Wild horses and burros can be found on public lands not because of their role in the ecosystem, not because they’re an endangered species, but for their historical value.
That some lands were set aside in 1971 principally for WHB seems to have been overlooked by the central planners. (The map at the bottom of this page shows just how far their tentacles reach. Could this explain why there is growing demand for livestock grazing on HMAs? The supply of land—for sale to ranching interests or anybody else—is too small?)
What characteristics come to mind when you think of the American West?
- Travel by horse
- Frontier justice
- Unspoiled beauty
- Open space
What values did the settlers bring with them?
- Private property
- Self-reliance (including self-defense)
- Free speech
- Belief in God
What if you have individuals in government who hate these ideas, who believe they’ve been poisoning the minds of the people for hundreds of years?
Consider the experience of the Chinese from the mid 1960s to mid 1970s, during the Cultural Revolution. For communism to take root, the nation would have to break all ties with the past:
- Traditional social practices such as weddings and funerals were suppressed
- Books were burned and art objects were smashed
- Temples and churches were closed and put to secular use
- Customary ways of dress were eliminated
- Visual evidences of old things were destroyed
Old ideas, old culture, old customs, old habits.
You can’t have the people thinking about their heritage and birthright when you have a fundamental transformation to accomplish.