New BLM Figures Show Little Progress in Healing Lands Degraded by Overgrazing
WASHINGTON, DC - New federal figures indicate that vast expanses of the Sagebrush West remain in degraded conditions due to excessive commercial livestock grazing. These U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) assessments measuring how well federal rangelands are protected from damaging overgrazing had been discontinued but were restored to resolve an administrative complaint pursued by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
Covering the period from 2013 through 2015, the restored data reflects the number and land area of grazing allotments that are meeting or failing to meet rangeland health standards across 150 million acres in 13 Western states- a total land area approaching that of the entire State of Texas. They reveal that -
Cross posted from Natural Horse, Vol 8, Isssue 4
A Wild Horse Scientist's Legacy, by Charlotte Roe
Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, Founder of the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, an expert on the reproductive physiology of wild horses, died on Dec. 16,2015. His loss to the equine community and to all those dedicated to the preservation and humane managent of wildlife.
Rife in hand, a stocky man slogs through the brackish marshes of Assateague Island National Seashore. He is stalking a small sorrel wild mare grazing peacefully on dune grasses. Waves crash in the distance. Sandpipers burst off the beach in choreographed fight. The mare looks over her shoulder at the fock, and then continues foraging. The man takes one more measured step, raises the rife, aims and pulls the trigger. Instead of a deadly bullet, he fres a dart into the mare’s hip. She jumps forward and the dart pops back out. The mare sprints for a few strides, then stops and turns to look at her hip as if trying to fgure out what just stung her. She goes back to grazing. Little does she know that the nearly painless dart will allow her to live her entire life in freedom on her island home. -
Roughly 67,000 wild horses roam the public lands of the western United States, and around 4,000 of them are in Oregon.
The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) considers the current population to be more than double the healthy level for the land and has suppressed the population for decades. Many mustang advocacy groups strongly oppose the BLM’s methods and motives for population control and believe that the agency gives preferential treatment to livestock.
Despite recent public outcry, the BLM has announced an experiment to sterilize wild horses held in Hines, Oregon, in a partnership with Oregon State University (OSU). The BLM has approved two grants to OSU totaling $348,000 to study wild horse sterilization.Read the Article