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Groups unite over plan for wild horse and burro management

Wild burro

Photo credit: Thinkstock

The fate of America’s wild horses and burros has been debated for years and could quite possibly be one of the more controversial topics in the West. While animal rights activists have petitioned to keep the animals safe from unnecessary roundups and euthanasia, cattlemen and ranchers argue that the animals are too plentiful and detrimental to western ranching operations. This week, an agreement was reached between livestock groups and activists on how to best manage wild horses and burros on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.

This agreement is a collaborative effort between various stakeholders brought together by Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) and included groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), A.S.P.C.A., Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation, the Humane Society of the United States, Public Lands Council, and the Society for Range Management.

The goal of the group was to reduce on-range populations. According to Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, the plan went through several revisions and the finish product “focuses on appropriations language designed to promote increased gather of overpopulated Herd Management Areas (HMA), dramatically increased use of sterilization, including permanent methods, and removal and relocation of excess horses to more cost-effective long-term holding facilities.” What this means is an increase in the number of horses gathered annually (15,000 to 20,000 animals respectfully), fertility control for every horse and burro gathered, lower cost holding facilities that are located on private land and not adjacent to federal lands or HMAs and the requirement that activities put some “skin in the game” through funding outreach and adoption efforts like livestock groups already do.

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“I want to stress that this is compromise language,” said Lane in his letter announcing the plan. “Both sides have had to move off of our core beliefs about the best methods of managing these horses.”

The proposal asks for $50 million in additional funding, which would bring the annual total spent on wild horses and burros to $130 million.

“We believe this proposal has the potential to accomplish our primary objective—reducing on-range horse and burro populations to AML [Appropriate Management Level]—if funded by Congress and properly implemented by BLM,” said Lane.

A full copy of the proposal can be found below:

PDF icon The Path Forward For Management of BLM's Wild Horses & Burros

6 Comments

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mahoneychris
Chris M. - posted 5 months ago on 05-02-2019 05:09:35 am
Minden Nevada
goHUNT INSIDER

Is planned parenthood getting in on the sterilization?

ken h. - posted 5 months ago on 04-28-2019 06:19:52 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Once again, feelings over science and financial reality. Bunny hugging at it's best! Another wacko socialist answer for people with too much money and time on their hands. Make them into steaks, burgers, or pet food!

Christopher S. - posted 5 months ago on 04-27-2019 12:25:59 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Utter BS. There is no"acceptable management level". They are feral and should be removed completely.

Gary H. - posted 5 months ago on 04-26-2019 03:32:29 am
goHUNT INSIDER

130 Million?!?

WTF is happening to this country?

This is ONE simple solution to the problem. Kill them.

Pay my expenses Hotel, food, ammo, and 200$/day. I will kill every last one of them.

Phil O. - posted 5 months ago on 04-25-2019 09:49:24 pm
Napa, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Equal to 10% of BLM budget. Yikes.

matthew a. - posted 5 months ago on 04-25-2019 01:24:43 pm
Tampa, FL
goHUNT INSIDER

50 million sounds great! Just put it on the tab uncle Sam, never mind the National Debt.