I think that most of us can agree that numbers, in many contexts, just simply don’t make a whole lot of sense. This can especially be the case when you are working with very little information and expected to solve a problem, much like in Calculus II. Anyways, that is going to be the topic of the day. Numbers and why they don’t make sense.
By now, we know that the BLM is clearly inflating their research and reasons and numbers to serve them so that they can get what they want, the wild horses/burros out of their hair. So far, it looks like there is a chance for success on their part. But I still have an immense amount of unanswered questions, but today we’ll try to stick to the topic.
Alright, to start, if you have seen the video of the SubCommittee meeting, then you would hear Steve Ellis, the Director of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, say that there are currently 177 HMA’s (Herd Management Areas). This really doesn’t make sense to me, because, as I believe that I pointed out in my previous post here, there are 197 HMA’s in my research. The maps that I used, from the BLM itself, were over ten (10) years old! This could only mean that the BLM has wiped out 20 HMA’s in some form or fashion, whether they stuck them all in a long-term facility or they all ended up going to slaughter in Mexico, we’ll probably never know. But in the end that’s not what the point is, the point to provide accurate information to the public instead of hiding it, because lets not kid ourselves, eventually the truth gets out, and when it does people will be angry. Speaking of long-term holding facilities, has anyone been able to find any? Literally I have found one. Its the Shadow 7 Ranch, owned by Bob Buford I believe and found in El Dorado, Kansas. The problem that I have with this is not the ranch itself, but the fact that there absolutely has to be more than one. The numbers on this facility make pretty good sense, with 32,000 acres of land and around 4,400 wild horses on it (link here). This still leaves about 42,000 horses/burros unaccounted for in other facilities. I feel as if that this is like top-level CIA secretive junk. Like why? Wouldn’t it make sense to allow the Public access to these facilities to check out the horses, A) because it would be pretty cool for tourist and B) because it could, could, have an affect on adoptions. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? It’s literally a win-win situation.
Anywho, the BLM has been sticking to their guns about how expensive it is to care for one wild horse or burro over its lifetime, throwing around the quite high $50,000. Perhaps this would be the case, for a domestic horse, who receives shoes, shots, feed that matches its lifestyle and nutritional needs, hay, the occasional floating for its teeth, proper castration, and other maintenance necessities as a horse may age or have poor health developments, but these mustangs are not going to receive all of these things while they are at these facilities. And especially not while they are out on the range! So tell me, how is it that horses/burros out on the range cost the Public $50,000 per animal when they aren’t even receiving the basics of care that a domestic horse would receive? The BLM is telling us that because that is actually, most likely, how they are validating using helicopters. I have a feeling those puppies aren’t cheap and that is how they got the support of the Public. Walks, talks, and acts like the government, must be the government.
Supposedly, there is an estimated 67,000 wild horses/burros on the range actively right now, and this number is growing at about 25% per year. According to Director Ellis, this is 2.5 times the amount of equines that the Federal land can support. Now, as an all-around animal lover, I do recognize that there are other wild animals out there that also need food and water and such, so I can understand the need to balance resources carefully. Here is my problem though: If you took two plots of land, say five (5) acres that are exactly alike, they have the same forage, they same water supply, and the same terrain and you put one mustang on plot A and 47 head of cattle on plot B and left them there for exactly 365 days and then took them off and studied the land, what do you think you would find? According to Ms. Callie Hendrickson, you would find the land that the horse occupied would be in far worse shape. Because cows can do no wrong? I love cows, I do but come on guys! Really? I’ll let you decide what is wrong with this picture.
There simply must be an easier way to manage this. No slaughter. No potentially lethal round-ups with helicopters. No lying to the Public about what is really going on. Just logical solutions, which I know that the government not very good at, but can’t we at least try?
Okay, I know that this is really long, but I appreciate you reading all of this 🙂 Have an amazing day and thank you again!