The following is the presentation I gave at the September 8-9, 2016 WH & B Advisory Board Meeting in Elko, Nevada.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.  I hope some of you have read, “Forty-five Years of the Wild Horse & Burro Act,” the long version of this presentation.

The WH & B Act of 1971 was spurred on by emotion and written using magical thinking to solve imaginary problems.  In 1971 there were 17,000 head of wild horses on the public lands. They were nowhere near extinction.  By 1983 there were almost 50,000 wild horses on the public lands while 48,000 head had been removed since 1971.  The horse runners had been doing a good job of population management prior to the WH & B Act.

In 1976 the WH & B Act was changed to allow helicopter gathers.  By 1978 it was obvious that adoptions alone could not dispose of all excess horses, so the act was changed to allow excess horses to be destroyed.  The Wild Horse advocates stopped excess horses from being destroyed and the WH & B Program loss control of the horse and burro populations.

When wild horses are called, living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, they must be referring to wild horses from Texas, not the Great Basin.  Before horses made it to the Great Basin, Texas had been supplying horses to native Americans for over 200 years and settlers east of the Mississippi for over 70 years. 

The WH & B Act was amended in 1978 for a reason. With over 100,000 head of horses in the WH & B Program today the reason is abundantly clear.  It is a real heartbreaker that the wild horse advocates have brought the program to the point where 80,000 head of horses need to be killed.

We need to use science, experience, and rational thought to bring the WH & B Program under control.  To that end I sincerely hope the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will step up to the plate and recommend that, The Secretary of the Interior should follow the law and cause all excess wild free-roaming horses and Burros, both on range and off range, for which an adoption demand by qualified individuals does not exist to be immediately destroyed in the most humane and cost efficient manner possible.


Copyright © 2016-2019 Gerald Miller. All Rights Reserved.

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