Any REAL horse person knows that the damage seen where cows are, especially at the old watering hole, is so great, when compared to an area that has only had a herd of wild horses, that a real comparison cannot truly be made.
Slideshow provided by photographers from Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, Utah BOG Team leader Jen Howe, and Bog member Marty Wright in NV. (you can find photographers featured in our gallery pages)
One study that came out recently looked at the Duck Creek grazing allotment managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). What they found was nothing we haven’t been saying for years. COWS are so destructive to the land, and given the fragile areas in the west, they have no business out there.
At a time where our lawmakers are deciding whether or not to euthanize 50,000 wild horses that have been previously rounded up, because they cannot afford to feed them with the meager 63 million dollars budgeted annually for the program. We don’t understand why this is even an issue when the grazing program , in 2014, was just about half of what we paid in emergency grazing subsidies for the State of NM alone.
Actually we do know why it is an issue, but those Title 18 violations (lies made to mislead a Congressional hearing for the purpose of achieving a specific goal) are a whole separate article…you can find those in earlier posts. The fact is certain agendas have pushed the scenario that wild horses are;
1. overpopulated (somewhere between 44,000 and 73,000 on the range depending on which article, statement or speech you refer to),
2. starving to death (having somehow missed the magic fairy dust sprinkled on almost 3 million livestock, 1 million elk and over half a million mule deer and pronghorn, that are doing just fine on the same land),
3. dying of thirst…again see above on the numbers of other animals surviving on the same land, granted livestock may be supplemented (and taking decreased water during a drought for a business (livestock) and depriving a native, special species status wild horse or burro on lands that are supposed to be managed primarily for that special species is yet another questionable practice…maybe a legal issue), or finally
4. destroying the public lands, and riparian areas (and the only photo evidence of this doesn’t tell the media or members of these decision making hearings, how long it has been since livestock or other grazing species have been in that area, or what the population numbers of those other species is or was).
So what is the truth, well according to this study, the very things that wild horses are accused of, and have NO studies to support, are supported while looking at livestock. The truth is livestock is bad for the fragile ecosystems in the west.
- Livestock greatly outnumber wild horses by at least 37:1.
- The livestock, or grazing program, costs American taxpayers 94.5% more than the Wild Horse & Burro budget.
- Livestock is the main reason for the loss of predator species (wolves, bears, mountain lions, etc)
- Livestock is the agenda creating the attack of wild horses & burros that now has our lawmakers deciding whether or not to euthanize healthy, previously rounded up animals
This study proves the damage done to our western ecosystems. We have got to protect soil, fragile plants, growth of high fuel noxious weeds and riparian areas, and the need to get cattle off western lands. Many of the things that are often said of wild horses and burros are really done by the livestock. “Range scientists have published studies showing that cattle prefer to linger in riparian areas and that stocking rate is more important than grazing system.” Upland Water and Deferred Rotation Effects on Cattle Use in Riparian and Upland Areas Yet this is blamed on the wild horses time after time. And, when the claim is made, it is crucial that we demand information also be given on livestock, (were they ever there, how long ago, how many and if removed was there enough of a rest for the land to recover) so there is a proper assessment of damage that may have actually been done by the equids in the area. Most often we find that there had been livestock there, and not long enough prior to the report or photo, that the land had time to recover from the stresses of that livestock.
So, what does a wild horse area with no livestock look like? Well from our photographers on the ground across the western states, we can tell you…it looks drastically different than heavily grazed livestock areas!
Slideshow provided by photographers Utah BOG Team leader Jen Howe
So the question is, “Will you speak up? Will you demand truth, and accountability for lies? Which priority is yours for the taxes you pay for public lands management?” Do you pay for corporations to continue lying, and making profits off your tax dollars? Do you accept the loss of value of the lands, waters and air because of corporate livestock grazing? Do you accept the loss of wildlife, predators, of livestock, wild birds, wild horses, wild burros, because of corporate grazing? It is your choice, but if you want the corporate abuse and deception to stop…you must speak up. Please make a phone call to your elected official, tell them to demand truth and protect things that are important to you. Make a call to your local media and tell them you want the truth to be printed, not the lies of a corporate agenda. Sign the petition we have linked below. Most of all keep reading, and keep talking, we need to raise awareness, stand together, and be loud!
“There is perhaps no darker chapter nor greater tragedy in the history of land occupancy and use in the United States than the story of the western range.” Earl H. Clapp, in The Western Range, 1936
In 1936 livestock was tearing up a fragile ecosystem. Ponder that for a minute. — Courtesy Wild Horses of Southern Utah
“The only action that doesn’t make a difference is inaction.” — Val Cecama-Hogsett
9 August, 2017