The following video, produced for the Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission, offers two possibilities (4:42 to 6:39).
- There are too many horses on the range – Ranchers are removing livestock from their allotments and feeding them on their own property, increasing demand
- There are too many horses off the range – The government is removing them from the same allotments and feeding them in holding facilities, driving up demand
Can both be true?
The sad part is that the ranchers must operate their businesses on their own land and pay the going rate to feed their animals. Nobody in this country is expected to do that.
The price of hay in this area is now around $125 per AUM. This comes as a shock to the ranchers, who have been insulated from the realities of a free market, at least on the cost side, for decades.
World events and the ill-advised policies of the current administration have no effect.
Although probably not intended by its producers, the film shows how to fix the Wild Horse and Burro Program: Confine the ranchers to their base properties and let them pay market rates to feed their animals. No more gravy train, no more sucking on the government teat.
UPDATE: Video replaced by newer version.