The announcement this week regarding WHB adoptions in FY 2019 stated that 46,000 wild horses and burros were currently in off-range corrals and long-term pastures.
Let’s collect some numbers that appeared on these pages over the last two weeks for wild horses displaced by domestic livestock on lands set aside for the horses.
- Antelope Complex, four HMAs, 10,370 horses
- Triple B Complex, four HMAs, 4,099 horses
- Five other HMAs recently in the news, 8,127 horses
These thirteen HMAs could support an additional 22,596 wild horses, but they can’t, because of the livestock.
That is, roughly half of the wild horses in off-range holding can be accounted for by misappropriation of forage on just 13 HMAs.
How is that possible?
Refer to CFR 4710.3-2: Your government gave itself the power to decide if lands set aside for wild horses and burros will be managed principally for wild horses and burros, in defiance of the original WHB Act. All but four of the 177 HMAs are not.
The ‘Path Forward‘ is wrong. It’s aimed at symptoms, not causes. You don’t have a wild horse problem on western rangelands, you have a ranching problem.
The enterprise needs to be ripped out by the roots, along with those engaged in it.