“An increased wild horse and burro population wouldn’t be a bad thing, except that the out of control population growth is destroying the health of our rangeland, which harms these beautiful animals.”
In recent years, we’ve seen the wild horse and burro population skyrocket – It’s estimated that there are now 49,000 roaming in the western states. In addition, there are nearly 50,000 cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures. To put that number in perspective, the appropriate management level set by the Interior Department in the Wild Horse and Burro Act is 22,500 animals!
An increased wild horse and burro population wouldn’t be a bad thing, except that the out of control population growth is destroying the health of our rangeland, which harms these beautiful animals. Native plant and animal species are being over-grazed and trampled, and the overpopulation of horses and burros are causing thousands to suffer from starvation and a lack of sufficient water.
In addition to hurting the environment, the growing wild horse population is also becoming economically destructive to Western cattlemen who graze their herds on this land.
For many reasons, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has failed to provide a solution for this situation.
I had a meeting with BLM Director Neil Kornze, where he spoke of long-term plans that would reduce the size of the horse and burro herds over a 10 year period. In 5 years the herds will at least double. In 10 years they will triple. This is unacceptable for everyone involved.
United States Congressman, Chris Stewart, Utah’s CD2
Video produced by The County Seat
In the last six years, County Seat has covered the Wild Horse issue four times. We are about to cover it again. It is important because the situation on the ground, no pun intended, has changed significantly.
The numbers of horses continue to grow despite efforts to capture, manage, adopt, place, or otherwise eliminate horses from the range. None of them have been successful because in the eyes of many observers, the BLM’s hands are tied.
We are going to once again look at some of the solutions with a very distinguished panel that has on-the-ground experience and expertise on the subject.
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*Free Range Report*