Markets for Conservation: Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis

There are more wild horses and burros on the public landscape allotted to them than that range can sustain. Beautiful as they are, these animals are degrading the range and they compete for water and forage with other wildlife. The result of too many horses on too little range is that many horses are facing starvation.



NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on January 25, 2021

Ranching, wildlife management, finance, oil & gas, real estate development and management.
  • The horses are WAY out numbered by cattle and sheep. Their land is being taken from them 25 million in 1971 to 12.5 million in 2023. Horses are not overpopulated! Please look at even BLMs wonky numbers. You will see more AUMs allocated to cattle and native wildlife and horses get by on what is left.

    • May I say with great respect that the problem almost everywhere is too few animals, whereas the agencies, horse advocates and cattlemen all agree the problem is too many animals. Which is to say that instead of approaching this holistically, you have all drunk the agencies’ invasive species Kool-Aid, all based on bad science. Horse advocates and ranchers are kindred spirits and natural allies but in practice you zero each other out.

      Furthermore, surplus horses must (1) be allowed to spread, but also (2) removed (killed) when too numerous, just like wild and domestic animals since time immemorial.

      By not thinking holistically, and, opposing horse culling, horse advocates are their own worst enemies.

      Sorry if this offends; many thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Amend the lands use plans to include wild horses as an American Native Resource in order to fascilitate solutions. exceprt fromCase Law Mountain States v. Hodel:
    ” In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife. At the outset, it is important to note that wild horses and burros are no less “wild” animals than are the grizzly bears that roam our national parks and forests. ”
    . Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Kelly, Case No. 1:13-cv-00427 (D. Idaho Mar. 23, 2015) (pdf).
    With respect to the issue of recovery, the court found that the Service’s interpretation “that its critical habitat designation need not ‘prove’ that it will ‘ensure’ the recovery of the species is contrary to the plain language and purpose of the ESA.” The court explained that “the whole point behind designating critical habitat is to identify those physical and biological features of the occupied area and/or those unoccupied areas that are essential to the conservation of a species with the aim of arriving at the point where the species is recovered, i.e., no longer in need of the measures provided for in the ESA.” Accordingly, the court found that the Service’s interpretation was contrary to law, and therefore not entitled to Chevron deference.
    On the issue of additional public notice and comment, the court again sided with the plaintiffs, finding that such measures were required because the final was the product of “a fundamental and dramatic change in reasoning based on materials not previously discussed or cited in the Proposed Rule.”

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