Wild Horses and Burros: An Update Seen Through the Eyes of One Biologist

by Robert C. Bauer ~ Biologist

In a desperate attempt to curb the devastating roundups many advocates are succumbing to the pressure of the BLM to utilize the PZP contraceptive on our wild horses.”

The passion of my heart is, and has been, to emphasize how nature through its own mechanisms will and should be allowed, to maintain natural ecological balance, without human intervention. It does this through physiological differences, found within each species inside any given ecosystem. Each of those differences, contribute as a vital factor in a broad ecological equation. It also accomplishes this through the numbers or density of any given species of animal or plant within that system, in conjunction with competitive species, and the carrying capacity of the land. There is a misconception, even amongst advocates of the wild horses, that the only things that are necessary to check wild equine population growth is the presence of its predators and or natural environmental factors. Although, natural predation is important and environmental impacts, density dependent

Adobe Town Wild Stallion and Pronghorn ~ photo by Carol Walker

inhibition plays an important role also. In this scenario, what that means is that the numbers or density of wild equine, versus competing ruminants, such as the pronghorn, each will fluctuate in response to the other based upon the carrying capacity of the land, yet always in perfect balance. In essence, the pronghorn need the presence of wild horses and burros, just as much as the wild horses need the pronghorn. Each population will have the effect of keeping the numbers of another competing population at levels that are ideal for the carrying capacity of the land.

Also, what must be understood is that nature is dynamic, and not static. This infers that it continuously fluctuates and adjusts, through its own negative and positive feedback loops, from the molecular, all the way up the scale of organisms. Because it is dynamic and not static means that its functions cannot be confined to finite thinking, and fixed statistics but must be allowed, through its own mechanisms to maintain itself, hands off, so to speak. In other words, nature cannot be limited at any given time to a given number, or average of numbers, that mankind deems appropriate. An example of this is the Bureau of Land Management’s, “Appropriate Management Level“, of wild horses in their legally designated lands. Mankind’s sole responsibility has to be focused on keeping the restrictions off of nature, so that nature can be itself, and not an offspring of man’s seemingly brilliance. The moment mankind seeks to alter nature according to a fixed number, or an average of numbers, is the moment that nature and balance itself begins to break down. At first it occurs little by little, yet as artificial alteration persists, the breakdowns become greater and greater. This has occurred in every branch of nature, where mankind has endeavored to manage natural balance, assuming nature to be static and not dynamic.

With these thoughts in mind as an introduction, the tenacious destruction of a vital component of nature’s beauty and balance continues to be removed from the rangelands of the west, even the wild horses and wild burros, by the Bureau of Land Management. It has turned a blind side to the solid science that opposes the idea that these creatures are a detriment to the ecosystems they exist in. Just as much, it is opposed so to the myth that there is over population of our wild equine. The ludicrous concept of the “Appropriate Management Level”, of wild horses in any area out west is a lie concocted by the bureau. This is based upon how much forage that the BLM is going to allow the mustangs, as opposed to how much they would actually consume. This is opposed to cattle and other competing ruminants in these same areas, which are allocated by this same bureau, the major percentage of the forage. From this comes the propaganda that there exists overpopulation of wild Equids, and the subsequent removal of them in mass, from their legally designated lands. This, the bureau does regardless of the fact that our wild horses and burros, by law, are to be considered as the principle species in a multi use situation. This is all accomplished to accommodate the Bureau of Land Management’s leasing of those same lands for cattle and cattle ranchers, for energy interests, and big horn sheep hunters.

In a desperate attempt to curb the devastating roundups many advocates are succumbing to the pressure of the BLM to utilize the PZP contraceptive on our wild horses. This thinking may be based on a heartfelt love for our wild ones, but also with the idea that a compromise in this area will at least preserve them in the wild. There are those that believe that the roundups have already decreased because of this compromise to use the contraceptive. As a biologist I would ask all to consider some truths concerning this issue.

First, the numbers of the wild horses remaining in the wild are not the 20,000 to 30,000 that many assert are out there. The numbers of our wild ones are not even in the teens of thousand s anymore. This has its basis upon the liberal use of PZP, the thousands of wild horses and burros already removed, and the adjustment of sex ratios. Added to this, are mortality rates in the wild that range between 19% to 75% annually, both first year and adult. The reasons that the roundups have decreased is simple because the wild horses remaining in the wild are so few, they can’t be found. This is despite the continued propaganda that there is still overpopulation.

Secondly, with continued use of the PZP contraceptive, population growth will be driven down even further, in as much as reproduction will continue to decrease dramatically because of PZP, but mortality percentages will remain the same. In essence, mortality will completely overwhelm reproduction and accelerate the population decline. Added to this will be the increased chances of the loss of genetic viability. All of this the BLM is fully aware of, however not unlike our Native American ancestors, the U.S. government promises a compromise but are taking a 100 miles for every mile we give them.

The roundups will continue, even though the wild horses are fewer in number. There doesn’t have to be many roundups, however, to decimate our wild horse herds with what few numbers are out there, especially with an even more rapid decline in population growth and the threat of inbreeding. The proponents of PZP, whether they love our wild horses or not, will be aiding the BLM in driving them to extinction. The only answer is to continue fighting for the truth, and to allow nature to remain untouched. The wild horses and burros will continue as the poetically beautiful, yet vital components of ecological balance if, and only if, we allow nature alone, through its own dynamic methods to dictate the numbers in the wild that are to exist, at any given time.

Acknowledgments: Craig Downer, Wildlife Ecologist

34 comments on “Wild Horses and Burros: An Update Seen Through the Eyes of One Biologist

  1. I appreciate your very thoughtful piece Craig. And yes Advocates are calling for the use of PZP because the alternative is complete removal at this point. Of course if we were able to get the BLM to try to balance the use of the land, this would not be necessary but right now we are facing a very imperfect world. There are some herd areas that have not been rounded up because the numbers have been kept in check using PZP – the Pryors and McCullough Peaks. I do not disagree with your estimate of how many horses are left in the wild – BLM always inflates this and is saying there are currently 40,000 in the wild which is truly absurd.
    I think also that it would be helpful if advocates could stop working against each other – there are some who are demonizing those of us who are calling for the use of PZP as a last ditch effort to save at least some of the horses. That is not helpful to anyone. I am sure we can agree that the real thing first and foremost we all must unite and call for is to stop the roundups and to come up with a plan for managing the horses that does not involve managing them to extinction, as the BLM currently is.

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    • While it is great PZP has worked for a few of the herds, most of the herds are non-viable, and wild burros are almost extinct. what we’re mostly seeing is what is happening at the Little Fish lake HMA. The BLM does a roundup, leaving only 89 wild horses, a non-viable herd, and gives PZP to 50 out of the 89.

      I think it’s important for advocates, even who support the use of PZP, to be equally vocal about demanding that BLM take photos and video on aerial population inventory flights and also field observations to VERIFY their numbers. the BLM had developed a program with the USGS called WHIMS, in which they took photos of EVERY horse in the herd. Why did they drop this? It would’ve been too accurate and would’ve made them accountable, and they wouldn’t be able to exaggerate the numbers of horses on the range using flawed population modeling. The BLM wants to roundup the wild horses and burros to appease livestock grazers and other uses.

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    • Right On Carol Walker! ” I think also that it would be helpful if advocates could stop working against each other .” When we are in a war, the side that is firing on their own troops is not likely the side that is going to win, simple logic.

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    • I agree, Carol. The BLM has never and will never “negotiate” the numbers of horses to be left in the wild. Ranchers, oil and gas companies and other interests rule the land. I sincerely believe all advocates continue to fight for the truth, the same truth they’ve been fighting for decades. Many excellent suggestions, including Craig’s Reserve Design, have been proposed to no avail. Advocates continue to demand verifiable truth of the BLM’s statistics, also to no avail.
      The BLM refuses to take action based on the recommendations made in the National Academy of Sciences Research Committee report, commissioned by them!

      Of course, we prefer the cessation of all round-ups! Has it happened? Will it happen? No. Will we stop fighting to cease the round-ups? Never! But, we need to consider measures such as PZP or the roundups will cease for an entirely different reason.

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  2. Thank you for the clarification. Each and every removal (also each castration and pzp injection) should be challenged by every avenue possible as there are NO EXCESS HORSES only excess livestock on the wild ones legal domain.

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  3. the first part of my comment is just a copy paste of Carol Walker’s last sentence:

    “I am sure we can agree that the real thing first and foremost we all must unite and call for is to stop the roundups and to COME UP WITH A PLAN for managing the horses that does not involve managing them to extinction, as the BLM currently is.”

    Just imagine for a couple of minutes if everyone stopped putting SO MUCH energy and attention and time into arguing about our differences and instead put all that same energy and attention and time into furthering the bottom line….finding things we all agree on and putting our all into finding ways to further THOSE THINGS for the benefit of our beloved wild horses, ignoring the INEVITABLE “ego” stuff that, if we are very honest, almost all of us are involved in, to some degree or another, whether we are big name advocates well known to many people, or just ordinary passionate foot soldiers with varying talents and capacities. That “ego stuff” is reliably going to be humming along all on it’s own because it’s just something that “humans do” on a regular basis simply by virtue of being humans with a discursive minds and a sense of separate self which very often tends to overshadow underlying Oneness, without which none of us and nothing could even exist! Understand the POWER we actually DO HAVE if we could take our eye off the many diversions of ego-stuff and keep it on what is most important to ALL OF US. Long-term Survival of wild horses in the wild in healthy functioning ecosystems.

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    • Annie, wise words. You’ve got me wondering, in the context of this article, if there is some way to sue the BLM for NOT “striving to maintain a natural ecological balance” since the mere presence of domestic cattle and sheep by definition prohibits this since they are introduced, not native species. Even on the surface, trying to manage an ecosystem to accommodate two invasive species while demonizing to extinction a native species would seem at a minimum immoral. The numbers game as Bob Bauer points out may provide a basis for taking this approach. As divided people (as the Native Americans learned) we are helpless before the machinations of the ruthless, perhaps those concerned can combine efforts aimed not at the usual talking points but at the actual record of the BLM/USFS to the President and Congress on the mandate they were given regarding wild horses and burros, and their 43 year long record. Surely at some point they need to be held accountable for the many millions of dollars spent and the tragic, unsustainable results we now experience as a result of their actions. Surely there is a way to review and revisit the original assumptions and modify the plan!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Bob Bauer. Everything you wrote is based on true science and common sense – how refreshing and how extremely important!

    There is no reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than a 250,000 wild horses and burros but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today.

    Although perhaps originally good-hearted, those willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent lose their good heart in the end and take the innocent with them. I say to anyone who is supporting BLM’s wild horse and burro destruction procedures, “Let us never negotiate out of fear.”

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    • …PZP has been a sellout of wild horses..not based on what we know to be true about wild horse reproduction..but call it what it is..a compromise with the BLM with the totally erroneous conclusion that it could save the wild horse herds in some form, as a consequence of this “compromise” BLM has escalated its attack on removals,, proceded with impunity on spaying mares in the wild,gelding and returning stallions -which nullifys AMLs with ghost horses, and I am sick to death of this “we must support advocates no matter the disastrous effects of that advocacy”_WHO WE MUST SUPPORT ARE THE WILD HORSES ,

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  5. Thank you all for your worthy comments, now how do we proceed to get the BLM to stop rounding up the horses and burros? Who do we go to to sue the BLM for not striving to maintain a natural ecological balance, while allowing non native species to continue to graze? Can we address having cattle and sheep use PZP also? Can we do a march on Washington? Can we get a private aerial count of the wild horses and burros done that the BLM will possibly accompany so there is no question of the facts? Can we find one major media source to help us get the word out? We do have things we can do…we need help or we need to stop with the self importance and get our acts together for these magnificent animals before they are a fond memory…please let’s do something now…time for talk is getting late…we all love these horses…

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  6. BLM AML’s and WILD HORSE OVER POPULATION

    Look, the BLM’s limits on wild horse population (AML’s) are too low, detrimental to genetic viability, to the spirit of the 1971 Act, and the will of the people etc etc. YES!

    HOWEVER to continue to proliferate NON-SCIENCE that a prey species does not over populate in the abscence of predators which they evolved with is just whimsical thinking. This goes against 7th grade biology lessons about predator prey.

    PZP: The BLM is using PZP 22. PZP 22. Not PZP. To say PZP alone means NOTHING. There are THREE very different PZP’s all with different components and with different dosages, one which has no ill side affects and lasts only one year to unpure SPAY VAC PZP which steralizes due to serious health effects. A thoughtful article on “PZP” must inform the reader, not confuse an issue. There can be no blanket term “PZP”.

    WILD HORSE OVER POPULATION
    Google up predator prey or predator prey forage graphs. There’s lots of them. Perhaps on a relative basis, there is no wild horse over population. HOWEVER, given the facts that there are fences, road, habitat encroachment, and US Government opposition, and horses cannot actually free roam in a completely natural situation, horses CAN and DO over populate. Especially with the round ups which can cause their birth rates to soar by compensatory reproduction.

    WE CAN STOP ROUND_UPS WITH NATIVE PZP. Look at Chincoteague vs Assateague. Multiple culls per year every year at Chincoteague and at Assateague not one round-up or adoption in over 23 years. C’mon, you can’t dispute the difference here and look at Google maps satelite view, 45,000 acres is a pretty big space and while some horses are people friendly around the camps, most of the island is not inhabited by people. Moreover, darting is not rocket science and it has been accomplished by aboriginals back to time immemorial. No excuses it’s not possible on larger heards in different terrrains. BS. We have the SCIENCE on our side here. At assateague, mares live 9 years longer, Really? That flies in the face of the “rumors” about health side effects doesn’t it? Yes, because these rumors belong to other formulations of unpure miscellaneous – PZP.

    NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (NAS)
    First, the NAS does not take money from the US government. Check them out and they are the best representative of SCIENCE that the horses have to the US Government. The BLM does not use the Native PZP because it works at 95%. They do not want an effective MANAGEMENT TOOL, they clearly want to ZERO. Native PZP is a very effective management tool so the BLM refuses to use it and instead spins their wheels and our tax dollars on PZP 22 so they can say. PZP doesn’t work. With PZP 22 they still have an excuse for round ups. They just want excuses to say, we need to ZERO most herds out and keep just a few at low AML’s due to fiscal reasons. The media is not on our side and this is hard to fight.

    However, we have the SCIENCE on our side with the NAS! Advocates as well as the BLM need to get with the science. DREAM ON about prey species with NO DATA to back up these dreams, or USE the TOOLS that we have, that are supported by SCIENCE and that work. It’s the horses that have to suffer the round-ups. Let’s keep that in mind first and foremost.

    Patience O’Dowd president
    Wild Horse Observers Association
    a public 501 c3 non-profit corp.
    Retired Chemical Engineer
    Homeschooling a 5th and 8th grader.

    PLEASE READ – FOCUS ON THE PLIGHT OF THE WILD HORSE
    Support eachother in the open mindset that we do not know what ACTION is going to actually save our wild horses and so rather than attack others chosen path, work harder.

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    • PIID/MOD: INL11PC00058 / 0
      Recipient: NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
      2101 CONSTITUTION AVE NW, WASHINGTON, District of Columbia
      Program Source: 14-1109
      Department/Agency: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management

      Product/Service: B599: OTHER SPECIAL STUDIES AND ANALYSES

      Description: WILD HORSE&BURRO STUDY
      Signed Date:
      06-01-2011
      Obligation Amount:
      $1,245,829

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    • Patience, the BLM paid the NAS for this study using our tax dollars. Also, even the NAS scientists have associations and biases that were questioned.

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      • If the BLM was Pro-Native PZP, a BIAS toward Native PZP could be perhaps questioned more seriously. However, the BLM has no intention or desire to use Native PZP despite the NAS recommendation. Upon reading the NAS report, Sally Jewel stated “I would like to hear from private industry”. She has not moved on the NAS report, she has however been funding research for steralization I believe.

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  7. Thank you for this truth, Craig. It is just common, horse sense that our wild horses are almost extinct and do not need fertility control.

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  8. Thank you also, Robert. Sorry I didn’t see your name at first .
    If only the 50,000 wild horses in government holding could be returned to the 22 million acres stolen from them. Also I wonder how many thousands have gone to slaughter ? Many after they are adopted end up at killer auctions .

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  9. I feel this is a very well written article…..PZP is a cop out for the gov’t an the BLM just another way to get rid of our Wild Horses n the USA and Canada….

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  10. Patience –
    Did you think I just dreamed up the NAS payment?
    Who told you, and I quote you, “the NAS does not take money from the US government.” ?Who?
    Like you said, check it out. You and I paid the NAS $1,245,829.00 that we even know of and likely other expenses also. http://usaspending.gov/
    I repeat it here:
    PIID/MOD: INL11PC00058 / 0
    Recipient: NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
    2101 CONSTITUTION AVE NW, WASHINGTON, District of Columbia
    Program Source: 14-1109
    Department/Agency: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management
    Product/Service: B599: OTHER SPECIAL STUDIES AND ANALYSES
    Description: WILD HORSE&BURRO STUDY
    Signed Date:
    06-01-2011
    Obligation Amount:
    $1,245,829

    And what was the NAS’ main deduction regarding the wild horses and burros? The recent National Academy of Sciences study found no evidence of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. Sure, the report went on and on about possible procedures etc but for a million and a quarter dollars that they were paid they had to say something that the DOI wanted to hear – if you don’t act nice at a birthday party you won’t be asked back and they make a lot of money – so they went on and on as was expected but the bottom line is the NAS found no evidence of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Burros.

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    • Grandmagregg,
      Thank you for the information. I put in a call to the NAS to understand what happened regarding funding in general due to this. I am dissappointed to find out that there is money changing hands.

      The Act states:

      [T]he Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art, the actual expense of such investigations, examinations, experiments, and reports to be paid from appropriations which may be made for the purpose, but the Academy shall receive no compensation whatever for any services to the Government of the United States.

      —An Act to Incorporate the National Academy of Sciences,

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  11. I agree, Carol. The BLM has never and will never “negotiate” the numbers of horses to be left in the wild. Ranchers, oil and gas companies and other interests rule the land. I sincerely believe all advocates continue to fight for the truth, the same truth they’ve been fighting for for decades. Many excellent suggestions, including Craig’s Reserve Design, have been proposed to no avail. Advocates continue to demand verifiable truth of the BLM’s statistics, also to no avail.
    The BLM refuses to take action based on the recommendations made in the National Academy of Sciences Research Committee report, commissioned by them!

    Of course, we prefer the cessation of all round-ups! Has it happened? Will it happen? No. Will we stop fighting to cease the round-ups? Never! But, we need to consider measures such as PZP or the roundups will cease for an entirely different reason.

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  12. I completely agree that there is no overpopulation of wild horses in any of the areas where they currently are (not even going to talk about all herd areas that have been taken away from our wild horses) and birth control should not be used on populations that are below genetically viable numbers. I am fighting to keep wild horses wild and free on our public lands. I do not think that saying no birth control to be used ever in any circumstance is helpful. The two herds I mentioned, McCullough Peaks and the Pryor mountains, which I have been observing for over 10 years, have been receiving what is called “native PZP” which is the one year drug which IS reversible. I can tell you with complete certainty that these two herds, which have not been rounded up by helicopter since 2009 would most certainly have been rounded up at least 1 or maybe even two times since then if they had not been keeping the numbers of the herds down using native PZP- and keeping more horses from ending up in Long Term Holding with a very uncertain fate is a very good goal to have in the short term. Should we be looking for long term solutions? Absolutely. Removing the BLM from the management of our wild horses would be an excellent first step.

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  13. I discussed suing the government, at length, with an attorney back in 2002. (Not about wild horse issues) In a nutshell, he explained it to me with a well known saying, “You can’t fight city hall”. Then he explained why that’s true:

    Sovereign immunity has carried over to modern times in the form of a general rule that you cannot sue the government — unless the government says you can.

    What is Governmental Immunity?
    Governmental immunity stops people from suing the government and government employees and officials in many cases. This policy makes it easier for the government to make decisions because it protects the government from interference from lawsuits. For example, you may not sue the state legislature for money if they pass a law that happens to harm you. Government immunity will stop any lawsuit where a judgment in favor of the plaintiff could control the actions of the state or subject it to liability.

    What is Covered by Government Immunity?
    Government immunity covers many government entities including:
    State, cities, and counties
    Legislatures
    Agencies, Boards, Authorities, and Commissions
    Government Corporations
    Courts
    Schools, Police, and other local departments

    Is it Possible to Sue the Government?
    Government immunity does not prevent all lawsuits against the government. However, even if you can sue, the government may also be immune from types of remedies, such as punitive damages.

    There are many situations where suing the government is appropriate:
    The immunity only applies to lawsuits that try to force the government to act or that demand money damages. You may sue the government for a declaratory judgment, to protest a wrongful injunction, and for equitable relief. Generally, you may sue to restrain the government in some way, but not force it to act.

    You may sue if a government agency abuses its authority or acts beyond its authority. (But, the government also has unlimited access to funds (our tax money!) to fight any action we bring against them. If we present 4 expert witnesses in court to testify that there is no wild horse overpopulation, the BLM has the financial means to produce 6 that say otherwise, and if those experts lie, we then have to prove they lied.

    Melissa Ohlsson
    Vice President
    America’s Wild Horse Advocates/Spring Mountain Alliance

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  14. There are currently two lawsuits going on in Wyoming that I am a plaintiff in – the Checkerboard lawsuit and the intervention into WY v. the BLM. Yes it is possible to sue the government and necessary as well. I am completely opposed to civil disobedience that includes acts that would involve jail time and criminal charges. Just because the BLM is behaving badly and illegally does not mean that we should resort to this behavior.

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  15. Good to see this lively discussion regarding how the wild horse and burro populations are being targeted and the law to protect them subverted. I was dismayed when the NAS study and its recommendations concerning the wild horse and burro program came out, because I saw immediately that they were not addressing the primary issue. This is the Fairness Issue, or the Unfairness Issue, however you want to term it. The problem is clearly not wild horse overpopulation, but it is human overpopulation and overrunning of the ecosystem in a very egotistical and insensitive, disattuned manner. This is producing chaos at various levels. The horses, who are a most ancient and long-standing presence in North America, when they return to living in the natural world, have their age-old instincts and knowledge revived, and this is expressed in their physical bodies and behaviors. These are true restorers of the North American ecosystem in so many ways, one of the chief of which concerns their digestive systems, which are not ruminant, but post-gastric, and so represent a much needed balance in an ecosystem that is heavily lopsided because of human’s promotion of ruminant grazers. This is so elemental to an enlightened ecologist. But too many today lack objectivity because they are not after the greater truth and justice concerning all species, but rather look which way the wind’s blowing politically speaking for their own selfish worldly advantage in an out-of-balance human society. Concerning PZP and PZP-22, I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, but from what I have gathered there are some serious concerns about how it effects the long-term survivability of the wild horses, especially since it puts humans in the place of nature as concerns the natural selection that is occurring over the generations and that adapts each population harmoniously to its particular home ecosystem. We do not want to thwart the wild horses in their adaptation to the life community. People should have learned this lesson by now. There have been too many disastrous consequences of man’s tampering with nature. What is so beautiful about the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act as originally conceived is that it honored the place of this magnificent presence known as the horse in the natural world and mandated that people learn how to share the land and freedom with such beautiful and highly evolved beings in horse form, and much the same can be said of the burro.

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  16. What I want to know is HOW are we going to MAKE the roundups STOP? HOW are we going to get the cattle and mining and fracking to CEASE where the horses live now? HOW are we going to stop the government agencies from giving away the areas that are supposed to be PRIMARILY for wild horses to other players that do NOT love wild horses and want to get rid of them? These are of course not new questions, but until we can figure out how to do these things, our wild horses are under siege. People don’t want to see Native PZP used anywhere at all ever….I do understand the idealism of that desire very well! It is everyone’s very heartfelt preference, those of us whose primary passions have wild horses and other wild animals at the very top of the list. Well if you don’t want that, HOW are YOU proposing to STOP the roundups? I love the concept of Reserve Design, in fact I think, and this is pretty much impossible, the best thing would be if the entire continent was given over primarily to non-humans with the human species being allowed only in a few certain places..NOT the other way around as it is now. That is what I would like to see and it is so idealistic that it will never happen until we have a crash of the human population and probably the demise of industrial civilization itself. The Living Planet would be free once again. Right now the much of the planet is living in a concentration camp created by Civilization. I’m sure the BLM really loves and agrees with this point of view. Yeah, sure.

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  17. Well stated, AnnieLittleHawk!
    Whether or not advocates agree on the use of PZP, we are all champions of the wild and want nothing more than to let the Wild Horses and Burros be free to roam in their natural habitat. I’ve not heard or read of ANY person or organization that believes the use of PZP is a final solution, certainly not in place of ceasing the roundups.
    Craig, I have to believe that everyone who has read your books, heard you speak or knows your position on Wild Horses and Burros, the benefits they provide to their natural habitats, their rightful place in the wild, etc., agree wholeheartedly with you. None of that is in question. I believe the concept of Reserve Design is outstanding! My understanding is you have yet to receive feedback from the BLM on your proposal. The BLM is cherry picking what suits them from the NAS report. The BLM has been and is currently being sued by a number of organizations and private individuals. Much effort and many donations are contributed in support of keeping WH&B’s in the wild – the list goes on and on.

    The bottom line is, the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 is not being implemented as originally intended in spite of relentless effort on the part of advocates everywhere.

    What do you suggest we do next?

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