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.

Who’s Writing Appropriations Bills for the BLM?

The spending authorization for the Bureau of Land Management in FY 2020 includes $6 million for a pilot program to remove most of the wild horses from two or three HMAs and administer fertility control to the remaining bands.

It’s the first phase of the wild horse eradication plan pushed by range-fed beef producers and operators of private sanctuaries.  See page 2 in HR 3052.  The program is explained on page 11 of the report that accompanies the bill.

Note the prohibition against returning horses to the range.  This is the handiwork of the public-lands ranchers and their political allies.

Pilot Program-1

The House subcommittee that drafted the legislation has eleven members, presented here along with their grades from Conservative Review.

  • Betty McCollum, Chair, D-MN, F (16%)
  • Chellie Pingree, D-ME, F (19%)
  • Derek Kilmer, D-WA, F (10%)
  • José Serrano, D-NY, F (20%)
  • Mike Quigley, D-IL, F (12%)
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ, F (17%)
  • Brenda Lawrence, D-MI, F (17%)
  • David Joyce, Ranking Member, R-OH, F (34%)
  • Mike Simpson, R-ID, F (31%)
  • Chris Stewart, R-UT, F (58%)
  • Mark Amodei, R-NV, F (40%)

They all received a failing grade because they’re all liberals.

Could it be that public-lands ranching is an enterprise of the Left, a darling of the Democrat Party?  Sure looks like it.

RELATED: CANA Foundation Throws in with Public-Lands Ranchers.

Alto Wild Horse Hit by Vehicle

A stallion was killed yesterday on New Mexico Highway 48, while attempting to cross it with some other horses.  Refer to this report by Ruidoso News, posted today.

Wild horses in this area were the subject of a two year court battle that ended last year, when a judge ruled the New Mexico Livestock Board had no authority in the case.

RELATED: Alto Horses Settling In, Alto Horses Get Temporary Warning Signs.

CANA Foundation Throws in with Public-Lands Ranchers

A news release posted today by EIN Presswire praises language in a draft appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior about the ‘rewilding’ of horses and burros.

The concept, which appears on page 15 of the proposed legislation, refers to the transfer of captured horses from government corrals and contracted pastures to private facilities, not their home range, just as the ranchers wanted.

The draft also includes $6 million for the first phase of the wild horse eradication plan, also favored by the ranchers.  See page 10.

RELATED: CANA Foundation: Don’t Give Them a Penny.

Multiple Use on the Heber WHT

Video of some wild horses trying to live peacefully with ‘other rangeland resources’ in the disputed territory.  What could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah…eleven of the horses have been killed by gunfire in the past year.

Pay no attention to the fencing.  It was put there by an oil company to keep nosy environmentalists away from their drilling rigs and frac tanks.

RELATED: Advocates Ask Politicians for Help with Heber Shootings.

Visiting the Black Hills Sanctuary

On the road in South Dakota with RVOnTheWayside.

Places like this can never be accepted as a solution to the wild horse ‘problem.’  Privately owned livestock, which far outnumber wild horses on public lands in the western U.S., belong on private land, not free roaming horses.

RELATED: Private Sanctuaries: End-Game of Wild Horse Management Plan, Story of the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

The Big-Name Advocacy Groups Have Lost Their Way

Refer to this letter in the Desert Independent, posted 06/15/19.  It’s just one example.

Whenever you see a plea for ‘on-range management’ of wild horses (sometimes posited as ‘humane management’), run.

These organizations offer no meaningful resistance to the ranching juggernaut.

Instead, they argue about methods and timing: The range-fed beef producers want the horses gone now, by any means necessary, while the so-called advocates want their numbers to decline gradually, through application of contraceptives.

Consider the situation at Twin Peaks HMA, where the horses get the short end of the AUM stick.  Why aren’t they pushing back against the public-lands ranchers?

Might be a good idea to check their donor list before giving them money.