Jarbridge, Saylor HMA Idaho Lawsuit

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On Jan. 4, 2016, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), Return to Freedom, and Virginia Marie Hudson filed a lawsuit in the Idaho District Court against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), charging that the agency’s plan to permanently sterilize the entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) violates the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (“Wild Horse Act”) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The sterilization plan was approved as part of the BLM’s Jarbidge Resource Management Plan (RMP), which was finalized on September 2, 2015.

“This case challenges a controversial and precedent-setting plan by the BLM to sterilize an entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area – an action that will destroy the natural, wild, and free-roaming behavior of these individual horses, as well as the social organization and long-term viability of the herd,” said Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Eubanks, the public interest law firm that is representing the advocates. “This unprecedented and invasive management proposal is a gross violation of the BLM’s legal mandate to protect wild horses as an ‘integral part of the natural system of the public lands,’ and sets a terrible precedent that threatens the viability of wild horse herds across the West.”

Kayah Swanson