Judge Stops Roundup Of Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

Sep 5, 2018

Credit Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior

A federal judge stopped a planned roundup of Pryor Mountain wild horses on the Wyoming-Montana border, arguing it could harm the genetic viability of the wild horses.

The Pryor Mountains are home to about 150 horses believed to be linear descendants of the Spanish Barb going back to the Conquistadors. In order for the unique genetics of the horses to survive Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation said the herd size needs to be kept around 150 to 200.

“So they don't start to develop anomalies that lead to their demise like blindness, or clubfoot [which]  in horses is fairly common in genetically nonviable herds,” said Kathrens.

Kathrens said her foundation also filed the lawsuit because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has not completed the range improvements the agency promised to in its herd plan. But she said her foundation would like to work with the BLM to create a management plan that allows for genetic viability.

“And help them [BLM] through volunteers to do range improvements and record keeping that they perhaps don’t have the personnel to do,” said Kathrens.

BLM attorneys indicated the corrals would be taken down as time allowed. Kathrens said she hopes this means BLM may be considering not moving forward. A court hearing is set for September 28.