BLM Says It Needs to Kill 6,000 Wild Horses to Save Money

According to the website of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM),

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet on Monday, November 17, 2008, in Reno [Nevada] to discuss issues relating to the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. The one-day meeting will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time, at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino’s Reno Ballroom, 50 East Fourth Street, Reno, Nevada 89501. The agenda of the meeting can be found in the October 16 Federal Register on page 61436.

Associated Press reporter Sandra Chereb reports that the BLM has “set a target ‘appropriate management level'” for wild horses in the open range “at 27,000.”  The BLM claims that “approximately 33,000 wild horses and burros” as of February 2008 “roam the open range in 10 Western states.”  I don’t know how much “roaming” the 33,000 horses and burros actually do but that’s the nomenclature.  Anyway, that leaves “approximately 6,000” wild horses and burros too many that the BLM says should be euthanized or sold for slaughter.  

Another 30,000 or so additional wild horses and burros are in holding facilities leased by the BLM according to the BLM. The BLM describes these as “pasture facilities.”  The 30,000 are what remain of the 74,000 or so wild horses and burros that have been “removed” from the open range since 2001 and were offered for adoption or sale.

Whether roaming or in pens or pasture, that adds up to about 6,000 wild horses that the BLM currently believes are “inappropriately” alive.  I think a more accurate number of “better dead” is all the wild horses and burros because I suspect the BLM is none too happy about the commitment it has by law to wild horses and burros under the “Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.”

The target number for killing or culling or euthanizing or removing was floated by BLM Deputy Director Henri Bisson in June this year.  Bisson later backed-off and tabled the suggestion until tomorrow in Reno.  

The cut-off for public written comment has passed but in-person comments may be registered until noon tomorrow.

This is crazy shite.   The BLM claims that the state of Utah, for example, has “3,096 horses in 21 horse-management areas across 2.7 million acres of BLM and other lands. The BLM says the maximum population in Utah should be 2151 [horses].”  Why not 2152?  Or 2150?  Why not zero or 20,000? 

The BLM has removed 74,000 wild horses and burros from the range since 2001, but “only 46,400” have been adopted or sold, leaving a “remainder” of 27,600 (or 30,000) horses and burros in captivity for the BLM to deal with, at a cost of $26 million a year to maintain.  

If anyone can clarify these numbers, be my guest.  How many horses?  How many burros?  How many roaming and how many in pens or pasture?  

What’s one wild horse or another, dead or alive, give or take a few or 6,000?

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