Bureau of Land Management Sued Over Horse Removal

The Cana Foundation, Laura Leigh, and Wild Horse Education filed a complaint against the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Nevada Director of the BLM, alleging the defendants violated the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) by deciding to remove those animals without a required Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP).

The Cana Foundation is a nonprofit corporation utilizing science-substantiated data to create rewilding initiatives for horses and their environments, according to the complaint. The Wild Horse Education— joined by their founder and president, Laura Leigh—is a national nonprofit corporation that researches, engages in public education of, and journalizes the federal and state management of wild free-roaming horses and burros.

According to the complaint, the BLM began planning to remove 1,000 animals from the Blue Wing Complex of Herd Management areas in August of 2021; the BLM expects to carry out this plan on August 1. Both NEPA and the WFRHBA require the defendants to consider and provide a report on the environmental impacts before carrying out procedures such as the relocation of horses; however, the complaint alleges that BLM failed to provide a HMAP and a NEPA environmental impact assessment.

The plaintiffs seek the following for relief: a writ of prohibition preventing the defendants from gathering horses until they are in compliance with the violated acts, an order and injunction urging the defendants to cease the Blue Wing Complex project until the defendants comply with the violated acts, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by GreenFire Law PC and De Castroverde Law Group.