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January 19, 2016

Wild Horse Populations Need Better Management

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

A new educational campaign seeks to inform the public about the need for commonsense approaches to managing horses and burros in western farm and ranch lands.
Clements: The Horse and Burro Coalition has launched a campaign to improve wild-horse management. The coalition, which includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, says better management would strengthen and maintain the health of Western public rangelands for the benefit of the wild horses and ranchers. Farm Bureau’s Ryan Yates explains.
Yates: The coalition decided to put together an education campaign to educate the public about the current situation with wild horse and burro’s on the western rangelands and what they may need to know to participate and advocate for better management of the horses as well as the rangeland.
Clements: More than 64,000 wild horses and burros roam public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in ten western states, with an additional 47,000 residing in government-funded holding facilities at a cost of more than $40 million annually to taxpayers. The BLM reports that the land available for wild horses in these ten states can only support a population of 27,000.
Yates: Unfortunately, the government has been able to manage these horses in a way to keep them at the sustainable level. It’s not good for the horses and it certainly not good for the rangelands. So our primary concern is we’re seeing continued rangeland degradation because of the overpopulation.
Clements: Yates says the population of wild horses has to change.
Yates: There’s a number of different methods of maintaining populations. We’re advocating for appropriate management of these horses so that all of the multiple uses across these western rangelands can all share in the benefits of having a sustainable and healthy rangeland.
Clements: Learn more online at www.wildhorserange.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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