The Bureau of Land Management has postponed a planned roundup of wild horses in Wyoming in response to a lawsuit from horse advocates. The agency had planned to remove 700 wild mustangs, beginning on August 16, in an effort to reduce horse overpopulation on 700,000 acres of public land in southwestern Wyoming. The BLM was also to return 177 geldings, or castrated stallions. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Western Watersheds Project, a Wyoming couple, and equine photographer Carol Walker brought suit against the BLM in federal court late last month, claiming that the agency intended to "manage the wild horses to extinction" in violation of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The act mandates that the BLM manage and protect the horses as "symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." The BLM says that, without roundups and in the absence of predators, horse herds double in population every four years, causing soil erosion, stream sedimentation, and damage to wildlife habitats. Earlier this week, the BLM agreed to postpone the roundup until at least September. The agency manages approximately 38,500 wild horses and burros across ten western states.
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