More wild horse roundups (and protests) in the works

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Recent detainees at the Calico roundup. Photo by Elyse Gardner.
Amid a stampede of controversy over the government's effort to remove 2,500 wild horses from their historic range in Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management has announced two more roundups scheduled for later this year.

One roundup targets more than 500 horses near Ely, Nevada, and will leave a herd of only a hundred in an area comprising 625,000 acres. The second roundup near Elko targets another 1,500 horses.

The BLM claims the removal of "excess" horses is needed for their own protection and that of the rangeland, but protesters say the operations are eradicating viable herds and consigning the captured to holding pens indefinitely. They've charged that the roundups are being done to benefit livestock interests and clear the way for a natural gas pipeline stretching across hundreds of miles of public lands.

A roundup in northern Colorado was halted several months ago when a federal judge ruled that the BLM had exceeded its authority. However, some of the captured horses may end up in Colorado; state inmates work with the BLM to break horses for adoption. But horse advocates say that only a small percentage of the captured herds end up getting adopted.

For more on the issue, see our previous coverage and links to other roundup stories at the Cloud Foundation website.


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