Livestock Grazing in Utah

Data from the BLM rangeland grazing page and wild horse management page in Utah:

  • 22 million acres available to livestock
  • 2.5 million acres available to horses and burros
  • 1.3 million AUMs available to livestock
  • 1,956 wild horses and burros allowed

Assuming that livestock graze six months per year, the AUM figure yields 216,000 cow/calf pairs on public lands in the state (1.3 million divided by 6).  The population density for these animals would be 9.8 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres (216,000 divided by 22 million times 1,000).

The population density for horses and burros is 0.8 animals per thousand acres (1,956 divided by 2.5 million times 1,000).

Land in Utah can support twelve times as many cow/calf pairs as horses and burros.  In some cases, it’s the same land!

Given that horses and burros graze twelve months per year, they would consume roughly 24,000 AUMs annually.  If they were at 4X AML they would consume less than one tenth of the forage allocated to livestock in the state.

Utah_Livestock_Grazing-1

Yet, the horses are overpopulated.  They have to go.  Livestock are blameless, always.

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