Feral Horses vs Wildlife & Habitat – The Horse Problem ~ VIDEO

by JJ Sutton

Wild or Feral Horse Population Mismanagement
Wild or Feral Horse Population Mismanagement : Overgrazing, Depleting Water Sources, Trampling sensitive habitats, No natural predators and no sensible population management strategies leads to serious, inhumane consequences to the animals. While loud minority advocacy groups “say” they are attempting to protect to horses by keeping the populations at unsustainable levels. With friends like these who needs an enemy? Comments: The sound reasoning and management experience that Hunters have for decades utilized to protect and conserve habitat and game animal populations can help bring calm and reason to this desperate conversation – desperate for the hungry horses on the ranges and desperate to the habitat and game animals being destroyed by unreasonable demands and mismanagement.

AmmoLand Gun News

Colorado – -(Ammoland.com)- Hunters are classified as the largest contributing body of conservationists in North America.

After decades of experience, it is known worldwide as the “North American Model” and is being used globally in further conservation efforts.

Thru their individual love of the outdoors Hunters contribute with their fees, licenses, excise taxes, permits, education, and consumerism. Hunters fund a big part of management efforts for habitat, public lands, and animal species. It’s the Hunters and Outdoorsmen’s generosity thru charities, groups, and giving that funds large non-governmental conservation efforts that affect positive changes to public land, access, game habitat, individual species health and population management plans, and can even be credited for helping save some endangered or re-generating at risk game animal populations.

Hunters are starting to connect the dots where invasive species or feral species affect their game animal populations and habitats.

Notably and easily documented is the feral hog costs to the agricultural industries and the dollar amounts Farmers & Ranchers suffer from this invasion, hunters also suffer from lost habitat for game animals. The Lion Fish invasion off the coast of Florida is gaining documented damages as well and other invasive reptiles (snakes) are decimating some habitats.

Feral Horses

Wild Horses Triple B Complex in October 2015
Wild Horses Triple B Complex in October 2015 : The last remaining water for these already hungry and thirsty horses in the Triple B Complex in October 2015. An emergency gather followed to “help” the horses. Comment: This also means the last remaining water was used that wild game relied on. Wild Game did NOT get any emergency help. Where have the Deer & Elk gone for water – Hint, not in this Unit.

One area Hunters are JUST starting to realize is causing damage to game animal habitats is the highly politicized mismanagement of feral horses. Hunters are losing game animal populations in once coveted hunting areas for Mule Deer, Elk and other game animals due to the habitat damages caused by feral horses and the total mismanagement of their population numbers. These impacts are costly but also are going to have long-term effects on game animal habitats that could take decades; if ever to recover from.

Feral horses are NOT treated the same as “cute” little feral hogs are treated as an invasive species to our wildlands. There is NO season, NO limit, and NO mercy in the fight against feral hogs. Feral horses are considered oh so much more romantic, up to an including actual laws brought forth in the 70s by a school teacher using elementary kids to influence a couple politicians (No science, No facts, No well-funded lobbyists whispering in the ears, but a couple politicians influenced towards a decision by kids as puppets for a hidden agenda.). I wager that feral horses are causing as much if not more in damages both to sensitive habitats and cost wise as feral hogs are causing.

Get the Wild Horse Facts

See and review the fact sheets published by the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition who is helping and advocating for a direct response approach with ideas on how to manage the feral horse populations within the current legal population requirements. The problem is that non-adoptable and overpopulated captured feral horses are costing the taxpayers approximately $50,000,000 (That’s $50 MILLION) annually just to feed and care for. That number could double if the horse population was grown to the legal management numbers the law states are supposed to be on the ranges.

That does NOT include the dollars it is costing in damages to ranchers & farmers, to our States in lost Hunting revenues, and the incalculable cost in damages that our habitats are suffering due to the overpopulation of horses on the wildlands.

Fact Sheet # 1 : http://www.wildhorserange.org/uploads/2/6/0/7/26070410/nhbrmc_factsheet1_overview-may.16.pdf

Fact Sheet # 1 : http://www.wildhorserange.org/uploads/2/6/0/7/26070410/nhbrmc_factsheet2_managementoptions-may.16.pdf

Wild or Feral Horses, What To Do?

Hunters MUST realize the impacts this issue brings directly to key areas of interest for them and not sit on the fence hoping it gets handled. Hunters need their voices in the conversation and they need to be advocating for the conservation of their game land habitats on all fronts. Hunters need to educate themselves on this complex, political and environmental disaster and why the laws are being ignored. Hunters should realize why Federal Agencies are being prevented from doing their jobs due to outside intimidation and influence from loud minority advocacy groups on the wrong side of logic and science. Now is the time for Hunters to get involved and help make sense of the issues and make sound science-based, responsible decisions that allow for the correct population numbers and protecting wildlife habitats and game animal populations. Your voices of reason, true conservationism, and responsible management are needed now more than ever.

  • Hunters have a long history of responsible and successful conservation efforts. Hunters also have experience working with the private sector and the government sector on habitat and wildlife management issues.
  • Hunters bring to the table large numbers of reasonable thinking true conservation & management ideas and experience.
  • Hunters bring to the table advocacy and funding critically needed to balance the imbalance of well-funded loud minority groups failing to listen to science and reason.

Feral Horses, Where to Start?

Wild Horse Emergency Gather - Cold Creek HMA in Nevada 2015
Wild Horse Emergency Gather – Cold Creek HMA in Nevada 2015 : Comment: Overpopulation of the Range is not only inhumane to the “wild Horse” themselves. Imagine what foraging and water shortages are happening for Wild Game in this same area and the very long lasting habitat damages caused by overgrazing that are happening here. It could take decades for wild game to recover if at all.

National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition is an organization helping forge alliances and partnerships (see their list of partnerships below; you will be surprised) to help raise awareness for the sound management of our habitats and wildlife as related to the feral horse issues. It truly is a complex issue with much misinformation from the minority groups. Hunters who get educated on the subject will learn how important the issue really is and how well it is aligned to their own conservation minded passions. Sign up and follow their bulletins, social media, etc and get educated on the real issues at hand that include scientific and solid minded ideas for control, conservation, and management. One of the groups you already support is probably a member of their coalition already!

Coalition partnerships of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition:

Steering Committee

  • National Rifle Association
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • The Wildlife Society – Coalition Chair
  • Wild Sheep Foundation
  • Safari Club International
  • Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
  • Masters of Foxhounds Association
  • Public Lands Council
  • Public Lands Foundation
  • Society for Range Management
  • National Wildlife Refuge Association
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Sheep Industry Association
  • National Association of Conservation Districts
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

General Members

  • Colorado Wool Growers Association
  • Montana Farm Bureau Federation
  • Nevada Association of Counties
  • Wyoming State Grazing Board Central Committee
  • Wyoming Stock Growers Association

Please help raise awareness of this issue and the dangers feral horses pose to our native wildlife and the environment.

Author

JJ Sutton, CPS, CMAS. Writes and contributes on numerous other topics but this cause is near and dear to his heart. JJ grew up on a remote SW Colorado multi-generational ranch which leads him to have a great respect for horses and the benefits they bring to a Ranch, a Farm, and for recreation. It’s painful to watch and see feral horses being caught in the middle of desperate mismanagement. Read more from JJ at ARHunters .

  • 22 thoughts on “Feral Horses vs Wildlife & Habitat – The Horse Problem ~ VIDEO

    1. Horse meat tastes good. Ask the Europeans. In the late 60’s, there used to be a specialty butcher shop at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. How about permit hunts to keep the feral horse/burro numbers down to a level where they can co-exist with the other critters and get some meat on their bones for the dinner table. If you draw a permit you could also capture and raise said critter for a domestic pet.

    2. It costs nothing? Staff,Salaries, Benefits, Working Groups, Symposiums, Signage, Pickup trucks, Gas, Opportunity costs?

      That’s the beauty of pixie dust and a gullible mind- it’s just government money or it doesn’t cost anything!

      They are not “wild animals”. FERAL, Nonnatvive species.

      Pony lovers should adopt a Bison.

      1. Yes, Sir; pixie dust and gullibility.
        To whit: no tax dollars are spent on wild horses and burros while they remain on the ranges. They begin to cost the moment someone decides to ‘manage’ them. Roundups, feed, vet care – such as it is – and feed lot maintenance are where the money goes.
        There are no dedicated teams or rangers monitoring these animals. That falls to the volunteers who follow them. Most ‘field’ work regarding wild horses and burros is conducted last minute, when the paperwork for removals has to be written.
        But, any way…
        First step is always to denigrate the person, rather than the opinion. I didn’t come here to knock you or your beliefs.I came here to defend mine. Because with so many organizations and agencies willing to scapegoat these animals for every evil occurrence on the range, someone has to speak up for them.

    3. The pictures depicted here represent the worst of what the drought brought down on these animals – and likely every other form of wildlife in these same areas, so gettin’ your chonies twisted up over them doesn’t necessarily illustrate compassion.
      Stating irrevocably that Public Land Ranchers don’t overgraze demonstrates a belief in something that simply isn’t true; there are plenty of us horsey huggin’ advocates who spend time on the same ranges wild horses and burros do, and we’ve seen blatant trespass and the results of overgrazing.
      In most areas occupied by horses, burros, deer and elk, pronghorn and Big Horn, the forage overlap is most non-existent.
      This article also bases its population estimates on information made available by the BLM, that has yet to visually prove these populations are as large as they claim.
      And as long as wild horses and burros remain on the ranges, they cost the taxpayer nothing. There are no feeding stations for them in the snow, and nobody likes to make sure their water sources are open and accessible. No one intentionally maintains them because it’s illegal.
      This article also ignores the fact that Public use of Public land is under a serious threat. So instead of cautioning unity, it advocates divisiveness. These animals have every right to be on their ranges. There is a Public law that protects them because no one did right for them in the first place. They are, and remain, one of the most contentious animals in the wild – treated with more disdain than even predators.
      Of course, if there were money to be made off them by someone other than government contractors, this article might have an entirely different bent, wouldn’t it?

    4. Loads of idiots posting moronic spew here;
      Wild horses DO destroy the habitat it is well know among INTELLIGENT people.
      Cattle ranchers DO NOT over graze properties, to do so would be a load of asinine stupidity and their cattle would suffer. If you bleeding hearts love the wild horse and burros, then round them up and care for them at YOUR expense.

    5. Question: Since when does 175 minus 80 = 635?
      Answer: When BLM does the math.

      BLM’s Estimated Pre-Gather Population 175
      BLM states Number of Animals Removed 80
      BLM’s Estimated Post Gather Population 635

      BLM’s methods are to lie until they get what they want, by which point it will be too late for our wild horses and burros and what once were OUR public lands.

      Completed FY 10 Gathers (per BLM) proving BLM lies:
      Black Mt Wild Burro Herd Management Area Arizona
      https://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wo/Planning_and_Renewable_Resources/wild_horses_and_burros/statistics_and_maps/transparency_page.Par.95462.File.dat/Completed%20FY%2010%20Gathers.pdf

    6. Ahh, the enlightened speaks and says ,”To get the TRUTH buy my book.”

      Too complicated for our little brains to figure out. Leave it to the self proclaimed experts.

      If the pony lovers can identify the wild horse from the domestic in a photograph, more power to them.

      Why can hogs be feral but horses can’t?

    7. Poisoned Eggs?

      Poisoning Ravens to Help Sage Grouse?
      By BRIAN SMITH bsmith@magicvalley.com

      TWIN FALLS, Idaho
      Wildlife officials will spend as much as $100,000 over two years to poison ravens in three areas of Idaho, but officials don’t know whether that kill will permanently boost sage grouse populations as intended.

      Spending $100,000 on the poisoning program will be like “flushing money down the toilet,” said Alison Holloran, regional science director for Audubon Rockies

    8. This is a very distorted article about America’s last wild horses that comes from a prejudiced view of them. This view does not honor their true nature, but “sets them up” for discrediting and so for elimination. It is obvious that the vested interest of the writer of this has blinded him to the truth about America’s wonderful wild horses. To get the fuller story I suggest you read my book, The Wild Horse Conspiracy. it is on Amazon. It explains why we should consider them as one of the most deeply native species in North America and how, as post-gastric digesters, they in fact are much needed to restore ecosystems, to restore balance amid what has become a lopsided situation where ruminants are overly promoted. This is based on my objective knowledge as an ecologist, not mere wishful thinking, nor outlooks clouded by greed and complacency with the status quo!

    9. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

      BLM WEIGHS WILD HORSE IMPACT MUCH MORE HEAVILY THAN CATTLE

      Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects
      Washington, DC — The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros, according to an appraisal by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the BLM’s approach to range management targets scattered wild horses and burros while ignoring far more numerous cattle.
      The agency’s assessment is part of a 2013 report on factors influencing conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have declined as much as 90% across the West and which is under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. That report concludes that twice the area of sage grouse habitat is negatively impacted by wild horses and burros than the area negatively impacted by livestock. A PEER appraisal of the methodology found –
      • BLM calculates the “area of influence” of wild horses and burros on sage grouse habitat based merely on their presence within Herd Management Areas in sage grouse habitat, while it considers livestock impact to have occurred only when livestock grazing allotments fail the agency’s Land Health Status (LHS) standard for wildlife;
      • If the agency used the same approach for calculating the area of influence of livestock within BLM grazing allotments on sage grouse habitat as it did for wild horses and burros, the area of influence for livestock would be roughly 14 times that given in the report and more than six times that of wild horses and burros; and
      • Within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.
      “At BLM apparently not all hooves are created equal,” said PEER’s Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the LHS evaluations cover more than 20,000 grazing allotments and examine whether a grazing allotment meets the agency’s standards for rangeland health with respect to several vegetation and habitat conditions. “This helps explain why wild horses are regularly removed from the range but livestock numbers are rarely reduced.”
      The BLM assessment influences not only the agency’s range management decisions but also will figure into the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision on whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
      Last year in response to a complaint by PEER filed under agency Scientific Integrity policy, BLM claimed that it does not have enough “reliable data” about commercial livestock impacts to include them in current assessments of environmental conditions on Western range lands. Yet, BLM has more data on the grazing that it authorizes through permits than virtually every other topic.
      “When it comes to cattle, BLM plays with a marked deck,” Stade added, pointing out the PEER analysis that will become part of PEER’s new grazing reform web center set to launch in several weeks. “We are posting BLM’s own data in a way that allows apples-to-apples comparisons while displaying satellite imagery that depicts the true livestock landscape impacts.”
      See the PEER Analysis

    10. Good “stewards of the Earth”?

      Article posted on STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S HEART/Jan 7, 2016

      Wild horses & burros being removed for Richfield Tar Sands plan

      “The document goes so far as to say, ‘the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas.’”
      TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)
      Colorado
      Piceance-East Douglas
      Utah
      Canyonlands
      Muddy Creek
      Range Creek
      Sinbad
      Wyoming
      Little Colorado
      White Mountain
      Salt Wells
      Adobe Town
      [PLUS Herd Areas which are not discussed in this report – such as the West Douglas HA]
      More Richfield tar sands information

    11. 1. Overgrazing, Under-Billing: It is the millions of non-native livestock that are degrading the public lands. BLM lets ranchers self-report whether they run cattle or not, and then bills them accordingly. If permittees don’t report use, BLM doesn’t bill them. BLM calls it “voluntary non-use.” According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the direct and indirect costs of the Federal Grazing Program may result in the loss of as much as $1,000,000,000 — that’s one billion (1,000 million!) dollars — every year.

      2. Rogue Permittees: Conditions are egregious, particularly in Nevada, where permittees defy BLM’s authority to rest allotments from grazing. The renegade ranchers go ahead and put cattle out on the range anyway, despite the drought. But instead of penalizing the scofflaws, BLM panders to them, waiving fines and allowing the illegal grazing to continue. As the Cliven Bundy affair evidenced, BLM has lost control of the range. BLM administrators are cowed by aggressive ranchers and their “Oath Keeper” supporters, heavily armed with sights trained on BLM employees. So, BLM has kowtowed to the graziers, whether or not they have a valid permit, submit required reports, pay their grazing-fees, comply with the grazing-season, or respect BLM’s authority.

      3. Resource v. Use: Wild horses and burros are a resource of the public lands — like other wildlife. Commercial livestock-grazing, in contrast, is a use of the public lands. The distinction between a resource and a use is important and — as Clarke and Leigh pointed out — that difference needs to be understood. Livestock-grazing (a use) negatively impacts wild horses and burros (a resource).

      4. PEER Reveal: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found that BLM’s method of assessing range conditions is skewed to minimize impacts from domestic livestock and to magnify those from wild horses and burros. BLM thus favors “use” and blames “resource.”

      5. Predators: The right way to right-size the wild-horse population is Nature’s way — predators. To achieve a “thriving natural ecological balance,” the herd-areas should be safe-havens for predators. Such an approach would help the wild horses by favoring survival-of-the-fittest and the best genetic adaptations. Predators are the “no-cost” option. Conservation Researcher Dr. Corey Bradshaw emphasizes just how important predators are to a healthy ecosystem: “Long story short – if your predators are not doing well, chances are the rest of the ecosystem is performing poorly.” Predators keep the ecosystem in balance. Without them, prey species decline, as do the forage-production species on which the prey-animals feed. Dr. Bradshaw warns: “Without predators, our feeble attempts to conserve ecosystems are doomed to fail.”

      6. Elk and Mule Deer Are Abundant. There are plenty of large game animals for hunters to chase. Recent estimates show well over 1,000,000 elk. As of 2016, the Mule Deer Working Group found a population of at least 2,868,000 mule deer. Predators would help hunters by culling the weak, the sick, the young, and the old.

      7. Water: Because water is scarce throughout the western states, BLM should stop issuing permits for mines and mine-expansion projects. Mining consumes billions of gallons of water a year, thereby lowering the water-table and drying up the seeps and springs on which wildlife depend.

    12. The lies and propaganda of these horse lovers is crazy…. funny at minimum; dangerous at best.
      Fabricated rebuttals that lack a single thread of fact but they are loud enough and repeat it enough so that people who don’t know anything about the issue believe it (politicians included). If that doesn’t work they resort to threats.
      Making threats is how they influence the government agencies, employees and politicians too to disregard and not enforce the laws, statues, and management directives. The case of a loud, misinformed, and wrong sided opposition bullying their way to attention… we have seen this a great deal in strategies of opposition in recent years. Mostly from a liberal stand point but in this case at the peril of hungry, over populated horse herds. They think those photos above are fake and they fail address the desperate situation just for the horses alone on some of these ranges and fail to even concern themselves about the wild habitat and native animal and plant species being harmed or eradicated.
      Claiming the BLM is manipulating numbers, reports and damaging horses is completely false and with out merit but that doesn’t matter to them.
      Good article, great points and the Fact Sheets kind of speak for themselves.
      I hope the outdoors industries are paying attention and I hope they are not intimidated by these radical believers of false and fake facts. I encourage people to look at both sides, void the emotions and search deep for facts and truth and help bring a solution to the issue rather than keep kicking the ball down the field in some kind of tit for tat us against them thing that leaves the rangelands without any help at all.

    13. The REAL threat to hunters isn’t from Wild Horses or Burros.

      THE DAILY CALLER/APRIL 2015
      Perhaps the biggest threat to the future of our sport is that we are losing access to places to hunt and fish. As more and more private lands are subdivided, fragmented or placed off-limits, sportsmen are hanging up their shotguns and leaving their deer stands and fishing rods in the garage rather than heading into the field.
      Nationwide, the loss of access is the number one reason cited for why Americans discard their hunting and fishing roots. For many of us who love the outdoors, our sport is more than something we do, it defines who we are. When the places that we have hunted and fished for generations disappear, our connection to the past and part of our identity is lost.

    14. From the Economist (April 2016)

      The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses. It’s BLM’s version of the “Shock Doctrine,” wherein BLM concocted a phony crisis to push through policies antithetical to the Wild Horse Act against the will of The People.

      In fact, horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation-period lasts over 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. While an independent study of BLM’s records did confirm a nearly 20% birth rate, that study also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the effective increase in population from new foals is just 10%. However, adult mortality must also be taken into consideration. Adult mustangs succumb at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate? Around 5%, probably less. Thus, a herd could not double in 4 or 5 years, debunking another BLM falsehood. But BLM stealthily inserts herd-growth rates far higher than 20% in its reports — biologically-impossible herd-growth rates. For instance, in Wyoming, BLM declared that the Salt Wells Creek herd grew from 29 horses to 616 horses in 6 months (yes, months), a 2,024% increase. BLM’s “data” is chock-full of preposterous growth-estimates. So, when you hear talk of how the wild horses are reproducing “exponentially,” that’s a sure sign that BLM has falsified the data. You should also know that the National Academy of Sciences was required by the terms of its grant to draw conclusions per BLM’s figures — the falsified figures. The NAS was not allowed to collect data independently. Thus, BLM wired the results to confirm its lies.
      Wild horses are underpopulated. Per the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, more than 80% of the herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population (MVP). Low AMLs enable BLM to claim an “excess” in herds whose numbers, even if they were over AML, would still not reach MVP. So being “over AML” is meaningless as well as misleading. But those low AMLs, combined with fraudulent, biologically-impossible herd-growth estimates, give BLM an excuse to scapegoat those few wild horses for the range-damage done by the millions of livestock that overgraze the public lands.

      PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses. PZP is a registered pesticide. Its mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease — tricking the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. The antibodies cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. The mare’s estrogen-levels drop markedly as PZP destroys her ovaries. Ultimately, PZP sterilizes her. A recent study — which included the McCullough Peaks herd — found that PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.

      As for the wild horses held in captivity, they are the “legacy” of former Secretary Salazar’s equid cleansing era, during which he had tens of thousands of wild horses removed from the range. However, the mortality rate of captive wild horses is about 8% a year. So, obviously, since they are not reproducing, their numbers will steadily drop, showing that BLM’s billion-dollar figure for their care was bogus — it was just another Lie. But that Lie has ballooned. BLM has taken the $1 billion figure that it originally announced, multiplied it by 230%, and then multiplied that number by another 200%, amplifying the fraud. When BLM lies, it lies Big.

      The Wild Horse and Burro program, if administered per the minimum-feasible management-model specified by Law, would not cost much at all. BLM does not lack for resources. There are 22 million acres of legally-designated wild-horse herd areas — which BLM previously took away for political expediency — that can be reopened as habitat. The horses now held captive can be released to those areas, where the cost of their upkeep will be $0.

      Contrary to BLM’s disinformation campaign, wild horses do have natural predators — mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes. But those predators are persecuted mercilessly. The government exterminates what the hunters don’t shoot. However, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros — Wild Horse Annie’s foundation — notes that even without predators, their wild-horse herds self-regulate their numbers, with population-growth in the single digits.

      Finally, adoptions have not declined. It’s just that BLM used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Now, only “forever-family” placements qualify. However, mustangs are not homeless horses. They are wild horses whose home is on the range.

    15. Here let me explain in Illinois we CLOSED DOWN horseprocessing plants and we see propaganda when it occurs for what it is.. In Illinois We protect hunters rights but should you decide that Wild horses are contributing to hunting issues then we can realize hunting restrictions of proportions NEVER seen before. The horse is neither invasive nor an issue to hunters but we recently found in a survey that most of USA would Actually stop hunting on Private lands to protect horses. So its interesting that your turning against horses again. There are No Feral horses. Your information is straight from the processing propaganda cohorts in Calvary Group and UH as well as Protect the Harvest and what I find interesting they are all one and the same spreadibg propaganda against wild horses that is neither based pn Equine Scoence or the latest studies. The fact IS you just want the horses wiped out. Wild horses have Absolutely nothing to do with hunting. For decades its been proven that until websites popped up horses were NOT bothering anything. Which is odd given we started with 2 million at the start of the wild horse and burro protection act and now we have less than 70,000 left. Thats ok I passed on your artocle to some Very Important people who are higher up than you can imagine who I think will be interested at how “hunters” feel about wild horses. I am not AR, I am not affiliated with any Organization but I feel that my Very powerful connections should read how much ridiculous propaganda is out there. Wild horses attract wildlife, they also dont digest their food source entirely and leave behind seeds which reseed which Cattle do Not. Read how CATTLE are Absolutely not indigenous to America and every breed was Introduced to America long after horses. Cattle have cloven hooves whivh drive downwards into soil destroying its root system in dry arid climates where a horses flat hoof does not. Cattle stay at a water source until enormous herds drain them dusty horses are only getting a sip of the remainder. Cattle produce methane fas which is so dangerous they have restricted populations but on Government land break those restrictions. The dangerous methane in some locations can drive away other wildlife, horses do not produce this. Its well known that deer and elk congregate where horses go but tend to herd further away from cattle because of dangers of herds stampeding. Cattle linger in an area until the grazing is so short it cannot regrow in high sun heat ratios, horses do not. Horses also do not lay down as much as cattle nor have multiple births. Remember a cow calf pair and she can be bred again carrying twins sucking nutrients and water from everywhere. In horses twins are rare and often foals die bevause of failing to keep up with herd or predators. As for the rest of wildlife habitat junk you wrote horses do not drive off wildlife they actually are drawn to same areas. They also dont destoy habitats even if the blm is running them down with helicopters which happens All the time. I dont see you jumping up and down about factured legs, broken necks and backs via the unnatural roundups by helicopters. No you dont mention the Blm or the drought or the fires that have killed the wildlife or that 2 million cattle ate all the scenery leaving powerful methane gases to drive away critical birds that spread seeds or wildlife that cannot graze because the cattle ground rocks to dust. Until you actually include all the facts you really cannot speak on wild horse,at all.

      1. You should recognize propaganda for what it is, a lot of it originates with activists such as you. Since when does 113,000 equal less than 70,000? Did you even read the article? You claim hunters don’t like horses. Hunters don’t like to see horses or any animals suffer from starvation and mismanagement/overused ranges. Several years ago Florida let their deer population get way overpopulated by not allowing hunting, the numbers got out of hand, but the animals were starving and diseased and the state was forced to cull them at taxpayer expense. In reality, hunting should be part of the ecological balance for game animals. Since horses are not game animals, the old way of letting ranchers catch them, break them to a saddle and sell or use them was not only logical, but also more humane for the animals. They should start a program for ranchers to buy permits to catch and break these free range horses to salvage the habitat and do it without costing taxpayers. I guess that’s too logical of a solution for liberal activists and politicians to understand.

    16. 1. Alot of these horses are Feral from the Govt…. ie the Calvery during both the Civil War and Indian Conflicts. So a case against them would be difficult. Secondly, ALOT of animals DO get turned out because people can no longer care for them but the bulk are new from the large birth rates of the existing animals… Feral meaning they are NOT wildlife but a domestic animal gone to an uncared for state. Before the law in the 70s came into affect many ranchers helped maintain the health and welfare of the herds cause they would catch and use or sell them off after breaking them. But the law prohibited them from doing that and so now they reproduce unchecked…. uncared for and NO management what so ever.
      2. Reporting to the HSUS is ironic cause they are the dirty tricksters behind funding ALOT of the initiatives the Anti’s use to intimadate the Govt Agencies into doing nothing or they fund alot of the legal action agaisnt the Govt to tie up resoirses and prevent management. HSUS is an evil tricky organization that only gives out less than 1% to local animal protection causes. Yet they stand to make 10s and 100s of Millions a year off advertising and govt law suits. Please research for yourself.
      3. Procesuting the Photographers? MANY Times these photos of ill horses and such are photgraphed by the BLM… the govt agency tasked with managing them but prevented for politicial reasons while the animals suffer. The Anti advocates use pretty “wild” romantic photos of healthy horses for thier causes and would NEVER photo a sick, ill, starving, or thirsty horse.
      I love your passion for prosecuting those letting loose horses…. put that passion to encouraging responsible management please… the horses need voices. Youthenizing them WOULD be humane in many cases but it isn’t allowed because these advocay groups would go nuts when its proposed… Although recently one admitted Youthenizing them on the range for nature to process would be better than allowing them to be slaughtered (used as a resource or even an exported resource that revenues could be gained … how ironic is that – they said it would be ok to kill them on the range but not use them as a resource…. thier admitted position)

      No doubt this is a complex issue but hunters NEED to get involved and NEED to get thier voice and money in the game or risk being out played and resources dedicated to the feral horses away from true Wild Game Habitats. Thanks for reading and responding. Keep looking into it and stay current.
      Cheers

    17. The Fact is they are Not Feral. If they were feral a massive investigation would be launched to Arrest every person who dumped, abandoned and starved horses to be left as feral. Theres no statute of limitations for Animal Cruelty charges so we can go arrest as far back as needed. The charges can pile up. The second thing about those pictures you notice they ZOOM in on a couple of horses so lets go Arrest the people who owned them. Then those horses rhat are pictured should have gathered and fed instead of Healthy Hprse gathered and fed. Lets also Arrest the photographer and the writer for Not reporting this to a Humane Agency amd seeking immediate asdistance to help them survive or. Euthanize them immediately with no suffering.

      1. Dear Cynthia –

        Arrest the photographer? Arrest the person who released them They are not feral?

        Please explain the definition of feral? Anything I have seen indicates that horses were introduced to North America via Spanish explorers. Hence, they were an introduced species and not native.

        If you release a mare on BLM land, and she has a foal – she is considered “wild” under the act and the USFWS USFWS considers any of her offspring or descendants to be a “wild horse.” This is ridiculous. If you have signed an agreement to “hold/care for” 100 “wild horses on your property, get paid by taxpayer funds for a daily fee per animal, and keep them behind a fence – they are still considered “wild”.

        True sportsman have differentiated between game farms, preserves and wild animals that can free range. The horse paparazzi HAVE NOT.

        The problem is well outlined in this article. Overbreeding and limited habitat pose a threat to the landscape, wildlife and to the horses themselves.

        Aside from the warm and fuzzies, what value is it to have them on the landscape? Get rid of the emotion. Use logic.

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