CHEYENNE — A legal settlement between ranchers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would reduce wild horse numbers in the Rock Springs area by about half.
Under the deal, the BLM would allow no more than 1,050 wild horses in four herd areas, down from the current population of almost 2,000 horses.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne approved the settlement Wednesday. The settlement requires BLM horse roundups over the next three or four years.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2011 by the Rock Springs Grazing Association.
The association says the BLM allowed wild horse numbers to reach at least 4,700, almost three times the maximum number the BLM previously had agreed to allow.
Ranchers say wild horses damage the range and compete with cattle for forage.