28 August 2018
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES) today filed an appeal with the IBLA against the UT BLM decision to gather the Muddy Creek wild horses.
CAES alleges the transfer of lands that are withdrawn for a federal land use, such as the management of wild horses, to the UT SITLA was not legal. Once these lands were designated as herd areas they are withdrawn lands, or not available to be disposed of per the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Federal Land Policy Management Act, and the Historic Preservation Act.
CAES also brought forth questions on the necessity of a gather when there are so few horses on such an immense piece of land. The BLM says that principle use of the lands is only permitted for wild horses in3 wild horse ranges across the country, but CAES disagrees. CAES feels the WFRHBA said that horses had principle use of the areas designated as a result of the WFRHBA in the 70’s, The BLM believes that FLPMA authorizes them to manage all these areas under multiple use mandates, but CAES pointed out that FLPMA also states that lands that are designated for a previous land use do not fall into multiple use if it is contradictory to the previous land use plan it was designated for.
The Appeal also points out inconsistencies in BLM’s number. The estimated census numbers would be a biological miracle. BLM estimates the number of wild horses in a herd by using a formula. The one they used for this census “would mean that even stallions are giving birth” according to Theresa Barbour who is the CAES Board Member representing the non-profit for this appeal.
The Muddy Creek herd is loved by many and has been the cornerstone herd of CAES, an all-volunteer, national equine welfare group. They have shared wild horse issues for many years using popular photos of horses from the Muddy Creek herd, such as the ones here. Including a very popular social media image taken by one of their photographers of the damage cattle do to the western lands and, then as CAES says… the cows don’t blame the dog…they blame the horse.