The Sand Wash Basin wild horses in Colorado need you to be their voice today! Right now, 783 of these cherished wild horses are in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s crosshairs as the agency gears up for an emergency helicopter roundup scheduled to begin on September 1. This cruel operation will decimate the iconic herd of mustangs that call the HMA their home and turn off a key source of visitor revenue for the region.

The reason for this emergency designation? Drought. But while on the ground advocates acknowledge that much of northwest Colorado is in a seasonal drought, they say the dramatic move to deploy the helicopters and leave only 163 wild horses on the 160,000 acres range is out of proportion with the reality on the range.

Wild horses are truly the survivors of the West. And the Sand Wash wild ones are no different. They have survived seasonal droughts for generations. In fact, recent rains in the area have refilled the pools and have restored vegetation, and horses remain in good body condition.


In short, there is no drought emergency in the HMA to justify displacing nearly 90% of the herd by stampeding and capturing wild horses in a helicopter roundup that will rob hundreds of horses of their freedom and cost many their lives.

Join us in calling on the Secretary of the Interior, and the BLM leaders to drop the ‘emergency’ plans, and come to the table with wild horse advocates to work collaboratively on a modified plan to preserve and humanely manage the incredible Sand Wash Basin herd.


Leadership Speaks Out

We are grateful to Governor Jared Polis, and his husband, First Gentleman Marlon Reis, for submitting a letter to the Secretary of the Interior and the BLM calling for a 6-month postponement of the roundup, and to Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO-2) for listening to his constituents and asking for a halt to the roundup and for humane alternatives to be implemented.


AWHC Takes Action

AWHC sent a formal letter this morning to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Acting BLM Director Nada Culver demanding an immediate halt to the roundup. AWHC also filed a formal notice of appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals of the BLM’s August 17, 2021 Decision Record authorizing a ten-year plan to reduce the Sand Wash population limit to the low “Appropriate” Management Level of just 163 horses. The emergency designation has allowed BLM to accelerate this plan and bypass the public appeal process of that decision.


Environmental Groups Speak Out

The Colorado Chapter of the Sierra Club and environmental watchdog organization, Western Watersheds Project both submitted letters to the Bureau of Land Management asking for a halt to the operation. 


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Reporting from the Roundup

Despite growing opposition, on September 1, 2021, the BLM began the roundup and removal of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses. AWHC's field representative is on the ground to bring you the latest.