Wyoming RSGA vs. DOI Litigation

Photo by Living Images by Carol Walker

In Wyoming, the fix against wild horses has been in since 2010. That's when former Assistant Interior Secretary Sylvia Baca advised the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) to sue the Interior Department as a strategy to secure funding for wild horse roundups. The strategy worked: On July 27, 2011, the RSGA sued the Interior Department, seeking the removal of all the wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard, a two million acre swath of alternating parcels of public and private land in the southern part of the state. The move affects four major wild horse Herd Management Areas in Wyoming -- Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin and the White Mountain -- where half of the state's remaining wild horse populations reside. 
AWHPC, The Cloud Foundation, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros and wild horse photographer Carol Walker were granted the right to intervene in the case. Nevertheless, as expected, the government settled the case by giving the RSGA what they wanted -- the destruction of the wild herds in this critically-important habitat region. The consent decree was approved by Judge Nancy Freudenthal, wife of former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, who was very anti-wild horse during his tenure in Cheyenne. In the decree, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to: zero out the Salt Wells Creek and Divide Basin HMAs, cut the allowable population level in Adobe Town by half or more, and sterilize all the horses in the  White Mountain HMA. The BLM then mischaracterize this agreement as a court order to remove all the horses in the Checkerboard, and used it as an excuse to violate both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild Horse Act in yearly roundups in this area. 
The government's betrayal of Wyoming mustangs was exposed by award-winning journalist Andrew Cohen in a series of articles, including How the Department of Interior Sold Out America's Wild Horses.


Federal Court Sanctions Gov’t Plans to Eliminate Wild Free-Roaming Horses from Wyoming Checkerboard

Big Oil & Catte vs. America's Wild Horses: Showdown in Wyoming Federal Court

BLM to Begin Massive Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup to Appease Ranchers

Gov't to Get Rid of Wild Horses on Wyoming Checkerboard

Federal Court Grants Wild Horse Groups’ Request to Intervene in Grazing Association Lawsuit Aiming to Destroy Nearly Half of Wyoming’s Wild Horse Herds

BLM Ignores Tens of Thousands of Public Comments; Gallops Ahead with Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout


On Wyoming's Range, Water is Scarce but Welfare is Plenty

How the Department of Interior Sold Out America's Wild Horses
The Quiet War Against Wyoming Wild Horses

On Wyoming's Wild Horses, the BLM Unambitiously Responds

Intervenor Status Gives Wildhorse Advocates Voice

Judge Allows Wild Horse Advocates to Join Wyoming Case

Wyoming Group Sues BLM Over Mustangs' Grazing Habits

Wild mustangs spared roundup in Wyoming for now

Legal Documents:

RSGA Complaint

Order Granting AWHPC, et. al. Intervenor status

Response Brief to RSGA Complaint

Proposed Consent Decree

Intervenors' Objections to Consent Decree

Eisenhauer Declaration in Support of Intervenors' Opposition

Order Approving Final Consent Decree

Final Consent Decree

Eyewitness Reports:

Salt Wells, Wyoming Roundup, Nov 22 - Dec 4, 2013