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Wyoming Responds to BLM, Groups Motions to Dismiss Wild Horse Lawsuit

posted May 6, 2015, 8:39 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Jul 14, 2015, 3:16 PM by vfe_ets_tyler.christopherson@wyo.gov ]

March 27, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo.- The State of Wyoming responded to motions to dismiss the state’s lawsuit over the failure of the federal government to appropriately manage wild horses in Wyoming. Wyoming filed suit against BLM and the Department of the Interior in December.

“Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act requires BLM to manage wild horses and remove horses when populations exceed set levels – the lawsuit asks that BLM be directed to follow the law.” Governor Mead said. “These motions to dismiss claim Wyoming is trying to rewrite the law – this is inaccurate. BLM has failed to remove excess horses in accordance with the law in seven Wyoming herd management areas. ”

Herds of wild horses will grow exponentially over BLM determined ecologically appropriate numbers. Population growth rates for these herds range from an annual low of 25% to a high of 58%. Horses roam using HMAs, state land and private land.

“Wyoming range supports many wildlife species, including sage-grouse, antelope, deer, elk and horses,” Governor Mead said. “BLM’s failure to manage the horses has forced Wyoming to court because excess horses threaten the range and the animals that rely on it. The court should deny these motions to dismiss.”