Iron County Cattle Ranchers to feds: Remove wild horses or we will

Wild Horses of Utah

The Private Cattle Barons have spoken. If the BLM does not bend to their will and remove the wild horses themselves, they will just go out round up the wild horses – killing them is not ruled out. Reading to the end of the article…this action is in response to the BLM rounding up the estray cattle in Nevada, not just due to the ongoing drought. The article does not state the numbers of cattle only the numbers of horses. Something needs to be done to protect the wild horses in Utah. ~ HfH

From: The Salt Lake Tribune
By: Brett Prettyman

Letter from Iron County commissioners gives Bureau of Land Management a Friday deadline to submit a plan.

Wild Horses of Utah

Photo by Chris Detrick – The Salt Lake Tribune

Iron County commissioners have given the Bureau of Land Management an ultimatum: Come up with an immediate plan to remove hundreds of wild horses from the area or residents will do it themselves.

As drought damages rangelands in southwestern Utah, the overpopulation of wild horses is threatening livestock and wildlife, said Commissioner David Miller. In response, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to reduce the number of cattle allowed or “allotted” in grazing leases, Miller said.

“Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers who are being pushed to reduce their allotments by 50 percent thereby damaging the value of their private rights,” reads a March 30 letter signed by Miller and Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower.

Volunteers are ready, corrals are prepared and feed has been secured in case the BLM does not act promptly, Miller said.

The letter, addressed to BLM Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze, gives the federal agency until noon Friday to present a plan for removing horses by a “time acceptable to mitigate the threats and adverse conditions” in Iron County.

A BLM management plan says there should be 300 wild horses in the area, but the agency estimates there are 1,200 animals, Miller said.

“We will take whatever action we have to take to reduce those numbers immediately,” Miller said Thursday. “We expect the BLM to take that action. If they refuse we cannot wait until the range is destroyed.”

Calls to the BLM were not immediately returned.

The Associated Press reported in February that Joan Guilfoyle, chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Division, told her staff the $70 million program was headed for financial collapse unless “drastic changes” are made in the agency’s decades-old roundup policy.

She suggested suspending roundups until thousands of mustangs in federal corrals are sold or adopted, and recommended for the first time euthanizing wild horses on the range “as an act of mercy if animals decline to near-death condition as a result of declining water and forage resources.”

“There is the high probability that we will find some of the animals do need to be put down for humane reasons due to the poor forage conditions,” Miller said. “We intend to be compassionate and very much take a conservationist approach. We are all concerned that the habitat of the western range could be destroyed. Imagine the inhumane components of starving wild horses and wildlife.”

Iron County plans to temporarily keep the horses and hope they will be adopted, he said.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is aware of the conflict and has expressed his concern to Kornze, said spokeman Michael Mower.

Herbert “understands the frustration felt by West Desert ranchers who have been asked to dramatically curtail the size of their cattle herds while the wild horse herds continue to increase dramatically,” Mower said.

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AUTHOR: Posted by Habitat for Horses Calaway
24 Comments
  • Sue

    I’m disgusted at the cattle industry. I stopped eating beef years ago; everyone who loves horses should stop supporting beef.

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Everyone who loves wild hoses should start supporting the creatures they love by working towards a sustainable solution. Until an agreement can be made wild horse lovers should adopt 2-3 dozen of them and take care of them with their own resources.

      April 6, 2014
  • mustang man

    Hell BLM management can’t wipe its own butt by Friday; maybe it’s time to send in the Army for protection. They will cost less then what the BLM wastes on its poor management methods for people as well as the other creatures using the land. AG in the corporate world has overstepped itself and been allowed to do so for so long now. I wonder do horse advocates have the balls to get out there take their time, money and effort to protect these horses or is the crying towel going to come out again with oh so effective email blogging and e petitions? They only do what we allow them to do. It’s our fault.

    April 4, 2014
    • read these comments, so many people are concerned , except the greedy, money hungry Ranchers, who only care about GREED…No compassion, just like we did to the Indians , take take take.

      April 4, 2014
      • Dave Cluff

        To the contrary, the ranches actually don’t mind the horses as long as the herds are kept to the sizes agreed upon by law. However, just like the treaties with the “Indians,” the government has not kept their part of the bargain.

        The ranchers are the people who see what is really happening. What they are saying is that if nothing is done not only will the ranchers lose their livelihood, but the beloved wild horse will starve to death. Is that what you really want to fight for?

        April 6, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      I agree that is time for action to be taken. Don’t let the horses starve to death out on the range. That is the direction we are headed if nothing is done! Adopt a few horses from feral holding facilities today so the resources available to care for the horses can be freed up to care for the herds on the range.

      April 6, 2014
  • Lisa

    THE ROBBER BARONS say it is THEIR land they can’t have their PRIVATE USE OF??? Public land is THEIR PRIVATE GRAZING? It must end. 35,000 mustangs across how ever many states are NOT doing the damage that, how many cattle are allowed to graze on public lands? EIGHT to TWELVE MILLION cattle GRAZE PUBLIC LANDS. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Lisa,

      Sorry, I don’t have a pipe. Do a little research on the differences in grazing habits of horses, cattle, and big game species. You will find horses are extremely destructive. If you truly love these beautiful creatures take action now! Drive o the nearest wild horse adoption center, adopt 2-3…dozen and take them home with you where you can feed and care for them everyday.

      April 6, 2014
  • Margaret

    Here we go again with another range war. I am all for arresting, prosxecuting and throwing their butts into prison for any harn coming to the wild horses.

    These are federally protected wild horses. If the horses are on your PRIVATE land then by all means call the BLM. But if those horses are on your land that you have grazing rights to—a line from the movie TopGun comes to mind

    Son you don’t own that land. The taxpayer do. Your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.

    The idea that you are watering those horses is ridiculous. Learn to share resources. You might find folks more willing to eat red meat. In the meantime NO RED MEAT TILL THE RANCHERS LEARN TO SHARE RESOURCES!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      What you don’t realize is that the federal government agreed to manage the horses at populations that would allow the herds to remain stable and healthy. The government has not kept their agreement. I know it’s a real shocker huh!

      Not only is this bad news for cattleman, but it realistically means the horses will starve themselves in the very near future if no action is taken.

      April 6, 2014
  • davel

    Turn the mooching ranchers off public lands. We will not subsidize their herds as we’ve been unknowingly doing all these years. Our public lands are for our wild horses, not for the private pleasure of special interest ranchers. I suggest we round up all all cattle on public lands immediately and dispose of them for the public good…we’ve been paying for them anyways

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Fact:
      Horses are not native to North America.

      Fact:
      Wild horses are the most destructive species on the western ranges. (the only possible argument to this statement might be the we humans are worse.)

      Fact:
      Today’s wild hose has little to no connection to the Spanish Barb, which also is a feral horse that is not native.

      Fact:
      Range lands have been improved and cared for by generations of cattleman.

      Fact:
      The families of many cattleman have maintained their real property right use the range lands since before the BLM every existed.

      Fact:
      Payments from the evil cattleman fund the management of public lands and thereby support the wild horse.

      April 6, 2014
  • Nancy Albin

    Science has proven time & again that wildlife species, if left alone , will control their population by themselves, when food and water sources becomes scarce, females will produce few to no offspring until food & water sources are back to sustainable levels. They are closer to extinction, than people realize!

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Good point Nancy. The animals are not able to reproduce because they are unhealthy and on the brink of starvation. have you ever seen an animal in that situation? Is that really how you want these beautiful creatures to live?

      Horses are not native to North America. There is a very strong argument to have them completely removed due to the fact that they are an invasive, feral species. However, if their numbers were just reduced to the legal limit established in the 1970’s they would not be at risk of destroying the rand and starving to death.

      April 6, 2014
  • ok so what do we do, go to war??? I will!

    April 4, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      I have a less violent solution. Go adopt a horse and care for it. If you are so anxious to take action do it!

      April 6, 2014
  • we must united and stop STOP eating beef….I have for years and I feel a whole lot better….if we hurt them in their pocketbook…maybe they will take notice…enough is enough…they nothing but big fat lairs…who have allot of money thanks to the public lands….

    April 5, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Kudos to you for taking action you feel with help our cause; most people won’t. Now take it to the next level. Rally the troops and take it to the next level. Get all the wild horse lovers to adopt a few of them. As the demand goes up so will the price. It will also create more space in the holding facilities and free up resources to help manage the wild horse herds. Without management they will cause long term destruction and will starve to death.

      April 6, 2014
  • Deborah Lane

    its seems to always come to the wild horse , then the wild life. the greedy cattlemen and not to mention the land that is destroyed by the oil and gas drilling? Do they limit them? it all comes down to money, the BLM, government is in it for the money , do they really care about the range,habitat,clean water, animals? -lies, deceit, power, and you have puppets that do the bidding?

    April 5, 2014
    • Dave Cluff

      Deborah,

      You must not have ever visited the western range lands, and you definitely have not seen the destructive effects horses have on them. I is not just about the feed they consume, but how they eat it. Horses tear out plants, root and all. In the west our range lands rarely average more than 12″ of precipitation annually. Plants are difficult to get started, once they are pulled up it takes decades to replace them.

      April 6, 2014
  • Dave Cluff

    I love horses. I love the western ranges. What you don’t realize is that the population of the wild horse herds are 300%-400% over their target population and it doubles every 4 years.

    If herd sizes are not reduced now, cattle ranches will not be the only one’s affected. Range lands throughout the west will be destroyed. Entire herds of horse will suffer a cruel death by starvation. And the ranges will not recover for several decades.

    If you really want to save the horses, why don’t you start by putting our money where your mouth is and adopting a couple of them.

    April 6, 2014
  • Kcal coleman

    Dave, we are not native to North America either….should we take steps to eliminate those of us that are destroying our habitat? Like removing you from our gene pool??? Cattle are Highly destructive grazers….they eat everything!!! On the other side mustangs/horses are very selective in thier grazing. And FACT, there are far more cattle then mustangs.

    April 7, 2014
  • Kcal coleman

    Here in the eastern part of the country, we have to a novel thing called “purchase” our property for the cattle to graze on. Our federal lands are for the animals and people to enjoy. No one here gets to have grazing rights for cattle for $2.00 a head per month. Nope. Our federal lands are protected for things like the Kirkland warbler….the cattle if allowed in those areas would decimate thier habitat in one grazing season. I feel, that cattle grazing on my federal land out west is nothing more then a welfare handout to the cattle barons. And don’t start on me about the cost of beef going up if the barons had to buy thier own land. Most of that beef is shipped to foriegn countries, while our beef, comes mostly from brazil…where the cattle just roam around….everywhere. Even on the streets. And we seem to okay over here in the east, having purchased and improved our own land for the last 150 years or so 😉

    April 7, 2014
  • Kcal coleman

    And further more…why should I have to adopt a mustang???? I already fund thier survival in taxes I have paid in the last 33years of working…and I allow welfare cattlemen to graze thier cattle on my land for rock bottom prices….and now, you want me to move my animals off of my property??? Really??? How crazy is that????

    April 7, 2014