Cow Keepers Can’t Comprehend “Multiple Use” Concept
CEDAR CITY — In a move that was praised by local ranchers, Iron County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to send a letter to the Bureau of Land Management in support of livestock owners who use public lands to graze their cattle.
The commissioners’ letter will be in response to a message the BLM recently sent to ranchers, asking them to reduce the number of livestock they keep on public lands due to an increase in the number of wild horses that now roam on the same land.
The issue is that the estimated populations of wild horses are above the Appropriate Management Level. To resolve the problem, the BLM is requesting ranchers to reduce their livestock by 25 to 50 percent.
Matt Wood, an Iron County resident, told commissioners at the meeting that he has already reduced his livestock from 330 to 200 heads and now is being asked to do away with 100 more.
“If you figure it at $850 a head that I sell them for each year, that’s 100 grand I’m out — again,” Wood said. “That’s as much as some of those BLM workers make a year. I don’t think they’d like it if I demanded they reduce their income by 50 percent.”
BLM officials maintain in their letter to the ranchers that the situation is only going to worsen with the agency’s predicted 2014 budget cuts. The cuts are expected to leave workers scrambling to cover the costs of running the national wild horse and burro program, which is responsible for managing and adopting the horses.
“There currently is no place to put horses removed from the range as wild horse and burro holding facilities are filled to capacity. Although this situation may change, the Cedar City Field Office must plan for no wild horse gathers or removals in FY2014,” Chad Hunter, range and wild horse specialist, states in the letter.
This doesn’t hold well with the commissioners, who say they think the BLM should be held to the same standard as the ranchers.
“It should be reciprocal,” Commissioner Dave Miller said. “If the ranchers have to reduce their number of livestock, so should the BLM have to find a way to reduce the number of horses.”
In 2005, Wood said, 20 horses lived on the land his livestock grazes, but now, there are many more.
“My wife and I counted about 200 horses, so we wrote a letter to the BLM, who wrote us back and told us there was actually 300 horses,” Wood said. “How can that be?”…(CONTINED)
Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety and to comment at The Spectrum
- Would BLM Sell Horses to Slaughter? (ppjg.me)
- Part 2: BLM and Fish & Wildlife Service Experimenting on Wild Horses (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Exclusive: Wild Horse and Wild Burro Good News and Bad News from Twin Peaks HMA (ppjg.me)
- Wyoming Wild Horse Herds in Jeopardy (rtfitchauthor.com)