Horse News

Wild Horses vs Cattle

Giant BLM Bovine Mowing Machine ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Giant BLM Bovine Mowing Machine ~ photo by Terry Fitch

SOURCEThe Desert Independent

Editorial By Robert Winkler
Publisher of The Desert Independent

No WELFARE rancher wants wild horses competing with his cows for forage on the public land he is getting on the cheap, so the horses gotta go.

Because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) comes under the US Department of Interior (DOI) and NOT the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) it lacks the expertise to manage what amounts to the Nation’s beef supply.  And that is exactly what it is trying to do by damming the will of the people of the United States of America and promoting cattle production.

Because of this food supply promotion, ranchers (typically multi-million dollar outfits and larger) have been getting what amounts to US Government WELFARE in the way of grazing allotments on the PUBLIC’S land.  And are the ranchers grateful for this government WELFARE program? Hell no, to this day they complain when they pay only $1.69 per cow/calf pair per month while their cattle over graze on the public’s land and pollute the public’s streams.

And the wild horses must go.

No WELFARE rancher wants wild horses competing with his cows for forage on the public land he is getting on the cheap, so the horses gotta go.

Round em up.  Helicopters.  Run to em to ground.  Scare the crap out of em.  Run em ‘till they drop.  Who cares if some die in the process.  BLM’s gonna just put em in some wild horse concentration camp.  No shade.  Some out of the way place.  Private property.  Don’t want these camps in the news.  Can’t have the public seeing our once beautiful symbol of the west, now incarcerated.  Their sad eyes.  Broken families.  Reminds me of another time and place.  Europe 1943…

And it goes on.

Cattle it seems will always trump wild horses.  The will of the people be dammed.

In case you didn’t know…

The Federal Livestock Grazing Program costs American taxpayers $123 million yearly.  Removing the cattle would actually save taxpayers money.  Planned helicopter removal of wild horses will cost nearly 10 times more than the revenues received from livestock grazers.

“The continual damage to the land from cattle and sheep grazing and the yearly drain on taxpayers who foot the bill for welfare ranching has to stop,” says Toni Moore of The Cloud Foundation (TCF).

To hear the BLM tell the story, it’s the wild horses that do all the damage.  Now, one would only have to think about that for a minute. Let’s see, horses have been in North America for about 9,000 years.  There shouldn’t be much left of anything, not a blade of grass, not a bush, nada.  Not after all that time.  The ranges should be bare if the horses do so much damage.  How does the BLM think ANYWAY?

“BLM’s historic scapegoating of wild horses is a smoke screen,” says Ginger Kathrens,* western rangeland damage is caused by millions of head of privately-owned livestock, not our publically owned and theoretically protected wild horses.”

Until the BLM finds addresses the real culprit, the overpopulation of welfare livestock, our historic wild horse herds will soon become extinct.

*Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF, a Colorado based non-profit which advocates for the protection and preservation of wild horses on public lands.

17 replies »

  1. Red Herring Alert: It needs mention here the argument is NOT about the Nation’s beef supply. The total tons of beef and sheep produced by grazing permits nets only a paltry amount of our national food supply, numerous sources place it between 3-5%, and a fair bit of that is exported.

    If all public lands grazing permits were retired consumers would scarcely notice. Some few family ranches would take the brunt of it but the majority of permit holders are large corporations with a death grip on the permits. The average citizen has little chance of ever obtaining one, or even a discount on any meat sold at the supermarket for all we subsidize the industry. This is a systemic problem which will not be resolved by exterminating America’s wild horses and burros in their native ecosystems and perpetuating policies which allow non-native cattle to mine the green gold of the west.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cattle Rancher Calls for Adoption, Euthanasia, or Slaughter of the Heber Wild Horse Herd
    Story by Aaron Granillo as reported on KNAU Arizona’s Public Radio

    “So in my opinion, the best thing to with these up here would be remove every one of them. Whether they go to adoption, or, you know, I hate to say it, euthanized or to a slaughter plant,” Gibson says. “I mean that sounds kind of harsh, but something has to be done with them.”


    • Well, I didn’t read every word – but this should be required reading for the BLM! I imagine its somewhat like Craig Downer’s Reserve Design. Lots of information for anyone with an open mind – guess NOT the BLM, then.


  3. The best scientific research done to measure what kind of grazing plans produce the healthiest and most productive land for livestock, horses, and wildlife clearly show that land is far more productive when multiple species graze the landscape. This leads to a variety of forages growing and the variety of plants tends to make the area more appealing to different species. So, if managers and farmers want to get the most out of the land they have, they should favor the idea of sharing their land with horses, dear, sheep, goats, elk, or other species.

    Thee is no need for ranchers to be concerned that the horse will destroy the plants their cows need to graze because the scientific evidence is just the opposite. The most destructive land management practices are limiting grazing to one species. The only thing worse than one species grazing is no species grazing. Nonetheless, a lot of ranchers have been brainwashed that horses are pests of plants because the horse did not evolve here. This is false. The horse did evolve here and the latest research seems to show that caballus was the species that passed his set of genes onto the zebras and asses.

    I think that the best thing we could do for the horses and burros as well as the ranchers would be to work together to find ways of making our shared lands more productive. Of course, I know that horse advocacy groups have come and gone over the years, and economic pressures and trade are factors—but it would seem that ranchers and wild horse advocates would both benefit from healthier, more productive grazing land and neither interest group can do this by himself or herself.

    It’s not going to be easy to solve a problem where two sides have been pitted against each other for so long But if both sides realize that they share the same opponent who is primarily interested in the subsurface land and they share an interest in the surface land, maybe some progress can be made.


  4. Pitting ranchers and WH&B advocates against one another has worked very well for those entities that are looking to clear the Public Lands for industrial use.
    Multi-national corporations have coveted America’s Public Lands and natural resources for a very long time.
    These entities have NO national loyalty or interest in America’s future or it’s People


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