The 3.8-million-member Sierra Club has called out the BLM’s bias against wild horses in resource allocation and called for the removal of livestock from designated wild horse habitat areas instead of removing horses. Other groups, including Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and WildEarth Guardians have also called for the removal of livestock from wild horse habitat areas.
The White Mountain Herd Management Area and surrounding areas subject to the BLM roundup are in a “checkerboard” of public and private land. Seventy-four percent (2.5 million acres) is public land managed by the BLM, while 26% (900,000 acres) is state or privately-owned. Most of the private land is owned or leased by the wealthy and politically powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association, which has sought the elimination of the Wyoming Checkerboard herds for more than a decade.