The Wild Horse Conspiracy

Timely Scoping Comments to Prevent Obliteration of Wyoming’s Last Wild Horses

(DEADLINE IS TODAY, but comments valuable at any time)

Sept. 27, 2013

Field Manager and Wild Horse Division
Rock Springs Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
280 Hwy. 191 N
Rock Springs, WY 82901;

Dear Sirs/Mames:

I have reviewed your proposed plan to zero out all of the wild horses from the Salt Wells Creek and the Great
Divide Basin Herd Management Areas, as well as to make the White Mountain HMA wild horses a non-
reproducing herd and to cut the Appropriate Management Level of the Adobe Town HMA herd in half.

I just visited this area in mid Spring of this year and was enthralled by the variety of colors and the spiritedness
of the naturally living and free horses in Wyoming’s wide-open spaces. I just thought to myself: “Wow! as long as
spirits like this continue to exist in healthy, exuberant numbers in America and in the world,
then all is not lost that is of true and lasting value therein.”

I had just visited Lloyd Eisenhauer, former BLM Wild Horse Biologist, in Cheyenne and he had
told me where to go to visit these wild horses. I was amazed at the colorful terrain in which the
many paints and pintos blended so magically. Did you know that the area of Adobe Town was
once proposed to be a Wild Horse National Park? Well it would have merited such designation
but came up against the same ignorant and selfish opposition that now threatens to erradicate
these beautiful presences. What I found in Adobe Town HMA were hundreds of oil, gas, and
energy-extracting wells and platforms all over the place, and when I drove in and was walking
around observing the wild horses and taking pictures, one of the industry company trucks
actually had the audacity to check me out, as though I were out of place somehow. The fact was:
I was just exercising my right, same as is the right of every citizen, to appreciate the natural
beauty of both the land and the wild horses. Under Section 2 c of the WFHBA, this and the other
Herd Areas (BLM) or Territories (USFS) are supposed to be “devoted principally … to the welfare
and benefit” of the wild horses themselves. Lamentably, it became obvious that all the opposite
was happening, not only because of all the industrial activity but because of the many cattle
I observed or the signs of their recent heavy grazing in this fragile semi-arid ecosystem. Also the
cattle were camped along the streamside, or “riparian” habitats or had left evidence of
having been there recently. They were causing a terrible devastation to such
vital habitat areas for myriad species of Wyoming’s flora and fauna! Streambank cutting
was also much in evidence and the parching of the steams and marshes. The wild horses do
not do this, but rather restore the soils and vegetation if so allowed to exercise their
natural, semi-nomadic lifestyles (see Ch. II of my book, below cited).

So I take this opportunity to vigorously oppose your plan to displace or overly compromise
the biological and ecological integrity of the above herds and their wild-horse-containing
ecosystems! This simply does not accord to the true intention of the law in this vast ca.
2-million acres region, nor does it accord to the will of the General Public who are concerned
about maintaining viable wild horse herds in adequately sized habitats and not sacrificing
what little is left in such beautiful and wide-open places as Wyoming. You should be cutting
back on livestock and the other industries that have targeted the wild horses, i.e. particularly
the Rock Springs Livestock Grazing Association.

It is your sworn duty as a public official to uphold all the laws of the land, not just those
that favor the big corporations or the intransigent vested interests. This is surely a Quality of
Life issue and it would be simply wrong to do what you are proposing, not only from the point of view
of the too often narrowly focused human laws but also and even more from the point of view of
those higher laws that govern life and that concern the interrelations we have with
all the other species … in this case with a species — the horse — that has done so much
for mankind over the centuries, yet whose greater place and role is in the world of nature.
And this is all the more fitting here in North America, the horse’s cradle of evolution and place
of long-standing development. This horse is surely one of the most deserving species
to be called a North American native.

Wyoming has already zeroed out nearly six million acres of legal Herd Areas for the wild horses
on BLM lands. And it would be totally outrageous to go ahead and zero out millions more. (See Figure
4, page 52 in my recently published book The Wild Horse Conspiracy available at )

Please consider carefully your responsibility first of all to the wonderful ecosystem-restoring wild horses themselves
and also to the general public of the U.S. and also of the whole world, to people such as myself who derive
great joy in observing the wild horses living free as God intended in the wide-open spaces of such a
beautiful land as Wyoming and the West contains — or who just derive a quintessential comfort in
knowing that such wonders still are healthy and alive and carrying on their age-old course
in a world where they can do so and will continue to do so for centuries to come. There is something
simply very very right and life-sustaining about wild horses reverting to the wild in the land of
their ancient ancestry. My higher sense tells me this.

Professionally, I offer my support to develop a Reserve Design strategy in order to establish
long-term viable, ecologically well adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing populations of
wild horses in your region. This branch of Wildlife Conservation I describe in detail
in Ch. IV of my above cited book. Please let’s do what’s truly right for a change,
rather than just going with the selfish and short-sighted flow of a humanity
that has become much too self-absorbed and oblivious of all the Rest of Life
that share this wonderful Planet Earth as home.

Anxiously awaiting your response!

Sincerely and Respectfully Submitted,

Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist
President: Andean Tapir Fund
(dedicated to saving all odd-toed hoofed ungulates (Perissodactyla) in the wild together with their appropriate and adequate habitats)
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423
T. 775-901-2094

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