Friday, July 16, 2021

Wild horse and burro populations decrease in past year - Full Article

Posted on July 14, 2021
by Laura Bies

The number of wild horses and burros on public lands has decreased for the first time in almost a decade, according to a new report from the Bureau of Land Management.

The reduction appears to indicate that the recent uptick in the removal of animals from public lands is having the desired effect.

The report estimates that 86,189 wild horses and burros currently range across 27 million acres of BLM-managed public lands in the western United States. Those numbers are down 9% from last year’s count. However, the current population of the ecologically feral animals is still far above the agency’s established appropriate management level of 26,785 animals — the maximum numbers that those public lands can sustain without damage to vegetation, soils and other resources...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Can Wild Horses Help Prevent Wildfires in the West? - Full Article

California naturalist and mustang advocate William Simpson sees a solution in the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

By: Kim Izzo | July 14, 2021

Many Canadians were shaken by recent wildfires in BC following a historic heat wave. The entire town of Lytton was turned to ash and lives and livelihoods tragically lost. The effect of climate change on our forests cannot be overstated. Year after year we watch south of the border as the catastrophic wildfires destroy millions of acres in California with substantial loss of life and property, as well as economic impacts on business and real estate values. Then there’s the human cost as smoke damages lungs, causing short- and long-term health issues for residents.

An out-of-the-box solution is gaining traction and it involves horses. Called the Wild Horse Fire Brigade Plan, it calls for wild horses (a.k.a. mustangs), to be reintroduced to American forest land to graze away the grass and brush that fuels much of the forest fires. Another benefit to the plan is the reduction of conflict between advocates of wild horses and ranchers, whose cattle compete with the horses for grassland...

Read more here:

Monday, July 12, 2021

Can Horse Owners Absorb the Surplus of Wild Horses? - Full Article

Study: If 4-5% of horse-owning households adopted one animal, the current surplus of wild horses and burros could be eliminated.

Posted by Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor | Jun 24, 2021

As of March 1, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimated that approximately 95,000 wild horses and burros reside on federal lands in the Western United States, with nearly 50,000 more housed in holding facilities. This figure is more than triple the appropriate management level. The BLM says more private adoptions are key to combatting overpopulation, but is this tactic truly feasible? Are enough people willing and interested in taking these horses in to absorb the excess?

Jill Stowe, PhD, associate professor in agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, and her student and co-author Hannah White surveyed horse owners via social media to find out. She presented their findings at the 2021 Equine Science Society’s virtual symposium...

Read more here:

Wild Horses Find Sanctuary at Skydog Ranch in Oregon - Full Article Over 300 wild horses and 50 burros saved after their capture now call 9,000 acres of breathtaking, rugged l...