Wild Horse Gather Cases End in Victory
In two cases dating back to 2010 and 2011, wild horse advocates challenged decisions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to gather wild horses and burros in California and Nevada. In both cases, SCI intervened to defend the gathers because proper wild horse management supports healthier populations of game birds and animals in the range they share. In both cases, the District Court sided with SCI and the BLM and rejected the horse groups’ arguments. The horse groups appealed both decisions to the Ninth Circuit. In the first case to be decided, the appellate court sided with SCI and the BLM and affirmed the lower court ruling. After losing their first appeal, the horse groups decided that it would be futile to re-litigate the same issues in the other appeal, so they voluntarily dropped their suit. In other words, both cases have been finally resolved in SCI’s favor. The outcome of these two cases should make it easier for the BLM to make and defend much needed decisions to gather wild horses and burros throughout the West.