Letter to the Editor of Mesquite Local News
BLM’s Big Lie: The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a concocted “crisis”. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — wild horses have a government problem.
Arbitrary management level (AML): The maximum number of wild horses that BLM declares the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct. Per 49,349 square miles of wild-horse habitat, the upper bound of the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 2 square miles! However, BLM manages down to the low bound of the AML — 16,310. That creates a stocking density of 1 wild horse per 3 square miles!
Sparsely populated, widely dispersed: Many herds are restricted even more severely. Here are stocking densities to which BLM restricts herds in Nevada.
1 wild horse per 3,102 acres — 5 square miles — Antelope Complex
1 wild horse per 3,566 acres — 5½ square miles — Triple B Complex
1 wild horse per 6,606 acres — 10 square miles — Eagle herd
1 wild horse per 9,591 acres — 15 square miles — Silver King herd
Contrast with livestock density: BLM allows 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow-calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile. Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats, livestock are awarded most of the grazing slots (AUMs). Examples from Nevada:
94% of AUMs to livestock — Triple B Complex
96% of AUMs to livestock — Antelope Complex
Normative annual herd-growth = at most, 5%: Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found the average birth rate among wild-horse herds to be about 20%; but 50% of foals perish. The population-gain from surviving foals (10%) minus a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5%) equals a normative herd-growth rate of 5%.
Fraudulent figures on the range: BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified. Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are beyond what is biologically possible. Some examples from Nevada:
260% — 52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains
293% — 59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South
418% — 84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East *
* BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368. If so, to overcome foal-mortality (50%) and adult-mortality (at least 5%), that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.
Fraudulent figures off the range: A comprehensive report was recently issued following a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation. It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures. BLM is paying, but where are the horses? http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/
No to birth control, no to euthanasia, no to slaughter: The population-explosion exists only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.