Reader Pens Rebuttal to Stewart and Lee’s Letter

Refer to this letter by a reader of the St. George News, in response to the letter written by Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.  The conversions from AUMs to cattle and sheep are not correct but it’s worth the read.

RELATED: Stewart and Lee: Pleaders for the Public-Lands Ranchers.

UPDATE: The AUM conversions would be correct if the cattle and sheep were on the range for one month per year, but six months might be a better estimate.  If that’s true, a cow/calf pair would consume six AUMs annually and the total available AUMs should be divided by six to obtain the number of animals.  Horse and burros are on the range year around and therefore the total available AUMs should be divided by 12 to obtain the equivalent number of animals.  For example, 1.5 million AUMs would support 250,000 cow/calf pairs or 125,000 wild horses.

Stewart and Lee: Pleaders for the Public-Lands Ranchers

A letter to the St. George News of St. George, UT, published yesterday, says “ranchers are being bankrupted by the cost of hay to replace lost forage for their livestock, and the number of starving and diseased wild horses is rising substantially,” because of a wild horse “population boom.”

It was written by Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Mike Lee (both R-UT).

Public-lands ranching is government dependency.

Benefits are not transferred directly.  Rather, they inure through the program itself.

Ranchers don’t own the land (except for the base properties).  Therefore, they pay no property taxes.

The grazing fee, $1.35 per cow/calf pair per month, is so low it can’t even be approached in the private sector.  The government pays about $60 per month to feed a wild horse in long-term holding, removed from its home range at the behest of the ranchers.

Some of those funds are plowed back into the program, to improve rangeland conditions for the ranchers.

If the number of wild horses in an area exceeds the amount the ranchers are willing to tolerate, typically one animal per thousand acres, the government removes them, at no cost to the ranchers.

In exchange, government bureaucrats tell the ranchers what to do and when to do it.

American taxpayers are footing the bill for this.  It’s a racket, a gravy train, a good ol’ boys network.

The authors noted that the Wild Horse and Burro Act was designed to “protect wild mustangs” but did not say from whom: Livestock ranchers, who nearly eradicated them in the middle of the last century.

Nothing has changed since it was signed into law.  The ranchers still despise these animals, because they rob forage from their cattle and sheep—on lands set aside for horses and burros.

It’s absolutely absurd, but we’re supposed to take these men seriously, you know, because they’re in Congress.

RELATED: Wild Horse Overpopulation?Republican Senators Push for WHB Euthanasia, Don’t Buy Range-Fed Beef.


PZP Zealots Join Forces to Stop Wild Horse Management Plan

Refer to this story, published yesterday by Yahoo Finance.

The problem is public-lands ranching, yet these so-called advocates agree in principle with their opponents, differing only in methodology.


Why aren’t they challenging the constitutionality of FLPMA, which gave the federal government control over vast amounts of western rangelands and preferential treatment to the ranchers?

Why aren’t they pushing for an increase in grazing fees to $60 per AUM, in line with the cost of feeding wild horses in long-term pastures?

Why aren’t they demanding labels on beef, so consumers would know if the item was produced at the expense of America’s wild horses and burros?

RELATED: Co-Signers of WHB Management Plan Try to Save Face.

IDA Rejects Proposed Wild Horse Management Plan

In Defense of Animals, an animal protection group based in San Rafael, CA, released a statement yesterday condemning the wild horse management plan pushed by beef producers and cheerleader groups for the public-lands ranchers.

The proposal would reduce wild horse and burro populations on public lands in the western U.S. by 70%.

Not one wild horse advocate with significant knowledge of the wild horse on-range management issues was asked for input on the proposal, according to the statement.

RELATED: More Criticism of Proposed Wild Horse Management Plan?

Republican Senators Push for WHB Euthanasia

A story posted yesterday by The Daily Caller said Utah Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee sent a letter dated May 3 to the Senate Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies urging the removal of a rider that prohibits euthanasia and slaughter of wild horses and burros gathered from public lands in the western U.S.

The rider has been attached to appropriations bills for the Department of the Interior since 2011.

These animals are “devastating the land, negatively impacting other species living in the area and prohibiting an effective multiple-use management of the land,” according to the letter.

What are the odds that it was drafted by one or more special interest groups or was influenced by such groups?  That the senators don’t have a clue about issues affecting western rangelands?


The story did not indicate what the other species were, but the reference in the letter to multiple use almost certainly means privately owned cattle and sheep.

RELATED: Wild Horse Overpopulation?