Horse News

OPINION: Making a Mockery of Our Wild Horse Protection Law

by as original posted on The Pagosa Daily Post

“American wild horses are native species wildlife and are an important natural and cultural resource”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Native species American wild horses are keystone herbivores on the American landscape and whose co-evolved symbiosis with flora and fauna is critical in maintaining the vigor of American wilderness ecosystems. The 1971 (Public Law 92-195) Free Roaming Wild Burro and Horse Protection Act, was enacted by the Congress of the United States of America as a result of the will of the American people.

The preamble to that Act states:

Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms with the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burro are fast disappearing for the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burro shall be protected from capture, branding harassment or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the areas where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.

The meaning and relevance of the intent of that Act is just as valid today as it was when it was enacted by Congress in 1971.

Today, as we survey what’s happening with American wild horses, we find that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) have made a mockery of the forgoing Act and its intent, insulting its very core and the will of the American people. Both the BLM and the USFS now willfully engage in activities that they know will lead to the ‘capture’, ‘branding’, ‘harassment’ and ‘death’ of native species American wild horses and burros. That is a fact that is proven by the thousands of photos of such horrific behavior by these agencies, their contractors and surrogates.

Recently, I read a headline on a webzine blog (Steamboat Pilot & Today) post titled: ‘Renowned wild horse trainer leads Meeker Mustang Makeover clinic’.

It occurs to me that the term ‘wild horse trainer’ is an oxymoron. It’s just common sense that wild animals should not be taken against their will from their families and out of their habitat and then subjected to ‘training’. Where in the case of these so-called ‘clinics’, native species American wild horses are deprived of their freedom, and are ‘broken’ mentally and made to perform to the commands of men and women as if they were performing circus clowns.

The way things are going, maybe the next big thing will be bald eagle makeover clinics, where eagles are captured, deprived of their freedom, mentally broken and trained to obey the commands of men and women? There really is no difference between this hypothetical example and what’s being already practiced upon native species American wild horses, which like the American bald eagle are treasured wildlife.

It seems that we also have a case of willful ignorance where we find advocates promoting the use, and using, chemicals on wild horses as ‘contraception’ as means to continue managing wild horses in areas where the trophic cascades have long ago collapsed. The result of 300-years of livestock production in some herd management areas have resulted in the depletion of most apex predators (bears, mountain lions, wolves and coyotes). So when so-called wild horse activist-advocates and non-profit organizations interfere with nature, and in the case of wild horses, use compressed gas firearms to shoot chemically loaded darts into protected free-roaming native species American wild horses, they are ‘harassing’ those wild horses, and imposing their wills and flawed ideas of management and natural selection upon these sentient wild horses.

Such acts fly in the face of respecting the natural world and the process of evolutionary ‘natural selection’, and is a clear demonstration of a disconnection from understanding the natural world and its perfection.

And let us not forget, American wild horses are owned by the public; they are not the private property of non-profit organizations.

It seems that some people, government agencies and even non-profit organizations claims the best interests of wild horses as they collect donations, have lost their respect for nature and its wildlife, and have thrown science out the window.

If we could somehow get the train back onto the tracks by amending the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Burro and Horse Protection Act and its intent, and allowing wild horses to be ‘re-wilded’ and relocated into economically and ecologically appropriate wilderness areas, we would have a solution that would save wild horses and also provide grazing for livestock enterprises.

An overview of that concept is published in this Daily Post article.

There is already a plan, and a draft outline for legislation, that provides a natural cost-effective solution for all stakeholders, which is awaiting the review of potential sponsors at this website:

4 replies »

  1. The urgency to clean house at the BLM; The US Forest Service, is desperately needed. These agencies, has no respect for our Wild Horses/burros!!! Also: Senators/Representatives, who are willing to uphold the law; with compassion!!

    Liked by 2 people

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