Bureau of Land Management postpones Wyoming Mustang round-up

American Mustang horse
The BLM routinely rounds up wild horses and burros throughout the year and makes some available for public adoption.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced on August 2 that it would not move forward with a plan to round up nearly 900 horses in Wyoming. The BLM had intended to geld the stallions captured in the round up and release 177 of them back to the range as geldings to help curb population growth. They will revisit the plan later this month.

Several advocacy groups that work to prevent any interference with American wild horses filed a lawsuit alleging that the round up was illegal. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act requires the BLM to protect and manage the Mustang herds in the west. Opponents of the BLM’s wild horse and burro management say that their tactics are pushing the animals toward extinction.

One of the groups involved in the lawsuit is the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. On their website, they describe the actions they support in Mustang management.

  • A suspension of roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations while the entire BLM wild horse program undergoes objective and scientific review;
  • Higher Appropriate Management Levels (AML) for wild horses on those rangelands designated for them;
  • Implementation of in-the-wild management, which would keep wild horses on the range and save taxpayers millions annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities.

The BLM counters claims that the round ups are causing irreparable harm to wild horse and burro populations. On its website, the BLM states:

The current on-the-range population of wild horses and burros (approximately 38,500) is greater than the number found roaming in 1971 (about 25,300). The BLM is seeking to achieve the appropriate management level of 26,600 wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands, or nearly 12,000 fewer than the current West-wide population.

Further Reading
Wild horses arrive at Madeleine Pickens’ eco-sanctuary in Nevada


  1. I think there is a way to give mares shots that would work as birth control for “X” number of years. Perhaps this would be a better way, plus gelding the young stallions.

  2. I don’t like how the BLM is handling the mustangs. They’re trying to tame the wild, but that’s just not right! Mustangs have a right to be free, and I think America realized that more in 1971 than now.

  3. I think the population of free wild horses numbers less than 25,000 now due to all the roundups and removals. The BLM seems to be using outdated numbers. There are over 41,000 in government holding facilites. ALL cruel and costly roundups and removals need to stop now before these equines are extinct. The millions of cattle on public lands were found to destroy the range and riparian areas by the 1990-91 GAO study and NOT wild horses. The BLM is breaking the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act that mandated the protection and preservation of our American wild horses and burros. This atrocity must stop now.

  4. The whole BLM organization is out of date and using invalid figures. Give the mares their “pill” and leave the stallions be. The cattle, in that area, should also be removed or reduced by the percentage of the Mustangs. That won’t happen, with the Mustangs gone, more cattle/sheep will roam the Mustangs Lands.

  5. I just read the article that Carol posted. They are removing almost all the mustangs and releasing the stallions back into the wild. It’s going to be a strange ratio. What’s wrong with gelding them?

  6. You unfortunately have your facts incorrect here. I was one of the plaintiffs on the lawsuit. The BLM backed down on its plans to geld all the stallions returned to the range but they did NOT cancel the roundup. They started the roundup yesterday and only 177 will be retuned to the range but they will not be sterilizing the herd, which is a victory but 696 horses will still lose their homes and their freedom.


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