Wild Horse Fire Brigade Serves Ranchers, Not Wild Horses

Imagine completing 198 laps in a 200-lap race and running out of gas.

This news release about the Wild Horse Fire Brigade, written by its creator and leading proponent, plays the course well but chokes on the back nine in the final round.

Roundups and stockpiling of captured animals are costly, as the author notes, and they represent irresponsible use of the taxpayer’s money and the public lands.

The 768,000 AUMs per year needed to support the 64,000 animals in off-range holding are readily available in their lawful homes, at a loss of $1 million per year in grazing fees but with savings of $70 million per year in holding costs.

Who wouldn’t jump on that?  The bureaucrats, ranchers and their political allies.

These figures were not mentioned in the announcement.

Fertility control and on-range management are euphemisms for chemical sterilization of mares with vaccines that cause illness instead of preventing it.  Spot on.

Wild horses and burros were to be protected from capture, branding, harassment and death, and their land was to be managed principally for them, yet we see everything that was prohibited in the 1971 Act.  Correct, the Act no longer affords the protections sought by Velma!

In case you haven’t been keeping score, we’re ahead 3-2 in the top of the eighth.

Keeping wild horses in areas where they are in conflict with commercial interests guarantees they will remain targets of those interests, resulting in the highly flawed and costly management concepts previously cited.

Oh crap, bases loaded.

Is there a solution to the problem?

Yes, the Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan, also known as the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

Move the horses to remote wilderness areas not particularly suited for livestock grazing, or anything else.

Using just 20 million acres of these vast water and forage-rich areas, up to 100,000 wild horses could be relocated as family bands, at the rate of one horse per 200 acres (five horses per thousand acres), ending the conflicts with commercial interests.

Dang, the other team just drove in two runs.

Where would the family bands come from?  Not from the off-range corrals and long-term pastures.

Why resolve the conflicts by getting rid of the horses?  That’s what the advocates do.

The same result could be achieved by confining the ranchers to their base properties in a year-round off season, while expecting them to pay the going rate to feed their animals.

This would be in line with the original statute.

Game saved with one out remaining.

RELATED: ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’ Means Victory for Permittees.

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