Wild horse advocates encouraged by BLM’s recent work at Sand Wash Basin – Colorado News

Wild horse advocates encouraged by BLM’s recent work at Sand Wash Basin – Colorado News

When  the Sand Wash Advocate Team, which collaborates with the Bureau of Land Management on wild horse issues, hosts a public meeting in Craig Aug. 5, the wild card in the room is likely to be the policy change being contemplated by the U.S. Congress, which could clear the way for the slaughtering of wild horses in an effort to check their population growth.

The Denver Post and Associated Press reported July 19 that the House Appropriations Committee voted to reverse a ban on destroying healthy wild horses in a spending bill signed into law by President Trump in early May.

Against that backdrop, the level of collaboration between the BLM and the Sand Wash Advocate Team stands out as a special case in the thorny problem of how to leave some mustangs on the arid grasslands of the American West while protecting the resource and allowing wildlife grazing.

Aleta Wolf, program manager for the Sand Wash Advocate Team or SWAT, which takes a special interest in working with the BLM to help manage the wild horses that roam the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Management Area west of Steamboat Springs in Moffat County, said the slaughter issue is not specifically mentioned on the agenda for Saturday’s meeting, but she expects the topic to surface

“I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t bring it up,” Wolf said.

Sand Wash is a special case among designated wild horse areas in the American West. SWAT, in cooperation with the BLM, trains and fields volunteers to shoot darts containing a temporary sterility drug into selected wild mares at Sand Wash. The advocate team also has an affiliate, the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary and Training Center, which gentles wild horses after they…

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