BLM to Wipe Out Wild Horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Take A Stand: Comments Due by September 27, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is advancing a devastating plan to wipe out wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard, a two million acre swath of public and private land in the southern portion of the state. Nearly half of Wyoming's remaining mustangs live in this area.  Your comments are needed now!.

At the behest of the Rock Springs Grazing Association, whose members enjoy tax subsidized grazing on the public lands portions of the checkerboard, the BLM intends to:

  • Zero out (eradicate wild horses from) the Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

  • Reduce the allowable management level for the Adobe Town HMA from 610-800 225-450 horses.

  • Convert the wild free-roaming horse population in the White Mountain HMA to a sterilized, non-reproducing herd. 

In order to implement these unprecedented actions, the BLM must amend the Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts. The BLM is presently conducting a Scoping period for proposed RMP revisions. This is the phase during which the public can tell the BLM what issues, alternatives, impacts and mitigations it wants analyzed and considered.

Now is the time to tell the BLM that the wild horses of the Wyoming checkerboard must be protected for future generations, not destroyed at the behest of ranchers who receive tax subsidies to graze their livestock on our public lands. Public lands livestock grazing is a privilege not a right, while protection of wild horses is mandated by federal law!

An outpouring of public support for Wyoming's mustangs and in opposition to the BLM"s destructive plans is essential. Please personalize the sample letter below and press send to have your voice on behalf of Wyoming mustangs heard!

To submit comments directly:

Email to (please include “Wild Horse Scoping” in the subject line)

Faxed to (307) 352-0329

Mail to the Bureau of Land Management, Rock Springs Field Office, Wild Horse Scoping, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901.   

For questions or more information, please contact Jay D’Ewart at (307) 352-0331, or William West at (307) 352-0259.  


BLM Scoping Materials

How the Department of Interior Sold Out America's Wild Horses

Federal Court Sanctions Gov't Plan to Eliminate Wild Horses from Wyoming Checkerboard

About the area:

Wyoming Checkerboard - 2 million acres of alternating public and private land parcels dating back to the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860's.

Livestock Grazing - 16 public allotments on which tens of thousands of sheep and cattle graze annually. On the Rock Springs Allotment alone RSGA members graze 66,817 sheep and over 7,000 cow/calf pairs each year. 

Wild horses: BLM allows a total of 1,965 to live in this more than 2 million acres. Horses are outnumbered by 40 times more livestock in this area. 

Adobe Town HMA 

  • 478,000 acres of mostly BLM-administered land in south/central Wyoming between Route 80 and the Colorado/Wyoming border.

  • Allowable Management Level (AML): 610-800 horses. BLM wants to reduce to 225-450 horses.

  • Horses range from 14-15 hands. Known for Adobe Town greys. One of most famous horses of all time, Desert Dust, came from Adobe Town. 

  • Adobe Town's dramatic landscapes make it the "Crown Jewel of Wyoming's Desert Wilderness"

Salt Wells Creek HMA

  • 1.2 million acres (724,000 BLM owned) located just south of the town of Rock Springs, making the Salt Wells Creek wild horses accessible for public viewing.

  • AML: 251-265. BLM wants to reduce to 0 - plans to eradicate horses from this popular HMA.

  • Full range of colors present in Salt Wells horses with a high number of palominos and sorrels with flaxen manes and tails. The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds mature weight. 

Great Divide Basin HMA

  • 779,000 acres, of which 562,702 acres are BLM-administered public lands located northeast of Rock Springs.

  • AML: 415-600. BLM wants to reduce it to 0; intends to eradicate wild horses from this HMA.

  • Most horses are bay, sorrel, black, brown, paint, buckskin, or gray, but many colors and combinations are present. Horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weighs up to 1,100 pounds mature weight.

White Mountain HMA

  • 393,000 acres, of which over 240,000 acres are BLM-administered public lands. The HMA is a high plateau that overlooks Rock Springs from the northwest.

  • AML of 205-300. BLM wants to convert to a non-reproducing herd of sterilized horses. 

  •  This is a colorful herd, including many paints.  Other colors are bay, sorrel, red roan, black, or gray. The Wyoming horses have a diverse background of many domestic horse breeds. T The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds mature weight.

BLM Wyoming HMA Map