Managing for Extinction: Shortcomings of BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Program Available

The Animal Welfare Institute’s updated report on the state of America’s wild horses is now available. If you would like a copy you can click on the link below or if you would like to order a large number of the booklets please email directly with your request.

Managing for Extinction: Shortcomings of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Program

An overview of the BLM’s failure to properly manage these symbols of the American West, 2011, 30 pages.

Executive Summary

A government program biased against the very animals it is designed to protect threatens today’s wild horses and burros. Our national Wild Horse and Burro Program and related federal lands management policies are so flawed that the long-term survival of these animals is in serious jeopardy, as is the health of public lands on which they reside. The federal agencies assigned management authority for the program, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the US Department of the Interior and the US Forest Service (USFS) in the US Department of Agriculture, have lost sight of their legal mandate to “protect” wild horses and burros. Instead, agency officials have focused almost exclusively on accommodating livestock and other commercial uses – at the expense of the welfare of wild horses and burros. This report will demonstrate that:

*       The BLM and USFS are not in compliance with laws and regulations governing the management of public lands and the protection of America’s wild horses and burros;

*       The BLM and USFS Wild Horse and Burro Program and related public lands management policies strongly favor private livestock and other commercial interests to the detriment of wild horses and burros, as well as the health of the land;

*       The agencies’ claims regarding wild horse and burro populations in the wild today and estimated rates of increase are questionable;

*       The “Appropriate Management Levels” (the number of wild horses and burros deemed suitable by the BLM and USFS to live on the range) are arbitrary;

*       The agencies’ mismanagement of the wild horse and burro program wastes millions of tax dollars each year; and

*       Their strategy for the future management of wild horses and burros is scientifically reckless, economically unsound and ethically unjustifiable.

This report describes the history and politics of the controversial and deeply interwoven issues of wild horse and burro management and taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. It offers a new vision of how to better address these often-conflicting interests for the long-term benefit of wild horses and burros, the public lands on which they reside, and the American citizenry.

Deputy Director
Government and Legal Affairs

900 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20003 ~

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