Our wild horses fill a valuable niche (US)

Wild horses love Craig Downer, and have appointed him as their chief science spock type officer.

He put together some really smart words about them, but the BLM choose to ignore these cause they don’t know what to do really but do not want anybody to help them, except to put them all to sleep but not in their beds, or unless they have a gzillion dollars and want to make them stop having more babies.

Here’s what the Craigster said at Editorial in Voices, Reno Gazette Journal, 11/28/2008. Page 5E, with photo. We missed it last week basically because we are lame and would rather spend our time writing mean things about people who would like to be nice, but aren’t always.

Why do the BLM hate logic?

Young zeroed out Clover Mountain wild horse peers through BLM prison gates. There oughta be a law against . . . . Oh, look. There is.
Young zeroed out Clover Mountain wild horse peers through BLM prison gates. There oughta be a law . . . . Oh, look. There is.

While relieved that the lives of the 33,000 wild horses seem to have been spared through the generosity of Madeleine Pickens, I still hold our federal government responsible and call for the restoration of the now largely empty, but still legal herd areas. America should consider the Relative Proportions of wild horses/burros, livestock and big game animals, both within the original 53.4 million acres where the wild horses/burros have a legal right and upon the public lands as a whole. Doing so will reveal that a terrible injustice has been perpetrated contrary to the law and public will.

Over 95 percent of the original Herd Areas and over 98 percent of the reduced Herd Management Areas are leased to livestock grazers and most of their remaining resources relegated to big game animals. This is in clear violation of the Wild Horse Act that states that wild horses/burros are to be treated as the “principal” presences in these areas. The unappreciative bullies who seem to call the shots on the public lands are not satisfied with already getting the hog’s share of public lands resources, but perversely insist on marginalizing the wild horses/burros even within those greatly reduced herd management areas that are still inhabited by their scant populations.

Over 19 million acres, or 36 percent, of the original legal herd areas on BLM/USFS lands have been zeroed out, including 7.6 million BLM acres, or 18 percent of the original acreage, and 5.9 million Forest Service acres for an outrageous 53 percent. There has been an effective displacement of the wild horses/burros from at least three-quarters of the public lands to which they are legally entitled. In other words, of the ca. 4,522 livestock permittees originally having to share, 1,612 no longer have to bother. Forage eaten yearly by livestock on BLM lands is about 7 million animal unit months. This contrasts with only 381,120 AUM’s used by the tiny remnant of wild horses/burros. The latter consume only 5.3 percent of the total used in combination with livestock. And when forage consumed by big game animals is taken into account, wild horses/burros are responsible for less than 2 percent. On Forest Service lands, livestock devour 6.6 million AUM’s per year, yet wild horses and burros eat a mere 32,592 AUM’s – less than ½ percent of what livestock consume. (Two percent is also the proportion of nation-wide livestock production represented by all the public lands.)

I call for major reform in our nation’s wild horse and burro program and a restoration of these National Heritage Species in all of their over 300 original 1971 herd areas. This is where the 33,000 captured horses should be released but this time under the protection of public servants who really care for them and defend their rights to freedom, to fill their vacant ecological niche in the natural world. These wide-ranging herbivores are perfect for reducing dry flammable vegetation, re-seeding native plants, and building soils. They are also a wonderful aesthetic resource. And North America is their evolutionary cradle and rightful home.

Source: No link really that is right but somebody found it somewhere and posted it here and we got tired of looking. MSNBC Board.

Photograph: Who knows where all these photographs come from all over the interwebs. Nobody is saying so we can’t. We picked it cause it’s pretty. That’s all.

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