Saturday, October 15, 2016

Federal appeals court in Denver dismisses lawsuit calling for wild horse roundup in Wyoming

A federal appeals court in Denver on Tuesday rejected an effort by the state of Wyoming to remove wild horses from public lands across the state. Wyoming filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the government’s free-roaming wild horse program. The state claimed the BLM failed to keep the horse population in seven so-called herd management areas within a range that would prevent range land damage. In December 2014, the state filed suit, saying the BLM had made a decision “not to manage wild horses in Wyoming according to their mandatory, non-discretionary obligations under the Act,” according to a court document. “The state’s arguments, however are contrary to the plain language,” of the law, according to the opinion issued Tuesday by a three-member panel of the appeals court. The act directs the BLM to maintain an inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands, saying the inventory’s purpose is in part to determine whether an overpopulation exists and whether action should be taken to remove excess animals, the opinion said. The second statutory requirement hasn’t been met, the opinion said, because “the BLM has not determined that action is necessary to remove the excess animals …. the BLM is under no statutory duty to remove animals from the seven HMAs at issue.”...more

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