The original statement went something like this: The number of wild horses and burros in off-range holding can be explained by the misappropriation of forage on just a few dozen HMAs.
How’s the theory holding up? Twelve more areas have been considered since the last report, they appear in the sidebar on the right titled ‘Short End of Stick.’
Data from those posts have been added to the original list, starting with the Big Summit WHT and ending with the Lost Creek HMA.
Some areas are managed for burros but the calculations are based on wild horses. If you want to know the number of burros displaced from an area by privately owned livestock, multiply the horses denied by two. Same for the AMLs.
For the areas considered so far, livestock receive about 84% of the authorized forage (excluding wildlife), with the balance going to horses. The total number of horses displaced from their home range is 46,770.
If you prefer a mix, you could say 45,000 horses + 2 × 1,770 burros = 48,540 wild horses and burros displaced from their home range, which is roughly equal to the number of horses and burros in off-range holding.
The theory has been validated.
The true AML of 55,503 is six times higher than the current AML of 8,733, slightly more than predicted by the Rule of 5.
Imagine what the true AML would be for all HMAs and WHTs!
The problem is not too many horses or not enough contraceptives. The problem is public-lands ranching.
RELATED: Hypothesis Revisited.