PLC Release: PLC Applauds Secretary Salazar’s Plan to Manage Wild Horses and Burros
WASHINGTON - The Public Lands Council (PLC) applauds a new proposal set forth by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for managing America’s wild horse and burro population, which has grown so large that the land can no longer support it.
Currently there are approximately 37,000 wild horses and burros on public lands, which is about 25 percent more than the Bureau of Land Management has determined is sustainable. This causes over-grazing, environmental damage, and starvation.
“Secretary Salazar’s proposal is a rational approach to managing this population problem,” says Skye Krebs, President of PLC, and rancher from Ione, Oregon. “This solution recognizes both the importance of preserving wild horses and burros and the need to maintain productive, healthy rangeland for multiple uses.”
The proposal from the Department of the Interior would create new wild horse preserves in Midwestern and Eastern lands that are not as taxed by drought and wildfire as the western lands currently home to the majority of wild horses. Additionally, it would manage population growth of wild horses through fertility control. The adoption process may become more flexible where appropriate, to provide an additional outlet for supporting the animals.
“Wild horses and burros are an integral part of the Western landscape,” says Krebs. “However, at their current population levels, they are damaging our rangelands and making it difficult for ranchers to graze cattle in the West. Secretary Salazar has developed an effective solution for a complex problem, and we commend him for that initiative.”