Photo of Braveheart and his Family by Leslie Sterling
Compiled by Grandma Gregg but Inspired by George Wuerthner, co-editor of “Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West”. http://www.publiclandsranching.org/book.htm
The continuing Wild Horse and Burro abuse by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service is a demonstration of the public lands “cowboy-livestock” mentality the industry uses to address any problem. Instead of using its brains, it resorts to brute force. But of course, slaughter is the ultimate goal for the cowboy-livestock mentality so brute force should not be a surprise. If left unchallenged, I believe and as we have seen, the industry’s harsh tactics pose a threat to all free roaming wildlife everywhere.
When you review the true facts, it is impossible to believe that minimizing the Wild Horses and Burros because of the range conditions is really the motivating force behind the BLM & USFS capture and removal (and now non-reproducing herds and massive sterilization) actions. Reasonable and legal options that could address their concerns about range health are ignored in favor of deadly force. This can only be explained if the range conditions are hiding another motive – destruction and thievery of our public lands and public resources by private/corporate, domestic livestock.
As made clear by the Wild Horse and Burro Act’s implementing regulations, the BLM “may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock . . . if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury.” 43 C.F.R. § 4710.5(a). Removal or reduction of domestic livestock which provides financial gain for any private or corporate owned institution must be activated in favor of protecting the land and the wildlife and wild horses and wild burros and their habitat that belong to the American people. By law the BLM and USFS can and should close appropriate areas of public lands to grazing use by all domestic livestock, to provide habitat for wild horses or burros. It is the law of the United States of America.
Many in the livestock industry in the west fear the 1971 WH&B Act and fear those few American people who do know about it and speak loudly about this unanimously passed Congressional law. Why? Following the 1971 law of wild free roaming wild horses and burros comes at the expense of the public lands private/corporate livestock industry wallets. The industry, realizing this threat, has historically and is currently attempting, with the help of their big dollars and political and governmental associates in destroying any and all wild horses and burros as fast as they can – and other wild animals, as well.
No attempt to determine and admit the real risks of range devastation are performed because this risk is without a doubt the public lands corporate/private domestic livestock and they are owned and controlled by the public lands cowboy-livestock mentality ranchers and their associates – who highly paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C. It’s all about the money – BIG money.
The agencies don’t admit this to the American public because they want to create a crisis situation to justify their extreme actions. It’s way past time to question the public lands cowboy-livestock mentality of brute force as a solution to any problem or conflict. The problem is there is no value put on wildness.