Excess Horses on Public Lands

In the spring of 2016 there was well over 80,000 head of excess horses and burros in the Wild Horse & Burros Program, yet many wild horse advocates claim there are no excess horses.  In 2016 the Appropriate Management Level for wild horses and burros was 27,000 head on public lands, 40,000 head less than the actual 67,000 head.  Add that 40,000 to the 46,000 head in off-range corrals and pastures to make 86,000 head of excess horses and burros.  The 40,000 head of on-range excess horses and burros will add 8 to 10 thousand of the 14,000 + head that will be added to the 2017 count of excess horses.

If the excess wild horses and burros are left on the range (public lands) as the wild horse advocates want, the on-range head count will grow to 140,000 head in 2021 and 280,000 head in 2025 if the rangelands remain healthy.  Fortunately, the populations will not be able to grow that fast.  Unfortunately, many of the horses on the range will suffer from lack of food and water.  It is already happening and will get worse quickly if the wild horse and burro populations are allowed to increase.  Not only the horse and burros suffer, the rangeland and wildlife suffer as well.  Horses, wildlife and the ecosystem are suffering because of the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971, congress and the wild horse and burro advocates who are preventing the horses and burros from being properly managed.

The wild horse and burro advocates claim the wild horse and burro populations will self-stabilize on healthy rangelands.  They are unable to point out any examples, because there aren’t any, but there are examples of the rangeland being devastated with the horses, burros and wildlife suffering greatly.  So, they fall back to conspiracy theories and rhetoric.  The government, cattlemen, miners, biologists, environmentalists and others who do not support them are in a conspiracy against them.  They use rhetoric like; Cattlemen ruin the range, the BLM hates horses, you’re no friend to animals, dollars over lives and the list could go on and on.  The advocates are forced to use conspiracy theories and meaningless rhetoric because they have nothing else.

The excess horses in short and long term storage are a money pit taking over half of the Wild Horse & Burro Programs budget.  Excess horses were not planned for in the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971.  The advocates and congress stop the excess animals from being sold or euthanized.  From the start the Wild Horse & Burro Program was doomed to failure because it failed to recognize wild horses need managed and that there would be excess horses.  It is not the BLM’s fault, it is not the cattlemen’s fault and it is not the fault of a conspiracy.  The wild horse advocates are a part of the problem because they mislead people and put a great deal of pressure on Congress to support their beliefs.

Congress is the main problem.  They passed unworkable legislation in 1971, made it slightly more workable by changing some of the original legislation, but have stopped short of what needs to be done.  They basically have four options:

1.       Fully fund the Wild Horse & Burro Program so all excess horses will be moved to long term storage and still have the funds needed to properly manage the on-range horses.

2.       Allow all excess horses to be sold without limitation and fully fund the Program allowing proper management of the on-range horses.

3.       Repeal the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971, remove all free-roaming horses & burros from the public lands and sell all horses in the Wild Horse & Burro Program.

4.       Do nothing and let the horses, burros and range continue to suffer.

5.       Or make a fifth option and start a new program!

It is so simple!  All you need is a little horse sense.


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

facebook icon
Icon produced by Brand Bundle