WSGA Files “Friend of the Court” Brief
April 9, 2015
Today Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) filed a "Friend of the Court" brief in support of the State of Wyoming's challenge to the BLM's failure to maintain several wild horse herds in Wyoming within AML (Approved Management Levels). WSGA, while supporting the presence of horses within Horse Management Areas so long as they are maintained at or below AML, cited the impacts of "excess horses" on livestock grazing permittees.
WSGA reinforced the arguments of the State that removing excess horses is a mandatory action under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, noting that Congress twice amended the original Act to assure such removals. The Association pointed out that these AML's had been established through the applicable Resource Management Plans for Lander, Rawlins, Green River and Grass Creek.
WSGA further addressed the assertion of the federal government and horse advocacy groups that the State had not stated a valid claim. The Administrative Procedures Act clearly provides a cause of action when a federal agency fails to take a discrete action that is required by law. The removal of excess wild horses is just such an action.
Based on these legal principles WSGA has urged the Court to deny the motions of the BLM and horse advocacy groups to dismiss the litigation. The brief was prepared and filed by Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of WSGA.