I recently read a FB post that asked “why not just let the oil and gas companies dig up the land around the horses and cattle? They can all work around each other.”
The sad truth is there aren’t enough resources to maintain a healthy eco-system. Wild life has no where else to go, but private enterprise does.
Oil and gas pollutes a serious amount of water to toxic levels during the extraction process.
They are required to replace this water after dumping the polluted water who knows where.
I was told by a geologist who works for oil and gas that it takes an average of 100 years for the water to recirculate and replenish the water system. All of the eco-system is effected by this water removal for 100 years, translating to ten decades and several generations of wild life’s needs. Fracking is even worse because it takes 3 times more water from already rocky, arid regions. Getting cattle off the range is the most direct approach to leaving more resources for wild life, including wild horses. We will continue to mine for oil and gas on public and on private land, although I hope we continue to work for it to be done more wise and sensibly.
Cattle and sheep can be raised on private land. It’s screwy right now that cattle interests are pushing the horses to be rounded up then some sent to ranches in the mid-west. Ranchers that take them are paid $1.35 per head to keep them on pastures, which is the same price the cattlemen pay to graze their cattle on public ranges. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to let the horses run free and wild and require the cattlemen send their cows to private pastures? The cows would get more to eat and grow fatter, faster and the horses wouldn’t have to suffer the round ups and by their nature they survive better on their own on an open range.
The costs of roundups and long term holding of the horses to tax payers is directly related to cattle ranchers who own water rights through various means and effect the number of a.u.m’s allowed on the ranges. It is absurd that our taxes fund this messed up system of corporate cattle ranching on public land and inhumane removal, transfer and containment of wild horses and burros. If you calculate the money the BLM gets for twelve million livestock at $1.35 a head, then it pays out the same dollar amount per head for each horse it boards it appears the BlM makes money from this arrangement, but this trade off, given the millions spent on round ups and long term horse care, operates in the red. I believe range study and education is critical because somehow advocates of wild horses left free roaming on the ranges have to get ahead of this wrong headed management. Now we are chasing the fires so to speak. ( This does not mean I don’t support all efforts now.) More strategic planning is needed.