Green River Star -

Our view: Make your voice heard for horses

 

March 11, 2020



Green River’s Wild Horse Canyon might only be a name if the Bureau of Land Management moves forward with its preferred plan to contain wild horses found across the checkerboard to a section of land around Adobe Town.

The horses are an important cultural resource in Sweetwater County.

Western Wyoming Community College’s mascot is the Mustang, we have a tour called the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Tour and the annual distance run hosted during River Festival is the Run with the Horses Marathon.

Beyond the cultural heritage, local wild horse herds are a important feature for local tourism. The aforementioned marathon brings people from throughout the United States to participate, many of whom marvel at seeing wild horses as they compete. The loop tour, which takes people between Green River and Rock Springs along White Mountain, is a great place to take in scenic views of the area, as well as the horses as they roam the land.

Without the horses, interest in the area may dwindle, which could be especially concerning to some local businesses. People won’t stop off for a meal before or after traveling the loop tour. The marathon would no longer have the horses prominently mentioned in its title.

So, what is there to do? The BLM is accepting public comments for its proposed plan, as well as alternatives the organization has identified. We can’t keep things the same as they have been because the Rock Springs Grazing Association won’t allow it. It was its lawsuit and claims the BLM was not honoring its end of an agreement between them, the BLM and Wild Horses Yes that resulted in this situation.

It’s also not enough to frame an argument based on emotional pleas to keep the horses where they’re at.

One alternative that would benefit everyone involved is for the White Mountain herd to be managed as a non reproducing herd. While the herd would not be able to maintain its numbers naturally, the BLM would transport horses into the White Mountain area in an attempt to keep their numbers stable. This solution, although difficult for the BLM, would allow for the continued enjoyment of wild horses near Green River and

Rock Springs. It would continue allowing the horses to be an important cultural resource for our city, as well as preserving the herd as a heritage to be passed down into the future.

We urge Green River’s residents, business owners and elected officials to make their voices heard to help protect the White Mountain herd for future generations.

 

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