"Wild horses on the vast rangelands of Wyoming can continue to roam free, for now, after the U.S. government's Bureau of Land Management postponed a planned roundup, horse advocates said on Tuesday.
The roundup was due to start on August 16 to reduce horse overpopulation on more than 700,000 acres of public land in Wyoming, but the federal agency agreed to put it off until at least September after facing a lawsuit.
The bureau had planned to remove 700 wild mustangs in southwestern Wyoming and return 177 geldings or castrated stallions to the land, according to the lawsuit filed July 25.
The plaintiffs -- the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Western Watersheds Project, a Wyoming couple and wildlife photographer Carol Walker -- accused the BLM of intending to "manage the wild horses to extinction."
They argue that the agency is violating the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which mandates the BLM to protect and manage the animals as "symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.""
Molly O'Toole reports for Reuters August 4, 2011.