The other side of the wild horse story: Thompson said ranchers support management options

(Riverton, Wyo.) – On Monday, August 25th, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management met at Central Wyoming College. On the weekend before the meeting, board members toured Southeast Fremont County Herd Management Areas and inspected, for themselves, “the wide range of multiple uses and the condition of the natural resources,” said Fremont County Commission Chairman Doug Thompson, who attended Monday’s meeting in Riverton. “They were also able to hear directly from the people who deal with wild horses on a daily basis, people who could rarely go to their meetings in large metropolitan areas,” where those bi-annual meetings are typically held.

County10.com reported Monday on a protest held by various wild horse advocates, held outside of the board meeting on the lawn of the Morefeld Student Center. See that story here. Thompson provided the following report on what happened inside the meeting room and he presents “the other side of the wild horse story.”

By Doug Thompson, Chairman, Fremont County Commission

The message to the Board from ranchers and wildlife advocates was varied in detail, but was  clear—non-management, delayed management, distracted management is unacceptable.  Upon passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act, the federal promise of timely effective management to agreed upon levels was given.  Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) were established and efforts to manage undertaken.

Doug Thompson

Doug Thompson

Today, there are twice as many horses as agreed upon across the West.  Control measures—birth control, gathers, removals, adoptions, long and short-term holding—are proving ineffective, because of capacity, funding, and litigation problems.  So what?  Without effective control of all large grazing species, the rangeland resources are in danger of irreparable damage.  Currently, the numbers and impacts of two of the three major classes of large grazing species-wildlife and livestock-are managed.  Livestock numbers are evaluated annually and adjusted depending upon precipitation, range condition and trend.  Wildlife populations are controlled through annually set hunting seasons.  But the horse numbers are generally uncontrolled, because of inadequate federal funding, obstructionist lawsuits, and bureaucratic inefficiency.

Some horse advocates have called for the elimination of all livestock or ranch killing reductions.  It was factually stated that if all livestock were removed and the horse numbers left unmanaged and “running free”, that at some time in the future irreparable damage will occur.  This fact brought an angry outburst from the horse advocates, and a meeting ending disruption.

Concern was expressed by wildlife advocates that unmanaged wild horses are a threat to Wyoming’s world class wildlife populations.  Of specific focus was the Greater Sage Grouse.  The one common thread from the sage grouse conservation brain trust is that wild horse populations must be kept at or below AML.  Failure to do so will very likely precipitate a listing under the ESA.

Comments were presented explaining the difference in grazing impacts of horses, livestock, and wildlife.  Livestock grazing impacts are managed by density, duration, forage potentials and numbers.  In this area they are only on the range 4 to 6 months, and can be removed if conditions dictate.  Wildlife numbers and impacts, being evaluated annually, can be modified if necessary.  But horse numbers management is sporadic at best.  Regularly scheduled removals have been halted, new population controls are mostly halted, holding facilities are full and some are closing because of feed costs.  Any potential control measures are immediately litigated and the BLM is undertaking multi-year, redundant, studies before attempting anything.  It appears there will be no effective management in the near future.  Horses are on the range 12 months per year impacting the range and must have some control.

The local ranching community and wildlife advocates asked the Board for effective and timely birth control measures, use of all the management tools allowed by the Act, removals down to appropriate management levels, and cooperative broad-based management, including State, local, and tribal governments.  They also asked that in the socio-economic analysis that the negative impacts of federally subsidized adoption on the private horse industry be considered.

Finally, the Board heard clearly that the local ranchers do not want the elimination of the wild horse populations, just timely, effective management and control to protect the rangeland resources that all are dependent upon.

 

26 Comments

  1. Etta Place

    I have an idea. Stop subsidizing the stock raisers. The tax payers are paying for them to make a ton of money. They are welfare queens. If you stop subsidizing them they will leave. All this horse removal propaganda is being driven in part by the lobbyists for the horse slaughter houses they want to set up in the state.

  2. Stacia Corbett Citron

    That is an outdated and annoying drum you're beating, Etta. Perhaps all of the people bringing time and money wasting lawsuits should stop so they could devote more resources to feeding and caring for the horses.

  3. Joyce Hazlewood

    Arm chair critics should actually go out and spend some time on the range, with an open mind, NO Grass equals starvation for all animals, domestic or wild!!

  4. Jennifer Webb

    I'm so tired do hear about the horses being above the management levels when they are clearly removing all horse populations to zero in many areas. And there are 50:1 cattle out there if any damage is happening it is clearly the ranchers. We need change on the range if there is no grass then round up your cattle and pen them up not the wild horses.

  5. Michael Smith

    Cite you source give us concrete published facts instead of the emotional anecdotal evidence of which most is made up. Take the cattle off the land and enjoy the resulting skyrocketing beef and lamb prices. Chances are the $1.00 Micky Dee sandwich will end up costing you a five spot

    Sheese do any of you use logic and pay attention to real science or are you so wrapped up in your cause that you ignore any and all facts and act as a cheering squad promoting an agenda based on little fact just the opinion of so called Ex_Spurts

  6. Jennifer Webb

    Zero herd = zero beef for me I could care less if the price goes up I value the land and balanced ecosystem more then welfare ranching

  7. Donn Molyneux

    Seems like you are a very selfish and also extremely uninformed as to the realities of Western rangeland. Are there many wild horses in Minnesota?

  8. Lynn Huebner

    Over population by equines again? Talk about armchair critics, do the research. Let me put this out there again. The National Academy of Sciences did a study of the wild horse populations, using 8,764 wild horses, in the wild, as a basis for the following statistics. It found that 1st year mortality rates annually ranged between 14% and 50%. Beyond this, adult mortality was found to annually range between 5% and 25%. What this means is, that in any given year, equine mortality on the range lands would be anywhere between 19% and 75% of the total population of wild horses. I would ask that the reader to let these percentages sink in. This mortality occurs naturally, due to predators of the wild horses and burros, which do indeed exist, along with environmental and weather related factors, which also affect competitive grazers. In addition sex ratios were found to average around 55% female and 45% male which must be considered as obviously only females can put a foal on the ground. This is something that the BLM statistics do not reflect, but have conveniently neglected in its population growth claims. The genders of foals must be taken into consideration, as not all foals are female, and only those that are females can begin to reproduce, but only after the 2nd year. Added to this are considerations of delayed implantation, when the gestation period of a mare actually extends, due to stressful conditions on the range. Spontaneous abortion also needs to be mentioned, along with selective breeding by the band stallions, whereby perhaps only one mare, if any at all, are bred, under harsh range conditions. Added to this natural inhibition are those artificial adjustments added by the BLM that only serve to encourage the extinction of these wild ones. The use of the PZP contraceptive is one, which has been found to inhibit reproduction in those mares that were treated, for up to 2 years, carrying with it other adverse physiological side effects. After the roundups of the BLM, which have been very aggressive, and relentless, sex ratios are adjusted to roughly 47% female to 53% male. This man made decrease in female density, along with the aggressive use of PZP by the BLM, have devastating effects on wild horse and burro populations. These only encourage annual reproductive rates that are far less than natural on range mortality. The result is DIMINISHING numbers of wild horses and burros on the rangelands. To further complicate population growth are the countless illegal killings of the wild horses, motivated by age old prejudices by people like you, most of which go uncaught. Also what must be included are the aggressive roundups of the BLM. All of these variables serve not only to disprove the astronomical population growth rates of the BLM but also overall numbers in the wild. This is science guys. Do some research instead of depending on your vote gathering governor's office staff.

  9. Michele Johnson

    The one thing the ranches are not paying any mind to is the fact that their grazing is so heavily subsidized, and now EVERYONE KNOWS! What a gift, literally! A gift any eastern rancher would gladly take in exchange for the "burden" of the wild horses. Wise up boys, the BLM will be made to follow the letter of the law and you are on your way to loosing your subsidized grazing. Why not use the presence of the wild horses to draw income to your ranches. Eco-tourisim was a joke at your committee meeting, but if you do not find a way to make peace with the horses soon, you will be finding a way to live without your cattle grazing on the BLM allotments. Can any of you remember what happened to the loggers in Wyoming when the conservationists came to town? Do you really think that you are above them or better than them in some way? Your clam as keepers on the land rings hollow with this Wyoming native. You need to think outside of your "we have always done it this way", "it is our right" mentality or you WILL lose these grazing permits. Nothing stays the same forever.

  10. Marybeth Devlin

    Checkerboard-ranchers have been running, on average, 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep in the wild horses' legally-dedicated habitat — where wild horses are supposed to enjoy principal use of the resource but where there are only 1,912 wild horses on 2 million-plus acres. Thus, the livestock outnumber the mustangs by a ratio of about 40 to 1. The Commissioner argues that the cattle and sheep graze for about six months a year whereas the horses are there year-round. But ask yourself — which would have greater impact per thousand acres: 40 cattle and sheep for six months, or 1 horse for a year?

  11. Jennifer Hawkins Schroeder

    I wonder what meeting he was at. I listed to the entire thing and there was one rancher that was very adamant about removing the horses. And as he left he also said that they would feed 50,000 people right before he gave Boyd Spratling (board member) a thumbs up. They aren't reporting about the actual numbers, they said nothing about the ranchers that said they would pay to get the horses back that are now gone. Interesting…..maybe there was another meeting……

  12. Sue Carter

    Obviously a bought and paid spokesman for the Cattle Industry. To have the audacity to try to cite the Sage Grouse as being harmed by the Wild Horses is ludicrous. Do you really believe people are going to look to 40,000 wild Horses as reason for their decline when there are Millions of Cattle on the Public Domain?

  13. Stacia Corbett Citron

    Actually horses because they eat at a ratio of 2:1. And they are not herded or controlled like cattle so stay on riparian areas year round. And this is not a checkerboard area. You might check your facts before commenting.

  14. Donn Molyneux

    Lynn, if your study were true there would be no problem. When and where was this study done? We currently spend millions to house excess wild horses all over the country. What good are we doing for them and why waste the money. Horses are a renewable resource, there is a market for horse meat. If they were managed as deer/antelope etc. are then they may actually generate a positive dollar amount which could be used for habitat enrichment and to benefit the population overall. Why should horses be different than the animals they share the range with? Seems only emotional overload to me.

  15. Lynn Huebner

    Donn Molyneux This study was done by the National Academy of Sciences last year at the request of the BLM in an effort to bolster their decimation of the herds on behalf of people like you, only to find out that the truth is the number of horses are in fact diminishing without any help from any of you. You can obtain a copy of this report for yourself. The entire point behind this is that wild horses and burros are protected by the Federal Government and BLM acts in direct violation of a Federal Act. Horses are not a "renewable resource". They are companion animals, not food. The market for horse meat is not in this country and is driven by foreign interests. Again, please do the research. If you want to raise your own horses and slaughter them I can't do anything about such a sickness. If you would like further reading material and actually care enough to do some research prior to making your statements you will find that it is in fact the livestock which are ruining the range lands along with the exploitation by oil, mining and gas interests, all of which are being promoted by the DOI. Equines actually help the ecology. They have postgastric digestive systems and they graze, nibbling on the dry tinder and plants of the area. These herds then move on, sometimes hundreds of miles in a week from the mountains to the deserts. As they move their waste elimination carries the seeds of the plants they dined on. The plants re-seed, grow and produce more pasturage for all wildlife in the area, including livestock, by the way. On the other hand cattle and sheep rip the grasses and other herbs from the ground by the roots using their tongues, lower teeth and hard upper palates, and the animals often cluster in large numbers in areas near streams or lakes, resulting in overgrazing, overtrampling, pollution of water sources and denuding of the grazing area while equines come once every 1-2 days, drink and leave the area. Cattle also eat 30 pounds of plant material per day while a horse will eat 10 – 20 pounds. Cattle outnumber the equines by 50:1. I think it's obvious. I can recommend "The Wild Horse Conspiracy" by Craig Downer, a is noted wildlife biologist. I could go on. I ask all of you to remember that these are protected animals and iconic living legends which are being extinguished at the behest of people with very little to no knowledge of them. Let me ask you one question – how many western films end with the cowboy riding his horse into the sunset and then slaughtering it and eating it? This is what you are advocating.

  16. Donn Molyneux

    Lynn, I love seeing the wild horses. They are part of the true west, and doubt if I would eat one, but ? I do have cats and don't eat them, although people of other cultures do. Feral cats, like feral horses are a large problem and need to be controlled, (what do they do with cats at shelters)? They are not housed all over the country and have millions of dollars spent to keep them housed. They are destroyed. At least a feral horse if slaughtered would help to feed the world…..maybe not our world, but those not unlike us. I cannot believe that all the science says the feral horse population is declining although I will look for the study you mention.

  17. Lynn Huebner

    Donn Molyneux Thank you Donn, I wish everyone would take a look at it. While I admit it is an emotional issue it really is also true that these horses are not feral, they are actually native to this continent as born out by fossil evidence and they have been here for 2 million years. Certainly they have mingled with feral horses by this time. It would be a tragedy to lose an entire species and I hope you future generations can continue to see the wild horses. With regard to the numbers posted by BLM, they are fallacious – the herds would have to populate at a rate of 125% each and every year to reach the figures touted. There is also a huge movement in this country for no kill shelters and we are moving in that direction as well.

  18. Diana Kline

    Donn Molyneux We used to have over 2 million wild free roaming horses and burros, and now we're down to just 1+% of that. The AML's are set by the BLM and need to be raised. It's illegal to zero out AMA's.

  19. Diana Kline

    If the BLM, USFS and USF&WS would follow the law and stop catering to the two special interest groups of the public lands ranchers and the frackers, our Federally-protected wild free roaming horses and burros would stand half of a chance. From the 1971 act, page 1:

    Page 1, (c) "range" means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally, but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;"

    This means the wild horses and burros are entitled to 51% of their ranges and that it's illegal to zero-out HMAs, or Herd Management Areas.

    Please also note:

    Page 1, (b) "wild free-roaming horses and burros" means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;"

    This means trying to debate whether or not the wild horses and burros are native is irrelevant to their protection, although, they are most certainly a native species to North America.

  20. Diana Kline

    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER

    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

    I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in
    Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas.

    I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background,
    served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I
    enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to
    assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award
    from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I
    became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.
    (continued)

  21. Diana Kline

    LEGAL DECLARATION filed by former BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins area manager, Lloyd Eidenhauer (continued)

    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in
    the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt
    Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or
    later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the
    private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the
    years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with
    BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has
    generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by
    responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

    (continued)

  22. Diana Kline

    DECLARATION OF LLOYD EISENHAUER (continued)

    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement
    patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound
    biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild
    horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses.

    Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited
    livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage.
    This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently
    zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also
    concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely be devastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement
    between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is
    inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has
    implemented on public lands.

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
    and correct.

    Lloyd Eisenhauer

  23. Diana Kline

    Lynn Huebner From the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro act, page 1:

    Page 1, (c) "range" means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally, but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;"

    This means the wild horses and burros are entitled to 51% of their ranges and that it's illegal to zero-out HMAs, or Herd Management Areas.

    Please also note:

    Page 1, (b) "wild free-roaming horses and burros" means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;"

    This means trying to debate whether or not the wild horses and burros are native is irrelevant to their protection, although, they are most certainly a native species to North America.

  24. Diana Kline

    We've all seen the photos of the wild free roaming horses being rounded up illegally on Wyoming's checkerboard, and they are in excellent shape. This is an illegal land-grab on behalf of the Rock Springs Grazing Association.

  25. Diana Kline

    We've all seen the photos of the wild free roaming horses being rounded up illegally on Wyoming's checkerboard, and they are in excellent shape. This is an illegal land-grab on behalf of the Rock Springs Grazing Association.

  26. Diana Kline

    Stacia Corbett Citron the Wyoming checkerboard is definitely part of this discussion. Tourism is Wyoming's #2 industry. Good bye Wyoming tourism: https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10659235_1571588699736680_600987326047282922_n.jpg?oh=06606dfd59330216699124bdd8dde1d0&oe=54CD9CA7

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