Film produced for the Wildlife Society by Charles Post, Phillip Baribeau, and Ben Masters.

Introduction by RANGE magazine

The following short documentary, Horse Rich & Dirt Poor, is a picturesque and sobering exploration of the impact of wild horse and burros in Nevada northeastern corridor. The horses, with no natural predators, are “protected” by federal law but go largely unmanaged, having no limits on where or when they graze, and few effective birth control measures. Already grossly overpopulated and reproducing at a rate of 20 percent per year, the horses are destroying the range, its water sources, and crowding out large wildlife and literally trampling the fragile habitats of sage grouse and other small species. The ‘wild horse’ issue, as viewed through the eyes of scientists, is an unfolding ecological disaster, threatening the range, its biodiversity, and the horses themselves, which regularly succumb to hunger and thirst. The animals are not at fault, but rather the special interest groups constantly suing to tie the hands of the Bureau of Land Management, and Congress, lacking the guts to make hard decisions to preserve the range, bear the responsibility for this unfolding ecological disaster.

Posted on YouTube by Fin & Fur Films

Ecologist Charles Post travels across Nevada to explore how overpopulated wild horses effect native wildlife.  A Wildlife Society film by Charles Post, Phillip Baribeau, and Ben Masters.
Learn more: www.wildlife.org

You can also view the film and find more information about range ecology here at wildlife.org

100 Comments

  1. Horse is food.
    Not pets.
    Until we stop worshipping the horse, this issue will remain.

    1. Fortunately, most Americans aren’t as stupid as you.

      1. Author

        Top Ten Myths about Wild Horses in the West
        http://freerangereport.com/top-10-myths-wild-horses-west/

        And here are some additional critical facts:
        Horses have a greater impact on rangeland vegetation and water resources than other ungulates because of their anatomy and foraging habits. Horses can consume 1.25 times the amount of forage and water than a cow of equivalent mass.

        And, unlike cows and sheep, wild horses, like wildlife, are not and cannot be effectively rotated, which means that when forage and water run out, they just pound range and resources into oblivion.

        By any objective measure, the BLM’s wild horse management is an unabated disaster.

        1. I agree. I have always had a love for horses. However, the protection laws for these wild animals badly needs to be revamped. They really need some sort of abatement in place. Unfortunately, most of the people who make the laws for rural areas are from urban areas and don’t seem to understand why controls are important to have in place.

        2. Thank you. I agree. Unfortunately, most city dwellers haven’t got a clue about wild life or reality for that matter.

      2. Horses are NOT native to the US. These are feral animals. Bring back horse slaughter for pet and human food. They are decimating the territory. Native species do not reproduce at the rate these horses do. Native herbivores do not pullup grasses by the roots like horses do. They are highly destructive to pasture. I like horses, but these feral invasives are destroying our western grasslands (along with overgrazing by cattle). I would like to see the horses replaced by native Bison.

        1. That is one of the big problems — I don’t believe there are any real wild horses any more. Most if not all are feral horses gotten out of control and romanticized by the public and ignored by anyone who has the the power to really do much about it,

          1. There are still wild horses- in Asia. There have not been any in North American for millennia.

          2. Author

            Right. Feral horses is a better term. Thank you

        2. No cattle rancher that I know will allow his herd to over graze. He manages how long they are in a pasture – constantly rotating them to another pasture. He has to use his land year after year. A horse will graze it off! Pulling the grass up by the roots if that’s all there is for it to eat. Rule of thumb is you can run one horse where three cows could be run. The horses have got to be managed! Breaks my heart to see them starving. It’s not humane.

          1. In response to Melodie: Thank you. People, Melodie has experience with this. You should be listening to her instead of assuming she is a “greedy” cattle rancher. I know small farmers / ranchers in the area we live in. Believe me, they are not getting rich off of their stock. Those who live in the cities need to look into what their politicians and advocate groups are telling them. Not all advocate groups are honest. I have seen horse advocate groups that are making false claims to get the sympathy and backing of people. I have also seen that a Native American tribe was trying to sell off wild horses they had caught. A wild horse “advocate” (white woman) stepped in and managed to stop them. If anybody has a right to caught and sell wild horses I would think it would be Native Americans. They badly needed the money and she stopped them. How about we speak up for them?????

      3. He isn’t stupid he is right. With the addition of horses that were released due to the recession in the 70’s, 80’s the numbers have increased even more. All wild animals that are native to our state have a predator. Horses are not native and do not have a natural predator here. However periodically mountain lions will take a young horse and then a trapper is hired to kill it. That is idiocy. Humans are prevented from managing this problem, predators are prevented from managing this problem. That is idiocy! They are destroying our range and our native species!

        1. Bella: Thank you for real facts. I am hoping at least some of these people will hear the voice of reason. But many live in over populated urbanized areas and have no idea what the reality in the country is. And many of those are like talking to someone deaf.

    2. Exactly Lem. That picture of a big stud looks so romantic. But it is not the case and until someone says enough is enough and starts killing, gathering up 90% of these FEREL horses it’s going to get worse ! You can only adopt so many before you saturate that market.
      These horses are not mustangs they are mostly runaways, abandoned and horses some stud has stolen from a ranch. Our tax dollars (millions) are feeding thousands plus thousands in holding facilities. Can you imagine what it would be like if they were all turned loose.? COMMON SENSE HAS TO BE APPLIED AND GOVT HAS TO STOP FOLDING TO BIG MONEY ENVIRO GROUPS !!

      1. Problem is its Judges ( sparrow in a black cape ), Courts etc that are actually managing the Federal Lands.

        The Enviro groups keep Every possible land management issue in court…
        Thus that blows out the forest service, blm, etc…because these employee groups are
        To chicken sheet to Stand for Real Land Management.
        And not 1 president has come along to over ride the circuit courts and say
        ” This IS How We Manage Dirt “….i.e. those that don’t Know How to responsibly manage dirt Truly either need to Learn It….OR Stay in their own lane.

    3. Thank you Lem. They are livestock and in many places are NOT the true Spanish mustang. Those in Northern Nevada had stallions shot and good quality draft, thoroughbred and quarter horses turned out to upgrade the feral mares.

    4. Ridículos way of thinking
      They have exactly the Same rights as you do, to leave in This planet.
      They always manager to survive.
      Maybe because of gready ppeople and humanos Over pupulations.
      Thats why..taking all the animals habitats and transforming um One more massive producing field to plant or to build.

      1. Author

        Foundational to this country’s ethos is that mankind is bestowed by their Creator — the God of nature — with certain fundamental, inalienable rights. Are you saying that animals have the same fundamental, inalienable God-given rights as human beings? Can you see the absurdity of that assertion? First of all, what is the source of those so-called rights, and how would they be enforced if not by other humans? The unfortunate reality is that in some states in this country, wild horses do have more rights to live on this planet than unborn human babies. Can you see the problem?

  2. The horses are a real wreck.
    Just more USA mismanagement of land and livestock.
    And the horses are destroying range in bout Every western state.

    1. It’s not the horses fault it’s all you white people that are self righteous that make things worse because all of don’t know how to manage anything and try to save things that over population of all things and over graze the land

      1. I live on the Yakama Indian reservation and their herd management is maintained through “gathers”. The sick, old and undesirable through conformation, are culled out along with whatever percentage they need to maintain herd size. The culled horses are sent to slaughter. They make no excuses, feel no emotional obligation to social interest groups but will sell foals, separated from their mothers, to rescues at $75 each. Some may find this inhumane but ten years ago, the reservation was used up for the grazing of all animals. Dead starved horse carcasses could be seen from the highway, by the dozens. There was nothing left for Elk, deer, big horns, and now it’s healthy again and consequently so are all the animals, even the horses. The gathering became necessary when slaughter was banned back in I think 2007. The horse market tanked, diesel prices skyrocketed at that same time and hay became ridiculously priced so unwanted horses, were turned out to fend for themselves with the wild herds. Most died. But the numbers that lived glutted the lands for grazing.

        I applaud the Yakama Nation for taking a tough stance and telling special interest groups to piss off. The Yakama reservation and it’s herd are healthy. For anybody who thinks managing wild herds through gathering and shipping to slaughter is inhumane, I encourage you to watch a horse die from starvation or dehydration. Watch as they’re eaten alive, starting through the anus and the eyeballs, because they are too weak to get to their feet, by coyotes, crows, magpies and other opportunistic animals who live off the the dying and the dead. Then you can decide which is a more humane way for surplus animals to leave this earth.

        1. Very WELL said. Thanks for managing and caring.

        2. Very well said… with no natural predators, it falls on us humans to manage the overpopulation… it’s basic ecology 101…

        3. The ranchers in Nevada did the same thing..and it worked.

    2. The horses aren’t destroying the range. It’s being destroyed by the over grazing of cattle and sheep by welfare ranchers.

      1. Jennifer M You really should study the issue instead of regurgitating the mindless thoughts of the animal rights people. It is the truth about the overpopulation of the horses. It is just easier to spout nonsense about cattle and sheep than it is to deal with the real problem and come up with a workable solution.

        1. Anita,
          You might do some more research about ‘overpopulation’ in these horses. They are just about as overpopulated as people and the push for more abortions- I hope you get it-soon. Could you ever believe that some fires are started for this reason?Would you ever think that the ones in charge want to sell them they just want the money??Do you know that some people are greedy and don’t care about the horses?Jennifer hit the nail on the head.

        2. Anita: You are right. Unfortunately we can’t seem to make these dimwits see the light. They are determined to be misinformed. It’s like talking to a wall.

      2. Did you watch the video? The video and article were put together by SCIENTISTS. I like horses, but I have met people who bear this out. Also, horses are not indigenous to north America. Every time people introduce a new animal to an area to “improve” it, it ends in disaster.

        1. The horses are just as indigenous as you are.

          1. Well Deborah, apparently you never studied the history of animals in this country. That’s all I will say except that I am not going to argue with someone making uneducated / uninformed statements. You know nothing of what you are talking about.

      3. Sorry Jennifer you got it wrong, Horses are the problem. Horse harvesting is the only answer.

  3. Leave the horses alone and keep the cattle off the ground they are what is killing the grasses , we have had both horses and cows and cows will eat grass down to the roots and kill all grasses horses will only eat so far down and leave the grass to grow back

    1. Author

      Anyone who has truly studied the grazing habits of horses and cattle knows that horses are considerably more destructive and prone to over-graze than cows are. It is simply not true that cows grub plants down more than horses do. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this assertion.

      1. A horse bites and steps, bites and steps. Sheep eat every blade down to and including roots. Cows eat every blade of grass and then step.
        Horses are not food.
        How anybody can say horses breed too fast…..no different than dairy cows…one per year. Farmers already took over land that belongs to ALL OF US!!!!!!!

        1. Consider that without farmers you would go hungry. You may not consider horses food (as I do not), but plenty of people in other countries eat horse meat. But if you go back and read the article, it doesn’t say horses breed too fast. It says they increase at a rate of 20% per year. To let them continue without any controls in place to keep their numbers at a rational level, they starve. Unless you want to start a ranch and grow hay to help feed them, then it is cruel to let them over breed and starve to death.
          Consider also that Elk and Deer have a hunting season and that helps keep their numbers manageable. People in the states for the most part don’t want to eat horse, so, something needs to be done. Ranchers sell their cattle for slaughter to help feed this country (and of course for profit).
          Last but not least, we have a small acreage and have raised two to four cows on our property for our own freezer. I also own one horse. And yes, the horse is more destructive to the grazing than the cows. I have witnessed it. So, before you speak, make sure of your facts.

        2. Yes Mary,
          Horses are food. Many cultures do eat horse as a part of their diet, including some who live here in the US. And without the farmers, there would be no “us”. Management of these animals is critical, as is any grazing animal.

    2. Dennis Reed….not true. Cattle cannot paw. The horses will paw the grass when it is too short to eat and then eat the roots. Overgrazing is overgrazing even if it is horses doing it,

      1. You are exactly right. My horse will founder if left out on pasture too long. So I keep her on a small pasture with little grass and let her out for timed periods. When she is in the smaller pasture, she in fact does paw the ground to eat the roots. If left unchecked, my horse would eat herself to death as founder would eventually end in her demise.

    3. Have you actually owned horses sir? They RUIN pasture. I cannot imagine where these wild horses are overpopulated and how it is effecting the range land where they geaze.

    4. Just the opposite, Mr. Dennis. I am a rancher and see firsthand horses will eat down into the ground to get at the root…plant- over and out.

    5. You really need to become more educated before you make extremely uneducated comments. Cows only have bottom teeth and no front teeth on top along the front. Therefore, they are only capable of eating a plant relatively low. Horses, on the other hand, have both top and bottom teeth, and when grasses are grazed low, they rip the entire plant (root and all) from the ground. They can decimate a place in no time at all, leaving only bare ground. Go study up buddy.

      1. That is exactly correct KG. I have seen my horse rip grass out of the ground as it eats. If I have to take her out of the pasture and lead her somewhere on property, I have to keep her away from the yard as the roots come up so much easier on the grass people have in their lawns as opposed to their pastures.

    6. Cows can’t eat grasses to the roots you baffoon. They don’t have top inscisors and cannot clip the grasses they have to press the grass with their tongues to the top jaw! Put the heart to rest and use the brain people!

      1. Author

        Hey, watch the name calling. Ad hominem attacks, and labels like “idiot” and “baffoon” will not be tolerated.

  4. Wild horses are whats left of our history on these usa lands…we need to help them and make sure they are surviving… Nothing about worshipping them…they are just as wild as the coyotes…the Eagles…and Elk…. Horses were are a sign of wild still exists…and why not keep that…?

    1. Differences between wild native Wildlife and wild feral horses are vast. Horses were brought here from Europe. All wild horses are descendants of domestic stock that either escaped or were abandoned. Ranchers used the herds to make extra money selling Army remount horses. When the Army quit using horses most herds had a draft stud turned loose with them until farmers quit using work horses. The horses have not been effectively managed since the 1930’s. BLM has made it worse and advocates for the horses usually have very little knowledge of what would help. It’s sad.

      1. I back in the day, 1 would trap the wild horses once a year.
        Work em, take the young stuff that was useable, shoot any rogue type wild studs, and keep a decent stud turned out on those mares.
        No one cared, thus no one was the wiser on the afore.

        Times changed…..the govt decided to save horses i.e. supposedly protect em…More 4 wheelers / atvs came in and ranches cut back on using horses.

        Quite a few ranches now do not even own a horse…Everything is done w atvs etc.

        Irregardless if you hunt a lot of elk…..horses are best for that in a lot of rough places.

        The largest horse dealer In the SW is here….and 3 loads of horses every other days are sent from the USA to Mexico.

        Interestingly the USA govt is a large horse meat buyer….they use that daily on supping wolf pup dens where the wolf population is being added to in the USA.

        Interesting irony the horses are. LoL.

      2. The scientists have even proven through blood tests on these horses that the DNA of any true “wild horses” is very, very minute, the DNA is that of domesticated horses. Therefore they are feral horses, out of control.

    2. Wild horses are not indigenous to North America. Study the facts.

    3. The reason there are pictures of wild Starved to Death horses is because there are to many of them for the feed base.
      They’re simply overpopulated.
      There’s 40,000+ wild horses in govt contracted feedlots now.
      There are another 50,000 head out on the remote lands.
      And there’s a pile of freeze branded wild horses trespassing on Indian Lands.

      It was estimated in 1980 that 24,000 wild horses on the remote wild lands was about the right horse population for the available natural feed base.

      And that still leaves several horse herds short of water the way the govt has shut down domestic grazing ( thus the water that comes along with that ).

      Seems odious that the bunny huggers posting on this cannot See the Obvious.
      That’s is Pictures of Starving to Death Wild Horses.

      Heck the humane society and govt would throw every person in jail for starving animals in those pictures.

  5. I wish we had more people that understood the damage that these horses are doing, and how they are not being managed here in Az, and don’t get me wrong I do not hate them or wish them to be gone(I own horses) but would like to see them thinned out

  6. You know it’s going to be a crock of shit story when you get to the second paragraph and they state that the horses have ” no natural predators “. Good job, of doing your research! We look forward to more stories!

    1. Author

      So, given the locations where the vast majority of wild horses run — the vast arid deserts of the West; essentially the same habitat as antelope — what are their natural predators?

    2. When the legilatuon was passed to protect the horses there were conditions within the law….those conditions include that the land remain in ecological balance, the lane remain in multiple use which means the cattle stay too along with all the other uses, and the numbers of horses are to be maintained at the level they were in 1971 which was about 27,000 head. Current counts are saying there are over 80,000 horses on the ranges and the land is no longer in ecological balance…..hard choices are ahead and removing cattle and “let them run free” are not options……figure it out folks the Disney romance notions need to cone to an end.

      1. Unfortunately, so many trying to “save” wild horses are from the big city and don’t understand true ecological issues. They only see the “romance” of it. I like your comparison to Disney. Spot on. Time to grow up.

  7. The range land is being reserved/used by cattle ranchers and the horses natural habitat is being taken away.

    1. No, the feral horse habitat is not being “taken away” by cattle ranchers. Livestock grazing on BLM-managed land has declined by 33 percent since 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Ranging Horses and Burros Act, from 12.8 million Animal Unit Months (AUMs) to 8.6 million AUMs in 2015.

      1. Finally! Someone who is informed. Thank you.

  8. I think the government should stop allowing ranchers and farmers to graze livestock on public lands first. Protected lands belong to protected species first and if there is an issue of overgrazing then domestic animals need to have access pulled first.

    1. Horses are domestic animals. They may be feral, but are still domesticated.

    2. Well then, perhaps you should become a Vegan.

    3. Well, you obviously have no clue about the land jurisdiction. There are no “public lands”. Hasn’t been any since 1976 with the passage of FLMPA. They are government lands with private property allotments on them. There are many SCOTUS cases staying as much and the allotment owners own the water and forgage, not the government. You comment reveals you are uninformed on the land property isses, Jessica…

  9. Welfare ranching and over use of public land by ranchers needs to be controlled . Public lands are for the public & wildlife & for both to enjoy & use. The ranchers , oil , drilling , mining & government all in partnerships at the expense of our wildlife , horses & public lands needs to be stopped .

    1. There hasn’t been any “public lands” since 1976 with the passage of FLMPA. They are government lands with private property allotments on them. The ranchers own the water and forge, not you, the general public. There is no “Welfare ranching”. You are uninformed.

  10. Author

    I love to see the comments. And everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how misguided it may be. What we have here is a whole bunch of commenters who are simply completely out of touch with reality. No connection to reality whatsoever on this issue. But unfortunately, that is increasingly true across the board in this country — just more and more people who are increasingly disconnected from reality.

    1. Agreed. Most of those are from Urban areas and have no idea that the ranchers they are speaking out about are putting food on their table. Ignorant! Perhaps they should put their money where their mouth is and become Vegan. Although, they have complaints against farmers using too much water!! I have driven from Southern to Northern California. Many of the farms are dried up. They are literally putting the farmers out of business and out of water supply. People are so ignorant! Of course once done in that state, I escaped.

  11. Who has been managing this area? Who should have asked for help for this area? Who?????

  12. So sad hasnt anyone read about the Brumbys in Australia and the damage they have done? Horse meat is healthy and should be used in pet food, food for zoo animals and for humans if desired. Get real people that is. Open the US slaughter plants before it’s too late.

  13. Ranchers are not over using public land and both the length of use and numbers allowed are strictly controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and Dept. of Agriculture (US Forest Service). Public lands are to be managed for multiple uses, while protecting the lands resources. While livestock use is monitored and adjusted according to current conditions, feral horses are allowed to destroy riparian areas, overgraze and decimate fragile ecosystems.

  14. Why not utilize horses as a resource. Put them where they can eat the undergrowth to help prevent the spread of forest fires. I live by a free horse range. There is no noticeable damage to anything. Usually these comments are made from those who will profit from there removal. Who cares if they are not 100% native they are obviously thriving. We are not exactly native either. Humans do more damage to everything including ourselves. Than the wildlife we don’t even appreciate.

    1. I disagree. Humans are native to this planet. Horses are not native to this country.

  15. The reason the farmer stopped using farm horses is because the farmers in the west bought more and bigger equipment and milking parlors and rules and regulations and drove the 5 cow to 30 cow guy right out of business. There’s way too much regulation by people who don’t have a clue. Make it easier to adopt Mustangs…. I’d like one… NE Ohio.

    1. It’s so easy to adopt that the govt will pay you $1000 to adopt one right now.

  16. Basically , most All the water areas in the West are on deeded land.
    Once the public grazing is reduced to bout nothing…then that ends up shutting down the water the wild horses were using.
    Pumps wear out, windmills fail etc.

    No one in their right mind is going to keep the water up without grazing the land.

    Jeez, the darn wild horse bunny hungers want free water and free feed too.

    Soooo the darn horses starve to death on rocks and scenery.

    All the bunny hug ideas sound good till someone Truly has to get out and Work and spend Money on running the horses.
    The government Does Not….they’re all desk jobs now.
    Blm and Forest Service has Few to No People working in the Field.
    You’ll seldom if ever run into any govt folks out on the remote lands.
    Used to be we had Government Lands Range Riders that looked out for most Everything.
    Most those were good managers and neighbors too.
    Heck those government desk jockeys now are all 3 to 400 miles away now.

    Let the dam horses starve.
    There’s really no other smart or legal options at this juncture.

  17. I hate to tell everyone on this forum, but the fossil records clearly provide that the horse that gave rise to modern day horses was at one point only found in North America, then they populated Asia and Europe via frozen Bering Land Bridge- no evidence exists for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except North America (Forstén 1992).

    1. Then move back to Africa if you’re so guilt ridden about origins of species. Fossil records clearly show you aren’t indigenous to North America. Nice try though….

    1. Author

      Fake page? What’s fake about it? Doesn’t coincide with your echo chamber, so it’s fake?

  18. Do away with all grazing leases and welfare ranchers and the BLM. Most of the American public supports the wild mustangs, not welfare ranchers cashing in on the taxpayers dime. Call your Senators and your Representative and tell them to sponsor a bill to do away with The Taylor Grazing Act. 1934 was a long time ago — it’s way past due. . . . And this “film” is a propaganda farce.

    1. Author

      “Most of the American public . . . .”

      Otherwise known as mob-rule.

    2. Do a 2x weekly Land Lotto and Lotto off to People a bunch of Federal Land.
      Heck the Feds supposedly own 1.1 billion acres which is 1/3 of all USA land.

      Lottoing off say 10 million acres per year for the next 50 years is only 500 million acres.

      What a govt debt paying economy building plan.
      ( you can structure the land lotto to return to the govt say $20,000 per acre on Land Lotto Ticket Sales for example )

    3. Thank you!!
      The horses and wildlife are not ruining our environment or ecosystem. You idiot people are with all what you thiink is so called progress. You must all be cattle people who want to use up the cheap land for your profit! The horses and wildlife do not have any natural predators anymore because of people! Hunting for sport or again the almighty dollar for food is understandable but mankind has over used this world and has not put nothing in. Horses have been a important part of the American history long before you were even born. They have carried soldiers thru wars, carried our mail and important documents, brought your ancestors to this country and helped them settle and make a living. They even help you cattle ranchers take care and count of your cattle! I believe in God and the purpose of all living things. What is your purpose? What have you done to make this world a better place?
      It’s a know fact from unbiased ecologist that all wildlife have kept our environment clean, rivers running as they should, flowers, herbs, tress growing as they should and as long as man would quit inter fearing our world would be at its best for all living creatures, even you idiots that think you know how to improve Gods work! Wake up we only have one world and there are No Second chances.

      1. Author

        This is a warning. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we generally post all of them. But we won’t tolerate the kind of name-calling and ad hominem attacks that you have engaged in. We’re letting this one stand, but this is a warning that another one like it, using labels like “idiots,” will be deleted.

      2. stella koch: I have news for you. God is going to judge this world sometime soon. When he does, you will get your wish. Millions, perhaps billions of people will die. That should suit you. Although, you could be one of them…..
        Of course, a hellava lot of animals will die too (and fish). That should make you tree huggers fit to be tied. You going to be too busy trying to survive to worry about the animals though.

  19. Don’t these commenters GET IT? 50k awaiting adoption through the Feral Horse Adoption Program, Management Objective population estimates (carrying capacity) 27k animals, estimated Population of feral horses: 81k animals. No problem here we can’t solve!

  20. Well, you obviously have no clue about the land jurisdiction. There are no “public lands”. Hasn’t been any since 1976 with the passage of FLMPA. They are government lands with private property allotments on them. There are many SCOTUS cases staying as much and the allotment owners own the water and forgage, not the government. You comment reveals you are uninformed on the land property isses, Jessica…

  21. I wonder what the real reason for all this concern.The poor horse trying to live, or the rancher- farmer that wants to make money off the sale of his animals using the land?I have found in my life its always about the money is this?

  22. Excellent film! Thank you all who contributed.

  23. Starving those horses to death does nothing except keeping the magpies so fat they can’t fly.

    The govt lack of land and livestock management skills is obviously
    Another USA magpie fattening program. LoL

    The dead wild horse carcasses now littering the West is ,
    ” More dead horses than the Stars “.

    And the govt is now hauling water and feed in some areas to wild horses that are quickly becoming wild no more. WOW tons of money being spent on this waste now.

  24. I’m a career horse person and rancher in NW Colorado. Wouldn’t it make more sense to transition the BLMs 80,555,000 to ON the range mgmnt by way of contracting with the experts THE RANCHERS who are the only ones who can get the job done right, humanely and cost-effectively and at the current per head rate for OFF range mgmnt contracts $2 – $5+ per head / day the ranchers could supplement their incomes and possibly derive more annual per head revenue managing horses in the long run. I’ve done the math – I believe it is doable.

  25. It doesn’t need to be an either OR argument ! This is the result of special interest groups influencing select elected officials with ties to top heavy job security obsessed bureaucracies. Anyone think Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has ‘everyones’ interests At heart ? Or Ryan Zenke (Sec Int.), or even Sally Jewel before him ?!? There are economical, efficient ways to sterilize the herds to control growth ~ stabilize populations. But government bureaucracies are glacially slow to adapt and change; lest they learn anything new (heaven forbid), or have their pensions threatened in any way. So they continue to spew the same propaganda ~ finding those select emaciated horses and plastering them all over so that congress and the people who live in the east and around the beltway are deceived into thinking ALL wild horses are “Just like This “ – instead of how we get to see from outside sources who want to try and show s little humanity for these noble creatures. Government brings up sources that make studies with Their DESIRED conclusion written way before the proposal. They foment friction with absurd positions of provenance or genealogy. They quietly discount all the fossils that exist. (Not the same horses !|! Ha ! On what planet is that even relevant !?!? They round up Perfectly healthy horses via Helo and horseback and whatever else means ~ allowing witnesses to view a scant mile and a half away ~ (Apollo 8 distance for heavens sakes !|! ) for ‘their own’ safety dontya know ! In the meantime there exist methods of a humane and decent manner to slow the growth of horses and appease the radicals hellbent on crucifying all ranchers !|! But each side has been accusing the other of malfeasance for so long, no one knows how to be kind anymore ! Or decent, or Human or American !|! It’s like most have been watching CNN for too long and now they believe one photo represents thousands (it doesn’t) . We can’t keep rounding up and slaughtering these Nobel creatures ~ not because of their right to exist because we aren’t God ~ But expressly because we should at least try to be human instead of God !|! That’s what despots and maniacs do !|!

    1. Yes, absolutely right. It’s become part of the identity politics propaganda game. And, it benefits the “status quo” of the political establishment and the bureaucracy. For a multitude of reasons, the BLM is unable to manage the wild horses cost-effectively and humanely but the money trail does influence hugely how and why things are done. The only way forward is for the Stakeholders to “change the script” and entertain a course of rational discourse and problem solving. The Resource Advisory Committee groups that were established by DOI Sec. Bruce Babbitt to make recommendations to the BLM were nothing more than a gratuitous gesture to the public process. In order to become a member of a Committee you had to be an industry person, associated with the State, Federal govt or NGO in some kind of capacity and it was basically a way for BLM to rationalize and articulate publicly why and what they were going to do anyway regardless of what the Committee recommended. The bottom line in my opinion, IS the BLM WH&B budget which needs to be dedicated to ON the range mgmnt and done so preferably by the ranchers and / or local WH&B stakeholder groups.where appropriate and / or by way of a combination or collaboration of both.
      $80,555,000 at $1 – $2+ per day per head between a total population of horses, both ON and OFF the range (129, 0000 as of the March 2018 BLM census) translates to between $80 – $90 million dollars at the high end. And, why shouldn’t the ranchers and / or WH&B Stakeholders benefit financially from managing wild horses, rather than a select few of OFF range contractors. In my opinion, the OFF range mgmnt contracts are a racket.

      1. I find it interesting the Feds own soooo much land all with essentially a 0$ cost basis.
        Land w timber, grass, minerals , oil and gas etc…
        And somehow the government loses money annually managing free dirt.
        It’s Impossible to do but the USA manages to do just That.
        Jeez they need to write a bad dream book. LoL.

        1. I guess they don’t have to do a cost-benefit analysis, or know how to (?) like everyone else in private business who are held accountable for every penny earned / spent. Look at the O&G lease rates for Public Land compared to private land leases. In our area, last time I checked, it was $350 / acre for Public land vs. $3500 / acre for private – something crazy like that. This is where a value added tax could be applied to spread the tax burden along the production line instead of sticking the public at the pump. And, if the ranchers were given a financial incentive to manage wild horses they could afford to lease private land for livestock at $20 – $30 / per head per month.

          1. In New Mexico the oil and gas acres are auctioned so they bring a lot of dough.
            The Feds make millions at each oil and gas lease auction….I think the best leases I’ve seen brought in the $80 to $150million per parcel range Plus royalties.

      2. This sounds good to me in some ways. But there would be some questions. The WFRHB Act of 1971 saw on-range horses were “fast disappearing” due to private citizens taking horses’ & burros’ lives directly into their own hands without penalty. Would a transition to financially incentivized allotment-rancher-horse-managers still protect wild horses and burros against “capture, branding, harassment and slaughter”? If horses roamed away to another permittee’s allotment how would the per-head pay structure adjust? What would be the oversight and verification?

        1. Why should they lose their Federal protection – Why would On range management contracts differ from Off range contracts ?
          At the going per head per day rate ($2 – $5.50) that’s a pretty good incentive to keep WH&Bs ON the range. In my opinion, the best candidates for managing ANY species cost-effectively and humanely on the range are the ranchers and in many cases they could potentially derive more annual net revenue managing wild horses than livestock.
          That should be enough incentive to keep horses on the range. Currently, the BLM census claims 137,301 WH&Bs On & Off the range. The BLM WH&B program budget is
          $81,226 million. $70 million of that budget is spent removing and warehousing WH&Bs OFF range and around 16 million is spent on “monitoring and other costs “ (yeah right) If you gave contracts to manage ON the range at $1 per day per head = $50,114,865 million OR at $2 / day per head = $100,229,730 that’s a pretty good deal for a rancher. They don’t have to feed hay; documentation, bait trap gather, PZP and / or cull the “adoptable” would be the contract requirement with the primary goal of course to drop the population growth rate below 10% or whatever is appropriate for that particular HMA. Yes, the devil is in the details, lots of nuances but the bottom line IS that the BLM program budget be transferred to ON the range mgmnt contracts. Pay the ranchers, let them make the money and lets get the job done right !

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