Wild Horse Overpopulation?

Congress tells the BLM to fix the wild horse ‘problem.’  Let’s look at the numbers.

Data from this post and this post, rounded, lands managed by the BLM:

  • 9 million AUMs per year currently used by livestock
  • 12 million AUMs per year available to livestock
  • 155 million acres of public lands available to livestock
  • 71,000 wild horses and burros currently on public lands
  • 27,000 wild horses and burros allowed on public lands
  • 27 million acres of public lands available to wild horses and burros

Assumptions:

  • Livestock graze 6 months per year
  • Horses and burros graze 12 months per year

AUM consumption, current conditions:

  • 9 million AUMs per year allocated to livestock
  • 0.85 million AUMs per year allocated to wild horses and burros

Animal population, current conditions:

  • 1.5 million cow/calf pairs
  • 0.071 million horses and burros

Population density, current conditions:

  • 9.7 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres
  • 2.6 horses and burros per thousand acres

Graphical summary:

Wild Horse Overpopulation Current-1

AUM consumption, planned:

  • 12 million AUMs per year allocated to livestock
  • 0.32 million AUMs per year allocated to wild horses and burros

Animal population, planned:

  • 2 million cow/calf pairs
  • 0.027 million horses and burros

Population density, planned:

  • 12.9 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres
  • 1 horse or burro per thousand acres

Graphical summary:

Wild Horse Overpopulation Planned-1

There is no wild horse problem, only a livestock problem.  Thanks to the public-lands ranchers, the contractors, the trade groups, their cheerleaders and political allies—all working together to eradicate wild horses and burros—on land that belongs to you.

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