Cattlemen, Western Ranchers Applaud Adoption of Wild Horse and Burro Management Amendment
Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
today applauded the adoption of an amendment to the Interior and Environment
Appropriations bill that would allow for humane euthanasia of wild horses and
burros. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), would rein in
burdensome regulations that failed to allow for proper management, the groups
“As a native of Utah,
I’m very proud of the leadership that Congressman Stewart has exhibited,” PLC
president and Utah rancher Dave Eliason said. “He has seen firsthand the
destruction that the overpopulation of wild horses has had on our rangelands
and truly understands the issues faced by ranchers in the west and deserves
credit for his work on this important issue.”
NCBA President, Craig
Uden, feels this is an important milestone for western ranchers.
“Horse and burro
populations on BLM lands have long exceeded Appropriate Management Levels and
are damaging to ecosystem health,” Uden said. “Their population has an average
growth of over 20 percent each year, and it is imperative that Congress
continue to take steps to mitigate this issue.”
of wild horses and burros negatively impacts native wildlife, rangeland
ecosystems, and rangeland access. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses
science to monitor rangeland vegetation, soils, water and wildlife habitat to
determine appropriate management levels (AML) for wild horse and burros. The
BLM estimates the current population of wild horse and burros exceeds 72,000,
well above the maximum AML of 26,715.
that NCBA and PLC have long expressed concerns about wild horses and burros on
federal land and will continue to support humane and ethical management
practices of these animals.
"While this amendment does not solve the whole problem and there is still a great deal of work to do, the language would add one more tool to the toolbox and would provide the Bureau of Land Management more flexibility to manage this unsustainable population," Eliason said.