The Sage Grouse

Wild Horses Again

News:  The BLM is receiving 3,500 letters protesting roundups of wild horses using helicopters and other motorized assistance.  Apparently such techniques cause fear and apprehension in the horses; it moves me to abject grief and copious tears.

Sarcasm aside, at least for a nonce, how would these 3,500 protesting true believers help to round up these overpopulated, oversexed, range-devouring large mammals?

Let’s offer up some options, especially since helicopters are very expensive for taxpayers:

3,500 letter-writing couch potatoes: get up off your well-intentioned arses and truck your horses to the Red Desert and help with the roundup.

Oh….maybe these supposed horse lovers don’t actually own any horses, or even would not know what to do with a horse, and so they can’t answer the call to bring horses to help with the roundup.  Hmmm, kind of calls into question their qualifications for offering strident criticism to the BLM.

But, all hope is not lost.  They can walk!  Imagine how effective 3,500 animal-loving activists on foot would be to get those horses into the corrals.  What an opportunity to experience nature in the raw!!!  They could first hand see what incredible damage these beautiful animals do to wildlife habitat.  They could wander the desert for hours searching for surplus animals which would have been spotted in an instant from a helicopter.  Better bring a bunch of Perrier.

Could we charge them a fee up front to offset the costs to Sweetwater and Carbon Counties for setting up portable toilets and ambulances?

Wild horses, unkempt manes and tails a-flyin’, are a sight to enjoy and remember.  As we watch the movie Avatar,  we feel so right as we cheer them on as we despise and hate their enemies, who are actually, well, us.  Guess what folks: that is a fantasy.  We all want to feel so righteous when we champion underdogs.  Cheering on the wild horses and trashing the agencies responsible for managing the public range, that is more fantasy.

These horses are not native; they did not inhabit our public lands until the Spanish explorers and homesteaders turned them loose.

Thinning out wild horses is not a fantasy, and the 3,500 critics of the BLM need to understand that, except they won’t ever, so the BLM needs to treat their comments as fantasy and fire up those choppers.

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  1. Whoever wrote this,”Sage Grouse”??, you are a jerk!! The point is NOT just that rounding up wild horses with helicopters is cruel, it’s rounding them up, PERIOD, that’s cruel & UNNECESSARY!! YOU also have no right to judge whether anyone writing letters of protest, actually own horses, or would not get out there, IF they could, to STOP this insane assault on America’s wild horses! Perhaps, maybe, you’d like to be rounded up, run ragged for MILES in all types of EXTREME weather, watch in horror as YOUR babies dropped to the ground, unable to keep up, having their little hoofs separate from their agonizing, painful feet, being chased by a giant, scary, noisey “predator”!! There is NOT wild horse “over-population”, there IS, however, an unfortunate over-popluation of IGNORANT, greedy, free-loading cattle ranchers, & other likewise supporters, including the BLM, that need to be controlled! It’s actually a good thing some of “us” can’t get out there in person, for your sake, perhaps you should think about THAT, before you write more stupid untruths.

  2. As a Wyoming native who has lived on the edge of the Red Desert all of my life and as one who has participated in wild horse round-ups before they became wards of the federal government, I would ask advocates of uncontrolled propogation of wild horse herds to consider the facts. Mustangs are not a native species, period. And neither are cows. The cattle herds that graze on the sparse vegetation of the
    Red Desert are “thinned” every fall when the calves are shipped to feed lots where they are fattened to become steaks and roasts. Wild horse herds were once “managed” by mustangers who broke and sold the best and sent others to slaughterhouses where they were processed for human and animal consumption. When this practice was outlawed, the BLM was charged with managing the numbers. Wild horses reproduce at an astonishing rate and , having no predators, double their numbers every three years. Even if the mother cows that graze the desert were to be removed, as some extremists suggest, and wild horses were allowed to multiply unchecked, how many would be too many? And what would their “protectors” suggest as an alternative to mass starvation? By the way, neither cows nor horses interupt oil and gas exploration and development, so blaming the oil companies for the wild horse problem is a bit of a red herring.

    In short, if wild horses which, by the way, aren’t really that wild, can’t be managed as other native wild species are managed, then they must be captured and either adopted out or warehoused. While reasonable people might disagree about the carrying capacity of desert range, no reasonable advocate of wild horses can defend the notion of uncontrolled population growth–not if they really love these animals.

  3. Your posting is REPULSIVE and complete disrespect to our Wild Horses and the American People who value these horses and what they have given to this country. We could go gather them, but we all off limits and furthermore there should not be these cruel, senseless, destructive, murderous gathers. Clearly, you don’t like wild horses and you also have no respect for yourself. Maybe you would if you had one of those choppers chasing you for 10 miles until your broken down, physically and mentally destroyed, and then my friend, you can end up in the slaughter line. Watch a video of that on youtube. It’s people like you that make this world sick.

  4. The only person who is ignorant is yourself Sage. Perhaps you should get off of your arse and see that it is not the horses that are destroying the ranges, in fact it is the cattle who graze there at a ratio of 20 cows:1 horse or more at your expense (the ranchers get taxpayers money to graze their cattle on the public lands) who are destroying the range and also affecting the conditions of every other wild animal on these ranges too. Your ignorance is overwhelming. I am an advocate, I own 15 horses and I certainly dont sit on my arse and offer up ignorant diatribe like you do and the advocates that are standing up to the BLM are all well educated, professional, horse owning, hard working people who support their claims with fact rather than fiction as you do. Grow up and get some education.

  5. I never seen wild horses but someday i would like to,if the BLM does rake the land of all the horses…i think they are a staple on the land like your goats an sheep..cattle are not wild they need to be keeped under wraps for they put out the grass by the roots…NOT horses…i think if yous want visiters to come to your Country to see the horses then leave them alone..

  6. The “sage” needs to research the topic he expounds upon before he opens his mouth. The BLM has notoriously mis-managed public lands set aside for wild horses and burros. These are protected animals as dictated by the Wild Horse & Burro Act. Any horse person will tell you there are better ways to manage these herds as well as safe and humane ways to round them up for adoption. Why pick the middle of the foaling season to do it, and in the heat, too! Any one with half a brain can see this as an atrocity, and you don’t have to be a horse lover either. The US Government is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to remove these animals off PUBLIC land, that was set aside for them, to put them in holding pens where they are now starving and dying. The wild horses & burros numbered approximately 66,000 nationwide of which over half are now being “held”. Why? I’ll tell you why because energy companies want to lease the land and so do cattlemen. The BLM is supposed to “manage” our PUBLIC lands not sell out to the highest bidder and at the expense of OUR natural history. What you don’t seem to get is the significance that our living history, a symbol of the American West, a PROTECTED animal is being exterminated! This by the very government that is supposed to protect it, you tell me there isn’t something hinky going on!?

  7. Quite obviously, this Grouse is NOT Sage!

    I just love this absurd argument about the wild horses not being a native species–sorry, buddy, they are. It has been scientifically proven (do you believe in science?) the equines first appeared on this planet in what is now North America, migrated, and then disappeared for a time until RE-introduced by the Spanish. Cattle on the other hand, were NEVER native species here–all are imported and all are ruining what is our–that means mine too–PUBLIC land–supported by our tax dollars.

    You know what else is supported by our tax dollars?? Cattle grazing on OUR public land–to the tune of $123 MILLION a year in subsidies alone to PRIVATE CORPORATE ranchers. That means OUR tax dollars are going to support Big Business…and what is wrong with that picture????

    The wild horses are NOT overpopulated! Nor are they starving or dying of thirst–except where ranchers and the BLM have fenced them off from water sources. Do you know how much it costs to keep the wild horses on the range? $0. Do you know how much it costs annually to round them up and then maintain the captured ones? Try $67 MILLION…and an additional $36.5 MILLION to feed them–that’s before this current siege of roundups, which will add to the current $100,000 PER DAY feed bill.
    You tell me who is nuts here–I know its not me. Do the math!

    And speaking of math…people on this forum are talking about there being “too many horses” on the range. Get out your elementary school math books again. How can you possibly conclude that the less than 20,000 wild horses currently left on the range (and I’m being generous with that number) is “too many” when there are nearly 7 MILLION cattle out there??? Who’s kidding whom here, or have most of you been drinking the BLM Kool-Aid?? (I know they’re passing it out FREE to any takers.)

    R.T. Cox–You may need to have your eyes examined if you are saying horses damage the land and cattle don’t. Are you a cattle rancher? Must be. That would account for your apparently faulty vision.

    The BLM is currently exterminating the wild horse herds…you cattle people think you’re safe…but guess what? Cattle will be next as the push for Big Money interests totally shifts to energy, which it’s already in the process of doing. Your cattle will e next because what we’re headed for is our range land covered with pipelines, mines, oil drills, more pipelines, wind farms, and NO LIVING THIN GS at all. Is that what you want? If it’s not, you’d better get on board to save the horses, otherwise, your cattle are next!

  8. We stirred up more heat than light with this off-the-charts hot button topic.

    I have photographed wild horses on public lands around LaBarge and I have observed the damage they do to the range in the Red Desert. Wild burros are a huge threat to desert bighorn sheep habitat in southern California.

    Anyone who knows me would not for an instant accuse me of being an advocate of overgrazing by anyone. Cattle overgrazing is a problem in many, many places. However, the range damage I observed in the Red Desert was caused by horses, not cows. Federal court judges have reached the same conclusion in several lawsuits across the West.

    Birth control is a great idea for both horses and people; horse overpopulation is not the only significant overpopulation problem in our world. But there are already too many horses on the range; round them up, vaccinate some for release, and take the rest away.

  9. The “sage” demonstrates he/she/it has never been out of their own backyard. To not recognize the basic problems of overpopulation of wild horses, but to just “trash” any form of discussion, shows how little he/she/it knows about the situation. Only in a democracy can we find someone so stupid allowed to publish their garbage. Control the wild horse breeding and let these noble creatures enjoy the wonders of nature in Wyoming.

  10. Sounds like the “sage” missed his calling as he talks about WILD horses. He sounds like an advocate for excessive cattle grazing which really devastates the BLM lands and for the “roundup” industry that keeps lots of federal money going to the helicopter companies. Wild horse groups have already come up with an answer which is to vaccinate the horses for birth control while letting them roam as nature intended. There is very little left in BLM country that is wild thanks to grazing and energy development. Its only the horses that remind us wf what is truly wild out there.