Western Horse Watchers offers the following remarks in response to an op-ed appearing in today’s online edition of the Greeley Tribune.
The AML of 362 corresponds to a resource allocation in a land-use plan. It is not the number of wild horses the HMA can sustain. If the land can only support 362, how did the pre-gather population reach 896? Half of them should be dead by now.
Sometimes you limit your spending in one area because other things are more important.
Wild horses are not domesticated animals. If you think they are, adopt one and try throwing a saddle on him. He might spin his butt and put a hoof in your face.
Table 2.1 in the Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA shows 499 AUMs per year assigned to cattle in one of the pastures of the Sheepherder Spring allotment, which is inside the HMA according to the paragraph above the table.
If sheep only traverse the HMA on their way to summer and winter feeding grounds, why does the plan authorize over 16,000 AUMs per year to livestock inside the HMA?
Amend the plan and shift the resources back to the horses! The roundup will no longer be necessary and the darting program can be stopped.
Horses appear in the North American fossil record, cattle and sheep do not. They are the predominant non-native species on America’s pubic lands.
There are few if any predators in wild horse areas because those animals would also be interested in the offspring of the non-native species.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 USC 35, puts domestic livestock grazing at the top of the list of principal uses of public lands, not fish and wildlife development, mineral extraction, recreation or timber production. Refer to §1702(l).
The use of helicopters and motor vehicles in wild horse roundups, §1338a in 16 USC 30, was authorized by FLPMA, the first formal attack on the WHB Act by the public-lands ranchers, their overlords, cheerleaders and political allies.