Fox Guarding the Hen House

An editorial that appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune on 05/01/18 points out the conflicting interests of the BLM in the area of rangeland management.  The photo at the top of the page was probably taken near the National Wild Horse and Burro Summit held in Salt Lake City last August.

The conference organizers and conference participants are not wild horse advocates.  How many elements of the wild horse narrative can you find in their plenary session?

The commentary is a response to the recent BLM Report to Congress about management of wild horses and burros on Western rangelands.

The writer argues that commercialization is the cause of rangeland degradation, not wild horses and burros.

It’s easy to see what livestock can do to the land, harder to imagine how widespread damage can be attributed to oil and gas exploration.  Go to 5:04 in this video for the scene at Stewart Creek HMA in Wyoming.

If the goal is to change the way Americans think about western rangelands, and to supplant traditional notions of freedom, ruggedness and self-reliance with new-age ideals of weakness, vulnerability and dependence on government, then the landscape should be dotted with cattle and sheep, not free-roaming horses and burros.

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