The idea of achieving and maintaining AMLs, the goal of the ill-advised “Path Forward,” is to minimize pests that interfere with animal agriculture, even in areas where grazing does not occur, such as Pryor Mountain, Spring Creek Basin and Little Book Cliffs.
Animal agriculture occurs in adjacent allotments, where the horses might wander in search of greener pastures.
The leading methods of pest control are forcible removal by helicopters, voluntary separation from their lawful homes by baited traps and population growth suppression with restricted-use pesticides.
The advocates claim that helicopter roundups are cruel and costly and want the resource allocations—that greatly favor the ranchers—enforced by poisoning the mares.
Thus, the wild horse and burro program operates as a pest control program for the grazing program, in defiance of the original statute.
All of the changes since 1971, including the introduction of AMLs, were intended to benefit the public-lands ranchers, not the drillers, miners, hunters and loggers as the advocates would have you believe.
The closure of two HMAs in Wyoming and the downsizing of a third, to appease the Rock Springs Grazing Association, is just the latest chapter in the long-running story.
RELATED: Rock Springs RMP Amendments Cleared for Implementation.