New bill aimed at granting state management over wild horses, burros

Feral horses, Dugway, Utah, June 2008 | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Salt Lake Field Office, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, introduced legislation Thursday that would give states and Indian tribes the option to take over management of wild horses and burros.

The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058, would preserve all protections under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and simply allow states to implement horse and burro management plans that address the specific needs of their own state.

The federal government has never been able to properly manage the horses and burros in the West,” Stewart said. “Every state faces different challenges, which is why it’s important that they have the ability to manage their own wildlife.”

In the 43 years that the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act has been in place, the ranges have been overused, pushing cattle off the ranges and leading to the destruction of important habitat for native, and in some cases endangered, species.

“States and tribes already successfully manage large quantities of wildlife within their borders,” Stewart said. “If horses and burros were under that same jurisdiction, I’m confident that new ideas and opportunities would be developed to manage the herds more successfully than the federal government.”

This bill would allow states to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross over borders, and the federal government would continue to inventory the horses and burros to ensure the population numbers as prescribed by the 1971 Act are maintained.

“In an era of fiscal crisis, the federal government just doesn’t have the money to manage these programs,” Stewart said.


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  • crypto666 July 10, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Yee haw! But the feral horse branch of the conflict industry will do everything they can to stop it, because it will greatly hurt their income. They need the conflict to maintain the crisis and keep the money flowing.

    • dk July 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      As always, your post adds no value to the conversation and is oozing misinformation. I’m going to start calling you Pinocchio, crypto.

  • Red Rocker July 10, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Smells like dog food to me. Stewart and his ilk fail to provide the Feds funds, then blame the feds for failing to perform.

  • dk July 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    What a crock of mis-reporting. 12 million cattle and sheep on our public lands by an unsustainable Federal Grazing program and 22,000 wild horses and burros on the range according to the BLM WH&B Advisory Board in March, 2014, to be revised to 49,000+ in June, due to BLM saying they had “miscounted” earlier.

    Here is more about the actual number of cattle and sheep vs. wild horses in this area of Utah:

  • Laura Ikuta July 11, 2014 at 6:42 am

    My support if for the horses to remain wild and free. Stewart will never get my vote when it’s time for re-election.

    • dk July 11, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you, Laura. We need to vote him out of office.

  • Smithereens July 11, 2014 at 7:50 am

    By management of wild horses and burros, the author means “removal, killing or sending to slaughter.”

    Those looking to “manage” the wild horses are looking to profit from their removal, through sales to slaughter buyers and companies, helicopter round ups, and increasing forage for privately owned cattle and sheep on public lands from 77% to 100%. (Those horses that survive being removed from public lands will then be put into holding facilities paid for by all US (not Utah) taxpayers.) Author forgot to mention that.

    Also left out of story: the ranchers behind this scheme provide less than 1% of the US beef supply. They are mad that they have to cut back grazing on public lands due to their own damage to it, and they are looking for a subsidy.

    Their cattle already out graze the horses 10.6 to 1. They consume 77% of the forage on the small slivers of land where the horses presently exist. And they consume 100% of the forage on the other 95% of land where there are no horses at all. [They want you to believe the horses have damaged that too].

    There is no science to this proposition—only ranchers looking to keep overgrazing public lands (and the US taxpayer subsidizes this grazing program to the tune of up to $1 billion a year) and politicians looking to stay in office by helping them do it.

    But when they manage to remove/kill/send to slaughter most of the horses, then what will they do? Set up a “mustang” theme park and start collecting entrance fees from unsuspecting tourists.

    Wake up. This is not about protecting horses. It’s about rancher greed!

    Utah—the GREED State.

    • dk July 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you, Vickery, as always for a well-researched and informed comment.

  • crypto666 July 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I don’t think stewart has the ability to allocate funds all by himself. It is congress as a whole that needs to support management of feral horses. So far the feral horses extremists and their lobby are getting what they want; more horses and more conflitct and more money for themselves, so they can create more conflict, and scare people in to giving more money, so they can create more conflict.

    • dk July 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Nobody who is trying to save our wild horses is in this to make money, crypto, and everybody knows this. So you can stop spinning your web of fibs.

  • Tracie July 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Knowing this state, their plan would be to round ’em up and shoot ’em. Or maybe just skip the round ’em up part and have a horse and burro hunt.

  • St. George Resident July 11, 2014 at 10:57 am

    “In an era of fiscal crisis, the federal government just doesn’t have the money to manage these programs,” Stewart said.

    And when the bill passes, watch them start asking Washington for handouts and then blaming Washington for lack of funding when the program has problems.

    Republican hypocrisy knows no limits.

  • HorseAdvocate July 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Pretty animals…

  • Shane Destry July 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    thanks to Vickery Eckhoff for her always fact based well researched comments ! Handing over wild horses to the “management” of states would be disastrous to taxpayers, the environment and fatal to wild horses, whom the BLM is already trying to manage into extinction. Between the false alternatives that public lands be mismanaged to maximize profit for welfare cattle ranchers (the states) or for fracking and mining (BLM) it is time for a third alternative: to be protected as was the original intention by a federal agency disassociated with corporate interests. Period ! “The federal government has never been able to properly manage the horses and burros in the West,” Stewart said. That is because the BLM has always run the BLM as if it were an engine for corporate welfare, not the welfare of the American taxpayer, public land or wildlife, including wild horses. Time for that to change !

    • crypto666 July 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      You must be mistaken, Vickery hasn’t posted anything here, not under that name. Perhaps you, or I mean vickery, posted something under a different name? But then again, how would YOU know what Vickery said?

      See, most of the horse advocates are just imaginary people. They don’t really exist.

      Shane destry=vickery eckoff=smithereens=diana klin. Alll the same money grubbing horse advocate.
      With the millions of dollars the horse advocates have, you would think they would help horses, but instead they only help themselves.

  • susan carter July 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    And just how long do you think it will take Harry Reid and the State of Arizona to exterminate the just over 500 horses that live there?
    Will Cliven Bundy and his ilk in Nevada play fair with the horses when they already ignore the Grazing Permits in Nevada?
    Utah? Commissioner David Miller in Iron county has already threatened to take the Law into his own hands , concerning horses/
    The smell of money and fracking oil will overwhelm common sense, as it already has begun. Horses, wildlife and clean water will be a thing of the past.

    • crypto666 July 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Fracking? Really? You people have over active imaginations. Of course that is what got us in this mess to begin with.
      baseless accusations, baseless scientific theories, baseless blame, baseless, baseless, baselesss.

      • dk July 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm

        “Chevron USA, in legal filings in a case brought by the conservation group Western Resource Advocates, has admitted that to meet a goal of developing a half million barrels of oil from sedimentary rock in northwest Colorado it would need 120,000 acre feet of water a year. That’s enough to meet the needs of 1 million people per year.”

  • UncleRob July 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Stewart and this article have it wrong; I wouldn’t vote for him or the twisted lies in this article:

    1. States and Tribes managing the range well? The Yakima Nation years ago admitted its problem with horse management. They let their horses roam free and don’t cut the stallions. And their wildlife manager, Jim Stephenson, went to the Advisory Board of the BLM program!

    2. Cattle are not being pushed off the range. Cattle units on Herd Management Areas outnumber horse units by anywhere from 10:1 to 100:1. You can see the BLM figures yourself!

    No cajones, Stewart. Just lies. ‘Nuff said.

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