DC Circuit Vacates Forest Service’s Unlawful Decision to Exclude Federally Protected Wild Horses from Public Lands

Nearly two months after criticizing the Forest Service’s unexplained and arbitrary elimination of more than 23,000 acres of public lands in California from a longstanding wild horse territory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted a rehearing petition our firm filed on behalf of several conservation organizations and individuals asking the court to vacate – i.e., set aside – the agency’s decision to ensure that the Forest Service would no longer exclude horses from this region.  In granting this rehearing petition and amending its earlier opinion, the D.C. Circuit sent a strong message to the Forest Service that it must manage these public lands in accordance with federal laws that afford these wild horses protection from death, harassment, or other forms of interference with their wild and free-roaming behaviors.  The court’s amended opinion can be found here