Could wild horses trigger the next Bundy-like standoff with the feds?

cattle vs horses

Congressman Stewart making the wild horses the “problem” is a low move. As for pushing the cattle off the range, rather the cattle are destroying the wild horses. ~ HfH

From: Politix

cattlevshorsesStates and Indian tribes would have the option of managing wild horses, much as they do other wildlife, under legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart.

The Utah Republican’s bill is a response to growing concerns in his state about an overpopulation of wild horses. Ranchers, whose livestock compete with wild horses for scarce forage and water, are particularly anxious about the situation in the midst of a dry summer.

It’s an issue that at first glance would seem a regional concern to those in the West. But rancher passions about the issue have some comparing it to the recent Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada over grazing fees on federal land. And more broadly, it’s stirring debate over the size and scope of federal authority on vast tracts of land in Western states.

The Bureau of Land Management agrees there are more wild horses on the range than the agency wants, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. But it had planned no roundups this year because there is no room in its long-term pastures.

Stewart’s bill would allow states to implement horse and burro management plans that address the specific needs of their own state. The proposal would also give states authority to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross over borders. The federal government would continue to inventory the horses and burros.

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

Stewart, first elected in 2012, argues that federally-managed wild horse ranges have been overused. That has pushed cattle off the ranges.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Barbara Warner

    From Annie Mond

    H.R. 5058: To amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to provide for State and tribal…

    July 11, 2014
  • Janet Schultz

    Please. We have seen how the tribes treat the wild horses they capture and the State of Nevada has dione just as poorly. Use this Popvox to record your opoinion of this use of our government against the horses:

    July 11, 2014
  • Louie C
    At The Root

    Why does public lands ranching have such a death grip on our natural resources? How is it that after all these years, little has changed despite overwhelming evidence of the damage? Why, despite all the laws and many, many good dedicated people in the government agencies themselves that have tried to effect change, nothing substantial can be done? Why is it that report after report submitted to Congress clearly outlining the mismanagement and malfeasance of livestock grazing to our resources, including wild horses and burros, is met with indifference as they not only continue to support livestock grazing but will viciously fight for the rights of ranchers time and time again? And how is it possible that just a handful of ranchers who produce less than 3% of America’s beef on public lands continue to wield so much power over our Nation?

    Well, the answer is, they don’t. The banks do, just like everything else these days and it’s the banks that continue to dictate American policy and cause Congress to ask “How high?” when they ask them to jump.

    July 12, 2014
  • Louie C

    Public Lands and Banks
    In Supreme Court documents, the State Bank of Southern Utah confirmed that
    financial institutions hold an estimated $10 billion in loans and related credit
    transactions to thepublic land ranching industry, with the grazing privileges alone worth
    approximately $1 billion.

    July 12, 2014
  • Louie C

    $450 Million in Bank Loans to Public Lands Ranchers

    Guaranteed With National Forest Grazing Permits

    SANTA FE, NM • Hundreds of local, regional and national banks have issued more than $450 million in loans to western public lands ranchers who rely on national
    forest grazing permits as collateral, according to information released today
    by Forest Guardians. The information was provided as a result of a more than
    four-year effort by Forest Guardians, including a three-year Freedom of
    Information Act lawsuit, to obtain information about the financial scope of the
    U.S. Forest Service’s escrow waivers policy, which enables national forest
    ranchers to utilize grazing permits to secure loans.

    Among the bank and insurance companies that have issued loans to western ranchers
    based on grazing permits are some of the largest financial institutions in the
    world, including Metropolitan Life Insurance, Mutual Life Insurance, and
    Prudential Life Insurance. The majority of the ‘escrow waiver’ agreements
    though, are held by federal and quasi-federal lending entities such as the
    Federal Land Banks, the Farmers Home Administration and the Farm Service

    July 12, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    So MR.Stewart would prefer (surprise) that the states take over the wild horse & burro program? Does that mean that the Feds no longer have to take the loss of the grazing allotment programs? Probably not – just means we the people get to pay for MORE horses & burros being corralled! And the government continues to charge pennies for their use of OUR public lands! Hurray for the states rights.

    July 12, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    Actually, this would probably mean horses & burros gone to slaughter!

    July 12, 2014