A letter to the St. George News of St. George, UT, published yesterday, says “ranchers are being bankrupted by the cost of hay to replace lost forage for their livestock, and the number of starving and diseased wild horses is rising substantially,” because of a wild horse “population boom.”
It was written by Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Mike Lee (both R-UT).
Public-lands ranching is government dependency.
Benefits are not transferred directly. Rather, they inure through the program itself.
Ranchers don’t own the land (except for the base properties). Therefore, they pay no property taxes.
The grazing fee, $1.35 per cow/calf pair per month, is so low it can’t even be approached in the private sector. The government pays about $60 per month to feed a wild horse in long-term holding, removed from its home range at the behest of the ranchers.
Some of those funds are plowed back into the program, to improve rangeland conditions for the ranchers.
If the number of wild horses in an area exceeds the amount the ranchers are willing to tolerate, typically one animal per thousand acres, the government removes them, at no cost to the ranchers.
In exchange, government bureaucrats tell the ranchers what to do and when to do it.
American taxpayers are footing the bill for this. It’s a racket, a gravy train, a good ol’ boys network.
The authors noted that the Wild Horse and Burro Act was designed to “protect wild mustangs” but did not say from whom: Livestock ranchers, who nearly eradicated them in the middle of the last century.
Nothing has changed since it was signed into law. The ranchers still despise these animals, because they rob forage from their cattle and sheep—on lands set aside for horses and burros.
It’s absolutely absurd, but we’re supposed to take these men seriously, you know, because they’re in Congress.