An editorial posted this morning by the Rocket Miner of Rock Springs, WY says “It’s time for a roundup.” Wild horses are robbing the poor ranchers of their birthright.
These animals have been set up to fail, by the government agencies entrusted with their care. Yes, Virginia, it’s sabotage.
The management plan for the affected HMAs allocates 86% of the forage to privately owned livestock—on lands set aside for the horses. This is now—before the plan is amended to satisfy a rancher-friendly court order!
Would that explain the movement of horses off their HMAs? Would it account for complaints about wild horses on private property and safety issues attributed to the animals near roads and highways?
The ranchers, who believe they have a right to place their property on land they don’t own, cluttering it with various ‘improvements’ that allow them to strip away a sizeable portion of the resources, are the problem. Never mind that the fees they pay have been stuck in time capsule since the 1960s.
Nobody’s trying to force them off their own land. But they do need to be confined to it.
Many of the wild horse ‘advocates’ buckle at the idea, because they have ranching backgrounds or ties to the ranching industry. They’d rather give aid and comfort to the government serfs through application of contraceptives.
The 50,000 wild horses in long-term holding can be explained by the misappropriation of forage on just a few dozen HMAs.
Payments by the ranchers ($1.35 per AUM) don’t even come close to the cost of feeding those animals ($60 per AUM). There is no payout and no rate of return for removing wild horses from their home range. Like other government programs, it’s negative cash flow all the way, with the shortfall covered by taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the ranchers and contractors get rich.
The wild horse outplacement program, with its adoption events, financial incentives and training programs is necessary because the WHB Act—altered at the behest of ranching interests—no longer functions as Velma intended.
It’s not time for a roundup. It’s time to end public-lands ranching and restore the Act to its original form.
RELATED: Rock Springs AML Amendments, Defending the Ranchers.