Much of the discussion today focused on getting wild horses and burros off western rangelands and what to do with them once they’re gone: Achieving AML, adoptions, sales, off-range holding, training, partnerships, volunteering.
Nobody wanted to talk about the driver of these things, namely, public-lands ranching, as if it was a given, self evident, unchanging.
Figures were presented on the land available to wild horses and burros and the number of them that it can support, but nobody could provide the number of AUMs allocated to domestic livestock on those same lands.
You can’t have a conversation about wild horses and burros on public lands without having a conversation about privately owned cattle and sheep.
This is the problem with the WHB program: Too many administrators have bought into the overpopulation narrative, not because it’s true but because they believe land set aside for horses and burros should be managed primarily for cattle and sheep.
RELATED: WHBAB Meeting Starts Today.
UPDATE: This syndicated report by AP News shows what’s being fed to the public.