Wild Horses and Burros Cause Desertification?

A letter to the editor of High Country News, posted 06/24/19, says livelihoods are at risk because of unmanaged heavy grazing of wild horses and burros on public lands.

The process is turning them into deserts according to the writer.

Yep, it’s getting harder and harder to make a living off public lands in the western U.S., especially when the government spends tens of millions of dollars every year to make you as successful as possible on land you don’t own, almost as if you’re an illegal alien.

Ranchers Want it Both Ways

Livestock grazing on public lands is the most cost-effective wildfire prevention tool, according to Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council and guest speaker at the mid-year conference of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

He noted that livestock consume large amounts of highly combustible grass and other forage at no cost to the taxpayers, but gave no indication that they might be a factor in overgrazing and rangeland degradation…at least not in the report by Capital Press.

You see, wild horses and burros are responsible for that.

Lane said that cattle grazing was not a significant contributor to global warming, suggesting that he believes in the hoax but doesn’t think the industry should be a target of the emissions police.

He indicated that there were 88,000 wild horses and burros on western rangelands and 50,000 in off-range facilities but did not mention they were outnumbered twenty to one by domestic livestock.

The forage allocated to privately owned cattle and sheep on public lands in the western U.S. (about nine million AUMs annually) would support at least 750,000 wild horses and burros, enough to empty all of those off-range facilities fifteen times over.

You want cost savings?  End public-lands ranching.

Walk On By

Two Virginia Range mustangs watch as another band passes by.  There is a hierarchy within the herd and each band knows when it’s their turn to visit the water hole.

The population density in this area is roughly ten horses per thousand acres, maybe a bit more, and as you can see from the condition of these two guys, that’s way too many.

The BLM allows an average of one horse per thousand acres on lands they manage.

Why such a low number?  Because it’s not about the horses, it’s about the livestock, privately owned, of course.  Never mind that the land was set aside for the horses.

Mustangs at Water Tanks 06-14-19

SAFE Act Introduced in Senate

Legislation that would permanently end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption has reappeared in Congress, according to a press release in PR Newswire dated 06/27/19.  Sponsors of the bill are liberals, every one of them received a failing grade from Conservative Review.

  • Bob Menendez, D-NJ, F (6%)
  • Lindsey Graham, R-SC, F (31%)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, F (4%)
  • Susan Collins, R-ME, F (2%)

Many of their big-name supporters are the same jackals who signed on to the Wild Horse Management Plan announced 04/22/19: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.

You see, horse slaughter might undermine their sanctuary and fertility control ventures.

It’s okay to force wild horses off public lands so their food can be sold to privately owned livestock, just don’t ship them to slaughter for human consumption.

Remembering Velma

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of her passing.

The wild horse preservation movement started in this area nearly 70 years ago.

In her first encounter with the horse runners in 1950, Velma Johnston followed a livestock truck into a stockyard in Sparks, NV.  The vehicle contained mangled horses that were forced off their home range, destined for slaughter.

A colt on the floor, trampled.  A stallion with eyes gouged out to subdue him.  Other mustangs with portions of their hooves torn off and hides shredded by buckshot.

When she asked the driver where they came from, he pointed to the hills of the Comstock Lode, the Virginia Range.  (Source: Page 43 in Wild Horse Annie — The Last of the Mustangs, hardcover edition.)

This is the history of cattle ranching in the American west and the basis of the Wild Horse and Burro Act.

The sign at 0:07 says No Dumping but the horses ignore it.