Solving Wild Horse ‘Problem’ Will Be Hard Pill to Swallow

So says the writer of an opinion piece that appeared last week in the East Oregonian.

The solution “will require the removal of at least 60,000 horses, most of them through killing, and a commitment to remove by one means or another 5,000 per year to maintain an appropriate level.”

That’s about 70% of the horses currently on public lands in the western U.S., in line with the rancher-friendly ‘Path Forward.’

After all, the government just killed hundreds of bison in Yellowstone National Park to protect cattle, so why not horses?

The population limit set by the government, approximately 27,000 wild horses and burros on 27 million acres (which works out to one animal per thousand acres), is not a function of available resources.  Rather, it is the number of animals the land can support after diverting most of the food and water to privately owned cattle and sheep—on lands set aside for the horses and burros.

If you don’t think that’s true, just look at this example.  If you do believe it, you’re just seeing a “nefarious motive,” according to the author.  Leave the poor ranchers alone.

The fences that hold livestock in also keep horses out.  That may not be a problem on allotments with grazing seasons of two or three months per year, but what about areas that are in use for eight to twelve months per year, with stocking rates five to ten times higher than the horses?

Would that explain the movement of horses off their HMAs?

Would it account for conditions that don’t meet standards for rangeland health?

Have the most productive areas been given to the public-lands ranchers?

Stop imagining things!!!  There is no nefarious motive (even though it looks like sabotage).  If anything, it’s just an ‘unintended consequence’ of the grazing program.

WHB Act Has Been Nullified

On the Little Bookcliffs WHR in western Colorado, one of four areas set aside for wild horses and burros (out of roughly 200) that’s managed principally for wild horses and burros, per the statute.

The denominator doesn’t include areas where WHB were found in 1971 that have been commandeered for other mandated uses of public lands.

What about the other 196 areas set aside for WHB?  Most of the resources have been diverted to the other mandated users, a truly sad state of affairs for these animals.

The roundups, adoption incentives, training programs, off-range warehousing, darting programs, sterilization research, sanctuaries and preserves reflect that reality.

RELATED: Suggestion for the Big-Name Advocacy Groups, Hypothesis Revisited.

EPA Ordered to Reconsider PZP Registration

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled yesterday in favor of Friends of Animals regarding the detrimental effects of PZP, a pesticide applied to wild horses and burros to reduce herd sizes.  Long-term use can result in sterilization.

Many of the so-called advocacy groups accept and promote wild horse fertility control, with some of them actually providing it, to the delight of the public-lands ranchers.

A news release by FOA said that the EPA will now be required to review the “evidence of unintended—and previously undisclosed—side effects on both targeted mares and wild horses in general.”

Stallions on the Maryland side of Assateague Island. where contraceptives have been applied for many years, have a high mortality rate, the sex ratio of the herd is far from normal and genetic diversity may be compromised.  But the PZP zealots point to it as a model of wild horse management.

RELATED: Assateague Herd Declines in Latest Census.

Suggestion for the Big-Name Advocacy Groups

Many of the areas currently set aside for wild horses and burros are managed primarily for cattle and sheep, privately owned of course.

Other areas, where horses and burros were found in 1971, don’t have enough food and water to support them, although other users of public lands seem to do quite well.

Paragraph 1332(c) of the WHB Act says the land will be devoted principally for horses and burros.

CFR 4710.3-2 says “We’ll do that if we feel like it.”

Which viewpoint prevails?

Only four of the areas currently designated for wild horses and burros are managed primarily for them, out of roughly 200 areas so designated (HMAs and WHTs).

Here is the issue in a nutshell:

Can a federal regulation supersede a duly enacted statute?

Can the unelected bureaucracy override the legislative process?

That is for the court to decide.

A ruling in favor of the advocacy groups wouldn’t improve anything: It would only put things back where they should have been in the first place.

After that, the hard work begins.

Wild Horses on Arctic Tundra?

Herds of wild horses, reindeer, bison and other large herbivores could pack down the earth and any snow on top of it, keeping the permafrost cold and reducing the risk of carbon emmissions, according to an article in Scientific American.

After all, they roamed the area thousands of years ago.

What a bunch of garbage.  Scientific American used to be a respectable publication but now it’s a left-wing propaganda organ.

Why not open it up to public-lands ranching?  Cut the grazing fee to 29¢ per AUM.

Cattle, being sedentary animals, will do a better job of packing down the soil and snow.

Remove them from western rangelands, ship them all up north and return warehoused horses to their home range.

End Public-Lands Ranching

The enterprise has outlived its usefulness.  The west is settled.

Privately owned livestock, the objects of individual and corporate profits, belong on private land.

Public lands set aside for wild horses and burros are managed primarily for cattle and sheep, with few exceptions.

Proponents of contraception, sterilization, sanctuaries and preserves subscribe to that paradigm.

Signatories to the rancher-friendly ‘Path Forward’ are of no use to the effort.

Others, who want to see the horses wild and free, don’t understand the problem.

We have to retrace the steps that destroyed the WHB Act and reverse those changes.

That will happen when you, and millions of others, demand it—the same principle that put the Act on the books in the first place.

Green River Editorial Misses the Point

Refer to this opinion piece posted March 11 by the Green River Star of Green River, WY.

There’s nothing we can do.  The closure of three HMAs in the Wyoming Checkerboard is inevitable, along with the downsizing of a fourth.

“We can’t keep things the same as they have been [on public lands] because the Rock Springs Grazing Association [a private entity] won’t allow it.”

Maybe the White Mountain horses could be managed as a non-reproducing herd.


The ranchers have outlived their usefulness, as well as the government incentives that keep them in place.

The grazing program overhaul should be the grazing program phase-out.

It’s time to end public-lands ranching and restore the WHB Act to its original form.

RELATED: Rock Springs AML Amendments.

PSA 12-24-19