Saturday, February 8, 2020

William Perry Pendley: America’s wild horses and burros need our help

SLTrib.com - Full Article

By William Perry Pendley | Special to The Tribune
· Published: January 28
Updated: January 28, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management, which administers 245 million acres of public land, primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska, has the federal government’s most difficult mission. Under its statutory “multiple-use, sustained yield” mandate, the BLM manages a breathtaking array of uses of federal lands. Given the passion with which the public embraces those uses, folks sometimes disagree about the decisions the BLM makes.

There is, however, one matter for which the BLM is responsible on which there is unanimity. Today, scientists, veterinarians and federal land managers all agree that America’s wild horses and burros, the rangeland that supports them, as well as the people, communities and indigenous plants and animals across the West affected by them, need our help. That is why I must offer an alternative perspective to the opinion piece authored by Ginger Kathrens (“Wild horses groomed as scapegoats for public land destruction,” Dec. 19)

Since 1971, the BLM, along with the U.S. Forest Service, has been legally required to protect these “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” and to manage them as “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” When managed wisely, wild horses and burros can thrive in the American West. However, left uncontrolled, herds quickly overpopulate their habitat, overgraze the land and decimate the fragile desert spring ecosystems critical to their survival and that of other species...

Read more here:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/01/28/william-perry-pendley/

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