ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) - Animal advocates have filed a lawsuit to prevent the U.S. Forest Service from rounding up many of the remaining wild horses in California's Modoc National Forest.
The plaintiffs said in a statement Monday that the government agency's plan to eliminate about 40 square miles of territory and reduce the horse population by 80 percent could lead to the sale of horses for slaughter and could endanger the long-term genetic viability of the remaining population. Continue Reading >>
Cross posted from The Week, Feb. 19, 2014
By Andrew Cohen
The federal agency's treatment of wild horses has been scandalously poor. But you wouldn't know it from reading the newspaper.
America needs a few aggressive journalists to uncover the ways in which the Interior Department is captive to the priorities of the industries it is supposed to regulate.
Consider, for example, an unfortunate story published last month in The Washington Post about America's wild horses and their human stewards at the Bureau of Land Management.
The average reader of this story, headlined, "U.S. looking for ideas to help manage wild-horse overpopulation," likely came away from it with a grossly distorted view of the problems facing the herds, how those problems came to be, and what federal officials are doing (or not doing) to solve them. All of the appropriate voices were heard from, all the advocates and bureaucrats, all the lawyers and county commissioners — but the result was a cacophony, and not the symphony a good story ought to be. Critical context and perspective were missing from this report, as were key facts and history. The result was an inaccurate, incomplete mess. Continue Reading >>
By Craig Downer, TCF Board Member
Since the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, debate has raged over whether horses and burros are restored North American natives. Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native. Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, seminomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems. A Reserve Design strategy is proposed to establish naturally self-stabilizing equine populations that are allowed to harmoniously adapt over generations within their bounded and complete habitats. These populations should meet rigid standards for viability based on IUCN SSC assessments (2,500 individuals). Basic requirements are described for successful Reserve Design including viable habitat as well as specific regions of North America where this could be implemented. >> Read More