MAJOR REMOVAL THREATENS CLOUD'S PRYOR HERD
BLM EXPANDS REMOVAL PLAN FOR YOUNG PRYOR MUSTANGS
BILLINGS, Mont. (April 5, 2012)—Yesterday, BLM issued their Decision Record to permanently remove up to 40 young Pryor mustangs from their home in the mountains of southern Montana. The bait-trapping operation would begin no earlier than June 4th and could continue until September 30th.
"Surprisingly, the removal decision exceeds the level they outlined in their preliminary Environmental Assessment," states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. "Regardless of the nearly 10,000 comments sent to BLM requesting they proceed with caution, BLM has significantly increased the number of young horses to be removed. So much for listening to the wishes of the American Public."
BLM's Preliminary Environmental Assessment issued in December, 2011, called for the removal of 30 Pryor Horses in the 1-3 year-old category. This final Environmental Assessment ups the removal number to as many 40 young animals--two thirds of the young population.
BLM reports that they received only 1,000 comments, although it is likely they received 10 times that number. More than 4,000 comments were generated by American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) alone, but were only counted as one letter because they used "a sample letter or talking points provided from internet sites."
Thousands of comments came to BLM, asking that Cloud's look-alike grandson, Echo (Killian) be allowed to continue to live free on the Pryors. Although Echo could be removed based on age, BLM has acknowledged his rare color and genetics, and has ranked him as a horse to be removed only if they cannot achieve their target removal numbers. * * *