# Should Wild Horses Be On or Off the Range?

Consider one such animal.

If he’s on the range, the government loses 12 AUMs per year × \$1.35 = \$16.20 per year in grazing fees but saves \$5 per day × 365 = \$1,825 per year in holding costs.

If he’s off the range, the government collects 12 AUMs per year × \$1.35 = \$16.20 per year in grazing fees but spends \$5 per day × 365 = \$1,825 per year in holding costs.

The price of hay has doubled in the last 18 months, so the cost of short-term holding is likely more than \$5 per day.

The cost of long-term holding is around \$2 per head per day.

There are currently around 62,000 animals in off-range holding, with about one third in short-term holding and two thirds in long-term holding.

For simplicity, let’s assume that the weighted average cost across all facilities is \$3 per animal per day and that they’re all horses.

.33 × 5 + .67 × 2 ≅ 3

If they were returned to their lawful homes, the government would forfeit 62,000 × 12 × \$1.35 = \$1 million per year in grazing fees while saving 62,000 × 3 × 365 = \$68 million per year in holding costs.

Who wouldn’t jump on that?  The bureaucrats, ranchers and advocates.

We need to beat down the population with helicopters and snuff out new life with PZP so ranchers can access most of the food and water in the lawful homes of wild horses.

The forage assigned to livestock in areas identified for wild horses would support more than 62,000 animals, enough to empty all of the off-range facilities several times over.

How to achieve?  Confine the ranchers to their base properties in a year-round off season and restore the WHB Act to its original form.