Horse News

Livestock Data Fills Gap in Ongoing Wild Horse Debate

SOURCE:  The Daily Pitchfork


Photography: Bryce Gray

BLM and USFS-reported grazing stats reveal the extent of private livestock production on millions of acres of overgrazed western public range and forest land, challenging rancher claims that wild horses and burros are to blame.

by Vickery Eckhoff

A side-by-side analysis of 2014 grazing data shows wild horses greatly outnumbered by millions of privately owned livestock across 251 million acres of western public grass and forest land.

The data includes 2014 year-end grazing receipts of $17.1 million published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), a figure that equates to a livestock total of 2.1 million cattle. This is 37 times greater than the 56,656 free-roaming wild horses and burros estimated by both agencies in 2014.

Other BLM and USFS reported data show private livestock allocated 97 percent of the forage across all 251 million acres of BLM and USFS-managed lands. Wild horse and burros inhabit 12 percent of that land and are allocated 3 percent of forage overall.

Read the rest of the article, and find the link to read the fully footnoted analysis by the Daily Pitchfork HERE.


3 replies »

  1. Testimony of a retired Forest Service employee.

    Published on Oct 25, 2015

    Curtis Johnson has worked for the Forest Service for 42 years. He worked at the Mesa ranger district from 1966 to 1969. At that time the Forest Service was already managing the wild horses and did not consider them unauthorized use. He also helped write the Forest Service Directive, in the Forest Service Directive it does not have any paragraph that states the Forest Service is not authorized to manage wild horses. It states that it is the responsibility of the Forest Service to manage wild free roaming horses.


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