It’s important that we press on in cases like these to be sure BLM does not set the dangerous precedent of releasing geldings into a wild horse herd, or zeroing out yet another wild horse herd. Once upon a time there were 339 legally designated herds. Now we are down to just 179.
In addition to the good news regarding Pancake, I’m happy to inform you that wild horse advocate Laura Leigh and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation scored a victory in their First Amendment battle with BLM. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Nevada District court yesterday, ordering them to “apply the proper standards” in reviewing the case.
Leigh and her attorney, Gordon Cowan, filed suit when she was denied adequate access to the Silver King roundup in 2010. The case sought to show “whether the public has a First Amendment right of access to horse gathers, and, if so, whether the viewing restrictions are narrowly tailored to serve the government’s overriding interests.” You can read more about the victory here.
And so we press on. These are the days that remind us of why we do what we do, and how important it is to keep up the fight for the wild ones. Please support us in any way you can.