In Conclusion

Do we want free-roaming horses?  If we don’t, it is simple; gather them and sell them.  If we want free-roaming horses Congress must become a responsible horse owner.  They need to decide how the free-roaming horses will be managed and then supply the funding and options needed to manage the horses.

First, wild horses are not a native species in the Great Basin, southwest Wyoming, western Colorado or Utah.  In those areas they are an invasive species that Congress has declared “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”  Congress does not have the power to change nature, and make them a natural part of the natural system.  The only alternative is for Congress to ADEQUATLEY FUND a program to keep the horses on those ranges.

The free-roaming horses need managed for population control, genetic diversity and to remove excess horses, eliminating natural selection. In the end these will be managed horses, just as they have been since reintroduced to the Americas.  The Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971 may work if Congress is willing to make extreme levels of funding available.

If Congress would remove the rider on the funding for the Wild Horse & Burro Program that is preventing excess horses from being sold, allowing them to be sold without restraint, the amount of funding needed would drop dramatically.

The option I prefer is to gather and remove the free-roaming horses from the public lands, sell all excess horses, keeping eight thousand horses to become the wild horse herd and two thousand to be adopted out and supply other successful programs Congress may wish to keep.  The amount of management and funding needed would drop dramatically. 

Natural selection would begin to play a part and the free-roaming horses could be considered wild horses, with minimal management.

If there have ever been wild horses in what is presently the United States, it was on Texas and Oklahoma grasslands which are their natural habitat.  The Flint Hills are possibly the only grasslands in the United States with pastures large enough for the horse density required to allow some degree of natural selection.  In large pastures all management will be less intrusive and stressful for the horses.

Free-roaming horse in the grasslands would be more accessible to viewing by the public.  It would be relatively simple to set up tours and viewing areas where more people would be able to enjoy viewing the horses in their natural habitat.  

The choice belongs to Congress, but we have the final say with our vote.  Let your legislators know what you want done with our wild horses.


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

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