Horse sense

  • Roe E
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The author discusses the myths and facts concerning wild horses and the horses' relationship with the western American landscape. The Bureau of Land Management is the primary caretaker of feral equids. A BLM biologist states that feral equids '... are worse than cows. They do incredible damage. When the grass between the shrubs is gone a cow is out of luck, but a horse or burro can stomp that plant to death to get that one last blade.... The BLM exacerbates the problem by hauling water to them. Instead of just letting them die, we keep them going...' The agency spends $40 million a year tending these animals. The equine lobby is very powerful and the BLM must contend with it, try to manage populations of equids, which keep growing, and mitigate equid-caused damage to wildlife habitat. Environmental organizations have had some success in prevailing on the agency to be more proactive when managing the horses and burros, but more needs to be done

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  • Emma Roe

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