DENVER (CBS) – Gov. Jared Polis is asking the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management to delay the planned roundup of wild horses from Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin. That roundup is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

The governor tweeted out he has suggested alternative approaches for wild horse management to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in person and in writing, going on to say he has asked to delay the roundup to explore more humane alternatives.

Polis shared the letter he sent to the Interior and BLM in which he points out the basin is scheduled lose more than half of its current wild horse population.

He’s asking for a six month moratorium, saying that would allow for time to have better communication with the state to find different opportunities.

“There have been concerns raised about how truly accurate the estimates are with respect to the ecosystem herd carrying capacity,” the governor wrote. “Furthermore, the large scale of this roundup, and tactics employed, almost certainly creates the opportunity for unintended injuries and in particular for the separation of foals from mares.”

Polis writes he will advocate to Congress for funding for a more efficient, more humane strategy for managing wild horse herds in the long term. He also pointed to research being done on using birth control as a way to manage herds.

(credit: Governor’s Office)

(credit: Governor’s Office)

On Tuesday afternoon, people gathered outside of the Colorado State Capitol building to protest the roundups.

“We’re finally getting politicians to step forward and acknowledge that there’s something really wrong going on. These emergency removals are unprecedented and there’s no foundation to have them happen,” one demonstrator said.

(credit: CBS)

There are an estimated 900 horses in the Sand Wash Basin. The BLM wants to relocated 80% of them.

Raetta Holdman