Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So What's Really Going On?



Above is a graphic that provides an idea in relative terms of some of the wonderful wild life supported on public lands across the US

The pictures are semi relative in size to the number of animals that can be found

Estimated Deer Population US 25 million
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6835501/

Estimated Coyote Population US 1 million

Estimated Black Bear Population 465,000 bears

Current Estimates Of Wild Mustang Population of 33,000 wild horses on Bureau of Land Management which administers 264 million acres of public lands
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25465974
1 Wild Mustang to 8,000 Acres

To put this number in Perspective in the New Forest In England
1 Wild New Forest Pony to 2 Acres


Estimated Polar Bear Population 20,000 to 25,000 Red List of Threatened Species
http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/faq/

My figures may not be perfect and should only be taken as very rough estimates but it does highlight why I am so confused as to why 7,000 Wild Mustangs need to be euthanized

In 1971 Congress passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, designed to preserve a living symbol of America's frontier past ( The Pryor Mustangs have existed in the United States for 200 years and at one time there were over 1 million wild mustangs ).

Just five years ago there were over 50,000 wild mustangs so rather than the population increasing to me it appears the opposite .

What I am confused about mostly is why 200,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands since 1971 yet there has been an increase to 6 million head of private livestock on the same lands.

As all things there must be a compromise of land use and I can understand keeping the herds to a manageable number but by my reckoning there is ONE wild Mustang for every 230 Domestic Livestock and to 8,000 acres on public land and any less would appear to be an insult to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act that was created to protect the heritage of Wild Horses In this country.

20 comments:

dickiebo said...

Well said. Kick up a fuss. I think that wild horses are a big part of (y)our heritage, don't you?

Katharine Swan said...

This is a GREAT post. Listing other animal populations and comparing the acreage per mustang to that of wild horses elsewhere are great tactics for putting this into perspective. Congratulations on your well-thought-out argument against the need for euthanizing mustangs!

Since the ranchers have been increasing their herds so quickly, it honestly seems like they're responsible for more of the overpopulation than the mustangs are. Perhaps we should consider euthanizing the ranchers...

Midlife Mom said...

Well said!!!

Jax said...

Haha, Katherine. There is an idea. Or maybe we could at least shoot them with darts to make them infertile so they can't breed any more ranchers, what do you think?
What really burns me is that some BLM lands were set aside SPECIFICALLY as MUSTANG habitat, and now the BLM is 'zeroing out' horses in those habitats in order to make room for more livestock. The real kicker is, most of those habitats are better suited to horses, than to cattle or sheep, as horses can digest lower quality fodder, and survive on less water than cattle. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?

Callie said...

Thanks all, for commenting. I realize that this is a touchy subject and appreciate the comments.

Jax said...

I can't believe fuglyhorseoftheday blog just sanctioned the euthanization of those mustangs. She rants about PEOPLE not being able to feed their horses and then lets the GOVERNMENT go and do the same thing! "We have to put them to sleep because we can't afford to feed them" is NOT a valid excuse! I wish I could understand why the BLM recently received a 50% increase in budget in order to round up more horses, but no budgeting has been done for the care, training and rehoming of them. Anyone have any insight?

Grey Horse Matters said...

This is a great subject. I think more people should 'kick up a fuss' about this. The mustangs have a right to their lands, it was set aside for their survival,not the ranchers. The BLM I'm sure caters to the ranchers because the beef lobby is very powerful and have millions to throw around to get their way and publish enough nonsense so people come around to their way of thinking... which is wrong. Their market for beef is getting bigger overseas and being the greedy b**tards they are they want more land for their beef,it equals more money for them. If they really want to be civilized to the mustangs take them out of those pens, geld them, select some inferior quality mares give them the shots so they are sterile and population can be controlled humanely.Release them back to the range. They don't have to be rounded up by helicopters, scared to death,( I've seen them shot on TV specials) and put in the pens to live out their lives in misery for 20 yrs. Which I'm sure cost us money somewhere along the line. The whole thing is a huge scam and I wouldn't trust any thing any of them say or do. By the way the more beef we raise in this country contributes to more global warming so think chicken or veggies.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

This is all going in a big circle. They need more land for cattle because the cost of corn has gone up and hurt their profit margin. The corn has gone up because of the price of fuel and demand for another source of energy. Finally some states are stepping up to help with the energy crisis that our federal government will not acknowledge. Utah is going to a 4 day work week for government employees, except police and firemen ect. New Jersey is proposing a state speed limit of 55. The mustangs are just the first victims. Instead of taking all that money to euthanize, geld and spay some of the animals.

Rising Rainbow said...

That's really good questions. Whose pockets are getting lined through all of this? With all of the corruption I see at our local level, I am not niave enough to believe it's not involved here somewhere.

Jax said...

Oh certainly, the tax payers are footing the bill on this scandal, believe me.
Personally, I think I've decided to stop eating cows. Grass fed beef is better for you than corn fed anyway, so for my part corn prices don't have anything to do with it. The corn industry is just like the cattle industry...corn is up because greedy bastards can make more money farming for fuel than for food. Hay is up because other greedy bastards decide to grow corn instead of hay. Its all a really sucky cycle.

The People History said...

jax,

we allow everybody to comment on here but please remember this is a horse bloggers blog first and foremost and many of our readers are also farmers and ranchers who know and understand more about horses than the rest of us.

So although some of your points may well be valid please have some respect for all our visitors

When I first posted this it was because I was finding it difficult to justify what was proposed when I looked at just the facts and I still believe something is not right but that does not give me or you the right to use some of the words you are starting to use on your comments

PS just as one extra note my neighbour is a farmer who has lost over 15% of his crop this year through flooding and I know of many who grow hay who will only get 2 cuttings this year instead of three so I do not think this year will be a picnic for farmers iether

Steve

Katharine Swan said...

I agree that the strong words and harsh criticisms are not necessary. However, Jax is right that grass-fed beef is better for our health. Cows were not meant to eat corn, and a corn diet changes the nutritional content of the meat. I encourage anyone who is interested in the subject to read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. It's short and easy to read, but also very informative!

Callie said...

Thanks, Katherine, I'll have to check that out. Thanks to our health conscience college student daughter, we're eating better and more organic this summer.

Jax said...

My apologies, steve, and anyone else who was offended by some of my words. I don't really mean to come across like that, I come from a family of farmers too, truth be told. I'm just really loose with my tongue, and it gets me in trouble a lot (believe me, I would never post on someone elses blog the things I say in real life among my friends!) So apologies, and I will refrain from using the harsh language in the future.

Callie said...

No problem, jax, I have that issue myself sometimes, especially when it's something I feel passionate about. :)

mudranch said...

Excellent post! Thank you for the big eye opener. :D

Callie said...

It is an eye opener, unfortunately. Scary what this government has gotton away with. really.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

I know apologies have been made so I won't go into defending the farmers. I will say this. If you were offered a position similar to the one you have now and they were to give you $5.00 to $10.00 more an hour then you are making now, wouldn't you take it?

Katharine Swan said...

Thought you all would like to know -- there is an online petition going asking the BLM to not do this! You can find it here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/266046279?z00m=15681233

It's amazing how fast the signatures are accumulating. I received the email this morning. By the time I clicked the link, there were nearly 3,000 signatures. Now there are more than 5,000! With this much opposition I don't see how the BLM could dare to euthanize mustangs!

Callie said...

Thanks, Katherine, I will definately check this out.